New gallery slot for leading artist

By Ruth Egerton

One of Cumbria’s best loved and most quirky artists is opening a new gallery and studio in the heart of the Lake District at Windermere.

Thuline De Cock, known for her huge faces of Friesian cattle, Herdwick sheep and other animals, is retaining her original studio in Kendal alongside the new gallery on Main Road, not far from Windermere station.

Belgian-born Thuline, whose work is featured in many iconic Lakes venues including the Jumble Room in Grasmere, Sizergh Barn and the Sun Inn at Crook, has recently ventured into a new range of landscape art, featuring the hills and stone walls of her adopted home landscape.

thuline new shop

She was also one of the artists chosen to paint a fantasy sheep for the Go Herdwick charity project and her offering – Beatrix – spent a summer outside the Cedar Manor Hotel at Windemere before being sold for £5000 at a charity auction.

“I’m very excited about the new studio,” said Thuline, whose work is sold throughout the UK. “It will be on the tourist trail in one of the busiest towns in the Lakes.” Thuline exhibits in a number of galleries throughout the UK and Ireland, and she has work in private collections in Britain and overseas. She’s had solo exhibitions in the north, including Percyhouse at Cockermouth, Gallery15 in Penrith, Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake, the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, and Liverpool’s Blue Coat Chambers.

She’s also had her work on show at other exhibition venues including the NEC in Birmingham, the Untitled Artist Fair in Chelsea, Stockbridge Gallery in Hampshire, and art fairs in London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Antwerp. Thuline is regularly commissioned to create paintings by clients and visitors.

Thuline is married to another artist, D C Hill, whose work will also be on show in the new studio.

Said Thuline:  “The great thing about the new space, apart from the big walls, is that I will be able to run small workshops, with up to six people at a time, in the gallery’s second room.”

For more details and commissions see

thulines animal paintings


Westminster invitation as Ashley wins green award

The Lake District-based campaigning photographer Ashley Cooper has won a Green Apple Environment Award in the international campaign to find the greenest companies, councils and communities.

Ashley, who spent 13 years travelling the world to document the impact of climate change, competed against more than 500 other nominations in the Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice. He will be presented with a trophy and certificate at a glittering presentation ceremony in the Houses of Parliament, London on November 6.

ash with the book

Ashley’s book, Images from a warming planet, containing more than 500 startling photographs of climate change devastation, was published last year and has been hailed as a critical call to action by leading environmentalists.

As a result of the Green Apple Award success, he has been invited to have a synopsis of his work published in The Green Book, the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice, so that others around the world can follow their example and learn from their achievement.

He could also progress to represent the UK in the Green World Awards 2018 and have 100 trees planted in his name as part of the United Nations Billion Trees initiative.

The Green Apple Awards began in 1994 and have become established as the country’s major recognition for environmental endeavour among companies, councils, communities and countries.

The awards are organised by The Green Organisation – an international, independent, non-political, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.

The Green Apple Awards are supported by the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Chartered Institution for Wastes Management and other independent bodies.

Ashley said: “I am very pleased that my work has been recognised, and that there will now be a further opportunity to highlight the impact that climate change is having in our country and in every country around the world. It is more important than ever that we take action to save our planet.”

Hostel date for Swallows and Amazons actress

The actress who starred in the children’s classic film Swallows and Amazons (1974) is to return to one of her favourite locations in the Lake District.

Sophie Neville, who played the imaginative Titty Walker, able-seaman of the Swallow, will stay at Elterwater Hostel as a guest of the staff. She’s returning to the Lakes to take part in a marathon day-long reading of the Arthur Ransome story on the shore of Coniston next month. When she mentioned on social media that Elterwater was the scene of her favourite day’s filming in the Lake District, the staff at the hostel sent her an invitation.

“Of all the days we spent filming Swallows and Amazons, the fishing scene, shot in a reedy bay on Elterwater, was the one I enjoyed the most,” Sophie recalls. The youngest character, Roger, caught a giant pike which he thought was a shark. A local fisherman had brought along a number of perch – and a pike – which the set crew had to keep safe until they were needed.

Fishing scene from the film studio canal

Fishing in Elterwater: a scene from the 1974 film  (thanks to StudioCanal Films)

Sophie, whose book The Making of Swallows and Amazons, has just been republished by The Lutterworth Press, will join a host of actors, writers and Ransome fans for the marathon reading session on Sunday September 3, before heading to Elterwater for the night.

“We’re delighted that Sophie is coming back to a location she loved so much,” said the hostel’s Charlie Spiller. “The small lake of Elterwater is only a short walk from our hostel but we had no idea it had been a film location, even though I’m a great fan of the story.”

hostel 3

Elterwater is a small independent hostel, formerly part of the YHA. Book here:

The marathon reading of Swallows and Amazons is being organised by the University of Liverpool in association with the Lake District National Park.


Ambleside as it really is: The Gruff Guide

Locals don’t usually read, or need, a guidebook to their home town. But here’s a very unusual, factually fascinating and hugely entertaining book which will be loved by Ambleside residents and visitors alike.

Ambleside: The Gruff Guide to a Unique Community in the Lake District is the work of Paul Renouf, who’s lived there long enough to fall somewhere between several of the categories he described, neither purely local but surely more established than offcomer. What’s beyond doubt is that he knows the place, the people, the pub, the paths intimately, and is able to bring them all to life on the unusual “handwritten” pages.

In this he’s assisted by artist and cartoonist Sarah Waterhouse whose burger-van illustration features badger bake and chips, and squirrel stew; and by local GP and tri-athlete Paul Davies who adds statistics and insights to the picture of the town today.

Renouf tackles the myths and the legends; here you will find the REAL history of the Bridge House, and some home truths about famous residents. He recognises conflicts of interest but doesn’t resort to making a drama out of them: “If you own a hotel, guest house or cafe, there are not enough tourists. If you are retired, or a farmer, or a street cleaner, there are too many. In many ways these opposing views result in a kind of uneasy balance, enabling the town to retain its identity as a community rather than letting it degenerate entirely into a soulless marketable resort facility.”

Ultimately you have to love the tourists, because they are the lifeblood of the town, and ask wonderful questions such as: “Is this the ferry to the Isle of Man?” and “Where is Peter Rabbit’s grave?” They also have a tendency to want to know exactly how far they’ve walked, given that the hills add such a lot of time to their efforts, and here Renouf obliges: the Fairfield Horseshoe, at 10.1 miles, with a total ascent of 3100 feet, is equivalent to the distance of 16.4 miles. Even Wainwright didn’t work that out.

But Wainwright didn’t include the delightful lower-level walks which Renouf describes here, though he’s scathing about one of my favourite training runs, Under Loughrigg and Rydal Park: “This is a really soft walk with virtually no ascent. It is ideally suited to those recuperating from heart attacks, violent hangovers or loss of a leg.”

What’s really gratifying is the tribute he pays to our most successful independent entrepreneur, Derek Hook: “His stylish enterprises, including Zeffirelli’s five cinema screens, his restaurants, and latterly his guest house Ambleside Manor, have surely done more to popularise Ambleside as a visitor destination than any amount of public money poured into official promotions. And yet this modest man seeks no limelight, no recognition, no power or influence.”

By way of recommendation, I quote the author’s own epilogue: “If you already know Ambleside we hope you have found new things here. If you haven’t been to Ambleside, we hope you will have been tempted to visit us. If the book has completely killed any desire you may have had to come here, you wouldn’t have liked it anyway.”

Ambleside: The Gruff Guide is available from, £9.99 and from Fred’s Ambleside Bookshop

The Art of Being

A celebration to highlight the importance of the arts for a healthy lifestyle  is being staged in Cumbria this autumn.

The Art of Being is a weekend festival of workshops in performance arts, dance and creative arts to promote health and well-being benefits for all ages.

It will be held at Scalesceugh Hall near Carlisle on October 7 and 8, and is organised by Dr Anita Herdeiro and her husband Bruno, experts in challenging traditional approaches to ageing.

Classes in Tai Chi, mask making, weaving and story-telling will be available to visitors to the hall, where an estate of luxury retirement homes is being built in the grounds.

“We will be showcasing arts and activities which can contribute to health and well-being,” said Dr Herdeiro. “We want to show doing things that are fun, and being conscious of the fact, being mindful that whatever we interact with contributes positively to our health in mind and body.

“Using the ‘arts’ in all forms – words,  music,  painting and movement – offers the opportunity to enhance and deepen the sense of well-being. These workshops are the beginning of an encouraging and respectful re-evaluation of ageing and the real needs of older people.”

anita and bruno

Scalesceugh Hall is the centre of a revolutionary project which tackles traditional attitudes towards ageing. The new homes on the site are being sold privately, with carers on site to ensure residents can live there for as long as possible, but the Herdeiro’s  aim is to turn it into a social enterprise that will become a catalyst for change countrywide.

“We need to tear up the rule book and start again, focusing on individuals not demographics,” said Dr Herdeiro. “If people feel happier and more fulfilled, and more motivated to stay well, it makes them less prone to ill health, and reduces the pressure on overstretched health and care services. Just because someone has retired, doesn’t mean they should give up on their aspirations, or lose their value.”

The Art of Being festival aims to show the way that the arts can help a healthier lifestyle. Dance, for example,  can support people living with Parkinson’s disease to develop confidence and strength, says Dr Herdeiro. “It can provide opportunity for creativity and self-expression, while also temporarily relieving some participants of symptoms in everyday life.”

Dr Herdeiro, a GP and health-care expert, has spent many years working with older people and researching into the impact of keeping fit and healthy in later life, and her principles are based on philosophies now being adopted in Scandinavia and Australia.

Visitors to the Art of Being will also have a chance to see the new retirement homes, and the Hall itself, which will have rooms available for the use of buyers – including rooms for fitness classes. Light snacks and drinks will be available.

The event is Saturday and Sunday October 7 and 8. Scalesceugh Hall is at Carleton on the A6 five miles south of Carlisle, near to junction 43 of the M6.


The missing link: where are you, Denise Fox?

The missing link: we are trying to track down our friend Denise Fox who was a student with us – Mary Clarke (Minter), Judith Selke (Lister) and Mary Regan (Dowd) at Hull University and stayed in Reckitt Hall, in the early 70s. She came from Sheffield, studied French and Italian,  married an Italian called Guiseppe, and went to live in Turin. That’s not a great many clues, but we believe strongly in the small-world principle and would ask that if you might have ANY possible connections, please share this, or copy and paste. Thank you. This is how she looked then (with the long hair and glasses)

reckitt girls

Be bold, be different, Lakes photographers are urged

Photographers are being challenged to try for different angles as a competition deadline at Windermere is extended.

The most unusual photograph of Windermere is being sought by one of the leading hotels in the Lake District. The Cedar Manor Hotel, which is a few minutes’ walk from the shore of England’s largest lake, launched a competition to find the best shot from the most distinctive angle.

And while owners Jonathan and Caroline Kaye have received many classy entries, they say that only a few meet the “unusual” request.

“Both online and in magazines we see so many shots of the Langdale Pikes across the head of the lake, for example. We want to see something different, unusual, quirky,” said Jonathan.

“We have our own favourite views, from the top of Orrest Head, a small but perfectly formed hill not far from our hotel. We think that by extending the deadline we will get some entries from summer holidaymakers.”

He added: “Maybe get into the water or onto the water with your camera?”

The idea for a competition came when they couple noticed that the most recent lake-view photos on their own website were actually of Wastwater and Coniston, not their own local lake, just half a mile from the hotel. Some of the rooms have views of the fells across the lake.

Entries should be submitted digitally to  with the entry form available here The revised closing date is August 30 27.

The prize is a two-night midweek stay for two people, out of season, subject to availability.

Jonathan said that it would be interesting to see pictures of the lake taken on dull or misty days. “Not that we have many of those,” he said.

The Cedar Manor is a luxury boutique hotel and restaurant which has won a string of awards in recent years, including best small hotel in Cumbria, and recently the Best Hotel in the UK in the boutique hotel awards.

Cafe culture Lakeland style at Mathilde’s

Café culture in the Lake District has moved to a new level this summer with the opening of Mathilde’s at the Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere.

It’s a café which is an integral part of the long-established gallery where even the light shades are works of art and a glass door leads to exciting exhibition space.

Mathilde was the young country girl from Norway who fell in love with an English painter and together they founded a dynasty of great landscape artists. Naming the café after her is a fitting tribute to the woman who played a quietly supportive role in the life of Alfred Heaton Cooper, and gave birth to their son, William. The father and son became known as the most famous of the English landscape artists of their respective generations. Her grandson, Julian Cooper, is now Britain’s foremost painter of mountain scenes and it’s his exhibition on show there now.


But the food is also causing a stir in the Lakes where the celebrations are under way in the new World Heritage Site; as the Lake District Centre for the Interpretation of Landscape, the Heaton Cooper studio was one of the original stakeholders in the bid by the National Park. Now the studio and café have a new team already winning praise for the menu and the style.

Newly appointed head chef Rob McGill, previously sous chef at the Forest Side restaurant, is joined by studio and café manager Nicola Tickle. McGill began his career on the Cumbrian Tourism chef apprentice programme, and subsequently worked at The Wild Boar, the Low Wood, and Rothay Garden in Grasmere. He did a five year stint at Harvey Nichols in Manchester, eventually as sous chef, before joining the Forest Side. He’s developing a distinctive Scandinavian influence now at Mathilde’s.


Nicola Tickle

rob the chef

Chef Rob McGill

Nicola Tickle has worked at the famous Lakes pub and restaurant, the Drunken Duck, before joining Wildsmith Hotels at Hipping Hall and the Ryebeck in Windermere. “This is a wonderful opportunity,” she says. “The Heaton Cooper Studio has always had a special place at the heart of Grasmere but now Mathilde’s adds a really exciting new dimension.”

It’s been a labour of love for studio director Becky Heaton Cooper, Mathilde’s great grand-daughter. “Mathilde was the love of Alfred’s life,” she says. “It really was a love match. Alfred was the centre of her world, and we think it’s wonderful to have her name here now at the centre of our new expansion.”

admiring Julian's work

  • The first major event at Mathilde’s and the new gallery was the official opening of Full Circle, the last in a trio of exhibitions showing the work of Julian Cooper, Britain’s foremost living mountain artist, to mark his 70th  Julian, the son of William Heaton Cooper and grandson of Alfred Heaton Cooper, has seen two other major exhibitions this year.  A London exhibition, Upstream, ran at  Art Space Gallery in the spring, devoted to new paintings on the theme of going upstream from Cockermouth, his home town. And in Kendal, the Abbot Hall Art Gallery had an exhibition of more than 30 monumental paintings from Cooper’s extensive output over 45 years and reflecting the artist’s travels. The Grasmere exhibition, which will run throughout the summer, includes previously unseen work covering a range of time and subjects, including urban scenes set in different European cities .
  • See also this about Full Circle

Race results from the Rydal Round at Ambleside Sports

Rydal Round/Ambleside Sports   July 27, 2017


1: Simon Bailey (Mercia)                                                   1:23:37

2: Ben Abdelnoor (Ambleside)                                         1:23:57

3: Joe Mercer (Horwich)                                                    1:24.03

4: Garry Greenhow (Ambleside)                                      1:24:11

5: Phil Davies (Borrowdale) MV40                                  1:24:16

6: Jack Smith (Wharfedale)                                              1:24:28

7: John Helme (Ambleside)                                               1:26:01

8: Sam Watson (Wharfedale)                                          1:26.45

9: Charlie Lowther (u/a)                                                    1:28:41

10: George Foster (Ambleside)                                        1:29:27

11: Steve Halsall (u/a)                                                        1:29:34

12: Matt Perry (Clayton)                                                   1:31:33

13: Tom Simpson (Ambleside)                                         1:32:32

14: Paul Aitken (Helm Hill)                                                1:33.21

15: Ged Callan (Bingley)                                                    1:34:31

16: Nigel Wood (Helm Hill) MV40                                   1:36:01

17: Matt Driver (Holcombe)                                             1:36:07

18: Josh Loade (u/a)                                                           1:36:12

19: John Murfin (Settle Harriers) MV40                        1:36:34

20: Darren Fishwick MV40                                               1:37:23

21: Tom Thomas (Hyde Park Harriers)                           1:39:58

22: Kellie Roberts (Ambleside) F                                      1:40:09

23: Sam Downey (KCAC)                                                   1:40:30

24: Arthur Raffle (Altrincham)                                         1:40:44

25: Chris Balderson (Bowland) MV50                            1:40:58

26: Steve Turland (u/a) MV40                                         1:41:50

27: Barry Wilkinson (Borrowdale) MV50                      1:42:05

28: Jon Waller (u/a)                                                           1:43:16

29: Dominic Raby (u/a) MV40                                         1:44:49

30: Paul Atkinson (u/a)                                                      1:44:50

31: Paul Knowles (Ambleside) MV40                             1:44:53

32: Neil Holding (Horwich) MV50                                   1:44:56

33: Scott Bairstow (u/a) MV40                                       1:45:01

34: Colin Allott (Goyt Valley Striders)                            1:45:21

35: Aaron Walmsley (Bowland)                                       1:45:25

36: Andy Gibbons (Bingley)                                              1:45:33

37: Rick Harwood (KCAC) MV40                                     1:45:54

38: Steve Angus (Keswick) MV40                                    1:46:10

39: Charles Sproson (u/a) MV40                         1:46:37

40: Colin Wilkinson (Moorfoot) MV40                          1:47:33

41: Joe Todd (KA Club) MV40                                          1:47.42

42: Steve Howard (u/a) MV50                                         1:48:02

43: Robin Steels (u/a) MV40                                            1:48:10

44: Mike Walker (Barnet)                                                 1:49:01

45: Nige Jeff (Buxton) MV50                                            1:49:58

46: Sarah Hodgson (Leeds City)   F                                  1:50:22

47: David Griffin (u/a) MV50                                           1:50:48

48: Matthew Rowland (Wigston)                                   1:51:02

49: Richard Douglas (Buxton)                                          1:51:31

50: David Banks (u/a) MV50                                            1:51:58

51: Vincent Gregg (Ambleside) MV40                           1:54:30

52: Aden Ball (Askern) MV40                                           1:54:33

53: Garry Owens (NFR) MV60                                         1:54:43

54: Damien Jones (Hoad Hill) MV50                               1:55:05

55: Steve Burthem (Warrington AC) MV50                  1:55:48

56: David Spence (u/a) MV40                                          1:55:57

57: Luke Wallwork (Barlick FR) MV40                           1:56:08

58: Jane Reedy (Ambleside) FV40                                   1:56:22

59: Paul Appleby (NFR) MV50                                         1:56:27

60: Keith Wood (Saltwell Harriers) MV50                     1:56:36

61: John Tomlinson (Penistone) MV40                          1:56:44

62: Richard Briscoe (Clayton)                                          1:57:30

63: Nick Hewitt (Bowland)  MV60                                  1:57:32

64: Christian Friis (Malmo) MV40                                   1:58:38

65: Andrew Sandercock (u/a)                                          2:00:23

66: Brian Thompson (Helm Hill) MV60                          2:01:36

67: Daniel Steels (u/a) MV40                                           2:01:41

68: Chris Green (Ambleside) MV40                                2:02:01

69: Rich Wilkinson (u/a) MV50                                       2:02:13

70: Bob Grantham (u/a) MV40                                       2:02:27

71: Rachel Towe (u/a) FV40                                             2:03:31

72: Alan Dorrington (Clayton) MV40                             2:03:32

73: Deborah Oakley (u/a) F                                              2:06:28

74: Michael McLoughlin (Preston) MV60                     2:06:34

75: Denise Wright (Bingley) FV40                                   2:08:04

76: John Orrell (Blackburn) MV50                                  2:09:19

77: Jackie Murdy (South Shields) FV50                         2:09:28

78: Ian Stainthorpe (u/a) MV50                                      2:12:17

79: John Birkett (u/a) MV50                                            2:12:53

80: Derek McHugh (Teviotdale) MV50                          2:15:39

81: John Matthews (Ambleside) MV50                        2:15:39

82: John Barton (u/a) MV50                                            2:15:40

83: Dave Kershaw (Chorley) MV60                                 2:15:47

84: Dave Tait (DPFR) MV70                                              2:17:30

85: Janet Grantham (u/a) FV40                                      2:17:45

86: Peter Bellis (Bolton Harriers)                                    2:19:28

87: James McCluskey (u/a)                                               2:19:48

88: Mo Kelly (Howgill) F                                                    2:20:00

89: Debs Greaves (Howgill) FV40                                    2:20:05

90: Cath Musetti (Ambleside) FV50                               2:20:40

91: Lucy Mallinson (u/a) F                                                2:21:11

92: Judith Bellis (u/a) FV50                                              2:21:18

93: Stephen Milner (Wharfedale) MV50                      2:23:50

94: Annie Milner (u/a) FV50                                            2:23:54

95: Mark Forth (u/a)                                                          2:25:04

96: Graham Hodgson(Lancs&Morecambe) MV50     2:25:21

97: Trevor Symonds (Northern Fells) MV60                 2:25:45

98: David Hindmarsh (Alnwick) MV50                           2:25:53

99: Peter Reed (NFR) MV60                                             2:26:22

100: Richard Hopkinson (u/a) MV60                             2:26:29

101: Peter Bolton (u/a) MV50                                         2:26:36

102: Howard Proctor (u/a) MV50                                  2:26:48

103: Karen Hood (Skipton AC) F                                      2:27:08

104: Mike Troup (Ambleside) MV60                              2:27:36

105: Harry Bates (u/a)                                                       2:27:52

106: Joe Bates (u/a)                                                           2:27.55

107: Peter Murray (York Acorn ) MV40                        2:27:57

108: Craig Partridge (Altrincham) MV40                      2:29:12

109: Stephen Logan (u/a) MV40                                      2:36:57

110: Richard Tait (Ambleside) MV60                             2:52:36

111: Karen Goodyear (u/a) FV60                                    2:52:40

112: Tony Varley (Horwich) MV60                                 2:52:40

113: Alasdair Daw (u/a) MV40                                        3:13:08

114: Claire Roberts (u/a) F                                               3:13:09

DNF: Alan McGuinness (Rossendale) MV60

Treasure to be hunted at Swallows and Amazons farm

A photographic treasure hunt for all ages is under way at Bank Ground Farm near Coniston in the Lake District.

Visitors to the farm, the Swallows and Amazons cafe and tea-room, the guest house and holiday cottages, will find treasure hunt cards in the farm shop, displaying eight locations in and around the farm and its grounds.

What they have to do is find the actual locations, and take their own photos to be in with a chance of winning a prize.

S&A tearoom

Co-owner Shayla Batty said: “We’re looking for the most original and unusual views of places that might be familiar to us, but will be a challenge for our visitors. First they have to find the places in our picture, then take a photograph of their own.”

Photos are to be emailed to

Prizes will go to the best original shots, and the winners – adults and juniors –  will get a free trip in a rowing boat from the Bank Ground jetty.

Bank Ground Farm has strong connections with treasure hunting, as one of the locations in Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s story, Swallows and Amazons, in which the youngsters find a treasure chest on a tiny island on the lake. Swallows and Amazons, loved by generations of children – and adults – opens at a farm called Holly Howe where the children are waiting for a telegram from their father with permission to camp on an island in the lake. Bank Ground Farm was the model for Holly Howe, and was also used as a location in the 1974 film version of the story.