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World Status Recognition for the Lake District!

It has been reported in the widely read and admired weekly edition of The Westmorland Gazette that the Lake District is considering seeking a World Status Ranking, thus putting it on a par with the Egyptian Pyramids and the Australian Barrier Reef. This is an idea which I strongly support and firmly believe that this beautiful part of England is more than worthy of such an award. However, could we not set the ball rolling and invite World attention by declaring our own unique brand of a mini-series Olympic Games with emphasis on local tradition and pastimes? In this day and age of doubt and suspicion, we would of course elect a committee of impeccable credentials to oversee total fairness in competition with rigorous controls implemented to detect any intake of performance enhancing substances. This category would include all produce of the Jennings Brewery, especially the very potent “Sneck Lifter”, plus Kendal Mint Cake, Sticky Toffee Pudding and the redoubtable Cumberland Sausage. The object of the urine samples is not a case of “taking the p*ss” out of the lads as suggested by members of the local “pigeon fanciers and whippet racing league”, but only a means of ensuring fair play in true Lake District and Cumbria tradition. We would remove any ultra competitive terms such as “sprint”, and instead substitute ”legging it down Kendal’s Highgate”.

It is envisaged that the marathon would be held over several stages at a non-life threatening pace with spectator participation over the whole or part of the course strongly encouraged. Commencing in Carlisle and following a meandering route through the District’s well-known beauty spots with pauses at several refreshment establishments including The Drunken Duck, The Brown Cow and The Stagger Inn at Dalton. The event (not race) would terminate at Newby Bridge where tea and sandwiches will be distributed by ladies of The Rum Butter Adventure Club. Royal assent would be sought to display the Monarchs racing colours on a selection of competing animals and birds drawn from The Torver Ferret Racers Team, The Penrith Whippet Owners and Dog Walkers Association and the Millom Pigeon Fanciers Brotherhood. Many suggestions have been offered, some of which do not really qualify for exhibition on the World stage.

The Kendal and Windermere Golf Clubs have expressed an interest in forming an underwater team which would perform before an audience of sub-aqua Clubs beneath the surface of all the Region’s lakes and Waters. This would seem to be a minority sport not really worthy of inclusion on the list of events. “Tossing the Herdwick Sheep” has been muted by an aggrieved fell-walker (a visitor to the area and not familiar with our customs). Here again, not really suitable nor politically correct. The reader will understand that we are only in the very early planning stages in what could result in a quite formidable challenge for position. (Excuse the competitive tone). A National Anthem, to be performed at the Opening Ceremony, is an essential ingredient. The tune and words need to match the mood and capture the mixture of melancholy and robustness as so well demonstrated in “Blaydon Races”, “Danny Boy” and “Will ye nae’ come back again”. A rousing rendition would set the tone for the whole affair, and musicians throughout the Region will be devoting time and energy to developing a composition putting the Lake District and Cumbria firmly on the musical map and the World Stage.


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