Was this painter brave, or barmy?

Gazette Series: There's no obvious safety equipment in this photo There's no obvious safety equipment in this photo

ALTHOUGH our weekly articles are called ‘Within Living Memory,’ we couldn’t resist featuring this photograph which has just been loaned to us by Christine Williams who grew up on Sunnyside, Kendal.

It dates from around the time of the First World War, so there is no-one alive now who can remember the occasion when the flagpole on the town hall was painted.

This is a genuine old photograph, part of a postcard, and it seems incredible – if not impossible – that a painter would prop his ladder against the flagpole, and climb up it with his paint pot. There doesn’t appear to be a man at the bottom to hold the ladder steady, nor any safety measures! What bravery - or foolhardiness.

Look up at the town hall today, and the flagpole is still in the same place on the roof, although the iron balustrading has now gone.

We have no idea who the intrepid painter was, or if this was a regular maintenance job or just a one-off. Can any readers come up with more information?

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