WHACKING great signs have been put up on the A590 at High Newton telling motorists there have been 470 casualties on the road in the past five years.

The figure even surprised me and I know the road and its reputation well, but I can't help wondering why when the Highways Agency must have known years ago that the total was rising rapidly they just didn't get on and build the by-pass.

It has always seemed daft to me that a road which for most of its length from the M6 is a dual carriageway suddenly goes though a series of severe bends on a single carriageway road the shape of which has changed little since the days of the horse and cart.

I also have another concern about those big and solid looking signs. I wonder how long it will before someone wraps their car round one and then has to scale the pole bleeding and battered with a piece of chalk to amend the score to 471.


DESPITE trying to boost local appeal by selling a range of Herdwick wool carpets, Goodacres has been forced to call it a day for manufacturing in Kendal and move its production to Poland, where wages are peanuts compared to England.

The story was on the front of last week's Gazette immediately above one telling how the National Trust was to go ahead with its plan to break up High Yewdale farm, as it is no longer viable. Perhaps Gooadcres will soon be followed by hill farmers as they up stick and take their Herdwick herds to Poland, where wool production would also be cheaper.

That would undoubtedly suit the Lake District National Park Authority in its long-term aim of ensuring that the national park becomes totally free of any human habitation.

As an aside, I actually went to High Yewdale some years ago, way back in the days before commercial factors ruled all, when the National Trust used to crow about the important and lasting legacy of the Herdwick farm left to the nation by Beatrix Potter. It was the occasion of a royal visit to celebrate that legacy and it was a most surreal experience.

I have been to many farms, but never before seen one where the main yard had been scrubbed to a point where you could have eaten your dinner off it. Not a piece of muck - or even the smell of a piece in sight.

I wonder if the Queen went away truly convinced that all hill farming is a similarly hygienic operation.


I THOUGHT that Kendal Leisure Centre had developed a way of combining sport with a dating agency when I went to book in for badminton the other day. "Do you want a partner?" said the woman on reception, then quickly added: "Oh sorry, I mean do you want a locker token?"

Meanwhile I was glad to hear this week that the centre management has caved in to user pressure and scrapped its daft plan to close the refurbished caf-bar at 8pm. I am told it will be now open as usual in the evenings to refresh shattered sports people.