Sunday, 18 November 2018

Visitors ill while on trip to plague town

A VISIT to the famous plague village of Eyam in Derbyshire was on the itinerary when supporters of Binfield Heath

A VISIT to the famous plague village of Eyam in Derbyshire was on the itinerary when supporters of Binfield Heath Flower Show set off on a six-day visit by coach to the Peak District.

But organisers Carole and Francis Williams, from Sonning Common, found they had their own “plague” to deal with when several members of the 40-strong group fell ill with a 24-hour sickness bug.

Local environmental health officials were called in but could find no common denominator among the victims of the bug, so the cause remained a mystery.

Eyam is famous for having isolated itself from its neighbouring villages when the plague reached there from London in 1666.

It is thought the plague germs were contained in a bundle of material sent from the capital to a tailor living in the village. Entire families were wiped out but their self-sacrifice prevented the plague from spreading.

The group spent a day at Chatsworth House, had a ride on the Peak Railway from Rowsley to Matlock and visited the Crich Tramway Village.

A scenic tour by coach of the High Peaks found the group in the vicinity of the Derwentwater dam on the day when a fly-past by a Lancaster bomber and two Spitfires to mark the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid was due to take place.

The group was also able to spend some time in Castleton where Blue John stone is mined from the surrounding hills.

The group was based at the Lee Wood Hotel in Buxton and the holiday was the latest in a series of tours arranged by the Williamses.

It is hoped to have a day visit to Winston Churchill’s home, Chartwell in Kent, in September, while next year’s tour will be to Snowdonia with possible visits to the famous gardens at Bodnant and the Italianate village of Portmeirion.

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