Whitehaven and revisiting the past

15 November 2012

Circumstances have forced me to visit the UK in unfashionable November. And so I happened to be in Whitehaven accompanied by my mother. This is a town of my early childhood and so we visited some of the locations significant at that time including the old family home. It is surprising how patchy the memory is clear and accurate in some aspects and missing in others. For instance I remembered the bedroom and view from it but have no recollection of the living area. Also it illustrated how everything is changing ; people, and the landscape. So for instance we visited the school my father reached at for some twenty odd years but no one knew his name or the illustrated another way the skyline was dominated by industrial chimneys from a chemical works. This has since closed and to my mind unfortunately the iconic chimneys have gone.

Whitehaven was once the third latest port in England and an active coal mining town. The tunnels and seams ran under the ocean. In 1947 there was a fire and many men were killed. Apparently every family was touched in some way. The image here looks over a magnificent harbour from close to the mine head and shows the Lonsdale Candlestick ventilation shaft.

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