Eric Robson, second from right, is joined by Doug Sim, left, chair of St Bees Parish Council and Wainwright Society secretary Derek Cockell. Photo: Peter Linney

Eric Robson, second from right, is joined by Doug Sim, left, chair of St Bees Parish Council and Wainwright Society secretary Derek Cockell. Photo: Peter Linney

Aficionados of the late Alfred Wainwright have unveiled a new information board at the start of the author’s Coast to Coast Walk.

Wainwright Society chairman, broadcaster Eric Robson, was joined by more than 60 people at a ceremony at St Bees on the Cumbrian coast.

The village is the starting point for the 309km (192-mile) route that passes through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors before reaching Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Yorkshire coast.

The new board on the promenade at St Bees replaces a previous panel on the ‘Wainwright Wall’ at the start of the walk.

The board, a joint project by St Bees Parish Council and the Wainwright Society, depicts Wainwright’s sketch map of the route along with biographical details and sketches of the start and end points of the walk.

Mr Robson, who made television programmes with a taciturn Alfred Wainwright, said his one regret in making the shows with Alfred Wainwright was that he was an old man and he wished he could have met the younger, Jack-the-lad, Wainwright of earlier years.

He said Wainwright loved adventures and the Coast to Coast Walk was his ‘adventure’. The presenter added it was devised at a time when long-distance walking was not as popular a pastime as it is now.

A spokesperson for the Wainwright Society said: “This year is the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Coast to Coast guidebook and the society has decided to make the [Coast to Coast] Walk its main beneficiary in 2013.

“Funds raised from the society’s annual challenge and sales of its calendar are to be used to waymark the route and to provide information boards at each end of the walk.

“Any money remaining after funding Coast to Coast projects will be donated to mountain rescue teams along the route of the walk.

“The society hopes that placing this board at St Bees will help bring the work of Alfred Wainwright to the attention of the public as well as providing a focal point for walkers starting the walk.”

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