Monthly Archives: July 2014

The local team behind Windermere’s award-winning hotel

winning design team celebrate

Cumbria’s award-winning best small hotel, the Cedar Manor, threw a party to thank the creative team behind their stylish interior.

Pictured here with owners Caroline and Jonathan Kaye are the specialists, all of them local, who form a truly Cumbrian combination to help win the accolade at the recent Cumbria tourism awards..

There’s Alison Tordoff who runs Fidget Design in Windermere and has helped the hotel win international design awards. She came up with the schemes for the stunning interiors, like the Coach House suite, and the new Welcome Lounge for which she designed its “bookends” wallpaper, and the centrepiece chandelier.

Then there’s Jo Vincent, based in Kendal, the glass artist who actually made the chandelier from recycled bottles of Bombay Sapphire gin. That’s now catching international attention and is about to be featured in a new lighting magazine.

The furniture craftsman is Andrew Smith, who came straight from the workshop and hid his tape measure in his pocket before this photo was taken. He runs Lakeland Fells Furniture in Windermere, and everything he has made for the Cedar Manor has been done to very demanding specifications.

Said Jonathan: “We have amazing design and creative people who have helped us create the best small hotel in Cumbria. So we brought them all together for a little celebration.”

Picture by Richard Gill/Great Impressions


Tales from the front line: an inspiring story comes to Rydal

The inspiring story of a nurse on the front line during the first World War is coming to Rydal.

Dick Robinson has been invited to give a talk about his great aunt Edie, Sister Edith Appleton, who served in Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve.

The hosts, Grasmere Women’s Institute, have booked the Bulley Barn at Rydal Hall as they are expecting a big audience. “If you enjoyed watching The Crimson Field on BBC recently, you won’t want to miss this event,” said one of the organisers.  “Everyone is welcome.”

Sister Edith, who worked in hospitals and on the front line in Normandy in Northern France, wrote a daily journal which has since been published by the Imperial War Museum with Simon & Schuster: A Nurse at the Front – The First World War Diaries of Sister Edith Appleton.

Mr Robinson’s wife, Lisa, will read extracts from the diaries.

For further information see the website

The event is on Thursday September 4 at 2.30 and tickets – including tea and traybakes – cost £8, from Ann Fawthrop (015394 35305).

Beatrix Potter boosts visitor numbers at Ambleside museum

The new permanent exhibition dedicated to Beatrix Potter has boosted visitor numbers at Ambleside’s Armitt Museum.

Figures to the end of May show a 55% increase in visitors compared with the same period last year. The new show – Beatrix Potter: Image and Reality – was opened officially at the Armitt last September and reveals the character of one of the most iconic and influential figures of the Lake District.

The exhibition features scientific paintings and drawings from the Museum’s collection, along with significant new displays. These include images from collections held by the National Trust and her publisher, Frederick Warne, along with Beatrix’s own personal first editions of the “little” books, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Beatrix Potter’s Lake District in the early 20th century are at the heart of the show, featuring the people who were important in her life, and her remarkable series of careers as a scientist, illustrator, artist, writer, sheep farmer and conservationist.

The permanent collection completes a circle of Beatrix Potter attractions in the Lake District, from the World of Peter Rabbit at Bowness to her former home at Hill Top, along with Wray Castle where her family spent holidays.

Museum trustee Graham Kilner said: “Beatrix Potter is known for so many different reasons and because of her many different talents. It’s fascinating to see how she reinvented herself over her lifetime.”

Last month the Armitt was able to promote another new attraction, the acquisition of the mountaineering library collection of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club, England’s first and foremost mountaineering society.

This is one of the world’s most renowned collections of historic books on climbing and mountaineering, and been given a permanent new home at the Armitt.

The Fell and Rock Climbing Club’s library of 2,000 books was received by the museum at a reception at which Alan Hinkes, the only Briton to have climbed all 14 of the world’s highest summits, was guest of honour.

Armitt museum curator Deborah Walsh also discovered a series of glass lantern slides taken during the 1921 Everest Reconnaissance Expedition to Everest. The expedition included George Mallory and records the first use of oxygen in climbing. These were projected onto the walls of the museum when the collection officially opened.

Walsh said: “It is of great satisfaction to the FRCC and the Armitt Museum and Library that the most significant collection of mountaineering books in the country has come together in the heart of the Lakes and is now accessible to all. I’m still finding out how rare some of the items are.”

She added that the FRCC books overlapped and complemented the Armitt’s own unique collection of early guide books, making it one of the best resources of its kind anywhere.

Would YOU like to work with the Armitt? Volunteers are needed to help keep the museum open. Further information: 015394 31212



Who’s been sitting in MY chair, asks William Wordsworth

teddy wordsworth



Visitors to William Wordsworth’s home at Rydal Mount near Ambleside are being encouraged to bring their teddy bears – and have them photographed sitting in the poet’s favourite chair.

The habit was set by Westmorland Bear, an eminent visitor to Rydal Mount, the Lake District home of Wordsworth, his wife Mary and his sister Dorothy.

He was brought by his owners many years ago to visit the house, from where Wordsworth published the definitive version of Britain’s best loved poem, Daffodils, and had his photo taken sitting in the famous chair in the drawing room.

Last summer he came back, looking not a day older according to curators Peter and Marian Elkington, and had his photo taken again.

Now visitors are invited to bring their teddy bears, and have them photographed in the famous seat. The Rydal Mount curators have also issued a challenge: whose chair has YOUR teddy bear sat in?

They are now hoping to find the bear who is photographed sitting in the seat of the most famous person. Someone even more famous than William Wordsworth? The curators are asking that your photos are uploaded to the Rydal Mount Facebook page ( At the end of the year there will be a prize for the most unusual or impressive claim.

Said Peter Elkington: “We’ve had some famous people sitting in Wordsworth’s chair over the years – including Terry Wogan last year – and a number of photogenic bears. We hope that other visitors will be encouraged to bring their teddies with them.”