Harrington History Group

West Cumbria is a relatively remote part of Great Britain and it's history is not well known nationally. Originally an agricultural area, the demand for coal from the West Cumbrian coalfields to help fire the industrial revolution led to extensive development of the coal mining industry. There were many pits in the area from Maryport in the north down through Flimby, Siddick, Workington and Whitehaven with several in Harrington.

This in turn led to the expansion of Harrington harbour to ship the coal to Ireland and other destinations. The growth of the harbour created demand for ships and a thriving shipbuilding industry developed including sail makers and a large ropery. Harrington ships voyaged all over the world, many of them meeting their fates in far-off countries

The existence of good quality iron ore in the area led to the building of several ironworks in Workington, Harrington and Cleator Moor and in turn to the steelworks of Workington which supplied rails to much of the world right up to August 2006.

At it's industrial peak Harrington had a busy harbour, an iron works, brick works, five railway stations, coal mines, chemical works, shipbuilding, sand pits and quarries. Almost all these are now gone, except the one station and the harbour, which is now a marina. Almost the entire harbourside settlement, together with the ironworks etc. have been long demolished and the marina area is now a popular leisure facility.

The Harrington History Group was founded in 1998 after the future members met on a local history course held in the Roman Catholic Parish Hall in Harrington.

Thirteen people attended the course given by Mike Gregson (right) of the West Cumbria College.

They were introduced to the academic methods used by historians, learning to select and evaluate information from a variety of sources. They had to learn to distinguish fact, opinion and judgement and to identify any gaps or inconsistencies in material.

Members of the group brought their own collections of photographs and other material to meetings and following discussions they decided to record their personal memories of life in Harrington.

Each of the members contributed a short piece on a chosen subject of particular interest to themselves. These pieces were put together to create their first book "Memories of Harrington 1900 - 2000" in 2000 which sold out two printings.

The history group are building up a large archive of old local newspapers on microfilm which are painstakingly browsed by members to discover stories relating to Harrington. Hopefully these, together with stories and memories supplied by members of the public, will provide material for many books to come in the future.

Book 1
(no longer available)


Book 2
(no longer available)

Book 3

Book 4

Book 5

Book 6

Book 7

Book 8

Book 9

Book 10


Book 11

The NEW Book

Books 1 and 2 are now no longer available.

Books 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are all available and are £5 each.

The new Book 11 is £8

+ £1.80 per book if sent by post in UK.

If you live abroad we will advise you of postal charges.
Books can be picked up if you live locally (by arrangement).

Books 3 to
11 can be purchased on eBay.

If you would like to purchase any of the books directly from us,
or you have any comments, memories or photographs of old Harrington,
the History Group would be pleased to hear from you,

either by Email - click here > Harrington History Group

or write to -
Harrington History Group
c/o Harrington Youth Club
Church Road, Harrington,
Cumbria, CA14 5PT