‘Music for a Summer Evening’, 17th May at 4.30pm, Phoenix Strings at Maulds Meaburn Village Institute

Maulds Meaburn Village Institute, site of a Big Breakfast event

Maulds Meaburn Village Institute


The Phoenix String Orchestra

‘Music for a Summer Evening’


Saturday, 17th May

at 4.30pm


Tickets in advance:  £10-00; £5-00 for 5-11 year olds

Please ring Jane Owen:  01931 715 570

Alex Barbour:  01931 716 001


Proceeds will go to St. Lawence Church and Crosby Ravensworth and Maulds Meaburn Village Institute.


Pimms, soft drinks and nibbles are included in the ticket price and will be available during the interval.


Phoenix Strings was established on the Fylde coast in 2007, they will play light classical music and popular favourites.The Orchestra is proud to support charities, local initiatives and good causes.  John Foster,musical director and conductor, is known both as a performer and teacher throughout Britain and the USA.


For more information:  www. phoenixstrings.com

The Butchers Arms Wins Countryside Alliance Award – Friday, 27 January 2012

Originally posted on 04/02/2012

Winner – Lyvennet Community Pub The Butchers Arms, Crosby Ravensworth, Penrith, Cumbria, 01931 715722


Simon says: “Still a very new venture – the Butchers Arms only opened its doors last summer but this community-pub has been saved by an extraordinary and tenacious group of villagers who recognized that when the pub closed in 2009 something had to be done to retain such a vital element of the fabric of village life. Believing that “Local ownership leads to support” this community owned and run enterprise has demonstrated this in spades, with share holders from as far afield as Australia. The pub is now thriving, has been sensitively developed, enjoying increased turnover and now local people, including hunts and nearby shoots, have a great place in to meet and enjoy their community.”

Highly commended – R Fiddlers Lancashire Crisps, Rufford, Lancashire, 01704 823572
Local Food category
Winner: The Hollies Farm Shop, Little Budworth, Tarporley, Cheshire
Village Shop/ Post Office category
Winner: Antrobus Community Shop and PO, Antrobus, Knutsford, Northwich, Cheshire,

The Countryside Alliance Awards
Welcome to the website of the Countryside Alliance Awards, the Countryside Alliance’s unique annual celebration of rural life, produce and communities. Nicknamed “The Rural Oscars” these awards are broad in scope, highly coveted and a great morale boost to those in the running. The Countryside Alliance is the leading voice of rural Britain, and our Awards complement our wide ranging support and promotion of rural life.
The categories are as follows:
Local Food Award
Daily Telegraph Village Shop/ PO Award
Enterprise Award
Rural Hero (anyone heroic, no matter their age, line of work or what their heroic deeds, is eligible for nomination)
The Awards begin regionally, across ten regions:
Scotland (run as the Scottish Countryside Alliance Awards)
North East
North West
East of England
South East
South West
Regional finalists will be declared for each category in each region. They will then be judged and regional winners announced. Those regional winners then go forward to the grand final, which will be held at the Houses of Parliament in early 2012, attended by supportive Parliamentarians and media. At this final, the overall Champions, one in each category, will be declared.
Each region boasts its own judging panel, chaired by the Countryside Alliance’s regional directors. The overall Champions are chosen by a special panel which is chaired by Countryside Alliance Chief Executive Alice Barnard and also includes celebrated cook, author and countrywoman Clarissa Dickson Wright, the Daily Telegraph’s Philip Johnston, Farmers Guardian Editor Emma Penny and Hunter Boot’s Chris Dewbury.

Big Society Celebrated – Andrew Stunell MP Lays First Brick On Affordable Housing Project

Andrew Stunell MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Communities and Local Government with responsibilities for Housing and the Big Society laid the first brick in the Lyvennet Community Trust's affordable housing project.

Andrew Stunell MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Communities and Local Government with responsibilities for Housing and the Big Society laid the first brick in the Lyvennet Community Trust's affordable housing project.

Tuesday 19th July – Crosby Ravensworth enjoyed a ministerial visit from Andrew Stunell MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Communities and Local Government with responsibilities for Housing and the Big Society. The rain held off as this personable gentleman laid the first brick in the Lyvennet Community Trust‘s affordable housing project. He spoke at length with members of the community about the project and was clearly impressed by the dedication, determination and drive demonstrated by Mr. David Graham, Chair of the LCT and the others members of the trust involved in having achieved so much.

David discussed the plans with the MP and Mr. Gordon Nicholson before the commemorative brick was laid.

David discussed the plans with the MP and Mr. Gordon Nicholson before the commemorative brick was laid.

There was a nice crowd and friendly atmosphere at the ceremonial brick-laying

After celebratory applause and photography Andrew walked with the crowd up to The Butcher’s Arms community pub. Here he was met in the doorway by a lad with a spade who’d paused to take a breather – the volunteers had been hard at it. Andrew inspected progress and was full of praise for the hardworking volunteers’ efforts, he then delivered a very encouraging speech in the soon-to-be completed bar area. In the course of his speech he remarked upon the exemplary nature of the project, the importance of maintaining the pub as the heart of the community and as service hub and the delightful scenery which he felt sure would be powerfully attractive to visiting patrons, of which, he declared, he expected to be one!

Carlisle Conference Heralds Paradigm Shift Toward Localism!

By Charles Paxton (Broadband Champion for Lyvennet Valley Community)

Better communications are increasingly being seen as essential for appropriate societal response to some important challenges of our times. Inclusive information exchange is critically important for:

More effective local government, Rural business development, Community health care outreach, Neighbourhood, Farm and business security, Regional renewable energy target obligations.

On Saturday, January 17th, 2011,  interested members of the public participated in a conference at Carlisle Racecourse, hosted by Carlisle Parish Councils Association and sponsored by British Telecom plc. that as Ronnie Auld Chair of CPCA pointed out effectively heralds a paradigm shift away from traditional top-down, Big Government – Small Society,  toward bottom-up, Big Society local empowerment. Better communications are being seen as an essential element in the transition toward greater inclusion and participation. Make no mistake, we’re not just talking about modernising technology here, a crucial element of localism is the Big Society ideal of greater public engagement in our society in multiple ways, including frank and open public dialogue and debate about the way we would like things to be. The effective exchange of ideas, perspectives and factual information is naturally expected to communicate, refine and improve ideas that can then inform practice to help steer progressive development.

As resources aren’t infinite, an important motivational factor for us is efficiency, making the most of our available resources! This is true in all matters, but especially relevant when it comes to our communications infrastructure.

BT will be making the single largest private investment of all time into upgrading British Communications infrastructure in the UK! Two and a half billion pounds.

However, unless we act in a cleverly coordinated fashion to gain maximum leverage from our existing resources, then our remote rural areas, often referred to as “the final third”, are likely to be the last areas to be connected to future proof Next Generation Access speed broadband. That’s generally considered to be symmetrical broadband at over 50 Mbps download and upload (fast enough for telemedicine applications).  Ironically, it is just these remote areas that most need connectivity to overcome the challenges represented by geophysical rural isolation, according to recent reports:


There is open debate on BroadbandCumbria.com about how best to go about achieving an Eden-wide network and I recommend that you join the site, read up about it and have your say. It’s particularly important that you read The Eden Declaration (a credo statement for a desired level of service throughout Eden), and sign it too, if you agree with its contents.

The scale of the task is epic, the complexities are “eye-wateringly complex” (quoting Rory Stewart, our  MP for Penrith and The Border) but the impact is likely to resonate far into the future, promising a broad range of benefits.

The Localism Bill, likely soon to become an Act, promises to give the most local of our authorities, our Parish Councils, far greater say in many of the matters that concern us most – our local ones. This is both a momentous development and a very necessary one to help our communities cope appropriately with the current and future challenges of modern life, and just as crucially, to make the most of the opportunities.

Click here to view a digest of new powers that will help increase the influence of local authorities Localism digest

Ronnie Auld, Chair of Carlisle Parish Councils Association opened the conference with an introductory speech explaining the format of the conference, the first half examining the current problems associated with broadband in Carlisle District and its surroundings and the second half examining the likely impacts of the Decentralising and Localism bill currently before parliament. He pointed out that both the broadband problems and the localism agenda warranted an issues-based approach on the part of Parish Councils. He said Parish councils will be playing a very important role in the improvement of broadband in keeping with the Localism agenda. He drew attention to a Carlisle area survey document in our conference pack and said that alongside quantitive data about the speeds that people reported getting, there were comments that reflected that their broadband services left a lot to be desired, and compared very badly in some cases to conditions in other countries. He cited several examples of disastisfaction, one experienced problematic disconnections and just 0.39 Mbps of speed. He talked of the importance of including broadband in Community Planning.

See his speech below (kindly made available by John Popham)


He introduced the next speaker, Rt. Hon. Rory Stewart MP for Penrith and The Border, as our Broadband Champions’ Champion!

Rory Stewart, Broadband Champions' Champion emphasises that people inlocal communities know more, care more and can do more than remote officials.

Rory sits on the Localism Bill Committee and is one of the prime forces in the movement to bring more powers to the most local levels of government. He explained in no uncertain terms that community involvement would be essential in the effective roll-out of broadband throughout Eden and that unless there is seen to be a very good reason to stop them, the assumption should be to let each Parish or group of Parishes drive their project forward. He urged us to move away from the old state of affairs where Parish Councils  could only suggest things or be consulted to one where it is assumed that they know what they are doing.

He says “Let’s create a situation where people want to sit on Parish Councils because they know that they’ll have the power, the responsibility and sometimes the financial authority to bring about change.”

The necessity for popular local participation is partly due to financial considerations. In order to connect the 27,000 homes in Eden by conventional methods (@about £5000 per household) we’d be looking at a total of around £135 million.

He then explained that  funds have been allocated for a pilot study to help kick start the process, but that these funds were going to be spread thinly – “a proportion of £10 million” will come to Eden. This is where community support comes into it’s own. If we are prepared to gather, to define the demand and to aggregate it, to say that 70-80% of the community are prepared to use fast broadband then the economics become favourable for provision, if land owners are prepared to fore-go wayleaves, if communities are prepared to engage imaginatively and to use local assets, then the cost per premises could be reduced dramatically! Perhaps reduced to about £1000!

( Re asset sharing, please see this encouraging document (http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/business-sectors/docs/b/10-1308-broadband-deployment-sharing-infrastructure-summary-of-responses.pdf) that was drawn to my attention on broadbandcumbria.com shortly  after the conference!)

Barry Forde has since proposed a hypothetical plan that would employ great leverage, please click here to view

This is fascinating, we are now starting to get an idea of the potential tangible value in pounds of effective local democracy at Parish and Neighbourhood level and the potential value of intelligent mutualism within a competitive business framework! This is aside from, but would be compounded by the massive benefits to be derived from the better communications technology itself!

Localism clearly has major implications for our economic and social development.

Rory Stewart explaining how local community support can make fast internet accessible to Eden residents

Rory Stewart explaining how local community support can make fast internet accessible to Eden residents

Rory then said that if the Government were prepared to make patient finance available (perhaps via Parish Councils) that could be paid back at say £60 per year, then fast broadband service would seem far more attainable.

He then talked of the need to overcome a series of obstacles in technology, existing technical infrastructure and regulation. In order to make sure that the taxpayers £10 is used as well as possible then there’ll need to be an enormous amount of work done by government and civil servants. We’ll probably have a mixed solution. He cited the enormous amount of enthusiasm that was emerging in Parishes such as Crosby Ravensworth for super fast fibre to the home and said that while this unparalleled speed suited some people, he realises that other people may find a slower service acceptable.

He then introduced Bill Murphy of BT as the second guest speaker. His speech will be the subject of my next article.

Cum T’t Show! Thursday 26th August



Thursday 26th August 2010
from 10 am
at Low Bottom, Maulds Meaburn
(Between Kings Meaburn & Maulds Meaburn)

Traditional Westmorland show with classes for
horses & ponies, cattle, sheep, poultry, vintage
tractors & machinery, ploughing, baking,
horticulture, children’s craft and more.

WRESTLING at 12.45pm



and other Trade Stands

Entrance fee: £5, children £1: FREE PARKING
Caterer in attendance and Licensed Bar
Enjoy a day out in the beautiful Lyvennet Valley

For more details please telephone : 01931 715248

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The Crosby Ravensworth Agricultural, Horticultural, Industrial, Poultry and Horse Show and Vintage Rally

(First Published in Lyvennet Community Plan Report 2009. For full report click here)

Always a red letter day, “T’t Show” has been the social event of the year for the Parish since its inception in 1856. Though much has changed through the 152 years, this is still true in this, its 140th year, the gap years were due to disruption by W.W.II and Foot and Mouth Disease . Originally held in Crosby Ravensworth, beside the Lyvennet, recently the event has been sited in a broad, flat field between Maulds and King’s Meaburn that is in many ways an ideal site. “Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling used to be popular and attract the crowds”, but it has been many years now since we heard the cry “Tak Hod!” (Take Hold!). This distinctive and popular sports contest has now been restored and Crosby Show is one of the few places where you can enjoy the tradition.

Crosby show is a delightful event that epitomises and encapsulates all that is worth celebrating in English rural life, and it can be enjoyed on a variety of levels. On the simplest level, for the visitor , the show allows a chance to see the fruits of everybody’s engagement in the celebration of all that they do best. This is a bewildering array of productive activity that ranges from growing our own flowers, fruit and vegetables to baking, jamming and flower-arranging to equestrian events and to the fine breeding of livestock.

There is a row of stalls and a jolly bouncy castle for the youngsters, then an equestrian arena for the pet show and of course the equestrian assessments and events themselves which show off the horses and riders very admirably.

The stock pens are always worth a close look, for here you can meet the cream of the local livestock. Even those who are ignorant of the finer points can recognise true class when they see it – and here it is, washed, combed  and  crowned with rosettes.  The proud aristocracy of Border and Blue-faced Leicesters, the top Texels, the supreme Swaledales and prize bullocks. In the poultry tent one is confronted by the sheer variety and true graceful majesty of  domestic fowl and some rabbits.

If you have never experienced onion-envy then it is possible that the Crosby Ravensworth Show’s produce tent will introduce you to the emotion. It’s not just the very high standard of everything on display that is breathtaking, but the painstaking organisation of the produce on the trestle tables and the artwork on the display boards is itself a wonder of  tessellation and diplomacy. It is very inspirational and great fun. For contributors the show offers all the aforementioned enjoyment, plus the pride of  display and  studied appraisal of  the current and future competition!

In the Lyvennet Valley Community Plan Report 2009 there were 61 comments made regarding The Show and these have been considered by the Show Committee and many ‘taken on board’ when planning this year’s event.  All being well, it’s going to be a grand day for all who attend!

April 24 Crosby Ravensworth Crocus Walk To Help Breast Cancer Research

Crocus walk 2009

Crocus walk 2009

Here’s another chance for a nice walk in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research

By Kitty Smith

Saturday 24 April 1.00 pm Start from Crosby Ravensworth Village Hall (please register beforehand from 12.30 onwards)

All ages are welcome to join us on a four mile walk through the Lyvennet Valley; dogs on leads please.
There’ll be a sumptuous cupcake tea served from 2.30 pm.

This year’s theme is GREEN. A donation is expected on the day for vital research into breast cancer, and you can also pre-order fundraising tee shirts by placing your order with Kitty or Margaret by 9th April. Adult size £5 and child size £3.

For more information, please contact Kitty (01931-715375) or MargaretBreakthrough Breast Cancer Research
(01931-715441), in association with Lyvennet Ladies.

Please join us for the 2010 Crocus Walk and Cupcakes!

The Crocus Walk Route starts at Crosby Village Hall, heads north & over the stepping stone, through Crosby Hall farmyard follows the track to Crake Trees.

Next, walkers take the bridal path to Mains Wood, then from the corner at Morland Bank we’ll head for Meaburn Hall.
Heading South we’ll go to the small bridge in Maulds Meaburn, go over the bridge and take the route next to the river to Flass house.
Keep left of Flass & follow the track back to Crosby Village Hall for a lovely cupcake tea!