A new chapter unfolds as Ullswater's newest author helps launch Ullswater's newest bookshop
On Tuesday 22 February 2022, Ullswater’s newest author, Lee Schofield helped to launch Ullswater’s newest bookshop, Verey Books in the heart of Pooley Bridge.
Forty years in the yearning, the bookshop is the realisation of one man’s boyhood dream, owner, Al Verey. In his time, owner and self-confessed bibliophile, Al has trodden many paths – academic, literary guide, teacher and poet. Threaded through all his adventures – a love of words. It seems natural then, that in the end, all roads led back to books.
Al commented: “For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to work in my own bookshop, sharing my passion for poetry and literature with others. I want to be part of the antidote to online trawling and impersonal algorithms. I want to offer the opportunity for people to get back to browsing books in a physical space. Pooley Bridge is a such a thriving community – when I had the opportunity to create a bookshop here, I jumped at the chance! I’m absolutely thrilled that Lee kindly agreed to officially open our shop – I’m a huge fan of his writing and his work.”
RSPB Haweswater Site Manager, ecologist and author, Lee officially opened the shop to an invited audience with a reading from his first book Wild Fell: Fighting for Nature on a Lake District Hill Farm (published by Penguin Random House) followed by a Q&A with Al.
Wild Fell is Lee’s first book. In his day job he is leading efforts to breathe life back into two hill farms and their thirty square kilometres of sprawling upland habitat around Haweswater. The farms sit at the edge of the region's largest reservoir, beneath which lie the remains of a submerged village. The area's history has been a turbulent one for both its people and its wildlife, leaving its habitats in tatters.
However, this is not only a story of nature in recovery, it is also the story of Lee's personal connection to place, and the highs and lows of working for nature amid fierce opposition.
Wild Fell is a call to recognise that the solutions for a richer world lie at our feet; by focusing on flowers, we can rebuild landscapes fit for eagles again. A landscape of flowers is a landscape of hope.
And as for the bookshop itself? It’s a welcoming space inspired by the Lakeland surroundings; unpretentious, comfortable yet stimulating with a thoughtfully curated selection of books. Latest best sellers sit comfortably next to Lakes’ authors and poets – both classical and contemporary; local maps and guides share shelf space with philosophy, farming, photography and gardening while Potter, Ransome, Rowling and Dahl await discovery by curious little minds. With over 3000 titles to choose from, if they don’t have what you’re after, they can get it in store the next day. There’s also coffee and cake to keep customers going as they search for their next favourite read.
The team have already planned a number of regular events; from Saturday Storytime for six and unders, to Words on Wednesdays – monthly readings by authors and poets from both near and far.
Verey Books is located in Pooley Bridge on the shores of Ullswater. The book shop is open daily Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 5pm. Walking boots, bikes and book-curious children and dogs welcome. For further information, to book for forthcoming events or to buy gift vouchers or book subscriptions, visit www.vereybooks.co.uk