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Spinning and Wool Crafts Open Day

Spinning & Woolcraft

Northern Fells Group are having a Spinning and Wool-crafts Open Day at Millhouse Village Hall on Bank Holiday Monday August 28th from 10am till 4pm. FREE ENTRY. Please come and join us anytime throughout the day and see some of the lovely things already produced by the group members.  Try your hand at spinning, have a go at weaving or felt-making, demos and hands on opportunities for everyone. We will have some lovely work for sale and will be serving light refreshments all day.

Sheep on Carrock by Tracy Absalom

This group was started when confusion arose out of an advertisement we put in our local magazine about spinning (exercise on bikes)!!  Lots of people started to contact local village agent Philippa Groves asking if they could bring their spinning wheel along.   Realizing that there were a number of interested parties, Philippa contacted Carol Hine who agreed to run some trial sessions and the rest is history, the group bloomed from four or five to over a dozen including some very talented male spinners. Soon lovely hanks of yarn started to appear, then someone asked about felting and the hall was filled with enthusiastic folk rubbing and scrubbing and beautiful felt pictures, then laptop bags and even slippers have been produced.

If you would be interested please come along and talk to Carol on the day or contact Philippa Groves to find out more about our next sessions which start again in September. or call on 016974 78555

open day spinning



Forage Walk with John Crouch 24th May 2017

Local chef and forage expert John Crouch led a walk from Hesket Newmarket to Caldbeck on a beautiful May morning. We had hardly taken a few steps into the woodland before he found things to entice the senses. What appeared to be an ordinary leaf or flower when crushed would produce a fragrance of garlic, lemon, aniseed and many others. As we collected, we were told ways it could be prepared and provided with titbits of historical and literary information, such as the fact that the branches of hazel tree were once used to make arrows because they grow in such an unwavering line. We passed banks of wild garlic flowers and stood under many trees in full blossom. We watched the two rivers converge at Waters Meeting and stood at the empty river bed further on. We discovered the mouse restaurant under the hazel tree and empty teeth marked shells.

After our walk we returned to the Caldbeck Parish Hall for lunch and a cooking demonstration using some of the recently foraged produce. John was most entertaining and informative, drawing on his extensive knowledge of domestic life at Dove Cottage. Everything tasted wonderful and the recipes were uncomplicated. Further events are planned. Look out for more information. The event was supported for NFG by the Wordsworth Trust.

New Partnership – Theatre by The Lake

New Partnership – Theatre by The Lake

The Northern Fells Group is delighted to announce a new partnership with The Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.

The aim of this is to encourage local people to visit the theatre, widening participation and ensuring that the theatre belongs to the local communities in the surrounding area.

As part of this initiative our poetry group visited the Theatre on April 19th to see the world premier of Nicholas Pierpan’s vivid and passionate new play, William Wordsworth. It was a funny, moving and poignant portrait of a man torn between poetic ambitions and family duties and it features a distinguished cast including Olivier-award winning actor Joseph Mydell, John Sackville as Wordsworth and Emma Pallant as Dorothy. Everyone enjoyed the play and the afternoon out.

Reduced ticket prices and future local workshops about the plays produced at the Theatre including As You Like It, due to run in July to November, will follow……..

Watch this space!

Photography day at Millhouse

NFG Photographic Workshop.

Huge thank you to:

Steve Blake, Stewart Carruthers, Tommy Martin and Steve Razzetti

Twenty two keen amateur photographers attended the Photographic Workshop on Wednesday 26th April arranged by NFG Village Agent Philippa Groves.  Four local photographers very generously gave up their time for free to give advice and encouragement and run the workshop.

The day started with coffee and a brief overview of the day; following that they broke into four groups led by Steve Blake, Stewart Carruthers, Tommy Martin and Steve Razzetti. The weather could not have been better and the groups went out on a field trip, some around the village or down to the river and around the local lanes and others up onto the fells.  Everyone reconvened for a delicious buffet lunch supplied by Andrew Teasdale and once refreshed and regrouped most went out again for an afternoon session, some remaining with Tommy Martin to go through some digital processing and technical work on the computer.

The day was a tremendous success with everyone thanking the photographers for giving up their valuable time for the workshop.  We are indeed indebted to Steve, Stewart, Tommy and Steve for their munificence and expertise.

Hopefully we will see some of these photographers and others entering our Photograph competition on May 19th, see details below

Please enter our NFG Photograph Competition with Wine & Cheese Evening on Friday 19th May 2017 Millhouse Village Hall 7.30pm


Theme: Any photograph taken in, or of the Northern Fells Area

Size: max 10 x 8 (also to be made available in digital format for printing if selected)    

Format: Preferably landscape — Entry is open to all and is free

 *Photographs to be at Millhouse Village Hall by noon on Wednesday 17th May (no late entries)

*Maximum no of entries per person is four (4)

*All photographs will be set up prior to judging on display boards in the hall

*Photographs to have name address, contact number of photographer on reverse

*All photographs to be accompanied with a SAE, correct postage must be attached or photographs may also be collected on the evening of 19th May after 8.30pm

*Judging will take place mainly by the Photographers who ran our workshop during the afternoon of Friday 19th May in private.

*Judge’s decision will be final

For further details please contact Philippa Groves, Northern Fells Group Village Agent for Castle Sowerby & Mungrisdale. Phone 016974 78555 email


Easter Playscheme 2017

The Easter Holidays arrived with weather ranging from brilliant sunshine to torrential gales – as usual!

This didn’t put off, 40 plus children and young people from taking part in our annual playscheme.

The Easter Activities Programme was distributed at the 4 schools in the area, advertised on the website and on the local noticeboards and emailed to all those on the youth database. The dates were also included in the April calendar of events.

The programme featured 8 different activities, many of which were back by popular demand! As always, parents were asked to pay a small amount for their child/children to attend an activity (between £3 and £5) to help keep the costs down along with funding from Cumbria County Council’s Allerdale Community Fund and the Frances C. Scott Trust.

This year rock climbing has been the most popular with 30 children climbing at Sandale near Ireby with Mick Stockdale of Keswick Adventures. Drama, craft at Hesta Scene, archery, horse riding, tennis coaching and Roc Sculpting have also been popular!

Many thanks to Gillian Skillicorn – our new Youth Coordinator!


New Group!

On a wet March evening a number of enthusiastic and committed people arrived at Caldbeck Parish Hall – excited, serious and eager to learn

Ukulele lessons had started!

Lee, the tutor soon had the group strumming away

“Is that a C chord?”

“What’s an F chord?”

“ What’s the best way to hold my ukulele?”

One hour later – a rendition of Marie’s Wedding!

He also very helpfully brought along a number of ukes so that those who didn’t bring in their own could join in.

Come and join us – Monday evenings at 7.00pm in Caldbeck Village Hall.

Christmas Celebrations 2016

Cookery Mornings for Men

For our last session of 2016 we had a special treat and by kind invitation of Margaret Brough went to Matthew Rudding.  Margaret demonstrated a lovely winter dish of red cabbage with local sausages and shared some quick and easy canape ideas with the men.

Nine men attended the party and flowers were presented to both Margaret and Ann Robinson who is a regular helper at the monthly meetings of the group.  Over the last year recipes have included Bacon & Egg Pie, Drop Scones, Almond Slice, Chocolate Brownies, Garlic Mushrooms, Stuffed Pancakes, Potato Bake, Pasta Bake, Roasted Sweet Potato Salad, Sausage Plait, Chicken Pie, Summer Pudding, Sponge Cakes, Welsh Rarebit, Homity Pie, Raised Pork Pies and Christmas Puddings to name a few.

Every session starts with coffee and involves a demonstration followed by a hands-on session where the men put their skills to the test and usually produce something to take home.  Lunch usually consists of the dish which had been demonstrated followed by a pudding and a good discussion around the table.

Numbers are limited due to the size and space in the kitchen but more men are very welcome to join the group during the coming year.  Pre-booking is essential so we have enough ingredients, pots and pans for the group; equipment has been purchased throughout the year and is stored at the Parish Hall.

Dates for 2017 are as follows Wednesdays at 10.30am on January 25th, February 22nd, March 22nd, April 19th, May 17th, June 21st, July 12th, No August date, September 13th , October 25th, November 22rd, December 6th or 13th

Please contact Philippa Groves for more information.

Millhouse Coffee Morning

Meanwhile on 16th December, the regular coffee Drop-in held in Millhouse Village Hall was transformed into a Christmas grotto for a morning of festive fare, carols and a “sing along” courtesy of our volunteers and John and Connie Foster.

The Drop-in meets every Friday morning from 10am to 11.30 am – all are welcome and transport can be provided!

Mungrisdale Arts and Crafts Weekend

A really splendid weekend Arts and Crafts Fair organised by the Northern Fells Group (NFG) was held at Mungrisdale Village Hall at the end of November (26th – 28th inclusive).

There were fabulous displays from local artists and craftspeople and an amazing choice of crafts and unique presents.  The hall was crammed with fabulous things including gorgeous wreaths, delicious food and was a lovely chance to catch up with friends old and new.

The preview evening was well attended, the hall was buzzing with chatter and the buying started early.  Those who came were given voting slips for the most attractive stall and NFG rosettes were presented to the winners by Peter Huntington Trustee of NFG and Philippa Groves, organiser and NFG Village Agent for Castle Sowerby & Mungrisdale.  First was Carol Hine with a delightful display of gifts for Christmas and animals made from fabric and felt.  Second was Robyn Vaughn, a local schoolgirl who was raising money for a school trip to Ecuador to help the local community and third was Andrew Teasdale whose delicious Christmas fare was very attractively wrapped and displayed.

There were over thirty three different artists and craftspeople and eight sides of display boards showing local artists work. There were also colourful Nepalese goods from our locally based Community Action Nepal charity run by Doug Scott and a very cheerful display of Fairtrade goods. Despite the bad weather on Friday throughout the weekend over 299 people attended the event.

Philippa Groves, NFG Village Agent for Castle Sowerby and Mungrisdale said

“Nothing successful can ever be achieved without hard work and it was amazing to see the community spirit overflowing and people helping with all sorts of jobs.  Volunteers and stallholders served wine and canapé’s on the preview evening and the whole fair was tidied away as if by magic on Sunday afternoon.  Jay Maclean, Anne Studholme and Barbara Stoddart manned the door all weekend selling raffle tickets which raised over £300, a gorgeous hamper was first prize, bottles of whisky and wine and other lovely prizes donated by exhibitors.”

Delicious soups, bacon and sausage butties, home-made scones and cakes were served all weekend by volunteers.

Helpers included Michael & Sally Bohling, Jay Maclean, Barbara Stoddart, Ann Studholme, Trisha Acland, Pat Shaw, Audrey Johnson, Ilona Furrokh, Diane Thornton, Lesley Phillip, Penny Sutton, Libby Graham, Simon & Sue Braithwaite, Jennifer Stevenson, Diane Barraclough, Gillian Skillicorn and Helen Sturges..

Baking by Anne Robinson, Gail Dewis, Judith Kent, Sue Braithwaite and Philippa Groves

Fundraising for Children in Need 2016

On a mid November day strange group of nuns, a bear, a scarecrow and a ballet dancer were reported to be seen walking around Chapel House Reservoir – emerging out of the mist – this was a scary sight!

Not to worry!

It was only 25 brave members of the Northern Fells Walking Group doing a sponsored walk for 2016 Children in Need appeal! They raised a few eyebrows and £773 for the good cause and of course finished the day at MAES Tearooms for tea and cake!

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