FESTIVAL POET: John Phoenix Hutchinson – a man of many talents

Date: Friday 22 September and Saturday 23 September

Time: 10am-5pm

Venue: Market Cross pedestrianised area (opposite the Post Office)

Ashley Cooper, Poet, photographer, Fix The Fells member, Lake District lover and genuinely nice all-round guy, John Phoenix Hutchinson was one of the stars of last year’s Festival of the Fells, and this year he is back to dispense some more of his unfailing positivity and enthusiasm.

John, who lives and works in Eskdale (yes, he has a day job too!), will have a stand at the Market Cross pedestrianised area in the centre of  Ambleside on the Friday and Saturday of the festival where you will be able to buy signed copies of Wainwrights In Verse, his wonderful collection of poems – 214 in all, each one celebrating one of Alfred Wainwright’s fells.

One poem, however, is not included in that collection: this year’s Official Festival Poem, penned by John:

2017 Festival of the Fells Official Poem
by John Phoenix Hutchinson

Have you not seen have not heard?
The sign posts stating in written word,
Ambleside the true heart of the lakes,
Fells, Town, and Water a trinity makes.

A journey, an adventure seeking the gems
The Rothay & Brathay the rivers they stem,
Meandering into Windermere’s great mass,
And Stock Ghyll it flows through old town past.

Old Roman Fort, Galava its name,
A precursor to this town’s great fame,
Even the Norse they came to master,
Settled right down in this ancient pasture.

Well known characters here spent their time,
William Wordsworth that man who rhymed,
Beatrix Potter, yes her with the rabbits,
Often made this town a habit.

So, walking round these parts is a real treasure,
Grand Fairfield Horseshoe to Loughrigg small measure
Wansfell is worthy for a Windermere view,
The Struggle highroad to a Kirkstone pew.

Past tiny Bridge House down the Road,
Grasmere’s not far past Rydal it flows,
Armitt Muesuem it stores all our heritage,
Books and paintings a visit is merited.

Waterhead Steamers depart for Bowness,
Lakeside journey is hereby commended,
The top middle and bottom the sights on the lake,
Many beautiful memories you home will all take.

This town is the host, this land is the venue,
The Festival of the Fells is now on the menu.
Come join the adventures come join the fun,
And being the Lake District,

Let’s pray for some sun!

For more information about John, check out his two websites: