Heritage showcased at DiscoveryFestival

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Some of the Derwent Valley’s finest heritage was showcased to the public over the October half term holiday, at the ninth annual Discovery Days Festival.

As part of the festivities along the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, historic buildings were opened to the public, including millworkers’ houses on Chevin View in Belper and Cromford’s North Street.

Nearly all guided tours were fully booked, and hundreds of people went to look inside the chapels, turbine houses, cottages and community buildings which opened in Belper, Milford, Cromford and Derby.

The first Saturday and Sunday ended with Belper’s Ritz Cinema screening vintage Derbyshire film footage supplied by the Media Archive for Central England.

On Halloween the 1623 Theatre Company Celebrated the spooky season with Zombie Shakespeare when a whole graveyard’s worth of unfortunate characters from The Bard’s plays returned to walk the earth and playout their tragedies once more in the River Gardens.

And on Saturday, November 2 there was an Exhibition of Electronic Working Fairground Models at No 28 Community Hall in Market Place when fairground art and memorabilia was on display as well as a collection of fairground ride paintings.

Derbyshire County Council’s Libraries were also heavily involved in the celebrations, with activities at Belper, Wirksworth, Duffield and Ripley.

The new Chair of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, Councillor Ellie Wilcox, came on the Behind-the-Scenes tour of Belper Library.

She said: “The Discovery Days Festival offers us rare chances of seeing more of our heritage and understanding why it’s so important.

“It’s been great to see local communities engaging so fully with their history, and shows the benefits of having a World Heritage Site on your doorstep.

“So many volunteers have again worked hard to provide some memorable experiences for both local people and visitors from all over the country. We can’t thank them enough.”

Pictured in the archives attic enjoying a Belper Library behind the scenes tour during Discovery Days are: (left to right) visitors Lola Forey, and Alan Fletcher, Adrian Farmer, Heritage Co-ordinator for World Heritage Site, Councillor Ellie Wilcox, Chair of the World Heritage Site Board, Ruth Sharpe, Local Studies Librarian, and Belper County Councillor John Owen.