The name Solway - path of the sun - speaks for itself. At certain times, the sea in the Solway Firth resembles a sheet of shimmering gold, a phenomenon that has given rise to many legends. This most beautiful and dangerous of seas has a tidal average of 30 feet that can reach 25/30 miles per hour, the average speed of a galloping horse. Evidence of the sea's power has been well documented: in the 1700s an entire town was washed away into the Solway during a single storm. The Solway lies at the heart of the old Northern Lands and around its shores there is evidence of occupation and industry from prehistory up to the present day. Starting on the west side of the Solway, Helen Ivison takes the reader on a visual tour of this fascinating coastline, Whithorn to the village of St Bees further south. Themes covered include history, folklore, flora and fauna, saints, rivers, fishing, ports, lifeboats, famous visitors including Dickens and many more.
Helen Ivison is an local history author and active member of the Curwen Heritage Theatre, an amateur dramatic group which staged Shakespeare plays in Workington Hall before it was shut to the public amid health and safety fears. Helen wants more done to promote and safeguard Workington's heritage but admits she is not sure how best to accomplish this, particularly in a cash-strapped climate where arts and heritage are not always top of the agenda.