INTERVIEW: Former Chapel scout leader’s love of the great outdoors

Members of the National Trust Peak District Centre on an outing
Members of the National Trust Peak District Centre on an outing

New and exciting challenges lie ahead for Tony Read, who has taken on the role of chairman of the National Trust Peak District Centre.

For more than a decade Tony has been involved with the group and previously spent three years organising the social arrangements for members.

Tony Read is the new chairman of the National Trust Peak District Centre

Tony Read is the new chairman of the National Trust Peak District Centre

The 69-year-old said: “My wife and I were already National Trust members and we liked the appeal of the local group, and as with many things you start off as a member and become more involved.”

At the group’s AGM at the beginning of March, Tony was elected as chairman.

Founded in 1981, the Peak District Centre has around 400 members.

Many of them live in the Peak District National Park, but others live in places around the national park.

Tony said: “We are a branch of the National Trust and we bring like-minded people together and we want to educate, enthuse and entertain members with a variety of talks.”

Tony, who has two grown-up sons, used to be a principle crown prosecutor, and until two years ago was a scout leader in his home town of Chapel-en-le-Frith for 18 years.

He met his wife Shirley while they were both working at Macclesfield Town Hall and they were married in 1978.

He is an author and published his first crime thriller four years ago.

Tony said: “I have always loved writing and decided it was time. It was difficult to get someone to take a chance on me, but I found a publisher in Ireland and now I have published four books which are available as e-books or in hard-copy format from local bookshops.”

Through his membership of the National Trust Peak District Centre, Tony goes on holidays several times a year and also travels with Shirley. He said: “I love Italy. The people, the culture, the architecture and the history of the place are a real pull for me and I enjoy going back. It really is a place you can just go and unwind completely.”

In his spare time Tony likes going for walks and will sometimes head out to Macclefield to listen to chamber music, something Shirley enjoys as well as visits to the theatre.

The National Trust Peak District Centre is currently looking for new members,

Tony said: “Many of our members have been part of the group for a while, but we would love to welcome new people.

“We’re a group for everyone , whether they are families who have moved into new housing estates across the area or those simply wanting a new social outing.

“We have various talks throughout the year as well as going out on different trips and outings, but the glue that holds us all together is our common interest of the National Trust.”

The centre currently has two vacancies, for a membership secretary and a deputy treasurer.

Anyone who is interested in applying for one of the vacant roles, or would like to join the group, should contact acting membership secretary John Cassidy on 01298 24663 or email jandkcassidy@gmail.com for more information.