The route wends its way north from Settle before heading back south

The route wends its way north from Settle before heading back south

A new supporters’ club has been formed to promote a long-distance route first walked by Lakeland author Alfred Wainwright 74 years ago.

The Pennine Journey Supporters’ Club will take over the development of the 398km (247-mile) circular route that starts and ends in Settle, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales national park.

The goal is to have the Pennine Journey route recognised on Ordnance Survey maps, and the supporters’ club is using cash from sales of a walking guide to waymark the paths on the trail, which heads north to Hadrian’s Wall before returning south along the Pennines.

The club has now taken over the responsibility of managing the Pennine Journey route from the Wainwright Society and has been recognised by highway authorities as the ‘responsible organisation’ for the trail.

At the club’s inaugural meeting, David Pitt who edited the guidebook was appointed chairman; his wife Heather, who also worked on the book, and Ron Scholes, another collaborator, were appointed secretary and president respectively.

Annual membership fees were set at £2.47, to match the number of miles covered by the route. As a registered charity, members can Gift Aid their subscriptions to boost the club’s income.

Proceeds from guidebook sales have reached more than £3,000

Proceeds from guidebook sales have reached more than £3,000

Publicity officer John Burland said a development plan was also adopted, but the club said it did not want to organise walks or other along the route, which might have an impact on other walking organisations in the areas, with which the supporters’ club wished to build working relationships.

He said: “The development plan has attracted considerable support from parishes along the route and this support will be fostered to provide local input and create real local links.

“These could come from other walking organisations or local groups.

“Just as Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk has boosted the local economy in the areas through which it passes, it is hoped that as more walkers are attracted to the Pennine Journey route that villages and towns along the 247 miles will also benefit financially through walkers using bed and breakfast establishments and local shops during their stays.”

A Pennine Journey was published in 1986 after languishing in Wainwright’s drawer for 48 years. It is a travelogue of his two-week walking trip from north Yorkshire to Hadrian’s Wall and back again and gives an insight into his sometimes troubled psyche as the storm clouds of the Second World War gathered.

More details are on the Pennine Journey website.

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