Artistic additions to Ullswater Way unveiled

Date: Friday 9th June 2017
With the Wainwright plaque are (left to right) Tom Driscoll and Gillian Beggs, of Patterdale post office; Derek Cockell, chairman of the Wainwright Society; Joe Faulkner, of NAV4 Adventure; and Cecilia Fry,  of Friends of the Ullswater Way.
With the Wainwright plaque are (left to right) Tom Driscoll and Gillian Beggs, of Patterdale post office; Derek Cockell, chairman of the Wainwright Society; Joe Faulkner, of NAV4 Adventure; and Cecilia Fry, of Friends of the Ullswater Way.

TWO art installations, both designed by Tirril sculptor Jimmy Reynolds, were inaugurated at a special event last Thursday.

Onlookers admire the Wainwright Sitting Stone beneath Arthur’s Pike.
Onlookers admire the Wainwright Sitting Stone beneath Arthur’s Pike.

The pieces were officially unveiled by Derek Cockell, secretary of the Wainwright Society, and the Friends of the Ullswater Way’s patron, Lord Richard Inglewood, and its chairman, Miles MacInnes, as well as members of the FOUW and the five parishes surrounding the lake.

The afternoon’s events kicked off outside Patterdale post office, where a plaque has been dedicated to Alfred Wainwright. Derek Cockell explained how Wainwright wrote in 1959 that: “I have a soft spot for the post office, this shop being the first to offer to sell copies of my first guidebook to the Fells: an order for six was repeated within a week, a cause of much inward rejoicing.”

By an extraordinary coincidence, Swedish fell runner Niklas Holmstrom was passing by at the time of the ceremony, and was one of the first to take a “selfie” in front of the plaque.

He set off on Sunday from Keswick Moot Hall to attempt to scale all 214 Wainwrights in 10 days, inspired by Stephen Birkenshaw’s amazing six-day, 13-hour record. He is supported by Stuart Smith, from Patterdale mountain rescue team.

From Patterdale post office, the celebration group moved to the Wainwright Sitting Stone, taking the Ullswater Steamers’ Lady of the Lake, from Glenridding to Howtown, then up the Ullswater Way to an idyllic spot (GR 4619 2148), beloved by Wainwright, beneath Arthurs Pike.

Jimmy Reynolds’ stunning slate sculpture looks out over Ullswater. Two seats are carved into the slate to allow passing walkers to take-in the spectacular views of what Wainwright described as “that loveliest of lakes, curving gracefully into the far distance”.

These insallations are the fourth and fifth in a series supported by the Friends of the Ullswater Way on the Ullswater Way Heritage Trail. The first, the Roman Seat on Barton Fell, opened in June, 2016, the second, the Dorothy Gate at Aira Force, in April, 2017, and the third, the Thomas Clarkson plaque, at Eusmere, Pooley Bridge, on 21st May.

Full details on the work of the Friends of the Ullswater Way can be found on their website www.ullswaterway.co.uk.

The FOUW was founded on 30th March, 2016, and involves all five parishes around Ullswater. It has raised almost £20,000 during the last year to finance art and heritage installations on the Ullswater Way Heritage Trail.