For immediate release  

Wednesday February 23, 2022


Cumbria magazine celebrates its 75th anniversary year, starting in March 2022.  During that time it has championed the best of Cumbria and the Lake District.  A number of high-profile celebrities have sent their congratulations.

  • Sir Chris Bonington:  “My warm congratulations to Cumbria magazine on celebrating your 75th anniversary.  Cumbria will always be very close to my heart.”
  • Julia Bradbury:  “Always packed with quality content, this publication provides a great escape for readers young and old alike, and its success speaks for itself.”
  • Melvyn Bragg: “Essential reading for those who live in Cumbria and the millions who visit it.”
  • Cumbria Deputy Editor, Marty Turner-Fraser, added: “It is with immense pride that Cumbria magazine reaches its seventy-fifth anniversary year, a clear testament to the wild and wonderful region it champions, and all the passionate characters who have contributed to its ongoing success.” 

Seventy-five years ago, three sub-regional groups of the Youth Hostel Association set out to produce a magazine. Beginning life as a twenty-page bi-monthly, priced 8d, its aim was to celebrate a landscape and locale which those early Cumbria enthusiasts relished so much. 

Leslie Hewkin, Cumbria’s very first editor from 1947, established the magazine’s aim to “help all to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside”, and subsequent editor, the legendary Bill Mitchell MBE, prioritised “putting people before things.” Seventy-five years later, these fundamental doctrines remain at the heart of this magazine.

Among the famous names contributing to that first edition, dated March-April 1947, were author Jessica Lofthouse, climber Harry Griffin, and historical novelist Nicholas Size.

In 1951 the magazine was acquired by Harry J. Scott’s Dalesman publishing company, based in Clapham in the Yorkshire Dales. Harry passed the editor’s cap to legendary Dales journalist W. R. “Bill” Mitchell, who fulfilled the roles of reporter, feature writer, sub-editor and even delivery boy for almost forty years, and was subsequently made an MBE for services to journalism in Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Those offering congratulations to the magazine on its birthday included broadcaster, author and parliamentarian, Melvyn Bragg, who stated: “Cumbria magazine is essential reading for those who live in Cumbria and the millions who visit it.  The magazine is very well produced and covers a wide range of the subjects essential to the Lake District.  Congratulations on its 75th anniversary!”

Mountaineer, writer, photographer and lecturer, Sir Chris Bonington, said: “My warm congratulations to Cumbria magazine on celebrating your 75th anniversary.Cumbria will always be very close to my heart from the joy I have had walking its hills and the fact that in its comparatively small area, it encompasses such an extraordinary range and variety of terrain which in my opinion makes it one of the most special places on Earth.”

Outdoors film maker and photographer, Terry Abraham, remarked: “I’ve been an avid admirer and reader of Cumbria for many years. I’m not surprised it’s reached such a special anniversary date, as I’ve found the magazine to be informative and enlightening on all things about the most beautiful corner of England. In many respects, the magazine offers an historical insight into the county via various features and voices, and consequently is rather unique. From being a reader to now a contributor… congratulations, Cumbria magazine!”

Television presenter, Julia Bradbury, added: “Bravo and well done to Cumbria magazine for reaching an impressive 75th anniversary year! Always packed with quality content, this publication provides a great escape for readers young and old alike, and its success speaks for itself. One to pick up for any and all things that champion this endlessly fascinating region and of course a place very close to my heart indeed!”

Mountaineer, Alan Hinkes OBE, said: “Congratulations on 75 years of great articles and photographs, showcasing Cumbria and the lakes. Three quarters of a century of pleasure.”

Author, journalist and broadcaster, Hunter Davies OBE, said: “Congratulations to Cumbria magazine. The magazine might be small in size, but it is perfectly formed and great on content.  Here’s to your next 75 years.”

Since 1947, times have certainly changed, but in its design, Cumbria has always had a striding edge. The passion for a place as remarkable and awe-inspiring as Cumbria doesn’t dwindle as the decades roll by. Moreover, with each new generation comes new challenges and achievements, new personalities and perspectives, and with these new stories to add to its ongoing legacy. This publication remains committed to sharing these inspiring stories, which help to retain Cumbria’s rich cultural heritage. 

Throughout the year, readers will notice special features, where we will take a look back at Cumbria from days gone by. Finally, everyone at Cumbria would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all our valued readers, for helping us reach this remarkable trig point in our history. 

– ENDS –

Notes to editors:

  • Cumbria magazine was established in March 1947
  • Anniversary issue on sale February 23, 2022

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