Archive for the ‘Lancashire’ Category

Butter Pie News 2

Those of you who read this post —>https://densityofsound.wordpress.com/2007/08/10/butter-pie-news/
will be pleased to know a reply has returned. Unfortunately, it’s not happy times…

Dear ** *********,

Thank you for your comments regarding the change of supplier for Butter Pies.

Regretably, ASHWORTHS ( our previous supplier for many years ) has recently ceased trading and an alternative supplier was needed. Greenhalghs was selected as the new supplier; their products have won several Industry awards and have,previously, been requested many times by shoppers in Spar stores. However, all of us have personal taste preferences and we are disappointed you do not enjoy the Greenhalghs product but this product was considered the best choice from those companies able to supply us.

Thank you for shopping at Spar and look forward to serving you in future.



I feel bad for hastling them now!

Well done to SPar, cos I’ve asked questions of much bigger companies and had no reply… To spar!


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Trough of Bowland

One of the best things about Lancaster is its proximity to open countryside – The Lake District, the limestone pavements of Arnside and Silverdale, the flat wilderness of the Lune Estuary and perhaps best of all, the Trough of Bowland are all little more than a stones throw away. A kind offer by some friends to accompany them on a walk led to a chance to explore the wilds of North Lancashire via Dunsop Bridge – the most centerely point of the entire British Isles – marked by a pretty underwhelming monument – a bogstandard BT telephone box, with a bit of writing on it informing you where you are.

So what does the middle of Britain look like? – The tabloids would probably lead you to expect some kind of bizarre cultural melting pot, with drug rehab clinics and violent teenagers representing the heart of Britain, but the actuality is somewhat more pleasant. A quiet village with a river in the heart of miles of pleasant sweeping moorland. Dunsop Bridge doesn’t even appear to possess a pub, though perhaps that explains why the recycling bin in the village car park was full of empty lager cans…

The area is refreshingly quiet and whilst we encountered several picnicing families by the side of roads into Dunsop Bridge and the small carpark was full, not once did we come accross anyone on the hills themselves. Perhaps it is the nearby, better known and perhaps more spectacular Lake District that keeps the visitors from the area.

This is not to say there isn’t decent walking in the area – our moorland ramble took place in the shadow of a very impressive ridge and several of the summits arround us rose up to arround 500 metres – The highest point in the region is 561m.

We saw lots of sheep and cows – even some chickens grazing the slopes – but best of all was this grasshopper who stayed nice and still for his photograph.


A nice big map of Bowland Fells

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On a visit to Morecambe I stopped by the ruins of Frontierland to take a picture of the Sky (Polo) Tower – One of only two rides left on the large empty site where the funfair used to lie. The tower is unable to be resited or demolished as it is in use as a telephone mast so nothing will happen until the contract for that runs out. The other ride in situ is the log flume, which looks in a bad way.

I was most taken with this odd piece of graffiti adorning the fencing that seperates the site from the seafront. It’s strangely eloquent and seems to tell multiple stories at once.
(Click for larger picture)

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It seems that 7-11 retail middleweights ‘Spar’ have abandoned the traditional Ashworths butter pie in favour of Greenhalghs. Whilst there can be no doubt that the new suppliers have a superior website aesthetically, I am sorry to say their product is inferior. Also, at least Ashworths are willing to admit they make a butter pie on theirs.

Contact Spar here if you are as concerned as I am about the matter.

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We decided to make use of the sunshine and the fact library books needed to go back to have a walk into town and see what was going on. Well meaning plans were made, the library first, then on to Williamson’s Park. On the way into town we saw a policeman paying a visit to someone’s house. Maybe they had lost their purse and the policeman was bringing it back?

Onwards, past the long arm of the law and into site of the derelict Railton Hotel which has been empty for as long as I have lived here and apparantly was a haunt for local drug dealers and ne’er do wells. You can buy it if you like – but don’t think you can knock it down – It was on the market for upwards of £200,000.

The name of the Hotel obviously comes from it’s proximity to the railway station – which has a fairly individual look to it, designed to mirror the castle which looms over the station.

You can get a train to all sorts of places from here, but we carried on past the station and up Castle Hill towards the ancient site of HMP Lancaster – which has served as a prison virtually uninterupted since the 12th century. It’s an odd feeling, to see such a historic building in real use, rather than being simply a museum. As well as holding all sorts of folk who have transgressed the law of the land in some way other, the building also functions as a court house and till the early part of the 20th century, executions were carried out here. Despite the working nature of the site, you can tour some of the castle – I recomend this highly – go at the weekend if you can, as more areas are open to the public.

So, to the library – which is the best library in the world. You can go in and come out with CDs beyond your wildest dreams. Labels like Def Jux and Constellation amazingly feature prominently and what’s more – they even do gigs!

With my book in tow, it was off to the park, which took us through the city centre and by ‘Colonial Amusements’ – a place remarkable not only for the name, which makes me think of cigar smoking mill owners discussing the triangular trade whilst dropping their farthings and ha’pennies into one armed bandits but also the flat upstairs which looks literally full of plants, to the point that you wonder if their is space for anyone to fit inside. I’ve never been past the doors of either part, so I can’t confirm if it is indeed full of gambling happy early Victorian entrepreneurs or is an island of indoor city jungle.

Next we passed a lovely bit of urban decay next to the Dukes Theatre rehearsal space. This whole area (including the amusements) is under threat by the pretty much universaly unloved ‘Centros’ redevelopment scheme which appears to involve knocking a lot of things down and causing universal chaos for the benefit of some developers and Debenhams. So ‘boo’ to Centros.

Further up the street we witnessed the unusual pearly white vision of a completely spotless bin lorry. It was slightly earie, as if it might be used to collect bodies not rubbish and had been completely sanitised – like some sort of modern plague cart.

Passing by the Gregson Centre we noticed black clouds rolling in over the steep hill up to Williamson’s Park.

Into the Gregson we headed for a quick drink and pause for reflection on the weather. The Gregson is a lovely pub that is also a community centre, but unlike most such places, isn’t a stark concrete building with a contreceptive clinic and a grim looking bar that offers only cans of Stones bitter. The Gregson hosts a myriad of gigs and events, posters for theatre, keep fit classes and various craft workshops jostle for space on it’s photo strewn walls and while the place has an undeniable air of yoghurt knitting about it, the fine old building is undeniably one of my favourite pubs ever.

It’s easy in such surroundings for one pint to turn into another and while the clouds drifted away to somewhere else, we drifted through the papers, something to eat and a few beers in the garden.

Abandoning plans for the park, our thoughts turned instead to walking up the lovely Lancaster Canal (keen canalologists may like to note at this point, the canal is the longest lock-less stretch in the country, weaving it’s way through north Lancashire, it is 41 miles without a lock).
The canal runs from Preston to Tewitfied (just north of Carnforth) and beyond this lies derelict and infilled as far as Kendal. Plans are however afoot to restore the connection to the Northerly end and given the popularity of the lakes as a holiday destination, it’s not hard to see this actually taking place.

Despite the Centros scheme mentioned above not being in place yet, there is still a lot of development in Lancaster city, and the ubiquotous apartments and studio pads are starting to fill the old buildings and empty spaces. It’s doubtful that there is enough executive types here to fuel the sort of scramble for the skyline that is being seen in Manchester and Liverpool. Lancaster is somewhat sleepier and it’s city status is really a historic remnant, as opposed to an indicator of its might in the business or industrial world.

It should be noted that the canal path is littered with public houses and by this time, having walked at least 400 yards in the evening warmth we were in need of refreshment. The White Cross is a modern airy pub that I’m not that keen on – especially as it only seems to have two CDs and one of thems by Coldplay but, it does sell ‘Old Rosie’ – a lethal scrumpy that reminds my Somerset traveling partner of pubs with proper drinks. So we stopped there and drunk some Old Rosie.

By the time we had recovered from the cloudy tang of the cider night was drawing in.

We walked from the White Cross to the Water Witch an attractive and upmarket place, set in a very old building that used to stable the horses which pulled the narrow boats. At this point we bumped into some friends so I’m afraid I forgot to take any pictures. Safe to say we had some more drinks and walked home past a wierd house with loads of signs in the window and a box taped to the wall. The signs told of some kind of injustice and that the occupant had been forced to stay there against their will. The box was seemingly for people to leave food as it appeared whoever was inside was on some kind of protest and didn’t leave the property.

Some pictures of the strange place will follow.

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