Unveiling the indicator: from left, deputy mayor Kathleen Atkinson, Annie Sellar, Wainwright Society secretary Peter Linney, Jane King. Photo: Derek Cockell

Unveiling the indicator: from left, deputy mayor Kathleen Atkinson, Annie Sellar, Wainwright Society secretary Peter Linney, Jane King. Photo: Derek Cockell

A new view indicator has been put up at the site where author Alfred Wainwright first glimpsed the Lakeland panorama that would inspire him to write his celebrated guidebooks.

The late fellwalker’s stepdaughters helped unveil the toposcope on Orrest Head above Windermere.

The slate indicator features a design based on Wainwright’s own drawing of the view from the hill, which appeared in his Outlying Fells of Lakeland volume.

It replaces an earlier indicator damaged by vandals, and was paid for jointly by the Wainwright Society and Windermere Town Council.

Wainwright’s wife Betty’s two daughters Jane King and Annie Sellar, presidents of the society, joined the town’s deputy mayor, town council members and more than 30 Wainwright Society members at the ceremony yesterday, Saturday.

The toposcope, created from slate quarried at Coniston, shows the principal fells from Coniston Old Man in the west to Red Screes in the north.

Derek Cockell of the society said: “In autumn 2011, the Wainwright Society was approached by Julie Wright [of] Windermere Town Council, who said that the council was eager to replace the noticeboard at the bottom of the path to Orrest Head and to provide a new view indicator on the plinth at the top of Orrest Head.

“As a result of discussions, the society agreed to provide designs for the notice board and view indicator and to share the costs of replacement.”

Mr Cockell added that, on his first visit to the Lake District in 1930, the young Alfred Wainwright was captivated by the view from the summit of this humble fell.

The new toposcope. Photo: Derek Cockell

The new toposcope. Photo: Derek Cockell

“Years later he wrote: ‘It was a moment of magic, a revelation so unexpected that I stood transfixed, unable to believe my eyes. … Those few hours on Orrest Head cast a spell that changed my life’,” he said.

“For many years, this viewpoint has become synonymous with AW and a slate plinth supporting a view indicator allowed countless visitors from all over the world to pick out what he had seen and to share his wonder.”

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