Poetry on the Hoof: The (rail) road to Barra

ALL TOGETHER NOW LADS!

Wind farm blade, wind farm blade,
Everything you want from a
Wind farm blade.

We’re all going on a beer hunt lads!
From hanging town, brief encounters,
To Holke hang out, submariner sheds,
We’re getting our names up in those causeway lights!

HEYSHAM HIGH HOPES

Spot the jogging bishop with a mitre on a Sunday!
We’re talking rhubarb triangle with legs to spare,
A mammoth onion off the old green road.

They’ll split the atom here Bob in the years to come,
There’ll be lock downs, sirens,
Ever Ready for us, the pervasive threat.

Heysham 1, Heysham 2
It’ll be a football score Bob
In the years to come, when we get home.

One goes down, the other goes up
Two little boys Bob, that’s what they’re like,
Seismically protected to Gas Mark 7.

But there’s no more time for:
Haff netting salmon
in the skinny dipping Lune;

No more time for:
Sticking toffee pud
Up the old girls duff.

Cos we’re heading out to Barra,
Prepping for the Somme,
And all her sail in her.

Wind farm blade, wind farm blade,
Everything you need from a
Wind farm blade.

ARNSIDE’S HUNTER GATHERERS

It’s a long way to Tipperary,
A very long way indeed Bob,
You’ll be needing your khaki trousers ,
and a hat to shield you from the blaze.

Hats with fascinators fascinating,
Travel hunters hunting and
Heath and safety instructing:
Don’t forget your shorts.

Don’t forget your sun cream.
Don’t forget to write son,
We’ve got your Grand-dad round at Christmas
He’ll want to see you standing

Arnsider,
Tamesider,
Wearsider,
Humbersider;

Bloody Merseysiders, Scouse not English?
(Always kicking off in their socks and shades,
A disgrace to king and country,
Just who are they trying to kid Brian?)

Scouse lads! Manx lads!
We’re all in this together lads
Cockney lads! Toon lads!
Even Maccam lads can walk on the Kents Bank waters!

Climbing over ledges,
Diving down in gorges,
Geo-physical, geo-logical,
Geo-temporal, neo-natal.

Head line shock,
Culture block.
Road up ahead,
Detour to the Humphrey Head.

Wind farm blade, wind farm blade,
Everything you earn from a
Wind farm blade.

FURNESS FEARS

Grange over the sands,
Wind over the waters,
Steam over the causeway,
Fog on the time and we lose our way;
Lights up ahead and we shield our eyes
From the light on the horizon.

Don’t be daft Bob,
It’s just the moon on the river,
No need to stress, no need to sweat,
It’s just another brick in a wall.
No dark lions in the wardrobe,
No more air girls on the dole.

Ulverston oh Ulverston,
I still see your home fires burning,
I still see your water wheels turning,
I still hear your sea winds blowin’,
I still see the dark coal glowin’,
I was 21 when I left Ulverston.

Last wolf in England,
First turn on the left,
Water catches fire,
The air stops breathing,
But we dig deep down for leading lights
Tractors turning, gas flame burning, submarine yearning.

Wind farm blade, wind farm blade,
Everything you covet ‘bout a
Wind farm blade.

BARROW IN FURNACE

Cor strike a light!
Blow me down!
If ever I cross this side of town
I’m dead, I’m gone,
A shadow of my former self.

The nuclear dump,
The ever present hump,
Of the guy in the trench,
Standing doubled over the stench
Of the lads in the earth
And the girls in the air,
Waving, waving farewell, adieu, auf wiedersehen,
To their boys on a train sliding into town.

Pink Shap granite, Pink Shap granite
Archaeological dig in bullet rich sand;
Turbine, turbine,
Slicing up the seas in a frenzied fit of
Fission, fusion,
Grasping the cushion of a nuclear safety net of
Caste iron furnace, caste iron furnace,
Grenades to launch ten thousand ships to pieces.

It’s just a rumor that was spread around town
By the women and children
Soon we’ll be shipbuilding,
Well I ask you
The boy said “Dad they’re going to take me to task, but I’ll be back by Christmas”
We’re all in this together Bob,
It was like this way back when Bob,
Digging our trenches into the heat of the night.

Guiding lights in Barrow lands.
Trig towers point to trig points in the ground.
Landing lights in the estuary guide boats by.
Staging posts act as half way stops mid river.
Help us navigate this wilderness.

Wind farm blade, wind farm blade
Everything you ever loved ‘bout a
Wind farm blade.

Shedding the Past: how you can help re-grow Barrow in Furness.

Art Gene want to build a shared community growing space on the Island of Walney in Barrow in Furness, UK, based on permaculture principles, ensuring a holistic approach to sustainable, ecologically sound horticulture, art and design.

They have undertaken many community consultation events which have demonstrated the need for a new, inter-generational self-managed community growing space in the town: and they have been given a 1.5 acre site by Barrow Borough Council for a pepper corn rent to base the project upon.  They have also identified over 50 Barrow residents, some with multiple health and social needs, who are interested in leading and participating in the project.

They now want to deliver a community engagement strategy through which we will grow the community’s knowledge of, and skills in, permaculture by:

* Delivering a two day training programme for up to 20 adult volunteers;

* Host three public ‘growth’ weekend events in April, June and September led by volunteers.

* Organising two day long visits to other exemplar wild flower sites in the North West between April and June for the volunteers;

* Organising a one day celebration event in October which celebrates what they have achieved.

The project will result in:

Providing permaculture skills and knowledge for local people;

Animating a local barren green site with horticulture and design;

Developing a cluster of community architectural spaces on the site.

And they’re getting it done by:

Employing local artists, designers and architects to provide the visual elements

Employing local horticulturalists to support the permacultural elements

How can you help?

You can help in a lot of ways:

Volunteering Team Building skills in how to build and sustain teams,

Volunteering marketing and promotion skills in promotion and communications,

Volunteering to assist with the site development by providing advice on how to sustain a wild flower sanctuary.

Making a pledge to our crowdfunding site which is collecting donations from people from all over the world.  Just click here to see how easily you can help

if you’d like any more information, just drop me a line – and thanks for helping us re-grow Barrow in Furness.

Tips for Travellers: The Furness Railway, Barrow in Furness, Cumbria.

Revisting Old Haunted Haunts.

The Furness Railway is perhaps one of the most evocative, curious and welcoming pubs in Barrow. Seemingly open at all times to all customers, I’ve never heard them say no to any customer, whatever the time of day or nature of the request.

The food is cheap and cheerful; the beers cheap and surprisingly good and the staff welcome unfazed by some of the more feral members of the community who might inadvertently tip their beer over your head.

It might be a part of some large anonymous chain, but the Furness Railway is a unique experience at all times of day to all types of customer. It’s a ‘must-go-to’ haunt in one of England’s most haunted towns.