Dalton Since 1914 GAZ Dalton

DALTON since 1914

Economic Activity: By the end of the nineteenth century the area’s iron ore deposits were beginning to approach exhaustion: Park Mine closed 1921; by 1940 only two mines remained: Roanhead, which closed 1942 and Newton, the last iron ore mine in Furness,  which closed 1944. Askam Ironworks had closed in 1918 and the site was cleared in 1933. Goldmire Quarry and the brickworks at Greenscoe both survived and continue in operation. After Second World War a number of light industries opened in the area, including Furness Footware and Blair’s underwear factories (1948; closed 1983); K Shoes factory at Askam, (1953; closed 1996) and British Cellophane factory at Sandscale (1959; closed 1991). By 2000, Dalton and the surrounding villages had become dormitory towns for Barrow. Some tourism, notably South Lakes Wild Animal Park, opened 1994.

Places of Worship: notable that many places of worship have been exchanged between different religious groups: Seventh Day Adventists have occupied the original Primitive Methodist Church, Ulverston Road, since 1987; it had also previously been used by the Church of Christ in the early 20th century. St Margaret’s Anglican church, Ulverston Road, taken over by Roman Catholics in 1981 (RC church of Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Margaret of Scotland subsequently demolished). Greek Orthodox Church of St. Simon and St. Kentigern, founded 1997, took over Cemetery Chapel on Cemetery Hill.  Two imposing 19th-century places of worship which have been reused for secular purposes include the Baptist Church (1885), Broughton Road, now a bakery, and the Primitive Methodist Church (1883) has been converted to housing.  Places of worship surviving to 2012 include the parish church of St Mary (now combined with the benefice of Ireleth St Peter) and St Peter’s at Lindal. The Methodist Church, Wellington Street, occupies the original Wesleyan Methodist chapel of 1864. Since 1972, the United Reformed Church on Market Street has occupied the Congregationalist chapel of 1869, which itself had moved from the old Grammar School in Beckside Road. All other pre-1914 places of worship have been closed and either demolished or converted to other use.

Schools: Dowdales Mansion, purchased by Lancashire County Council, opened as Dowdales Central School (now Dowdales School) in 1928, becoming a county secondary school in 1948 and comprehensive in 1972. The Green School (site of Dalton’s 17th-century school) closed 1969; replaced by new St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Coronation Drive. Roman Catholic School, Ulverston Road, replaced 1972 by a new school, Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School, on Crooklands Brow. Primary schools in Nelson Street (all girls since 1928) and Broughton Road (boys) closed 1980 and replaced by new George Romney Junior School on Cobden Street. The Girl’s School of 1878 was renovated and became the Chapel Street Infant and Nursery School. The school on Duke Street, Askam, survived to celebrate its centenary in 1973 but closed shortly afterwards, its pupils transferring to the former Victoria School on Lots Road, which was rebuilt 1977 and is now Askam Village School.

Other Institutions: “Empire” cinema in Market Street, Dalton, opened 1912; refurbished and re opened as the “Roxy” in 1937; closed 1965.  “Electric Picture Palace” in the Co-operative Hall, Nelson Street, opened 1919; known locally as the “Co-op pictures”, it closed c.1960.  Leisure complex, including swimming pool, opened 1987.