Tubular Fells

Spotted in the window of a Keswick bookshop:

Wainwright map

‘Tubular Fells’: All 214 Wainwrights on one colourful poster!

There is an endless amount of recycling in popular culture, from tv and movie remakes, to pop bands covering and re-covering old hits, to “Keep Calm and Carrry On” (which seems to be everywhere), to Harry Beck‘s famous tube map.

Often the imitators are of a lower quality or completely miss the point of the original. For example, the ‘Keep Calm’ poster’s great strength is not only its simplicity, but the choice of font, Gill Sans. Some of the reproductions use a different font, so don’t have the same impact.

There have been many reworkings of the tube map, and one of the earliest (and I think most successful)  was Simon Patterson’s ‘The Great Bear’. Stations were renamed after famous people and lines given themes such as explorers, philosophers, comedians, etc. The artist has obviously put a lot of thought into these, as some people fall into more than one category (for example, Gary Lineker was at the intersection of footballers and artists).

A little less thought has gone into the Wainwright poster though. The map is nicely and simply laid out, and I like how the Lakes have been generalized into rectangles, but I’m struggling a bit with the map’s actual purpose. I haven’t looked at a Wainwright book for a few years, but as far as I remember, each book contained a number of different walks over the peaks in a certain area (with the exceptions of the Cumbria Way and Coast to Coast of course). I don’t think each book showed just one continuous route over every summit, which is where the tube map analogy falls down.

Then again, maybe I’m just finding fault where there isn’t any. It’s certainly a lot better than this “map”:

Direction map

I think I’d need another map just to work out where it is. Oh well, at least they’ve given the postcode, so you can put it in your satnav…