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Countrystride #61: NORMAN NICHOLSON

...in which we journey to Millom to discuss the life and writings of Norman Nicholson, one of Cumbria's foremost – and most neglected – wordsmiths. On a coastal walk with Nicholson fan and academic Dr David Cooper, we visit 14 St. Georges Terrace – the home in which the celebrated son of Millom spent all but 20 months of his life – before exploring the site of the town's former iron works – ghost of an industry woven into the DNA of both town and man. As we wander, under brooding Black Combe, we learn about the poet's early-life traumas; we discuss the sanitarium convalescence that was to inform his painterly vision; we wrestle with concepts of place, home and provincialism; and – gazing west from Nicholson's grave – we let our eyes at last be blinded by dazzle.




Millom from the site of the old ironworks.

Mark and David outside Nicholson's terrace house at 14 St. Georges Terrace.


St. Georges Terrace with its attic gables.


Dr David Cooper with bespired Millom behind him.

Big views over the Duddon estuary from the site of the old ironworks.

A fabulous open aspect.

The former ironworks site is now a thriving nature reserve.

The Market Hall - and a reminder of the town's past as an iron town.

David at Nicholson's grave.