Category Archives: Talks

Railways in the Cornish Landscape — part 2. — Stephen Gay — 12/02/2018

After telling us how he found a grave­stone with his name on it in St. Keys grave­yard, Stephen began his story of the Redruth and Chasewater Railway begin­ning near Truro.

His talk was accom­pan­ied by won­der­ful pho­to­graphs that he has taken on his travels.

He showed us Devoran Village Hall, which was once an engine shed.  The road along­side the hall was where the rail­way ran ori­gin­ally. A branch line, which car­ried min­er­als, once ran from the main line down to the River Fal where the min­eral boats were moored.

We were taken on a cruise down the river to Falmouth, which was the deep­est nat­ural port in England.  Stephen stayed in Falmouth at the Green Bank Hotel.  He found that Florence Nightingale and, later, Kenneth Graham, of ‘Wind in the Willows’ fame, stayed at the hotel.

He vis­ited Pendennis shipyard, where naval ves­sels were main­tained, because he knew that steam trains were still used there until 1986. The main line con­tin­ues across a via­duct where the stone pil­lars of Brunel’s ori­ginal timber via­duct can be seen along­side.  The ori­ginal via­duct was replaced in 1933.  Brunel’s lines were seven and a quarter foot gauge, much wider than modern track.

His next sta­tion was at Perranwell, a request stop, where Stephen and Wrawby, his Germen Shepherd dog, went for a walk.  They dis­covered an ancient fin­ger­post, which dir­ec­ted them to King Harry’s Ferry, which was a chain-link ferry across the river.

The line con­tin­ues through Penryn and is single track.  It is very busy with tour­ists and stu­dents, but at Penryn sta­tion there is a side loop where trains trav­el­ling up and down the line can pass each other.  The plat­form is extra long to accom­mod­ate trains in both dir­ec­tions. The next via­duct was the last of Brunel’s timber via­ducts to be replaced.

On to Falmouth Dock sta­tion, which could become very much busier.  There are rumours that cruise liners from crowded Southampton port are to be diver­ted to Falmouth.

Then to Chasewater sta­tion which closed in 1963 when Beeching closed the branch line to Perranporth.

Stephen diver­ted to Perranporth sta­tion where there was a Millenium Project to make a Railway Walk along the dis­used line. He went by bus down to the beach where an artist called Kenneth Steel was once employed by British Railways to paint coastal views for BR posters.  Stephen told us that there is a Steel poster on Dronfield sta­tion and a paint­ing by Steel on the first floor of Atkinsons store near the toi­lets.

Redruth Station is approached by a short tunnel and in the sta­tion café is a plaque that says “Jenny Agutter stayed here.”

Camborne, next on the line, is the birth­place of Richard Trevithick, a rail­way pion­eer.  There is a statue of him in the town.  (Stephen read his poem about Trevithic.) He dis­covered another old finger post that still dir­ec­ted him to a sta­tion that closed in 1963!

Stephen stood on the dis­used (dan­ger­ous) Helston via­duct to take a pho­to­graph, then on to Helston sta­tion, which is the south­ern­most sta­tion in England.  GWR ran out of money so they opened a bus link to the Lizard where they built a narrow gauge (funicu­lar) rail­way down to the life­boat sta­tion.

Further on he passed Lelant Saltings sta­tion, which was one of the first ‘Park and Ride’ sta­tions.  When it opened in 1978 the cost for park­ing a car and a return to St. Ives for 4 people was 60p.

The line runs along the coast towards St. Ives where the sta­tion is next to the beach at the end of the line.  Stephen took a pho­to­graph of St. Ives sta­tion from the inside of a tele­phone box after he had cleaned evid­ence of the pres­ence of many seagulls from the win­dows. (He read his poem about how mobile phones are threat­en­ing the phone boxes.)

The whole ‘trip’ was an enorm­ous pleas­ure, through the present and past of Cornwall, illus­trated by splen­did pho­to­graphs and Stephen’s poems.

 

The Family of Oscar Wilde — Dr Michael Collins — 5th February 2018

We all knew that Oscar Wilde was a bit of a lad, and those of us who enjoyed Mike Collins’s enthralling talk about the Irish poet and play­wright now also know that he was some­thing of a chip off the old block. For while Oscar played a cent­ral part in the story, Mike’s present­a­tion – sub­titled Genius, Eccentricity and Tragedy — helped us under­stand how Wilde’s char­ac­ter was to a large extent shaped by his intel­lec­tual and upper middle class family.

Oscar was born in 1854 to William (later Sir William) Wilde, a prom­in­ent Dublin ear and eye sur­geon, and his wife Jane Elgee, a noted poet, fem­in­ist and social­ite. He was home edu­cated to the age of nine, with French and German gov­ernesses, and became fluent in both lan­guages. After uni­ver­sity in Dublin and Oxford, where Wilde proved him­self an out­stand­ing clas­si­cist, he moved to London and into fash­ion­able cul­tural and social circles.

He embraced the rising philo­sophy of aes­thet­i­cism, a lit­er­ary and artistic move­ment which was devoted to ‘art for art’s sake’ and which rejec­ted the notion that art should have a social or moral pur­pose. He pub­lished a book of poems, and lec­tured in the United States and Canada on the new English renais­sance in art, before return­ing to London where he worked pro­lific­ally as a journ­al­ist.

Known for his biting wit, flam­boy­ant dress and glit­ter­ing con­ver­sa­tional skill, Wilde became one of the best known per­son­al­it­ies of his day.

Oscar’s wife Constance, with their son Cyril

He had been intro­duced in 1881 to Constance Lloyd, daugh­ter of a wealthy QC. She happened to be vis­it­ing Dublin in 1884 when Wilde was lec­tur­ing at the Gaiety Theatre. He pro­posed to her, and they were mar­ried at the Anglican St James’s Church in Paddington, London.

But Wilde was lead­ing a double life. At the height of his suc­cess, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry pro­sec­uted for crim­inal libel after the latter had left a call­ing card at Wilde’s club, the Albemarle, on which he scribbled: “For Oscar Wilde, posing as Somdomite (sic).” The Marquess was the father of Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The libel trial unearthed evid­ence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross inde­cency with men. After two more trials he was con­victed and sen­tenced to two years’ hard labour from 1895 to 1897.

Upon his release from Reading Gaol, Wilde left imme­di­ately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, the Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), and he died des­ti­tute in Paris from cereb­ral men­ingitis at the age of just 46.

Mike Collins gradu­ated from University College, Galway, in 1973, and his interest in Wilde and his family stems largely from the fact that he grew up in the same town, Castlerea, Co Roscommon, as William Wilde, him­self the son of a prom­in­ent local med­ical prac­ti­tioner.

Mike drew com­par­is­ons between Oscar and his father. For although Sir William became pre-eminent in his field, becom­ing wealthy enough to open his own private hos­pital in Dublin, St Mark’s Opthalmic Hospital, in 1844, and being appoin­ted as Oculist-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria, his later life was also mired in con­tro­versy.

Sir William Wilde, Oscar’s father

His repu­ta­tion suffered irre­par­able damage when Mary Travers, a long-term patient of Wilde’s and the daugh­ter of a col­league, claimed that he had seduced her two years earlier. She wrote a pamph­let crudely par­ody­ing Sir William and Lady Wilde and por­tray­ing him as the rapist of a female patient anaes­thet­ised under chlo­ro­form.

 

Jane, Lady Wilde (sketch attrib­uted to George Morosini)

Lady Wilde com­plained to Mary’s father, Robert Travers, which res­ul­ted in Mary bring­ing a libel case against Lady Wilde. Mary Travers won the case but was awar­ded a mere farth­ing in dam­ages, while legal costs of £2,000 were awar­ded against Lady Wilde.

Then, three years later, the Wilde’s daugh­ter Isola died of fever at the age of nine. In 1871, the two ille­git­im­ate daugh­ters of Sir William burned to death in an acci­dent, and in 1876 Sir William him­self died. The family dis­covered that he was vir­tu­ally bank­rupt.

Lady Wilde, who wrote under the pseud­onym Speranza, was an early advoc­ate for women’s rights and gained a repu­ta­tion for pro-Irish inde­pend­ence and anti-British writ­ing. She wrote an art­icle for The Nation call­ing for armed revolu­tion in Ireland, as a result of which the magazine was per­man­ently closed down by the author­it­ies.

Oscar and Constance Wilde had two sons, Cyril (1885) and Vyvyan (1886). After Oscar’s impris­on­ment, Constance changed her sur­name to Holland and, although not seek­ing a divorce, denied par­ental rights to Oscar.

According to Vyvyan Holland’s accounts in his auto­bi­o­graphy, Son of Oscar Wilde, Oscar was a devoted and loving father to his two sons and their child­hood was a rel­at­ively happy one.

At the start of his present­a­tion Mike had run a few of Oscar Wilde’s wit­ti­cisms past us, includ­ing one of the best known: “What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of noth­ing.” Personally, the one I like the best was reputedly uttered as he lay dying in a dingy hotel room in Paris. “My wall­pa­per and I are fight­ing a duel to the death. One of us has to go.”

 

 

Footpads, Kings and Highwaymen — Ian Morgan — 29th January 2018

This was local his­tor­ian Ian Morgan’s third visit to us in con­sec­ut­ive years and, as some­body who was born and raised vir­tu­ally on the Great North Road, I had a cer­tain affin­ity with his latest offer­ing.

Ian spe­cial­ises in crimes and pun­ish­ments from times past – most of us will remem­ber his talk entitled Inspector Hopkinson’s Discovery – and Footpads, Kings and Highwaymen gave us an insight into darker times on the Great North Road over its 34-mile jour­ney through Nottinghamshire.

The first ques­tion Ian had anti­cip­ated was, what was a foot­pad? It was, simply, a high­way­man oper­at­ing on foot rather than on horse­back.

The basic prob­lem facing trav­el­lers on what has become the A1 – Britain’s longest trunk road from London to Edinburgh – was one of nav­ig­a­tion. Ian showed us a fine John Speed map of the county of Nottinghamshire dated 1610, which would look attract­ive enough in a frame but was of lim­ited use for some­body trying to make their way from one town to another. The idea of join­ing up these places with lines of vary­ing thick­ness to por­tray roads or even dirt tracks as they would have been at the time had not struck Britain’s lead­ing car­to­grapher of the day as import­ant, apart from a few street plan inserts of major towns.

John Speed’s 1610 map of Nottinghamshire

Next came the so-called strip map – we were shown one from London to Dover — in which con­sec­ut­ive stretches of the road one was trav­el­ling would be laid out ver­tic­ally, across a page, with vari­ous vil­lages and local fea­tures illus­trated – not unlike an RAC route plan­ner of more recent times.

A later strip map, show­ing con­sec­ut­ive sec­tions of the same road

 

In stage coach days, just ven­tur­ing out even on what was to become Britain’s best known trunk road, then often axle deep in mud, was a haz­ard­ous occu­pa­tion, and an altern­at­ive route appar­ently took trav­el­lers by way of Nottingham during the winter months. But Grantham, though in Lincolnshire, estab­lished itself as the main East Midlands town on the road and, from the south, Nottinghamshire is entered just after Long Bennington, and a couple of miles before the start of the Newark-on-Trent bypass.

Although the Great North Road con­tin­ues through the centre of Newark, it is nowadays des­ig­nated the A6065. Newark remained Royalist through­out the Civil War, and the town was often dubbed ‘the key of the North’ because of its stra­tegic pos­i­tion. To this day, Newark is per­haps best known for its castle, the Civil War and its market.

Newark Castle

King John breathed his last in the castle in 1216. It was sus­pec­ted at the time that his food or drink had been poisoned, but dys­en­tery seems the most likely cause and, after suf­fer­ing for two or three days, he died. A tower still stand­ing at one end of the castle ruins is where his death was affirmed, and this is still known as King John’s Tower.

Just north of Newark, Smeaton’s Viaduct car­ries the A616, part of the ori­ginal Great North Road, over the River Trent in 125 arches near South Muskham. John Smeaton, often regarded as the father of civil engin­eer­ing, is better known as the designer of the third Eddystone Lighthouse.

John Smeaton’s 125-arch via­duct

Toilet waste from Newark castle would drain straight into the River Trent, which is why most people in those days would drink beer rather than water, and our next stop-off of Tuxford seems to have had a sim­ilar repu­ta­tion, having once been described as a ‘stink­ing, rancid hole.’

Tuxford was at one time known as Tuxford in the Clays, One trav­el­ler speaks of the ‘clayey grounds’ in this vicin­ity, over which his steed could not travel more than two miles an hour. ‘

At West Markham we passed The Milton Mausoleum, a Grade I listed redund­ant Anglican church built by the fourth Duke of Newcastle in memory of his wife and two daugh­ters. It was con­sec­rated by the Archbishop of York in 1833 and closed as a parish church in the 1950s.

The Milton Mausoleum at West Markham

The A1 now takes a route to the west of Retford, but we fol­lowed the Great North Road straight through the town which takes its name from the sand­stone on which it is built – Red Ford.

The Scrooby con­greg­a­tion were Protestant sep­ar­at­ists who lived in the vil­lage of Scrooby, close to where we end our jour­ney. In 1607-08 the con­greg­a­tion emig­rated to Leiden, in the Netherlands, to seek the free­dom to wor­ship as they chose. William Brewster Jnr, one of the lead­ers of the move­ment, even­tu­ally sailed to New England on the Mayflower as one of the so-called Pilgrim Fathers.

Ian didn’t have a par­tic­u­larly old shot of Scrooby, so here’s one of today’s blog­ger and club sec­ret­ary Graham Snowdon, taken in around 1953! Drop handle­bars to boot!

Just north of Scrooby is Gibbet Hill Lane, named after a brutal murder that took place in July 1779 when John Spencer killed the Scrooby toll-bar keeper William Yeadon and his mother. He was executed after a trial at Nottingham Assizes and his body hung in a gibbet cage on a slope south of the River Ryton.

Continuing north into Bawtry it is clear to see we have left Nottinghamshire behind us because the first house on the right hand side as one enters the town, which is offi­cially 1 South Parade, Bawtry, has long been known simply as “No 1 Yorkshire.”

The house in Bawtry known as No 1 Yorkshire

So our jour­ney was over, and so was another enter­tain­ing present­a­tion by Ian Morgan.

 

EDALE MOUNTAIN RESCUE TEAMANDY CASS — 22nd January 2018

Edale Mountain Rescue Team, cour­tesy of Edale Mountain Rescue.

We are lucky to live on the edge of one of the most beau­ti­ful parts of the coun­try.  Many  mem­bers who enjoy walk­ing, biking or just motor­ing through the Peak District were famil­iar with the Edale Mountain Rescue team (EMRT) facil­ity loc­ated at the foot of Stanage but knew less about its ori­gins, activ­it­ies and the expert­ise required to man the local arm of this vital national ser­vice.

Our (Stand-in) speaker this week, Andy Cass, had been a member of EMART for over 30 years.  He divided his talk between out­lining the Charity’s his­tory loc­ally and demon­strat­ing samples of the wide range of always ready pre-packed equip­ment tailored for dif­fer­ing emer­gency situ­ations and weather con­di­tions.

EMART roots go back to the 1950s and the form­a­tion of the Peak District National Park.  The increase in rights of way, signed foot­paths and the motor car were to give easier access to often wild and remote coun­try expos­ing the grow­ing num­bers of vis­it­ors to both its delights and dangers.   In response, the Peak Park Planning Board and local rescue volun­teers met in 1956 to estab­lish the present organ­isa­tion. In the early  years equip­ment was kept in a damp hay loft at North Lees moving to the cur­rent site in 1986 owned by the then  Blue Circle Cement Co.  Various improve­ments have been made, gradu­at­ing from two ex NHS por­takabins to the present pur­pose built facil­ity opened in 2007.  This can securely house all the team’s modern equip­ment and 3 Land Rover ambu­lances.

EMART cur­rently has 48 team mem­bers plus one dog. 15 mem­bers are qual­i­fied medics includ­ing junior doc­tors. They respond to an aver­age 120 ‘call outs’ annu­ally, mostly in North Derbyshire but occa­sion­ally fur­ther afield such as the Carlisle flood emer­gency, major motor­way acci­dents and more than one crashed hang-glider. A repor­ted air crash at Ladybower turned out to be a false alarm.  In these they called upon to assist the Emergency Services. IN dif­fi­cult cases the team can call on Helicopter assist­ance from East Midlands and Humberside Airports.  About 60% of cases are deal­ing with trau­matic injur­ies (espe­cially falls from rock faces etc, frac­tures, cyc­ling acci­dents), 25% are other med­ical con­di­tions (inc Cardiac, hypo­ther­mia epi­leptic fits, dia­betes incid­ents) and 15% miss­ing per­sons. People are often found ini­tially by the team  dog having no map, com­pass, suit­able cloth­ing or foot­wear.  Despite poor recep­tion in some areas, the mobile phone has trans­formed team assembly, con­tact and hence speed and effi­ciency of response. On receiv­ing a call, the rota team leader makes an assess­ment of the man­power, expert­ise and equip­ment required and alerts mem­bers who are often on scene within 30–40 minutes.  Great emphasis is given to pro­fes­sion­al­ism in the use of rescue and first equip­ment with fre­quent famil­i­ar­isa­tion and updat­ing of expert­ise which is extern­ally assessed.  The team par­ti­cip­ates in civic emer­gency exer­cises such as a sim­u­lated crash in Totley rail­way tunnel.  EMRT has an annual budget of £60000 but receives no Government fin­ance. Some equip­ment, drugs and med­ical dis­pos­ables are provided by the NHS.

Andy then moved on to show us some of the equip­ment used in the field.  This is typ­ic­ally car­ried in ruck­sacks etc which can weight up to 15  Kilogrammes.  An amaz­ing array of good­ies emerged, some­how squeezed into the bags: a radio hand­set, a loc­a­tion com­puter, vari­ous types of splint (both low and high tec) vacuum bags and pumps, a pulse reader, a defib­ril­lator not men­tion vari­ous gas can­is­ters, band­ages, emer­gency rations and what looked like drug phials.

In con­clu­sion, while such jaunts may now be a bit much for some of us,  Andy gave us some tips on how to pre­pare and sur­vive our next foray into the wild world beyond Ringinglow. These included:

  • Get the fore­cast: If Snow on the Snake avoid Kinder!  Always go pre­pared for the expec­ted and unex­pec­ted weather: con­di­tions can rap­idly change. Take warm, vis­ible water­proofs and foot­wear suit­able for the ter­rain
  • Take map and com­pass and learn how to use them includ­ing provid­ing ref­er­ences. Put likely loc­a­tion area ref­er­ence on your mobile. Give police mobile no before set­ting out
  • If you need to guide a heli­copter, wave a red coat, your back to the wind, hands raised in the ‘Y’ pos­i­tion. (Diagonal Arms for not required)
  • Take Elastoplast, Mars Bars and drink.

This most inter­est­ing ses­sion drew to a close with a wide range of ques­tions and obser­va­tions.  It was clear that many people owe a great debt of grat­it­ude this this small band of volun­teers who give of their time and expert­ise, turn­ing out 24/7, no matter the weather.  On such was a member who shared with us that he owed his life to the splen­did folk who make up EMART.  More inform­a­tion on the organ­isa­tion can be found at www.edalemrt.co.uk.

In Praise Of Trees — Patrick Harding — 15th January 2018.

Patrick Harding.

What is a tree and what is a bush or shrub? Very often we tend to refer to cer­tain shrubs as trees when in actual fact they are not. For a plant to be classed as a tree it must grow to at least 6 metres tall and have one single stem or trunk which is covered in bark. It should also have 1 to 2 metres of clear trunk before any branches are formed and above all it must be per­en­nial.

During the ice age Britain was devoid of any trees and it was only when the ice melted  that trees began to gradu­ally migrate north­ward from the warmer parts of the con­tin­ent. At this time sea levels were much lower and the English Channel did not exist. It was only when the polar ice caps began to melt caus­ing sea levels to rise that the English Channel was formed making Britain an Island. Prior to this  both humans and anim­als could walk across from France to England bring­ing plant life with them. Seeds of trees and other veget­a­tion were also car­ried  on the wind.

About 30 spe­cies of tree came to Britain before the sea level rose about 6,000 BC and we call these our native trees. We also know that 70% of the land mass was covered by trees before the advent of man. We can also tell what sorts of trees were here many thou­sands of years ago by dig­ging up peat and mud samples which con­tain the remains of their pollen grains.

Early man cut down trees to make graz­ing land for cattle, to build shel­ters and to get wood for fires but they did not remove the stumps because that was much too dif­fi­cult with the prim­it­ive tools that they had. The tree stumps sprouted lots of little stems and these were found to be much easier to cut for fire­wood  and to weave into fences etc. and this prac­tice, which dates back to at least 3,800 BC became known as cop­picing.

As man developed wood was used more and more for tools, machines, and fur­niture. Different spe­cies of wood have dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties. Some are springy, some are brittle, some hard, some soft and some are splin­tery. Man learned to use these dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties in com­bin­a­tion and so for instance, a wheel is made up of 3 or 4 dif­fer­ent spe­cies of wood to give max­imum life and per­form­ance. For hun­dreds of years wood has been used in build­ings and ships. In more recent years it has been used in mining and as sleep­ers in rail­way track. The bark of the tree is also used in the tan­ning of leather, which is a pro­cess of turn­ing animal hide into leather.

This of course has had an enorm­ous effect on number of trees in Britain. By the First World War in 1914 only 7% of the coun­try was covered by trees and we ran out of wood. In 1919 the Forestry Commission was set up to grow trees and we now have 14% tree cover made up of many hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent spe­cies.

Patrick’s talk was both edu­ca­tional, inter­est­ing and humor­ous and the vast major­ity of our mem­bers classed it as excel­lent. It is one of twelve talks that he gives and details can be found at http://www.patrickharding.co.uk/about-patrick-harding.

The lost fens — Prof. Ian Rotherham — 8 January 2018

Ian Rotherham is Professor of Ecology and Geography at Sheffield Hallam University.  He is an author­ity on cul­tural and his­tor­ical aspects of land­scapes, espe­cially peat bogs and fen­lands.  He writes and broad­casts on envir­on­mental issues.  He has many books to his name and is an excel­lent speaker.

His talk centered around the wet­lands of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire that before being drained, dwarfed the area of the present Cambridgeshire fens.  Ian star­ted by remind­ing us that Hereward the Wake lead the last sig­ni­fic­ant res­ist­ance to the Norman inva­sion and sought refuge in Ely Cathedral that was situ­ated on an island totally sur­roun­ded by wet­lands.  Access was by float­ing reed pon­toons between the beds of high reeds.  Similar wet­lands stretched up beyond York. The land along the M18 cor­ridor remained wet until the 1600’s.

In 1466 the feast to mark the enthrone­ment of Geoge Neville as Archbiship of York, over 2000 guests con­sumed: 2,000 suck­ling pigs, 204 bit­terns, 2,000 geese, 12 por­poises and seals, and 3,000 cold cus­tards, all washed down with 500,000 pints of ale and 168,000 pints of wine.  The wet­lands were pretty pro­duct­ive places.  Eels were so plen­ti­ful on occa­sions they blocked the rota­tion of water­wheels and wild birds were killed and shipped to London in 100,000’s.  The English “turkey” was the great bus­tard that thrived in the wet­lands.  Bustard Farm near Great Driffield is a reminder of this food source .  Fish, reeds, rushes, peat, willow and brush­wood all came from the carrs.

In 1609 an under­ground earth­quake in south­ern Ireland prob­ably caused cata­strophic flood­ing along the east coast.  In 1600 under Elizabeth I an Act includ­ing the drain­ing dry of marshes, fens, bogs and moors was passed.  The mood developed in the ruling class to dis­like wet­lands and to favour land fit for till­age and pas­tur­age.  In 1626 Cornelius Vermuyden brought in Dutch and Flemish money and work­ers to drain large areas of wet­land at the behest of Charles I.  People flee­ing per­se­cu­tion like the Huguenots were also attrac­ted.  Few people at this time could swim, marsh mal­aria was always a prob­lem espe­cially for those not living in but vis­it­ing the swamps and these areas when drained dra­mat­ic­ally increased in value when drained.  Those drain­ing the land and the land owners could make large for­tunes.

In 1809, Gilpin was very fash­ion­able for design­ing pic­tur­esque land­scapes and he hated fen land and thought the Peak District was the work of the Devil.  By 1900 these wet­lands had largely dis­ap­peared.  By using the latest air­borne light detec­tion and ran­ging meth­ods Ian and his team are uncov­er­ing some of the drain­age work­ings includ­ing around Doncaster and Thorne moors.

Ian is very know­ledge­able and gave a really fas­cin­at­ing talk about the land­scape on our door­steps that most new little or noth­ing about.