Thursday, 29 April 2010

Should we be watching what is happening in Greece?

And learning from it?

I suspect that we're heading for the same leveil of unrest when the average person realises just how severe the cuts are going to have to be and worse still, how unfairly these cuts will affect the people with little money or job security.

Will the party leaders dare to be honest with us at the next debate or will they just flannel?

Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Invasion of the Daffs at the Health Centre

These bulbs are getting everywhere!

This time thanks to a bit of guerrilla gardening on the part of a local resident who likes a bit of colour.


Gone are the wonky lines outside Tesco

Now just a small hole!

A return to sanity .

Great feeling of relief in spite of an hour in the police station "helping police with their enquiries".

An enlightening introduction to police paperwork, finger printing, mug shot, DNA sampling and a recorded interview.


Yes the leaning sign outside Tesco has now gone.

I attempted to straighten the sign with a stronger cable (my second attempt) very early Saturday morning with the result that it snapped instead of straightening - always a possibility - it was clearly unstable and this could have happened any time. It was done with practically no one around.

I made sure the least police time was spent on this event by informing them immediately and went down to the station to make a recorded statement and be processed - something that takes over an hour.

The reason I did it is that I was totally frustrated by the inaction by the County Council to rectify an eyesore in such a prominent place which had drawn complaints from the The Mayor and Town Council.

In the event I believe the sign should have been taken down immediately it happened . It could have then been replaced quickly with a wooden post using the existing hole at minimal cost. This could then have been replaced when time permitted.

This I believe will be the best procedure for the future. Though it's unlikely to happen again!

I believe the Town Council should have the power to take action it considers appropriate immediately even though that may incur a small cost to the rate payer.

The present system insults our town and conveys the message that no one cares about the town when in reality, a lot of us do, but we can do nothing except operate illegally. The Law needs to change.

In the mean time, in similar circumstances, I shall do the same except that I will act faster if it appears that no immediate action is evident. ie action within a fortnight.

The phrase "in similar circumstances," is absolutely crucial. Each case must be considered separately. I am NOT advocating taking the law into our own hands in all but a minute number of cases.

I think the Town Council should have the power to effect repairs if it so decides. I would then cease to act illegally and I would lobby the town councillors for action. Unfortunately they appear powerless, so then I feel the need to take action myself.

Vote for Change, Vote . . .



Green next time!

Victoria High, Ulverston at their usual high standard

St George's Day, Market Cross 16:00.

Good foot tapping stuff!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Jane Carson seeking re-election in Mid Furness

Some of the Cllrs for SLDC are up for re-election at the same time as the General Election. This applies to Mid Furness an area immediately to the east of Ulverston. Cllr Jane Carson has shown herself to be a conscientious and thorough worker in the two years that she has been a councillor.

On this blog an independent observer at a planning committee meeting commented here that she stood out as someone who got to grips with the issues presented to the committee. At this meeting, for the most part, the rest of the Cllrs showed no interest and might just as well not have been present.

I have come across her myself at County Council meetings where she was familiarising herself with County Council issues by shadowing a County Councillor at meetings she had no need to be at as a District Councillor. She has also kept me informed about issues that she knows I was interested in.

Carson is the kind of representative we would all want. The fact that she is a Lib. Dem. member is for me irrelevant.

If you have the opportunity I recommend you give her your vote!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Greens Last Night at the Kings Arms

Chris Loynes was most impressive to my way of thinking.

He is willing to grapple with issues that desperately need addressing by our society.

However, unsurprisingly, they were unacceptable to most of the few people at the meeting.

They concerned the need to carry major shifts in the values of our society and a move away from consumerism with its implications on future jobs and the values we support.

These are changes that do need to be addressed and the Greens are the people to raise awareness of these issues.

However I do not believe that running for election is the most pragmatic way of dealing with the issues.

Better to unite with the Liberals whose policies are the closest of the three main parties to the Greens and get them into power than to split the Environmentalist between Liberals and Greens.

Tactical voting is needed at this time.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Should you twitter let me know. I'll follow you if you don't tweet too often - otherwise I can't cope!

I use it very selectively and keep my tweets to a few a week.

Scientists call for research on climate link to geological hazards

Not only is the volcanic ash affecting transport at the moment.

It could be a regular event for the future!

From the Guardian:

"Experts say global warming could affect geological hazards such as earthquakes because of the way it can move large amounts of mass around on the Earth's surface. Melting glaciers and rising sea levels shift the distribution of huge amounts of water, which release and increase pressures through the ground.

These pressure changes could make ruptures and seismic shifts more likely. Research from Germany suggests that the Earth's crust can sometimes be so close to failure that tiny changes in surface pressure brought on my heavy rain can trigger quakes. Tropical storms, snowfall and shifting tides have all been linked to shifts in seismic activity."

Carbon emissions are dramatically reduced!

"Flight ban stops emission of estimated 2.8m tonnes of CO2"

Another good aspect of the grounding of planes!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Message to the Greens

Judith Filmore, Chris Loynes and other Greens,

I shall be doing all I can to persuade you and the Greens to stand down and vote for Barry Rabone.

Having talked to him I believe he is best placed to challenge the main parties.

He is to be praised for his pro shipyard diversification moving away from trident stance.

The Liberals have an impressive team and though they can be criticised for parts of their policy we have to move in small steps towards what we want.

The Liberals are a big improvement on the other main parties.

This election is not the one to push for the Greens - next one could be if the Liberals are able to get proportional representation accepted.

We need to take a pragmatic approach.

The trouble with party membership is that people stop thinking rationally for themselves and rely on others to make difficult decisions.

I cannot think of any rational argument in favour of voting Green this election.

I think you would create a lot of support for the future by going to the press now and stating that for this election you have realised that it would be better for a green future that Greens voted Liberal.

If you need further persuasion look at my blog re the Lovelock program on BBC Four.

I have just sent an email out which states:

If you deal with young people or have children, I suggest you will want to watch this program if you missed it.

You will want to understand this in the future; why leave it too long.

It deals with the man that has foreseen many of the problems that we have caused to the earth.

Something that effects the most important thing to us - the survival of humans.

* * * * * * *

We are living in desparate times for the human race.

Drastic and dramatic measures need to be taken.

A change to Liberal policies is a move in the right direction and needs to be made NOW.

What are your counter arguments?

! ! ! !

Sunday, 18 April 2010

If you deal with people under 20 please try to understand this

James Lovelock is a truly outstanding scientist.

As a result of his wide understanding of most of the scientific disciplines he is able to think in a way that is very rare.

The repeat of "Beautiful Minds" has just taken place on Channel Four. However it will still be on iPlayer for 11 days.

I fully believe what he predicts :

That the majority of humans will die in the foreseeable future. Could be 20 years, more likely 50 to 100 years. Thus most young people will experience this prediction.

Watch this one hour long program. Lovelock is a cheerful positive kind of guy - you'll enjoy getting to know him and appreciate why most scientists have been won over to his theories.

Most people can't face up to this and take a defensive view that this will never happen.

However if you want to help young people you will grapple with the information in this program which is on iPlayer for a week or so.

This will help them come to terms with a very disastrous future so that they can at least enjoy understanding what is happening to the planet Earth and act to make the most of a bleak future.

Avoiding this issue will only lead to even great grief when the reality of the situation suddenly dawns and world panic results.

Talking this through with those that will experience it will help them enormously.

We are already experiencing the mild effects of what is to come as the weather will become increasingly erratic as the world's control systems cease to be able to cope.

Pottery in the Park, Gill Banks, Ulverston, Cumbria

Jessie tells us the story behind the latest additions to our project, made last Saturday, fired to 1100 deg C in the week and put up yesterday!

And here's a detailed description of the Pottery in the Park, Community Project at Gill Banks

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Volcanic ash is a blessing?

I must admit I enjoy it when Nature tells us, humans, just how insignificant we really are and that the planet is just not under our control, so we better get used to it!

And get used to it we may have to as apparently this phenomenon is here to stay a while.

As long as this volcano in Iceland remains active and as long as the prevaling wind is from the North West and the activity is under the ice then instead of a molten Lava flow we will get minute specs of the same stuff - a glass -sent up into the atmosphere as a result of the reaction we get when molten glass mixes with ice.

This change will result in a massive change in the way transport takes place and we're about to experience the positive side of no planes:

More home produce and goods, quieter skies, less disturbed clouds, less carbon dioxide emissions, more holidays taken in the UK, more knowledge about our own country and stronger British Communities and some might say fewer long distance foreigners (we might get to know the Europeans better).

A chance to rethink our priorities!

Any disadvantages?

Tim Farron on West Gaz site

Terry chose to run down Tim for his high expenses

This ruffled my feathers, I left the following comment:

Re Tim and facebook. I'm not a Lib. Dem. supporter, per se, I vote for the person. Neither am I in his constituency.

But I regularly meet him and contact him with information on various issues because I know he's concerned - eg Affordable Housing , a subject he has address several times in Parliament. By contacting him I increase his expenses because he has to employ someone to deal with my correspondence.

I actually want MPs to have higher expenses if this means that they are working harder for their electors.

The ones to watch out for are those with low expenses. Do they do anything with their time for us? No expenses suggests that they go fishing all day or spend the time reading the news but actually do nothing. Expenses in the nature of travel, researchers, secretaries, lunches imply to me that someone is out and about meeting, communicating and pursuing issues with vigour.

Tim is a shining light showing other MPs how the job should be done. He's worth every penny. Just be grateful you've got him - otherwise we in Furness will nick him!

People like you(Terry) can cause genuine people to give up in dismay with "Why the Hell should I bother ?"

If you can do better then why aren't you running for office?

* * * * * * *

Just remember for the future that when I run for office next, I won't come cheap.

Though I am ready to use the majority of my allowance of £3,000 as a SLDC councillor, on a researcher, I shall also expect you the public to contribute to legitimate expenses of single car travel and some visits to Kendal by taxi mainly paid by me as I chivvy the local civil servants to do their jobs well.(Only this way will I avoid falling asleep at the wheel and be able to pack in all the work I intend to do)

Alternatively I'll settle for a service charge for my efforts - on all the money I save you guys in getting work by bureaucrats and dodgy contractors done more efficiently. (SLDC was one of the most inefficient Councils in the country according to the Audit Commission - in the bottom 15% -- or have they suddenly improved?) - Just remember the most amazing figure revealed recently - £430 per week to maintain each public toilet - on this item alone I stand to get a fair service charge .

39 toilets in the district cost £790,000. - Potential saving say £400,000. Just imagine the savings on SLDC budget of £15 million for 2010

Deal or no deal?

Now where am I going wrong in my thinking?

Help please!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Lib Dems to be main party at next election

It is beginning to dawn on us that the Lib Dems could win the next election.

Not only have they got a powerful team of existing candidates; they provide a truly fresh approach to politics which shone out at the debate last night.

Nick Clegg was clearly different to the other two leaders - I've forgotten their names - who just trotted out cliche after cliche as they squabbled between them.

I agree with Nick Clegg was heard several times in the discussion as the others struggled to claim credibility.

Barrow people will no doubt be alarmed at the proposal to cut Trident. If the other parties are honest, they will have to do the same in the future though at present they claim otherwise.

What is needed is for totally fresh thinking to the direction of our industry using our skilled workforce. It is alternative energy technology and Barrow could become world leaders in developing equipment to harness wind, rivers and sea power.

The development of the Electric car and related technology is another area. France is pouring in government resources to lead this field. Why aren't we doing the same?

Could it be that we are unwilling to face new challenges?

Do we want to remain stuck in old approaches, clinging on for grim death to the familiar and not being brave and confident about our abilities to face new challenges.

Do we not need a Redshaw for the present to lead in a new direction?

Could this not be Barry Rabone with the Lib. Dems.?

He's clearly a brave man taking the position of changing the direction and diversifying the output of Barrows skilled workforce.

This is clearly the honest thinking for the future.

Challenging - yes, but opening up new opportunities and not condemned to obsolescence by Labour and the Tories.

As you gather, I'm won over by Rabone and his team who I met yesterday in and around Ulverston Market and had several conversations with them and was persuaded by their energy and brave stance for the future. They came across honestly and weren't hiding behind the old regurgitated thinking of the other parties who I believe are hasbeens.

2010 will be remembered as the time Britain had a major refit and turfed the old and malfunctioning system out for something built for the next twenty years.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Nick Clegg and Paxman

I thought Clegg was very convincing.

I agree that it's insulting of the media to suggest that it's a two party race.

The public need to realise that Clegg cound be our next prime minister.

Now that would be a breath of fresh air.

There are so many good guys in the Lib Dems. Being amongst the 'no hopers' - according to the press - takes some personal character.

As a result there's a fair bit of quality amongst the Lib Dem MPs you see on Questiontime. Far more by proportion than in the other tow 'main' parties.

Let's all vote Lim. Dem.

Now that's a vote for change.

I'm inclined to vote for the lackluster Barry Rabone because he's got some excellent colleagues!

They could be the making of him!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Tonight at the Kings Arms

A chance to quiz the Tory Candidate at 7 pm for 7:30 till 8:30.

The chance to meet the Green Party candidate, same place, next Tuesday.

I went along and was reassured to find two conservative councillors there. Two more than at the Labour meeting!

With only one hour , too much time was spent by the Tory, running down Labour and talking in sweeping generalities than on answering the questions.

Sounded too much like traditional Tory "Laissez Faire".

"You're on your own mate" - Lift yourself up by your own bootstraps.

All right for the competent but how about providing a framework of support as well?

If you look at this guys blog, he spends a lot of time promoting Conservative polititions and their policies rather than inspiring activity himself for the area.

We have someone that will make a good cog in the party machine. As I find the machine unconvincing and opportunistic, the fact that we don't seem to have a candidate who thinks for himself is not promising.

I'm coming to the conclusion that my kind of person is extremely rare and is discouraged from getting involved with politics. The likes of Tim Farron, in any party, is very unusual.

I'm hoping that a good result for Tim in the next door constituency will show the rest of our bunch how the job can be done, so that he will inspire someone with potential for next time round.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

A novel approach mentioned on Andrew Marr this morning

Instead of voting for people, why not vote for their policies?

Apparently you can do so with this unusual site which gives you the option of choosing which policies you prefer and then finding out which party is the closest match.

At present this site is busy and may take a while to load. As far as I can make out the organisation is voluntary and I assume independent. I imagine the result could be influenced by the way the choices are expressed.

The result of the present pole of nearly 80,000 survey completions (More precisely 79,169 at 18:54 today Sun 11th) are:

  • Bottom : BNP with 9.5 %
  • next : UKIP 10.9 %
  • next believe it or not : Conservatives 16.1 %
  • next : Labour with 17.0 %
  • next :Lib Dems 18.0%
  • Top astonishingly : Green Party clearly ahead with 28.4%
Have a look for yourself and see how much the figures are changing as more and more people get to know about this site. Labour went down a notch as I wrote the above!

Now, will the result influence how you vote?

Can we stop saying as does the press, "The future Prime Minister will be Brown or Cameron"

It could be someone I haven't heard of from the Greens - I did say could, because we don't trust others to vote based on policies and maybe are too willing to listen to the media rather than be guided by reason. . . .

What do you think?

Election Candidates

So far I'm not impressed with anyone - featured here by the Evening Mail.

I identify with a lot of Chris Loynes' views but how effective a politician would he be? See link at the bottom of blogs I enjoy.

Barry Rabone is in the most impressive team of party politicians for me but how active a politician for us in Furness would he be? He has not been responsive to my emails in the past regarding affordable housing however it is possible that he never received them or that they went into his junk folder by mistake as they were totally ignored . We are now in contact using the email now on his web site ( which has only just been updated) and will be sharing a coffee in town very soon.

I tend to vote for the person and their personal attributes rather than the party and none of the candidates at present grabs me.

Anyone offering me any guidance?

Convince me and I'll campaign for them or is it a matter of voting for the best of a poor bunch?

More when I've time - the local community and pottery scene is far more exciting. Is this not the way for future politics, with its 'back to grass roots' approach ?

Makes more emotional sense to me. Fed up with 'politicians' - a sentiment express on Andrew Marr's show this morning - where community groups are having greater influence on the voters than the politicians themselves.

Is it that we're fed up with the party politicians who can be whipped into line and prefer people with an independent mind like the uncompromising Tim Farron who lost his party post in order to fulfil his pledge to the electorate?

Saturday, 10 April 2010

People's Pottery in the Park at Gill Banks today

Resulted in some superb work with lots taking part.

The Punters begin to arrive while I keep myself busy making a ladybird.

Then towards the end, The friendly Westmorland Gazette Photographer arrives and checks he's got people's names down correctly.

He's attracted to the mask while I love the saling boat nearer the camera and the lovely sun flowers that were done.

The standard was superb.

Here's a brief video

For those that missed the BBC interview of the event, its on iPlayer at

To be precise the interview starts at a reading of 2:15 !

Lovely shadows

Friday, 9 April 2010

All fired up for pottery making

Excellent article by David Pickthall in the Evening Mail today page 17.

You may recognise the photo - mine was acceptable!


Now to get everything ready and be thankful for reliable helpers like Jennie Dennett and family and the creator of the much loved pig - Reg - what has he in mind for tomorrow?


Thursday, 8 April 2010

The pottery in Mill Dam and an event in Gill Banks

In addition to the placing of many new ceramic butterflies, a lot of hard work has been done to free up the soil from shrub roots and add composted manure ready for a stunning show of flowers later this year!

If you missed the chance to make butterflies, you can have a chance to make stuff for the railings in Gill Banks this Saturday between 11am and 4pm. The clay has been rolled out ready for you to use with the ideas that you will come up with.

You'll also have a chance to be interviewed by Cumbria Radio if you there at about 11:20 and tell the world what you are making and what you like about the project !

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Squirrel Seats from County Square

How many of these are still in circulation?

They belong to the town;why aren't they being used?
AR referred to these so I wrote to Jayne Kendal


How are you?

A quick one!

What has happened to the Squirrel seats that were in County Square.

I believed they went away for repainting . . . . and then what?


and true to form got an immediate reply at 8:17 this morning:

the seats are in the council depot awaiting painting. UTC has a programme of painting all of the seats. They will then decide where the seats from CS will be positioned

To which I replied:


Why is it taking so long?

This is ridiculous. The town's resources aren't being taken seriously, I would have thought.

Can we have access to them and we'll paint them ourselves? - job done in three days.

I've suggested that they are used at Lightburn Park to encourage adults to participate by watching the skateboarders.

This idea was adopted by Tony Naylor who was going to have a word with you. That was almost six months ago.


Once again bureaucracy and inaction take hold.

I suggest we all write to the Town Council to enquire what's going on - David Parratt is reached using

Writing really does have an effect particularly if it's not just me.

Pottery Making in Gill Banks this Saturday

It's due to be warm at the weekend so we're going to set up to make some more items for the railings here.

Join us between 11 am and 4 pm.

The clay is pre-prepared - all ready for your designs with templates to get you started - dead easy! and the result is brilliant!

And looking great with the flowers now!

The area guaranteed dog shit free !

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Scaliwags help me repair the bench in Mill Dam

Most of them are visiting from Liverpoooool . You'll have to imagine the accent!

They did a good job of banging, endless tightening of the nuts and trimming the slats to length - in spite of the rain.

I thought they should be the first to test the additional support to their bums.

Total cost around £4 - not worth waiting for the Council to take another two months to repair it! Less effort than bugging them and the do-nothing councillors - or am I being unfair?

Monday, 5 April 2010

Greenhouse raising flowering plants for Ulverston

This is my first ever greenhouse.

I've struck really lucky with the location for it which now has about 2,500 potential plants for Ulverston's public spaces. A great variety of seeds have been donated by Chiltern Seeds of Ulverston; an adventurous seed supplier of rare flower heirloom veg and herbs.

In a recent email Denise Taylor states:

"we confirm that we would be delighted to help out again this year! I will arrange for another box of easyish annuals and perennials to be made up, as we did last year,"

"Anything to help and support our community!"

It's a lovely place to go and 'work'.

The slightest bit of sun and it's beautifully cozy - and I have these great views! The cat likes it too!

I can see why people love their contact with living things. Everything is so eager to grow. Given half a chance and the seeds are off.

What a phenomenal burst of energy from one innocent looking packet of minute seeds!

It's the same feeling as watching birds outside as they busy themselves with living. They appear to enjoy life - but I'm sure it's really a lot of hard graft.

I wonder what they would think as they observe us humans as we go about life?

Imagine them flying over Market Street on a busy day.

Are we too enjoying the challenge of life in the same way?

I can understand why Stafford Salmon of West Ulverston enjoys his secluded work in the wholesale market gardening business, of working with plants all day, so much.

Again there's a link with people who work on allotments. They too have a positive way of looking at life.

Have we done ourselves a disservice of using technology that takes us away from a hands on approach to life.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Two great programs on BBC 4 Television

Starting at 7 - 8 pm, we had Sacred music and the place of passionate singing in a church environment. Then from 8 - 9 pm passionate singing on the streets of Harlem New York.

Both on a theme I've been exploring for some time.

The importance of feeling passionate about what appeals to us in Life.

More later.

Now I'm off to one of my passions - Butterflies for Mill Dam Park - getting the kiln loaded with the latest batch of another 50 butterflies, created by us locals!

We need a photo don't we. There was a good one in the Mail on pg 10 of March 16th - have to wait for a good copy but in the mean time - here's one I did earlier !

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Response in two and a half hours. Here in three and a half!

That's impressive!

Addressed to Glyn Davies, Head of Estates for local NHS,
today 1st April.

Dear Sir,

This is perhaps an unfortunate date to chose to send a serious email!

It comes to you because of our inability to get answers to your plans to repair this wall which is located on your boundary of the Ulverston Health Centre and Union Lane, Ulverston

This video has, in desperation, been put on Youtube to alert you to the problem and pin points accurately the location of the problem:

It explains that a serious number of stones at the base of the wall in Union Lane have become loose and no longer offer support.

This problem has been repeatedly reported :

Several times to the Ulverston Health Centre itself

To the Highways Department and then on to the SLDC who then say that it is none of their concern because the wall is on your property.

Could you first confirm that you have received this email and then after consideration, what you propose to do?


Dr Geoff Dellow,

The Coach House, Union Lane, LA12 7BU

John Riley was round here within four hours to evaluate the problem and promised to get the wall repaired straight away.

He felt that it was more important to rebuild the wall in several places where it was leaning badly but this would require funding beyond his immediate budget and requires investigation of the future of the wall.

Now what will be really impressive is when the repairs are actually done . .

Hearing the other candidates here in Ulverston

Paul Jarvis, Chair and promoter of the Ulverston Business Alliance, has organised a further two meetings in the Kings Arms at 7:00 till 8:30 : -

Conservatives 14th April

The Green Party 20th April

Well done Paul!

A message to Barry Rabone, Lib.Dem.

"Where can I come and hear what you have to say?

I missed you when you came to Ulverston last week.

Geoff Dellow"

Will I get a reply? - I'll let you know.

He has never replied to my emails before! A common failing with politicians, I find.

Talking to someone yesterday, he has never had a reply from 'front-page Colin' (Hodgson), about important matters concerning his patch - a repeated comment here on this blog from others. He seems to just like standing up in Town Council Meetings and making proposals which then lead to him being featured in the paper.

The someone has now asked me to take the same matter on and see how far I can get!

Could I be in line for taking over his job at the next election?