Jumping from the sky to help international charity

Six members of staff from Bartle Hall Country Hotel near Preston took part in a sky-dive to raise money for an international charity.

The hotel’s owner Andrew Haworth was joined by five colleagues to make the jump at Cark Airfield near Flookburgh. The raised more than £2,500 in sponsorship for the International Abartleid Trust which helps communities in crisis around the world.

Andrew and his wife Nicola became involved with the Trust when they were renovating rooms at the hotel and installing new furniture. They learned that the Trust recycles furniture, either for sale or for re-use. “It seemed such a good idea,” said Andrew. “The furniture we were moving out during our redesign was very good quality and still functional. We were really pleased that it could be put to good use.”

The Trust has a number of charity shops and furniture stores in the Preston area. The founder, the Rev Bernard Cocker, said: “We at International Aid Trust are so very grateful to the staff at Bartle Hall for their support with our sponsored sky dive. And of course to all those who took part. Valuable funds have been raised and at the same time it helps us to inform people about the ongoing wonderful work we are doing for the poor and needy in many of the world’s trouble spots.”

Taking part with Andrew were Lisa Horsley, Richard Mitchell, Martin Wilson, Amy Regan and Alice Wright.

Pictured: Richard, Lisa and Martin, and Andrew coming down to earth

skydive teamandrew comes into land

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Lake District firms take up the triathlon challenge

one of the Wasdale X climbs

Photo: Steve Ashworth/MovieIt

Businesses in the Lake District have stepped forward to support the world’s toughest iron-distance triathlon, and help a children’s charity at the same time.

The X, to be staged next year at Windermere, is being hosted by Ambleside YHA and a percentage from every entry fee will be donated  to the YHA bursary fund Breaks for Kids, creating opportunities for disadvantaged young people to stay with YHA and have new, life-changing experiences.

In a bid to encourage maximum entries, local companies have offered tantalising prizes. Lakeland UK, the leading homeware company which is based at Windermere, is offering a prize of £1000 to the first man to finish, and matching that, the holiday cottage rentals company, Heart of the Lakes have put up the same amount as a prize for the women’s winner.

It is the first time that prize money of this level has been offered at an extreme triathlon event, and the move is seen as a massive boost to equality in extreme sport, with entries from around the world already heading towards the 300 tally.  Meanwhile, the award-winning Hawkshead Relish company is also sponsoring The X, with hamper prizes for the first men, women and relay teams.

The gruelling race, originally staged at Wasdale this year, will be held next June, with steeper ascents than any “ironman” triathlon anywhere in the world. Competitors will swim twice round Seamew Crag island in Windermere, and then cycle all the Lake District passes on the route of the Fred Whitton challenge, some 112 miles. The marathon run of 26 miles will take the athletes out and back to the top of Scafell Pike via Elterwater and Great Langdale.

The total ascent on the cycle and run routes is 5150m, the highest in the world, with a projected winning time of four hours longer than Norway’s Norseman extreme race.

Partner in the  Ambleside-based Heart of the Lakes,  the area’s leading self-catering holiday company offering a wide range of cottages, apartments and houses all within the Lake District National Park, Chris Jackson said: “We are thrilled to be involved in this top sporting event, and we want to make sure that the women who compete have a chance to win the same prize as the men. They are putting in the same effort, over the most gruelling course in the world. Why should the women lose out?”

Peter, Sue and Chris Jackson of Heart of the Lakes

the jacksons heart of lakes

Lakeland UK’s managing director Sam Rayner (pictured below) said: “Triathlon X needed to get off to the best possible start and we were pleased to be the initial sponsor for the event.”

sam rayner

Race director Mark Blackburn said: “We are delighted to have Lakeland UK, Heart of the Lakes and Hawkshead Relish join us and the YHA as sponsors.  They are the top names in business in the Lake District and we can see that the prize money on offer is going to attract some of the world’s leading triathletes. It’s also helping us to encourage more entries which will mean more money raised for Breaks for Kids.”

Leading triathlete Marie Meldrum (pictured below) from Lochaber in Scotland, female winner of the 2014 Celtman event said: “It is really encouraging to see women and men being offered the same prize money. I’ve noticed recently that women have started to get more prominence in media coverage of these events. Women might not be as fast as the leading men, but they are covering the same distances.”

Celtman 2014

The race will be staged on Saturday June 25. One local athlete, fitness instructor Ursula Brendling, from Ambleside, has decided to tackle the X as her very first triathlon, to mark her 50th birthday next summer. She is being sponsored to raise more money for Breaks for Kids.

Richard Greenwood, Cumbria Tourism’s head of operations, said: “As the UK’s Adventure Capital the Lake District, Cumbria has an adrenaline fuelled calendar of outdoor challenge events every year and this event is no exception. There are plenty of events for the first time competitor, and others for more experienced athletes that require total endurance and dedication.

“Hosting The X on Windermere will allow even more people to access this high level event and allow them to come and embrace their adventurous side here in the Lake District.”

The organisers are also moving the half-ironman triathlon to Windermere next year and that will be staged on Sunday September 25.

mark and maria whitehead relish

Maria and Mark Whitehead of Hawkshead Relish: hamper prizes will add spice to the occasion

William Wordsworth’s garden takes first prize

helen and trophy

The gardens of one of Britain’s most iconic literary houses have won another award.

Rydal Mount, the home of William Wordsworth for most of his life, scooped the first prize in the visitor attractions and historic houses category.

The prize, a trophy donated by Windermere Lake Cruises, was awarded by Ambleside Horticultural and Craft Society and Lakes Parish Council in the annual “parish in bloom” competition.

The extensive gardens are being restored according to plans made by Wordsworth when he lived at Rydal Mount, near Ambleside. The trophy was collected by head gardener Helen Green.

Curator Peter Elkington, who has been overseeing the garden project said: “Helen is a treasure and we are thrilled to receive this award. The gardens are loved by visitors from all over the world, and they were featured in a major Chinese travel magazine earlier this year.

“Wordsworth used to say that he would have been a landscape gardener had he not been successful as a poet. We think he would be very pleased with our efforts today at Rydal Mount.”

 

Photo: Head gardener Helen Green and the trophy

The hills of Lakeland, and the people on them

high viz on Great Gable walker on Helm Cragrock climber High Cragwoman on Red Pike, Buttermere

A new exhibition of photographs is set to show how fashion today is influenced by the outdoors culture.

What we wear reflects our personalities, the situations we are in and the activities we are taking part in, says photographer Henry Iddon. And to prove the point, he took to the hills of the English Lake District to create a remarkable portrait of fashion beyond the high street.

Hill People will open in Grasmere at the Heaton Cooper Studio as the preview event for the prestigious Kendal Mountain Festival, which draws huge crowds of adventurers and film-makers from around the world.

It’s the culmination of a project which took Iddon out onto the hills to look, unusually, at the people out there, rather than the landscape. The intention was to study what the clothes they wear may say about them as individuals, while investigating those who take part in ‘outdoor’ sports, and extend their individual experiences and relationships with a mountain environment.

“Those people involved in outdoor sports will recognise equipment, clothing types and the brands worn by others in the outdoors and come to conclusions about the people wearing particular items,” says Iddon.

“The existence of outdoor culture allows its members to recognise one another and to convey messages. A person may have a walking stick emblazoned with badges of previously visited areas stating I am well travelled. They may use an old rucksack to state I have been in the game for years. They may wear an expensive jacket designed for Himalayan mountaineering: ‘I have achieved extraordinary things’, ‘I aspire to achieve’ or, more likely, ‘I am buying into the idea of extreme achievement’.”

The result is a fascinating new perspective on outdoor activity – and a collection of stunning and unusual images.

The Hill People represent a substantial species. The latest Active People Survey (APS) results from Sport England suggests that around 211,000 people go climbing or hill walking at least once a month and 84,000 take part at least once a week. Twice as many people go walking on holiday compared to those visiting an amusement park, historic house or museum.  The total £20bn outdoor economy represents 1.65% of the UK’s GDP.

Iddon highlights how modern outdoor clothing has now been absorbed into everyday fashion.  Fabrics such as Gore-tex, once used only for outdoor sports wear, can now be seen in articles of clothing worn on the high street, and fleece garments, first popular in the mid 1980s, are now to be found in most fashion retailers.

“Adventure sports, including mountaineering and climbing, are now a lifestyle used by brands to market products to all parts of society,” says Iddon.

“This is a society that is increasingly aware of its environmental responsibilities, and a desire to engage with upland, remote and wild places is a way of escaping the pressures of urban living. Nature sports are not the only way to develop our understanding of the natural world but they give us a way of relating to it through play and seeing ourselves in partnership with features of it.”

Iddon adds that outdoor sports are not the only way to develop our understanding of the natural world, “but they give us a way of relating to it through play and by seeing ourselves in partnership with it. This exhibition looks to consider: Who are hill people?”

His definition refers to “those people who are to be found in an upland environment throughout the year and in a range of climatic conditions. They partake in a variety of outdoor hill or mountain-based pastimes including fell walking, fell running, rock climbing or even paragliding.

“These sports or pastimes could be described as alternative sports: they are not mainstream activities such as association football, rugby football, cricket etc. Underneath an umbrella term such as alternative sports fall subsections, including ʻextreme sportsʼ and ʻnature sportsʼ. Both these subsections function in such a way as to allow participants to develop relationships between themselves and the natural world.”

Director of the Heaton Cooper Studio, Becky Heaton Cooper said: This is a fascinating exhibition which fits naturally into our permanent collection of landscape art. We are delighted to be associated with the Kendal Mountain Festival which last year launched our very successful Lines of Ascent exhibition. Henry Iddon is one of the most iconic photographers of our time and we are thrilled to be hosting Hill People.”

Henry Iddon has been a full time professional photographer for nearly 20 years and has been participating in outdoor sports since being a young child: he started skiing at the age of five. He has represented Great Britain at Speed Skiing, has been involved with mountaineering exploits in Europe, North America and Asia, and cycled across a range of disciplines at an elite level.

His action sports, documentary, and portrait photography has been commissioned  by a variety of commercial, non-profit and news organisations as well as UK Central Government departments. Clients include W.H Gore, Lowe Alpine, Patagonia, Snokart, Science in Sport, PGL, Acorn Adventure, Cycling Plus, Outdoor Fitness, 220 Triathlon, UK Department of Education, BBC World News, and BBC Sport.

Iddon’s work concerns finding new ways of using photography to investigate the upland and wilderness environment. He received an individual Arts Council England Grant award in 2006 and has been nominated for the National Media Museum Bursary Award (UK), shortlisted for the And/or Book Awards and long listed for the 2014 Aesthetica Art Prize. Images from Spots of Time, Hill People and A Place to Go have been exhibited in galleries in the UK, Italy, Nepal and Brazil.

Iddon is currently Artist in Residence at the Forton Lancaster South Services on the M6 motorway which celebrates its 50th birthday and is well known for its iconic Pennine Tower. Spending his time speaking to staff and travellers to find out about their journeys and destinations, he will create a series of photographic portraits of both the people and the location.

Hill People opens at the Heaton Cooper Studio on Thursday November 19.

Creative business team celebrate at Special Spaces

 

spec spaces team line up

More than 200 people turned up for the official opening of a new design hub in Windermere.

Special Spaces brings together a number of creative businesses in the region to showcase their work.

At its heart is the fusion of smart home technology with fine design and handcrafted furniture. Visitors watched films on a home cinema screen installed by Epixx, in a room filled with Andrew Smith’s  wood-carved furnishings from Lakeland Fells Furniture, including a scroll-fronted cocktail cabinet.

cocktail tabinet front

Special lighting and sound effects were demonstrated in the showrooms designed by Alison Tordoff at Fidget Design.

Keeping things local, the coloured glass splashbacks in the kitchen showroom were designed by Kendal’s Jo Vincent, the carpets come from John Barraclough at Wools of Cumbria Carpets, and the paintings on the walls are the work of South Lakes artist Julieanne Scott.

Special Spaces is open daily with demonstrations of light and sound techniques along with home security systems. The showroom is on Woodland Road.

Pictured celebrating on the giant sofa in the home cinema room are Ben Tomlinson of Epixx, designer Alison Tordoff, Matt Holmes from Epixx, artist Julieanne Scott, Andrew Smith of Lakeland fells Furniture, glass designer Jo Vincent, and John Barraclough from Wools of Cumbria Carpets.

Parkrun heroes awarded at birthday event

annual shield

Two veteran runners, both in their eighties, were the star attraction at Fell Foot Park for the first anniversary of the weekly parkrun.

John Nettleton and Conrad Slater were awarded jointly the Race Directors’ Shield which will be presented annually to the most supportive volunteer.

The award was made as more than 200 runners lined up for the birthday event at the foot of Windermere which is hailed on the parkrun circuit as the most scenic in England.

Joining in the celebrations were the Dalton Brass Band playing by the lakeshore as the runners came in to the finish. And among them was trombonist Stuart Wallace who ran the parkrun first before joining his colleagues in the band.

There was a party atmosphere with cake for all the finishers sliced by staff from the National Trust who helped set up the event.

Parkrun is a worldwide association of free timed 5k runs which start in England at 9am in parks throughout the country.

Pictured are Conrad Slater and John Nettleton with race directors Cecilia Flint, David McGuigan, Ron Eadington and Karen White.

Below: Stuart Wallace, playing trombone in the brass band still wearing his running shoes.

trombonist

Iron-woman winner to get top prize money in the Lake District

 

In a massive boost to equality in extreme sport, the first woman to finish TriathlonX in the Lake District will win a prize of £1000 – the same as the men’s prize.

The award will be made thanks to the generosity of sponsorship from the holiday cottage rentals company, Heart of the Lakes.

They are matching the prize money being offered to the first male finisher from Lakeland UK, the leading homeware company which is based at Windermere.

The prizes will be given to the winners next June at the event, the world’s most gruelling extreme iron-distance triathlon.

The gruelling event has already attracted some 200 entries from across the globe. It is the first extreme triathlon to offer a substantial cash prize.

Triathlon X was staged at Wasdale this year but is moving to a more central location next June, starting at Ambleside YHA at the head of Windermere. YHA (England and Wales) is supporting the event, and a percentage of all the entry fees will be donated to the YHA bursary fund Breaks for Kids, creating opportunities for disadvantaged young people to stay with YHA and have new, life-changing experiences.

The event will have steeper ascents than any “ironman” triathlon anywhere in the world. Competitors will swim twice round Seamew Crag island in Windermere, and then cycle all the Lake District passes on the route of the Fred Whitton challenge, some 112 miles. The marathon run of 26 miles will take the athletes out and back to the top of Scafell Pike via Elterwater and Great Langdale.

The total ascent on the cycle and run routes is 5150m, the highest in the world, with a projected winning time of four hours longer than Norway’s Norseman extreme race.

Ambleside-based Heart of the Lakes is the area’s leading self-catering holiday company offering a wide range of cottages, apartments and houses all within the Lake District National Park.

Partner in the company Chris Jackson said: “We are thrilled to be involved in this top sporting event, and we want to make sure that the women who compete have a chance to win the same prize as the men. They are putting in the same effort, over the most gruelling course in the world. Why should the women lose out?”

Chris, whose own sporting interests extend to golf and scuba diving, added: “It will be amazing to see all these top athletes here in the heart of the Lakes.”

Race director Mark Blackburn said: “We are delighted to have Heart of the Lakes join us as a leading sponsor. When Lakeland UK made came up with their prize money, they hoped it would be a “seed corn” effort and we are thrilled that other local companies are now joining us. We believe that the prize money on offer is going to attract some of the world’s leading triathletes.”

The award-winning Hawkshead Relish company is also sponsoring TriathlonX, with hamper prizes for the first men, women and relay teams.

Mr Blackburn said: “It is marvellous that we have some of the area’s top companies helping us to encourage more entries which will mean more money raised for Breaks for Kids.”

Leading triathlete Marie Meldrum (pictured here) from Lochaber in Scotland, female winner of the 2014 Celtman event said: “It is really encouraging to see women and men being offered the same prize money. I’ve noticed recently that women have started to get more prominence in media coverage of these events. Women might not be as fast as the leading men, but they are covering the same distances.”

Celtman 2014

The race will be staged on Saturday June 25. One local athlete, fitness instructor Ursula Brendling, from Ambleside, has decided to tackle the X as her very first triathlon, to mark her 50th birthday next summer. She is being sponsored to raise more money for Breaks for Kids.

Richard Greenwood, Cumbria Tourism’s head of operations, said: “As the UK’s Adventure Capital the Lake District, Cumbria has an adrenaline fuelled calendar of outdoor challenge events every year and this event is no exception. There are plenty of events for the first time competitor, and others for more experienced athletes that require total endurance and dedication.

“Hosting TriathlonX on Windermere will allow even more people to access this high level event and allow them to come and embrace their adventurous side here in the Lake District.”

The organisers are also moving the half-ironman triathlon to Windermere next year and that will be staged on Sunday September 25.

 

Final tally for photographer Glynis’ charity fundraiser

glynis and collage

Three charities have been given a massive boost by a project organised by a South Lakes photographer.

Macmillan Cancer, Bay Search and Rescue, and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital will share £4,500 raised by Glynis Bland who organised 100-to-1, an exhibition of photographs of people aged from one to 100, a charity auction and a raffle.

Star guest at the gala event last month at The Villa at Levens was Stanley Taylor from Grange over Sands, the baby whose story prompted Glynis to set up the project. She photographed him when new-born, and then before and after his treatment for a hole in his heart at Alder Hey Hospital.

“Stanley’s story touched my heart,” says Glynis. “I’d photographed him as a newborn baby, before he was diagnosed, and when I went back I wanted to do something practical to help.”

Her portfolio of portraits of people from all over the country culminated in a huge collage which was shown at the event, and the publication of a book of all the faces.

Glynis is now launching a monthly charity photo shoot with all proceeds going to a named charity, starting with Breast Cancer Care on November 1. Email glynis@glynisblandphotography.co.uk for details.

Brass band will play for parkrun birthday celebrations

parkrun turn left

Runners will be celebrating with cake and a brass band at a special first birthday party at Newby Bridge in the Lake District next Saturday (Oct 17).

They will mark 12 months since the first parkrun at Fell Foot Park at the south end of Windermere, a 5k weekly event which is part of a world-wide series. And Dalton Town Band will be there to provide a fanfare.     

Set up by a group of volunteers with the help of the National Trust, the parkrun now attracts an average of 137 runners a week, from top class athletes to beginners, super-veterans and families.

A new course record was established last week by Alasdair Russell of Kendal in 16.04. Sarah McCormack holds the female record of 17.17 minutes. But there are regular personal achievements from John Nettleton and Conrad Slater who are both over 80.

During the past year some 2,500 runners, representing 370 athletics clubs as well as individuals, have taken part.

One of the race directors, Cecilia Flint, said:  “The event has really taken off. We have a great parkrun which is growing in popularity and success, and it would not have happened without our volunteers and the help of the National Trust.”

The free event starts at 9am every Saturday. Runners need to register online and print a barcode ticket which they must bring with them, and which can be used at any parkrun in Britain. At Fell Foot they gather after the race in the lakeside café or, in the winter months, by the mobile café serving drinks and bacon sandwiches.

“This time there will be cake,” promised Cecilia. “We are going to have a great celebration and we are thrilled that Dalton Town Band will be coming along. We would love to see anyone who has been involved in setting up the event, and helping out over the past year. And we always welcome new volunteers.”

She added: “We owe special thanks to those who helped start the event, to Matt Leigh, to Victoria Dodds from the National Trust, and to our ambassador from Barrow, Stuart Wallace.”

New design hub for North West

The North West’s new dynamic design hub is throwing its doors open to visitors in Windermere on Saturday (Oct 10).

Special Spaces on Woodland Road brings together the very latest in smart home technology with the best interior design and furnishing.

The opening event will allow visitors to see state of the art home cinema, audio and lighting set into custom built furniture in an ideal-home setting. There’s  a cinema room with full Dolby Atmos,  multi-room audio products,  a bespoke iPad control system, security & CCTV systems, and hand made furniture and interior design set in four new kitchen layouts and two ned bedrooms.

The project marks the start of a partnership between two dynamic young companies, home technology specialists Epixx, and craft furniture creators Lakeland Fells Furniture.

Epixx are the north’s leading independent consultants and designers specialising in home cinema, HDTV, lighting, music and home security. Lakeland Fells Furniture have won a reputation for top quality furniture and fittings for some of the leading hotels in the region.

 

They are joined at Special Spaces by award-winning interior designer Alison Tordoff whose Fidget Design furnishings and décor will set off the installations, and glass artist Jo Vincent who has created a stunning glass kitchen splashback. It is a truly Cumbrian venture: carpets have come from John Barraclough at Wools of Cumbria Carpets, and there are paintings by Lake District artist Julie Ann Scott.

 

The open day, with drinks, nibbles, and the chance to try out equipment, runs from 1.30 till 9pm on Saturday and visitors are welcome to call in at any time.

Special Spaces: Woodland Road, Windermere

015394 40030

 

http://www.lakelandfellsfurniture.co.uk/

http://www.epixx.co.uk/

http://www.fidgetdesign.com/

http://www.jovincent.com/

http://www.wocc.co.uk/

http://www.julieannscott.com/

 

 

 

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