The Gazette Prints its Final Book

Post by Chris Butterfield. It’s been nearly 36 years since the Westmorland Gazette printed Wainwright’s: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells series. In 1986 the Gazette‘s parent company, Westminster Press, centralised the newspaper printing to another group office (Telegraph & Argus) in Bradford. Titus Wilson & Son Ltd signed a four-year (1988 -1991) printing contract with the Gazette and...

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Wainwright Pilgrimage

Post by Chris Butterfield. Alfred Wainwright passed away on January 20, 1991. In the sprint of that year, Betty Wainwright honoured the request he had made in his 1966 autobiographical work Fellwanderer – The story Behind the Guidebooks (Westmorland Gazette) by scattering his ashes on the shore of Innominate Tarn, on Haystacks. She was accompanied by Percy Duff, who had...

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An Emotional Meeting

Post by Chris Butterfield. My main reason for creating the Alfred Wainwright Books & Memorabilia group on Facebook four years ago was to engage with, and learn from, other Wainwright enthusiasts. Many of the group’s now 8,900 members have been collecting far longer than I have. Long-time member and friend, Shane Wilkinson from Huddersfield owns a vast Wainwright collection. He...

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The Drawing That Made History

Post by Chris Butterfield. The natural barrier between Thirlmere and Ullswater contains one of the finest mountains in the whole of Lakeland, Helvellyn. Its allure seems to cast a spell on every would-be Lakeland traveller. The young Alfred Wainwright was no exception, and he too fell victim to the mountain’s call… In the summer of 1930, the 23-year-old Wainwright took...

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In the Footsteps of Wainwright

Post by Chris Butterfield. THWACK! Wainwright was suddenly thrown forward, almost dropping his freshly lit tobacco pipe as the vehicle came to an abrupt stop. “Oops” blurted Eric nervously, while checking to see if Wainwright was okay. “I think the tracks are broken so we will have to navigate the rest of this bog by foot.” It’s been 30 years...

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One of a Kind Guidebook

Post by Chris Butterfield. I initially started collecting the Wainwright guidebooks about four years ago and it has been a fascinating voyage of discovery. I have been intrigued by all the different variations and editions, and the changes that have taken place throughout the guidebook’ printing history. My collection has now reached over two thousand books, and I thought I...

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Wainwright Box Set Collections

Post by Chris Butterfield. When I initially started collecting the Pictorial Guides, I was surprised to discover just how many physical variations were out there. This didn’t include all the different editions. For decades, the guides were only ever available individually, and it wasn’t until 1986 that the Westmorland Gazette‘s Andrew Nichol came up with the idea of producing a...

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A Pack for Your Troubles…

Post by Chris Butterfield. “You live in alien surroundings, love. Don’t let your roots grow too deep. There are better places than Brighouse.” Margaret Ainley was, by now, used to Alfred Wainwright’s straight to the point responses, and dry sense of humour. She corresponded with Wainwright for almost twenty years, between 1971 and 1990, but never met him once. Though...

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The Pennine Way Pint

Post by Chris Butterfield. The Pennine Way was conceived by journalist Tom Stephenson back in 1935. But it was another three decades before the walk came to fruition. It was Britain’s first long-distance footpath and changed the British countryside forever. Many Pennine Way guidebooks had been published up to this point, but Tom wrote the first official guidebook, published shortly...

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Wainwright’s First Publication

Post by Chris Butterfield. “Five cappuccinos coming right up sir.” The waitress had barely stepped away before a large brown folder was slowly being pushed across the table towards me. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife. I looked up, seeking permission; a slight nod in my direction was enough. I gently lifted the flap and slid out the...

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