News and Views

Lakeland Voice in 2014

For all you singers here are details about Lakeland Voice’s singing events in the Lake District and beyond.

There are weekly groups – Lakeland Voices in Castle Street Community Centre in Kendal on Tuesdays, and the Penrith Community Choir (in the Penrith Parish Centre) on Thursdays – all 7.30-9.30pm. Subscriptions cost £49.50 for a term (10-14 weeks long) – or £7.50 if you just want to come to one session. If you sign up for the term you can also come to any of the other sessions with the other community choirs – and also get generous discounts on some of the other singing events.

They have places on their Spring Sing Thing in Sedbergh at the end of March with twin rooms and a chance to sing with local community choirs as well as enjoying workshops and singing walks; the September week of singing on the island of Jura which includes the folk festival; Lakeland Songline over the Whitsun holiday; Choirs Meet in July; a week in August walking and singing with a local choir on a walk to the top of Slovenia’s highest mountain, Triglav; Singing Settle Carlisle – based near Ribblehead they will sing on the trains, in the stations, on walks through the wild Pennine hills, and round the fires of country pubs. Also joining singarounds in the Ingleton Folk Festival; Dent Folk Carols weekend in December.

This is just a brief round up of their activities. Further details and booking policy are on their website

Contact David Burbidge, Lakeland Voice, Smithy Cottage, Farfield, Sedergh, Cumbria LA10 5LW  Tel. 015396 21166. Email:

Taste Cumbria Food Festival coming to Ulverston


Ulverston has always been a fine place for food with excellent butchers, bakers, etc. as well some superb venues for dining out. Now the Taste Cumbria Food Festival is coming in May.

The first Taste Cumbria Food Festival took place in 2010 and saw Cockermouth’s shops, restaurants, hotels and pubs join forces in the weekend-long Cumbrian culinary celebrations. Taste Cumbria is the largest food festival in the County, bringing in over £2 million into the local economy and evaluation of the 2013 festival gave evidence that everyone thought it was the best event yet!

In 2013, Taste Cumbria spread it’s wings, and ran a very popular food village at Lowther Show, which will return in 2014, bigger and better, as well as a Christmas Fayre at Mitchells Sale Rooms in Cockermouth.

Visitors and producers have been keen to see an event in South Cumbria, and we are delighted to confirm that Taste Cumbria Ulverston will take place on 24th and 25th May in Ulverston Town Centre.

The event will host a large producers market featuring the very best of produce from our fabulous county, a demonstration kitchen showcasing the talents of local chefs and producers, a kids area, picnic area, food to eat now area, stage with local bands and lots of other exciting activities. The event will also feature the very best of Made In Cumbria so is sure to be a showcase for everything truly great about Cumbrian produce.

Britannia Coconut Dancers – Latest News

britannia coconut

The future of Bacup’s traditional Easter folk dance has been secured following crunch talks with council bosses.

Britannia Coconut Dancers originally received an ‘ultimatum’ to pay £4,000 for traffic management or cancel their famous procession. The dance troupe said Lancashire Police had refused to marshal traffic during their annual parade on Easter Saturday. Lancashire County Hall bosses had told them to either appoint a traffic management company or they will appoint one and send them the bill. The dancers said they would not be able to afford fees which would make the charity event unfeasible.

The Britannia Coconutters have been trying to keep their traditional Easter Saturday dance alive after they were told the event could no longer take place in its original form. The dancers collected thousands of names on a petition to save the tradition.

At a meeting on Monday night, Lancashire county councillors Sean Serridge and Jackie Oakes offered to pay for a traffic management company to marshal this year’s event. In addition, ward councillors will now look for outside funding for heritage events that could secure the future of the event – which attracts around 800 people to Bacup each year. Councillor Serridge said money for this year’s event will come from the county councillor local grant scheme. He added: “We will now look for pots of money to support heritage events. We will start looking for money for next year’s event now in order to guarantee the future of the event.”

Coconutters treasurer Neville Earnshaw is delighted that the event can now go ahead as planned. He said: “The Coconut Dancers hope to have their own trained marshals available in the near future, thereby removing the need for outside assistance. It was looking dire and only a week ago we thought the tradition would not carry on. We are extremely pleased and very thankful to Sean, Jackie and Alyson Barnes for their background work. We have had great support from all over the place, but not least from the locals who don’t want to see the end of it.”

You can follow Britannia Coconut dancers via their Facebook page, and you can sign the petition supporting them here

See previous reports here and here.