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Rolling into Carlisle ...

Richard Webster on the Miller's WayA CUMBRIAN artist hoisted a sack of Carrs Breadmaker flour onto his back and walked from Kendal to Carlisle to launch the city’s 2008 art festival.

Richard Webster, 48, took four days to cover the original journey made by Jonathan Dodgson Carr in 1831 - founder of the world-famous Carr’s flour and biscuit empire.

His purpose? To celebrate the trek - which some have claimed was not made on foot at all but by horse-drawn wagon - and to encourage us to see art in everyday things.

“In Margaret Forster’s history of the Carr family (Rich Desserts and Captain’s Thin) she goes into a lot of detail about why he wouldn’t have done it because it wasn’t practical,” said Richard.

“But people don’t always do practical things. He was 25, he liked the outdoors. Picking up a sack of flour and walking to Carlisle would have appealed.”

To further promote his love of all things cultural, Richard, an MA art student at the University of Cumbria, placed 12 tins of soup inside supermarkets along the route to represent The Last Supper.

“A lot of my work is about spirituality, a sense of having another facet of our personality. It might be intuition or a connection with a greater force,” he said.

Richard was greeted in Carlisle on May 30 outside Hooper’s department store - the site of JD Carr’s original city bakery - by Lorraine Bullough, the great great great granddaughter of the company founder.

roll decorated with a stalk of wheatAfterwards, he helped Hooper’s head chef Suzanne Watson to bake 150 bread rolls from Carrs Breadmaker flour to hand out to people in Carlisle City Centre.

Each roll was decorated with a stalk of wheat in memory of JD Carr’s campaign to repeal the Corn Laws which kept the price of flour too high for ordinary people to buy.

Caroline Dale, marketing manager of Carrs Breadmaker, said:

“JD Carr’s legacy to the city is enormous and he would surely have approved of the Carlisle Arts Festival as a way of encouraging public interest in all kinds of artistic activities.

“As for the art of lugging a sack of Carrs Breadmaker flour from Kendal to Carlisle I would simply say that Richard most definitely has a lust for life!

Some scenes from the day:
Richard Webster sharing bread in Carlisle

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