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The Lost Houses of Derbshire – West House, Chesterfield

About seven years ago I found myself sat next to Sir Nicholas Soames at lunch, which put me on my conversational mettle. What does one say to a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill and the son of a Tory Grandee (the last governor of Southern Rhodesia inter alia) and a man who himself is a […]

Wirksworth Heritage Centre

Brian Spencer takes a visit to Wirksworth Heritage Centre where amongst other things, he learns about his ancestors who lived in the town over five hundred years ago. Tucked away almost hidden at the top of the Ecclesbourne Valley; Wirksworth is one of those places where a visit will open the eyes of even the […]

A Local Incident During the English Civil War

The Civil War brought tragedy to both countryside and town, none more so than in a quiet corner of the Derbyshire countryside.  Brian Spencer reports one small, but horrific event which occurred in the sleepy village of Ashover, near the head of the Amber Valley. The quiet village of Ashover sits amidst sunny fields near […]

Dining Out – Afternoon Tea on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

We’ve dined on some memorable trains; breakfast on the Lake Shore Limited as it skirted the edge of Lake Erie on its route from New York to Chicago. Lunch at 190 miles per hour on one of the Frecciarossa trains between Naples and Florence and dinner on board the California Zepher as it made its […]

Product Test – Soap Co.

The Soap Co. is an ethical luxury brand that creates sophisticated cruetly-free body care products to nuture and care for your skin. Wild Nettle & Sage Hand Lotion 300ml £18 13 natural oils including healing sage, uplifting rosemary and stress relieving thyme provide the delicate herbal notes for our Wild Nettle & Sage hand lotion. […]

Celebrity Interview – Julia Watson

Oozing confidence, charm and charisma, Julia Watson saunters around a church she’s known for many years, entertaining a rapt crowd with tales of her career and reciting some of literature’s greatest lines. It’s obvious that she was cut out to be on stage and it’s no surprise later when she tells me “I love acting”. […]

The Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Old Saint Helen’s House, Derby

One often comes across houses – not always ancient ones – which have names carrying the suffix ‘Priory’ or similar. Very often, such houses were built on former monastic land or even adapted from monastic buildings, although it has to be admitted that sometimes the connection is spurious and the nomenclature arrived at quite vicariously. […]

Modern Collectibles – Cinema Posters

Recently the original of the poster for the classic Carry-on film Carry on Cleo was offered for sale at an anticipated four-figure sum. This caught my eye more for its anticipated price as for anything. Of course, the film, was memorable for Kenneth Williams as Caesar’s wonderful line, ‘Infamy, infamy – they’ve all got it […]

Walk Derbyshire – Around Matlock Moor

A short 4 mile (6.4km) easy walk along clear paths and a quiet upland road.  One steady climb of 220ft (67m). Muddy sections near both farms and woodland passed along the way. Recommended Map:  Outdoor Leisure Map Sheet 24 The Peak District – White Peak Area. Transport: The X17 Chesterfield service leaves Matlock bus station […]

Repton Captial of the Kingdom of Mercia

The history of the North Midlands is writ large on this ancient town set high above the quiet meadows bordering the River Trent.  Its history is traced from Saxon and Norman times, through Tudor to the present day. Even the Danes who came this far up the Trent in their longships, made it their winter […]