OUTDOORSmagic reports from the celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1932 Kinder Trespass at the weekend
We popped along to Saturday's celebration of the Kinder Trespass
at Hayfield so we could tell you what it was actually like, rather
than what the organisers or the national press would have you
First, estimates were that around 500 people turned up. Not enough
to fill the quarry - now ironically a pay and display car park -
where the original trespass took place, but a decent enough turn out
given the weather forecast, which was pretty bleak.
There was a good mix of folk. More mature walkers in muted shades
of green were in the majority, but with a smattering of brighter-hued
youngsters, Chris Bonington and his dog and a small group of escapees
from Monty Python's 'Upper Class Twit if the Year' contest - they
turned out to be landowners along to gently harangue Michael Meacher,
after which they buttoned up their Barbours and left quietly along
with their labradors.
Unfortunately the speakers were tucked away in a small marquee
where they were invisible to the bulk of the audience, but the
atmosphere was good humoured and a decent PA system meant the
speeches were clearly audible.
First up was Meacher talking postively in politician speak about
the right to roam and how much the government loves walkers etc. Apt
as the driving force behind the original trespass was solidly left
wing. Following that the Duke of Devonshire rather touchingly
apologised for the attitude of his grandfather and welcomed walkers
to his land around Chatsworth.
Next was the Ramblers' Kate Ashbrook, conveniently ignoring the
opposition of the Rambers Association of the time to the Trespass,
she spoke of the RA's desire to open up access to not just high moors
and mountains, but also rivers, forests, people's front rooms etc,
Finally, writer Jim Perrin spoke movingly about Benny Rothman,
leader of the Trespass who died earlier this year after a colourful
campaigning life. After that some nice protesting-ish folky songs
including Mike Harding's rendition of the classic Manchester
Rambler, then fittingly everyone went for a walk up an overcast
William Clough and presumably wondered at how we could ever have been
barred from this beautiful place.
Not a particularly dramatic occasion, but a good-natured and
cheerful reminder of how things have changed and who we have to thank