Daffodils from Wordsworth’s garden, and cream tea, for Mothers’ Day

A Mothers’ Day treat with a difference is being offered at Rydal Mount near Ambleside.

A family group of up to six people can book the dining room at the former home of the poet William Wordsworth for an afternoon cream tea on Sunday March 26.

The exclusive offer is being made on a first-come, first-served basis and guests need to arrive by 3.30, but the table must be booked in advance. Guests will be able to look round the house and gardens, and will receive a complimentary Rydal Mount booklet. The mother in the party will be given a bunch of daffodils from Wordsworth’s garden and a copy of the Daffodils poem.

dining room

Rydal Mount is the house where Wordsworth lived for most of his life, and from where he published the definitive version of arguably the world’s most famous poem, Daffodils.

The curator, Peter Elkington, said that Wordsworth often referred to mothers in his poetry and was interested in the concept of maternal passion and the love of a mother for her child.

“He illustrates the power and importance of this through various poems, including The Thorn, The Mad Mother, and The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman,” said Peter. “These three poems all deal with a solitary mother and Wordsworth’s wonder at the mother-child relationship and its uniqueness.”

The Mad Mother describes a woman who sits underneath a hay stack with just her baby for company and who says:

Sweet babe! they say that I am mad,

But nay, my heart is far too glad

“It’s important that mothers don’t feel solitary, and we want to help families celebrate this occasion together,” said Peter.

Please call 015394 33002 to book the table. The cost is £15 per person.

daffs galore

 

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Poetry winner follows in Wordsworth’s footsteps

As the deadline nears for this year’s Wordsworth award for young poets, it’s good to have news of a previous winner.

The student who won the first Rydal Mount Wordsworth poetry competition is now studying at Cambridge, at the same college that William Wordsworth attended.

Will Crisp from Windermere, and a former pupil of the Lakes School, is studying modern and medieval languages at St John’s College, Cambridge. Wordsworth graduated from St John’s in 1791 with a BA degree.

will crisp

In 2013 Will was the winner of the inaugural poetry competition for young people which has since become an annual event, and which is judged each year by members of the Wordsworth family, descendants of the poet.

His poem, Scrap of Iron, was considered by the judges to be outstanding and showed great maturity.

Christopher Wordsworth, the great great great great grandson of the poet and one of the judges each year, said: “It is always good to hear the progress of our young poets, and it is a delightful chance that Will is studying at St John’s.”

He added: “We hope others who have entered the contest in the past will keep in touch and let us know what they are doing now.”

Students at Cumbrian schools who wish to enter this year’s contest must read https://rydalmount.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/extra-cash-prize-for-poetry-winner/

 

Extra cash prize for poetry winner

Prize money for the best young poet in Cumbria has been doubled this year to mark the fifth anniversary of a popular competition.

The annual Rydal Mount Wordsworth prize for young poets is organised by the descendants of William Wordsworth, and is open to students at all schools in the county.

This year the author of the winning poem will receive a cash prize of £100, plus a personal trophy, and the poem will be framed and displayed alongside the work of the famous poet in the popular tourist attraction near Ambleside.

The theme for this year’s competition is “A walk on the wild side”, was chosen by the poet’s great great great grand-daughter, Susan. She and other descendants of William will judge the poems, and the winner will be announced at an award ceremony at Rydal Mount on April 27.

Peter Elkington, the curator of Rydal Mount, who is organising the contest on behalf of the Wordsworth family, said: “We decided to double the prize money this year in celebration of our fifth event. The competition has attracted some wonderful work from young people over the years, and we are looking forward to seeing what this year’s entries surprise us with.

“It’s also a chance for a young poet to see his or her work immortalised alongside the poems of Wordsworth himself in his former home, and read by thousands of visitors.”

There are book prizes for the poets judged as highly commended in the primary and secondary school categories. Each entrant also receives a certificate signed by the descendants of William Wordsworth.

christopher-and-jacob

Last year’s winner was a 14 year old Jacob Currie, right) a pupil at Furness Academy, who took the title with his poem The Gap in Life after members of the Wordsworth family judged more than 150 entries from Cumbrian schools. His poem has been framed and is displayed at Rydal Mount for visitors to read.

The closing date for entries is Monday March 20.

Entry forms can be found here

or via the Cumbria education department schools’ information portal.

 

 

Wordsworth descendant to read children’s classic

A descendant of England’s most famous poet is to join the marathon reading of a classic children’s story in the Lake District.

Christopher Wordsworth, the great great great great grandson of William Wordsworth, will read a chapter of Swallows and Amazons this summer at Coniston.

He joins a list of celebrities and enthusiasts who will take part in the day-long event to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the author Arthur Ransome who created the  children’s adventure tale.

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The event is being organised by Dr Chris Routledge who is head of Continuing Education, English Language and Literature, at Liverpool University, in association with the Lake District National Park and the Arthur Ransome Trust. Also supporting the reading are Stephen and Janine Sykes who live at Hill Top, Ransome’s last home in the Lake District.

It will mark the end of a summer-long exhibition at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston about Ransome, Russia and storytelling.

To be staged by the lakeshore north of the Coniston Boating Centre on Sunday September 3, the event is part of the LakesCulture calendar of happenings in the national park this year. It’s expected that the book’s 31 chapters will take around nine hours to read.

Christopher Wordsworth, whose family still own the house at Rydal Mount near Ambleside where William Wordsworth lived for most of his life, was one of the first to sign up to read. He said: “As a man fast approaching middle age I am certain to get as much pleasure from these books as I did when a child.”

He joins screenwriter Andrea Gibb who adapted Swallows and Amazons for a new film version which was released last year. Andrea writes for both screen and television, and her episode of the popular BBC 1 drama Call the Midwife, which was aired earlier this month, had the highest viewing figures of the series with over 9 million people tuning in to watch.

Organiser Chris Routledge said that he had been inundated with requests to read a chapter of the book. “It’s clearly still a favourite with many people who are well past their own childhood,” he said.

However, there will also be young readers: Dr Routledge’s 13 year old daughter Caitlin will be joined by Elizabeth Kaye, the 11 year old daughter of Jonathan and Caroline Kaye, owners of Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel, and 14 year old actor Hannah Jayne Thorp, who played the part of Peggy in last year’s film version of Swallows and Amazons.

Dr Routledge, a great fan of Arthur Ransome, previously organised a marathon reading of Moby Dick at the Merseyside Maritime Museum; a much longer novel, that event took three days.

http://lakesculture.co.uk/lakes-culture-2017-calendar-events/

See the story in the Evening Mail

here

The Rydal Mount Wordsworth prize for young poets: entries now open

Dear Head Teacher

The descendants of William Wordsworth invite entries from your pupils for the annual Rydal Mount Wordsworth prize for young poets.

All students at Cumbrian schools are eligible to take part. The theme this year is “A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE”, which can be interpreted as the writer wishes. The winning poem will be framed and displayed alongside the work of the great poet in his former home, for thousands of visitors to see.

Entries should be typed in 12 or 14 point font, double spaced, and no longer than one side of A4 paper. They should be saved as individual Word documents and emailed as attachments to rydalpoetry@gmail.com

Entries should include the name and age of the entrant, and the contact details of the student’s school. The closing date for entries is Monday March 20.

THE EMAILS WILL BE OPENED DIRECTLY BY THE WORDSWORTH FAMILY.  PLEASE ASK CLASS TEACHERS TO SEND ENTRIES FROM HIS OR HER PUPILS FROM ONE IDENTIFIABLE EMAIL ADDRESS, IN ONE BATCH, WITH INDIVIDUAL ENTRIES ATTACHED.

The poems will be judged by the Wordsworth family and an award ceremony will be held at Rydal Mount, near Ambleside, on Thursday April 27. There will be signed book prizes for the entries highly commended by the judges from the primary and secondary school categories. A trophy will be awarded, along with a cash prize this year of £100, to the overall winner.  The winner’s name will be added to the plaque on the wall at Rydal Mount.

For further information please email Eileen Jones at Eileen@cumbriapr.co.uk

Young poets offered a chance to be read alongside Wordsworth

A walk on the wild side: that’s the theme for this year’s major poetry award for young people in Cumbria. And the winning poem will be immortalised alongside the work of William Wordsworth in his former home, to be read by thousands of visitors.

The annual Rydal Mount Wordsworth prize for young poets is organised by the descendants of William Wordsworth, and is open to students at all schools in the county.

Poems and judged by members of the Wordsworth family, who will attend the fifth annual award ceremony later this spring. The winning poem will be framed and displayed prominently in the drawing room at the popular tourist attraction.

Peter Elkington, the curator of Rydal Mount, who is organising the contest on behalf of the Wordsworth family, said: “The writers can interpret the theme in any way they wish. A walk on the wild side was the choice of Susan, the great great great grand-daughter of the poet. William Wordsworth was a great walker, of course, and so much of his poetry was inspired by what he saw when walking in the Lakes.”

The winner will receive a £100 cash prize, a personal trophy, and his or her name will be added to the roll of honour on the plaque at Wordsworth’s former home at Rydal Mount near Ambleside. There are book prizes for the poets judged as highly commended in the primary and secondary school categories.

Each entrant also receives a certificate signed by the descendants of William Wordsworth.

Last year’s winner was a 14 year old Jacob Currie, a pupil at Furness Academy, who took the title with his poem The Gap in Life after members of the Wordsworth family judged more than 150 entries from Cumbrian schools. His poem has been framed and is displayed at Rydal Mount for visitors to read.

The closing date for entries is Monday March 20, and an award ceremony will be held at Rydal Mount on Thursday April 27 when the winner will be announced.

Entry forms can be found at https://northwestnewsandfeatures.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/the-rydal-mount-wordsworth-prize-for-young-poets-entries-now-open/

or via the Cumbria education department schools’ information portal.

See last year’s winner Jacob reading his poem here, watched by Christopher, the great great great great grandson of William Wordsworth

TV series takes the train to Wordsworth country

 

Rydal Mount near Ambleside, the home of William Wordsworth, will be seen in a new series on BBC Four to be broadcast on October 13.

Railways: The Making of a Nation is a new weekly six-part documentary series exploring Britain’s rail network and The Age of Leisure episode will examine the poet’s campaign to halt the development of the branch line to Windermere.

His great great great great grandson Christopher Wordsworth will be seen at the house, still owned by the Wordsworth family, discussing the poet’s objections.

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William Wordsworth believed that bringing in “uncultured travellers” would destroy the beauty they had come to enjoy. Wordsworth’s campaign failed, and the line opened in 1847, but one of the great ironies surrounding the great poet was that whilst he was against tourism, he himself would become one of the Lake’s greatest tourist attractions.

The programme looks at the idea of excursions to distant places which became popular from the 1840s onwards. The ultimate experience was often to head to the hills and sample clean air, far away from the industrial grime and pollution, and working class northerners now had access to the beautiful Lake District.

Historian Liz McIvor explores how Britain’s expanding rail network was the spark to a social revolution, starting in the 1800s and through to modern times.

Liz says: “A fast system of transportation shaped many areas of our industrial nation – from what we eat to where we live, work and play. The railways generated economic activity but they also changed the nature of business itself. They even changed attitudes to time and how we set our clocks. Our railways reflected deep class divisions, but they also brought people together and helped forge a new sense of national identity.

“Before the railways most people lived local lives and had little, if any, interaction with people from other regions with different accents and cultures. With an expanding network people became to mix and learned to co-exist with their fellow countrymen and women.

“This series tells the story of how the railways changed the way we live – giving us a modern, industrial, suburban, consumer nation. This is a social, cultural and economic history of the railways.”

Peter Elkington, the curator at Rydal Mount, said that Wordsworth was, in reality, very welcoming to tourists. “He might have objected to the railway, but he really enjoyed chatting to people who walked by the house, and often showed them round the gardens.”

Wordsworth lived at Rydal Mount, now one of the most famous literary homes in Britain, for most of his life after moving from Grasmere. He wrote and revised much of his poetry there, and the Prelude was published from there, along with the definitive version of the world’s most famous poem, Daffodils. The house and gardens are open to the public daily.

You can watch the full programme on Thursday 13th October on BBC Four at 8pm and later on BBC iPlayer.