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News from the Derwent Valley Mills

April 2024
Belper East Mills, a large red brick building with multiple windows with the Belper North Mill building in front of it. The foreground is an arched road bridge with the River Derwent flowing underneath it.
View over the River Derwent to the North and East Mills at Belper
News from the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site
Two pound bus fare cap extended until 31 December 2024

22nd April 2024

A single bus journey anywhere costs no more than £2 any day on most routes across England. Single bus fares (including child and student fares) on most bus services in Derbyshire will be capped at £2 until the end of December 2024. For information on bus services in the DVMWHS check our Getting There page.

Recruiting at Masson Mills

12th March 2024

There are two new full time roles based at Masson Mills with Derwent Hydroelectric Power. The Administrative Operations Coordinator has a salary of £24,000-£28,000 per annum. The Technical Operations Coordinator role has a salary of £28,000-£35,000 per annum.

To apply for either role or find out more information please contact Dean Needle: or phone 01773 821 944. Applications are to be made by e-mail, consisting of a CV and 2-page supporting statement. The initial interviews will take place 16th and 17th April at Masson Mills.

There is also the opportunity for a part-time Visitor Centre Assistant at Masson Mills. For more information and details on the application process please contact Jamie Needle on 01629 581 001 or

Recruiting at Cromford Mills for Fundraising Manager

9th January 2024

Cromford Mills are recruiting for a Fundraising Manager. This exciting opportunity at the Arkwright Society is for a dynamic fundraising Manager, ready to hit the ground running in shaping their fundraising offer for the charity. As fundraising manager and part of the senior management, you will lead the fundraising  programme, steering campaigns, nurturing memberships, donations,
legacies and fostering key sponsorships.

The salary is up to £35,000 per annum + benefits (two-year fixed term contract). Full time/ part time considered.  The closing date is Saturday 20th January 2024 at 11pm. To apply please submit your CV and personal statement (no more than two pages each) to Eilis Scott, CEO of The Arkwright Society If you would like an informal conversation, please contact Eilis Scott on the above email. For more details including the job description click here.



Belper Mills Future

13th November 2023

Creating a deliverable, sustainable and appropriate long-term future for the Belper Mills.

The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Partnership is concerned about the deteriorating condition of the highly significant historic buildings on the North and East Mills site.

The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Partnership believes there will be serious challenges in delivering the scheme which is currently being considered by Amber Valley Borough Council as the local planning authority. The  Partnership believes alternative options should be explored to repair and reuse the buildings in ways that allow for additional funders and partners to support a scheme that can be delivered.

View the alternative options:

The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Partnership have commissioned consultants to develop 5 alternative scenarios that contain a combination of options for the Belper Mills site.  It has also consulted, in depth, with representatives from a range of different local communities to narrow down a long list of potential options which:

  • Will not damage the important World Heritage Site status
  • Will be financially sustainable into the future following restoration
  • Will meet the needs of local communities as well as regional and national needs.

You can view detailed information and architect plans for the different options here. When you have viewed the options a survey to gather your views will go live from this page from November 20th until 11.45pm on 17th December.

Belper East Mills, a large red brick building with multiple windows with the Belper North Mill building in front of it. The foreground is an arched road bridge with the River Derwent flowing underneath it.

View over the River Derwent to the North and East Mills at Belper


Recruiting at Cromford Mills for Operations Manager

1st November 2023

Cromford Mills are recruiting an Operations Manager (Building & Facilities). This multifaceted role seeks candidates with strong operational management and practical repair skills to ensure effective site management and the delivery of the maintenance plan. Candidates should have hands-on experience in leading maintenance and facilities operations at similar sites, along with exceptional leadership, communication, and organisational skills.

The salary is £35,000 per annum + benefits and the closing date is Monday 13th November 2023 at 5pm. Interviews will be held on 23rd November 2023. To apply submit your CV and personal statement (no more than two pages each) to Eilis Scott, CEO of The Arkwright Society If you would like an informal conversation, please contact Eilis Scott on the above email. For more details including the job description click here.


Flooding causes significant damage to the Museum of Making in Derby

23rd October 2023

Derby Museums is sad to report that the recent severe weather conditions have exposed the Museum of Making to substantial flood damage. Whilst the building was designed to withstand an element of flooding and the teams worked tirelessly to move as much as possible off the ground floor, water levels are far higher than predicted at planning stage and the interruption to the day to day activity is likely to be substantial, with significant loss of income.

As a charity, they rely heavily on donations and earned income through events and catering, which is currently being affected by the flooding. The Museum of Making will be closed to the public whilst insurers are consulted, the damage is further assessed and a repair plan is put in place. In due course, the museum should be able to reopen its doors. Derby Museums are already in a precarious financial position, and are now asking for your help to mitigate the impact of the damage and loss of income. If you can make a donation, big or small, they would be very grateful.

Donations can be made through the website here: DONATE HERE– please select ‘Museum of Making’ as the reason for your gift.

Flood at Silk Mill


Recruiting at Cromford Mills for a Volunteer Coordinator

October 2023

The volunteer coordinator will take a key role in the support and development of the volunteer offer for both the Belper North Mill Trust, based at Archway House, Belper, and The Arkwright Society, based at Cromford Mills. This role is being supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The salary is £21,418 pro rata (part time 3.5 days/ 26.25 hours per week) and the role is a fixed term until May 2025. The closing date  is Monday 6th November at 5pm, and to apply send your CV and cover letter to Zoe Sheppard, Head of Engagement: For more details including the job description click here.


Research as a Resource

2nd October 2023

On Friday 10th November you can discover more about researching in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Understand what information is out there and how to access it.  Hear stories from others on their research and how research can be better used as a resource. There is no charge for participants at this conference but bring or buy your own lunch. To book, email Places limited. Event sponsor: University of Derby. Click here to see the programme.


Recruiting at Heage Windmill

30th September 2023

Heage Windmill Society wish to engage a Fundraiser to prepare bids and raise funds for planned developments at Heage Windmill. This is a temporary, fixed term, part time role funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The appointee will work as a freelance consultant on a self-employed basis.

Further details can be obtained from the Trust’s Secretary, Meg Tarlton, at Closing date for applications is Friday 13th October 2023.


Reviving History: Cromford Mills Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Restore Waterpower

19th September 2023

Cromford Mills, a unique site of rich historical and technological significance, is embarking on a remarkable journey to bring the power of water back to its heart. The restoration project includes the installation of a new 5-meter diameter water wheel and a 17kWh hydro turbine and water source heating system. By utilising the original water course, this system is expected to generate approximately 20-25% of on-site electricity. This will help reduce the site’s carbon footprint and address the challenges posed by rising energy prices, which have impacted Cromford Mills significantly.

The project has been made possible, thanks to the generosity of Derbyshire County Council’s Green Entrepreneurs Fund, Severn Trent Community Fund and local businesses including Vaillant Boilers and Twiggs.  However, with rising costs there is a funding gap and more support is needed to complete the project.

“We are on a mission to restore the power of water to Cromford Mills and preserve the heritage that helped shape our nation’s history,” said Eilis Scott, Chief Executive Officer of the Arkwright Society. “With your generous contributions, you’re not just supporting a water wheel; you’re powering education, preservation, and innovation.”

Cromford Mills has set an ambitious fundraising target of £60,000 to complete the installation by November 2023. Every donation, regardless of size, is a step closer to realising this vision. To make a donation please visit the crowdfunding page at Supporters can choose from a range of bespoke rewards as a token of appreciation for their contribution.

Work underway at Cromford Mills for hydro power



Recruiting at Masson Mills

29th August 2023

Masson Mills have two new roles they are looking to recruit for, a book keeper/finance officer and a facilities and operations manager. The book keeper role is 2.5 or 3 days a week with a full time equivalent salary of £25,000 – £30,000 per year. More details about the role can be found here. The facilities and operations manager is 28-40 hours per week and more details can be found here. Applicants can request further information and send their CV’s to

Masson Weir


Heage Windmill sails reattached

23rd August 2023

Following a fund raising campaign with donations from a range of sources the six sails were refurbished and have now been reattached at Heage Windmill.  Each sail weighs about three quarters of a ton, and was in turn, lifted up to the mill and secured with four clamps and a massive bolt. There are still some more adjustments to be made before milling can take place and the sale of flour begin again.

Sails back on Heage Windmill


Volunteer Treasurer role at Belper North Mill Trust

6th July 2023

Belper North Mill Trust are looking for a volunteer to join the Board of Trustees in the role of Treasurer. The position is a key role on the Board and will contribute to the strategic leadership and management of the organisation. You will play a crucial role providing financial leadership, challenge and assurance to the
Board. Additionally, the role oversees and produces the relevant statutory filings and day to day financial accounting for the Trust. The role is also responsible for the Insurance, IT and other Governance functions in conjunction with the Company Secretary.
Ideally you will have an Accountancy based background, live reasonably locally to Belper and have an interest in the town’s heritage. The role will necessitate around a day a week of time commitment. If you would like to discuss the role further, please contact For more details click here.


BELOW: ARCHIVE NEWS – July 2023 to Dec 2021


Heage Windmill – new opening hours

New Sails at Heage WindmillWork has started to replace the sheer timbers, and undertake some other repairs at Heage windmill, The work is progressing well  and the first new sheer is in place and the second will soon be ready to install.

Whilst the work is being carried out, the mill remains open to visitors who can inspect the work up close. There is no charge to visit the site but donations are always welcome. Guided tours of the inside of the windmill are continuing to take place. However, from 26th August the windmill will not open on Saturdays allowing the dedicated volunteers to support the repair and refurbishment work.

Why not drop in and see the work being done first hand? The mill will be open on Sunday 27th August and Bank Holiday Monday 28th August and every Sunday until further notice. The Vintage Tractor event on 10th September and Classic Motorcycles event on 24th September will still go ahead.


DVMWHS included in unique UK UNESCO sites on new illustrated map

Ignite your summer adventures and discover the DVMWHS alongside 57 other unique UNESCO sites in the UK and crown dependencies thanks to a newly illustrated map, now available to download for free from the UK National Commission for UNESCO.

From expansive mountain ranges and stunning coastlines to vibrant cities and rural landscapes – the UK’s UNESCO sites are destinations of world-class natural and cultural heritage. For the first time a map, designed by the creative cartographer Tom Woolley, brings together all of the Biosphere Reserves, Creative Cities, Global Geoparks and World Heritage Sites across the British Isles that are waiting to be discovered.

The new map, released online this week, includes 29 World Heritage Sites, 13 Creative Cities, 9 Global Geoparks and 7 Biosphere Reserves that cover 13% of the UK’s landmass. Most of the sites are free to enter and conveniently accessible by public transport offering the public new experiences to discover UNESCO sites in the UK and mark this summer with a visit to one of the world’s most special places.

The map was produced by the UK National Commission for UNESCO as part of its Local to Global project, made possible with the GREAT Campaign and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to National Lottery players. Local to Global aims to develop a resilient network for UNESCO Designated Sites in the UK. The map can be downloaded from:

There is also a map of the region showing the designations around the DVMWHS.


  UK UNESCO logo


Free bus journeys on 6 Sunday mornings this summer

Local residents and visitors to Derbyshire are being offered free bus rides on six summer Sunday mornings and can can take the opportunity to visit our local attractions. Most bus operators across the county are taking part in our scheme, with free bus journeys being offered from the first service each Sunday from 23 July 2023 to 27 August 2023 up until midday. Buses that start their journeys in Derby are not included. Passengers who start their journeys in Derby cannot take advantage of the free fare offer. To find out more  click here


Launch of the Wayfinding Scheme in Darley Abbey

Launch of wayfinding panel at Darley Abbey
Unveiling of new interpretation panel at Darley Abbey

On International World Heritage Site Day (April 18) the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site celebrated by officially unveiling the new interpretation and wayfinding scheme for Darley Abbey, funded by the Great Place Scheme, a joint initiative between the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and Historic England. It is the first of three interpretation and wayfinding schemes to be unveiled in the World Heritage Site this year (the others being in Milford and Belper). First board to be unveiled was about the mills and included context on their Global Cotton Connections, the latter researched by the Legacy Makers group, as part of a project also funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Legacy Makers were able to join us for the unveiling and after a walk through the village to see other boards and wayfinding markers, gave a presentation at the St Matthew’s Church Fellowship Rooms.

Watch the video to find out more about the scheme and how you can use it to discover so much more about this historic mill community.

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.

Derby Porcelain 

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.

Sucrier and milk jug

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

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 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:

  1. Vacancy for Treasurer for Heage Windmill Society (HWS) – the body of Trustees.
  2. 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

Joseph Wright portrait unveiled at Derby Museum
Joseph Wright portrait unveiled at Derby Museum & Art Gallery

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.

Image showing the sheers. Marked by a blue arrow, run from the front to the back of the cap. (Diagrammatic only)

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:

  • 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.

The Artist

Meet the Artist Hetain Patel

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.

The Artwork

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:

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 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.

Workshop (25th June)

Workshop (2nd July)

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.”

Read more here

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.

Find out more here

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 for more detail on our canal and aims. Interested parties should contact the Chairman at

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 forwardOutram

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

Nightwatchmen book open

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.

New Lanark Mill Complex











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