A sandwich of two grey, cold parts with a filling of warmer, clear blue skies in the middle helped to make moody & atmospheric images, whatever the subject matter. I spent the day driving down the Cubrian coast nibbling the edge of the Lake District – always there, always gloomy, always menacing and threatening to hide my scenes in a multi-greyed blanket; yet always there to awe & wonder at its beauty of shape and colour and texture and feel. Kept me company all day.
First stop Whitehaven, although it was more Grey/Blackhaven. The inner harbour houses the marina with sea defences that look sturdy enough. Around the edges a wide, stoned, quay fronts converted merchants houses, warehouses and terraces of workers’ cottages, many with painted windows and doors to add to their grandisement.
The outter harbour protects the inner harbour and provides all the technology like markers and lights.
Over the railway and along the beach at Nethertown, I discovered not a town but a wonderful beach community of shacks and sheds, all inhabited.
Sellafield Power Station appears from the gloom, dripping menace along the coast.
The sun begins to break through in Seascale.
The beach at Haverigg is best seen in this light with soft-sanded dunes anchored in tall grasses which hide the village.
Roa Island is reached by a causeway. By now the tide is almost out and the huge expanse of soft, treacherous sand is fully exposed. Markers indicate where spits and banks are a danger. Ruins of Piel Castle are marooned off shore with no way of reaching them except by a local ferry in summer season.
The surprise of Barrow-on-Furness is that once through the industry, the ship building sheds and the grids of workers’ housing there is a long, stony beach for family enjoyment, lined by a wide grassy space and a short backdrop of ordinary housing.
St Cuthbert’s Church at Aldingham finishes the day well as grey clouds start to move in again.