Walking in the Peak District, 1920-1922

Fragments: Album of 180 photographs put together by an (unidentified) family to record holidays taken in England and Wales between 1911 and 1938; including 42 photographs of a group of six men walking in the Peak District between 1920 and 1922.

 

The images of the early 1920s mark the end of a long era during which walking for pleasure was very largely the preserve of middle-class males of around 30 to 40 years of age. The dress of the group of six is a revealing mixture of expensive bourgeois tastes and walking aids: three-pieced tweed suits, collars and ties, trilbies and cloth caps, trousers tucked smartly into long woolen stockings and pipes being smoked on the one hand, laced hiking boots and a long walking stick on the other. There are no back-packs: walks were clearly between one high class inn and the next.

Typically one member of the group would have had with him a high-quality camera to photograph the group, the scenery through which it passed, the buildings that were seen as photogenic, such as the pubs which provided the watering holes.

Within the next decade walking in the country gripped the enthusiasm of young working-class men and women and became – as ‘rambling’- a favoured organised activity of social, religious and political bodies. The ways of the 1920s group gave way to more relaxed and cheaper styles.

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