Whilst War began across Europe the people back home in Furness were up against a different kind of battle, one against the elements!
"All that is talked about is that the snow has brought most of the industry in the North and Midlands to a stop. Road transport is at a virtual standstill. The railway lines and tunnels are so blocked up they have to dig them out." Says Lilian Ryan who wrote her memories of the war in a book called 'Cos That's The Way It Was: A Child's Eye View of Wartime Barrow'. She also states that "Some people in villages near us are getting short of food and their pipes are so frozen up they have to boil snow to cook with."
|Coast Road bus Snowed in at Aldingham|
"All of Morecambe Bay stretched a frozen waste and, far across, Morecambe itself looked as if it might be able to be reached on foot. The water had not frozen flat like water but, as it dashed on to any stone, had frozen in a smother like spun of sugar." States Nella Last in her War Time Diaries. It is not often that the sea fully freezes over but in 1940 the cold was so bad that it did and stayed frozen for quite some time. With all the roads blocked for transport many people, including Nella Last, would have to walk great distances through the snow to get to where they needed to be. Nella describes in her diaries how she walked all the way to Spark Bridge from Barrow to deliver her Aunts shopping for fear "she would be short on things". It's a true testament to the kindness and generosity of humanity that people would risk their own safety and well being to help others. It is something that was very apparent during the Second World War, as well as the First.
|The Main Road from Ulverston to Barrow blocked with|
snow in 1940.
Above two picture Courtesy of M Tyson/North West Evening Mail.
|Vickers Works at Devonshire Dock,|
|Holker Street Stadium, Barrow.|
|Duke Street, Barrow.|