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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Until the formation of the Westmorland Damson Association in 1996 brought renewed interest in this small fruit, there was general agreement that the damson’s purple patch in Cumbria was in the first half of the 20th century. 

Thought to originate in an area around Damascus in present day Syria, this member of the plum family most likely found its way into England through the Romans. Damson stones have been found during archaeological digs at their ancient camps and settlements across the country. 

Monday, 25 March 2019

I don’t know how many Cumbrians live and work in London but I do know that if they ever miss the old county, they’re never far from reminders of home.

What struck me on a recent trip to the capital is that there’s always something, somewhere - no matter how small or tenuous - with a connection to the Lake District and the rest of Cumbria.

And it’s not just the street and place names like Cumberland Terrace, Westmoreland Street, Wordsworth Avenue, Carlisle Place, Kendal Street and Windermere Avenue.

Friday, 01 February 2019

Rarely will the bicentenary of an eminent Victorian be so globally celebrated as the commemorations planned this year for John Ruskin who spent the last 28 years of his life at Brantwood beside Coniston Water.

From the Lake District to London, from Venice to Tokyo, Oxford to Harvard, Edinburgh to California, an astonishing number of events are being held in memory of this Victorian polymath.

So here’s a short biography of the ‘visionary art critic and social reformer’ whose birthday on February 8, 1819 the Royal Academy in London will honour with an evening of readings from his books and letters.

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