A bit of a grey old day today. Pat, Molly (the dog) and myself travelled to Castle Carrock in the search of camp sites and performance venues. Took a small detour, which turned into a long detour, to the RSPB reserve office at Geltsdale. Met Steve Westerberg, who talked to us about whinchats and coal mining. We discovered that the land around here was once owned by the Nicholson Family (the artists, Ben and Winifred). Possible story strands were: the coal mining and quarrying; the Tortie stone ( a cup and ring marked stone that a farmer apparently once tried to take away to sell), the castle and the old king’s hunting forest.
The room was too small for a performance and camping difficult in the nature reserve; so we travelled into Castle Carrock, where we moved the very small distance from the pub to the parish hall to the school, to the site of the old castle (now just a lump in the ground with a moat). Everyone we met was really helpful and in no time we had a lovely performance venue and the option of two fantastic campsites. The school playing field and a farmer’s field, amongst a ring of ancient oak trees.
We had a lovely walk in the evening light…singing to the delight of it all.