Event celebrates radical legacy of “extremist” Kinder Scout trespass

Alan Edwards (left) and Jan Gillett unveil the commemorative Spirit of Kinder plaque, which will be placed on the outside wall of The Royal Hotel in Hayfield
Alan Edwards (left) and Jan Gillett unveil the commemorative Spirit of Kinder plaque, which will be placed on the outside wall of The Royal Hotel in Hayfield

Hiking enthusiasts gathered in Hayfield to commemorate the historic act which won their rights of way, and heard how today its proponents would be labelled as extremists.

The fourth annual Spirit of Kinder gathering was held at The Royal Hotel on Saturday, organised by the Kinder Visitor Centre Group and the Kinder & High Peak Advisory Committee.

Carey Davies of the British Mountaineering Council spoke at the fourth annual Spirit of Kinder event, held at The Royal Hotel, Hayfield on Saturday, April 23

Carey Davies of the British Mountaineering Council spoke at the fourth annual Spirit of Kinder event, held at The Royal Hotel, Hayfield on Saturday, April 23

The event marks the anniversary of the mass trespass of Kinder Scout in 1932, a demonstration to highlight how walkers were being denied access to areas of open country.

Carey Davies, of the British Mountaineering Council, said a similar action today would see walkers ‘kettled’ by police before they left the car park.

He added: “The trespass has become heritage, which mainstream politicians and respectable organisations now feel comfortable endorsing. We shouldn’t forget how provocative it was: 400 youngsters, many unemployed, led by people from ethnic and religious minorities, following a radical ideology.”

The audience then heard readings from New Mills School and Hayfield Primary School students, who described their sense of freedom after a walk on Kinder.

There were also tributes to trespass leader and trade unionist Benny Rothman, music from folk singer Brian Peters and walks along the route.

Jan Gillett, the son of a trespasser, and 86-year-old Alan Edwards, who was carried on the march by his sister, unveiled a commemorative plaque which will become part of a Trespass Trail.