THE Armitt Museum is asking local families to look through old family papers, diaries and photograph albums in the hope of finding references or details of how local women were involved with the Suffrage movement and their efforts to gain votes for women.

A celebration to mark the centenary of the first votes for women called 'Women in Cumbria' is being held throughout the county including a contribution from the Armitt.

Although the museum has information about local involvement with the Suffrage movement, which had meetings held in Ambleside and Hawkshead, the Armitt hope to unearth any first hand accounts or family memories to throw light on personal or group involvement and activities, from Girl Guides to Women’s Institutes.

The Armitt’s local focus will be on the campaigner, political activist and abolitionist Harriet Martineau, who was involved with fighting for women’s votes as far back as the 1850s.

However, other women were equally passionate, including the daughter of the renowned Hawkshead artist, Henry Holiday, who was involved with the Pankhursts’ Women’s Social and Political Union.

The Armitt is also looking for information about local women took over the jobs of their absent menfolk during WW1, with any photographs families might have of women doing jobs that were traditionally men’s work.

The Armitt can be contacted on 015394 31212 or

ST Mary’s Parish Church is planning to celebrate community in a new exhibition next May incorporating floral displays.

Local groups are being invited to say it with flowers, by creating a display to celebrate some aspect of their organisation, but with one special requirement – the design must include some element of flowers within it.

The church’s own talented flower arrangers will be on hand to support any group lacking confidence in their floral design ability, and to help them transform ideas into reality.

To inspire the groups, St Mary’s will display large photographs on display boards in church showing examples of similar events in the past.

Those looking for ideas are also advised to search on the internet for ‘flower festivals’, which should offer plenty of ideas and groups can also approach local businesses for sponsorship for their display.

The Celebration of Community will take place over three days, from May 26-28.

NATIONAL story-telling legend Taffy Thomas will be back at Ambleside Parish Centre on August 10 from 2.30pm-4pm with an afternoon of family fun, riddles and stories.

Taffy will offer his time to entertain, inspire, intrigue and astonish his audience and will also be selling signed copies of his book.

Families are invited to bring along a picnic and a blanket, with hot drinks and cakes available. Information on 015394-34172 or email

APPLICATIONS to the Kelsick Foundation for educational grants for under-25s resident in Lakes Parish must be received before July 31 in order to be considered at the next quarterly grants meeting of trustees in August.

Details of eligibility are on the website at and grant application forms can be printed off, completed and submitted to the Clerk to the Trustees at the Kelsick Centre in St Mary’s Lane, Ambleside.

Individual grants are available for students in higher and further education, and also to support all age groups from the very youngest upwards, in a wide range of educational activities including travel, music, performing arts and sport.

Annual travel grants for post-16s are also available, and higher education students who have completed their first year at university are reminded to continue applying each year for the Kelsick’s annual subsistence grant. More than one application can be made at any time, and grants can be retrospective to cover the preceding year.

The three primary schools and individual young people and groups benefitted in 2016-17 from Kelsick grants of £231,510, which was over £23,000 more than the previous year.

LAKES Parish Council is giving a bigger grant this year in support of Ambleside Community Christmas Lights taking place on November 18, to help pay towards the employment of a part-time project co-ordinator.

This was needed because the lights festival has grown into such a big event that a professional co-ordinator was needed to put management and responsibilities on a more professional footing.

However, the committee will continue to fully utilise its energetic volunteer base.

In recognition of the extra costs involved, Lakes PC will increase its grant to £5,000 this year towards the success of the event, which has attracted well over 8,000 people annually for switch-on day.