Inauguration of two Wainwright Installations on the Ullswater Way

by Tim Clarke

On 1st June two art installations, both designed by Tirril sculptor Jimmy Reynolds, were inaugurated by Derek Cockell, Secretary of the Wainwright Society, Friends of the Ullswater Way’s Patron, Lord Richard Inglewood, and Chairman, Miles MacInnes as well as members of the FOUW and the five parishes surrounding the lake.

The afternoon’s events kicked off outside Patterdale Post Office where a special plaque has been dedicated to AW. Derek Cockell explained how AW wrote in 1959 that : ‘I have a soft spot for the Post Office, this shop being the first to offer to sell copies of my first Guidebook to the Fells : an order for 6 was repeated within a week, a cause of much inward rejoicing.’


170601 PO Plaque Inauguration_Cecilia,Derek,Gillian+Tom,Jimmy
Left to right: Cecilia Fry (FOUW), Derek Cockell (Secretary of the Wainwright Society), Gillian Beggs and Tom Driscoll (Patterdale Post Office), Jimmy Reynolds (Sculptor)

170601 PO Plaque Inauguration_Group

By an extraordinary coincidence – serendipity – Swedish fell runner Niklas Holmstrōm was passing by at the time of the ceremony, and was one of the first to take a Selfie in front of the plaque. He set off on Sunday 4th June from the Moot Hall, Keswick to attempt to do all 214 Wainwrights in 10 days, inspired by Stephen Birkenshaw’s amazing 6 day 13 hour record. He is supported by Stuart Smith from Patterdale Mountain Rescue.

Niklas Holmstrōm on the left

From Patterdale Post Office, the celebration group moved to the Wainwright Sitting Stone, taking the Ullswater Steamer’s Lady of the Lake, from Glenridding to Howtown, then up the Ullswater Way to an idyllic spot (GR 4619 2148), beloved by AW, beneath Arthurs Pike. Jimmy Reynolds’ stunning slate sculpture  looks out over Ullswater. Two seats are carved into the slate to allow passing walkers to take-in the spectacular views of what AW described as  ‘that loveliest of lakes, curving gracefully into the far distance.’

170601 Sitting Stone Inauguration Group 3

170601 Sitting Stone Inauguration Stone + VIPs
Left to right: Miles MacInnes (Chair of FOUW) Cecilia Fry (FOUW), Derek Cockell (Secretary of the Wainwright Society), seated Gay Parkin (local resident), Lord Richard Inglewood (Patron of FOUW).

These inaugurations are the fourth and fifth in a series of art installations supported by the Friends of the Ullswater Way on the Ullswater Way Heritage Trail (the first, the Roman Seat on Barton Fell opened in June 2016, the second, the Dorothy Gate at Aira Force in April 2017,  and the third the Thomas Clarkson plaque at Eusmere, Pooley Bridge, on 21st May).

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Full details on the work of The Friends of the Ullswater Way can be found on their website (  The FOUW was founded on 30th March 2016 , and involves all 5 parishes around Ullswater. It has raised almost £ 20,000 during the last year to finance art and heritage installations on the Ullswater Way Heritage Trail. Particular thanks go to those who financed these installations:the Lake District Communities Fund, the Wainwright Society, the Ullswater Preservation Society, and Joe Faulkners’ NAV4Adventure.

The next inauguration will be the unveiling of Poetry Stones in Hallinhag wood, Martindale on Saturday 24th June at 16.00.