Enthusiasm for the music of Egremont’s home grown rock genius and children teachers and supporters of St Bridget’s School assembled nearly a hundred hardy walkers in the car park at Bowness Knott ready to stride round Ennerdale Lake.
They would have been keen enough to walk through the torrential rain Ennerdale had experienced the day before, but in fact they were lucky. The rain cleared for the vital few hours of Saturday morning 23rd October, though swirling mists sometimes hiding, sometimes fleetingly revealing the familiar outline of Steeple and Pillar, and paths awash with water from the overflowing becks, reminded walkers that this was hardly terrain for softies.
Francis himself set off at a fierce pace, mindful of a busy day ahead, but several youngsters, including his neice, Charley, kept pace with him. Fellow artists like Nick the Gardener from Sussex, Chris Difford from Kent, and dedicated fans like John Butterworth, on leave from work supporting the British camps in Iraq, and David Baalham and Norman Atkins, who had made a four hundred mile journey from Ipswich especially for the thrill of the walk and the gig at Rosehill that evening, were there, marvelling at the power of the Lake District in the raw, which had done so much to shape the imagination of their hero.
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 15, 2004
Published in Egremont Today