COLUMN: History outing inspires heritage team

Sue Cooper

Sue Cooper

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At the beginning of September the Wirksworth Heritage Centre trustees and volunteers had a bus excursion to the National Civil War Museum in Newark.

Their director gave us a guided tour and lots of background information on their project. Despite having once lived near Newark, I knew very little of the civil war other than the town’s battered castle and most of our volunteers were in the same position. As well as being a very informative lesson on the wars we all came away with ideas for our own project and many said they would go back to the museum again.

The dust has settled on our HLF lottery bid application so we are now engaged in the serious business of fund-raising for our share of the project cost.

At the Wirksworth Festival trail weekend we were operating a café in the courtyard behind Webster’s and we started slowly during Saturday morning’s bad weather. However, we ended up running out of cakes on Sunday afternoon, so a great event for the town was also a good step on the campaign for us.

We hope to raise a good proportion of our required funds from the auction on October 27 of the old Heritage Centre premises at the Silk Mill, in Crown Yard.

We will be sorry to see such a lovely building go out of our control but we are sure someone will turn it into a lovely home. The auction does mean that the volunteer team is busy working to a deadline packing up the collection for storage with Derby Museums.

Our dance event at Wirksworth Town Hall on November 19 has been titled T’Owd Man Rocks and tickets are £12 each from TraidLinks and the heritage centre. As I have mentioned before, the Derbyshire band Facsimile is playing and we expect the night to do really well for us. In conjunction with the dance we are running a Funding Our Future raffle in which the top prize is a diesel train driving experience. Everyone is busy selling the tickets but, if I could, I think I would have bought all of them myself and had a go at something I’ve thought of previously as a “man thing”!