A FEATURE-LENGTH documentary film about a renowned miner, rock climber and artist is showing at the Rosehill Theatre this month.

The film tell the remarkable story of Bill Peascod (1920-1985). It premiered at the Wave Centre and will be shown at the Rosehill t. on Friday. September 23.

As well as pioneering some of the fell climbs used today, Peascod's involvement in rescue operations after the William Pit disaster will be of special interest to people in this area.

The film was made in Cumbria, New South Wales in Australia nd Kyoto, Japan by Cumbrian production company 28 Dales Later.

When the centenary festival to celebrate the life of Bill Peascod (1920-1985) was cancelled due to Covid restrictions in 2020, organisers Dolly Daniel and Linda Wyatt decided to ask Cumbrian performer and media producer Steve Wharton to bring their festival to life on screen.

Drawing on his experience of producing the 28 Dales Later podcasts about northern England with outdoors educator Natalie Wilson, Steve started to research Bill’s life and uncovered a wealth of archive material relating to Bill held by the Wollongong University Library. Unfortunately, this material was not available online. However, Steve’s friend Perrin Walker had just returned to Australia after living in the Lake District and moved to Wollongong – the very city Bill Peascod had emigrated to in 1952, so he chipped in as a researcher, writer and presenter.

The film charts Bill’s life from a challenging childhood in the Cumberland coalfields and involvement in the Mines Rescue Teams to his pioneering of new rock climbing routes in 1940s Buttermere. He became an abstract landscape painter after emigrating to Australia in 1952 where he developed a distinctive style of ‘burnt’ paintings. After a time in Japan, he returned to Cumbria in 1980 and drew on Japanese influences to paint his beloved fells, which he had resumed climbing with new friends such as Bill Birkett, Sir Chris Bonington and Don Whillans.

The film is presented by Steve Wharton, Natalie Wilson and Perrin Walker. It features interviews with people who knew Bill, climbing and art specialists, rare material from the artist’s personal archive and scrapbooks, rarely seen artworks from private collections,photographs by the Abraham Brothers and a soundtrack by Cumbrian and Australian musicians, including Mike Willoughby and Dave Camlin.

There will be a uestion and answer

The next screening will be at Rosehill Theatre on 23rd September. Steve Wharton and Natalie Wilson from 28 Dales Later will take questions in a Q&A following the film.


For further info, please contact Steve Wharton stevewhartonmusic@gmail.com - 07871 415 164