By Nick McLeod
This year promises to be a busy one at Strutts, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our users and volunteers a happy and prosperous New Year. We have started the year in fine style with the generous donation of a baby grand piano for the hall. This has been given by Howard Ducker, in memory of his late father, George Ducker, a former headmaster during the Grammar School era. It is effectively a replacement for the Beckstein Grand piano, which is now in Derby Cathedral, and was bought by a public subscription arranged by his father. We will use it for concerts in the hall, and hopefully Howard will be there to formally hand it over later in the year. The Ladybirds Pre-School is moving to Strutts from Pottery School and will open its doors on January 21. I offer a warm welcome to the staff, children and parents. I understand that there are still vacancies for new starters. Our own Belper Strutts Society is organising fundraising events to help improve the facilities at Strutts. Please support our efforts. These events include: • Book sales • Vintage Fair (March 8) • Derbyshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir Concert on May 17 • Strutts School Reunion • “Room 10” Talks. As well as their ongoing activities some of our user groups also have major events at Strutts open to the public: • The Belper Players show in March • Belper Model Railway Exhibition at Easter. • Amber Valley CAMRA Beer Festival will be held at Strutts in September. We have already booked a number of wedding receptions and children’s parties. The Strutts Community Project is a legacy for future generations and we need to encourage youngsters to use the building constructively. I would welcome any ideas from youngsters and parents about the activities that they would like to see at Strutts. It would then require volunteers to come forward to organise the activities, and we will try to find a way to provide the facilities.If there is anything else that you would like to see at Strutts, and would like to help set up, please contact me and we will see what can be done.Or, if you can help in any way in running the Centre please join the Belper Strutts Society and phone Strutts Reception on 01773 599993 or email me, Nick McLeod at firstname.lastname@example.org.