Belper is to be at heart of festivities

Discovery Days.

Discovery Days.

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BELPER will be celebrating in style during this year’s Discovery Days events in the town.

The launch event of this year’s World Heritage Site Discovery Days programme in the area is at the University of Derby’s Kedleston Road Campus on October 21 with a taster session of activities for the week ahead, which includes a bumper package of ones in Belper.

Discovery Days.

Discovery Days.

The following day, the 1623 Theatre Company is presenting ‘Supernatural Shakespeare’ in Belper’s River Gardens, a look at the Bard’s Most Haunted.

On Sunday, October 23, all eyes will be on Belper as special activities continue in the town, including an exhibition of local crafts in the former Herbert Strutt School – now the Strutts Centre in Derby Road – and a chance to look inside the historic East Mill. This year mark’s the 100th anniversary of work beginning on the construction of the mill – to celebrate, the present owners of the complex, Carfrae Holdings, is giving public access to the fifth and sixth floors, where there will be displays and information, as well as unique high-level views of the town. There will also be tours of the newly-refurbished attic space in the 207-year-old North Mill, once used as Belper’s first schoolroom.

A heritage market will be held in the mill yard and there will be special events in Strutt’s North Mill, the mill museum.

Several historic properties around the town will also open their doors to the public.

Discovery Days.

Discovery Days.

Activities include Singing round the Calendar with Pete Castle, Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham singing and telling the stories which celebrate the holidays and holy days with which we punctuate our workaday lives, and a Canal Folk Opera from Keeper Lock.

The final two days, October 29 and 30, will see the usual mix of walks and talks around the Cromford area.

A booklet explaining all the events planned for the Discovery Days Festival is now available from the mills and county libraries. The booking line is 01629 536831 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday or email info@derwentvalleymills.org. It is not essential to book, but those who didn’t pre-book risk being turned away. There is no charge for booking.