25 years ago — 1995
The £700,000 scheme to protect Appleby from flooding was officially opened yesterday when a plaque was unveiled by Steele Addison, chairman of the National Rivers Authority’s flood defence committee in Cumbria.
The scheme is designed to protect properties in the Bridge Street, Chapel Street and Holme Street areas of the town and consists of a series of floodgates, permanent floodbanks and walls.
Severe flooding occurred most recently in January, when 70 homes were affected.
Prime Minister John Major was given a traditional Lakeland welcome when he arrived to open Penrith Queen Elizabeth Grammar School’s new £450,000 science and technology block yesterday.
The heavens opened as Mr Major was about to unveil the plaque on the Don Fay memorial building and hasty rearrangements were called for as guests hurried inside for speeches under cover.
Pupils were told of Mr Major’s visit only that morning, and he was welcomed to the school by headmaster Colin Birnie and governors’ chairman Robert Good.
Security cameras which will keep a 24-hour watch over Penrith town centre are likely to be in action by the new year.
The £142,000 scheme will see nine cameras sited at strategic points, and they will be operated by police officers from a control room at the town’s hunter Lane station.
Environment Secretary John Gummer is refusing to intervene in the latest row over whether the Wildriggs protein plant at Penrith should continue to operate. Mr Gummer has said he will not step in to decide whether the plant should be allowed to continue following the serious fire in August which halted production.
Preparations for the opening of the British Heart Foundation charity shop in the centre of Penrith have been closely followed by townspeople.
It is a venture with a number of interesting facets, none more so than the striking external decoration and signing of the premises on the prominent corner of King Street and Market Square.
Lottery funding for a Lake District mountain rescue team’s new headquarters has been refused because their lifesaving work is not a sport.
Top mountaineer Chris Bonington, who lives at Hesket Newarket, said the decision to turn down the £40,000 application from the Keswick team was “illogical” when the team existed to help sportsmen.
The death of Richard Kitchener Norris, The Firs, Alston, better known as Kit, at the age of 81, has taken a well-known person from the community.
While not a native, it was where he spent the last 56 years of his life.
He had two spells of employment at Alston Foundry and it was from there that he retired at the age of 65.
50 years ago — 1970
Work on Penrith’s long-awaited swimming baths cold begin towards the end of November and its total cost will be about £117,000.
These facts about the baths — to be built on part of the Foundry Field, near the Ullswater and Tynefield secondary schools — are revealed in minutes of the Swimming Baths Committee which will be considered by the Urban Council next Wednesday.
The newly appointed deputy head of Ullswater School, Penrith, Mr. Andrew Brian Ellis, has for the past two years been a master at the famous Gordonstoun School in Scotland.
Mr. Ellis, who is 37, will take up his appointment on 1st January.
Full-time manning of the Penrith ambulance station in Bridge Lane is being recommended to Cumberland County Council by the County Health and Welfare Committee.
It follows a report to the Committee by the County Medical Officer on the increase in the number of emergency calls during stand-by duty hours and other factors, including the need to clear a roadway, particularly the motorway, after an accident.
A local farmer’s wife, Mrs. Ann Todd, Long Meg, Little Salkeld, at this week’s 38th annual conference of the Federation of Soroptomist Clubs of Great Britain and Ireland in London, was installed as President of the Northern Divisional Union.
A well-known founder-member and past-President of the Penrith Club which celebrates the tenth anniversary of its foundation charter in November, Mrs. Todd is wife of Mr. R. Todd.
Mrs. Todd is the first member of the Penrith Club to become Divisional President and her installation follows the appointment earlier this month, as Northern Division Secretary, of another Penrith member, Mrs. Marjorie Dalton.
A man who has devoted most of his working life to maintenance of the Carlisle to Settle railway, Mr. J. Arthur Taylor, Station Road, Appleby, retires this week after 40 years’ service.
Mr. Taylor, a member of the Borough Council and an ex-Mayor, has latterly been a section permanent way inspector, but his railway career dates back to June, 1930.
His grandfather railwayman, working as a ganger at Langwathby, and as jobs were hard to come by, Mr. Taylor, then a young man of 25, left farm work to be a plate-layer at Culgaith.
100 years ago — 1920
A house with a link with Charles Dickens, the Sun Inn, Hesket Newmarket, has been sold for £166.
Situated in the middle of the village, the house was formerly the Queen’s Head Inn and it was there that Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins stayed while on a visit to the district. The property, occupied by Mr. A. Thompson, was sold to Mr. Edward Pears, Hesket Newmarket.
The Women’s Institute at Langwathby and Edenhall having been successfully launched under the presidency of Mrs. T. B. Nelson, a programme of monthly meetings with lectures and demonstrations has been arranged.
Lectures have already been given by Nurse Wilson and Mrs. Middleton. At a whist drive, winners were M. Mallinson, G. Tyson and M. Metcalfe; gentlemen A. Graham and E. Hope.
150 years ago — 1870
Although the new church at Alston is far from being completed, building operations are to be suspended for the winter.
Someone suggested that scaffolding surrounding the tower would be a suitable place for the church choir to have a rehearsal and members ascended the tower and sang a number of hymns and anthems.
When the music swelled over the town the effect was both peculiar and pleasing.