Hunter Davies OBE

Founder of the Lakeland Book of the Year 37 years ago, Hunter Davies is one of Britain’s most prolific authors, having written many books on subjects as diverse as the Beatles and Hadrian’s Wall.  Hunter grew up and went to school in Carlisle before going on to Durham University. He started his writing career with a holiday job as a student on The Carlisle Journal.  In 1960 he joined The Sunday Times in London where he became Chief Features Writer and ultimately Editor of the magazine. He writes regular columns for several papers including the Sunday Times on money, The New Statesman on football, Saga Magazine on love in old age and Cumbria Life on any old thing really.  Hunter is well known for his books on the Lake District and his best-sellers include acclaimed works on Wordsworth and Wainwright. His travel books include “A Walk along the Wall” and “A Walk around the Lakes”. He has recently published three volumes of his memoirs, ‘The Co-Op’s Got Bananas”, “A Life In the Day” and earlier this year “Happy Old Me”. His 100th book, “My Cumbria Life”, based on his Cumbria Life columns, was published last year.

For thirty years he spent half of each year at his Lakeland home at Loweswater. He was married for 55 years to the novelist and biographer Margaret Forster who died in 2016.


Fiona Armstrong

Dr Fiona Armstrong is an award-winning broadcaster and writer. Fiona currently presents “Border Life”, a current affairs programme for ITV Border. Fiona is a former ITN and BBC presenter and reporter, a career that has taken her to Uganda, West Africa, Cambodia – as well as to America and Europe. As a producer she has made films on subjects ranging from clan history to politics. On a lighter note, she has presented antiques and cooking programmes. She fronted the “Executive Lifestyles” series for the American NBC network. “Fiona on Fishing” aired on ITV and she presented Sky TV’s “Tight Lines” programme, as well as “World Fishing Day”. Fiona writes columns for Scottish and American newspapers and magazines and has penned two fishing books and two quirky cookbooks. She has made more than twenty films on Scottish clans and families and her doctorate was on ‘Highlandism’, or how Scotland got a tartan face. Married to the Chief of Clan Gregor, Fiona is Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries. Fiona was this year’s President of the Royal Highland Show. She is still working on a biography of a family member who was literary confidante to Queen Victoria.


Eric Robson DL

Eric is a writer and broadcaster who has made programmes for BBC, ITV and Channel 4 for more than 40 years. For many years he was a BBC outside broadcast commentator working on all the great State occasions – Remembrance Sunday, Trooping the Colour, Royal events and the handover of Hong Kong. For over 25 years he was chairman of one of the world’s longest running broadcast programmes, Radio Four’s Gardeners’ Question Time. His books include “Great Railway Journeys of the World”, “The Border Line”, a history of the Anglo/Scottish border and “After Wainwright”, a memoir of the years he worked with Britain’s most famous fell walker. His most recent book, “Abroad”– a great railway journey round the Lake District in the company of the mad, the bad and the dangerous to know” – was published last year. He is President of Cumbria Tourism and Chairman of The Wainwright Society and, a Deputy Lieutenant for Cumbria.