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Comments and Quotes

Sir Martin Doughty:

"The events of 75 years ago were very much centred on New Mills and Hayfield. The decision of the Manchester branch of the British Workers' Sports Federation to stage a Mass Trespass of Kinder Scout was made in the parish of New Mills at an Easter camp in Rowarth. On the day of the Trespass, the ramblers rallied in Bowden Bridge Quarry, Hayfield, and those arrested were taken to the Hayfield lock-up and then held overnight at the New Mills Police Station on Hall Street. The next day they appeared at the Police Court in New Mills Town Hall and were remanded to trial at Derby Assizes.

The erstwhile leader of the trespass, Benny Rothman, came back to New Mills over 60 years later to unveil the commemorative plaque on the former Police Station and the milestone on the Midshires Way.

The Trespass Trail which is being launched for the 75th anniversary celebrations in April, starts and ends in New Mills and takes in all the points mentioned above, including the route the trespassers took before their clash with the Duke of Devonshire's gamekeepers in William Clough, Kinder.

We are encouraging as many as possible of the hundreds of visitors coming to the 75th anniversary celebrations to travel to New Mills by train with buses laid on to ferry people to and from Hayfield."

David Miliband, Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

On Saturday I joined several hundred people celebrating the audacity of Benny Rothman and his pals. His son and great grandchildren were there for the unveiling of a Northern train in his honour. A couple of things struck me. First, that land is a public good and enjoyment of its beauty is part of our inheritance. Second that pressure for change comes from bottom up as well as top down. Third, that the responsibility shown by walkers in exercising their rights under the CROW Act sets a good precdent for thinking about rights of coastal access, on which we shall be publishing a consultation paper next month.

The song the 'Manchester Rambler' includes the lines "I maybe a wage slave on a Monday, but I'm a free man on a Sunday". The purpose of legislation should be to give people the rights of "free men" every day.

Kate Ashbrook, Chairman of the Ramblers' Association:

"In 1932 the trespass led by Benny Rothman and his comrades was dramatic and revolutionary; but its lasting significance lay more than half a century in the future, when the event, celebrated in the Ramblers' Association's campaign for access legislation in the 1980s and 90s, became the national symbol of the right to roam."

Mike Innerdale, National Trust Property Manager for High Peak Estate:

"The mass trespass at Kinder Scout was a key moment in the campaign for better access to the countryside. Its success paved the way for the creation of the National Parks and chimed with the aims and aspirations of the founders of the National Trust."

AJP Taylor

An excerpt from 'A Personal History', the autobiography of the distinguished historian AJP Taylor (Hamish Hamilton, 1983), about the five years when he was a lecturer at Manchester University and living within sight of Kinder Scout at Three Gates near Disley.

"We managed at least one all-day walk each weekend, trespassing on Kinder Scout or Bleaklow. I remember one such walk when Ray Eastwood (professor of law, who also lived at Disley) made us creep along under a wall for half a mile on the alarm that gamekeepers were on the watch for us. It turned out that there were no gamekeepers and that Ray was playing a prank on Bullock, the professor of Italian, also with us, who was extremely law abiding.

"The rigorous preservation of these moors and mountains was a scandal that now seems almost mediaeval. Some time in the mid-thirties university students organised a mass trespass. There was a battle between students and gamekeepers and some of the students were sent to prison. They were threatened with expulsion and the Students’ Union held a meeting of protest. Neither Ray Eastwood nor Mordell, the professor of mathematics, would attend though both were constant trespassers. I was the only staff speaker, by no means for the only time. …it taught me what a craven lot academics were. They have not changed much since".

 


 

My father, Frank Fisher, an engineer from Sheffield, took part in the 1932 trespass. As his son I trespassed over Bleaklow via Middle Black Clough in 1960, I was challenged by an old keeper by the cabins in the clough. He then entertained me to roast chicken and white wine from the shooters' lunch then advised me to 'keep thi 'ed down up t'clough then th'all be awreet!' I did as he said and I'm still taking his advice age 75. (Michael Fisher - Feb 2010)

 

Stuart Maconie, Broadcaster

 

"It is as significant an event in our history as any coronation of a king or queen, and it should be taught in every school,” (24th April 2012)

 

 

Last Modified: 6 Mar 2013