BUXTON WEEKEND 25-27 OCTOBER 2002
Members from all over the country arrived to a wonderfully
comfortable hotel on Friday. Some had braved the high passes
and others had fought with motorways. The weather forecast
was not good but walkers always travel hopefully and after
a splendid meal and time at the bar expectations for Saturday
To everyone's surprise large patches of blue sky were clearly
visible in the morning and these spread as the day went on.
'A' party had been promised a walk of 20? 17? 15? miles and
left the bus just before Hartington to plot a course between
Dovedale and the Manifold valley initially down Narrowdale.
There were some surprises on the way. The river Manifold which,
we were assured, had been totally invisible at the time of
the recce was in full spate. Oh dear! At Wetton the holy ones
sat outside the church and the others found the pub. One member
found she had been sitting with the wrong group. We never
heard the last of it! Safely back at Hulme End we used our
time profitably in cleaning our boots until the coach arrived.
'B' party also offered a walk of variable mileage - could
be 10, could be 13. Wait and see. 'C' party, not to be outdone,
decided to give the 'B' party their support and all set off
together. Starting and finishing at Hartington they moved
via Sheen to Brund where they followed the course of the river
Manifold to Longnor. One member was heard to remark that he
had never trodden in so much .... in all his life. Lucky man,
he must have led a clean and blameless life. At the 10 mile
point near Pilsbury a brave volunteer stepped forward to lead
the extra three miles along the Tissington Trail and arrived
safely in Hartington where another boot washing ceremony took
place. Despite extensive research I have been unable to unearth
any other exciting events. To misquote someone famous: 'There
were no shipwrecks and nobody drowned. In fact, nothing to
laugh at at all.' It just shows how well led we all were and
what care our leaders took of us.
Sunday, however, was different. It was a day of potential
shipwrecks and drownings. The weather was straight out of
Macbeth, tearing branches from trees and soaking those who
dared to put a head or even a hair out of doors. 'A' walk
was cancelled and a modified 'B' walk offered. Most people
saw the light or rather the dark clouds and departed to wrestle
with massive winds, driving rain and roads closed due to accidents
or tree-felling. Some chose to visit the book fair in Buxton
and some chose to stay and drink coffee at the hotel.
Then there is a rumour that twelve souls, labelled mentally
deficient by the rest, ventured out for a walk (what?). Walk
might not be the most accurate word to describe what they
did. Flying, soaring even as they reached the dizzy heights
of Solomon's Temple and clung to each other to stay earthbound.
Was this wise? Crossing fields against the wind became a major
feat and avoiding the cow pats when they landed an even greater
one. They got back safely, however, much to the amazement
of those still at the hotel, who were still wondering why
they had done it. Did we enjoy it? Well, it got us out, didn't
it? And we definitely felt better for it. Didn't we?
A most enjoyable weekend. Memories of stiles which may have
prompted people to start a diet and beautiful countryside
enhanced by the sunlight and racing clouds will stay in many
people's minds. Thanks to all those involved in the organisation
of the weekend and those who recceed and led the walks. We
couldn't do it without you.
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