Barrow’s 150th anniversary parade marks milestone in history of port and town

July 18, 2017

Image Caption: Barrow 150th anniversary celebrations on Sunday, 16 July

A spectacular parade filled Barrow’s streets with colour to mark the 150th anniversary of the Port of Barrow on Sunday, 16 July.

Celebrations were opened with the lifting of Michaelson Road Bridge by Gavin Andrews and Sonja Foster, two fundraising heroes rewarded for their community work after winning a local community competition.

Mr Andrews, Deputy Operations Manager at Dong Energy, has raised more than £40,000 for the North West Air Ambulance charity (NWAA) after the death of his son Joe, while Mrs Foster has raised funds for the Brathay Trust by running 10 marathons in 10 days for three years in a row.

He said: It’s a great honour to be opening the official celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the port. I’m Barrow born and bred and following a tragic accident with my son four years ago have been fundraising for the NWAA ever since. The NWAA do a fantastic job, that is vital and saves many lives, and we were shocked to learn that they rely on charitable donations.
“Since then, we have held events, done sponsored walks, anything really to raise money to support their valuable work. I’d like to stress that the funds we’ve raised are thanks to generous friends and family, people of Barrow and support from DONG Energy and other local companies, who have all helped us along the way.”

As part of the celebrations, a special plaque was also unveiled to cement the occasion in Barrow’s history. Councillor Tony Callister, Mayor of Barrow, unveiled the special plaque, and spoke of his pride at the honour.

Councillor Tony Callister, Mayor of Barrow, said: "I'm very proud of this day. It's probably going to be one of the best in my year as mayor because it's celebrating 150 years of an elite company that helping develop the Barrow coastline. The port is very, very important to attract bigger, better businesses to the area.”

The parade marched across the bridge through the town to the town quay, where spectators were able to enjoy live music, bouncy castles and docked vessels.

Carl Bevan, ABP Divisional Port Manager, said: “I would like to thank everyone involved in making this parade a great success, and especially our customers, without whom we wouldn’t be able to play the vital role we do in supporting the local community.

“At Barrow, we are proud to have played a key role in the economic prosperity of the town for the past 150 years and are committed to supporting Barrow’s vibrant local community. Together with our sister Port of Silloth, ABP and its customers contribute around £100m to the region’s economy and support more than 5,000 jobs.”