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EXTRACT FROM W E ROBERTS

An analysis by Harper Gaythorpe of the population of Barrow in 1850, from a return dated June 11th in that year, bearing the signature James Ramsden.

"This return included the village of Barrow, Hindpool and patent slip, Old Barrow Island, and Salthouse and Junction. Among the heads of families there were then 10 farmers, 9 ore-loaders, 4 shipping agents, 3 each shipbuilders and shoemakers, 2 each iron ore agents, tailors, gentlemen, inn-keepers, malsters, and plate-layers, and 1 each surgeon, draintile maker, break maker, postmaster, butcher, ballast-master and his foreman, sailmaker, manglewoman, blacksmith, signalman and gardener. There were also 52 men and 16 women lodgers, and 30 men and 21 women servants at the farms and mansion on Barrow Isle, and an estimated number of 200 sailors in port during the year, altogether 690. The surgeon was John Vivian LSA. In the village of Barrow in 1850 there were 37 heads of families, 70 adults, 102 children (72 under 19 years of age), 55 lodgers, and 25 servants; total 252. Many of the servants were no doubt ore loaders and labourers".


There is no record of any occupier being a fisherman, although the surname Fisher is a very common in the area.


Extract from an original manuscript written about 1878

by W.E. Roberts, Esq., born 1862, died 1954

Mr W Roberts, writing about 1878, gives an eye witness account of what life was like in Barrow Village between the 1830s and 1850s.


"The district of this date was very isolated and constantly free from visits of strangers unknown to the inhabitants, and the doors of the houses were without locks or bolts except in an odd case or two. The people were honest and straightforward, and the enterprising burglar was unknown.


The inhabitants made fishing expeditions down the channel to provide for their needs, and landed many catches of fish. A draw net 150 yards long was placed at the disposal of any of the fishermen who wanted it, and usually took place in the Autumn and yielded often from one to four tons. The people took what they wanted. Frequently, after all were satisfied, the balance was salted down in drums for use in the Winter and Spring.

An extensive business was carried out in cattle dealing, and large numbers of cattle were driven through the country to Manchester Market over the dangerous Lancashire sands. Butter and eggs were also sent extensively by road and sea to the same markets. The old inhabitants spoke a dialect similar to the Cumberland people. It was invariably the custom with the old people to receive from the shopkeeper they dealt with, twelve months' credit, in fact the business of the country bore little resemblance to the manner carried on at the present time.

The people were honest and were faithful in discharging their many obligations".