This website seeks to explore some of the connections between Mealsgate, its residents, past and present, and other people and places in Cumbria and farther afield, especially Nottingham and London. Some of these links are of historical importance and involve Mealsgate's most famous son, The Late George Moore, a Merchant and Philanthropist of the Nineteenth Century and self-professed Christian.
Some say that it's a big wide world out there. However, others claim that it's a small world! Take a little time to explore this site and then draw your own conclusions. First though, allow me to explain how my interest in this came about. Back in 1999 our older daughter was offered a job in Workington and my wife and I were tasked with finding a suitable place for her to live within an easy commute of that town. We booked into a small hotel just off the A66 near Bassenthwaite Lake and quickly found, through a lettings agency in Cockermouth, a barn conversion in Papcastle for rent on a six months assured tenancy. This was regarded as sufficient time for our daughter to decide if the job suited her and for her to find a property to buy, should she choose to settle in Cumbria. It was one day in the late Summer of 1999 when I took a telephone call at my home in Nottingham from my daughter's partner asking if I could drop everything and drive up to Mealsgate to view a property he'd found advertised for sale in Smeaton's Estate Agency in Cockermouth, a property he described as "a bit of a project"! Well, I did drop everything and some hours later was viewing "Sandarma" in Mealsgate, the home of Mr Beattie and his family. What a strange coincidence that Mr Beattie's daughter had been the part-time waitress who had served meals to my wife and self at that small hotel by Bassenthwaite Lake. Evidence of a small world, indeed! Anyway, it transpired that "Sandarma" was formerly The George Moore Memorial Hall which had been purchased from the Trustees by Mr and Mrs Beattie in the 1980s and subsequently converted by them for residential and, for a time, part business use as a Post Office. After some negotiations, our daughter and her partner acquired the property and moved in towards the end of 1999. Prompted by their acquisition of the old Memorial Hall and various historical documents attaching to the Deeds, I determined to find out more about the past use of the building and about George Moore in whose memory it had been built in 1879. I managed to track down an inexpensive copy of Samuel Smile's biography of George Moore in a second-hand bookshop on the sea-front in Morecambe and found it to be a fascinating read. This inspired me to write my own tongue in cheek short story of George Moore's life entitled 'George Moore - Merchant, Philanthropist & all round good egg' as an entry in a Cumbrian local history essay writing competition. Subsequently, over recent years, I have collected a large number of books, documents and artefacts relating in some way or another to George Moore and have made information about these available here and on other internet sites. As a consequence of this a number of interested parties have contacted me providing or asking for further information. One such person is Mr. Mick Jane who shares my fascination with George Moore and my philosophy of making historical information freely available. He has written a number of small booklets about George Moore, as well as other persons from, and places of historical interest in, the environs of Mealsgate . Another person who has provided a lot of helpful and interesting information is Mr. Stephen White, Librarian at Carlisle Library. I should like to acknowledge their help and to thank them and others who have contributed to my knowledge and thus enabled me to build this website. This is an on-going exercise and I should welcome any corrections, amendments or suggestions for additions to this site from anyone with relevant information.
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