A FORMER editor of the Belper news has had his ‘tireless work’ to promote the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site (DVMWHS) recognised with a national accolade.
Adrian Farmer, Heritage Co-ordinator at DVMWHS, beat off stiff competition from all over England to scoop one of only two commendations in a Tourism Superstar competition organised by national tourist board VisitEngland and the Daily Mirror newspaper.
Judges were impressed by Adrian’s love and dedicated work over the years for his home town of Belper and the DVMWHS, birthplace of the world’s first factory system and home to historic gems such as Sir Richard Arkwright’s Masson Mill, Cromford Mill and Strutt’s North Mill, Belper.
He said: “This commendation came completely out of the blue – I didn’t know I’d been nominated,” said Adrian. ”I was very touched when I found out. I feel incredibly proud of my home town of Belper, and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. It’s a privilege, as a volunteer and in my work, to be able to let people know about the town’s contribution to world history, and show them what a fascinating and enjoyable place it is for a visit. I couldn’t have got the annual Discovery Days Festival started in 2005 without the help of scores of volunteers who now contribute every year to its success. They’re as passionate about the Derwent Valley as I am – and all superstars in their own right!”
Adrian was nominated by Joanne Bamford, Tourism and Culture Co-ordinator at Amber Valley Borough Council, and his colleague Sukie Khaira, Development Co-ordinator at the DVMWHS, who highlighted his work as a member of many key local groups, including Belper Civic Forum, Belper Historical Society and the Friends of Belper River Gardens. He is also a volunteer guide at Belper North Mill and knowledgeable walk leader and the fund-raiser for a project to replace an original jubilee clock in the town when editor of the Belper News. He is also the author of three books and a popular column for a local magazine.
David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, added: “We are delighted that his sustained contribution and many achievements have been recognised in this way during a week when we are celebrating the very best of English tourism.”