Delight at honour for generous George

The granddaughter of George Herbert Strutt has expressed her delight that the Belper philanthropist is to have a plaque unveiled in his honour.

Lin Ryan is travelling over from her home in Ireland for the ceremony next week, at Strutt’s former home, the Makeney Hall Hotel.

She will be joined by leader of the Derbyshire County Council and cabinet member for culture, Cllr Andrew Lewer, for the ceremony on Thursday, February 28.

“I am so happy that my grandfather’s work and dedication have been recognised by the people of Derbyshire,” Ms Ryan said.

“This blue plaque is a fitting tribute to a kind and generous man,”

Nominated by World Heritage Site co-ordinator Adrian Farmer, it will be the third blue plaque to be put up by the county council this year to celebrate the important people and places of Derbyshire.

In 1907 George Strutt funded an elementary school for the children of Belper, which is still used as a community centre today. He also funded a public swimming pool three years later and gave land which was used to create the Memorial Gardens

Cllr Lewer said he was pleased that the people of Derbyshire had voted for someone who had done so much to transform the quality of life for local people.

He said: “George Herbert Strutt was one of the first members of Derbyshire County Council, becoming its chairman in 1901. In this role, he always had the needs of local people at heart and was extremely popular, remaining a member until his death in 1928.

“Strutt was a great and generous man who continued his family’s tradition of enhancing Belper and the surrounding area.

“His legacy can be seen to this day in the many buildings and amenities he donated or built for the benefit of the community.”

Nominator Mr Farmer said he was delighted that Mr Strutt had received the public’s support.

He said: “Strutt made such an impact on Belper and its people – he provided so much during his lifetime. He thoroughly deserves this recognition of his work.”