The winter had ended just in time for this year’s Northern Spring Meeting at Hebden, though spring had hardly got into its stride, and a cool but dry day greeted the nearly 40 members who attended, from all over the North, including honorary parts such as Kent.
We were favoured with a number of most interesting sessions, starting with Michelle Atkinson who described a project to produce a series of walk leaflets in Kirkburton (in Kirklees, West Yorkshire). Each of the ten walks is based on one of the villages in the parish area and a local character, and each features a stone guide-stoop carved by local sculptor Dave Bradbury, fashioned in the style of the notable Farnley Moor stoop, and depicting a feature of the village. These can also be found at http://kirkburtonparishwalks.co.uk
Michelle managed the project, and she described the entire process from to conception to fruition – a most useful presentation for anyone planning anything similar. She discussed everything from how to manage volunteers to sources of finance (starting with www.fundingcentral.org.uk); who knew, for example, that landfill companies (such as SITA in Kirklees) have funds for relevant projects in their area? See http://www.entrust.org.uk/home/lcf for further details.
Some of us would also have liked to have seen some more of the guide-stoops, but this was more than compensated for in the next session, where Dave Bradbury enthralled us with his description, with photographs of every stage, of the processes involved in another of his works: the Milestone Society’s Diamond Jubilee project replica Roman milestone at Wall, Staffordshire, by the site of the Roman town of Letocetum. See his website at http://bydavebradbury.co.uk.
Jan Scrine then went on to tell us about some of her many plans to interest young people and other groups, from geocachers to trainee bricklayers and home educators, in milestones – details of her activities can be found on the new “Beyond Graffiti” section of the Yorkshire website. After which we all(?) joined in the chorus of The Jagger’s Refrain.
After lunch we were entertained by Gordon Hallas and Jeremy Howat: Gordon showed us many fascinating old photographs of Holme (at the top of the Holme Valley) on a historic magic lantern; and Jeremy did “The ones that got away – or did they?”, telling the stories of some of our more elusive milestones.
And so, with thanks to all involved, and especially Christine and Frank for their anniversary cake, we look forward to next year; date to be confirmed.