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"An E-mail from America"

In the latter part of last year I spent a few nights in The Lake District.  A couple of nights at the Wasdale Head Inn was pure magic in an environment that is often the envy of many.  I managed a long day walk, but 12 miles on the fells was experienced predominantly in fog, high winds and for the most part in rain.  Having said that I had a great day, meeting no-one over this distance and comforted by the knowledge that I'd be returning to the warmth of one of the UK's most iconic inns.  One anecdote from my time away is recounted here, it was another wonderful story of how Tubular Fells has brought me so much joy!
When I stay at places whether it be a Youth Hostel, bed and breakfast or an inn such as that at Wasdale Head, it's the meetings with others that I savour most.  Whether it's a walking related conversation discussed over a few pints of local ale or at breakfast or dinner, the human conversations are so enjoyable.

One such meeting was at the end of breakfast where I engaged with a chap who turned out to be an American from Massachusetts.  Jim Trish immediately had a great story to tell.  His wife was currently working on a business project in London and he had the good fortune to begin exploring the UK.  Having an affinity for hills and mountains back home in the United States, Jim stumbled upon the works of Alfred Wainwright after talking to a fellwalker on Scafell Pike and soon became hooked on the Lake District.  I guess as one who has visited North America and other great areas of high mountains, the Lake District fells seem small and inferior in comparison.  Having said that, I long for the pastoral beauty of Britain when away and the less lofty hills of the UK are within the grasp of the average walker.  The intimacy of the British landscape is one which is not found in grander territories.

Jim Trish with his family in Massachusetts, USASo it was with Jim.  Having walked in the USA, he was instantly besotted by the romanticism of the Lakeland landscape and although living in London for a brief time, has found it an aim to walk as much as he can on Wainwright's famous fells.  Although we only chatted briefly at the end of breakfast, I was really happy to hear of Jim's exploits and the experiences of a foreigner in one small part of these beautiful islands.  Of course, the conversation wandered and I managed to mention the fact that I had produced a topological map of the Lake District and that it was available at the Barn Door Shop across the car park of the hotel.  Unbeknown to me, Jim purchased the map before leaving the area so I guess my blatant marketing worked!  However, the story did not end there.  On return to London I was overjoyed when Jim wrote to me by e-mail.  It's therefore easier to let his words do the talking:

"I enjoyed meeting you at breakfast at the Wasdale Head Inn a few weeks ago.  I wanted to thank you for introducing me to your Tubular Fells map and thought you might like to see how I'm using it.  During our stay in London I decided to keep track of the tube stops where I have gotten on and off.  I picked up a poster at the London Transport Museum and mounted it on a cork board.  For the past two and half years I've enjoyed placing a thumb tack with every tube stop I've visited (see photo below).

In October (2012) I climbed Scafell Pike and was introduced to A. Wainwright and the Wainwrights 214 by a fellow fellwalker that day.  After meeting you I bought your Tubular Fells map at the shop next to the Wasdale Head Inn and fell in love with it.  I have mounted it on the other side of my cork board and have taken great pleasure in keeping track of my Wainwrights' quest.  I have returned to Lakeland a few times since meeting you and have now climbed 30.  Only 184 to go!  I have just got back from 5 days of fellwalking  and it was a very exciting time in rather challenging winter conditions.  But I managed to climb 13 fells.  I include a photo of me on top of Lingmell before we pressed on to Scafell Pike in near white out conditions."

Tubular Fells paired together with Harry Beck's iconic tube map
This story epitomises my map.  As a northerner who has spent 20 years of his life in London, the creation of Tubular Fells was the  geographical blend of the two places that have influenced me most.  Growing up with a dad who often spoke of Harry Beck and later going on to read for a geography degree, the production of Tubular Fells was 30 years in the making!  I really appreciate the time taken by Jim to contact me and tell his story, as to me it typifies my cartographic creations.  Many people have looked at Tubular Fells and been quite confused, until after a few seconds the meaning of the map gains momentum and the understanding appears in their eyes.   To hear that Jim has my map partnered with Harry Beck's London Underground design classic was a joy.  To me it's the greatest tale concerning Tubular Fells so far.

Jim Trish is now a fellwalker!It's good to hear Jim is still in London (after a recent holiday home to Massachusetts) and he's keen to take a couple more trips to the Lake District.  In the meantime I want to pass on my thanks to him for sharing his story and I am happy to announce his job title is now 'fell walker'.  I hope you've enjoyed this story and like Jim, I hope my maps inspire you to go further.

The Lake District WalkerJim Trish has walked the fells guided by John Scadding who is also a member of the Online Fellwalking Club.  To read more about John and The Lake District Walker, visit: http://thelakedistrictwalker.co.uk The Lake District Walker is accessible via Twitter @theldwalker and on Facebook via 'The Lake District Walker'

If you have a story about Tubular Fells or any of my map creations I'd love to hear.  Whether a story about how you found my maps or where you have it hanging in your home, it'd be great to hear any feedback about Tubular Fells or MunrOverground and how you plan to use them.  If it's a great story like Jim's, I'd love to publish it.

A stunning new interpretation of AW's exploration of Lakeland.
Eric Robson, Author & Broadcaster

>£10,000 - THANKS!

Since April 2011 'Tubular Fells' has now raised just over £10000! >£10000 raised for Fix the FellsThis is an astounding figure and thanks to everyone who has shown their support by buying the map.  This figure is enough to produce over 100 metres of stone pitched path.  Many thanks to everyone who's purchased the map so far from as far afield as Leeds, London, Canada, Massachusetts, New Zealand and Hawaii!
  • £10-one metre of revegetation alongside a path
  • £25-one tonne of stone moved to site
  • £50-one 25kg bag of special upland grass seed
  • £100-one metre of stone pitched path
  • £250-one stone lined path cross drain
  • £600-one hour of helicopter flying time to move stone