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Limescape – The Shrouded Aesthetic

Captured over a 3 year period, this study by Steve Gresty considers how limestone quarrying – a process which seeks to meet our unrelenting desire for the comforts and conveniences of consumer items – is concealed both from public view and under the veil of the dust it creates. Carboniferous limestone contributes to the natural […]

Clyde Steam Puffers

Coal smoke spiralling its lazy way above the shining inverted keel of Glasgow’s Science Museum guided us to the puffer VIC32, our home for a week’s cruise around the Firth of Clyde. Puffers were once the lifeline for communities throughout Scotland’s west coast, and beyond, carrying everything from coal to livestock.  Their curious design was […]

Modern Collectibles – Swatch Originals

In the early 1980s, when just appointed Keeper of Antiquities at Derby Museum, one of my duties was to scan the more prestigious auction catalogues. The reason was because I had determined to increase our collections relating to the then total unsung Derby clockmaker and Enlightenment scientific pioneer John Whitehurst FSA. Yet by the middle […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Taste Derbyshire – Food Festivals

Move over Glastonbury, Y Not and Download, the hottest festivals in the UK this year are more likely to feature ciabatta than The Cure. While some hardy folk still enjoy wading through slippery mud and vegan jugglers at music festivals – everyone, and their Labrador, loves a food festival. They are everywhere and so the […]

Lead Smelters of the Peak District

The Derbyshire Peak was once the major supplier of lead in the world.  There is the possibility of lead being dug from close to the surface in pre-Roman times, but it was one of the reasons why Rome decided to annexe Britain to its empire.  There is a folk memory of a kind of concentration […]