Queens Arms Music Festival

July 3, 2011 at 21:28 | Posted in Barrow, Biggar, Uncategorized, Walney | Leave a comment


Crowds packed the courtyard of the 300-year-old Queens Arms at Biggar, on Walney, yesterday for the first Queens Arms Music Festival. From noon to midnight (and I suspect a good while afterwards in the back room) a procession of performers of folk, blues and country-rock played half-hour sets on the Old Pallet Stage. Glastonbury it wasn’t, which might be no bad thing (we had warm sunshine, at least until the sun went down when it became surprisingly chilly, and no mud, no crush, no prima donnas and better beer!)

A grand day out all round. More pictures of the event here.

Noctilucent Clouds

July 3, 2011 at 18:31 | Posted in Barrow, Walney | 5 Comments


It was a long walk home last night (but what a walk!) from the Queens Arms Music Festival at Biggar. I took this picture from the Walney Bridge at a few minutes past 1 am, with a near spring tide an hour from the full and a panorama of Lakeland fells from Scafell on the left to Wetherlam on the right silhouetted against the sky above the streetlights that run from centre to right. I wanted to show how, in Barrow at this time of year, it never gets completely dark.

But apparently those shiny clouds that seem to form a halo round Scafell are noctilucent clouds, a phenomenon that people go out to look for because they are quite rare. They are the reflections of a sun just below the northern horizon from ice crystals high in the atmosphere; in fact they are the highest clouds observable in the earth’s atmosphere.

I guess I just got lucky.

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