Spreading the WOrd


Saturday, 26th May - Longtown - Northern District YFC Field Day
Monday, June 4th 1.30pm - Corbridge Northumberland Show

The wrestling season never used to start until the very end of May, but already two events have taken place. Tomorrow, one of the biggest events of the year, numerically, takes place when novices and experts, the willing and the dragooned, meet in the ring at the Cumbria Northern Federation of Young Farmers Clubs Field Day at Facksonrigg Farm Longtown.

In the meantime, last week, nothing happened; except for the various initiatives that run independently and parallel to the wrestling season.


John Wilson, the Kendal coach, told me that the Ambleside Sports Scholarship Fund will be used to support a day of wrestling at Grasmere School. To their credit the local primary school has shown over the years a continued interest in the sport which takes place each year in the field just over the school wall.

Previously, some coaching by Andrew Carlile and Alan Jones led to active participation by some Grasmere youngsters. That fizzled out after a few years, but the renewed interest may lead to another resurgence, especially when the school lies in the catchment area for John Wilson's Kendal Academy.


Another initiative is being mounted by Penrith Museum, again with schools in mind. The museum already has artefacts and photos concerned with William Jameson, a famous wrestler from Penrith in the Nineteenth Century. They have also images of last wrestling season, and are seeking wrestling strips to display.

We also have our own itinerant photographer. While I, Linda and Julian record the hurly burly of the action at most wrestling events, David Ellison hovers quietly around with a more artistic eye, and a tripod. He says that his project, 'Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling', is "a photographic survey of the remote areas of Cumbria and Northumbria, where the sport takes centre stage at the rural summer gala type events". His work is in the Archive of Modern Conflict and Birmingham Central Library, as well as on various web-sites.

Finally, a new word floated my way this week: 'vexillology' - the scientific study of flags and related emblems.

Philip Tibbetts, Assistant to the Chief-Vexillologist of the Flag Institute and an advisor to the Parliamentary Flags and Heraldry Committee, e-mailed me to say "The Association of British Counties is keen to get a flag for Cumberland formally added to the UK Flag Registry, especially given that most of the county's English neighbours (Lancashire, Northumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire) are already recorded there. I have been asked to write to local Cumberland institutions and seek their approval for the design to be registered as the traditional county flag. As you still bear the name of the traditional county you are one of the strongest proponents of this important part of local heritage. I greatly look forward to hearing from you."

It's good that we are noticed !

Written by © Roger Robson. Any Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (2012)


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