BOWNESS businesswoman Vicky Robinson has received an MBE for her contribution to the arts in the community.

Ms Robinson, who runs the White Lodge Hotel with her sister Liz, has been recognised for her involvement with Theatre by the Lake in Keswick and the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards.

“It’s an absolutely lovely surprise and I could hardly believe the words on the paper,” she said.

Originally from Sheffield, she relocated Keswick to open a bistro at a time when the site on the shores of Derwentwater now occupied by Theatre by the Lake was home to the Century Theatre.

Ms Robinson added: “I was drawn to the Century Theatre.

“Many of the actors came into our bistro, as did the theatre’s supporters, and sometimes the theatre was referred to as ‘a crisis on wheels’, but it inspired real loyalty and love.”

Ms Robinson became chair of the Century Theatre and in 1995 was made joint chair of Cumbria Theatre Trust.


The trust was established to build a permanent theatre which Ms Robinson helped to secure funding and planning permission for.

“The Lake District is an inspirational setting with a rich cultural heritage.

“With forbears like Wordsworth, Coleridge and Ruskin, why wouldn’t you want to build a theatre here?” she continued.

The award also recognises Ms Robinson’s involvement with the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards, which she co-founded with author Hunter Davies and Cumbria Tourist Board.

This year marks the 30th year for the annual award, which is open to established authors and first-time writers.