Latest news from Brierholme Guest House in Keswick.

A66 Road Closure between Keswick and Penrith

73 mile diversion set for A66 overnight closure

A 73-mile diversion will be put in place when a three-mile stretch of the A66 between Keswick and Penrith is closed for roadworks.The official diversion route, stated by Highways England, will take drivers from Threlkeld near Keswick, along the A66 to Cockermouth, up the A595 to Carlisle and back down the M6 to Penrith.The roadworks will be carried out between Threlkeld and Wallthwaite, from 8.00pm until 6.00am, starting tonight (19th Feb) and lasting until the end of March.

A resurfacing scheme on the A66 from Threlkeld Cricket Club to the layby east of the Wallthwaite junction is continuing with full overnight closures commencing on 19 February from 8pm until 6am each night until the end of March.Clearly-signed diversions will be in place. A signed-diversion, suitable for all types of vehicles, will be in place with eastbound drivers travelling to Penrith via Cockermouth (A595), Carlisle (A689) and the M6, and westbound drivers for Keswick using the same route in reverse.Emergency vehicles will be escorted through the overnight closures as well as the last Stagecoach bus in each direction. Residents that live within the closure will also continue to have access to their properties.



Herstory of Keswick @ Keswick Museum

This is a fascinating exhibition which has something of interest for everyone. It doesn't just tell the history of women but opens our eyes to a wealth of detail about the town itself which we have never had the opportunity to display before. Clare Poulter, Chair, Keswick Museum

Herstory of Keswick celebrates the important contribution women have made over the centuries, through reconstructed room sets and hands-on activities: revisit the squalid conditions of the nineteenth century Yards or relax in the Rawnsley’s Vicarage parlour…

Perhaps the most celebrated and important woman to remember in Keswick in 2018 is Catherine Marshall who lived with her family at Hawse End. She became a nationally important figure as Parliamentary Secretary for the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and suggested the Women’s Suffrage Pilgrimage to London which culminated in a deputation to Prime Minister Herbert Asquith in 1913. Women marched from all over the country along eight routes, gaining numbers as they went. In Keswick they passed over Greta Bridge and through the centre of town as the images show. The NUWSS were law-abiding suffragists rather than the more violent suffragettes and many people (especially men) were sympathetic to their peaceful methods. When in 1916 the Government began to draw up an Act to give all men the vote, Suffragists lobbied persistently and as a result the Representation of the People Act in 1918 finally gave SOME women the vote. It was not until 1928 that men and women could vote on equal terms.

The exhibition will tell the stories of over 30 women. These will be grouped in three main areas:

  • A reconstruction of a poor Yard’s cottage (Yards were the lanes leading off Main Street). Here the displays will look at the lives of working class women in the 19th century who often had to endure squalid conditions without mains drainage and with housing next to industrial businesses such as blacksmiths, tanners and slaughterhouses. In 1852 the inspector reported that the death rate was so great that one half of our population never reaches manhood.

By the time of the 1870 Keswick Main Street painting, things were little better: Old Woman Burns to Death tells the tragic story of one of the women and her grand-daughter Mary Jane Wise.

Kennedy’s yard – Slaughter house, paved floor; no drainage; large open midden in yard, all refuse thrown through window; pigsties; ashpits and middens; pump against house end to drain cellar.

…Mr Atkinson’s Yard: The privy and an open midden is close against the house and the windows open over it. Midden about seven yards by two yards; the wet soaks through the housewall……….large maggots from the midden crawl about the house in summer.

  • A rather more comfortable room set, reflecting the lives of women who did not have to work, will be based on Crosthwaite Vicarage in 1890 when the Rawnsleys were in residence. Edith was founder, designer and director of the Keswick School of Industrial Arts. Another vicar’s relative, Lucy Gipps, was a beautiful watercolourist and much admired by John Ruskin.
  • The ‘Ant Hill’ (or Aunt Hill) was Robert Southey’s name for Greta Hall. It referred to the three Fricker sisters, of three poet husbands, who occupied Greta Hall with their children and many cats – a chaotic household.
  • Writing Keswick’s Story will be another major theme looking at the many female writers who have lived in Keswick:
    • Caroline Bowles and Mary Barker – artists and writers associated with Robert Southey at Greta Hall (Caroline was his second wife)
    • Eliza Lynn Linton – the first salaried Britiish female journalist – born in Crosthwaite vicarage
    • Enid Wilson –daughter of George Abraham –The Guardian countryside correspondent for 30 years
    • Pat Branthwaite - previous editor of The Reminder
    • Jane Grave – Pat’s daughter and current editor of The Reminder

Further themes are Working Women, Wartime Women and Community Heroines. Volunteers and partners from Keswick, including Keswick Tourism Association and The Keswick Reminder, have been working with the museum to gather women’s stories. They have searched the museum collections and archive but also consulted with the local community who have nominated women they would like to be remembered in the exhibition via Facebook and community history days.

We have given people the chance to nominate women who have inspired them - both living and historic - so we have some famous and some as yet uncelebrated stories, says Sue Mackay, the project’s curator.

For example:

  • Nora Hartley, Ribble Bus conductress and lodging house keeper
  • Maysie McCambridge, Mayor and founder of Keswick Youth Club
  • Lynne Jones, chair of Keswick Flood Action Group
  • Sally Fielding who runs Sally’s Cottages from Keswick

The exhibition is part of the Women of Cumbria project: Prompted by the centenary of the first votes for women in 2018, Cumbrian museums have joined with Girlguiding, WI, Soroptimists and Trefoil Guild in Cumbria to celebrate the amazing contribution women have made to life in our county. Each museum has also made a banner with its community partners to parade for International Women’s Day on 3rd March in Carlisle city centre.


Theatrical Treats In Store At Theatre By The Lake – 2018 Season Announcement

Theatre by the Lake revealed plans for their 2018 Season at a Season Launch today, at which they revealed that they would be staging a diverse range of home-grown productions over the course of the year, alongside a programme of visiting work.

Artistic Director, Conrad Lynch, said: “Following the success of 2017, including the London transfer of the critically acclaimed Miss Julie (which has been nominated for four Off West End awards) and the UK tour of As You Like It, we’re now looking ahead to an exciting 2018. In the Main House our programme offers some vintage comedy, an adaptation of a much-loved novel, and an acclaimed double bill from one of Britain’s finest playwrights.

“Studio audiences can look forward to a beautiful one-woman show, a revival of a gutsy and gripping contemporary classic, and, continuing our commitment to new writing, the world premiere of a play which was shortlisted at the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.”

Following a packed February and March of music, dance, children’s shows and touring drama, Theatre by the Lake’s Spring Season features Olivier-nominated actress Elizabeth Mansfield in the one-woman tour-de-force Hymn to Love, an extraordinary homage to Edith Piaf. Co-produced with York Theatre Royal, Hymn to Love will play in the Studio from 23 March to 10 April, after which it will embark on a rural tour across Cumbria. It will play in York Theatre Royal from 17 to 21 April.

In the Main House, the theatre welcomes not one but two classic dramas, with A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams produced by English Touring Theatre (3 to 7 April), and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in an adaptation by Ken Bentley and starring Nichola McAuliffe (10 to 14 April), best known for her role as Sheila Sabatini in the ITV sitcom Surgical Spirit.

The Summer Season of home-produced work runs with a resident company of ten actors from 24 May.

The three Main House productions are:

  • Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, a play from the works of P.G. Wodehouse by The Goodale Brothers in which three actors play a multitude of characters in an inventive and totally bonkers send-up of Wodehouse’s iconic double act. A recent hit in the West End, Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense won the 2014 Olivier award for Best New Comedy.
  • Single Spies by Alan Bennett. Here one of Britain's best loved playwrights turns his attention to the Cambridge spy scandal of the 50s, with two beautifully written comic vignettes (An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution) which shed light on the fascinating characters of Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt. Winner of the 1990 Olivier award for Best Comedy.
  • Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility adapted by Jessica Swale; the sparkling tale of the Dashwood sisters and affairs of the heart in a gorgeous adaptation by the Olivier award-winning playwright who adapted Theatre by the Lake’s Christmas show The Secret Garden.

The Studio productions are:

  • The world premiere of Rails by Simon Longman. Shortlisted in the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, Rails tells the story of two bored and lonely teens whose lives collide over the course of a long hot summer. Funny, poignant, and sharply reminiscent of the joy, pain and confusion of growing up.
  • Bold Girls by Rona Munro. Set in Belfast in the early 90s, Bold Girls explores female friendship against the backdrop of a city in upheaval. Rona Munro is one of Scotland’s most acclaimed playwrights; she also wrote Iron which was a hit in Theatre by the Lake’s 2016 Season.

The Theatre by the Lake Christmas production for 2018/2019 will be an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast by Laurence Boswell. A thrilling and inventive take on the classic fairy tale for all the family, Beauty and the Beast will run from 23 November to 12 January.

The Words by the Water programme was also announced at the Season Launch, and was introduced by Kay Dunbar, Festival Director, who said: “This year’s programme is quite exceptional. If you read it, you will be amazed at the range of people coming to Theatre by the Lake in Keswick: we have Vince Cable, Claire Tomalin, Michael Frayne, Terry Waite, Michael Rosen and not forgetting our president Melvyn Bragg, who speaks at the festival most years. We also have speakers on Syria, travel writing, the rainforest, Agatha Christie, the country after Brexit, Theresa May’s year, Pablo Neruda, Lowther Castle Gardens and heart transplants. We often say there is something for everyone, and as you can see with this programme we try to cater for all tastes and interests.” Words by the Water runs from 9 to 18 March.

Visiting work highlights include the smash-hit show Nina – A Story About Me and Nina Simone (27 February – 3 March) which comes to Keswick following sell-out runs at London’s Young Vic and the Traverse in Edinburgh, and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s triple bill Calyx, Windrush and Shadows, a celebration of the arrival of the first Caribbean migrants to the UK, set to an uplifting soundtrack ranging from calypso, jazz and blues, to ska, gospel and reggae. The theatre is also proud to present a wide range of shows and events for families, from Little Mermaid – The Circus Sensation to the North-West based company M6 Theatre’s lovely show A Tiger’s Tale. For film buffs, Keswick Film Festival returns once more (22 to 25 February), and the theatre will be one of the venues for 2018’s Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival (10 to 13 May).

Conrad Lynch concluded the Season Launch saying: “Thank you to everyone who has supported Theatre by the Lake during my first year as Artistic Director - our staff, volunteers, Friends, Ambassadors, sponsors, funders and donors, ticket agents and, of course, our audiences. Join us again in 2018 for an exhilarating year of theatre and performance.”

Priority booking for Friends of Theatre by the Lake is open from 8 December, in person, online or over the phone. To find out about becoming a Friend call the Box Office on 017687 74411, or visit

General booking opens on Monday 8 January from 9.30am, in person, online or over the phone. Please note that some February and March events are already on sale to the general public.

To find out more please visit or call the Box Office on 017687 74411. The full season brochure can be viewed at:


Home - Privacy & Cookie Policy - Terms & Conditions - Access Statement
© 2018   Brierholme Guest House, Keswick - bed and breakfast holiday accommodation, the Lake District, UK

To top