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Like a cantakerous old Uncle, I’ll remember Lanternhouse in Cumbria as a somewhat distant relative – but whose influence over my professional growing up was always keenly felt: hovering over my shoulder, whispering exhortations, yelling out criticisms and the ocassionally deranged epiphet which caused the rest of us in the extended community arts family to look at each other in that modern, knowing way. Uncle John was clearly not on form we might mutter; he’s seen better days someone else would offer.

What we shouldn’t forget that without Uncle John, we would not be stood where we are now. Sometimes the shoulders of the giants we stand on start to tremble– and its at that point we’re obliged to stand up straight and take the load off them rather than castigate them for not being who they have been, and for what they’re not doing any longer.

Farewell Lanternhouse and everyone who was fortunate to benefit from your lights. They’ll continue to shine into the darkness of this recession long after the politicians who put you there have faded into miserable obscurity.

If you have a memory of Lanternhouse – or indeed any of the arts companies that are now fading away in the cultural freeze of this recession, please feel free to send them in and we’ll post them up here.

From Paul Kleiman:

Lanternhouse magical moment: a beautiful midsummer’s evening concert, with the band starting in the streets of the town, a tower of instruments and bells, and at the climax, a hot-air balloon flying right over the top of the tower. (the balloon was pure coincidence!!)

For an ongoing list of companies MIA click here.