Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Convivial in Cumbria

Cartmel, Cumbria UK - THE gathering in Cartmel on Friday 27 November 2009, kindly organised by Clive Wilson of WRS, and hopefully the first of an annual event at the Cavendish Arms, was deemed a very pleasant occasion. It was marred only by the devastation wreaked the previous week by the floods further west at Workington and Cockermouth. Some damage was sustained at properties nearer to hand, including Cartmel itself.

Fifteen people attended the evening meal, mostly dealers, several with partners. Dan Hill of Tiger Enterprises in Brighton called in later in the evening having spent a day in the worse hit flood town Cockermouth encouraging reuse of salvageable items from flooded properties. Steve Tomlin left in the morning for a site in Glasgow owned by a prominent plc who have been keeping him busy of late, having contracted Masco to undertake a reclamation audit for each site they redevelop.

A surfeit of jollity and paucity of hard news ensued. One upcoming event that was mentioned was that 27 January is the annual Thomas Crapper day, with 2010 being the centenary year of the great plumber's death. Simon Kirby hoped to hold a graveside vigil at Elmer's End Cemetery in Beckenham, the location of which, to Simon's delight, is a few yards west of the grave of Samuel Shenton (d1971), founder of The Flat Earth Society who explained gravity by stating that the earth disc was moving upwards through space at the rate of 9.8m/sec2, and whose comment about a photo of planet Earth taken from outer space was, "It is easy to see how a photograph like that could fool the untrained eye."

The construction of a bypass two years ago around nearby Low Newton, the home of Wilson Reclamation Services, eliminated passing traffic completely, so Mr Wilson changed tack. WRS is still a vital local source of reclaimed material and architectural salvage, but also now has an upper gallery showcasing the work of local craftspeople together with a new old cafe which was thriving on the Saturday after Friday's meal. He organises events there, of which a forthcoming Christmas fair of the work of dozens of local craftspeople is one example, and does what he can to drum up publicity to help offset the lack of signage alerting bypass traffic to WRS' existence. The bypass has resulted in some other businesses, especially the erstwhile successful folk pub up the road, closing their doors permanently.

Above: Thornton Kay of Salvo takes a tour around Wilson's architectural salvage yard in Cumbria, guided by owner Clive Wilson. The video explores Mr Wilson's vast selection of architectural salvage and other reclaimed items such as an extensive array of door furniture. Also, see local artisans and craftspeople working on site.


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