Several houses and two stories vied to be the subject of this week’s Westmorland Gazette front page cartoon.
The first involved a tree house. A resident of Hincaster has built a splendid tree house, much enjoyed by local children. It’s in his own garden, no trees were harmed and no one objected. Until, that is, the South Lakeland District Council spotted it.
They despatched their Arboreal Recreation Surveillance Executive (ARSE) to sneak into the garden, take pictures and issue the owners with a Take It Down At Once notice. Good heavens, we can’t have children playing safely in their garden; they should be out in the street where they belong, indulging in wholesome activities like rioting and looting.
The second house story is just as depressing. Fifty years ago Kendal had 347 public houses, along with 72 inns, 49 houses of ill-repute and 19 mint cake factories (editor’s note: figures obtained from the internet so they’re bound to be right). Today the number of pubs has dwindled dramatically and more pubs look set to close. Publicans blame high rents, competition and having to buy beer from their brewery at inflated prices.
Below you can see the four ideas I pitched to the editor. As usual, these are delivered in scruffy sketch form. The chosen cartoon is a thing of artistic beauty and you can see it on the front page of today’s Gazette. Alternatively, sashay over to my website on Friday morning and it will dazzle you in colour.