April, 2016

Unseasonal snow in Cumbria

Photo story: Unseasonal snow

Swaledale sheep in 'unseasonal' snow - taken by rural surveyor Helen Lancaster on her 'rounds'

Picture of a Swaledale Flock on Potter Fell taken during client visits by rural surveyor Helen Lancaster from Carter Jonas, Kendal office. “Trudging through the snow and we are nearly into May” said Helen. “The weather needs to turn so the grass grows and allows farmers to get their cows out.”

Kendal Embroidery expert

News Release: Kendal Embroidery expert keeping alive the ancient art of Crewel work

Quaker Tapestry

Quaker Tapestry

A LOCAL embroidery expert is taking to the road once more on a mission to promote a one thousand year old tapestry technique and its modern equivalent which is housed in a Kendal museum.

The ancient art of Crewel work, embroidering a surface using woollen thread – of which the Bayeux Tapestry is the oldest surviving example – was also used to create 77 modern embroideries that make up the Quaker Tapestry.

The work of 4,000 men, women and children from around the world, a selection of panels travels to different parts of the country each year inspiring others to learn the stitches and techniques and even to make their own tapestries.

For each roadshow Quaker Tapestry Museum manager Bridget Guest designs a new embroidery to demonstrate the different crewel work stitches.

As Bridget puts the finishing touches to her 20th design, for a trip to Newcastle next month (Sat 7 to Sat 21 May), she explained how the demonstrations keep the craft and museum going.

She said:
“I get some great feedback which helps me to understand what people like about crewel work and how to improve my skills as a teacher of it. Naturally we talk about this amazing international community project and the stories behind the stitches. But, I also get to hear about visitors’ own embroidery projects which is very encouraging for the future of the craft.

“Once the demonstration embroidery is finished I produce a guide to accompany it and one of our volunteers makes it up into a kit which we sell in the shop. The completed designs, including my latest for a roadshow to Ireland last year, then become an image for other shop products. These provide a vital income stream which helps to keep the charity afloat.”

Bridget’s passion for embroidery means she also runs workshops for all abilities – including half-day taster courses and one and two-day workshops for beginners and improvers – and she provides one-to-one sessions for those who would like help with designing their own embroidery.

As Bridget explained:
“Thankfully, the needle arts are experiencing a revival, and many people are learning the skill for a first time or returning to it. Crewel work has been with us for a thousand years, rising and falling in popularity over the centuries, and hopefully it will be here for a thousand more. Given the interest in demonstrations, kits, guides and workshops it’s currently back in vogue which is good news. I am just delighted to be able to share my love of this form of embroidery and to enthuse others to try it or update their skills.”

2016 Quaker Tapestry Roadshows are taking place at: The Lit & Phil, Newcastle (7 to 21 May) and Chelmsford Cathedral, Essex (20 August to 3 September)

For details please visit the Quaker Tapestry website.


Please find a selection of images here – if you have any problems accessing them please let me know.

Images show:
Embroidery expert, Bridget Guest, who is keeping alive the ancient art of Crewel work.
Quaker Tapestry Museum manager Bridget Guest’s new embroidery demonstrates the different crewel work stitches.

Marathon Runners Raise £12k

News Release: Charity to benefit from Capital gains – London Marathon runners raise vital funds for Ambleside youth charity, Brathay Trust

Chris Heaton, a trustee of the Ambleside based Brathay Trust, runs the London Marathon in a business suit

THE efforts of four runners in yesterday’s London Marathon means over £12,000 has been raised to support a local youth charity’s work with disadvantaged and struggling youngsters.

The Ambleside based Brathay Trust works with 6,000 children and young people a year across the north of England. It says the total raised by the runners will allow another 50 vulnerable youngsters to benefit from the life changing effect of a Brathay residential experience.

Chris Heaton, a trustee of the Ambleside based Brathay Trust, Jonathan Lee a director with CN Media Group in Barrow, and Ellan Iaquaniello who has run the charity’s ‘10in10’ twice and new Brathay supporter Paul Simpson, joined the thousands of runners who took to the capital’s streets to compete.

The world famous marathon brings together people of all ages and abilities – elite, amateur and fun runners – to tackle the 26 mile course. There are four main races, starting at different times in the morning. The exhausting final three miles take place along the Embankment, past Big Ben and Buckingham Palace and finish at the Mall.

This year UK astronaut Tim Peake also ran the equivalent distance on a treadmill in the International Space Station (ISS).

Brathay’s Head of Fundraising, Scott Umpleby, was there to cheer the four runners on and he said:
“Chris is no stranger to a running a marathon having tackled the 10in10 twice and 30 marathons in 30 days. This time, to make it more difficult he was dressed in a suit and bowler hat for his day in the City. This was also a special marathon for Ellan who has run 130 so far. She said it’s her last, bar the Brathay 10in10 Lap of Honour at our Marathon on 22 May.

“What the team has done is just incredible. The hard work and commitment of people like this to support our cause allows us to go on delivering life changing experiences to children and young people.”

Anyone one wanting to help Brathay deliver more of this work can visit their appeal website.

It’s also not too late for sign up for the charity’s Brathay Windermere Marathon on Sunday 22 May at


Image shows Chris Heaton all set for the business of running the marathon and raising money for Brathay Trust.

To Hell and Back Challenge

News Release: Ulverston publican raising funds for Furness young with 50th ‘To Hell and Back’ challenge

Paul Dewar in training for his 1,600 mile challenge in 21 days for youth charity Brathay Trust2

AN Ulverston publican is cycling, swimming and running 1,600 miles non-stop over 21 days to raise £16,000 for disadvantaged and vulnerable young people from the Furness area.

Paul Dewar, who is 50 years old, starts his ultimate triathlon challenge on Bank Holiday Monday (2 May). He will cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats and then to Windermere – 1,350 miles – before swimming a chilly 10.5 miles of the lake. The following day, Friday 13 May, he will set off on the Brathay 10in10, ten marathons in ten days, a total of 262 hilly miles to finish his challenge on Sunday 22 May.

A runner since his schooldays and a member of the Ulverston Tri Club, Paul has completed four ironmen events, 70 marathons and the Brathay 10in10 in 2012.

But, says the Landlord of the Stan Laurel Inn, this self-made challenge of epic proportions – which he’s named ‘To Hell and Back’ – is by far the toughest he’s faced.

Describing it as a huge undertaking both physically and mentally, he said:

“I’ve trained as much as I can using every spare moment I have. I am not fast but I’m good at plodding away for a very long time. I’ve had huge amounts of support from my wife Trudi, the team here at the pub, fellow runners, customers, family and friends.

“I will do my best and in doing so I will try and raise as much money as possible for my local charity, Brathay Trust, so that they can support local children and young adults who have had incredibly hard lives and need help to turn things around.

“When you see the effects on children living in poverty on your own doorstep, and that’s 20 per cent in Barrow-in-Furness, rising to almost 50 per cent in some areas of the district, you have to do something to help.”

Paul Dewar will be wearing a tracking device so anyone interested in following his progress can do so via his website

Brathay’s Head of Fundraising Scott Umpleby said:

“Paul has been a dedicated supporter of Brathay’s work since he first completed our 10in10 event in 2012. He undertakes these huge challenges of endurance with a much understated and modest approach – which, to those who don’t know Paul, hides a steely determination to keep going no matter what! Paul has already raised over £10,500 towards his £16,000 target – a significant contribution that will help many more children and young people”.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can visit


For further information please contact Paul at the pub (until 30th April) on 01229 582814 or on his mobile 07855481553.

Attached image shows Paul Dewar in training for his 1,600 mile challenge in 21 days for youth charity Brathay Trust.