Scratch & Co. and Wainwright

Guest post by Matthew Entwistle. As a native of Blackburn, I have upheld a longterm interest in the town’s heritage. In addition to our connections with the cotton trade, as a community we are also proud to be home to the birthplace of Alfred Wainwright. I was first introduced to Wainwright through my dad, a keen walker and owner of...

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Castle Crag

Guest post by Chris Jesty. During one of Chris Butterfield’s visits at my home this summer, he suggested going for a walk to Castle Crag. It had been about 14 years since my last visit there when I was revising The North Western Fells guidebook. I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how much had changed in the intervening...

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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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Into the Wainwright Cave

Interview by Tony Greenbank. Chris Butterfield quizzes me as if he, not I, was Cumbria’s interviewer, after activating his smartphone recorder in the Borrowdale Hotel lounge. “So you, Tony Greenbank, were an assistant in Kendal library in the 1950s and actually stamped Alfred Wainwright’s library books?” he says, pointing his coffee cup at me. “Incredible! And you once fined him...

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Ron Hill and Wainwright

Guest post by David Pitt. In 2015 a friend in Bampton who was a volunteer driver for our village car scheme rang me and said that whilst taking a long-time valley resident, Ron Hill, to Carlisle hospital he was told that Ron had known Alfred Wainwright many years earlier and had been on walks with him. Fascinated I eventually persuaded...

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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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TV Memories

Guest post by Richard Else. When I was researching Wainwright Revealed, one question kept recurring and was fundamental to the years we spent together. I kept asking myself, did he enjoy making the films? It’s a simple question but one that for a long time I found impossible to answer. Normally I’d say let the facts speak for themselves, but...

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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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Wainwright’s First Guidebook

Post by Chris Butterfield. It was 8:15am on a cold winter’s morning, and Alfred Wainwright was in his study at his Kendal home, staring through the window and admiring the rolling hills before him. He was preparing to meet Sandy Hewitson, who ran a small jobbing printer in Kendal. Wainwright remained seated. Minutes went by that felt like hours. What...

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