I was running late and when I finally got parked up in Church Street, I thought it was a bit odd that the lights were off but there was a faint glow spilling from the Community centre windows. Slowly the addled brain remembered that this was no ordinary boring 3 person committee – no offence Pam and Bob 😉
Carlisle History from Ashley Kendall
Sticking my snout through the door I was greeted by the sight of MORE THAN 3 people. It was a revolution! No sorry – that’s a revelation. There are more than the 3 of us in Stanwix. What had drawn all these unfamiliar Stanwixians out of the wood work? It was an appearance by Ashley Kendall – one time owner of Watts Coffee Shop – who’s turned his long time knowledge of Carlisle to a kind of Ancient (ish) Carlisle History Magic Lantern Show. Paul Nedved the man with the SCA chair had persuaded him to come up and do his little slide show of what the Carlisle Lanes were like before the modern version was concreted into place.
It was fascinating to see… even for an offcomer like me. I arrived in 1980 and within a blink the Old Lanes were gone, so I never really felt any attachment to them. Ashley though, having worked in and around the area all his life, sees it a bit differently. Few of the photos would win photography prizes, but the ingredient most competition winners lack is the involvement of the presenter in the history that ufolded.
So it was a facinating little insight into the character of the shambolic mediaeval centre of Carlisle. The little crowd that turned out to hear Ashley’s tales of Carlisle history were suitably entertained. A few of the audience obviously had happy memories of youthful escapades in and out of the various alleyways, pubs, clubs, shops and livery stables that used to be there. It wasn’t a youthful audience 😉
Stanwix Community Centre Making its Own Bit of Quiet Carlisle History
The nice thing about tonight’s gathering is that it is just one of many activities now beginning to kick off in the refurbished community centre. Stanwix Community Centre is finally beginning to come back to life. There are now 4 adult education classes at various times of day, forming part of Trinity School’s adult education provision in the north of Carlisle. A wide range of other activities including: tap dancing, a kid’s birthday mini-beast party, council surgery meetings, Friends of Rickerby Park and Stanwix School are all starting get involved.
After a long fight to save Stanwix Community Centre from irrelevance, we’ve finally got a genuinely useful community hub that can hold its head up with any of the other grander Carlisle Community Centres. So, whether you want to hold Carlisle history society meetings, have an out of the way room for your band to practise in or just a big room for a party, get booked– it’s easy and now that we have solved a few problems with the website – you can book online!
And for a bit more Carlisle history see what English Heritage can show you.