As a very young boy, in the 1950's, I remember sitting in my grandparents' house in a Yorkshire mining village. On the wall was a calendar with the most amazingly beautiful scene, such a contrast to the huge "muck stack" of waste coal such a short distance from their garden! My grandma told me the scene was Tarn Howes in the Lake District. My own love affair with the English Lake District had begun!
After much pestering my parents agreed to the first of what became regular visits to an Ambleside guest house. Fellow guests retired to the sitting room after the evening meal to exchange news of their walks. I'm sure I recollect conversations about a "new" guide book. Whatever, Wainwright's Guides to the Lakeland Fells became essential accompaniments to our OS maps.
Many years later I became frustrated with singing folk songs about times long passed. I wanted to write a song about the Lakes and writing about Alfred Wainwright came to mind. I discovered just how interesting and complex a character he was. One song led to another! All of them are inspired by Wainwright himself (drawing upon his own autobiographical works and Hunter Davies's excellent biography), together with his walking guides and other publications, and my own love of the LakeDistrict and enjoyment of his Coast to Coast footpath. I have also set the Welsh poet WH Davies' poem Leisure to music, as it still seems to perfectly evoke the need to take time out to appreciate all nature's glory.
I really hope that our music brings you enjoyment and helps you celebrate the beauty of the Lake District and Wainwright's wonderful endeavour.
Mike Rimmington, Sheffield , spring 2015
"Surely there is no other place in this whole wonderful world quite like Lakeland.....no other so exquisitely lovely, no other so charming, no other that calls so insistently across a gulf of distance."
A Wainwright, Introduction to "A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. Book One, The Eastern Fells".