I became an outdoor enthusiast from an early age. I had never read Wainwright’s famous guidebooks, nor experienced the Lake District until well into adulthood. This enigmatic man opened up a world to me in a way that I had never before known. Through his intricate pen and ink drawings, and poetic writing, he brought the hills to life. My fascination led me to dig deeper into his books and their history. The last few years have been dedicated to learning more about Alfred Wainwright and his literary genius, which has influenced and inspired generations of walkers throughout the world.
In 2017, I started collecting Wainwright books and was surprised to discover so many physical variations of the same titles. As a new collector this was confusing, and I wanted to make sense of it all. I decided to take on the almost impossible task of hunting down his complete publishing history. Four years later my collection is still growing!
My research has opened many doors, and I have become friends with many associates of Wainwright. Through these new relationships, I acquired a large selection of memorabilia. In addition, I became the custodian of a significant amount of Wainwright book printing material. This is not only a part of Wainwright printing history, but also Cumbrian printing history.
I have written articles for The Times, Yorkshire Post and Lakeland Walker. I am also a columnist for Cumbria magazine, and my blogs feature regularly on Julia Bradbury’s ‘The Outdoor Guide’ website. Some of my work features in Terry Abraham’s film, ‘Life of a Mountain: Helvellyn’ – the finale to his award-winning series.
Through Wainwright’s writing, I discovered the natural beauty of the Lake District, from its breathtaking fell top views, to the lush green valleys. If I can introduce just one other person to Wainwright’s work and the places he loved, then I consider my work worthwhile.