Finding books in Bakewell

My early childhood memories of Bakewell in Derbyshire are being taken there by my grandparents to feed the ducks and swans. The River Wye runs through the market town. Feeding the waterfowl is no longer allowed as bread is not nutritious for birds and can also cause problems including algal blooms in the water. There were still plenty of birds on the river in the town centre when we arrived : mallard, mute swans, coots and moorhens and a few Canada Geese.

We were in the town to attend a provincial book fair. These take place at different locations around the country and are particularly good for unusual and antiquarian books. Most can also be found online but they are also an excuse for a day out. The fair was taking place in the agricultural market building just across the river from the town centre. This is modern and clearly a well-used venue. Our local agricultural market recently closed and a housing estate is to be built on the land. We arrived a little early while it was still cool and the market cafe had not yet opened so wandered across the bridge and into town. The bridge padlock craze which begun in Paris has reached Bakewell. You can buy a padlock and have it engraved at the nearby key cutting and shoe repair shop. Several city authorities around the world have removed the locks as the additional weight became dangerous or they were deemed unsuitable.

The town has a few independent shops amongst the high street and outdoor chains and also the original Bakewell Pudding shop and tea room. We picked up a few essential items and then returned to the fair where I added three volumes to a collection and enjoyed browsing and chatting to the booksellers. We also discovered another antique map seller who is not very far away from home. When we emerged, the town was getting very busy and Morris Dancers were getting ready to perform. The sun had at last come out. Driving back over the moorlands was also busy as there were lots of cyclists on the road and walkers parked up near the local trails. The campsites were open and very busy. 50% of the population of England live within 50 miles of the Peak District so if you want peace and quiet, don’t come on bank holiday weekend. We did find one empty space in a lay by so that I could get a couple of shots of the landscape.

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