The Ruskin Museum, Coniston, Cumbria

The Ruskin Museum

Telling the Story of Coniston Since 1901

Tel: 01539 441164

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News and Events

‘Along the lane, across the dale…’ David William Morris exhibition

Saturday, September 9th to Sunday, December 10th 2017

The Ruskin Museum in Coniston is hosting an exhibition of paintings by the Ravenstonedale artist David William Morris. The show’s title‘Along the lane, across the dale…’ gives a clue to the nature of David’s paintings which gather inspiration from landscape subjects within a 5 mile radius of the south-east Cumbrian village of Ravenstonedale.

David is very pleased to have been asked to exhibit at the Ruskin Museum by the curator Vicky Slowe because they were once colleagues at Kendal’s Abbot Hall Art Gallery under Mary Burkett. Transferring paintings from his gallery in south-east Cumbria to Coniston in the middle of the Lake District will be an exciting experiment, says David-partly because his work will be reaching a fresh audience, but also because he will be able to see and assess his work in new surroundings.

Although David sometimes likes to study the outward appearance of the landscape, he also likes to use a subject to improvise --consequently, a lot of his work appears colourful and contemporary. “Not quite abstract, more poetic”-says David. “The subjects of the paintings are the result of little encounters with things I see near Ravenstonedale, whether it’s a lane, a big sweep of a hill, a group of cows or the wonderful growths of wild flowers such as meadowsweet or rosebay willow herb.”

David has lived and painted in the village of Ravenstonedale for nearly 30 years along with his wife, the artist Caroline A Metcalfe-Gibson and they together run The Scar Gallery there, showing both their work. Besides living in Ravenstonedale, he also has a long association with Kendal, not only at Abbot Hall, but also having taught Oil Painting at the Brewery for several years and was a carpet designer at Goodacre Carpets (now known as The Factory). He was first prize-winner at the Upfront Cumbria Open in 2008.

‘Along the lane, across the dale…’ runs from Saturday, September 9th to Sunday, December 10th 2017.

Dedication of Engraved Glass Screen in memory of Donald Campbell

Where? St Andrew’s Church

When? Father’s Day, 18 June 2017, at 12 noon

This memorial, marking the 50th anniversary of Donald Campbell’s death on 4 January 1967, has been commissioned – and paid for – by the members of the Speed Record Club.

How many of you reading this were present at the original memorial service, in St Andrew’s, a few days after the crash? Please add your memories to The Ruskin Museum FaceBook page.

Bill Smith Fires Up Bluebird's Orpheus Engine

Bill Smith and the Bluebird restoration team fired up its replacement Orpheus engines inside Bluebird K7's hull for the first time on Saturday 5th November operating the engine from the controls on the instrument panel.

This momentus event was filmed by the BBC. If you missed the broadcast or would like to see it again please follow the links from

This is a significant milestone in Bluebird's restoration and absolutely not to be missed!

New Donald Campbell Learning Resource

A new downloadable learning resource for schools; "Donald Campbell: A Coniston Hero" aimed at KS1 & KS2, but also useful for KS3 & KS4 has been added to our Who Was Donald Campbell? page.

A Lego Bluebird K7!

A fabulous Lego Bluebird K7 made by Ben, aged 11, over the weekend following a family visit to The Ruskin Museum on 7th April 2016 has also been added to our Who Was Donald Campbell? page.

Cultural Guides Added to Education Page

Four brand new Cumbrian cultural guides have just been added to our Education Page:

Blubird's Sponsons Arrive at the Ruskin Museum

Bill Smith and the Bluebird Project Team have delivered and installed Bluebird K7's two replicated sponsons, two original conserved and reconfigured spars and some original conserved and reconfigured fairings and sat them on the 'footprint' in The Bluebird Wing at The Ruskin Museum.

The completed Bluebird K7 Sponson Display will be on view at the Ruskin Museum until further notice.

Photographs reporduced by kind permission of Anthony Stuchbury © Copyright 2015.

Bill Smith - Bluebird "Resurrection" Radio Interview"

Bill Smith has just taken part in a radio programme discussing the [non-religious] theme of Resurrection, focusing on The Bluebird Project.

You can listen to the broadcast in the following ways:

  • The programme will be broadcast on BBC World Service from Saturday 30th May till Tuesday 2nd June , depending on where in the world you are. Go to for times and how to listen
  • Main UK Radio broadcast on DAB, cable, Freeview etc. is on Tuesday at 09:05am
  • In the US Sirius XM satellite radio carries the full BBC WS schedule, channel 118
  • Please feel free to link to us from your own web site. (We'd really appreciate it!) You can also access the show or point others to it via ITunes
  • The BBC website will be active and populated by Saturday 30th May 2015, if not before, If the link doesn't work for whatever reason, please just put in Google "The Forum BBC World Service Resurrections" and it will come up
  • The programme will also be available online from Tuesday 2nd June and will stay permanently on the BBC archive
  • Podcast (available for four weeks after the radio broadcast): or through iTunes
  • Join in the conversation and follow on twitter @BBCTheForum twitter-bird-blue-on-white @BBCTheForum

Thank You For Your Positive Feedback

The Ruskin Museum has been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for attractions that consistently achieve outstanding visitor feedback with an average of 4.5 out of 5. So thank you everyone who has left us positive feedback, it is very much appreciated.

The Ruskin Museum is also proud to have recieved the Britain's Finest Quality Stamp for top visitor attractions.