An Artful Way: Brigflatts to Fox’s Pulpit

View towards fells from Foxes Pulpit, Firbank Fell

Cherrie and Mike Trelogan chose to walk from Brigflatts Quaker Meeting house near Sedbergh to Fox’s Pulpit, Fribank Fell. The area is steeped in Quaker history, with Firbank Fell being the spot that Quaker founder George Fox addressed a crowd of people in 1652, beginning the Quaker Movement.

Cherrie Trelogan:

“My parents used to attend Meetings at Brigflatts and we scattered their ashes there last year. Walking played a key part in the life of George Fox and Quakerism is an important and fascinating part of Cumbria’s culture. As we walked, we reflected on the writing of Basil Bunting, (whose grave is at Brigflatts) his memories and thoughts on transience of all things.”

Question 1: Creativity – What does creativity/culture mean to you?

Culture and creativity are the means by which we can celebrate and preserve local identity and cultural diversity. These subjects have been key to my working life. I was Deputy Director and Head of Education for Lakeland Arts, where I worked for 19 years before moving to focus on cultural policy work, cultural grants and community development with Cumbria County Council. I wrote the Arts Engagement Plan. Since retiring I have continued involvement with the Westmorland Arts Trust but also had time to pursue my own creative activities, which enable me to record observations and express my feelings. My studio was my sanctuary when I was caring for my two elderly and infirm parents.  Mike is involved with various charities and lists walking, history, sport, listening to music, gardening and following me to various artistic events and places as some of his hobbies. Culture and creativity help us to see and understand the world from different perspectives and to connect and communicate with others.

Question 2: Connectivity – Covid-19 has forced us all to reimagine ways to connect. What have you missed – and what new possibilities have opened up?

We have both missed seeing our children, who live abroad and have not yet met our first grandchild who was born in Sweden, in January.  Thank goodness for Zoom and Facetime etc. which has enabled us to connect and communicate on a regular basis. It’s not the same as face-to-face contact but better than nothing. When I was at university in America in the early 1980s, my parents only had occasional poor land line calls and the odd postcard.

Connectivity has been less organised and more spontaneous. We have had a lot of impromptu conversations over the garden wall with people we don’t normally see very often. Also complete strangers have been much more sociable when passing on our daily walks. We have certainly reflected on the need to travel so much, even though we do love doing it. I have done a number of online courses which have enabled me to connect with people from around the world, from the comfort of my own home.

Question 3: Place – How can we, collectively, and artfully, better care for our environment?

To be more aware, visually and in other ways of our local and global environment. To connect at a local scale, to communicate and engage with issues and projects that support the environment. To use cultural and creative projects to support education, employment, health and wellbeing of all age groups. Have local daily walks helped us stay healthy and become closer to nature, our just resulted in us eroding pathways even more? Hopefully, the former.

Brigflatts, photo by Cherie & Mike Trelogan

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