This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Barrow

Out there at the end of a long peninsula of land extending from the northern tip of Morecambe Bay into the Irish Sea, and on the western edge of the Lake District, the town of Barrow-in-Furness seems to exist in total contrast to its beautiful, windswept surroundings. Barrow's industrial identity seems unalterable, to the extent that it has been described "the most working class town in England", based on the number of working mens' clubs, bookies, and chip shops per head of the town's population. But the town's industry was always specialised. The iron and steelworks are long gone, shipbuilding a fading memory, and the submarines built at BAE Systems' Shipyards now keep busy only a third of the 14,000 workforce employed in the 1980s. Despite the fact that a series of Astute-class hunter-killer submarines is in production, the long-term future of the Trident-based nuclear defence system is uncertain and the recession may have put Barrow's ambitious dockland regeneration plans on hold. The special industrial heritage of this isolated Cumbrian coastal town provides a unique focal point for presenter/ producer Bob Dickinson (whose father came from Barrow) to monitor a year of economic austerity.

Release date:

30 minutes

Last on

Mon 18 Apr 2011 11:00