Travelling around the Hope Valley has always been a challenge and usually involved rudimentary tracks or just paths to individual farms. Even by the late seventeenth century most of the roads were impassable because of snow in the winter and in spring they were subject to flooding as the snow melted. Transport was by horse and packhorse, and was often easier on the high dry ground than on the lower mires and bogs of the Hope Valley. Agriculture has been crucial for the area for many centuries. As well as arable farming, Yorkshire drovers brought their cattle to this area every May and kept them in the hills north of Castleton for the summer. Other industries included lead mining, corn milling, lime burning, cotton weaving, needle making, candle making and rope and twine making. Liam Clarke takes an affectionate look at this unique part of the British Isles.
Dr Liam Clarke is a retired educationalist and has written a number of academic books and papers. He has been a member and Trustee of the Castleton Historical Society for many years and has a great interest in local and family history. `Light in the Darkness' is the product of research into his family history and his own experiences of being brought up in a sea-faring family in a small local port in South East Ireland. Members of his family have served in the Light Ship Service since the late 19th century.