Posted by: travelrat | June 16, 2010

Grange over Sands

I’ll start my short tour of Furness with a look around Grange over Sands, where we stayed. I’m afraid that, in my youth, I used to mock Grange as being more ‘refained’ than other places in the area, and I do remember, as a teenager, being highly amused at a waitress in a Grange café pronouncing ‘scones’ to rhyme with Jones.

(As an aside, apparently ‘Jones’ and ‘Johns’ were originally just two different ways of spelling the same name; the different pronunciations came later)

However, maybe the place has changed; maybe I’ve got more used to it or maybe I’m just getting old, but I quite like it now.

Just for starters, there’s the ornamental pond in the Public Gardens, with several kinds of exotic waterfowl to be admired, photographed and even fed. There’s the superb Promenade, with its gardens looked after by local people and organisations. Just one reservation here, though. A lot of those gardens feature weathered limestone; were these stones here originally (good) or were they hauled down from nearby Hampsfell, wrecking a good limestone pavement in the process (bad)?

However, even in the latter case, we can’t be too hard, for they would have been brought down long ago, at a time when ‘green’ was simply a colour you got from mixing blue and yellow together.

Which leads me nicely into the ‘Art on the Prom’ you can see from time to time. Local artists display their work in an open-air display along the Promenade; one guy I spoke to at length produces his ‘paintings’ on a computer. He said he often gets stick from people who say his work isn’t ‘proper’ painting … on that, I’ll reserve judgement. But, I will say, you don’t get nearly as messy as you would if you did the real thing.

My favourite building so far has to be the railway station, a quirky mix of Victorian Gothic and Art Nouveau, erected by Furness Railways, and which London, Midland and Scottish Railways and their successors, to their credit, didn’t see a need to alter much. Even modern electronic gizmos are tucked away unobtrusively, and don’t take over the whole thing.

If you arrive by train, it’s surely the best possible introduction to a rather pleasant town.


  1. I went to a cafe in Double Bay a few weeks ago where the waitress pronounced scones to rhyme with Jones. In Sydney?

    The town looks really nice and I like the idea of art on the prom. I would enjoy that!

  2. I suppose it’s a ‘tomayto/tomahto’ thing … you once had a Prime Minister who the purists say didn’t pronounce ‘Menzies’ properly.

    Mind you, by their rules, ‘MacKenzie’ should be pronounced ‘Mackeengie’! 😀

  3. You’re correct about the surname of Johns and Jones. After doing some family history, my grandfather discovered that his family (from Wales) used to go by Johns and then changed the family name to Jones. Don’t know why but it means the same. Makes doing family history a bit interesting.

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