CAN you remember what happened to it? It’s a question I often ask myself when I am casting my mind back. And I know I’m not the only one to do so. And when you get the answer, your response can often be one of disbelief. Surely it can’t have been all those years ago?

And it gets worse. How many times have you walked past what once was, in your lifetime, an empty space or an abandoned building? It’s one thing to regret their disappearance – but all too often I scratch my head and wonder just what was there.

But then I’ve never been too good at remembering names. In my much younger years I could usually get away with jokingly calling someone, whose name had escaped me, Fred or Jim. Most people back then would recognize the Goon Show connection – but that was a long time ago. So long, I might even have forgotten these names myself.

So who remembers the railway bridge in Harrington Road? It was 150 years old when it was demolished in 1981.

And who remembers the old Workington Fire Station, which had, reportedly, been based at King Street since 1945? The brigade moved to its new premises at Moorclose in July 2013.

Another and much older building to disappear, back in 1973, was The Thomas Wilson School in Guard Street, Workington. It was opened in 1831. I can remember this old building. I always thought it to be quite impressive in appearance. After it had been closed as a school it was briefly occupied by Condura Fabrics before that firm was relocated to a new factory in Flimby.

Who remembers the Tuscan Villa, another aged and venerable building? Had you strolled round Workington in May 1978, you would have witnessed its demolition. It was initially gutted and later bulldozed. In its place stands the health centre.

I know that there is a constant need for a continuous updating of some of our local establishments but there are occasions when I wonder if their replacements are improvements. I don’t think we can afford change for change’s sake!

Have you got a load of old photos stashed away in your house? I bet you have. Have you looked at them recently – if at all? Are they of historical interest? If so, why not offer them to a local Archives Record Office, museum or local library with a local history collection? Today’s photographs are tomorrow’s history.

Tucked away in the District News column of the West Cumberland Times for February 7 1925 was a short report of a “Greysouthen Whist Drive” which had been held in the Greysouthen Schoolroom, with Mr G Boyes as M.C.

The same column reported on the Workington Town Band’s weekly whist dance, held on Saturdays. The previous week’s column reported on a whist drive held in Banklands Schoolroom organised by the Workington Catholic Women’s League.

On the Friday night a whist drive was held in the Oxford Café and 150 people turned up. They weren’t the only Cumbrians playing whist. Over in Manchester, members of the local branch of the Manchester, Cumberland and Westmorland Association held a whist drive on the Wednesday of that week.

Back in the Twenties whist was an extremely popular activity – and so it was in the Fifties. I well remember various older family members playing it at least once a week – ordinary whist and military whist. Now, I’ve never played the game so I have no idea what the difference is. It seems that military whist involved much moving around from table to table – and the collecting of flags.

I know that the prizes on offer for these various activities varied greatly. Some of them were cash prizes, and as I remember canteens of cutlery were popular prizes. My childhood home back in Birkenhead was littered with these. As I remember, we never used them to eat with! I wonder what happened to them. What did we do with drawers full of cutlery canteens before the age of the charity shop was with us. Talking of which, when did charity shops start trading in our area? Anyone know?

In the unlikely event that I wanted to play whist, where would I find somewhere to play nowadays? I do get the impression that a whist drive is very much a thing of the past. Unless, of course, you know any different!