Local community and groups

Here people can find out about local interest groups.

A place to go to find out what you can get involved in as a resident!

It is easy to add your group to this section. Just click on the Add Your Group link on the left and follow the instructions. Once you have submitted the information about your group you will need to wait until a moderator has accepted it . You then get an email confirming that your page is live and containing an 'edit link' to enable you to have access to make any changes you wish to make as often as you wish.

Wirksworth & District Probus Club

Probus clubs are linked to their local Rotary clubs. Members are drawn from local retired Professional and Business people within the community. Hence the name Probus.

Probus clubs began to be formed around Great Britain and overseas in the mid-1960s and then, as now, were linked to their local Rotary clubs. Members were drawn from senior retired Rotarians, but also from local retired Professional and Business people within the community. Hence the name Probus.

There is no central organisation; each club is self-financing and self-administered by its members. The only common link is a magazine which is published quarterly by a commercial publisher. The aim of each club is to provide an opportunity for members to meet regularly in friendship, fellowship and common interest.

Most clubs engage speakers on a variety of subjects and will regularly take trips to places of interest around the country. There are clubs whose members are men only, women only and mixed. Visitors are always welcomed, whether from other clubs or as guests of existing members.

Plans to form a Wirksworth & District Probus Club began in 1985 with help from local Rotarians and it became men only. However, when appropriate, members' wives and widows of former members will be invited to attend and on these occasions the meeting is often followed by a lunch.

The meetings are held at The Hope and Anchor Inn in Wirksworth and take place on the second Monday of each month, starting at 10.00 am for 10.30 am.


Chairman: Colin Pidgeon

Vice Chairman: Bob Duxbury

Hon. Secretary: Tony Holmes

Hon. Treasurer: Richard Derbyshire

Social Secretary: Vacant

Programme Secretary: Peter Spencer

Almoner: John Preece 

Elected Members: Alan Barton, John Westerman, Peter West (Immediate past Chairman).


1. Officers

The 2009 Club Chairman Alan Barton (centre) with Treasurer Martin Beresford (left) and Secretary John Preece (right)


2. Rail Trip

Club Members on a very popular rail trip to Idridgehay.


3. Reg Dean

Perhaps it's the Wirksworth water! This photo shows the club's oldest member, Reg Dean (now deceased) with former club chairman Norman Laud.


4. Christmas Dinner

Lunches, dinners and special occasions are always well supported. This event was the Club's 20th Anniversary annual Christmas dinner, attended by the then Mayor of Wirksworth and other dignitaries, at the Brackendale Restaurant at Carsington.

Report on AGM 2013:

The Wirksworth and District Probus Club met for its Annual General Meeting on Monday April 8th at the Hope and Anchor Public House in Wirksworth.

As usual the meeting was greeted with coffee and biscuits and then proceeded with the meeting at 10.30.

The Chair was taken initially by the Vice Chairman in the absence of the Chairman, whose report was read for him by the Past Chairman for 2011/12 Robert Duxbury. Peter West regretted his absences, recorded his delight at taking a card for Reg. Dean, the deaths of Reg Dean, Phil Sandler and most recently that of Ron Waterhouse. He expressed his appreciation for the work of the Committee and the Vice Chair who had had to stand in for him for much of his term of office. This was followed by the Secretary who thanked all members for their support, the committee for their work and voiced his regret that some excursions had had to be cancelled through lack of support. With membership still short of the accepted total he welcomed the new members, one of whom, Kevin Turville, received his badge and copy of the rules. The report concluded with thanks to those who had kept the local papers aware of our activities. The financial report was presented by the retiring Treasurer Alan Barton who was thanked for all his efforts. John Preece reported on his activities as Almoner and Richard Derbyshire on his efforts as Social Secretary.

Before proceeding to the election, Peter Binks voiced the appreciation of the membership for allnews@matlockmercury that the Officers and Committee had done over the year. At the election Colin Pidgeon was installed as the Chairman for the year, by Bob Duxbury who was in turn welcomed as the Vice Chairman; other officers are: Secretary: Tony Holmes, Treasurer: Richard Derbyshire, Programme Secretary: Peter Spencer, Almoner: John Preece; committee member: Alan Barton, John Westerman and Peter West.

Peter Spencer spoke of the programme for the year but had to announce that there was insufficient response to the idea of a visit to Renishaw Hall. Finally the meeting agreed to an increase in subscription and to resubmitting personal details in order to maintain the register.

The meeting closed with a brief up date by Roger Culverhouse on the coming programme at Crich Tramway Village with an insight into what the volunteers there had been doing during the closed season and the new attractions for the year ahead

Probus Meetings are held at the Hope and Anchor on the second Monday in the month, details on 01629 824912.  


Denby pottery today is looked on as producing fine quality tableware but at the March meeting, Helen Monk assisted by her aunt gave a talk on the various types of pottery which had been made over the past 205 years at Denby. One of the early successes was the lowly earthenware stone bottle. In the first half of the nineteenth century they were made in their thousands by numerous firms but after a time these bottles leaked due to the porosity of the ceramic. Denby was able to dominate the market in that their bottles did not leak as they were made of vitreous earthenware due to their invention of salt glazing.

The descendants of the Bourne family who managed the Denby Pottery were very good at spotting openings in the market place for various niche earthenware products like water bottles, pie dishes, ink jars, muff warmers, etc. Helen showed us a pie dish that had been in use in her family for over 60 years yet there was no cracking of the glaze and looked new. Denby moved with the times and in the early 1900s started producing artistic earthenware and again changed around 1930 to start producing the tableware that we know today.

In past years trading has been difficult and the firm was near to closing due to factors from two large firms. However they were very successful last year selling their products worldwide and the future now looks rosy. Helen emphasised that people like Denby because it is so durable and is now extremely collectable. The ladies had brought along examples of the pottery produced at Denby over the last two hundred years. The durability of Denby was shown in a newspaper cutting from a woman in New Orleans. Her house had been flattened by a hurricane but sticking out of the debris was some Denby dinner ware. Two thirds of the dinner service was recovered and all the pieces were intact.

A lively question time followed this interesting talk and a vote of thanks was given to the ladies by our Chairman, Colin Pidgeon.


The next meeting of the club is the Annual General Meeting on the 14th of April. 

Meetings are held at the Hope & Anchor and commence at 10.00am for 10.30am. New members and visitors are welcome to attend.


The meetings are held at The Hope and Anchor Inn in Wirksworth (Adjacent to Wirksworth Market Place) unless otherwise stated, and on the second Monday of each month, starting at 10.00 am for 10.30 am.


April 14th: Annual General Meeting.

The programme for the year 2014 - 15 is being finalised & will be published as soon as possible after the AGM.

Updated 14th March 2014.