June 13, 2017
“How can I get more subscribers to our blog?” I asked Debbie.
“Well, perhaps you could try writing about something that people actually give a fxxx about.”
I paraphrase of course: Debbie is far too much of a lady to use that sort of language, but really, I think I deserve a bit more support. Nevertheless I have tried to fill this post with the sort of information that will be invaluable to hard-working families all over the world.
While staying at Ambleside, the opportunity to add another green dot to our Lear map proved too strong to resist, so we drove to Grange-over-Sands. Some way over-Sands it turns out: this is not a place to take your bucket and spade: a large expanse of treacherous marshland separates the promenade from the vast sandy reaches of Morecambe Bay.
So, sorry guys, no re-enactment this time, as it wouldn’t have been safe to carry the waterproof tub I brought with me out to the sea. Another problem is that I have so far failed to locate St. Blubb on the map: furthermore there seems to be some doubt as to whether Blubb was ever actually canonised. A cynic might think the poet simply made the place up to rhyme with “tub”, but I’m sure Lear would never have stooped so low.
The town was formerly known simply as “Grange” – the ‘over-Sands’ suffix was added in the late 19th or early 20th century by the local vicar, who was fed up with his post going to Grange in Borrowdale near Keswick.
The railway came to Grange-over-Sands in the 1850s, and the town was enthusiastically promoted by the railway company as a tourist destination. The crazy golf course is just one of the attractions, and Debbie and I tried our hand. Unfortunately it turned out to be an unfair course, which resulted in Debbie edging a victory by 37 to 43.
…which was just the start of the town’s problems with public bathing facilities. A new public swimming pool, the Berners Pool, opened in 2003 at a cost of £3.5 million. It was designed by architects Hodder Associates and won a RIBA Design Award in 2004, but closed in 2006 due to structural problems and high running costs. It was demolished in 2014. An argument, perhaps, for a five-year holding period before dishing out architecture design awards?
After carrot and coriander soup with a roll, it was time to undertake the climb of Hampsfield Fell, normally abbreviated to Hampsfell.
Next a short drive to Humphrey Head, a dramatic rocky outcrop which claims (among several other places) to have witnessed the killing (in 1390) of the last wolf in England.
Our final visit of the day was to Cartmel Priory: