Sunday, 24 February 2013

Irresponsible Farmers

For the second time in South Ulverston I've come across thorns on the road surface which will cause major problems to cyclists, dogs and occasionally even to car drivers.

In both cases in places where there is substantial use by vulnerable cyclists and dogwalkers.

The previous time this was reported on here was October 2010

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

'Folk' songs

I love everything this guy and his song stand for.

Not sure I understand it mind you - now that's curious - I just trust a gut feeling - I like the look of this guy!

Thursday, 14 February 2013


Would you trust this man with your grandfather's socks?

"In the last 46 years of professional practice Mr Howard Whitaker has never known anything like it"

Could this become the scam of the century?

Roll up rich Chinese - you're chance to buy a real bit of Old England.

Perhaps you should ask yourself why it didn't get snapped up when it first came on the market in October 2012 ?

Is it true that you can buy a star if you know the right seller? I'm sure there must be millions available. - Plot with a view,  ideal for speculative buyer, somewhere for you children's children to get away fron nasty global warning. (!)


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Corrie's - dealing with estate agents

In my life I honestly have had good experiences buying houses through estate agents. Good experiences in the States and Britain, here it can be traumatic.

Today when I visited the Ulverston Corrie's office; the experience wasn't traumatic because I knew how to remain in charge but the standard of service,  I thought, was low - very low - and I would never give them a house of mine to sell.

I was treated as a nuisance and made to feel that I had to fit in with them while they prioritised their needs above mine.

The woman was on her own, she was upset by the weather when it was I that had come in through the snow - not her. She already had a caller on the phone so I waited patiently. Fine. However when she had finished dealing with this call, I expected to be given total attention for a few minutes until she had dealt with my simple request. This didn't happen : one minute in there was a totally new phone call and I was was dropped like a bad cabbage. She then resumed only to have another call and I was again ignored.

I then stepped in and said : "Please take my address down and send me the details I requested. Yet she kept talking and handed me a pencil and paper. Having complied I tried again to leave gracefully, but it seemed I was being kept 'on hold'. She wanted me to take a phone number and deal with my enquiry myself.  I pointed out  that I had come in specially at the invitation of her firms web site and now I could leave the matter with her.

Her answer was that she had no entry on her computer system for the property I requested. I was amazed : she had all the information to fulfil my request - there was no need for me to remain.

This woman was not a novice - but under stress. Her company had given her an impossible task: deal with enquiries about properties listed on her company's web site but not on the internal computer system. Properties  owned by  John Poole, who I'm informed below was a former senior partner of Poole Townsend. The literature produced on his behalf by Howard Whitaker, and being carried by Corrie's I find to be very misleading. Overall, I repeat, I would avoid Corrie's like the plague and find another agent. What a joy it is to find  an estate agent these days who one can trust. Is trustworthiness a thing of the past?

Sale of the Furness Foreshore

Now thanks to you all, we're a little wiser . .

What is actually for sale:

A long strip of common land, very narrow and very long; what most of us would call "the beach". It is the land between the mean highwater mark which is placed on all ordinance maps and the nearest private property to the sea. It stretches from Aldingham, along the shore  to the Barrow boundary. In this case and probably all over Britain this is available for use by the general public and many ways that we know by instinct through having spent time on 'the beech' from childhood. In this case it was designated in 1972 as common land and was owned by the crown. It could well be - as is claimed by Howard Whittaker - owned by John Poole, the senior partner of Poole Townsend of Barrow. As you see they are a modern day combination of solicitors, estate agents and financial services.
As with many property photos, the pictures do not necessarily denote what is for sale. Anything on land below high water mark is part of the sea and not saleable (ownable?) Anything on what could be described as 'private land' for instance Sea Wood which is owned by a trust is not for sale.

The puzzle is why would you have want to own the land in question as it is common land and the future owner would have no more priveleges than any member of the public. So one wonders my John Poole purchased it when he did for something in the region of £250 and does he now have any priviledges that the rest of us don't have.

My second puzzle is why is Whitaker selling it (which he started to do in October 2012 without much success, to people who live nearby. Why doesn't John Poole use his own firm the well established estate agent firm of PooleTownsend ? Furthermore now when you enquire of both the Barrow and Ulverston offices of the Corrie they have no information on their books about the property for sale. They refer all enquiries to Whitaker. Could this be that they are a little ashamed of selling something that is actually worth no more than what you think it is. By buying this common land you will gain no more privileges than any other adult member of the public despite the impression you may gain from the Whitaker brochure. For this reason some people might describe the sale as a scam as you walk out the sale room with something others would describe as worthless. The value of what you buy depends entirely on what value  you place on it. Perhaps it's like buying a title "Owner of the Common Land of Low Furness"

The land is in fact more than just 'common land' - it is a Site Special of Scientific Interest and thus have an organisation very concerned about what happens on the land - "Natural England"

It would make a lot of sense if this property was withdrawn for sale and that John Poole continued to look after the SSSI Common Land in the excellent way he has done over the past thirty odd years.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

For sale by Auction

Foreshore most of us will recognise is up for sale at the Fisherman's Arms in just over a fortnight!

A very misleading photo as the land being sold is above the mean high water mark, none of which may be in this picture.
 So what are the implications?

Answers please.

It could be that although the public can't be denied access to the foreshore, the end of the following article suggests that the public can be prevented from "Loitering" on what could become privately owned land. What could this mean? Sounds sinister to the suspicious mind.

  • "Although the law allows public access to all beaches, except some owned by the Ministry of Defence, residents along part of the south coast can own the beach front as part of their freehold. Private signs marking roads leading down to the beach, while not preventing public access, can make it difficult.
  • The most famous "private" beach in Britain is a small stretch of pebbles at the end of Hove beach, East Sussex, on to which backs a handful of houses including the home of celebrities Zoe Ball and Fatboy Slim - real name Norman Cook. A private property sign instructs members of the public that they "may cross at low tide but may not loiter in front of the houses"."

Why the haste in selling?

Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Market - to Jayne Kendall, Town Clerk

Email with her answers


Good to hear from you so quickly and have you back with us with all your dynamism !

Could you please answer the following specific questions ?

Encouraging good conditions for our Markets, particularly on Thursdays and Saturdays.

1. When can we see the new restrictions being put in place if everything runs through the system smoothly?

2. Could you apply your tenacity to checking and in fact encouraging  the CCC officers and relevant councillors to deliver the necessary signage ASAP ?

Hello Geoff.  The consultation on the this is taking place now, and I know the county officers were at the most recent traders meeting on Tuesday for example.
Cllr James Airey will be discussing it and bringing members up to date at this Monday’s town council meeting,  I will certainly be speaking to colleagues at the county as well to get a date.

Councillors showing an interest in a wide range of approaches to supporting the Ulverston Market.

3.Would it be possible for there to be a debate at the UTC to explore  the ways that can implemented to strengthen and encourage our market with or without the SLDC transfer ?  This could continue the work done previously by Judy Pickthall?

The challenge with the outdoor market is one of staff, i.e. there is only one part time member of staff (Ann) in Ulverston who looks after the day to day duties including collecting rent which keeps her  very busy.  Our view is that there should be an additional person who markets the market, who can review the rule book and who can make it easier for there to be new market stall holders. It is after all; a very good low cost way of market testing a new product for a new business.

We are talking to the district council collectively about the markets/car parks and coronation hall. We need to crunch the figures and put together a business case to see if any of these services can be taken on by the TC  without increasing the precept to do so, in other words, that one cross subsidises the other and that ideally we can collectively look at incentivising car parking to increase the footfall in the town centre to help everybody.   This may or may not be possible. 

4. Could you notify me when this agenda item will take place so that I can attend and share my insights from many contacts and participation with Market Stall holders over the past six months?
Unless members instruct me otherwise, I don’t anticipate an agenda item on the subject of the market alone, rather a detailed looked at the business case for one or more of SLDC’s services. The members have previously proposed the changes in the TRO and feel it will benefit the market.   When it does go through we need to ensure that it is ‘policed’ by the traffic wardens etc to make sure that it is enforced so it works properly.

5. Is there a group of particular Councillors that has taken this issue under their remit on the UTC ?

There is a group of councillors working with me on the business case.

I would welcome your thoughts on the market operation Geoff  as we go  forward with the business case

Thanks for your time.

It's great to know that we have someone now working full time as a Town Clerk. Someone who has achieved so much in the past.

Geoff Dellow

Some very useful information

Please share this video with your friends and family because one day it could save their lives. 

A great video - a very clear explanation of how to achieve contact with the emergency services from a remote location. Emphasises the special steps that need making before you make a text which can get through when all else fails.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Playing along with Babra Striesand is one of my heavens

What an experience to have her singing along with me whilst I play my clarinet. A bit more practise and I'll let you hear. My tone is gradually improving thanks to her inspiration.

Another heaven is dancing to Tchaikovsky : the intense stretching and deep emotion works wonders with my blood circulation.

Walking up and over Hoad every day is my third bliss.

Having some great friends is another!

Then there was that sunrise below.

And an amazing 'hot' carrot soup for lunch and liver, bacon and potatoes for dinner.

Then there's that latest tasty reply from Jayne Kendal - when will life's thrills come to an end?

An amazing start to the day

That colour!

Our new Town Clerk in action

Here is Jayne Kendall's response to my letter  to the Town Clerk, David Parratt.

Encouraging good conditions for our Market

When can we see the new restrictions being put in place?

Saturday was a beautiful day and attracted a fair number of people to our market yet considerable disruption again occurred when cars came down New Market street and even turned up across the Market Square creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians who were exploring and shopping at the successful bread store, and trying shoes on at the stall next to it.

Would you not agree that the survival of our market is dependent on everything working in it's favour?

David Gardner at the plant stall and the french woman with her bread who travel all the way from near Liverpool,  are providing two of our main attractions on the market. They  travelled up through the horrendous weather of substantial snow to attend on the previous Saturday. They are clearly putting themselves out to support our market. Can we show them that we are making similar efforts to get the shopping conditions regarding the above traffic issue sorted out ASAP.

Councillors showing an interest /a possible new  Market web site

 I'm sure they would appreciate a visit from our councillors to show our concerns in a similar way that David who also attends the thriving Settle Market tells of  the councillors in the area of Settle regularly talking to the stall holders there. You may be aware that The Settle traders have their own web site - Could we not encourage a similar site to be created to promote the Ulverston Market.

It will of course require a fair bit of leadership  to get this idea up and running but with the great improvements in the towns web sites taking place ( , the impressive and the town council site - to this we now have a very well designed site for the Walking Festival) surely an Ulverston  Market web site would be an appropriate addition.

David Parratt - would it be possible for there to be a debate at the UTC of all the ways that can implemented to strengthen our market and continue the work done previously by Judy Pickthall? Is there a group of particular Councillors that has taken this issue under their remit on the UTC ?

Thanks for your time

Geoff Dellow

Here is the reply I received :

Hello Geoff.
Thank you for your e mail.  The council is actively engaged with SLDC on new ways of working/potential asset transfer which could include the street market. I know that all of the councillors are very concerned that the market is vibrant and lively.  We think that this could be the way forward. When the traffic  order goes through as you quite rightly say,  this will be very helpful and can only be the start of improving the market.

You may know that David is leaving at the end of the month, so I am replying on his behalf.

Many thanks and best wishes


Jayne Kendall
Town Clerk
Ulverston Town Council
Tel 01229 585778

Any wiser? Are the questions answered?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


The sun makes a welcome appearance at our Saturday market. Look now snow either!
The top picture shows that very soon the sun will be down to ground level , even in the Market Square.

Monday, 4 February 2013


Sweet peas for Mill Dam Park

These sweet peas, given to us by Chiltern Seeds as old stock for community use, were sown last October in the green house. Here they are at the beginning of February ready to lap up every bit of sun and shoot skywards.