October, 2014

Market thoughts: when is the best time to sell?

VM Stephen Holland (1)

One of the most frequently asked questions of a property agent is ‘when is the best time to sell?’

With changes to the pattern of properties being bought and sold Stephen Holland, head of residential sales for Carter Jonas in Cumbria, has this advice for those who ask.

“The traditional spring and autumn peaks are flattening” says Stephen “and we are seeing a market that is increasingly active throughout the year.”

“Even the quieter period in the run up to Christmas is not as fallow as it once was with school intakes now available in January and Cumbria being a popular tourist destination year round.

“This is also the time of year when people begin to make plans for what they want to achieve in the New Year.

“In the last few years we’ve seen many properties being introduced into the market in January and February and a rush of calls from purchasers who have decided that this is the year they want to move or buy a second home.

“If you want to capitalise on this upswing, it is vital that the groundwork is put in now.

“Building a rapport with an established agent is an essential first step. Much of what appears in the national media doesn’t apply here in Cumbria or has a southern bias. It’s vital to get good information about local conditions.

“Now is also a good time to organise for photographs to be taken before the weather really turns. Brochures can then be prepared for an early launch in 2015.

“For some people planning ahead means looking even further down the line” adds Mr Holland.

“We have noticed an increase in one group of buyers living in significant houses which have been their homes for many years. They are acquiring smaller, character properties in our most desirable villages and market towns even though they may not be wanting to move in for some time. This is real forward thinking – buying when they see just what they want and then renting it out until they need it.

“The General Election in May could cause a temporary blip but there is every reason to believe the early months of 2015 will see a brisk trade.

“Ultimately be reassured that a sensibly priced house will sell at virtually any time of the year provided it is presented in a professional manner”.

Super slimmer’s 24hr running challenge 6pm Thursday 30 October

Adrian Brooks

A super-slimmer, who shed 14 stone, plans to run 100 non-stop laps, around the Newcastle-Gateshead quayside in a 24 hour fundraiser.

Newcastle’s Adrian Brooks aims to cover a distance of 100 miles in this extra-ordinary unprecedented challenge.

Starting on the Gateshead side of the Millennium Bridge at 6pm on Thursday 30 October, the 37-year-old will run along to the Swing Bridge and back over the Newcastle quayside.

Adrian, a mental health nurse said: “I’ve had a lot of people telling me I’m crazy but this is something I really want to try.

“I will have my support team with me who will keep me fuelled and motivated on the task in hand.”

Working in the field of adolescent mental health Adrian was inspired to take on the challenge to raise awareness of the needs of young people.

All the money raised from this run will go towards Brathay Trust, a charity which works with 6,000 young people every year to improve their life chances.

To help Adrian in his marathon effort, visit or text donate TYNE62 £10 to 70070. Adrian is also raffling off many prizes, including an iPad and race entry that includes the Windermere marathon. More details can be found on facebook 24hoursonthetyne.

Adrian is no stranger to long distance running challenges. This year he completed the North East ultra-marathon ‘The Wall’ running 69 miles in an impressive 12hrs and 30mins. And he’s already looking ahead to his next big challenge, to run ten marathons in ten days around Lake Windermere.

Just a few years ago, Adrian, now a member of Tyne Bridge Harriers Club, weighed in at more than 26st – and could barely run for more than five seconds.

People can follow Adrian’s progress on twitter and facebook at 24hoursonthetyne and @24htyne.

For more information or interview requests please contact Adrian on or 07788 374805
Attached image shows Adrian Brooks on a recent run

VisitEngland Accolades for Kendal’s Quaker Tapestry Museum

Staff member Lisa Moore (L) with visitor Carole Butcher (R)

A South Lakes museum is one of just 46 attractions in England to receive a VisitEngland accolade in recognition of its quality visitor experience.

The Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal and Muncaster Castle, Gardens & Owl Centre are the only two Cumbrian attractions to be named in a second round of the accolades, announced this week and introduced this year.

From the café to customer service, the VisitEngland accolades aim to recognise those attractions going the extra mile to create an enjoyable and memorable visitor experience. They are available to attractions that are part of the Visitor Attractions Quality Scheme and are allocated through a scoring system based on an annual assessment by VisitEngland. They include the Welcome accolade, Hidden Gem, Best Told Story, Quality Café and the Gold accolade for top-scoring attractions.

Bridget Guest from the Museum is delighted with her Hidden Gem accolade and said:

“This has been a great year for the Quaker Tapestry and this recognises all the hard work put in by our volunteers and small team of staff. At the start of the year we heard that we had been awarded the Arts Council accreditation for museum excellence and now we have this great accolade.

“On top of that we are excited about a new exhibition that is here during November. A selection of new Magna Carta tapestries will be on show, a sneak preview of what the Queen will be able to see at next year’s official celebrations. And we are planning a brand new exhibition for 2015 on chocolate, banking and shoes.

“It’s a total hive of activity” added Bridget.

“Quite rightly people are expecting more and more from a trip to a museum. Our VisitEngland ‘Hidden Gem’ accolade suggests there’s a lot on offer here that makes for a high quality visitor experience. As a small charity we continue to work hard to make sure that we live up to this.”

Minister for Tourism, Helen Grant said; “England has a huge amount of fantastic attractions to be enjoyed as part of a day trip, short weekend break or longer family holiday and VisitEngland’s accolades are recognising those destinations that go the extra mile and deliver an outstanding visitor experience. Congratulations to all those attractions receiving these accolades and keep up the good work.”


OWNERS of the Stan Laurel Inn in Ulverston, Trudi and Paul Dewar, are on target to raise an amazing £9,000 for two South Lakeland charities

Trudi and Paul Dewar from the Stan Laurel Inn Ulverston

Brathay Trust and St Mary’s Hospice have already split £7,000 which Paul raised through two endurance events; the 2012 Brathay 10in10 and the 2013 UK Ironman.

And next week Trudi who will be running her first marathon, the New York marathon, has managed to secure pledges of £1,500 towards her target of £2,000 for Brathay.

Fundraising for local causes is not new to this philanthropic couple. Over the last 12 years they’ve raised just under £40,000.

As Paul explains:

“Pubs are very much part of the fabric of their community. A survey earlier this year by PubAid showed that in 2013 pubs raised over £100,000,000 for charity. On average that’s about £2,742 per year for those pubs that did and benefitting more than 2,000 different charities.

“We have been running pubs for a number of years and have always managed to find ways to raise money for local causes.

“We’ve a special connection to Brathay, who work tirelessly with disadvantaged and underprivileged young adults. I’ve run in their one day marathon and in their 10in10 and we’ve helped them out as volunteers and sponsors. We will supporting the 10in10 again next year. They are a great charity that does amazing things for young people.”

Trudi who decided to mark her 40th birthday doing something meaningful has been training hard for her first ever marathon.

“I have always wanted to go to New York and as I approached my 40th I wanted to do something amazing that I could be proud of” says Trudi.

“I started training six months ago on a treadmill and managing, only just, to do a mile. I’m much fitter and better prepared now. Standing in a homemade “Ice-Bath” in our walk-in freezing fridge for at least 10 minutes at a time after my long runs has really helped.

“It hasn’t been easy, there have been some tears and tantrums along the way, a few niggles in the legs and knees, but I am determined to finish it and try to enjoy the experience.”

Paul and Trudi fly out next Thursday 30th October in time for the New York Marathon which takes place on Sunday 2nd November.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can visit Trudi’s JustGiving page and updates will be posted on the pub’s facebook page.

For further information please contact Paul and Trudi on 01229 582814 or Paul 07855481553 noting that they are travelling Wednesday (29th) afternoon and out of the country from Thursday (30th).

Attached image shows Paul and Trudi Dewar