Purpose & Function

Bowness On Solway Community Group was formed in 2003 by a group of village residents with the aim 

 “To look after and protect the interests of the community of the village of Bowness on Solway through open discussion and regular meetings.

One of the main areas of work was the restoration of The Banks.

The Banks Promenade was originally constructed during Edwardian times (early 20th century) with views over the Solway Firth to Scotland.  It was fully restored by the Community Group volunteers and involving the pupils of Bowness School, and officially reopened in 2005 after extensive remodelling, planting and installations including mosaics, a wooden shelter and seating.

This structure is now the focal point for the thousands of visitors on the 84 mile long Hadrian’s Wall National Trail, which was officially opened in 2003


Current and Ongoing Projects

Beach cleans – monthly and occasionally jointly with the AONB volunteers

Upkeep of The Banks – supported by Community Payback Scheme

Provision of dog poo disposal facilities

Village Christmas tree and celebration

Upkeep of defibrillator

Development of BCG section on BOS website

Publications and sales of postcards and Christmas cards of local scenes

Fundraising activities

Build of St Ayles Skiff

Movie Nights in the Lindow Hall in conjunction with Cine North

Social evenings and entertainments

Maintenance of Community First Responder Group for the parish with NWAS

'Ping in The Community' Table Tennis sessions



Past projects

Feb 2004         Planting at The Banks begins with Edwardian and Roman themes

16.10.05          The Banks was officially opened

14.11.15          Installation of Viaduct Memorial Seat celebration

March 2016     Acquisition and installation of defibrillator for Bowness

March 2019     Established Community First Respnder Team for the parish


The History and Renovation of The Banks

In the early days of the Twentieth Century, the area of land known as The Banks was turned into a Promenade, a place where Edwardian visitors to Bowness could walk, or sit on the grass or in the shelter and take in the beauty of the Solway. Unfortunately, by the end of the 20th Century, slippage of the soil on the Banks had meant that the paths which crossed the Banks were in danger of becoming a safety hazard. A campaign was begun by the villagers to restore the Banks. The then newly-formed Bowness Community Group worked with Solway Coast AONB to find funding for the major structural work that was needed to make the Banks safe. Funding for the initial Structural Survey came from Cumbria Waste Management Fund; and the major renovation work (the revetment work and cementing) was funded by the Countryside Agency and carried out by Capita. The final Interpretation Phase was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
In 2002 The Banks was officially designated the end of Hadrian’s Wall Trail, and it was decided that the renovation to restore the Banks to their former glory would also reflect the Roman influence on the village. This can be seen in the structure of the shelter (which is constructed in the Roman style using pegs rather than screws), in the mosaic, and in the plants used, all of which were introduced to Britain by the Romans.

Most of the work of this final Interpretation Phase was done by volunteers from the village under the guidance of the late Gilly Walton (the art work) and Jeanette Murray (the planting).

The planting. The planting of The Banks began in February 2004. It was decided to plant bright colourful scented flower along the top terrace, as this is the only part of the garden less mobile visitors can access. A Roman herb garden was to be created below the shelter, and low growing plants were to be planted in the triangular area between the small yew tree and the well. The lower terrace was to be laid with turf to reflect the Edwardian aspect of The Banks; and wild areas were to be developed to the left and right of the main garden. These wild areas were to be lightly managed to encourage insects, birds and other wild life to colonise them. The aim was to get a balance so that the garden could develop without the use of pesticides.

Young people from a local youth club, service users from Social Services, local children, local people and visitors working as volunteers all contributed their time and energy to the weeding, planting and maintenance, and continue to do so.

We plan to continue to improve the soil structure as time goes on. Hopefully the plants will continue to improve. When a plant fails we will replace it with a more successful survivor! We plan to have a garden that will be ever changing and interesting. Local children and adults have planted hundreds of bulbs for early spring colour, but the garden should always have interesting plants to view whatever the time of year.

(Planting text by Jeanette Murray. A separate leaflet “Planting on the Banks” is available with information about the wide range of plants, and how they were use by the Romans.)

The Mosaic. The Roman-style mosaic was created by selecting drawings provided by the children of Bowness on Solway Primary School. These drawings of birdlife of the Solway and the two salmon were collaged together with a scaled-down design.

The artist (Gilly Walton) then enlarged the drawings to full size (but back to front!) onto strong brown paper via the indirect method, using ceramic and glass mosaic tiles which are cut to shape with mosaic nippers. These were placed and stuck right-side down using wallpaper paste. This method enabled the artist to work off-site, and also allowed the children to learn the art of mosaic making.

The bench on the sea wall was designed to symbolise the haaf-netting tradition of the Solway Firth, and was made by a local craftsman.


The poem on handrail

Cantum meum canto

air seòlaidhean-mara na Salmhaigh

leyke a sky-reydin burd

my heart soars high


The four lines of the poem along the handrail represent the cultural influences on Bowness on Solway: Roman Latin, Scots Gaelic, Cumbrian dialect and English.

In English the poem reads:


I sing my song

of the Solway tides,

like a sky-riding bird

my heart soars high


poem by Jim Eldridge, Bowness on Solway

Latin translation by Peter Carey and David Laskey, Bowness on Solway

Scots Gaelic translation by Iain Macaulay, North Uist


Who's Who

Community Group Members 2018

Community Group Members 2018

Current Members:-
James Graham 
Jo Jeeves
Rowena Beaty
Mhairi Maclaughlan
Clare Allen
Bill Knowles
Marcia Leonard 
Andy Lewis
Emma Morton
James Graham

James Graham


James is a founder member of The Bowness Community Group.  He lives at Campfield and farms. James is also Chair of the Bowness Parish Council. James was responsible for making the bespoke bench on the Banks depicting the old railway viaduct, which was designed by the community group's long-term secretary, the late Gilly Walton.


News & Announcements

Saturday 27 April 2019

Notice of Poll

Allerdale Borough Council









1. A Poll for the Election of ELEVEN PARISH COUNCILLORS for the above-named Parish

    will be held on Thursday 2 May 2019, between the hours of 7:00am and 10:00pm.

2. The names, in alphabetical order and other particulars of the candidates remaining validly

    nominated and the names of the persons signing the nomination papers are as follows:-


















Firstholme Lazonby Row Glasson Wigton CA7 5ED


Lyn Lewis, Samantha Jane Behan





Ponderclose Glasson Wigton  CA7 5DT


Carol Anne Mark, Samantha Louisa Margaret Firth





Eskdale House Port Carlisle Wigton  CA7 5BU


Susan ME Gallagher, Richard H Wills





Bowness Farm Bowness-on-solway Wigton  CA7 5AF


Fenella Watson, William J Knowles





Byers Cottage Bowness-on-Solway Wigton Cumbria CA7 5AG


Anna M Little, Rowena Beaty





Thistledown, Longcroft Kirkbride Wigton Cumbria CA7 5BA


Christine Ostle, Patricia RB Smith





Kilncroft Drumburgh Wigton  CA7 5DW


Roy McClenan, Pauline Newall





Easton Farm Easton Wigton  CA7 5DL


Bernard Gillen, Brian W Smith





The Fort Bowness-on-Solway Wigton  CA7 5AF


Frances Lowe, Colin Taylor Nicholls







Catherine Naomi Poxon, Allison Pattinson





Kings Arms Bowness on Solway   CA7 5AF


Michelle Brown, Margaret D Evans







Richard B Irving, Michael J Waning







Michael J Waning, Richard B Irving





Brackenrigg Bowness-on-solway Wigton Cumbria CA7 5AE


George C Pither, Deborah A Paisley



3. The situation and allotment of Polling Places and Polling Stations and the descriptions of the persons entitled to vote thereat are as follows:-











Lindow Hall, Bowness Bowness On Solway Wigton Cumbria CA7 5AF

BOWNESS-ON-SOLWAY 1.000-231.000



Highland Laddie, Glasson Glasson Wigton Cumbria CA7 5DT

BOWNESS-ON-SOLWAY 1.000-250.000



Anthorn Village Hall Waver Road Anthorn Wigton CA7 5AR

BOWNESS-ON-SOLWAY 1.000-307.000



Kirkbride Bowling Club The Bowling Club Kirkbride Wigton Cumbria CA7 5HX

BOWNESS-ON-SOLWAY 1.000-79.000







24 April 2019









Andrew Seekings

Returning Officer

Allerdale Borough Council

Allerdale House


CA14 3YJ


Wednesday 17 April 2019

Project UK232 Update

We have fitted the Bow Inner stem and Stern Inner stem (curvy bits at both end) to the Hog (long bit of wood in the middle of the stems!!) and they have been left clamped and glued.

Next week we will begin the process of shaping the Stems and Hog in readiness to fit our first plank 

Its Easter Monday next week so we will be meeting on TUESDAY 23rd April - 19:00
All welcome!

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Big Movie!

Bowness Community group's next movie is Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

Saturday April 6th at the Lindow Hall.   

Two shows at 2pm and 6pm.

We know this is going to be a sell out, so please reserve your tickets soon by contacting Lyn on 016973 51055 or message us through FB

Thursday 07 February 2019

February Movie Night

The Greatest Showman is coming to Bowness!

Saturday February 16th at The Lindow Hall

Doors open 6pm. Show starts 6:30pm.

Bar with pre-orders for chip supper at interval.
Tickets £4 adults, £2.50 concessions, £10 family

Pay on the door. Call 016973 51055 for info

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Project UK 232 - St Ayles Skiff Build

The project to construct a St Ayles Skiff for Bowness Parish has begun.  The kit has been delivered to the workshop, along with additional materials required for the construction.

Work benches have been built and a frame to support the moulds, around which the boat will be constructed.  

The kit has been unpacked and marked up ready for work to start on preparation of the wood before the boat starts to take shape.

Volunteers have so far been involved in lifting and shifting, bench and frame construction and transportation of materials.

The first meeting for all budding boatbuilders will be on Wednesday December 5th at 7:30 at Anthorn Farm.  Please meet at Wallsend at 7:15 if you need a lift.  Any queries, please call Andy Lewis on 016973 51055


Thursday 18 October 2018

Parish Council News

Bowness Council is to make a grant of £2,000 towards developing the scheme to establish defibrillators, supplementary equipment and trained First Responders in the parish. Training dates have already been arranged and councillors hope that volunteers will come forward for training from some of the smaller hamlets in the parish.

The council is looking to take part in The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy scheme, launched by Her Majesty in April to conserve indigenous forests in all 53 countries of the Commonwealth. Possible sources for trees in the parish were considered and the clerk was asked to investigate a joint project with the RSPB.

The RSPB plan to put up a sign prohibiting overnight parking on their car park at the west end of Bowness. The clerk is seeking clarification from the AONB about any existing bylaws relating to the car park after a request from a parishioner about ownership of the land.

Councillor Bill Knowles has been consulting parishioners on plans for the proposed cattle grid near the turning circle at Bowness. Councillors are keen to see progress soon on both cattle grids.

The next parish council meeting is on Wednesday, November 14 at 7pm in the Bower at Port Carlisle.

*This information is taken from minutes which are subject to approval by the full council at its next meeting.


Thursday 18 October 2018

Richard Wills and Lucilla Laval take another walk around the graveyard at St Michael's

Examining gravestones often raises more questions than answers. Take the case of Thomas Poole and Thomas G Byers who drowned in the estuary in 1916, half-way through World War One, aged respectively 36 and 40. Had they set out from Port Carlisle on a fishing trip? Their impressive and unusual grave, a stone scroll reclining on a boulder, inscribed with lead lettering, was paid for by public subscription. It seems likely that Thomas Poole was one of a family of drainage workers employed on the Lindow Estate at Bowness and Fingland.

The Solway also claimed the life of 17-year-old John Thompson who drowned at Port Carlisle in 1872. In the same year his older brother William died in Edinburgh aged only 19.
On a happier note, the Thompson family monument also bears the name of Sylvia Thompson, a spinster who lived very near the church. She died in 1997 at the ripe old age of 87 and for 70 of those years she played the organ at St Michael’s, trained by the famous Dr Wadely, organist and choirmaster at Carlisle Cathedral. She  also ran the Girls’ Friendly Society and was generally active in village life.

The shocking infant mortality rate in past centuries is evident on many graves. Particularly sad is the gravestone of Joseph Waite, for 39 years headmaster of Drumburgh School, who taught the parents of some of our older parishioners. During his teaching career four of his own five children, ranging in age from three months to 12 years, died between 1890 and 1897. Joseph himself lived to be 71 and his one remaining son died aged 63.

The Rev John Robinson, the minister who oversaw the building of a new rectory at Bowness, was the first of three successive rectors at St Michael’s who all died in their 50s. He was a widower and his gravestone was erected in  1877  ‘by a few friends’.
The old rectory, a fortified building with a pele tower,  took some demolishing! Records recall the remains of the tower being blown up by gunpowder in 1860.


Tuesday 02 October 2018

Bowness Community Group AGM

BOS Community Group AGM

Tuesday October 2nd 2018

All Welcome

7.30pm at the Lindow Hall

Monday 24 September 2018

October Family Movie Matinee

Sunday October 21st 2018 at the Lindow Hall

Despicable Me 3

Refreshments from 1.30.  Movie starts at 2pm

Adults £4        Concessions £2.50        Family Ticket £10

Available from Wallsend Guest House 016973 51055

Friday 21 September 2018

New Facebook Page for Bowness Community Group

Catch up with Bowness Community Group and all the latest projects and events on Facebook

Monday 17 September 2018

Race Night

Friday's Race Night raised a fantastic £1167 for Bowness Community Group funds.  Thanks to all who supported the event.  A great night was had by all!

Sunday 09 September 2018

New Year's Eve Ceilidh

Tuesday 17 July 2018



23 houses at the highest point in the village have been receiving low pressure for a number of years. The service has declined markedly since March 2018 – before the current heat wave..

On 5 occasions since the end of March the pressure has been recorded for well over one hour’s duration below the national commitment for water utilities to supply pressure above 0.7 bar. If this occurs more than twice in any 4 week period (outside a declared shortage period – e.g. hosepipe ban, burst pipe), United Utilities promise to pay each affected household £50 as a one off during any 12 month period plus other payments if they fail to meet deadline responses/meetings (which there have been a number!)

See their website

After a local resident campaign UU finally admitted they had a faulty pressure monitor. The UU team reported this week that work will commence at the Bird in Hand crossroads to replace the faulty pressure monitor which will in future increase flow when pressure drop is sensed.

Please report any low or pressure incidents to UU by calling 0345 672 3723 and holding on the line to give details.

Thankyou to everyone who has helped so far to get to this point. We wait to find out if Bowness supply at the end of the pipeline plus higher than surrounding districts will benefit from these changes, particularly after the current high demand due to temperature. UU did promise it would!


Bill Knowles 10th July 2018

Monday 02 July 2018

Flower Festival

Bowness Community Group took part in the very successful Flower Festival 22-24June held in the parish church of St Michaels. Our display featured the flowers of the Banks promenade and the Solway shore, with the central feature of a handcrafted bench, a small scale version of the seat located on the Banks, made by BCG Chairman James Graham who is pictured here. The seat depicts the Solway viaduct which once spanned the Solway between Bowness and Annan.

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Movie Night!

FRIDAY JULY 13TH 2018 AT 7:30PM 

at The Lindow Hall





Advance tickets: adults £4, concessions (under 12’s and OAPs) £3, family ticket £10
On the door prices: adults £5, concessions £4, family ticket £12
Hotdogs, popcorn and soda will be available to purchase on the night

Please come and support this exciting new event and make it a regular thing!

Advance Tickets available from Wallsend Guest House

Sunday 21 January 2018

Christmas 2018 Photo Competition

Keen photographers! Phone snappers! 

We are looking for some fantastic images for NEXT year’s Christmas cards.

If you have taken a great Christmas or winter-themed photo, why not enter it into our prize photo competition - it could feature in our next Christmas card design! We are particularly interested in photos containing local features – architecture, landscape, wildlife etc. And there’s plenty of time to enter – so keep an eye out for when snow or frost is forecast! 

Please send entries to Rowena Beaty at Please submit in jpeg format.

The deadline for images will be announced later in the year. 


Tuesday 09 January 2018

January Beach Clean


We had a record turnout of 22 people on Saturday 6 January for the joint Bowness/Solway AONB litter pick. 35 bags of rubbish were collected plus assorted large items.

Thanks to all those who volunteered their time and effort. 

Our next regular monthly litter pick is 4th February (first Sunday in the month) at 9.30 a.m meeting on the Banks. Do come and help if you can spare half an hour. 


Tuesday 19 December 2017

Christmas Tree Lights Switch On

Thanks to everyone who made our Carols by the Christmas tree such a success. On a perfect frosty night around 60 people came to sing carols, and to join in the count down for the Christmas tree lights switch-on. This was accompanied by mince pies, mulled wine and hot chocolate to help keep out the cold! 

A special thanks to John Wills and family who provided the tree, Catherine Bartlett for leading the carols, Ann Wilson and Catherine and Eleanor Cervantes for providing the excellent musical accompaniment, Margaret Evans for switching on the lights, and to Lyn and Andy Lewis for their help and support, including use of their firepits which looked fantastic, provided lots of warmth and kept the frost at bay!  

Tuesday 08 August 2017

AONB Beach Clean

Volunteers from the AONB and local people collected 27 bags of rubbish plus items too big for bags yesterday on Bowness waterfront. The AONB volunteers hope to return in September for another event - watch this space for dates.

This is not just a local problem as we  are at a narrow point in the Solway, so every tide forces more rubbish onto the shore.  It could be from anywhere on the coast, the Isle of Man, the Irish Sea or the Atlantic. 

Thanks to all who helped make such a positive difference to the shore yesterday.
Sunday 23 July 2017

Annan Bell Riad

Images from today's bell raid.  Four boats rowed across from Annan, supported by several safety boats and the Silloth RNLI crew.

Thursday 13 July 2017

Annan Skiff Launch

The second skiff produced by the skilled boat builders of Annan took to the water on July 13th out of Annan Harbour.  This boat  - Pride of the Solway - will take part in the annual Bell Raid on Sunday July 23rd from Annan to Bowness.

Anyone interested in going out with the Annan crew for some rowing practice on Saturday 22nd?  Please contact Lyn Lewis on 016973 51055 if you'd like to join them.

Monday 15 May 2017

Defibrillator Awareness Training

The two training sessions held at the School and Lindow Hall recently were attended by 25 people.  Lauren Watson from the Northwest Ambulance Service trained everyone in the use of CPR and the defibrillator in the event of a cardiac arrest.  Whilst the defibrillator can be used by anyone, it is good to know that so many people were able to attend the training and now feel confident to use it if needed.
Survival rates for patients receiving this emergency intervention rise to up to 80% (from 3% for those who do not) so we are in a very fortunate position to have the defibrillator available in the village.  
Approximately 60,000 people suffer an out of hospital cardiac arrest every year in the UK and currently only 1 in 10 people will survive.
Lauren also explained the need for more First Responders in rural communities such as ours.  She will be invited back to explain this role in more detail in the future to all those interested in becoming part of a local team.  If you would like to register your interest in becoming a First Responder, please contact Lyn Lewis on 016973 51055.


Wednesday 05 April 2017

Annan Bell Raid

The Scots are coming!

Watch out Bowness – marauding Scots are planning a new invasion!
A fleet of boats will be heading across the Solway estuary on Sunday, July 23 to carry out the now-annual Bowness Bell Raid.
The raid commemorates the original theft in 1626 when a gang of Scotsmen took the bells from St Michael’s Church in retaliation for an earlier raid by Cumbrians of Scottish bells. In the chase that followed, the Bowness bells were thrown overboard and to this day lie at the bottom of the Bell Pool in the Solway at Annan.
In  recent years the dastardly theft has been re-enacted and the Scottish raiders met by fierce Bowness folk armed with water pistols.
The confrontation ends amicably with refreshments provided by Bowness School PTA before the invaders head home with a replica bell.
The raid has become an important date in the calendar of the Annan Harbour Events and Activities group who enjoy the chance to show off their community-made skiff ‘The Pride of Annan’.
The mini Viking boat, built by local craftsmen assisted by young enthusiasts, is one of 186 similar craft made by coastal communities round Britain who then compete in coastal rowing races..
Annan is already at work on a second boat the Harbour Development Officer Alan Thomson is keen to see Bowness and perhaps Port Carlisle and Burgh by Sands build their own community boats with a view to regular Solway rowing races.
The boats, which take four oarsmen (or women) and a cox, are all built to the same traditional Scandinavian pattern, designed by a boatbuilder on the Isle of Skye.
Alan says: “All you need is the kit, one craftsman and plenty of enthusiasts.
*Pictures and more information about the Annan boats can be found at
* Anyone interested in building and/or rowing a Bowness boat can register their interest on the parish website at

Tuesday 04 April 2017

Spring Tidying at The Banks

We are holding a gardening morning at The Banks on Sunday 23rd April, starting at 9.30a.m. Come and join us -  even half an hour of your time would be most welcome. Please bring your own gardening tools. Help us make the official start of the Hadrian's Wall Trail look good for the new season!  (Please note this is a re-scheduling of the previous date.)

Sunday 19 March 2017


The Defibrillator is now installed and  'Rescue Ready' and linked to the North West Ambulance Service.  The equipment is mounted on the front wall of Wallsend Guest House.  Please do call in and see the equipment if you would like to.  

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Community Defibrillator

Funding to pay for a defibrillator for use by the community has now been agreed, with contributions from the Parish Council and Cumbria County Council. Many thanks also to Lyn and Andy Lewis for their donations of funds from the September Race Night, and Jan and Dave Milne; this will be spent on training in the use of the equipment and its ongoing maintenance. The defibrillator will be supplied by the Community Heartbeat Trust, and training sessions will be provided. It is planned to site the defibrillator on the front wall of Wallsend Guest House, where it can be monitored by CCTV. Watch this space for more information on training opportunities.