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book jacket

A Bit of Grit on Haystacks

edited by Dave Hewitt, illustrated by Craig Smillie

We are sorry that this title is now out of print

It is over a hundred years since the birth of Alfred Wainwright, creator of A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. This series of books by the shy, Blackburn-born civil servant holds a unique place in the affections of the British public. Hill writer Dave Hewitt, author of Walking the Watershed and editor of The Angry Corrie, decided that a special tribute was called for and invited eight other writers to contribute chapters on Wainwright and his work to A Bit of Grit on Haystacks.

Two of the contributors, A Harry Griffin and Bill Mitchell, knew Wainwright well and each recalls their friendship with him. Mitchell remembers his first, awed glimpse of The Eastern Fells and his attempts to interview the author. Harry Griffin’s chapter, one of his last pieces of writing, includes an account of Wainwright in action on the hills.

Elsewhere in A Bit of Grit on Haystacks Val Hamilton tells how The Western Fells rescued a summer job in Wasdale from dreariness. Ronald Turnbull tackles some of Wainwright’s more disagreeable ways up the fells and Graham Wilson contrasts his diverging attitudes to the Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast. Robin N Campbell considers Wainwright’s graphic artistry, David McVey looks at the range of his post-Pictorial Guide writing and, finally, Ann Bowker ushers him into the digital age.

Hewitt’s idea works beautifully. A Bit of Grit is well ordered, the same size as AW’s ‘magnificent seven’ and the eloquent styles of writing do more than justice to the memory of the northerner.

Tom Waghorn, Manchester Evening News

This book, with nice illustrations by Craig Smillie, is a fine tribute to the master fellwalker.

Jenny Dereham, Footsteps (The Wainwright Society newsletter)

170x120mm, xviii + 168 pp
978 1 902173 177