The life and times of the legendary Lake District fell runner and shepherd Joss Naylor.
By Keith Richardson. Colour photography by Val Corbett.
This book is dedicated to fell runners.
'If their sport lent itself to being in a stadium surrounded by television cameras then they would be known the world over.'
Olympic Gold medal winner and London marathon man Chris Brasher described Joss Naylor as 'The Greatest of Them All,' a title he bestowed on Joss when he ran 72 Lake District mountains inside 24 hours.
'Joss,' he wrote, 'has sinews stronger than any man-made substance and his will is harder than a diamond. I have always believed that he is the toughest runner in Britain, which inevitably makes him the toughest runner in the world, for there is no other nation with such depth of talent on those events which really pull the stamina from a man's heart.'
Joss Naylor's pedigree as a fell runner is undeniable but there is much more to the man. In addition to his considerable exploits in the world of running, this biography brings to the fore other areas of Joss's remarkable story... including his hard childhood and upbringing on a Lakeland hill farm in the wilds of the Wasdale Valley; the crippling back injury he suffered as a boy, an injury that has plagued him all his life and has given him an incredible pain threshold.
Here also is Joss the shepherd, the family man who loves his environment with a passion and who holds strong opinions on the Lake District of the 21st Century.
The book takes you into Joss's world and it is a fascinating place to be. Chapters are devoted to Joss and his working dogs, to the time that he spends in Spain and to the tradition of dry stonewalling which he has transformed into an art form.
As well as containing evocative black and white images from Joss's childhood and his early days as a runner, the book also has spectacular colour photography of Joss and the Lakeland mountains by Val Corbett.
This wide-ranging book is a biography and a social history as well as being about Joss the runner, the hill shepherd and the man. It is a superb second publication from Keith Richardson and his River Greta Writer publishing house after the success of 'Ivver Sen' the highly acclaimed winner of the 2009 Lakeland Book of the Year.
Keith Richardson lives in the Lake District town of Keswick, a stone's throw from the River Greta. This is his second book under the banner of the River Greta Writer publishing house. The first, 'Ivver Sen,' won the Lakeland Book of the Year 2009. Two other books 'Jack's Yak' and 'The Greta' were to follow. www.rivergretawriter.co.uk
Val Corbett lives on the eastern fringe of the Lake District where she has worked as a freelance photographer for over 25 years. She is widely known for her arresting landscape photography which captures the unique light of the Lake District. To work on the biography of Joss Naylor was a new departure for Val but she enjoyed it immensely and the results speak volumes. Val also worked on 'Jack's Yak' and 'The Greta'. www.valcorbett.com
A BIT ABOUT THE BOOK
Keith Richardson's second book published under the River Greta Writer banner was a biography of Joss Naylor the legendary Lake District fell runner and shepherd.
The hardback book is the same in size and quality (hardback, full colour, etc.) to the award winning 'Ivver Sen' (no out of print). Subsequent books 'Jack's Yak' and 'The Greta' are also available at £25 plus £7.90 for postage and packaging in the UK
River Greta Writer,
Keswick. Tel (017687)74284.
Rheged Bookshop, Penrith.
The Keswick Reminder, Station Street, Keswick.
Bookends bookshop, Main Street, Keswick & 56 Castle St, Carlisle.
Fred Holdsworth Bookshop, Central Buildings, Ambleside.
The New Bookshop, 42/44 Main Street, Cockermouth.
Sam Read's Bookshop, Broadgate House, Grasmere.
Just for Ewe, Fairfield House, Coniston.
Suttons Book Shop, 48 Market Street, Ulverston.
Treeby and Bolton, Lake Road, Keswick.
Viridian Gallery, St John's Street, Keswick.
Waterstones, Kendal, Barrow in Furness and Carlisle.
Pete Bland Sports, 34A Kirkland, Kendal (‘Joss’ book only)
Front Runner, 296 Sharrow Vale Road, Sheffield (‘Joss’ book only)