Thursday, 10 January 2013

Museum Piece

Occasionally a story comes along which gets me cross.
Okay, it’s more than occasionally. But it’s not always in the pages of The Westmorland Gazette. When it is, my front page gives me the privelage of being able to let rip about it.
One such story appears this week. Honister Slate Mine (slate mine, notice - this is important) has, for some time, been campaigning to be allowed to instal a zip-wire attraction. Cue cries of outrage from Friends of the Lakes, Chums of the Fells and Dodgy Uncles of the Peaks. It would despoil an otherwise … um, already man-made landscape (see Slate Mine earlier).
The second application for the zip-wire has just been turned down, despite a lot of support - not least from mountaineer Chris Bonington. Sir Chris was also, until yesterday, secretary of Friends of the Lakes but was so annoyed at their opposition to the proposal that he resigned.
I hate the preserve-the-countryside-in-aspic tendencies of the English and regard with deep distrust any retreat into tradition or history to bolster an argument. So I was happy to have a go at the story and didn't feel any need to be impartial.
As it was a fair bet the story would be in the Gazette this week, a few people joined in on Twitter. The last of this sequence of ideas was contributed by photographer Steve Barber. I drew it as he told it, so didn’t really want to use it for that reason (I like to add something to the joke). The Jurassic Park joke was prompted by Julie Darroch, aka LakesPR who mentioned dinosaurs in a tweet. The rest are my own doing.
The editor’s decision took a while but, as always, is final (unless the lawyers object).
Which is your favourite? 
Comment in the box below and then zip along to my website to see if you picked the editor’s favourite.


  1. Love them all. Only comment if you look at most board members of the national park they are already retired. So no 3 or the last one for me.

    What I don't understand this application was for an 18 month trial. Which would either prove or disprove the fiends argument.

  2. My favourite is No 7 - unfortunately board members are not extinct yet!

  3. No 6 - we're sure we know those people

  4. Friends of the Lake District - Enemies of the People.

    Trouble is, places die without people

  5. John P, SDNP resident.14 January 2013 at 07:58

    A Radio 4 item recently remarked that 8million people p/a visit the Lakes, if that is a true figure, a zipwire would help by speeding up their movement via the Hollister. We had the same issue in Cairns, Nth Qld 20 years ago. Since then 'Skyrail' has helped to speed up the flow and additional 'honeypots' have thrived at each end.
    UK needs tourism but visas, transport etc are thwarting that market.