A Fire on the Moors
I grew up on a farm in Saddleworth, West Yorkshire, just north of the Peak District and a few miles from the Pennine Way. I remember a time when the valley was filled with the smell of burning peat and great clouds of smoke drifted off the edge of the moor engulfing the huge rocky guardians and gritstone ridges which loomed large over Chew Plantation. I walked up there hoping to catch site of the firemen toiling away up there, working courageously to put the fires out. The notion of these men potentially falling through the apparently secure surface of the peat into the pockets of fire which raged beneath the ground filled me with a kind of dread and an intense admiration for these men whom I saw carrying their kit up the steep valley sides and out onto the tops. This memory has stayed with me for years and more so a fine concern for the transformative power of fire and bravery of men and women.