MEMORY LANE: New book throws spotlight on High Peak before, during and after Second World War

Local author Keith Taylor
Local author Keith Taylor
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The sacrifices made by High Peak families during the Second World War are laid bare in a new local history book.

Peak District author Keith Taylor has penned a new compilation which paints an evocative portrait of life in Buxton and neighbouring villages during the period 1925-1960, with special emphasis on local events during the Second World War.

Sheila Kelly and her attendants on the Queen's Festival Float in 1953.

Sheila Kelly and her attendants on the Queen's Festival Float in 1953.

The stories of the lives and deaths of all the service personnel who lost their lives and whose names and inscribed on local war memorials, receive pride of place.

Keith, of South Darley, said: “Life on the Home Front is covered in detail, including the activities of the local Home Guard platoons, the arrival of the evacuees, experiences of the blackout, and activities at the underground bomb store at RAF Harpur Hill and the Dove Holes Fuel Dumps.

“Reference is also made to the POW camps in the area, the festivities on VE and VJ Day, raising funds for the war effort, the bitter winter of 1947 and peacetime celebrations, especially during the Coronation year of 1953.”

Photographs provide a fascinating insight into town and village life during the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s, ranging from school class groups and sports teams to street scenes and celebrations such as well-dressings.

The Goyt Valley Relief Expedition. The men are leaving with supplies, from outside Burgon's stores, on the afternoon of Monday February 27, 1933.

The Goyt Valley Relief Expedition. The men are leaving with supplies, from outside Burgon's stores, on the afternoon of Monday February 27, 1933.

Last year, to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, Keith produced a similar book on Buxton and neighbouring villages, recording the effect of the Great War on the High Peak.

His latest instalment is entitled ‘Buxton, Burbage, Chelmorton, Earl Sterndale, Fairfield, Harpur Hill, Peak Dale, King Sterndale, Taddington and Wormhill Remembered 1920s-1950s’ and is published by Country Books (www.countrybooks.biz).

• Keith will be signing copies of his new book during a launch event at Buxton Library, on Kents Bank Road, on Saturday November 21, between 10am and 4pm.