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A Year in Grasmere Village 2016

Another year gone, and a round up of what happened in Grasmere Village in 2016. It was a year many won’t forget in a hurry. We might be a small village but there is always something going on. Especially this year, Prince and Prime Minister, Cyclists and Wrestlers it was all happening this year.

JANUARY

National Trust Allan Bank

National Trust Allan Bank

After the stress and strain of Storm Desmond it was lovely to discover that a sunny photograph of National Trust Property Allan Bank graced the front of the 2016 Handbook. A great advert for the village.

Broadgate Grasmere

Broadgate Grasmere

Unfortunately things were very quiet in the village. The main A591 closed between Grasmere and Keswick and the village literally a cul-de-sac. Various initiatives like free parking were offered but it really was deserted as you wandered round.

David Cameron Grasmere

David Cameron Grasmere

We had a visit from the then Prime Minister David Cameron spotted in the school playground.

FEBRUARY

February in Grasmere

February in Grasmere

Snow on the tops in February and then on lower ground too.

Snowy Grasmere

Snowy Grasmere

Valentine’s Day visit to the Dove Cottage restaurant was a surprise with a cherry “heart” when I cut my cake. Very appropriate and tasty too!.

Valentine's cake

Valentine’s cake

Meanwhile the environment agency were dredging the River Rothay, taking care to not disturb the crayfish, and these canoeists were quick to take advantage of a new launching area into the river. Storm Desmond was still having it’s effect.

Canoeists River Rothay

Canoeists River Rothay

After a dismal Winter signs of Spring were appearing with snowdrops and Daffodils at Wordsworth’s Grave.

Daffodils and snowdrops

Daffodils and snowdrops

MARCH

The rubble that was piling up on the Sports Field after all the dredging was a perfect viewpoint for this cheeky Herdwick.

Grasmere Herdwick

Grasmere Herdwick

Elsewhere in Grasmere and throughout the central Lakes Herdwick sheep of a different kind were appearing as part of the Calvert Trust Go Herdwick fund raising initiative.

Grasmere Go Herdy

Grasmere Go Herdy

Temporary bridges were built on the A591 and a little mini bus started running between Grasmere and Keswick, my goodness it was popular! It ran along the far side of Thirlmere and became quite a tourist attraction in itself.

Keswick bus queue

Keswick bus queue

We had another famous visitor. Prince Charles visited with a trip to the Gingerbread Shop, Wordsworth’s Grave and St Oswald’s Church.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles

Prince Charles Grasmere

Prince Charles Grasmere

It certainly made the village busier.

APRIL

Spring in Grasmere

Spring in Grasmere

April and things were looking up in the village both visitor and weather wise.

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

MAY

An exciting initiative in May brought coloured lights to the mere. Nocturnal Rainbows as part of Lakes Ignite Art installation.

Lights on Grasmere

Lights on Grasmere

As the tourist season started properly it was still a case of getting the message out everywhere that Grasmere was open for business.

Grasmere is Open

Grasmere is Open

Grasmere does look great in May, blossom and bluebells.

Grasmere Blossom

Grasmere Blossom

Bannerigg Woods were a sea of blue.

Grasmere Bluebells

Grasmere Bluebells

And then at last! Dunmail Raise was open and Grasmere was connected with the North again. Hello Keswick we missed you.

Dunmail Raise reopens

Dunmail Raise reopens

Diessen Brass Band (twinned with Windermere) performed at NT Allan Bank and the music echoed through the valley.

Diessen Brass Band

Diessen Brass Band

JUNE

Grasmere celebrated The Queen’s 90th Birthday.

Grasmere Celebrates

Grasmere Celebrates

The village looked lovely with flags flying everywhere.

Singing in the Village Hall

Singing in the Village Hall

Grasmere Glee celebrated in the Village Hall.

Kendal Mountain Festival kindly brought outdoor cinema to Grasmere and Glenridding to support the flooded villages. The weather was kind and a great time was had by young and old alike.

Outdoor Cinema Grasmere

Outdoor Cinema Grasmere

JULY

July in Grasmere means Rushbearing. A rather wet one this year and the Rushbearing Maidens had a rather soggy walk round the village but kept smiling.

Grasmere Rushbearing

Grasmere Rushbearing

But it wasn’t all rain in July, the sun shone too.

Sunny Grasmere

Sunny Grasmere

AUGUST

August Bank Holiday and the 166th Grasmere Sports and Show. After a night of rain morning broke fair and a good turnout of visitors and locals alike enjoyed the Sports and entertainment on the Sports field.

Grasmere Sports Poster

Grasmere Sports Poster

Competitors travelled from all over the world to compete.

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling

Fire eating was a popular spectator event.

Fire eating Grasmere

Fire eating Grasmere

SEPTEMBER

Cycling came to Grasmere in September when the Tour of Britain sped through the village.

Tour of Britain Grasmere

Tour of Britain Grasmere

The village was decorated with painted yellow bikes.

Yellow Bikes Grasmere

Yellow Bikes Grasmere

OCTOBER

Devilish Sheep

Devilish Sheep

Halloween in Grasmere meant an abundance of Pumpkins throughout the village.

National Trust Shop Grasmere

National Trust Shop Grasmere

Unfortunately Halloween weekend itself was a bit of a washout and the pumpkins on the village green looked a bit bedraggled.

Gingerbread Pumpkins

Gingerbread Pumpkins

Liked these pumpkins outside the Gingerbread shop.

NOVEMBER

Nights drawing in and streets empty by 5pm as the clocks change. Locals practice a form of reverse hibernation and suddenly you bump into friends in the street who have had heads down all Summer working hard to make our visitors to Grasmere enjoy their stay.

I was very, very lucky to win a holiday to South Africa for most of November so from 24 degrees to -4 degrees, however what a sight as we arrived back.

Grasmere Sheep

Grasmere Sheep

What a great welcome home!

DECEMBER

December in Grasmere, what a joy.

Taffy Thomas

Taffy Thomas

You never know who will be about, Taffy Thomas former Storyteller Laureate was having a wander round the village with some student teachers.

Xmas in NT Shop Grasmere

Xmas in NT Shop Grasmere

The shops have a huge array of individual gifts you can’t find in the larger towns.

Beetham Bellringers

Beetham Bellringers

A wander up the hill to National Trust Allan Bank and the sound of bells were ringing out as the Beetham Bellringers played. Very festive.

Just time to put the Christmas tree complete with Herdy bobbles up and that’s nearly it for another Grasmere year. Grasmere Players Pantomime still to see, always a great family occasion.

Herdy xmas tree

Herdy xmas tree

Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and Health and Happiness for the coming year.

Grasmere Sports 2016

After a night of torrential rain it was a pleasant surprise that the weather for the 166th annual Grasmere Sports and Show was dry and fine.

Adamson Brass Band

Adamson Brass Band

Proceedings were given a rousing start by the Adamson Brass Band, always a crowd pleaser.

Young Runners Grasmere

Young Runners Grasmere

Young runners first and there were plenty of entrants for the sprint and fell races.

Fell Race Route Grasmere

Fell Race Route Grasmere

Meanwhile the crowds were being entertained by Andy Jester who was keeping everyone amazed by a bit of nifty fire balancing and eating.

Andy Jester

Andy Jester

Breathing Fire

Breathing Fire

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling is always an important part of Grasmere Sports and this year the 11 stone World championships were held in Grasmere. I spotted competitors from Scotland who call their style “backhold”. There were also competitors from Brittany France recognisable by the word Gouren on their tops.

Grasmere Sports Wrestling

Grasmere Sports Wrestling

Icelandic Wrestler

Icelandic Wrestler

Icelandic wrestlers also took part. Their style is called Glima. Glima was the most widespread sport in the Viking age, and was practiced by both men and women. Glima was so important to Viking society that their god Thor was also the Viking god of wrestling.

More info at http://www.cumberland-westmorland-wrestling-association.com

French Gouren Wrestler

French Gouren Wrestler

Time for a cup of tea or coffee, thirsty work this Sports watching!

Thelma the Tiny Tearoom

Thelma the Tiny Tearoom

A new addition this year was Thelma the Tiny Tearoom, while old friends were also doing good business at the Coffee Bug. Too much choice.

Coffee Bug

Coffee Bug

Elsewhere on the field our very own Taffy Thomas the Storyteller was keeping everyone entertained.

Taffy Thomas Grasmere Storyteller

Taffy Thomas Grasmere Storyteller

Further along the field the hounds were going through their paces.

Hounds at Grasmere

Hounds at Grasmere

Hound trailing is a very popular event. More information can be found here. http://www.houndtrailing.org.uk 

Fell gathers Roadshow

Fell gathers Roadshow

Animals of another type were also attracting attention. Herdwick and other breeds of sheep were shown and discussed.

Sheep Watching

Sheep Watching

It’s always good to see children taking part in the good old classic egg and spoon, Sack race and three legged race.

Three legged race

Three legged race

and parents like to get involved too. Balancing a bean bag was very popular with parent and child teams.

Family races at Grasmere

Family races at Grasmere

Of course the main feature at Grasmere are the Guides Races. An amazing feat as runners head up and down the fell side. This year there was a bonus £500 to run for, for both men or ladies beating the current records. No records broken this year so the money rolls over again to next year.

Senior Guides Race Grasmere

Senior Guides Race Grasmere

I really don’t think there is a finer sight than all the runners streaming up the fell side.

Grasmere Race close finish

Grasmere Race close finish

It was an exciting race to the finish!

Guides Race Winners 2016

Guides Race Winners 2016

Well done Sam Tosh, Simon Bailey and Rob Hope.

The ladies weren’t far behind.

Female Grasmere race winners

Female Grasmere race winners

Sharon Taylor, Steph Curtis and Ruby Sykes ran a brilliant race.

Grasmere Tigers

Grasmere Tigers

I noticed one of our oldest residents Mary watching the race. Wonder what she thought of the two tigers next to her? Mind you there have been reports of a large black cat like animal at Penny Rock so watch out!

While the race was on I had been keeping an eye on a special bunch of runners. I had met them earlier as they prepared to race for the Rosemere Cancer charity http://www.rosemere.org.uk

Rosemere Foundation Runners

Rosemere Foundation Runners

Fresh and raring to go, they still had a smile on their faces right at the end!

Made it to the finish

Made it to the finish

A friend of mine Alison comes up from York especially to help at Grasmere Sports. She took this great photo of the Guides race flag the night before.

Guides Race Flag Grasmere

Guides Race Flag Grasmere  by Alison Taylor

So it will be the 167th Grasmere Sports Next year to look forward to. We do however have another sporting event passing through the village this Monday. The Tour of Britain is cycling through Grasmere this Monday. Can’t wait as several Olympians will be taking part. Just got to decide where to watch it.

Grasmere Rushbearing 2016

Grasmere Rushbearing 2016 was rather a wet one. It became obvious fairly early on in the day that the rain wasn’t going to ease up.

 

Grasmere Rushbearing Maiden

Grasmere Rushbearing Maiden

With good spirit everyone dressed for the weather and started to parade through the town.

Grasmere Rushbearing 2016

Procession passes along Churchstile

I thought the owner of Bridge House Hotel in the centre of this photo looked rather happy about something and later discovered she had become a Grandmother for the second time very early that morning!

Singing the Rushbearing Hymn

Singing the Rushbearing Hymn

Normally everyone gathers on the village green to sing the traditional Rushbearing hymns but the ground was a bit soggy so a stop was made on College Street instead.

 

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens

I couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for the Rushbearing maidens. While everyone else had the benefit of a waterproof coat they had to tough it out in traditional costume.

A rather wet Rushbearing

A rather wet Rushbearing

I noticed more than one person dashing in to Lucia’s for a takeaway coffee to warm up with.

Children in the parade

Children in the parade

Time to head back to St Oswald’s Church

Bearings and Umbrellas

Bearings and Umbrellas

I think umbrellas brighten up the parade on a rainy day.

Processing down Church Stile Grasmere

Processing down Church Stile Grasmere

Taffy Thomas the storyteller always has a good view point from the Storytellers Garden.

A welcome sight

A welcome sight

Back at church and time to get inside and dry off before a welcome cup of tea.

Grasmere Rushbearing Parade

Grasmere Rushbearing Parade

Now all the time I was watching there was one thing that I kept thinking. How heavy must the cloth the Rushbearing Maidens were carrying have got as it was absolutely sodden by the end.

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens 2016

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens 2016

So well done girls you did a great job!

Anyone who wants to see photos of sunny Rushbearing parades need look no further than this blog. You win some and you lose some but no matter the weather the show goes on.

 

Grasmere and Daffodils

Spring is arriving at last in the village. We now have a lifeline in the form of a bus link to Keswick so we aren’t feeling quite so isolated, and the work on the A591 needed after Storm Desmond is progressing. We can be easily accessed from the South or by the scenic route over Kirkstone Pass to the North. It is always a lovely time to visit. Snow on the fell tops, daffodils appearing, shops stocked up for the new season and hotels all spruced up over the winter. Some good bargain breaks at this time of year too.

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Daffodils and snow in Grasmere

Today we had rain, sleet, snow and sunshine, and that was just the morning!

P1030568

Wordsworth and Daffodils

It’s a funny thing but I suppose we all have our own idea of when Spring has arrived. The thing I always look for are the daffodils starting to flower at Wordsworth’s grave. Well today there were daffodils appearing everywhere.

P1030558

Sam Read Bookshop Grasmere

Even in shop windows. This was a lovely Spring window display in Sam Read Bookshop and further down the road Herdy was getting in on the act too.

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Daffodil Herdy

Of course the Lake District is always associated with daffodils because of William Wordsworth’s famous poem. Grasmere has it’s very own daffodil garden and you can find part of the poem reproduced there.

P1030563

Wordsworth. Daffodils poem.

In the garden I would say the daffodils will be perfect just in time for Easter this year.

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Grasmere Daffodil Garden

I decided to head round the riverside walk through Broadgate, then to the Mere.

P1030556

Grasmere Sign Post

The Environment Agency have been dredging the River Rothay since the floods in December and as I approached the other day I was amazed to see that as the digger exited the river, three canoeists appeared and used the slipway to launch their canoes! A nice bit of positive thinking.

P1030513

Canoeists River Rothay

They paddled along and the next thing I spotted them in the Mere.

P1030527

Canoeists Grasmere

We might have had a lot of rain over the winter but another advantage is that everything is looking very lush and green at the moment. As you can see Grasmere is ready for the new season, all that is missing are the visitors. Get yourselves up here, you don’t know what you are missing!

P1030586

Spring crocus

Grasmere is Great! Whatever the weather.

As I sat happily writing this blog the river burst it’s banks and was flooding Stock Lane yet again. Luckily we had time to act and despite lapping at the doorstep it has not come inside, new carpets remain dry (so far). Due to the landslips on the fell, water flooded down Greenhead Ghyll and into the river causing it to overflow. Urgent action is needed to clear becks. The A591 to the North of Grasmere remains closed after storm damage and this has to be treated with the utmost urgency. Coaches are not going to come to Grasmere if they then find they have to go back to the M6 Via Kendal again. People need to get to work in Keswick. Schoolchildren come from Keswick to Grasmere School. Grasmere is effectively a cul-de-sac at the moment. More than ever we need people to support local businesses to help everyone get back to normal. Anyway, on with the reasons why Grasmere is great to visit!

GRASMERE  2015.

As another year is about to come to a close, and Storm Frank is blowing outside giving Grasmere a sense of uncertainty about flooding again, it seems like a good time to look back at 2015.

JANUARY

Gingerbread Shop Grasmere

Gingerbread Shop Grasmere

A seasonal start to the year. A little snow and blue skies.

FEBRUARY

Broadgate Grasmere

Broadgate Grasmere

Snow on the tops and snowdrops appearing at Wordsworth’s Grave in the churchyard.

Wordsworth Grave snowdrops

Wordsworth Grave snowdrops

MARCH

And the daffodils appear in the daffodil garden. Spring at last

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

Was taking a photo of the rainbow but who can spot the low-flying jet too?

Grasmere Rainbow

Grasmere Rainbow

APRIL

April Blossom in Grasmere

April Blossom in Grasmere

The days are getting longer and the sky is blue.

Early morning Grasmere

Early morning Grasmere

MAY

Grasmere Lamb

Grasmere Lamb

One of the best sights at this time of the year. Lambs in the fields.

JUNE

Foxgloves

Foxgloves

June is a great time for wild flowers in Grasmere. This field below Helm Crag was a delight.

Wild flowers Grasmere

Wild flowers Grasmere

JULY

Wouldn’t be Grasmere without the annual Rushbearing Ceremony.

Grasmere Rushbearing

Grasmere Rushbearing

And perfect weather for tea by the mere and perhaps a row on the lake.

Boats on Grasmere

Boats on Grasmere

AUGUST

Grasmere Village Cows

Grasmere Village Cows

You never know what is round the corner in Grasmere. Here is our “rush hour traffic”.

Grasmere Sports

Grasmere Sports

Grasmere Sports day dawned dry and bright and a great day was had by young and old alike.

SEPTEMBER

Butterfly

Butterfly

Loads of Butterflies this year. Good to see.

Misty Morning Grasmere

Misty Morning Grasmere

Early morning is glorious in Grasmere.

OCTOBER

Fungi

Fungi

Some cracking Fungi in Grasmere this Autumn.

Grasmere Fells

Grasmere Fells

Great lighting at this time of year too.

NOVEMBER

Autumn Trees Grasmere

Autumn Trees Grasmere

Autumn in Grasmere, a riot of colour.

Autumn in Grasmere

Autumn in Grasmere

And then came the rain, which I’m not going to dwell on as I have written enough about that for the time being. Grasmere is open and and ready for visitors.

Wet weather Grasmere

Wet weather Grasmere

DECEMBER

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

And Grasmere wouldn’t be Grasmere without the Annual Grasmere Players Panto.

Grasmere Players Panto

Grasmere Players Panto

The Best of Wishes for 2016 and why not make your resolution to visit our village. We are ready and waiting to give you the best holiday ever!

For my own reference as much as anything. Storm Frank 30/12/2015

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Autumn Weather and Flooding in Grasmere

The weather in Grasmere this Autumn has been stunning. This week the weather changed and many parts of the village are flooded. Snow is forecast for next week. It would be easy to forget the beautiful days we have had in September and October so here are a few images.

Glorious Grasmere

Reflections on the mere have been amazing. Even when the early morning mist hangs in the air.

Mist on the mere

Mist on the mere

The Island in the middle of the mere a symphony of Autumn shades.

Grasmere Island

Grasmere Island

The entrance to the village a riot of colours too.

Grasmere Autumn

Grasmere Autumn

And Grasmere Daffodil Garden looking lovely at any time of year.

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

The weather however took a turn for the worst this week. It started with excitement as the first snow on the higher fells was spotted.

Grasmere

Grasmere

It then deteriorated as the rain arrived, and it rained and rained. Several weather warnings were in place and it looked like the river might burst it’s banks. The floods however came from the ground being totally saturated and newly formed rivers flooded in to the village.

Grasmere Sports Field

Grasmere Sports Field

The Sports field end of the village was affected and the Daffodil Hotel was flooded.

College Road Grasmere

College Street Grasmere

The centre of the village near the garden centre was awash.

Grasmere Flooding

Grasmere Flooding

Getting in and out of the village was a trial for anyone that had to.

Flooding Rydal

Flooding Rydal

The river is still high and the rain continues, lets hope things settle down soon. Thanks to Mountain Rescue, Environment Agency, Police and Fire Brigade among others who I saw helping to keep everyone on top of things.

 

Grasmere Sports and Show 2013

There is an old Grasmere saying “It always rains on sports day” and quite often it does, however this year was different. I always draw back the curtain on Sports day morning with trepidation to see what the weather is like. This year I was greeted with early morning sunshine, and the promise of a beautiful day.

Waiting to Wrestle

Waiting to Wrestle

Visitors had arrived from Scotland, they had visited the Sports before but never seen it on a sunny day. We set off early as we wanted to see the Sea King Helicopter arriving on the field. These are the helicopters you see in the Lake District helping the Mountain Rescue teams.

Here comes the Sea King Helicopter

Here comes the Sea King Helicopter

It flew over the sports field and circled several times before coming in to land.

Sea King coming in to land

Sea King coming in to land

It stayed on the field for quite some time and people enjoyed getting up close to it. Later in the day it did a simulated rescue with Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team.

Sea King almost landed.

Sea King almost landed.

Previously in this blog I have written about the history of Grasmere Sports, and also about the different sporting events, but there is another part to the day.  It is a family event with fun for everyone. This was obvious by the amount of competitors in the children’s races. Maybe we were watching the Fell Runners of the future.

Children's Races

Children’s Races

And you can’t have a good sports day without the old favourites like the sack race.

Grasmere Sports Sack Race

Grasmere Sports Sack Race

Meanwhile , the four legged members of the family were having their own event.

Pet Dog Competition

Pet Dog Competition

On another part of the field there was Juggling fun. Think the parents were enjoying it as much as the children!.

Juggling Fun

Juggling Fun

But for me the highlight of the day was the tug of war. After various bouts it was decided to have a Vegetarians versus meat eaters event. The Vegetarians won!

Tug of War

Tug of War

Around the field, more entertainment in the form of Grasmere’s own storyteller Taffy Thomas, a Herdy Knitalong, stalls from Made in Cumbria, featuring among others the very talented Lake District photographer Nina Claridge. There was also an interesting Tea Company based in the Lake District called New Leaf Tea Tasters. As anyone who knows me knows, I love tea, but I bought something i’d never seen before. A China green tea called Tiger Leaping Flower Burst. Look away now anyone who knows me as you may be getting it for Christmas. You put the tea ball in boiling water and …..

Tiger Leaping Flower Burst

Tiger Leaping Flower Burst

As the name says, it turns into a flower. Tastes good too.  Time for a last look around the stalls before concentrating on the events.

Swallows and Amazons

Swallows and Amazons

We liked this little display by The Arthur Ransome Society. Good to see the Wordsworth Trust and Windermere Reflections there too.

Mock Mountain Rescue

Practice Mountain Rescue

Meanwhile up on the fellside LAMRT and the Sea king helicopter were in action again.

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling

One of the most popular events is the Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling.

Checking in Senior Guide Race

Checking in Senior Guide Race

However my favourite has to be the senior guide race.

Starters Gun Senior Guide Race

Starters Gun Senior Guide Race

To see the runners stream up Butter Crags really is one of the most amazing sights.

There they go

There they go

The atmosphere in the sports field is unbelievable.

Heading uphill

Heading uphill

It is a real feat of athleticism and has to be seen to be believed.

Who will win

Who will win

And first over the line for the 9th time in a row …… Rob Jebb.

Winner Robb Jebb

Winner Robb Jebb

The race between second and third place was incredible and all credit should go to both Simon Bailey and Sam Tosh. Fantastic stuff1

Grasmere Senior Guides Race Winners

Grasmere Senior Guides Race Winners

And let’s not forget the Ladies.

Ladies Winners Senior Guide Race Grasmere

Ladies Winners Senior Guide Race Grasmere

So let’s let the Adamson Band play us out after a fantastic day at Grasmere Sports and show.

Adamson Band

Adamson Band

Time to get your diaries out. Grasmere Sports and Show Sunday 24th August 2014. See you there!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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