|Fri/Sat/Sun June 22nd/23rd/24th 1990
Annual Weekend Trip to the Peak District
We assembled at the HQ for a planned 4.15pm. start and we were successful in starting our journey very nearly on time, in two hired Mini Buses.
We experienced a delay on the M1 due to a chemical spillage, but the Cub Scouts at least saw numerous fire engines and police cars dealing with the incident. Having reached Chesterfield and experiencing an unplanned sightseeing tour around the streets we eventually found the Fish & Chip shop that was destined to provide us with the necessary refreshments on our long journey.
The party then stopped outside Chesterfield to demolish the eagerly awaited supper but alas, although Baloo had negotiated a good price, poor Mr. Cox found he had been missed out, but the adults soon rallied round and gave him a chip.
We resumed our journey with a brief stop at Eyam to see the village which in 1665/6 saw three quarters of its inhabitants die of the Plague, Mr. Cox had a cold and we did not want to be responsible for another epidemic. Castleton Youth Hostel was reached at 9.30pm. and after organising the sleeping arrangements and undertaking the major task of preparing the lads for bed, we retired to a Quiet Room to select the Breakfast menu and relate the exciting activities planned for the weekend. The Cub Scouts retired for a good nights sleep but whether the programme had excited the Pack too much or they had had too much sleep leading up to the trip it was unfortunately left to Baloo, being a light sleeper, to keep order from 4.30am. onwards.
Rising early to ensure the Cub Scouts were prepared for the Saturdays events we ate a hearty breakfast despite groans from Akela about beans with his fried egg. It appeared that for the first time on our visits to Youth Hostels we were not expected to undertake any chores so we made a 9.30am. departure to Fairholmes Picnic site on the banks of the Ladybower Reservoir to organise a Cycle ride.
We split the Party up into two groups of 9 Cub Scouts and 3 Adults and the first party cycled 5 miles to Kings Tree by Howden Reservoir. Awaiting the cycling party at Kings Tree were the second party who had travelled by minibus, after Kaa’s saddle had been drastically lowered they set off in the rain but downhill to return to the Picnic Site. The packed lunch was eaten in the buses away from the rain and tame birds, ducks and sheep.
Castleton Youth Hostel
We then returned to Castleton YH and changed into our hiking gear before setting off on a strenuous but rewarding hike from Castleton, back via Hollins Cross Peak, Mam Tor and Winnats Pass. It was a very spectacular walk with magnificent views over the Peaks in sunny but windy weather. We were all rewarded for our efforts on top of Mam Tor with a Milky Way except for Baloo as Akela did not find his Milky Way until we returned to Castleton.
After our return to the Youth Hostel we embarked on an epic project of ensuring all the party had a wet and refreshing shower before devouring our dinners. We had arranged with the Warden to use the Dinning Room after 8.15 for our usual indoor games and during our wait the Cub Scouts from each of the minibuses performed a concert in the dormitory with Akela judging the contest. Akela decided that both efforts were first class and a few memorable individual acts set the Youth Hostel alight, but decided each party had won convincingly. Returning to the Dinning Room we enjoyed a Beetle Drive, Picture Cross Word and a Quiz, where prizes were awarded to the eventual winners. The Cub Scouts retired to bed and low and behold not a stirring was heard from the lads and Leaders during the night. No doubt the fresh air, physical and mental efforts had reduced the party to exhaustion after an incident packed day, we will not mention the barking dog and stone throwing at the Leaders window here.
Awakening to an early 7.30am. breakfast where the ordering system for the third time running had worked out well, although Mr. Monk nearly failed to have his usual six breakfasts, we said our farewells to the Youth Hostel and made our way to Speedwell Cavern. We had decided on the Saturday when passing the Cavern that because of time and the queue we would try and be the first party to arrive at 9.30am.
Not to waste the beautiful weather and scenery we organised a Rounders match between the Sixes in a typical Derbyshire field bounded by dry stone walls until the Cavern opened. It was a pity that the standard of Rounders did not match up to the splendid surroundings.
The party was split up into two so that the Cavern owners could accommodate some early visitors. All the party thought the experience of travelling down old flooded lead mines in boats was something special and we reluctantly left to travel to Monsal Dale for a hike.
The journey was interrupted by Mr. Monk having to return to the Car Park to retrieve Oliver’s coat which was better than finding this out at Hanslope we all thought. We arrived at Monsal Dale and prepared for a 4 mile hike in the rain in a river valley which was very picturesque. Although Akela first took the party on the wrong path we soon found the right route. After sheltering under trees to partake in the packed lunch it was noticed that a cow was giving birth so Baloo became James Herriot and raced to the Farm House to inform the farmer.
We arrived back at the vehicles, wet but uplifted by a wonderful scenic hike. The next stop on the way home was a 1 hour visit to the National Tramway Museum at Crich which was very interesting seeing and riding on the old trams and it was a pity time did not allow a longer stop. We arrived back at the HQ at 6.40pm. to expectant Parents with Mr. Monk finally taking the lead after 300 miles.
We had all enjoyed an exciting, fun packed weekend in the Peaks with lots of wonderful things to remember.