Ken and Lynda Dinneen are Lapidary Artists and Rock Hounds

Ken is a Lapidary, Lynda has taught Jewellery Design, Silversmithing and Lapidary Art, as well leading many mining and Rock Hounding tours in and around the western United States.

J.B.Banks & Son Limited - Traditional Hardware Shop and FREE Heritage Museum of Working Life

Market Place, Cockermouth CA13 9NH The


ironmonger J.B.Banks & Son Limited


Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 5.00pm

Missed but never forgotten

Cockermouth is a small town, full of friendly people who all know each other. Each family will know each other in some way, whether through marriage, school, work or friendship. In some way, everyone is linked to each other and that’s one of the things which makes Cockermouth so special.

Which means that when a prominent person passes, everyone will somehow know them and come together in their grief and memories.

As both a family and a business, we have been overwhelmed with so much love after Vanessa died. The cards, the memories and people coming in to pay their respects have been overwhelming. At her funeral, there were hundreds of people there and we’ve received even more messages about her, from as far as Texas and Australia!

The shop will be continuing as usual. Ken and Carole are both working hard, maybe even harder than before. I will also be taking over the jobs that Mum did and trust me, there’s a lot! She worked as if she had a dynamo in her back pocket and there’s very little that she didn’t know! My Dad will also be working alongside us, he’s the man who’s always smiling, unless you ask him for something and he doesn’t know where it is!

It was important for Mum to shop locally. She wanted to support all the local businesses and get to know their owners. She was very proud that every Christmas, she’d get all her presents from shops in Cockermouth and to her, ‘Amazon’ was a dirty word!

There were a lot of local people at her funeral and three weeks after her death, we are still getting people coming in to ask about her. Thank you to everyone who’s paid their respects to Mum. We’ll miss her, but she won’t be forgotten.

Sarah King J.B Banks


Ken and Lynda work from their studio on the east flank of the Central Oregon Cascade Mountains in Sisters, Oregon.

Ah well, we may be winding down a bit as the weather turns but for those who scoff at the clouds and drizzle, a 2-hour trip to Nose's Point, south of Seaham, may be just your ticket!

If the fancy strikes you, this is an area that still has plenty of plant fossils to offer the intrepid hunter. You will likely want goggles and for sure a chisel pick as most fossils here are found in rock that wants splitting.

© UK Fossils © UK Fossils

Palm Bark Fossils

I think I should have to plan on several days in the area to enjoy all the fun.

Seaham Formation

Shale splits with some small effort and usually flakes away from itself quite handily but even so, goggles are a good thing to have for safety. The shale may show no outward sign of fossils, as the sea may have washed it smooth but splitting a block open in thinnish layers may yield excellent surprises.

“'On Thursday se(ven)'night a woman was brought to the Lunatic Hospital near Newcastle who has lived upwards of three years among the rocks on the sea-shore near Seaham. From whence, or in what manner she first came there is unknown, but she speaks in the Scottish dialect and talks of Loch Stewart and AberGordon in a rambling © UK Fossils

Plant Fossils Splitting Shale

Another point about this hunting ground, there is a quite good (free) car park and good access to the foreshore, although a bit steep and slippery at wet times. Along the beach is where most of the fossils will be found and that almost immediately upon reaching the beach. Some of the ancient plant patterns impressed in the stone are lovely, as though an ancient painter decorated them, just for you. Anyway, this area is well-known for wonderful and plenteous plant fossils but just an aside... you never really know what you may find at Seaham. The area has a great reputation for everything, from tree trunks to seed pods. Now, here I must be honest. Were I there, I would have the greatest difficulty deciding to hunt fossils or study the fascinating history of Seaham Harbour.

manner. She is about thirty-five years of age, inoffensive and cheerful and during her residence among the rocks was fantastically dressed in the rags which chance or the wrecks threw in her way; she always kept a good fire of wood or coal, which the sea threw up, and it is supposed lived upon shellfish & c. What is remarkable, a beard has grown upon the lower part of her chin, nearly an inch long, and bushy like the whiskers of a man.'

The parish of Dalton-le-Dale contained just 211 inhabitants in 1821. 35 of these lived in the 'township' of Dawdon, where the future Seaham Harbour would be located.” (From Durham Records Online)

See what I mean? Hard choices! Goodness, away with the fairies again... well, until next time, Happy Hounding!

Lynda Dinneen ISSUE 430 | 18 OCTOBER 2018 | 16

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