Monday, 30 August 2010


I ended my year on the 7th April 2010 by handing the Office over to James Ronald Carr DL. After the Ceremony there was a lunch in the Council Chambers at Carlisle, hosted by the Chairman of the Cumbria County Council, Cllr Roger Bingham. Before lunch there were speeches and I thanked the Chairman for the luncheon we were about to eat. I thanked the two Under Sheriffs, Hugh FitzGerald and Anthony Fitch for their help during the year and also thanked Kasey Grainger, (Hugh FitzGerald's secretary). I thanked my Chaplain, The Revd James Richards, for everything he had done for me and previous High Sheriffs, Graham Lamont and Claire Hensman. I also thanked Adam Naylor for nominating me five years beforehand.

I also thanked my husband who has been the most tremendous support to me and enjoyed the Year enormously.

I also thanked Her Hon Judge Barbara Forrester and Mrs Mary McArdle for presiding at the Ceremony and His Hon Judge Paul Batty for all his kindness. I was sorry that His Hon Judge Hughes and District Judge Park and Judge Simon Smith were not there. And also Allison Robinson and various members of staff from the Court who were unable to be there.

I only had visits from two High Court Judges during the year, the Hon Mr Justice Irwin and Sir David Clarke, who presided at the Judge's Service.

I was very sorry that arrangements I had made for the Magistrates to be part of the Cathedral Service fell through in 2009, but His Hon Judge Batty has very kindly said that the Bench Chairmen will be part of the service for 2010 onwards.

the Judge's Service was very special and my thanks go to the Dean of Carlisle - The Very Reverend Mark Boyling and his staff for all their help, and Jeremy Suter for the wonderful music, and Philip Hill for his special help with music for the service.

I was very fortunate to start my year with a dinner at Lancaster University arranged by Professor Paul Wellings and his wife Annette, which lead to a special visit by Princess Alexander to Muncaster Castle to attend a gathering of people from local Charities. As with all Royal Visits, Christine Child and Sandra Peacock arranged everything to perfection.

We also had three visits from The Prince of Wales, 1 from The Princess Royal and another from The Duke of Gloucester.

I knew very little about the work of the Mayors - the 'Chain Gang' as they call themselves and was very impressed with all that they do. And it has been especially nice to work with people nearer home such as Cllr Roger Bingham, the Chairman of Cumbria County Council, John Bateson - The Major of Kendal and Jonathan Brook - The Chief Executive of South Lakeland District Council. It has been extremely interesting to learn more about my own area.

My main theme throughout the year has been to get communities together and to this end we visited HM Prison at Haverigg, Sellafield, Energus at Lillyhall, James Cropper's Mill at Burneside, The Pencil Factory at Lillyhall, BAE Systems and lastly Innovia Films Limited at Workington. These visits were not only interesting but very well received by people who visited as in most cases they had no prior knowledge of these very special Industries in Cumbria.

I would like to express my special thanks to the Cunbria Constabulary and the Fire Service at Cockermouth. Both Chief Constable Craig Mackey and Dominic Harrison the Chief Fire Officer gave me tremendous support.

I would also like to thank Bishop James, now the Bishop of Carlisle, for letting me use Rydal Hall for our two summer parties which were a great success.

Finally, I began to feel over my Year that the Office of High Sheriff would be more effective if there was greater continuity. To this end I invited James Carr to shadow me during the last few weeks of my Office. He was delighted to do so and we both believe it would be a very good thing if this was to continue.

To this end, one of the things that James is concentrating on most particularly is integrating the work of the National Crimebeat Fund with The Community Foundation. The idea to ensure continuity is to meet on an annual basis with a group consisting of past, present and future High Sheriffs and the Police and Community Safety Officer, with The Community Foundation taking on the Secretariat Role.

I would like to thank the Lord Lieutenant and Mrs Cropper for always being there for advice or help whenever it was needed.

I could go on as I met so many wonderful helpful people but they are too numerous to mention.

Lastly, I would like to mention my wonderful PA, Katy Glass, and thank her most sincerely for all her hard work and enthusiasm. I couldn't have managed without her or enjoyed everything as much as I have. We have shared a lot of laughter.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Saturday 3rd April 2010


A stimulating day with Col Tom McMullen and his Officers at the Easter Camp. It was good that James Carr, High Sheriff Elect also came along - we talked to Instructors, looked at Training, and shooting and took part and also talked and watched the Recruits training. Lunch in the Canteen. A really enjoyable day.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Wednesday 31st March 2010

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales attended by his Deputy Private Secretary, Mr Benet Northcote, and accompanied by The Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mr James Cropper, arrived at Wateredge Inn where the Lord Lieutenant asked leave to present Mrs Susan Cropper, myself as High Sheriff of Cumbria, the Chairman of Cumbria Council, Councillor Roger Bingham, the Chairman South Lakeland District Council, Cllr Jonothan Brook and Mrs Fiona Brook,the Corporate Director Communities South Lakeland District Council, Mr Lawrence Conway, Owner Directors of Wateredge Inn, the Cowap family.

The Director's parents and younger members of the family were also presented as were staff at the Hotel.

The Royal party accompanied by Chief Executive, Cumbria Tourism, walked along the lakeside path to the Windermere ferries pier. Burneside Brass Band were playing at the pier head.

The Chief Executive, Cumbria Tourism, was then presenting a party of business people from the area, all connected with Tourism

The weather was not very good but it was a very warm hearted and enjoyable visit.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Tuesday 9th March 2010


A long postponed visit, originally cancelled due to the November floods when I was to have met Chief Superintendent Kennedy. However, today I went to Kendal Police Station where I met Chief Superintendent Sean Robinson and have a very interesting talk with him about many aspects of 'policing' in the Kendal area.

Half way through our conversation we realised we had met some years ago when he was working with the CID.

Chief Superintendent Robinson also showed me plans for the proposed alterations for the Police Station and invited me back for a guided tour sometime when I had more time.

It was also nice to meet Julie who I had spoken to many times during the floods.

Monday 29th March 2010


Following my visit on 9th March I went back for a 'guided tour' of the Statiion.

I was made very welcome by Chief Inspector Tudor Griffiths (who I had known from Windermere days) and shown round various parts of the Station in relation to the proposed alterations.

I met several members of staff and was delighted to learn more about the running of the Kendal Headquarters.

Evidently the building work will be done by the same people as Durranhill with which I was extremely impressed.

A most worthwhile morning.

Thursday 25th February 2010

please refer to blog of 10th November 2009


The Crimebeat Fund in Cumbria comes under the auspices of The Cumbria Community Foundation and when I have attended National Crimebeat meetings in London it was very apparent that they hoped all the counties in the country would join the Organisation. To this end and in the hope of encouraging continuity from year to year in Cumbria I arranged for Nigel Burgess, National Chairman of National Crimebeat, and Tony Harratt, National Co-ordinator of National Crimebeat, to meet with Deb Muscat, Acting Director of Cumbria Community Foundation in Kendal in November 2009.

As a result of this, we agreed to try and organise a meeting at Carleton Hall to this end.

Deb arranged this and asked Inspector Dave Willetts, Community Safety Inspector if he would attend. We also invited James Carr (High Sheriff Elect), Iona Frost-Pennington and Claire Hensman (High Sheriff 2007/8) to be present, as well as Nigel Burgess and Tony Harratt.

This proved to be a very successful meeting, resulting in the following:

It was agreed:

To continue to have annual meetings. With the CCF taking on the Secretariat role. To be done by November of each year.

CCF to meet with High Sheriff to discuss their priorities for support for their year in office. To be done by February each year.

Meetings to include past, present and future High Sheriffs.

Police to update High Sheriff's of projects they are supporting via CCF.

CCF to provide funding information to Police to pass on to Officers working in the community.

Cumbria Crimebeat Fund to be part of National Crimebeat.

High Sheriff to nominate groups they have supported for national awards. This could be discussed at the November/February meetings.

Deb Muscat to meet James Carr to discuss implementing the above for his term of office. Beginning in April 2010.

I am delighted that this has been achieved.

Friday 26th March 2010

6.30 for 7.00pm
At the White Heather Hotel, Kirkbride

As guests of the Mayor of Allerdale, Councillor Binky Armstrong and Mrs Mara Armstrong, we attended the Annual Civic Dinner with over 150 guests. We had a delicious dinner and interesting and entertaining speeches by Cllr George Scott about his Wildlife Centre, Cllr Armstrong about his year and Cllr Tim Heslop, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council about the business of the Council.

After the speeches there was dancing to an excellent disco.

We did not arrive home until 1am as Kirkbride is quite far from Windermere.