Grasmere Rushbearing 2011

Living in the Lake District you do quite often get slightly fed up with the weather. Ok we all say “well you wouldn’t have the lakes if you didn’t have the rain” but sometimes it would be nice to wake up, pull back the curtains and see the sun shining!.

Rushbearing Maidens 2011

Grasmere Rushbearing is one such day. So much work goes into the preparation for this traditional Lakeland event that it’s fingers crossed all round for fine weather.

Preparing the bearings

So guess what ? yet again this year it was raining. For the past few days the little tractor had been chugging backwards and forwards to the church full of rushes from the lake side. Everyone carried on getting ready, with more than a few glimpses towards the sky.

Here they come

Then as so often happens, right at the last minute, the skies cleared.

Rushbearing Maidens

There were still a few spectators balancing umbrellas but there was nothing like the torrential downpour that had started the day.

Taffy Thomas Storyteller Laureate

The great thing about Rushbearing is that everyone takes part. Taffy Thomas who is the current Storyteller Laureate had just finished doing an event in the storytellers garden and was watching the procession while clutching that other Grasmere tradition Grasmere gingerbread!

Happy Villagers

With being a busy tourist village, during the summer months it’s a case of heads down and on with work, but on this day we all come out and celebrate. Being in the tourist industry we tend to do a reverse hibernation. Don’t see anyone in the summer as so busy working, then come winter we all appear and have time to catch up.

Local Hotelier Josie.

One new adidtion to Rushbearing was spotted in the National Trust Information Centre. They have produced a greetings card and postcard of the Rushbearing painting by Frank Bramley RA which although purchased by public subscription by the villagers of Grasmere is in the care of National Trust.

Rushbearing by Frank Bramley RA

Frank Bramley married Katherine Graham from Huntingstile Grasmere in 1891, hence his link with the village. He was a member of the Newlyn School of Artists. Newlyn was a small fishing village in Cornwall where the light was considered particularly good for painting outdoors. He started the Rushbearing painting in about 1900 and it took him four years to complete. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1905. The painting is seldom seen, however I do hear that there may be plans to let the public view it during next year’s Rushbearing.

Traditional Bearings

The Rushbearing procession winds it’s way round the village with a brief stop at Moss Parrock before heading back to St. Oswald’s Church. I don’t think many people realise just how heavy some of these bearings can be.

Young villagers at Rushbearing

It is great to see such an ancient tradition being celebrated each year and to see the younger children enjoying themselves as much as their parents and grandparents did in the past. For more information about the history of Rushbearing please see the post I did earlier in this blog.

Grasmere Rushbearing 2011

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3 responses to “Grasmere Rushbearing 2011”

  1. Pat Towler says :

    nice to see rushbearing still going on i took part as a child during the war only about 4years old in ambleside and won a prize with a cross of roses which was very heavy. the weather was probably wet then but i never noticed

    • cragchris says :

      Yes , have many rainy day photos of the event over the year! It’s the one event that everyone takes part in, young and old and is an important part of village life. Don’t think people realise how heavy the bearings can be. Can’t imagine how heavy it must have ben at 4 years old. Hope you got your picnic bag and gingerbread at the end of it!. Thanks for sharing your memory.

  2. Fiona Martin says :

    My g.g.g. Grandmother Mary Dixon made the rushbearing gingerbread for many years at the end of the 1800s -1900s. I would love to go…maybe this year…

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