News from the Derwent Valley Mills
News from the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site
The Derby Riverboat returns for April 2023
Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust Ltd are pleased to announce the opening of the new season to the public of its Derby Riverboat trip service on the river Derwent. Over the winter essential maintenance has been undertaken and progress made on plans for a permanent pontoon to accommodate full disabled access. Permission for the structure was granted in February and construction is planned for the summer.
Until that time the Riverboat will again operate from Causey Bridge using the same pool-style ladder access as last year. The first day of operation will be Saturday 1 April and the service will run with sailing times of 12.30pm, 1.45pm, and 3pm each Saturday and Sunday and Bank Holidays. Additional Wednesday sailings will commence from 17 May.
Tickets are available now and can be booked online at the Livetickets website. Alternatively, call 01332 255800 or book tickets in person at the Sales and Information Centre, Guildhall Theatre, Market Place, Derby DE1 3AE.
For more information about the boat, its facilities and the route, see the Trust’s website or the online ebrochure.
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery has recently bought 5 pieces of Derby Porcelain dating from the 1790s. All the pieces are decorated with view of Derbyshire. Of particular interest to the DVMWHS is a small yellow sucrier or sugar bowl which contains a painted view of Cromford Bridge by the artist Zachariah Boreman (1738-1810). Boreman was one of the leading porcelain painters at the Derby factory, specialising in views of Derbyshire and beyond. He made his own sketches of local scenes to copy onto porcelain, but the view on this sucrier is copied from an engraving.
The view is a copy of a painting by John ‘Warwick’ Smith which was engraved and published by Samuel Middiman in 1785. Smith’s view shows quite a big topographical error, as Cromford Bridge is shown with four aches instead of three. An error that was copied onto the porcelain sucrier
Three of the other porcelain pieces have views around Matlock Bath. One is especially interesting as it shows a waterwheel on the Derwent near Matlock High Tor. These wheels were used to drain the water from nearby lead mines – you can see the waste from one of these mines flowing down to the river on the left. This is not the usual picturesque view of Matlock High Tor, it shows the commercial interest in this landscape.
The porcelain has been bought through the kind assistance of the Art Fund and their ‘New Collecting’ programme. This has allowed Anna Rhodes, a curator at the museum to buy eighteenth-century pictures for the collection, on both paper and porcelain.
Hourly Nottingham to Matlock train service to return in May
East Midlands Railway will be re-introducing a full Nottingham to Matlock train service from 22 May 2023. This will see the return of trains to Nottingham each hour on weekdays and Saturdays, to complement the existing Nottingham to Matlock Sunday service. These trains will also call at Beeston and Long Eaton with alternate services calling at Attenborough and Spondon to assist train punctuality.
• Hourly Nottingham to Matlock train service to be re-instated from 22 May 2023.
• Trains each hour on Weekdays and Saturdays to complement existing Nottingham to Matlock Sunday service.
• Reduced journey time throughout the day between Derwent Valley communities and Nottingham.
• Off-Peak trains from Spondon to Nottingham, Derby and Matlock.
For more details go to the Derwent Valley Line website
£249,599 Support for Cromford Mills
The Arkwright Society have secured substantial funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Duke of Devonshire Charitable Trust which will greatly help the Arkwright Society as it continues to conserve and regenerate Cromford Mills and to develop the site as a major visitor attraction in Derbyshire.
Thanks to this generous funding the Society will deliver a number of initiatives to ensure that Cromford Mills becomes an even greater attraction for visitors, local businesses and the wider community and a place that people can enjoy and celebrate its history.
A £249,599 grant from the Heritage Fund, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, will support staff in activities to engage more widely with people through learning and education about our site and our ambitions for its development. Sustainability is also a key theme for the Society, highlighted by the forthcoming installation of a turbine powered water wheel in one of the historic wheel pits at Cromford Mills. For more details click here.
Recruiting in the DVMWHS Coordination Team
We have a new role we are advertising within the DVMWHS Coordination Team for an Assistant Coordinator. This is a full-time role for 3 years and will focus on assisting in the coordination of programmes, projects and activities in the DVMWHS with a focus on outreach. The salary is Grade 9 £28,129 – £30,038 per annum. The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 15th January 2023. Interviews are planned for 2 and 3 February 2023. If you would like an informal chat about the role email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01629 536830.
For more information including how to apply click here.
Treasurer needed at Heage Windmill
Heage Windmill currently has two vacancies for Treasurers:
- Vacancy for Treasurer for Heage Windmill Society (HWS) – the body of Trustees.
- Vacancy for Treasurer for the Friends of Heage Windmill (FoHW) -the trading organisation supporting the Charity.
Both of the posts, which are unpaid, could be covered by one person. Some experience of charitable accounting would be useful but is not essential as training will be given to the successful applicant/s. The treasurer of Heage Windmill Society may, in due course, be appointed as a Trustee.
The closing date for both posts is 28th October. For more details click here: Treasurer Advert
Friends of the Cromford Canal Grant Award
The charity the Friends of the Cromford Canal has been awarded £10,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund towards the purchase of a new volunteer welfare unit. FCC’s Executive Secretary Richard Handley said: “This is brilliant news. The very welcome donation will be used towards the creation of a new volunteer welfare unit which, once complete, will become a fantastic resource for our volunteers. It will allow them to have an office and kitchen area, a toilet and a drying room whilst working on the canal away from local facilities. The welfare unit will benefit our hard-working volunteers when engaged on strategic restoration and conservation work along the canal.”
Rare Joseph Wright of Derby painting acquired for the nation
Derby Museums have announced the acquisition of a remarkable painting by Joseph Wright of Derby: ‘Self-Portrait at the Age of About Forty’, and on the reverse, a study for Wright’s famous painting ‘An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump’,
The self-portrait captures a sense of self-confidence and recognition of Wright’s growing reputation. It is also the only one of Wright’s ten self-portraits in which he specifically depicts himself as an artist, and it is packed with references to his specialism as a master painter of light effects.
The reverse of the painting shows a study for Wright’s famous painting ‘An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump’, which sheds important light on the development of his ideas for The Air Pump; a painting that is widely credited as the artist’s masterpiece.
The painting has been part of a private collection since it was completed in around 1772 and has rarely been seen by the public. It will now take pride of place in the Joseph Wright Gallery and will be available to view from Tuesday 17 May.
Major repairs required at historic windmill
Heage Windmill, the only working 6 sailed stone towered windmill in England, requires extensive repair work to be carried out. This popular tourist attraction (which recently featured on the Hairy Bikers Go North TV series) has been open to the public for 20 years and dates back to 1797. It was restored to working order in 2002 and is now maintained and operated entirely by volunteers. Recent inspection reports have identified wet rot in key structural timbers known as sheers – see diagram below. They run through the cap of the mill and cannot be replaced in situ.
The sheers, marked by a blue arrow, run from the front to the back of the cap. (Diagrammatic only)These huge pieces of timber, each some 8m long and 300mm square, which support all the main mechanisms of the windmill were NOT replaced in the restoration completed in 2002. Replacement involves removing the sails, fantail and cap – complex specialist work. The estimated cost is well in excess of £150 000. Temporary repairs mean that the windmill can operate safely continuing to mill flour for sale and welcome visitors for tours and other events.
Heage Windmill Society is working closely with Historic England and have agreed that the Grade 2* listed building will be placed on their Heritage At Risk Register (HAR).
The Society will use its available funds to cover some of the costs whilst further grants and funding will be sought to continue with the repairs. As the windmill is not directly funded, public support and donations are important. Should you wish to make a donation you can do so in the following ways:
- Credit/Debit card or PayPal via the GoFundMe page at: tinyurl.com/keepthesailsturning (Please Gift Aid if eligible)
- By cheque (payable to The Friends of Heage Windmill) sent to The Secretary, Heage Windmill Society, 3 Elmwood Drive, Alfreton DE55 7QJ
- Cash or card payment at the windmill when open.
- BACS: Account Name: The Friends of Heage Windmill Sort Code: 401715 Account Number: 31884980 Reference: SHEERS
Meeting Point: Contemporary art is coming to Cromford Mills
Cromford Mills are delighted to be taking part in Meeting Point, the Arts&Heritage initiative that brings heritage sites and contemporary artists together. Funded by Arts Council England, the project works to create art installations that engage new audiences with our history and site in imaginative and challenging ways.
This summer, Hetain Patel will be exhibiting his new work ‘Cotton Labour’ in the yard at Cromford Mills. It will be open to the public to view from Saturday 16th July until Sunday 18th September 2022.
Hetain Patel is a visual artist and performance maker who works across multiple media and often asks big questions in his work around culture, identity and freedom. His TED talk ‘Who am I? Think again’ has had over 3m views and he is the winner of the Film London Jarman Award, 2019. He recently starred as a judge on Sky Arts’ show Landmark and has had multiple solo exhibitions all over the country in the last year. He is currently exhibiting at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham (until 23rd April 2022) and in the British Art Show 9 – a landmark touring exhibition that showcases and celebrates the best of recent British art – presently on display in Wolverhampton.
Hetain’s work seeks to commemorate the forgotten workers from the mill’s history – both the local women and children who worked in Arkwright’s mill, but also the enslaved workers who picked the cotton and the Indian textile workers’ whose trade was so badly damaged by Arkwright’s success. He will be basing his work upon portraits of his own family (who picked cotton in Kenya and India before migrating to Britain), descendants of enslaved Africans and current Cromford residents and workers.
How can you get involved?
Meet the Artist: Hetain Patel – Come along to our online talk at 7pm on 31st March 2022 to meet Hetain and find out more about his work as an artist! This talk is free to attend but you will need to register to receive the zoom link. More details here: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/540718
Cromford Residents – Hetain is looking to feature a few local women and children as part of the final artwork. If you live in Cromford or work at the mill and would like to be considered, please email Eleanor at email@example.com by 4th April with a full-length photo and some information about yourself.
Donate your old clothes – the artwork will be rendered out of yarn made from old garments and we are currently looking for donations of large items of clothing or samples of cloth, ideally in bright colours. These must be clean and labelled ‘Meeting Point: FAO Eleanor Gunn’ and handed in to the Mill Shop before 15th May.
Workshops – We will be working with the local community to create the artwork in two workshops, on 25th June and 2nd July 2022. Please go to our events pages to see more information and register your interest by 30th April.
Ukraine: UNESCO statement following the adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution
Following the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Resolution on Aggression against Ukraine, and in light of the devastating escalation of violence, UNESCO is deeply concerned by developments in Ukraine and is working to assess damage across its spheres of competence (notably education, culture, heritage and information) and to implement emergency support actions.
The UNGA Resolution reaffirms the paramount importance of the UN Charter and commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, and it demands “that the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine.”
The Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, fully concurs with the opening remarks made by the Secretary-General at the Special Session of the General Assembly, during which he said that “this escalating violence — which is resulting in civilian deaths, including children – is totally unacceptable.”
In addition, she calls for the “protection of Ukrainian cultural heritage, which bears witness to the country’s rich history, and includes its seven World Heritage sites – notably located in Lviv and Kyiv; the cities of Odessa and Kharkiv, members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network; its national archives, some of which feature in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register; and its sites commemorating the tragedy of the Holocaust.”
Solidarity with Ukraine: Joint statement signed by 40 Countries
The National Commissions for UNESCO of Europe (and beyond) condemn the attack on Ukraine by the Russian Federation in the strongest terms. We express our solidarity with the people of Ukraine, which includes the journalists covering the conflict zone, and the teachers, educators, students and pupils who have the right to be educated in peace. We fully support our partners who advocate for UNESCO’s goals and values in Ukraine and beyond.
On 24 February, UNESCO called for the respect of international humanitarian law. Specifically, it called for the preservation of freedom of information, the protection of media professionals and to respect the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. A total of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites are located in Ukraine. Following the recent escalation of violence, the UN Secretary General Mr. António Guterres asked the Russian President to withdraw his troops from Ukraine.
National Commissions for UNESCO of:
Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Faroes, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Cromford Mills are Hiring!
The Arkwright Society is looking for a Chief Executive Officer who will be responsible for the direction and management of this vibrant charity and accountable to its trustees.
Trustees wanted for Friends of Cromford Canal
Applications are being sought for new Trustees to help the charity to accelerate its restoration and development aims. We are looking for enthusiastic and energetic individuals who can work cooperatively with existing trustees and volunteers and contribute to monthly meetings.
Ideally we are looking for people with a background and interest in canal restoration and preferably who have specific skills to bring to our team. We are particularly short of engineering and finance skills.
Please see www.cromfordcanal.org for more detail on our canal and aims. Interested parties should contact the Chairman at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Century of Change
In 1921, the earliest aerial view of Belper was taken from a hot air balloon. It focussed on the town’s mill complex, including the Round Mill and Jubilee Clock Tower, but also their surroundings, including: on the hillside, Bridge Hill House, home of the Strutt family who built the mills from 1776.
100 years later, in 2021, thanks to grant support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Partnership was able to recreate this historic photograph, to illustrate the changes made over the past century. The Round, West and South Mills have gone, and a single-storey factory (now unused) sits on the west side. Bridge Hill House has also gone, and the site redeveloped for housing. But the North and East Mills are still there, as are the River Gardens.
New Booklet from Friends of Cromford Canal
The Cromford Canal’s Leawood Arm: A History has recently been published by the Friends of Cromford Canal, as a companion volume to Cromford Wharf: A History.
Read more about how and find how to order this new booklet here.
Plans for Derby Riverboat Trips take significant step forward
Plans to stage trips on Derby’s River Derwent have moved a step closer after a purpose-built boat was recently launched on the water by the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust.
Recently, the boat, named Outram, was lowered into the river by crane from Cathedral Green, outside the Museum of Making, after receiving permission from Derby City Council.
Following its test launch, the Outram will remain moored in the Derwent over the winter while more trials are carried out, volunteer crew members are trained and safety measures are installed along the river.
The trust will launch return passenger trips from the city centre to Darley Abbey in Spring 2022, following on from a successful test with passengers at the recent Shardlow Inland Port Festival.
Trust chairman, Chris Madge said: “We are delighted to be able to get our boat onto the river. At last, we can look forward to the prospect of welcoming passengers and exciting them with the technology on board, the story of Derby and our canal, and providing a tranquil journey on a beautiful river in a lovely setting.”
Named after the famous Derbyshire engineer who created the Derby Canal, the Outram has been designed and built by a local boatyard and canal trust volunteers.
The 16-tonne craft was built from scratch in just over 6 months, but its launch was delayed by the pandemic.
While it is built in the style of a traditional narrowboat, it is wider than normal to accommodate wheelchair users.
It is an environmentally friendly boat, fitted with solar panels to top up its power source of lead carbon batteries. And working with graduate manufacturing engineers from Rolls Royce, the trust has developed a small remote-controlled boat called ARTEMIS, which can be operated from the Outram to collect harmful plastic waste from the river.
Outram will be able to carry up to 12 passengers on a 45-minute round trip on the River Derwent.
With a commentary by Sir David Suchet promoting Derby’s historic role in the cultural and industrial development of the country, the focus will be on entertaining families with a number of interactive displays.
Chris said: “Being able to offer passenger trips will be an important step for us.
“Our vision for the future includes making the river navigable south of the city centre into Pride Park, with the creation of the Derby Arm, a huge lift which would transfer boats from the River Derwent to a restored Derby Canal.
“We are a volunteer organisation that depends on support from the local community and businesses.
“This venture will enable us to garner greater support and promote our longer-term aspirations to make Derby a destination for boaters and tourists alike.”
The city council has been supporting the trust in launching the Outram on the River Derwent – and is looking at the river in conjunction with its regeneration plans.
Councillor Ross McCristal, cabinet member for leisure, culture, tourism and wellbeing, said: “Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust has great ambition and I’m pleased to be supporting the testing of the new riverboat.
“A river can be a city’s greatest natural asset, but historically, as a city, we’ve not embraced the River Derwent and have certainly not made the most of it.
“That’s changing, with major regeneration projects like Our City Our River underway. Projects like this will help Derby embrace and turn towards the river.
“I believe they have the potential to fundamentally change our city centre – making Derby a more vibrant place to be, and opening new spaces and opportunities for residents, visitors and businesses.”
Bringing our Missing Nightwatchmen back to the Derwent Valley
An invaluable nightwatchmen’s logbook detailing nightly goings-on in Belper during the 1830s has recently been re-discovered, and thanks to a Crowdfunding campaign, returned to the Derwent valley.
The book, lost for decades, was secured in a fundraiser by Derbyshire Record Office working in partnership with Belper Historical Society. It took just three days for donations to bring these missing nightwatchmen’s records home.
By 1833, the cotton spinning company of W G & J Strutt employed 2,000 people in its Belper mills. With so much invested in the town, it also ran its own mini police force in the shape of half a dozen nightwatchmen. As well as checking the water levels and the new-fangled gas lighting, the nightwatchmen also silently patrolled the town to apprehend any ne’er-do-wells.
This original book of nightwatchmen reports from 1833-1836 gives a revealing glimpse into what went on in Belper after dark, and how these men tackled many a confrontation armed with just a trusty truncheon.
A big thank you goes to everyone who supported the campaign and donated towards it.
The book will now be kept safe at Derbyshire Record Office, where it will be available for everyone to study it.
Celebrating 20 years as World Heritage Sites
Three of the UK’s World Heritage Sites, comprising globally significant textile mills, and their industrial villages, are celebrating 20 years of UNESCO inscription this year. Taken together, these three sites show how Britain moved from cottage industries to a factory system which changed the world. The Derwent Valley Mills are where the factory system began; New Lanark is where a paternalistic system developed into a utopian community; and Saltaire is a large and complete complex which prepared the way for other future industrial model villages.
World Heritage Site status is one of the most powerful international tools for heritage preservation and one of UNESCO’s most successful programmes. World Heritage embodies the great humanist idea that people of all cultures and faiths can unite around the conservation of places of Outstanding Universal Value.
Over time, the World Heritage Convention has become the most universal instrument in heritage conservation globally. Thanks to the Convention, hundreds of communities have preserved their natural environment and enhanced their cultural heritage, in order to pass it on to their children, and to honour their ancestors. Heritage unites us regardless of our background and culture. Today, we unite for heritage, as the challenges to preserving our heritage becomes more complex. As a driver for robust economies and stronger societies, sustainable development provides citizens with decent jobs and a future to look forward to.
World Heritage is not just a list of marvellous sites – it is a vision for peace with the power to change the minds of women and men and to shape a sustainable future for all. It is about mobilizing heritage as a force for creativity, innovation and sustainable development.
Heritage is not a luxury – it is a precious asset. Everyone should be encouraged to make their best efforts for the promotion and preservation of our shared heritage. Every tourist and visitor should respect and cherish these irreplaceable World Heritage Sites. There will be no global sustainable future for humanity without the engagement of each one of us.
2021 marks the 20th anniversary of World Heritage status for the Derwent Valley Mills and Saltaire in England and New Lanark in Scotland. To commemorate this milestone, the three sites have joined together in a programme of shared celebrations over the course of the year. More information on all events can be found on the respective sites’ websites.