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These web site diaries were originally launched on the Marple Website on the 1st January 2008 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the club begun by Frank Mason in December 1957 and in memory of Frank himself. They were created in collaboration with Frank's daughter, Ann Papageorgiou.
Unfortunately the early software used to create the web site became outdated and stopped working properly several years ago. In 2020 the content of the site was migrated to the main Marple Website so that it is once again available for anyone who may have an interest in those bygone times.
Between the years of 1957 and 1974 "Willows" schoolteacher Frank Mason, known affectionately as "Pop" amongst his pupils, introduced a generation of Marple children to the delights of rambling in the nearby Peak District and further afield in the Lake District, Scotland and Wales during annual Whitsun holidays over a period of 17 years.
Frank Reginald Mason was born in Brixton, London, on the 25th January 1913, the youngest of five children, with one brother and three sisters. At that time his father was the joint owner of a small engineering business which went bankrupt in the early 1920s.
These pages are a collaboration between Ann Papageorgiou, Frank's daughter, and Mark Whittaker of the Marple Website. They are designed so that visitors can browse the reports and photographs from the Willows Walks or the YHA Holidays via the menus and links. If you were a participant in the walks or holidays, or know someone who was, then the search facility should enable you to to find reports containing a specific name. If you have trouble with this, get in touch.
Filmed by Frank "Pop" Mason in the 1960-70s, these film reels were converted to digital by the North West Film Archives for Frank's daughter Ann Papageorgiou. They are published here with Ann's permission for the first time as part of the Willows School Rambling Club Diaries.
If you were a participant in the Willows Rambing Club walks or holidays all those years ago we hope that you will find these pages interesting and it will bring back fond memories of those distant times. Both Ann and Mark will be very interested to learn of your reaction to discovering this site and hope that you will enjoy it. If you would like to share your memories of these days privately with us, or publicly by adding your comments to the web site, please get in touch using the contact us page.
From December 1957 until September 1972 teacher Frank Mason led the pupils of the Willows School in Marple on regular rambling expeditions in the Peak District and ocasionally further afield, usually aided and accompanied by his good friend Ron Booth. As well as recording the names of the participants, Frank often kept a hand-written record of the group's escapades during these rambles in a series of exercise books. He also took many photographs and in later years even recorded events on film too. This section is grouped into categories loosely based on those exercise books, which have been faithfully typed up by Frank's daughter Ann.
For an amazing 17 years Frank Mason led parties of school children from the "Willows" on annual walking holidays to Youth Hostels in the Lake District, Wales, Scotland and the Isle of Arran. This section features Frank's written reports and photographs taken during these adventures. During the latter years Frank recorded the holidays on cine film and we hope to be able to expand the web site to include extracts from these 'movies' in the future.