“Fourteen members set off by coach on 20 September to travel to Sheffield, via the peak District. It was a very pleasant, warm, sunny day, all day, so we were lucky with the weather. We stopped off at the lovely village of Hathersage in the Peak District for a coffee break and short walk around, then moved on into Sheffield where we went to the Kelham Island Museum which was at the heart of Sheffield’s manufacturing area, especially in the era of steam powered mills. The museum housed the world’s most powerful steam engine, the Don Steam Engine, and our visit was timed to see it running – this was awesome – not to be missed on any visit! The displays are so very well done the whole place was very impressive, even for those of us who are not particularly technically minded!
After lunch we then went on to nearby Shepherd’sWheel, a water powered grinding workshops site in the Porter Valley which has been there since the 16th century. After a very pleasant walk along the riverside in a wooded valley we were greeted by our guides who both brought to life the days of water powered mills along the valley and surrounding river valleys (five rivers flowing into the area from the surrounding hills). One of our guides had previously worked as a grinder himself and so was able to both describe the hard, highly skilled but very dangerous working life of the knife grinder and to demonstrate the skills required. I’ll never look at my kitchen knives in the same way again!
We travelled home through the High Peak District, enjoying the spectacular scenery, stopping off at lovely Castleton for a short stroll around the village and welcome cup of tea. All in all, it was a Grand Day Out!”