Monthly Archives: July 2018

CLARION CALL

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Find out about the history of the Sheffield Clarion Ramblers in this recently-published book:

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The book, which celebrates Sheffield’s place in the fight for access to the Peak District moors, was launched at this year’s Spirit of Kinder Day at Edale Village Hall on Saturday, April 22.

Entitled Clarion Call: Sheffield’s Access Pioneers, the book includes many previously-unseen photographs of the early days of the Sheffield Clarion Ramblers and their charismatic leader GHB Ward. It is published by the South Yorkshire & North East Derbyshire branch of the Ramblers.

The photographs show the men in their Sunday suits and women in long dresses and hats, all wearing hob-nailed boots, on rambles organised by the Clarion Club, one of the first working class rambling clubs in the country, founded by Ward in 1900. One of the pictures even shows Ward skinny-dipping in a pool near Swain’s Greave, Bleaklow, on one of the early rambles.

The book has been written by Dave Sissons, Terry Howard and Roly Smith, all committed local access campaigners for many years. Ward expert Dave Sissons has managed to link many of the photographs with actual walks as recorded in the famous and now avidly-collected Clarion Club Handbooks, which Ward single-handedly edited for 50 years. Terry Howard, a prominent Sheffield rambler and access campaigner, contributes his personal views of Kinder Scout and the legacy of GHB Ward, and the book is designed by Ann Beedham.

The book also records the leading role in the fight for access to mountain and moorland which Sheffield has played over the years. Editor Roly Smith writes in his introduction that leading national figures, such as John Ruskin and Edward Carpenter, all had strong connections with Sheffield, and the fight for the right to roam.

“We felt it was important that Sheffield’s part in these early access battles should be recorded, especially important now that the city is campaigning to be Britain’s Outdoor City,” explained Roly, who is also president of SYNED.

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