Whilst researching information for my forthcoming book The Wainwrights in Colour I came across an interesting letter written by Wainwright on 8th November 1965*- yes, exactly fifty years ago today. In the letter he states a couple of interesting details which I thought I would share with you.
Firstly, he writes that on this very day he has “finished my book”. This surely refers to the last of the pages to Book Seven, truly a date of note. This of course doesn’t mean that the book was fully completed, no doubt revisions and final details had to be added, the Personal Notes in Conclusion were not dated until Christmas 1965. None the less, to Wainwright today was worthy to mention in correspondence. Today as I work my way to finishing the last couple of fells, I too am striving to complete my book. Like Wainwright, this to me has been a major undertaking which even though it has taken much longer than expected is something which I will be truly proud of, every single sketch completed and placed on each page with accompanying text details.
I have some work to do first before the book is ready to go to the printers and then I can announce an exact publication date. A proper update blog on the book will be posted here soon complete with a new short film which will be a feature of the DVD which will be part of the book. In the meantime it is special to think that on this day fifty years ago Wainwright probably had a sense of satisfaction that his 13 year task was nearing its conclusion.
Secondly, he mentions that on the previous day he when up to Great Gable, he describes it as having been a glorious day but with a cold east wind. As I write this blog I am thinking of my friends, both fell walking and military who at this very hour will be preparing to carry out an act of Remembrance at 11 o’clock. Some of those will, like we did last year be marking this time at the summit of Great Gable along with hundreds of others. I wonder if AW took time to think of those members of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club to who lost their lives in conflict and to whom the memorial is dedicated. I am sure it will have crossed his mind. Perhaps he even went there a day before the official ceremony so that he could avoid the crowds which no doubt were less in number than they are these days.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
*The Wainwright Letters, editied by Hunter Davies. Frances Lincoln