News & Announcements

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Interest Groups  •  Movie Night!

Interest Groups  •  Movie Night!
Wednesday 17 April 2019

Bowness  •  Project UK232 Update

Bowness  •  Project UK232 Update Bowness  •  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 16 April 2019

Interest Groups  •  Junior Tennis Coaching

Interest Groups  •  Junior Tennis Coaching


At Anthorn Tennis Courts.  Start Date Friday 26 April.

4.00 – 4.45pm 8 years and under

4.45 – 5.30pm 9,10,11 years

5.30 – 6.30pm 12 years plus

£30 to include club membership

Further details:  Rob Jefferson  0750 311 6867 or Angela Mowbray 0744 341 8736

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Nature and Wildlife  •  RSPB Easter Egg Hunt

Nature and Wildlife  •  RSPB Easter Egg Hunt
Sunday 07 April 2019

Parish Council  •  Parish Council Elections 2019

Allerdale Borough Council


Thursday 02 May 2019

Persons nominated for the election of ELEVEN Parish Councillors for the




Please go to the Parish Council Section of the Website to see the list of all candidates

Click on the April 7th link under Documents  Agenda and Minutes

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Parish Council  •  Parish Council Elections 2019

Allerdale Borough Council
Election of Parish Councillor for the area of Bowness on Solway

Number of Parish Councillors is 11

To be held on
Thursday 02 May 2019


1. An election is to be held for Parish Councillor for the said area(s).

2. Nomination papers may be obtained, during normal office hours, from the Returning Officer at the address shown below.

3. Completed nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer at the offices of Allerdale Borough Council at the address shown below, on any day after the date of this notice, during normal office hours but no later than 4.00pm on 3 April 2019.

4. If the election is contested, the poll will take place on 2 May 2019 between the hours of 07:00 and 22:00.

5. Electors should take note that the deadline for new applications to vote by post or to change existing postal or proxy arrangements e.g. cancellation or re-direction etc. must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at the address shown below by 5pm on 15 April 2019 if they are to be effective for this election.

6. New applications to vote by proxy must be received by the Electoral Registration Officer by 5pm on 24 April 2019.

7. The deadline for new applications to be received by the Electoral Registration Officer to vote by proxy on grounds of a medical or work related emergency is not later than 5pm on 2 May 2019.

DATED 18 March 2019
Andrew Seekings
Returning Officer
Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House
CA14 3YJ

Sunday 17 March 2019

Other  •  Bowness on Solway Parish Council Elections

Other  •  Bowness on Solway Parish Council Elections

Now is your chance to take an active role in your community by standing as a local councillor. Elections for Bowness Parish Council will take place in early May, offering a chance to represent your neighbourhood, raising their concerns on matters such as roads, street lighting, policing, planning applications, public services, grants to local organisations and other issues.

Bowness Parish Council meets once every two months either in the Lindow Hall at Bowness, the Bower at Port Carlisle or Anthorn Village Hall.

To find out how you can apply, contact Allerdale Council's Democratic Services Department on 0303 1231 1702 or visit 


Saturday 16 March 2019

Other  •  Website Update

Other  •  Website Update

Over the last 12 months, the parish website has had 2300 users, logging on for over 3600 sessions.  The most popular sections are ‘News and Announcements’ and ‘Parish Council’. 

Of these sessions, 81% were in the UK but the remainder from all over the world, including Brazil, The Netherlands, USA and Australia.  

The website needs regular updates, news, photos, historical information, diary events and details of any local groups.  If you have any information or links you’d like to see on the website, please send it to 

If you don’t have access to the internet, you can post any material to c/o Wallsend Guest House for publication.


Friday 15 March 2019

Health  •  Spring Health Drop-In

Spring Health Drop-In
“Helping the community to better health”

Saturday 27th April – Kirkbride Village Hall 10am- 12noon

Hosted by The Croft Surgery doctors and patient participation group
This will be an informal, free to attend, drop-in community event and an opportunity
to speak to surgery staff and members of the Patient Participation Group and learn
about the many different health and well-being services available locally.

*information from your GPs
Osteoporosis ~ the importance of bowel cancer screening ~ diabetes~ loneliness anddepression
*Cumbria Diabetes Circle
*Volunteering opportunities - get outside and enjoy the many healthbenefits!
*First Responders
*Self-referral to NHS services
*Weight loss and exercise on referral programmes including free Slimming World for qualifying patients
*Local exercise and well-being classes
*Health advice

We look forward to seeing you there – there will be complimentary refreshments provided

Monday 11 March 2019

Interest Groups  •  Anyone for Tennis?

Interest Groups  •  Anyone for Tennis?

Tennis players at Anthorn and Kirkbride are limbering up for the start of a new season. Home and away matches in the Carlisle league are due to begin at the end of the month (April), weather permitting.

After a successful season last year, the first and second teams are hoping for even better results this time. Some members have been playing throughout the winter at the Chatsworth club in Carlisle and benefitting from a bit of coaching there.

Matches are played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6.30pm and anyone wishing to join in can contact the Anthorn organisers Sheila Dugdale ( 016973 51228) or Angela Mawbray (07443418736).

Coaching for schoolchildren on the splendid courts at Anthorn will also be running after school on Fridays and, when not in use for matches or tuition, the courts are available free to club members and at a cost of just £2 for non-members.



Monday 04 March 2019

Interest Groups  •  Dancercise Classes

Interest Groups  •  Dancercise Classes

Coming to The Lindow Hall - Dancersize!
Tuesday March 5th for a six week trial 6pm to 7pm
£5 per session
Fun class for everyone to burn calories to music. All ages, abilities, shapes and sizes!
No need to sign up - just turn up!
Contact Lyn on 016973 51055 for more details.

Monday 04 March 2019

Health  •  Introducing Your Community First Responders

Health  •  Introducing Your Community First Responders

The new team of Community First Responders for the parish of Bowness becomes ‘live’ this week.

What is a Community First Responder (CFR) ?
CFRs are recruited and trained by North West Ambulance Service to support patients in certain emergency situations.  They have been through a rigorous recruitment and selection process and training and assessment in Basic Life Support.  They will make themselves available across the parish on a voluntary basis.

What will a Community First Responder attend?
When 999 is called, North West Ambulance Service will despatch an ambulance. They may also contact the CFRs on call to attend to the patient until the ambulance arrives.  There is no direct contact to CFRs from the public.  In an Emergency you must always dial 999 first.

How will you know who is a Community First Responder?
They will arrive in their own car, but will be wearing a high visibility jacket and will be have a NWAS Identity Badge.  They will be carrying a Basic Life Support Kit, including a defibrillator and oxygen.

What you can do to help the CFRs and ambulance crews
Ensure that your house name/number is clearly visible from the roadside, especially in the dark, to help them find your address quickly.
If you have any current medical information, please ensure that this is easy to access, including a list of current medications and any emergency contact numbers for friends or family.

How you can support your Community First Responder Team
Ask the Team Leader how you can get involved in the group.  This may involve other activities than responding.  If you are interested in becoming a CFR, please contact NWAS direct.
Your CFR Team has been set up by NWAS who have provided two Basic Life Support Kits, and the Parish Council has also awarded a grant to buy more equipment as required.  Ideally, every CFR should have a Kit available to them at all times, and this will be our aim for the future.  Each kit costs approximately £2000 and so we will be asking the community to support the Team with fundraising activities and donations.



Monday 04 March 2019

Interest Groups  •  Solway Coast Beach Cleans

Come and help a group of volunteers protect the lovely Solway coast from bottles, cans, polythene, rope, tyres etc.  We hold 2-hour events every week.  All equipment provided.  Just look for the 'Beach Clean Here' sign.

Saturday 9/3/19  10am - 12.  Blue Dial Beach, Allonby.  Meet/park in the front yard of Blue Dial Farm & Caravan Park beside the B5300 coast road south of Allonby.
Tuesday 12/3/19  10am - 12.  Allonby South Beach.  Meet/park in the free, southern car park reached by a short track off the B5300 coast road opposite the large church.
Saturday 16/3/19  10am - 12.  Mawbray Banks.  Meet/park in the free car park, reached by a short gravel track off the B5300 coast road opposite Mawbray village.
Thursday 21/3/19  1.30 - 3.30pm.  Crosscanonby.  Meet/park beside the minor road to Crosscanonby village near the junction with the B5300 coast road 1 mile north of Maryport.  This is an afternoon event to avoid the morning's high tide.
Tuesday26/3/19  10am - 12.  Allonby North.  Meet/park in the free northern car park slightly downhill of the B5300 coast road just within Allonby's 30mph zone.
Saturday 30/3/19  10am - 12.  Rockcliffe Riverbank Great British Spring Clean, (CA6 4AD), with Eden Rivers Trust.  Meet: car park, end of School Lane, off main street.  
Thursday 4/4/19  1.30 - 3.30pm.  Cardurnock Saltmarsh  (CA7 5AQ).  Meet/park near the white noticeboard by the coast road 4.3 miles west of Bowness on Solway.
Tuesday 9/4/19  10am - 12.  Allonby South Beach.  Meet/park in the free southern car park off the B5300 coast road via a short gravel track opposite the large church.
Saturday 13/4/18  10am - 12.  Wolsty Banks.  Meet/park in the free, grassy car park with a brown 'Welcome' sign beside the B5300 coast road 2 miles south of  Silloth.
Thursday 18/4/19  1.30 - 3.30pm.    Mawbray Banks.  Meet/park in the free car park reached via a short gravel track off the B5300 coast road opposite Mawbray village.
Saturday 27/4/19  10.00am - 12.  Bowness on Solway.  Meet/park beside the coast road at the east end of Bowness village near the Shore Gate House guesthouse.

  Wellies and waterproofs advisable.  Children welcome with responsible adults.  Dogs OK.  You need walking fitness & concentration but mostly it's a great way to explore & improve our coast as part of a local group.  New volunteers welcome.
Contact: John Gorrill, Fix the Firth.


Tuesday 19 February 2019

Bowness  •  Big Movie!

Bowness  •  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

Bowness  •  February Movie Night

Bowness  •  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

Saturday 02 February 2019

Ping in The Community is Live!

Ping in The Community is Live!

Bowness Community Group are pleased to announce........

First FREE table tennis sessions Monday February 11th at the Lindow Hall, and every Monday thereafter for a small sub.

7 - 8pm for beginners who'd like to try table tennis maybe for the first time or are a little rusty with the old paddle
8 - 9pm for those who have played table tennis before and fancy starting the Bowness Ladder!


Tuesday 29 January 2019

Coming Soon to Bowness - Ping in The Community

Coming Soon to Bowness - Ping in The Community Coming Soon to Bowness - Ping in The Community

Bowness Community Group has been successful in its application to Table Tennis England for a complete table tennis set up for community use for over 16's.

The equipment will be delivered this week and free 'taster sessions' will be organised so that you can come along and have a go!  Regular sessions will then be organised at the Lindow Hall.

What better time to get fit in a fun way?

Watch this space for more details of how to get involved.

Friday 04 January 2019

St Michaels Church  •  Tribute to Peter Blackett

St Michaels Church  •  Tribute to Peter Blackett St Michaels Church  •  Tribute to Peter Blackett

Sunday 6th January was our Rector, the Reverend Peter Blackett’s last Sunday in Bowness Parish. Peter is moving East to set up home with his wife Karen. He will be sorely missed. As a congregation we had an opportunity at the Carol Service to show him our appreciation by presenting him with a cheque to which magazine readers are welcome to contribute through any church member. He was thanked particularly for the content of his sermons which were greatly appreciated by the regular congregation and for his monthly letter to this magazine which reached a much larger but no less appreciative audience. Most particularly he was thanked for his individual pastoral care as so many people had noted their gratitude for his support at difficult times. He was also presented with a painting of the Church from the Sewing Group. Peter responded by assuring us we would all be in his prayers.

Services in Church will continue as advertised, though in the future the pattern may well change as we adapt to no longer having a resident Rector. Management details of the running of the parish will be clarified at the AGM in March. In the meantime please refer to the Churchwardens Richard Wills and Mary Little if you need the services of the Church.


Monday 03 December 2018

Interest Groups  •  December 1st Beach Clean

Interest Groups  •  December 1st Beach Clean

The beach clean on Saturday 1/12/18 had 9 people who collected 22 bags of rubbish on a wet morning.  The strangest things we found were a dead rat and a small plastic model of Santa Claus, which was topical given the date.  More interesting was the degree of erosion on the western side of the beach where the clay subsoil is visible between pebbles.  Also, the saltmarsh is falling away and exposing the roof slates and rubble which were probably dumped there in the past to strengthen the sea defence.  

 Some Solway beaches are growing by the accretion of silt, sand and shingle - for example at Wolsty and Mawbray - while others are shrinking due to erosion, as we have seen at Dubmill Point north of Allonby and at Crosscanonby.   The Fix the Firth group has done 64 beach cleans to date between Bowness and Crosscanonby, so the regular volunteers notice changes in the coast very often.  There are also changes in the amount of beach rubbish we collect: Storm Diana three days before the recent beach clean left surprisingly little debris on the shore.  Rainwater flooding down the River Eden probably washed it out to the Irish Sea, leaving cans, shreds of plastic and nylon rope for us to pick up in calmer weather.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Bowness  •  Project UK 232 - St Ayles Skiff Build

Bowness  •  Project UK 232 - St Ayles Skiff Build Bowness  •  Project UK 232 - St Ayles Skiff Build Bowness  •  Project UK 232 - St Ayles Skiff Build Bowness  •  Project UK 232 - St Ayles Skiff Build Bowness  •  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


Monday 26 November 2018

1900 to 2000  •  War and Peace

1900 to 2000  •  War and Peace 1900 to 2000  •  War and Peace 1900 to 2000  •  War and Peace 1900 to 2000  •  War and Peace

Christmas and New Year in Bowness parish 100 years ago was a time of conflicting emotions – relief and rejoicing that the Great War was over and grief and regret at the loss of a generation of young men.

Pictured above is the peace celebration parade along the cobbled road through Bowness, just passing the pub. The mule-drawn cart is carrying an effigy of Kaiser Willhelm. Villagers made their way to the school field where a bonfire party was held and a presentation of peace medals to surviving soldiers.
Pictured below are two sombre reminders of the lost soldiers of Bowness parish. Church councillor Ian Graham laid a wreath of poppies at the foot of the war memorial in the churchyard at St Michael’s at the close of a special centenary Remembrance Service marking the end of the war. The congregation stood in steady rain as parish council chairman Marian Carruthers read out loud the names of the 28 men from the parish killed in the war. The rector, the Rev Peter Blackett, then paid the traditional tribute to the fallen.
The names of those soldiers also featured in a display created by the children of Bowness School for their own centenary assembly. It wasd later transferred to the church for the Remembrance Service.
They had made from clay and painted a series of large poppies, mounted on sticks, each bearing the name of a Bowness parish soldier who did not come home.
The bell at St Michael’s, along with church bells all over Britain, rang out at 12.30pm on the 11th as the nation united in tribute.
* More details of the fallen soldiers of the parish – their regiments, medals and in some cases a short biography, are available in a folder put together by Margaret Wills with the help of an amateur World War One historian. It can be found on the sill of the window directly opposite the entrance door at St Michael’s Church.


Wednesday 07 November 2018

Interest Groups  •  Bowness Beach Clean

Interest Groups  •  Bowness Beach Clean Interest Groups  •  Bowness Beach Clean

The Bowness beach clean last Saturday morning had 20 people of all ages who collected 29 bags of rubbish.  About half the group were locals and half regular volunteers from Carlisle, Brough by Sands and so on.  Odd things on the beach were a fluorescent light tube about 5 feet long, shoes, plastic gutter and a dead fox.     The next beach clean at Bowness will be on Saturday 1st December, 10am -12, starting from the east end of the village near the Shore Gate House b&b.  

Thursday 18 October 2018

Interest Groups  •  Another Good Season On Court

Interest Groups  •  Another Good Season On Court

Anthorn and Kirkbride tennis players can be proud of their performance in the Carlisle and District League this season. Competing against much bigger clubs from more populated towns and villages, their A team came fourth in the second division and their B team third in the third division.

Coaching for young players on the superb new courts at Anthorn was given each Friday evening during the summer term by Lawn Tennis Association coach Rob Jefferson. The sessions, which will resume in April,  are open to school-age children from as young as four.

To inquire about joining the club or using the courts, contact Sheila Dugdale on 016973 51228.


Thursday 18 October 2018

Health  •  Community First Responder Update

Health  •  Community First Responder Update

A presentation was given on October 17th at the Lindow Hall by Mark Evans and Shaun Sproule from the Community Engagement and Resus Team at North West Ambulance Service.  Members of the Silloth CFR Group joined us to share their experiences of the role.

Recruitment of volunteers from the parish has begun, with the first round of interviews, references and DBS checks completed.  More applications are currently being processed, but we still need more volunteers, particularly from Port Carlisle and Anthorn.

We are in the very fortunate position to be able to set up the Group with four kits.  NWAS have donated two, and with the grant from the Parish Council we will be able to buy the bulk of the equipment to make up two more kits, with NWAS making up any shortfalls.

Given the geographical spread of the parish, it would be advantageous to have CFRs in each if the four villages at least, as well as the hamlets in between, so this is an appeal for more people to come forward.

If you feel you could become a volunteer, please contact Shaun Sproule by email for an application pack, or for an informal chat please contact Lyn Lewis on 016973 51055.


Thursday 18 October 2018

Bowness  •  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

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

Bowness  •  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  •  Bowness Community Group AGM

Bowness  •  Bowness Community Group AGM

BOS Community Group AGM

Tuesday October 2nd 2018

All Welcome

7.30pm at the Lindow Hall

Saturday 29 September 2018

St Michaels Church  •  Harvest Sale

St Michaels Church  •  Harvest Sale
Monday 24 September 2018

Bowness  •  October Family Movie Matinee

Bowness  •  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

Monday 24 September 2018

Community Group  •  October Movie Night

Community Group  •  October Movie Night

Saturday October 20th 2018 at the Lindow Hall

Darkest Hour

Refreshments and bar from 7pm.  Film starts at 7.30pm.

Adults £4                Concessions £2.50             Family ticket £10

Available from Wallsend Guest House 016973 51055

Friday 21 September 2018

Bowness  •  New Facebook Page for Bowness Community Group

Bowness  •  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

Bowness  •  Race Night

Bowness  •  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

Bowness  •  New Year's Eve Ceilidh

Bowness  •  New Year's Eve Ceilidh
Wednesday 05 September 2018

Interest Groups  •  Fix The Firth Beach Cleans

Interest Groups  •  Fix The Firth Beach Cleans Interest Groups  •  Fix The Firth Beach Cleans Interest Groups  •  Fix The Firth Beach Cleans

The Fix The Firth volunteers will lead the next Bowness beach clean on Saturday October 27th 10:00 till 12:00.  All welcome to join in, just bring your own gloves.

The last beach clean saw 14 volunteers clear 32 bags of rubbish.


Sunday 02 September 2018

Nature and Wildlife  •  RSPB Discovery Day

Nature and Wildlife  •  RSPB Discovery Day
Sunday 19 August 2018

Health  •  Bowness Parish Community First Responders

Health  •  Bowness Parish Community First Responders
Saturday 18 August 2018

Nature and Wildlife  •  RSPB News and Discovery Day

It's a funny time of year for the Reserve as the bird nesting season comes to a close. It's all a bit quiet on the farm as birds finish their yearly task of raising young and start to gear up for winter. When visitors ask what's about we point them towards the saltmarsh and the wading birds that feed and roost there, their numbers increasing over the last few weeks. Its an important time of year for them following a demanding summer putting all their energy and reserves into nesting and ensuring their chicks leave the nest safely.

The birds you may see out on the estuary and on the saltmarsh at high tides include oystercatcher, curlew, golden plover, dunlin and lapwing amongst others all frantically feeding. It's important that they have time and space to feed in peace so that they don't spend energy on moving rather than roosting and replenishing their energy stores. Oystercatchers are probably one of the most distinct birds you'll see and they are currently in their hundreds out on the marsh. My 9 year old niece once described them as looking like they are eating a carrot and I'm inclined to agree with her description. Bright orange bill with a black and white plumage, they also have a distinct and noisy call. Another member of the fancy beak club is the curlew which has a long curled beak used to probe the mud and sand for food. You can see and hear these birds without binoculars so if you are cycling or walking near the marsh keep an eye out for some of our shorebirds in action. 

Finally we would like to invite everyone to our Discovery Day on Sunday  2 September 10.30 - 16.00. There will be plenty of things for the kids to do before they head back to school with pond dipping and bug hunting. We'll also have refreshments, plants and produce for sale. We'd love to see you there so please pop along.

Wednesday 15 August 2018

The latest BogLIFE newsletter for the South Solway Mosses.

Sunday 12 August 2018

Agendas & Minutes  •  July Minutes

Bowness Parish Council

St Michael’s Church has been given a £20,000 grant by the parish council to help buy land for a much-needed extension to the graveyard. The church council is negotiating to buy a field at near the burial ground, which is likely to run out of grave space in the next decade.
The parish council has stipulated a date by which the £20,000 must be spent and the July meeting heard that the church council has already submitted a planning application for the land.
Councillors are keen to ensure that the new tourism project in the centre of Bowness, at Bowness House Farm, complies with existing planning consents before any further development takes place. Concern was raised about access through a corner gateway, which had been prohibited.
The council has objected to a plan to build eight bungalows at Glasson on a field next to Millgrove. Members raised no objection to an application to build a farm worker’s dwelling at Westfield House Farm, Port Carlisle.
Correspondence from the RSPB and Natural England about the future of the empty farm at Rogersceugh were discussed and members were keen to be consulted before any action was taken about the site. The council, and some parishioners, feel more should be done to preserve Rogersceugh and access to it.
Councillors heard that Glasson and Anthorn would qualify for grants from the County Council and North West Ambulance Service to enable them to instal defibrillators but the parish council would consider making up any funding shortfall if necessary.
Some homes in the parish have been suffering from poor water pressure for years and at last it may be fixed. Members heard that United Utilities have identified a faulty pressure meter in the system and were planning to rectify it.

* This information is taken from draft minutes subject to approval by the council at its next meeting on Wednesday, September 12 at 7pm in the Lindow Hall, Bowness.


Tuesday 31 July 2018

Other  •  Solway Run Was a Winner

Other  •  Solway Run Was a Winner

The June half-marathon from Anthorn round ‘the island’ via Bowness looks set to become an annual fixture.

Organisers Run Nation were delighted with the uptake, the terrain and the hospitality given by locals. A field of 117 runners set out on the 13.5-mile course and all but four reached the finish.

Run Nation is based in the North East but stages events up and down the country, from London to the Highlands of Scotland. This was their first venture into Cumbria.

Organiser Tom Andrews said: “We will almost certainly be repeating it next June. It was a scenic route, nice flat terrain and local people were very hospitable and supportive – especially the Wallsend Guest House who provided a refreshment stop.

“Many of the runners were from the North East but a good number were Cumbrians, and hopefully there will be more next year.”

Monday 30 July 2018

Transport  •  Bus Timetable changes with effect from September 3rd 2018

Transport  •  Bus Timetable changes with effect from September 3rd 2018

Stagecoach will change their service 93/93A timetable from the 3rd September as follows:-


The 09:30 Service 93A from Carlisle to Bowness on Solway via Kirkbride, and the 10:12 Service 93 from Bowness-on Solway to Carlisle via Burgh by Sands, will both run 20 minutes later.


On schooldays there will also be an extra journey at 09:00 from Burgh by Sands to Carlisle via Beaumont, and an extra return bus from Carlisle to Burgh by Sands via Beaumont departing at 15:05.

Thursday 26 July 2018

Health  •  Defibrillator Awareness Training

Health  •  Defibrillator Awareness Training

A total of 34 people attended training sessions at The Lindow Hall and the Bower, presented by Lauren Watson of NWAS.  This training will be ongoing as other villages install their defibrillators.  

Thanks to Lauren and all attendess for making the sessions so successful.

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

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Groups  •  Wedholme Flow Bog Trot

Groups  •  Wedholme Flow Bog Trot

Wedholme Flow Bog Trot

Sunday 22nd July, 10.30am – 12.30am

At Wedholme Flow National Nature Reserve.


Pull on your wellies and join us on National Bog Day for a boggy exploration! We will show you how we are bringing the bog back to life with our recent restoration work, and we will also take a look for the wonderful specialist bog wildlife that lives here.

Free Event! No need to book, just meet us at the NNR carpark on the Wigton to Kirkbride road, approx. 2 miles south of Kirkbride (Grid Ref NY237538)

Please Bring: Wellies or waterproof boots and suitable clothing for the weather. Sun cream and a drink if its hot.

Please note: There are no facilities available on the site

For more info: Tel: Keeley Spate 07881 255343 or email:

Monday 02 July 2018

Bowness  •  Flower Festival

Bowness  •  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.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Health  •  Defibrillator Awareness Training

Health  •  Defibrillator Awareness Training
Monday 11 June 2018

Other  •  Can Rogersceugh be rescued?

Other  •  Can Rogersceugh be rescued? Other  •  Can Rogersceugh be rescued?

Naturalists, environmentalists and planners on the Solway coast are joining forces to try and save one of our most iconic buildings from ruin.

Rogersceugh Farm and its extensive outbuildings, situated high above Longcroft on one of the most elevated sites in the parish, are owned by the RSPB as part of its reserve on the moss.

The RSPB acquired Rogersceugh in 2004 and rented the farm out for a while. They then tried to interest the Youth Hostel Association in developing the site, but the YHA could not raise the required funding.

Next the RSPB approached the National Trust and Historic England but both felt that its inaccessibility ruled it out as a public attraction.

Eventually the RSPB found a private buyer for Rogersceugh but the difficulty of providing vehicle access across peat bog proved a stumbling block.

Currently the crumbling buildings are fenced off for safety and security reasons but several rights of way and permissive paths allow walkers to pass by.

The cost of making the buildings habitable is estimated at £750,000 but a further huge sum would be needed to create vehicle access to the site on a floating track, leaving the precious wetland around it undisturbed.
RSPB reserve warden Dave Blackledge said: “One option would be to simply make the buildings safe (at an estimated cost of £120,000) and open to visitors on foot who could learn about the fascinating history of Rogersceugh through a ‘historic interpretation’ displayed there.

Recently the RSPB organised a site meeting with representatives from Natural England, the Solway AONB, Allerdale Council and Bowness Parish Council where ideas and options for Rogersceugh were exchanged and discussed.
Now the RSPB will hold an internal meeting and report back to all those interested parties.

“We don’t want Rogersceugh to be obliterated,” said Dave.”We are trying hard to find a financially viable solution.”


Tuesday 22 May 2018

Nature and Wildlife  •  Bowness Common Comes Alive

I don’t know about you but I love this time of year. Wildflowers and butterflies start emerging, birds sing and there’s generally a busy hum about the countryside. One place on the Reserve which amazes me at this time of year is the bog. If you visit in the winter it can look vast and desolate however fast forward to now and it’s starting to burst into life and you just have to look a little closer to see all that is emerging. Cotton grass, although slightly later than other years, is out just now doting white wisps of colour to break up the brown and green. Walking along the boardwalk flashes of movement can catch the eye and with a bit of stealth it is possible to view common lizards sunning themselves on the warm surface of the wood. The promise of a glimpse of a lizard is often all the motivation that is needed for younger visitors to walk the extra distance up onto the bog! 
The bog and the important habitats around the fringe provide unique homes to a variety birds as well. It isn’t too long as you walk the boardwalks before you hear the lyrical trill of the skylark or see a meadow pipit flying off into the distance with its distinct call. There is one bird on the bog which isn’t doing very well and perhaps you’ve noticed it’s absence or decline over the years. The Curlew is in serious decline having halved in number since the mid-1990’s in the UK. The UK holds around a quarter of the world’s population of this slender billed wader and the RSPB is so worried it’s declared May ‘Curlew in Crisis month’. Have a look on our website for ways you can get involved. It’s such an iconic bird and many people have a story or memory about Curlew it would be sad if they were to disappear from our countryside completely. 
A reminder to put our Discovery Day in the Diary : 27th May 10.30-16.00 at Campfield Marsh. We’ve got Stephen Routledge a pond dipping expert coming along, plant sales, produce stalls, bug hunting and more! Hope to see a few of you down there!

Mhairi Maclauchlan


Tuesday 15 May 2018

Bowness  •  Movie Night!

Bowness  •  Movie Night! Bowness  •  Movie Night! Bowness  •  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

Monday 14 May 2018

St Michaels Church  •  Flower Festival

St Michaels Church  •  Flower Festival

‘Moving Mountains’ mission
on 22nd, 23rd 24th June 2018
Friday 10am – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 8pm
Sunday 2pm – 6pm
Church Services on Sunday - Holy Communion 11am
Songs of Praise 6.30pm
Refreshments and a display of local memorabilia
in the Lindow Hall, Bowness-on-Solway
Contacts: Anne on 01228 576315
Diane on

Thursday 19 April 2018

Interest Groups  •  Haaf netters anxious wait

Interest Groups  •  Haaf netters anxious wait

Worried haaf netters are waiting to hear from the Environment Agency about new regulations for salmon fishing in the Solway.
The agency wants to restrict salmon fishing by requiring haaf netters to return their catch to the water – a suggestion which has prompted strong opposition locally.

The fishing season is due to start on June 1 and the fishermen, who gained wide support for their protest, had expected a decision from the agency by now.

Mark Messenger, chairman of the Solway Haaf Netters’ Society, said: “We have tried to contact them but have heard nothing.”
Under the proposed rules, the fisherment would be allowed to keep some sea trout but Mark said: “catching a fish with a haaf net while standing chest deep in the Solway Firth is difficult and dangerous. Fishermen will not risk it if they have to return their salmon.”

There are fears that the Solway could lose this rare, historic tradition which has been practised here since around 900AD.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Parish Council News

Bowness Parish Council is to seek a valuation from a land agent before members consider committing themselves to helping St Michael’s Church buy a plot of land to extend the churchyard.
The church sought help from the council to acquire the land as their burial ground is likely to run out of space in the next few years.
At its March meeting the council heard that their clerk had consulted the Cumbria Association of Local Councils who recommended that at least one land valuation be obtained before members reached a decision.
Members agreed at the meeting to a grant of £2,000 towards a public access defibrillator at Port Carlisle and to a £317.34 grant for improvements at Glasson village green.
The council was to hold a grant meeting in April and the date of the next meeting is May 9 at 6.30pm at the Lindow Hall, Bowness.


Wednesday 18 April 2018

Nature and Wildlife  •  RSPB News

Before I worked here at RSPB Campfield Marsh I had visited a couple of times before. My first visit I was privileged enough to be shown around the Reserve by Norman and Dave. Arriving at North Plain Farm back then I don’t think I would have believed that in a few of years there would be the facilities, information and visitor welcome there is now. You can imagine being told there’s no loo after a two hour journey was quite a shock! My over whelming memory of that day was not only the great company but the unexpected and breath taking vistas that unashamedly surprised me as we walked over the bog. It was like nothing I’d really experience before except in the uplands - the vast scale of the landscape with the stunning views out over the Solway firth. Then again I probably don’t have to tell you how amazing it is - I’m a little late to the party! Fast forward to today and there’s now more ways to explore RSPB Campfield Marsh then ever. Our loop paths with extensive boardwalks allow access right onto the bog and back round through the farm or ,if you are feeling a little more adventurous, onto Rogersceugh for even better views. For families we have the Discovery Zone with badger sett, pond dipping platform and bug mansion to keep the kids (and big kids) entertained.

Another way to explore is to come down to our Discovery Day on Sunday 27 May 10.30-4.00. Drop in anytime and join RSPB staff and volunteers to discover more about the Reserve and the wildlife that makes its home here in spring. Exciting activities will be running throughout the day to keep everyone entertained, including pond dipping and bug hunting along with wildlife themed crafts. Not only that but you will be able to grab a bargain at our cake and book stalls and plant sales. Hope to see you there!

Mhairi Maclauchlan


Wednesday 28 March 2018

Nature and Wildlife  •  Bowness Beach Clean

Nature and Wildlife  •  Bowness Beach Clean Nature and Wildlife  •  Bowness Beach Clean Nature and Wildlife  •  Bowness Beach Clean

Last weekend's Beach Clean supported by Solway Coast AONB had a total of 28 volunteers.  A record turn-out.  There were 49 bags of rubbish plus one traffic cone, a car bumper and part of a fibreglass boat. Thanks to all who volunteered.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Nature and Wildlife  •  Fix The Firth

Solway Coast Beach Cleans.               

Come and help a group of volunteers protect our lovely Solway coast from bottles, cans, polythene, nylon rope, tyres... you name it - you'll find it!  Here are the upcoming 2-hour events.  All equipment provided.

Saturday 3/3/18  1.30 - 3.30pm.  Crosscanonby Beach.  Meet/park beside the minor road to Crosscanonby village off the B5300 coast road north of Maryport.
Saturday 10/3/18  10 - 12 noon.  Mawbray Banks.  Meet/park in the free car park reached by a short track off the B5300 coast road opposite Mawbray village.
Tuesday 13/3/18  10 - 12 noon.  Allonby South Beach.  Meet/park in the free southern car park beside the B5300 coast road and opposite the large church.
Saturday 24/3/18  10 - 12 noon.  Bowness on Solway.  Meet/park beside the coast road near the Shore Gate House b&b at the east end of the village.
Thursday 29/3/18  1.30 - 3.30pm.  Silloth West Beach.  Meet/park in the free West Beach car park, reached by passing the end of the harbour, then Silloth Golf Club, next heading straight on over yellow speed bumps.  NB.  Afternoon event!
Saturday 7/4/18  10 - 12 noon.  Allonby North Beach.  Meet/park in Allonby's free northern car park beside the B5300 coast road within the 30mph zone.
Tuesday 10/4/18  10 - 12 noon.  Allonby South Beach.  Meet/park as on 13/3/18.
Saturday 14/4/18  1.30 - 3.30pm.  Crosscanonby Beach.  Meet as above, 3/3/18.
Thursday 19/4/18  10am - 12 noon.  Wolsty Banks.  Meet/park in the free car park with a Welcome sign off the B5300 coast road between Silloth and Beckfoot.
Thursday 26/4/18  1.30 - 3.30pm.  Mawbray Banks.  Meet/park as on 10/3/18.
Saturday 5/5/18  10am - 12 noon.  Bowness on Solway.  Meet/park as 24/3/18.
Tuesday 8/5/18  10am - 12 noon.  Allonby South Beach.  Meet/park as 13/3/18.
Saturday 19/5/18  10am - 12 noon.  Allonby North Beach.  Meet/park as 7/4/18.

Wellies and waterproofs advisable.  Children welcome with responsible adults.  Dogs OK.  You need walking fitness & concentration but mostly it's a great way to explore & improve our coast as part of a local group.  New volunteers welcome.

Contact: John Gorrill, Fix the Firth.


Monday 19 March 2018

Nature and Wildlife  •  Cumbria BogLIFE project newsletter The Sundew

Nature and Wildlife  •  Cumbria BogLIFE project newsletter   The Sundew

Welcome to the South Solway Mosses edition of The Sundew - keeping you in touch with the work of the Cumbria BogLIFE project in your area. In this edition you can read about the current restoration work happening at Wedholme Flow. We also have news on some exciting developments taking place at Glasson Moss.

Tuesday 06 March 2018

Agendas & Minutes  •  Parish Council News

Parish council news

Bowness Parish Council has been debating the problem of the future of St Michael’s Church graveyard which is gradually running out of burial space. The council heard at its January meeting that a neighbouring landowner may be willing to sell a piece of land to extend the graveyard, which has about ten years of capacity left. 
Members heard that if an extension to the graveyard is not made, the nearest burial ground, provided by Allerdale Council, is at Causewayhead and, with the prospect of this too being closed, the next place could be Maryport.
The council now has to decide if it can give St Michael’s church council financial assistance in the event of an offer being made for land at Bowness. Members asked the clerk to make more enquiries from the church council and decided that the matter would be considered again at the next meeting.

The council heard that no objections had been raised to a plan to convert some rooms at Pear Tree Farm, Bowness into a small tea room.

Allerdale councillor Tony Markley reported that the Police and Crime Commissioner was looking for a funding increase for the police and the overall effect could mean an increase on household rates bills.
He also said he understood that the longstanding request for cattle grids at Bowness had had funds allocated to them for the 2018/2019 financial year.

The council’s next meeting, a grant meeting,  is on Wednesday April 11 at 7pm at the Lindow Hall, Bowness.
* This report was taken from draft minutes to be considered for approval at the March meeting.


Wednesday 14 February 2018

Interest Groups  •  Fate of Haaf Netting to be Decided

Interest Groups  •  Fate of Haaf Netting to be Decided

Haaf netters are anxiously awaiting the outcome of a Government consultation which they say could mean the end of the 1,000-year-old tradition on the Solway.  They expect to hear this month whether the Environment Agency will go ahead with their latest proposals to safeguard salmon stocks.

The Agency wants to restrict salmon fishing by requiring haaf netters to return their catch to the water. The fishermen would still be entitled to keep some sea trout.

Solway Haaf Netters Society opposed the ban which it sees as a threat to its existence. Chairman Mark Messenger said: “We are a salmon fishery. Catching a salmon with a haaf net chest deep in the Solway Firth is difficult and dangerous.
“Fishermen will not risk these dangers to catch a salmon and return it. This would put us out of business.”

The Solway stands to lose its cherished tradition which has been in operation since about 900AD when Norse Irish first brought it to Cumbria.

Mark, who is landlord of the Highland Laddie Inn at Glasson where fresh Solway fish is served in his restaurant in the summer months, also fears that, without haaf netting, his turnover would be reduced by 60 percent.  He said: There must be a solution to keep this fishery going. We have an incredible heritage.

“A professor from York’s Viking Museum has described it as living archeology.”


Sunday 11 February 2018

Glasson  •  Have your say on haaf netting

Have your say on haaf netting

The race is on to try and save the ancient Solway tradition of haaf netting from extinction.

Supporters have until February 16 to register their feelings about a set of proposals by the Environment Agency designed to safeguard salmon stocks.

The Agency wants to restrict salmon fishing by requiring haaf netters to return their catch to the water.

The fishermen would still be entitled to keep some sea trout.Solway Haaf Netters Society is opposing the ban which it sees as a threat to its existence. Chairman Mark Messenger said: “We are a salmon fishery. Catching a salmon with a haaf net chest deep in the Solway Firth is difficult and dangerous.

“Fishermen will not risk these dangers to catch a salmon and return it. This would put us out of business.”

The Solway stands to lose its 1,000-year-old tradition which has been in operation since about 900AD when Norse Irish first brought it to Cumbria.

Mark, who is landlord of the Highland Laddie Inn at Glasson where fresh Solway fish is served in his restaurant in the summer months, also fears that, without haaf netting, his turnover would be reduced by 60 percent.

To find out more about the Environment Agency proposals and to register your comments, visit decision on the proposals is expected in early March, before the start of the river angling season.

L Laval

Monday 05 February 2018

Lindow Hall  •  Live jazz sets Bowness swinging

Lindow Hall  •  Live jazz sets Bowness swinging Lindow Hall  •  Live jazz sets Bowness swinging

Arts Out West have done it again – come up with a sparkling night of entertainment for the people of Bowness. 

This time it was jazz, and not just any old jazz. Four musicians at the top of their game came up from London to set a packed Lindow Hall swinging.

The Dime Notes give a fresh take on some of the earliest, blues-infused jazz of the 1920s from player/composer legends such as Jelly Roll Morton, Jonny Dodds and Red Nichols.

Clarinettist David Horniblow (yes, really) who fronted the quartet, played for years with the Chris Barber band – and it showed. His breathtaking skill was matched by young American pianist Andrew Oliver whose encyclopedic knowledge of the early jazz scene gave rise to some entertaining anecdotes. Versatile Bass player Tom Wheatley and veteran rhythm guitarist Dave Kelbie completed the quartet.

Stomps, blues, grooves and sultry melodies glided effortlessly from keyboard to string to clarinet leaving listeners entranced.
Hearing those early compositions it was easy to imagine how, a hundred years ago, jazz rocked and rattled first the USA and later the world, sparking a musical and cultural revolution.

Thanks again, Arts Out West.


Sunday 21 January 2018

Nature and Wildlife  •  Campfield News

Nature and Wildlife  •  Campfield News

With strong winds and snow on the hills it seems particularly appropriate to talk about feeding the birds. No doubt over the years you’ve read quite a few of such articles in the parish newsletter ‘Birdy Bit’. Here at the Reserve we have a feeding station which our volunteers revamped last year with the addition of a long wire with feeders attached and a pulley system – you may have seen it.  Every day we fill the feeders with wild bird seed mix and sunflower seeds (at weekends they get an extra treat when the volunteers add fat balls and peanuts). This is in addition to our arable plots which provide food through autumn and into winter means we get quite a variety of smaller birds around the Reserve. Before Christmas we had an amazing count of linnets on the arable plots of 600+ birds. On the feeders we get lots of tree sparrows as well as the usual garden birds – this list is always growing. As well as providing the birds with the much needed sustenance to see them through the winter, many people who maybe can’t walk too far get a great show sometimes without even leaving their car as they are visible from the carpark.
This is all leading somewhere…. On 27th to the 29th of January it is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. There will be some of you who have been participating for years and if you haven’t there’s never been a better time to get involved. Plus’s a great way to keep the kids entertained and off their ‘tech’ for an hour! I was reading on our website that in 2011 600,000+ people had a go and counted 10.2 million birds. It’s what is known as citizen science which basically means that what you and thousands of others record is used to further our knowledge of the world around us- in this case how garden birds are faring in this ever changing world. In fact the more who participate the better the snap shot. So all you need to participate is to grab a brew, take a seat and over that weekend in January record the birds that visit your garden for an hour. 
If you would like to know more and have a go please have a look at the website
Mhairi Maclauchlan 
Cumbria Coast Warden 

RSPB Campfield Marsh North Plain Farm, Bowness on Solway, Wigton Cumbria, CA7 5AG 
Tel 01697 352225 
Mobile 07793902682 


Sunday 21 January 2018

Bowness  •  Christmas 2018 Photo Competition

Bowness  •  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. 


Sunday 21 January 2018

Nature and Wildlife  •  Willow Tit Colour Ringing Project

Nature and Wildlife  •  Willow Tit Colour Ringing Project Nature and Wildlife  •  Willow Tit Colour Ringing Project

The willow tit is one of the most rapidly declining woodland birds in the UK (79% decline between 1995 to 2010).

In Cumbria, very few remain, inhabiting wet, dense woodland thickets surrounding the South Solway Mosses. 

In order to study their movements and to try to halt further decline, a project has been set up to colour ring as many birds as possible.

So far, two birds, an adult and a juvenile have been trapped by trained and licensed bird-ringers under a permit granted by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).

Both birds have a metal ring on the left leg and two colour rings on the right.

We're really interested in any sightings of Willow Tits, with or without colour rings.  They are thought to be fairly sedentary and are most likely to be found in the woodland fringes of Glasson Moss and Bowness Common and at Bowness on Solway Nature Reserve.

Please send any sightings to or tel 07787 323684.

Tuesday 09 January 2018

Bowness  •  January Beach Clean

Bowness  •  January Beach Clean Bowness  •  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. 


Monday 08 January 2018

1900 to 2000  •  Fingland Memorial To Top Biker

1900 to 2000  •  Fingland Memorial To Top Biker

A legendary biker who won the Isle of Man TT race four times may soon be commemorated at Fingland.

Wal Handley, still talked about by bikers today, was a star of the motorcycle track both on and off road. Born in the Midlands in 1902 he worked in a motorbike factory from a very young age and acquired his skill by testing bikes for the manufacturer. In the 1920s and 30s he earned a national name both as a racing biker and later as a racing car driver.

He also took private tuition as a pilot and by the start of World War Two had clocked up more than 700 flying hours, a rare achievement for a private flier.
At the outbreak of war he volunteered to join the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) and became commanding officer at Hawarden in Cheshire, the largest ferry pool in the ATA.

On the 15th of November 1941 he took off from Kirkbride Airfield but his plane inexplicably caught fire and crashed near the road junction at Fingland, killing him. He was 39 when he died.

Now the BSA Rocket Gold Star Owners Club has applied to build a memorial stone to Wal Handley near the scene of the crash. He is already commemorated at two points on the TT circuit on the Isle of Man.

Lucilla Laval


Monday 08 January 2018

Community Group  •  Generous Villagers Fund Defibrillators

Community Group  •  Generous Villagers Fund Defibrillators

Four villages in Bowness parish are on their way to owning life-saving public defibrillators thanks mainly to the generosity of local residents.

Bowness already has one up and running, situated outside the Wallsend Guest House and the village boasts more than 40 trained operators. The defibrillator is registered with the emergency services who may advise callers to use it while they are waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Glasson and Port Carlisle are not far behind. At Glasson, Highland Laddie landlord Mark Messenger has enlisted the help of the Haaf Netter and Salmon Conservation Trust, a charitable organisation, to back the villagers’ own superb fund-raising efforts. They are now nearing their target of the £1,995 needed to set up a defibrillator in the phone box opposite the pub.

Meanwhile at Port Carlisle one villager has given their fund a massive shot in the arm. Farm worker Jonny Hogg agreed to have his four-and-a-half inch eyebrows trimmed, gaining sponsorship money of £1,000. The trim was carried out by Emily Hinks in the Hope and Anchor pub where other fundraising ideas have already raised £200. To reach the estimated £2,000 cost, Port Carlisle is applying to the parish council for top-up funds.
Their defibrillator will be mounted on the wall of the Hope and Anchor.

Anthorn, too, is in the process of applying for council funds and raising money for its own defibrillator.

L Laval

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Health  •  Healthwatch Cumbria

Health  •  Healthwatch Cumbria

Dear Newsletter Editor,

Are your readers aware of what’s going on in local or Cumbria’s county wide Health and Care services?

Would you like to receive newsfeeds from the NHS and Healthwatch Cumbria?

Your readers could:

Know what’s going on
Receive press releases/newsletters
Get invited to events
Participate in surveys
Get their voice heard
Find out how to Influence change in the NHS!

The NHS Communications and Engagement team are keen to reach a wider audience. If you would like your contact details to be added to their contact lists, please email


If you would like to receive information from Healthwatch Cumbria, please email


We welcome your responses and hope to establish a good communication relationship with you.




Rose Machin

Healthwatch Representative

Healthwatch Cumbria

Best Life Building

123 Botchergate




Tel: 01228 550696


Tuesday 19 December 2017

Bowness  •  Christmas Tree Lights Switch On

Bowness  •  Christmas Tree Lights Switch On Bowness  •  Christmas Tree Lights Switch On Bowness  •  Christmas Tree Lights Switch On Bowness  •  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!  

Saturday 02 December 2017

Nature and Wildlife  •  Ian puts our wildlife in the national frame

Nature and Wildlife  •  Ian puts our wildlife in the national frame Nature and Wildlife  •  Ian puts our wildlife in the national frame Nature and Wildlife  •  Ian puts our wildlife in the national frame Nature and Wildlife  •  Ian puts our wildlife in the national frame Nature and Wildlife  •  Ian puts our wildlife in the national frame

It’s dusk over the Solway,  quiet and still. But not for long. Soon small rodents begin foraging in the undergrowth, stalked by patrolling barn owls, short-eared, tawny owls and little owls. Rabbits and hares come out to feed, tracked by foxes. Roe deer emerge from the woods to graze and badgers and otters leave their secret shelters.

Among them all is a stalker of a different kind, a figure clad in camouflage and armed with a first-rate camera.

Ian Watson has been ‘shooting’ wildlife on and around the Solway for the last ten years and this year seven of his images were shortlisted for the finals of the British Wildlife Photography Award – a competition open to professional and amateur photographers from anywhere in the world, provided their pictures were taken in this country.

His image of a little owl, taken near Kirkbride, was highly commended and will be included in the British Wildlife 2018 countrywide exhibition, as well as their 2018 book of photographs. Another, of a roe deer taken in a field behind Anthorn, will feature in the British Wildlife 2018 calendar.

Ian, who lives in Kirkbride with his wife and two children, is an emergency medical technician (ambulance man to you and me), based at Wigton. During his 12-hour shifts he may deal with road traffic accidents or any of the medical emergencies that require emergency services.

Wildlife photography, with its requirement for absolute stillness, endless patience and a blending in with nature, is how he unwinds.

Ian began his working life as a cashier at Barclays bank and, in a series of increasingly responsible roles, worked in almost every Barclays branch in Cumbria over a period of 17 years.

His next job was as a diabetic retinal eye screener in a mobile unit that came under the umbrella of the Ambulance Service. After five years he switched again to train for medical emergency work, including the very demanding blue light driving course.

His interest in wildlife started in his childhood in a modest way, by watching the butterflies on a buddleia bush in his back garden.
Today he is ‘hooked’. He has set up and regularly monitors about 50 bird and red squirrel boxes as well as feeding stations and infra-red camera traps for nocturnal activity.

Ian works with a Canon IDX camera with a fixed 500mm prime lens and a 100-400 zoom lens, keeping a second camera in reserve in case of malfunction. He occasionally uses a tripod but generally prefers a hand-held camera to give greater flexibility of composition. Another essential is his sturdy hide.
Often he patrols his patch with no camera at all, simply enjoying taking in his surrounds.

His regular haunts are at Wedholme Flow, Longcroft, Anthorn, Cardurnock and the nature reserve at Bowness as well as a farm near Dalston which is enjoying a resurgence of red squirrels.

The wintering geese and swans and the wading birds on the estuary are another favourite and, in summer, natterjack toads, dragonflies and adders.

But Ian is becoming more adventurous. In the last three years he has made several forays to the Cairngorms to capture images of the elusive mountain hare which acquires a white winter coat. The ptarmigan, another winter-white creature, is now on his wish list.

Ian’s images are on sale at the Fountain Gallery in Wigton, Priests Mill at Caldbeck and the Fisher Street Galleries in Carlisle, sold as cards, mounted prints and even photos on canvas.

To see more of Ian’s stunning work, visit his website at or catch up with him on Facebook  at ianwatson wildlife photography

Lucilla Laval

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Nature and Wildlife  •  Crossing The Moss

Ann Lingard (who also writes the Solway Shore Stories website and Solway Shorewalker blog) and photographer James Smith have recently completed their project Crossing the Moss.
The project looked at the effect on the peatbog of the building of the Solway Junction Railway across Bowness Common (one of the Solway's special raised mires) in the 1860s - and the present-day re-wetting and regeneration of the Common by the RSPB and Natural England. 

The story of Bowness Common and the railway is also the story of the Solway viaduct, and Crossing the Moss tells of engineers, and barges and ice-floes, of sinking rails and engines, and of navvies - and Sphagnum mosses, and the building of dams and bunds. As well as numerous photos, maps and other images, there is also James Smith's stunning aerial video taken as he flew his drone along the railway track from the River Wampool across the Common and across the Firth to the Annan embankment.
For more information about the project visit the website

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Nature and Wildlife  •  Solway Shore Stories

WELCOME TO SOLWAY SHORE STORIES, where I hope you will enjoy discovering more about the Solway Firth, the extraordinary stretch of water that both divides and unites the South-West corner of Scotland and the North-West corner of England.

Its scenery and seascape are unique and beautiful, and the sea and its shores have been and still are 'worked' and enjoyed in many different ways — from fishing and undersea mining, to wild-fowling and peat-cutting, to quarrying stone or trapping the wind.

Here you can read about places and people, browse the many photographs — or find details of my shore-walks.

Some of these 'stories' were written several years ago, but I update them where possible - either here or on my Solway Shore-Walker blog - and I've indicated this for each story.

There are lots of other short topical posts about the Firth on the blog, and links and more photos and information on Twitter and Facebook.

Ann Lingard

Monday 23 October 2017

Lindow Hall  •  When Magic and Science Collide - Reviews

Lindow Hall  •  When Magic and Science Collide - Reviews

Minds were manipulated in Bowness recently when Arts Out West staged its latest show at the Lindow Hall. Oliver Meech, comedian, scientist and magician, presented an entertainment for all the family described as ‘a comedy-magic show for the QI generation’ - a fun-filled fusion of magic, mirth and mind-reading.
Oliver studied psychology at Oxford; creativity at top London ad agencies and trickery at the Magic Circle and here’s what four young cousins who saw the show thought of him:

‘Oliver is extremely tall with the longest legs in the world, and great at magic. He is NEVER distracted and great at blowing minds and entertainment and everybody wants to help him in his tricks. I think he is great at presenting his speech. I loved it when he read my mind and played tricks on the audience. I LOVED every minute and can’t wait for the next show.’ 
Charlie Harrison aged 9

‘Oliver Meech, who is tall and has long legs, mixed magic and science into a great show. He mainly used playing cards but had other props, like a plastic brain. The audience shouted, clapped and found the show fascinating and interesting. The smaller children especially got very excited and the show is good for all ages and gets everyone involved. Oliver Meech is very skilled and makes everything he does look like real magic. I would recommend this as a show for the whole family to go and watch together.’
Megan Irving aged 12

‘Oliver Meech is a magician who uses science in his tricks. He did card tricks, and used paper and robots to show how your brain can get confused. The highlights were when he guessed what cards people had in their hands and it was also good at the end when he had a machine which made the food he wanted it to make. It was a show worth going to see and I really enjoyed it.’
Alf Fosker aged 12

‘Oliver Meech is a gifted magician who does a brilliant job of combining science and magic, from showing how your brain gets confused by colour and words to weird and wonderful machines like the one that magically made food. Children and adults were laughing throughout his performance. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to all age groups.
Jake Fosker aged 14

Tuesday 03 October 2017

Community Group  •  Bowness Community Group News

Autumn Clean Up on the Banks 
Thank you to the Community Payback Team who come on a regular basis to maintain the paths on the Banks. But as we move into autumn it’s also a good time to tidy up and refresh the planting in the beds, and cut back shrubs. Can you give a hour of your time on Sunday 15th October from 10am to help out? Please bring gardening gloves and tools. 
Donations of spare perennial plants you might be splitting in your own autumn garden tidy would also be much appreciated. You could drop any plant donations with Rowena Beaty at Claremont before 15th October. 
Litter Collection on the Shore 
The next two litter pick events will be 
• Sunday 1st October at 9.30 am meeting at the Banks shelter 
• Saturday 28th October 10 -12 am, meeting beside Shore Gate House. This event is being organised by John Gorrill, a volunteer with Solway AONB, as a follow up to the very successful bonanza on 7th August when 12 volunteers collected 27 bags of rubbish! 
John says : ‘This is a joint event between the Local Community Group and volunteers from Solway AONB, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, and anybody else who wants to help.  If there are enough people with enough energy, we will clear the beach and the salt-marsh as far as the car park at the west end of the village.  Allerdale Borough Council will remove the rubbish in a special collection, so let's make it worth their visit!’ 
New Members Wanted! 
We are looking for new members to join the Bowness Community Group; would you be interested in finding out more? Our next meeting will be Tuesday 3rd October at Curlews and you are most welcome to come along to join us. In the meantime if you’d like any information about Bowness Community Group, you could speak to any of our current members:  James Graham, Bill Knowles, Maureen McKenna, Claire Allen, Rowena Beaty, Jo Jeeves and Marcia Leonard.
Thursday 21 September 2017

Interest Groups  •  Artists Put Bowness on the Map

Artists and craftspeople in Bowness parish have had a busy summer showing and selling their wares throughout the county and further afield.

Woodturner Jonathan Leach, whose workshop is at Greenspot has plenty of commissions on the go. His large, natural edge bowls are particularly popular and he is sending them as far away as a gallery in South Korea!  His new salt and pepper mills incorporating ceramic internals have proved an absorbing design challenge and his latest project, still on the drawing board, is due to be showcased any day now.

Also selling prolifically online is ceramicist Ben Fosker from Biglands, Bowness. Nearer home, Ben has a continuous display of his pottery at Bardon Mill in Northumberland and this summer has shown work at the Lanercost Priory Exhibition and the Wardlow Mires Pot and Food Fest in Derbyshire. He is currently preparing pieces for a winter exhibition at the Upfront Gallery near Penrith. 

Rowena Beaty, who creates sculptures in stone at her studio at Claremont in Bowness, has this year shown work at the McGill Duncan Gallery in Castle Douglas; Art at the Cathedral in Carlisle; Art at Rose Castle; The Lake Artists Summer Exhibition at Grasmere; Wigton Windows Week and the Solway Arts Exhibition at Fletchertown.

Also exhibiting at Rose Castle, Wigton Windows and the Fletchertown exhibition was Hilary Rose Burt, painter and sculptor, who is establishing herself at The Chapel Studio in Old Anthorn.

Painter Jenny Abbot, whose colourful contemporary paintings are on show at her studio at Sandbagger’s Cottage, Port Carlisle, has been welcoming visitors during this year’s  C-Art Open Studios Exhibition which ran during September.

Monday 18 September 2017

Nature and Wildlife  •  Bowness Beach Clean

Nature and Wildlife  •  Bowness Beach Clean

Saturday 28/10/17 10am - 12 noon

Bowness on Solway beach beside the Shore Gate House.  This is a joint event between the Local Community Group and volunteers from Solway AONB, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, and anybody else who wants to help.  If there are enough people with enough energy, we will clear the beach and the salt-marsh as far as the car park at the west end of the village.  Allerdale Borough Council will remove the rubbish in a special collection, so let's make it worth their visit!
Wednesday 13 September 2017

Interest Groups  •  Game, Set and Match

Anthorn’s new tennis courts have proved their worth in a successful first season. The joint Anthorn and Kirkbride A team finished in third place in the Carlisle and District League, seeing off some strong opposition.
Anthorn club secretary Angela Mawbray said: “The courts are brilliant. Some of the visiting teams are quite envious.”
Also thriving is the junior coaching at Anthorn with professional coach Rob Jefferson. Young players are divided into three age groups for Friday evening sessions during the school summer term. The most proficient are then encouraged to compete in the B team in league matches alongside experienced players.
Overall, ages at the Anthorn club range from four to 72!
The new courts have also attracted non-members who can play on them for a small fee.
Details of next season’s activities will soon be available on the parish website at


Saturday 19 August 2017

Other  • The First Six Months

Other  •  The First Six Months

Using Google Analytics, we are able to report that the parish website has had an encouraging first sixth months in terms of traffic and hits.  

The website has had over 5000 views, with 63% of these being returning visitors and 37% new visitors. Of these, 72% of visitors were from the UK, and the remainder from overseas.  

This illustrates how much worldwide interest there is in our area.

The website has great potential to communicate locally and with a wider audience and promote the area, so if you have any material to share for the site, or information about events and attractions, please do get in contact with us with the details at, or call Lyn or Andy on 016973 51055.

Thanks to all those who have contributed photos and articles to the site so far, and keep it coming!


Friday 18 August 2017

Interest Groups  •  Remembering the Solway

Interest Groups  •  Remembering the Solway

A project to collect, share and celebrate the memories of life and landscape on the Solway Plain.

Set up in 2013 as one of 29 projects within the Solway Wetlands Landscape Partnership, this Heritage Lottery supported scheme aimed to capture and record some of the living memories of people living on the Solway throughout the last century.

A free booklet is now available from a number of local outlets (Kirkbride Shop, St Michael's Church, Wallsend Guest House among them) which includes excerpts and photographs from the project.

For further details see

Friday 18 August 2017

Local Links  •  That's Cumbria TV

Local Links  •  That's Cumbria TV

Have you seen the new local TV Channel called That's Cumbria on Freeview Channel 8?

Tuesday 08 August 2017

Bowness  •  AONB Beach Clean

Bowness  •  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.
Saturday 05 August 2017

Nature and Wildlife  •  A New View of The Parish

Nature and Wildlife  •  A New View of The Parish

Work is underway to create a £150,000, 850-metre boardwalk across Glasson Moss linking the new observation tower to the Kirkbride to Bowness road. 
Contractors are carrying out the work on behalf of Natural England and the Solway Wetland Project  to give overall public access to the parish’s precious wetland areas which, in the past, were very difficult to access.
The new Glasson walkway, funded by the National Lottery, is made of recycled plactic boarding with a lifespan on 40 to 50 years. It will be entered from the Bowness road end via a new layby, giving easy access to wheelchair users. The boardwalk, which could not be started until the end of the bird breeding season, is expected to be completed by the end of August.
The observation tower stands at the end of the track that goes past the caravan park at Glasson. Built at a cost of £40,000 from sturdy materials it measures five metres from ground to platform and  gives a commanding view of the moss, Criffel and Skiddaw. 
It is designed to accommodate 20 ‘large’ people says Alasdair Brock, Natural England’s Senior Reserve Officer for North Cumbria.
“Because there are no raised features in the vicinity to give an overall view of the bog, the tower is there to allow visitors to see the entire bog and its wildlife, to see how the bog interfaces with the land around it, and to give a spectacular view of the whole setting,” he said.
“Similar towers have been built in flat areas where there are raised bogs in countries like Sweden and Lithuania.”
“The boardwalk links in with the path to Rogersceugh and the boardwalks on the Bowness Moss. Our idea is to consolidate all the footpaths in the area.”
*If you have any queries or spot any issues on the nature reserves, you can contact Alasdair on 07771 530019.

Saturday 29 July 2017

Other  •  Bell Raid and Skiff Building

Everyone a winner on bell raid day
Bowness residents turned out in force last month to repel an invasion by the Scots. But despite their heavy armoury of water pistols, the Cumbrians failed to stop the seaborne raiders from ‘capturing’ the Bowness church bell.
This re-enactment of the actual bell raid back in 1626, when the thieving Scots, fleeing their pursuers, dropped the precious bell in the middle of the estuary, has now become a thrilling annual event.
Dozens turned up on the shore to watch the four rowing boats, manned by crews totalling 20 brave souls, make their way across from Annan on a full tide in near-perfect conditions. The rowers were accompanied on the journey by three rescue boats from Annan and two from Silloth.
After a ‘hostile’ reception on the shore by children from Bowness School wielding water pistols, the Scots planted their national flags on either side of the replica bell, which has now been taken overland to Annan to be displayed in their primary school until next year’s raid.
The crews - two of whom were from Annan, one from the Clyde and one from Alnmouth in Northumberland - were then treated to generous refreshments of hot soup, hot drinks, sausage rolls and delicious cakes provided in Bowness School by PTA members. 
The sale of refreshments to sightseers, plus stalls and a raffle in the school hall raised £350 for school funds
On the tide of enthusiasm...
Inspired by the raid and the fact that the two Annan rowing boats were built by their own community, several people from Bowness are now keen to have a community-built boat on this side of the Solway.
 The skiff could then be used to compete in rowing races with similar home-built boats around the British Isles, all operating under the Association of Coastal Rowing Teams.
The Association sells a kit inclu8ding materials and instructions for the body of the boat, though some extras and a trailer would also be needed. 
The project would require:
*skilled volunteers to oversee work on the boat,
*enthusiastic helpers,
*a large building to accommodate the work
*a crew of oarsmen to row it.
The Annan team was headed by a professional boatbuilder and had help from young people in the area. Their experts have offered to give help and advice to anyone starting a Bowness project as Annan is keen to have a nearby rowing crew to race with.
*Anyone in the Bowness parish interested in building a boat, offering support or forming a rowing team please contact the Bowness website by emailing 
*For more information about the two Annan boats and pictures of their construction visit:


Saturday 29 July 2017

Other  •  Excerpt from News and Star feature on Bowness by Roger Lytoliis 20th July 2017

Bowness-on-Solway will be invaded by Scots this Sunday. But the invaders have been kind enough to give notice of their arrival. And those on the receiving end are inviting them to lunch.
This is the village’s annual ‘bell raid’. It re-enacts a raid from 1626 when a group of people from Annan rowed across the narrow strip of the Solway to Bowness, where they stole the bells from St Michael’s Church.
This was seen as the ultimate insult because of the church’s position at the heart of the community.
The raid proved ill-fated. On the way back, the bells were thrown overboard and never recovered.
Since 2014 the invasion has been re-enacted in a much friendlier spirit than the original. Members of Annan Harbour Action Group are among the raiders. Alan Thomson is the group’s harbour development officer.
“We made a mess of the original raid,” says Alan of his Annan ancestors. “The legend says that because of either bad weather or too much drink, the bells were endangering the Scots’ boat on the way back so they threw them overboard.
“This year we’re hoping to take at least four boats, possibly five. They’re all skiffs. Our new one, Pride of the Solway, was constructed by our volunteers with help from Annan Academy pupils and young people from the Step Together project.”
Each boat has a crew of four and a cox. They will head across the Solway estuary shortly after noon, to take advantage of high tide. “We need high water to get to Bowness or we’ll be walking across half a mile of mud,” says Alan.
“We’ve got to come down a couple of miles of the River Annan first. Across the estuary it’s only about one and a quarter miles to Bowness. It takes about 40 minutes, including the river.”
By road it’s 30 miles from Annan to Bowness. In 1626 a party from Bowness took the direct route across the estuary when they retaliated for the Scots’ raid.
“Raiders from Bowness then crossed the Solway themselves and stole the bells from the churches at Dornock and Middlebie. To this day, when there’s a new minister at Dornock he writes a polite letter to Bowness asking for his bell back. And they write a polite letter back, telling him to get lost!”
For the past three years the Scottish raiders have met resistance from Bowness folk armed with water pistols. They then receive a warmer welcome. Alan says: “Bowness School are going to host us for lunch. We’ve offered to give them some help with their Viking projects. Our skiffs are similar to Viking boats. We only live a mile apart – it’s crazy that we don’t interact a bit more."
Alan is keen to see Bowness and perhaps Port Carlisle and Burgh by Sands build their own community boats with a view to Solway rowing races. The boats are all built to the same traditional Scandinavian design.
While Alan and his colleagues are looking forward to Sunday’s mock invasion, he claims to have even bigger plans for the 400th anniversary of the bell raid in 2026. “We’re definitely going to take the bells back that year!” he laughs.

Electric cars may be kings of the road one day. But not yet. At least not in Bowness.
Wallsend Guest House had a Renault Twizy – a battery-powered two-seat electric car – for hire.
Last month owners Lyn and Andy Lewis dispensed with it and bought a minibus instead.
“It was fantastic,” says Lyn of the Twizy. “It felt like you were doing hell on wheels at 50 miles an hour!
“It’s a real head turner. But it’s maybe more of a city thing.”
She thinks the terrain around the Solway Plain may not have been the most suitable for the vehicle.
Then there’s the fact that its range is only about 50 miles in an area not blessed with a huge number of charging points.
Lyn and Andy have one. But...
“It’s been used three times in four years,” says Lyn. “It’s not exactly been a sensation. The technology is too new for most people.”
She is hopeful that the electric car’s time may come again.
For the moment, she and Alan have just invested in a minibus. This is mainly for guests, but the wider community could benefit.
“It’s private hire, mainly just for our residential guests and those staying at the other B&Bs in the village at the moment. We may extend this in future depending on demand.
“It has a private hire licence so it could be available. Public transport is non-existent on Sundays and bank holidays. The Stagecoach 93 bus does not run to Bowness then.”
This is Lyn’s eighth year in the village after moving up from Southport where she ran a special school. Andy was a marine engineer.
They took over Wallsend Guest House after falling in love with Bowness and the building: the old rectory.
The Wallsend has a licensed tea room, open from Easter until October.
There are also several well-equipped wooden Wigwam cabins on an adjacent campsite.

The 84-mile Hadrian’s Wall Trail begins – or ends – at Bowness-on-Solway.
Some set off from here, occasionally with one for the road.
Others arrive here after several days on their feet.
“It’s half and half,” says landlady Pamela Behan.
“People say this is a nicer way to finish than at Wallsend. Everybody has a good crack about what they’ve done.”
Where do they come from?
“They come from all over the world. Every nationality. Americans. Dutch. Finland. Austria. Canada.
“We have a book that people sign. We sit and look at it. Some people write an essay. Some just write a few words. One drew a wall.
“My daughter walked the wall two years ago. She was fine. My daughter-in-law did it and her feet were one big blister.
“Some people are ready to collapse when they get here. For some it’s a warm-up. We had people who were going to do the Three Peaks two days later.”
Has Pamela walked the wall herself?
“I haven’t got time! I’m usually in the kitchen. I feel I have done it because my daughter talks about it so much.”
She says people walking the wall are the biggest proportion of her pub’s business.
“You can’t expect the locals to come in every night. The locals keep us going through the winter.”
The King’s Arms’ location is also apparent in its menu.
This includes salmon caught from the Solway by local haaf netters.
Plans to extend the kitchen and dining room have been approved.
“Work will start when the tourist season ends in October,” says Pamela.
“We’re hoping it will be done for the start of the next season in March.”

Bowness has a new ancient building.
What sounds like a contradiction is a recreation of a dabbin, or cottage.
This has been built in the RSPB reserve at Campfield Marsh, just west of Bowness.
The dabbin has clay walls, timber beams and a thatched roof. Similar structures have been built in the area since the 15th century.
More than 1,000 volunteers, including 150 children from seven local schools, took part in the year-long project.
It was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by the Solway Wetlands Landscape Partnership.
Chris Spencer is project manager for the partnership.
He said: “We wanted this to be a project about education and heritage but we wanted it to be challenging and fun as well.
“It’s a celebration both of local vernacular architecture and the local community coming together to create something so significant.”
The dabbin is the first to be built in Cumbria in more than 100 years. Almost all the material used came from the local area, including 250 tons of clay lifted from a nearby pond.
The dabbin is open every day and can be found in the discovery zone at RSPB Campfield Marsh. Entry is free.

Sunday 23 July 2017

Bowness  •  Annan Bell Riad

Bowness  •  Annan Bell Riad Bowness  •  Annan Bell Riad Bowness  •  Annan Bell Riad Bowness  •  Annan Bell Riad Bowness  •  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

Bowness  •  Annan Skiff Launch

Bowness  •  Annan Skiff Launch Bowness  •  Annan Skiff Launch Bowness  •  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.

Saturday 01 July 2017

Health  •  Community First Responder Training

Disappointingly, the taster session scheduled for Monday July 10th at the Lindow Hall has been cancelled by the Northwest Ambulance Service as below:-

I have been asked to contact you regarding establishing a new CFR Team at Bowness on Solway. Unfortunately we are not recruiting new CFR Teams at present but would like to thank you for your interest.

We are currently consolidating the teams that we do have currently and we will review the situation later in the year around Autumn.

Christopher Hyde
Community Resuscitation Manager 
Cumbria & Lancashire Areas.

NorthWest Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Friday 16 June 2017

Services  •  High Speed Braodband

Services  •  High Speed Braodband Services  •  High Speed Braodband
Friday 16 June 2017

Agendas & Minutes  •  Parish Council Minutes (Notes)

Bowness Parish Council heard at its May meeting that St Michael’s Church is gradually running out of burial space in the graveyard,

The church council has approached the parish council, which already provides financial help to maintain the churchyard, with a suggestion that the parish council might acquire some land in the village to provide additional burial space.
Councillors are to consider the matter at their July meeting.

Members heard that Allerdale and Cumbria County Councils had approved the planning application to convert the buildings at Bowness House Farm into holiday lets, a cafe and a Hadrian’s Wall heritage centre, but that two new, related applications had just been received and would be considered under the council’s Standing Orders procedure.

Allerdale and Cumbria had also given the go-ahead to Natural England for a boardwalk across  Glasson Moss nature reserve.
But they had turned down a request to create a tea room at Pear Tree Farm.

A request by Glasson Community Association for £2,540 was deferred until later in the year so that councillors could see the outcome of the association’s requests for funding from other sources.

County Councillor Tony Markley told parish councillors that their long-running bid to acquire funding for cattle grids at Bowness may begin to make more progress following the May county council elections.

* This report is taken from draft minutes which will be considered for approval at the July meeting.

Saturday 03 June 2017

Nature and Wildlife  •  From Mhairi at the RSPB

Spring has sprung on the Reserve and whatever airspeed velocity they were travelling at we welcomed our first swallows back to Campfield Marsh at the beginning of April.  Also joining us in the UK from their long migration are house martins, sand martins and swifts which are generally the last to return. 

It can be a little tricky to distinguish between the 4 birds when they a swooping whizzing above your head. All of them migrate to the U.K. from Africa in the spring to breed and raise their young then around September time they about turn and make the journey back again to escape our cold winters. It is little wonder that people long ago thought that swallows actually hibernated for winter reappearing from their slumber in time for spring. Of course we know now that this doesn’t happen and with bird ringing we have learnt more and more about their migration habits.

On the 5th of March we had a group of swifts fly past out on the estuary.  A group of swifts are collectively known as a scream and if you have every heard them overhead you’ll realise what a descriptive name this is. Their large black wings 3 times their body length make them an unmistakable silhouette in a clear sky. 

One of the most iconic harbingers of spring is perhaps the cuckoo and more specifically its distinct call. On the 4th of May our volunteers on the way to help tidy up some recently laid hedges at Rogersceugh Farm were given the first record of the year.  

The BTO have recently radio tagged several cuckoos one of which is called Larry who was tagged in the Forest of Bowland. ‘Larry’ has his own blog and map to show his migration – according this he arrived at his breeding grounds on 7 May just a few days behind our sighting. If you want to learn more about the radio tagged Cuckoos and their amazing migration have a look on the BTO website. 

We’d like to invite everyone to our Discovery Day at RSPB Campfield Marsh on Sunday the 28th May from 10.30-4.00pm. Much like other years, there will be an exciting range of activities running including bird box building, pond dipping, bug hunting and more. There will be refreshments available throughout the day and you can even visit our plant and book stalls to pick up a bargain.  It’s set to be a great day and we look forward to seeing you there!

Oh and finally after a couple of hours of social media training we’ve been let loose on the RSPB Northern England Twitter Account.....have a look for news and pictures from Campfield Marsh, St Bees Head and Hodbarrow @RSPB_N_England.  

Monday 15 May 2017

Interest Groups  •  Bowness on Solway Parish Website

Interest Groups  •  Bowness on Solway Parish Website

Your website is now up and running and is ready to accept news and announcements, diary dates and events, photos and features.  In particular, we would like to invite content from the many interest groups in the parish.  

The website provides an exciting, responsive platform for communicating within the parish, but also for people outside the area, and indeed worldwide.

If you are part of a group who would like to write an introductory piece about your organisation, together with details of any forthcoming events, or simply your regular meeting arrangements, please forward the details to, or via post to Lyn Lewis, Wallsend Guest House, Bowness on Solway, CA7 5AF.

We also have the facility to do emailshots to those who have subscribed to receive information on the website, so can send out information about your events and reminders as appropriate.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Monday 15 May 2017

Bowness  •  Defibrillator Awareness Training

Bowness  •  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.


Monday 15 May 2017

Glasson  •  Haaf Netting - The Fight Goes On


As the haaf-netting season gets underway this month, the Solway fishermen are still fighting to preserve their centuries-old tradition.
Mark Messenger, chairman of the haaf-netters’ association, is continuing to negotiate with the Environment Agency for the right to use nets in the Solway. The two sides have until the end of this year to reach an agreement otherwise the sport will be governed by a national by-law making its future even less certain.
The Environment Agency claim stocks of salmon in the Eden are low, but Mark refutes that. He says the agency is encouraging more people to fish with rods while the haaf-netters are subject to tight restrictions.
This season the haaf-netters are allowed to fish between 10am and 10pm on weekdays only and can keep just 10 salmon per season.
Mark says: Rod fishermen and riperian owners on the Eden are a wealthier, more powerful lobby than us but we will carry on pushing for our rights. We are the only place left in the world where haaf-netting is practised.”


Wednesday 05 April 2017

Bowness  •  Annan Bell Raid

Bowness  •  Annan Bell Raid Bowness  •  Annan Bell Raid Bowness  •  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

Bowness  •  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.)

Tuesday 04 April 2017

St Michaels Church  •  What Grand Fellers!

St Michaels Church  •  What Grand Fellers!

Pictured are the team headed by Mike Waning (front left) who took down a large, multi-trunked fir tree in Bowness churchyard which was threatening to fall on gravestones.
A hard Sunday afternoon’s work was put in by Mike and his family – Hannah, Mikey and Robbie – as well as Richard, John, Joseph and Jonathan Wills, Anna and James Paisely and Fenella  Watson.
A useful seat was carved out of the huge tree stump near the smuggler’s grave.


Sunday 19 March 2017

Bowness  •  Defibrillator

Bowness  •  Defibrillator

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.  

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Transport  •  New Book for Users of the Stagecoach 93 Bus Service

Transport  •  New Book for Users of the Stagecoach 93 Bus Service

The latest book from Cardurnock-based author and publisher, Geoffrey Lindop, aims to boost the local tourist economy.

He writes, 'I am anxious to maintain the bus service through Cardurnock and West Common. I am impressed at how, in the summer months, many tourists intent on walking The Hadrian's Wall Path subsidise the service between Bowness and Carlisle. It occurred to me that the 93 Bus service passes the 'doorstep' of three nature reserves between Anthorn and Bowness and a further three nature reserves on the rest of the route. I have therefore written a book to encourage eco-tourism in the area. This may also encourage naturalists to use the service during the winter months to witness the wild geese as well as the rest of the year.'

It will be published in April this year under the title 'Exploring the Bowness-on-Solway Peninsular on the 93 Bus Service with the subtitle Stagecoach took me on a Wild Goose Chase'. 

The book will be on sale through from April priced at £9.95 and a description of the book is now available at where American tourists will be able to purchase it for $11.99 and it will also be available through Amazon's other outlets throughout the world priced in their local currency as well as other booksellers and local outlets. 

Part One of the book is a commentary on what to see through the bus window. Bus stop walks are described in Part Two. Walkers who use their automobile to reach far-flung destinations, have to make circular walks that bring them back to their parked car, but with a bus stop walk they can leave the bus at one stop, enjoy a pleasant walk, and rejoin the service at the next bus stop. Readers are encouraged to make their final bus stop near one of the many public houses where they can enjoy food and drink (and a comfort break) whilst awaiting the arrival of the bus. 

The third part of the book describes the history of the region. There are sections on the Romans, Church history with a description of each church and chapel, the last journey of Edward-I, and the canal/railway with photographs of each station taken at the start of the 20th century. 

Each of the nature reserves are described in Part Four and the final part consists of miscellaneous items with which the author would like some help. 

'The basic rule of writing,' said Geoffrey, 'is that you write with enthusiasm on a subject close to your heart. There are a wide variety of individuals that have established businesses along the bus route and quite frankly I am not qualified to write authoritatively about their business. I would like them write a few words on their pet subject and fire the reader's imagination in such a way to say "Hey that is interesting I would really like to spend time in that (B&B, Pub, shop, whatever) and discuss it further." Maybe it is a favourite recipe, a craft, where to see wildlife, or simply blathering about old times. Anything that makes their establishment or the area in general different from the ordinary will be of interest to my readers and encourage them to spend money in the local economy.' 

The book will be revised and reprinted at frequent intervals, so if you are a business that has missed the first edition and would like to promote your business in the future please contact who will be pleased to hear from you.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Glasson  •  New Village Shop

Glasson  •  New Village Shop Glasson  •  New Village Shop Glasson  •  New Village Shop

Aunty Pat’s Country store is open for business. The parish’s newest retail outlet, situated behind the Highland Laddie pub in Glasson, opened its doors at the beginning of February.

Proprietor Mark Messenger, who also runs the pub, has named the grocery shop after his mum, a former nurse and popular school dinner lady, who was known by all as Aunty Pat.

The smart new shop, soon to have its own sign, was prompted by the loss to the area of Gordon Waning’s milk and paper round and of Bruce’s grocery van.

As well as its mainstays of milk, bread and daily papers, the store stocks a wide range of tinned food and dry goods, drinks, including wine, toiletries, cleaning materials, non-prescription medicines, fresh fruit and veg, eggs, bacon and home-baked scones and cakes, made in the adjacent pub kitchen.

“The veg and eggs are all locally sourced,” says Mark. “We hope soon to add a range of savoury pies from the basic mince and carrot to gourmet pies such as venison in red wine.”

A staff of three part-time assistants run the shop, which is open seven days a week 8am to 6pm (and you can knock on the pub door after that!), all with the support of Mark, who also oversees the running of the Bush Inn in Kirkbride and is very active in the haaf-netting organisation.

How does he do it all? “Fortunately I’ve got really good staff in each place – they all join in and do a bit of everything,” he says.

The shop building was already part of the pub premises – it simply required new flooring and shop fittings.

Mark is delighted with the initial response to the venture and hopes it will gather momentum with the influx of summer visitors to the area.

One of the attractive features of the store for single householders is the offer of small quantities, such as a quarter of a cabbage or half a turnip. “It’s no problem,” says Mark. “If there’s any left over we can use it in the pub kitchen.”

* For more information contact Mark on 51839.

Lucilla Laval

Sunday 12 February 2017

Anthorn  •  New Life For Anthorn

 Anthorn sisters Kelly Skinner and Angela Crozier are at the heart of big plans to revitalise village activities – but they need help.

Kelly and Angela are, respectively, chair and secretary of Anthorn Community Association which is poised to breathe new life into the village. The association was formed in 1972  and gave rise to a vibrant community life but it has struggled for support in recent years.

 The group is now staging annual Christmas and Halloween parties, working closely with the village hall and playpark committees.

They have introduced regular pizza nights where home-made pizzas and pasta dishes, prepared on site by That Pizza Place, can be eaten in the hall or as takeaways.

Another plan in its early stages is for a playgroup for toddlers in the area.

A summer sports day is on the cards and a bonfire party is on the wish list although health and safety regulations make this more challenging.
Art, craft and archery classes for both adults and children may be set up, using the talents of local experts.
Also for adults, a quiz night is a distinct possibility.

The association is actively supporting the project to mark the 60th anniversary of the last official flight from the airfield which gave rise to the estate at Anthorn – the Royal Naval Air Station HMS Nuthatch.

But the priority for all the village groups is to update and refurbish the hall – the centre of activities – which was built during World War Two for the wives and families of the servicemen at HMS Nuthatch.
“It was built to last,” says Kelly, “but it urgently needs decorated and smartened up.”
Offers of materials and labour would be very welcome.

“We want all our activities to be open to anyone in the parish – not just families in Anthorn,” Kelly says. “We want to foster a new sense of community.”

Anyone able to help with any of these schemes can contact Kelly on 52844 (email or Angela on 51815 (email

*The hall is available for private hire at just £5 an hour. Ring 51486.

Lucilla Laval


Wednesday 01 February 2017

History  •  What do you know about where you live?

As one of the first projects for the website, why not tell us about the history of the house you live in and send us some photos, old and new.  We can build up an important resource for the parish in the history section.

Tuesday 31 January 2017

Education  •  Bowness Parent and Toddler Group

Meets on Wednesdays during term time 13:30 to 15:00 at Bowness Pre-School.

Parents and carers welcome with children from birth.  Come along for a coffee and a chat, with songs and stories for the little ones.

£2 per family.

Contact Catherine Servante on 016973 51934/07891 376940

Tuesday 31 January 2017

St Michaels Church  •  Regular Sunday Services

Sunday Services


Kirkbride Newton Arlosh Bowness
1st  09:30 HC 10:45 HC 18:30 EP
2nd 09:30 HC 10:45 MP 11:00 HC
3rd 09:30 HC 10:45 HC 11:00 MP
4th 09:30 HC   11:00 HC


Wednesday 25 January 2017

Contribute to your website

Contribute to your website

If you would like to add some content to the website, documents, photos, articles, news items etc, please email us using the link on the home page.  If you would like us to collect items on loan for scanning and uploading, please contact us and we'll be happy to help.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Bowness  •  Community Defibrillator

Bowness  •  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.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Bowness Christmas Tree

Bowness Christmas Tree



A sparkling success

Bowness put extra sparkle into Christmas this year with a magnificent festive tree on glebe land just down the road from the church.

The ‘village’ tree was the brainchild of Bowness Community Group and it was launched at a delightful evening of carol singing, mulled wine, roast chestnuts and mince pies on December the second.

The 15ft tree was transported to the site from a forest near Spadeadam by community group member James Graham. Other members supplies some of the refreshments and the overall hosts were Lyn and Andy Lewis who made their festively-decorated grounds available for the evening.

The lights were switched on by guest of honour Gordon Waning on the eve of his retirement as milkman and newspaper delivery man.

About 40 people joined in the carols and chatted, ate and drank around a welcoming brazier outside the guest house.

The event was so successful that it is hoped the village tree will now become an annual Christmas fixture.


Tuesday 17 January 2017

Gordon Waning's Retirement

Gordon Waning's Retirement



The end of an era

Life just isn’t the same in 2017 for hundreds of households up and down the Solway coast. Families don’t wake to the clink of milk bottles on the doorstep or the thud of the daily paper on the mat.

The community has lost its milkman and newspaper delivery man of 29 years after Gordon Waning took well-earned retirement on Christmas Eve.

Gordon bought the milk round 29 years ago come April and built it up to around 240 customers on a route stretching from Kirkbride along the coast to Burgh by Sands and detouring to Easton, Finglandrigg, Glasson and Whitrigg.

His working day began at half past midnight when he delivered his first round of milk in Kirkbride. At around 2.45am he went into Carlisle to collect the day’s papers from wholesalers Menzies. Then he started on the bulk of the round, finishing between 8.30 and 10am depending on whether it was Cumberland News Day – and how many customers wanted to chat!

This was a seven-day-a-week job in all weathers and in all those years and Gordon, now aged 65, has missed just six days due to ill health.

Gordon also delivered eggs, cream, orange juice and potatoes as well as the 25 gallons of milk he supplied daily.

For very elderly customers he often took their paper and milk right into the house and for some he was the only person they saw that day.

In his time on the road he often saw suspicious activities in the hours when most people were asleep, and alerted the police. Twice he raised the alarm when he suspected a customer had died.

Gordon began his working life digging peat on the moss and later worked as a builder’s labourer and a parcels delivery driver.

But the milk round suited him just fine. “I love the job, he said. “I’d still be doing it now if my health was good enough. I’ve had good customers, no bad debts, and made a lot of friends.”
Gordon isn’t ready for his armchair and slippers yet. He’s considering taking a part-time job as a driver or in the building trade  - once he’s mastered the art of sleeping through the night.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Parish Council News

Parish council news

A report on Superfast Broadband for Bowness was given to the parish council at the November meeting. Council clerk Mike Abbs and chairman James Graham had been to a meeting at Cockermouth organised by MP Sue Hayman and attended by senior British Telecom staff. They heard that work was ongoing at Glasson and it was hoped Bowness would soon have superfast access.

After hearing a financial report, members agreed that the precept – the amount the parish council asks Allerdale to collect through the rates – should remain at £18,784.

Payments agreed by the council included £400 towards the cost of  running the toilet facilities at Lindow Hall and £400 towards the design of the forthcoming parish website.

Saturday 14 January 2017

New Website for Bowness on Solway Parish

We are delighted to launch the newly developed website for the parish.

To contribute or comment, please email us at

We welcome any articles, photos or materials for sharing with the community and the many visitors to the area