Barrow-in-Furness, a peninsula and its surrounding islands sits on the most north westerly of Morecambe Bay, an area of special protection, just to the south of the Lake District National Park, recently given World Heritage status. It is the largest expanse of intertidal mudflats and sand in the United Kingdom.
Morecambe Bay is also an important wildlife site, with abundant bird life and varied marine habitats including important bird and seal colonies on Walney Island. The bay has rich Cockle beds, Mussel beds and Brown Shrimp, which have been fished by locals for generations. On the west of Barrow is the Irish Sea and to the North, the Duddon Estuary, almost surrounded by sea, the heritage of this area is rich and unique as identified in the RSA Heritage Index, as in the top 1% in the UK for wealth of heritage. Due to geographical isolation this area is yet undiscovered and its rich tapestry of oral tradition is yet to be appreciated by the community at large.
Oyster Farmers, Cockle pickers, Brown Shrimp fisherman, Lobster catchers, yacht racing, dredgers, wind farmers, submariners, Wildlife rangers and kite surfers are just a small range of the activities carried out on the sea in this small but amazing place. A whole collection of legends and tales awaiting to be discovered.
Barrow’s Salty Yarns is a community heritage project that will focus on the tales of the sea of Barrow-in-Furness, that have been passed down through the generations and need capturing for posterity. With the 150th anniversary of the docks just passing, Barrow’s maritime history is still young, much is documented of the famous Victorian dock, the steel and iron industries and the shipyard journey to world renowned submarine builders of the UK’s nuclear deterrent but not beyond. The local fishing and recreational activities that have moved through the generations using the rich natural resources of the area go back into the mists of time of the history of the Furness peninsula. Stories pass down through families and communities but in many cases not captured for future generations.
Starting as a pilot project focusing on Rampside, Roa and Piel Island area, artists and filmmakers will engage with the community, extracting stories, tales and legends, through a series of workshops and activities. The pilot project will last 3 months and will end with a celebration event showcasing the work created by the artists and community.
We are kindly funded and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund