The latest journey in my quest to visit every railway station in Derbyshire took me to Bamford on a sunny day in September 2022, the 21st. The day got off to a poor start when, upon arriving in Sheffield, I discovered that my train to Bamford had been cancelled due to a broken down train. I’ve never previously had a problem with Northern, the train company which operates trains in the North of England, but that day they received a black mark against their name. I was faced with the choice of going straight back home on the train I had just arrived on, or waiting an hour and a half at Sheffield station. I opted for the latter.
Fortunately for me, time seems to fly by at railway stations. I boarded the Manchester-bound train around lunchtime and I arrived at Bamford station, a couple of stops down the line from Grindleford, which I visited at the end of February.
Bamford railway station was opened by the Dore and Chinley Railway in June 1894, on the line now known as the Hope Valley Line which runs between Manchester Piccadilly and Sheffield. It has no surviving station buildings, the station having become unstaffed in 1969. The then-station master bought the station house, which survives today as a private residence. There is a ticket machine, and waiting shelters on both platforms, along with help points and timetable posters.
Bamford is around a ten minute walk from the railway station. It grew as a village in the Industrial Revolution due to its cotton mill, which opened in the late 1700s and closed in the 1990s. The building has been converted into flats, but still retains some of its original machinery.
I followed the road past the mill into the centre of the village, and headed for the church.
St John’s is the local parish church and was completed in 1860. The graveyard contains graves exhumed from the lost villages of Ashopton and Derwent, more of which later in the blog.
Bamford is a beautiful village. Even though I hardly saw anyone there, I could feel the sense of community and friendliness around the place. Further up the road are the village’s two pubs, the Derwent and the Anglers Rest, the latter of which is a community-owned pub, café and post office.
The Coronation Garden is a tiny garden with stones commemorating the Diamond Jubilees of both Queen Victoria and her great-great-granddaughter, the late Queen Elizabeth II. It also houses one of the sculptures on the Touchstone Trail, a sculpture trail incorporating the elements of Air, Earth, Wind & Fire.
I left the village and headed north towards the Ladybower Dam, a huge structure at one end of the Ladybower Reservoir.
The Dam is around a forty minute walk from Bamford, uphill of course. My lungs were close to bursting as I clambered up the path that leads to the dam, but the spectacular views made it worthwhile.
Due to the extremely hot summer weather this year, Ladybower Reservoir and almost every other reservoir in the country has been in the news because the water level is low.
Ladybower Reservoir was built between 1935 and 1943, with work delayed due to the shortage of labour and materials caused by the outbreak of World War II in 1939. However, the project was completed during the war, because of the strategic importance of maintaining water supplies. King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth (AKA the Queen Mother), opened the dam in September 1945. The villages of Ashopton and Derwent were flooded to make way for the village. Nothing remains of Ashopton, but the ruins of Derwent can still be seen when the water levels are very low. A medieval packhorse bridge was taken down and re-erected at the head of Howden Reservoir at Slippery Stones. Derwent’s church tower was left as a ‘memorial’ to the village, but was later blown up when it became a safety hazard.
After admiring the reservoir, I followed a path to Heatherdene, a tourist centre with car parks and public facilities close to the dam. I had planned a walk up a hill, but the hour delay I suffered at Sheffield meant I didn’t have time for it.
It was soon time to make the long journey back to Burton on Trent, so I walked back down to Bamford to catch the train to Sheffield, where I had another 50 minute wait for the next service, which went directly to Burton on Trent. Thanks for reading, and you can follow the blog on all the major social media channels, all the links you need are here.