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Border Birthdays and other memories with John Myers#CNMyStory

John Myers came to see his photograph in Pages from History: Celebrating 200 Years of The Cumberland News, our current exhibition, and brought with him a very special guest.

eric2John and Eric the Monkey worked together from 1986-89 on Border Television, presenting the very popular Border Birthdays – which ran for many years – reading out birthday greetings for children across Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway, and the Scottish Borders.

John shared his memories of working with the puppet, revealing that he had found Eric whilst on holiday in Spain and brought him back to present the show with him.

In 1986 Eric was so popular in the region that 1000 replica Erics were made and sold in County Stores – most of the monkeys sold out – topping kid’s Christmas lists that year!

John was kind enough to donate one of the last remaining replicas to Tullie House to add to our collection. Eric is currently being accessioned, which means our Curatorial team are taking his photograph and some measurements and adding him to our database. You can come and see the Eric replica, which we’ll be putting on display in Pages from History in time for half term.

John and his wife Linda spent quite some time in the exhibition and shared more of their memories with our staff, and reporters from The Cumberland News.

As soon as we entered the exhibition Linda spotted he front cover of The Cumberland News from November 1983 – which was the first time The Cumberland News printed a colour photograph. The photograph featured Princess Diana on her visit to Carlisle.

Crowds Diana? 83/2678k 17a

Linda shared a precious memory

“I was there, I was right in the front row and she shook my hand”.

Linda was certainly not alone, thousands of people turned out to see the Princess in the City Centre. Linda had a look at this crowd shot but couldn’t see herself there. Perhaps you can see someone you recognise?

As we got further into the exhibition John spotted a picture of Grapes Lane, which was in the city centre before the streets were demolished to build The Lanes Shopping Centre.

CN212“We used to walk past the Lanes all the time, I remember watching when the demolition crew moved in and hundreds of rats came running out from everywhere”

 

The Lanes were some of the oldest buildings in the City Centre, some dating back to medieval. By the late 1970s they had fallen into a state of disrepair and the process began to clear the area to build The Lanes, which opened in 1986 – just as John and Eric were taking to screen for Border Birthdays. The development of The Lanes roused a few Carlisle citizens to protest and you can see a poster from The Lanes Presevation Society in Pages from History.

The exhibition also brought back sad memories for John. This image of Lockerbie following the terrorist attack which rocked the nation brought back a very specific memory for John.

“The night this happened (21 December 1988) was the same night as the Border Television Christmas Party. The news came through, and because all the journalists and cameramen were already there, they headed straight out.

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Border Television were the first on the scene and captured some truly memorable and shocking footage. News companies from across the world were getting in touch with Border to use their images”

 

A huge thank you to John and Linda (and of course Eric the Monkey) for coming to visit the exhibition and sharing their memories with us.

Pages from History: Celebrating 200 Years of The Cumberland News is open until Sunday 21st February. Why not visit and tell us Your Story.

Local Hero- Charlie Shepherd reminisces about winning Commonwealth super-featherweight title on home soil #CNMyStory

charlie shepherdLocal sporting legend Charlie Shepherd visited the Pages from History exhibition for the first time last week, and as well as being interviewed for the press, took time to talk to our staff about his photo in the exhibition.

‘It is very emotional to see this photo in the exhibition’ he told us. ‘My trainer Jackie, who is on the right passed away recently. He was a top guy- I think I was his Golden Boy really! I was his only World Champion.’

Ever the Carlisle man, Charlie told us that he counts competing at the Sands Centre to home crowds as one of the best moments of his career.

‘The tickets sold out within 22 minutes. It was an amazing experience to be on home turf. I’d competed in the Royal Albert Hall only the week before, but I was definitely more nervous be out in front of a Carlisle crowd.’

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Pages From History exhibition at Tullie House, Carlisle. Charles Shepherd against Trust Ndlovu at The Sands Centre. Charles is congratulated by Barry Hearn, left, and co – manager Tommy Gilmour

Charlie Shepherd knocked out his opponent Trust Ndlovu in the sixth round of the 1999 Commonwealth games super-featherweight boxing final. The Sands Centre stadium with a 12,000 seat capacity was sold out.

And what was it like to see himself in a museum exhibit?

‘It is nice to be recognised!’ he jokes. ‘And I can’t wait to show my kids when I bring them to see the exhibition.’

 

Charlie Shepherd’s commonwealth photographic print, together with other high quality photographic works in the exhibition is available for sale. Please enquire at the museum for more information.

Do you have stories to share? Send us your stories on Facebook or Twitter #CNMyStory #CN200 or post them in the exhibition.

Stories of Cumbrian Spirit #CNMyStory

Tullie House’s current exhibition Pages from History explores news stories from across Cumbria and the world from the last 200 years – but the biggest story has always been the strength and character of the Cumbrian people – this has been proved this last couple of weeks and countless times across the centuries. In this blog post we explore the stories of three iconic Cumbrians shared by visitors to Pages from History.

Have you ever been in the local paper? Most people have a story to share, and we’re asking people to contribute theirs, in celebration of the iconic local stories featured in The Cumberland News over the last 200 years.

Featured in this first blog entry are three uplifting, tenacious and pioneering stories sent to us from Nicki Butterworth, K. Harkness and Paula Jennings.

Nicki Butterworth

1

Food Fighters, 2014

Nicki is an inspirational woman, who on finding out that her cancer had spread, wrote a bucket list of experiences she did not want to miss out on. Nicki’s story was followed by The Cumberland News and the News and Star. Many local people donated to make the things on her list possible.

In this bizarre award winning photograph by Stuart Walker, we see Nicki and her husband in the aftermath of an enormous food fight which took place in her back garden.

In March 2015, the News and Star reported that Nicki was investigating a new treatment plan with good results. Nicki visited the exhibition to see her picture and was able to shed a little light on a frequently asked question!

2Nicki’s Story:

“A question about my picture that always gets asked is ‘what did it taste like when you licked your husband!’ Awful! Beans, mayo, custard, chocolate and angel delight are not a good mix! xx”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paula Jennings

Paula’s stories remind us of the important role of local newspapers. They are there to document, celebrate and commemorate some of the biggest events in our lives

4a“My Mum was in the paper when she got married in 1964. She was on the front page.”

 

 

 

 

3

Wedding dress, 1968, Tullie House

Almost forty years later The Cumberland News would remember Paula’s intrepid grandmother

 

4b“My grandmother Mary Little made the news when she died in 2002, as she was the first ever female bookmaker in the North West. In 1967 she took over my Grandad Willie Little’s business when he sadly passed away.”

 

 

 

 

K. Harkness

Our third story features a wonderful local character Ben Ion, whose portrait is featured in the Pages from History exhibition. Ben worked at the Thomas Muir Carlisle coal yard in Crown Street from 1902, and other than during WW1, never missed a day of work until he reached the age of 80 in 1968.

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Ben Ion, coal merchant, 1968

One of our visitors worked with Ben, or as we find out, Andy, and shares some of his memories with us.

6“He was always known as Andy. His eyesight was very poor and his wife always brought him to work, then fetched his bait at 10am and 3pm, and also his dinner at noon. He lived in St Nicholas St.

During bad weather he would tie an old sack round his waist and also over his shoulders to protect himself. He never missed a day’s work for as long as I knew him.”

Do you have stories to share? Send us your stories on Facebook or Twitter #CNMyStory #CN200 or post them in the exhibition.

Find out more about some of our wonderful local personalities in our current exhibition Pages from History: Celebrating 200 years of the Cumberland News open until 31 January 2016.

 

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