Article Index


STRAY NOTES
~~~~~~~~~~~~

The heavy downpour of hail, rain, and sleet that prevailed on Good Friday
morning threw quite a damper on the spirits of intended excursionists, many
of whom decided to remain at home to running the risk of its being a regular
wet day.

However, it cleared up wonderfully after the usual April fashion, and during
the afternoon the sun burst forth in all his glory and brightened things up
splendidly, and even dirty and stupid old Whitehaven looked after the rain a
bit cleaner and gayer.

Whitehaven has generally a miserable look, but it is ten times worse on a
Sunday or holiday, when the folk seem disposed to hang about the corners and
creep in snail-like manner along the streets.

In some old-fashioned spots -- take Lancaster for instance -- the
inhabitants are accustomed from generation to generation to trailing along
certain streets on Sunday evenings, and Goodness only knows what enjoyment
they derive through it, and the same may be said about those of Whitehaven.

In this town, although we have grand piers and fairly good scenery close at
hand, the humbler classes will go nowhere but to King-street and
Tangier-street for recreation, and here they saunter up and down as their
fathers and grandfathers did before them, and crack the same coarse jokes.

On Good Friday afternoon there was a large number of these loungers on the
streets, and they seemed to be lazier than ever, for the exertion of
trailing themselves along appeared to be too great, so they gathered in
little knots here and there to the annoyance of all who wanted to move along
quickly.

Whitehaven is a long way worse than Lancaster in this respect, and any
person in a hurry to catch a train or keep an appointment must quit the
footpaths and take to the open street if he wants to get along rapidly, as
the ordinary Whitehaven man resents anything in the shape of smartness.

Notwithstanding the number that went away by train that day, there were lots
left to trail about the streets, and thus give a couple of policemen a
reasonable excuse for trailing about exactly in the same way, an opportunity
that is invariably made use of as the policemen in particular fall quickly
into the ways of Whitehaven folk.

In Carlisle and other places, policemen hold themselves erect, and have some
show of smartness in their movements, but here they soon get as lazy as the
folk, and do as little as they possibly can.  I don't think they would leave
the Police Station if they could avoid it, and certainly they are never to
be seen on the streets that their presence is most needed in.

We have far too many policemen in this district any way, and with just half
the number the service would be quite efficient, for then the work could be
apportioned better that at present, when the difficulty is to find something
to do.

And although we have so many policemen, it is a well-known fact that evening
after evening, certain streets in town are completely given over to rowdy
lads who annoy the residents, and endanger passers by in kicking balls, old
meat cans, or any mortal thing they can get hold of to kick about.

Whipping tops and skipping on the footpaths are a nuisance that the police
don't take much pains in suppressing, and perhaps a little more latitude may
be accorded to the unfortunate youngsters, as they have no place but the
street in the shape of a recreation ground, but this kicking business should
be put down and kept down.

====================================================