WALNEY ISLAND CHANNEL
Low Steps can be found at the foot of North Scale and is a remnant of what was the west side of the 'Hindpool to Low Steps foot crossing' 1 of 8 crossings of Walney Channel. The other foot crossings were to be known as: 'Walney Northend to Ormsgill', 'Lenny Hill to Ormsgill', 'Middle Steps to Cocken', 'Croft Brow to Hindpool Marsh', 'Barrow to Biggar via the Dova Haw' to Biggar foot crossing, 'Piel Island to Walney Southend' and lastly 'Ashburner Wife Ford', the steps pictured below making up the Walney side of the crossing. The only two crossing to remain to this day in their entirety are those of 'Cocken to Middle Steps' and 'Piel Island to Walney Southend' although traces of the others still remain intact...
The picture below shows the Walney slipway, otherwise known as the 'Ferry Pitching' opposite the Ferry Hotel just north of the Jubilee Bridge. The large building to the rear of the picture is that of BAE SYSTEMS Marine, Devonshire Dock Hall, home of the UK's submarine construction. A picture of the whole building can be seen in the second view with Jubilee just present in the right of the picture.
The Felicity in the fore ground circa 1982. Check out chimney's and slag banks, well since gone.
Walney Channel has been, 'since I can remember' littered with the remains of boat hulls. The one pictured here is one of those and lies at North Scale at the foot of what is known to myself as 'Channel Road' (Croft Brow). I remember as a child in the mid 70's seeing this boat towed in to become moored at this point next to a 'white' vessel of a similar size and shape and which carried a small brass name plate inscribed with the word 'Lancastria' (The name sticks in my memory as my Grandfathers brother, Bill Turner was to to board the SS. Lacastria on the day she was destroyed by enemy fire in Nazaire). and that met a similar fate to the one pictured here. Both vessels I remember belonging to a Teasdale Road resident by the name of John Littlewood, and who obviously would chase us from them when he saw us playing on them... At this time the bank opposite was the home of the large chimney's and steel works, as can be seen at the top of this page. I don't know what it was that drew my fascination to the chimney's, but I remember feeling a little sadness as I stood on the Walney-Island banks to watch the last of the chimney's going to ground.
The picture on the left at the turn of the 20th Century (the two buildings to the far left of the picture are that of the Croft / Keral House and the Bankfield Hotel just behind it, at North Scale). The picture on the right shows as it looks today. The picture below is the same as the two above and has been produced to show a 'then & now' within a single image.
Who can forget the day in June 2005, when the Red Arrows flew through the winding path of the Channel?
The picture above shows Walney Channel south of the Jubilee Bridge. Biggar Village can be made out to the left of the picture, with empress drive and the King Alfred Hotel to the right.
Much has been done during the the turn of the last decade to improve the quality of bathing water around Walney-Island, many places on and around Walney now see water treatment systems put in place since 1999 - 2000.
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