Tom McMullen recently presented a vivid and intriguing account of the Battle of Little Bighorn, which is often referred to as Custer’s Last Stand. He explained how recent interest in this event has greatly increased, due to renewed archaeological and forensic activities on the battlefield.

Throughout his talk, Tom described this momentous event, which took place on 25th-26th June 1876 in some detail, using illustrations, maps and videos of re-enactments. The antagonists were twelve companies (600 men) of the U.S. 7th Cavalry, led by Lt. Col. Custer and a much larger force of native Americans, who were inspired by the visions of Chief Sitting Bull.

Looking at this account from a modern military viewpoint, Tom lead us through successive skirmishes, leading to the eventual annihilation of Custer’s cavalry. He explained how several factors such as, misinformation regarding the position of the native encampments, the strength of the native American warriors and their readiness for battle, greatly hindered the efforts of Custer. Also, throughout the conflict, poor intelligence, weak communications and poor relationships between Custer and his subordinate officers lead to the untimely defeat of the U.S. forces. Tom furnished further details of how the cavalry had inferior Springfield single-shot rifles, compared to those of the tribal warriors who had superior Winchester repeater-rifles which had been purchased from American traders. Tom concluded this most interesting talk with details of recent re- appraisals by American historians, mainly regarding the ill- considered actions of Custer.

The point of contact via email, for anyone interested in joining Cockermouth Probus is

Mike Rooney


Our season of classes ended on 23rd May with a class party, following our AGM. The new season will start up again on Thursday 6th September and new members will be very welcome to join us.

However, please do not think the dancers will be idle over the summer period!

There is a team of 12 rehearsing every week now for their appearance at the outdoor White Rose Festival in Leeds in July. In June, there will be a charity dance in Bassenthwaite in aid of NSPCC and many dancers are going to the Lakes Ball in Windermere. The annual Loweswater Dance is arranged to take place in July in the village hall near the Kirkstile, with all the beautiful scenery as the backdrop. Another group is preparing to join the International Summer School of Scottish Dancing at St. Andrews in Scotland in July and August.

On 30th June, there is an opportunity for everyone to find out more about our activities, when we shall be holding a sample class at Christ Church Rooms in South Street, Cockermouth, from 2.00pm until 3.00pm as part of Cockermouth Live! This was successful last year, and we extend a warm invitation to you all to come along. We hope to see folks of all ages there and children from age 6 or 7 will be particularly welcome, as we are planning to extend our Monday youth section classes from September.

For the youth section

For more information visit or contact the secretary on 01900 817045 Marion Monckton


Children from Year 2 to Year 6 recently visited the 14-18 NOW-WW1 Centenary Art Commission at Carlisle Castle. Some children were interviewed by English Heritage about their experience on the day which will feature on The English Heritage website.

Want to know more about St. Joseph’s School? Please visit: • 01900 829859 ISSUE 426 | 23 JUNE 2018 | 51 14-18 NOW at Carlisle Castle

Cockermouth Yvonne Lambert, Press secretary

Cockermouth W.I. Ladies Day fundraiser has enabled us to donate £1113 to Hospice at Home West Cumbria. The event was held at Cockermouth Rugby Club and was attended by over 80 ladies, who were entertained by Helen Askew from the Tipsy Filly. Helen prepared a selection of cocktails for tasting in her unique and entertaining style and these were served with a selection of delicious canapés. Several of our local and lovely retailers provided a shopping

experience in the ‘marketplace’ and even more of our local businesses supplied us with some fabulous raffle prizes. Our sincere thanks to all who supported what resulted in a great afternoon!

If you are interested in becoming a member, we meet on the first Monday of every month at the Methodist Hall on Lorton Road at 7.15pm for 7.30pm. You would be most welcome.

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