Tag Archives for Lake District

Look after the nippers

View of the beach from New Polzeath.Image via Wikipedia

It is not often in Cornwall that you are hoping it will rain but when you are a lucky entrepreneur, you arrive in time for a heat-wave.  On one day I hoped for a little rain to clear the car park and the beach so I could enjoy peace and quiet.  It is amazing how many people come down to the beach on hot and sunny days.  Numbers are up but many visitors to Cornwall are spending their money in the supermarkets and cutting back on going out for meals.  This is not good for the many passive equity companies in Cornwall that are in the catering tradesuch as Dobles, many with second and third generations at the helm.  Let us hope that they do not fulfill the old adage of clogs to clogs in three generations.  Hope they all have a good business plan.  You could spend your holiday seeking out active equity companies funded by Finance Cornwall but it is more fun to taste the delights of local producers (nearly all passive equity companies) such as Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream and St Austell Brewery.  There is also the onerous task of seeking out the best Cornish pasty.  Try starting with the forty members of the Cornish Pasty Association.

As in the Lake District, there is a tension between the locals who make their money from the visitors, and the incomers who are seeking a paradise of peace and quiet with incomes funded by public sector or large company pensions.  The remains of the tin mines remind us all that Cornwall was a very important industrial area and a wealth creator.  It is only comparatively recently that it has become a holiday and retirement county.  I stayed in the village of St Agnes, on the north coast, which was split by plans to bring in the popular Beach Break Festival from Polzeath to the farm which used to host the Surfers Against Sewage Ball.  The local bakery expected to sell £20,000 worth of pasties to the 10,000 festival goers.  Local campsites would have been full.  But others were concerned with disruption to their paradise.

The West Briton reported that “the three-day event featuring top national bands should have filled the farm fields with revellers. But that all changed when Cornwall Council’s planning committee members ignored their officers’ recommendation for approval and threw out the application”.  The locals blamed recently retired in-comers with time to spare and cash to produce detailed reports (always remember the bats and newts) and then bussed in the protesters to attend the planning meeting.  To add salt to the local’s wounds, one of the incomers was then elected to the local council!

You can see both points of view but as I was woken by the sound of a beach party one night, I turned over and dreamed of times long ago when I would have been “moon-walking”! (I wish. Ed).  Even in Cambridge we manage with May Week and Strawberry Fair although I gather that the Jesus College Ball had to finish early.

One evening I was lucky enough to be down at Trevaunance Cove when the Nippers Club of St Agnes Surf Club ( 7-12 years old, boys and girls) had a training evening.  It was very special to see nearly fifty kids and their supervisors set out for a distant cove. The nippers take their training very seriously and are taught great respect of the sea and how to help each other.  The purpose of the training is to provide volunteers for the surf club, people willing to risk their lives to save others.  It is them against the elements and such a very different atmosphere from watching nippers play football, tennis or rugby with parents urging their children on from the sidelines.  Which sport prepares people best for the business world where team work and leadership are such valuable skills?

So the message from Cornwall is “Please do come and stay.  We understand that times are tough but do make sure that some of your money is spent with local firms”.  To those who wish to move to paradise, remember that Cornwall is for all.  Although sometimes festivities for the young can be disruptive, it is not for long and one day those youngster will be the next older visitors to Cornwall and bring their children.  And you will feel safer in paradise guarded by one of those nippers who has grown up and may even have enjoyed a beach party or two!

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Last walk for 2008, lovely ladies and brave, brave men

Patterdale village with Place Fell behindImage via WikipediaWhat better way of finishing the year than a walk with John Morrell, the best walking guide in the Lake District.  With strong winds in the weather forecast on the tops and rain later, John decided on a walk from Patterdale, over Beda Fell (just behind Place Fell) down to Martindale and back along Ullswater to the car.

We started the walk across the valley to the trekking stables where the kids spent a wonderful and very wet day many years ago.  Then it was slowly up to Beda Fell with glorious views over the fells and Hellvelyn.  We expected it to be a quiet day but we came across a number of walkers and some ten rather earnest people taking their Mountain Leadership test.   Lucky them, they were to camp out in the rain and I hope they found a site sheltered from the strengthening winds.  Soon we could see Martindale below with the two churches and one of the oldest yew trees in the country.

I remembered taking a young american girl to Martindale forty years ago and think it was to the older and smaller church.  John and I were looking for a memorial to a local lad lost in the war and a friend of my Father.  We found the beautiful window dedicated to the crew of the H.M.S.Glorious, sunk in Norwegian waters in 1940.  There are brave men and women today fighting for freedom and brave today and so good to remember them amidst all  the news of delinquent city kids today.  The window is described as “The ship lies along the length of the window cleaving the seas, with the stars of heaven above”.

Outside we met a group of young ladies from Flixton Girls’ High School, Urmston, Manchester who were spending a week at Ullswater Outward Bound.  They were very chatty and looking forward to a dry bed after spending a night under canvas – just a pity that they had not visited either church.

On the walk back from Martindale, we saw a lovely cottage to rent and then met another group of Flixton girls coming down from the fells – happy to be away from city life and enjoying the countryside.  They were led by David from Ullswater Outward Bound who had taken them caving at Ingleton the day before.

Then we went for a drink at the Kirkstone Pass Inn but it was closed.  I wonder what sort of business plan resource  the owners use.  The Queen’s Head, Troutbeck, made us very welcome and then it was back to Ambleside to plan walks to keep me fit so I can join John on his one week walk in the Spring.

What a way to end 2008 with lots of fresh if rather damp air, the best of the young and memories of my Father and brave, brave young men.

PS Thanks to Frog in the Fields for the spelling alert – I prefer typo!

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From the hills to the sea

The pier at Southwold, Suffolk, EnglandImage via WikipediaA wonderful week in the Lake District with an all day walk round the Fairfield Horse shoe.  Not a good idea in my new boots as I said in a previous post.  On Friday, John Morrell of Walkingways made me brave the rain and walk up Black Crag and down to Tarn Howes and back to the start at Skelwith Bridge, the home of Kirkstone Slate.  John does not like the local as they were rude to him once many years ago so we moved on to the Britannia Pub at Elterwater.  No fires as they were waiting for the chimney-sweep to arrive.  The beer was excellent.

Enough of the hills and soon it will be time to travel to Southwold to enjoy the pier.   The pier was bought by Stephen and Antonio Bournes in 2005.  Judging from their website they have done well with their business plan and increased foot traffic from 500,000 to 650,000.  We will have to chose a quiet day as we do not want any salt-spray getting into the motor of the mobility scooter.

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One year, never forgotten

CUMBRIA, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 2004: In this handout photograph, supplied by the Metropolitan Police, A general view of the area  in Cumbria where terrorist suspects, Yassin Omar, Hussein Osman, Adel Yahya, Ramzi Mohammed and Said Ibrahim were photographed by surveillance officers during a camping trip to the Lake District in May, 2004 in Cumbria, United Kingdom. Five of the six suspects standing trial for the July 21, 2005 attempted terrorist attacks on the London transport network were photographed on a camping trip in the Lake District 14 months prior to 21/7. (Photo by Metropolitan Police via Getty Images)Image by Getty Images via DaylifeIt is the end of the first year without my Father. You all know how I feel so no need to add – just time to think and reflect. And the best place to be is in the Lake District so I am on my way.

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