I am John Cooke and I live in Liverpool. I have been climbing hills and mountains all my life. I served in various roles in the Royal Marines, and was then a history teacher at the Liverpool Institute High School. I took early retirement to continue my passion for climbing, involving trips to Iceland, the Alps, Kilimanjaro and  Mount Kenya in Africa. My most cherished achievement is climbing all of the Munros (hills over 3000 ft) in Scotland, which I completed in 2008.

My obsession with Mardale started in 1957 when I was just 14 years old. Could I hear church bells tolling beneath dark waters? Wherever I have travelled to, I have always returned to Mardale.

I encourage you to visit, take with you a copy of ‘Mardale Mysteries‘, and imagine how life was before the valley was flooded.