Valentines day in Carnforth.

Carnforth, famous for where romance is never consummated. Carnforth, the ‘Before’ pic of a down at heel town in a pretty spot  but where the ‘After’ of mezze platters and chalkboards with ‘to begin..’ menus never quite happens.


But where a new Booths cafe is filled with people with appropriate haircuts for their age enjoying a Welsh Rarebit for £6.95.


Carnforth, squat, grey and stoic where the elderly beam and waggle a walking stick with a dog shaped handle at a strange child, where really good things can be purchased for a pound at a charity shop and if you are lacking in cash,  they will tell you to bring it next time in that old fashioned resolve and faith in humanity.


Carnforth, mired in Late Victoriana, where the rambling second book shop refuses (for now) to break in front of the invisible ubiquitous peril of Amazon. Where the landlord in ‘The Snug’, the tiny CAMRA wet dream of a pub on the station platform remembers me from last time- which was a few months ago- and they sell cheese, crackers and pickle for three quid and a pork pie for two quid and that is pretty much the food menu apart from the large jars of pickled things on the bar.

Where a stranger can  wander into the Brief Encounter refreshment rooms where the fire is always on and a gramophone is always playing, before noon and ask for two whiskies and a teapot of hot water in a voice that suggests Eton more than Lancaster  and then he leaves ten minutes later and you will never know his story.

Carnforth is Brief Encounter and Brief Encounter is Romance.

It is Valentines Day.

I finish my scone and go home.

5 Responses to “Valentines day in Carnforth.”

  • narf7 Says:

    Romance…nothing like a train station to inject a little romance into the also-ran everydayness of life. As we don’t have one here, I guess I am just going to have to stand on the bridge and listen intently in case one of the yacht’s flowing upstream has anyone lucid (and loud enough) with something romantic to say ;)

  • looby Says:

    Carnforth’s in a liminal zone between a nondescript Lancashire town, and a place that attracts people for its food. I’m very glad it hasn’t gone the way of the Lake District. It’ll never attract the 4×4 car owners with their National Trust stickers and £200 hiking boots. I like that it does honest things like proper beer and proper sausages (I think the excellent butcher deserves a mention), and I hope it doesn’t improve *too* much.

  • Redbookish Says:

    The bookshop is one of the best in the North, if not the whole of England. I’ve spent many a happy winter Saturday morning there.

  • cyberfairy Says:

    Hurray! People like and know of Carnforth :-) Or are thinking about it in Tasmania.

  • cyberfairy Says:

    And sublime bookshop :-)

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