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Discovering Northern lakeland
Discovering Northern lakeland
Charlie Emett & James Templeton
The Cumbrian Mountains with their sixteen lakes radiating from a central point like the spokes of a wheel and their numerous smaller tarns have become today's lakeland, renowned for its great natural beauty.
Until about 1650 this area was regarded as one to be avoided - it was looked upon as a wild, inhospitable place, unsafe for man or beast. Not until William Wordsworth highlighted the area's charms in the eighteenth century did it become a popular destination for tourists. In his new book Charlie Emett, ably assisted by James Templeton, has chosen 100 of the most fascinating, intriguing and historic sites that the northern part of this area has to offer - not necessarily the most obvious or the well-known tourist traps, but all accessible to the public. From landscape features to obscure villages, from remnants of forgotten industries to surprising buildings, all aspects of the area's history are included here. A treat for local residents and an eye-opener for visitors, Discovering Northern Lakeland will be welcomed by anyone who is keen to know more about this remarkably scenic part of Britain.
The History Press
170mm x 247mm paperback
Black & white photographs
Mr Selkirk’s shop in Silloth was famous for its rock. Every year he ordered an incredible six tons of seaside rock which he sold in sizes of two and six inches. The front of his shop announced that it sold “bowls, washtubs, perambulators, baths, cribs, pianos, couches and chairs.” Outside, on the pavement, he displayed a wondrous array of baskets and buckets and bowls piled so high that they constantly threatened to fall over.
Silloth was a place of local resort. Sister Lily from Carlisle earned an OBE for her tireless work in taking parties of underprivileged children from all over Cumberland to the seaside every weekend. In addition to biting into Mr Selkirk’s rock the children might have watched the Pierrot show in Happy Valley or taken a ride on the miniature merry-go-round on Silloth Green or stood at the entrance to the docks and watched the ships at Carr’s mill.
A hundred years ago, the children of Bowness on Solway enjoyed crowding into the cart that was pulled by a long-suffering donkey and they probably ran to watch the trains that steamed their slow way across the ill-fated Solway viaduct.
Along the coast, at Port Carlisle, at least thirty people are standing and sitting and precariously clinging on to the Dandy which is about to be pulled along the railway to Carlisle by a very tired looking horse.
In Carlisle, in 1897, another horse pulls a double-decker carriage through a floral arch into English Street. Just down the road, in Grapes Lane, Jimmy Dyer might be found playing his violin. Elsewhere, some years later, a local character who went by the name of ‘hay-fa-lads’ might be found stopping cars and asking if they were going to the north Pole.
In Abbeytown an old lady sits beside a beehive resting her hand on a large cloth and, following an old Cumbrian tradition, averts calamities by telling the bees about local births, marriages and deaths.
In Maryport, on 27th September 1934, the quays were packed tight with men and boys watching the launching of the new lifeboat. In Keswick, ladies and gentlemen can be seen walking away from the Convention tent in Skiddaw Street. Above the entrance is a banner that reads, “All one in Christ Jesus”. Meanwhile, up on the fells, C N Barry is to be seen putting the Caldbeck foxhounds through their paces and three men are negotiating the hire of a rowing boat on Derwentwater.
Members of the Cockermouth beagle hunt prepare to go chasing the hare. They all wear flat caps or bowlers, heavy three-piece suits and thick moustaches. Outside the blacksmith’s in Mealsgate the brawny smith and his assistant watch as a patient horse is freshly shoe-ed.
Near Ullswater a farm lad leans on his rake as two pretty bonneted girls keep him from his work. At Hesket Hall in 1908, following the old Cumberland custom, a dozen teams of horses make ready to do a ‘boon’ plough, for a new farmer.
In another time and place a small boy in short trousers and heavy boots, leans back in the chair as the dentist probes his mouth. The boy holds the dentist’s cigarette in his left hand to facilitate the dental work.
In Discovering Northern Lakeland, James Templeton and Charlie Emett have presented an assortment of moments as they have been caught by the camera over the past hundred years. The roads are free of traffic, the pace of life seems slower, people’s lives are very different. These still and quiet photographs capture a way of life that is long past.
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