Exhibition “From Calgarth to Windermere”

Exhibition “From Calgarth to Windermere”

First Floor, Windermere Library, Ellerthwaite, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 2AJ

20 June –  July 2015 

Opening times: Monday 0930-1700, Tuesday 0930-1700, Wednesday Closed, Thursday 0930-1700, Friday 0930-1700, Saturday 1000-1300, Sunday Closed.

 

The post war struggle for housing by an entire local community on Calgarth Estate, and in the surrounding area, culminated in a local and national gathering at The Kendal Conference of 1947 and is featured in a remarkable exhibition in Windermere. The outcomes of the conference can be seen and felt in Windermere today.

 

A Heritage Lottery Fund supported exhibition called “From Calgarth to Windermere” is set in the aftermath of World War Two and tells the remarkable story of what happened to a stranded wartime community when their Lake District houses were earmarked for “gradual destruction”.

 

It is mid 1945 and on the shores of Windermere the enormous Short Sunderland “Flying Boat” factory has closed and its giant hangars now stand proud but redundant.

 

They are to be removed and recycled elsewhere but what was to become of its former workforce, many of who still lived on Calgarth Estate near Troutbeck Bridge? The war was over and the estate was now scheduled for removal.

 

The debate became so heated that The Kendal Conference of 1947 was called and included local and national government departments to sort out the arguments.

 

It is a startling story with enormous contemporary relevance in the present debate about housing policy. The shortage of housing for people on Calgarth Estate and throughout the surrounding area of Windermere was urgent but resources in another, different age of austerity were in short supply.

 

Eventually, and after a long war of words, the British tendency to compromise won through. Farmland on the outskirts of Windermere was offered to build new houses in the early 1950’s and extra funding came from the government but not after a long and divisive debate.

 

Trevor Avery, organizer and Director of Another Space, says:

 

“It is am amazing story that gets more fascinating the more you look into it. Given the tragedy of war it is obvious to see why historically the aftermath would be neglected. Whole communities were disrupted during the Second World War at home in the as well as in the overseas armed services”.

 

“The story of the Sunderland “Flying Boat” factory and the long-gone Calgarth Estate can be traced all the way through to present day Droomer Estate and Windermere. It shows how persistent history is and how the local can indeed be international”.

 

“The story of the estates at Calgarth and then Droomer is unique”.

 

“Local children from Lakes School have contributed enormously to the project and brought their own unique energy to a far from run of the mill archive story”.

 

This remarkable and thought provoking exhibition gathers together stories, documents and pictures from Calgarth Estate, Windermere village and Droomer Estate, including the very first architects plans for Droomer Estate”.

 

The exhibition tells a thought-provoking story of local resilience and togetherness that took on a national profile in the aftermath of World War Two.

 

The exhibition is on the first floor of Windermere Library at the home of Another Space/Lake District Holocaust Project and tells the story of what happened to the ‘lost’ village of Calgarth Estate and how it was replaced by a new housing scheme called Droomer Estate in Windermere.

 

The exhibition also supported by Cumbria Community Foundation.

 

Special opening on Saturday 20 June 2015 between 10am and 1pm, all welcome.

 

Exhibition “From Calgarth to Windermere”

20 June –  July 2015

Another Space/LDHP

First Floor, Windermere Library, Ellerthwaite, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 2AJ

 

Opening times: Monday 0930-1700, Tuesday 0930-1700, Wednesday Closed, Thursday 0930-1700, Friday 0930-1700, Saturday 1000-1300, Sunday Closed.

 

For details contact Trevor Avery M: 07876433490 or email hello@anotherspace.org.uk

(2) Comments

  1. Found this very interesting as my Grandad worked on the flying boats, and the whole family lived on the Calgarth Estate.. my mum, now 85, has many happy memories. It would be wonderful to see more photos of the community.

    Reply
    • Thanks Sharon! There’s a chance that some of the history around this could form part of a much bigger exhibition at Windermere Library. Have you visited the exhibition that is there now?

      Reply

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