Barrow-in-Furness  Civic and Local History Society
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Before the opening of the Furness Railway (1846), travellers used the Turnpike Road (completed in 1820), but the journey to and from Lancaster took several hours, so most people used the cross-sands route from Ulverston to Lancaster because it was quicker, and also because of the dust raised in clouds, by the carriages on the roads. Travelling by this method was very unpleasant. A regular cross-sands passenger service operated between 1871 and 1857. However, there were many fatal accidents. In January 1841, "two young men were drowned on Leven sands . . . . and wehn found next morning,t he horse and gig was stuck fast in the channel and one of the two men entangled about the step of the gig, the other found a little below in some fishing nets the wear a long way below the ford".

May, 1846, "a mellancoly los of life 9 Persons in attempting to Cros the Sands from Ulverstone to Cartmell on the 4 May got into what the call Black Scare hole which is a hole 13 feet deep at Low Water the wear all in one cart every one with the horse perrished it was suposed that the weare the wors for licquor"

(Extracts from William Fisher's diary).