Welcome to my Great Yarmouth and Peak District Expedition page.
Yes, Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and the Peak District in Derbyshire is an odd combination, but as with previous expeditions, I've combined two centres of activities into one trip.
On the long weekend of 12/13/14/15 August 2016, members of the University of Surrey Society of Change Ringers (USSCR) enjoyed a summer tour in Essex, kindly organised by John Harpole.
This tour was of particular interest to me as it was based around Southend, where my family had lived when dad worked at Southend Airport and I was a toddler. I got to see the area through adult eyes, visit where we used to live and ring at the local tower, St. Andrew, Rochford. I also walked along the Southend Pier, and rang in a quarter peal of Grandsire Caters at St Mary the Virgin, Prittlewell.
But before joining the ringers in Essex I headed to Great Yarmouth on a mission.
If you've delved into my family history, you'll have found that my ancestors were fisher folk in the North East of Scotland and that my family owned a number of fishing vessels, including a type of fishing boat called a steam drifter, to fish for herring. Ours was 'Trident' (BF 1049).
We even have a photo of 'Trident' at Great Yarmouth with my grandfather, Alexander Pirie, standing at the bow.
That mission was to visit the world's last surviving steam-powered herring drifter, called 'Lydia Eva', which is moored at Hall Quay on the River Yare at Great Yarmouth. I wanted to see experience a real a steam drifter and see what it was like below decks.
Take a look at my photos of the 'Lydia Eva'.
I have visited the Peak District before, including on a DofE Supervisors' Training Expedition in 2013. Our planned route on that expedition took us onto the Kinder Plateau, then across the Vale of Edale and up to Hollins Cross and Lose Hill. We didn't however visit the nearby peak of Mam Tor, so a return trip was always on the cards.
As on my previous visit, I stayed at Hardhurst Farm campsite in the Hope Valley. I'd heard a lot about Stanage Edge, as featured in film Pride & Prejudice starring Keira Knightley, so I thought I'd head for Hathersage first to take a look. (No, I didn't find Miss Knightley!)
I left the car in the parking area near Hook's Car and followed the well-trodden trail up the incline towards the rocky outcrop that is Stanage Edge. The scale of the outcrop is deceptive as it's only as you get close that you can see little figures in their hardhats climbing the rocks, and their supporters and other walkers on the top.
For my trek to Mam Tor, I parked in Edale and followed the bridleway part way up Harden Clough and then up to Hollins Cross. The summit of Mam Tor (517m) is encircled by a late Bronze Age / early Iron Age hill fort including two Bronze Age burial mounds, one just below the summit and the other on the summit itself beneath the paving.
The views from Mam Tor were spectacular in all directions, and included Kinder Scout (636m), the highest point in the Peak District, the Kinder Plateau, the Vale of Edale, Lose Hill (476m), Castleton and the Hope Valley.
I hope you enjoy my photos.