More heritage sites open than ever before

editorial image

LATE additions to an already packed programme of activities means there will be more than 200 events at the eighth World Heritage Site Discovery Days Festival.

The nine day festival – set to be the biggest ever – will take place over nine days from October 27 to November 4, across Derbyshire’s Derwent Valley.

With so much to see and do, many of the events are centred on specific parts of the World Heritage Site during the weekends.

On Sunday, October 28 there are more historic buildings open in Belper than ever before, and a showcase for Belper talent at an arts and crafts fair in the Strutts Community Centre.

There’s a wide mix of children’s activities and tours taking place at the Strutt’s North Mill museum.

One of the most exciting events will be the opening of homes at Berkin’s Court – now called Chevin View.

The residents of this little row of houses have come together to research and now tell the story of their homes –which are some of the earliest industrial housing on the planet – and recreate a traditional 1912 wash day.

Throughout the week there are more tours, walks and workshops than ever before – and special performances including Supernatural Shakespeare in Belper River Gardens on the evening of Hallowe’en, and traditional songs and stories from the English year in Cromford on November 2.

The final weekend of November 3 and 4 is Cromford‐based, with houses on North Street – the world’s first industrial housing – open to the public for the first time ever.

There’s also a chance to view a private vintage motorcycle collection never seen publicly before, and a torch‐lit procession to Masson Mill on the Sunday afternoon, for a closing concert by folk group Mills and Chimneys with local children.

“It’s the best line‐up yet, and we’re relying on plenty of people to turn up and join in the fun! The volunteers work so hard, it’d be great if they could be rewarded with a good turnout throughout the week,” said Mark Suggitt, Director of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

Elsewhere, on  Saturday October 27, the  opening day, there are dozens of events going on in Derby and  Darley Abbey, with a mass of family activities in the Silk Mill, a  vintage bus will take  people on tours around the  historic parts of the city – a first for the festival

Visitors can take a look  inside the schoolroom in the attic of the Long Mill at Darley  Abbey – almost untouched from when children moved to a  purpose‐built school in 1826.

To see what else is on during the festival, visit www.derwentvalleymills.org/discovery‐days.

A booklet explaining all the events planned for the Discovery Days Festival is now available from the mills and county libraries.

Alternatively contact the booking line on 01629 536831 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday or email info@derwentvalleymills.org. uk