Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Memories of Copeland

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 21st December, 2016

img_1801Copeland is a UK parliamentary constituency that I still associate in my mind with Jack Cunningham, MP, rather than his successor, Jamie Reed, who has resigned, thereby triggering another by-election. Mr Reed says he feels he can serve people better working in the nuclear energy sector, where he has headed. Ah, yes: Sellafield. Not a choice I would have made, but it’s a free country. Meanwhile, the name Copeland has conjured up a couple of memories for me. The first was a day trip to Whitehaven with a scout troop from my school, Manchester Grammar; I think the scoutmaster must have had some link with the place, as I can’t think why else he would have organised a visit there, on a Sunday, no less. I remember wandering around the town, under a grey sky, finding little to appreciate other than a rather striking church. Much more attractive was Keswick, added to Copeland constituency under boundary changes. As described in my childhood memoir, Eccles Cakes, I went on a week’s camping trip to the Lake District in my first year at MGS, and discovered that me and camping did not mix. But I did enjoy visiting Keswick, and bought my one and only souvenir from there: a tiny, kitsch, fold-out book of photos, which I presented to my adoptive mother, who didn’t seem very impressed. Anyway, depending on when the by-election is called, I hope to renew my acquaintance with the place after half a century — and will encourage others from London to come along.

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