To make up for the cancellation of the Ambleside Horticultural & Craft Society’s Summer Produce and Craft Show and to celebrate National Allotments Week, Ambleside Allotments Association held a ‘virtual and real show’, most of the entries being by photographs of the produce grown at Ambleside’s allotments up Stock Ghyll Lane. The eleven judged classes (including funniest vegetable, finest basket of produce and tastiest thing to eat raw) were won by eight different plot-holders, who received packets of seeds as prizes. The ‘Best Plot of All’ class, voted for by members, was shared between Mike Donald and Harry Shuell/Lucy Finch. As one plot-holder commented, “It shows we are involved with some fantastic produce and products and it’s also great to be a part of a community of really great gardeners, growers and producers.”Anyone willing to donate any small hand tools (not garden tools), basic engineering bits, paint brushes, tool boxes or small electrical power tools is asked to contact Richard Beskeen at Grasmere Tools for Self Reliance on 015394 35131. The Charity restores and reconditions tools to support rural communities and tradespeople in Africa, helping some of the poorest people on the planet to become self sufficient by equipping them with the tools they need to earn a livelihood.BBC TV’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’ is filming later this year at Windermere’s Jetty Museum before an invited audience only, because of Covid-19 restrictions. Crowds of up to five thousand are often attracted to wherever the Roadshow is filming, but to comply with Covid regulations the series will be filmed on a closed set with a small invited audience only, to ensure the safety of guests, the production team and the wider public. People are asked to write in advance about any objects of interest they may have by going to www.bbc.co.uk/antiquesroadshow where they will find a ‘Share Your Story’ form in which they can fill out details of their treasures. The producers are looking for items which are a bit of a mystery to the owners – these may not necessarily be valuable objects but should have a real story behind them. Some of Roadshow’s most fascinating objects included a Faberge flower ornament worth a million pounds, a hand-written document signed by Elizabeth I and a leather jacket worn by John F. Kennedy. Many items featured on Roadshow turn up in extraordinary places, including a vanity set from Donald Trump’s yacht found in a charity shop, and diamond jewellery sewn into a sofa. The production team said: “If you have family treasures or a car boot bargain that you would like us to have a look at, let us know now. We could be inviting you on the Show to find out if that mystery object is actually worth a fortune!” Find the Windermere Jetty listing on the Roadshow website and fill in the details on the ‘’Share Your Story’ form. Items should be submitted as soon as possible.Peter McCall, Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner wants to hear local people’s ideas and suggestions for policing the county. To comply with Covid-19 restrictions, he will arrange various focus group meetings with a number of community groups across the county to listen to their views, both positive or negative about policing in Cumbria. Anyone with a group that would like to hold an online Teams meeting conversation with Peter McCall please email email@example.com
OBITUARY – ROBIN LOVE
The funeral took place recently of Robin Love, who was sub-postmaster of Ambleside Post Office for 23 years until his retirement last year. A familiar face to hundreds of customers, he was well known for his quiet, dry sense of humour and his dedication to delivering good service.
Robin was born and raised in Dumfries and began his career in finance with the Royal Bank of Scotland, working at branches in Dumfries and Edinburgh. Having met Karen, also from Dumfries and with a business background, the couple married and moved south of the border where Robin worked first in Peterborough and eventually in Cheapside in the City of London. Changes in the banking world prompted the couple to look for a different working life, and with their joint business experience, they chose to run Ambleside Post Office, arriving with their two daughters, Rebecca and Morag in 1996 to live in Windermere.
During their time at Ambleside, the Loves negotiated a move from the former post office site now owned by Tesco in the Market Square, to take over the Tourist Information Centre and shop, which SLDC could no longer run and within which Robin then incorporated the Post Office, thus saving Ambleside’s valuable TIC from closure. Few Ambleside locations were as continually busy as the Post Office and Hub, but the couple’s hard work coupled with Robin’s unfailing patience, good humour and his natural ability to get on with anyone kept business thriving.
In 2015, Ambleside Post Office was nominated for a major award as one of the best post office agencies in the country. Among some of the more unusual and bizarre parcels handed over for posting, Robin recalled handling items as diverse as a life-sized sheep to live insects, and even an urn complete with ashes. Their Post Office also provided a host of essential services including finance, insurance, savings, car tax, passports and currency exchange.
From an early age, Robin loved anything competitive involving a ball, from football and rugby to squash, tennis and golf and was a member of Windermere Golf Club. He also qualified as a football referee for senior teams, and remained a loyal supporter of his local Scottish team, Queen of the South FC. He and Karen were also among the first members of Ambleside-Kirkstone Rotary Club, and Robin always enjoyed taking part in fund-raising events, often acting as treasurer.
With his years of experience, Robin was also mentor for other postmasters and served on a Post Office board helping to facilitate changes. The couple had planned in retirement to stand in as locums at other post offices, to enable hard-pressed staff to enjoy a break.
Robin’s death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 64 robbed the couple of enjoying their well-earned retirement, but his family and friends plan to hold a fund-raising fun event when possible to remember Robin and pay tribute to his service to the community. He leaves a wife, Karen, his sister, two daughters and sons-in-law, and a baby granddaughter.
END POLIO NOW – ROTARY CLUBS
Ambleside and the Ambleside-Kirkstone Rotary Clubs have both been actively involved over many years with Rotary’s efforts worldwide to eradicate polio and were delighted at recent news that wild polio in Africa has been eradicated. Ambleside Rotary has been at the forefront of the global fight to wipe out polio and has been a regular contributor to the End Polio Now fund. Members have contributed around £1000 per year and have been assisted by sponsored walks from Workington to Keswick by Rotarian Phil Percival and members’ involvement in the Cardiff Half Marathon. Other events have included joint events with the Ambleside-Kirkstone club such as the World’s Greatest Meal in 2019. All the funds raised by Rotary clubs have been tripled by the Bill and Miranda Gates Foundation, so £1000 from Ambleside results in a £3000 donation, and at 50p per vaccination that equates to 6000 children protected for life. Two members of the Ambleside Club also had first-hand experience of giving the vaccine, as Rotarians Brian Hewitt and ex-Rotarian Mike Hynes spent two weeks in India assisting in the process some years ago. Ambleside-Kirkstone Rotary said they were also very proud to share news of the eradication of polio and the Club had been active raising money for the cause since it formed in 2002. The presence of purple crocus around the village, many of which were planted by Ambleside-Kirkstone, is also a reminder that all children inoculated against polio have purple dye marking one of their fingers. However, the fight against polio goes on and the remaining areas where wild polio still affects children include Afghanistan and Pakistan, both areas where being involved can be a threat to a person’s life.
PARISH CENTRE NEWS
Ambleside Parish Centre is starting to re-open this month on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am-5pm. The food bank and community cupboard will now run on Wednesdays, 9.15 – 11.00am, based in the Our Place room, with someone to meet users in the foyer and take people downstairs. Through September the Centre will be re-starting some of its activity groups including All Together Now, Evergreens, Games for Men and welcoming regular users for exercise classes, meditation groups and meetings. Face coverings must be worn in the Centre, unless exempt or participating in an excluded activity, and everyone must continue to observe social distancing and good hand hygiene. From October the Centre plans to increase availability and opening hours, including evenings and weekends for its regular users.
The Centre’s open door policy, which welcomed people using the foyer for somewhere to sit and chat with friends or have a coffee, is no longer possible at the moment and the internal foyer door will be kept locked. There is a doorbell at the front of the building that rings up in the office, so people are asked to buzz it if they need to speak to someone and staff will come down to see them. If staff are unable to come straight away, people can wait in the foyer entrance if they need to shelter from the weather. The Centre will also experience another big change in the coming months because Centre Manager Caroline Gunning is leaving in November, to take up the position of General Manager with Cumbria Deaf Association, based in Kendal. As someone who is hearing impaired herself, Caroline’s move to this role is something very close to her heart:
“I am really going to miss the team of volunteers, staff and the community here because it has been a delightful challenge in getting to know so many inspirational people. My successor will be well supported, receive plenty of encouragement and have the guidance of a dedicated centre team,” she said. The Directors are in the process of planning the recruitment of a new Centre Manager, which will present a great opportunity for someone who is passionate about supporting the local community and managing the busy Centre in the heart of Ambleside.