A great weekend in Coniston Institute highlighting much of the art, craft and local produce from the village and surrounding area. Overall, the weekend made £4,000 and raised over £400 for the Conistion Institute redevelopment fund. The Grizedale Arts handmade ceramic Christmas decorations sold very well this year, though we got a slapped wrist for the hand grenade. Weirdly, no one complained about the Marcus Coates animal turd decorations! The best sellers were the things that looked most homemade and it seemed there was a preference for the handwritten sticker as opposed to the properly printed and designed label. Bringing so much local production together highlighted just how much is missing from the shops in this area. It's crazy to see shops selling honey from China when there is some amazingly tasty honey produced locally which flew off the shelves at the Fair.
For the past year the volunteer group (The Boon Day Group as we have been named) has worked hard to get Coniston Institute back into shape. Having raised more than £10,000 (with grants from Coniston 14 and the Rawdon Smith Trust), work began today stripping out the old kitchen. It was a vintage English Rose kitchen but fits of territorial behaviour resulted in padlocks being bolted to the fronts of many of the lovely aluminium cupboards, not realising that they were a British design classic! The company that made them, Constant Speed Airscrews originally made nose cones for Spitfires and parts for Lancaster bombers throughout WW2, but after the war, being left with a large workforce and a stockpile of aircraft grade aluminium, the company went on to design the English Rose Kitchen. This was quite possibly the first ‘modular’ kitchen range in Europe. We did managed to sell the units on ebay but only for about 5% of what a reconditioned one would cost. Never mind!
On Sat. 14th November, Guestroom launched their new Lawson Park Library with a Coniston Institute film screening with Oxen Park Cinema Club and a cruise on the solar powered Ruskin Launch on Coniston Water.
Sailors pictured above (left to right) Rob Little (UCLAN), Glenn Boulter (Musician / artist & GA intern), Adam Sutherland (GA director), Maria Benjamin (Guestroom), Dorian Moore (GA technologist and tall person) & musician Jack Maynard.
Thanks to everyone who attended and took part.