Ulverston — Festival Town Twixt Sea and Fells

Looking over Ulverston from Hoad Hill


Dickensian Weekend 2009


Ulverston is in the Furness region of Cumbria. The canal of just over a mile connected the town to Morecambe Bay. The canal is now blocked but it is a lovely stretch of water to walk along; full of wild life, and with beautiful views across farm land towards the fells. The coast there is quite delightful with a great little hotel, where you can get a drink, a good meal, or spend a few days in a room overlooking the bay. An ideal spot for exploring South Cumbria and beyond.

Ulverston — Festival Town Twixt Sea and Fells

A market town, friendly and warm,
Blessed by distant mountain scenery,
Seashore, bay, canal and monument
Surrounded by fields and woodland greenery.

On market day the band will play
Tunes old and new for one and all.
Shoppers from villages near and far
Buy goods from stalls and the market hall.

The Cumbrian Way leads from the Gill
Along a path and bridging a brook.
Trekkers togged in boots and anoraks
Follow Harvey map and Cicerone guidebook.

Take the Gill Banks path for a pleasant walk
By tumbling brook and broad-leaf trees.
See wild flowers growing by sparkling water,
Listen to birdsong, feel the whispering breeze.

Visit the Hoad — it’s an uphill trek
Along various paths — just make your choice.
When you reach the monument stay for a while,
The view is magnificent — your heart will rejoice!

Midst ivied tombs and forbidding trees
The Parish Church stands aloof from the throng.
Stained glass, choir, organ, tell the ancient story
And bells ring out their welcoming song.

By war memorial, under dark November clouds,
People come to honour the dead, as best they can
With wreaths of red poppies — symbolic of the suffering
Of man’s grievous inhumanity to man.

The Railway Station with tall clock tower
Stands just as it did in days of old.
Building embellishments and fancy iron structures
Picked out in bright colours of red, green and gold.

Walk by the cinema to the unusual museum
Where Laurel and Hardy are worshipped by fans.
Sons of the Desert are viewed there daily
On mugs, jolly posters, and films out of cans.

Hear the Town Crier ringing her bell
Loudly telling of what’s on in the town:
Art exhibition, drama and dances,
Church coffee morning with tombola and clown.

Festivals abound throughout the year —
Walkers, words, music, beer, banners and flags.
Folklore with singers, street music and dancing
Magicians and comedians telling old gags.

Dickensian Weekend come end of November —
Ladies in finery, sweeps in old rags.
Music and carols, roundabouts, chestnuts,
Mulled wine, fancy stalls set on cobbles and flags.

Carnival day and the town is packed full
Of locals and visitors, and child dancing troupes.
Floats, gaily decorated in colourful themes
Follow the pipers and marching band groups.

Late September when Charter Weeks end
There’s dancing and fun well into the night.
Wonderful sculptures with candles inside
Parade with live music, in a river of light.

At civic events and festive occasions
Join with the throng and let all-comers rejoice.
Firework displays end all great celebrations
With sighs of pleasure and joyful voice.

From the Anthology, Northern Lights (Magpies Nest Publishing.)

The Shore at Canal Foot

Looking over Ulverston towards the Hoad Monument and Morecambe Bay


The far end of the Gill footpath


Ulverston School Band is one of a number of bands that play occasionally in the Market Square. During the summer the Town Band plays nearly every Thursday

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