During the 1970’s when I was a youngster my memories of Whitehaven are those of amazement and awe. Every Saturday morning after struggling with shopping and looking for bargains on the bustling market with my parents.
I would be taken into the basement of the Beehive, on King Street, to choose a toy with my pocket money saved from the previous week and almost every week I would choose a ‘matchbox’ car as my toy! On exiting the Beehive I would always glance upwards to the huge beehive hanging down over the pavement.
From the Beehive we would walk down the street towards the harbour. At the harbour I would zigzag over the railway tracks, sometimes avoiding the slow moving trains – these were were used to
transport coal and other goods to the waiting ships.
Overhead were huge conveyor belts enclosed in a corrugated type of casing. These conveyors were used to transport phosphate powder from huge silos up to the Marchon plant which overlooked the town.
We would walk along the harbourside (if the weather was good!) towards the south pier where we would sit and have a picnic, watching on at all the activities around the harbour, fishing boats coming and going – trains hurtling along the tracks – even people taking a dip in the cold water of theSolway!