Mum of Blue Lagoon victim backs quarry safety drive

SP73897 Bereaved couple Tracy Walker and Jason Clark
SP73897 Bereaved couple Tracy Walker and Jason Clark

Experts have sounded a warning after mindless trespassers broke into a Derbyshire quarry and scaled a massive chimney.

The intruders breached security at Lafarge’s quarry in Hope and climbed the 100-metre tall chimney – then took pictures for a website.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the Mineral Products Association (MPA), blasted the life-threatening “cheap thrill”.

He said: “It’s complete madness.”

The shock news emerged this week as the MPA launched a summer drive to highlight the tragic hazards of trespassing into quarries with hidden, life-threatening dangers including ice-cold lakes, steep cliffs, falling rocks and quicksand pools.

The campaign is backed by Tracey Walker whose 15-year-old son Ryan drowned while swimming in abandoned Far Hill Quarry, locally known as the Blue Lagoon, near Ashover, three years ago.

Mrs Walker, of Clay Cross, said: “It was a lovely, hot, sunny day – May 31, 2009 – and Ryan and some friends had decided to go to the Blue Lagoon.

“Later, I heard fire engines and helicopters but didn’t think anything of it.

“Then we got a phone call to say Ryan had gone underwater and he’d not come back up.”

Mrs Walker, who has called for more safety measures at quarries, described Ryan as a “fun-loving, popular and outgoing lad with a cheeky smile”.

Over the summer, the MPA will visit schools to highlight the campaign, which has a group, called Stay Safe... Stay Out Of Quarries, on Facebook.

To watch an video on the dangers of trespassing into quarries, visit and search for Stay Safe... Stay Out Of Quarries.