The History of Maryport

on the North-West coast of England

Maryport's Famous People 

Gandhi   (Restauranteur and Songwriter)

Gandhi moved to Maryport from his native India in 1936 and opened a restaurant on Irish Street, where he introduced the people of Maryport to traditional Indian Cuisine.

Everyone in town loved Gandhi and his establishment flourished, so much so, that in 1937 he added tables, chairs and knives and forks.

One Sunday night in 1948, he went into the White Star to watch the "open mic sessions" and it gave him an idea. Gandhi had been an avid Sitar player as a youth and had written countless songs, he decided to provide entertainment, one night a week, singing and playing his own compositions.  This proved to be a great success and led to him recording a double Cd entitled "Gandhi"

The Cd became an instant hit, sales went through the roof and it went straight to the top of the Cfm charts. Fame, surely,  was just around the corner. All the music magazines wanted an interview, fans wanted an autograph, the paparazzi wanted his photo, but Maryport wanted a curry. As a result of his new found popularity, he sadly neglected his restaurant.

Two weeks after his debut album went "platinum"  he was gunned down by a crazed curry fanatic outside the Wavering Hotel and was rushed to the Cumberland Infirmary, where he lay in a Korma for two weeks before finally passing away.

Gandhi    The Cd

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 Robin Hood   (Outlaw)

Legend would have us believe that Robin Hood was a displaced nobleman who lived with his gang in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham, but this is not true. Robin was born and raised in Maryport.

It is true that Robin robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, so long as they were in receipt of Income Support or Working Family Tax Credit.

For many years, Robin fought a long running battle with the Sheriff of Carlisle, but always evaded capture. One Sunday afternoon, Robin went for a couple of pints in the Station Inn, with his sidekick Little Jeff. As they were making their way home, they were set upon by a gang of chavs and Robin was fatally wounded. Little Jeff cradled his head as Robin whispered those immortal words "Pass me my bow and where this arrow lands, thou shalt bury me"

Almost two months later, after an extensive search by local residents, the Maryport Lifeboat and a Search and Rescue helicopter from RAF Kinloss, the arrow was found and Robin, in accordance with his dying words, was buried where it was found, half way up an Oak tree in Crow Park. Little Jeff went on to build a lucrative taxi business and moved to Workington.

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 Sir Walter Raleigh.   (Explorer and Inventor of the pushbike)

Sir Walter Raleigh was born in the cellar of The Crown, Senhouse Street, Maryport in 1552.

In 1578, Raleigh, who was fluent in Gum Arabic, set off on an expedition to the Americas, in an attempt to set up a British colony there. Colonisation failed and Raleigh was sent packing by the natives.

In 1587, he tried again. That attempt also failed. He did however bring back potatoes and Golden Virginia tobacco which he sold for £3.00 a packet.

In 1592 Queen Elizabeth 1st discovered Raleigh's secret marriage to one of her maids of honour, Elizabeth Tommorton. This discovery threw Elizabeth into a jealous rage and Raleigh and his wife were imprisoned in Blackpool Tower. On his release, in an attempt to find favour with the queen, he invented the pushbike.

Elizabeth's successor James VI of Scotland disliked Raleigh and in 1603 he was accused of plotting against the king and sentenced to  life imprisonment, this was later reduced to death.

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Alfred The Great.  (King)

King Alfred was born on High Street in 849 AD, fourth son of Aethelwulf, king of the West Saxons.

Alfred was a promising footballer, who played for several local teams and was fundamental in setting up the Cumbrian Football Association.

In 465 AD, he signed for Workington Reds and became the first Cumbrian player, not only to represent his country, but also to captain it.

In 471, Alfred defeated the Danes and the country rejoiced. However, the celebrations were short lived, as England were beaten by Germany in the semi finals. Alfred was stripped of the captaincy, dropped from the team and sacked by the reds.

Shamed and shunned by family and friends, Alfred's worked the rest of his life as a baker at Greggs on Senhouse Street, where in 496 AD, he was electrocuted.It is believed that while he was making cakes, he stood on a bun and a currant went up his leg.

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Chris Boddington.   (Climber)

Chris Boddington was born in 1947 on Ellenborough Old Road. From a very early age he showed great potential as a climber. At the age of two, he climbed out of his cot and at the tender age of 5 he scaled the South-West face of Mote Hill.

In 1963, he took part in an ill-fated expedition to climb Mount Kilimangiro, in which five of the six man team died of starvation, having run out of sherpa's to eat, this had a profound effect on him and he vowed never to return to Wales.

Due to this failure, funding for future climbs was hard to come by and Boddington sank into a deep depression and chose to spend his days in The Sailors Return, drinking heavily and staring out across the Solway Firth to the lowlands of Scotland.

In October 1967, Boddington, in a rare interview, announced to the world that he was to make a comeback and embark on the most daring and ambitious climb of his career, he was to climb the North face of Curzon Street. The following month, armed only with a rope, a two-man tent and a weeks supply of curry, Boddington began his climb.

Having left Base camp (outside the Co-op) on Monday 6th November, Boddington made good ground and by Wednesday he had reached the junction of Senhouse Street. However, the weather was turning against him, rain and hail was followed by sleet and snow, but he kept going. On Thursday morning, Boddington awoke to dense fog and after a hearty breakfast, he continued on his way. His plan was to make it to Parkside Residential Care Home before dark, but sadly, he got squashed by a bus at Netherhall Corner and died from his injuries.

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Fletcher Christian (Barman and Mutineer)

In March 1787, William Bligh became landlord of The Bounty Inn and he appointed his childhood friend, local boy Fletcher Christian as his head barman. The following month, Christian became a partner in the business.

Everything went well for the first few months, the pub was packed every night with darts, dominoes and pool teams playing matches and especially at weekends, when football was on Sky Sports on the large screen.

The locals got on extremely well with the crews of the many visiting fishing vessels, swapping wives, stories of life on the high seas and debating whether Newcastle would ever win a trophy.

However, things would change. Bligh, was under pressure to maintain the high level of activities at the Bounty and his trusted barman Fletcher Christian was becoming increasingly dependent on Jennings Bitter and began to neglect his duties at the pub. The arguments between the pair became more frequent and it was clear to the locals that this friendship was on the rocks.

On the night of Friday 25th of September 1788, things took a sinister turn. Fletcher Christian, while celebrating his 24th birthday with the pubs cellarman, Will Dakers at the Bounty, became aggressive and verbally abusive to Bligh and they were dragged down to the cellar, where they were left, to sober up.

Christian and Dakers awoke from their drunken slumber at around 7 a.m. and angry at their treatment, went looking for Bligh, who they found asleep in the front bedroom. An argument ensued and Christian told Bligh that he wanted total control of the pub and the satellite TV remote control, but Bligh would have none of it and the argument ended when Christian forcibly took control of the pub and set Bligh and 19 loyal barstaff adrift in a boat on the River Ellen.

Bligh and his party were never seen again and the wreckage of their boat was found at the entrance to the harbour some three weeks later, having collided with a Co-op shopping trolley.

      

For several years, Christian denied having anything to do with their disappearance, but one night, whilst in a drunken stupor, he told an undercover police officer of his dastardly deed and was promptly arrested. At his trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, where he remained until his death in 1792.

A rare photograph of Fletcher Christian in his cell at Netherton Open Prison. circa 1790

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Violent Carson (Actress and Battleaxe)

Violent Carson was born in the slums which were pulled down to build "Bangla".

A member of the Maryport Operatic Society from the age of 6, it was evident that great things lay ahead for this child prodigy.

She appeared in many of their productions at the Maryport Civic Hall, including :

"Gone with the Wind" ..............a 22 minute epic

A musical adaptation of Hitchcock's   "Psycho"

and a Cumbrian version of another Hitchcock classic, re-titled "Red Dial M for Murder" 

In 1962, she starred in her first movie, the David Lean blockbuster "Lawrence of Aspatria". For this she received an Oscar nomination for best actress.

In 1964 she was spotted by a television producer of no fixed ability, who auditioned her for the ITV "soap opera" Coronation Street. She appeared in this programme for 80 episodes and actually died on the set, having eaten one of Betty's dodgy hotpots.

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Sir Francis Drake (Explorer and Cricketer)

Arguably Maryport's most famous son. Sir Francis Drake was born at a very early age and contrary to popular belief, his mother was present at the birth. Born in 1540 in a run down terraced house on Collins Terrace, his love affair with the sea began at the age of 10, when his uncle took him on a weekend trip to the Isle of Man on the Whitehaven to Douglas ferry, to watch the motorbike racing.

Gripped by the excitement of the voyage, Francis decided that the sea would be his life and upon leaving Netherhall School in the Autumn of 1554, he went to The Lakes College in West Cumbria, where he obtained an HNC in Navigation Techniques and Advanced Knot Tying and Sail Making. In 1558 he got a job with a local shipping company and made regular voyages to the West Indies to play cricket. In 1565 he joined the Royal Navy, quickly rising through the ranks and within three years he was given his own ship, The Golden Hind, in which he circumcised the world.

In 1588, with tensions between the English and the Spanish rising, he set sail for Cadiz and upon entering the port, thought it would be a good idea to sink 30 ships from the Spanish fleet. This sparked a decline in relations between England and Spain and as a direct result of this, Real Madrid withdrew from the Champions League. King Louis Figo of Spain, was a bit dischuffed to hear this and he sent an Armada of Spanish Omelette Mix salesmen to attack England.

Drake was playing cricket at the Maryport Memorial Gardens, when news of an imminent Spanish attack broke on BBC News 24. Calmly, he finished the match, in which he broke his personal record, taking 7 wickets for just 24 runs. He then went home, got changed and set off for Maryport harbour to rally his troops. As soon as Drakes fleet of a measly 65 ships left Maryport harbour they came face to face with the Spanish in the Solway Firth and a long and vicious battle raged for fourteen days and nine nights.  Drake came away victorious, he had destroyed one of the worlds most powerful Navys and prevented the Spanish from flooding our shops with cheap omelette mix and was awarded the Victoria Cross and the George Medal by Queen Elizabeth the 1st.

In April 1594 he again set sail for the West Indies. Upon his arrival, he was invited to a special ceremony, where he was made Honorary President of the West Indies Olympic Dope Smoking Team. In January 1596, he loaded his ship with a rich cargo of spices, Spanish treasures and Spanish Fly, but he never made it home to England, he died on the 28th of January from dysentery, having left his packet of Imodium in a bedside cabinet at Grasslot.

Sir Francis Drake was buried at sea the following morning and tragically, six of his crew members drowned carrying his coffin.

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Cristiano Holdinho (Footballer and Legend)

Cristiano was born on Bounty Avenue in 1983 or thereabouts.

A talented footballer, he represented his primary school, junior school and senior school, failing to miss a match in almost 14 years, a remarkable achievement.

Upon leaving school in 2001, he went to Carlisle for a trial and thankfully, was found not guilty. The following year he was spotted by a Manchester United scout and invited for a trial at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson was amazed at what he saw and immediately offered Cristiano a four year contract, worth a staggering £85,000 a week. This was the start of something big, for the skinny gingertop from Maryport, a player who was so fast, he had to stop every five minutes to wipe the dead flies off his glasses.

Sir Alex said in a recent interview "this young lad will be remembered, he will rank amongst the best players in the world, Pele, Best, Cantona, he'll be up there"

Cristiano. on the day he signed for Man United.

On Saturday 8th of September 2001, Cristiano made his debut at Old Trafford, scoring all 16 goals in Manchester United's 8 - 8 draw with Bradford City. After the game, Sir Alex said " I told him I wanted him to score at both ends of the pitch, I think he misunderstood me"

In 2002 Cristiano was called up to the England squad and made his debut away, against Poland at the Grasslotski Stadium. The Polish fish factory workers were no match for England and their "wonderboy" who knocked in 14 goals in the warm up and another 37 during the game. The following morning, the Daily Mirror's headline read.............."Who is Holdinho" ?

The press couldnt get enough of him, he was front and back page news and on Friday 28th September he made it onto PAGE THREE of The Sun, ahead of Jordan.

In 2003, Cristiano discovered Herbal Tea and regularly took part in tea drinking sessions with old hippies, left over from the 1960's. Cristiano was warned by both family and friends, to stop taking mind altering substances and concentrate on his career, but sadly, it was too late. The following year he became hooked on "Brainstormer" a local cider, made from apples, turnips, beetroot and Greggs Pasties and once addicted, his career began to go rapidly down hill.

On the 18th November 2003, Cristiano failed to meet up with the England squad at their hotel in Botswana ahead of a friendly match, choosing instead, to go home to Maryport and spend the week, sitting in the sun, burning his legs, drinking highly discounted cider, Ginseng Tea and injecting himself with Jack Daniels. A photograph of Cristiano's "lost week" appeared in national newspapers and this was to be the begining of the end.

When Sir Alex Ferguson saw the photograph (see below) he was livid and immediately sold Cristiano to Real Wigton for £135. Cristiano played just 2 games for Wigton before running off to Workington on the beer, he never played again and England was robbed of watching, probably, the best footballer this country has seen, since Diego Renwick.

 

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Homer      (Greek Poet and Inventor of the Pigeon)

Homer, the most famous of all Greek poets, was born on Bradbury Avenue in 82 BC.  His first work "The Iliad", was written in The Swan at Ellenborough after several pints of Scotch Bitter, his second, The Odyssey was written later that night, in The Swan.

In his lifetime, Homer wrote an incredible 14379 poems, 372 operas, 638 plays, 437 Mills and Boon books, 158 betting slips and at least 7 shopping lists.

In 68 BC, Homer was voted the worlds favourite poet, ahead of Jasper Carrott and  Sir John Betjemin.

In 63 BC, bored with the long walk to Ellenborough to write poetry, he retired to The Crown Inn, Senhouse Street, where he invented the pigeon and spent the afternoons describing to the locals, in great detail, how he wrote his car off in a freak accident involving a huge truck, a pensioner, a stray dog and a Dalek at the junction of Ewanrigg Road and Bounty Avenue.

Homer was last seen in a pigeon loft on Sandy Lonning in 54 BC, it is not known if he is still alive.

Howard Hughes    (Billionaire and Aviator)

Born on Wood Street in 1905, Howard Hughes was to become a legend in his own lunchtime.

At the age of 15, he went to Oxfam University, where he studied aerodynamics, aeronautics and advanced beer drinking. 

In 1923, he inherited a huge industrial company and became a billionaire as the head of The Hughes Aircraft Company which was based on the Glasson Industrial Estate.

In 1935 he built the largest aircraft hangar in the world and instructed his engineers to build the largest plane in the world.........The Spruce Moose.

Finally, after 10 years of hard graft, several patties and the odd can of Scotch Bitter, the plane was finished and was loaded onto the back of the largest trailer in the world, ready for its short journey to the largest runway in the world, on top of Mote Hill.

At 10.45 a.m. on the 17th of February 1945, some 200 horses slowly pulled the giant aircraft through the narrow streets of Maryport, to the top of Mote Hill.

People from all over the country and Lowca packed the streets to see the inaugural flight. At 15.22p.m. having carried out the final pre flight checks, Howard Hughes emerged from the cockpit and announced that he and several carefully chosen friends, would attempt to fly, non-stop, around the world.

Howard acknowledged the applause from the throng of people and then began to stock up the plane with the essential things needed for such an epic journey.

The Spruce Moose was stocked with 300 cases of John Smiths Bitter (pre widget), 175 boxes of XL Cheese crisps, an assortment of mixed sandwiches and pastries from the Cottage Pie and quite a few low budget porn dvd's.

Unfortunately, they forgot to stock it with a pilot and two minutes into its maiden flight, The Spruce Moose crashed into the Elizabeth Dock.

Howard didnt only sink into the dock that day, he also sank into a profound depression and vowed never to fly again.

He lived out his remaining years in The Crown on Senhouse Street where he wasted his fortune on the gambler.

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Anna Ford  Broadcaster and Inventor of the Model T