‘Modern-day monk' unveils five-year labour of love and companion to Wainwright's Guides
Colin Hindle might be best known as a local Ullswater business man and owner of the much-loved Granny Dowbekin’s Tea Rooms in Pooley Bridge. However, he has many strings to his bow as demonstrated by the launch of his first book on Sunday 17 January – and it’s no coincidence that this also happens to be Alfred Wainwright’s birthday.
For this is not just any book; akin to medieval monks and their illuminated tomes, this is a painstakingly researched, hand-written and illustrated guide to Lakeland’s Best Views. This, the first of four volumes, concentrates on ‘wow’ views around the Ullswater Valley. At 180 pages long, it has been a labour of love that has taken five years to complete.
The result is inspired by, and a companion to, Alfred Wainwright’s famous collection – a tactile, ‘pocket’ sized guide begging to be annotated and personalised by walkers and fell-lovers everywhere. But in this age of on-demand, next day delivery and instant gratification – why?
Colin commented: “In 2015 a great friend of mine (let's call him Dave B) decided to walk the 214 Wainwrights in one year to fund raise for a cancer charity in memory of his mother. On reaching many of the summits with him I felt some sense of deflation; there was no view, or a compromised view, or the view was better earlier or later on the walk.
Despite owning the Wainwright Pictorial Guides for a decade it wasn't until reading Hunter Davies' excellent biography of him that I realised every page was designed as a complete entity so the reader never had to turn over on a windy fell to find the information they needed. Additionally how he had rewritten the first 120 pages of Book One in order to justify the right hand margins; and how frustrated he was in trying to achieve perfection, eventually accepting that no matter what he did there would always be errors. His books are objects of beauty in themselves, and it was this framework that inspired me to make this guide to the best views in Lakeland as a supplement to his epic work.”
The world class views in this book have been found on lake shores, on roadsides, on footpaths, in woodland, on the fell tops and in intimate scenes where man and the elements have interacted for millennia. For Colin, the fells are a gift that keep giving; one walk can repay with memories that last a lifetime. And this book seeks to encourage readers to explore and savour the world class scenery in this corner of the Lake District.
The limited edition book is released on Sunday 17 January, costs £18 and signed copies are available to pre-order now at www.colinhindle.co.uk. The book will be available to buy from Sunday 17 January at Booths in Penrith.