BB1928 : How Are Things In Glaramara?

Thursday, 15th August 2019

What was the first pop song that wormed its way into your brain?  In my case it was by Tommy Steele who, in 1957, Never Felt More Like Singing The Blues.  I could still sing it to you today if you were to insist.

Pet Clark I don’t really recall until Downtown in 1964 although I think I was vaguely aware of her as a child actor.

Fred Astaire was some old geezer that my mum and dad used to talk about, dancing with that Ginger woman.

What is the relevance of all this?  Well, perhaps not a great deal as things turned out.  

They all came together in the 1968 film, Finian’s Rainbow.  This included a song that I can only remember as How Are Things In Glaramara?  

Well, today we were going to find out. The Glaramara range, on the far side of the Lake District, contains four Wainwright tops that we needed.

Only we didn’t find out. Our numbers were progressively whittled away by unexpected meetings, unwelcome injuries and unavoidable child pick-up requests.

A change of plan was needed.  A short, Kendal based walk for the walking wounded and the kiddie collector.

Stan was put in charge.  He led us through Kendal, surprising me with paths of which I was previously unaware.  Up at the castle was a new notice board.

Click on the map to see the detail

We left town by the old tramway up to the Kettlewell quarry, then over to the far end of Helsfell Nab where Stan got excited about a barn he would like to convert.

Next we crossed the old Rifle Range to the Cunswick Scar cairn.  The Lakeland skyline showed the tops shrouded but no rainbow, Finian’s or otherwise to be seen.  We felt pleased that we had not travelled long distances to see not very much.

Here we changed direction to head south along the scars, noting Cunswick Hall and its Pillow Mounds en-route.  

By the time we reached the Mushroom, the cloud had cleared from the tops.  Things probably were looking better at Glaramara but we couldn’t really know.  It lay hidden behind Pavey Ark.  Anyway, it didn’t matter.  We had travelled light, lunch was on our minds and Kendal was calling.

We crossed the fields and dropped down into town, passing Postman Pat’s house.

It was agreed we should lunch at the Farmhouse Kitchen.  The table we were given was in an unattractively dark part of the café and the food took a long time to arrive.  However when it did, we each tucked into a glorious beef and bacon burger plus trimmings.  Well worth the wait.

Now we had to return to Stan’s house though we had enough time to have a brief look in the town graveyard for Trooper William Pearson  who featured in the Charge of the Light Brigade.  Unfortunately we didn’t find him.  Where is Tony when you need him?

Finally we arrived at Stan’s house in good time for him to fulfil his familial duties.  We certainly were not singing the blues.  But as for Glaramara, you will have to wait for another time before I can report properly on how things are.

Don, Thursday 15th August 2019

Don: The barn Stan looked at is the original Helsfell Hall.  There is an interesting on-line article about it by Matthew Pemmott.

John B:  Actually, Don, the song is "How are things in Glocca Morra", as the link shows, but I wouldn't want to spoil a good link!  

Not sure of my first memories of Tommy, Petula, and Fred, although my mother loved Fred and Ginger.

Don:  Glocca. Glara.  It's terrible how pronunciation standards are slipping.  It's something to do with Glottlestops.  Or is it Glorrastops?

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Comitibus:  natS, noD, yrreT, B ekiM


BB1928 : How Are Things In Glaramara?


Thursday 15th August


Kendal, Cunswick Scar, Scout Scar


Don, Mike B, Stan, Terry

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (OMN):


GPX track



BB1928 Map


Map: OS 1:25k

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