8th April 2020
A new weekly feature by Alan Jacques
The Sheffield Clarion Ramblers’ Club was founded in 1900 by the redoubtable GHB (Bert) Ward. The freedom of access that so many of us now have on the Eastern Moors and beyond is due in no small part to the pioneers of the Clarion, who fought tirelessly for the right to roam and for access to our Peak moorlands.
The club published annual handbooks, mostly the work of Ward, which first appeared in 1913. Today they are avidly collected and are a fascinating local and social history full of information and facts about archaeology, folklore, geology, place-names, flora and fauna – and refreshments stops! Importantly, they also listed full information of the annual programme of Rambles.
They are an absolute treasure chest, packed with anecdotes, quotations, illustrations, Ward’s own hand-drawn maps and some of his own political and social views!
Whilst we are in the current lockdown and are unable to enjoy the freedom of the moors, I will be dipping into some of the old handbooks and picking out snippets in them about the Eastern Moors and comparing their relevance to us today.