Tag Archives: Carlisle

Lest we forget….

This week Phil submitted work to be considered for the Remembrance 100 – Open Art Exhibition, which is being hosted at Carlisle Castle, 21st May – 2nd Sept 2018.

2018 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War and this Heritage Lottery Funded exhibition will consist of 100 selected artworks which have been made as a creative response to the theme of ‘Remembrance’. 2018 is the centenary of end of the First World War and the start of Remembrance as we know it today.

The brief was to consider the impact of Remembrance and to reflect on the question ‘What does Remembrance mean to me?’

During the First World War, Phil’s Grandfather had served in the Royal Navy as a Stoker 1st Class, aboard the Iron Duke Super Dreadnought-class ship HMS Marlborough.

At 18.17 on 31st May 1916, HMS Marlborough fired the opening salvos in the naval engagement with the German High Seas Fleet at Jutland. At 18.39 the Marlborough was struck by a torpedo fired by the German Cruiser Wiesbaden, tearing a 28 foot hole in the hull, about 20 feet below the waterline. The Marlborough continued in the battle at reduced speed and was eventually escorted by HMS Fearless to the Humber for temporary repairs.

Two of the crew of the Marlborough were killed during the course of the action;

Edgar George Monk – Stoker 1st Class

William Rustage – Stoker 1st Class


Jutland. ‘Our children shall understand when our fate was changed and by whose hand.’ The Verdicts by Rudyard Kipling

Phil painted this picture in the 1990’s having been inspired by an oil painting of the Marlborough by his Uncle Norman. After he died, Phil was offered his oil paints, brushes and easels and when he went to collect them, saw for the first time a detailed pencil drawing of the Marlborough by his Grandfather who had served on her. The drawing was completed at Devonport Dock and is dated 1914.


England after the rain

In 2005 Carlisle was unexpectedly hit by devastating floods and 1600 properties were affected directly. Many householders lost everything and when the water subsided, every home affected had a skip outside. It took some over a year  before they were able to return and then on 5th December 2015, when those same residents were preparing to celebrate Christmas, they were flooded out again in the aftermath of storm Desmond’s record breaking rainfall. This time 2100 properties were inundated.

Carlisle is at the confluence of three major rivers, the Rivers Eden, Caldew and Petteril, and is therefore highly prone to flooding. The city has a long history of flooding with notable floods in 1771, 1822, 1856, 1925, 1968 and more recently in 2005. The 2015 flood level on the River Eden was 0.6m higher than in 2005.


The 1/8 scale model pictured, is a work in progress and is being created by Phil for C-Art Cumbrian Artist of the Year 2017. Note the logo on the side of the skip which is the alchemy symbol for gold rising  out of the alchemy symbol for water. It resembles a cocktail glass. Some did undoubtedly profit from the misfortune of others.

The prophesy shown above was on the front page of the 2005 Cumberland News souvenir edition. Today, some properties still have a skip outside. Some homeowners have left for good, their houses up for sale or sold at auction.

Tales from the riverbank

We are very  fortunate to live in our own Eden paradise. Armathwaite is situated midway between Penrith and Carlisle in the Eden valley. The Historic Settle to Carlisle railway line runs through the village and for those who need to venture further afield the M6 is easily accessible via the A6 approximately ten miles in either direction (North or South) as is also true for the West coast mainline. You can be in London from Penrith inside three and a half hours and in Glasgow from Carlisle in a little over an hour.

However ….. The main attraction of living here is the instant access it affords to the open countryside. Only a stones throw from the house is the river Eden and the Coombs wood.  Many routes and circuits are available along the river, through the woods or scrambling up sandstone cliffs. Dependant on weather conditions and energy levels.

The river Eden at Armathwaite

The river Eden at Armathwaite

The river here runs through and over some interesting geological features. The main bedrock in ths area is of sandstone dating to the Permian period 250/300 million years ago. This stone is effectively  fossilised sand dunes formed when the area was a hot desert. The water falls over an intrusion of igneous rock (basaltic andesite) dating to the early Palaeogene  period a mere 56 million years ago. This upsurge of volcanic rock was part of a much bigger event that centred on the Isle of Mull.

Waterfall over the Cleveland Armathwaite dyke

Waterfall over the Cleveland Armathwaite dyke

Just visible in the distance in the photo above is one of twenty viaducts on the Settle to Carlisle railway. Work on the line began in 1869 and was completed in 1876. Approximately 6000 men worked on its construction.

Next to the waterfall is a fish “cop” a walled pool used to keep or trap salmon and the ruins of an associated building.