A Victorian find in Dovedale

I had a long run around Dovedale, Derbyshire last weekend. It’s a route I often do early in the morning and it keeps mostly to the hill tops and more remote valleys and gullies. It was a hot day and I was fairly dazed as I climbed up one of the last hills which is when I spotted something metal lying on the grass slope. It looked like a tarnished 6 inch nail so I picked it up and realised it was far more ornate than a nail. Was it a bullet? No it looked like an old pen or pencil so I put it in my bum bag and carried on.

Later in a cafe I examined it further and realised that it was probably quite old. It then came apart and it twigged – it was a propelling pencil. Referencing Google I found a close match of a Victorian propelling pencil from about 1880. It’s hard to believe that a modern visitor had dropped this as it didn’t appear to work so my thinking is that the pencil had been dropped over 100 years ago by (my story building here) a Victorian lady who had travelled to what would then have been a very remote location to sketch the scene she found.

I took a photo of the scene at the time as it was quite beautiful and I still find it very special that I was in the exact spot that a drawing was probably made. As a small tribute I created a digital version of the same scene. I just wonder who she was and what she would have thought of my attempt?