WILLIAM Wordsworth's worries that the railway proposed in 1847 from Kendal to the Lake District would be a 'rash assault' on the landscape are well known.

Arguably, his protests helped to divert the line from the shores of Windermere so that the station was a mile from the lake; while an extension of the line northwards to Low Wood and Ambleside was also prevented.

Yet, until just before his death in 1850, he continued to object to 'the mischief the directors of the railway company devise for tempting the humbler classes to leave their homes.

'For the profits of the shareholders and that of the lower class of innkeeper we should have wrestling matches, horse and boat races and pot houses and beer shops.

'The injury to be done to morals both among the influx of strangers and the lower class of inhabitants is obvious.'

He was, however, prepared to welcome 'any person who come hither shall bring an eye to perceive and a heart to worthily enjoy.'

Following in his wake, another poetic protestor, John Ruskin, foiled an attempt during the 1870s to take the 'disfiguring, mechanical decrepitude' railway over Dunmail to Keswick and Derwentwater.