Voices from the Peak

This is a work of rare quality as timeless as its subject. I’ve spent decades producing radio dramas and documentaries and my indisposition to what I hear currently, is now – overturned. Bravo!  John Tams

The fascinating quest of the poet Mark Gwynne Jones. An array of audio odysseys… and some marvellous Derbyshire reflections… Ann Treneman, The Times

70 People, 70 Years, highlights those that have contributed to the Peak District’s legacy, from John Dower – father of the UK’s National Parks – to Mark Gwynne Jones, Poet of the Peak. The i Paper

There’s a remarkable testimony in these artworks, of old mineral miners… It works beautifully! Samira Ahmed, Front Row, BBC Radio 4

Mark doesn’t seek to draw conclusions in the film, Snow!… It is instead an encyclopedia of the human experience. Tom Ingall, BBC Look North

Chapter One – Burning Drake

In a sense it all comes from the earth… the energy and vibrancy of this strange and beautiful land of contrasts…

The story of forces underground that have shaped not just the landscape but also its people. Including the story of lead, how miners tracked and found lead through ancient methods such as plant lore and dowsing, and occasionally by spectacular means such as a ‘Burning Drake’ or shooting star.

Listen to Burning Drake above.
Or to listen with subtitles, click here

Chapter Two – Snow!

Rarely seen images of Peakland winters and the voices and stories of those who lived through them.

Video montage by MGJ, Alex Ivanov, and Anna Kerr. Pictures courtesy of www.picturethepast.org.uk

Will our stories of big winters be the stuff of folklore for our grandchildren? Or, are we due some heavy snowfalls? Join us for a magical, Peakland journey through the white stuff and beyond!  


Listen to the full audio of Snow!
Or to listen with subtitles, click here

Chapter Three – Kinder Scout

For the 70th birthday of the Peak District National Park – here is an evocative re-telling of the Peak Park’s creation story. From the world’s first water powered cotton spinning mill, to the Kinder Trespass, the creation of the UK’s first National Park, and the now vital battle to heal the moorlands.

Headphones recommended!

Listen to Kinder Scout above.
Or to listen with subtitles, click here

Pic: Kinder Downfall ‘blowback’ (PDNPA)

Ringing For The Ghosts (Of Today)

When you’re given the key to the church tower and told not to ring the bells… What’s the first thing you want to do?

Drawing on some Derbyshire legends, and its ghosts both past and present – this is an evocative film centering on the tower and bells of the ancient church of St Mary’s, Wirksworth.

A film by Gavin Repton, written and performed by Mark Gwynne Jones. (Wirksworth Team Ministry, November 2020)

The World Famous Inland Seaside Resort of Matlock Bath

Featuring: MG Jones (words); Nick the Hat (banjo); Deb Rose (keys); John ‘Beano’ Thorne (drum). Filmed by Gavin Repton. Produced by Glassball.

Shared here in loving memory of John Beano and Deb Rose.

Listen to Mark’s conversation with Samira Ahmed on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row:

BBC Breakfast interview Mark on the Seven Wonders Of The UK

Voices From The Peak is recognised by the International Year Of Sound and The UK Acoustics Network

The International Year Of Sound is a global initiative to highlight the importance of sound in all aspects of life on earth, promoting better understanding of sound related issues. The vision of The UK Acoustics Network is to bring together the internationally leading but disparate UK acoustics research community, promoting the work of acoustics in the UK and providing a single point of access to acoustics research.

Voices From The Peak – Credits:

Written and recorded by Mark Gwynne Jones

Produced by Mark Gwynne Jones & Paul Hopkinson

Project Manager: Anna Kerr

With music by PsychicBread; Dave Sturt; The Wyns Tor Singers; Sjal; Robert Dimbleby; Esther Swift; Hannah James; Ashley Hutchings; Ruth Angell; Talking Elephant Records;

Special thanks to Tom Marshall; Ali Riley; Alison Foote; Nick the Hat; Alex Ivanov; Alan Swain; Russell Sims; Jo ‘Spice’ Blackwood; Louise Swain; John Tams; Dave Goodway; Nigel Christy; Gavin Repton; John Barnatt; Sue Stones; Nicky Crewe; Martyn Gillie; Doreen Buxton; Roly Smith; Roger Waddington; Chris Dean; Simon Wallwork and Christine Gregory.

Voices from the Peak is supported by Arts Council England; The Peak District National Park; Derbyshire County Council; and Cromford Mills.

Further Information

Read the articles by Ann Treneman in The Times: here and here

Follow the story by joining Voices From The Peak on Facebook

Support Mark’s work by purchasing a book or CD: Publications

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