Volunteer archivist Ian Gregory is currently photographing and cataloguing an immense collection of glass slides. Being a man of the Peaks, he recognises the occasional view:

lathkill 1

In the collection of Buxton Museum are two photographs of a limestone dale. Its name is Lathkill Dale and it lies between Monyash and Youlgreave in the Peak District. One picture shows a lazy river between limestone cliffs with leafy branches reflected in the water. The other depicts a wider pool, again flanked by trees at their June-time best.

The River Lathkill that gives its name to the dale is special, as it is one of the few that rises on limestone and stays on limestone all along its course. This means that its waters are unusually pure and clean. Sometimes its upper course dries up as limestone is permeable and absorbs moisture. I have often walked in parts of this dale, but I keep to the path as there are abandoned lead mines whose hidden shafts are dangerously nearby.

lathkill 2

These photographs are dated June 1911. Looking at them now, it’s easy to believe that nothing has changed in the dale. With regard to the physical structure, little has but the human world is another story. The last time I walked in Lathkill Dale, I started from Monyash and finished near Youlgreave. My Dad was waiting at the other end to give me a lift home in his car. He died a few years later. He will never collect me after a beautiful walk again.