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Countrystride #23: WEST COAST CHRISTMAS - Voices from the past

…in which we walk the sandstone cliffs from St Bees to Whitehaven with author and historian Alan Cleaver. As we stroll, above a millpond-still Irish Sea, we learn about the coast's Mummers' tradition and the ghost ship Mary Jane; we hear bygone memories of snowy winters and diary entries from a Regency-era farm; we discuss the smuggling origins of rum butter; and we sign off with a yuletide letter from the Western Front.

  • Alan’s award-winning book, The Corpse Roads of Cumbria, is available from all good bookshops.

  • You can find Alan on Twitter at @thelonningsguy

Fleswick Bay.

Producer Dave Felton and our guest for the day, local historian and author Alan Cleaver, above the pebble beach at St Bees.

Sandstone cliffs glowing red.

The expansive view of the Western fells inland.

Criffel across the Solway Firth.

Gulls on the cliffs.

The up-and-down to Fleswick Bay.

Alan: Corpse Road authority.

Mining heritage as we reach Whitehaven.

The Isle of Man was glowing gold out in the Irish Sea.

Geese out on a Friday night.

Our route for the day.

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