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.

 

Gathering in the quarry car park near Whiteworks

Gathering in the quarry car park near Whiteworks

 

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.

 

The APY Wagon was on hand to carry equipment

The APY Wagon was on hand to carry equipment

 

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”.

 

Looking back at the DPA vehicle during a briefing

Looking back at the DPA vehicle during a briefing

 

The photograph above shows the group assembling prior to setting off across country.

 

The makeshift bridge over the Strane River

The makeshift bridge over the Strane River

 

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.

 

Another view of the bridge

Another view of the bridge

 

The bridge was a great success, although you won’t find it there now.

 

The Geoffrey Sayer Memorial Gate

The Geoffrey Sayer Memorial Gate

 

The memorial gate is located at SX 6228 7112 …..

 

The plaque

The plaque

 

 

Some comments were made about Geoffrey

Some comments were made about Geoffrey and his contribution to the DPA

 

Once the gate was reached, photographs were taken …..

 

The next generation

The next generation

 

 

Family group

Family group

 

 

Family group with DPA Trustee, Kate Ashbrook

Family group with DPA Trustee, Kate Ashbrook

 

A GPS track of the walk can be seen HERE on a Google map.

More details can be found on CampaignerKate’s blog, HERE.