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Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

We are fortunate in having three preserved railways in our part of the North Midlands. Peak Rail, the Midland Railway, Butterley and the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, follow routes through attractive countryside, but arguably the Ecclesbourne line is through some of the best unspoilt farming countryside in Derbyshire. Part of its route is almost as though […]

Paestum & Agropoli

Within a thirty minute car journey north from Castellabate, via the gateway to Cilento town is the larger town of Agropoli, just south of Salerno. Agropoli sits prettily on a promentary looking out at the Tyrrhenian Sea, where African and Eurasian Plates meet. Reading facts like this sent to me straight to the atlas. There […]

Product Test – Neal’s Yard Remedies

Nurture Your Hair with Neal’s Yard Remedies Natural Organic Health & Beauty 100% Organic Argan Oil £17.50 50ml Organic Argan Oil is Soil Association certified and  rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids to soothe, nourish and hydrate skin. Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Argan Oil is sourced from South West Morocco, the only region […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Stuffynwood Hall

  One of my oldest friends is a great enthusiast for huge spiky Gothic Victorian country houses. He thinks Samuel Sander Teulon (‘the good ship Teulon’ as he always calls him) a genius who far outshines Wren or Adam and considers Damien Hurst deserving almost of deification for buying and restoring vast, inchoate and sprawling […]

Derbyshire Antiques – Dinky Toy Aircraft

Last month I penned a few lines about the enduring and collectible die cast model motor vehicles produced by Meccano Limited under the Dinky imprimatur. This I threatened to follow up with an article about the die cast model aircraft the firm also made from the 1930s. I was given my first example as a […]

Travelling Through History – Where Our Forebears Trod

One lesson archaeology has given us is that people have always moved around much more than we realise. Tales of ancient sages in deep rural England who had hardly ever been to the local market town and never to London were commonplace when I was young, but the astonishingly wide distribution of certain diagnostic types […]

Celebrity Interview – John Lyons

For more than 17 years he was Sir David Jason’s moustachioed sidekick on the immensely popular television series A Touch Of Frost. It proved to be a double-edged sword for John Lyons – he is often recognised as Detective Sergeant George Toolan and it has limited his subsequent TV appearances. But the small screen’s loss […]

Derbyshire Walk – An Alpine-style walk around Matlock Bath

On a sunny weekend today’s Matlock Bath is popular with middle-aged motorcyclists whose expensive mounts line the riverside frontage.  They are just the modern manifestation of the visitors who come to enjoy the local scenery.  As far back as the Georgian era, people have come to admire the unique setting of this small village: at […]

Italy – Moving South to Cilento

Travelling along the coast from Amalfi, with the music from the Italian job running through my head we went past Paestum and its temples down to Cilento which brings a remarkable contrast in many ways. We hadn’t factored into our journey the fact it was a bank holiday weekend in Italy and therefore a planned […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Oak Hurst, Alderwasley

As one travels north on the A6 one of the less uplifting sights in an area of stunning beauty is the wire works, covering the valley floor not many hundreds of yards south of the bridge by the former Derwent Inn, now a tea-room. Should you be caught in slow traffic – fairly likely at […]