There were three stories for the cartoon in this week’s Westmorland Gazette. One of them was the lead - that’s always an attraction - although it was a subject I had tackled before and that’s usually a put-off. But this time it was a subject close to my heart, which I have railed against so many times, the Gazette banned me from tackling it for a while … holiday homes.
Or more precisely, the need to build new homes for locals. The two are the same. Despite what holiday home owners will tell you, the blight of second homes in the Lake District is resulting in closed schools, reduced facilities and fewer young people able to afford homes in the communities in which they grew up.
The Lake District National Park Authority has identified potential sites for 900 new homes in the area. Understandably, a lot of locals are opposed to all this building - the more so because so many houses remain empty for so much of the year.
Anyway, I had four goes at the subject and sent them off to the editor. Esteemed editor came back and pointed out that they weren’t particularly funny, would I try again?
I fired off a 5th. Then a 6th. And I’d actually got a 7th ready but by then I was seriously pushing the deadline and it was never sent. Fortunately, one of the cartoons had already been deemed suitable. Time to move onto the final artwork.
Which you can see on my website or in the newspaper from Thursday. Meanwhile, I leave you with the preliminary sketches …