Kinder Visitor Centre Group
Kinder Visitor Centre Group consists of local people who want to celebrate the many historical and cultural facets of this wonderful village. We are hoping to acquire premises to establish a permanent space within the village to provide a venue for exhibitions and information for local people and the large (and increasing) number of visitors who come here every week to walk, cycle and run in the surrounding hills and valleys – as well as enjoying our local amenities (and so strengthening our local economy).
The Group recognises that Hayfield has a rich and varied heritage, much of it shared in common with other villages in the Pennines. However, its role as the ‘Gateway to Kinder’ from the west gives it an added importance, and it has the unique claim to fame of being the scene of the 1932 Mass Trespass. This world famous event is widely regarded as having immense significance in establishing the right of people to enjoy our countryside and it is credited as being a major influence on the decision to set up the Peak District as our first National Park. Other local towns and villages such as New Mills and Edale enthusiastically promote their associations with the event, but none can claim it as their own except Hayfield!
A Visitor Centre in Hayfield featuring the Trespass and its iconic place in the history of access to our countryside should attract increased visitors to our village. We envisage that it will also be a showcase to the world for other facets of life and heritage of the Hayfield area.
What we have done so far
In the past three years, the group has been involved in many events and activities designed to secure funding and raise our profile. These have included:
• Acquiring and developing our website, kindertrespass.com
• Obtaining a grant of £18,000 from the Peak Park’s Sustainable Development Fund to carry out the Kinder Trespass Archive Project.
• Obtaining a grant of £2000 from Derbyshire County Council to assist us in all aspects of our work, including development Kinder related merchandise.
• In conjunction with local artists we produced a range of posters to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the mass trespass in 2012. Recently these have been updated to be perennial trespass commemoration posters.
• We have exhibited at events, including annual trespass celebrations each April, the New Mills One World Festival, and Handmade Hayfield.
• In 2013 we established a "Friends of Kinder Trespass” membership scheme which brought in around £1,000 in the first year, and which we hope to expand as we progress with our other activities and plans.
• In 2014 we have published a walks booklet entitled "Follow the footsteps of the Kinder Mass Trespassers”. We also set up a range of products under the trademark Kinder Images, all based on photographs of Kinder and the Hayfield area. There are postcards, greetings cards, framed and unframed prints, and posters. Some of this is on sale in local shops and cafes, in the Moorland Centre in Edale, and other High Peak locations.
• We have started to run events of our own: two pop-up sales days in the village hall so far, in partnership with local artists; and a rock concert in the Royal. A presentation was delivered to New Mills School 6th formers, and another at Bollington Walking Festival is booked for October.
• We have set up a temporary display in a spare window at the Hayfield Pharmacy, and are planning to renovate the window in partnership with the pharmacy and set up improved display material in due course.
• We have been contacted by many media people via our website and provided information or advice to them, including Lonely Planet magazine, Julia Bradbury’s Pennine Way, The One Show, and Company Pictures.
• We have had meetings with representatives of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) about our future grant strategy, both in their regional office in Nottingham, and very recently here in Hayfield on a site visit.
Our plans in the near future include:
• An application to the Sustainable Development Fund of the Peak District National Park Authority for a follow up grant: this would be specifically to set up four interpretation boards about the mass trespass, in key sites in and around the village (Bus station car park, Bowden Bridge, Dungeon Brow area, William Clough). This grant if successful should also cover our operating costs throughout 2015.
• Try to identify a suitable property to acquire for a Visitor Centre in or near the centre of Hayfield: begin the application to H. L. F for a Heritage Grant to acquire and develop the property.
• If no suitable property is available after the consultation process, then consider an interim measure of applying for a more modest H.L.F. "Our Heritage” grant, to set up and run a mobile Information Unit/Visitor Centre in a converted "burger style” van or trailer.
OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM is trying to identify a suitable property.
Ideally we would like to acquire a shop-style property in or near the village centre. It would be a great advantage to us if it was a property with enough space to enable part of it to be converted into a self contained residential unit, to be let and provide a steady income towards the running costs of the Visitor Centre.
However, acquiring a large Heritage Grant from the Heritage lottery Fund to purchase a property is a two stage process, which takes an average of two years from the point of identifying a suitable property and beginning the stage one process. This means that we cannot put in a realistic bid to purchase a property when it comes on the open market – what vendor would want to get involved in such a lengthy process?
So what we need to look for is an opportunity to negotiate with a property owner on a different basis. There may be owners who are, say, planning to retire or sell up in two years time who might be willing to sell to us. Another possibility is that of sharing premises with an owner who might be willing to downsize and sell off part of their current premises to us – and this could apply to an agency or company as well as private individuals. There might even be the possibility of building an extension for our centre onto an existing building. So, if there are any owners of properties in Hayfield out there who might be interested in getting involved on this kind of basis, we hope that this consultation process will help to identify them or encourage them to contact us.
WE NEED YOUR VIEWS AND HELP
You can help or participate in a number of ways:
• Give us your ideas about any properties that might be suitable for our purposes.
• Fill in a Feedback form, enclosed with this newsletter, and return it to us at one of the consultation events, or post it in the box provided at the Village Store, Church Street.
• Come to the Information Day 11th October, at St Matthews Hall.
• Come to the public meeting at the Royal Hotel on 22nd October.
• Become a volunteer and work with us to make this project a success.
• Join "Friends of Kinder Trespass”, and for a modest annual subscription get merchandise at reduced prices, and occasional newsletters, etc.
• Buy our merchandise in local shops, at our events, or on the website.
Please return completed forms by email email@example.com to Hayfield Village Store or post to 18 Church Street, Hayfield, High Peak by Saturday 25th October
Thank you for your support
Kinder Visitor Centre Group (KVCG), based in Hayfield, has been awarded a grant by the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF), to collect archive material about the Kinder Trespass, and about other aspects of the countryside access campaign in the UK.
The archive collection will be made available for viewing on this website. The acquisition of material will be a gradual process over the two year period of the grant funding, up to April 2014. This grant funded venture is called the Kinder Trespass Archive Project, Hayfield (KTAPH).
Our SDF grant was awarded in February 2012, and is for £18,000. The SDF fund is administered by the Peak District National Park Authority. In April 2012 we were awarded a further £2000 by Derbyshire County Council, under its Member’s Community Leadership Scheme.
The longer term aim of KVCG is to raise funds to open a permanent Kinder Visitor Centre in Hayfield. In due course the website will therefore also be used for a variety of fund raising initiatives, and we have made a start by offering for sale 80th anniversary commemorative posters.
This website was initially set up in 2007 by the late Sir Martin Doughty and Roly Smith, with grant funding, as part of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the Kinder Scout mass trespass of 1932. From February 2012 it has been transferred into the ownership of the Kinder Visitor Centre Group (KVCG).
KVCG would like to express its appreciation to:
- our grant providers; the Peak District National Park Authority, and Derbyshire County Council.
- those who set up this website and then kindly agreed to transfer it to our group for further development.
- and to all those who have helped and supported us to get this venture under way.
For further details about the Archive Project and about the longer term aims of KVCG, see the press release, below.
Press Release - Feb 2012:
Kinder Trespass Archive Project, Hayfield
Hayfield’s recently established Kinder Visitor Centre Group (KVCG) has been awarded a grant of £18,000 by the Peak District National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF). The two year funding is for the Kinder Trespass Archive Project, Hayfield, which will collect and publicise information about the 1932 Mass Trespass and the part it played in establishing National Parks and opening up access to moorland and countryside across the UK.
The project will bring together copies of contemporary articles, official records, and photographs, most of which are already archived in various different places. Oral history work will also be undertaken with any eyewitnesses or participants who are still with us – though sadly there will now be few of these. The group are hoping that families of participants will come forward with memories, letters or photographs relating to the trespass.
A key part of the strategy will be to develop a dedicated web site which, as well as making the historical collection widely accessible, will also enable the group to appeal for more historical material not yet in the public domain. The archive material will be collected by volunteers, led by specialist labour historian Professor Neville Kirk.
"We are delighted that the Sustainable Development Fund has given us this opportunity to gather information about all aspects of the Trespass and the wider access campaign” said KVCG chairman John Harvey. "The estimated 400 trespassers who set off from and returned to Hayfield were mostly from the Manchester area, but another large group from the Sheffield side started out at Edale. We are equally interested in the contribution made by both groups, and by participants in demonstrations and other trespass events over the years.”
The grant is very timely as the 80th anniversary of the mass trespass is being celebrated in April this year. The importance of what happened in 1932 was summed up by veteran politician and Derbyshire resident Roy Hattersley who was a speaker at the 75th anniversary celebrations, organized by the late Sir Martin Doughty. Lord Hattersley called the trespass "the most successful direct action in British history”. He added: "If it was not for the trespass, we would not have the right to roam, nor the right to cherish, love and enjoy the Peak District hills.”
The Kinder Trespass Archive Project will also produce portable display material that can be used for talks, exhibitions and educational projects. The KVCG volunteers plan to work in partnership with local schools and many other agencies with an interest in this subject matter. Part of the remit will be to publicise guided walks to help people access the local moorlands who might otherwise not have the confidence to do so. The SDF grant will enable the KVCG group to pay for a professional development worker to coordinate the project and the volunteers.
The longer term aim of the Kinder Visitor Centre Group is to raise funds to establish a permanent visitor centre in Hayfield. "The Mass Trespass is an iconic heritage topic of national and regional importance, and merits being developed into a significant visitor attraction” says John Harvey. "The proposed centre will also have an important role in promoting current access opportunities, and in raising awareness about environmental issues affecting our local moorlands. KVCG envisage that the centre will attract extra visitors into Hayfield village, which should help to sustain local businesses. It will be a hub for village information, for voluntary work opportunities, and for other local heritage initiatives.
The SDF grant application was seen as a re-application for a grant of the same amount previously approved for Hayfield Parish Council in 2010. The new Parish council elected in May 2011 decided not to go ahead with a project to turn part of their premises into a Heritage Centre. They also returned two other grants, a total of £96,000, on the grounds that they did not think the particular premises were suitable for the purpose. They did however approve in principle the establishment of a heritage centre elsewhere in the village independently of the Parish council.
"Most of the KVCG committee members were involved in that earlier round of successful grant applications” said John Harvey. "We were extremely disappointed when the new Council abandoned the project. However, with this SDF grant, we are on our way back. It has given us the start we need to achieve our long term goal.”