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HOW ULLSWATER WAS SAVED: COMMEMORATING LORD BIRKETT AND THE ULLSWATER PRESERVATION SOCIETY.

HOW ULLSWATER WAS SAVED:  COMMEMORATING LORD BIRKETT AND THE ULLSWATER PRESERVATION SOCIETY.

 

On Tuesday 29 August, a memorial is to be unveiled to celebrate the Ullswater Preservation society and Norman Lord Birkett QC who, in 1962, saved Ullswater from becoming a reservoir.

The memorial is the seventh addition to the Ullswater Heritage Trail – a series of sculptures and installations along the Ullswater Way commemorating key moments in the lake’s (and the valley’s) history and masterminded, fundraised for and delivered by the Friends of the Ullswater Way.

 

In the early 1960’s Manchester Corporation Waterworks proposed the building of a weir on the river Eamont at Pooley Bridge, effectively creating a reservoir and increasing the level of the lake by some 3ft.

 

There was an immediate and vociferous public outcry – local residents formed the ‘Ullswater Preservation Society’ and quickly organized a petition of over 500,000 signatures.

 

Following the rare initiative of a Petition to the House of Lords, the proposal was debated on 8 February 1962. Passionate speeches from all sides of the House and most notably by Lord Birkett QC resulted in the proposals being thrown out.

 

Richard Inglewood whose father, the first Lord Inglewood, played a leading role in the campaign, commented: – “Lord Birkett’s powerful speech, “deeply felt and eloquent”, is rightly considered one of the finest in modern Parliamentary history and undoubtedly saved the lake “for all people for all time”. He died of a heart attack a few days later”

 

Miles MacInnes, whose late father Gurney was Treasurer of the Society added: – “This is a great David and Goliath story and one which should not be forgotten.  We are very grateful to United Utilities who have generously sponsored this impressive memorial.  We are delighted that Lord Birkett’s Grandson, Thomas Birkett is joining us in this celebration

 

The Memorial has been carved on local slate by well-known lettercarver Pip Hall; it has been erected on a popular view point near the Ullswater steamers pier in Pooley Bridge.

 

ENDS

For further information or images, please contact Miles MacInnes
on 07718 523047  or at
miles@milesmacinnes.co.uk

 

Note for Editors.

 

  1. INVITE TO PRESS: The memorial is to be unveiled on Tuesday 29 August at 2.00pm. Map reference: NY 467 243.

 

  1. Quote from Lord Birkett’s speech:-

 

“Thus far and no farther. Go away. Come again another day, if you will. But in the meantime, do that which ought to have been done before. Produce the hydrological data on which the House can come to a proper decision. Until that is done, you have no right whatever to invade the sanctity of a National Park”.

 

  1. An inscription on the memorial -‘Si Monumentum Requiris Circumspice’ is taken from Christopher Wren’s monument in St Paul’s Cathedral and translates: – ‘If you seek his memorial – look around you’

 

It was chosen as being particularly appropriate by Richard, Lord Inglewood, whose father, William Vane MP (later the first Lord Inglewood) was instrumental in ensuring the success of the campaign.

 

  1. In 1965 a revised and much reduced scheme was approved following a Public Enquiry. Water is now taken from Ullswater by tunnel to Haweswater under strictly controlled conditions which prevent abstraction when water levels fall.  A huge underground pumping station at Parkfoot Holiday Park is largely unnoticed.

 

  1. Lord Birkett is also commemorated in the Ullswater Yacht Club’s ‘must do’ annual Birkett Trophy and a plaque on a lakeside cliff in Hallin wood.

 

  1. For details of Pip Hall’s work see piphall.co.uk.

 

  1. This memorial is the seventh in a series of installations supported by the Friends of the Ullswater Way (FOUW) which was founded in March 2016, and involves all 5 parishes around Ullswater. It has raised almost £20,000 during the last year to finance art and heritage installations on the Ullswater Way Heritage Trail.

 

Full details on the work of FOUW can be found on their website (http://www.ullswaterway.co.uk).

Daff Fest 2017

This April Daff Fest returns to the Ullswater Valley for a second year. Enjoy a colourful series of that encourages everyone, both young and old, to delight in daffodils and enjoy spring time just as our local literary greats once did. From guided walks with Lake District National Park Rangers to garden tours, daffodil trails and a spot of theatre – there are plenty of reasons to visit England’s most beautiful lake over the next few weeks.

Click here for more information and all events.

The Dalemain Marmalade Festival

Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 March

Get yourself to Penrith & Dalemain Mansion in majestic Cumbria on 18th & 19th March to help us celebrate the glory that is marmalade in all its brilliance. There will be demonstrations, talks, fun exhibitions and shows that will inspire you, your family and friends to take the nation’s marmalade to your heart.

A free ‘Orange Express’ Shuttle bus will operate between the venues. Please Note: You can arrive by car and park at each venue too.

Find out more…

Iconic lake to come alive with dramatic procession of fire & light

One of England’s most beautiful lakes is to host the new ‘Ullswater Droving’ event on the evening of Wednesday 26 October – complete with a procession of fire, masks and music which will take in a 8 mile sailing through the Lakeland nightscape.

Staged by the award-winning Eden Arts, this colourful new event will get underway with the unique spectacle of Newcastle-based street performers ‘Spark! jumping on board a traditional steamer at Glenridding. The illuminated drummers will combine light, sound and movement as they sail up the lake, arriving at Pooley Bridge just as darkness falls to meet a multitude of masked torch bearers.

As the procession winds its way through the historic village, Spark! will take to the main stage to entertain the crowds, where everyone can gather around the bonfire.

Adrian Lochhead, Director of Eden Arts, says, “We are very excited about this special one-off event to mark the recovery of flood-hit Ullswater. Taking place at half-term, this ‘mini-droving’ is great for all the family and will combine all the elements we love – light, colour, music, dressing up and above, plenty of fun. 

 

“The sight of the LED lit drummers arriving to a torch-lit procession will definitely be a special moment and it will be the perfect warm-up for Penrith’s main Winter Droving event, which takes place on 12 November.”

Rachel Bell, Group Marketing & Events Manager at Ullswater ‘Steamers’ says, “We are really looking forward to welcoming the new Ullswater Droving, it will be a fantastic display of colour and light and the perfect opportunity for people to come together and celebrate the valley during the half term break.”

The timetable for Wednesday 26 October includes:

  • 4.40pm – Short performance from Spark! Glenridding steamer jetty
  • 4.55pm – Spark! leave Glenridding on board Ullswater Steamers
  • 5.15pm – Torchbearers gather at Pooley Bridge steamer jetty for arrival of Spark!
  • 6.00pm – Torch procession begins, from jetty through Pooley Bridge

Fire torchbearers are being encouraged to wear animal masks or to dress as a drover/shepherd (with flat caps or a touch of tweed).  Register online as a masked torchbearer. Donations of £2 per fire torch are requested.

The Ullswater Droving is a flood recovery event funded by Eden District Council, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership. Thanks to The Lions, Ullswater Steamers, the Ullswater Association and Fellbites Café in Glenridding.

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

For media enquiries including images and interviews, please contact: Heather Sewell, 07795 487003 / hsewell@cumbriatourism.org

 

Eden Arts is a charitable arts organisation (charity no. 1139215) based in the Eden District, Cumbria, and funded by Eden District Council, Arts Council England and The Big Lottery. Eden Arts promotes, invents, dreams and cooks up all sorts of creative projects from commissions to participatory to gigs and cinema.  www.edenarts.co.uk

Go Herdwick Public Art Trail – Until Sun 4 September 2016

Go Herdwick is a fun public art trail running through the centre of the Lake District between Keswick and Windermere. Throughout Summer 2016 you will find 60 beautifully decorated life-size Herdwick ewes and 48 lambs in a variety of locations, all paying homage to the Herdwick’s iconic status in the landscape and history of Cumbria. Each has been sponsored by a local business and decorated by artists of local, national and international repute. Herdwick spotting is a fun activity for adults and children alike and with dedicated ewe and lamb trail maps to help you find the whole flock, the Go Herdwick team hope that the public take and share as many selfies of our flock as they can! Maps are available to buy fromgoherdwick.co.uk All funds raised help the Lake District Calvert Trust to deliver challenging outdoor activities for those with disabilities, through the development of a new rehabilitation centre in Keswick.

Happy Herdwick spotting!