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Community Fayre online

Click the link to see the online edition of Wirksworth's community newspaper

Community Fayre 168

Last updated 13th of March


Anthony Gell Students Set Course for Sailing Success

A dozen students from Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth have gained sailing qualifications thanks to funding secured from 'Sportivate' by the Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership.
The youngsters were awarded their RYA Stage 1 Certificates after completing the 'Introduction to Sailing' course. The course has been taught in six two hour sessions over six weeks by qualified instructors at Carsington Sports and Leisure near Ashbourne.

Holding his Youth Sailing Scheme log book, year 7 pupil Michael Rowlatt said: "We have learned how to turn with the rudder, and how to change speeds by pulling the rope attached to the sail and we've also been pushing the boat onto its front to either speed it up or slow it down."

Lucy Edenbrow in year 8, who has special educational needs said: "I'm pleased to achieve this. I learned how to steer for the first time and I've started getting good at it as well. And I've been controlling the ropes on the sail. I want to do stage 2 now."

Lucy's Mum Tina said: "I think it's been fabulous. Lucy's got special needs and it's been credit to all the staff at Carsington that they've managed to teach her level 1. She's thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It's given her lots of confidence and it has been a great social experience for her being part of a team. It's been something she has looked forward to every week. It has definitely inspired her. She's really upset we're going into winter period and she can't come regularly but she's up for doing her level 2 next Easter."

Commenting on the Sportivate funding worth around £1,000 to help about 40 pupils to access the Learn to Sail course over the academic year, secured by the RDSSP, Lucy's Mum said: "It's amazing. Without it to be fair I think as a family we wouldn't have been able to afford a proper sailing course so for us it's opened up an opportunity - especially for Lucy as well the other students from AG to give them a taster of this and hopefully once she's got this ability we can come and hire at an hourly rate which will be cheaper for us."

Elliot Pursglove who was taking his Stage 2-3 said: "I've been tacking and jibing round buoys and going really fast - it was lots of fun. I was in a Pico and I've sailed the Anthony Gell Feva boat twice. The course will help me get into sailing and I'm hoping to do some more."

RDSSP Partnership Manager, Janice Price, who is based at Anthony Gell, said: "This Sportivate funding enables students to get a taste of a sport that many wouldn't otherwise be able to afford to try."

"We're so proud that Ellen MacArthur is a former Anthony Gell Student. Who knows? Perhaps this course here at Carsington will inspire the next generation of world-class sailors."

Find out more at: http://www.sportengland.org/about_us/places_people_play/sportivate.aspx

Last updated 28th of October


Do you play chess or want to learn?

I am looking to do something useful in the community and one of the few skills I have is as a reasonable chess player - I am a regular in the Derbyshire County team. I would be interested in coaching children or adults, without charge. I would also be interested in playing elderly people in their own homes. My telephone number is 01629 820144 and email martincobham@btinternet.com. Any takers or suggestions welcomed.

Last updated 15th of October


Come and Sing!!

Well, it didn't happen in the Festival but if you love singing and would like to join in with Wirksworth Community choir and many friends then come along on Saturday 19th October 10 am at St Mary's Church to rehearse Faure Requiem and other Choral pieces. We will then be performing in St Mary's Church that same evening at 7.30pm. Bookings for the day can be downloaded from the choir website www.wirksworthcommunitychoir.org
Tickets for the concert from Traid Links in Wirksworth

Last updated 15th of October


Gummy Bears Paint the Town Red

Last night the Gummy Bears played at Gino’s. The evening was a great success. Approximately twenty-seven people were there, dancing, drinking and eating Mel’s delicious pizza (for free). The band sang catchy tunes, and the lyrics were clean and comprehensible. My favourite song was Do Your Homework, but Mel prefers Sticky. Andy did most of the singing, and was accompanied by two band members, Geff and Adam, on brass instruments, a drummer, Jim, another singer and Haz, a second vocalist. Amanda, a friend of Mel’s, led the dancing, and local celebrity and Amnesty International Organiser, Paul Webb, showed us some very nice moves on the improvised dance floor. The small dance floor was packed for most of the evening, which ended at around about eleven, when the band departed. Where will their next gig be? I donated five pounds. It was well worth it, for what was a really fun night for Wirksworth residents of all ages. Thank you Gummy Bears!

By Jackie Robson
30 September 2013 

Last updated 30th of September


Join Marie Curie Cancer Care in setting up a New Fundraising Group in Wirksworth/Matlock

Marie Curie Cancer Care are setting up a new Fundraising Group in Wirksworth/Matlock to help raise awareness and funds for the charity in the local area. Volunteers will help with some of our key campaigns, such as the Great Daffodil Appeal and Blooming Great Tea Parties, and will also organise their own activities each year. This is a great way to meet new people, have fun and help ensure our nurses can continue to support terminally ill people in their own home, right here in Derbyshire. For more information, please contact Sarah Battle, Derbyshire Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie Cancer Care on: 07540677468 sarah.battle@mariecurie.org.uk For more details go to www.mariecurie.org.uk/groups

Last updated 24th of September


name the mannequin competition

During the Wirksworth Festival, Wirksworth Outdoors ran a “name the mannequin competition”. First prize was to be a “Buff”” neck cover, very useful during the coming cold weather. A “We don’t want him in the buff we want you with the Buff” poster was positioned over the delicate parts of our nude mannequin. There were a few giggles and some very handily placed name labels stuck on our Rod Stewart wigged model. Out of the many entries we had Richard Booth won with “Milton”. Richard is having a house extension built using Milton Buff bricks so thought the name very appropriate. We had to agree.

Last updated 19th of September


Any old iron???

Anyone got any rusty old corrugated iron to give over to the Australian Pavilion at the Eco Centre? If so please get in touch with Ken Hutchinson!


Last updated 28th of August


Please identify our houses!

We've quite a lot of old photos including these two - but sadly we don't know always know where the houses are. We think the first one is in Gorsey Bank with Mary Florence Butlin born 1881 on the right at the gate - she looks 'young' and lived in Water Lane in 1901 and with Dad George at the Green Man in 1911 but where is the house and who lived there? We don't know where the second house was / is - do you?

CHRIS  BUTLIN cgb.caldaie@gmail.com

Gorsey Bank Wirksworth

2 Unknown Wirksworth

Last updated 31st of July


Good news for river restoration project

A partnership project to raise awareness of the River Ecclesbourne has been extended. The Ecclesbourne Valley Restoration Project began last year, co-ordinated by a partnership including Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, county and district councils, landowners and farming representatives. Now the project is to continue until the end of March 2014.
So far the project has started working with volunteers on practical habitat restoration projects in the river catchment, between Wirksworth and Duffield. Educational visits were made to local schools and volunteers have begun surveying the river through a ‘meander monitoring’ scheme. “We’ve had such positive feedback from local people, I’m sure that’s what encouraged the Environment Agency to continue to fund the project,” said Chris Wood, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Water for Wildlife Project Manager. “We will be continuing to work with local schools and to carry out our practical habitat restoration work with teams of volunteers. First on that agenda is to continue to manage the invasive Himalayan balsam on the main river and many of its side streams. This will be followed by habitat restoration in the winter.”
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is running work parties on Fridays for the rest of the summer and through until March 2014. Please contact the Trust on 01773 881188 to book or visit the website www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk for details. If you are a school in the Ecclesbourne Valley and would like to get involved, contact Louise Valantine at the Trust on 01773 881188.

Last updated 25th of July


Anthony Gell School Newsletter 36

AGS News Summer 2013

Last updated 8th of July


Community Fayre 165 online

Community Fayre 165

Last updated 8th of July


Community Quiz Picture Round

If you missed this year's quiz, HERE is your chance to have a go at the Picture Round. You need to name the business, building or landmark- using "local " names where possible.
Ken's Crusaders won the round with AT LEAST 79 out of 84 ! So if you need some help , call in at Ken's .
Or you could contact Phil Richards who set the round - email philwirks@gmail.com.

Last updated 20th of March


Anthony Gell School Newsletter -Spring 2013

Click here to see the latest AGS newsletter

Last updated 20th of March


Community Fayre - March 2013

Clicke here to see the latest edition of our local community newspaper

Last updated 20th of March


Anthony Gell School Newsletter

Here is the latest AGS Newsletter . Paper copies are available at the Town Library and the Medical Centre

Last updated 3rd of December


Community Fayre in Colour

Issue number 163 of Community Fayre, our local community paper is in full colour

Last updated 29th of November


Moving On

For those of you who live and visit Wirksworth you may have heard that the vintage rooms is moving on. Sara from the vintage rooms will be opening a new shop Quintessentially Vintage at 2 Coldwell Street Wirksworth opposite Seymour Interiors. The new shop will be opening its doors on Saturday 3rd November at 10am. Sara is thrilled to be staying in Wirksworth and looks forward to welcoming old and new customers. The opening hours and days will be 10-5 on Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Last updated 16th of October


Bright in the Corner

 The Bright in the Corner performance during the Festival was spectacular and very moving. Here are some pics , to whet you appetite if you are going to see it in Leicester, Nottingham or Derby

Last updated 24th of September


Wirksworth Factory Shop

Wirksworth Factory Shop, one of the largest independent factory shops in the UK for over 30 years, has moved online. The brand new 'Shop Online' website will have all the products that were available from the Factory Shop. www.wirksworthfactoryshop.com
Trading for over 30 years, the Factory Shop was founded in 1981 with the aim of offering the widest possible range of clothing, footwear, household textiles, work wear, accessories and gifts to suit every taste and size.

Last updated 1st of August



Food lovers are being urged to visit a website which features tasty tips for using leftover food when having get-togethers over the summer.
Derbyshire County Council is urging families to make use of tasty food or leftovers already stocked in cupboards, fridges or freezers over the summer months.
Councillor John Allsop, cabinet member for technology and recycling, said: “We’re urging people to check out our website full of great ideas on how to prepare meals using leftover food.”

Some of the recipes you’ll find include:

• A Quick Use-Up Pizza using leftover cheese and any favourite toppings you might have in the fridge.

• Olive Tapenade Toasts which turns leftover bread into something more interesting.

• Crispy Chicken Skewers which use a crispy coating made from leftover cheese and breadcrumbs made from slightly old bread.

For full recipes – and other great ideas for cutting down on food waste – go to the Love Food Hate Waste page of Derbyshire Council Council’s website at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/lovefoodhatewaste
The recipes are in the “related documents” section near the bottom of the page under the title “recipes for special get-togethers”.
For lots more recipes for all occasions visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

Every month UK households each throw away an average £50 worth of food that could have been eaten. Wasting food also harms the environment and contributes to climate change.

Last updated 21st of July


Basketball at Wirksworth Leisure Centre

Looking for players to join in a weekly game of basketball at Wirksworth leisure centre. Anyone interested or wanting more information can contact Joseph at the email address wajosephja@gmail.com

Last updated 18th of July


Volunteers needed to help look after the Ecclesbourne

Would you like to get involved in our exciting new project, aiming to help improve the Ecclesbourne for wildlife, for water quality and for locals to enjoy? In the first of many activities, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is now carrying out Himalayan Balsam removal from the river banks. Himalayan Balsam is a non-native plant that is spreading at a rapid rate along our river banks, out-competing our local plants and causing bankside erosion problems. We need to stop it spreading to protect our local wildlife.
Please phone our office on 01773 881188 or email us at enquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk to book your place on one of the following activity days: Monday 16th July Thursday 19th July Friday 27th July Friday 3rd August Friday 10th August Friday 17th August Friday 31st August Friday 14th September Friday 21st September Friday 28th September

Last updated 13th of July


Stay & Play End of Term Summer Special

Stay & Play Baby & Toddler Group are holding a summer special to celebrate Lucy and Hanna's time running Stay & Play. Lucy and Hanna are "retiring" after 5 1/2 busy years. Hanna's moving on, as her 4th child reaches school age, whilst Lucy is awaiting the arrival of baby no. 5!! Lucy and Hanna have arranged fantastic entertainment on their last session - Thurs 19th July - from Kimble's Music & Movement, and the session will end with a tea party. Come along to a Stay & Play session to book your child's place or text Lucy on 07722 750501. Stay & Play runs from the Memorial Hall, Wirksworth on Thursday afternoons in term time from 1.30 - 3.00pm. £1 per family to cover insurance and costs. All welcome.

Last updated 15th of June


Radleigh’s Wirksworth development entered for ‘What House? Award’

The housebuilding proficiency of award-winning regional developer, Radleigh Homes has once again been recognised, as the Derby based company has, for the second time, been entered into the industry renowned, ‘What House? Awards’. Now in its 31st year of accolade presentation, the ‘What House? Awards’ are considered to be the Oscars of the new home industry and are highly regarded nationwide.

Radleigh, a previous winner in the ‘Best Development’ category for its ‘Hilton Village’ cottage and courtyard scheme in Derbyshire, has this month been entered into the prestigious awards for its construction of ‘Hallcroft’; an architecturally appropriate development of sustainably built houses and bungalows, built in partnership with Derwent Housing, within the World Heritage corridor at Middleton-by-Wirksworth. The fourteen properties have been created as part of an effort to meet the much-recognised need for additional housing within the community of Middleton-by-Wirksworth - an area where land values are above the national average and the quantity of affordable housing is insufficient. Demand for appropriate housing within the Derbyshire market town has been well acknowledged, by both the local planning authority and Parish council, however the apposite architectural design of new-build schemes in the area is also of significant importance, and as such, has been one of Radleigh’s paramount considerations since the planning stage of the build.

Middleton-by-Wirksworth is a village characterised by its properties, which are primarily stone built, often rendered, and typically roofed in slate. Reflecting this, Radleigh has constructed picturesque bungalows and 2 and 3 bedroom houses in a harmonious style. The properties built have been developed for rent and shared ownership. As well as being architecturally in keeping, the homes have been designed to be economical to run and purposefully constructed to enable their occupants to benefit from ‘greener living’. Inclusions to reduce residents’ carbon footprints have been; specialised ventilation and heat recovery systems, low emission boilers, water butts, low water-use sanitary ware, energy efficient lighting and cycle storage. Rotary laundry dryers have been installed to encourage outdoor drying and eco-bins included for waste segregation. Home office facilities have also been built-in, to better enable ‘working at home’.These features have been included in addition to Radleigh’s use of responsibly sourced construction materials, purposefully chosen for their reduced environmental impact. The housebuilder has also incorporated a sustainable urban drainage system and storm soak-away, and has insulated the properties using materials with low global warming ratings. Locally quarried limestone and render have been included in the construction materials used, as well as blue Staffordshire clay tiles. Radleigh has also employed local sub-contractors during the build, whenever possible. The architectural style and sustainability of ‘Hallcroft’ have not been Radleigh’s only considerations. The housebuilder has also worked closely with archaeologists throughout the development’s construction to ensure that no archaeological features would be compromised by the development. Taking responsibility for the conservation of the area, Radleigh created a ‘nature buffer zone’ during construction, using barriers to protect slowworms, and other indigenous species that have habitats around the site.

Encouraging community participation, several children from Middleton Primary School became involved in the design and creation of a limestone sculpture centrepiece, which has been positioned within the dry-stone wall surround of the development’s green.

Commenting on the development, and its award submission, joint managing director Chris Neve said, “At Radleigh, we are proud of the dedicated approach we take in designing and building distinctive, quality homes that people really want to live in. Our company is always mindful that wherever we build, we ensure our developments’ architectural styles reflect, and enhance the existing buildings within the area. At Middleton-by-Wirksworth we’ve succeeded in producing a scheme that is as sustainable and efficient as it is architecturally appropriate. It will provide much needed housing for the local community, now and in the future. We’re delighted the development has been considered suitable for an award application and look forward to hearing the entry outcome later in the year.”

The ‘What House? Award’ results will be announced in November. Radleigh has been submitted within the “Best Partnership Scheme” category. Further information about Radleigh Homes can be found on the company’s website at www.radleighhomes.com. 

Last updated 14th of June


Donate your old electricals to a good cause

Encore Reuse will give your unwanted items a new lease of life and you could win £50 of shopping vouchers.

Bring old, working appliances including washers, fridges, freezers, tumble dryers and smaller electrical items to Encore Reuse, Henmore Trading Estate, Mayfield Rd, Ashbourne DE6 1AS, or bring them to their open day on Saturday 16 June, 2012, 8.30am to 4.30pm. If you live within 10 miles of Encore Reuse (this includes Wirksworth), ring 01335 300907 to arrange for a large item to be picked up FOR FREE.

Encore Reuse provides employment and training opportunities and the items are sold at low prices. Closed Sunday and Monday. Please ring to check opening times before bringing an item.

Last updated 9th of June


Wirksworth Carnival and Well Dressing photos

Follow this link to see my pics of the weekend's festivitiies . if you would like prints, email me philwirks@gmail.com

Last updated 8th of June


Community Fayre 161 online

Click HERE to see then latest edition of our community newspaper

Last updated 25th of May



Matlock Musical Theatre, formerly known as Matlock Operatic Society, has been in existence in various forms for over one hundred years. We are a company of amateur performers and singers producing quality musical shows and concerts in and around Derbyshire. For the last five years we have been performing our annual musical at the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield due to the lack of theatre space in the local area. We also perform at stately homes in the area over the festive season, in the Painted Hall at Chatsworth, evening promenade concerts and carol singing at Haddon Hall and we added Hardwick Hall to our list this year.

This year we’re going back to our roots and getting closer to the community again by performing a touring production in smaller venues. Rehearsals have been going splendidly and we look forward to presenting this ambitious project to the public.

MMT are presenting a revue celebrating the Queen’s 60 years on the throne by performing show tunes and pop songs from every decade of her reign, most with a dance element. ‘Right Royal Revue’ will encompass everything from Zadok the Priest (sung at the Coronation) through My Fair Lady, Beatles, Bohemian Rhapsody and a Lion King selection to Andrew Lloyd-Weber’s latest hit Love Never Dies and popular choirmaster Gareth Malone’s ‘Sing London’ medley (to give a brief nod to the fact we also have the Olympics staged in Britain this year). There are also comedy items dotted throughout. The Revue is being co-directed by Sue Ahlburg and Kathryn Kersey. The society is very excited to have these two longstanding members of the group taking the helm for the first time, bringing fresh vision and original ideas to the production. Once again the music direction for the show is in the very safe hands of Delph Richards who will ensure the best is brought out of every number. The group have been hard at rehearsing since January in order to put best foot forward (and voice!).

There is certain to be something for everyone to enjoy and we want to create fun atmosphere like an indoor street party vibe where everyone can sing along, if they want, to celebrate this momentous year, in a good old British fashion. ‘Right Royal Revue’ is an ‘on tour’ production and will be performed at Calver Village Hall, Medway Centre, Bakewell and Wirksworth Town Hall, with the opening night being in Matlock at popular town centre venue the Imperial Rooms. Performances begin at 7.30 pm and are on 15 and 16 & 22 and 23 June 2012.

You can find out more details at www.matlock-musical-theatre.org.uk.The group can be contacted via the web site or on our facebook page. We would appreciate the support of local businesses or organisations to act as sponsors for the society. Also new members are very warmly welcomed and we would love to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in the group, on stage, back stage, as part of the production team or just as a friend of the society.

Last updated 18th of May



The other day I had the opportunity to walk around Wirksworth. What an interesting place to visit! One of our hobbies is paranormal investigation and has been since 2005 and much of which we do is charity work.  I noticed a number of interesting buildings in the area and got to thinking: would anyone help us find property to investigate for any charity of their choice or to help raise money to restore the property. or example, Haarlem Mill, just on the outskirts of Wirksworth; or be able to put me in touch with the owner of such properties.  We have also helped people in their private homes to help clear of hauntings discreetly and at no cost to them.  As we feel people have not  known where to turn for help or cannot speak about it to anyone, please feel free to contact us at any time.
Regards Jim ODonnell

Last updated 4th of May


2012 Hidden Gardens and Courtyards

This years Hidden Garden's and Courtyards will be taking place on June 9th and 10th, between 10.00 noon and 5.00pm. We have some great new gardens and spaces, and some lovely new plant sellers. See the website for details.

Last updated 30th of April


Kute Fine Art Opens a New Art Gallery in Cromford

Kute Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of it's new Working Art Studio and Gallery in the Old Counting House at Cromford Wharf, Cromford.
Cromford, Derbyshire 14th April 2012 - Kute Fine Art is a Working Art Studio and Framing Workshop in Via Gellia Mills in the Derbyshire Dales featuring the artwork of Clare Walton for distribution to retail outlets throughout the UK. It was therefore a natural progression to open a Gallery that features the artwork of such well known artists as Jack Vettriano, Gary Walton, Angela Smyth and Armandie Haywood to name but a few. The Old Counting House at Cromford Wharf, Cromford provides a stunning backdrop of picturesque Peak District scenery. Situated right next to the Cromford Canal the Gallery offers a beautiful range of original art, limited edition prints, designer jewellery, prints and cards, pieces for the home, in fact, something for everyone's tastes and budgets.
Kute Fine Art offers stylish and inspirational pieces to suit any interior setting, and showcases an eclectic range of Original Paintings, Collectable Limited Editions and Open Editions from many internationally acclaimed artists. Highlights of the current portfolio include Jack Vettriano, Angela Smyth, Duncan Palmar, Mark Braithwaite and Gary Walton. Expert, but friendly advice is close at hand from gallery owner Clare Walton. She said "When the Old Counting House became vacant I just that knew it would be a perfect spot for a quality Art Gallery. Thanks to the team at the Arkwright Society I have managed to open almost on time and I am sure that visitors will be very pleased with what I have to offer." "I have something for everyone's tastes and budgets including old photographs of the Peak District, posters, prints, jewellery, gifts and some real quality British Art. Everything is British, which I am proud about." "The setting couldn't be better. Nestled next to the Cromford Canal and Wheatcrofts Cafe and the Cromford Mill complex opposite, there is plenty for people to do and see. It is all very exciting and I am looking forward to meeting a lot of new people." "Everyone is welcome so please feel free to come and have a look. I am also happy to work to commission for a portrait for example so please pop in for a chat."
For more information on the Kute Fine Art please visit www.kutefineart.com or telephone Clare Walton on 01629 825305.

Last updated 12th of May


Community Quiz 2012 results and pics

Com quiz results 2012

Photos are here

Last updated 29th of March


Anthony Gell School Newsletter 32


Last updated 28th of March


Community Fayre 160 online

Click onthis link to read the latest edition of our community paper

CF 160

Last updated 28th of March


All Change at Wirksworth Toy Library

All Change at Wirksworth Toy Library – Tuesday 3 April 2012
Launch of Wirksworth Toy Library’s New ‘Stay and Play’ Session On Tuesday 3 April 2012.

The Wirksworth Toy Library is launching a new ‘Stay and Play’ session. These new weekly sessions will be held from 9:30am to 11:30am with Session Co-ordinator Victoria Wilding. Stay and Play sessions will be held at Wirksworth Toy Library’s new home at Wirksworth Children’s Centre, Wirksworth Memorial Hall.

Toy Library spokesperson Ann-Marie McMillan said: “Toy libraries provide a valuable community service. Parents, carers, childcare providers and children can try out new toys without spending a fortune. They also provide a great place for making new friends.”

Each sessions costs £2 per family / carer for up to three children and includes a wide variety of toys to play with, one week’s toy hire, a craft activity, kid’s snack, and a hot drink for each parent or carer. Additional visitors and children will cost 50 pence each. Introduce a friend to the new ‘Stay and Play’ session and receive free entry when they join Toy Library. Discounts are available when paying for sessions in blocks - pay monthly and receive one session free!

Please check out our online Toy Store where you can view over 2000 toys and resources. www.toylibraries.org

Wirksworth Toy Library is now part of the Crich Family of Toy Libraries. Crich, Wirksworth, and Belper Toy Libraries provide support, guidance and training to families and carers in Crich, Belper and surrounding areas. A one-off Lifetime membership fee of £5 is charged to families and carers to join toy library. Parents, carers, childminders and children in the local community and surrounding areas are invited to “Come, Play and Take Away”. Suitable from age 0 to 99 years. Volunteers Opportunities are available to help at Stay and Play. The Toy Library is always on the look out for fun filled individuals. A wide range of volunteers are required to help maximise the libraries’ potential from:
• meet and great hosts
• helping plan & co-ordinate craft activities
• maintaining the toys
• preparing healthy snacks
• fundraising.

Volunteers are welcomed from all areas, whether retired with time to spare or those thinking of a change of career and want some valuable experience. Contact Toy Library Manager - Ann-Marie McMillan 0845 009 3019 Wirksworth@toylibraries.org

Crich Toy Library c/o Crich Glebe Field Centre Glebe Field Close Crich Matlock Derbyshire DE4 5EU
0845 009 3019 info@crichtoylibrary.org.uk www.crichtoylibrary.org.uk  

Last updated 26th of March


T'Owd Man's Walk

A new booklet details a circular walk which explores former lead mining country, and which passes through Wirksworth, Bolehill, Cromford, Riber, Matlock, Bonsall, Brassington, and Carsington. The walk is 18 miles in length and has been carefully planned to visit the most stunning viewpoints in this part of Derbyshire. Full details are available on the website of the Long Distance Walkers Association - visit www.ldwa.org.uk or contact the author - alansedwards@aol.com

Last updated 5th of March


Doctors introduce new booking system for urgent appointments

To serve patients more effectively Hannage Brook Medical Centre has introduced a new appointment booking system which affects patients if they want to be seen on the day. When patients need an urgent, on-the-day appointment it will be triaged, which means the receptionist will take their details and make sure a doctor will ring back shortly afterwards. The doctor then will go through the problem in detail and offer the best way to treat the patient. They may invite them in for a traditional face-to-face appointment but in some cases they may be able to help over the phone or initiate an investigation. This saves patients from coming down to see the doctor and they are able to allocate more time for people who need to be seen urgently. Hannage Brook confirmed that they will always offer the earliest possible triage slot and guarantee to return every call. All patients will be seen by a doctor if this is necessary, however they cannot promise patients to be seen by their chosen doctor on the day. If patients have a non-urgent quick query they can book a quick call from the doctor. These should be for questions regarding medication or results or quick advice that could be dealt with over the phone in a couple of minutes. However it should be noted that these phone calls will not result in an urgent appointment on the day. Routine appointments can be booked in advance 4-6 weeks ahead in the usual way by phone, at reception or online. Patients will need to register first to be able to access the online service. To do so, they need to see a receptionist, who can issue a username and a password along with an information sheet on how to log on for the first time. Patients are encouraged to ask at reception if they need more assistance on how to use the SystmOnline facility. Through SystmOnline patients can book and cancel routine appointments with the doctors, order repeat prescriptions and change address and contact details. If patients give their mobile phone number and consent to it, the surgery can send an automatic SMS reminder of their appointments.

Last updated 14th of February


Seatbelt safety reminder for more than 20 drivers in Darley Dale and Wirksworth

More than 20 drivers have been given a stark reminder to buckle-up after they were caught not wearing a seatbelt during a road safety operation in Darley Dale and Wirksworth.
Officers from the local Safer Neighbourhood policing teams, Roads Policing Unit and CREST (Casualty Reduction and Enforcement Support Team) joined staff from VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) and the DVLA to check cars and their drivers were road safe and legal. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, who are the lead on road safety and casualty reduction, allowed the vehicle checks to be carried out for part of the day at their site.
The team targeted two locations on Tuesday, January 24, splitting their time between the A6 at Darley Dale and then later at Wirksworth Fire Station.
A mixture of fixed penalty notices and warnings were given to 26 people for not wearing their seatbelt, five drivers for using their mobile phone and one motorist for the manner of their driving and excessive speed. Five drivers whose vehicles had defects which seriously affected their roadworthiness were issued with prohibitions to stop them from going onto a public highway. Three were immediate and two were delayed. Each vehicle owner has to then put the vehicle through an MOT before they can go back on the road.
Safer Neighbourhood Team Sgt. Nick Reason said: “The majority of the drivers the team dealt with werestopped for not wearing a seatbelt and it is astonishing to see that there are still people who are willing to put their safety at risk by not wearing one.
“We will continue to support and work with partners to educate motorists and help keep our roads safe for everyone.”
More than 550 vehicles passed through cameras brought by the DVLA during one hour. They check cars to see if they have current MOT, tax, licence and insurance and they are taking positive action against the registered keepers of four of those vehicles.
Operation Safedrive checks continue to take place throughout the county and future checks will be planned in the area.
 To contact your local Safer Neighbourhood policing team call 101, the police non-emergency number, or email from the website: www.derbyshire.police.uk.

Pictured: The owner of a Ford Focus has to put their car through an MOT test before being allowed back on the road after it was found with three defective tyres.


Last updated 4th of February


Bag-Free Wirksworth Campaign

Four years ago, Sustainable Wirksworth ran a campaign to reduce plastic bag use in the town, and launched the 'Wirksworth Bag'. This had quite an impact, but plastic bag usage has crept back up again, with over 10,000 bags a week now being used. Transition Wirksworth, (specifically the ‘Waste Group’, which is concerned with recycling, waste reduction and the re-use of resources) has embarked on an initiative to make Wirksworth one of the growing number of plastic bag-free towns, that is, to minimise the use of single-use bags, and to eliminate the use of non-degradable ones. The first step in achieving this was to gather information about bag use in the town, and we are now following this up with an awareness-raising campaign. We have purchased a new batch of the Wirksworth branded cotton bags, and will be distributing these to businesses in the town along with posters encouraging people to stop using ‘disposable’ bags. Shoppers will therefore have something they can purchase if they don’t have their own bag, and the bags themselves will help to promote the message. Bags will be out in the shops by 2nd Feb., and we will have an information stall at the 4th Feb. Farmers' Market. You can find out more about Transition Wirksworth at www.transitionwirksworth.org

Last updated 2nd of February


New website for Farmers' Market

We have a fabulous new website to let everyone know everything that's happening with Wirksworth Farmers' Market. It gives all the news about events, music, stalls and other events that make up our very special farmers' market. The website is www.wirksworthfarmersmarket.com. Please pass the word, put it as a link on any websites you can and visit it yourself. It's certainly worth a regular look!

Last updated 23rd of January


Wirksworth Rural Litter Group

We are a small group of volunteers who carry out regular litter-picks along the lanes and verges within Wirksworth and Middleton parishes. Many of these lanes are rarely cleaned by the Council, or at best once a year, so any litter can lay around for months on end, blighting the approaches to our town. Last year we filled over 100 black sacks with litter and small items of fly-tipping. We work with the support of Derbyshire Dales District Council, who provide us with some equipment, and who collect the filled sacks afterwards. Currently we are able to cover the north, west and east of Wirksworth, but we need a few more volunteers to look after the "southern approaches". If anyone fancies getting out in the fresh air and doing the community a real service for a few hours a year, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact Ian on 824538 or email ig.dare@btinternet.com.

Last updated 19th of January


Community Fayre Dec 2011 online

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CF 159 dec 2011

Last updated 16th of January


Police in the Derbyshire Dales offer second online surgery for abuse victims

Police and partnership agencies in the Derbyshire Dales are joining forces to offer a second online surgery for victims of domestic abuse.
Specially trained officers from the police, North Derbyshire Women’s Aid and Derbyshire Support and Advice for Men (DSAM) are holding a virtual forum on Thursday, January 12.
The aim is to provide victims of abuse or anyone concerned that friends or family could be involved in abuse a chance to come forward in confidence.
It is the second online surgery to take place as part of Operation Angel, a campaign launched by police to help raise awareness and prevent domestic abuse during the festive and New Year periods.
Operation Angel has been running since October, and was set up to tie in with a seasonal trend and peak in reports about domestic violence.
Insp. Bryan Hall who is in charge of policing in the Derbyshire Dales and is leading the initiative, said: “We held our the first online surgery as part of the operation back in November and had more than 30 people come to the site. Seventeen of those people actively spoke to the officers. “Sometimes people can find it difficult to talk face-to-face about their concerns so we hope this virtual surgery will encourage victims not to suffer in silence and that more people will come forward and discuss domestic abuse.”
Many different agencies have been involved in the campaign, including Safer Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, which includes the police and Derbyshire Dales District Council.
Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, who is also Chairman of the Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, said: “This online approach to offering support to victims of domestic abuse is a great idea. Every new individual we help in this way is a vindication of the online surgery.”
North Derbyshire Women’s Aid and Derbyshire Support and Advice for Men (DSAM) have provided information packs to support victims and also for cases where excessive drinking may have been a factor. ‘Stop Hurting, Start Talking’ posters, leaflets and stickers were provided by Derbyshire County Council and displayed in doctors surgeries, hospitals and pubs in the area and police officers have been wearing video ‘headcams’ whilst attending incidents of domestic violence to capture footage which could be used as evidence.
The online surgery will run between 10am and 3pm and people can access the chat by visiting www.derbyshire.police.uk and following the links from the homepage.
People can log on anonymously and chat about issues surrounding domestic abuse or send private messages to officers.
Anyone who is suffering domestic abuse or violence, or has any information about incidents, can also contact Derbyshire police by calling 101 except in an emergency when the number to dial is always 999.

Last updated 5th of January


New gates for Stoney Wood

Photosof the the official opening of the new gates for Stoney Wood made by Dan Marsh

Last updated 4th of January


AGS Newsletter 31

Clicke HERE to see Anthony Gell School's latest Newsletter

Last updated 9th of December


Latest Community Fayre online

Comuunity Fayre sept 2011

Last updated 16th of November


Give your views on town’s future

(This article was published in the Matlock Mercury, Thursday 3 November 2011)

Last updated 7th of November


Dishes from the Dales charity recipe book

I'd like to thank all those people in the Dales who submitted their recipes and showed their support for Dishes from the Dales. I'm pleased to announce that the charity recipe book is now on sale. The book supports Crossroads Care East Midlands, a charity which provides a respite care service to help carers across the East Midlands. In all, the book contains over 35 recipes, from traditional oatcakes and winter stews, to the not so traditional Barcardi & Coke cake! It also contains some very special recipes kindly donated by the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire and Dame Ellen MacArthur! I have been lucky enough to get some great support from local Ashbourne businesses sponsoring the production of the book, including Da Carlos restaurant, the Horns Inn, David Smith Transport, The Bridge, Birch and Beech Cottages, the Olde Sweet Shoppe and Channel Design whose contributions have helped hugely with the production costs. The book is priced at £5 and it truly is a perfect stocking filler in the run up to Christmas. It is available from the sponsors listed, from ebay.co.uk or from myself directly, abi.birch@live.co.uk.

Last updated 1st of November


Darker evening advice for peak and dales residents

Peak and Dales residents are being advised to switch a light on and be more vigilant as the clocks go back this weekend.

People are being reminded to take on board some simple steps to help reduce the opportunity of having their home broken into.

The advice comes as the daylight hours get shorter and the darker evenings arrive, especially as British Summer Time officially ends this Sunday (October 30).

Sgt. Garry Staples, Community Safety Partnership Sergeant for the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales, said: “While the number of burglaries in the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales has reduced significantly in the last six months, it is important that people don’t become complacent.”

During the last six months, (Friday, April 1 to Friday, September 30) the number of dwelling burglaries in the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales has reduced by 25 percent, from 184 recorded during that period in 2010, to 138 in 2011.

Sgt. Staples added: “We would like to further reduce the number of victims but we really need residents to help by being cautious and following crime prevention advice”

“People are being asked to always make sure that their homes and vehicles are secure at all times. Residents can also take steps such as leaving a light on or using a timer, to make it appear as if someone is at home.”

Top tips include:

• Keep both front and back doors locked, even when at home or in the garden.
• Make sure you lock your home as you go out, even if it is for a few minutes.
• Keep house and car keys out of sight and reach from windows, doors, cat flaps and letterboxes.
• If out in the evening, leave a light on and close the curtains.
• Be sure to set your house alarm before going out and if you do not have an alarm, consider investing in one to improve security.
• Use timer switches to ensure lights or radios come on at certain times, especially if you know you will not be home before it gets dark.

For more advice and information visit the Derbyshire police website, www.derbyshire.police.uk or contact your local Safer Neighbourhood policing team by calling 101, the new national police non-emergency number.

Last updated 25th of October


Wirksworth case in new book about Derbyshire's deadly past

A BRUTAL murder near Wirksworth in 1863 is just one of the cases featured in a new book by a Derbyshire true crime writer. The book, ‘Deadly Derbyshire’, by author Scott Lomax, features the case of Elizabeth Goodwin, granddaughter of respected magistrate Captain Francis Green Goodwin who lived in Wigwell Grange (known in Victorian times as Wigwell Hall).

The case is described in Scott’s book in great detail, with original archive material having been consulted. The murder of Elizabeth Goodwin generated more publicity than most murders in Victorian Derbyshire not due to the nature of the crime, for the murder itself was no more extraordinary than many which have taken place in Derbyshire over the course of history, but because of the social status of the victim, her family and the culprit, and the way in which the justice system treat him.

Yet remarkably little has been written of this fascinating case since the Victorian period. Goodwin had been engaged to George Victor Townley who was from a family of cotton spinners from the Manchester area. When Goodwin broke off the engagement, in order to marry another man, Townley became depressed and feelings of anger built up inside him, culminating in a violent stabbing, resulting in Goodwin’s death. Townley was quickly apprehended and eventually placed in the Old Lock Up before being transported to prison to await his trial. Although convicted and sentenced to death the killer was eventually spared the death penalty, having been found to be criminally insane, and many felt this change of fate was due to his privileged background. He later committed suicide in Pentonville Prison after attending mass where he sang ‘Abide With Me.’ When Goodwin’s funeral took place all of the shops in the town closed as a mark of respect. A police superintendent involved in the case was found to have stolen various items from Wigwell Hall.

The book features almost fifty real life cases of murder and manslaughter, covering the full extent of Derbyshire, during the 18th and 19th centuries. Most of the cases have never been written about since the time the crimes were committed. They have never featured in any other book. Scott, who spent two years searching archive material, and who has previously had a book published about unsolved murders in the county (Unsolved Murders in and Around Derbyshire) said: “This book features cases which had been lost in the archives. They will fascinate anyone with an interest in crime and local history because many of these cases reveal a lot about society in the past. Most of the stories featured have never before featured in any book, yet I believe they are every bit as interesting as some of the more familiar crimes of times gone by. In fact I am surprised they have not been written about before.” The book features the crimes, the trials (where trials took place, with some cases remaining unsolved and some of the killers having committed suicide) and the punishments. One of Derbyshire’s killers was on board the last ship to transport convicts to Australia. The book is published by Pen and Sword Books and is available to order through Amazon or any good bookshop. Some images can also be provided, including the cover of the book.

Last updated 17th of October


Close Encounters Of The Wirksworth Kind!

I'd like to thank Wirksworth Festival and Derby Quad for a great outdoor screening on Saturday night of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This was a fitting event which followed the opening of the Stardisc at Stoney Wood. The former quarry was an ideal location sci fi classic, even the rock formations that surrounded us looked strikingly like 'Devils Tower' from the film. As the stars came out and satellites passed by, even the few downpours of rain couldn’t spoil this special evening.

Last updated 14th of September


Keep blood stocks healthy over summer

Help us keep the blood flowing this summer. With the summer holidays in full swing, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is reminding donors in Wirksworth of the continued need for blood in local hospitals and urging donors to keep their appointments. NHSBT has noticed an increase in donors not turning up for their appointments and are asking those who have booked a slot to keep it, or if they can’t attend then let us know so the appointment can be freed up for someone else. Over the summer blood stocks can dip due to people not turning up for appointments or going away on holiday. At this time of year we are particularly appealing to donors in the Wirksworth area to keep their appointments. Donors who haven’t already booked, but are able to, then please do so now. Blood Donor sessions are being held: Wirksworth: Monday 15th August 2:15pm – 3:30pm and 4:30pm – 7:30pm at Wirksworth Leisure Centre, Hannage Way.

Holly Mason, Lead Donor Relations Manager for NHSBT, said: “We realise that people have busy schedules over the summer when the schools break up and families go away on holiday. It can be easy to forget about appointments to donate blood, but we are asking you to attend if at all possible and if you can’t come then please let us know. We need to collect 940 units of blood every week to help patients in Derbyshire hospitals, so if you can’t keep your appointment then we need to make sure we can offer it up to someone else.”

Every day 7,000 units of blood are needed to treat patients in hospitals across England and North Wales for help with cancer treatment or blood disorders, accident and emergency situations, problems in childbirth or those going in for general surgery. Anyone aged over 17, weighing more than 50 kg (7 stone 12 lbs) and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor. There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years. For details of sessions in your area or to book an appointment call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk.

Last updated 8th of August


Warning issued about swimming at Middle Peak Quarry

Police are renewing their warning over the dangers of swimming in a disused quarry in Middleton.
It comes ahead of the school and college summer holidays, a time when in previous years, officers have noticed a rise in reports of bathing at Middle Peak Quarry.
The quarry, which is owned by Tarmac, has also been a popular choice for bathers who have travelled from outside the county to go for a dip.
Fencing has recently been installed around the quarry and staff have been employed to monitor security the site.
PC Doug Eyre of the Wirksworth and Middleton Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “There always seems to be a temptation to go for a swim in the water at Middle Peak Quarry when the weather is nice, but it is in fact very dangerous.
“It can be difficult to judge the depth and there could be obstructions which you might not see from the surface, increasing the risk for swimmers to get out of their depth or injure themselves.
PC Eyre added: “There is also an increased risk that you could be prosecuted for trespass by Tarmac if you are found on the land or for damage if you break through the fence to access the site.”
To contact the Wirksworth and Middleton Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team call 0345 123 33 33 or email matlock.neighbourhoods@derbyshire.pnn.police.uk.

Last updated 18th of July


Exhibition online

Anthony Gell School Camera Club's exhibtion "Wirksworth: Picturing Past and Present" is now available as a pdf file. Click here to see it.
Copies of the book that accompanies the exhibition are still avialable from the Heritage Centre, Marsdens and Traidlinks price £18

Last updated 20th of June


Wirksworth Fairtrade Fashion Show

An exciting and creative Fairtrade fashion show was held in Wirksworth Town Hall on 6 May. This was organised in partnership with the students from Anthony Gell School as part of their community element for their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme; Fairtrade group and Ayesha Bell from AIRR clothing located in the market place in Wirksworth.

Before the event the Transition Town textiles group organised a ‘swap shop’, where people could bring unwanted clothes and swap them for different ones.

The clothes Ayesha provided were gorgeous designs, fantastic quality and affordable. They were modelled by two children, young men and women from Anthony Gell; even some parents volunteered to walk the ‘cat walk’.

The event promoted Fairtrade, cotton production; recycling; the impact of the current throw away fashion and unethical clothing; and a new vibrant range of clothing all from Fairtrade sources.

The show was attended by approximately 100 people, many of whom purchased clothing or placed orders on the night. A profit of £200 was made to support the work of the Fairtrade group.

Comments from the audience included: ‘Didn’t know we could buy such good Fairtrade clothes in Wirksworth’, ‘a great and different evening’, ‘clothes range was fantastic’.

Recycling was high on the agenda with a ‘recycled’ wedding dress modelled, made by Mariangela at the new ‘Moda Retro’ shop in Wirksworth.

A big 'thank you' goes to everyone who worked really hard to make it such a successful evening.

Wirksworth Fairtrade Group.

Last updated 1st of June


Community Fayre online

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CF May 2011 

Last updated 26th of May


Wirksworth youngsters take part in countywide footy tournament

Budding young footballers from Wirksworth descended on Pride Park this week to take part in a community tournament organised by the Derby County Football Club and Derbyshire police. Derby County in the Community (DCITC) and officers from Derbyshire Constabulary’s Safer Neighbourhood teams (SNT) joined forces to stage the event with 31 teams from across the county taking part.

Officers from the Wirksworth and Middleton SNT took two teams of local teenagers to the six-a-side tournament, where they took on youngsters from Derby City, Long Eaton, Kirk Hallam, Cotmanhay, Alfreton, Clay Cross, Tupton and Pilsley.

Although the youngsters played well, with one side unbeaten during the tournament, the eventual winners and runners up were:

U14s - Winner Derby Moor, runner up Derwent Kickz;
U16s - Winner Derwent Kickz, runner up Alfreton;
U18s - Winner Derby Moor, runner up Cotmanhay.

The tournament was organised to bring together youngsters from the various football sessions DCITC run alongside local police in towns and villages across the county. Free football sessions have been held on Friday evenings for local youngsters at Anthony Gell School, and will take place for seven weeks in the summer thanks to joint funding from Derbyshire Dales District Council and Derbyshire police.

The sessions have been timed to take place during the school holidays and DCITC coaches will be running the training for primary school youngsters between 4 and 6pm to be followed by a session for secondary school youngsters between 7 and 8.30pm.

PC Doug Eyre of the Wirksworth and Middleton SNT said: “We have been working with the coaches at Derby County for several months and have a number of enthusiastic youngsters who have been coming to the sessions on a regular basis.
“The tournament was a great opportunity for the teams to put their skills into practice and to play at a professional stadium. They worked really hard during the matches and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”

Richard Astle, Inclusion Manager at DCITC, organised the event. He said: “The tournament was a fantastic celebration of all the hard work put in by Derby County in the Community coaches and our key partners, particularly Derbyshire Constabulary.
“The most important aspect of the tournament for me was the positive manner in which the matches were played and that the players and coaches managed to find a suitable balance between being competitive and demonstrating fair play.”

To find out more about football in the community visit the website www.dcitcommunity.co.uk.

Last updated 20th of May


Community Fayre 156 online

CF 156 March 2011

Last updated 23rd of March


13th Annual Community Quiz

Another incredibly successful Community Quiz was held on Friday 11 March in Anthony Gell School Hall. 33 teams competed for the coveted Community Challenge Cup and the lavish prizes awarded for each round, but it’s definitely the taking part that we all enjoy.

The evocative picture round organised by Phil Richards involved putting pictures of historic moments of the town into chronological order. Did you know that Rolls Royce used to test their cars up Greenhill and down The Dale? And of course several competitors were featured in the photos, was that you shaking hands with the Queen in 1992 or walking down the middle of Warmbrook in 1947?

There was certainly some controversy in Alison Clamp’s ‘Captain’s Table’ round – did Spock ever captain the Enterprise? No wonder people quake when Barry Foster asks them to contribute! Paddy often had to step in to keep the peace and also devised another ingenious music round – the last letter of the previous answer gave you the first letter of the answer to the following question!

We started well with top marks for the ‘Who said that’ round but as usual struggled with our local knowledge in Don Hughes’ ‘Derbyshire’ round and the quirky sports round from Barry, do you know the maximum number of clubs are allowed in your golf bag?

As usual we were sustained by Gill Hushes’ excellent refreshments and scrutinised and judged by the team of volunteer scorers with Ray Foley collating the results of each round to declare the Lime Kiln as overall winners; but who walked off with the sack of spuds? Why, Kens Crusaders of course!See below for the final scores.

Eileen Kirk
Community ACE





Lime Kiln



Tip Top Twinners



Festival Follies



Fire Hosers



Monday Night Football



Late Arrivals



Community Aces



Glee Club  Oh no it isn't



Amnesty Activists



Cyclists Corner



Film Bluffs



Legal Eagles



Stoney Woodlarks



Activators (Civic Society)






Simple Minds



BMW Brass Tacks






Hymns and Hers



Wam Bam Band



Church Mice



Glee Club Oh yes it is



Betty Swallocks Dance Formation






WEA Bookworms



Care Crew



Mushroom Mushroom



All New Woodentops



Brassed off



Homing Birds



Methodist Muppets



Fire Extinguishers



Ken's Crusaders


Last updated 13th of March


Transition Town Textile Group

We had a fantastic amount of interest in the above group at the recent event at the Town Hall. Several people signed up to join the group but unfortunately, the list of emails has been lost. If you or anyone you know wanted to be kept informed about the group and its meetings, please email shirleymann@hotmail.com. Thank you.

Last updated 1st of March


Wirksworth resident survives Christchurch earthquake

Beryl Tacon, of Market Place Wirksworth, arrived in Christchurch the day before the earthquake. She checked in her hotel, opposite the cathedral, and was still in it when the earthquake struck. She lay on her bed with a pillow over her head, as instructed by a friend only the day before, and then walked out into the street unharmed. She likened the street to being just like after the blitz, which she lived through in Norwich as a child. The Kiwis have been brilliant. The police moved everyone out of the city centre and she ended up at the rugby club where a kind neighbour offered to take up to 6 elderly people and Beryl spent the night in an armchair, having got a message to her family that she was OK. She was then moved to the airport the next day where, confused, she was adopted by an Air New Zealand worker who has coordinated Beryl being collected by a friend of her daughter's and she is now in a house which at least has electricity and running water. A local pharmacist has even got her a set of medication which sounded like what she thought was on! There are still lots of aftershocks and terrible stories of people who haven't fared so well. Beryl is taking it all stoically but is glad that Wirksworth is on firmer foundations. Christine, her daughter says,"Luckily mother was a bit slow getting going that morning, as a result of jetlag, as her first plan of the day was to visit the Cathedral, which came down with the loss of lives."

Sent in by her daughter Christine.

An update:

The following first-hand account gives an insight into what it is really like to be involved in a disaster situation. Although the Japanese earthquake and tsunami have overshadowed the Christchurch event in the media, they are still suffering in New Zealand...

Subject: Shakeytown
Hello Everyone,

Thank you for your message, we are all fine physically but today I have been a bit weepy; it has been very stressful.
 The news is worse by the hour, and we are having aftershocks, although they have not been strong enough to do more damage in most people's homes, but they are unnerving.
  I have been responsible for my friend Christine Tacon's mother, who is 82 and arrived on Monday to watch her other daughter (Joy) play in the World Veterans Tennis Champs here in Christchurch. Joy who played in Wimbledon in the 80 's, is arriving from Hong Kong later this week, so Christine had asked me to look after her Mum until Joy arrived. I picked her up from airport and took her to her hotel behind the Cathedral in the Square. On Tues morn she rang and said she could not open her padlocked suitcase so I took my pliers in and had a coffee with her and suggested I take her on  drive to orient herself, up onto the Port Hills  and over to Lyttelton and back through the tunnel (Thank Heavens we did not do this, as the earthquake has closed the tunnel, and devastated parts of Lyttelton). Beryl said she was feeling tired after her flight from UK and was not up to a car trip, and would have a little rest and then just wander around the Cathedral and then onto the Arts Centre. I left her just after 11am.
 The quake hit at 12.50. I was at Lorelei's house with the dogs, Lorelei and Fitz had left only 30mins before heading to Kaiteriteri for a holiday without the children, who were back at school and that was why I was at her house.
 The quake was like riding a bucking horse (not that I have ever done so); the motion was up and down as well as sideways. Everything flew off shelves, tv etc toppled to floor, fridge moved a foot blocking door into kitchen, many doors jammed, windows won't now close, I have not even seen upstairs. I ran outside with dogs in my arms to stop them getting cut paws on all the broken glass and china everywhere, and put them in the car while I howled. Neighbours called by soon after checking on everyone. Somehow I rang Lorelei, who said they had pulled over thinking they had a puncture, and I told them it was huge and to come back; they had reached Amberley. I said I would drive to check on my Mum and then go to collect Daisy from school.
 It took about 30mins for me to reach my mother's place, only a mile up the road; the phones were out  by now (overloaded) and  everyone had jumped in their cars to do what I was doing and check on their charges. Mum was fine and had far less damage than Lorelei. It took about an hour to return from Mum's, the traffic now gridlocked and liquifaction starting on Papanui Road. I got back to Chapter Street when Lorelei and Fitz arrived back (they too had a slow trip) and  Fitz started to clean up the glass and so I decided to take the dogs out of the way and to walk to collect Daisy from school. Lorelei took her bike to collect Jack from Christ's College (damage there substantial)
 The liquifaction was really happening now, and I had to carry the dogs to avoid them getting covered in silt, as I knew we would have no water to clean them. I had no choice but to walk into mounds of silt to reach Heaton where Daisy and her schoolmates were corralled in the quad until collected by a parent. She was so relieved to see someone familiar; 12 year old girls can get quite hysterical when whipping each other up!
 It was a slow trudge home, as the liquifaction had now spread all over the roads and footpaths and we had to pick our way through the shallowest parts; I ruined my shoes!
 At Jack's school, he had to go into an underground basement alone in pitch darkness to get his bike; this was pretty horrible for him, as aftershocks were happening. He had been in the graphics studio on the second floor when the earthquake struck.
 Mobile calls were intermittent, it was best to text.
 By now my mobile phone was losing charge, and realising that when she awoke and heard the news she would be trying to contact me, so I had to make a very difficult call to Christine in UK to say we had had an earthquake and that I had no way of contacting Beryl. I had been calling her hotel but of course nobody was there to answer. I reminded Christine that I had given her the hotel's number and her mother's room number in an email, but I had no idea where to begin looking for her. I also had no idea of the destruction in the central city.
 Mean while back at the Square, thankfully Beryl had been overtaken by jetlag and was having a Nana-nap in the hotel before venturing out to have some lunch. I had told her if we had an aftershock from the September 4th quake (and we have had over 4000 since then) during the night to stay on her bed (this is the advice for older people to prevent them being toppled over and breaking a hip). So she did (her suite had the bed on a mezzanine floor; her hotel was in the Old Government Buildings, obviously wonderfully earthquake-strengthened when converted to a beautiful hotel about 10 years ago ; I can remember as a law clerk going there to the Land Transfer Office/Housing Corp)  She waited for the shaking to stop, (the bed shunted about a foot or so) and  picked up the wall mirror which had fallen onto the bed beside her, and tidied up the pictures in the bathroom, went downstairs and picked up the television which had toppled, then looked out the window, and was astonished to see the dust-laden atmosphere and emerging through it, the rubble outside.  She calmly walked out to get her lunch!,  first re-arranging her handbag to put her passport in her suitcase rather than have it with her in case her bag was snatched.  She wandered down the empty corridor, down the grand sweeping staircase, and past the restaurant which was deserted with all the buffet lunch dishes of course set out for lunch and deserted. She walked past upturned pot plants, setting them right,  straightened crooked pictures on the walls, and  a fountain in the foyer which had toppled was still fountaining all over the floor. Outside she emerged into the Square and wandered over to look at the Cathedral where the spire had toppled; someone told her she was probably walking too closely to the buildings and to stay in  the middle of the Square, where people were gathering, away from falling masonry.
 The front of the Cathedral was very cracked, the wall about to topple. The police came and cleared people from the Square. She tried to go back into her hotel but of course was not allowed to go in.
  She said the whole experience  reminded her of her wartime experiences in Norwich, with whistling bombs, and then an eerie silence.
 She wandered around a bit more, until police moved people firmly into the middle of the road to make their way to Latimer Square, an open space to the east of the Square and surrounded by trees. By now it was after 3pm and a woman on a bike, someone  who worked for another hotel approached her and invited her to join the group of evacuees from their hotel (Novotel, Victoria Square?) ,and offered her the use of her phone to call Joy to let her know she was OK. I had given Beryl my mobile number but she had left the number in the hotel. They gave  her a duvet to keep her warm and then a coach arrived to take them all to the Burnside Rugby Club where they had a barbecued sausage and then neighbours offered their homes to the elderly . Beryl spent Tuesday night sleeping on a chair in someone's sitting room near Burnside Park.
 Meanwhile, I was frantically looking for her; I had visions of her buried beneath fallen masonry at the Cathedral or the Arts Centre, where a lot of damage occurred. Eric and I biked into the Hagley Park area near Victoria Lake where people who had been avacuated from the CBD were gathering. I was scouring the shell-shocked faces of people settling in for the night on sheets of plywood flooring which had been stored for use at the Ellerslie Flower Show (now cancelled of course). As the evening became cooler and it began to rain, people were moved into the large marquees which had been erected for the Flower Show. We were allowed by Police to go through the the cordon and go to the Civil Defence Headquarters at the Art Gallery; things were still at an early stage of the search and rescue phase and there were no lists of names or any indication where each hotel's evacuee's were  to be found (But they would not let me go to Latimer Square, as the cordon was tightening as aftershocks were releasing more debris off tall buildings)

 I decided to check on Mum again, and thankfully her home had power, so I was able to recharge my phone and ring Christine again, who had heard from Joy that Beryl had borrowed somebody's mobile to leave a message on Joy's phone that she was alright, and was being taken to the airport. I spent the night with Mum who was pretty shaken, sleeping on a lazyboy chair.
 Wed morning I found Beryl at the airport, where the Burnside people had taken her. She bought a mobile phone and we headed  for my friend Steph's place, where we have been staying since. Joy was waiting to find out whether the tennis tournament was still proceeding, but has since decided to withdraw anyway and simply to come to get her mother. However, Beryl's passport is still in her suitcase in the hotel, which is not accessible and the hotel manager says its likely to be many days before access will be given to them to enter their building.Hong Kong immigration do not normally accept a temporary passport of the type being issued by Uk and American consulates here.....but Joy is hopeful that special circumstances will help...
 People are sleeping downstairs; at Lorelei's there is a downstairs bedroom so that helps. At Rhett's they are all sleeping in the family room, as Emma aged 5 has still been very traumatised from the first earthquake; this has made things much worse.  I looked after the girls yesterday as Rachael had do do an emergency scan at her rooms, the damage to their house is shocking; it is to be stabilised tomorrow to enable them to stay; the whole house has moved towards the river. Upstairs, the bookcases and chests of drawers are strewn about as if in a whirlwind; thank heavens they were not at home when it happened. The girls were at school together in the playground as it was lunchtime.
 Rhett has hardly been home since the quake, he has been amputating limbs; 4 orthopedic theatres have been operating constantly. Lorelei did a story about the trauma surgery for tonight's news. Their Dad, Uncle Barry, refuses to come down from his place on Clifton Hill where there are slips.
 I checked on Penny's house in Winchester Street; liquefaction all down the driveway, and the garage, and kitchen area has risen 10 cm above the rest of the land; there is now a small step up into the garage. Huge cracks in the brickwork.
 We are all still in shock really; day to day stuff consumes the time; queuing for petrol, getting water for my mother and her neighbours, getting prescriptions for Beryl (her medication also left in hotel), and passport photos and visiting the British High Commission temporary offices in room 212 Copthorne Hotel, where staff are hotbedding, such is the pressure on accommodation here
 At Steph's in Burnside there is running water and power, but we are not allowed to flush loos, as the sewage system is wrecked; we are told to bury it in the garden. Nice. But we are all so grateful not to have been in any of those buildings which have collapsed; the TV and radio coverage is constant and one wavers between wanting information and not being able to bear another minute of it.
 We are at the stage of taking each day as it comes, thankful to be alive but facing the worst uncertainties about the future of our city.
 Seize the day!
 Love Michele

 Michele Hickman

Last updated 3rd of April



The Under 18 Wirksworth Colts football team is sporting a brand new kit which echoes the distinctive look of the world-famous Brazilian side, thanks to the sponsorship of local company TDP, a landscape and construction products specialist based on Derby Road.

TDP has already supported the same team for over eight years, beginning its association at the Under 9 stage, and is committed to a further two years.

The Under 18s team sponsored by TDP is just one of 26 youth football teams run by the Wirksworth Colts, which range from Under 8s to Under 18s and cater for boys and girls. For a small town of around 7,000 inhabitants this makes up around 5% of the population!

Rob Barlow, managing director of TDP said, "We are celebrating our 20th anniversary and have been based in Wirksworth for the last 12 years. As a local company we like to give our support to community activities. Youth football teams are a big part of life in the town so it is great to be at the heart of it.

"Our long-standing relationship has been mutually rewarding, with the team benefiting from our sponsorship while we have enjoyed watching and cheering them on over the years! The new strip definitely brings to mind the style of the Brazilian team so we’re hoping to some see some of that famous Latin flair on the pitch!"

TDP.2010.048 Ww Colts u18.jpg

For more information on TDP, go to their entry in the Business Listing section of this website.

Last updated 2nd of February


Hope and Anchor 1926

This may be of interest. It's a photo of the Hope and Anchor taken about 1925; see www.wirksworth.org.uk/X621.htm

Notice the little shop built into the front of the Inn. Tucked in the bottom left of the Hope and Anchor front was a shop. Known as Palin's, and afterwards as Wheatcroft's, it disappeared after 1926, and has now become the dining room of the Hope and Anchor! Bertram Haworth (1904-1998) describes his life in Wirksworth Market Place around 1920. Anyone else with memories of this shop please contact me.

"Now across the street to Mr. Wheatcroft's. He was a fishmonger and greengrocer. The shop has gone and now is an extension of the "Hope and Anchor". Approached by four stone steps, the shop was in two halves. Right side was the wet fish on a marble slab, so arranged that the melting ice could drain away through the window and so on to the pavement. Left side was the green grocery. Turn left inside the door towards the counter, quite unapproachable because in front I always remember - bags of potatoes (red and white), bag of carrots and onions and swedes in season. The counter itself held boxes of apples and oranges in season. This made this area inaccessible, so you were served by Mrs. Wheatcroft, who was quite small, suddenly appearing round the corner by the big scales. Your modest orders and all financial transactions were completed on top of an orange box which had three compartments. This was usually full to overflowing and if you "accidentally touched" the bottom one of the pile, a cascade of oranges resulted, and if you were really lucky, several would roll down the steps and into the street. The fish came up by train, packed in flat boxes filled with ice. The empties were kept outside under the window, hence the pavement was always wet. Mr. Wheatcroft became a councillor and became involved in a libel suit with our surveyor over his plan to alter the Market Place (more later). He suffered financially. Incidentally, he had two storage places, a small one which ran off what is now the Church Yard from St John St. The other was in China House yard and went underground."

John Palmer, Dorset, England
Author of Wirksworth website www.wirksworth.org.uk

Last updated 1st of January


Grange Mill Post Office

OK, its not quite Wirksworth (Grange Mill that is) but maybe some of you know it. There used to be a little Post Office there until 1970; of course it's gone now, but maybe the building is still there? I came by a nice photo of it, see www.wirksworth.org.uk/X623.htm

While it snows down here in Dorset, I'm trying to do some research about this old P.O. So if any of you can help in the way of memories or pictures, please contact me at johnpalmer@wirksworth.org.uk

Wish I was in Wirksworth.

John Palmer, Dorset, England

Last updated 1st of January


Schumann Concert Postponed

Due to the snow, St Mary's church is sorry to announce the postponement of the Schumann Concert, which was to have been given on 4th December by Richard Roddis and Beate Toyka. We are hoping to move the event to a date in early Spring. Those who bought advance tickets for this event will be refunded on production of their tickets at Traidlinks. The rest of the programme for St Mary's Festival of Christmas Trees is to carry on as planned.

Last updated 3rd of December


Yet another cancellation

Cancer Research & Wirksworth have cancelled their Writers Pre-Christmas Miscellany on Friday evening

Last updated 3rd of December


Peace Ceremony & Christmas Tree Lights switch-on postponed

Due to the snow, a decision has been made to postpone Saturday’s Peace Ceremony to Friday the 10th December at 5 30pm.in line with the Rotary’s changes of switching on of the Christmas Tree Lights followed by Carol Singing at 6pm.

Last updated 9th of December


Farmers' Market this Saturday is Cancelled!

Because the stall holders haven't been able to get deliveries to make the produce, the Farmers Market on Saturday 4th December has been cancelled. The stallholders are really gutted as they had more stalls than ever and were looking forward more than ever to holding a market in Wirksworth in preparation for Christmas. PLEASE PASS THE WORD! There are still many 'sparkling' events on the day for Wirksworth to enjoy. So read your Sparkle leaflet and catch up with what's on.

Last updated 1st of December


Snow clearing myth

"Don't clear the snow from the pavement in front of your house because you are liable if someone falls and hurts themselves". WRONG! This is a myth that everyone I spoke to after the recent heavy snowfall in Wirksworth believes. I am delighted to find that the Government is now trying to put us right. The DirectGov website says: "There's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home or from public spaces. It's unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully. Follow the snow code when clearing snow and ice safely." I am pleased to see that Wirksworth folk are very willing to spread grit from the bins to help cars get about. Pedestrians need help too! Otherwise all the pavements get dangerously icy. The url for the DirectGov website with the official guidance on clearing snow is: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_191868

Last updated 29th of November


October's Farmers Market - this Saturday

Wirksworth Festival is now over - and what a great festival it was too. But Wirksworth doesn't stand still. Oh no. This Saturday, 1st October, the market stalls will be filled with seasonal, healthy food - cheese, eggs, pies, sausages, vegetables, with cakes and chocolates too (perhaps not so healthy but delicious!!). In addition, there will be a programme of free, live outdoor music as follows:- 10.00- 10.30 Community Choir, 10.30-11.00 Dave & Ella 11.00-11.20 INDepenDANCE 11.20-12.00 Brian Boothby 12.00-12.45 Reeds & Rhythm Everyone welcome!!

Last updated 29th of September


DaleDiva didn't stop believing!

Congratulations to DaleDiva, the all- women singing group, on their success last Sunday evening.

They took part in the final of the talent show, Don't Stop Believing on Channel 5, and beat five other groups!

The judges loved them and so did the public for they were voted overall winners!

Well done, DaleDiva!

Last updated 31st of August


Pig Unit at Ashleyhay

The planning application for the 2000 pig unit has been recomended for approval.

A site visit at Barnsley Lane is to take place on Thursday 2nd Sept at approx 2pm. All welcome to attend.

A full planning Board Meeting will take place at Town Hall Ripley on Monday 6th Sept. This is to determine approval or not.

Please come along to help save our valley from this outrage.

Last updated 31st of August


We never stopped believing in DaleDiva

What a performance and achievement! DAleDiva won Channel 5.s talent show Don't Stop Believing this weekend. 3,000 singing and dancing groups from all over the country auditioned for the show - and the winners are our DaleDiva who rehearse in Cromford Community Centre. As well as being crowned winners by Emma Bunton, they now have a recording contract and an album release.

Last updated 25th of August


DaleDiva - The Winners!


Last updated 25th of August


DaleDiva don't stop believing!

NOW is proud to have had the all- women singing group, DaleDiva entertaining at some of our earlier Farmers' Markets and congratulate them on their success last Sunday evening.

They took part in the talent show, Don't Stop Believing on Channel 5 and were absolutely great!

The judges loved them and so did the public for they were voted winners of Heat 3 and go through to the next round in three weeks time. Tune in and vote!

Last updated 4th of August


Midsummer Nights Dream pictures!

Are available here!!


Last updated 14th of July


Value (or Health walks)

Value. Time; 10 am (plus a few minutes delayed for the inevitable late arrivals) Date; Wednesday 30 June, 2010. Objective; to take a Health Walk (for those in need of an occasional slightly challenging amount of exercise to promote deep breathing, joint mobility and strength).

Twenty-two of us, of both sexes, were mustered. We were all sorts of shape and size, and most carried some medically related disability, though these were never paraded as sufficient reason for seeking relief from our exertions. Rather, they might be bragged about as a sort of badge of honour that the elderly, and the not so elderly, are lucky to have survived. Age was not a significant factor in our determination to take part. Some forty or maybe fifty years separated the oldest from the youngest but in fact separation did not exist. We mingled freely as we ambled to the car park before stowing ourselves into cars driven by the willing volunteers from within our number.

A short drive to The Bear on the top road to “Arreslea” (known to incomers like myself as “Alder-was-ley“, where we parked by the side of the Shiningcliff Woods. Checked as we proceeded through the stile, and the full complement of twenty-two being accounted for, we began our stroll. Experience had taught us not to allow the fitness fanatics to rush us too fast from the outset. In any case it was a glorious day, with the makings of becoming a truly hot one. This was an event to be savoured, not slurped. There were tall trees and thick bush to be enjoyed. They cast a broken shade almost continuously along the route our leader had mapped out for us. This was far from the roar of traffic, and its frequent change of slope presented an enjoyable sustained physical challenge even to the most able-bodied of us. To the slower ones in the group it was severe enough. Their respiration rate rose inversely to their chatter, but failed to stem it entirely. This was an excellent guide to the fact that one of the aims of the walk was being achieved.

A pause at a suitable clearing in the woods saw the leader’s haversack being broken open to reveal three or four thermos type flasks of coffee, and a plentiful supply of plastic beakers. Ten minutes break was ample to enable us all to have a generous cuppa. Significantly, no one seemed to take sugar, or ask for it. Was this another hidden aim of these regular forays?

Walking resumed down stony track ways, always travelling with that same steady plodding pace. Sometimes this was dictated by the rough going of the path itself, and the need to watch ones footing to avoid a tumble. Stumbling onward, deep in conversation with whomsoever we happened to find ourselves. We mixed freely and frequently. Sometimes we plodded in single file when the route narrowed . At other times small clusters of us grouped together to walk, talk and co-operatively share the sheer beauty of the landscape around us. Spikes of foxglove lit the dells; elderflower umbrellas adorned trees at the edges of nearby fields. There was always something to note and wonder over. Where, for instance, did the water in that little rill which ran down the footpath come from ? We never discovered an obvious starting point, and it couldn’t have been surface water draining down from the fields as we have had no rain for several days. Well, at least the two dogs with our party were in their element with it. Their under-carriages soon lost their pristine whiteness as they trotted back and forth, gently shepherding their human charges into line and along the chosen route. Another clearing looking towards the hills of Riber, Dethick, Holloway gave us a panoramic view of fields dusted with the gold of this year’s crop of buttercup. Possibly not itself of great benefit to the farmer by way of a crop, but no doubt relished to the full by unseen cattle waiting somewhere to be allowed into the meadow to graze when the farmer knew the time was right.

Finally, once more through another stile as we left the woods. Still twenty-two of us, so all was well. We could return to town in the cars that brought us. Three and a half hours after we set off from the Leisure Centre car park. Our objective achieved. And the cost? Trifling! A few cups of coffee, a litre or two of diesel or petrol, and quite a few calories expended in satisfying activity, in excellent companionship. What could be better Value?

780KAM June 2010.

Last updated 1st of July


Kingsfield closure protest

It sounds like the writings on the wall for the kingsfield pub.

Not a great loss i here most of you say, but it will be a loss, a massive loss not only to the folk that use it as pub but to the folk that use it for,weddings birthdays, funerals. It is the hub of the football teams and a venue for the local wrestling team, its a place where the folks are genuine and kids are allowed in, it can also brag that its the only pub in wirksworth with disabeled access, all this might be replaced by a massive H block style fla development.

This will not only affect the people living in that area but every body who drives past it and thinks "my this looks a grim place,wouldnt want to live here" so it could have a knock on effect to the rest of the community, people stop coming in and spending the money,which effects the economy, it sounds drastic but this is how it starts.

There will be a protest march on sat morn at 10 on the market place, to try and stop the building of the matlock style complex.

Last updated 23rd of June



Saturday 19 June between 1.0 and 4.0pm: Live music in the Gardens. In the evening, a Guitar Recital by Fiona Harrison in St. Mary's Church.

Sunday 20 June 1.0-4.0 pm more music in the Gardens. From 6.0 pm Solstice Eve Music at Arbor Low. It is Midsummer's Eve and all the angels and faeries want us to make music!

Thursday, 24 June 7.30 - 11.0 pm MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at Stoney Wood.


Last updated 12th of June



With the promise of fine weather, Saturday's Farmers Market looks as if it is going to be a great occasion. There may be a couple of new stalls as well as your favourite meat, eggs, vegetable, cakes, pies, etc. And, for entertainment while you do your shopping, the programme is PACKED! Starting at 10.30, Raise Your Voices return with a repetoire of songs from all over. Then at 11.0, Brian Boothby plays his flute followed by Keyna - a cappella singing. At 12.30, Jimbo Henry performs alternative folk blues with an edge and finally at 1.0 pm, we'll hear an 'accordion vocal and beatbox duo' by Alphonso & James. WIRKSWORTH FARMERS' MARKETS ARE OCCASIONS NOT TO BE MISSED!

Last updated 2nd of June


Well dressed Wirksworth

The well dressing

Here is a very short visual reminder of the well dressing and carnival May 2010.

What are your thoughts on this year's Well Dressing weekend? Have your say on the forum.


Last updated 7th of June


Community Fayre 153 online

Click on the link to read the latest version of Wirksworth's own community newspaper
CF 153

Last updated 24th of May


Festival callout for VENUE HOSTS

Turn your home or business into an art gallery for the weekend with Wirksworth Festival. The Festival is looking for more places to display art of all kinds during the Art & Architecture Trail weekend 10-12th September. If you'd like to find out more, please contact the Festival office by email: info@wirksworthfestival.co.uk or phone: 824003.

Last updated 23rd of May


Easter Farmers' Market--a bunny hopping success!

The April farmers'market was an amazing success...we had Raise Your Voices choir singing a lovely mix of songs, children taking part in a beautifully colourful Easter Bonnet parade, buskers playing lively music and a wonderful array of local produce and crafts.

This month we were delighted to welcome Choc Art who donated the main prize for the children's Easter Bonnet Parade--so thank them for that--they also did a roaring trade in their gorgeous chocolates.

The atmosphere at this event is just amazing..Wirksworth buzzes!


Last updated 13th of April


NOW News

NOW held its Annual General Meeting last Thursday at the Hope & Anchor.

The Chair, Alison Clamp presented the Annual Report which can be read here.

In it you will see a report on the monthly Farmers' Markets that are proving to be highly successful and contributing to the economy of the town as a whole. The next one takes place on Saturday 3rd April when the new choir led by Lester Simpson entitled 'Raise Your Voices' will be singing a medley of international songs at 10.30.

Shortly after at 11.0, there will be an Easter Bonnet Parade

Last updated 1st of April


Transition Towns Meeting 22nd March 08 - Housing / Planning /Environment Table

Housing / Planning / Environment Issues discussed on focus table:

  • Quarries – opportunity for old quarry between the Dale and West End to be developed as Eco village, woodland, allotments. Opportunity for key partners to contribute as demonstration model of what could be achieved.
  • Local Strategic Partnership(LSP) –Derbyshire Dales are responsible for a sustainable strategy. What is happening? There should be a local community representative, who is this? Open spaces need thinking about – diversity important – wild, allotments, productive.
  • Town Centre – split by traffic, consideration needs to be given to giving pedestrians more priority. Traffic needs slowing down in centre. Litter and dog muck still a problem – when will D dales start imposing fines for dog fouling? A litter bin recently removed opposite Killer’s Bakers– why?
  • Allotments – if enough residents request them then D Dales have a statutory responsibility to provide them?
  • Environment versus Conservation. When will solar panels / double glazing and other sustainable targets be allowed within conservation areas. Conservation areas needn’t be time warps!
  • Housing developments – on Brownfield land only. All affordable housing to incorporate renewable energy initiatives. Energy efficient office space required. Matlock Climate Action Forum ( MCAF)- need to form a link with. A Town Plan – a community led town plan setting out what our priorities are and what type of development we want to see!

Last updated 28th of March


Transition Town Meeting 22.03.10 Transport Report

At the Transition Town Meeting I was asked to send the main points on Transport to this site:

Consider pedestrians in any transport policy for the town

Revise the bus timetable so that there is not a 2.5 hour gap in the Derby-Wirksworth service in the mid evening.

Make sure that the train from Wirksworth to Duffield (and on to Paris) will have provision to carry pedal cycles.

School cycle classes should be provided for all 11 year olds

School travel plans should be adopted by all schools in Wirksworth The "walking bus" concept should be encouraged for primary school pupils. Safe routes to school should be set up for secondary school pupils. Sustrans has funds for this.

We should object to the worsening provision for cycles on many local and inter-city trains.

Electric cars and charging points should be encouraged.

Bikes on buses should be encouraged as in Portland Oregon where each bus has a cycle rack on the front.

Bus routes should be better promoted - why is the 411 so neglected?

Cycle routes should be created in and around Wirksworth.

Shared car schemes should be encouraged.

Fewer car parking spaces to encourage use of feet, public transport and cycles. Cycle pool and cycle hire.

Electric bikes and trikes to cope with the hilly terrain.

How about a bus from Wirksworth to Whatstandwell station?

Is a cable car from the centre of Wirksworth to Bolehill a good idea?

Jeremy Taylor

Last updated 26th of March


Local Food and Local Resilience

On Monday Evening at the Red Lion, a small group of us invited Wirksworth people to come and explore whether we wanted to become a TransitionsTown, and lots of people came along, the room was packed. We saw a DVD about transition - which is all about preparing for the time when cheap oil runs out and developing local resilience so that we can still have a good quality of life. I hosted the Local Food discussion table , and lots of exciting ideas and themes of great interest to WIrkworth emerged:

1. Urgent need for Allotments, and great demand for them.(Some attempts already under way to procure a field - local council v. supportive.

2. Guerilla Gardening - growing food on neglected land ,e.g. The Meadows - legally OK to do this.

3. Garden shares - people who can't do their gardens any more offering them to people who want to garden in exchange for some of the produce. Electronic forum to pass on information.

4. Food bartering- people offering excess of produce (Remember last years bumper plum and damson harvest !!!) in exchange for other produce. Beer for food.

5. More Community Woodlands and Orchards, and nut trees in particular- lots of protein which we will need if we can't import so much food.

6. School involvement.

7. Community garden - skill development - people can learn about gardening and have a go and build their confidence.

8. Community gardening - help each other dig each others gardens in exchange for a meal and some drinks.

9. Wormeries - brilliant way of dealing with compostable waste - develop knowledge and skills, and pass on spare worms!

10. Encourage wildlife gardening - planting for bees and other insects, homes for wildlife, etc.

11. Establish a WIrksworth Organic Gardening Group - would have more impact in planning applications, etc.

All these ideas could be acted on straight away if we can harness our energies. Please come along to the next Transition Meetings on 26th April and 7th June also at the Red Lion. See you there! Rosemary

Last updated 26th of March


Transition Town 2

to add to list for Transition Towns Local Economy table:

Get all businesses together to see what revenue stream mapping there is.

What causes the ups and downs of trading?

How can they work together to maximise farmers' market and festival etc?

Credit Union:local bank that invests back in town. Chesterfield has one.

Use our projects to bring in intermediate labour from amongst youngsters in town. Establish skills base so we know who does what and what is available in town.

We need a shop window to use as a showcase for new lines/products available in town. We could also use it for swaps.

Last updated 26th of March


Transition Town meeting gets off to great start!

The first open meeting towards making Wirksworth a Transition Town was a roaring success! The upstairs room at the Red Lion was packed and the evening started with excerpts from an inspirational DVD on what a Transition Town is. This was followed by discussions based on: local economy/transport/recycling/planning and development/improving the natural environment/developing community and having fun/renewable energy/local food. Everyone put forward ideas and lists were made! The next public meeting is on 26th April at the Red Lion.

The rest of the "hosts" of the tables will put their results on Wirksworth.net but here are some of them:

Local Economy list of issues to be discussed was as follows: Stop shops closing; Community newsletter Noticeboard in Market Place; Tuesday market- move to Memorial Hall? ( possibly not now that Sure Start have taken over whole building); European opening hours maybe once a month; encourage local shopping: find out why people go to supermarkets and see if we can get local shops to provide. Loyalty scheme: report back from Ashbourne; How to get people to put money where their mouths are; Deliveries: co-ordinate deliveries amongst shops: maybe one van driver to pick up at all points and deliver. Letts’ Scheme: relies on an organiser but many people keen on skills exchange: do we need insurance? Freecycle and swapping. Peter Booth from Red Lion would be keen to take local produce from allotment holders and gardeners..would swap for beer. Also, he uses the potato rumbler from the fish and chip shop for his Sunday roast dinners.He thinks there is more scope for sharing facilities like this. The Recycle/Reuse Table: No cardboard recycling in W’worth – need to drive to Matlock or Ashbourne. What does it cost to recycle glass/metal/paper etc and how can we find out? Why do we use new poly bags for rubbish? How about a swap day every month in front gardens – walk around visiting. Need for a waste wood dump; Old tyres, how could we use them? In Africa used for shoes etc . We could use old/disused quarries for composting. Could use an empty shop for a local ‘freecycle’ depot . What happens to our rubbish? Could current recycling areas be made to look a little less bleak? Empty buildings and spare rooms could be offered for rent, or free Clothes/fabric swaps. Workshops to demonstrate ways to use. Offer of manure to share (lots of worms) Call 823856 to arrange collection. Unmanned Environment table. Support local tidy-up (litter pick) sometimes. Helping people get out into the countryside in all seasons; and sharing knowledge/wonder of it. Some way of buying from farmers locally who are good stewards of the land. Post-its: I want some nice vegetable: home-grown, organic, local. Robert Watts is a self employed furniture maker; there are many others in W’ worth. Submit a bid for a project officer for WIT ie a funding bid to Local Authority, also include a web to enable sharing {Phil Bramhall} Need for communication – need a separate site on Wirks.net Develop community enterprise centre to include AFFORDABLE ACCOMODATION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. A new style of accommodation that gives people a percentage of ownership {Phil Bramhall} Buy in Bulk as a community, and the community can refill containers from a central point, reusing containers over and over Recognise there is a thread that (could) run through the Transition/ sustainable agenda, and which links young people through the ages to the older generation - a powerful tool to use when in contact with Local Authorities {Phil Bramhall} Can the energy produced by health freaks in the Leisure Centre be used? Create a community Enterprise Centre (The Enterprise Factory) – art, education, business; creative space and cinema. {Phil Bramhall} Invite a local PR company to mock-up a slogan – work with young people to develop this. Plan a competition for example {Phil Bramhall} Create/organize a Young Person’s Transition Club. Use a slogan ‘It’s Cool to be in Transition. {Phil Bramhall}. Identify Young People Ambassadors.

Last updated 26th of March


Twinners take joint top spot at Wirksworth Community Quiz

Wirksworth Twinning Association is celebrating victory having been named one of three overall winners at the town’s renowned community quiz, only a few years after picking up the sack of potatoes for achieving the worst score at the same event! The annual quiz, which took place at Anthony Gell School on Friday, saw 34 teams tested on a whole range of general knowledge . The twinners secured the top spot in joint first place with The Wam Bam Band and the Glee Club. Central to the Twinning Association’s success was input from Ines Kubat (20), a visitor from Wirksworth’s German twin town Frankenau, who is currently undertaking a 10 week placement in the town. She attended the quiz as part of her programme of activity organised by the association, which also includes work experience at Ashbourne Radio and Wirksworth Nursery School. Ines and Bryony Pollock collected the trophy on behalf of their team mates Judith and Jim Hickman, Andrea and Dave Pankhurst. Judith Hickman, chair of Wirksworth Twinning Association, says: “Our success was extra special as it was shared with our German visitor who was able to experience a legendary event in Wirksworth. “Ines’ visit to the town is typical of the projects the association arranges to provide people of all ages with the opportunity to enjoy a cultural and language learning experience either by helping to host visitors to the town or by organising visits to one of our twin partners in France or Germany.” Barry Foster, organiser of the Wirksworth Community Quiz, says: “Congratulations to all three winners of this year’s quiz, which was a really successful event with a fantastic turn out of teams. “We introduced the annual quiz to the town twelve years ago to create an event that would bring a whole host of groups and organisations in the town together to embody the community spirit that is rife in the town and it has since gone from strength to strength. “I hope the twinners enjoy their time with the Grand Challenge Community Quiz trophy, that they will hold for four months until it is passed on to one of the other first prize winners.” Wirksworth Twinning Association always welcomes new members, for more information about what they do and how to get involved contact judith.hickman@w3z.co.uk

Last updated 19th of March


Pig Farm protester makes his case

Last updated 15th of March


The New 2010 Season at Our Railway

The 2010 operating season at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway will kick-off with a diesel gala this coming weekend, 20-21 March. We have revamped the schedule this year, offering more services to Idridgehay and Ravenstor and promising a great way of spending a few hours exploring the valley away from the comfort of a train and not the B5023 race track.

Next year promises to be the ‘Big One’ with the grand opening to Duffield pencilled-in for next April. In the meantime, we are ramping-up for operating a railway twice the length of today’s and this includes tie-ins with ‘Big Railway’ operators and bringing in more rolling stock to the line, much of which is intended to work with steam locomotives. Do come down to Wirksworth station and treat yourself to a return ticket. Take a look around and see how even from last season, the railway has changed a little bit more. Your railway is growing and adapting to an exciting new future. Come and be a part of our rebirth!

Last updated 15th of March


Industrial Pig Rearing plans for Ashleyhay

Industrial Pig Rearing plans for Ashleyhay

Proposed at Ashleyhay Near Wirksworth.  The horrified residents of Ashleyhay, Idridgehay and Kirk Ireton find themselves in a planning nightmare. A proposal has been submitted to build an industrial sized pig rearing unit at land adjacent to Barnsley Lane, Ashleyhay in an area designated “Special Landscape”. You may think you do not know this road but if you travel on the B5023 from Wirksworth to Duffield then you pass it. If this site is to go ahead you will all too aware of the impact this will have on your journey.

Barnsley Lane is just before the “S” bend near the Kirk Ireton turn off the B5023. There have been numerous accidents including fatalities by this junction on this very busy stretch of road. There will be substantially increased traffic through Wirksworth & surrounding villages.

This site is 15 metres from the Eccelsbourne Valley Railway line.

All the hard work & effort put in by local volunteers and enthusiast will be ruined. The three buildings which are each 60 metres x 15 metres to house 6,000 pigs per annum, plus feed silos & residential property will be visible from the B5023 and a five mile radius.

The stench could reach further!!

Object now before it is too late to your local councilors & planning officers.

You can file an objection online on the Amber Valley Website

Planning Application No. AVA/2010/0173
Amber Valley Borough Council
Town Hall


Last updated 8th of March


Wirksworth Farmers' Market

At the Farmers' Market this coming Saturday, 6 March, Wirksworth's Fairtrade Group will be handing out samples of Fairtrade Tea to shoppers. The Fairtrade Fortnight began on 22 February and closes on Sunday, 7 March. So popular are the Wirksworth Farmers' Markets they are now the second BIGGEST in the whole of the Derbyshire Dales. Sponsored by Local Foods to promote healthy fresh food, this is indeed an achievement. Outside Memorial Hall, from 9.0 until the goods sell out.

Last updated 1st of March


Geopolitics in Paris

On February 4th and 5th, former Anthony Gell pupil Richard Hodkin attended a Model United Nations conference in Paris. Meeting in the prestigious UNESCO headquarters, which overlook the Eiffel Tower and École Militaire, around 180 students from France, Germany, Morocco and England met to debate in official conference rooms to discuss the topic of ‘Maintaining Biodiversity in Business and Government Policies’. Richard attended the conference with two fellow students from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, the only British university present, and were representing Italy for the conference. The Model United Nations format offers students the opportunity to experience an authentic simulation of the UN General Assembly. There are several held around the world each year, with between 30 and 2000 delegates present; the largest conference is held in New York in March and several delegations in Paris were using it as practice for the New York event. Students represent a nation, which isn’t their own, to discuss a given topic and negotiate resolution on which the whole assembly votes. This was the first time the trio of Environmental Sciences from Norwich had attended one of these conferences and were actively engaged in the debates from the outset, demonstrating knowledge, energy, confidence and charm. Ten awards are offered on the final day for delegations that had shown great and continued skill throughout the conference. Richard’s delegation were awarded one of the three Outstanding Delegation awards, the highest there is, chosen by a jury of geopolitics lecturers, for their involvement in the debates, sense of initiative and original ideas on biodiversity. Overall the team were very happy with the result and are already making plans to attend another MUN.

Last updated 22nd of February


Wirksworth celebrates Fairtrade Fortnight 2010

Have you swapped your usual stuff for Fairtrade stuff?

If you know lots, a little or nothing at all about Fairtrade please read on, don’t stop here. Many of you will know that Wirksworth achieved Fairtrade Town status in January 2009. Wirksworth, as a Fairtrade Town, involves local people and organisations selling and buying Fairtrade products to enable positive change for farmers and workers in developing countries.

Globally, consumers spent £1.6 billion on Fairtrade certified products in 2007; a 47% increase on the previous year, directly benefiting 7 million people – farmers, workers and their families in 58 developing countries.

Fairtrade Fortnight ran from 22 February to 7 March. The Wirksworth Fairtrade group and other willing volunteers were geared up for a series of well supported events. This year the theme of Fairtrade Fortnight was ‘swapping’, focusing on tea and encouraging people to swap their existing cuppa for a Fairtrade cuppa.

On Tuesday 23 February Wirksworth volunteers were involved in a very successful free tea session outside the Traid Links shop. Fairtrade tea bags were given away to encourage local people to ‘swap their cuppa’ and to raise awareness about the importance of ‘swapping’ and the impact of achieving a fairer deal for the tea growers and pickers. Swapping your usual stuff for Fairtrade products is a brilliant, small step to making the world a fairer place. A Fairtrade hamper and other prizes were raffled, with donations kindly given by local shopkeepers and businesses. In view of the success of this event another 'swapping' session was held on Tuesday 2 March which also produced excellent results.

Continuing with the food theme, a very successful coffee and cake morning was held on Saturday 6 March in the Country Kitchen restaurant at Waltham House, with other tempting foods made from Fairtrade products on the menu.

Le Mistral and Peli Deli also supported Fairtrade Fortnight offering menus planned using Fairtrade products.

Two exhibitions were displayed at Waltham House highlighting the involvement of the local infant school and Anthony Gell School in the support of Fairtrade initiatives.

A very interesting challenge was achieved by Geoff Green from Wirksworth Brewery who produced a fantastic new beer named democratically as ‘A Fair Brew’ using Fairtrade honey as the key ingredient; this gave it a delicious and subtle flavour. The beer was officially launched on 19 February and featured in the Matlock Mercury. It was available in the Hope and Anchor in Wirksworth and direct from Wirksworth Brewery.

A most instructive and thought provoking talk was given by the Reverend David Downing on "Fairtrade Making a Difference in Costa Rica" hosted by the United Reformed Church. We heard first hand about the positive impact of Fairtrade on farmers, workers and their families in Costa Rica.

The raffles and cake sales raised a total of £255, half of which is being donated to Traidcraft Exchange, a charity that works with small tea producers in East Africa, Uganda, Malawi and Tanzania to give them confidence and a ready market for their tea. Many thanks to all who donated cakes for the coffee morning or helped in any other way.

The Wirksworth Fairtrade group continues to record all its activities on this website as an important account of the developments of Fairtrade in the town. New volunteers are always welcome. The next meeting will be held on 17 May 2010 at 7.30pm in Le Mistral.

Updated 22/3/10

Last updated 22nd of March


NOW Newsletter January 2010!

The christmas market, the snow, the supermarkets, local produce, the choir, it's all here!!!!

The christmas market 
The picture on the left (kindly taken by NOW Director, Bill Lansdowne) shows the stalls setting up for the Christmas festive market before the crowds arrived.  


Last updated 19th of January


Stay & Play at the new Children's Centre!

Stay & Play Baby & Toddler Group has now finally moved to the new Wirksworth Surestart Children's Centre after months of planning!

The group for babies and preschool children was originally set up by three mums three years ago and was based at the Creche Room at Wirksworth Adult Community Education Centre. The new Surestart Centre has finally opened up for business at the Memorial Hall and Stay & Play is the first children's group to move in!

There are now lots more new exciting toys for the little ones to enjoy in the newly refurbished large Memorial Hall.
Activities include messsy play, craft activities, music...and a home corner is on its way.

Visit Stay & Play every Thursday afternoon during term-time from 1.30-3pm. Costs £1 per family.

Last updated 8th of January


Anthony Gell School latest newsletter

Click on the cover to read it

Last updated 11th of December


Communty Fayre 151 online

Click on the image to access a pdf file of the latest Community Fayre- Wirksworth community newspaper

Last updated 8th of December


Calling on organisations: do you want to make a joint bid for a funder?

At a meeting of NOW, we were talking to Chris Booth of the Carnival Committee and we agreed the way forward for the town might be to have someone who could look for funding for the town as a whole. We are aware we are all chasing funding and that, really, we should be making a co-ordinated approach so that we aren't all applying to the same pots. We would love to hear from any other organisations in the town who would like to discuss the possibility of finding someone who could co-ordinate funding bids. The sort of organisations we are thinking of include: Festival, Civic Society, Glee Club, Skatepark, Film Club, Scouts, Carnival, NOW, IndepenDANCE,orchestra, choir etc. We are sure there are others so please pass the word. Please contact anyone from NOW or email: now@w3z.co.uk as soon as possible.

Last updated 21st of November


Press Release from the Railway - More Filming Work!

‘ORANGES AND SUNSHINE’ HARROWING ACCOUNT OF AUSTRALIAN CHILD DEPORTATION FILMED AT WIRKSWORTH STATION Wirksworth, 16th November 2009: As Australian Premier Kevin Rudd apologised publically for the ‘Lost Generation’ of thousands of British children sent to Australian orphanages and children’s homes between 1930 and 1970, the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway’s filming arm, RailFilmLocations.biz has been participating in the production of a major new film on the subject. ‘Oranges and Sunshine’, an Anglo-Australian production by See-Saw Films Pty Ltd and Sixteen Films has been funded by Screen Australia and is directed by Jim Loach. The film tells the story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker from Nottingham, who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals in recent times: the organised deportation of children in care from the United Kingdom to Australia. Filming took place at Wirksworth Station on Friday 13th November and is the fifth major production to be filmed at the railway this year. The company has provided authentic rolling stock to reproduce an Inter-City train in the early 1980s and has been used for a major scene where the film’s main character returns to the city following a journey to Australia. Ends.

Note to Editors: The BBC’s story concerning the Australian deportations can be found here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8361389.stm Details of Sixteen Films’ production ‘Oranges and Sunshine’ can be found here: http://www.sixteenfilms.co.uk/films/film/oranges_and_sunshine/

Last updated 17th of November


It opens doors in our mind – Wirksworth and Die are guests in Frankenau

To open doors in our mind – Wirksworth and Die visit Frankenau A group from Wirksworth voyaged to the autumnal Germany on Thursday, 22th.

They planned to visit Wirksworth’s twintown Frankenau. Several Germans welcomed then warmly at the guildhall in Frankenau, where friends remet friends. But the German host-families didn’t only accommodate the british guests: also a group of the French town Die had arrived in the morning. The triangular partnership between Wirksworth, Die and Frankenau exists since 2006. “This town twinning opens doors in our minds for other people and cultures”, depicts a French visitor on Sunday.

On Friday the hosts showed their guests the famous ski-jump in Willingen and took them for a little snack to “Siggis” cabin. Despite the foggy and rainy weather on Saturday, everyone enjoyed the tour to the lovely town “Bad Wildungen” and the visit of the lake “Edersee” , which doesn’t contain a lot of water at the moment. In the evening the host-families and the visitors celebrated together the 25th anniversary of Frankenau’s twinning association in the new festival hall. With beer, wine, a manifold buffet and entertainment time flew away. Luckily, Betty took a lot of photos during the three days, which can be seen on Wirksworth.net very soon.

After the church service in Louisendorf on Sunday, the German friends presented their “Schulscheune” - a house, that serves nowadays as a historical museum. About noon, the visitors enjoyed a typical German meal in their host-families. Reinhard Kubat, mayor of Frankenau underlines that it was a great personal pleasure for him to welcome the two delegations. “Due to the twinning I met such friendly and open-minded people and.

Twinning associations become even more important in a globalised world, because they enrich every community.” Too soon, the groups took leave of Frankenau on Monday. But all are looking forward to see each other again soon in Wirksworth or Die.

Last updated 29th of October


An opportunity to air your views

Are you concerned about litter?
Are your neighbours too noisy?
Is it safe for you and your toddlers to walk on the footpaths?
Does anything in the town cause you offence?
Have you experienced unsociable behaviour?

If any of these questions are important enough for you to wish discussed with BOTH the Town Council AND the police, then why not attend a SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD meeting in the Town Hall at 5.30 pm on Thursday 15 October.

Last updated 8th of October


Vegetable Swap shop

Fruit and vegetable growers across Derbyshire are expecting healthy crops of fruit this summer because the combination of heavy rain and dry, sunny periods has provided good growing conditions, but much of this is likely to go to waste. Allotment holders and gardeners in the Wirsksworth area are being urged to exchange surpluses of fruit and vegetables to prevent them going to waste.

‘The Vegetable Swop Shop’ on Sunday 26th September at Wirksworth’s Stoney Wood will provide an opportunity to exchange surplus produce with other gardeners growers and cooks. Each year, everybody who gardens ends-up with more home-grown vegetables and fruits than they can use themselves, much of this fantastic food can go to waste.

The organizers of the swop shop want local people to bring along any fruit, veg, home made county wines , chutneys and jams along to Stoney Wood on Sunday 26th September and swap them. Andy Pollock one of the organizers of the project said; “The scheme is very simple, anybody with a surplus (be-it spuds, onions, apples, pickles) can bring them along to the ‘swop-shop’ market stall, and help themselves to a mixture of every-body’ else’s surplus”…“The ‘swap-shop’ should help to reduce energy-use and increases the availability of healthy food, but above all it should be great fun”

Readers who have a surplus of fruit, vegetables, jams, chutneys, free range eggs, herbs or late-flowering flowers can bring them along to the Swap Shop market stall at Stoney Wood on Sunday 26th September between 10am and 2pm.

For More information call: 01629 826412

Last updated 21st of September


TV Interior Design Series Looking for Locals


Have you fallen out of love with your home? Are you planning to improve it but lack the confidence, inspiration and ideas to get things off the ground?

Love The Place You're In, UKTV HOME's top interior design show, is returning for a third series and we're looking for homes to feature. We want to chat to homeowners who are planning to renovate rather than move house; who want to stay put and get creative by making their existing home the haven they’ve always dreamed of.

How to apply If you're about to embark on a plan to turn your home into your dream space and would like our know-how to help you achieve it, please email your contact details and a brief description of your plans to makeover@talkbackthames.tv or call 0207 861 8133.

Last updated 21st of September


Outdoor Music in Wirksworth

Outdoor Music in Wirksworth has really taken off this year thanks to hard work of Dave Smith.

He has so far coordinated free outdoor music at Stoney Wood, for the Open Gardens weekend and during the September Arts Festival.

Hear what Dave has to say about Outdoor Music on this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2OvOSaKq40

Last updated 26th of September


Wirksworth Festival - Community involvement

Wirksworth Festival, 11-26 September, has ambitious plans to involve everyone in the local community. The popular series of Festival workshops have a focus on music and singing this year, with sessions in plainsong, choral and orchestral work as well as a chance to sing with the popular women’s chorus, Dale Diva.

All workshops last for a day followed by a performance in the evening. All workshops must be pre-booked. Every school has taken up the opportunity to put children to work alongside a Festival artist, following on from last year’s success workshop sessions in key venues.

Artist Kate Genever is creating a body of work that investigates the ingenuity of Derbyshire farmers in the way they invent and make their own tools. She will be working at Parish rooms with schoolchildren, encouraging them to share in this inventiveness. School children and community have had the opportunity to produce work to be exhibited in windows in the centre of town.

Jeni Smith has worked with residents from Waltham House, Wirksworth C of E Infant School as well as having a stall for community to visit at NOW Farmers Market to produce ‘Tiers Of Life’ Community cake sculptures. The sculptures will be on show in Waltham House and The Old Bakery windows. Wirksworth primary schools have all worked with artist Louise Evans to create work for McMurtry and Harding Vets window.

A free community talk by two of the Festival key venue artists Kate Genever and Raphael Daden) will take place at Waltham House on Thursday 17th 7.30- 9.00. YAPs, young adult people, who exploded onto the festival scene last year with their series of videos (still viewable via the website), will be around town again this year.

A group of young people are working with artists Sally Lemsford and Sarah Bradnock to curate an exhibition in 2010. They will start by exploring Festival 2009 and then work through the year developing a whole range of skills from creating concepts, fundraising, commissioning, budgeting, working with professional artists, promoting and celebrating. A large-scale community extravaganza is already being planned for 2010.

Festival organisers hope it will take place over the Festival’s third weekend next year, and that it will involve as many people as possible. To help kick-start preparations, the Festival has advertised for artists to act as external facilitator to inspire and support local talent. This project will start in the autumn and everyone is welcome to get involved.

Keep up-to-date with everything happening at Wirksworth Festival by visiting the website www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk. You can book tickets and pay securely by Paypal, or visit the Festival Box Office at the Post Office in the Market Place. For information contact Wirksworth Festival on 01629 824003. Festival Office, Memorial Hall, 39 St John's Street, Wirksworth, DE4 4DS 01629 82

Last updated 9th of September


Wirksworth Festival Performance Programme 11-26 September

Kicking off with Invocal at the Red Lion or T in the Pub at the Hope & Anchor on Friday night, the Festival offers an exciting and varied mix.

From classical music with Beate Toyka's piano recital, Christopher Dixon';s organ recital, and the Apollodorus Ensemble, to the exotic sounds of La Xula - the complete programme of comedy, dance, music and drama can be found on the festival website,or in the printed Festival brochures around the town. You can book tickets by post to the Festival Office, Memorial Hall, St John's Street, Wirksworth DE4 4DS; in person from the Post Office or on the website. www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk

Last updated 9th of September


Wirksworth Festival Art & Architecture Trail 11-26 September

Wirksworth Festival’s Art & Architecture Trail

This weekend brings an ambitious and exhilarating mix of cutting edge contemporary art, music, crafts and performance to fill every space in the town.

Modernism and Architecture, Illumination and Animation are the focus for visual arts. Using traditional and new media, there is an emphasis on contemporary art in public spaces. As dusk falls lightworks and illuminated work in shop windows will bring work excitingly to life. Derbyshire artist Charles Monkhouse makes spectacular lightworks, and his Market Square Horizon installation consists of 360 lights fixed to buildings surrounding the square.

Video work includes the vibrantly colourful Spatial Weaves video by Martyn Blundell, which will be projected onto a gable end in the Market Place, alternating with video work by Lorenzo Madge. An illuminated shed of lightworks by Nottingham based artist Raphael Daden will occupy the Memorial Gardens, and shop windows all over town will be displaying new illuminated works specially commissioned by the Festival from rising young East Midlands artists.

Michael Branthwaite has made a radical Modernist intervention to a field barn at the National Stone Centre. With over 100 artists exhibiting, there will be new and exciting things to see in every corner of the town this weekend. Private homes of every shape and size, churches, gardens, and streets will be filled with art. Main Galleries will be open throughout the Festival period, showing new, specially commisioned or curated work. They include the large gallery space of Newbridge Works where Matthew Houlding will be exhibiting architectural models of imaginary Modernist Utopian buildings, alongside work from emerging new artists, the best of the Fine Art graduates from across the region.

Also in Newbridge will be a retrospective of work by local artist Peter Hoon, who died last year. The new Carpet Shop Gallery on St John’s Street will show Alec Finlay’s ongoing project word-mapping the Peak District alongside Maxine Hall’s photos of local people taken last year.

In the Parish Room Ben Cove will be showing recent work ranging through sculpture and painting to video installation, and new graduates from Nottingham Trent University Decorative Arts programme will be exhibiting work that includes millinery, glass, porcelain, ceramics, fabrics and wall-coverings. St Mary’s Church has Glossop-artist Ghislaine Howard’s powerful paintings, while at the Heritage Centre Kate Genver celebrates the skill and ingenuity of Derbyshire farmers with a body of work investigating homemade tools and technologies.

The Makers’ Market crammed with lucious covetable craftworks returns to the Town Hall and the Memorial Hall, accompanied this year by a specially-selected exhibition of contemporary ironworks. There’s a performance programme to rock your socks off running throughout the Festival, and a second weekend of guided art walks and artist talks.

Full programme and online box office on the Festival website www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk, or enquiries to the office on 01629 824003

Last updated 9th of September


Home Library Service

Are you a keen reader but unable to get to the library due to ill health or infirmity? Do you know that you can arrange for books to be delivered to you, in your home, once a month by a member of the library staff or a volunteer, completely free of charge? If you or a friend would like to contact Matlock Library on 01629 582480 and ask for Irene or Alison, we can have a chat about what you would like and then, if it seems that this service is right for you, come and visit you at home. People with sight problems can be provided with large print or with audo books, and we can either choose books for you or you can put in requests.

Last updated 26th of August


News from the Railway


We have had a BBC film crew at a transformed Wirksworth Station
(masquerading as somewhere in West Yorkshire) for five days earlier this
month.  They have been filming a drama entitled "Five Days" and featured
several familiar faces.  Importantly, it is believed  the crew's presence in
town must have had a reasonable effect on local the economy from patronising
certain French-themed bistros in town to purchasing flowers in an abundance
for one of the big scenes.

Meanwhile, if anybody has been following Jimmy McGovern's 'The Street' on
BBC1, they might have seen our railway and not realised it.  The recent
episode following the return of an injured soldier (Jonas Armstrong, the
BBC's Robin Hood) from Afghanistan included several long scenes on our
railway with the suburbs of Manchester bring portrayed by the rooftops of
Bournebrook Avenue!  A link which should work for the next two days can be
found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lwdb8

We seem to get one or two filming contracts each year and owing to their
taking several days to film, they inevitably have an effect on the local
economy as a large team remains in town for several days.

The Testing Business

On September 11th (just in time for the Festival), we shall be running
another trade exhibition, with a number of rail engineering companies
exhibiting their products at Wirksworth Station.  Very gently, we have
built-up our reputation as a test site for Britain's Railways and the fact
that major players are willing to invest time and resources to exhibit at
Wirksworth has to speak volumes for our tenacity.

Details of this can be found http://www.mytesttrack.com/event.html. Hopefully, this should generate some good publicity for our industry activities.

Forthcoming Events

We have a packed schedule of events for the rest of the summer and the
autumn. Some noteworthy activities include supporting the opening weekend of the Festival and the model railway exhibition on 17th and 18th October.  As some will know, this event is at venues all over the town and brings in visitors from all over the UK.  We are now well and truly 'on the circuit' for this kind of event and as the line gets longer, so the attraction to railway enthusiasts tends to grow.

One very significant event in early October is the convention of the Railcar
Association on the 3rd and 4th.  Amongst the world of railcar preservation
this is the annual event and we have a confident expectation of receiving around 2,000 visitors over the weekend.

Next Year

Next year is the 'big one' for us.  In addition to it being the tenth
anniversary of staring clearance work on the line (can it really be a
decade?) we expect to have our first resident steam engine operating from
Easter and, of course, by the beginning of October we shall be running
passenger trains down the whole length of the line to Duffield.  The grant
from the East Midlands Development Agency gave us a huge boost and it has
allowed us to fund all the remaining work on the tack, including sidings at
Shottle and a loop at Duffield.  However, we still have much work to do to
provide a rebuilt platform at Duffield, parking  and an interchange with
main line services.  Part of the plan includes through ticketing, so it will
be possible to buy a Wirksworth to London ticket for the first time since
1947, while it will also be possible to buy a ticket to Wirksworth from
anywhere in the UK.

We shall finally be in the map!

I hope this will be of interest to you; I plan to publish a more detailed
newsletter in the next couple of weeks and should anybody want to receive a
copy, they can sign-up here: http://www.e-v-r.com/newsletter/signup.htm

Signed: Neil Ferguson-Lee, Director, WyvernRail plc

M +44 (0)777 572 0045; O +44 (0)6129 823076; H +44 (0) 1629 822806
Correspondence Address - Wirksworth Station, Station Road, Wirksworth,
Derbyshire.  DE4 4FB Tel: +44 (0) 1629 823076

WyvernRail plc is a company registered in England and Wales with company
numer 02754846


Last updated 24th of August


Best shoes in the World - from Wirksworth

In 1680 a family of shoemakers called Peale moved into Wirksworth. In 1791 Samuel Peale discovered how to waterproof leather using the newly introduced rubber latex from Brazil, and turpentine, and patented the idea. His waterproof boots became immensely popular, he made a fortune, and moved to London. The firm, called Peal and Company, continued to do well by hiring the best craftsmen, and sending salesmen round Europe, America and the Far East. They soon became known as the best shoemakers in the world. Alas, the world was changing, craftsmen were harder to find, and the firm closed in 1965. Shoes bearing the Peal name are still sold today - £500 a pair! Read more on www.wirksworth.org.uk/D25-PEAL.htm

Last updated 20th of August


Clippings in the wood

Video of Stoney Wood acoustic night 25 July 2009.

Last updated 21st of August


Dig for history on High Peak Trail

Local volunteers and professional archaeologists have teamed-up to investigate a buried remains of an engine house on the High Peak Trail. This is second year of an archaeological dig at the site of the Cromford Engine House half way up (down) Sheep Pasture Incline on the High Peak Trail. The engine was removed in 1857 when the two inclines were amalgamated into one and the site (a large depression) has been left untouched since. Working with archaeologists and members of the public, Derbyshire Countryside service has uncovered some of the walls, the place where the chains entered and left the building and the base of the chimney where the underground flue has also been discovered. Head Ranger Andy Pollock told Wirksworth.net 'This is all very exciting as we had no idea that most of this was there.' The dig finished on 26 July and Andy has been encouraging people to visit and take pictures.

Last updated 27th of July


The Derbyshire Festival

Despite the poor weather on Saturday 6th June, many people braved the elements to attend the Derbyshire Festival at Alton Manor, organised by Lady Winifred Hilton & her family and were rewarded for their optimism with a very welcome break in the rain. This allowed the schedule of most of the arranged events to be completed. Thanks to all those who attended, organised and took part in this very worthwhile event.

Last updated 27th of July


Reach for the Star Disc!

In conjunction with the Town Council, The Stoney Wood Group and a newly formed steering group, artist and sign maker Aidan Shingler, who lives and works in Wirksworth, is developing a project that will function as a community resource and education facility.

Conceived to inspire, entertain, engage and educate, The Star Disc is a 40ft (12m) diameter star chart that mirrors the northern hemisphere night sky, carved into black granite, surrounded by twelve stone seats that denote the twelve months of the year to allow orientation to the stars. A temple without walls, where people from all walks of life can connect to, commune with, and be moved by the mystery and magic of the stars. A 21st century stone circle that represents and evokes Heaven on Earth.

To be sited in Wirksworth’s Stoney Wood Community Woodland, a reclaimed quarry donated by Tarmac to Wirksworth’s Town Council, commanding views over the Ecclesbourne Valley.

The Star Disc will provide:

  • Amphitheatre for the performing arts
  • Music - Movement - Drama - Dance -Story telling -Poetry
  • Star chart for Stargazers
  • Education facility for Schools and Univerities
  • Communual space for Local Community
  • Venue for Wirksworth’s annual Festival of Visual and Performing Arts


  • Raise the profile of Wirksworth
  • Attract Tourists and by doing so attract trade
  • Enliven Local Heritage
  • Develop Wirksworth’s Stoney Wood Millennium Community Woodland
  • Assist environmental regeneration
  • Provide a community resource
  • Provide an Education facility and encourage learning
  • Enrich the cultural and creative life of local and regional community
  • Enable and facilitate artists and performers
  • Generate and facilitate new audiences

The first Star Disc Steering Group meeting was held on 8th June 2009.
Steering group comprises: Rosie Rennie - Architect
The Rennie Partnership Kevin Mann - Landscape Architect Project Manager of The John Flamsteed Memorial Park
Phil Richards - Photographer - School Library and Information Manager
Chris Bristow - Treasurer of The Stoney Wood Group
Aidan Shingler - Artist and creator of the Star Disc

The Star Disc will be realised when funding for the project is secured. For more information: www.stardiscenterprise.co.uk

Last updated 11th of June


New Exercise referral scheme comes to Wirksworth!

Gyms have a reputation for being places only for the young super fit, but this is no longer the case!  Referral sessions are held where the Health Referral Instructor and Health Trainer are there to specifically support and encourage people on the Health Referral programme throughout their 20 sessions and beyond.

Wirksworth is renowned for its walks for Health but less have heard of the ‘Derbyshire Dales Active’ Health Referral Programme aimed at people (16+) whose health would benefit through exercise, such as those who are overweight (BMI 30+), have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, in recovery from a stroke, experiencing osteoporosis, asthma, controlled COPD, osteoarthritis, chronic joint and muscle pain or those in recovery from mental health issues or experiencing mild anxiety/ depression.

You do not have to wear special leisure wear, just comfortable clothing and flat sturdy shoes, preferably trainers. 

Taking part in regular physical activity will help improve your medical condition, help you feel fitter and healthier, improve your heart and lung efficiency, develop stronger muscles and bones, help you lose weight and leave you with more energy and feeling more confident.

The programme is heavily subsidised with sessions costing only £1 after the initial £5 induction.
If you are interested and think that you might be suitable talk to your GP or Practice Nurse who can refer you or for more information contact the Health Referral Administrator on 01773 525000

Last updated 1st of June


Hourly trains at Cromford

Comford station grand openingEast Midlands Trains announced today that they will introduce Cromford & Whatstandwell stops in all hourly services from December 2009.

This is great news as up until now the Matlock to Derby line has one train an hour but only half of them stop at Cromford and Whatstandwell - the two most popular staions for Wirksworth residents! This follows a successful review of the service since the introduction of the new timetable last December.

Friends of Derwent Valley Line welcome this move by East Midlands Trains and encourage all members to help promote the line and publicise the enhanced timetable. The announcement was made at the ceremony to open the refurbished Cromford Station and Cromford Station Waiting Room by the Duke of Devonshire. For more details of the Derwent Valley line http://www.fdvl.org.uk/


Last updated 29th of May


N.O.W newsletter out!

The May editiopn of the New Opportunities Wirksworth newsletter is available here to download, keeping us abreast of all the developments from the NOW team.

Features include:

  • Street music
  • Farmers market
  • Hebden bridge trip
  • Wirksworth film
  • Singing group
  • The festival
  • A taste of wirksworth







Last updated 28th of May


Wirksworth welcomes Frankenau!

Over the Well Dressing weekend, a small party are visiting and staying with Wirksworth families from Frankenau, our German twin town. the party includes Gerhard the Mayor of Frankenau.

Meet them in Stoney Wood at 1pm on Saturday for a picnic!!

Last updated 22nd of May


Captain Cholesterol show to encourage healthy eating

As part of the NOW Farmers' Markets commitment to healthy eating, there will be a FREE show by a national theatre company for children and their parents at the Memorial Hall on 6th June at 11am. It's called "Captain Cholesterol" and is a fun-filled mystery that brings home the healthy eating message in an entertainment packed show.

The show's story goes like this...

At the Much Merrydown fete Granny Smith celebrates 1st prize in the apple growing competition. But triumph soon turns to disaster when one of her rivals collapses with a bad case of the colley-wobbles. What is causing this appalling reaction? Doctor Dickie Gripes is darned if he knows. When the FBI (Fruit Bureau of Investigation) becomes involved it's obvious there's more to this than meets the eye… X -Files meets Hetty Wainthrop in this mystery thriller. The brains of Fox Mouldy and Dana Scullery are pitted against alien fruit and an evil plan to take over the world.

If you want to eat more healthily and you want your children to be inspired to eat a better diet, then come along at 11am on 6th June. Seats are limited so it will be first come, first served. The show is suitable for primary and junior children and their parents. And bring your shopping basket to buy some lovely goodies from the farmers' market at the same time!

More information, contact Shirley Mann 01629 822375/shirleymann@hotmail.com

Last updated 18th of May


Back after the break

The Scouting Movement has been in Wirksworth since the forties and has seen many generations of young people grow into adulthood carrying fond memories with them; after a few years absence, we are now pleased to announce that a new generation of children and young people will have the opportunity of sharing the fun and excitement.

From June 1st a small team of volunteers will be running a Beaver Colony (boys and girls from 6-8 years) in the Parish Rooms, St Mary’s Gate, Wirksworth -5.45 - 7.00pm, from which they will eventually move to Cubs followed by Scouts. If you would like to enrol your child or offer assistance, please contact Richard on 01629 826 402.

Another team will be starting the Cub Pack and Scout Troop in the New Year.

We are looking to refurbish the old Scout Headquarters on Cemetery Lane, Wirksworth and work is afoot to secure funding to bring the building up to the needs of modern day Scouting.

As we embark on re-starting the movement in Wirksworth, we also thought it would be a nice idea for the new Beavers, Cubs and Scouts to be able to look back and see what a rich historic group they were enrolling into.

We are hoping to set up a web page, linked to Wirksworth.net, featuring audio dialogue, photographs etc from former Wirksworth Scouts and Guides, archiving their memories of the group. If you would like to contribute please contact Richard on 01629 826 402.

Last updated 6th of May


The Red Lion Hotel re-opens rooms.

The Red Lion Hotel are proud to announce the opening of their  fully refurbished three en-suite bedrooms. The three rooms are all fitted with showers, tea and coffee facilities and offer views of the marketplace and town hall. Each room is individually designed with its own unique style.

This building's many listed features are on display including the grand staircase by which the rooms are accessed. There are twin, double or triple rooms on offer and breakfast can be made to suit dietary requirements.

 To book or for more information please telephone 01629 822214.


Last updated 28th of April


Local radio encroaching?

Wirksworth has been served for many years by BBC local radio along with several commercial regional station which have come and gone (anyone remember GEM AM?).

It seems that now really local commercial radio is taking off. The web site of Wirksworth wireless broadband supplier W3Z carries a link to Amber Sound radio and we hear that Ashbourne launched its own station in July last year, Chesterfield has peak FM and Derby has Ram FM.

Ashbourne radio claims on its web site to be planning an internet based radio service for Wirksworth. This would work through our broadband networks to our computers but reliable sources do tell us there may be plans for Ashbourne radio to offer a full blown radio service to our Wirksworth. One local commentator said she had doubts that Wirksworth would identify with an Ashbourne station but then invited others to jon the discussion on the Wirksworth.net forum.

Last updated 16th of April


Wirksworth Incline Race - record entry

The Incline Race attracted a record entry of 143 last Sunday. The race went round a new course taking in the Trig Point on top of Middleton Moor, yes, there is one! The Infants Race for under 10s attracted nearly 40 youngsters for a second year. See the Incline Race's own page under 'Communities' for all results

Last updated 7th of April




New Singing Group                                                                                                                                     

In response to requests from the local community, it is intended to form a singing group based in Wirksworth.

All are welcome from the most timid beginners to experienced singers.

  • No previous experience is necessary.
  • No musical knowledge is presumed.
  • No audition to intimidate you.

The repertoire will be an eclectic mix of styles in three and four part harmony, predominantly in English but also using material from the rest of the world.

 The group will be led by Lester Simpson, who sings with the internationally acclaimed acapella trio Coope Boyes and Simpson.

Lester also teaches two harmony groups for Adult Education in Derby and Derbyshire, and has lead harmony workshops in the UK, Europe and America.

 Contact Lester Simpson; 01629 820256

  •  Sessions begin on Thursday 16th of April
  • Red Lion, Wirksworth  7.15 pm.- 9.15 pm.

Last updated 6th of April


Ellen MacArthur visits AGS

Ellen MacArthur paid an a impromptu visit to her old school last week. In the area visiting her family, she called in at Anthony Gell for an informal chat with Headteacher, David Baker and then spent half an hour in the school library  with a surprised group of sixth-formers. Whilst there she took a look at the two books on sailing which she borrowed from the school library in the early 1990's and which now have pride of place in the school's collection.
Staff and students were delighted by Ellen's visit and Mr Baker said:" It was a great pleasure to see Ellen again- she is a charming,person and our students felt easy in her company we are very proud of what she has achieved - she is wonderful role model for our young people"

Ellen commented:

"It was fantastic to have the opportunity to come back to Anthony Gell and to reminisce with Headteacher David Baker - in particular, we were remembering a school trip to Paris which was really good fun! I was glad to have a chance to chat with some of the pupils too - they all seem very motivated and happy there, which is great to see."

Last updated 3rd of April


Clean-up day

On March 28th, about 60 people, from infants to senior citizens, gave up their Saturday morning to help give the town a clean sweep. Volunteers went round in teams to clear and clean pathways, in addition to which they cut back overgrown hedgerows. In particular, they picked up a staggering amount of litter as well as removing various items of debris right across Wirksworth. Among those taking part were residents of Wirksworth, various local organizations including Churches Together, the Wirksworth Colts Under 18 Girls Football Team, members of the Wirksworth Fairtrade Group and even our community policemen, PCs Doug Eyres & Jamie Millard. Support was given by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. The Town Council expressed their thanks to all those who helped with the clean-up. Town Councillor Mike Ratcliffe said: "We want to treat our own environment with respect. This event certainly has made a big difference to the area and will be greatly appreciated by all who come to visit this beautiful part of the county." He added: "We are hoping to make this an annual event, to make Wirksworth an even better place to live in." Andy Pollock, Project Leader, said: " The project was a marvellous community effort and a great success. It was typical of Wirksworth to pull together like this."

If you were part of the clean-up team click HERE to see the other photos

Last updated 3rd of April


Spring Forward with Wirksworth WEA!

Now the clocks have changed it must officially be Spring and Wirksworth WEA have organised two short courses to encourage us all to get up off the sofa and out into the fresh air.

So why not make the credit crunch the final push you need to have a go at growing your own vegetables? You don't need a huge garden or an allotment: any sized patch can give you fresh, delicious and healthy produce. And the exercise comes as an added bonus.

Local gardening expert Jan Forrester will be revealing the secrets of successful sowing, planting, harvesting and storing, as well as many other tips of the trade in a course of 5 meetings including a local garden visit.

Grow your own veg! starts on 21 April. And underlying the soil in our gardens are more fundamental roots than those of plants. There must be many of us who have lived in Derbyshire for years without really understanding how our amazing rocky scenery was formed. The story the land can tell us is a fascinating one and is revealed in the course of four out-and-about visits, including Masson Hill and Bradford Dale.

Exploring "The Roots of the Landscape" is led by Judy Rigby and begins on 23 April. Find out more about both these short courses by phoning Wirksworth WEA on 01629 825010. Who knows, there may even be sunshine!

Last updated 31st of March


AGS Newsletter Spring 2009


Click on the cover to read the latest AGS newsletter

Last updated 27th of March


Anthony Gell School's new website

Anthony Gell School's new-look website has been launched at www.anthonygell.co.uk.

The site is intended to help us share the highpoints in the life of the school with the wider community and to provide key information to potential students and their parents.This new site is easier to update and offers opportunites for students to get involved in its development.. A group of students are currently working on a revamped Sixth Form page and Philip Whitehead from Year 11 has done a lot of  work on  the site.

The site is photo-rich, with links to web-albums of photos of key events.  It has a news-page, an events diary and links to all the school's Newsletters and key publications.

Library Manager, Phil Richards who looks after the site said " We have tried to make the site both attractive and easy to navigate and we welcome feedback from parents ,students and the wider community."

The website is designed to complement ( and to link to)  the school's Kaleidos Learning Platform which will be open to current staff students,  parents and governors. As well as providing a way of publishing learning tasks and resources to students, Kaleidos will enable parents to access information about their children's progess electronically.

In addition Kaleidos will offer staff and students the opportunity to develop  Interest Spaces ( like websites) which can contain news, images, calendars and document libraries for school trips, clubs and other activities. This will also enable  trip letters and other letters to parents  to be published online.

Kaleidos is due to be launched with Year 7 students and their parents early in the summer term

Last updated 27th of March


OFSTED success for Anthony Gell School

Staff, students and governors at Anthony Gell School are celebrating the outcome of their recent Ofsted inspection which took place on 11th and 12th March 2009.

Four inspectors visited the school, led by David Simpson HMI who has led a number of inspections around the County.  The team observed many lessons, held meetings with groups of staff, students and Governors and interviewed members of the school's Senior Leadership Team.  They also examined lots of evidence including detailed analysis of recent exam results, our curriculum, the systems in place to protect and support students and the effect our Sports College Status has had on the whole school.

Their conclusion was that Anthony Gell is a good and improving school.  They were awarded a grade of 'Good' in most categories and 'Outstanding' in all the others.  This shows strong progress from the already good position at the time of the last report in March 2006.  The school is particularly pleased that the inspectors said that it was rightly ambitious to be an outstanding school by the time of the next inspection. 

Headteacher, David Baker, said he was absolutely delighted with the Ofsted report.  "I think the report sums up the school perfectly," he said.  "The inspectors really understood how Anthony Gell works and saw all that it provides for its students and the wider community.  I am really pleased that all the hard work put in by staff, students and governors over the past three years has been recognised.  I would like to thank everyone who has put in so much effort  to support the school and to drive it forward."

The inspection came in the same week that David gained his long service award for working for Derbyshire County Council for 25 years.  He joined Anthony Gell School's maths department aged 21 in 1983 and has worked here ever since.  He was appointed Headteacher in January 2006. David said "I am immensely proud of all the staff and students at the school and see it as a real honour to be the Head of the school.  I am confident we can improve still further in the next few years."


Last updated 27th of March


NOW supports Shop Local campaign

Shop near-buy and boost local towns, urges County Council.

A campaign encouraging people to shop local and support traders is being launched by Derbyshire County Council and is applauded by NOW (New Opportunities Wirksworth).

The `Near-Buy, Shop Local’ campaign is just one way the county council is trying to help people during the credit crunch and will be launched over the coming weeks across Derbyshire.

Posters and window stickers will be displayed across towns and in shop windows carrying the Near-Buy, Shop Local logo, urging people to spend their money in local shops, keep their towns alive and boost the local economy.

As NOW has always maintained, the reasons to shop locally include the fact it is easy and convenient, keeps and creates local jobs, can be a sociable experience and shoppers can get a friendlier and more personal service. Thriving local shops and buzzing towns can also attract other businesses and services to run alongside them in the area.

Last updated 3rd of April


Community Fayre online

As usual, it promises to be packed with lots of interesting information, news and interviews with people who have stories to tell.  What's more...it's FREE!

The electronic version of Community Fayre, the newspaper for local folk living in Wirksworth and surrounding areas is now online in PDF format.

Click on the image to download it, or use this link.

If you cannot open the file, please download a free PDF reader like Foxit PDF 

Last updated 24th of March


New Crossing at St john Street

On the 16th March, work will begin on the Puffin Crossing outside Mondo Bello and the Memorial Garden. This should provide much safer passage across the main road for the dozens of people that cross there in a blind spot every day!

Last updated 11th of March


Town gains Fairtrade status

We've Done It!

Town gains Fairtrade status

Saturday March 7th was a day of celebration for Wirksworth, after being granted Fairtrade Town status by the Fairtrade Foundation. The day started with a coffee morning at Mondo Bello in Waltham House, and was highlighted by a Fairtrade Fortnight lunch at Le Mistral, the unveiling of a new town sign incorporating the Fairtrade identity, followed by cutting (and sharing!) a celebration cake by Reg Dean (106), and presentation of the Fairtrade Town certificate to the town Mayor, Cllr. Frank Bark. A Celebration Party in the evening rounded off the events with a quality line-up of entertainment and dancing in the Town Hall. See the Wirksworth Fairtrade Group page for full details.

What is a Fairtrade Town?

A Fairtrade Town has made a commitment to supporting Fairtrade and using products with the FAIRTRADE mark. Any area can work towards Fairtrade status and everyone needs to be involved! Businesses, community organisations, faith groups, schools and individuals all contribute to making their area a Fairtrade Town by pledging to do what they can to support Fairtrade and promote the FAIRTRADE mark.

Why become a Fairtrade Town?

By choosing to support Fairtrade, our community can add its voice to demands for a trade system that puts people, not profit, at the heart of the transaction. The Wirksworth Fairtrade Group hopes that by achieving Fairtrade Town status we will bring together neighbours, groups, the local authority and businesses towards a common goal and a shared achievement. The town was awarded its prestigious status after all five ethical goals had been met, requiring businesses, workplaces and community organisations, together with the Town Council, to support the cause. The Fairtrade Foundation gave Wirksworth a glowing testimonial in which they praised the town's efforts over the past two years. They were particularly impressed by the town's Fairtrade logo, the presence of the Traid Links shop and the dedication of the Wirksworth Fairtrade Group. A spokesman for the Group said: " 'Well done' to all the businesses, organisations and supporters in Wirksworth whose help made this award possible. Becoming a Fairtrade Town involved hard work but was good fun and has proved to be a great way to bring people together. It is also an achievement everyone can celebrate and sends out a powerful message about how our community wants trade to work. Now begins the task of consolidating and expanding on this major success and maintaining our accreditation in the future."

Last updated 8th of March


Kirk Ireton Marathon-in-a-Month

At Kirk Ireton Primary School we are launching a charity challenge called ‘Marathon-In-A-Month’. This will involve the children walking or running a mile a day for 26 school days – ending on the Friday before the headteacher runs the London marathon.

We are raising money for the NSPCC and are asking children to try and raise money by getting sponsored. Our launch day will be on Friday 6th March at 11.30am on the village field. We will have press coverage and a very special guest running alongside us for our first mile. Every other day, we will be aiming to do the mile during the lunch-break, but if anyone misses a session for any reason, they can catch up by coming to the ‘Morning Jog’ or there will be some catch-up sessions after school as required.

If you would like to find out more, or to see how things are progressing, please visit the school website at www.kirkiretonprimary.co.uk or www.justgiving.com/pj2009challenges where you can also make an online donation.

Last updated 2nd of March


Wirksworth in the snow

Why not add your photos to this new Flickr group and share them with the world


Last updated 9th of February


Community Fayre online

As usual, it promises to be packed with lots of interesting information, news and interviews with people who have stories to tell.  What's more...it's FREE!

The electronic version of Community Fayre, the newspaper for local folk living in Wirksworth and surrounding areas is now online in PDF format.

Click on the image to download it, or use this link.

If you cannot open the file, please download a free PDF reader like Foxit PDF 

Last updated 5th of January


New Police Team for Wirksworth

WIRKSWORTH has two new community policemen.  PCs Doug Eyres and Jamie Millard are assigned to the town, which also has Sue Lester as a police community support officer.

They can be contacted at the police office in Oat Hill.



Last updated 5th of January


George scoops woodland logo prize

Over 200 children entered a competition to design a new logo for Wirksworth’s community woodland, Stoney Wood. Local people voted for their choice of the top twenty when they went on display recently in Wirksworth library. The winning logo, by a clear margin, was designed by 10 year old George Peck from Wirksworth Junior School. George is pictured receiving his prize tee shirt and certificate from Mayor of Wirksworth Frank Bark at a special assembly. “We are absolutely delighted by both the number and the sheer quality of the entries we received” said Denise Bristow, the group’s chairperson Stoney Wood was given to the people of Wirksworth as a millennium present in 1999 by Tarmac Plc. Consisting of Stoneycroft quarry, suitably filled in and landscaped, the wood was planted by local adults and school children. Owned by Wirksworth Town Council, and managed on its behalf by the Stoney Wood Group, the site is extensively used by local people. For more information on the Stoney Wood Group, and how you can become a member (£1 per annum) please contact Denise on 01629 824258

Last updated 19th of December


New ECO Centre at the Stone Centre

Derbyshire County Council are planning to build the country’s first adult community education eco centre in Derbyshire after they were awarded almost £900,000 from the Learning and Skills Council for full details go to http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/education/adcommed/eco_centre/default.asp







Last updated 19th of December