On May 24th 2003, we undertook what was believed to be the first ever day of "Extreme Cello Playing". This involved playing our cellos in six locations of varying extremity: the top of Mam Tor; the Blue John Cavern; Grindleford Station; Padley Gorge; Sheffield University Arts Tower; and Sheffield's new Winter Garden. The day raised over £1800 for the music fund at Westways Primary School in Sheffield. Some images from the day are below.
The tallest peak in the Peak District
Mam Tor is the highest point of the Lose Hill Ridge - the range of hills between the Hope and Edale valleys, at the heart of the Dark Peak. It is the tallest mountain in the Peak District, with a summit of around 1700 ft (510 m). The tendency of its gritstone and shale sides to disintegrate and fall has earnt it the nickname "The Shivering Mountain" - the most notable occurrence of this was in 1974, when a "shiver" caused the A625 (then the main road between Sheffield and Stockport, which ran over Mam Tor) to disintegrate. Several landslides later, the road was eventually closed for good in 1979.
The mixed weather for the day is clearly visible on this photo!
Way down under the Peak District!
The Blue John Cavern is one of several caverns open to the public in the Castleton area. It is named after Blue-John, a world famous fluor-spar found only in Castleton, which is very popular in jewellery.
The descent to Lord Mulgrave's Dining Room - the large space near the bottom of the cave, where we performed - was perilous with cellos, and we almost got stuck on a few occasions. However, when we finally arrived, we found the acoustics absolutely wonderful, and we could almost have stayed playing all day - if it hadn't been for the four next locations!
One of the tallest buildings in Sheffield
The Arts Tower at the University of Sheffield is one of the tallest buildings in the city, standing at sixteen stories and 255 feet. Opened in 1966, it is a Grade II listed building, and at the time contained several departments of the University, including those from the faculties of Arts, and Economic and Social Studies. These days it is mostly home to administrative departments and lecture theatres.
Next to the longest railway tunnel in the UK
The railway station at Grindleford is notable for a number of things, including its proximity to areas of astounding beauty (including Padley Gorge, see below), its popular café, and an entrance to the 3½ mile Totley Tunnel, which leads to the outskirts of Sheffield.
An outstandingly beautiful area in the Peak District
A highly beautiful wooded location just to the north of Grindleford, Padley Gorge is a very popular spot with walkers. Its focus is Burbage Brook, which runs to the River Derwent from its source near Stanage Edge.
We found a nice sheltered area of Padley Gorge, with some large boulders to use as chairs.
Europe's largest tropical indoor garden, in Sheffield - soon after it was opened.
The Winter Garden was opened in December 2002 as part of the "Heart of the City" project, a £120 million scheme to regenerate Sheffield City Centre. It is the largest temperate glasshouse to have been built in a European city centre, and contains 150 different species of plant from all corners of the earth.