Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

#70People70Years - Fred Heardman BEM

(Image above) Fred and Nancy (Milly) Heardman at the Nag's Head Edale late 1950s

Fred Heardman BEM – first unofficial information officer

Fred Heardman was an access campaigner and supporter of the Peak District National Park. He was on the Peak Park Planning Board that set up the Park in 1951. He was the landlord of the Nag's Head, in Edale, and in 1953, he set up the National Park’s first information service there in the snug. He dealt with thousands of visitors, providing them with local information, and came to be described as the National Park’s first unofficial information officer.

In 1954, Fred hosted warden briefings at the pub too, later these were held in Cooper's CafĂ© behind the Post Office. He was a contemporary and friend of Tom Tomlinson – the first National Park warden who used the Nag’s Head snug as his base.

Fred Heardman was a mine of information for ramblers and climbers, an experienced guide and a mountain rescue organiser, and wrote walking guidebooks too. He had the nickname 'Bill the Bogtrotter'.

Fred Heardman (on the right) at Wharncliffe Crags 1920 with friends

For 15 years he held both the licences for the Nags Head and the Church Inn, which resulted in an amusing story when a drunk was refused a drink at one pub and so staggered to the other, only to be thrown out by the same landlord! The Nags Head pub is the start/finish point of the Pennine Way National Trail, the 250-mile long distance walk to Kirk Yetholm, in Scotland.

Fred retired in 1960 and was awarded the BEM in the same year. He died in 1973. There is a plantation, near Edale, named Fred Heardman's Plantation.1926 created the Colne to Rowsley ramble - 73 miles.

1951 - Fred was on the committee that formed the Peak District National Park.

1960 - Fred retired. He was awarded the BEM in the same year.

1973 - Fred Heardman died on 3 May.

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