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Proposed new constitution for Cromford Institute   September 2012      News Archive

The governing document of the Institute dates from 1924 and is set out with hereditary trustees and as a men only club.
It needs to be brought up to date so with this in view a new constitution is being proposed. The Institute can then be registered as a charity and vested in the Official Custodian of Charities and the site and building land registered.
To start the process a public meeting to adopt the constitution is to be held at the Institute at 7:30pm on Tuesday 4th September.

The Constitution was adopted at the meeting on 4 September.
The meeting approved the vesting of the premises with the official Custodian of Charities, and that action should be being taken to register the building and land with the Land Registry.

A copy of the constitution can be downloaded as a PDF document

Fourth Medal in the Olympics?   5 August 2012                                          News Archive

David Mitchell, from Scarthin Books in Cromford, has come up with the idea of marking the achievements of those who come fourth in their event at the Olympics with a medal. There are 204 nations competing in the Games, a huge increase over the 84 nations in 1960, and David believes that recognition should be given to competitors coming in fourth.
He suggested to the IOC that a pewter medal should be created, but as his idea was not taken up he has had the medals made himself. So far he has sent six medals to fourth place winners and hopes this will become the norm in future Olympics.
David has been interviewed on Central News and the BBC

Cromford Steam Rally 2012,   1 August 2012                                                News Archive

The Cromford Steam Rally Society have had to cancel this year's rally due to the state of the ground.
This decision has not been made lightly, but the amount of rainfall over the last few weeks has completely saturated the ground making it unsafe for vehicles and the public.
This is only the second time the Rally has been cancelled. It was called off in 2002 after heavy rain resulted in the show field becoming waterlogged.

Church Walk gates,   11 July 2012                                                                 News Archive

The gates on 11.7.12

One and a half cheers!
 The gates at the entrance to Church Walk from the Crossroads have been partly replaced, 11 years after they were taken away for repair after being damaged by a JCB.
 The left hand gate, viewed from the road, has been put in position and is painted green.
  See News Archive for the full story.

Celebrating Cromford 2012.                                                                 News Archive

decorated duck

The 8th Celebrating Cromford took place over the weekend of June 22 - 24 and was a resounding success. The weekend's events were launched by Ian Page who ran with the "Olimpyc" torch to light the Cromford flame at the Community Centre. He was given a rousing welcome from DaleDiva and the assembled crowd.
There was a packed programme of events, including old favourites such as the decorated ducks and the traction engine tug. A children's "Crazy Olimpycs" on the school playing field included welly wanging, traditional games and a tug of war.
Visitors were able to visit the lock-up, Pisani's chapel and open gardens.
Evening entertainment was provided by a variety of bands playing folk, soul, swing, jazz and rock.

Photos of Celebrating Cromford 2012.   More photos on

Cromford's Diamond Jubilee Beacon,   4th June 2012                      News Archive

Cromford Jubilee Beacon


Stalwart Cromford residents gathered on the High Peak Trail by the Sheep Pasture Engine House to see the lighting of Cromford's Jubilee Beacon. The beacon was lit by parish councillors Barbara Bowman and Carol Easton.
The Crich beacon could be seen from the fields below the Trail.



Diamond Jubilee Street Party,  4 June 2012                                         News Archive

The Street Party to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee held on Scarthin Promenade on Bank Holiday Monday was a huge success. Party goers, many dressed as queens, courtiers, knights and rather more eccentric characters, enjoyed a bring and share picnic at three trestle tables.
There was period music and entertainment for the children.
Reminiscences of the Coronation were collected and there are plans to put them in a Memory Book.
The event was organised by the Celebrating Cromford committee and the Boat Inn.

Scarthin street party.

Click to see a LARGER version of this Click to see a LARGER version of this Click to see a LARGER version of this

Scenes at the Scarthin street party. 

Scarthin declares Independence shock, April 2012                        News Archive

On Sunday 1st. April, Scarthin declared its Independence from "Con Dem Britain". Its new citizens produced a declaration of independence, a cabinet of self-elected ministers, some flags and a border control post opposite the Boat where visitors were searched for contraband and given entry visas.
The police were called by someone lacking a sense of humour but they entered into the spirit of the day and were granted a transit visa.

The event was recorded for posterity, click to view

There's a Hole in Cromford Hill, 30 March 2012                                 News Archive

The scene on Friday.

The scene on Sunday


Yesterday evening, (Thursday), a hole appeared on Cromford Hill between Bakers Lane and the entrance to Dene Quarry.

It was spotted by a Derbyshire County Council highways officer who ordered the closure of the road.

It appears that a water main had burst and water has been draining away down a high voltage electric cable in a clay duct.

More ground has been washed away causing the road to collapse and the hole has become much bigger.

Investigations are underway to find out whether electricity cables have been damaged.

By Sunday (1 April) another hole had appeared and the problem was still being assessed.

The road re-opened on Friday 6 April.


Christmas Market, 10 December 2011                                                  News Archive

Stalls on Scarthin Promenade

The first Cromford Christmas Market was held on Scarthin Promenade on Saturday. More than 20 stalls had a variety of goods, including cakes, jewellery, pottery, toys and crafts.
Santa Claus was a popular figure with his sack of presents for the children.

Cromford Band in concert

Mulled wine, roast chestnuts and pork and stuffing cobs were available, and the Boat Inn did a brisk trade.
Local school choirs and Cromford Band entertained with seasonal songs and music.

Goods for sale

Organiser Dave Greenhough said it had been a very successful day, with hundreds of people attending.
All the money raised will go towards a new Cromford sports pavilion.

Lantern Procession, 12 Nov 2011                                                              News Archive

Cromford Lanterns.

A Lantern Procession in Cromford was attended by over 100 local people carrying more than 60 home-made lanterns. Most of the lanterns were made during free workshops held the week before at Cromford school and the Methodist Church Hall.
The procession left from the school on North Street en route to Cromford Community Centre where there was a fantastic firework display. Cromford's two entries in Matlock Bath's Illuminations, Postman Pat's helicopter and the De Lorean car from Back To The Future, made an impressive last appearance on Cromford Millpond.
It was a magical evening for parents and children alike. The organiser of the event, Celebrating Cromford, is hoping to make the Cromford Lantern Procession an annual fixture.

Apple Day in Cromford   22 October 2011                                                News Archive

It was a beautiful autumn day for the annual Apple Day in Cromford. Three apple presses were set up on Scarthin Promenade and many people brought along their apples to see them being pressed (or had a go themselves) into delicious juice to take home.
There were stalls selling apple produce, traditional apple games, apple identification, the longest peel competition (won by Nigel with 174cm!) and Morris dancers. This year Scarthin Bookshop and Celebrating Cromford were delighted to present the first "Putting the ART in ScARThin" to run concurrently with a dozen artists exhibiting their art on the railings around the Mill Pond.
Altogether a resounding success and a great day out.

Derwent Valley Line surges ahead   August 2011                                 News Archive

The Derwent Valley Line has been placed third in a table of the country's fastest growing branch lines. The route, between Matlock and Derby, calls at stations at Matlock Bath, Cromford, Whatstandwell, Ambergate and Duffield.
Over the past four years, passenger numbers have grown by 86%, increasing to 399,000 in the year 2010-2011.
The jump in passengers reflects the impact of people choosing to holiday at home and visiting tourist areas. Local residents are also making more use of the train for commuting or shopping.

Changes to Transpeak bus service?   July 2011                                   News Archive

The Transpeak bus service which runs from Manchester to Nottingham and passes through Cromford is to be operated by a new company.
Trent Barton, which currently runs the service, is to merge its Dove Holes unit with Bowers, based at Chapel-en-le-Frith.
High Peak, the new company, will start operating in the late summer or early autumn depending on when it is granted a licence by the Dept for Transport.
Operating from Dove Holes, it will have a fleet of 50 buses and about 100 employees. High Peak will also take over the Skyline 199 from Buxton to Manchester and a local Buxton service.
No changes to the timetable have so far been announced.

Luke in Heroes Run   June 2011                                                               News Archive

Luke Gorse, who was seriously injured in Cromford when he came off his bicycle and was crushed under a lorry, is taking part in the Air Ambulance Heroes Run on Sunday June 19th at Locko Park in Spondon. The Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance flew Luke to hospital where doctors thought he might not survive.
Luke, now 14, made a good recovery and will be running with a group of friends in support of the air ambulance.
The accident happened on 3 September last year. Go to News Archive for a full report.
See to learn more about the Air Ambulance service.

Trees to be felled on Cromford Moor   June 2011                                 News Archive

The Forestry Commission is cutting down 3,500 trees in 15 acres of Cromford Moor this summer. Many of the trees have been attacked by the fungus red band needle blight disease which stunts the growth of or kills Corsican pine. This commercial crop will be replaced with Norway spruce and fir to maintain a good supply of wood. There is no risk to wildlife as many animals and birds, including the nocturnal nightjar, thrive in cleared areas.
Other trees in the 200-acre woodland such as larch, fir and oak are not affected.
See News Archive December 2007 "Cromford Moor Regeneration"

Willersley Castle is buzzing.   May 2011                                                  News Archive

New Willersley Castle manager Kevin George has brought his bee hives with him and is planning to teach guests and school children about the art of beekeeping. The honey produced by the two hives will be on the breakfast menu and jars will be for sale in the hotel.

Derwent House for sale.   14 April 2011                                                 News Archive

Derwent House is located on Mill Lane within the grounds of Willersley Castle. It has been used as offices by the Christian Guild, the owners of the Castle, since the 1980s. Now permission has been obtained for change of use back to residential. The money raised will be used to overhaul the Castle roof, which needs repairs amounting to £425,000.
The three storey stone detached property has three reception rooms and five bedrooms. The frontage was built around 1800, while the rear is believed to be the remains of a stone-built farmhouse, predating the Castle.
Marketed by Scargill Mann & Co, Matlock. Offers in the region of £500,000.

Carol from Cromford Competition Winner   13 January 2011              News Archive

Carol Easton, popular postmistress at Cromford Post Office, has won the Matlock Mercury's Super Server competition. The newspaper's readers voted for Carol in recognition of her part in keeping the post office open when it was threatened with closure, and for her helpful and friendly manner with customers.
At a ceremony in Matlock Carol was presented with her prize, a television donated by C Farmer Ltd, by Robin Farmer and Mercury editor Amanda Hatfield.


Raft Race Cancelled.  23 December 2010                                                News Archive

The Boxing Day raft race which starts at Matlock and finishes at Cromford has been cancelled because of dangerous conditions on the River Derwent. Melting snow has raised the water level, debris has lodged against the bridge in Matlock and a large tree has fallen into the river creating a hazard to the rafts.
The annual race, which is organised by the Derbyshire Association of Sub Aqua Clubs, has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years, but the event could be scrapped permanently if volunteers do not come forward to help the organisers.
Anyone willing to help out at next year's raft race can contact Richard Middleton on 01332 343216 or visit the club's website

Jail Sentence for Bank Robber.  23 December 2010                                News Archive

Alan Murray, 58, of Pilmoor, York has been jailed for his part in an armed robbery at Lloyds Bank in Cromford in 1985. Murray will serve ten years. His two accomplices have not been traced.
Mr John Power, the security guard, was injured during the raid when he was hit with the butt of a shotgun.
See reports of August 5 and 26 March 2010.

Death of Mr Arnold Crosby.  December 2010                                             News Archive

Mr Arnold Crosby died on 8th December 2010, aged 87 years, after a long illness. The widower of Norma, he leaves daughters Pamela and Gillian,sons-in-law Richard and David and five grandchildren.
Arnold had a long record of service to the community. Following his retirement from the County Council he became a Parish Councillor. Over the years he chaired the council several times and served on finance and planning working parties. He was also the representative of the council as a trustee of the Almshouses. He was a member of Wirksworth Rotary Club and a volunteer with the Arkwright Society.
He will be much missed by his friends and colleagues.
A Service of Thanksgiving for his life was held at St. Mary's Church, Wirksworth, on Tuesday December 21st.

Snow hits Cromford.   10th December 2010                                                News Archive

Cromford in snow.
    The scene in Cromford on Thursday 2nd December 2010

Snow began falling on Friday night 26th November, reaching depths of 18 inches in places (45 cm). Temperatures fell to -11°C at night and -5°C during the day.
Although the main road was gritted, side roads and pavements were not treated. Cars were abandoned, some people were unable to get to work and the elderly were marooned in their homes. Cromford school closed and there were no postal deliveries.
The thaw set in on Thursday, 9th December, but even now (Friday) pavements are covered in packed snow and ice.

Death of local sportsman.   October 2010                                      News Archive

Mr Ian Buxton has died at his home in Matlock on October 1st at the age of 72. Mr Buxton was a talented sportsman, playing both cricket and football professionally. He had a long career with Derby County, turning out for 145 games between 1959 and 1968, before going on to play for Luton Town, Notts County and Ilkeston Town. During his time with Derbyshire Cricket Club he played 350 matches over fifteen seasons.
Ian was born in Cromford, his parents were the owners of a shoe shop where the Market Place Restaurant now is. He attended Cromford school and Anthony Gell grammar school in Wirksworth where he was captain of cricket and football, representing Derbyshire at both sports.
In June 2007, Ian officially opened Celebrating Cromford and presented the prizes in the children's painting competition. He spoke fondly of his childhood in Cromford, and recounted some of his boyhood adventures in the village.
Bereaved are his wife Doreen and two daughters.

Grant for Cromford Mill.   27th September 2010                                      News Archive

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded Cromford Mill a grant of 2 million. The money will be spent on creating an interactive visitor and exhibition centre in Building 17. Plans also include business units to be used by the creative industries, arts and crafts and music producers. A total of 4m is needed and applications for other grants have been submitted.
This 5 storey building is the largest on the site: viewed from the road it is situated between the aquaduct and the closed gate.
In October 2001 the East Midlands Development Agency transferred a grant of 240,000 to the Arkwright Society. This meant money from the 1.8m grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in May 2001 could be released for restoration work at Cromford Mill.
The Arkwright Society began restoring Cromford Mill in 1979.

Taxi Driver Remembered.   18th September 2010                                  News Archive

Stuart Ludlam plaque.

A memorial ceremony was held today in Matlock to remember Mr Stuart Ludlam, a year after he was murdered at Cromford railway station.
After a minute's silence and the laying of flowers a plaque was unveiled by his teenage sons, Jonathan and Matthew.
The plaque can be seen on a seat on Bakewell Road outside the town taxi rank.
See report of 30 June 2010

Cyclist and Lorry in Accident in Cromford.   4th September 2010          News Archive

A shocking accident happened yesterday afternoon, Friday 3rd September, at the junction of Cromford Hill and Water Lane. A group of boys from Derby was cycling down the Hill as a 16 tonne aggregate lorry also heading down the Hill was waiting to turn left into Water Lane. Several of the cyclists crossed the junction but the driver was unaware that Luke Gorse had lost control of his bicycle and slid under his vehicle. As the lorry moved off the back wheels ran over the boy, who suffered a crushed pelvis and severe bruising to his leg.
First aid was administered by climbing instructor Tom Allsopp and a passing doctor before the arrival of police, paramedics, two fire engines and an ambulance.
13-year-old Luke was eventually carried by stretcher up the Hill and down North Street to an air ambulance waiting on the school playing field, and was taken to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.
Update: Luke underwent surgery to re-construct his pelvis and spent four weeks in hospital. He is in a wheelchair and faces a long road to recovery.
I am sure that those residents of Cromford who witnessed the accident or came upon the upsetting scene will join with me in wishing Luke all the best and a full recovery.
A Facebook group has been set up to support Luke.
Update December 29: It has been reported that Luke has confounded medical opinion by walking and riding his bike three months after his pelvis was crushed under a 16 tonne lorry in Cromford. Treatment by paramedics at the scene, the skill of the doctors at the Queen's Medical Centre and his youth all contributed to his quick recovery.
Luke still has plates and pins holding his pelvis together, and is having weekly hydrotherapy and physiotherapy sessions.

New Blue Bag Collection Scheme.   6th September 2010                        News Archive

Derbyshire Dales District Council is expanding its household recycling service to include food and drinks cans. Householders have received a re-usable blue bag which will replace the current clear plastic bag. The council will collect washed food and drink cans along with newspapers and magazines in the blue bag. The blue box will continue to be used for glass bottles and jars.
The new schemes starts on Monday 6th September.

Success for DaleDiva.   29th August 2010                                            News Archive

DaleDiva celebrate their win.

The Cromford based women's harmony chorus DaleDiva has won the Channel 5 show Don't Stop Believing, broadcast on 22 August, beating five other groups who had reached the final. They sang and danced to No More Tears to get through to the last two, when their performance of Beyonce's hit Single Ladies saw them storm to victory.
Yesterday the choir performed for 2 hours in Hall Leys Park, Matlock, to show appreciation for the support they have received locally, and were presented with a certificate by the Mayor of Matlock, councillor Steven Flitter.
DaleDiva was awarded with a record contract and will release an album in October.
The choir, founded by Ally Law in November 2007, has 57 members aged 23 to 82, who come from Cromford, Matlock, Wirksworth, Belper, Derby and Chesterfield.
You can see clips of DaleDiva performing on the show and backstage chats on, MySpace and YouTube, where you can also see Ally give a dance tutorial on how to perform "Single Ladies" yourself. You can also find "DaleDiva" on Facebook.

Caravan and Camping Site opens in Cromford.   25th August 2010       News Archive

The Camping and Caravan Club now has a small campsite at Alison House. It accepts up to five caravans or motorhomes. Tents are also allowed. There are toilet and washing facilities, and a chemical disposal point.
Customers are able to use the bar, lounge and restaurant in Alison House.
Access is from the A6 and Intake Lane.

Wall Plaques for Cromford Station and waiting room.  7 August 2010     News Archive

The commemorative wall plaques awarded to Cromford railway station and waiting room by the Railway Heritage Trust, for being the best preserved station in the country, have now been put in place.
Visitors to the unveiling ceremony were given a tour of the station and shown an exhibition of documents and photographs.
The derelict waiting room on the opposite line restored by owners Tim Collis and Ryan Phelps into a holiday cottage was also on show.
See previous report of December 2009

Man in Court for 1985 bank raid.  5th August 2010                                  News Archive

Alan Murray, 58, of Pilmoor, York appeared before magistrates at Chesterfield on Monday. He was accused of taking part in the bank robbery at the branch of Lloyds Bank in Cromford on 18 September, 1985.
During the raid the security guard, Mr John Power, was injured when he was hit with the butt of a shotgun.
See report of 26 March 2010.

Taxi Murder Trial Verdict.   30 June 2010                                                  News Archive

The fifteen day trial of the man accused of the murder of Stuart Ludlam ended yesterday, 29th June. It was found that Mr Ludlam, who worked as a taxi driver for MJ's Taxis, had been called to Cromford Railway Station to pick up a fare on Thursday 17th September last year. Waiting for him was Colin Cheetham, a man fascinated by guns who for his own perverse reasons had decided to kill for pleasure. When he arrived, Cheetham shot him once causing a scalp wound, then forced him to climb into the boot of his taxi before executing him at point blank range.
Mr Ludlam was a random victim, and Cheetham would have killed whoever answered the call. He had spent weeks planning the murder, photographing four train stations, train timetables and the MJ's Taxis advert at Cromford station. He had also called two Derby taxi firms two weeks before the killing. He chose Cromford station because of its secluded location, and picked the taxi firm from the card posted there.
Cheetham was traced through the mobile phone he used to call the taxi firm. It was bought for cash at Morrison's supermarket in Derby. Two police officers went through CCTV footage at the supermarket and also found that a top-up voucher had been bought using a credit card at the petrol station. This led to Cheetham and a photograph of him on a firearms certificate confirmed it was him on the CCTV film.
After a guilty verdict was read out to the court, the judge sentenced Cheetham, aged 61 and from Ripley, to life imprisonment with a 30 year minimum. He described him as an evil man with no sense of humanity.
See previous reports of September and October 2009.

General election. No Change in Derbyshire Dales.  7 May 2010             News Archive

Voters in yesterday's General Election have returned Patrick McLoughlin as Conservative Member of Parliament for the Derbyshire Dales (formerly West Derbyshire) constituency.
Mr McLoughlin, who has been MP for this area since 1986, increased his majority to 13,866 (29.64%).

Full results were:
• Patrick McLoughlin, Conservative - 24,378
• Joe Naitta, Liberal Democrat - 10,512
• Colin Swindell, Labour - 9,061
• Ian Guiver, UK Independence Party - 1,779
• Josh Stockell, Green - 772
• Nick The Flying Brick Delves, Loony - 228
• Amila Y'mech, Humanity - 50
Turnout - 73.82%

Nationally the Conservatives won 306 seats, Labour 258 seats and Liberal Democrats 57. Other parties returned 28 seats. The election was cancelled in one constituency after the death of one of the candidates.
This has resulted in a hung parliament with no party having an overall majority. Negotiations are now being conducted between the parties to decide the shape of the next government.

By an amazing coincidence, Patrick McLoughlin polled the same number of votes as he did in 2005 - 24,378.

Aqueduct Restoration to go Ahead,   March 2010                                     News Archive

On 8th November 2002 a container lorry ran into the aqueduct over Mill Lane bringing it crashing to the ground. The cast iron aqueduct was torn from its fittings on the wall of the Mill and the supporting stone pier across the road.
In August 2006 it was reported that the Grade 1 aqueduct, which dates from 1821, had been put back together using bolting and gluing techniques.
However it appears that this was incorrect. Only now has an insurance payout of £500,000 been agreed. It will take a further three years before the aqueduct is repaired and replaced as part of a £3m scheme to refurbish one of the Mill buildings and create a visitor attraction and business units.

Bank Raid Arrest,   26 March 2010                                                               News Archive

An arrest has been made 25 years after a raid on Lloyd's Bank in Cromford during which guard Jack Power was hit in the face with a shotgun.
A 56 year old man has been questioned in Yorkshire about the incident and released on bail. The robbery, which took place on 18th September 1985, was never solved in spite of a massive police operation and a reconstruction on Crimewatch. Three men got away in a Ford Escort after taking £7,500 from the safe.
The bank is now closed and is part of Arkwright's Stores.

Woman Hit By Train at Cromford,   Wednesday 24 March 2010               News Archive

The 17.41 train from Cromford to Derby has hit a woman as it was travelling on the line above the rugby pitch. The train was heard to sound its hooter before stopping.

Train accident at Cromford 23.3.10

First aid was given by two men who climbed up the wall and embankment from the pitch before paramedics arrived. Police cars, an ambulance and the air ambulance helicopter attended the scene.
The woman, later reported to be 17 years old and from Matlock, was taken by ambulance to the Royal Derby Hospital where she is in a serious but stable condition.

The scene at the incident after the arrival of the paramedics.

Reunion at Willersley Castle,       7th - 10th March 2010                         News Archive

More than fifty people attended a celebration marking 70 years since Willersley Castle was turned into a maternity hospital during World War II. The Salvation Army's Mothers' Hospital in Clapton, London, was evacuated there, and between 1940 and 1946 over 4000 babies were born at Willersley.
Visitors who had been born at the castle looked through archive photographs and went on a tour around the Peak District. Members of the Salvation Army talked about the castle's history as a maternity home and showed photographs of mothers being evacuated. The three day event was also attended by former midwives and mothers who had had their babies at the castle.
The reunion was organised by the Christian Guild, owners of the castle, and general manager Tim Rogers said the reunion had been a great success.
Report on BBC News

Post Office Saved?   27 January 2010                                                         News Archive

On Monday 25th January a buyer put forward an offer for the Post Office building which was accepted. It appears that the new owners will keep the Post Office open, and it will not be closing in February after all.
The Community buy-out plan, "Save Cromford Post Office" has received pledges for half the target amount needed, but campaigners are pleased that the building has been sold and the post office saved. However if the sale falls through the action group will go ahead with the buy-out plan.

Save Cromford Post Office, 20 January 2010                                            News Archive

A further meeting is to be held on Friday 22 January, at 7.30pm, at the Methodist Church in Water Lane to discuss the plan for a community buy-out. The property is to be sold at public auction on 25 March. The agent describes it as having "versatile accommodation with a business opportunity".
NB: The post office is due to close on 8th February, however change of use from retail to residential would need planning permission.

Bid to save Cromford Post Office, 14 January 2010                                 News Archive

There has been a new development in the forthcoming closure of the Post Office. A group has come forward with a plan to form a limited company to buy the building, convert it into two flats and keep the Post Office as a going concern. People wishing to take part would need to invest £3,500 into the scheme. The building is due to be auctioned on the 25 March.
A meeting is to be held at the Boat Inn on Scarthin on Monday 18th January at 7.30pm.

Cromford Post Office to close, 9 January 2010                                          News Archive

Cromford Post Office is set to close on Wednesday, 3rd February. The PO has been for sale for about 3 years but no one has come forward to carry on the business. The propery will now be sold at auction.
Post Office Ltd is planning to resite the post office in the village and is looking for suitable premises.


Boxing Day Raft Race, Matlock to Cromford, December 2009               News Archive

Cromford raft race 2009
    A Viking ship in the Matlock to Cromford raft race

The annual Boxing Day raft race from Matlock to Cromford took place in snow and icy conditions, but this did not deter the 15,000 people who came to watch. Forty-five teams took part and over £7,900 was raised for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and St John Ambulance and other organisations. This year the rafts were bombarded with snow balls, but some retaliated with water pistols to soak the crowds.

Cromford Station Wins Two Awards.   December 2009                           News Archive

The recently restored Cromford Station and Waiting Room have each been given a Railway Heritage Trust Conservation Award during a ceremony in the Merchant Taylor's Hall in London. Secretary of State for Transport, Lord Adonis, presented Dr Charlton, representing the Arkwright Society, and Tim Collis and Ryan Phelps, owners of the Waiting Room, with commemorative wall plaques.
Dr Charlton commented that it was great news for the World Heritage Site that national recognition had been given to the restoration of two local at-risk buildings.
See previous report of May 2009.

Taxi Driver Laid to Rest,     October 2009                                                 News Archive

The funeral took place on Tuesday, 20th October of Mr Stuart Ludlam.
More than 300 mourners attended the service at St Helen's Church, Darley Dale, which was conducted jointly by Rev Robert Quarton of St Helen's, and Rev Alan Dawson of Dale Road Methodist Church. The ministers spoke of Stuart's loving family and the affection and respect in which he was held by all who knew him.
The pallbearers wore Derby County Football Club scarfs - Mr Ludlam's favourite team - and tributes and flowers were left outside the church.
Mr Ludlam was found shot dead in his taxi at Cromford Railway Station on 17th September. A man has been charged and is expected to stand trial in March next year.

Cromford School Starts After School Club,     September 2009             News Archive

Cromford C of E Primary School launched an after school club at the start of the new term in September. This will give working parents more time to pick up their children after school.
Headteacher Rachel Baker said the club was proving popular and offered activities including baking, knitting, sport and a games night.
The school website has more details:

Tragic Discovery At Cromford Railway Station,     September 2009      News Archive

A body found in the back of a Ford Focus taxi on the approach road to Cromford railway station at 12.40pm on Thursday, 17th September, was later identified as that of Mr Stuart Ludlam. Mr Ludlam was last seen leaving the premises of his employer, MJ Taxis at Wirksworth, about an hour previously.
Police immediately closed the Starkholmes road and trains were prevented from stopping at the station, a police helicopter flew over the area and police divers searched the river. Motorists and villagers were questioned for any information they might have.
Mr Ludlam had been shot - the murder weapon has not been found, and his mobile phone and taxi radio handset are missing.
During their enquiries police arrested and questioned twelve people. On 1st October a man from Ripley was charged with his murder.
Stuart Ludlam was 43 years old, married with three children and lived at Darley Dale. He was a well known and popular figure, and a keen football fan. More than 500 people including family, friends and residents paid tribute to Stuart on Saturday 26 September at the Matlock taxi rank. A two minute silence was preceded and followed by around 30 cabbies sounding their horns. Flowers lined the taxi rank and black and white balloons, the colours of Derby County football team, were tied to the taxis. The mayors of Matlock, Darley Dale and the chairman of Derbyshire Dales District Council also attended. Derby County and Matlock Town football clubs both held a minute's silence before their games.

Cromford Steam Rally                                                                                  News Archive

The 39th annual Cromford Steam Rally, due to take place on 1st and 2nd August, has been postponed because of a period of heavy rain. The Cromford Steam Rally Society made the decision to cancel the steam rally after a number of the fields were left waterlogged and unsuitable for use.
The rally will now be re-staged on 19th and 20th of September 2009

The Bell Inn has re-opened,   19 June 2009                                               News Archive

Bell Inn, Cromford

Local couple Paul and Jemma Mosley have taken over the Bell Inn on North Street. The pub, which has been closed for over a year, will be run as a free house.
The opening night coincided with the first day of Celebrating Cromford on Friday 19 June. The traction engine tug up Cromford Hill finished at the Bell and attracted a lot of interest.
The new owners hope to get local ales, a boules pitch and to see the return of local sports and football teams.

Cromford Railway Station Redevelopment,   May 2009                            News Archive

The Arkwright Society's project to restore the disused waiting room on the upline is complete and the grand re-opening on 28 May was performed by the Duke of Devonshire. Sir William McAlpine, chairman of the Railway Heritage Trust, also attended.
Two office suites have been created and the Society is now looking for local businesses to move in.
The waiting room on the downline opposite has been restored privately and is now a holiday cottage.
See previous reports from November and February 2008 and January 2007.

Kindness to Animals Award,   May 2009                                                     News Archive

Kathleen Wilson, who runs the Derwent Valley Donkey Sanctuary on Intake Lane, Cromford, has been given a Community Champions award for Kindness to Animals in recognition of her work.
Kathleen runs the sanctuary along with friend Derek Newcombe, who joined her at the ceremony where 15 winners in different categories were announced at the Derby Telegraph's annual Community Champions awards.
Since buying her first horse at the age of 21, Kathleen has dedicated her life to rescuing animals destined for the meat trade or brought to her by owners who could no longer cope.
Until her recent retirement she ran the sanctuary as well as working full-time as an auxiliary nurse in Matlock. But she said being able to offer horses, ponies and donkeys a second chance was worth all the hard work.
Her award was presented by best-selling author Wendy Holden, who has been sponsoring one of Kathleen's donkeys for the last 10 years.
The Community Champions awards were launched in partnership between the Evening Telegraph, BBC Radio Derby, Derbys Building Society, Derby City Council and Derby County, to give people a chance to nominate those who they think deserve recognition.

Repairs to Railway Line at Cromford,     January 2009                              News Archive

Replacement of track at Cromford Station

Improvements to the line at Cromford involving the replacement of rails, sleepers and ballast have been welcomed by the Friends of the Derwent Valley Line. The line was closed for a week when trains were replaced by buses.
Local residents were aware of work on the line taking place during the night, but have noticed the quieter running of trains since the work was completed.


Right:  Piles of ballast on the line at Cromford Station. In the background is the upside waiting room currently being renovated. Note the chimney stack has been restored.


Death of Cromford Thatcher       December 2008                                     News Archive

Mr George Mellor, of Bedehouse Lane, Cromford, has died at the age of 81.
Mr Mellor was well known in the area as a master thatcher. He worked all over the country on different types of buildings from cottages to grand estates.
Born in Burton on Trent, he followed in his father and grandfather's footsteps in the trade, finally settling in Cromford 35 years ago with his late wife Margaret.
The funeral took place on 16 December, 2008.

Renovations at Cromford Station, November 2008                                 News Archive

Waiting rooms at Cromford Station
 Left: Downside waiting room.   Right: Upside waiting room

Work is continuing on the restoration of the two waiting rooms at Cromford Station. The Arkwright Society is modernising the waiting room on the downside line with new floors and heating, reroofing and replastering. Office space will be provided and in the long term the building will house an information centre. See news item for February 2008
The waiting room on the upline is being converted into a holiday home by owners Tim Collis and Ryan Phelps.

Update re Cromford Garden Centre                                                         News Archive

Although the Cromford Garden Centre held a closing down sale, the Garden Centre and the restaurant are still open for business.
A planning application has been made for redevelopment of the site into a 70 bed hotel.

Garden Centre to Close, September 2008                                                News Archive

Cromford Garden Centre, on Derby Road, Cromford, is holding a closing down sale.
The centre came close to closure in May last year, when it was put up for sale by its owner who gave, as his reasons, financial pressures and difficulty in securing planning permission for expansion. It was saved by a buyer at the last minute. According to in July 2007, "the new owners, who have experience of developing businesses, are understood to want to re-position it upon destination lines".

Planning Request, September 2008                                                         News Archive

A planning application was made on 13th August 2008 to the Derbyshire Dales District Council for the redevelopment of Cromford Garden Centre, on Derby Road, to form a 70 bedroom hotel and associated function facilities, access and car parking.
Applicant: Derbyshire Investments Ltd. Application ref 08/00609/FUL

Cromford Court for Sale, September 2008                                              News Archive

Cromford Court, a large country house standing in 40 acres, situated in Matlock Bath opposite Masson Mill, is for sale.
Approval granted for change of use to luxury hotel in May.
Price in excess of £3.3m.

Bell Inn for sale, July 2008                                                                          News Archive

Bell Inn Cromfordfive gif

The Bell Inn on North Street, Cromford, which closed earlier this year, is for sale. The asking price is £260,000 for freehold and contents. The property has 4 bedrooms.
The Bell re-opened in 19 June 2009

Death of Parish Councillor, February 2008                                                News Archive

The death has been announced of Donald Whittaker, at the age of 57 years, on 15 February 2008. Don was a long standing member of the Parish Council and will be greatly missed. A celebration of Donald's life was held at Cromford Community Centre on 22 February following the cremation service.

Restoration of Cromford station on track, February 2008                       News Archive

The Arkwright Society, which is carrying out work to modernise the waiting room (on the passenger side of the line) at Cromford Railway Station, has received a grant of £20,000 from the Derwent Valley Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme to help finance the scheme. The listed building is being modernised with new floors and heating, reroofing and replastering. Work should be completed by November.
Initially office space will be provided, but the long term plan is for an information centre about Arkwright's Cromford Mill, and for the station to become a bus interchange with links to local attractions.
See news item for January 2007

Kevin new Parish Councillor, February 2008                                           News Archive

Kevin White has been co-opted on to the Parish Council following the resignation of Councillor Christine Hill. Kevin will be well known to many people in Cromford as the former landlord of the Boat Inn. He promises to be an accessible and hard-working councillor on behalf of everyone in the village.


Cromford Moor Regeneration.   December 2007                                      News Archive

sheep on Cromford Moor
 Forester Albin Smith with the Shetland

The Forestry Commission is creating 22 acres of lowland heath at one of the most threatened habitats in Britain - on Cromford Moor near Wirksworth. Over 6,000 conifers have been removed to pave the way for the plan, which will also seen 15 acres of native trees take root.
Now a flock of rare Shetland sheep have been set loose over cleared terrain to eat their way through unwanted vegetation and stop fast growing trees like birch re-colonising the area.
Forester Albin Smith explained that the sheep are self sufficient and their presence will speed the transition to heathland.
See report of July 2006

Masson By-Election. 6th December 2007                                                 News Archive

The results of the by-election to fill the vacancy on Derbyshire Dales District Council
following the death of John March are as follows:
Belinda Heaney, Labour - 256. Garry William Purdy, Conservative - 359.
Tracy Louise Steadman, Liberal Democrat - 126.
Garry Purdy was duly elected as councillor for the Masson ward.
The turn-out was 30%

Calling Ladies who Like to Sing.   November 2007                                   News Archive

A new, exciting, innovative, women's singing group is being launched and it will be based in Cromford!
Ally Law, who recently relocated to Cromford, has been involved in singing for many years and is keen to establish a choir locally with members from across the Derbyshire Dales and beyond. Ally and a small team have organised an exciting open evening for all those interested in finding out more about DaleDiva. Please come along on: Thursday 15th November 2007, at 7.45pm at Cromford Community Centre (function room, upstairs), Market Place, Cromford.
Future meetings will be held at the Community Centre on Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm - 10pm.
For more information and contact details go to DaleDiva website

Cromford's new Vicar.  September 2007                                                    News Archive

The new Priest in Charge of the joint benefice of Matlock Bath and Cromford is the Rev Nick Grayshon. Nick has been the vicar of St Andrew's, Radcliffe, for twenty years and is looking forward to taking up his new appointment.
He and his wife Val have been married for thirty years and have three grown up children: Liz, Caroline who is married to Ian, and James.
Nick will be formally licensed at 2.30pm, Saturday, the 6th October 2007, at St Mary's church in Cromford, with the Bishop of Repton officiating.
Everyone is welcome to join in the service and afterwards for refreshments in the Wharehouse across the road.

Death of Popular Councillor.   August 2007                                               News Archive

John March, who was a Masson Ward district councillor for twelve years and Labour group leader, died at his home in Bonsall on Tuesday, 21st August. He was 60, and had been suffering from cancer. He leaves a wife, Jenny, daughter Jo and son Jack.
John taught at Belper High School before retirement. He played cricket for Cromford and was a keen local historian, being involved in the book "Bonsall A Village". He also took part in fund raising for the Cromford Playpark.
John was a dedicated and caring representative for Cromford on the District Council and will be missed by all who knew him.

New Retail Units in Cromford   July 2007                                                   News Archive

Howard's Bakery in Cromford Market Place closed in April 2006 and its new owner is converting the building into four retail units. Leases are now available.
For details see

Parish and District Council elections 3 May 2007                                     News Archive

Elections were held on Thursday 3rd May 2007 for the Derbyshire Dales District Council.
Cromford is in the Masson ward of the DDDC with 2 representatives.
There were 6 candidates: Tony Davis, Conservative; Nicholas Elliott, Labour;
Peter Hume, Conservative; John March, Labour; Tracy Steadman, Liberal Democrat;
and David Wildgoose, Liberal Democrat.
The current councillors are Nicholas Elliott and John March.

ELECTED WERE: Peter Thomas HUME, Conservative, 403 Votes and
John Sanders MARCH, Labour, 427 votes
Derbyshire Dales District Council remains under Conservative control with 26 out of 38 seats, having gained one seat in Masson.

There was no election to the parish council. There are 10 seats, but only 7 candidates who will all become councillors.
The 7 candidates are: Jeremy Beckett, Barbara Bowman, Arnold Crosby, Derek Roose, Raymond Taylor, Angus Watson and Michael Whitworth. All are sitting councillors apart from Raymond Taylor. Three more people will be opted on to the council to make a full set.
This is a repeat of the situation in 2003, when only 7 people stood for election.

Slinter Cottage restored.  February 2007                                                 News Archive

Slinter Cottage
 Slinter Cottage after restoration

Slinter Cottage, a 19th century bobbin mill on
Via Gellia, has been restored and converted by the Arkwright Society for holiday lets.
The undercroft of the cottage houses an exhibition which tells the story of the local dams and ponds and their use in the local industry, in particular the Cromford cotton mills.
The cottage is set in Slinter Woods, a 29 acre area of ash and native lime trees, and it is adjacent to Dunsley Meadows, a nature reserve belonging to the Derbyshire Dales District Council.

Station building to be brought back into use. January 2007                 News Archive

The disused waiting room at Cromford Railway Station has been leased by the Arkwright Society,
which has submitted proposals for change of use and alterations to the building. Funding has been secured, largely from the Railways Heritage Trust,and a study commissioned of how the building could be used.

Cromford railway station
 The disused waiting room is at the left of the
 picture. In the background is the station master's
 house. Across the bridge but not shown is the
 more photographed waiting room of Oasis fame.

Initially office space will be provided, but the
long term plan is for an information centre about Arkwright's Cromford Mill, part of the World Heritage Site.
The waiting room is officially "at risk", and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Partnership has become concerned at its condition. It was last used twenty years ago
as a centre for a London scout group.
The renovation will also be part of the partnership's aims to regenerate local stations
on the Derwent Valley Line between Derby and Matlock.

Some of the houses and businesses for sale in 2007                            News Archive


Howards in Cromford Market Place, formerly Howard's Bakery, is being converted into four retail units.
Leases are now available. (At October 2007)
For details see
Right: Howards before work started on conversion

Post Office, Scarthin. Semi-detached property with 4 bedrooms and self contained annex. Post Office business, cards, stationary etc.
Offers around £275,000. Agent Scargill Mann & Co.

A terraced cottage with shop front, 30 North Street is for sale at around £195,000. The 3-bedroom property is believed to date from the late 18th century.
Agent Fidler Taylor
SOLD, March 2007

The Old Blacksmiths, Market Place. A commercial development fully let. Guide price £250,000
For auction 15 March 2007 - agent Fidler Taylor.
SOLD for £285,000.

36 Market Place, a retail/investment property (part vacant).
Guide price £120,000+
For auction 15 March 2007 - agent Fidler Taylor.

Rose Cottage, 158 Derby Road, Cromford
This detached period cottage at the corner of Derby Road and Intake Lane is for sale for £300,000. Agent: Fidler Taylor Matlock.
SOLD, Feb 2007

Cromford Station House.  The Station House is for sale for around £425,000. The property includes the station waiting room which has planning permission for conversion to holiday accommodation.
The grounds extend to 1.5 acres.
The house was built around 1855 and designed by G H Stokes, the son-in-law of Sir Joseph Paxton, in a French style. It was extended to the rear in 1911. The waiting room was built in 1860.
In 1995 this building was pictured on the front of a single by the pop group Oasis.
Agent: Scargill Mann & Co, Derby


Boxing Day Raft Race.   26 December 2006                                              News Archive

rafts at Cromford Bridge

The annual Matlock to Cromford raft race on Boxing Day attracted hundreds of visitors, who watched the event at various vantage points along the route.
Large crowds gathered on Willersley Castle grounds and on the bridge to see the finish at Cromford Meadows.

More than 40 rafts took part and only two disintegrated, although some tipped over on the weir.
The event was held in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and raised more than £6,000.

Right: Nearly there.
The finishing line was just beyond the bridge

Cromford setting for new film.  17 October and November 2006          News Archive

Colin Firth in Cromford

Scenes from the forthcoming film "And When Did You Last See Your Father?", based on a book by Blake Morrison, are being shot at locations around Cromford and inside the Old Vicarage, off Intake Lane, where designers have recreated rooms from 1962 for inside scenes including a Christmas party.

The story is set in the 1960s and 1980s, with Colin Firth
and Jim Broadbent playing a father and son whose relationship is seen in flashbacks when the father is dying.
Juliet Stevenson and Gina McKee also have roles in the film.

Other Derbyshire scenes have been shot at Over Haddon, Kedleston and around Snake Pass.

Disappointingly, the film did not call for Colin Firth to dive into Cromford Pond in a fetching lacy shirt!
Filming has already taken place in London, Brighton, Sheffield

Extras on Scarthin

Right above: Saturday 18 Nov - Colin Firth on Scarthin having completed filming scenes outside houses on Mount Pleasant.


Right: Saturday 11 Nov - extras playing mourners assemble for filming of the funeral procession down Scarthin.

Filming on Mount Pleasant

Right: Saturday 18 Nov - One of the scenes outside a house on Mount Pleasant.

The film came out in October 2007.

Children at War Memorial five gif

                                                        News Archive


  Children from Cromford School at the
  War Memorial on Scarthin Promenade during a
  service for Remembrance Day, 9 Nov 2006.


Stolen clock face found.                                                                            News Archive

In February 2003 a long case clock was stolen from the Arkwright Society's restaurant at Cromford Mill. The pendulum and damaged case were left at the scene but the face, mechanism and hands were stolen. Thanks to the vigilance of the Garland family of Mansfield the clock face has now been returned to the Society. During a visit to a car boot sale they had purchased a clock face, and a search on the internet revealed that it had been stolen.
The clock, made by J Jeffreys of Cromford, still has its mechanism and hands missing. Another mechanism and hands of the same era have been fitted and the clock is now back to its former self.
See entry for 5th February 2003

Discovery Day 06 five gif

                                           News Archive

Activities in Cromford on Discovery Day along the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site in Oct 2006 included a canal barge with three shire horses, rope making, canal boat painting, barrel organs and boat weaving.

Left: The scene at the Canal Wharf.
        photo Roy Smith

Cromford Mill Aqueduct set to return.  August 2006                              News Archive

On 8th November 2002 a container lorry ran into the aqueduct over Mill Lane bringing it crashing to the ground. The cast iron aqueduct was torn from its fittings on the wall of the Mill and from the supporting stone pier across the road, and smashed into hundreds of pieces. The Grade 1 aqueduct, which dates from 1821, has been meticulously put back together using bolting and gluing techniques. When repairs have been made to the supporting stone piers the aqueduct will be put back in place.
It is to be hoped that measures will be taken to prevent a repeat of the accident which caused the damage.
March 2010 - the aqueduct had not been put back together. An insurance payout has only just been agreed and it could be another 3 years before the aqueduct is back in place.

Some of the Properties for Sale During 2006.                                         News Archive

Rock House Lodge, Derby Road.
This former lodge to Rock House has been extended to create the large property property it is today. The house has a separate self contained flat, which the current owners presently rent out together with three bedrooms in the house as popular 'Bed and Breakfast' accommodation.
For sale at £525,000   Agent: Beechwood Estates, Matlock

Tor Cafe, Cromford Crossroads.
For auction on 5 October 2006, with a price guide of £50,000.
Agent: Fidler Taylor, Matlock.

Tree felling around Black Rocks.   July 2006                                          News Archive

The Forestry Commission is undertaking a regeneration project on Cromford Moor in the Black Rocks area. In the early 1960s conifers were planted as part of the country's timber reserves. They are now ready to be felled, and so far 6000 conifers have been cut down on a 22 acre site which will be transformed into lowland heath. A further 15 acres will be planted with native species such as oak, beech and mountain ash.
The project will take years to complete, but already heather has begun to grow from dormant seed, and the introduction of sheep and cattle will help the transition from wood to heath.
Sustainable timber production is to continue and will help create a variety of habitats. Birds such as skylark, tree pipit and linnet will benefit, and the rare nightjar could eventually return to the area.

Closure of Children's Nursery.   5 July 2006                                             News Archive

On Friday 30th June Cromford Bridge Hall Nursery closed without warning to parents and staff. Some parents were informed over the weekend but many turned up on the following Monday to find a note on the door saying it had gone into liquidation and closed down.
Although rumours of the impending closure had been circulating and it was known that the nursery had been up for sale, the manner of the closure caused anger and upset among parents. Many had paid the July fees in advance and may lose their money.
The owner Gavin Broadbent regretted the closure which he blamed on falling demand and environmental regulations. There had been no interest when the business was for sale at the asking price of £675,000. Smith Cooper Insolvency Practitioners are dealing with the liquidation.
The nursery has been operating for 16 years and was originally situated in Cromford Bridge Hall before moving to the present building nearby.
Mr Broadbent has also closed a playgroup which he ran at St Monica's House, Windmill Lane, Ashbourne.

Howard's Bakery Closed.  2 April 2006                                                      News Archive

Howard's Bakery on the Market Place closed on March 31 following the retirement of the proprietors, Mr and Mrs Wright. The property has been sold and will not re-open as a bakery.
The new owner is planning to develop the building into two flats and two retail outlets.

Death of Philip Whitehead.  1 January 2006                                             News Archive

Philip Whitehead died on December 31 after suffering a heart attack at his home in Rowsley. Mr Whitehead, who was 68, had been an MEP for the East Midlands for the last eleven years, and before that was Labour MP for Derby North from 1970 to 1983.
Born in Matlock Bath, and a former pupil at Lady Manners school in Bakewell, Mr Whitehead studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University, and went on to work as a journalist and television producer. He became editor of This Week and Panorama, and in 1974 he won an Emmy Award for his TV series "The World at War".
Tributes have been paid by friends and colleagues, including PM Tony Blair.
Bereaved are his widow Christine, three children and three grandchildren.


Death of retired milkman.  December 2005                                              News Archive

Peter Wells, of Bonsall, died suddenly in December while on holiday in Egypt. Peter, who was 62 years old, was well known in Cromford, Matlock Bath, Matlock and Whatstandwell where he delivered milk and groceries for 42 years until his retirement in September 2005. Peter also helped his wife Linda to run her garden centre and Hollies Farm Shop in Bonsall, studying horticulture at the University of Derby in Buxton to extend his knowledge.
Peter lived at Lea Bridge until his marriage to Linda in 1966, when the couple moved to Bonsall and opened the shop in 1971. Travel, wildlife and animal welfare were among his interests, and he and Linda were planning to go to Borneo to see the orang-utans this year.
Many cards and messages of sympathy have been sent to the family, reflecting how popular he was with his many friends and customers.
Cremation at Markeaton followed by a service of thanksgiving at Bonsall church took place on January 4.

Cromford Bridge Hall for sale.  24 October 2005                                     News Archive

Cromford Bridge Hall (formerly Bridge House), is on the market for £1,250,000.
The house has a long history, being built by the Wigley family of Wirksworth in the 17th century, although in the attics there is evidence of an earlier timber framed house. At that time the area was known as Senior Field. There have been later additions and alterations over the years.
It was at one time the home of Benjamin Haywood, whose horse famously leapt from Cromford Bridge into the river below in 1697. He was involved in developing the warm springs at Matlock Bath.
The house has also been in the ownership of the Nightingale family of Lea. Elizabeth Evans, great aunt of Florence Nightingale, lived there until her death in 1852 when the house was offered to Florence to turn into a hospital. She declined and went on to her nursing work in the Crimea.
When the house was sold in 1967 it went for £15,000, which included the old coach house.
This could be an opportunity for any new owners to change the name back to Cromford Bridge House, its historic name. It has only been known as Hall in recent years.
The agent is Cauldwell & Co, Tel: 01629 810018.
SOLD February 2006.

Florence Nightingale's childhood home, Lea Hurst at Holloway is also on the market for £875,000. The agent is Scargill Mann & Co, Tel: 01629 584591.

Discovery Day on Saturday 29 October 2005.                                           News Archive

A wide variety of events and exhibitions together with fine weather attracted crowds to Discovery Day in Cromford today, the first open day held to celebrate the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. The 15 mile site runs between Masson Mill in Matlock Bath and the Silk Mill at Derby.
There were tours of Cromford Mill and the Silk Mill and the industrial communities of Darley Abbey, Belper, Cromford and Milford.

Barge on Cromford Canal
 Horse drawn barge on Cromford Canal seen from
 Lawn Bridge

Locally, textile machinery was in operation at Masson Mill, and a 1917 Fowler Tiger tractor was in steam outside. Willersley Castle had a photographic exhibition of Children of the Mills, the story of Richard Arkwright's cotton mills, performed by local children last year.
A horse drawn canal boat travelled along Cromford Canal between Cromford Wharf and Leawood Pumphouse.
The High Peak Junction workshops were open with a free audio tour.
Leawood Pumphouse was in steam for the last time this year.
The Friends of Cromford Canal held an exhibition at the Warehouse on the wharf. In the afternoon at the warehouse there was a presentation of readings and songs from the works of local writer Alison Uttley.

Cromford milkman retires.  24 September 2005                                      News Archive

Peter Wells of Hollies Farm Shop, Bonsall retired from his delivery milk round today because of ill health. As well as Cromford, Mr Wells delivered to Bonsall, Matlock, Matlock Bath and Whatstandwell. He bought the round from Mrs Evelyn Nutt of Winster 42 years ago.
Mr Well's daughter Sara, who started helping her father at the age of two and eventually took over her own round, will also be giving up.
Customers and friends have been forwarding their thanks and good wishes to Peter and Sara, not forgetting Todd, Sara's dog who kept her company on her round.
David Allsop has taken over the Bonsall round and Steven Musson will be delivering in Cromford and the other areas.

Celebrating Cromford - 17, 18 and 19 June 2005                                    News Archive

The festival is over, stalls and marquee gone, bunting taken down. Celebrating Cromford was a resounding success, and everyone involved in organising the event can be congratulated.
The sun came out and temperatures soared, rain holding off until Sunday evening.
The many visitors found plenty to do, from browsing around the stalls to visiting the art and history exhibitions. The open gardens and art trail revealed parts of the village not normally seen by the public.
Music, flowers, well dressing, dancing, poetry, steam tractor ... there was something for everyone, with a chance to sample new experiences such as Chinese exercises.
At the opening ceremony on Friday, Patrick McLoughlin presented the trophy to Trevor Smedley's winning team in the BIG BREAK pool tournament.
The Cromford Quiz winner Yvonne Daykin also received a prize.
GREAT BALLOON RACE. The lucky winner was Katie Yapp of Water Lane. Her balloon was found near Malton in Yorkshire.
OPEN GARDENS TRAIL. A total of £105 was raised.
The money will be divided between several charities.
Pictures around Celebrating Cromford 2005

Boxing Club coach retires.  2 June 2005                                                  News Archive

After 27 years of running the Cromford and Matlock Amateur Boxing Club at the Community Centre in Cromford, Terry Woodcock has taken his last training session. Terry started boxing at the age of 14. As a welterweight he held Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire titles and boxed in the RAF Championships when he was in the services. He also won the South Australian amateur title and fought an exhibition match with Jack Bodell.
Since the club was founded in 1978 more than 1000 men and boys have been trained at the Centre, where the club met twice a week.
Last Thursday he was presented with an inscribed silver plate by club members, and the Community Centre laid on a meal and presented him with wine glasses to mark his retirement.
The Boxing Club has now closed as there is no qualified coach prepared to take over.

Safety work at Cromford Crossroads.  23 May 2005                                News Archive

safety work at Cromford
 Steel mesh being put in position
 on the rock face.

Important safety work at the Crossroads begins today, Monday, and is expected to take four weeks.
Following a landslide on 25 February, netting is being put up beside the A6 close to the junction with the A5012. The estimated cost is £50,000.
There may be delays as northbound traffic is restricted to one lane.
The limestone cliff face is liable to crumble after frosty weather. It is feared that a further fall could result in a serious accident.

On Friday 25 February a large boulder of limestone weighing one tonne crashed down on to the A6, bringing down with it a shower of stones and broken branches. The rock fell at 9am when the road was busy with commuter traffic, but fortunately no vehicles were hit.

No Change in West Derbyshire.  6 May 2005                                            News Archive

Voters in yesterday's General Election have returned Patrick McLoughlin as Conservative Member of Parliament for the West Derbyshire constituency.
Mr McLoughlin, who has been MP for this area since 1986, increased his majority to 10,753 (21%).

Full results were:
• Patrick McLoughlin, Conservative - 24,378
• David Menon, Labour - 13,625
• Ray Dring, Liberal Democrat - 11,408
• Michael Cruddas, UK Independence Party - 1,322
• Nick 'The Flying Brick' Delves, Monster Raving Loony Party - 405
• Martin Kyslun, Independent - 5
Turnout - 69.2%

Labour was returned to government for a third term with a reduced majority.

New County Councillors.
Cromford was formerly in the Darley Dale ward, represented by Deborah Read, Conservative, but is now in the new division of Wirksworth, where Irene Ratcliffe was returned for Labour. Liberal Democrat Nigel Allwood was returned in the new division of Derwent Valley, ousting Deborah Read.

Village chemist retires.  5 May 2005                                                          News Archive

Mary Winterbourne retired on May 2nd from her position as pharmacist after running Cromford's chemist shop for the past 22 years. Mrs Winterbourne, who took over from Ron Carter on his retirement, will be missed by her staff and customers.
Nick from B Payne & Son, the Wirksworth chemist, has taken over the business.

Cesar of Cromford
 Cesar - "veni, vide, vici"


Cesar conquers all.   28 April 2005                  News Archive

Matlock Mercury's Pets on Parade Competition 2005 has been won
by Cesar of Cromford.
Cesar, a six year old West Highland terrier, lives with Suzanne Sandler on Alabaster Lane.
He came top of the poll with 117 votes, and has won a £100 hamper
from Matlock pet shop Nose to Tail.

Trophy in memory of Cromford teenager.  14 April 2005                        News Archive

Wirksworth Cadets have awarded a new trophy in memory of former member Mark Rawson who was killed on the Via Gellia road on 8th October last year. The Lance Corporal Mark Rawson Memorial Trophy is to be awarded to the cadet who achieved most during the year.
At a ceremony at the Cadets' Hut in Wirksworth last week it was awarded to Corporal Laura Kilbourne, and was presented by Mark's parents, Julie Parker and Andrew Rawson, and his sister Laura.

Vehicles alight in Scarthin.  3 March 2005                                                News Archive

During the early hours of Wednesday 2 March, a car and a van parked in Scarthin were destroyed by a fire caused by an electrical fault in one of the vehicles. Doors and windows in nearby houses were burnt and cracked, and fencing and garden ornaments scorched. A telegraph pole was damaged, cutting off telephone wires.
The van belonged to David Mitchell of Scarthin Books, and was well known in the area with its bookshop logo. David also lost the family camping equipment in the fire.

Rock Shock.  25 February 2005                                                                  News Archive

This morning, Friday, a large boulder of limestone crashed down on to the A6 near Cromford crossroads. The rock, estimated to weigh about one tonne, brought down with it a shower of stones and broken branches. The rock fell at 9am when the road was busy with commuter traffic, but fortunately no vehicles were hit. The area was coned off until a mechanical digger arrived to move the rock.
The limestone cliff face is liable to crumble after frosty weather, and checks are made periodically for loose rocks.

New book by local writer.  12 January 2005                                              News Archive

Noel Cashford has brought out a second volume about the work of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves bomb and mine disposal officers between 1944 and 1953.
His first book, "All Mine", published in 2002, covered his own experiences, while "All Theirs", recounts stories from his bomb and mine disposal colleagues and German counterparts.
The book is available from Mr Cashford at 21 Castle View Drive, Cromford, Matlock, Derbys DE4 3RL, price £7.95 plus £2 postage and packing.
See reports of July/August 2002 and 24 March 2002 in News Archive.

Painting brings new view of Cromford.  10 January 2005                      News Archive

View of Cromford Mill
 The painting shows Cromford Mill as viewed from the
  front of the Black Dog, (now the Greyhound Hotel)

A painting in watercolours, showing Cromford Mill as seen from the front of the Greyhound Hotel, then known as the Black Dog, has
been acquired by the Arkwright Society. The artist is unknown.
Believed to date from between 1786 and 1798, the painting was sold at auction last year and bought by an art dealer who then contacted the Society. Money raised by donations and from Arkwright's Attic, a second-hand shop at the mill, was used to buy the painting for an undisclosed amount.
A surprising part of the painting is the archway supporting a black dog, and the fencing lining the roads. The picture predates construction
of the main road (now A6). The cliff to the right is Cromford Tor which in present times is behind the Community Centre.


Wheelie Bin decision time.   22 December 2004                                      News Archive

The changeover to the new system of wheelie bins is due to take place in the new year. Householders who informed the District Council that they had nowhere to store the two wheelie bins or that access to the pavement was difficult are being visited by representatives of the council.
Where it is agreed that wheelie bins are impractical householders will be able to continue with black bags as usual, although these will have to be taken to the edge of the property for collection.

Renovation of the catch pit on the High Peak Trail. December 2004    News Archive

catch pit
 The roof has been removed, exposing the beams.
 In the pit below can be seen a runaway wagon.

The Sheep Pasture incline on the High Peak Trail between High Peak Junction and Intake Lane was closed from 27 September 2004 for a period of six weeks, while renovation work estimated to cost £20,000 was carried out on the engine catch pit.
How the work proceeded -
Sunday October 10 - The soil and wooden beams have been removed from the roof of the catchpit, leaving the 5 iron beams exposed.
Saturday October 16 - Vertical wooden beams have been replaced at the end of the pit, to the height of the Trail.
Sunday October 24 - The roof has been partially replaced: wooden timbers have been laid across four of the iron beams, covered with a fibre glass membrane and topped with soil.
Sunday October 31 - The roof is now completely covered with soil to a level about 2 feet (60cms) below the walls each side. The black painted iron beam at the end is exposed.

The work has now been completed and fencing erected to prevent access to the roof and the catch pit.

Two more fatalities on Via Gellia. 22 November 2004                              News Archive

The A5102 Via Gellia road between Cromford and Newhaven has seen two more fatalities this month.
Chris Barber from Belper was killed on 2nd November, and on Monday 22nd November Mr Martin Devlin, age 22, of Bestwood Park, Nottingham, was killed just north of Bonsall when his van collided with a lorry. His passenger was airlifted to Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.
The road is narrow with many sharp bends and is increasingly used by HGVs.
There are calls for safety measures to be brought in cut the number of accidents.

Tragic Accidents on Via Gellia.  14 October 2004                                      News Archive

Two local people have lost their lives in accidents on Via Gellia in the past month.
Mr Mark Rawson, aged 18 years, of Hawthorne Drive Cromford, was killed on 8th October as he was driving to work at Grange Mill Quarry when his car was in collision with a lorry. Mark was the son of Andrew and Julie, brother of Laura and five step brothers and sisters and was a beloved grandson.

Miss Nia Walters, aged 26, died on 11th September in hospital after her car was in collision with another vehicle at the Hopton crossroads on Via Gellia. Nia was travelling from her parents' home in Winster to work at Boots in Derby. Bereaved are her parents and two sisters, and fiance Luke Sutton, captain of the County Cricket Club.

West Derbyshire MP Patrick McLoughlin secured an Adjournment Debate in Parliament on 14 December where he raised concerns about a number of Derbyshire roads, including Via Gellia. A programme of measures was proposed by David Jamieson, Under-Secretary of State for Transport, which includes signing of bends, speed limits, rumble strips, chevron signing and signs at both ends of Via Gellia.

Scarthin Promenade Upgrade.  September 2004                                      News Archive

Repairs to railings and stone plinths, new street lighting, waste bins, seating and surfacing works are to be carried out on Scarthin Promenade. Work will begin on 20 September and is expected to take ten weeks.

Youth Club Saved.  10 Sept 2004                                                                News Archive

Andrew and Rebecca Carter of Arkwright Stores have taken over as leaders of Cromford Youth Club.
In May this year it was feared the club would have to close after the summer holidays following the resignations of founders Sue and John Brooks and Danielle Whittaker, who had been in charge since the club was started in 1987.
Meetings are held at the Methodist Church Hall in Water Lane on Thursdays between 8 and 10pm.
The Youth Club finally closed in 2005

Cromford Surgery Set to Close.  4 Sept 2004                                            News Archive

The Hannage Brook Medical Centre in Wirksworth is planning to close its Cromford and Brassington surgeries. The Saturday morning surgeries at Wirksworth will also go.
The reasons given for closing the village surgeries are the lack of proper examination facilities and no nursing and computer support. The money saved will be spent on improving facilities at the Medical Centre in Wirksworth.
Cromford Parish Council is contacting the Derbyshire Dales and South Derbyshire Primary Care Trust to enquire whether public consultation will take place, and if the local surgeries could be improved to meet the required criteria.
The Cromford surgery is held at the Institute every Tuesday and is conducted by Dr Rapoport.
Update: Cromford surgery will be closing on 2 October 2004.
The no-appointment open surgery at Wirksworth was stopped on 1st October 2004. This has not been given the same publicity as the other changes.

Tour of Britain Cycle Race goes through Cromford.  3 Sept 2004.          News Archive

Tour of Britain cyclists in Cromford
 Cyclists pass the end of North Street at the start
 of the hill climb.               Photograph: Roy Smith

The Tour of Britain cycle race sped through Cromford today, Friday, just before 11 am. The riders hardly slowed down on the King of the Mountains section on Cromford Hill, which has a gradient of 1 in 8.

The race started in Manchester on 1st September and will end in London on 5th September. Sixteen teams of 6 cyclists are taking part, including national teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, US Postal and Team GB

The East Midlands leg of the race is stage 3 of the Tour and covers 120 miles from Bakewell to Nottingham. The stage was won by Belgium's Tom Boonen in the time of 4 hours 30 minutes and 55 seconds.

Wheelie Bins for Cromford?  12 August 2004                                            News Archive

Derbyshire Dales District Council has now voted to introduce wheelie bins and edge-of-property collections for household and compostable waste. This means each household will have two wheelie bins, instead of the black bag system currently in place. The date for the changeover has not yet been fixed.
The proposal was discussed by Cromford Parish Council in April when it was agreed that wheelie bins were inappropriate for Cromford because of the large number of terraced houses where bins would have to be taken through homes to the street. Also many houses in other parts of Cromford have steep gardens with steps to the pavement. DDDC was notified accordingly.
Residents can send comments in writing to Wheeled Bins, Waste Management, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Town Hall, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3NN, or e-mail
The closing date for comments is August 31.

Boost for Playground Improvement Plans  26 August 2004                      News Archive

A grant of £4,717 has been awarded to the Cromford Playground Project Group from the Derbyshire Aggregates Levy Scheme. The money will be spent on a tarmac path at the playground to enable children to cycle, roller skate etc away from busy traffic.

Children of the Mills

       News Archive

       Children of the Mills

       18 July 2004
       Today, Willersley Castle, Cromford Mill
       and Masson Mill were the venues for lively
       performances of Children of the Mills, the
       story of Richard Arkwright's cotton mills.
       Using drama, music, song and dance over
       two hundred children from six local primary
       schools created the event aided by Wirksworth
       based "Learning Through Arts".
       Over 500 people watched the story unfold as
       they moved between the three sites.

Rare Arkwright Five Pound Note Sold. 30 April 2004                                News Archive

A Five pound note issued by the old Wirksworth and Ashbourn Bank has been sold by auctioneers Spink in London for £3,335. The note, serial number 3420, was issued on 24 August 1829 and is signed by Charles Arkwright, a son of Richard Arkwright Junior.
The bank, forerunner of the present Lloyds Bank in Wirksworth, was founded by John Toplis in 1780. Arkwright Junior became a partner in 1804, taking over full ownership in 1829 with his sons Peter and Charles, each holding a third share in the capital. The bank was known locally as Richard Arkwright and Co.
At that time merchants and businessmen would start up their own banks and issue their own banknotes, which were like a form of IOU.
The note was bought by Robert Aram, the owner of Masson Mills. A copy of the note will be displayed in the Working Textile Museum at Masson.
£5 issued at Wirksworth

I Promise to pay the Bearer
on Demand FIVE POUNDS, here or at
Messrs Smith Payne & Smiths Bankers LONDON.
Value rec'd WIRKSWORTH 24 August 1829
No. 3420
(E & P Hill & Peat?) For Richd Arkwright & Compy
Chas Arkwright

Dene Quarry extension to go ahead.  10 March 2004                               News Archive

Tarmac has been given permission to cut into a further 5 hectares at the north and south of Dene Quarry on Cromford Hill. This will give ten more years of production of coated roadstone, and will extract a further 14 million tons of limestone. A condition of the work is that Tarmace will fill in the quarry over time to claim back the land. In the long term existing quarry sites and the proposed extension will have hay meadow, pasture land and woodland as well as a lake.
Dean Hollow Tip will not be removed completely at the request of residents of Middleton as it screens the workings from the village.

The 100-acre quarry at present produces around 1.1 million tonnes of material a year, which involves about 200 lorry loads a day or 400 arrivals and departures. The quarry employs 39 people directly and a further 69 under contract. It is estimated that the quarry will be worked out by 2024.

World Cup Comes to Cromford.  5 March 2004                                          News Archive

Yesterday the Rugby World Cup was brought to Cromford Meadows, the home of Matlock Rugby Club, as part of a nationwide tour. Crowds of schoolchildren from 24 local primary schools, Anthony Gell School and Highfields School were assembled for a sight of the Webb Ellis Cup.

Persistent fog led to the cancellation of the planned helicopter and the cup was brought by a range rover with a police escort.
While they waited the children took part in a tag rugby festival. When the trophy arrived it was placed on a plinth in a marquee with the flag of St George and a backdrop of the English team celebrating. Groups of children were sent through to have their pictures taken with the cup, and all seemed to have enjoyed the experience.
The Sweet Chariot Tour was the idea of the RFU after the England win in the world championships in November led to nationwide rejoicing. The cup was taken to ten sites in Derbyshire, and the whole tour is expected to take up to three months.

Death of Former Cromford Baker. 26 February 2004                                News Archive

The death has been announced of Mr Norman Cecil Howard on February 18th at his home in Kirk Ireton. He was 83 years old.
Mr Howard was the owner of Howards Bakery in Cromford, supplying the village and surrounding areas with bread and cakes until his retirement in the early 1980s. He regularly showed parties of village schoolchildren around his bakery, and baked the hot cross buns for the annual Good Friday service at the church. During his time in Cromford he became the owner of a steam engine, and was one of the founders of the Cromford Steam Rally in 1970.
Mr Howard was the husband of the late Gertrude, and leaves children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In September of last year a fire destroyed a valuable collection of restored vintage engines belonging to Mr Howard's son Ian. See News Archive for details.

Death of Quarry Founder.   19 February 2004                                           News Archive

Pioneering businessman Mr Herbert Hardy died on February 1st at the Whitworth Hospital.
He was 96 years old.Mr Hardy developed Dene Quarry on Cromford Hill in 1942 with the backing of the Ministry of Supply, the pulverised limestone produced there making a valuable contribution to the war effort.
He went on to found the furniture store DFS in Darley Dale during the 1960s, becoming a national figure when he challenged Sunday trading restrictions by selling carrots for hundreds of pounds with a free gift of a 3-piece suite.
Tributes have been paid to him by the Matlock Business Group.
Bereaved are wife Edith, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Edith Mary Hardy, widow of Herbert Hardy, died on 7th March 2004 at the age of 91. Mrs Hardy died just over two weeks after the death of her husband.

See reference to Herbert Hardy on History page

Prince Charles at Cromford Mill.  31 January 2004                                  News Archive


Prince Charles visited Cromford Mill yesterday afternoon (Friday) to see how restoration work has progressed since his last visit eight years ago. He inspected the archaeological finds at the site and examined the work of the
Prince Charles with children from Cromford Schoolstonemasons in the First Mill. After viewing the remains of the damaged aqueduct he unveiled a plaque commemorating the Arkwright Society's restoration work. In a speech to the project's sponsors he said that everyone involved should be proud of what had been achieved in the restoration of the mills.
Despite the rain a crowd had gathered to see him including children from Cromford School. Prince Charles stopped several times to speak to the children and admire the posters and flags they had made. He also spoke to young people who have taken part in activities at the Cromford Venture Centre which he opened in 1996.

Cromford Postmaster Honoured.   8 January 2004                                    News Archive

Trevor Smedley, postmaster at the Cromford Post Office in Scarthin, has been awarded a Matlock Mercury New Year's Honour Award for services to the local community. Trevor was nominated by local people who appreciate the helpful and caring service he gives in the Post Office to all his customers. Trevor has also given talks in the village explaining new procedures concerning the payment of pensions.
The Matlock Mercury has honoured fifteen people whose names were put forward by the newspaper's readers.

^Back to the top

Some of the Properties for Sale During 2004.                                          News Archive

Workshops by Cromford Pond  November 2004
A freehold property situated near the Greyhound and adjacent to Cromford Pond is to be auctioned on 2 December. Previously a motor body repair workshop and originally a wheelwrights, the property has planning permission for conversion to a 4 bedroom house with double garage.

Tinsmiths Cottage  August 2004
A period stone cottage, at present used for holiday lets, is for sale for £139,950. Situated behind Janet's shop opposite the sough, the property dates from around 1765.
Agent: Bagshaws Residential.

Former Vicarage for Sale
The Grade II listed Georgian former vicarage is for sale for around £900,000. The building has seven reception rooms at ground level, eleven rooms on the first floor, two attics, with stone outbuildings and extensive grounds.
The vicarage, situated opposite Alison House off Intake Lane, has associations with the Arkwright family. In recent years the building has been used as offices.
SOLD October 2005

Two farm barns at Newclose Farm, Barnwell Lane are to be sold by auction as separate lots on 31 March. Guide prices £50,000 - £60,000.
The sale will be held at the Pirelli Suite, Pride Park, Derby, by Scargill Mann & Co. Tel: 01629 584591


Station waiting room to holiday accommodation.   December 2003       News Archive

An application for planning permission to convert the former waiting room at Cromford Railway Station into holiday accommodation has been made to the District Council. The building is owned by Tony Brook, who bought Station House together with the waiting room six months ago. He is hoping to restore the building to its original form.
The waiting room is over the bridge on the up-line, now unused, and was built in 1860. It was originally the main station building, connected to the telegraph, and had a clock tower. The tall chimneys at each end have been removed. In 1995 this building was pictured on the front of the single "Some Might Say" by the pop group Oasis.

Historic House for Sale   12 November 2003                                            News Archive

Cromford Bridge Hall (formerly Bridge House), is on the market for £1.5m.
The house was built by the Wigley family of Wirksworth in the 17th century, although in the attics there is evidence of an earlier timber framed house. At that time the area was known as Senior Field. There have been later additions and alterations over the years.
It was at one time the home of Benjamin Haywood, whose horse famously leapt from Cromford Bridge into the river below in 1697. He was involved in developing the warm springs at Matlock Bath.
The house has also been in the ownership of the Nightingale family of Lea. Elizabeth Evans, great aunt of Florence Nightingale, lived there until her death in 1852 when the house was offered to Florence to turn into a hospital. She declined and went on to her nursing work in the Crimea.
When the house was sold in 1967 it went for £15,000, which included the old coach house.
This could be an opportunity for any new owners to change the name back to Cromford Bridge House, its historic name. It has only been known as Hall in recent years.
Agents are Jones & Company of Belper. Tel 01773 880012

Joseph Wright's Portrait "Richard Arkwright, his wife Mary and Child".

In February 2003 it became known that this important painting by a Derby artist of industrialist Richard Arkwright Junior of Cromford was to be sold to America. Months of campaigning and fund raising succeeded in the purchase of the painting which is now on show in Derby Art Gallery.

This is how the story unfolded.

Arkwright Painting by Joseph Wright May be Lost   7 February 2003    News Archive

It is believed that a famous painting known as "Richard Arkwright, his wife Mary and Child", by Joseph Wright of Derby, may be sold abroad.
An application for an export licence was heard by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art last Wednesday. Their recommendation has been passed to the Arts Minister, Baroness Blackstone, but it could be weeks before her decision is known.
Richard Arkwright was the son of Sir Richard Arkwright,
"the father of the Industrial Revolution".

'Richard Arkwright, his wife Mary and Child' by Joseph Wright of Derby

Richard Junior moved into Willersley Castle in Cromford when it was completed in 1796. He was a successful mill owner in his own right, and later concentrated on property and banking. When he died in 1843 he was the richest commoner in Britain.
The painting was completed in 1790 and the child is Mary, the seventh of the couple's eleven children. Joseph Wright also painted their six older children as well as a portait of Sir Richard Arkwright.
More about Richard Arkwright Junior
Local MP Patrick McLoughlin has appealed to the Arts Minister to prevent the painting leaving the country.
13 March Update:  The Government has placed a temporary bar on the export of the painting. The Derwent Valley Mills Partnership (DVMP) which manages the World Heritage Site has launched a campaign to raise the £1,217,500 needed to buy the painting. It has until April 18 to show there is enough public support.
It is hoped the painting will eventually be displayed with other works by Joseph Wright in Derby Museum and Art Gallery.
24 March Update:  The DVMP is applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Art Collection Fund for grants totalling £850,000. 7 July 2003 Update: A grant of £777,000 has been donated by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Campaigners must now raise a further £207,000 to buy the painting.
18 August Update: The Government has extended the temporary ban on the export of the painting to September 12 to allow time for further fund raising.

Joseph Wright Painting Bought for the Nation.  30 September 2003    News Archive

There were celebrations today as campaigners fighting to keep an important local painting in the country succeeded in raising the £1.2 million needed to buy the painting and prevent its sale abroad.
The painting, a portrait of "Richard Arkwright, his wife Mary and Child", by Derby artist Joseph Wright, had been sold to an institution in America and an application for an export licence was made in February 2003. Following appeals to the Arts Minister to prevent the sale the Government placed a temporary bar on the export of the painting.
The Derwent Valley Mills Partnership which manages the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site then launched a fund-raising campaign to raise £1,217,500 to buy the painting. The Lottery Heritage Fund provided most of the funding, with pledges coming from individuals and organisations. However it looked as though the fight was lost as the final deadline of 30th September approached and the target had still not been reached. With only a day to go Derbyshire company Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (Wren) stepped in to pledge £66,000, and the final £5000 was added by the National Arts Collection, so ensuring the purchase of the painting.
The painting will eventually be on show at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

Arkwright Painting Back in Derbyshire   28 October 2003                      News Archive
The real identity of the child in the painting.

After months of campaigning and fund raising the portrait "Richard Arkwright, his wife Mary and Child", by Derby artist Joseph Wright, has today been brought to its new home at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery.
During the past months of publicity about the painting the child in the portrait has been named as Anne. However the child cannot be Anne, who was born in 1794, four years after the painting was completed.
The child is Mary, born in 1788, the seventh child of Richard and Mary Arkwright. Two portraits were also made by Wright of the six older children - "Three Children of Richard Arkwright and a Kite" showed Robert, Richard and Peter. "Three children of Richard Arkwright and a Goat" showed Elizabeth, Charles and John.
Mary died on 9 June 1803 at the age of 15 and is buried in Cromford church.
It is surely time that she is acknowledged as the child in the Joseph Wright painting.
To see the paintings of the other children

Last Call for Telephone Boxes?  8 October 2003                                    News Archive

Two of the payphone boxes in Cromford may be axed by BT because they are not financially viable. They are situated on Beech Walk and at the Crossroads. Their removal would leave only one box at the Market Place opposite the Greyhound Hotel.
Cromford Parish Council is inviting residents to the next council meeting on Wednesday 15th October at the Institute to discuss the issue.

Vintage Engines Destroyed.  23 September 2003                                    News Archive

A collection of restored vintage engines was virtually destroyed in a fire at Kirk Langley yesterday. The collection, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, belonged to Ian Howard, who is devastated by the loss. Among the collection was a 1920 Fowler steam engine called Renown, which he bought 30 years ago and restored to its former glory. Also destroyed was the Scania lorry and low loader which Mr Howard used to take his engines to rallies in England and on the continent.
Mr Howard, co-owner of the steam engine restoration business Alton Engineering, inherited his love of steam engines from his father, Norman, the owner of Howards Bakery in Cromford until about 21 years ago.
Mr Norman Howard owned a traction engine and was one of the founders of the Cromford Steam Rally in 1970.

Controversial Sign in Cromford. 1 September 2003                                News Archive

five_gif Remember Me sign

A Remember Me sign has been put on a telegraph pole on the A6 opposite the Esso petrol station in memory of Mark Storer. Mark was killed at the age of 27 outside the garage on August 21, 1992, when his motorbike was in collision with a lorry.
The black plastic sign with a red anenome bears Mark's name and was erected by his parents, Derek and Jean Storer of Belper. They hope the sign will make drivers more careful.
The signs are distributed by RoadPeace, a charity for road traffic victims, which is campaigning for permanent signs to be put up automatically at the site of every fatal accident.
Opponents of the scheme fear the signs could distract motorists.

Cromford Mill featured on the BBC Restoration series.

During 2003 the BBC made a series of programmes about historic buildings in danger of being lost because of the huge amounts of money needed for their preservation.
Viewers were to vote for the building they wished to see saved and £3million was available for its restoration. Cromford Mill was chosen to take part, but did not get beyond the first round of votes.

This is what happened.

Cromford Mill to be in TV Show   25 June 2003                                        News Archive

Members of the viewing public are to be given the chance to help save a historic building for the future. This summer will see a series of programmes on BBC2 called RESTORATION featuring 30 historic buildings at risk.
There will be ten programmes each visiting three sites and Sir Richard Arkwright's First Mill at Cromford will be the only project from the East Midlands to be included. Former West Derbyshire MP Matthew Parris is to act as advocate for the Mill.
Viewers will be able to vote by phone for the building they would most like to see preserved. Each call will cost 30p of which 17p will go towards renovating the winning building. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already promised a grant of £3million to the fund.
Cromford Mill will be shown on Tuesday 26th August.

Cromford Mill Pipped by Chapel.   29 August 2003                                  News Archive

Banner at Cromford Mill five_gif

Historic Cromford Mill failed to win enough votes to get through to the final stage of BBC2's Restoration series, which is aiming to save an endangered building from dereliction.
The contest was very close between the mill and Bethesda Chapel in Stoke-on-Trent, but Bethesda Chapel went ahead in the voting after a local radio appeal. The other entry was the former Newman Brothers coffin factory in Birmingham.

Update: The building which gained most votes in the final programme was the Victoria Baths in Manchester. A series of programmes will be made following the renovation of the swimming baths.

The Arkwright Society which runs Cromford Mill has suffered other setbacks in the last year. Four important historical artefacts have been damaged or stolen.
Unfortunately the Society does not give out information on the current situation regarding these incidents.

Here are reports about the losses.

More Trouble at 'Mill.   23 July 2003                                                          News Archive

The stolen fire insurance  plate five_gif

A fire insurance plate issued by the Guardian Insurance Group to Sir Richard Arkwright over 200 years ago has been stolen from Cromford Mill. The plate, made of embossed copper, measures about 12ins x 8ins and depicts the goddess Athena. It was positioned 25 feet above the road over the gate, and is believed to have been taken between Wednesday July 16 and Monday July 21.
The plate is an irreplaceable part of the mill's history, and its loss is a further blow following on from the theft of a longcase clock from the mill restaurant in February, and the demolition of the 1821 aqueduct last November in a road accident.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Arkwright Society on 01629 823256.

Clock Stolen from Cromford Mill.   5 February 2003                                 News Archive

The mechanism and dial of a valuable longcase clock was stolen from the restaurant at Cromford Mill early on Tuesday 4th February.

J Jeffryes, Cromford five_gif

Dating from the 1770s, the clock is thought to have been made by an Arkwright employee and was purchased by the community for the Society to be kept in Cromford.
The face has been re-silvered recently. It has black numerals and is engraved with "J Jeffryes, Cromford" and a small bird and plant motif.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Sarah McLleod at the Arkwright Society on 01629 823256 or Matlock Police on 01629 580100.
A substantial reward is on offer for its return.
Picture courtesy of the Peak Advertiser.

Cromford Mill Aqueduct Demolished.  8 November 2002                       News Archive

This afternoon a container lorry ran into the aqueduct over Mill Lane bringing it crashing to the ground. The cast iron aqueduct was torn from its fittings on the wall of the Mill and the supporting stone pier across the road.
Mill Lane was closed by police from the Crossroads to Cromford Bridge as fire officers cleared the debris. A large crane was brought in to load the damaged aqueduct on to a transporter for removal.
The Grade I listed aqueduct was put up in 1821 to carry water from Cromford Sough to a water wheel driving Arkwright's first mill. It replaced an earlier wooden structure.
It is not known whether this important piece of Cromford's heritage can be repaired and put back where it has stood for the last 181 years.

Church Walk Gates Damaged
The disappearance of the cast iron gates on the A6 entrance to Church Walk was first noticed in June 2001. This was not reported as a news item as enquiries at Cromford Mill elicited the information that the gates were being renovated.
As the gates had still not reappeared by the beginning of December 2003 eighteen months later, I asked about them again and was given the following information by Martin Gilly, who was very helpful.
Someone drove a car down Church Walk from the A6, lost control and ended up stuck on the river bank. He arranged for a JCB to retrieve the car, and unfortunately as the JCB came through the gates they were damaged, in particular the decorative finials on top of the gates.
The present situation is that the gates are at a Blacksmiths awaiting repair to the finials and the hinges to be reset.
It is to be hoped the Society is keeping track of the work on the gates.

New Fish and Chip Shop   3 August 2003                                                  News Archive

A fish and chip take-away and cafe opened today in the premises of the former Village Shop. This new venture by the Gould family is open for business Monday to Saturday at lunch times and evenings.

Fatal Accident on A6.   9 June 2003                                                            News Archive

A pedestrian crossing the A6 at the junction with Intake Lane was struck by a motorcycle last Saturday afternoon. Mrs Elizabeth Campbell, aged 79 and from Wolverhampton, was taken to Chesterfield Royal Hospital where she died later that evening. She was with her husband at the time of the accident.
The motorcyclist was from Nottinghamshire. Police are appealing for witnesses to the accident.

Expansion of Arkwright Stores.   May 2003                                               News Archive

An application has been made by Mr & Mrs Tew and Mr & Mrs Carter for change of use of part of the ground floor of No 37 Market Place from residential to retail, and internal alterations and new openings in party walls at Nos 35/37/39 Market Place to facilitate conversion to retail use.
Mr Tew and Mr Carter are the proprietors of Arkwrights Stores at No 39. Numbers 35 and 37 were at one time the home of Lloyds Bank.

New Parish Council.   2 May 2003                                                                News Archive

There was no election for the Parish Council yesterday as there were only 7 candidates for the ten seats. The councillors are: Barbara Bowman, Arnold Crosby, Peter Naylor, Ian Page, Angus Watson, Donald Whittaker and Michael Whitworth.
Four councillors did not stand this time. Peter Naylor is a new member.
Update - Three people have since been opted on to the council to fill the vacancies - Jeremy Beckett and Derek Roose, (members of the last council), and Julie Lowe.
In the District Council election, John March and Nicholas Elliott were re-elected for the Masson ward

Death of Retired Chemist.  30 April 2003                                                  News Archive

The death occurred on 24 April of Mr Ronald Carter, aged 87, at a nursing home in Duffield. Mr Carter will be remembered as the village chemist at the shop on Cromford Market Place, which he ran for many years.
He was a keen photographer and at one time gave talks and exhibitions about his hobby at the Institute.
He retired in April 1983, when he and his wife Lin moved to Intake Lane.
A widower, Mr Carter left a sister and nieces and nephews.
There will be a funeral service at St Mary's Church, Cromford on Tuesday May 6 at 1.30pm, followed by cremation at Chesterfield.

Scarthin Books Wraps Up.   28 February 2003                                          News Archive

Banner on Scarthin bookshop five_gif

Last Friday residents and visitors in Cromford had difficulty
finding their way into the popular bookshop on Scarthin.
A huge red banner emblazoned with the words "NO WAR"
was draped over the front of the building.

The banner was created by the Matlock and District Stop
the War Group and was recently seen worldwide on the
BBC website hanging from High Tor, Matlock Bath.

David Mitchell, a group member and owner of Scarthin Books, said pressure should be kept up on the government to halt
the drift to war with Iraq.


12 days old five+gif


Jane and Robert are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter Madeleine Lucy on 7th February 2003.
Madeleine was born at home in Whitstable, Kent and weighed in at a bouncing 9lb 8oz.
Big brothers Thomas and Daniel are delighted with their baby sister.

Jane Daykin was a pupil at Cromford School and Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth.

Holiday Accommodation Planned.   30 January 2003                                 News Archive

Mr Anthony Carline proposes alterations to a listed building ie conversion of upper floors to form
two flat units at 7 The Hill, Cromford. Also the demolition of The Wash-house, Swifts Hollow, The Hill, and the conversion of a coach house at Swifts Hollow to form holiday accommodation and garage.
Also the conversion of the Bakehouse to form holiday accommodation.

Slinter Cottage Revamp.   24 January 2003                                                News Archive

A tax on quarries, set up to put money into areas which have been affected by them, has raised £250,000. The money is being distributed by the county council and a grant of £42,564 has been awarded to the Arkwright Society towards restoring the water wheel at Slinter Bobbin Mill on Via Gellia in Cromford.
Slinter Cottage is a Grade II listed building and is at present on the register of buildings at risk. The Society is planning to restore the water wheel to working order and provide holiday acommodation on the first floor.
Grants have also been awarded to the National Stone Centre at Wirksworth and towards the conservation of Crich Stand which is the memorial of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters.

Youth Club Leader Honoured.   9 January 2003                                      News Archive

Susan Brooks, of North Street Cromford, has been awarded a Matlock Mercury New Year's Honour Award for services to her local community.
For the last 11 years Sue has been involved in the running of Cromford Youth Club, spending every Thursday evening organising activities and coping with the practical problems of running a club. She has devoted many hours to giving help and support to young people in the village.
Sue has also raised money for other charities and is on the committee of the Cromford Community Centre.
The Matlock Mercury has honoured thirteen people who were all nominated by the newspaper's readers.

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Cromford Mill Aqueduct Demolished  8 November 2002                         News Archive

This afternoon a container lorry ran into the aqueduct over Mill Lane bringing it crashing to the ground. The cast iron aqueduct was torn from its fittings on the wall of the Mill and the supporting stone pier across the road.
Mill Lane was closed by police from the Crossroads to Cromford Bridge as fire officers cleared the debris. A large crane was brought in to load the damaged aqueduct on to a transporter for removal.
The Grade I listed aqueduct was put up in 1821 to carry water from Cromford Sough to a water wheel driving Arkwright's first mill. It replaced an earlier wooden structure.
It is to be hoped that this important piece of Cromford's heritage can be repaired and put back where it has stood for the last 181 years.

Village Shop to Close.   14 October 2002                                                  News Archive

The Village Shop is set to close on Saturday 19 October. Annette Patterson is hoping to take life more easily after running the shop for the past three years.
The closure means there will no longer be a grocery shop in Cromford.
The previous owner, Albert Prime, was there for about twenty years and extended the property when he took over. Before that the shop was run by Mr and Mrs Dixon.
Customers have appreciated Annette's time at the shop and will wish her well in her "retirement".
The shop will be re-opening in a few weeks time but not in its present form.

Howards Bakery will be extending its range to include fruit and vegetables.

Cromford Steam Rally Victim of Weather.  2 August 2002                      News Archive


This weekend's Cromford Steam Rally has been cancelled for the first time in its 32 year history. Recent heavy rainfall culminating in a downpour yesterday resulted in the show field becoming waterlogged.
Spokesman Ken Bowmer stated that the rally had to be cancelled  in the interests of safety. The limited company is not insured and will have to bear losses of between £20,000 and £25,000.
It is hoped that the rally will be back next year.

Local People in the News.   July/August 2002                                          News Archive

NOEL CASHFORD has written a book about his war time experiences as a bomb disposal officer.
The book, "All Mine", includes artwork done by Mr Cashford and is available in local bookshops.
See report of 24 March 2002.

DEREK ROOSE, Cromford businessman and parish councillor, has collected £670 from local traders to buy Golden Jubilee mugs for each child at Cromford School. Derek still has his Coronation mug from 1953 and wanted the children to have a similar souvenir of the Queen's 50 year reign.

Wirksworth Hannage Brook Medical Centre news.                                News Archive

Dr Pat Mordey left the Hannage Brook Medical Centre in March after 26 years as a Wirksworth GP, the last ten years as Senior Partner. With her husband Chris she moved to Scotland where she was planning to work part time.
Chris was well known locally for his roles in the local dramatic society and for his gift shop "Chris's Emporium".

Dr Mark Merrick joined the practice after Dr Pat Mordey moved to Scotland.

Dr Trevor Hyde retired from the Medical Centre on 9th May after 24 years as a GP in Wirksworth. His departure came two months after Dr Mordey moved to Scotland.
Dr Hyde and his wife Lesley support the charity One to One Children's Fund, which provides practical help to children affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa. In October 2002 the couple tackled a six day, 80 mile trek in the Cedarburg mountains in Eastern Cape to raise money for the charity.

In July two new doctors were welcomed to the Hannage Brook Medical Centre.
Dr Ian Lawrence and Dr Liz Lawrence took over from Dr Hyde, and are replacing Dr Hyde on a "job share" basis.

Morris Dancers visit Cromford.  6 July 2002                                            News Archive

The Wakefield Dancers

Morris Dancers visited Cromford today as part of a Dance Weekend based at Ambergate.
Teams including Mortimer's Morris,
Wakefield Dancers, Berkshire Bedlam and Bradford Women's Morris gave performances on North Street, Scarthin and at Cromford Mill. The energetic dancers were accompanied by lively music played on concertinas, accordions, guitars, fiddles and drums.

Right    The Wakefield Dancers performing on Scarthin by the Boat Inn. Note rear view of the houses on the Market Place and the Greyhound Hotel.

Jubilee Baton.  Sunday, 30 June 2002                                                       News Archive

arch batton five_gif

The Queen's Golden Jubilee Baton was today carried through Cromford on its way to Manchester for the opening of the Commonwealth Games.
The baton was carried by Mark Fardon, accompanied by four other runners and led by a convoy of police motorcyclists. The stage began on Water Lane near the bottom of Chapel Hill and ended at Matlock Bath.
Local girl Sarah Bunting was chosen to run with the baton along Burton Road in Derby.

Mark Fardon, right, carrying the baton five_gif

The Jubilee Baton Relay is part of the celebrations of the Queen's Golden Jubilee year. The 50 day tour started on Commonwealth Day, June 6, and will pass through England, N Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey before finishing at Manchester Stadium for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on July 25.
The baton contains the Queen's opening address.

Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father King George VI following his death on 6 February, 1952.

Peak Practice Ends.  26 June 2002                                                            News Archive

The popular TV drama series set in a doctors' practice in Derbyshire is ending after nine years. The first episodes were written by Lucy Gannon of Wirksworth who had the original idea. The fictional village of Cardale was based on Crich and some of the filming was done around Cromford.
Premises in Water Lane were transformed into a shop for one episode.
Black Rocks was the scene of several incidents when the doctors bravely rescued climbers in difficulty, while the filming of another valiant doctor being lowered from a helicoptor onto Cromford Meadows to tend an injured footballer provided entertainment for walkers and sheep alike.
Cromford Meadows was also used as the site of a funfair. Filming took place over several winter evenings, when the fairground was lit up and in full swing with people milling around. No sound could be heard and viewed at a distance it was really quite eery. It snowed one night and settled which must have caused problems in continuity.
Yet another heroic rescue by the stout hearted doctors took place on the River Derwent.
Production is to begin next year on another medical drama to be called Sweet Medicine which will also be set in a Derbyshire village, although which village has not yet been decided.
Does anyone have any photos of the filming of Peak Practice in Cromford?

Cromford in Jubilee.  4 June 2002                                                            News Archive

Cottages off Cromford Hill five+gif

Shops and houses in Cromford are decorated with flags and bunting to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
Over the holiday period events have been held to celebrate this unique occasion. On Friday Cromford school pupils dressed up for their Jubilee party. Heather, Kelly, Sophie and Thomasine were all queen for a day.
The Community Centre hosted celebrations on Sunday, with music from the Community Band.
Monday saw Angela Ash leading a walk and picnic to the Rose End Nature Reserve and by the canal.

Many of the flags are also in support of England in the Football World Cup.

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School Railings Re-instated.  9 May 2002                                                 News Archive

New railings have been put up in front of Cromford Primary School to replace the ones removed during the Second World War. A Millenium Committee set up by village organisations and the parish council organised fund raising events for the project. A grant from the Slinter Quarry landfill tax contributed to the cost and materials were donated by Tarmac at Dene Quarry.
The railings in front of the Institute have also been replaced.

Church Paintings Restoration Completed.  20 April 2002                       News Archive

The Ascension of Our Lord

Work to restore the murals in St Mary's Church has been completed and the church is now open for normal services. A team of experts led by Tom Organ began work in January to repair damage to the paintings caused by dry rot and water leaks.

The wall paintings and the East window were created to mark both the centenary of the consecration of the church and Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, in 1897. The artist Alfred Hemmings took several years to complete the work.

Funding for the restoration project was raised by the Cromford Church Restoration Committee with grants from English Heritage and the Cromford Conservation Area Partnership. The vicar and churchwardens applied for permission in September 2001 from the Consistory Court of the Diocese for the restoration work.

Detail from 'Daniel' five_gif

The Bishop of Derby, the Right Reverend Jonathan Bailey, will be attending a service of thanksgiving at the church today, led by vicar Rev John Currin.

The church will be open on Saturday mornings from June to August for visitors to see the paintings restored to their former glory.

A booklet will soon be available explaining the paintings and how they were restored.

Lost Medal Replaced.   24 March 2002                                                      News Archive

Mr Noel Cashford of Cromford was devastated when he discovered that the military MBE medal he was awarded in 1946 was missing, and did not expect to see it again. The medal was awarded for his work as a bomb and mine disposal officer in World War II when he made safe over a thousand explosives, including sea mines, tank mines, bombs, unexploded shells and grenades.
Mr Cashford gives talks on his wartime experiences and believes the medal was lost after his last talk in November. Despite coverage in local media the medal has not been returned.
After Central Television informed the authorities at Buckingham Palace of the loss of the medal, Mr Cashford was delighted to receive a replacement.

Repairs to wall at Crossroads.                                                                    News Archive

On 23 May 2001 part of the wall on the A6 was demolished after a fire engine answering an emergency call collided with a car at the Crossroads. The fire engine ended up in Lime Yard below, crushing a garage and the car inside. Work to rebuild the wall began on 3 January 2002, and lasted about twelve weeks at an estimated cost of £20,000.

From Lime Yard five_gif

24 Feb 2002.
View from Lime Yard where the fire engine landed on top of a garage.
The wall below road level, the pavement and part of the road were unstable and extensive repair work was necessary.
The new dry stone wall will be over 4 metres high (approx 14 feet) on completion.
It is being built by stone mason Gareth Montague.

From A6 five_gif

3 March 2002.
View of A6 towards Derby.
One lane of the A6 was fenced off and temporary traffic lights installed while work was in progress.

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Mobile Police Station for Cromford.   12 March 2002                               News Archive

Today saw the first visit of Derbyshire Constabulary's mobile police station to Cromford. The van, parked on the Community Centre car park, is for members of the public to report incidents or discuss problems.
It will visit Cromford on the second Tuesday of the month between 12.30 pm and 4.00 pm.
This is a new venture to make police more accessible to people who are unable to visit their local station. The mobile police station will be calling at 24 villages on a monthly basis, and four others, including Wirksworth (Tuesday) will be visited weekly.
PC Neil Pitts will be manning the van and is keen to meet local people.
Call in for a cup of tea and a chat!

Cromford in Big Freeze.   2 January 2002                                                 News Archive

View of Cromford Meadows

The snow that fell during last Saturday night   (29/30 Dec) has frozen and there is no sign of a thaw. Side roads and pavements are slippery but the main road is clear.
Sunshine on New Year's Day, Tuesday, attracted walkers to the Canal and Meadows, and sledges were brought out for the first time this winter.
The extreme cold is expected to last until the weekend.

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Cromford a World Heritage Site.   14 December 2001                             News Archive

A 15 mile corridor from Masson Mill in Matlock Bath to the Silk Mill in Derby and including the mills in Cromford, Milford, Belper and Darley Abbey has been declared the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
The Government's nomination of the area to UNESCO for World Heritage status was approved in Helsinki this week.
The Arkwright Society began the campaign for the award, which recognises the part played in the area during the Industrial Revolution with its far reaching effects around the world.

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Apple Day at Scarthin.   22 October 2001                                                  News Archive

On Scarthin Promenade five_gif

Saturday was apple day in Scarthin when people were invited along with their windfalls and plenty of bottles to make use of an apple crusher.
There were also wood-turning demonstrations on a lathe driven by a treadle, and examples of items made with willow.
The day, organised by David Mitchell of Scarthin Books, has become a popular annual event.

Mill Grant Received.  18 October 2001                                                     News Archive

Rear of First Mill

The East Midlands Development Agency has today transferred a grant of £240,000 to the Arkwright Society. This means money from the Heritage Lottery Fund can now be released.
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a £1.8 million grant towards restoration work at Cromford Mill in May.

Work is being carried out on Richard Arkwright's first mill, built in 1771, and improvements including a viewing platform will be made on site for the benefit of visitors.
The Arkwright Society began restoring Cromford Mill in 1979.

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Creative Cromford.  22 Sept 2001                         Fun Weekend.  10 Sep 2001           News Archive

Some of the exhibits                                                                   
 An exhibition of local arts and crafts organised
by the WI attracted a stream of visitors.

Cromford Band at Fun Weekend                                              

The weekend was organised by the Community Association in aid of the Community Centre and Cromford School, raising an impressive £411.

Rock Climbing Ban.  1 September 2001                                                      News Archive

One of the notices on Church Walk five_gif

The Arkwright Society has banned rock climbing and abseiling on the cliff face of Scarthin Tor along   Church Walk, Cromford.   Notices have been posted along the cliff face.
The climbs have been closed for safety reasons.

This picturesque river walk has long been a popular venue for rock climbers.

Footpaths to Re-Open.  5 July 2001                                                            News Archive

No-Access signs by Cromford Canal

Today marks the official end of the closure of footpaths due to the outbreak of foot and mouth.
However access to Cromford Meadows is still restricted because of grazing sheep. The gates are locked to vehicles and the public is requested not to enter. Sports clubs have been allowed on to mow the cricket, football and rugby pitches.
Cromford Canal towpath is to re-open for visitors.

Derbyshire was largely free of the disease, the only cases being in the south of the county.

War Memorial.  June 2001                                                                            News Archive

Detail from War Memorial

The cleaning and refurbishment of the War Memorial
in Cromford Memorial Garden has been completed.
The work was organised by the Parish Council and
the Royal British Legion.
There are 28 names on the Memorial.

Find out more about the men from Cromford and Scarthin
who died in the two World Wars.

Fire Engine Crash at Cromford.  23 May 2001                                            News Archive

Site of demolished garage in Lime Yard below road

A fire engine answering an emergency call collided with a car at Cromford Crossroads at 10.20pm. It crashed through a wall and fell on to its side in Lime Yard, demolishing a garage and the car inside.
The driver of the car involved in the accident, Michael Gardom from Wirksworth, suffered a broken leg, ribs and cheekbone.
The fire engine had been called out to rescue a sheep trapped on a ledge.

High Peak Trail Scheme.  April 2001                                                            News Archive

The bench at Sheeps Pasture

At Sheeps Pasture on the High Peak Trail, a large beech log has been transformed into a seat by local artist Andrew Frost. It has carvings of oak leaves, an acorn and a forester.

The seat is part of a scheme to provide information and interest along the Trail. This includes plaques with cut-out motifs of engines, barges etc, fixed to cliff sides and walls alongside the Trail and at High Peak Junction.

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© 2001 - 2013 Yvonne Daykin. Cromford village website launched 3 June 2001.       Updated 12 January 2013