Touring Guide for a Fylde Cycle Ride from Lancaster to the River Wyre with Information on Pubs and Local History with Photographs.

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The Fylde and River Wyre Cycle Ride from Lancaster

This cycle ride follows an interesting loop from Lancaster. There isn't a coastal road as such so we took a few out-and-in roads where we backtracked on ourselves. This is generally something I try to avoid but, due to the limited number of lanes on the western edge of The Fylde, there was no other option in order to enjoy some of the interesting sights. Heading down to Glasson Dock, the route heads westward to Pilling and Knott-End-on-Sea where a ferry crossing can be taken across to Fleetwood [and back]. The ferry runs with the tide so you either have to get your timings right or you simply miss out the Fleetwood section. The route then follows the River Wyre towards Gargstang and then heads back up to Lancaster. There are miles of flat so it is easy cycling unless, like us, you undertake this ride on a day with blustery cross winds!

We were staying at Lancaster overnight so we simply grabbed a croissant and headed out quite early in the morning, the plan being to stop for breakfast en-route. This was the wrong decision so take note of my travel blurb for advice on what to do. Still, the early morning sunshine made for a lovely ride along the Lune estuary. Always try to take a positive from a negative.

From the town centre we headed straight for St. George's Quay, cycling past the Three Mariners. We visited this tavern during our stay in Lancaster - you can click here to read more about this pub with an interesting and colourful history. I have also typed up notes on St. George's Quay with some information on the George and Dragon and Wagon and Horses.

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From St. George's Quay one simply keeps on cycling along the River Lune following New Quay Road until you run out of road and then roll onto a tarmac cycle path. We cycled along here after there had been a couple of days of heavy rain and, consequently, we encountered one section that was under a few inches of water. Freeman's Pools were created by the Environment Agency as part of its works to reduce flooding in the lower Lancaster area. The mosaic of interconnected pools, ponds and other wetland habitats supports breeding birds, wintering waders and wildfowl, otter and a range of wetland and grassland invertebrates.

The nice smooth tarmac surface continues for a mile or so until it joins the old trackbed of the Glasson Dock Branch Railway. From here the route follows a relatively smooth surface of gravel, shale and dirt. I was riding a cross bike with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres so was comfortable with this surface. Whether I would ride this old trackbed with skinny road tyres is another question. Where the tarmac runs out at Aldcliffe there is a rotting level crossing gate within the trees. Some of the old railway fencing also runs alongside the cycle path. The railway connected to Glasson Dock in 1883 and continued to operate passenger services until July 1930. Goods trains rolled on until September 1964.

Victoria Inn at Glasson Dock [2017]

The plan was to enjoy breakfast at Café D'Lune which is part of the old buildings at Conder Green Railway Station. However, the café does not open until 10am and it was only ten-past nine. Although the café, complete with cycling parking looks great, we couldn't hang around for fifty minutes so we crossed the old railway bridge and headed towards Glasson Dock for the back-up plan which was the Lantern O'er Lune where the canal meets the old port.

Not far from the site of the old railway station stands Christ Church, a building erected between 1839-40. It was designed by the Cheshire-born architect Edmund Sharpe who had established a practice in Lancaster. He was very much the Nikolaus Pevsner of his day, travelling, studying and publishing books on architectural drawings. A chancel and vestry were added to his original church by Henry Paley in the early 1930's.

Goods trains would have passed through Glasson Station to the mooring docks behind the Victoria Inn. Certainly, the pub would have enjoyed good trade during the dock's busy days. Before the construction of the dock to serve Lancaster, Glasson was the site of small farming and fishing community, known as Old Glasson and Brows-Saltcote. Tradition has it that the first inhabitants of the area resided in the hull of a wrecked vessel; and that later on this "waif of the sea" was used as a public house known as the Old Ship House.

The main trade conducted in the early years of the port was for grain and timber. The grain was brought on schooners from Ireland and Scotland. The oldest 'official' public house was the Pier Hotel that traded in the late 18th century. The hotel evolved from Pier Hall, former home of the Salisbury family. Located close to the Victoria Hotel on Victoria Terrace, this was operating as the Pier Head Inn for many years. It had been known as The Grapes and Gerrard's in the past but was trading as The Caribou at the time of the Second World War. The Thwaite's-owned building was closed as a pub around 2002 and the building converted into apartments.

It is thought that James Williamson, a deck officer and occupant of Brows Farm, built the Victoria Hotel. In 1883 the Lancaster Gazette described the hotel as "a modern structure, commodious and well kept, with a most attentive host and hostess."

The above photograph does not show the rather tatty appearance of the Victoria Inn which closed in 2016. The building had been acquired by Andrew Barker and Graham Cass who intended to renovate the pub as they had done to Bowerham Hotel in Lancaster and the Station Inn at Caton. However, with a refurbishment estimated at £400,000, they felt that the pub was not viable and, despite opposition from some locals, decided to convert the premises into housing. At the time of our visit the Victoria Inn was in something of a limbo.

Glasson Dock [2017]

After the Victoria Inn things started going seriously downhill at Glasson Dock. We wanted to take a closer look at the tiny ancient lighthouse near the pier head. There was no activity in the dock so we rolled up to take a closer look at the building. An irate dock worker suddenly appeared advising us in rather strong terms that "this is a working dock and members of the public are not allowed on the site." Fair enough, but I looked around and noticed that there wasn't a single bit of activity in the dock, no fork lifts whizzing around, no cranes to duck under. If I'd looked harder I would have spotted some tumbleweed blowing down the yard. I took this quick photograph before we crossed the swing bridge over to the other side of the dock.

The Lantern O'er Lune was also closed. Indeed, it looked like the place hadn't been open for a while. We rolled a few metres to the village store where a couple of dock workers were eating bacon sandwiches and drinking coffee at some outside tables. They gave us a look - the sort of look I last saw when watching 'Deliverance.' Nobody spoke. We were clearly persona non grata. We wandered into the shop and, at the one end, there was a woman cooking bacon and sausages for men clad in high-visibility clothing. Still nobody spoke. Requesting a veggie breakfast might just have tipped somebody over the edge so we ordered a few rounds of toast. This took an eternity - and when it was handed over in paper bags there was margarine dripping all over the place. It turned out that it wasn't toast but warmed up bread. This place had not only set the bar at the lowest possible level but they had failed to reach it by a mile - I have never seen anybody mess up toast. I mean how do you not manage to rustle up some toast?

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We were having a miserable experience in Glasson Dock and were keen to head off - a pity because it should be an fascinating experience here. The dock was planned by the Port Commission at Lancaster because of the difficulties large vessels faced navigating the Lune estuary. Once they secured the land in 1780, a pier was constructed within two years. However, in order to retain vital trade a fully operational dock with gates was required and this work was completed in March 1787. The new dock could hold up to 25 merchant ships. Operational by 1826, the construction of a branch of the Lancaster Canal boosted trade at Glasson Dock. However, this resulted in goods passing through the dock rather than transhipping cargoes, the result being that a smaller workforce was required. Consequently, the population of Glasson Dock did not grow significantly.

There was some shipbuilding at Glasson Dock during the Victorian period. When the first barque built at Glasson Dock was launched around 1839 there was great rejoicing. The vessel was named John Horrocks, and was between 500 and 600 tons burden. I assume it was named after the former cotton mill manufacturer and Member of Parliament for Preston. The builders were Messrs. Daniel Simpson and Nicholson. The shipyard of Nicholson & Sons built fifty vessels here, the most famous of which was the schooner Ryelands. Launched in 1887, this vessel was used as the Hispaniola in the 1950 film Treasure Island. After more film and television work the old schooner became a tourist attraction at Morecambe as the Moby Dick. The vessel was destroyed by fire during 1970. If this was the bad luck bestowed upon the vessel then it was a long time coming. It is considered bad luck if the bottle of wine used at the launch does not break against the hull of the vessel. Miss Lillie Smith, the youthful second daughter of the Lancaster merchant William Smith, was present to name the schooner. A bottle of wine was suspended over the side by a red silk ribbon, and the moment the schooner began to move, the bottle was hurled at her, and struck the bow. However, the juvenile hands failed to send it with sufficient force to break it. Noticing this, a sailor on board the vessel hauled up the bottle, and tried to break it against her side, but was unsuccessful, and it slipped from his grasp to the ground below just as the ship took to the water. The bottle was still unbroken, so a bystander picked it up and threw it into the water after the vessel. Accordingly, the schooner, commanded by Captain William G. Marrow, of Connah Quay, who was also one of the largest shareholders of the vessel, did not get a correct send-off. Following the launch, the owners and friends sat down to a dinner provided by the Gerrard's at the Pier Hall Inn.

The Dalton Arms at Glasson Dock [2017]

The Dalton Arms has outlived the other pubs of Glasson Dock and in 2017 was the only tavern where locals could enjoy a beer. The building is in the part of Glasson Dock where the earliest housing for workers were erected. The Thwaite's house is larger nowadays as the pub has been extended into neighbouring cottages. These were detailed when the Dalton Arms was offered for sale in March 1951 when the pub comprised of a sitting room with kitchen, service bar, tap room, smoke room, pantry, cellar, four bedrooms and large attic store. Included in the sale were four cottages known as Dalton's Row, which produced a total net rental of £46.16s.0d. per annum. The advertisement for the sale suggested that, as the stone-built public house and cottages were in one block, it afforded the opportunity of extending the hotel.

Publicans of the Dalton Arms have, over the years, been hauled before the magistrates for serving alcohol during prohibited hours. The main line of defence of the licensee was generally that they were legally entitled to serve lawful travellers. However, one court case was widely published in newspapers across the region when the police raided the pub in 1878 during which Josias Williams, Richard Illingworth and James Lord, all of Galgate, were charged with drinking although not being travellers - the rule being that a customer had travelled more than three miles from the place where they had slept on the previous evening. Although the distance from Galgate to the Dalton Arms was 294 yards over three miles if one travelled by the public highway, the police determined that the men had used the canal towpath which was 113 yards less than three miles. The men's legal representative contended that the canal towpath was not a public thoroughfare within the meaning of the Act of Parliament and that the distance ought to have been calculated by the Queen's highway. The Bench, however, took a different view and fined each of the men.

There was a curious court case in August 1848 in which two prisoners were sentenced simultaneously. In the first case J. Bickerstaffe, a postman, was charged with purloining a letter entrusted to him for delivery. He was found guilty and brought up for judgment in company with a man called Skinner. The latter was found guilty of stabbing the landlord of the Dalton Arms in fit of drunken fury. At one time tampering with the mail was deemed to be a most serious offence and this is reflected in the punishment handed out by the judge. The postman was sentenced to seven years' transportation, whilst Skinner was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, with hard labour, at the Preston house of correction.

As we cycled up Tithebarn Hill I felt a tinge of sadness that Glasson Dock is a shadow of its former self. Two of its key pubs have gone, the post office had closed down and the dock was only dealing with low volumes of cargo. It is almost hard to imagine that the community was once vibrant enough to stage an annual regatta during which there were sailing competitions, rowing events, horse races, athletics and wrestling matches.

Plover Scar Lighthouse by Jim Walton [2009]

Intrepid adventurers may brave Marsh Lane and head towards Crook Farm before following the Lancashire Coastal Way but we opted for the tarmac down to Thurnham Moss before heading out to Abbey Lighthouse Cottage. Erected on the tidal Plover Hill, a rocky outcrop, the Abbey Lighthouse is also known as Plover Scar Lighthouse. The 'missing' lighthouse is that of Cockersand Lighthouse and was once a wooden structure adjacent to the cottage. This was once the abode of the lighthouse keeper and to get a sense of the role of this solitary job have a look at this fabulous short film on the British Pathé website. Mrs. Beatrice Parkinson was filmed in 1948 undertaking her daily duties. The film was made not so long ago but it seems like another age.

The wife of Tom Parkinson, she succeeded Miss Janet Raby who retired at the age of 67. Her grandfather Frank was the keeper, and so was her father Henry. He was succeeded by her brother Jim. Following her brother's death she was the lighthouse keeper for 18 years. Following her retirement she initially moved to Cockerham but soon returned. Unable to find a cottage, she bought a caravan and immediately installed it behind the lighthouse keeper's cottage.

Plover Scar or Abbey Lighthouse was built in 1847 and was the lower light of a pair of leading lights that helped ships navigate into the Lune estuary. Prior to Beatrice Parkinson the Raby family kept the lights from the time of construction until the end of the Second World War - a term of almost 100 years. In the 19th century Henry Raby also occupied himself by fishing a baulk for William Bell of Lancaster who held the rights by lease. The baulks, or fish-traps, on this part of the coast were owned by the Lord of the Manor of Cockerham. This ancient method of catching fish, once operated by the monks of Cockersand Abbey, survived longer here than in most other coastal areas due to the big tidal rises of Morecambe Bay.

Cockersand Lighthouse was also built in 1847 and acted as the rear light of the pair. Replacing an older beacon, the lighthouses were designed to be used as a pair to guide shipping through the treacherous sandbanks of the Lune estuary. This rear light was a simple wooden structure and incorporated the living accommodation for the lighthouse keeper's family. The latter was replaced by a stone cottage which still stands today. The lighthouses were designed for the Commissioners of St. George's Quay at Lancaster by Jesse Hartley, engineer of the Liverpool Docks. Born in Yorkshire, he altered, or entirely constructed every dock in Liverpool. He was also employed as engineer for the Bolton and Manchester Railway and Canal, and was also consulting engineer for the Dee Bridge at Chester. The foundation stone of Plover Scar Lighthouse was laid by John Sharp, Mayor of Lancaster, amid a large ceremony, the guests of which later retired to the Victoria Hotel at Glasson Dock for dinner.

The Manor Inn at Cockerham [2017]

The site of Cockersand Abbey is only a short distance to the south. It was founded by William de Lancaster in the reign of Henry II as a hermitage and subsequently used as a hospital. As such, it was known as Saint Mary of the Marsh on the Cockersand. The first canons are said to have come from Croxton Abbey in Leicestershire which led to disputes over land and privileges. Though continuing as a hospital, it was elevated to an abbey in 1192. The isolated position must have led many of the canons to drink and a ruling was introduced banning monks from boozing after night prayers. This followed a scandal in which William Bentham the cellarer and James Skipton the cantor were accused of breaking their vow of chastity. As part of the dissolution by Henry VIII, the abbey was surrendered by Abbot Poulton in January 1539. The site, with the demesne lands, was initially leased to John Burnell and Robert Gardiner but was later sold to the Hertfordshire-born farmer John Kitchen for £700. His eldest daughter Anne married Robert Dalton of Thurnham Hall and possession passed to that family. The vaulted Chapter House is the only intact remains of the old abbey.

Backtracking, we cycled eastward along Moss Lane to take a look at Thurnham Hall, seat of the aforementioned Dalton family but the site was formerly held by the de Thurnham family before, by descent, passing to the Flemming, Cancerfield, Harrington, Bonvile and Grey families. Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, sold the estate to Thomas Lonne, a London grocer. However, after just three years, he sold to Robert Dalton of Bispham. Rebuilding the hall, the Dalton family remained for 400 years. Designed by Charles Hansom, the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Thomas and Saint Elizabeth stands a little to the south-east of Thurnham Hall. The churchyard contains the extraordinary Egyptian-styled Gillow Mausoleum.

Returning to the main road, we headed south to Cockerham, a village almost destroyed by fire in the 17th century. The rebuilding of the village resulted in the church being rather detached from the centre of the settlement. The church was largely rebuilt in 1814. Only the tower remains of the older edifice. The churchyard contains the grave of a former vicar who died of the plague, along with eleven members of the congregation. Being separate from the village, Cockerham Hall survived the 17th century conflagration.

Cockerham has one of those fanciful legends in which the devil, or Old Nick, was tricked into leaving Cockerham where he had decided to take up residence. The petrified villagers held a meeting during which it was decided that the schoolmaster was the wisest and most adroit of the parishioners and, consequently, he was dispatched to drive out their unwanted guest. The schoolmaster's first task was to use an incantation to raise Old Nick who challenged the teacher to devise three tasks which, if he succeeded in completing, would mean his demise. The schoolmaster gave Old Nick the task of counting the dewdrops on a hedgerow and this was completed with ease. It was a doddle for Old Nick to also count the stalks in a field of grain, his second task devised by the teacher. The third task demanded that Old Nick had to make a rope of sand that could withstand washing in the River Cocker. The devil quickly made the rope but it could not cope with the running water in the river. Outwitted by the schoolmaster, he strode off in the direction of Devil's Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale.

The Manor Inn is one of two public houses that once traded in Cockerham. However, the old Manor Inn used to stand on the corner of the lane leading to Saint Michael's Church. Today, the site is a car park for the village hall. Even that building was not always known as the Manor Inn. In the early 19th century it was known as the Atkinson's Arms Inn, a reference to Anthony Atkinson of Lancaster who once held a moiety of the manor. The pub was still recorded as the Atkinson's Arms in a trade directory published in 1869 with Thomas Newton being the publican. The pub that you see here is the current Manor Inn but this was once the Plough Inn. There is a date stone on the gable of the building, above the lantern, that bears the date 1871, the year that the pub was rebuilt - though parts of the original building may have been incorporated at the rear of the property.

The aforementioned Thomas Newton quit the Manor Inn at the end of April 1875 when he sold the household furniture, feather beds and bedding, kitchen requisites, bar and brewing utensils, and other effects. At this time Anthony Turner was running the Plough Inn. He was both farmer and innkeeper. The Hornby-born publican and his wife Mary farmed 30 acres of land. It is not surprising that a pub should be called the Plough Inn because Cockerham used to stage a prestigious ploughing competition every year. During the 1870's this was held at Little Crimbles Farm but the venue was moved in 1883 the Great Crimbles Farm run by Robert Mason. Contestants used to come from as far as Milnthorpe, Casterton and Ulverston. A crowd of around 500 people would gather to watch the event and Anthony Turner would erect a refreshments tent on the field. However, although the licensee of the Plough Inn enjoyed the trade during the day, it was the Manor Inn where the the post-match dinner was served.

Anthony Turner was formerly a butcher. He continued this trade after marrying Mary Lee at Claughton and settling in Preston. The couple were running the Plough Inn by 1860. The rival Atkinson's Arms, and later when it trade as the Manor Inn, was the location of noted horse sales during the 19th century. These were held at Christmas, May and July. The Plough Inn meanwhile had its own attraction in the form of the Cockerham Wrestling and Sports event held behind the pub during September. The wrestling ring was set up in a field behind the Plough Inn where Anthony Turner would once again erect a refreshments tent for the spectators. The event proved popular and a grandstand was erected at one end of the field. Some of the country's best wrestlers would attend at Cockerham. Other events included High Pole Leaping, a Foot Race, a Sack Race and a Trotting Contest.

The Manor Inn was run for many years by William Butler and his wife Elizabeth. In the 1920's the licensee was extinguished and the name transferred to the Plough Inn where John Kilshaw was the publican. In addition to the date of 1871 the stone on the gable of the building has the letters CHB. These are the initials of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Henry Bird, of nearby Crookhey Hall who had a moiety of the manor.

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You will notice from the elevation data that most of this ride is flat. There are only a few blips with any sort of gradient but they are easy. There are a few places where you have to backtrack from locations of interest and where there are a limited number of lanes on the coastal section or western edge of The Fylde.

Route Profile

Route Profile

The route profile for this day of cycling is one of the flattest we have ever undertaken. I have had to squash this image a little just to show the few minor climbs. The route from Garstang back to Lancaster is where the ride is gently undulating.

Fleetwood - Lancashire's Modern Resort

Have Your Say

If you would like to share any further information on this route - perhaps you drank in different pubs? Or maybe you spotted something I missed en-route? Whatever the reason it would be great to hear of your stories or route guidance for others. Simply send a message and I'll post it here.

British Railways Poster for Fleetwood

More Images from This Route

Lune Estuary looking to Fiskes Point [2017]

A view across the Lune estuary towards Fiskes Point. If I had swung the camera slightly to the left I would be pointing towards Ferry Cottage at Bazil. These have always been dangerous waters for local fishermen and the public houses of Glasson Dock and Overton were used for inquests into the deaths of men drowned in the River Lune. Note in the foreground the old railway fencing which runs alongside the cycle path.

The Lighthouse at Glasson Dock [2017]

This tiny lighthouse stands on the eastern tip of Glasson Dock. Being part of a working dock, it is not readily accessible to the public but we ventured up to the building on two wheels before being subjected to moaning and groaning from a couple of dock workers. Anyway, the sandstone structure is just about big enough to hold a candle - just kidding. As you can see, there is a octagonal lantern tower topped with a weather vane.

Film of Beatrice Parkinson the Cockersand Abbey Lighthouse Keeper [1948]

This is a still from a fabulous short film on the British Pathé website and shows Mrs. Beatrice Parkinson polishing one of the lamp reflectors inside Cockersand Lighthouse where she lived with her husband Tom. The film starts with Beatrice Parkinson walking across to Plover Scar Lighthouse at low tide and then follows her throughout her daily duties at both lighthouses. It is a wonderful piece of social history.

The Chapter House of Cockersand Abbey [2017]

Located next to Cockersand Abbey Farm, the vaulted Chapter House is the only intact remains of the old abbey. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Chapter House was used as a mausoleum by the Dalton family of Thurnham Hall. The building, open to the public on Heritage Open Days, is a Grade I-listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Thurnham Hall [2017]

After the ceiling collapsed in a front room of the old hall at Thurnham, the owner, John Dalton, proposed that the old farmhouse be demolished and replaced by a new building. However, the priest who held masses in the room, refused to oblige so John Dalton renovated the existing property in 1823-4. Designed by Robert Roper, the Gothic-style symmetrical frontage contains an embattled parapet, a central projection, and octagonal corner turrets. The private chapel to the south of the hall was added in 1854 by Elizabeth Dalton. When she died in 1861 the estate passed to Sir James Fitzgerald of Castle Ishen in the County of Cork. At the demise of the Fitzgerald family, the estate was reclaimed by William Henry Dalton. However, the hall gradually fell into decay and was damaged by a fire in 1959. Thurnham Hall was sold to Stanley Crabtree who completely renovated the building.

Church of Saint Thomas and Saint Elizabeth at Thurnham [2017]

The Roman Catholic Church of Saint Thomas and Saint Elizabeth was erected in 1847-8 to the designs of Charles Hansom. In 1785 John Dalton granted a plot of land for the construction of a chapel and priest's house. The latter was completed in 1802 but it took many years for the priest, Father Foster, to collect sufficient funding for the chapel which eventually opened in 1818. With financial help from Elizabeth Dalton, Father Crowe, the second priest at Thurnham, succeeded in gathering sufficient funds to build a new church which opened in August 1848. The old chapel was subsequently demolished. Robert Gillow and Richard Worswick were important benefactors of the church.

Gillow Mausoleum at Thurnham [2017]

The Gillow mausoleum stands in the churchyard of the Church of Saint Thomas and Saint Elizabeth. The sandstone rectangular structure, in Egyptian style, has buttresses on the corners. The south front features four recessed Egyptian columns with bud bases, reeded bands, fluting, and bell capitals with papyrus decoration. The mausoleum is thought to have been designed by Robert Gillow, grandson of the founder of the Lancaster furniture-making firm. The building was completed in 1830 and the first internment took place six years later.

Some Inn Signs on this Route

The Three Mariners Inn Sign at Lancaster [2015]

Are these three drinkers hatching a plot inside this old tavern? However, when such attired people were drinking in Lancaster the pub was known as the Red Lion, a reference to John of Gaunt who was Duke of Lancaster and fourth son of Edward III. In 1359 he married his cousin, Blanche of Lancaster, and was created duke in 1362.

Inn Sign of The Dalton Arms at Glasson Dock [2017]

This inn sign features the coat-of-arms of the Dalton family of nearby Thurnham Hall. Acquiring the property in 1556 from Thomas Lonne, this was the seat of the Dalton family for over four centuries. It was in 1861 that the direct lineage of the Dalton Baronetcy became extinct. The Dalton family formerly held the Manor of Bispham but possibly sold it to move to Thurnham. Robert Dalton married Anne, daughter of John Kitchen of Pilling, and obtained the site of Cockersand Abbey, and the adjoining Thurnham. In 1558 he also acquired Aldcliffe and Bulk from the Crown. Legend has it that Sir Richard Dalton, along with his two brothers, went to the Crusades in the late 12th century. He was awarded a green Griffin to be displayed on the family coat-of-arms for their services to King Richard. The Griffin is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion and the Dalton crest would eventually settle on a lion.

Inn Sign of The Manor Inn at Cockerham [2017]

Slightly weather-worn this signboard for the Manor Inn at Cockerham shows one of the landed gentry with some of his servants. The two maids appear to be black women and this is perhaps a reference to the slave trade once part of Lancaster's economy. The manor of Cockerham was once held by the Calvert family. The current Manor Inn has a date stone of 1871 with the letters CHB. These are the initials of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Henry Bird of nearby Crookhey Hall who had a moiety of the manor. He was the son of the a Liverpool ship-owner and called to the Bar in early life, but he never practised. He was a large landowner, ex-High Sheriff, Deputy-Lieutenant of Lancashire, Colonel Commandant 3rd and 4th Battalions Royal North Lancashire Militia, Vice-president of the Lancaster Conservative Association, and Ruling Councillor of the Cockerham Habitation Primrose League. In August 1887 he married Isabel, fifth daughter of William Edward Wyndham of Clearwell Court at Colesford in Gloucestershire. He died in February 1909. Oh, a bit of cycling trivia - Charles Henry Bird was once the Vice-president of Lancaster Cyclists' Club.

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H. G. Wells

"I came out for exercise, gentle exercise, and to notice the scenery and to botanise. And no sooner do I get on that accursed machine than off I go hammer and tongs; I never look to right or left, never notice a flower, never see a view - get hot, juicy, red - like a grilled chop. Get me on that machine and I have to go. I go scorching along the road, and cursing aloud at myself for doing it."
H. G. Wells

Historical Views

Banks of the River Lune at Lancaster [c.1932]

The Harbour at Glasson Dock [c.1933]

Newspaper Articles

"An affray of a very serious nature took place at Glasson Dock on Wednesday evening last, which shows the serious consequences arising from the too common practice of sailors carrying knives with them when ashore. It appears that an English sailor named John Heywood, belonging to the Mary Ann of Halifax, Nova Scotia, lying in Glasson Dock, had some quarrel with a French sailor named Armo Louis, and they had a fight, in which Heywood knocked Louis down, and in a scuffle which ensued they both went down on the ground together. While they were lying there, Heywood upper-most, a woman named Margaret Swarbrick observed that Louis had pulled out his knife and was trying to stab Heywood. She instantly gave the alarm, and called for someone to take the knife from him. Two sailors, shipmates of Heywood, named James Martin and John Corbishley, ran to his assistance. Martin took the knife from Louis, who instantly got up and ran away, and was pursued by Martin who had the knife grasped in his right hand and who said "you bastard, you've stabbed my countryman and I'll stab you." As they were running Martin made several stabs at the Frenchman, but it is thought he only hit him once, in the shoulder. The wounded man took refuge in the Victoria Inn, and Martin was seen to throw the knife into a garden in which it was afterwards found. Intelligence of the affray was communicated to the policeman of the district, and Martin was taken into custody. The wounded man was found to have a stab or a cut on the shoulder, about two inches in length, but it was not deemed to be of a very serious character. On Thursday, Martin was brought before E. D. de Titre, Esq., at the Town Hall, charged with feloniously cutting and wounding Armo Louis. The wounded man was unable to attend, and the following evidence, only sufficient evidence to justify a remand, was adduced: Thomas Lamb: l am a rafter of timber from Glasson Dock to Lancaster, and live at Glasson. I was at Glasson last night. I saw John Heywood and Armo Louis down on the ground together opposite the door of Daitons Arms beer house. The prisoner was standing by. He got hold of a knife which had been taken from the Frenchman by someone, and said, "You bastard, you've stabbed my countryman, and I'll stab you." The Frenchman ran away, and the prisoner ran after him with the knife in his right hand, point down, and struck at him eight or nine times, but I think he only hit him once. I saw him hit himm once. The Frenchman ran to the other side of the bridge to the Victoria Hotel. He had lost blood all the way to the Victoria. I did not go into the house and did not see where he was wounded." By the Bench: It might be about twenty minutes or half-past seven o'clock. The Frenchman got up as soon as the knife was taken from him and ran away. I don't think the prisoner or the other men were sober. Knives like that produced are formidable in size and shaped like a butcher's whittle, and are frequently carried by sailors in a sheath suspended from the waist belt, and is a weapon calculated to inflict a deadly injury when used in an affray. Margaret Swarbrick: I am a widow, and live near the Daltons Arms, at Glasson Dock. Last night, at 20 minutes to eight o'clock, I saw a fight going on near the Daltons Arms, between the Frenchman and Heywood. They were scuffling and both fell together. I said to them "don't fight." The Frenchman was under. I saw he had a knife, and said "he has got a knife, take it from him." He was striking Heywood with the knife. He was aiming a blow under Heywood's shoulder. I did not see any blood till after. The prisoner took the knife from the Frenchman; John Corbishley assisted him. They both run to the assistance of Heywood when I called out. The prisoner had the knife when the Frenchman ran away, and I heard him say: "I'll stab you for stabbing my mate," or something to that effect. I then turned away, and went to my house, and saw no more till the Frenchman passed me, and then I saw the prisoner throw the knife into some gardens. It was a knife like the one produced. When the fight commenced it was more scuffling than fighting, but they had been fighting before. I could not see that they ailed much for drink. P.C. McClellan, in reply to a question from the Bench, said that the man was wounded on the shoulder. It was a cut about two inches in length, and the surgeon was of the opinion that he would be able to attend on Saturday. The case was then remanded till Saturday, when it will be resumed at the Judges' Lodgings. The Bench agreed to accept bail for the prisoner's appearance."
"Stabbing Case at Glasson Dock"
Lancashire Gazette : August 19th 1865 Page 5.

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"On Sunday last, at noon, as the carriages of J. P. C. Starkie Esq., M.P., were about to convey the family and visitors from Glasson Church to Ashton Hall, when the first carriage had started, Mrs. Starkie was just about to step into the second, when the horse became impatient, and, from some unexplained cause, took fright, and galloped towards the Dock. Before going far, one side of the wheels left the main road, and running in a gutter for a short time, threw out the coachman. The horse then ran towards the Pier Head on the east side of the Dock, where the conveyance came in contact with deals and timber, which overturned it, rolling it over into the Lune and dragging the horse after it. As there were two vessels towing in from sea at the time, plenty of help and strength was at hand, and the horse's head was kept above water until liberated from the conveyance by willing hands in a boat, and taken to land. Horse and conveyance are, we believe, not much worse, and this must be attributed to the fact of its being high water and a 20ft. tide, which entirely broke the fall. Much sympathy and regret was expressed for the owner of Ashton Hall who is very highly esteemed and respected throughout the district."
"Remarkable Accident and Providential Escape"
Lancashire Gazette : November 11th 1876 Page 5.

"William Jackson [65], Old Glasson, Glasson Dock, near Lancaster, was knocked olf his pedal cycle by a motor car near the New Hollies, on the Garstang road yesterday, and was treated at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary for a fractured collarbone."
"Glasson Dock Cyclist Injured"
Lancashire Evening Post : September 10th 1934 Page 7.

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"A boating accident, involving the loss of seven lives, occurred just after noon yesterday opposite Cockersand Abbey, in the estuary of the Lune. About seven o'clock yesterday morning a party of eight men, including Richard Kenneth Wright, clerk, of 71 Park Road; a Lancaster police constable, Joseph Young, of the Borough Police Force, living at 46 Windermere Road; John Wilson, grocer, West Road Post Office, and his son, William Wilson, aged 18; James Wilson, grocer, of Scotforth Post Office; William Grisedale, ticket-examiner on the London and North-Western Railway, of Willow Lane; James Laytham, the well-known international footballer, for some years captain of Wigan Northern Union Club, of Lodge Street; and Ashworth Pinder, Corporation gasworks foreman, living in West Road, left the quayside, Lancaster, in the sailing boat Pearl, belonging to a man named Kendall. A strong north-west wind was blowing. When the boat was opposite Cockersand Abbey it was caught by a sudden squall and overturned, all the men being thrown into the water. Wright, who is a strong swimmer and one of the leading spirits among local swimming men, struck out for shore, and after much fighting with waves, which were running high, succeeded in landing above the old Abbey and obtained assistance, but by the time a boat was got out both the men and the capsized boat and disappeared. Mr Richard Kenneth Wright, the only survivor, interviewed at Lancaster this morning, said they had a pleasant time sailing down the Lune Estuary until they reached a point opposite Cockersand Abbey. They had finished dinner, and had drawn in their fishing lines with the intention of returning with the incoming tide. In backing on the Cockersand Abbey side the bow of the boat went completely under water, and all the occupants were thrown out. The main sail was up, and this prevented the boat from turning right over. Wright proceeded: "We all got on the edge and discussed what should be done. The tide was coming up faster, and there was no craft in sight. We shouted "Help' in chorus, and then, as I feared the boat might sink with the weight of eight men, I felt it my duty as an old swimmer to try and swim to Cockersand Abbey Farm for assistance. It is 21 years since I competed in a swimming handicap, but I divested myself of some clothing and took one of the oars, which, however, would not bear up, and was of very little assistance. Several times I heard my friends shouting "Help!" and could see them on the boat. I was nearly done for several times, and almost gave up, but struggled on. I was quite exhausted when I touched the sand. I don't know how I reached the farm, but I gave the alarm, and they brought me round. The police at Glasson telephoned to Fleetwood and Morecambe, and lifeboats went out, but their search was fruitless." Up till noon today none of the bodies of the seven victims had been recovered"
"Tragic End to Fishing Trip"
Dundee Evening Telegraph : August 21st 1916 Page 3.

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