In Folk Tales on the Settle-Carlisle Railway, join the driver and fireman on the footplate of a locomotive. Stand behind a range of levers in a signal box or be one of a gang working on the permanent way, sweating in the summer heat or shivering after a heavy snowfall. Maintenance men in Blea Moor tunnel needed patience and good lungs; the tunnel might be thick with locomotive smoke or draped with icicles. On the Settle-Carlisle journey, we are thrilled by a slowly changing landscape, glancing at Pen-y-ghent, which crouches like a lion above Ribblesdale. Further north, we admire the broad acres of the Eden Valley, which lie between the Northern Pennines and the gaunt fells of the Lake District. An afternoon passenger train that took in the line from Garsdale to Hawes was named Bonnyface; when it turned up, workers smiled as they were about to go home. The Garsdale tank house was used for dances and an adjacent wheel-less carriage was the refreshment room.
W. R. Mitchell, MBE, Hon D. Litt, and author of over 200 books, began work as a journalist at the Craven Herald and was for many years editor of two magazines – The Dalesman (Yorkshire) and Cumbria (the Lake Counties). Mitchell’s honorary degree was awarded by the University of Bradford. In 2007, the Outdoor Writers’ and Photographers’ Guild presented him with their major Golden Eagle award. Mitchell was said to be one of the founding fathers of outdoor writing.
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Extent: 112 pages
Illustrations: 32 black-and-white photographs