Sunday, 6 June 2010
Coastal Cumbria Cares
Our sincere thoughts and hugs go to the bereaved families who live along beautiful coastal Cumbria.
Not much has been written in the press about Whitehaven, itself and the coast. It is seventy miles away from where we live on the Northumbrian/Cumbrian border.
Whitehaven has an annual thriving international festival centred around a Jazz festival. Read about it here.
Read about the coastal towns of Cumbria here and here.
The Romans in Lakeland here.
As you can imagine the whole area is still in shock at what happened during most of last Wednesday.
Cumbria - as much as Northumberland - is largely a crime free area. Communities are very close. Families still live cheek by jowl. The local papers usually struggle to find news...it is usually about leek shows, animal shows, steam rally shows, tourism, children going to school for the first time and having their photo taken. Perhaps the odd fight does occur after too many drinks taken.
It is true that something horrendous has happened in our midst...but bad things go on elsewhere in the world too.
I've lived in a few cities in the UK and abroad and I'd plump for living in the country every time. People are friendly. I walk down Haltwhistle high street and everyone smiles and says hello. That never happened when I lived in the poshest areas of London.
Last week someone had left his car keys sticking out of the boot of his Jaguar. I happened to notice this as I was reversing my car (again this was on the high street of Haltwhistle). I didn't know what to do. Though not for one moment was I going to ignore the situation. Chances were that no-one would steal the car even if I drove away. I decided to pop the keys into the florist just by where the car was parked. The florist was more than happy to look out for the driver to hand over the keys on his/her return.
People help other people. When I was out one day with my two little ones our dog escaped and ran down to the local burn (stream). Two families immediately came to my rescue.
Cars stop to let farmers herd their stock across busy and quiet roads. There is no road rage.
People stop and chat to one another in the street. So even I have to remember to allow plenty of time to do our shopping and getting petrol...people take time to talk to one another. And that same process applies to me now even as a newcomer.
Yes...there is gossip and people do grumble. But most of all they care.
When you read the newspapers over the weekend...think about the families affected...just going about their normal day to day lives...this will have an effect for generations to come. Nevertheless those families and communities will pull together to get through all of this. (After all, they've survived pit disasters, world wars and much more besides. Even the rise and fall of the Romans...) Indeed they truly are the strong, warm and heroic ones...