Wednesday 23 March 2016

Silverdale and Arnside Art and Craft Trail 24 -26 June 2016

Silverdale and Arnside Art and Craft Trail 24 -26 June 2016
Friday 1 – 8 pm (selected venues) Saturday and Sunday 10.30 – 5.30        

Welcome to all our local supporters to the trail.

This year we have over 30 venues, including some new ones in both villages.

In addition to painters, printers, potters, photographers, jewellers and much more, there is definitely a growing interest in  textiles – from shearing, spinning and transforming to scarves at Silverdale School, as well as many felters, upholsterers, and fabric printers in other venues.

On Redhills Road at Arnside we welcome a new venue, which is an exciting chance to see more spinning and amazing felt creatures and pictures being created.

There will be an abundance of family activities at the Guide Field, Eaves Wood, Silverdale Village Institute, Methodist Hall, and Leeds Children's Centre

Sound is a growing part of the Trail  and the 'bard' inspires this years Community Concert in St. John's Church with  'If music be the food of Love'', Saturday evening 7:30pm -10pm.

We welcome the Guides providing campfire food and sing-song on Friday evening and Ann Bond's music room opening Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Open mic. will happen up on the Institute Field attracting young and old alike.

The Park and Ride Trail Bus will run on Saturday and Sunday, so please support this to reduce traffic, and make the trail relaxing for all of us.

We would welcome more volunteers to act as 'Bus conductors' – a 2 hour shift with free tickets and catalogue – good fun, relaxing journey and a great help to the trail Co-ordinators!

If you can help in any way, please contact:

Clare Martin 01524 701271        
Debbie Copley 01524 702563

E Mail:
Web site:

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Card2Kendal appeal in aid of Kendal's Storm Desmond flood victims

My very talented artist friend Helen, who has been involved in all sorts of artistic ventures in Kendal, has sent details of  ‪#‎card2kendal‬ a big event for this year, which is to help raise funds for flooded families in the area. In December 2015 Storm Desmond caused much damage to residential and business properties and many properties are still unoccupiable with families living in temporary accommodation.

Anyone who would like to help is more than welcome to create and donate to this event.

Card2Kendal appeal
 We need your help to spread the word about an exciting new project.
We want to contact people from around the world to invite them to send a post-card sized artwork to Kendal to be sold to raise money to help the town’s recovery from devastating floods. 
Organisers, Kendal Arts Community, emphasise anyone from a world famous artist to a complete beginner can contribute. 
All they have to do is put their painting, drawing, collage or photograph on one side of a plain postcard, and send to Kendal Flood Relief Centre at Westmorland Shopping Centre, Stricklandgate, Kendal, LA9 4LR. 
Visitors, locals and others who want to donate a post-card sized artwork in any other medium can deliver it in person to the support centre, where they will be stored and displayed. 
They will then be displayed in KAC’s unit at K Village in Lound Road and online at, from June 11 to June 18, the day of Kendal Summer Arts at the same venue. 
As part of the festival, the post-cards will all be sold off for a flat fee of £20, regardless of the artist, famous or unknown, professional or amateur, young or old. Any postcards left over after the event will be displayed and go on sale at the Relief Centre. 
The post-cards or similar sized artworks can be signed by the artist or left anonymous.
All the money raised will go towards the cost of helping people recover from the floods. Cheques should be made payable to Kings Food Bank, which has administered the Kendal Flood Relief Centre since it was set up the day after Storm Desmond hit on December 5.
Rachel Ellis, who has managed Kendal’s Flood Relief effort from Kendal Town Hall and then the unit in Westmorland Shopping Centre since the storm said: “It is a fantastic idea.” 
Cumbria Community Foundation Flood Recovery Appeal announced in March that it had given £2 million to people across the county. 
It has also given £300,000 to community groups to help rebuild and replace sporting equipment and provide practical and emotional support. 
But they now believe they will need more than £9 million to meet the demand, which is expected to last 18 months from the date of the storms, so increased their target to £7 million.
More than 5,000 homes and hundreds of businesses and community buildings were flooded when rivers including the Kent in Kendal, the Eden in Appleby and Carlisle, and the Derwent in Keswick burst their banks.
Kendal was the worst hit with more than 2,000 homes inundated. Many householders are still in temporary accommodation or suffering hardship following the floods.
KAC co-ordinator, Zoe Baker, said: “Several artists in Kendal were among those whose homes were affected by the floods, so we understand what a traumatic time it has been. We thought the postcard sale was a way of offering practical help and also having fun and boosting creativity."
More details at and

Saturday 5 March 2016

R.I.P Barney the cemetery cat

Almost two years ago, after reading a news story about a marmalade cat called Bob who adopted a homeless drug-addicted busker, I wrote a blog post called The empathy of marmalade cats about the marmalade cat who lives near us and who befriended our old, blind and senile family dog during the last months of her life.  Today I read a story in the Mirror newspaper of yet another marmalade cat, this one was called Barney, who lived in the grounds of St Sampson's Cemetery on Guernsey and who,  over the last 20 years, befriended and gave comfort to those attending funerals or visiting graves there.  That he was a much-loved presence in the cemetery grounds seems obvious from the story and the comments on social media, but it made me wonder once more about why marmalade cats seem to feature in these stories, and if there is something different about them, as against other cats.

A Telegraph article from 2 years ago, entitled Why a ginger tom might just inherit the Earth offered up the information that, "...recent research conducted by the University of California showed that ginger felines are the most popular among cat owners, because they are perceived as friendly and lovable."  But surely the empathy and the connection with the suffering of other creatures must be more than just simple friendliness?  The Feline Care website carries a story about a marmalade tom living on the streets of Attleborough - they do seem to like doing their own thing! - whilst Wavell, the marmalade cat mentioned in the Telegraph story appears to have an adventurous spirit and a love of travel.  Cats are, of course, known for their curiosity, independence and, it has to be said, selfishness at times, which is why the empathy apparently shown by marmalade cats is so intriguing to me.

Leslie Darling, in her blog post Ginger Tabby Personality,  comments that, "In some species, a link between color and personality has been established". She also says, "How much of this is perception and how much genetics is hard to determine, but certain breeds of cat do have personality traits that are linked to the breed."  It would be  interesting to see a large scale study of this aspect of cat genetics - perhaps it would attract someone doing research for a thesis or similar!

Meanwhile, the popularity of marmalade cats is undoubted, as those which feature in literature, cartoon strips and on the big and small screen  demonstrate: - who doesn't love such characters as Orlando (The Marmalade Cat) or Garfield, the pizza loving fat cat pal of Odie and Jon!