After the Second World War, the nuclear industry moved into Calder Hall, which became Windscale, then — in 1981 — Sellafield. People stayed away in droves. They still do. Never mind that the mines and steelworks have closed. Or that, in 2020, Public Health England estimated that the chance of swallowing a lethal radioactive particle near Sellafield was one in a hundred billion. Or indeed that on a 120-mile coastline there’s room enough for the odd patch of post-industrial blight. This is probably the last coastal county in England that most of us would consider for a seaside holiday. I was no different, even though in my teenage years I actually lived in the east of the county. In fact, the publicity has been so unremittingly negative in my lifetime that my main concern was not that the beaches would be too crowded. It was that I wouldn’t see them for slag heaps.
Times 18th July 2021 read more »