Alport Hamlet

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Alport Hamlet

I like Alport Hamlet, it has the feel of seclusion about it. It is the kind of place you would escape to if the world suddenly went mad and you were the last people on earth.

It isn’t big at all, a few buildings make up the farm including two dwellings, yet it has had an impact way beyond its size.

It was the birth place of Hannah Mitchell an English suffragette and socialist in late 19th and early 20th centuries. She had a hard upbringing at the hands of a cruel mother. Hannah left home at 14 and became a dressmaker. She educated herself and wrote widely on socialist issue in the Manchester Guardian. In later life she worked for Keir Hardie as a private secretary and became a Magistrate in Manchester.

In her book about her life at Alport and after, The Hard Way Up, she talks about the two highlights of the year whilst living at Alport. The first was the hiring fair held at Hope, an annual event where farmhands were hired, livestock traded and good times had by the locals. The second was the annual Love Feast held in the valley. Each year on the first Sunday in July Methodists gather in the barn and valley to hold a service in the tradition of its Non Conformist origins. The Love Feat continues on to this day.

Author: Paul Besley

Writer I have spent most of my life escaping into the Peak District National Park, I have grown to love the solitude it can bring. I also have an interest in the growing field of psychogeography particularly, in post-industrial landscapes. I am the author of Dark Peak Walks published by Cicerone Press. I am also studying Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University.

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