Lakeland Book of the Year 2016 Winners Revealed

The winners of the 2016 Lakeland Book of the Year awards were revealed at a special literary luncheon held at the idyllic four star Armathwaite Hall on Bassenthwaite Lake today. (Wednesday 6th July 2016)

This year 50 books were entered and the Judges, author and columnist Hunter Davies, broadcaster and writer Eric Robson and BBC News broadcaster Fiona Armstrong, spent the spring months pouring over them.

Founder of the Awards, Hunter Davies, said:

The 2016 awards included the some of the best short entries we’ve ever seen. The range of topics was astonishing and I would like to congratulate the winners and all those who entered as they should all be congratulated for continuing to contribute to Cumbria’s literary landscape at such a high quality.’’

This year there were six prizes to be won:
• The Striding Edge Productions Prize for Guides and Places won by Karen Lloyd’s “The Gathering Tide”
• The Latitude Press Prize for Illustration and Presentation won by Robert Beale and Richard Kirkman’s “Lakeland Waterways”.
• The Zeffirellis Prize for People and Business won by Mark McLean’s “Five Boxes”
• The Bookends Prize for Arts and Literature won by the late Rosemary Blackett Ord’s “Susan Breeks of Helbeck”
• The Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape and Tradition won by Peter Roebuck’s “Cattle Droving Through Cumbria 1600 – 1900”
• and finally, the ultimate accolade, The Hunter Davies Book of the Year 2016 won by Robert Beale and Richard Kirkman’s “Lakeland Waterways”.

Robert Beale and his publicist Miles Cowsill attended the ceremony to receive the Hunter Davies Award. Robert began his working life as a row boat assistant with Windermere Lake Cruises Ltd and has progressed to become a Steamer Master and part time author. His diffidence is such that he very nearly didn’t attend the awards. Fortunately, Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises Ltd heard about the event and insisted that he and a colleague be present.

The much appreciated partnership with James Cropper plc based in Kendal continued for this year’s awards. The association is particularly appropriate, as virtually all hard-backed books published in the UK are bound using paper produced by James Cropper here in Cumbria. In addition to financial assistance, James Cropper provided professional advice and, of course, all printed material required for the event was produced on their paper.


Notes to editors:

1. Embargoed until 4pm Wednesday 6th July 2016

2. For more information, contact Chris Tomlinson on 07770 688644 or Cumbria Tourism on 01539 822222

3. Photo call: 4pm Wednesday 6th July at Armathwaite Hall Country House and Spa, Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4RE

4. The Lakeland Book of the Year Awards are the only literary awards of their kind outside of London. Newly published books with any relevance to Cumbria are eligible. Judges are writer and author Hunter Davies OBE (chairman), broadcaster and Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries Fiona Armstrong and broadcaster and author Eric Robson.

5. Cumbria Tourism provides administration and PR support to the Lakeland Book of the Year which is organised by a team of external organisers and judges.

6. James Cropper is based in the Lake District, England’s first and foremost National Park, with a paper-making heritage that started in 1753. Since 1845 the business has been carefully stewarded and nurtured by six generations of the Cropper family. Today the business is renowned globally for its luxury packaging papers, which accompany many of the world’s most exclusive brands, while the world’s leading artists, galleries and museums use its framing and archival boards alongside its range of conventional artists materials. As well as paper products, James Cropper also manufactures nonwovens from carbon, glass and polymer fibres, which play a key part in production of composites in the automotive, energy and aerospace sectors. To find out more about the innovative production methods, product range, responsible manufacturing principles and history of James Cropper please visit

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