Here's a mini-movie of our holiday house in St Bees in 1979. It's the last one in the terrace. I remember the steps and, I think, peeling the potatoes at the bottom of them as well as the view over towards the golf course. My (frighteningly nerdy) holidiary came in handy for finding the location. Reading through it (as Jenni did in a mocking voice down the pub on the first night) I reckon that St Bees was the last holiday we went on as a complete family. Beck joined us via train a few days in. It was also the holiday when we came home to find the freezer had switched off. Mum and Beck buried the stinking food in the garden.
The first sign of the town was what’s called The Candlestick (right) which was an air vent for the mine that’s design was thought to have been inspired by the favourite candlestick of the chap who owned most of the town. The last mine closed six years after our previous visit and Whitehaven has much improved since. I enjoyed the architecture trail (it has the greatest concentration of Georgian buildings in the
Curiously and fittingly (considering where the rest of you lot were) Whitehaven has three connections with the US: George Washington’s granddad is buried there; the expansion of New York City was modelled on Whitehaven’s street grid layout and the town was the site of the only attack by the US on the UK (by a seaman trained in the town, pictured left, in 1778).
We planned to catch the train back to St Bees but went in the wrong direction. I had a tizzy, we got off at the first station and took a taxi from Whitehaven home, a slightly unsettling experience given the reputation of taxi drivers in these parts. We’d spotted the infamous taxi rank earlier.
Finally, here’s another mini-movie memory: showing the railway line near our holiday cottage where we used to place coins then return in the morning to see them flattened. When we weren’t doing that we were finding lost balls on the golf course. Happy days.
(By the way, you can view all the pics at full size by clicking on them).