MEMORY LANE: What was making the news in High Peak 25, 50 and 100 years ago

John Sterling with some of the donkeys in his care at the new sanctuary.
John Sterling with some of the donkeys in his care at the new sanctuary.
  • 25 years ago: Peak donkey sanctuary aims to help kids in need
  • 50 years ago: Look Who’s coming to the Pavilion Gardens...
  • 100 years ago: No Bank Holiday blues for Buxton
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Here’s a look back at the stories making the headlines 25, 50 and 100 years ago in the Buxton Advertiser & Herald.

25 years ago: Eyam and Tideswell are eating grass in Ashwood Dale. Hathersage and Bakewell are looking sad in the pouring rain.

Some people think I’m an idiot giving up work to do something like this, but I get great satisfaction from it.

John Stirling

These neglected and abused donkeys, named after Derbyshire villages, will become part of an unusual project due to get underway in the High Peak.

It has been found that physically and mentally handicapped children respond to the quiet and docile nature of these creatures and it is planned to link the two in a new scheme.

Pictor Hall is an ancient building dating back to 1560. A listed structure, which has fallen into a dilapidated state, it has recently been completely re-roofed.

And under this ambitious scheme it will be used as a holiday base for the children who during their seven-day stay will each be given a donkey to look after, groom and play with. Renovating the ancient building will cost in the region of £250,000 and it is hoped the whole initiative will be complete by 1992.

The funding will come from private sources and the Ferndale Trust - named after the owner of the land, Wendy Fern - and applications for grant aid will go to organisations like the Peak District National Park.

The Derbyshire Dales Stables, as it will be known, is the dream of John Stirling, a freelance producer and his wife Anne. John was working for the BBC on a programme on donkeys and became hooked.

He said: “Some people think I’m an idiot giving up work to do something like this, but I get great satisfaction from it.”

50 years ago: Buxton firemen are among 250 Derbyshire full-time firemen who will boycott all voluntary fire service activities.

Union members are holding the boycott in protest against alleged ‘delaying tactics’ by Derbyshire County Council over the introduction of a 48-hour week agreement.

• Currently rated London’s most popular group are The Who, and they’re booked to appear at the Pavilion Gardens on Saturday.

Appearing with them at Buxton will be Phil Ryan and the Crescents.

100 years ago: If railway facilities were not what they usually are, if only “ordinary” trains did run the pleasure-seeker saw to it that his Bank Holiday was not to be spoiled not yet handicapped by trifles. This was that fact in Peakland’s Spa capital at least.

Monday was a day of glorious continuous sunshine with just enough breeze to make a high temperature enjoyable.

The great train loads of noisy excursionists did not come, but speaking generally, numerically, there appeared just as many strangers in our midst.