Bernard, go to bed!

Filming in the National Park has got to be one of the unsurpassable pleasures in life!

Through the lens, one is able to communicate what we one sees, so effectively. Take this shot that I took, it tells a lot of what I saw that day in this landscape!


At Oaks Wood near Grindleford train station

It may not mean anything factually, but it made me think of rings and bands, and age of trees. Just right there, and perhaps to some of you viewing this, it reinforces the message as it did to me the value of national parks, of veteran trees, of ancient woodland and the Environment Act, and to me, my role as ranger.

Seeing through the lens or being viewed through a lens elicits various responses

‘Bernard go to bed’ said someone on the street!  BG02 BED

You guessed it right, it is a number plate that someone read out to us as we were set-up with a tripod on the lane, adjacent to the Church yard at Bakewell. Bizarre as it may seem, he told us what he saw in the street when he saw us looking through the lens! It may even have been his car, which I believe it was.


Divya Shankar filming at Bakewell

The red deer on Big Moor saw us alright, with our compact camera and SLR and tripods. As Divya said, if she were to have been walking around with her tripod placed more strategically, they might be coming towards her instead of going away from her 🙂 I believe red deer have been camera ready long before cameras came along. Even at this time of the year, when the stags are losing their antlers, and their manes are becoming less fluffier, their stylised gait, which buzzes around in my dancers head as kullukku nadai, makes them a magnet for the lens.


Divya Shankar on Big Moor


Red Deer on Big Moor

  It is a shame we didn’t catch the adders, I even tempted them by laying still on the bone dry heather and sun basking, in the hope that they would come join me. But I suppose they prefer the company of a tin sheet to that of an ignorant ranger 🙂

We always seem to land on our feet first when tumbling down the great space of weather uncertainty on our days out for this project. Our project must have started on a shubha muhurth (opportune or auspicious time to start) as some in the community say. It pleases everyone to go out on a bright fine day with blue skies and a light pleasant breeze, especially when such a day comes at the fag end of winter. Our filming days have caused least inconvenience to the filmmakers, with their steel framed cold-attracting tripods and endless minutes spent fingering little buttons out in the open, thanks in good measure to accurate mountain weather forecasts.


Divya Shankar filming Bakewell bridge


Spring blossoms in Baslow


Up near Lady Well Farm, Baslow


Lady Well Farm, Baslow

Talking of fingers, myself and the rangers did some finger-acting for the first time! Ah, there is no end to the possibilities and opportunities one can create through the lens. Through letters in archives and maps on walls, our fingers raced through routes and words, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes pointed, sometimes lain down.

We captured mood..





and mortality in the countryside.



Being indoors to talk about the National Park is frustrating if not excruciating. It didn’t work at all for at least one of us. It was magic when we returned outdoors!


Ranger Tom Lewis from Brunts Barn

Yet we endured, we spoke, we discussed, we reflected and talked, sitting at the Hatchery as the last recording session went well into the small hours. Pizza came to the rescue of some hungry hard working Phds and would-be Phds who came to talk about their experience of the project. Past midnight, and we became delusional 🙂 And we turned our lens on it, the result is..




Look whats hatched at The Hatchery!


We would really like to thank all those who put themselves through this ordeal – the rangers, the project participants, the red deer and everything else including the little beetle that I captured and released on Big Moor, a disturbing influence of Hidden Kingdoms!






Chamu Kuppuswamy

Walk in Carpenter country

Setting off from Grindleford train station, I did a circular walk taking in the Burbage valley and Millstone Edge. It was a glorious day and felt like the start of summer, not spring!

This is all Edward Carpenter country, but would have looked very different during his times. In fact, he would have seen the ‘before and after’ of the place! The route I took is rich in industrial heritage from the last 100 years. Starting off near Grindleford station (the Totley tunnel, the second longest railway tunnel in the UK, was built during Carpenter’s time in Millthorpe), we took the steep path up the railway that carried stones for the Derwent valley Dams, which were built in the beginning of 1900, the Derwent valley water Board was set up around the turn of the century. We walked up to the winding station, and then took one of the tracks to the loading platforms, we then arrived at Bole Quarry Hill, an impressive rockface that bears ample sign of quarrying, currently very popular with rock climbers. There is world war history too in the region, most of it was used as target practice, a grindstone at Bole Hill Quarry bears the mark of being used a gun base. Over on the top from the Quarry is the wonderful area around Suprise view, the view itself from there is spectacular. Edward Carpenter regulalry walked here, he talks off doing long walks across the moors to Mam Tor, which is seen over the horizon, beyond Hope valley cement works, on the right side. The Shivering mountain (Mam Tor) tells ancient stories of iron-age settlements. From Suprise view, I went on Millstone Edge, on to Higger Tor and then Upper Burbage car park for some lunch. The return route was on the oft ised Sheffield country walk path along the other side of Burbage valley, looking at world war target practice sites and some curious oddiites like the cracked bath tub! Lots of millstones strewn along the side of the path. From there, a delightful stretch of the Longshaw Estate, taking in an old store where ice was before refridgerators came into existence. I had the chance to look at a plunge pool, once used by a hospital that operated on the grounds! Granby pool was delightful on this sunny day, as was Padley gorge, bringing me back to Grindleford, where I started.

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Chamu Kuppuswamy

HSH Phase II

Wondering what that is? An acronym for Hindu Samaj Heritage! Have you noticed the change in the blog name? This marks a new beginning in our quest to discover and understand anglo-Indian heritage in the Peak District.  We focus on cotton, and team up with new researchers to look into some new connections and deepen our knowledge on already discovered connections.

looking at cotton

We are looking at cotton in Phase II HSH

This new phase is funded by the AHRC and has its blog, which brings together reports and items of interest from three different community groups and a number of academics. For a current programme of events, check out our page here, scroll down for Phase II events, these are subject to change, but will be modified as and when the changes happen.

We have some exciting stuff planned for this phase. We are expecting new research on cotton that uncovers global links. We have walks planned, a professionally produced, Indian design walk leaflet (paper and electronic versions) , an artifact/artifacts possibly, an international cotton conference, with an opportunity to hear from international textile experts from the Americas and India, and the opportunity to go on trips with other community groups interested in global cotton connections in the Peak District.

Those of you interested in these events, please contact us to participate, via

Chamu Kuppuswamy