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Play Me?

When we were in Cockermouth earlier this year we were in an antique/junk shop where a radio was playing.

I was wandering round looking at items for sale vaguely listening, though the sound was quite muffled. On came the song below. I knew the correct words but for some reason when it came to the, “I’ll be home,” line I heard the next one as, “I’ll be your xylophone, waiting for you.”

It does make a weird kind of sense, though; as most misheard lyrics do.

The Foundations: Build Me Up Buttercup

The sound on this is from the record but the video was taken at a live gig, so goes on beyond the song.

Dry Stone Housing

I noticed in the Lake District – Grasmere and Ambleside in particular – on our trip down there in April that not just boundary walls between fields are built with the dry stone method, the houses are too.

The photo shows a few such houses in Ambleside.

Dry Stone Walling

Edward Elgar, Enigma, Great Malvern

I just realised I had never posted this photo of the statue of Edward Elgar and a representation of Enigma which I took when we were in Great Malvern last year.

Great Malvern was, of course, Elgar’s birthplace.

I did feature his statue in Worcester here.

Edward Elgar + Enigma

Grasmere and Windermere, Cumbria

You could be forgiven for thinking I had gone to the Lake District and not visited any lakes, but of course I did.

En route to Cockermouth we passed Bassenthwaite Lake which is large but flat looking if you know what I mean.

We passed Thirlmere, a pretty enough lake but nothing spectacular, in order to visit Grasmere, lake and village, where we sampled the “famous Grasmere gingerbread.”

We also climbed up to Allan Bank, a house which William Wordsworth once rented.

Allan Bank, Grasmere

From the left hand side of the house as seen above I took three photos of the lake and village, stitched into the one below.


The lake itself is little more than a puddle but the village is a delightful wee place.

Then onwards, up and over from the A591 to the A592 a very steep ascent giving me the opportunity to photograph Lake Windermere. Again a stitch (of two this time.)

Lake Windermere

We then kept on up the A592 travelling almost the full length of Ullswater – which is impressive, if not quite as magnificent as most Scottish fresh-water lochs. Particularly appealing were the tourist pleasure boats plying the lake, reminding me of the Loch Lomond of my youth and a trip to Loch Katrine about 12 years ago. It was raining by that time though and we didn’t stop. Perhaps next time.

Egremont War Memorial, Cumbria

From Whitehaven we moved on to the town of Egremont where there was no Art Deco but it does have a very dignified War Memorial. Its statue of a soldier dominates one end of the main street. Pity about the street light behind it.

Egremont War Memorial, Cumbria

The Great War names are set round the upper portion. WW2 names are on plaques either side.

Egremont War Memorial WW2 Plaque

The WW2 plaque on the opposite side unusually contains the name of a woman – who I thought may perhaps have been a nurse but it seems Grace Cummings was a Wren, (WRNS.)

Egremont War Memorial Female Name

Whitehaven, Cumbria

Whitehaven appeared a bit more prosperous than Maryport or Workington, less industrial certainly, and with a lot of sailing yachts in the harbour.

But more Art Deco, not just the Bus Station.

Only separated from the old Bus Station by one building is this pub, the Bransty Arch, now a Wetherspoons.

Bransty Arch, Whitehaven

Here’s the frontage in more detail. Good stuff on the roofline and the Arch motif.

Bransty Arch Detail

Here’s the side view looking back towards the old Bus Station.

Bransty Arch side view

Further into the town I found a Burton’s.

Burton's, Whitehaven

This is typical of 30s Burton’s style. Pity about the wires and other guff in the way in this other view in which I also seem inadvertently to have photographed a gull on the roof!

Burton's, Whitehaven, side view

We found a large second-hand book shop in the town, very nook and cranny-like. Sadly none of the books grabbed my interest sufficiently to buy any. Ones I might have bought I already had! The good lady managed one purchase, though, and also browsed one she had been thinking of buying from the internet but decided she wouldn’t like it.

Whitehaven Bus Station

After Harrington and the surprise of Heathfield another surprise awaited us further down the coast in Whitehaven; a fantastic Art Deco Bus Station, sadly no longer in use. To show the full extent this is a stitch of two photos.

Whitehaven (Former) Bus Station

As you can see I took the above from Tesco’s car park!

Here’s a closer view of the entrance to the ex-Bus Station.

Whitehaven Bus Station Entrance

The photo below shows the curve of the entrance.

Whitehaven Former Bus Station

The entrance is not only fenced off in the lower part but netted above.

This is the first of the two photos I stitched:-

Former Whitehaven Bus Station left

And this is the second:-

Former Bus Station Whitehaven right>

In do hope someone can find a use for this brilliant building – or at least put something behind the facade.


On the way south out of Workington we passed through Harrington (a suburb?) and the good lady spotted the house pictured below. Luckily there was an easy place to park for me to nip out and photograph it.


Heathfield has all the Art Deco hallmarks; flat roof, rounded wall edges, white rendering. Note the long window and the stepped frontage. All the eyes are poked out, though.

Heathfield from left

The above is the first view I took. The least interesting.

Heathfield from right

This last photo shows the rounded canopy over the entrance door.

Apart from the modernised glazing this house seems to have been maintained very much in keeping with its origins. It’s still imposing.

Workington, Cumbria

From Maryport we headed down the coast to Workington. The approach to the town is through an industrial landscape but we did pass Borough Park, the tidy, if old-fashioned, home ground of Workington AFC. Once a proud Football League side, they now ply their trade in the Conference (Blue Square Bet) North. In their league days weren’t they known as Workington Town? There’s no mention of that on Wiki nor their home page.

We passed the building below on our way to finding a parking spot. It’s the County Library. I made sure to photo it on our walkabout. A fine building – even if its eyes have been poked out.

County Library, Workington

Also impressive was the Bus Station. Not Deco but looks like a former cinema from a distance. This seemed to be the exit. The entrance looked very similar but was at an angle to this one.

Workington Bus Station

Just over the road from it (you can see a bus exiting the Bus Station on the left of the photo – and a preceding one on the right) was this.

Art Deco Building, Workington

Not far down the same street was this row of Deco shops. I didn’t bother strolling down to get a closer shot of the white ones. We were a bit pushed for time.

Row of Art Deco shops, Workington

Like Maryport Workington was a bit own at heel especially away from the immediate environs of the main shopping area.

I liked this building though, now converted to a Wetherspoon’s.

Art Deco Building, Workington

Henry Bessemer, if you were wondering, invented a process to produce steel from iron.

This was just over the side street from the Henry Bessemer.

Art Deco Building, Workington 3

Not a bad haul of Art Deco from one of the towns in England most out on a limb. Sadly, without exception, the buildings had all been reglazed unsympathetically. (Eyes poked out.)

Maryport, Cumbria

Maryport is a lovely name for a town and it’s where the River Ellen debouches into the Irish Sea.

There’s always something aesthetically pleasing about a place where waters meet. The river in Maryport is nice enough as it curves under a bridge and into the sea but it isn’t exceptional. It helped too that the tide was in and there was as a result no unsightly muddy banks when I saw it.

The town itself has seen better times I would say and looked pretty down at heel even if the Christmas Lights were still suspended over Senhouse Street.

It did have some Art Deco, though. I spotted this on Crosby Street on the way back up from the river. The metal surrounds of the glass on the upper parts of the shop windows here are particularly striking. The higher up windows have been “poked out” though.

Art Deco shop frontage in Maryport, Cumbria

On Senshouse Street itself is what used to be a Woolworths and is now an Original Factory Shop. Nice roofline but again poked out eyes for the upper windows.

Former Woolworths, Maryport Cumbria

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