Date Posted: 21st October 2013

Maryport Harbour

Twenty Five intrepid souls and a dog set off for a walk from The Wave in Maryport on Wednesday in pouring rain. We’d launched the Trails, done the presentation, sold more than a hundred of the trail guides and finished the Bucks Fizz and finger buffet when the rain started. Undeterred the brollies  and macs came out and we were striding out. They weren’t going to let me off. We cheated a bit because we started half way round the Maryport trail but we kept going - up steps and down steps enjoying the views and comparing them with Kelly’s interpretation. The Times and Star reporter and the  photographer who did such a brilliant full page in last week’s issue tagged on, agreeing that the artist has a different vision  from that of the camera which is always literal and dispassionate giving the same value to everything it sees.  Apart from the places which have been demolished or altered in the last fifty years since Kelly painted them it was fascinating to compare the two art forms.

We climbed from the Harbour side to The Brows and Fleming Square which is the jewel in Maryport’s crown when I heard someone say ‘This feels as though it’s in the South of France.’ I’d never heard that comment about West Cumbria before especially not in the rain.

Down the Zig-zag steps beloved by L.S. Lowry as well as Percy , we ended the walk on the North Pier looking at Kelly’s view back to the town. As a special bonus, the Maritime Museum then opened up for us to go in and see the newly restored Kelly painting of the same view he made in 1968.

Although we were wet we were not dispirited.  There was always so much to interest us. Everyone is going to go on to walk the rest of the trails seeing  everything  through Percy’s eyes. What we all learned was that we didn’t want to get the little jewel like guides wet and mucky. Many people had bought several to give as gifts. I now notice that they have begun to download the trails from the website on to their PCs as well and will print them off or on to tablets and I-phones to walk round with them rather than spoil the booklets. The advantage also is that you can enlarge the maps and images on the downloads to examine the finer detail.

You can purchase everything from this web site but now there are stockists as well.  Castlegate House Gallery and the Quince and Medlar restaurant in Cockermouth, the excellent tea shop in Allonby, the Fountain Gallery in Wigton, Tullie House in Carlisle, Abbot Hall in Kendal and The Beacon in Whitehaven. Several hotels and B&Bs also have them for guests. The list is growing fast. If any of you reading this has an establishment that would like to sell them please get in touch. Castlegate House ( also has a small exhibition of Kelly paintings in the Adam Room.