I John Meredith was born in South Normanton and lived at the side of a blind man, so when I was young I used to take him walking around the fields near where we lived. I explained to him the scenery and wild life; this gave me an interest in the countryside. Work then became a necessity and for a few years I did not walk.
But in my late 20s I noticed a walking club in my village of Pinxton, and decided every Sunday to go with them. I became good friends with the leader Mr Eddie Finn and his wife Flo; they showed me how to walk in Derbyshire, how to negotiate and find the best paths and read a map. I owe them a great deal with altering my life and style.
Getting much fitter and meeting Mr Trevor Bellomy Fredrick Gent’s School Headmaster, we decided to take walking a step further, start doing some long distant walks; in fact the walks became a way of life. In winter doing the start of the walk with torches before daylight; going up to 30 miles, in rain snow and shine, exploring most of the paths in the area. In fact the area walked had great variety, and enabled one to see the range of landscapes, villages, riverbanks, woods, hills, rocks, moorland; all could be in one walk. We walked together for 25 years and became very good friends.
Trevor Bellamy (born 1919) grew up in South Wales, as a boy he walked, ran and played in the slopes of the moorland-mountains around his home. He enjoyed walking along the mountain tops in his teenage years. This was in addition to playing sport at school, being in every team, rugby, cricket and athletics. He was 20 in 1939 at the outbreak of the war, which dominated the lives of his generation. Mr Bellamy’s working life was spent in education in Derbyshire, in Swanwick-Grammar School in the 1950s, and at Fredrick Gents School in South Normanton for over 20 years from 1957 as head teacher. Pupils of the school will tell that sport was much in evidence, and he took pupils canoeing, sailing, climbing and walking.
These walks were compiled by two walkers John Meredith who made up the walks and Trevor Bellomy recorded them and wrote them down. Both were interested in the countryside; nature; history and the beauty of the area walked, also in walking itself.
The walks were a labour of love; farmers and villager’s we met on the way were asked about the history, geology and things of interest in their area.
The area covered by these walks is the area covered by the White and Dark Peak Maps, with an extra area of the South at the bottom of Dove Dale.
We decided in the 1990’s to do a walk every week to cover the best of the paths of the above area and record them. But then came the advent of computers and it became the modern way to put them on computer, memory sticks and cards.
The Ordnance Survey gave permission to use their maps as the walks were intended to be given to the Ramblers Association, so if any other person uses the walks they must delete the maps.
The walks being done in the 1990’s, many years ago, I am afraid that things change, stiles alter, walls taken out fences appear, and paths are moved.
Every attempt has been made to be as accurate as possible, but these should only be used as a guide, and a map and compass should be used. Remember the weather can change very quickly, especially on the moors. One should always know a way down and know the weather forecast.
There is an abbreviated account of each walk, so as to help planning. The distance and time of the walks is an approximate, as these walks were done when we were younger and quite fit.
This book[set of walk descriptions] benefits from the knowledge gained. We hope that you will enjoy it also
Authors and compilers,
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