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Ambleside memories

Here are memories of Ambleside and the local area. You can start now: Add your own Memory of Ambleside or a Ambleside photo.

Is That Lotus?

Waterhead 1926, Ambleside
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Well I wasn't around in 1926 and it was certainly much busier by the 70's when I worked on the launches. You'd never see an empty prom then, at any time of year. One thing unchanged seems to be that launch. I'm sure it is Lotus, she was a beauty very graceful, fast and a joy to drive. Not much dry space for passengers when it rained though. On the other hand glorious in sunny weather! Where is she now though? I bet she's still going strong.

Memories of Cumbria

My Family

My paternal family owned the nursery/market garden in Ambleside prior to and after the war, their house is now the Glava Restaurant. My maternal family owned High Wray Bank on the other side of the Lake. I was bought up with so many tales, especially of my late father John Milligan and the antics that he and his brother Tony would get up to. One tale being how the two of them would row across the lake to Wray Bay and meet up with my mother and her sister (whom they did end up marrying) and if a row boat was not available they would swim it! My own memories are of long hot summer days playing on the lake using a tractor tyre as a huge rubber ring, and then long snow covered winters sledging down the hills. The joy of the mobile shop that came once a week and I would be bought a bar of chocolate as long as I had been good all week, and the... Read more


During the Second World War my family lived in Liverpool. My parents decided it was much too dangerous for me so I was evacuated to a small school being run in an old house called Kelbarrow overlooking the lake. My best friend there was a girl called Eva. I loved every minute there. We went walks on the fell behind the house, and around the village. Because it was wartime there were no tourists coming to the village and it was quiet and peaceful.
We went to church every Sunday, and always sat in the pews underneath the pulpit,which we didn't like as the vicar sprayed us with spittle when he got excited during the sermon!! I remember one Palm Sunday sitting on the church wall with other village children waving palms
Whenever I am in the Lake District I am tempted to go back and visit Grasmere but am always dissapointed by the crowds and traffic. However a visit to the gingerbread shop to buy a good stock... Read more

The Low Wood Hotel

The Lowood Hotel 1912, Windermere
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We were only here briefly. Just a few early spring and summer months. My parents were managing this hotel for the season. One fine day, when there was a pause in the arrivals & departures of coach buses filled with tourists, my father took me across the road. There on the banks of Lake Windermere was a rowing boat. He taught me how to row and I as very grateful to him that wonderful morning. On my birthday in June, my parents and staff were very busy catering to thirsty tourists (it was always teatime!) So, I decided to find the source of a small river which ran down the hillside behind the hotel. I followed the water until it became more narrow. Suddenly, still higher up, I found a carpet of wild bluebells. It was such a gift to find. I lingered and then went upwards and beyond until the stream disappeared. There was a wide, high hill before... Read more

Wedding in Windermere

The Lowood Hotel 1912, Windermere
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In 1964/5 I drove from London with 4 young ladies to attend the wedding of our friend Pamela Blackwell, braving a full on snow storm in an old wreck whose windscreen wipers did not work except with the use of a delicately placed piece of string. We only managed half the distance on the first day and 'slept' in the car overnight in a truck lay-by where all the drivers lit fires under their engine block to warm up the diesel, and despite the inclemency of the weather we were made to feel very welcome and enjoyed our brief visit, belated thanks Windermerians!

When I Was Young

The Baddeley Clock c1955, Windermere
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When I was young I played in the clock gardens for many hours along with my elder sister Hilary, we made dens and played house. Mum knew where we were as we lived at Sunnybank House in Princes Road. Later on I worked in Kendal as a hairdresser, so after work I would get off the bus and see Baddeley clock and know I was nearly home. I now live in Barnsley, but on my visits back I'll drive past Baddeley clock and I feel all is well.

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