Kyrle Probus Club
   of Ross-on-Wye


Annual Holiday in the Peak District

The Peak District provided the impressive setting for Kyrle Probus Club’s recent Autumn break.

Social secretary, David Hudson and president Keith Glover packed a mixture of history, culture, and beautiful scenery, even a little retail therapy into the four–day break for the enjoyment of members, wives, partners and guests.

Even before arriving at their hotel at Chesterfield within sight of the town’s famed crooked spire, the party had already experienced a bygone age, with a visit to the Tramway Village at Crich Here, for the price of one old penny (1d), vintage trams transported visitors along cobbled streets, past historic buildings such as the Red Lion pub and out into a woodland area with great views over the Derwent Valley.

Day two saw a visit to Cromford Mill, where Sir Richard Arkwright built the world’s first successful water-powered spinning mills between 1771 and 1791 and where his innovation and enterprise gave birth to the factory system. After a guided tour of the mill site, Probus members were taken on a tour of the village Arkwright built for his workers, including the Greyhound Hotel and pond, the wide street of houses, the forbidding village lock-up, even some pigsties.

Day three dawned bright and sunny, just right for the group’s visit to the Heights of Abraham at Matlock Bath. The visit began with a spectacular cable car ride over the Derwent valley and up through the trees to the hilltop park.

Those who braved the guided underground tour into the Masson Cavern were not disappointed, as they were taken deep into the heart of this old lead mine that then opened out into a large chamber, which from the light of a single candle, became awash with colour thanks to a state of the art lighting system.

A stop-off at the pretty village of Hartington to vew the remains of the annual well-dressing festival was followed by a visit to the beautiful spa town of Buxton, where the party was able to appreciate the impressive Georgian Crescent, modelled on the Royal Crescent at Bath, the Pump Room opposite the Crescent, the wonderfully decorated Opera House and the nearby Pavilion Gardens.

The final morning took the group to magnificent Chatsworth House, home to the Cavendish family and seat of the Dukes of Devonshire since 1549. A most enjoyable guided tour of the house, uncovered many fascinating stories, as well as the history, art and elegant décor to be found in every room. Afterwards the visitors were able to explore the beautifully-tended gardens, with their water features and unexpected giant sculptures.

A quick visit to Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire on the way home to Ross, completed a truly enjoyable Probus holiday.

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