Tuesday, July 25

Vickers Fortnight

It’s been very quiet round here this week and I was wondering what was up with the trade, and then it dawned on me that it’s the old Vickers fortnight.

Despite many changes of name and ownership over the year’s local folk still persist in calling the shipyard, Vickers. Many years ago during the annual fortnight’s holiday the place used to shut down, and so did all the other local businesses, leaving the town virtually a ghost town. Even though this is a relic of the past and they no longer shut up shop folk seem to stick with the original Vickers fortnight to take holidays. Younger people wouldn’t know what you were talking about if you said Vickers fortnight to them but because their parents used to holiday at this time they seem to follow in the tradition.


Peggy said...

I'm sure everyone has come up here. The place is heaving with the arrival of summer people.

Len said...

What a great photo. In 1959 on a family visit to Barrow my Dad took some 8mm film of the shipyards at day's end. That street became a one way street and as shown in the photo it was completely plugged with men on foot and many on bicycles. I can't help wondering if they weren't in better shape for all their walking and bicycles.

bob said...

They may have been in better shape back then but sadly we find more and more of that generation dying early because of contact with asbestos.
It was said that if the first man out of the gate fell off his bike then at least the next fifty fell with him.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if this is still a compulsory holiday for Vickers (or whatever it is now) people. It was a crazy time and brought home the domineering influence of Vickers on the town. I was wondering if that domination still exists.
For any Barrovian of the 60's 70's the wall of humanity that poured out of there at lunch and tea times is a unforgettable memory. Amazingly the buses seemed to get through with no casualties.
However standing on the high level bridge looking up and down the docks with very few people knocking about is a depressing sight when you do visit Barrow.

bob said...

No it's not a compulsory hoiday now and no the shipyard no is longer the biggest employer in Barrow, they say that the health service is now one of the biggest employers round here. Their is still a rush at tea time but it's from the Devonshire dock hall now and it's mainly cars not bikes. They are taking a lot of labour on at the moment, this is for the Astute sub order they have.