Sunday, 16 March 2014


Every time the sun comes out, there’s a big cheer. It’s a very welcome visitor even if it only stays for an hour. It encourages us to think forward to the fact that Spring has just got to arrive soon: in March, or at the very latest in May.

Even now the daffodils in Mill Dam Park are peeping through the far beds: the beds that see the sun most. In the greenhouse one hundred specially chosen sweet peas plants are growing well with at least ten leaves: each ready for a mad burst of energy to reach ten feet up and cover the whole fencing on the right of the park – even more impressive than they did last year.

So Spring is certainly going to give us a lift. It may however come from people rather than the weather. Soon  in early May the Flags will be out all over the town. These lively creatures have a lovely cheeky will of their own, responding to the slightest breeze and only just restrained in high wind. A video on Youtube “Here comes the sun” says it all. These flags put spring into our step: visitors from all over the UK come to rediscover Ulverston and its surrounding area with the internationally renown Printfest in the Coro at the beginning of May.

The Flags are just one of the things introduced into the town by John Fox and Sue Gill.  We’ve now accepted the idea of putting flags up for a fortnight for no reason other than we like it. Another activity they introduced was the Lantern Procession. Why do we like it? Because we all create it ourselves, some rather madly in our front or back rooms – in some case the whole house is dominated and the final ‘work of art’ takes shape the afternoon of the parade. Our kids proudly march around the streets with their creations as do the bigger kids that have made something particularly wild, large and unusual.

The Ulverston Super Saturday Markets have been a big success with the encouragement of local bands, drummers and performers who bring other creative forms of local entertainment to our town scene. Even our local business communities, shops like Loopy and Unique Image have brought their creative thinking to encourage people from a wide area to visit Ulverston to explore the expression of their craft skills in their own homes.

Art also breaks out in the form of pottery made, often in the spring, by children and adults who discover, as they did making Lanterns, that actually they are both creative and artistic. The pottery on Gill Banks railings still raises a smile on walkers both local and Cumbria Way destined. Should we not join the people like those in Hackney that put energy into livening up their own streets and public places. Time perhaps to attract visitors this Spring not only because of our outgoing friendship, but because our creativity produces so many things that once again give us all a lift?

Flags, Lanterns, Music, Dance, Pottery and Crafts have a very special ingredient – many say it’s something useless and can be done without - Creative Art. However it encourages vital human characteristics; self esteem and proactivity. It is a wonderful alternative to frustration and depression.

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