Literary Heritage

This week the photo challenge from the Daily Post is Heritage.

There has been an increase in the popularity of street art in recent years. Not the art of pavement artists, whose work in chalk is washed away by heavy rain, but more permanent art on the walls of buildings.

I have made a few attempts at snapping a scene from Gulliver’s Travels. Shadows cast by neighbouring buildings usually prevent the painting from being seen at its best. However my photo taken in March this year is more evenly lit. The connection between the book and the site of this illustration is that the author, Jonathan Swift, lived in Whitehaven as a young child.

A scene from Gulliver's Travels
A scene from Gulliver’s Travels

West Cumberland Railway Museum

On the murky morning, when I took the first photo in the previous post, I visited the West Cumberland Railway Museum in St Bees, Cumbria.

The museum was set up by an enthusiastic collector of railway memorabilia and opened in June 2016. It is housed in a building, which has been used in recent times as a shop and as a hairdressers’. The single room contains a variety of items connected with the local railways, either with the Cumbria Coastal Railway or with former lines in the area. It opens for a few days each month or by special arrangement for visiting groups.

The window on a sunny day
The window on a sunny day

For each opening the well-organised static exhibition is augmented by a display concentrating on a particular aspect of the local railway’s history. For example, the Furness Railway Company has been featured. This time it was the turn of the Maryport and Carlisle Railway. A particular station may be featured in the future.

One of the station signs
One of the station signs

The development of the railway had an impact on the economies of local towns and there was competition to have access to the rail network. Almost all the trains in West Cumbria (or West Cumberland, as it was) were used to transport coal and iron ore. Passengers were of less economic importance on these lines.

An example of tourist information
An example of tourist information

It is possible to look around the museum unguided, but the owner is very knowledgeable and provides much background information. The exhibits range from tickets and timetables to lamps, gadgets, signs and pictures. Maps and drawings also help to set the scene.

Among pictures, which once decorated the walls of compartment trains advertising places to visit, I spotted Wordsworth House, Cockermouth, no longer on the railway.

Wordsworth House, Cockermouth - a possible destination
Wordsworth House, Cockermouth – a possible destination


Photo of the month!

This week’s photo challenge from the Daily Post is for a good match. At first I couldn’t think what to post for this. With Storm Doris and the sting in her tail, it hasn’t been the weather for getting out and taking new photos.

I didn’t find a photo showing a good colour match. However, I recently submitted a photo to someone, who was looking for one to display as the photo of the month in the window of a railway museum. He described what he was looking for on his Facebook page: the Scots Guardsman pulling out of the local station and making clouds of steam. My photo fitted the bill. It will be on display during March if I have understood correctly. I am feeling pretty chuffed about it! (English slang for pleased with oneself and a pun on the noise a steam train makes.)

The West Cumbria Railway Museum is open to the public for a few days each month. If you are in the area and are interested in the history of railways it is worth a look.

It is not the first time this engine has appeared on Sue’s words and pictures.

Scots Guardsman getting up steam
Scots Guardsman getting up steam