The 20-mile Ullswater Way was inaugurated in 2016 and for the past year, the Society has been working with the Friends of the Ullswater Way on the placing of two ‘installations’ to mark Alfred Wainwright’s love of the area. In June this year, a small group of Society members joined with representatives of the Friends to unveil the two pieces of artwork.
The first was at Patterdale where a slate plaque affixed to the wall of the post office reads: ‘Patterdale Post Office was the first shop to sell copies of Wainwright’s guidebooks.’ The post office was the first place he sold his books and in 1955 he took copies of his newly-published book, The Eastern Fells to the shop and asked the then owner, Mr Dawson, if he would be willing to sell the book. The plaque and the second piece, the Sitting Stone were carved by local artist, Jimmy Reynolds.
Following the ceremony, there was a walk back to Glenridding to hop on the Ullswater boat for the trip to Howtown. From here, there was a walk along the bridleway at the foot of Bonscale Pike and Arthur’s Pike to the spot where Wainwright drew a sketch of Ullswater, depicted in The Far Eastern Fells: Arthur’s Pike p. 3. A much larger group had gathered here with a celebratory glass of wine and nibbles brought up by a local farmer on his quad bike and trailer!
The Sitting Stone is a large piece of slate rock with space for two or three people to sit and admire the view of Ullswater. The quotation on the stone, ‘that loveliest of lakes, Ullswater, curving gracefully into the distance …’ comes from A Coast to Coast Walk p. 44.
These installations are just two of a number that are being placed at points along the Ullswater Way Heritage Trail to commemorate the history and people that have a connection with Ullswater. More information can be found on the website of the Friends: www.ullswaterway.co.uk
Caption: Representatives from the Friends of the Ullswater Way and the Society meet to unveil the ‘Sitting Stone’.
Photograph: © The Friends of the Ullswater Way