There was an Old Person of Grange

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Strong and stable? Or scroobious and strange? You decide.

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.

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The promenade hummed with life, even on a cloudy Tuesday morning

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.

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Twinned toilets. Plus the number, in case you should need it.
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Forced to continue with muddy boots
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The lido was built on the seafront in 1932 and closed in 1993…

…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?

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The clock tower was declared the best building in the town by travel writer Nikolaus Pevsner.  Time for an early lunch, methinks

After carrot and coriander soup with a roll, it was time to undertake the climb of Hampsfield Fell, normally abbreviated to Hampsfell.

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Limestone pavement on Hampsfell. This was frequently plundered for building and rockery stone until prohibited in 1981
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“Fetchez les vaches!” Can anyone translate the Greek inscription? (not you Biff). The Hampsfell Hospice was built in 1830 “for the use of visitors and others”.
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Limestone pavement (again) and hospice (again)
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It hasn’t moved for about 10,000 years, but it’s not strong and stable, oh no, it’s erratic.
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Well-earned sustenance, that healthy eating thing – look, there’s a grape

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.

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The desolate beauty of the shoreline and nature reserve under Humphrey Head

Our final visit of the day was to Cartmel Priory:

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Founded in 1190 by William Marshall, England’s most chivalrous knight.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “There was an Old Person of Grange

    1. We think so, as the over-Sands suffix wasn’t attached until after Lear died, and this Grange seems to have been more prominent – it even had a railway station. It is also more convenient for St. Blubb by tub. I do hope we’re right – the consequences of being wrong are too awful to contemplate.

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  1. There was once a person called Pugin, apparently, who was a bit of an architect type in Victorian times who died in 1852. Had two cats, Sambo (scary!) an Blubb (weird). Lived in his own designed house called the Grange. In Ramsgate, where he had two boats (well big ones) that he used to sail out and rescue sailers on the Goodwin Sands. He sounds a bit scroobious. Sorry. Cats and Pigeons. Probably wrong. Sorry. Grange-over-Sands looks very nice. Especially the cake.

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