Read and ramble on

The image of rambling leader GHB Ward skinny dipping on an early ramble, after the club was founded in 1900
The image of rambling leader GHB Ward skinny dipping on an early ramble, after the club was founded in 1900
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Previously unseen photographs of the early days of the Sheffield Clarion Ramblers will be revealed in a new book.

Clarion Call: Sheffield’s Access Pioneers celebrates Sheffield’s place in the fight for access to the Peak District moors and will be launched at this year’s Spirit of Kinder Day, to be held at Edale Village Hall on Saturday, April 22.

It is published by the South Yorkshire & North East Derbyshire branch of the Ramblers.

The photographs show the men in their Sunday suits and women in long dresses and hats, all wearing hob-nailed boots, on rambles organised by the Clarion Club, one of the first working class rambling clubs in the country, founded by GHB Ward in 1900

One of the pictures even shows Ward skinny-dipping in a pool near Swain’s Greave, Bleaklow, on an early ramble.

The book has been written by Dave Sissons, Terry Howard and Roly Smith, all committed local access campaigners for many year.

Ward expert Dave Sissons has managed to link many of the photographs with actual walks as recorded in the famous and now avidly-collected Clarion Club Handbooks, which Ward single-handedly edited for 50 years.

Terry Howard, a prominent Sheffield rambler and access campaigner, contributes his personal views of Kinder Scout and the legacy of GHB Ward, and the book is designed by Ann Beedham.

The book also records the leading role in the fight for access to mountain and moorland which Sheffield has played over the years.

Editor Roly Smith writes in his introduction that leading national figures, such as John Ruskin and Edward Carpenter, all had strong connections with Sheffield, and the fight for the right to roam.

“We felt it was important that Sheffield’s part in these early access battles should be recorded, especially important now that the city is campaigning to be Britain’s Outdoor City”, said Roly, president of SYNED.

Clarion Call is available from local bookshops and information centres, priced at £7.99.