Decade of heritage celebrated in style

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A SPECTACULAR celebration marked the ten years since Derwent Valley Mills became a World Heritage Site.

And not even a downpour of rain was going to put a dampener on the festivities that celebrated a decade of international status for Belper.

One of the organisers was former Belper News editor Adrian Farmer, who is now heritage co-ordinator for the World Heritage Site. He said: “It’s ten years since the mills along the Derwent Valley were granted an international status that recognised their importance to world history.”

The celebration event saw volunteers and communities who live and work in the only World Heritage Site in the East Midlands turn out to celebrate the anniversary in style.

And although it was water power which enabled the mills to become the world’s first modern factories, the organisers were determined that natural water power – rain – wasn’t going to stop the celebrations.

Much of Cromford Mill yard went under canvas, and outside performances were enjoyed between the rain showers.

Community groups, schools and performers from all along the 15 mile length of the World Heritage Site – between Derby and Matlock Bath – went along to get involved.

Mr Farmer added: “This was an important day in the calendar for the Derwent Valley Mills and we were determined rain wouldn’t stop play.

“Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and we were very grateful to all those who gave their time to provide so many different activities and entertainments.”

Some of the attractions included a stall making and selling craft items at Strutt’s North Mill in Belper. Among the things for sale were mill teddies.

Also, Heage Windmillers delighted spectators with a performance in the mill yard.