That’s the spirit …

Date: Friday 22nd December 2017

Sir, It is good to see that Penrith’s old vigorous spirit of enterprise and thoroughness has returned at last, after a long low ebb since we lost our urban district council in 1974.

Our various festivals such as the Winter Droving and Penrith on a Plate add new dimensions to local life, and bring in people to see and share in them.

Our Christmas lights are peculiar to ourselves, and imaginatively effective. If this is due to BID, it should continue.

We’ve avoided the civil war and now collapse of the BID in Hexham, where half the town’s traders saw the other half as “the enemy”, and that town’s decline continues.

The latest feather in Penrith’s cap is the newly-opened Eden Valley Artists’ Network gallery and studio in the long-empty former antiques shop in Corney Square, run and stocked by the artists themselves. It is a good place to call at and to have one’s eyes opened to further possibilities, or (if an artist) to new contacts and directions. It is open daily, free.

The national newspapers talk of the loss of independent grocers, butchers, fishmongers, new and second-hand bookshops, and of cinemas, theatres, specialist shops and tradesmen other than multiples’ staff.

Here in Penrith we have them all. Count your blessings, and use them. Yours etc,