Review of ‘The Spirit of Tideswell’, by Tony Hill & Paul Black

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 12th November 2001, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

by Tony Hill & Paul Black
ISBN 1-84306-010-8 (2001)

Subtitled 'The 20th Century in Photographs', this book contains over 300 photographs taken in Tideswell and neighbouring villages. Tony Hill is 'born and bred in Tidza and proud of it' -his family roots were planted here by at least the 17th century. Paul Black came as a teacher over 20 years ago and stayed. His first memory of Tideswell was the smell of coke in the air from smoking chimneys - on a summer evening in June! With a comment like that, we are reminded how much can change in a single generation, so this record is a real journey of nostalgia going back through an entire century.

Front Cover

One prominent edifice has been replaced by public toilets; gone are the King's Head Hotel, the Cross Daggers Inn and the ancient guildhall and the town crier is no more. The brook which flowed openly along Buxton Road has been culverted, roads widened and open spaces filled in. For railway buffs here is Monsal Dale Station in its heyday and in its death throes, plus a surprising fact about a local postmark.

A fine collection of panoramic and aerial shots show Tideswell from all angles. And there are lots of pictures taken in the wet: during rain, just after rain and deep in flood. But in all weathers we can see the streets thronged with Peaklanders at carnivals, royal celebrations, processions, cattle fairs and sheep roasts.

People come into the picture with some great 'mug shots' and a few lines of text. Harold Andrew, founder of Andrew's coaches, stands proudly with his two early buses. There is Tideswell's own Queen mum (and real royalty), 'Two Minute Jim' the barber, the blacksmith, a wheelbarrow farmer, stone wallers and railwaymen and a poultry breeder with an obvious fertile touch (he fathered 17 children). Tidza Saw-yeds put in an appearance, naturally.

The trademark of this hardback series by Landmark Publishing of Ashbourne is the high quality reproduction on semi-glossy paper.

Review by Julie Bunting

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