A mass walk was held to Piel Island in July 2011 as part of a writing project designed to find out how much the island meant to locals and tourists.

A fascinating Victorian visitor book survived from the island’s Ship Inn and a modern version was being prepared to show what 21st century people got from their journey to Piel by foot, cycle, horseback or even helicopter.

Around 150 people made the crossing, joined by borough mayor and walk guide John Murphy, naturalists and members of Barrow arts group Artgene.

They had the opportunity to fill in sheets to be placed in the new visitor book to be kept in the refurbished Ship Inn.

Among the contributions at a display on the island was one by Christine Dacre, who sent her happy childhood memories of growing up on Piel in the 1950s.

She wrote: “My grandparents, Sarah and Dan Rooney, moved into the Ship Inn at Piel in 1955.

“The building was in need of serious renovation after a fire. There was no upstairs to the building and all the rest was fire damaged.

“My grandad, along with help from his brothers, set to work on the building renovations there were no grants from the council in those days.

“Bit by bit it came to be the Ship Inn most of us remember.

"My mum, Eileen and myself moved into the Ship Inn during 1956 and actually lived there until March 1964.

"My younger brother Keith was born in 1959 and he also shared this unique childhood.

"I can remember wandering around the island carrying a radio as a companion. The radio was almost as big as me!

"I would make mats out of the bullrush leaves, paint shells, embroider, knit and do jigsaws. We never watched the television.

"We had a goat for milk, chickens for eggs and I had a pet tortoise."