Local history group discover Lakeland villages.

Shap Local History Society held its annual Social evening in the Memorial hall when over 40 people enjoyed a delicious supper of homemade sausages with potatoes and vegetables followed by a tempting choice of hot and cold puddings.

As guests arrived they were handed a quiz sheet, to complete at their leisure.

The Society Chairman Jean Jackson announced that the Vice Chairman Jean Scott-Smith had recently won a national trophy for dialect performance and invited her to share some dialect with the audience. Mrs Scott-Smith explained that she would not perform her winning piece because it was a reworking of the story of Noah, and given the devastating floods in this country and Venice she felt it inappropriate. Instead she recited ‘Bobby Grundy’s Shop’, an amusing poem listing all the goods available in a an old fashioned general shop.

Mrs Jackson then welcomed Andy Lowe form Kendal, who has spoken to the Society on several occasions. His illustrated talk was entitled ‘Discovering Lakeland Villages’; and the audience were taken on a tour around several well known villages such as Grasmere, Hawkshead, Troutbeck and Askham. They discovered why the villages were laid out in certain ways, and why certain locations were chosen for solitary buildings, perhaps because they were sheltered from the wind or below the normal winter snow line, and sometimes, but not always for the view. He also explained about building methods, materials used and the fascinating architectural features.   Some of the members had done a vernacular architecture course with Andy in 2003 at Shap, and it was lovely to see many of the features he had taught them about at the time.

Andy was thanked for his wonderful talk by Liz Amos, and she assured him that he would be invited back again to speak at Shap. The answers to the quiz were given and a prize awarded for the highest score; finally a raffle was drawn.

Programmes for 2020 were available and the next monthly meeting will be on Monday 27th January when Jean Scott-Smith will speak about ‘Our Viking Heritage’.