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Regrets for missing records

RegretsFrom the date of the last entry until the present date, an endeavour has been made to record our activities with colour slides. A very good collection of slides, covering holidays in the Lake District (1959), Scotland (1960) and the Isle of Arran (1961), in addition to numerous local expeditions, an assent of Snowdon via Crib Goch, and a clamber over Helvellyn and Striding Edge, have been acquired.

However, many of our most interesting expeditions occur under conditions in which photography is impracticable and, in any case, slides alone do not seem to completely ‘fill the bill'. Some time ago it was decided to re-commence the written record, but the problem of finding time has delayed this until now.

It is not proposed to attempt any further record of the many expeditions for which we have no written account, but simply to endeavour to maintain the record from now onwards and to hope that the future holds many adventures in store - the missing records are regretted, but nothing can now be done to retrieve the situation.

26th October 1961 - Five Dales to Millers Dale

On Thursday last (26th October 1961) a party of thirty youngsters and three staff assembled at Marple station to entrain for Edale, the start of the Five Dales route to Millers Dale. The Party was:

Raymond Gould-Martin   Tommy Holden   Anne Moorcroft
Leila Bennett   Gillian Dawson   Erica Osbaldeston 
Edwin Thurston Barbara Fletcher   J Sidebotham 
B Smith   Roger Fletcher   Roger Wheeldon 
Laurence Siddall   P Wheatley    
Olga Vichoff   Chris Moule   Staff:
Jimmy Martin  J Miles   J K Davies 
David Wright   Roy Fisher   F R Mason 
David Griffin   Tony Mason   C Richardson 
Joan Brown   Trevor Sharples    
Michael Stringfellow   Glen Perkins  

The party set off from Edale Station, at about 10am, along the Hope Road for about half a mile before turning right, off the road, to follow the footpath to the ridge leading to Mam Tor. At this stage the trio in the lead cut sharply up the steep slope to the ridge from the point where the path turns left up the gentler slope to the hairpin - this was a steep pull, but saved some distance and was a change from the usual path.

On reaching the summit of Mam Tor a halt was made for a short breather and to scan the land to determine the next part of the route. It was decided to descent to the Chapel' road, cross the fields to the Buxton Road, straight over this main road, and across more fields to the Winnats road by the farm (almost at the Summit), and from there to skirt the lip of Winnats to Peveril Castle.

WW1961-001 Above Winnat’s Pass
WW1961-001 Above Winnat’s Pass

The route to Peveril Castle (about ¼ mile short) was followed as planned, with a short stop to examine the large cave between the two main roads, and several stops along the edge of the gorge just to stand and stare.

Tony, Trevor and a few others by-passed the first part of this leg by cutting down close beside the cliff face of Mam Tor. They missed the old cave, but had their own fun, and waited for the main party to overtake them shortly before the next turning point near Peveril Castle.

They were exploring a small cave when overtaken - just beyond here the path petered out, about ½ mile SW of Peveril Castle. From this point we headed SE until striking a main path leading about SW from Peveril towards Peak Forest. We followed this path for a bit, then dropped into the valley on to another more interesting looking path leading in the same direction - the two joined after about half a mile. At the junction we stopped for lunch.

After lunch we continued across pleasant, but un-exciting, country to Peak Forest. We came across numerous old mine workings, some of which were examined by the more curious and adventurous members of the group. A curious feature was a four-fingered signpost at the crossing of two apparently seldom-used tracks, to Buxton - Castleton, Chapel - Tideswell.

WW1961-004 ‘We came below cloud base’
WW1961-004 ‘We came below cloud base’

From Peak Forest the party became well spread out along the dales - Mr Davies and Mr Mason bringing up the rear to shepherd the stragglers and apply first aid to some sore feet (only one case, in fact) as necessary. At about half way Raymond G-Martin took over rear-guard and staff members were able to step out a bit.

A few short stops were made along the dales to rest and gaze around. The jungle section caused some delay, although not so impenetrable as in the height of summer. The stones were very slippery, making it necessary to tread with care. At the end of the jungle a wait was made for the stragglers to catch up - a few of the party were well ahead.

From the jungle, speed was stepped up as we were short of time to catch the 4.35 out of Millers Dale.

The stream in the last of the five dales was much deeper than usual and some trouble was expected over the stepping stones - however, this did not transpire and, apart from a few dipped feet, we all crossed without trouble. We hurried from the bridge to the station, only to find that we had plenty of time as the train was due out at 5.35pm, not 4.35.

WW1961-015 In the Dry Dales
WW1961-015 In the Dry Dales

At 5.25pm, roll call revealed three missing - Tony, Trevor and Glen. It was learnt afterwards that, finding themselves well ahead, they had pushed on fast and decided that there was plenty of time to climb the ‘mountain', but were so pleased with the view from the top that they left their descent rather late and just scrambled into the station to board the train at 5.33.

Mr Davies and myself put on a front of being cross, but were in fact quite pleased with the ‘go' and energy that the three had displayed - they came along to apologise after they'd recovered their breath.

A successful but not very exciting outing - the Five Dales are never very exciting. We had reasonable weather with an odd spot of rain - several threatening black clouds, and some sunshine. At home (Marple) the weather had been bad, and rain was tippling down when we got back.

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