Date Posted: 31st August 2021

Wordsworth House from Gallowbarrow, Cockermouth
Cockermouth Castle from the churchyard path

The last 2 months have been crazy.  The ending of lockdown opened the floodgates and I now have 3 projects on the go plus an exciting possibility. I began another video but another coincidence popped up which I will add when it has happened. It will round it off very neatly

I’ve just acquired 3 PK sketches of Cockermouth which I’ve loaded on to the web site 2 are based in the  vicinity of All Saints church and the other in Gallowbarrow looking towards Wordsworth House where the dark  shape silhouetted against the sky is Millers Chimney  which was demolished by Fred Dibner in 1992. This brought back memories of the day it came down. Fred and his son stayed in the Swan in Kirkgate having put everything in place for the big event next day but they were upstaged by vandals who decided to light it late that night. Fred and his son were alerted by police and had to hastily halt the premature fall – a dangerous maneouver – but the media had been set up to cover the event next day and  Rotary had sold tickets to watch. The whole thing was very dramatic. (it was ‘next day’ by the time they secured it)

This Kelly painting and the pencil drawing from All Saints path are both diptychs (on 2 pieces of paper) and are sketches which catch the spirit of the moment very well. The Wordsworth House one shows his method because he taped 2 pieces of paper to his board and worked  across them. The marks of the bits of sellotape are now visible and yellow. All three are a bit of history.

Last Saturday I was at the Wave in Maryport  for the World Premier of a 90 minute feature film documentary about Bill Peascod; Coal Miner, Rock Climber and Painter from Maryport.  Made by local film maker and folk singer  Steve Wharton, it is absolutely gripping and brought back memories of our move to Cumbria in 1986, the memorial exhibition I mounted in 1989 (Etsu his wife didn’t want to part with any so I had to run it on sponsorship and fresh air!) This was followed by our trip to Australia to explore the area where Bill had lived for 28 years and an exciting rummage through the storerooms of the big national galleries to recover works he had left there for another exhibition at Castlegate House (a selling exhibition this time).  Finally my trip to Japan alone to meet some of their most famous potters, the highlight of which was sitting in a temple gazing at the Raked Garden that Bill had painted and the trip to the small town of Mashiko seeing Hamada’s climbing kiln. (Bernard Leach and William Plumptre also went there to study Japanese Pottery)

* The film AT HOME IN THE STEEP PLACES  will be shown at Rosehill Theatre  Whitehaven on Thursday 23rd September at 7.30 (I hear it may be shown at Rheged and Keswick Alhambra  sometime.)

** I managed to sell 7 of the PK charcoal drawings @ £450 (3 left) raising £3500 for the MS Society to add to Duncan Booth’s 10 x 10 fund. Details in previous newsletter on web site.