Monthly Archives: May 2015

Were you born in 1957?

stanley newbornNumber one of 100-to1: Stanley Taylor

 

A photographer searching for 100 special people is just ONE short of her century.

Glynis Bland is building a portfolio of a hundred portraits of people aged from one to 100 born between 1914 and 2014 for a remarkable exhibition which aims to raise money for three charities. A book of the photos will also be published.

The only missing year now is 1957.

Anyone born then who would like to be part of this historic project should call Glynis on 07919 201711.

Glynis’s resulting massive photo-montage will be the key feature of a day-long exhibition and charity gala festival at the new luxury hotel and wedding venue, The Villa at Levens, on Sunday September 6.

The event will include live music, a magician, stalls run by supporting businesses, an auction of promises, and a competition to spot a “rogue” photo in the display. The money raised will be donated to three charities – MacMillan cancer relief, the Alder Hey children’s hospital, and Bay Search and Rescue.

Glynis said: “I am really thrilled by the response to this project and that so many people are keen to support these charities.

“People don’t need to provide any biographical details apart from their age, but the exhibition and the book will have one sentence from each answering the question: What could you not live without?”

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We need some more Friends, at Rydal Hall

RYDAL HALL. © Steven Barber Photography Ltd

RYDAL HALL. © Steven Barber Photography Ltd

RYDAL HALL. © Steven Barber Photography Ltd

RYDAL HALL. © Steven Barber Photography Ltd

 

Supporters of the Lake District’s Christian retreat centre and international community will gather at Rydal this week for their annual meeting.

The Friends of Rydal Hall come from all over Britain to provide practical and financial help, as well as being ambassadors for the work done at the remarkable centre, owned by the Diocese of Carlisle.

And they are looking for more “Friends” to join them as volunteers.

Rydal Hall, one of the most spectacular buildings in the Lakes and set in acres of formal Edwardian gardens designed by Thomas Mawson, is a conference and retreat centre as well as offering holiday accommodation to individuals and families.

It is staffed by an international community from across the globe, and one recent project organised by the Friends was to provide winter clothes for young people arriving from hotter countries. “This kind of practical support is immensely valued,” said general manager the Rev Jonathon Green.

“The Friends provide practical and financial help to foster the wellbeing of the community, and by acting as ambassadors they make others aware of the work and ministry here.”

Rydal Hall has a Christian ethos which underpins the way it works, though it provides welcome and hospitality for any groups and individuals.

“It’s a place of beauty and peace,” said Mr Green. “It is supremely about relationships which have formed lasting friendships. Many of the Friends visit regularly and have come to love the distinctive spirituality of the Hall.”

The three day meeting will concentrate this year on ecological issues, including the on-site hydro electric scheme which is due to be completed shortly.

Anyone interested in joining the Friends can call 015394 32050 or use the link on the website http://www.rydalhall.org.uk

A Vital Spirit who brought vitality to sculpture: Ophelia Gordon Bell exhibition

centrepieceportrait heads smallerrural characters small

A stunning exhibition highlighting the work of one of the most accomplished sculptors of the 20thcentury continues this autumn in Grasmere  in the Lake District.

Ophelia Gordon Bell  (1915 – 1975) is known as the wife of landscape painter William Heaton Cooper. But this show, A Vital Spirit, aims to bring attention to her own life and extraordinary talent.

Born in London and brought up among the artists of St John’s Wood in London, Gordon Bell was equally at home in the Lake District where her maternal grandfather was vicar of Urswick near Ulverston.

Trained in London, she exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, and the Royal Scottish Academy.

Her work can be found throughout Britain, from a carving of St Bede at a Carlisle church to the giant stone figures, Thought and Action, outside the Risley HQ of the former Atomic Energy Authority in Lancashire.

Perhaps her most celebrated work is the bronze head of mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary. She also created many pieces portraying the characters of the Lakeland fells – shepherds and farmers and houndtrailers.

It was during a visit to the Lakes that met William Heaton Cooper.  They married and made their home in Grasmere and had four children. One of her sons, the painter Julian Cooper, is curating the new exhibition. He says: “She was truly a vital spirit. Everyone who met Ophelia was struck by her. Even if they did not know of her artistic skill, they were witnesses to her great vitality and kindness.

“She was a most remarkable woman, bringing together the two enormously contrasting worlds of London and the Lakes, and bringing immense vitality to everything she created.”

The exhibition will feature examples of her work as a student, as well as her industrial and religious commissions, and portrait heads.

She said of art: “The Word made flesh” must be at all times be happening or there will be no vitality to carry a people over the self-destructive forces within and without

A Vital Spirit: the work of Ophelia Gordon Bell runs at Grasmere’s Heaton Cooper Studio until late autumn

015394 35280

 

Notes 

  • During the Second World War Ophelia drove ambulances for the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry
  • Ophelia and her mother made their home with an aunt and uncle, Dr Caleb Saleeby and his wife, Muriel,  in St John’s Wood, after Winifred and her husband divorced. Ophelia was educated at home with a governess, and was taken on chauffeur-driven grand tours of Europe. But she was equally at home on the Lakeland fells.
  • Ophelia was the daughter of Winifred Gordon Bell, a renowned animal painter.
  • One of her early works – which remains one of her most famous – was The Dalesman, made in her London studio from her memories of a man coming down the Lakeland fells to a farm. It was entered for the prestigious Prix de Rome.
  •  Ophelia’s full name was Joan Ophelia Gordon Bell.  One member of her mother’s branch of the family is always christened ‘Ophelia’ and ‘Gordon’ as appropriate, to keep the names alive. According to the family story, the original Ophelia Gordon was the only child and daughter of the 5th Duke of Gordon, who died in 1836, and she was cut off from inheriting the title when she eloped with an Englishman called Captain Sinclair in the late 18th or early 19th century. (Scottish inheritance could go to the female line.)
  •  The Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere was opened by William Heaton Cooper in 1938.   It is a hugely popular tourist attraction, with more than 90,000 visitors last year. It features work by the Heaton Cooper family and guest artists, with the Lakeland landscape at the heart of the gallery’s displays.
  •  The Heaton Cooper family tree is a pictorial essay on the development of art in the Lake District and beyond. There are 10 artists represented, including the sculptor Ophelia Gordon Bell, (herself the daughter of the animal painter Winifred Gordon Bell) and Julian Cooper, the internationally renowned painter whose recent work has been concerned with finding a relevant contemporary language for painting mountains and rock all over the world. The most well known works are by Alfred and William, each distinctively capturing the magnificence and beauty of rock and fell, stream and lake.
  •  Julian Cooper, the son of William Heaton Cooper and the sculptor Ophelia Gordon Bell, is an internationally known painter, represented by Art Space Gallery, London. He is a member of the Alpine Club, and has climbed throughout Britain and the Alps.

Windermere hotel among the best in England at Excellence awards

VE highly commended pic

Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel was highly commended in the Visit England Excellence awards, placing them in the top six small hotels in the whole country.

Pictured with owners Caroline and Jonathan Kaye at the award ceremony at the Sage, Gateshead, are Penelope Viscountess Cobham, Chair of VisitEngland; Alison Tordoff, interior designer; John Goleczka, business advisor, and James Berresford, Chief Executive, VisitEngland

National award for travel writer Zoë Dawes

Zoe Dawes pic

A North West travel writer has won a prestigious award for sharing her adventures online.

Zoë Dawes, who writes as The Quirky Traveller, is the winner of the “Best Culture and History Blogger” category in a national award organised by DFDS Seaways, one of the world’s leading ferry operators.

Zoë, who lives at Carnforth on the Cumbria and North Lancs border, has won a mini cruise to Amsterdam.

Her winning blog posts included a tour of Il Duomo, Milan’s cathedral in Italy, reflections on a spring day among the ruins of Whalley Abbey in Lancashire, and the many faces of Quito in Ecuador, South America.  Her portfolio also includes written top tips for coping with airports, hints for camping in Europe, and “What is cultural tourism?”

Zoë, who is also a business coach, has won thousands of admiring readers with her unusual take on life and travel. She regularly contributes articles and blog posts for tourism organisations in the UK, the USA and around the world, including Visit Britain and Laterooms.com. In 2011 she won the title ‘Britain’s Best Travel Blogger’ with a piece about a little known-area of Cumbria, and was recently awarded ‘Best blog feature 2014’ by Caribbean Tourism.

She has appeared on TV and radio and gives talks on her travels both locally and internationally, providing a captivating mix of entertainment, information and fun. She also delivers seminars and workshops, and coaches individuals in business development.   She’s passionate about culture, history, literature, good food, red wine and lemon meringue pie.

She has worked in many countries including Greece, Spain, France, Hong Kong and Singapore and visited every continent except Antarctica, which, she says, is high up on her bucketlist.

She said:  “I love culture and history. Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by both subjects.  It’s fascinating how culture fits into our rural and urban landscape, how history impacts on us today.”

But what’s her favourite place, after all this travelling?  “Nepal is top of my list because of the wonderful architecture, friendly people and spiritual influence within the world’s most impressive landscape.  However, I went to the Galapagos Islands and that competes with Nepal because of the natural harmony of animals and man.”

Zoë, who is 60, is thrilled to win an award in a field dominated by young writers: “Hopefully, as an older woman from the north of England it shows that you can blog and inspire others at any age, wherever you live. It’s brilliant to be able to share my enthusiasm for it all via my writing, photography, videos, talks and social media. I think this is the very first award specifically for culture and history travel blogger which makes it extra-special.”

Read Zoë’s blog at www.thequirkytraveller.com and follow her on Twitter @quirkytraveller

And you thought it was spring? Winter Light at Rydal

amandas painting

A new exhibition of paintings by Lake District artist Amanda Watson is open throughout May and June at the School Room tea shop at Rydal Hall near Ambleside.

Winter Light is a collection of Amanda’s work that reflects her fascination with the harshest season of the year.

Winter, she says, is such a varied season: “It can give us rain, snow, hail, high winds and sun. It’s the sheer diversity and unpredictability of the weather at this time of year which interests me. How the land and sea transforms with changing weather conditions and what effect differing light has on terrain and water is something I find fascinating.”

The paintings in this small exhibition reflect that interest and diversity.

Rydal Hall Tea Shop is open daily from 10am – 5pm daily.

Amanda will also be on site in the Bar Gallery with more paintings over the bank holiday weekend, from May 22-25.

Do you know anyone born in 1918, 1938 or 1968?

A photographer searching for 100 special people is just three short of her century.

Glynis Bland is building a portfolio of a hundred portraits of people aged from one to 100 born between 1914 and 2014 for a remarkable exhibition which aims to raise money for three charities. A book of the photos will also be published.

The only missing years now are:

1918, 1938 and 1968.

Anyone born in one of those years who wishes to be part of the project should call Glynis on 07919 201711.

Glynis’s resulting massive photo-montage will be the key feature of a day-long exhibition and charity gala festival at the new luxury hotel and wedding venue, The Villa at Levens, on Sunday September 6.

The event will include live music, a magician, stalls run by supporting businesses, an auction of promises, and a competition to spot a “rogue” photo in the display. The money raised will be donated to three charities – MacMillan cancer relief, the Alder Hey children’s hospital, and Bay Search and Rescue.

Glynis said: “I am really thrilled by the response to this project and that so many people are keen to support these charities.

“People don’t need to provide any biographical details apart from their age, but the exhibition and the book will have one sentence from each answering the question: What could you not live without?”