Another year nearly gone. Another year where other commitments have overtaken writing my blog. Let’s have a look at what has been happening in the village this year through photographs I have posted on Twitter (yes I do still have time to do that so to keep up to date you could follow @grasmerevillage).
Mixed weather this year. Long periods of sunshine during the Summer then torrential rain in Autumn. Rushbearing Day was beautiful. Grasmere Sports Day was wet, wet, wet.
Our newly rendered church tower looked good in the sunshine, as did our new Farmers Market, which has proved a great hit with locals and visitors alike.
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.
Proceedings were given a rousing start by the Adamson Brass Band, always a crowd pleaser.
Young runners first and there were plenty of entrants for the sprint and fell races.
Meanwhile the crowds were being entertained by Andy Jester who was keeping everyone amazed by a bit of nifty fire balancing and eating.
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.
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.
Time for a cup of tea or coffee, thirsty work this Sports watching!
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.
Elsewhere on the field our very own Taffy Thomas the Storyteller was keeping everyone entertained.
Further along the field the hounds were going through their paces.
Hound trailing is a very popular event. More information can be found here. http://www.houndtrailing.org.uk
Animals of another type were also attracting attention. Herdwick and other breeds of sheep were shown and discussed.
It’s always good to see children taking part in the good old classic egg and spoon, Sack race and three legged race.
and parents like to get involved too. Balancing a bean bag was very popular with parent and child teams.
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.
I really don’t think there is a finer sight than all the runners streaming up the fell side.
It was an exciting race to the finish!
Well done Sam Tosh, Simon Bailey and Rob Hope.
The ladies weren’t far behind.
Sharon Taylor, Steph Curtis and Ruby Sykes ran a brilliant race.
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
Fresh and raring to go, they still had a smile on their faces right at the end!
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.
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 was rather a wet one. It became obvious fairly early on in the day that the rain wasn’t going to ease up.
With good spirit everyone dressed for the weather and started to parade through the town.
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!
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.
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.
I noticed more than one person dashing in to Lucia’s for a takeaway coffee to warm up with.
Time to head back to St Oswald’s Church
I think umbrellas brighten up the parade on a rainy day.
Taffy Thomas the storyteller always has a good view point from the Storytellers Garden.
Back at church and time to get inside and dry off before a welcome cup of tea.
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.
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.
We really have been having some gorgeous weather in Grasmere recently. It has been wonderful to see people sitting outside pubs and cafes soaking up the sunshine. Business has picked up since the A591 has reopened and things are more or less back to normal.
Almost overnight flags have appeared in the village as Grasmere gets ready to celebrate The Queen’s 90th Birthday.
If you are in Grasmere on Saturday 11th June why not come and join us. From 1-4pm we will be inviting people to bring their own picnic to the park. A little bird tells me The Wordsworth Hotel and Spa might even be offering complementary strawberries and cream.
In the park on Saturday there will be sports and trophies for all ages, Kendal Concert Band will be playing and Grasmere Glee Club. Grasmere Players will also be performing.
On Sunday 12th June at 4pm there will be a service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s Life.
A well known face in Grasmere Cameron Butland will be back to lead the service and there will be tea and cake for everyone afterwards.
So as you can see we are all ready to celebrate, lets hope the weather holds out just a little longer.
How many more flags will spring up tomorrow?
You will just have to visit us and see over the weekend.
Written in memory of my Father in law who built the shop above. Long time lover and resident of Grasmere.
Eric Shaw. Died 25/5/2016 a month from his 99th Birthday.
Doesn’t time fly past. Another year another Rushbearing Ceremony in Grasmere.
I have written about the history of Grasmere Rushbearing many times in this blog, but it never fails to be one of my favourite days in the village.
After a weather forecast that wasn’t looking good at all, the procession took place with dry weather. I was actually at work but dashed down the hill to view the procession and take some photos. I always have a dilemma about where to stand but my good friend Taffy the Grasmere Storyteller took the decision out of my hands when he offered a cup of tea in the Storytellers Garden to enjoy while watching.
A great Lake District tradition begins.
And here comes the band.
Villagers young and old(er) took part.
Even our local thespian Doctor takes part. Still can’t forget his performance as Toad of Toad Hall in Grasmere Players production a few years ago.
As always the highlight of the parade are the Rushbearing Maidens.
Through the village they process until they reach Moss Parrock in the centre of the village for the Rushbearing hymn. Back through the village again to the Church.
Alex who was holding the cross at the start of the parade had been baking scones all day at National Trust Allan Bank and literally ran down the hill to take part. He looks amazingly relaxed! By now these bearings feel heavier and heavier!.
The Rev’d Cameron Butland leads the way back to church for the Rushbearing service. A little bird tells me this may be his last Grasmere Rushbearing Parade.
So another Rushbearing Parade escaped the rain! See you in 2016.
A good friend who I met through the wonders of Twitter @Loftylion9 was watching the parade with me. She took the beautiful shot below and gave me permission to use it.
Below is a link to the history of Rushbearing that I previously wrote on this blog.
A family gathering and a staycation in Grasmere. It’s not often you book in to a Hotel which is just a few steps from your own front door. With people arriving from Scotland, Manchester and London, it was suggested we all book in to a Hotel so no one had to cook or organise anything. It was brilliant! The weather was extremely kind and the Bridge House Hotel couldn’t have been more perfect. Ample parking in the centre of the village, lovely grounds to sit in, and the food… well the food was just amazing. As we had young children visiting the option of a smaller portion of a main meal or a kid’s meal was ideal.
As we were being fed so well, a bit of exercise was needed. With ages ranging from three to eighty three a walk round the lake seemed like the best plan. Having procured bread from the hotel kitchen to feed the ducks, off we set….. and didn’t get far. As we had a few tea lovers with us, we had to stop at Faeryland tea gardens on the waters edge. They have the most amazing range of teas, and everyone enjoyed the selection. There was a brief debate about whether to go out in a rowing boat but we decided to stick to the original plan.
Although the start of the walk is on Red Bank road, it is not long till you come to a house with a red postbox in the wall and just beyond, the path to the lake shore. The sun was blazing down (not often I get to write this) and everyone was desperate to reach the water and have a paddle.
Another young member of the family suddenly spotted Allan Bank the National Trust property in the distance, and had to be bribed with a visit the next day to keep him walking! Loads of fun for everyone and he had remembered a previous visit.
Another distraction was just along the path. Children love this tree.
It was fantastic to see everyone enjoying the sunshine. The beach at the end of the lake was packed with people.
There really is nowhere better than Grasmere when the weather is kind. People were starting to flag a bit, so we decided to come back through Penny Rock woods and walk along the pavement at the side of the lake.
The thought of a drink on the terrace at the Daffodil Hotel kept everyone going. While the older members of the family enjoyed the views and refreshment, the younger ones were still full of energy and found an old boat in the grounds to play on.
“Did you enjoy your walk” I asked ? I think the answer was clear!
Definitely a Glorious day in Grasmere, and a perfect walk for all ages. Even better no meals to make that evening. Who says holidaying in your own village can’t be fun.
The Olympics may have been held in London this year, but here in Grasmere we have our own “Olympics” every year.
The 162nd World Famous Grasmere Lakeland Sports and Show was held this Bank Holiday weekend. As usual competitors arrived from many countries not just locally.
I have written previously about the history of the sports in this blog so let’s just have a look at events this year.
One of the most popular events is the Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling. Different Countries have different styles. Switzerland has Schwingen, Iceland has Glima, Brittany has Gouren, and Britain has Cornish style and of course the famous Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling. As you can see above, they start them young!
Once the referee says “Wrestle” they start and the crowd really gets behind it. It’s quite a quick sport and you can easily pick up the finer points.
Generally the usual way to win is to get your opponent down on the ground so that he touches the ground with any part of the body except the soles of his feet before you do. You can also win if a wrestler breaks his hold.
Of course like every sport there are correct terms for different techniques. Dog-falls, hanks, hipes and chips are some of the terminology you will hear as they battle it out.
“Best of Three” is the winner. In case you think it’s only the men who wrestle, I can assure you the women take part too.
So many shows have been cancelled because of the rain we have had this summer. In fact I was at a show earlier in the week where they were hauling the cars on to the sports field by tractor. Now i’ve seen cars being hauled off many a time but never on!. So the first part of the morning had gone well at Grasmere, then the heavens opened.
It was only a downpour of about 20 minutes but it certainly had folk scurrying for cover. I don’t think the craft tents knew what had hit them. Luckily it was over quickly and the rest of the day was fantastic with warm sunshine. However it made the fells a bit slippy for the fell running.
The Guides Races are the highlight of Grasmere Sports and the band appeared to send off the runners in the Senior Guides Race.
Last year there was a field of over 140 competitors, the most ever. This year that record was broken and 191 people took part.
And off they went, streaming across the main road on the way up to the summit of Butter Crags.
And it wasn’t long till the leaders were breaking away and they had reached the first wall.
Fred Reeves set the record for the Senior Guides Race in 1978 so there is always a bit of excitement that this will be the year that it’s broken.
Great times, but no record breaking this year, so Pete Bland Sports can keep the £500 additional prize money they put up again this year.
First was Rob Hope, Second, Rob Jebb and Third, Mike Addison. Note to parents. Perhaps if you want to raise a future fell runner it might be an idea to call them Rob!
And the winners kept coming.
It’s all in the taking part. And while many may not have broken any records they can be proud of the effort they put in. Even our local MP took part again.
Now earlier I mentioned that sudden downpour we had and that it had made the fell side slippy. Well not everyone came out unscathed. One competitor fell near the top and had a damaged ankle. Additional entertainment was provided by Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue having to attend. They were heading up the hill as the last runners were still coming down. Mind you they were on the field already.
So that’s my round up of Grasmere Sports for this year, and here comes Bellman Mr Tommy Sedgwick to ring the bell and finish this year’s events. Today he used the bell that was used to open the sports in 1885.
Hope to see you at Grasmere Sports next year,
A few weeks ago we had a little taste of what Summer should be like in Grasmere.
A certain family member had been wanting to go out on a rowing boat on Grasmere for ages and I had kept saying it was too cold.
Trust me to land myself without an excuse when I woke to the most beautiful sunny morning and went into the kitchen announcing “isn’t it warm today”. That was it, rowing boat day had arrived!
To be honest I had a reason to go out on the lake myself, but once it was agreed that I was taking photos and not rowing I really started enjoying myself.
It was a stunning day weather wise and still early so not many folk about.
We headed out to the Island in the centre of the mere. This got me thinking as we got nearer and nearer, how much it had got overgrown. I can’t remember the last time I saw the farmer taking sheep across to graze on a rowing boat. It used to be a regular occurrence. It was also common for flocks of sheep to be brought down Stock Lane in the centre of the village. Quite often the cry of “sheep!” prompted us to run and close our shop doors, in case they decided to pay a visit. I never had sheep in the shop but I did once have a flock tramp through the house when someone who shall remain nameless left the front gate and front door open!. A very “sheepish” (sorry couldn’t resist that) farmer appeared at the door with a box of chocolates to apologise.
A few more lake users were appearing so we headed over to have a look at the new Waterside Hotel. Formerly the Prince of Wales it is due to open this Summer.
I had been desperate to see what it looked like from the water, and this was the perfect view.
It was good to see what was happening from a different angle.
There will be some lovely views from these windows. Time was moving on so we went round by the Waterside Boathouse and rowed to the top of the lake.
It was a quick row to the top of the lake, and by now the sun was really shining.
Walkers were appearing on the walk round the shore.
The views are stunning in every direction from the lake, it really is the most perfect place to take in the surroundings.
It looked as though lots of people were starting to get the same idea as us, and more boats were appearing as we headed back to Faeryland where we had started from.
Nesting on the bank just before we got back to the landing stage were some swans, we just had time to watch them enjoying the sun.
Then just before we docked we spotted a Heron in the shallows.
Feeling guilty that I hadn’t done a single bit of rowing, I felt it only right to offer refreshments. A pot of Faeryland’s own blend tea.
So a perfect sunny day in Grasmere. No need to open an umbrella. Well not for the usual reasons anyway!
Who would have thought that the Olympic Torch would pass through the centre of Grasmere.
The day before had been the most beautiful sunny day, however we woke to torrential rain. But all was not lost, although it was still drizzling when the torch arrived it had eased off a lot.
The torch arrived just as everyone was locking up shop for the day, we knew it had arrived by the sound of drumming coming from the park. Grasmere School were performing and apparently gave the torch a rousing welcome. We all dashed on to the pavement to watch.
A rather strange parade of vehicles for the streets of Grasmere then appeared. First came the CocaCola one, with music blaring. Heavens only knows what the Herdwick sheep in the fields were thinking!
Next up we came face to face with David Beckham, not something I thought I would ever say in this blog!
Lloyds Bank was next. Presumably these are all the sponsors of the Olympics.
It was a shame that none of the torch bearers were actually from Grasmere, would have been lovely to see one of our own carrying the flame.
However I have to say the bearer that we saw was very nice and chatty to everyone waiting.
And then torch lit, the bearer ran through the centre of the village
and was past before we knew it.
Everyone remarked how brilliant it was that the flame had actually come through the centre of Grasmere and not just along the main road. After another handover the flame proceeded to Ambleside by open top bus, then by Lake steamer to Bowness on Windermere for an evening of entertainment. The rain did little to dampen spirits and it was great to feel part of the London 2012 Olympics in this little part of the British Isles.
I always feel proud of Grasmere, but never more so than this morning. On my early morning walk there was a sign saying “use side entrance of church” so I did!.
In all the years I have been here, I have never seen such a sight. The interior of St Oswald’s Church was all decked out for a Jubilee Party.
The lucky children of Grasmere School were having a “street party” inside the church. Something they would no doubt remember for a long time. Each child’s name was made into a crown, and the scene was set.
That got me thinking. Why not photograph more of the businesses that had made an effort for the Jubilee. So here we go. All credit to the following for making things so nice for our visitors.
Potted Out Cafe had the flags flying over their door, and also these displays in their plant pots. Well they are part of the Garden Centre after all!
All Red, White and Blue in the Information Centre Window.
I think Sarah Nelson would have been very proud of the display the present family members had made of the Gingerbread Shop.
Next up, The Wordsworth Hotel.
Nearly got lead astray at this point as I could see everyone in the Hotel restaurant tucking into their breakfasts, which looked delicious!
Luckily Baldry’s Tearoom was shut, as they have the most yummy cakes you can imagine.
The flags were flying at Heidi’s Cafe. A great place to stock up on a packed lunch for your walk.
One of the oldest buildings in Grasmere. The Red Lion Hotel.
And the newest shop, just opened in a new home. Attic, full of wonderful gifts.
Loved the Heaton Cooper Studio window. Obviously making the most of the fact that we also have the Olympic Torch passing through the village as well.
Everyone’s favourite the totally cute Herdy shop.
A great base in the centre of the village. Beck Allans holiday cottages and Bed and Breakfast.
I suppose it was inevitable that the Storyteller Laureate of Great Britain would have the flags flying.
And guess what! Storyteller Taffy was at home. Full of tales of the events he was holding over the Jubilee holiday. In his newly spruced up garden, and as part of the Tales and Trails season, which take in walks to Helm Crag and Rydal Water.
He was also telling me about an event he is appearing at, at the newly re-opened Allan Bank. An evening of fairy stories and music for mid summer. Sounded great.
So there you have it. A little insight into Grasmere life. With events planned all over the 4 day holiday, it’s a great place to be. Hog roast, sports, concerts in the church and a beautifully decorated village. What more could you ask.
Finally, come rain or shine, I spotted these in an outdoor shop in the centre of the village. You too can be patriotic come rain or shine!
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012