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2020092720201003 (R4)Luke Wright discovers Barrow- in Furness through the eyes of the poets who’ve been inspired by this coastal industrial town.

Barrow propelled itself onto the map 150 years ago after the discovery of iron ore transformed Barrow-the-fishing-village, into a frontier town of the industrial revolution, earning it the title of The Chicago of the North.

Millom poet, Norman Nicholson wrote “Railways spool out their tangle of parallels....wagons stand abandoned beside broken down buffers and stonechat perch upon them, as if the red of their breasts were intended by nature for camouflage among rust” of this part of the world – so it’s no wonder that Barrow Island became the inspiration for Thomas the Tank Engine!

And William Wordsworth was no stranger to Furness Abbey – “a mouldering Pile” and “holy Scene” of The Prelude – and across the water to Piel Castle…
"And this huge Castle, standing here sublime, I love to see the look with which it braves, Cased in the unfeeling armour of old time, The lightning, the fierce wind, the trampling waves".

Speaking to Barrow Poets Kim Moore and Kate Davis, Luke explores Barrow through those who walk in Wordsworth’s footsteps – alongside Yorkshire poet Kate Fox, bringing her own experience and work to reflect on this coastal town.

Produced by Katharine Longsworth and Susan Roberts
A BBC Drama North Production

Luke Wright explores Barrow-in-Furness with the poets the town has inspired. Live from CSL

Luke Wright explores Barrow-in-Furness with the poets the town has inspired. Live from CSL