5 Ganesha Stories, 5 Environmental Thoughts

This year’s Ganesha walk was a vibrant one. 2nd of August 2014 was high summer, but one of the pleasanter days, with some showers, and breeze. It was lovely walking along the river, not feeling that thirsty, walking across some muddy bits. Stopping by woods, under trees and besides lush river banks, twelve of us engaged with some Hindu stories and reflection on nature. The Ganesha walk is a gentle two mile walk starting at Grindleford train station car park. The little café at Grindleford is a welcome feature of our start point, to pick up water and even some big lunches if needed! I always like to have a little peek at the book shelf, which stocks many interesting publications on the Peak District National Park, its trails, biodiversity, history and its people. Starting at 11 am, we usually aim to get to Hathersage train station around 2.30 pm, stopping for lunch and a couple of breaks on route. We finish at Hathersage train station, we ask participants to bring £1.70 with them, to get themselves on the train to Grindleford- the starting point. So we end up on a circular route, half walk, and half train journey, so people can get back to their cars, vans etc.

Myself and Anne Goodwin, a ranger on shift at Brunts Barn, who is a writer and very interested in storytelling, and Hindu tales, lead the walk. We narrate the stories using pictures as props, and also natural features of the National Park. This year, I decided that I have some bright ideas, and want to pick up one key point for reflection from each story. Anne was game for it and so came about this ‘ 5 stories, 5 environmental thoughts’ scheme.

So here the outline of our scheme. We felt it was quite well received!

story -ET snip

If you want to listen to the whole stories, you will have to join us on the walk next year, or research them yourselves!










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Since childhood I have enjoyed listening to Puranas that are set in the outdoors, and my dance training also helped me imagine the outdoors artistically. As I was training as a ranger in 2010, these were my only connections with the outdoors, unlike some of my fellow trainees who had been walking for quite some years before they embarked on ranger trainee. I would hear from rangers the names of rock formations, and I would be reminded of the shiva lingham, my only point of association with the rock! I pressed on along those lines and then began to think out of the box. When I saw that the Hindu Samaj in Sheffield do a visarjan (immersion) of the Ganesha idol, I thought people would enjoy a walk in the countryside and developed the Ganesha walk. The outdoors and nature may not be familiar to us Indians and Hindus, as in it isn’t that common to hold maps and tramp the countryside, but it is integral to our life in other ways, I discovered. I wanted to explore. Well, after all, that is the remit of the ranger – to explore the landscape, so I was going to physically explore, culturally explore and spiritually explore. Avadhutta Dattatreya (a Hindu teacher) famously talks of many birds and animals as his teachers, as a ranger I find I learn a tremendous lot from observing nature, and I began to discover that I can make a tremendous lot of sense from what I am learning using Hindu philosophy. I was hooked to this connection now – Rangering and Hindu Philosophy!

It was in the midst of this journey that I was interviewed by radio 4 about the work I was doing on a chap called Edward Carpenter, who many decades ago, was going through the same process – understanding nature and making sense of it, living very near the Peak District. He visited India, met a guru, and was hooked to Hindu philosophy! So I discovered I wasn’t the only one exploring the landscape through Hinduism in the heart of the north of England!

Actually I am told on good authority, these explorations/ thoughts are not alien to the British Isles, and could be very very old indeed! I received a fascinating letter, written by the fireside by a radio 4 listener. It took me on a wonderful journey of language and ritual in the British Isles! It struck a chord in him, the correspondent wrote, listening to a ‘magnificent and original programme’ on Radio 4, where I spoke of the Ganesha walk. His letter struck a chord with me, that willingness to open up and explore and marvel at discoveries, and particularly to communicate that!

He wrote about the Ganesh festival celebrations in Sheffield,

” Your mention of Ganesha being washed in the river Don struck a chord with me, a chord that may go back many thousands of years.

The old languages of Britain (Celtic, and later Teutonic) are descended from the same language as Sanskrit. In an impressive family tree from millennia ago, the eminent archaeologist Barry Cunliffe speaks of a ‘proto Indo-European language’ which branched out into three, one of which went East and evolved into Sanskrit, the other went to Mongolia and onwards to America and yet another went to Europe and obliterated older native languages (of which Basque, Finnish and Hungarian survive today). The European language further fragmented and became Greek and Roman and around 6,000 years ago, another split led to Celtic and Teutonic. The Celts invaded Britain and from it evolved Manx, Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gallic. The Teutons became the Anglo-Saxons and also the Norse invaders. The Peak District was taken over by the Anglo-Saxons or Norse invaders.

Eilert Ekwall, author of Oxford dictionary of English place-names and English river names says Don is from the British ‘Dana’, an old name for water, related to Sanskrit ‘ danu’ (rain or moisture)

The origins of many Welsh and English words for the basics of life seem to have links with Sanskrit and the Proto Indo European. (look up mother, father, water, tree, door, oak, sky, earth, horse, door) It seems in short, the ancestors of Welsh and Anglo-saxons carry the same words as the people of India, as we are all from the same source.

The Welsh legends are based on families, I do not see them as ‘Gods’ exactly (perhaps a Victorian word for these beings?), but as characters who live for so long and are so archetypal that they appear, compared to our short lives, to be immortal. The Vikings who came to the Peak District had tales of the Aesir and the Vanir: Orin, Thor, Frey and Freya, Loki etc etc, much is known of the male gods as their stories were written down, but the stories of the fertility deities such as Frey and Freya (brother and sister) (as in Friday) are few. I remember in ‘Gods and myths of Northern Europe’ (H.R.Elis Davidson) that there is a record of a ceremony, witnessed by a Christian missionary, of carts containing idols of Frey and Freya being wheeled into the lake in Denmark for the idols to be washed.

I know very little of the ninth legends, and forget what I’ve read in the Upanishads and the Bhagvad Gita, but my feeling for all the stories of Krishna, Siva, Brahma, of Ram and Hanuman and Lakshmi, has been one of recognition. I feel deeply that the tales passed down to us in Britain are from the same source or wellspring as the tales that are told from India. Now how much the spread of language reflects the spread of actual people, or if language colonises a native people who then switch tongues, I do not know. But the washing of Ganesh in the Don seems right to me.

I do not know if you are aware of ‘well dressing’ (at Tissington, Buxton etc) where flower pictures adorn springs (always sacred to Celts) or of garland Days, when a main is dressed all in leaves like a giant bush mounted on a horse (at Castleton, I think) India without elephants!

I feel your work in the Peak District is completing a circle.”

Signed off as ‘your distant cousin’

Isn’t it all just amazing! I am so very pleased to have also received a bibliography for further reading on these ideas, which I very much look forward to reading.

BBC One Countryfile 6th July 2014






Part I

Helen Skelton: This beautiful landscape provides quiet sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities that flank it.

A third of Sheffield is actually in the Peak District, which makes it the only UK city to have a National Park within its boundaries.







Chamu Kuppuswamy:   I do a walk called Elephant in the Park walk.

HS: right

Chamu Kuppuswamy: This year it is on the 2nd of August.

HS: When Chamu Kuppuswamy first moved to Sheffield she began looking for connections between the Peak District and the country of her birth, India. What were your first impressions of the Peak District then?

CK: oh, one of..wonderful countryside and I thought it was very very quiet, compared to cities I have lived in India, of course.

HS: And what about you in terms of your friends, your family and your culture – why did you think it was so important to find links with India?

CK: In some of these places kind of my memory was jogged of.. you know.. about having read something about India about this place. That kind of said well actually there must be a lot of different links that will be really interesting to find out in which case I can have my own sort of global interpretation of the National Park and that really sparked the whole thing off.


HS: One of the most exciting links that Chamu found was here in Millthorpe.




Edward Carpenter was one of the village’s former residents. Socialist, poet and philosopher, he had a fascination for Hinduism that led him on a life changing journey to India. So he was sort of a pioneer in that he went to India, he liked what he found about Hinduism and he brought it back here.

CK: Absolutely. He went to India because of all that he had heard about India. And he also visited a guru over there. So he really strengthened his knowledge of Hinduism.





HS: This is Carpenter’s former home in Millthorpe, where I am meeting Helen Smith. Fascinated by the life of Edward Carpenter, also known as the Saint in Sandals, she’s researched his life extensively for her Phd.


HS: Helen, these look intriguing! Tell me about these.



Helen Smith: They are, I think. I think people would have been very surprised when these appeared in this area in the 1890s. These sandals actually represent sort of Edward Carpenter’s relationship to India, and the things that he liked about India, things that he brought back from India. These sandlas representative of something that was freedom for him, freedom in terms of dress, and also the freedom of understanding that he found in India and brought back over to the Peaks with him.

HS: And this is something that people wanted him to sort of spread the word about.

HeSm: Yes, absolutely.

HS: I believe this is a letter from Gandhi.


HeSm: It is, yes. A little bit later on Carpenter had been working into the early 20th century trying to spread these ideas. And that brought him to the attention of Gandhi and Gandhi’s circle. And Gandhi was very keen to write to Carpenter to ask him to sort of take his ideas out into Gandhi’s wider circle. And to spread the word even more. So that highlights its importance really, in sort of things like the Indian independence movement as well.

[Indian music]

HS: Carpenter’s connection to India flourished on his return home. His walks in the Peak District were now further inspired by ideas of Hinduism and soon it influenced his writing.

[Indian music background] [voice] You are not to differentiate yourself from nature. It is only under such conditions that the little mortal creature becomes gradually aware of what he is.



HS: But there is an even more colourful local character who brought these two cultures even closer together. Thomas Wardle was a silk dyer.


From 5000 miles away in the Peak District he made a breakthrough that changed the livelihood of Indian silk dyers bringing new vibrancy to previously near worthless fabric.



As expert dyer Glen is hoping to show us.



G: The fabric when it first come to him, it weren’t useful. When the silk is woven it goes through with gum so it doesn’t break.

HS: So when you say there was gum on it, they put that on to strengthen it?

G: strengthen it, so they could weave it

HS: So he found a way to get that gum off it and that it could take dye?

G: yeah, yeah. And what he did was he prepared the fabric with soap, alkali and then bleached the fabric, then he could get the range of shades he wanted to get like pink, lighter shades of blue and so on. If it wasn’t, we would be looking at dark greys, or browns or blacks or

HS: So initially people were looking at Indian tussur silk and saying, that is useless, that’s no good to me. And Thomas Wardle said.. ahn.ha..we can make this work.

G: Well, what he did was pretty remarkable really

HS: So Thomas Wardle has left a legacy among silk dyers, has he left a legacy in India?

CK: I think he absolutely has. He gave the Indian silk industry their new market , which is there were more and more people now who were interested in tussur silk.

HS: And Wardle found another use for tussur silk, producing a fabric called seal cloth, which became a huge success when used to make waterproofs. And where would the Peak District be without them?

Absolutely no need for waterproofs today. But what about the rest of the week – Countryfile Weather Forecast.


Part II                                     

Rugged moorlands, picturesque dales, the Peak District was Britain’s first National Park.



And one of our most accessible. Around 20 million people live within just an hour’s drive. 10 million people visit the Peak District each year. And it is surrounded by diverse northern towns and cities. But 1% of the people who come here are from ethnic minorities.

Earlier we met Chamu Kuppuswamy, she has discovered some surprising connections between the peaks and her native, India. In an area synonymous with the right to roam movement back in the 1930s, Chamu is at the forefront of a new kind of campaign – encouraging people from ethnic minorities to get out and enjoy what the area has to offer.







CK: This place is just amazing in terms of being actually able to walk in it, and actually get anywhere you want, and with the help of a map you are able to explore so much of the countryside, which for me was unprecedented.

HS: So walking and rambling isn’t something that you would have done in India?

CK: No, certainly not. I mean, we do a lot of walking but in cities, but nothing like in the countryside. The countryside is really offlimits. And there’s lots of dangers, hazards, and also there isn’t a map you could use. Therefore it is not somewhere you would naturally do to go for a walk.

HS: What do you think is stopping people from ethnic minorities coming out and enjoying the Peak District?

CK: A number of different factors. Information about the fact that there is access, and there is the right to roam in this area is one of the least known bits of information, I think, because National parks are looked at more as conservation areas, where people don’t actually inhabit. Because that’s the kind of Parks people encounter in India.

HS: So why do you think it is important for people to come out here?

CK: oh! I think, for anyone to come out into nature is really really great. I think you can experience the sort of tranquillity, and experience the sort of pleasure that you can’t get from any other activity.










HS: Once she was out and about, Chamu couldn’t get enough. You trained to be a ranger yourself. What do your parents back in India think of this strange sort of hobby of yours?

CK: First of all, they asked me- Is it safe? You know, if you go, do you actually patrol on your own?

Chamu’s regular walks reveal the links with her Indian heritage and are a great way of getting more people from ethnic minorities into the Peak District.

Debjani: I love cities, that on a nice day like this, I can be out in the Peak District.


Vithal Patel: My principle is the world is my school, and nature is my book. You learn lot of things from the nature really, lot of understanding through the nature.


Pragya: I guess I like everything about the Peak District. Its green, its peaceful, its calm and I am like pretty much into the flora. Everything I come here I find something new to look at.




HS: There is no end to Chamu’s passion for this area. Researching links with India, becoming a ranger, leading walks, and one more thing – dancing.


These ruins of a house from 500 years ago provide the perfect stage for Chamu’s performance.

Annapoorna Kuppuswamy sings – Sarasi jaakshulu jhalakha made ..with dancers bells sounding

HS: Chamu has written, choreographed and is now performing this dance, inspired by nature and her connection with the Peak District.

AK sings: Sarigha cheerulu mela




















CK: the techniques are replete with inspiration from nature. This is the sort of first ever time we have actually done it together as a group outside. It is absolute fascinating, just walking up on the grass and feeling the stone over there, is a completely different experience to sort of being in a classroom where the surface is very different.

AK sings: ..tharuvu neekita

HS (whispering): I am going to going on a limb here, but I am pretty sure that this is the first time we have done Bharathanatyam, Indian dancing in the National Park on Countryfile. I think Tom Heap should do all his reports like this from now on!

AK sings: Sarasi jaakshulu…

With moves like this, it’s no wonder word seems to have gone around!





s91AK sings: tharuvu neekita joothus chuntuta dharma ..aaa…aaa.


HS: From the John Craven School of Dancing.

John Craven: laughs

HS: That was impressive. Thank you. What a fantastic way of ending the show.

JC: It was wonderful, wasn’t it?




Transcribed by Chamu Kuppuswamy

Our 100th blog post!

In search of peace

by Aishu Hari

I thought I had lost my Saturday morning sleep when I agreed to go on a walk in the Peak district along with few friends. I did not know what was in store for me. I thought to myself- “It better be good because I had sacrificed my sleep for it!” What I experienced was nothing short of a paradise.

The previous day before the peak district walk my favorite team had lost a very crucial match in the Indian Premier League that was going on at that time. I was upset and I thought I would just bury myself inside my pillow and vent out my feelings all day. I was nothing close to doing what I was thinking I would be doing since the entire day I spent was worth each minute. It all started with a bus ride from the Sheffield Hindu Samaj temple. I had heard a lot about Peak district and it is even in the list of the ‘to-do’ things when you are in Sheffield. But being the more of an indoor person that I am, I never pushed myself to explore the place. I am so glad that I finally did and that experience took away all the worries and stress I was facing the previous night. Firstly, the place by itself is very beautiful and is a sight to behold. But what takes away the cake is that it is one place where four of the five elements meet. I saw the clear blue sky, pure sparkling water and could feel fresh air on my face every time the wind blew. It is something that one must witness to understand what it really feels like to be at this wonderful place. At that moment, I understood why exploring Peak district was in the ‘to-do’ list of every student who was studying at the University.

aishu 1

It was not just the scenery and the greenery that I witnessed that day, there was more to it! I tasted a different cuisine which was very interesting, I visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Derwent Valley Mills World), had a look at a very old cotton mill, saw colorful ducks swimming peacefully not worried about anything happening around them, understood what it means to walk through the woods along with friends. It was as if we were all going for an adventure trip, only it was an adventure mixed with a lot of additional information. All this felt like a welcome change, from the monotonous routine of typing away to complete all the assignments to spending time with the environment. A different experience altogether, a nicer one at that!

aishu 2

There came a point where I just closed my eyes and stood there just to see how it felt when interacting with nature. Then I thought to myself, never mind the lost sleep, never mind the lost match, never mind the stress of an upcoming deadline. I knew I had found peace in this place and then nothing else mattered!

Aishu is studying Masters in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield

Responses to our Radio 4 programme

A number of interesting and appreciative comments have come through to Thursday’s episode of BBC radio 4’s ‘Open Country’ which featured our project. The following is an excerpt from each of these public responses

sarah campbell blog

In my mind’s eye I saw hot silk saris shimmering against the grey stone walls and skeins of threads reaching across the hilly moorland.”

wrote Sarah Campbell, who Brenda King introduced to me as a very eminent textile designer. Sarah caught up with our episode as it was rebroadcast early one weekend morning, and after listening to our programme and letting her imagination run, she says it was ‘a great way to greet the day’

Sarah’s blog – http://sarahcampbelldesigns.wordpress.com

spyders of burslem

It was with great interest that I read David Haden’s own inquiry in the directions we have taken in the project. In his blog post ‘Hindus and the Peak District’, he has posted this tantalising snippet – a result of a bit of online research.

“he recounted the true story of his own encounter with a wandering Hindu in the vicinity of Bakewell and Monsal Dale”

I am now able to present a fuller extract from the chapter ‘Writers in the Dales’ from The Discovery of the Peak District: from Hades to Elysium (p.178)

“Rhodes, whose writing we are told could occasionally emulate that of Sir Walter Scott or Samuel Johnson, may have been subconsciously affected by the latter’s Rasselas when he recounted the true story of his own encounter with a wandering Hindu in the vicinity of Bakewell and Monsal Dale. His narrative has pathos and is as moving as Defoe’s graphic description of his meeting with the lead miner’s wife at Brassington a century earlier. In this case Rhodes and a stranger he had met at an inn were travelling in his gig when they came upon ‘a man clothed in an English great-coat, with a white turban on his head; his gait and appearance, even at a distance, bespoke him the native of another country’. Rhodes’s companion had apparently served in India and spoke to the wanderer in his native tongue. He replied, ecstatic with emotion, that he had not heard his mother tongue since he had left India on a vessel bound for Hull. On arrival at that port ‘ he was no longer useful and therefore discarded’. He was now seeking another ship to take him home. He spoke no English, had no food and was quite lost. Rhodes’s companion wrote on a card the name of a gentleman in Ashbourne who had resided for some years in Calcutta and suggested that he help this lost ‘Child of Nature’ to his native land.”

Ebenezer Rhodes was a Sheffield man and a Master Cutler, very interested in the Peak District and spent a lot of time in the Dales.

Fascinating stuff! Why did the sailor (could have been a lascar, see an early blog post here) not remain in Hull and look for the next ship to take him home? How did he get to the Peak District? Was he a Hindu? What language was it that they conversed in? Who was this Ashbourne resident who had lived in Calcutta? What happened in Hull (or perhaps we should be asking what are these practices) that meant the lascar was not ‘useful’ and therefore ‘discarded’?

Thanks David for your interesting blog piece on our radio programme.

David’s blog – http://potbanks.wordpress.com/

pick of the week snip 6 April 2014

And finally a radio response to our radio programme!

Hardeep Singh Kohli, a British writer, comedian and radio and television presenter who is a prominent supporter of Scottish independence chose his favourite programmes from the week’s offerings on Radio 4 and our programme made it to his list! In Radio 4’s ‘Pick of the week’! [Listen from 10.18 to 13.10, available only until Sunday, the 13th of April, 6 pm] he says

“I am all for making connections between my dual heritage – Scotland and India but I hadn’t realised that in the heart of the Peak District there are secrets from colonial British India”.

And here’s how our project inspired him. Or perhaps particularly the Elephant in the Park [https://heritagehindusamaj.wordpress.com/heritage-walks/] walk, Hardeep says

“Its inspired me to propose a short series of programmes myself “Shiva skis Glenshee, Durga goes dancing in the Dales and Buddha in the Brecon Beacons”

Ha ha, Hardeep! We already thought of at least two of these – Durga dancing in the Dales – See my blog post here , a new dance production is in the pipeline. We will send you an invite, Hardeep! And Buddha in the Brecon Beacons – See Mindfulness workshop here. Great minds and all, Hardeep 🙂

Chamu Kuppuswamy

We are a highlight of the week on BBC Radio 4!

Our project episode on Radio 4’s Open Country has been picked as one of the highlights of the programmes for this week on BBC Radio 4. Listen to how our project has inspired ” “Shiva skis in Glenshee, Durga goes dancing in the Dales, Buddha in the Brecon Beacons” –  on ‘Pick of the week’! – Listen from 10.18 to 13.10 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03zxw0l [till 13 April 2014, 6 pm only]

pick of the week snip 6 April 2014

Chamu Kuppuswamy

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