Posted: 12/02/2013 19:43:45 by
A LAKE District volunteer has been declared International Oxfam Person of the Year.
Barrie Wendt received the accolade not only for his work at the Ambleside shop, but for business retailing systems he has developed and introduced nationally, which keep over 700 UK Oxfam shops running smoothly.
Mr Wendt started volunteering for Oxfam when he retired over 22 years ago. But his previous career, working for the British government in tropical agriculture as a research agronomist, had already given him a deep understanding of some of the countries and people helped by Oxfam.
“I worked for years in Uganda, Nigeria and Sri Lanka, where I always seemed to be living in the back of beyond, so I understand about the places that we raise money for,” he said.
“I was involved with numbers and data in agriculture, assessing the most effective ways that British aid could be spent – and I found I was still working with numbers in retirement, this time devising retail and financial reporting systems for the Oxfam shops.”
Oxfam, which works to find solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world, receives £30m income annually from its 700 UK shops, including £50,000 from Ambleside.
The shop has about 30 volunteers, many of whom gathered to celebrate Mr Wendt’s award.
The busy shop is generously supported with donations, which over the years have included some very unusual items such as a surgical truss, and a sewing machine stuffed with money in which someone had hidden their savings.
Somebody once donated a sex aid, and volunteers even found a grass skirt one day among the donated clothing.
In a framed citation for the Person of the Year, Oxfam’s Chief Executive, Dame Barbara Stocking, praised Mr Wendt’s dedication, expertise and willingness to train and support Oxfam shop managers and volunteers, which she said had made an incalculable contribution to the charity’s trading division.
Posted: 15/10/2012 12:15:28 by
The Good Hotel Guide is 35 years old this year and Rothay Manor Hotel has been in every issue. To celebrate we received their Gold award in recognition of this acheivemernt, one of only four hotels in the UK.
Nigel & Gwyneth are pictured above receiving the award at a ceremony in a well known London bookshop.
Posted: 09/07/2012 11:12:22 by
SINGING schoolchildren joined thousands of flag-waving revellers as the Olympic Torch’s Cumbrian odyssey reached Ambleside.
Crowds began gathering from mid-afternoon as anticipation mounted ahead of the historic moment.
Greeted by cheers and applause, torch bearer Tom Wright, 15, of St Bees, passed the Olympic flame onto Windermere’s Stephanie Booth as it reached Borrans Park at around 6.20pm.
The beaming 14-year-old Lakes School pupil, nominated by her head teacher, told the Gazette it was the ‘best moment’ of her life.
“I was quite nervous but very excited,” she said.
“Everyone was really friendly and happy.
"It’s been the best experience.”
Sports-mad Stephanie is a keen swimmer and participant of triathlon and cross-country events and will compete alongside her sister in this weekend’s Great North Swim.
Her proud mother Christine said: “I didn’t sleep last night, I was so excited for her.
"I’m just really unbelieveably proud of her.
“The last week has been a little bit overwhelming.
"She was determined to be involved in the Olympics and this could be the closest she gets.”
Spectators Gordon Allatt and Norma Pearson made the trip from Northampton especially to see the torch.
And Mr Allatt was thrilled when he got to touch it.
“I’ll never wash this hand again,” said an emotional Mr Allatt.
“The Olympics is one of those things that brings the country together and makes us feel good.”
Mrs Pearson added: “I think it’s absolutely great and I shall be watching the Games every day while they're on.”
Children from Ambleside, Hawkshead, Langdale and Coniston primary schools performed a song especially-assembled for the occasion as the torch made its way to Waterhead to board the Bowness-bound vessel, the Tern.
It was helped on its way by a flotilla, christened Brathay’s ‘whalers’, as other boats sounded their horns in tribute.
Marj Waddecar, of Ambleside, who was looking on, said: “I was born in the year Britain last held the Olympics so I thought I ought to come down and see the torch this time.
“It’s good we have got the Olympics and let’s just hope there’s a bit of a spin-off for tourism in areas like this.”
Visitor Julianne Harlow, of Brighton, added: “It’s a really big event that we won’t be seeing in this country again and, rightly or wrongly, a lot of money has been invested in it.”
People were invited to write goodwill messages about the Games for inclusion in an eye-catching yellow ‘balloon tree’.
The Kendal Windows on Art project was led by Pam Williamson, who said: “I have worked with older people, schoolchildren and members of the public, asking them to send their messages to welcome the torch from Ambleside to London and the rest of the world.”
The balloons were given to children after the torch passed through and the messages will now go on display at Ambleside Library before featuring in a special opening ceremony at this year’s Ambleside Sports.
The Borrans Park festivities were organised in part by Barry Porter, of Rufty Tufty’s, Ambleside.
Mr Porter said: “I thought it would be a really positive thing for Ambleside - it really profiles the area.
“Anything that builds up Ambleside is great for local businesses and local people. The kids are really enjoying it.”
An Olympic Torch relay celebration, titled On the Night Shift, presented by Kendal Arts International, takes place on The Glebe, Bowness, tonight.
Posted: 05/06/2012 11:36:35 by
JUBILEE beacons lit up the skies of south Lakeland last night as thousands joined in with a historic national tradition.
Once used as a signal of communication, the beacon chain has now become a symbol of unity, and has been the central point of many notable occasions and anniversaries.
And more than 4,200 were illuminated across the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Commonwealth and overseas UK territories, to commemorate sixty years since the Queen’s accession.
On the summit of Orrest Head, Windermere, shone one of the 74 glowing in Cumbria.
Town councillor, Adrian Legge, said: “About two hundred people crowded onto the viewpoint from where more than twenty beacons could be seen, including those on Scafell Pike, Coniston Old Man and the Howgills.
“There was a rousing shout of ‘The Queen, God Bless Her’ to mark the lighting.”
Around 75 people congregated on the top of Coniston Old Man, including members of the MRT. Parish council chair, David Coxon, said: “People had been taking up bits of the beacon all week, so a fair bit of effort had gone into doing it.
“We could see lots of others from where we were, including those on Scafell, Skiddaw and some in Yorkshire.”
Many beacons were also lit across north Lancashire, and more than one hundred people walked to the top of Warton Crag to join in the ritual.
Helen Barker, parish councillor, said: “The beacon hasn’t been lit since 1988, when people were celebrating the 400th anniversary of the sighting of the Spanish Armada off the coastline of England.
“We had such a good response to the royal wedding events so wanted to get involved with the Jubilee too. But as the beacon hadn’t been lit for so long villagers had to get together to straighten it first.”
The national anthem was sung as the beacon was lit at 10.15pm – the time specified by Buckingham Palace. And residents and visitors then looked out at more than ten other beacons and watched fireworks over Lancaster and the Fylde coast.
Fiona Graham-Spicer, of Warton, observed the spectacle with her husband and friends. She said: “It’s wonderful to see much of the village, and those neighboring Warton, out together.
“People have been lighting these beacons for centuries so it has such historical connations, which is why we wanted to be part of it tonight.”
Her friend, Christine White, had come from Yealand Conyers to join in. She said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to feel part of the national celebrations.
“I am surprised at how many people are here but it’s lovely to see, and we are lucky to have such an idyllic setting.”
Posted: 27/05/2012 12:11:17 by
A £3.5million project to create 21st century visitor facilities at Windermere Marina Village has been hailed as another “landmark” investment for Lake District tourism.
Windermere Marina Village – the largest marina on England’s longest lake and in the whole of the North – has inked a major deal with the award-winning Barrow-based Leck Construction Limited to undertake an ambitious modernisation of the marina resort.
And both businesses have called on Cumbrian companies to go the extra mile in supporting each other during the economic downturn by using local firms and suppliers rather than sourcing work from outside the county.
In the coming months a new two-storey quayside bar will be built along with a 130-cover restaurant specialising in Cumbrian delicacies at the marina.
A stylish boating club house will be created with a range of new upmarket apartments for rental by holidaymakers, along with waterside penthouses.
The major project will create and safeguard around 30 jobs at the Marina and helps the 70-plus tradesmen and women employed by Leck Construction Ltd.
The news follows the successful granting of planning permission two weeks ago by the Lake District National Park Authority for a £4million conference centre on the banks of Windermere at the Low Wood Hotel.