RIGHT: Invincible on slipway and children play in the Harbour Yard at low water.
Cavendish Park has always been the centre of Barrow Island's sporting activities notably cricket and rugby in years gone by. Today, the cricket pitch has gone, but rugby & football still have a big following. The park has changed over time, the cricket pitch then, was at a lower level than at present, being level with Buccleuch Dock Road near the aptly named 'Cricket Field Cottages.' The work to built Buccleuch Dock Road and the 'Howitzer Shop' [GMS, LED] produced many tons of 'spoil' which was dumped on the now unused cricket pitch. So much was dumped it brought an area the size of a cricket field up to the present level, some thirty feet higher, and did wonders for the view from Cricket Field Cottages. Barrow Cricket Club was formed in 1850 but later disbanded only to rise phoenix-like in 1876. After playing at several different grounds in Barrow, the club established its headquarters at Cavendish Park. Cricket Field Cottages, built in 1881 by the Furness Railway is the last reminder of a pitch that played host to the legendary WG Grace who was a team member of United South XI that Barrow CC held to a draw. Barrow Rugby Club, playing Union Rules was also formed in 1876, and they too made Cavendish Park their home ground. Barrow played Rugby Union until 1897 when they joined the Northern League. Cavendish Park was the home of Barrow rugby until they moved to Little Park, Roose in 1914 then, to the new Craven Park in 1931. In 1908, Cavendish Park was a sports and leisure centre barrow's modern-day council would pay £millions to own. It had cricket and rugby pitches, a bowling green nearby, a cinder athletics track and a banked cycle racing track. The facilities included a cricket pavilion, refreshment rooms, and various changing rooms and two earth grandstands capable of accommodating 20,000 people between them. One grandstand ran the length of the park parallel with the railway junction, (it's still mostly, there today). The other was in the middle of the park. During both World Wars, the military commandeered Cavendish Park. In World War I, it became an army camp. In the second World War, ten trenches were dug to provide air-raid shelters for 1,580 civilians. Anti-aircraft guns were installed, one gun emplacement can still be seen near the pillbox on the south side of the park. Much needed improvements were made in 1990 when new, larger and more hygienic changing rooms were built for the players. In this century things have moved forward immensely with the creation, by local enthusiasts, of a self- contained bowling green. It's a home to league games, and casual bowlers are also made welcome. Next to the bowling green is probably one of Barrow Island's greatest social assets of recent times, the 'Hub.' The Hub is a multi-purpose building holding keep fit classes, exhibitions, indoor sports & many other activities. It makes up for the 'Old Pals' club in Dundalk Street closing by providing a meeting place for everybody and a quiet place for older folk to have a 'brew.' Successful galas are now held in Cav Park, but the highlight of the year must be, 'Fudstock' a music festival held in August to remember Richard Thorne, who always dreamed of a giant music festival on Barrow Island. Richard, was universally known as 'Fud,' hence the play on words in the gig’s title.
Coronation celebrations of Edward VII, 1901. Cavendish Park
The crowd watch a cicket match outside Cricket Field Cottages, the view wouldn’t be so good today.
Below: Cavendish Park, now.
Anit-aircraft gun emplacement
2019 Fudstock Music Festival, (above) and indoors, the verstatile Cavendish Park Hub hosts a local history group. The hall is large enough to host big events such as weddings, christening and informal parties. Light refreshments are usually available. For parties, a large mobile bar is available. For more details or to book, contact Rob Mcaloone on Facebook.
Cricket Pavilion
Recreation. Boats and boating
Barrow Island AFC League and Cup winners 1921 - 22 1922 - 23 1923 - 24 1924 - 25 And (left) Rugby cup winners as well.
Unsurprisingly, there are two boat clubs on Barrow Island, one at the Harbour Yard a small inlet near the old shipyard slipways and the other at Ferry Beach, site of the old Walney ferry terminal. Ferry Beach is favoured by professional fishermen as well as casual sailors, whereas the Harbour Yard is used by men who sail for pleasure and fish for fun. However, both groups are united in their enthusiasm and love for the sea in the sometimes not so sheltered waters around Walney Island. When Walney Bridge was completed the ferry and its terminals became redundant the one on the southern side of Barrow Island became the Boat Club. The first Ferry (No1) looks shiny & new Ferry No2 on Vickers slipways
Barrow Island side of the Walney ferry terminal, the ferry sets off for Walney.
Ferry Beach looking from the north
Ferry Beach Boat Club
Barrow Island Boat Club
Barrow Island Boat Club at the Harbour Yard. Photo: Edward Downer
In fine weather … And foul.
Photo credit unknown: Brian Cleesby with mastif.
Ferry Beach Trawler wends its way home and yacht racing near Vickerstown
Crowds gather on pier for Vickers ship launch.
Meanwhile more important matters need attention.