New Documentary Filmed In Cumbria About Bill Peascod Premieres This Month

A feature-length documentary film about Maryport-born miner, rock climber and artist Bill Peascod (1920-1985) is set to be screened in his Cumbrian birthplace.

At Home In The Steep Places: The Story of Bill Peascod will premiere at the Wave Centre, Maryport Saturday, August 21, starting at 7pm.

The documentary was filmed in Cumbria, New South Wales, Australia and Kyoto, Japan during 2021 by Northern English company 28 DalesLater.

The film charts Bill’s life from challenging childhood in the Cumberland coalfields, involvement in the Mines Rescue Teams at the Lowca No.10 and William Pit disasters to pioneering of new climbing routes in 1940s Buttermere.

To emigrating to Australia in 1952 where Peascod became an abstract landscape painter where he developed ‘burnt’ paintings and then after spending twenty eight years ‘down under’ Peascod’s return to Cumbria in 1980.

Where drawing on Japanese influences he continued to paint with his beloved fells the subject, which he had resumed climbing with new friends such as Bill Birkett, Sir Chris Bonington and Don Whillans.

The film features interviews with people who knew Bill Peascod, climbing and art specialists, rare archive material and photographs by the Abraham Brothers.

It will feature a soundtrack from either side of the globe with Cumbrian and Australian musicians, including Mike Willoughby and Dave Camlin, providing sounds to match the stunning scenes.

While the artwork used to advertise the film has been provided by Alan Roper.

When the centenary festival to celebrate the life of Bill Peascod was cancelled due to Covid-19 in 2020, though a blue plaque was placed to honour him.

Dolly Daniel and Linda Wyatt, organisers of the festival, decided to ask Cumbrian performer and media producer Steve Wharton to bring their festival to life on screen.

Wharton drew on his experience of producing the 28 Dales Later Podcasts about Northern England with outdoors educator Natalie Wilson.

As research started into Bill Peascod’s life a wealth of archive material relating to him was found to be held by the Wollongong University Library, Australia but it was not available online.

In a lucky break for the team Perrin Walker had just returned to Australia after living in the Lake District and intended to live in Wollongong, the very place Bill Peascod had emigrated to in 1952.

It will be available online soon after with schools and community groups able to screen it for free.

Further screenings, some including Q&A sessions with the filmmakers, will be announced with the next confirmed screening on Thursday, September 23, at Rosehill Theatre with a Q&A with Steve Wharton and Natalie Wilson.