Invitation to rediscover Gearstones Lodge, owned by the people of Mirfield

PEOPLE who went to school in Mirfield can take a trip down memory lane this month.

Rural getaway Gearstones Lodge is having an open weekend to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The Lodge, which is owned by the people of Mirfield, has been visited by generations of the town’s young people since the early 1970s.

It has been the location for countless school trips where pupils got to grips with potholing, rock climbing and abseiling.

But much has changed since Gearstones Lodge Charitable Trust was formed in 1972, with numerous improvements to the facilities made.

The open weekend on September 29 and 30, 10.30am-4.30pm, will let those who remember the Lodge of decades gone by see what’s new.

Organisations interested booking trips to Gearstones can also find out what it has to offer, with guided tours of the area available.

Trust chairman John Allatt said: “There will be lots of people who went to Gearstones as children. It’s a fantastic asset.

“You are in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, which is some of the best countryside in the country, and you can view the Yorkshire Three Peaks from the Lodge.”

When schools visited, pupils would be given the task of keeping a diary in the visitors’ book.

“I’ve read several times in an old book by Mirfield Secondary Modern School that they really, really enjoyed the walking,” Mr Allatt said.

“They enjoyed cooking food as a group, sleeping in the Lodge and riding in the bus on the country lanes because it was a bumpy ride!”

The Lodge itself is around 70 miles from Mirfield in Ribblehead, North Yorkshire.

As well as school groups, Gearstones has hosted geography field trips and student groups enjoying the peace and quiet of the Lodge while on study leave.

Schools visit less regularly now, but the Lodge still has lots to offer the people of Mirfield.

“You can see the difference in the children when they leave Gearstones,” Mr Allatt said.

“They learn to work as a team, they learn to respect other people’s belongings and buildings, and they learn to appreciate the countryside.”

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