This website was created to recognise and showcase the role that Chris Butterfield is playing in generating interest and bringing new people to Alfred Wainwright and his work.
I first became acquainted with Chris when he married my sister-in-law Priscilla. I only really got to know Chris some time later when, on a visit to their house in Scotland, I innocently asked about a neatly presented set of books in a tiny bookcase in the corner of his study. Three hours later, Chris was still answering the question and I was struck by his incredible passion for a long time departed author! Three years later, that small collection of books has grown into a full-blown archive and Chris has grown in equal measure, fueled by his Alfred Wainwright passion. His passion has infected me too so that I've now acquired an admiration for 'AW', as well as a small but growing collection of his work.
Chris not only brings enthusiasm and passion to all things Wainwright, but also has that precious ability to inspire others to acquire the same. Chris is not from the Wainwright generation and never actually got to meet the great man whose work he now champions. This is never obvious because he has a unique way of telling AW stories that brings the great man and his work back to life! Chris has also helped make AW collectable again and brought a new relevance to AW's work by acting on his belief that it is deserving of a new audience.
His biggest success has arguably been the creation of the Alfred Wainwright Books and Memorabilia (AWB&M) group of which I am proud to be a member. Andrew Nichol, who had been a close associate of Wainwright, recently posted on the group that for him, Chris now carries the Wainwright torch, having exceeded all his expectations in keeping interest in Wainwright alive for the next generation.
But Chris is not doing this alone.
As a regular reader of the AWB&M group posts, I know that the success of the group is as much down to the amazing participation of its thousands of members, many of whom are clearly as passionate about AW and his work as Chris is.
Another vital ingredient has been the groups patrons. You know who you are. The Wainwright luminaries who've not only been prolific advocates of the group, but have also actively encouraged and supported Chris, whether that's been by sharing their stories of working with AW, donating AW artefacts to his archive or giving him the platform to spread the AW word via their websites, magazines, newspapers, films and podcasts. Chris knows he would not have achieved what he has done without your support and encouragement. This support has also influenced his recent decision to step back from his engineering day job so that he can devote his time to the growing demands of his Wainwright journey.
AW would undoubtedly be proud of what Chris is doing to get a new generation interested in his work.
On the 30th anniversary of Wainwright's passing, Chris launched an eponymous website to chronicle the authors book-related publishing and printing history. As his Wainwright journey approaches its 4th birthday, I thought it would be a good opportunity to give something back to Chris by gifting him his own website, showcasing highlights of his journey so far.
So here it is.
I hope you (and Chris) enjoy viewing the content as much as I've enjoyed pulling it together. Don't forget to bookmark it or even better, add it to your favourites!