Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The less than super highway

Two stories of national importance landed on the Westmorland Gazette cartoon desk last week.

Local hotels are up in arms and down in the dumps because BT broadband failed, losing them millions of pounds of business (hyperbole added for optional excitement).

And after months of campaigning, the much-loathed on-street parking plan from Cumbria County Council has been buried due to a legal problem.

Here are the six ideas I submitted to my steamed editor. The winning entry is at the end, complete with crop marks (which the sub-editor always ignores). Which would you have chosen? Place your carefully-considered vote in the comments box below.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Pie in the Sky

One of the joys of being a newspaper cartoonist in a National Park is knowing that the National Park Authority is going to provide me with material at regular intervals.
The Lake District is currently on its third bid for World Heritage status. It’s been turned down twice before. But that hasn’t prevented some blue sky thinking on what we’re going to do if we DO get it. Literally blue sky. Cable cars, for instance. A cable car spanning the lake and Claife between Bowness and Hawkshead will effortlessly whisk visitors to Beatrix Potter Land. Another to connecting Bowness and Windermere villages will sweep hordes of wheely-suitcases between the railway station and the lake front.
As you can imagine, the suggestion did not meet with universal approval. “Pie in the sky,” said a Tory councillor, leading to a rumour that the cable car is going to have catering. The National Park consultant claims the idea has “wow” factor.
What do you think?

Below are my cartoon sketches submitted to The Westmorland Gazette. The color version is the editor’s choice but which would you have gone for? Are cable cars in the Lake District a fun idea or or just blowing in the wind? Add your comments below.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Banks bunking off

Banks are disappearing from rural communities. Like post offices, the village bobby, pubs, telephone kiosks and flashers, what was once part of the fabric of rural life is now going the way of the dodo. (They're disappearing, not being hunted and eaten by sailors.)

The assumption is that these days everyone can do internet banking. Country residents still struggling on internet dial-up, slow broadband speed or frequent breaks in service may care to disagree. And many of them won't relish the prospect of a long bus journey to their nearest high street bank.

The closure of more branches in South Lakes is one of the main stories in this week's Westmorland Gazette. It seemed a good target for the front page cartoon. 

Below are four ideas I submitted to my steamed editor. His choice is shown at the end. But which one would you have chosen? Make your vote in the comments below.