I hear that the Bowes Museum, just up the A66, has a family friendly prehistoric focus this month through to September 27th. Prehistoric artifact displays sound very good and there’s even a chance to make your own pottery and crafts prehistoric style! The following itinerary is from The Bowes Museum’s webpage and may be subject to change, so check their Prehistoric People page for the latest information.
16 May, 10.00 – 12.30 or 1.30 – 4.00
Adults can enjoy a hands-on experience of with expert Graham Taylor during this practical workshop. Be transported back in time to see authentic prehistoric pottery and explore how people prepared clay to make pots, before creating your own replica. £17.50 per adult, which includes refreshments. To book a place, call 01833 690606; payment is required at the time of booking.
Prehistoric People Crafts
20 July, 6 & 21 August, 10.30 – 3.30
An opportunity to explore the exhibition and to try your hand at making Stone, Bronze and Iron Age inspired creations to take home in this drop in family activity. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.
Stone Age to Iron Age – Family Fun Day
28 July, 11.00 – 4.00
Come along to a day crammed with fun and informative activities, including storytelling with children’s author Adam Bushnell, creating a hunting headdress, making a cave painting and following a themed trail. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.
Creative Cave Painting
14, 24 & 25 August, 10.30 – 3.30
Enjoy a unique opportunity to create your own cave painting in this exciting drop-in workshop. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.
This may be of interest to Cumbrians and visitors, as we have perhaps the finest prehistoric heritage of any county in the UK.
See what’s happening at http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/en-us/visitus/whatson/prehistoricpeople.aspx
What do you treasure in Cumbria? Treasures of Cumbria is a new online cultural resource launched in January 2014 by The Cumbria Museum Consortium. It is, in a sense, an extra-mural extension of the museums into cyber-space – a website serving as a public archive of the Cumbrian things, places, memories, people, songs, poetry, recipes and traditions that people think are special, worth sharing and preserving. Even the soundscapes, such as the sound of a water wheel turning at Little Salkeld Mill and interesting memories recounted, such as The Mysterious Fire of Morecambe Bay are treasures that people value and that deserve preservation. They have meaning and lasting value.
A classical example of a Cumbrian treasure preserved for the county on this system is the wonderful Roman cavalry sports helmet that was found recently at Crosby Garrett, and displayed at Tullie House before leaving Cumbria forever.
How many more treasures are out there to be revealed? This is going to be a very interesting and valuable resource.
The digital revolution enables people to enjoy and share the things that they value in multi-media format – images, text, video and audio recordings. Treasures of Cumbria is a remarkable project that harnesses the recent developments in consumer-level digital equipment and information technology in a highly accessible way. The content management system is free to use and accessible to people of all ages and walks of life. It is likely to be highly useful to communities that wish to celebrate their distinctive qualities. A key thing to remember is that we must respect Copyright law and not copy material from existing publications whose copyright has not expired. There is some guidance on that on the website. Contributors retain copyright for their contributions but allow CMC copyright for them too.
Tullie House Staff Introduce Treasures of Cumbria at Lyvennet Activity Group Lunch Club
Proof came that there’s no age limit to the digital revolution on Thursday, February 6th, as staff from Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum visited The Lyvennet Activity Group’s Lunch Club (LAG) at The Butchers Arms Community Pub and explained the Treasures of Cumbria project after a nice sociable lunch. The staff demonstrated use of the website on their iPad tablets, and on lap-top computer equipment kindly provided to LAG by Cumbria Community Foundation‘s Health and Well-being Community Fund administered by Action For Communities in Cumbria (ACT).
The staff explained that we can use the system to celebrate the things that we treasure here and make them known to others by registering as a contributor and uploading photographs and information about each treasure.
As anyone who knows Cumbria knows very well – we do have a lot of treasures around here; the physical include those that are primarily natural, our fells, valleys, rivers, lakes, fields and forests, to things cultural: our glorious monuments ancient to modern, our many stone circles, castles, Churches and superb Cathedral and our traditions and memories.
The new website has been launched but will be subject to improvements over time as and when the need becomes apparent. The address is: http://www.treasuresofcumbria.org.uk/
- To publish your treasures you need to register with the system, the process of registration is very easy.
- Then you enter your profile information,
- Click on the “Add a Treasure” button and upload your media and related information for the treasure.
An important feature on the site is the map that shows people where the treasures are in the County.
There are various ways you can browse for treasures. You can use the map to discover them or search by contributor or view the treasures in order of popularity and date added to the system.
Tullie House and Art Gallery Trust in Carlisle is the lead partner and accountable body for the partnership which includes Lakeland Arts in Kendal and Bowness and the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere. This Consortium is funded by Arts Council England (www.artscouncil.org.uk) through their Renaissance Major Grants Programme.
The CMC partners own website addresses written out are: www.tulliehouse.org.uk , www.lakelandartstrust.org.uk and www.wordsworth.org.uk
To conclude I quote the important message from the new website that hopefully will encourage you to record your treasures large and small:
A treasure is something that’s meaningful to you.
The Eden Valley in Cumbria has some lovely hidden treasures tucked away in the folds of its landscape and recently we have been fortunate to visit some of them. Christ’s Church in Ivegill is one such. Here, in the nicely tree-shaded churchyard with the gentle sound of the beck in the background we admired Brian Cowper’s ‘Wings Of Peace’ sculptural sundial.
Carved in marble, primarily white with some light smoky grey clouds, the sculpture is topped with a silvery reflecting ball gracefully flanked by the spread of dove’s wings.
Not merely decorative, the Wings Of Peace sculpture is a carefully calibrated instrument – a functional chronometer when the sun shines that marks the passing of time as the shadow sweeps across the wings, the hours being the gaps in the feathers.
The Sculptor, Brian Cowper explained to us that you can’t just buy an off-the-peg sundial from anywhere and expect it to work well by aligning the shadow to the correct time whenever and where-ever you choose to set it down. Very soon the shadow will cease to correspond with the markings for the hours.
In order to work properly as a time-keeper, calculations need to be made for the angle of sunlight at the location of any particular site, and the design of the dial and blade (gnomon) would need to correspond to these, and even then the observer will need to add (and occasionally subtract minutes) as the angle of the sun wanders throughout the year. Brian showed us a graph plotted with a shape similar to a figure of 8 or infinity symbol that shows the recommended time correction day-by-day for this sundial. This creation is quite an amalgamation of art and science.
With sundials you can see the relationship between location and sun time. It is a funny thought that before the coming of the railways, clock time was set locally and would differ considerably from place to place leading to people sometimes apparently arriving at destinations ‘before’ they had set-off to get there. With fast international Jet travel between time zones you can experience a similar paradox.
Readers may be interested to know that this year marks the 25th Anniversary of The British Sundial Society.
Come and watch amateur and professional hedge layers competing to lay the best hedge.
Competitors and spectators free entry!
HEDGE LAYING COMPETITION AND TRAINING DAY
Where: Sunny Bank Farm at Grayrigg, next to the A685 (Grid Ref 583973)
When: Sat 22 February 2014, 9.00 am – 3.30 pm
For more information phone 01539 720788
or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.fld.org.uk
Friends of the Lake District, Murley Moss, Oxenholme Rd, Kendal, LA9 7SS
Registered Charity Number 1100759 Company Limited by Guarantee 4878364
Exciting news for a local digital education business in Morland! Adam of Invisible Orchard has been shortlisted (one of four contenders) for the Tate Britain IK Prize 2014. This is the first year of the prize, it recognises the most exciting digital creators in the UK today and Invisible Orchard is a contender!
The project is to create an incredibly Minecraft Map that will actually take players inside the art work, and even beyond, into the artist’s studio. Apparently the details and vision are amazing. Really exciting stuff and they are also the only family run, rural contender. The video even features the Orchard for a snap second.
There are 6 judges, and the seventh judge is the public.
So please, if you like the project or just want to support them, do cast your vote. It is super easy to do. Just go to the link below, watch the videos and cast your vote. And if you feel able to share this news, please do.
Here is the link to see the four shortlisted artists for the Tate IK prize. You can vote online for Adam and votes close on 24th Jan.
Here is a video with a bit about the project and some of the images, which gives a deeper insight into the scope of the vision and beauty. It was made by one of the international collaborating artists that Adam would like to bring in. We thought you might like to see it at: http://youtu.be/HA-xPW1M9q0
Askham Hall Christmas Market? Brilliant! Here’s a taste. Eggsquisite decorative items from caskets to Christmas tree ornaments by Christine Kendall Crafts of The North – all crafted from egg shells, the goose eggs from her own flock at The Spruced Up Goose
By Charles Paxton
All photos by C.Paxton of www.the webcat.biz apologies to those many that I didn’t photograph. Click on the images if you wish to view them larger.
Preparing for Christmas may be on your minds at the moment and Christmas Markets are ideal for getting something local and distinctive! One such is Askham Hall’s Christmas Market, held in the grounds and converted barn at the C13th Hall last Sunday. Askham Hall opened to the public last year offering 13 guest rooms, restaurant and party barn it’s a high class events venue, see Askham Hall’s website for more info. This sort of event is so good you just want it to live on!
This year there was a wider range of high quality local produce available than last, according to organiser Marie-Louisa Raeburn and there was a bigger turnout too, for the 32 local stall holders who were selling Christmas crafts and food and classic antiques. The Café sustained the merry throng with hot food and drinks. It was a cornucopia of produce from local businesses large and small.
From the number of cars it’s estimated that visitors numbered between 1,200 and 1,500. They came in a steady stream rather than a crush and were fortified by drinks and tasty snacks from the Café.
Marie-Louisa Reaburn, organiser said “We are delighted that our second Christmas Market, both outside and in our newly converted barn was such a success. A fantastic range of craft and food stalls, Santa’s grotto, hot food and mulled wine and an excellent turnout made it a fantastic day all round.”
First, let me tell you about the crafts; they ranged from the traditional to the highly contemporary, many highly distinctive: Christmas Wreaths with both aromatic and visual appeal, fragrances, haberdashery, gorgeous decorative eggs that bring Carl Faberge to mind from Christine Kendall Crafts of The North, available as caskets, standalone decorative ornaments and to hang on the Christmas tree.
Candles are essential for Christmas, and the lovely ornamental ones from Sarah McCraig Designs would grace any home. Delightful pressed flower and leaf ornamented wooden boxes by Anne Riddick somehow preserved the natural colours with great vividness. There were also reasonably priced and high quality local art photographs from Rod and Pauline Ireland The Out There People in a variety of sizes to suit your space, and postcard books of Cumbrian prehistoric sites and a Prehistoric Sites Trump card game by Charles and Kimberly Paxton of thewebcat.biz.
There were fine local ceramics from Little Bird Studio, Stuart Broadhurst Ceramics and Gwen Bainbridge Pottery and exquisite jewellery from Fire Frost, Scrappo Worko and Pendragon Crafts. All glittering under the lights and wooden beams of the barn.
More images of the crafts follow.
There was a broad range of good local food and drinks too. The drinks included organic pure pressed Cumbrian Apple Juice from Al and Jane Woodstrover of Beech Tree Farm, Reagill, also Jason Hill’s popular beers from the Eden Brewery at Brougham Hall, and for harder stuff, Bedrock Gin and Standing Stones Vodka from Vince Wilkins’ Spirit of the Lakes. Bet you didn’t know that Cumbria has its own gin and vodka distillery! As always drink responsibly.
High quality foods included tasty chocolates and Fudge, Northern Fells’ reared venison and beef from Deer ‘n Dexter, Free range poultry from Knipey’s Heartwood Poultry (you’ve got to love his hat!), choice baked goods from Country Fare and Nana Day, Bessy Beck’s awesome Smoked Trout and the formidably delicious Winter Tarn Cheese. Even the offering for breakfasts was top-notch with Rachael’s Kitchen Granola and Dalemain Marmalade.
Good condiments are absolutely essential for festive feeding and with Elliot’s Chutneys and Mr.Vikki’s extremely yummy spicy piccalillis at your elbow, those turkey left-overs will be a delight rather than a chore!
After the festive feeding and partying it only remains to make a date in your new diaries for next year’s Askham Christmas Market, it will be Sunday December 7th 2014!
NB. Charles Paxton received no remuneration for writing this article, but he did gain from selling his goods at the market and accrued experience with his new camera.
Askham Hall’s Christmas Market is firmly in our sights this Sunday! It’s hard to imagine a nicer venue for a market than the grounds of a lovely old stately home like this. The event will be held in the open air and the converted barn from eleven until four, and there’ll be a wide range of locally made produce on offer at reasonable prices including:
- locally sourced food and drinks,
- locally made arts and crafts suitable for gifts,
- Christmas wreaths and other decorations
Just what we need for our Christmas preparations.
Children will be excited at the prospect of meeting Santa Claus. Yes, Father Christmas will be coming and if you want to meet the old gentleman, this is the place to be on Sunday.
There’s free parking for market shoppers and Askham Hall’s cafe will be serving lunch, mince pies and mulled wine.
For more information click here to see Askham Hall’s website.
Click here for Askham Hall on Facebook
The author Charles Paxton has received no financial inducement for writing this feature, but he will be doing some Christmas shopping here and he will be offering for sale the new Prehistoric Sites of Cumbria Trump Card packs, great stocking stuffers at the 2013 Askham Hall Christmas Market!