The DPA held a celebration walk on Sunday 3rd September to visit a gate installed on DPA land at Swincombe that is dedicated to Geoffrey Sayer. Geoff was DPA treasurer from 1994 to 2004, after which he served as a DPA Vice President until his death in 2013. He took on the role following the untimely death of his brother, Oliver, in 1994. They were sons of the late Guy and Sylvia Sayer. Lady Sayer was the well-known campaigner for Dartmoor and former chairman of the Dartmoor Preservation Association, from 1951 to 1973. The significance of the place, Swincombe, needs little explanation in DPA circles except to say it was the site of an outstanding result for the DPA in 1970, in that a proposed reservoir was never built on the site after the proposal was rejected by a parliamentary committee of four MPs. Some of the land that was destined to be drowned was subsequently purchased by the DPA. This was made possible by a legacy from Miss ML Trahair, who is remembered on a plaque on a rock ar Swincombe Gorge.
It is fair to say that the weather was quite trying on this day. The local radio announced later that some 50 mm (2-inches) of rain fell in Plymouth. It felt like more than that out on the moor! The gathered walkers set off from the quarry car park near Whiteworks.
On the way, we soon passed by the DPA’s vehicle, usually known as the APY wagon, because of its number plate. It had been used to bring to the area a certain piece of DPA “engineering”.
The photograph above shows the group assembling prior to setting off across country.
Above, DPA Trustee Derek Collins stands ready to help people across a makeshift bridge that was brought as near as possible by the APY wagon.
The bridge was a great success, although you won’t find it there now.
The memorial gate is located at SX 6228 7112 …..
Once the gate was reached, photographs were taken …..
A GPS track of the walk can be seen HERE on a Google map.
More details can be found on CampaignerKate’s blog, HERE.