Sunday, 29 May 2011

Appleby Fair Policing via Twitter

It has been an interesting evening, with two Police Sergeants dispatched from Ravenstonedale to Warcop to help clarify the policing arrangements for the following days after a short conversation on Twitter with the Deputy Chief Constable of Cumbria Constabulary and the Chairman of the Cumbrian Police Federation.

Twitter, as you may or may not know, is a micro-communication tool, similar to text messaging, that allows messages of up to 140 characters to be sent to single or multiple recipients over the Internet. No conversation is long! Whilst Twitter is frequently dismissed as trivial, those who use it regularly know that it can bring untold levels of information, news, and contacts that are difficult to obtain by any other means.

The recent uptake of Twitter as a customer services tool by businesses and local government has meant that it is currently far easier to reach people in charge in our government departments, and who can make decisions or provide information than has previously been possible. However, I wasn't quite expecting to reach the DCC in one small step!

I discovered on a trip to Kirkby Stephen police station earlier today that the station was well and truly closed.

I needed to contact Roly Earl, not the Helpline, and I tweeted the photo that highlighted my predicament. Shortly afterwards, the DCC of Cumbria, affectionately known as 'Big Stu' picked it up and within very little time, it had been passed on to other Police officials, who put me in touch with the right people to answer my queries. By sending them down from Cote Moor to my door within under 40 minutes!

Whilst there will undoubtedly be questions asked about policing of the Fair after the event, however it goes, at this point in time it is hats off to Cumbria Constabulary for adopting the Internet, making great use of it, sending friendly and helpful staff, who will ensure that the required email will be received when the day shift come on duty.

Am suitably impressed!


Monday, 16 May 2011

Warcop Parish Hall Village Survey Report

 Libby has asked me to post this on the Blog for everyone to have a read through.

Warcop Parish Hall Village Survey Report

I (Julie) was fortunate enough to be invited to Gamblesby Village Hall near Lazonby last week as part of CAFS renewable energy site visits and it's a really fantastic example of what can be achieved. The Hall has been refurbished and extended and is now powered by a small wind turbine and a ground source heat pump. It's a real community asset! EST case Study

Warcop Children's Club

Warcop Children's Club is now linked from our Blog List (in the right hand column) as well as from this post.

Warcop Children's Club was established 3 years ago to help support those who need out of hours and holiday childcare, and is run from the Primary School premises. Fundraising to support this vital initiative is ongoing and the voluntary management team need your support, so please do help by attending all of their events so this club can continue to provide fun for children aged 3-14 years. (Read all about the Warcop Children's Club activities here).

Red Squirrels Nursery for children aged 2-5 is also going from strength to strength, and numbers at Warcop school, both during schooltime and after hours, are on the up, which is great news for the village.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Blogger has been offline

We have been unable to update the website/blog for Warcop for a day. The image shows why.

So, apologies but it really was out of our control. Blame Google!

The village website is being updated as regularly as we can, with info we receive from those who live in the Parish. We are very pleased to hear from all of you that you like the site, and next week we are training more editors who will take control of certain sections of the site - school, Parish Council etc.

We are happy to add links to other websites within the Parish and also to help those with websites make them far more effective in promoting businesses and organisations in the Parish of Warcop. Please get in touch if you are having problems updating your websites, or with photos, calendars etc.

We need Warcop to show the world what we are capable of, particularly in the run up to Appleby Fair.

Reminder: the next Parish Council meeting is 6th June. The travellers will still be here so your views will be more than welcome. Rory Stewart has been invited to the meeting.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Parish Council

Due to the lack of candidates for the Parish Council, no election was held on 5th May. At the meeting held tonight, only 3 Councillors were present at the start of the meeting - John Heron, Chair, Jeff Evans, and Tony Dent. A decision was taken to co-opt on more councillors, and Gordon Deayton (Bleatarn), Lindsey Annison (Warcop) and Jane Donaldson-Allen (Flitholme) were all co-opted.

It is hoped that a further councillor will come forward from Sandford or Coupland Beck to give full representation from the Parish area. Please contact John Heron or Heidi Strong if you would be interested in this.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Warcop on Facebook and Twitter

There is now a Warcop Village page on Facebook - added today. And you can follow the village on Twitter @warcopvillage

Follow WarcopVillage on Twitter

I've also added a Search Box so you can find information more easily.

Photos of Warcop

Sunny day in May, so we took a few photos of the village.

All photos can be seen on the Warcop Village account on Flickr - anyone can add photos to this account, so please get in touch if you would like to.

Has anyone else got recent or historic photos of Warcop we can add to the website?

Thursday, 5 May 2011

This Week's News

The website can now be found at

The Parish Council meeting minutes have been added, as well as the agenda for the next meeting on Monday 9th May at 7.30pm. There was no election for Parish Councillors due to the lack of candidates.

The turnout for the AV referendum was higher than expected, according to the officers.

Details of the parking arrangements for Gipsy Fair have been added to the site.

"I Knew My Place" is the book about Warcop that all residents should try to read. We would love to see it reprinted to celebrate Ted Short's 100th birthday next year.

The pub opens officially on Friday 6th May. See for full details of events, plans, the refurb, etc. The FOWP (Friends of Warcop Pub) page of this website has been temporarily removed.

A search box has been added to the site to enable finding older information more easily.

Since winning the grant funding, the Warcop Renewable Energy Group has plenty of news! From the Energy Savings Trust Report to the Cumbria Woodlands proposals for the village,  to a community-wide solar panel project on all south facing roofs, to hydro and the Sustainable Energy Eden group. Please come forward if you are interested in saving the planet; Warcop needs to do its bit and it will reduce your fuel bills.

There is a report on the Eden Credit Union which could prove beneficial to many in this area.

Anyone interested in connecting this village to a decent broadband connection is asked to attend an Upper Eden Community Project meeting to be called shortly in the village. There are also plans to start an informal IT club in the village hall which already has a wireless broadband connection.

Everyone in the village can contribute to this website - whether it is a photo of the noticeboard to share event posters, a scene in the village, event dates and reports, your memories of Warcop, or an ad for an item for sale ....please contribute. And if you have an internet connection, we can make you an author on the site in about 2 secs if you email us.

And apart from Rushbearing - more next month - I think that's it for yet another quiet week in Warcop!

IT Club and T'interweb

There are substantial plans afoot across Cumbria to try to deliver broadband to the Final Third First. The Final Third is that 35%+ of the country's population in which the telecom companies are unwilling to invest and who are likely to be left behind on the wrong side of the Digital Divide on very slow connections.

However, all is not lost! Cumbria has been chosen as one of 4 rural broadband pilots (the others are North Yorkshire, Highlands and Islands, and Herefordshire) in line to receive approx £10million each for Better Broadband. 

So, we need to know what people use the Internet for, what broadband you would like here, and also to help everyone who chooses to get access to the information available online. 

We also know there are a few digitally reluctant people about! So, we would also like to start an informal IT club in the village hall, which already has a wireless connection from the previous broadband project 7 years ago. If you would be interested in: 
  • learning what computers can do 
  • playing with an iPad, iPhone or the latest digital technology
  • discovering how to make free phone calls to your friends and family across the world
  • removing the red eye from your digital photos and learning about digital cameras
  • finding out what the fuss is over Twitter and Facebook
  • scanning your precious photos
  • or even doing a mail merge for your Christmas card envelopes
 you will be more than welcome to come along. Details to be announced shortly.

This is another great way to support and use our village hall, and to get out and meet others in Warcop who may be new here, or isolated, or just plain confused about these new-fangled computers and their benefits! All ages more than welcome - it's amazing what the kids learn from the older generation at these events.

And if you are reading this online, and know you have a neighbour who cannot access the Net, please print out a copy and put it through the door.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Warcop Green Communities Report

I've managed to hopefully get to grips with Dropbox this morning.

Here is the link to the Energy Savings Trust report for everyone to read:

Warcop Green Communities Report as a PDF

You'll see Warcop has potential to become more self sustainable regarding energy supplies, utilising a mixture of hydro, wind, PV & not forgetting woodfuel.

Subsequently we also had a follow up meeting with Neville Elstone, who spoke at SEE meeting on the same evening, from Cumbria Woodlands, whose given us a planned way forward regarding utilising Warcop's woodland resources for woodfuel etc.

From Neville's email back to WREG.

"Many thanks for taking the time to show me around the village and explain your ideas.  Woodfuel has plenty of potential to help the villagers both reduce their fuel bills and carbon foot print.

We spoke about several ways that Woodfuel could work harder within the village to help the community, this ranged from helping those who currently burn wood find sources of timber and burn it more efficiently to district heating schemes such as we saw in the film (shown at SEE meeting). The community need to decide what, from a wide range of potential opportunities they want to go for, in full knowledge that the bigger the project the greater the risk and time commitment.  Below I have set out a table which details some objectives and ways to achieve them, it’s important to remember you can start with the first ones and then move on to the next.  Please note that this could be further sub divided or other options could be added in"

Ways to achieve it
Increase knowledge about burning wood well for those with existing Woodfuel stoves and open fires
A knowledge event on how to burn wood well and where to buy it from locally
Raise awareness of the potential for burning more wood in clever ways, log batch boilers for single homes, pellet stoves etc
Through a mix of events, articles, visits and information provision
Increase the management of woodlands within the area, say a 10 mile radius
A mix of events, local promotion, visits, information provision and sign posting existing free woodland advisory services
Community owned firewood business
Obtain access to a range of woodlands or buy in timber from local owners who manage woodlands
Community owned pellet/briquette business
Obtain the interest and buy in of local sawmills, ensure the business model makes sense, balance supply of pellets with demand
Community owned district heating system
Obtain buy in from community
Obtain finance
Set up legal agreements

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

WREG Update

Since the report by the Energy Savings Trust, there have been umpteen visits to the village and communications to/from the village about the options available to Warcop.

Please can anyone interested in renewable energy, recycling, sustainable solutions, solar, wind, biomass, etc etc, please get in touch with Julie at the Old Mill?

Warcop Parish Council Meeting

The next meeting is 9th May at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

Appleby Horse Fair

The dates for the Appleby Gipsy Horse Fair are 2nd - 8th June with Fair Hill opening at 4am on Thursday 2nd June. The Spring Bank Holiday is Monday 30th May.

Warcop is a stopping place for horses and bowtops, up to a maximum of 20. Permitted areas for stopping in Warcop are shown on the map on the official Appleby Fair website here.

No motorised vehicles or caravans are allowed this year and full details of the temporary stopping place in Warcop are available on the official Appleby Fair website.

Sandford - 10-15 vehicles are permitted between the A66 and the railway bridge. No parking is permitted beyond the Railway Bridge, as shown on the map here. Full details of the Sandford temporary stopping place can be found here.

Sandford Road End has room for 15 vehicles between the A66 and the Railway Bridge

I Knew My Place

Cover Photo: Horse Fair at Kirkby Stephen
Copyright Kendal Library, Cumbria County Council
Edward Short's book about Warcop, entitled, "I Knew My Place" is a must-read for anyone who lives in the village. It is not particularly easy to find a copy, even online, but there is a copy in the Warcop Archives (The Gregson Collection) and a comfortable sofa on which to read it!

Ted Short was born and grew up on Brookside, Warcop. He became Postmaster General in 1967 and then Chairman of Cable & Wireless. Now Lord Glenarama, he is the second oldest peer in the House of Lords and his political career has been illustrious. He will be 100 years old next December.

The back cover blurb reads:

Warcop in the Twenties was still a feudal pyramid with the Lady of the Manor sitting on the top like a cock on a farmyard midden, and the tenant cottagers at the bottom of the socio-economic heap. Everyone had his place in the structure and knew it; few aspired to to change their place and even fewer were successful in doing so. But we were an independent lot, everyone regarded himself as being as good as, perhaps better than, the next one, not in an arrogant way but with a fierce belief that what he did was as important in the village as what anyone else did. Jack Watt, the rabbit catcher who came down from the fell each morning (when there was an 'r' in the month) with his bicycle festooned with rabbits, was as proud of his calling as the vicar and a good deal more successful with rabbits than Mr Shaw with sinners.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Broadband in Warcop

As was recently mentioned in the Parish Council meeting, there are plans afoot to improve the broadband connections into rural Parishes such as Warcop. Recently, several people in Warcop, Bleatarn and Sandford, who have previously expressed an interest in broadband (e.g. at the Great Asby Meeting last year and at the Rheged Conference last September) have received this email from Libby Bateman, Upper Eden Community Project Officer.....

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Congratulations to the village

Driving past the Chamley Arms on this gorgeous spring evening, it would seem that all the work everyone in the village has done to ensure the refusal of the planning applications for 2/3 residential conversion has been worth it. People are sitting outside in the sun drinking and talking, and include many who have not seen each other for months.

It is only because those plans were refused that the pub is open tonight, under new management/tenancy, brightened up, and welcoming. The village knew that all the pub required was a little TLC and some vision of the potential that particular building holds to serve this community's needs. The Planning Inspector realised this too. Now the village can enjoy the benefits.

Speculative development of community assets in villages such as Warcop will not be permitted under the new Localism Bill and it seems Warcop has bucked the trend by preventing it before the Bill is made law.

Well done, Warcop. And thanks to all those within and for FOWP (who have not been forced to stick their heads above the parapet!) and who have helped behind the scenes for the last 20+ months to ensure that the Chamley could open its doors again with a warm welcome for villagers and as a venue for food, beer, village events, etc. Much needed B&B accommodation next, we hope...