The Story of the Bob Graham Round and Beyond
In 1982, Roger Smith brought together one of the first full narratives on the origins and development of the Bob Graham and the Lake District 24-Hour Fell Record. Much of the material was sourced from Fred Rogerson, founding Chairman of the Club and formative chronicler of 24-hour rounds. Publication was in the same year that Bob Graham’s memorial cairn was unveiled near Ashness Bridge in Borrowdale.
Forty years on and the stories in the unassuming, dark green booklet continue to educate, inspire and amaze. While the book was updated on two occasions, first by Paddy Buckley and then by Brian Covell, the passage of time inevitably means there are a multitude of other stories that have come since – each of which deserve to be told. This is what has led to the new edition of 42 Peaks.
Around the end of 2020, the Bob Graham Club were kind enough to entrust me to hold the pen on this weighty task. The Club’s constitution states that its object is to preserve the spirit and traditions of the Bob Graham Round. But there was nothing backward looking in their brief: the clear steer was one of modernisation.
With that in mind, we have sought to preserve the spirit of the original but produce a wholly new book. There have now been well over two thousand Bob Graham completions, each deeply memorable for all involved. It is clearly impossible to tell the story of them all. Instead, the book tells the story of those stories, seeking to convey the unique essence of the Bob Graham community.
While still a short book, it is undeniably longer. Colour photos have been added, some of which have not been published before. The book fills in some gaps in the history of long Lakeland rounds before Bob Graham but, more importantly, tells the story of everything that has happened since the original book was first published.
Just like the round itself, the book could never have been completed without the support of others. Thank you to all.
The book can be purchased in a number of Lakeland shops, including Needle Sports (Keswick), Bookends (Keswick), Fred's bookshop (Ambleside) and Sam Read (Grasmere).