July, 2015

Modern day Bayeux Tapestry

News Release: Modern day Bayeux Tapestry roadshows helps promote Kendal

smiley ladies viewing panel

For the fifteenth year running one of the town’s most successful exports, described by traveller and writer Alexander McCall Smith as one of the six best tapestries in the world to see, will take to the road once more.
Sections of the famous Quaker Tapestry, a stitched masterpiece in story-telling and thus likened to the Bayeux Tapestry, will travel from their permanent home in Kendal’s Friends Meeting House – to Scotland and Northern Ireland this summer.

Attracting thousands each time it has appeared in 160 destinations in the UK, Europe and America, each roadshow also brings visitors back to Kendal. A feat already recognised by a Wainwright Achievement Award in 2002 for manager Bridget Guest.

As Bridget explained:
“We go to great lengths to take the tapestry out. It means more people can see it and this brings visitors back to Kendal for a proper visit. We can tell this from comments made to staff and from remarks written in our visitor book. The roadshows are always wonderful PR for Kendal, a lively and interesting market town with lots to see and do.”

The roadshows to New Lanark Mills World Heritage Site, in August, and Lisburn Museum and the Irish Linen Centre in September are expected to attract more than 10,000 people. Several staff and volunteers accompany the panels when they are on the road. When in Ireland volunteers from Cumbria will be working alongside Irish Quakers and Museum staff to ensure that visitors get the most out of the event. It can take two years or more to plan for each roadshow.

Panels are carefully chosen for the roadshows from the collection of 77 which cover subjects as diverse as, chocolate making to astronomy. The stories tell of the industrial revolution, developments in science and medicine, social reform, and ecology.

Produced between 1981 and 1996, the embroideries are the work of 4,000 men, women and children from around the world. They inspire others to learn the stitches and techniques.

Each of the colourful tapestry panels measures 25” (635mm) x 21” (533mm) and is created in the ‘narrative crewel embroidery’ style of the Bayeux Tapestry. It has left a legacy to the world of embroidery with a new stitch, the ‘Quaker Stitch’, devised by the Tapestry founder Anne Wynn-Wilson.

You can discover more about the stories behind the stitches by visiting

‘World of Work’ challenge

News Release: Businesses and High Sheriff back ‘World of Work’ challenge day for county’s teens: Friday 10 July 2015, 10am – 4pm. Brathay Trust, near Ambleside.

THE High Sheriff of Cumbria and six local businesses are sponsoring a one-off, World of Work (WOW) challenge day for 230 teenagers from around the county this Friday (10 July).

Organised by youth charity and apprentice leader Brathay Trust, the aim of the FREE event is to arm the region’s young people with the skills and career insights they need to become tomorrow’s workforce.

Those sending groups include Kirkby Kendal School, Kirkby Stephen Grammar School, Netherall School, Solway Community Technology College, St Joseph’s Catholic High School, the Business and Enterprise College, The Queen Katherine Academy (Kendal), Walney School, West Lakes Academy and Carlisle Youth Zone and Barrow Academy.

The challenge packed day, where the 14-16 year olds will tackle anything from re-building a dry stone wall and fixing plumbing solutions to using a mini digger or learning how to deal with customers, has only been made possible with the support of the High Sheriff, sponsors Lakeland, Story Homes, Westmorland Ltd, English Lakes Hotels (Low Wood Hotel), Siemens and NRL and input from 12 other businesses.

High Sheriff Sam Rayner said: “Skills are vital to the future of the region. This event is all about giving our young people a chance to meet some very successful local businesses and to challenge themselves to show they have the top ten employability skills.”

Godfrey Owen from event organisers, Brathay, added: “As a youth charity we are keen to provide opportunities for young people who may struggle in a formal learning environment, or who are particularly uncertain about their future career choices. WOW is aimed at providing these young people with viable, positive career options. By the end of the day they should feel much more confident about what they can do and where their career interests may lie.”

WOW is being held at Brathay Hall, near Ambleside. Registration starts from 9am with the event being opened by the High Sheriff of Cumbria, Sam Rayner at 10am. He will close the day with a prize-giving ceremony ending at 4pm.

The businesses and organisations from around the country who will be on hand to give students a glimpse of what is needed to succeed at work include some of the County’s most successful:

Total Post (Alston), Gore Brown (Lancaster), Nice Pond (Windermere), Mellors Architects (Kendal),
NRL (West Cumbria), Lakeland Limited (Windermere), Dry Stone Walling Association (County show ground near Milnthorpe), PDCA Consulting (Kendal), Lamont Pridmore (seven offices in Cumbria), Siemens Subsea (Ulverston), EXPS (Kendal, Carlisle and Penrith), Pirelli (Carlisle), Stobarts Rail (Carlisle), Cumbria Scouts, and the Lloyd Group BMW (Carlisle).

Charity seeks missing ingredient

News Release: Charity seeks missing ingredient…the chef

A local charity whose three kitchens can feed up to 250 people a day says a shortage of chefs is frustrating their plans to improve their offer.

The Ambleside based Brathay Trust, who provide youth services and professional development programmes, has been trying to recruit two chefs and an apprentice since the start of the year.

Brathay business manager, Judith Wren, recognises this is part of a national problem and said:
“Earlier in the year VisitEngland reported that nearly half, (47 per cent) of vacancies for chefs proved difficult to fill due to a lack of skilled applicants. They also said that chefs made up a fifth (21 per cent) of all skill shortage vacancies for skilled trades, suggesting that businesses are struggling to recruit the skilled chefs they need. This has certainly been our experience.

“However given that we’ve got all the right ingredients to attract good candidates – sociable working hours, accommodation and a jaw-dropping location to work – it’s even more frustrating not to have been able to fill the posts. Furthermore, as a young person’s charity and a leader in apprentice development, we would love to see a young person flourish as our apprentice chef.

“Having the right number of chefs would mean we could continue to develop the food offering to meet the needs of a very varied customer base. In any one day that could be senior executives from a blue chip company hoping for croque en bouche and crème brulee to teenagers, far from home, with hearty appetites and wanting familiar food like pizza and chocolate mousse.

“A full staffing compliment would also reduce the pressure on the existing team and allow team roles to be settled and embedded. Efficiencies would be made from not having to rely on agency staff and it would be simpler to plan the effective use of more of the kitchens on site.

“Ultimately it would lead to a better experience for all our clients. As one young person said ‘good exercise, good food, and good sleep’ makes anything possible.”

The salary range for the chef posts is £14k to £19k depending on experience. Anyone interested in finding out more can contact Judith Wren or Guest Services Manager Natasha Dalton on 015394 33041 or by emailing