Grasmere Flood December 2015.

Little did I know when I wrote my last blog, that a few weeks later on, Grasmere was about to be hit by the worst flooding in living memory. I can say that because my 98year old father-in-law says so. Mind you so has every reporter on the TV so it must be true!

Red Weather Warning

Red Weather Warning

High winds and continual rain for several days as Storm Desmond (we have just started naming storms in this country) hit the country. Cumbria was particularly badly hit. Roads quickly became impassable and villages became islands with no way in and no way out.

Stock Lane Grasmere

Stock Lane Grasmere

The river Rothay rose and rose. We watched anxiously.

River Rothay Rising

River Rothay Rising

And then it burst it’s banks.

Flooding Stock Lane

Flooding Stock Lane

In a situation like this you can use as many sandbags as you like but the force of the water is unstoppable. It comes up through the floorboards as well as through the door. You can feel the trembling beneath your feet.

Overflowing river Grasmere

Overflowing river Grasmere by @luciastakeaway

Roads became rivers and several residents had to be evacuated from houses that were flooding. Thanks to Josie at Bridge House who had been watching elderly residents all day and then offered a bed for the night and warm meal, despite her hotel flooding too.

Landslides Grasmere

Landslides Grasmere

The next morning provided an opportunity to see just why the flooding had been so bad. About twenty years ago after another flood the river was re-routed at the top of Dunmail Raise to prevent it happening again. Had this been the cause, had it taken the old route, (apart from the excessive amount of rain too). One look at the fell side and it was obvious that the rain had caused two large landslides which had contributed to the flooding and debris.

Destruction

Destruction

The strength of the water had lifted tarmac and exposed pipes (amazed after I righted it the plant pot survived).

Flooding Grasmere

Flooding Grasmere

Dirty water had flooded in the front door and out of the back of most businesses.

Bag shop Grasmere

Bag shop Grasmere

Everywhere people were sweeping the floodwater out of shops.

St Oswalds Grasmere

St Oswalds Grasmere

Even the church was closed (on a Sunday!) as it had been flooded for the first time ever. Not long after though a large team of helpers were cleaning up. I am sure normal service, or services! will be resumed soon.

Flood water Grasmere

Flood water Grasmere

Still a bit of water in the streets but the water had receded quickly.

Village Green Grasmere

Village Green Grasmere

This reindeer made his appearance for the “Grasmere Welcomes Christmas” celebrations a few weeks previously when we had terrible weather too. Any one think he should be renamed RAINdeer ?.

Broadgate Grasmere

Broadgate Grasmere

You can see the two scars on the fell side that have appeared. Quite a few shops on this stretch were flooded. The Coop was shut, and when I made it through to Ambleside later I met lots of Grasmere people with the same idea as myself buying bread and milk as the main road from Keswick has disintegrated and the road from Windermere is flooded.

Stewart Cunningham Grasmere

Stewart Cunningham Grasmere

Several shops had started cleaning up already but there were also quite a few where people couldn’t reach Grasmere to assess their properties till all the roads open. Hope things aren’t too bad for them.

Flood Debris

Flood Debris

All along fences was debris showing how the river had pushed across the fields.

Overflowing river

Overflowing river

Although this looks like a weir, it is actually a drystone wall that the river has decided to take a route over.

The main thing is that yes! there are cafes and shops open. We need your support. Please help us get back to normal by visiting once the roads are running normally again. Let’s spare a thought for the poor residents elsewhere, Keswick, Cockermouth, Appleby and Kendal to name but a few who have been very badly affected.

There is an Appeal launched to raise funds to support individuals and communities affected. You can donate via text message. Send a text to 70070 with the message FLUD15 and a monetary amount. For example FLUD15 £10

I will leave you with this photo which summed up today for me.

No use in a flood!

No use in a flood!

Grasmere December 2015.

 

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 Rushbearing 2015

Doesn’t time fly past. Another year another Rushbearing Ceremony in Grasmere.

Hope Rules A Land Forever Green

Hope Rules A Land Forever Green

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.

Grasmere Rushbearing 2015

Grasmere Rushbearing 2015

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.

Enjoying a cuppa with Taffy

Enjoying a cuppa with Taffy

A great Lake District tradition begins.

Hold these banners high

Hold these banners high

And here comes the band.

Here comes the band

Here comes the band

Villagers young and old(er) took part.

Children enjoy the parade

Children enjoy the parade

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.

Grasmere Rushbearing

As always the highlight of the parade are the Rushbearing Maidens.

Rushbearing Maidens 2015

Rushbearing Maidens 2015

Rushbearing Maidens

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.

Return journey

Return journey

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!.

Back to church

Back to church

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.

Grasmere Rushbearing 2015

Grasmere Rushbearing 2015

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.

Rushbearing Maidens

Rushbearing Maidens

Below is a link to the history of Rushbearing that I previously wrote on this blog.

https://grasmerevillage.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/grasmere-rushbearing-ceremony

Grasmere Rainbows, Autumn, and Halloween.

October in Grasmere has been an amazing month for rainbows.

Grasmere Rainbow

Grasmere Rainbow

The beautiful weather we had over the summer has led to sunshine and showers and with the showers, rainbows. Lots of rainbows!

Another Grasmere Rainbow

Another Grasmere Rainbow

Early morning has been beautiful too. Great cloud inversions looking towards the mere.

Grasmere Cloud Inversion

Grasmere Cloud Inversion

and once the clouds dispersed a little, wonderful reflections.

Grasmere Reflections

Grasmere Reflections

October in Grasmere also means Autumn Festival and thoughts of Harvest. It was pouring down this morning but this display in the entrance to St Oswald’s Church brightened up the morning.

Autumn Church Porch Grasmere

Autumn Church Porch Grasmere

Crossing the road at Church Stile I noticed the National Trust shop was looking very Autumnal too.

Grasmere National Trust Shop

Grasmere National Trust Shop

Halloween is also fast approaching and in College street the Herdy shop was brightening up a rainy day.

Autumn Herdy Shop Display

Autumn Herdy Shop Display

Lucia’s Takeaway had been busy with their own personalised pumpkin.

Lucia's Pumpkin Grasmere

Lucia’s Pumpkin Grasmere

and at National Trust Allan Bank it was pumpkin central as they were having a pumpkin trail over the half term holiday.

Allan Bank Pumpkins

Allan Bank Pumpkins

Cocoa Hearts chocolate shop had lots of people sheltering from the rain making chocolates to take home.

Cocoa Hearts Grasmere

Cocoa Hearts Grasmere

and a witch seemed to have taken up residence in the Good Bag shop next door.

Witches are good

Witches are good

So despite the rain, Autumn is a great time to be in Grasmere, and when the clouds part…..

Grasmere Light

Grasmere Light

the views can be truly spectacular.

Halloween Rainbow

Halloween Rainbow

So keep an eye open for rainbows, and Happy Halloween everyone.

 

Rainy Day Grasmere. So much to do.

Having a few days off work and awoke to rain. Despite having a sign in my hall saying “A tidy house is the sign of a boring woman” I started doing the job I hate most. Defrosting the freezer. Soon lost interest, and left it to it. Wandered up the village, and saw two people gazing in a melancholy fashion from a holiday cottage window. This got me thinking. There is so much to do on a rainy day in Grasmere, I almost knocked on the door, told them to grab their coats and follow me!.

Lakes Artists Society Exhibition

Lakes Artists Society Exhibition

First port of call, another look round the Lakes Artists Society Exhibition in the Village Hall. This usually runs from end July till beginning of September every summer and is open daily. Founded in 1904 by artist W.G.Collingwood (secretary to John Ruskin no less). Membership is limited to 45 artists all who must reside in the Lake District.

Lakes Artists Society Exhibition

Lakes Artists Society Exhibition

A fascinating mix of painting and sculpture. For more info see http://www.lakeartists.org.uk

Next stop. Barney’s Newsbox on Broadgate Grasmere.

Barney's Newsbox Grasmere

Barney’s Newsbox Grasmere

Now while you may have bought your newspapers from here while visiting Grasmere, have you ventured upstairs?. Home to over 20,000 jigsaws, you can’t fail to find something to while away a few hours, or more!

Jigsaws Galore

Jigsaws Galore

A few pieces, many pieces,  jigsaws for young and old, take a look you will be amazed.

Even more Jigsaws

Even more Jigsaws

Can’t manage to Grasmere, they ship Worldwide. http://www.jigsawsuk.co.uk

Grasmere is lucky to have lots of independent shops, and that’s what makes it so interesting. One of my favourites is Sam Read Bookseller. Established in 1887 this is the place to browse for every type of book imaginable. Snuggle up on the couch of your holiday home or guest house, listen to the rain against the window, and transport yourself into another world.

Sam Read Bookshop Grasmere

Sam Read Bookshop Grasmere

Situated on the corner of Broadgate and College Street Grasmere, you will be surprised by what you find inside. Very helpful staff, with great knowledge to find you just the right holiday read.

Sam Read Bookshop Grasmere

Sam Read Bookshop Grasmere

To see a selection of their books, maps and other reading material. http://www.samreadbooks.co.uk situated next door is Lucia’s Takeaway Coffee Shop, great for a quick snack or picnic item. On sunny day’s you can borrow a sit mat to use on the village green opposite while you eat.

Across the green is situated Heaton Cooper Studio. Another family business that was established in 1905. I don’t think I have ever managed to get out of here without making a purchase from their wonderful art shop. This time wasn’t any different!

Art Shop Heaton Cooper Grasmere

Art Shop Heaton Cooper Grasmere

The  Gallery features work by several generations of the Heaton Cooper Family. Wonderful images of the Lake District in all it’s glory.

Heaton Cooper Studio Grasmere

Heaton Cooper Studio Grasmere

They also have a new exhibition space. A great addition and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the exhibition currently on, entitled “Working The Landscape”.

Working The Landscape

Working The Landscape

Have a look at their website to see what’s on when you visit. http://www.heatoncooper.co.uk

Walk out and turn to your right. Another wet weather idea is National Trust Allan Bank situated up the lane to the side of the Miller Howe Cafe. This is not your normal National Trust experience. A quirky house, once lived in by Wordsworth and co-founder of the Trust Cannon Hardwicke Rawnsley. Each room has a loose theme, Art Room, Play room, etc. No ropes and no “Do not touch” signs.

Allan Bank Grasmere

Allan Bank Grasmere

It now features a kitchen cafe with a great selection of cakes.

Butlers Pantry Allan Bank

Butlers Pantry Allan Bank

Dogs are welcome in the house too, so no need to leave four legged friends behind. Another interesting room has the Chorley Hopkinson Mountaineering Library in it, so if it’s not the weather for climbing you can at least read about your next adventure.

Mountaineering Library Allan Bank

Mountaineering Library Allan Bank

Plenty for children and adults alike to do. Sit beside the roaring fire and read the complimentary newspapers while the children paint a masterpiece. Fantastic views too, even on a miserable day.

Allan Bank View

Allan Bank View

Best of all there are red squirrels at Allan Bank and they seem to like the wet weather best.  Sit at the window and see what you can spot.

Allan Bank Red Squirrels

Allan Bank Red Squirrels

No squirrels about? You never know what animal you might find (dressing up optional!).

Allan Bank Fun

Allan Bank Fun

Allan Bank Information http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere/

So what else to do on a rainy Grasmere day? Pop in to St Oswald’s Church.

St Oswald's Church Grasmere

St Oswald’s Church Grasmere

Buy some Grasmere Gingerbread. Always warming on a miserable day.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Or pay a visit to the Wordsworth Trust and Dove Cottage another of Wordsworth’s homes in the village. They usually have a great exhibition on too.

Dove Cottage Grasmere

Dove Cottage Grasmere

And if all else fails. Treat yourself to a fab Herdy Umbrella and do a bit of singing in the rain!

Fab Herdy Umbrella

Fab Herdy Umbrella

So I hope this has given you some ideas of what to do on a rainy day in Grasmere. Only one problem. I spent so much time enjoying myself wandering round the village my freezer had defrosted it’s self all over the floor, so it was not only wet outside but inside too!

 

 

 

Dove Cottage in the evening

Recently as part of the Museums at Night initiative Dove Cottage Grasmere, held three evenings for a limited amount of people to experience the cottage at night as it had been when it was an inn called the Dove and Olive Bough.

Dove Cottage Grasmere

Dove Cottage Grasmere

A welcome awaited with the sounds of the fiddle floating through the air.

Dove Cottage welcome

Dove Cottage welcome

The history of the house is referred to in William’s 1806 poem The Waggoner. “Where once the Dove and Olive bough offered a greeting of good ale to all who entered Grasmere Vale”. And on this occasion real ale was also supplied. It was wonderful to wander around the garden, drink in hand, on a balmy summer evening.

Dove Cottage Garden

Dove Cottage Garden

The sun was just setting on the village, and visitors had made their way home.

Dove Cottage Evening

Dove Cottage Evening

Walking further up the garden you come to a seat overlooking the rooftops.

Grasmere rooftops

Grasmere rooftops

The view would have been different in Wordsworth’s day of course as Dove Cottage was built on the old turnpike road, the view would have been much more open, the lake not obscured by the buildings on the “new” road that exists now.

It was getting chillier so we repaired inside for some real ale poetry and prose, with a few drinking songs thrown in for good measure.

End of Day Townend Grasmere

End of Day Town End Grasmere

To quote “The Waggoner” again we had to “leave it with a jovial heart” as time waits for no man, and neither does the 555 bus which was speeding some of our party home. A good night had by all. Thanks to http://wordsworth.org.uk Why not have a look and see what events are on when you next visit Grasmere Village.

 

 

Grasmere Christmas

Wandering around Grasmere over the Christmas period, I started thinking how things had changed over the years.

Herdy Christmas

Herdy Christmas

Not that long ago, Grasmere used to close down in the Winter. Nearest Saturday to Bonfire night and that was it. Shops closed until 1st April.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Wandering around in Winter was rather a bleak experience and for the shop owners too, as they had to make a living in just seven months of the year. So what changed? Short breaks became more popular, themed breaks like Bridge weekends and Yoga weekends gained popularity, and Stay cations became more frequent with people taking shorter holidays but more of them. The Hotels in the village started staying open longer and catering to a different type of visitor.

Wordsworth Hotel

Wordsworth Hotel

So it was a delight to see Grasmere buzzing with people over the Christmas period and to see the hotels and shops lit up for the season.

Baldrys Tea Room

Baldrys Tea Room

It must have been a day for pondering because the next thing I thought about was how someone had said earlier in the week “meet you at Coffee Bean Corner”. I knew where that was but would you?. The Coffee Bean was situated on the corner where the Miller Howe Cafe is now. It has also been the Natwest Bank. We also had a Barclays Bank in the village, situated where Mother Earth is now. No banks now but we do have a shiny new cash machine in the Coop.

Cocoa Hearts Chocolates

Cocoa Hearts Chocolates

We also used to have two petrol stations. One near the Chemist and one on the main road beside the Daffodil Hotel. Now the nearest petrol is available in Ambleside.

Potted Out Grasmere

Potted Out Grasmere

Potted Out Restaurant used to be a family home. Then it changed to a china shop and now restaurant.

Red Lion Hotel

Red Lion Hotel

One thing a lot of people don’t seem to know is that we have a very good ladies and gents hairdresser situated inside the Red Lion Hotel. You don’t have to be staying at the hotel to use it.

Tweedies Grasmere

Tweedies Grasmere

A popular stop over the festive season has been Tweedies Bar, part of Dale Lodge Hotel. Dale Lodge used to be an old folks home. Great situation right in the centre of the village. Glad to see the owner of this bike is sticking to the “Don’t drink and drive” message.

Attic Grasmere

Attic Grasmere

It’s not often we have a brand new shop. Attic was a welcome addition to the village, situated next to Heaton Cooper Studio.

Heaton Cooper Studio

Heaton Cooper Studio

Many shops in the village are well established like Heaton Cooper Studio. Not only does it have the work of various generations of Heaton Cooper displayed but also a great art shop too.

Grasmere National Trust Shop

Grasmere National Trust Shop

And some shops come and go. We used to have a National Trust Shop, then it went, now its back again and also giving out information about the village too.

National Trust Shop Grasmere

National Trust Shop Grasmere

Another popular destination in Grasmere is the Herdy shop, tucked away in College Street. Looking very Christmassy!.

Herdy Shop Grasmere

Herdy Shop Grasmere

And mustn’t forget Heidi’s which looks Christmassy all year round.

Heidi's Grasmere

Heidi’s Grasmere

So there you are. A look at Grasmere at Christmas, and  a bit of a reminiscence at the end of another year. All that remains is to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year in 2014, and to ask Father Christmas for one last wish….. get rid of this rain and let’s have some seasonal snow.

Grasmere is Good

Grasmere is Good

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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