Alfred Wainwright always loved Patterdale. He visited the village on his very first holiday in the Lake District in 1930 and spent time here on more than one occasion.
There has been a post office on this site for just over a century and, during that time, it has been an important “watering hole” for walkers, particularly during the past 40 years when the ranks of its patrons have been swelled by an increasing army of Coast to Coast walkers.
Alfred Wainwright has a connection with the Patterdale Post Office because, in 1955, he took copies of his newly-published guide “The Eastern Fells” to the shop and asked the then owner, Mr. Dawson, if he would be willing to sell the book.
In “Wainwright in the Valleys of Lakeland”, p.59, he writes, “I have a soft spot for the post office, this being the first shop to sell copies of my first guidebook to the fells: an order for six was repeated within a week, a cause of much inward rejoicing and relief since I had incurred a debt of £900 with a local printer.”
And of course, the rest is history, as we know that Wainwright’s books were, and continue to be, the most popular guides to the fells that have ever been written. How strange to think it all started in this little shop just over 60 years ago.
ALFRED WAINWRIGHT AND PATTERDALE POST OFFICE - GRID REF - NY 396 158
The Making of the Wainwright Plaque at Patterdale Post Office
The Wainwright Plaque at Patterdale Post Office was created by local artist James (Jimmy) Reynolds, a talented sculptor and an expert in letter-cutting. Jimmy is also creating the Wainwright Sitting Stone and the Clarkson Memorial Plaque. It was unveiled in March 2017. You will notice that Jimmy has carved the ‘w’s with a curve to reflect the way Wainwright wrote his name.