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ALL THE LATEST NEWS, VIEWS AND STORIES FROM AROUND YOUR LOCAL AREA:OCTOBER/NOVEMBER COCKERMOUTH HERITAGE GROUP NEWS


As we leave summer behind, this article draws on the Cockermouth and


District Advertiser (March and April 1947). In those difficult Post-war years, when rationing was still the everyday reality, the newspaper reports on the hardest winter since 1895.


The mountains south of Cockermouth were almost clear of snow and after the massive thaw, the town had been lucky to avoid yet another bout of flooding, such as in 1938 and other years. The 165-acre Derwent catchment area, which had probably the most intense rainfall of all the rivers in the UK, meant that flooding was always going to be a threat. Back in 1895, the winter frost had been so severe, that all building work, which had been booming, had had to be halted for six weeks. This was in the days when wages were fourpence (old money) an hour, and there was no unemployment pay. Times were very tough for many people and soup kitchens were opened in the town. On Sundays ‘potato-pots’ were given to those who were hardest hit, and the children had penny dinners in the big room at the Appletree Hotel (the present Wordsworth Hotel).


Another remarkable product of that severe winter was the building of an ice-house at the bottom of Harris Park, above Rubby Banks Mill. This was the


biscuits. There was also a two pence admission charge to the area, where the house was built, donated to poor relief. The building must have been a remarkable sight in the park.


Just space to remind people about the Armistice Weekend coming up in November.


The Kirkgate Centre will host the film 'War Horse' on Friday 9th at 6.00pm and a show 'No Petticoats Here' at 7.30pm on Saturday 10th.


Ice House on Cocker, 1895


idea of Mr. Prior (a draper in the town). Mr. Wren and Mr. Lindsay were builders and they, with a gang of masons and labourers, set to work with picks, shovels and sledges, cutting and carrying blocks of ice, each four to six feet in length and five to eight inches thick. After several days, the house was built on the banks of the frozen Cocker and was thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide. It was illuminated with candles and attracted sightseers from all around. Miss Todd of Castlegate brought her singing class, charging sixpence to visitors, who also received coffee and


We’ll be staging our final WWI display, which will draw on elements of all our research into that turbulent period of Cockermouth’s history. This will run on Saturday and Sunday (10th and 11th), from 10.00am until 4.00pm, with free showings of the short film ‘Footprints of Our Fathers’ (11.00am and 1.00pm Saturday, 12.30pm and 3.30pm Sunday) in the Kirkgate Theatre.


Please get in touch with any WWI stories relating to your ancestors.


Gloria Edwards


As always, please get in touch: Telephone: 01900 823966 cockermouthheritagegroup@outlook.com www.cockermouthheritagegroup.org.uk


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WWW.THECOCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK ISSUE 430 | 18 OCTOBER 2018 | 5


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