AN ARTICLE in The Westmorland Gazette of April 1879 shows that Easter has changed very little over the last 140 years, including the weather.

It reads: 'Easter has come and gone and Lakeland has displayed all its usual activity and animation.

The annual tide of folks on pleasure bent has set in, has reached its flood, and quietly ebbed again.

Mine Host of each and every inn has blandly smiled upon the unwonted bustle upon his threshold and, thereafter in his counting house counting all his money, has conjured up visions that made his heart glad.

For some reason the tide of visitors has not been as large as usual. The pilgrims did not turn up like the locusts and devour the land. They only came in sufficient force to fill the larger houses and therefore cottage people, like Mother Hubbard's unfortunate dog, got none.

We are well into the month of April, the weather during the holiday season has been bitterly cold. As a matter of fact the severity of the weather has produced a feeling of contempt for the law of precedence.

Usually the cuckoo, the swallow and the butterfly, and all the rest of the harbingers of spring precede our earliest visitors and all those who have come by the almanack mope about in wraps that plainly indicate the absence of the cuckoo.

Of the doings of the visitors little need be written. Everything was done over again that has been done annually ever since Lakeland was made famous by the Lake School of Poets. The portly Smith, the obese Jones and the burly Robinson ascended Helvellyn or it may be some, less notorious hill and dreamt of where gout shall be no more.

The traditions of the time are such as the world will not willingly let die and, consequently, that prime Easter question 'Please, a pace egg' - eggs that are first wrapped in onion skins and boiled, giving the shells a golden, mottled effect.

This is the traditional way of decorating the eggs, though today they are often painted, sometimes with artistic merit. They have been trundled by the youth of the Lake Country and the manhood and maidenhood of that favoured region have disported themselves in the Easter vacation after the manner of former years.

For the majority the Easter vacation begins and ends with Good Friday. The owners of small boats were at their wits' end to furnish craft enough for the people who besieged them.

As a place of resort the ferry has achieved a certain notoriety and the large steam yachts were well patronised and made several good trips to the north and south.