The Director of Tate pictured here with local dignitaries at our opening on July 10th.
Apologies for an extended blog hiatus due to various webby issues plus the distractions of a final massive push on finishing the Lawson Park buildings - but as if by magic (not) the new Grizedale Arts HQ at Lawson Park was opened to the public on June 25th 09, with an opening speech from broadcaster and Cumbria Tourism Chair Eric Robson.
www.landshare.net is a great idea! With allotment waiting lists massively over-subscribed and people right across the country keener than ever to grow their own fruit and veg, the aim for Landshare is to become a UK wide initiative to make British land more productive and fresh local produce more accessible to all. Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall is supporting it (I wonder if he's sharing his land...!) and it looks to launch early next year. You can register online for updates, as someone who has 'spare' land or is looking for it. Grizedale's Local Food Initiative (currently developing in Coniston) certainly could link-in...
Keen Grizedale blog fans will remember that our builders found a letter from a teenage Sean Garner from 1984 secreted in the wall of Lawson Park from the days when it wasa hostel for Scousers.
Well our message in bottle type response has now come back to reveal that Sean is alive and well with 5 children working his own IT business (him that is not the
Sent: 15 November 2008 14:01
To: alistair, Grizedale Arts
Subject: RE: [lawsonpark.org] Contact
Hi there Alistair,
For me, those days at the Park are a distant memory; but what the
experience did do was bring a rag-tag set of young lads; whom didn't
know each other; together. ...
The only name I remember is Karl Walsh; in fact I recently got
in contact with Karl via FaceBook of all things! Looking a another
social website, Friendsreunited, you will actually see old pictures of
your Park uploaded by a few ex-Riversdale students, if you ever get the
chance may be worth having a look!
For me, it was a great place; I really enjoyed the stay. That said,
nothing changes as only recently a newly formed team of managers of
which I'm apart did a short team building spell in the Brecken Beacons;
again that simple formula works at bringing people together.
When I left Riversdale I had a change of career direction, heading for
the IT industry as opposed to my original path of Merchant sailor.
Entering at the right time, I have enjoyed continual success ever since
and bounced around the planet on business. Now I have my own team of
people whom manage complex and secure networks on a global scale.
However, my true success is in my long standing relationship with my
wife of 18yrs Catherine whom I've known since school and our 5 children!
Guess that's me in a nutshell, a far cry for that over keen individual
whom spelling was obviously a big issue at the time! But did the Park
have any effect; I think so as that short week during my informative
years prepared me for a life time of forming relationships with people
under various circumstances.
Thanks for the invite, I'll let you know if I'm due up there or if I can
justify a team visit to see how they cope in the pitch black :)
Its amazing how quickly things progress once they get started and the eternal rain stops.. Half the building is now water tight and the first section of underfloor heating has been able to go in with the 'floating' floor on top, the dry stone wallers have been doing a fine job of getting the demolished sections of the building back to their former glory, better in some places, and the cottage windows have arrived ready for installation. Meanwhile work inside progresses as the rooms in the barn start to tke shape, it'll be carpets and curtains before we know it!
After being almost one of the first things on site, way back in January, our first skylight has been installed today. This is the first small step in creating the formed roof space for the new building, more challenges ahead I think with all the head scratching thats going on.
The sun is shining and the roofers are fixing the first slates onto our new roof, you can't ask for a better start to the week than that!
We've been talking about lighting for the new building for so long now and all the time it's been right here in front of our faces.