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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Stepping stones


That's me on the left, standing on one of the famous stepping stones across the River Dove in Dovedale, Derbyshire. Not a particularly recent photo as you can see.

You may also have noticed that we are not wearing flotation aids in case we fall into the rive. No protective clothing, unsuitable footwear and our hands appear to be fully occupied with consuming junk food. In case an official person is reading this though - my parents are beyond the reach of the authorities.

However, all is not lost and the horrible dangers posed by these ancient stones are now recognized. In 2010 limestone slabs were cemented to each one to make them all level with each other. Wasn't that a nice idea? 
  

Unfortunately the recent high river levels caused a couple of stones to become dislodged. Once upon a time the water just flowed over the top - I remember seeing it on a number of occasions. Now each one has a great slab of limestone cemented to it, that's not what happens.



Here they are as they were about a century ago. Sometimes I wish we could relearn the gentle art of leaving things alone. 





7 comments:

Roger said...

Unsustainable?

Cement - a hanging offence I think.

I sit on a (very) minor committee and NO is often the hardest decision to reach - there being so many 'something must be done' influencers. Beautiful area though.

Sam Vega said...

"You may also have noticed that we are not wearing flotation aids in case we fall into the rive. No protective clothing, unsuitable footwear and our hands appear to be fully occupied with consuming junk food."

Until I looked closer, I thought you were praying.

"Please, Daddy, get us off these stones! Mum's gonna go mad when you tell her that our big sister's been swept away!"

A K Haart said...

Roger - it's less beautiful than it was. One day there will be a handrail on those stepping stones.

Sam - no we were fine, ice-cream was a powerful bribe in those days. Big sister snagged on the bridge downstream so Mum never knew.

Macheath said...

A handrail? More likely a state-of-the-art pedestrian bridge next to them - meeting all H&S requirements - from which paying customers may observe the stones at a safe distance before being ushered into 'the Stepping Stone Experience'.

My uncle recently revisited a clifftop tourist site where he had often climbed many years before. Not only is climbing now strictly forbidden; the public are corralled well away from the cliff edge and, when he tried to approach the drop, he was firmly ushered back to the herd by a uniformed attendant.

To add insult to injury, to his surprise, he discovered that one wall of the inevitable visitor centre is embellished with a vast, blown-up photo of him and his climbing partners on the cliff-face.

A K Haart said...

Mac - "customers may observe the stones at a safe distance before being ushered into 'the Stepping Stone Experience'."

I like that! If the money was made available it would happen too.

Or maybe a glass walkway over the river where customers are able to view the Stones beneath their feet.

James Higham said...

If that's you on the left, it looks remarkably like me at that age. Do you think kids are similar and then branch out later?

A K Haart said...

James - I think young kids are very similar in their behaviour and to a lesser extent their looks.

At one time we had to look quite hard to spot our grandson among all the other kids when we picked him up from nursery.