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Showing posts from February, 2023

Miners Memorial

A photo a day.  Miners memorial.  This is a memorial on Cleator Moor Square. There are three structures in total - the hand, the miner and the phoenix. They were created by the late Conrad Atkinson to commemorate all the souls lost deep underground, in the local pits.

Busby Babes

A photo a day.  Come on you reds!  Sorting through possessions after the loss of a loved one is difficult, but at times, interesting keep-sakes are found. Such as this disintegrating newspaper from 1958, which announced the impending arrival of the famous Manchester United 'Busby Babes' at Borough Park, home of Workington Reds.  The game took place in front of a record home crowd of 21,500.  Workington stunned a United team featuring Harry Gregg, Roger Byrne, Bill Foulkes, Mark Jones, Eddie Colman, Edwards, Kenny Morgans, Albert Scanlon, Bobby Charlton, Dennis Viollet and Tommy Taylor, via a six-minute Clive Colbridge goal that gave them a well deserved half-time lead. The final score?  Workington 1 - 3 Manchester United.

Railway Bridge

A photo a day. Former railway bridge.  This is an old sandstone bridge. Above is a bridleway, which replaced an old railway line. It's on part of the route that I use when out for a run. The route that I follow tracks to the right at the end of the tunnel, heads up a short way, and then right again, across the top.


A photo a day.  Wrapped for winter.  This small holding is a stones throw away from my home. It's a lovely area alongside the meandering River Keekle. Horses are often trotting away in the field. Today, with their winter coats slung over their backs, they gave the odd glance to passers-by, while chomping away on their straw.

A Lucky Rock?

A photo a day. Kiss, or rub for luck.  As a child, I was told that kissing this inlaid rock from Lourdes would bring me good luck. The 'rock in a tablet' is located at St. Mary's Grotto, in Cleator.  Looking at it now, it appears that tens of thousands of people have deposited their 'bad-luck' into the artefact. I didn't kiss the rock this time round due to it's appearance, but did give it a wee rub. My family could certainly do with a break from the hurt that has occurred in the last six months. 

Colours Of Spring

Spring is in the air.  Daffys and Gorse.  I've had a short walk this morning in the sunshine and saw some signs of Spring, with Daffodils sprouting, and Gorse flowers under a lovely blue sky.

From The Depths

A photo a day. Iron Ore. This is a 1Kg lump of Iron Ore from one of the old pits in Cleator Moor. The ore is from my late father's collection.

A Massive Mess

A photo a day.  It's a shit hole!  I popped into Whitehaven earlier today to do a little bargain-hunting, and this empty shop caught my eye. It is sadly, one of many that have closed and seemingly left to rot.  Whitehaven is a pale shadow of it's former self. Covid, inflation, rent, etc., have all had a severe impact upon the high street. We must surely be at the bottom of a boom and bust cycle? Here's hoping!  I understand the town has been shortlisted for the 2023 Royal Horticultural Society, Britain in Bloom UK Finals. So, hopefully the streets will soon look much more appealing than it's current state, which to be frank, is like the bottom of an ashtray. Flowers, like a sticking plaster won't be an immediate fix, but maybe they're one step nearer to some much needed healing. Much kudos to those remaining stores that haven't given up on the town.


A photo a day.  Lavender burps.  Sometimes a little help is needed to get you through the day. These Kalms, do though, create some interesting smelling burps.

Natures Shelter

A photo a day.  A different viewpoint.  The weather has been poor of late, so photo opportunities have been limited. But even looking up can offer up a different viewpoint. And, sometimes shelter. 

Time For Some DIY

A photo a day. I hate wallpapering!  This is one of those types of jobs that we all have to do from time to time. I hate it. But, I guess it is gratifying when the job is complete. 

Hello Mam. Hello Dad

A photo a day. St Mary's Grotto And Cemetery.  It's just over a week since my Dad was laid to rest with my Mam. I've been to visit their grave a couple of times over the past week. It has been a difficult time of late, with losing both parents in the space of five months. Yesterday, I enquired with a stonemason about having the headstone carved with my parents details, so hopefully that will be completed in the next few months. I'll be returning to work as soon as the chaos in my head has settled. But, my visits will continue when time permits, and I'll tend the grave just as my Dad did for his parents, until my dying days.  X.


View from Outrigg.  I'm blessed to live in this area.  This is the view from Outrigg, located between Bigrigg and St Bees. The fell just right of centre, is Dent. 

Nibbling Pony

A photo a day. Why the long face?  This young fell pony tried to have a nibble of my wife's hand, as we popped out for a short walk.

Infinite Scrolling

Infinite scrolling has been enabled on the home page of this site. Think of social media, where you can scroll continuously, and not reach the bottom of the page.  This makes it easier for you to browse my photos without having to navigate back and forth. It also helps with the speed of the site - six posts are loaded at a time, instead of everything. Anyways, scroll away with your thumb, or mouse. Enjoy!

My Running Buddy

A photo a day.  My running buddy.  I run alone. I like the peace and quiet. It allows for deep thought (and sometimes no thought at all). The hormones released are fantastic at clearing the mind of most worries. I often run first thing in the morning, as it sets me up for the day. During the winter months, first thing means it's always dark.  For the last two years I used a cheap Chinese head torch. It was advertised as 5 million lumens, or something silly like that. Don't get me wrong - it was really bright. And warm. But the batteries only lasted half an hour. Two weeks ago, I bought this beauty from Energizer. It cost more (£30) than my previous torch, is nearly as bright, but is much more conservative with the batteries. That's a winner for me. It's very rare for the moths in my wallet to see the light of day. So. If you see someone in the Cleator Moor area around 6am, with head torch and high viz jacket, running like he has shit himself - that will be me 😁  Yes. I

Run Now, Or Later?

A photo a day.  To run, or not to run.  Today's photo is of a training shoe. I run. I'm just not sure whether to run now, or later in the day. Sometimes motivation is difficult. My fitness has been neglected for a good 12 months. The past two weeks has seen me give myself a kick up the proverbial in an attempt to change things for the better. I'm hoping to eventually get back to where I was, running around 15 miles a week. I'm not quick, but I am average for my age - which is good enough for me. So. Now, or later?

A Floral Forest

A photo a day.  Hocus Crocus.  This is a shot of Crocus in a planter in my garden. It's like a miniature floral forest. Oh.. And the weeds are sprouting too. Damn and blast. Lol.  Happy Valentines Day!

The Grotto

The Grotto.  St Mary's RC Church in Cleator.  During the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, times were very difficult for many. To provide employment for some of the parishioners, land adjoining the church's site was bought. A replica of the Grotto at Lourdes was built. Those working on the construct were rewarded with vouchers for food and clothing. The Grotto was opened on the 30th October 1927, and rapidly became a focus for pilgrimage from all parts of the diocese. The tradition of pilgrimage continues with a number of groups coming each year. In early September the diocesan pilgrimage brings several hundred people together. Today's visit to the Grotto was to say a hello to my Mam and Dad who are both buried behind the treeline. Burials aren't normally carried out in this area nowadays, but luckily my family had the foresight to purchase a plot in the 1960's. It's a truly tranquil place. 

Mature Acorn

A photo a day.  Japanese Larch.  This is the Acorn of the Japanese Larch. The brown colour informs us that it's a mature acorn. It's quite common apparently, for these acorns to not fall from the tree.  Immature acorns are green in colour. 

Dent Forest

Dent Forest.  Cleator Moor, in West Cumbria. 

Boot Scraper

A photo a day.  Platform shoes? This is a boot scraper at the edge of an old railway platform near my home. Boot scrapers can be seen in a variety of places across the country, such as outside of old houses. They were installed to allow visitors to scrape snow, mud, leaves, or manure off the soles of their footwear before entering. There's a really ornate boot scraper outside of 10 Downing Street. I can't recall it being used by any MPs. I suppose it explains why shit flows from the building.  Scrapers first appeared around the end of the 18th Century, in the times of horse-drawn carriages and dirt roads.

Postcard Stories

The past, presented.  Recording postcard stories. I've commenced a new feature on my Little Ireland website, called Postcard Stories. I have a large collection of old postcards from the Cleator Moor area and am currently transcribing the short messages that people once sent to each other. The postcards generally date from around 1900. Postcards were a cheap and chearful way of communicating in the past, but they do also give an insight into those times. And, while some of the information written in the postcards may not be directly relevant to the town, they can be somewhat amusing  - who was Cupid? In the early decades of the 20th century the common means of communicating the holiday spirit was through the postcard, and there were literally hundreds of thousands sent. The postcard is a relatively new phenomenon and the modern colour card owes its lineage to cards which were produced to send messages. Early cards were not so focused on scenery; when they first appeared in the 186

The Snowdrop

A photo a day.  Heralds of Spring.  Snowdrops are among the first plants to flower in the new year. The little flower is thought to have been brought to the British Isles by the Romans.

Au Revoir, Dad

A photo a day. RIP Dad . X. A picture can speak a thousand words...

A Photo A Day

A challenge!  Let's see how this goes.  In my bio, I claim to love photography, but I don't do enough of it. To rectify, I'm going to attempt to capture a photo a day. I'm only an amateur, so please be kind. Hopefully, the more I capture, the better I'll get. Fingers crossed.  Photographs will be captured on my DSLR, or my mobile phone (most likely the latter). Subjects will be wide ranging. Hopefully in 12 to 18 months time, I can look back at my photos and say: "I remember that day". You can follow the challenge here .  Today's photo is a black & white shot of water droplets on wild grass.

Hello & Welcome

Hello.  Welcome to my blog.  A little about me I'm a northern fella, grounded in the UK's Western Lake District. I love the outdoors, photography, and local history. I was born 968 years into the second millennium of the anno Domini, which coincidentally was also the Year of the Monkey. I was raised at  Cleator Moor  (Little Ireland), and have lived in the vicinity all my life.  The paternal side of my family hail from Avoca, County Wicklow, Ireland. The maternal side, from Cornwall, UK. Delving deeper reveals links to Northern England, Scotland, and The Isle of Man. I define myself as Brit-ish. A diary of sorts The pages of this blog will be filled with an eclectic mix of information. A diary of sorts. It'll be interesting to see how it develops over time. I do hope you find the pages of the site quick loading - a little wizardry takes place in the background to facilitate this. As a result, the site has a attained a difficult to achieve A-Grade for performance on Gtmetrix
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