WALNEY ISLAND FOLK

It's People & It's Characters

 

WALNEY CARNIVAL QUEENS:

1997 -  GEMMA THORNTON
1998 -  LISA WILSON
1999 -  LAURA LUTY
2000 -  KIRSTY FEGAN
2001 -  LAUREN WRIGHT
2002 -  JADE DOCHERTY
2003 -  LIMARA TOWNSEND
2004 -  ASHLEIGH MYERS
2005 -  CATHERINE MYERS
2006 -  VIKKI REYNOLDS
2007 -  IMOGEN MURRAY
2008 -  SAPPHIRE WALKDEN
2009 -  NICOLA THORBURN-WILSON

 

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JOHN BLAND (b 1860 - d?)

John Bland was the PC in residence at Walney police station (now known as 'The Old Bill'). PC Bland's career saw him rise to be 'Chief Inspector' with Barrow Borough Police Force. John’s claim to fame was that, when he was a PC on Walney, a traveling circus lost a tiger. There was obviously a hue and cry and, on a moonless night, whilst patrolling the Walney Lanes, PC Bland heard a rustle, leapt over the hedge & beat a sheep to death with his truncheon! I wonder what happened to the tiger?

 

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PEGGY BRAITHWAITE (b1919 - d1996)

 

'Lady of the Lamp'

 

Born on Piel Island 'Peggy Swarbrick' she moved to Walney as a teenager when her father became the lighthouse's assistant keeper and accommodation was provided in the cottage next-door. In her early days at the lighthouse she became an assistant keeper, assisting her father until she herself was promoted to principal in 1975. Walney-Island lighthouse was kept and maintained by Peggy, at a time when she was known as the only ‘woman’ principal lighthouse-keeper in Britain, following in the footsteps of her father, sister and brother-in-law. Peggy was awarded the MBE, 10 years before she retired, aged 74 and also gained the "Lady of the Lamp's" distinction as the solitary woman principal keeper, in the long and heroic history of lighthouses.

 

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WILLIAM CHARLES TURNER (b1910-d1988)

'815154 W/Bombardier'

William (Bill) Charles Turner was born at Horwich, and served in the Royal Artillery before being recalled for service in 1939. During which he was sunk on the S.S Lancastria (1940). Bill served in North Africa and Italy, in either the later or both campaigns and was with 4th Indian Division, providing artillery support to Gurkha units at Cassino. Bill's post-army service / pre-retirement saw him with his own tyre repair garage at Dalton-in-Furness. With a love of horses he managed to acquire a few and turned them into his full time hobby during his retirement on the Island, keeping them at Cows Tarn Lane, not far from his home in Combe View.  

 

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ALAN WILKINSON

He is known to all his fans as plain “Wilkie”.  John Alan Wilkinson, was truly an all rounder.  He excelled for Barrow Schools at Rugby League, Football and Cricket. He was a Cross Country runner and as a motor cyclist who excelled in Trials and Scrambles but it was as a Speedway Rider he will be most remembered.  Alan only rode for two clubs Rochdale (1970-71) and for the most famous Speedway Club in the world, the Ace of all Clubs, Belle Vue Aces (1971-1978) for whom he rode 363 matches (1403 races) scoring a total of 2528 ˝ points.  Alan made 13 appearances for England and also rode for Young England, Great Britain and the British Lions.  He represented his country overseas in Australia , Russia and Poland . His career was tragically brought to a sudden halt in 1978 when a racing accident resulted in a broken neck and a lifetime in a wheelchair.  Alan has always showed tremendous courage and maintained  a great sense of humour and with the magnificent support of his wife Jean has made the best of his lot in life.  He has never been forgotten by his speedway fans who over the years with benefit meetings have done all they could for their popular  Ace. 

 

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