Just discovered this lovely blog post by Windermere Jetty about preserving and conserving the old sails in their collection. Their oldest sail (pictured here) belongs to 1934 17ft Windermere yacht, Dawn.
If you want to read more about their work click here.
The museum is committed to conserving, saving and sharing the internationally important Windermere boat collection and their focus is on telling the stories behind these boats and they want to actively involve visitors in the crafts and tradition that built them.
Windermere Jetty, designed by Carmody Groarke architects, is due to re-open in 2017. In the meantime the museum is ‘Just Visiting’ Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre.
The dry stone walls of the Lake District are such beautiful things. Walking alongside and over them on our ramblings across the South Lakes we have become quite adept spotting various holes and ledges in these field enclosures.
There’s a SMOOT which, I think, is any small hole generally ground level in the wall. I have come across two types: a Water Smoot for drainage and a Rabbit Smoot. I was curious as to why a farmer would take the trouble to build a rabbit tunnel until I came across this on the Ruskin Museum’s website :
“Smoots allowed rabbits and hares to pass from the fell into the intakes (fields). Sometimes stone-lined pits were dug below the smoots having a wooden trough, above which was a counter- weighted trap door. The rabbit would fall into the pit and this could be used to supplement a countryman’s diet.”
Occasionally in walls beside farms, we have also come across a small recess with a slate base. This is a BEE BOLE. The farmer would put his straw bee hive or skep on this to protect it from rain and wind. A Bee Bole usually faced South to South East so that the morning sun would warm up the hive. You can see a Bole at Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top though it is filled with a more modern hive. Click here for more about Hill Top.
If you are interested in discovering more about Bee Boles there’s a delightful website run by the International Bee Research Association called the Bee Bole Register. (What else?) Click here for the link.
And a SQUEEZE STILE is just as you would imagine … instead of steps built into the wall, you must squeeze through the small gap. Unfortunately, overweight dogs of the Team Rigg party need to be lifted over the obstacle.
The window seats in the sunroom of Sykehouse Cottage is made from some truly beautiful and very local slate.
The Broughton Moor Quarry, half way between Broughton and Coniston, has been worked since the mid 19th century. It gives a wonderfully rich mid-green stone with a beautiful tone and pale veins which give a distinctive and very pleasing range of irregular markings. This makes it a favourite for stylish interiors (like ours, obviously …) and can be seen in our local merchant’s showrooms, Burlington Slate. Their main website is www.burlingtonstone.co.uk
Held at West Park, known locally as the “Show Ground”, Millom & Broughton Show is on the last Saturday in August every year. The field is easy to find: the first on the right running along the Coniston road and is a short walk from the holiday cottage. If you are lucky enough to be in the area, it’s a lovely way to spend a day.
The Show is relatively small – contained in the one field – but has lots to look at and enjoy. There are usually dog agility displays, fell racing, Cumberland wrestling and hound trailing, as well as all the livestock entrants, poultry tent and the fiercely competitive vegetable and flower competitions.
The tribe has variously entered edible necklaces, animals made out of vegetables, best handwriting of a poem and decorated wellies. More senior members of the tribe enter marmalade, bread and photographs.
Other local shows in August 2015 are:
A Celebration of Boats, Steam and Stories from Windermere Jetty at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House: Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 August, 10.30am – 5pm
Our very favourite Arts and Crafts house is planning a marvellous weekend of interactive arts and crafts for the last weekend of August. In the grounds, there will be innovative sculptures, live music, craft activities, and a large scale creative weaving project and much more.
A great fun Lancaster-based theatre company called Inner State who seem to specialise in “Boats with Legs” will be performing and Dan Fox’s Sound Intervention will be creating some marvellous sounds.
Admission includes entrance to the house, exhibition and all activities. Adult £8.50 (without donation £7.70), Children FREE. More details about the event, click here.
Guests with children at Sykehouse Cottage regularly say how much they enjoyed the Zoo at Dalton which is a 10 mile / 20 minute drive away.
The Zoo describes itself as a “Safari Zoo” because you can “safari” around some enclosures on foot. They have a good range of big animals including rhinos, lions, tigers, bears, hippos, wolves, snow leopards, jaguar, giant otters, primates, vultures, and penguins. There is an opportunity to hand feed giraffes, penguins and lemurs and there’s also an adventure playground and new coffee shop for 2015.
The Zoo is open all year apart from Christmas Day and children are free with the paying adult.
We were particularly pleased to learn that in March their second West African Giraffe was born. These beautiful animals with their distinctive light coloured spots are very rare animals; only 61 of these giraffes were living in the wild in Niger 10 years ago.
For more details, just follow this link to their website.
If you are in the South Lakes this Summer, why not pop into Blackwell to see their exhibition : Evelyn De Morgan: Artist of Peace which is running until 13 September? Evelyn was the wife of the (nowadays) more well known Arts and Crafts ceramicist, William de Morgan. In their day, William (1839-1917) and Evelyn (1855-1919) De Morgan were both highly respected artists in their own right. In addition to art, they became involved in many of the leading issues of their time including prison reform, women’s suffrage, pacifism and spiritualism.
The show focuses on the pacifism of Evelyn and her reaction both the First World War and the Boer War; many of the works were shown in her 1916 exhibition held in aid of the Red Cross.
De Morgan’s paintings bear the influence of early Renaissance art as well as that of her Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries, yet her style is distinctive in its rich use of colour, allegory and the dominance of the female form. Following from her interest in Spiritualism, her paintings frequently display an interest in the confinement and limitations of the physical body on earth. Often this is resolved through death.
All the work is on loan from the De Morgan Foundation whose interesting website can be found here.
“Shall we suppose it a greater pleasure to the sportsman to pursue a trivial animal, than it is to the man of taste to pursue the beauties of nature?”
The idea of scenic pleasure touring in this country rather than abroad began in the mid C18th and with it came a new aesthetic approach which disregarded symmetry to focus more on accidental irregularity and the charm of the “rustic”. A leading thinker of this new approach was Cumbrian born, Gilpin. His writings were a direct challenge to the ideology of the Grand Tour and he showed how an exploration of rural Britain could compete with the Continent.
Gilpin was born in Scaleby, just north of Carlisle, on 4 June 1724. From an early age, he was a sketcher and collector of prints, but while his brother became a painter, William went into the church and subsequently became a headmaster. His interest in prints produced instructional writing and, in his Essay on Prints (1768), Gilpin defined picturesque as “that peculiar kind of beauty, which is agreeable in a picture”.
Picturesque-hunters began visiting the Lakes hunting out suitable scenes to sketch using Claude Glasses – tinted mirrors to frame and darken the view, and named after the 17th century landscape painter Claude Lorrain. Of course, the Picturesque fashion was ripe for mockery and Gilpin was satirised in a comic poem, The Three Tours of Dr. Syntax, which was illustrated by Rowlandson. Here he is: “Tumbling in the Water”.
I wonder how many chasers of the Picturesque get into scrapes nowadays from concentrating on capturing that special view rather than where they are putting their feet?
What better way to spend a relaxing and inspiring weekend than wandering around artists’ studios chatting about their work and perhaps even buying something? At Sykehouse Cottage, we support locally made work and believe that knowing the artist creates an extra dimension to appreciation. The Green Door Art Trail takes place on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March this year and is spread across the South Lakes.
The collective was formed 20 years ago to provide low-cost studios in the Kendal area. Over the years, this not-for-profit co-operative has been involved in an enormous number of exhibitions and educational and community projects, run both by the organisation as a whole and by individual members. They are committed to bringing artists together and making contemporary art accessible to local residents and visitors to the area.
More than 50 artists, along with local galleries, will be opening their studios and homes for their 10th Art Trail. Painters, sculptors, printmakers, ceramic artists, textile artists, jewellers and glass-makers will be showing their work and the environment in which they create it.
For further information, click this link to go to their website.
We spent a glorious Easter Saturday last year walking around Eskdale, one of the most picturesque valleys in Britain. Starting at the car park by Trough House Bridge, we strolled along the banks of the River Esk then climbed up to the impressive falls of Stanley Ghyll Force. On the way we popped in to visit the beautiful little church of St Catherine’s. The building was much restored in c19th but still retains its simple charm. This beautiful valley is about half an hour’s drive from Sykehouse Cottage and you can find more information from the local website if you click here.