Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Last week's Westmorland Gazette newspaper stories presented a challenge for the front page cartoon.

The main story was the proposal to build 20,000 new homes in South Lakes. Some bright spark had realised that some of those new homes would be inhabited by children. And those children would need schools … In fact, the estimate was that South Lakes would need two entirely new primary schools.

Elsewhere, the National Park Authority were continuing with their plan to cut down Brockhole National Park Centre's famous, 100-year old monkey puzzle tree. Protestors were galvanised into action and chained themselves to the tree.

The challenge for the cartoonist? Remaining tasteful.

As usual, I may not have been entirely successful.

Add your comments below, then swoosh across to my website to see which cartoon my editor picked.

Click on any of the cartoons for a bigger and scruffier version

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Purrfect day

An entertaining mix of stories for this week's Westmorland Gazette cartoon.

The first involved a cat found inside the engine of a 4x4 vehicle. The cat was a bit singed but otherwise unharmed. I decided to avoid any catalytic convertor jokes but couldn't resist one horrible pun.

Elsewhere, a settlement of eco-lodges is being demolished, following a ruling that they are illegal. They were a secret encampment and built entirely without permission, it seems, but nonetheless fulfil a need, are hidden from view, provide valuable low cost homes and … I'll leave the two cartoons to speak for themselves.

Finally,  the Royalty Cinema in Bowness has had the launch night for it's Wurlitzer Organ. This mighty beast, the only working one of its kind actually operating in a real cinema, was built in Ohio in 1927 and is now back in action. As I went along to the opening evening, I can confirm that it sounds brilliant. (It accompanied silent films by Chaplin, Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Laurel & Hardy - so take that, 3D Dolby surround sound!)

Here are this week's sketches, submitted to my steamed editor. Which would you have picked?

Add your comments in the little box thingies below, then sashay over to my website to see if you landed on your feet.

(Click on  the cartoons for full, widescreen effect.)

P.S. It has come to my attention that some of you aren't clicking on the links. You really should. They don't always lead where you might expect. Particularly the ones in last week's blog.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


There was quite a fuss a month ago, when Virgin Trains lost the West Coast rail franchise to rival operator FirstGroup.

"Not fair," cried Richard Branson, going in one bound from slightly annoying self-publicist to fearless defender of poor, down-trodden rail passengers everywhere, a veritable latter-day Robin Hood. He accused the government of doing its sums wrongs and he demanded a judicial review.

The case was due to be heard on the 4th October. On the 3rd, the government announced it had got its sums wrong and there would be an independent review into the whole process.

Hurrah for justice, the British way of life and something or other.

I'll continue to use the car. Meanwhile, it was too good a story to miss for this week's Westmorland Gazette cartoon.

Browse the sketches, leave your invaluable comments below and then visit my website after Thursday morning to see which cartoon made it to the front page.

(Click on the cartoons for the full IMAX experience.)