Barrow-in-Furness has many secrets hidden in plain sight, from its earliest history to the present day. The land where ‘the lakes meet the sea’ provides an ancient rural backdrop revealing mysteries and tales wrapped in the mists of time, from mysterious monastic murder to raids by Robert the Bruce. It was a place popular with the Romantics; William Wordsworth visited Furness Abbey and allegedly carved his initials into the sandstone. In the municipal cemetery lies the body of an Italian countess, Mary Pepi, and her husband, Rino, a Victorian music hall quick-change artist. In the same graveyard is a memorial for James Gall, a survivor of the SS Forfarshire, who was rescued by Grace Darling and lived until his eighties. Barrow claims a number of famous sons and daughters, including Liverpool and England footballer Emlyn Hughes, erstwhile editor of The Independent Chris Blackhurst, Hairy Biker Dave Myers, and Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5.
The little town at the ‘end of a cul-de-sac’ has many secrets just waiting to be discovered, and in Secret Barrow-in-Furness local author and historian Gill Jepson pulls back the curtains of history to reveal the forgotten, the strange, and the unlikely.