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VIP guest meets Great Great Great Grandfather to Launch Heights of Abraham's Golden Anniversary

Published on Monday 19 February 2024

This is a special year of celebration for Derbyshire’s award-winning visitor attraction, The Height of Abraham which is celebrating two milestone anniversaries this year – 50 years since the current owners, Andrew and Vanessa Pugh acquired the attraction and forty years since the installation of the UK’s first alpine-style cable car system upon which visitors traverse the steep incline to the top of Masson Hill. 


L to R Rupert, Georgie and Vanessa Pugh with Joanna Brown and Benjamin Bryan

Joanna Brown (from Devon) pushed the “big green button” to re-start the Heights of Abraham cable cars for the 2024 season on Saturday 10th February. She was joined by her ‘great great great grandfather’, the Victorian owner of the Heights, Benjamin Bryan, recreated by living history actor, David Oxley.

Serendipitously Joanna was visiting Derbyshire last year, in search of her ancestor’s gravestone, when she visited the Heights of Abraham, once owned by Benjamin Bryan in the Victorian era.

Joanna explains in her own words: “Last September when I stepped off the cable car at the top, I was shocked to see a sign advertising daily tours by Benjamin Bryan, the very relative I was seeking. It was a wonderful feeling. I couldn’t wait to meet him again today, and to meet the current owners of the Heights too”. 


Sheffield Chinese Lion Dancing Team at the Heights

The current custodians, the Pugh family, invited Joanna back to reunite with her famous relative on Saturday 10th February to start the cars again for this very special 2024 season, during which they will be celebrating two milestone anniversaries.   

As Saturday also marked the start of the Lunar New Year, Joanna along with hundreds of visitors was entertained by the Sheffield Chinese Dancing Lion Team, who were visiting the Heights to perform their fabulous Lion Dance of good fortune, making this an auspicious start to this special year, and welcoming in the ‘Year of the Dragon’. 

Rupert Pugh, Development Director at the Heights, said:

 “2024 is a really special year for all of us here at the Heights. We are celebrating both a golden and a ruby anniversary, as it’s 50 years since my parents took over the stewardship of the estate and began their huge restoration project, and 40 years since they installed the cable car system, which transformed this estate into one of England’s leading tourist attractions”. 

For more information www.heightsofabraham.com 
 




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