Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Checkmate is set in one of the loveliest places in the UK — the Lakeland National Park and surrounding area within Cumbria. Mountains, fells, lakes, white-water rivers and and tumbling streams. Plus seascape magnificence of marinas, sand dunes, pebbly beaches, cliffs and ports. My brother (who lived in California for most of his life) described Cumbria as the best of the USA in miniature.
The characters of Checkmate may well be described as off-comers to the Lake District, but their presence makes an impact. Robert Watson's businesses bring prosperity into the area and provides locals with career prospects. His Stag Rock label incorporating its Lakeland logo, brings zest to Cumbria as a commercial base. Cumbria is alive and kicking and more than a setting for 'one man and his dog', or an obstacle course for climbers and cyclists, a backcloth for artists or a setting for poets and romantics, a play area for yachtsmen and boaters. By careful renovation old decrepit buildings have a new lease of life. So too with the Rogers family, when their plans reach fruition. These newcomers become creators of wealth within the rural—tourist scene.
Read the book and visit the area. Imagine June, Charles, Robert within ther given settings. Sense the erotic goings on under the trees by the lake. See the boat houses and imagine the various characters sailing their boats. Look at the old dolly-blue mill at Backbarrow (now a hotel) and see it as a vibrant office building for Watson's enterprises. Imagine, high above the old mill, his large renovated house overlooking the white-water river. Visit Barrow and see where Charles, David and Peter worked for a while before their plans finally reached fruition. The Barrow Shipyard buildings and cranes, and the channel dotted by boats are sights to behold. See the landscape that June painted before going back to full time designing. Imagine them all walking the hills and woodlands, and climbing the mountains. And see the sun go down over bay and sea.
Photographs of all these places are on the new sites dedicated to Checkmate and its gorgeous setting Lake District Saga — Checkmate and Lakeland Writer