: The Westmorland Liberation Army
I had done my research before
we set out.
At long last I had
discovered the nature and significance of the flag that we had seen flying last
year at a house near High Borrans.
have seen it flying in several other places subsequently, including on two
properties in my own village.
At one of
them, the owner reckoned he didn’t know its relevance; he just liked it so flew
it. I now know otherwise. It is a symbol of resistance. I was looking forward to seeing it again and
telling the boys about its secret meaning.
First, though, we needed to
visit Sour Howes and Sallows. Our route
was virtually identical to that taken on BB2006 in those happy days shortly before
lockdown. Today was what we hoped would
be a happy day as our first out-of-lockdown event in which six of us could
venture forth together.
Predictions of sunshine, strong
winds and a windchill factor of -15 meant that we came prepared. In the event, the sun did shine and it was
cold in the wind but nowhere near that bad.
The Dubbs Road rises gently but
it is a sterner test when you cross the ladder stile and climb to the summit of
We spent some time making a
good job of identifying the distant hills and a bad job of identifying Blackpool
I had expected the wind to make
our circuit of Moor Head to the Sallows summit a challenge. It wasn’t.
It was a pleasant stroll. Dropping
down to the Kentmere valley via Sour Rigg ....
was almost summer-like.
I was getting positively
excited as we neared High Borrans and the house with the flag mast. Please don’t take this as me being disloyal
but imagine my disappointment to find that what was now flying was the Union Flag. With hindsight, it is not a surprise. Looking back at BB2006 I can see the then flag
was rather tattered. Its absence today
me of the opportunity to relate its tale to my companions but I still have the
opportunity to inflict it upon you, dear reader.
Despite what you might think, the
county of Westmorland did not cease to exist in 1974. Cumbria is simply an administrative territory.
To remind people of this fact,
Westmorland Association was formed and a flag designed.
It depicts an Apple Tree, representing
Appleby, the old County Town, and the two red bars representing the Barony of
was intended to be flown by those
proud to be Westmerians.
Is it perhaps also
flown by those prepared to take a more active role in rescuing Westmorland from
the clutches of Carlisle, a possibility that is currently under political consideration?
Might we be seeing the emergence of The
Westmorland Liberation Army? Sadly, not on today’s showing
(or lack thereof).
did live up to our expectation of being a happy out-of-lockdown occasion, the
first in which six of us could venture forth together. We even daringly finished with an outdoor
coffee in the Staveley’s flag-free Mill Yard.
Is it tempting fate to think that normality might be returning before too long?
Wednesday 7th April 2021
Mike B, Stan, Terry, Bryan, Don
track overlaid on BB2006; Map: OS