Blast from the Past

Posted 2008/11/24 12:01


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: [] 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 :)

Kindest Regards,



what a difference a month makes

Posted 2008/09/25 16:47
The reinstated south elevation

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!

View from the new study through the main living spaces

A week of 1sts

Posted 2008/09/24 16:22
Blue sky thinking

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.

View back along the cottage roof

what a perfect day...

Posted 2008/09/22 13:32
Slates laid out ready for action

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!

The roofers also ready for action

Builders chandelier

Posted 2008/09/05 19:40

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.

It's official

Posted 2008/08/27 19:44

Can't believe how long it's taken, bearing in mind it has been on the agenda of our monthly site meetings since December, but the official signboard has now been installed. 

I wouldn't mind waking up to that

Posted 2008/08/15 19:31

Not something you get to see everyday but this is the view from the main bedroom at Lawson Park, surely this is a perfect opportunity for a balcony, a window, a skylight? but no unfortunately we are in the Lake District National Park where you are only allowed to enjoy the wonderful views if you're freezing to death in the rain in a cagoule.

Beam me up

Posted 2008/08/08 17:40
The first ridgebeam goes in

At last after much discussion, designing, engineering, re-designing and further discussion work has begun on our new roof. As there is a real variance in the dimensions between the walls, along the whole length of the building it has been decided we should proceed with a traditional roof structure. This means they can fit the roof to the existing structure and allow for the internal curved roof structure within the main living space in the barn. Lets hear it for the first ridgebeam and one step closer to the building being wind and watertight.  

Full Details of National Gardens Scheme Open Day at Lawson Park, Aug. 24th 2008

Posted 2008/07/28 17:23
Bog Garden, July 2008

Lawson Park, East of Lake Coniston

TELEPHONE: 015394 41050

LA21 8AD
5m E of Coniston. From Coniston Village follow signs East of Lake/Brantwood, car park signed 1m after Brantwood car park. Please use free minibus (runs every 10 mins) from Machell's Coppice car park. On foot 10 mins steep walk up established footpath from car park.

Historic hill farm overlooking Coniston, which since 2001 has been restored to a working smallholding, productive and ornamental gardens, and artist's residency base. Approx 5 acres of reclaimed fellside in spectacular setting. Informal herbaceous, woodland, bog and wild gardens (incl wild flower meadow) and organic kitchen garden with apiary. Many experimental plantings and unusual seed-grown perennials and trees. Wildlife includess deer, red squirrels, badgers, bats and slow worms. Produce for sale.

Adm £3.50, chd free (share to Grizedale Arts)
Cream teas
Day & Early Evening Opening, teas & wine, Sun 24 Aug (12-7). Visitors also welcome by appt July to Sept only, groups of between 10 - 20 (on site parking by prior arrangement).

NB - Lawson Park farmhouse is currently in the process of a major refurbishment, and is not part of this event