New exhibition Open All Hours spotlights Derbyshire town's historic shops

A new exhibition tells the story of old shops in a Derbyshire town.

Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 5:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 6:38 am
Open All Hours exhibition gives visitors an insight into the shops that used to be in Wirksworth.

The Open All Hours display at Wirkworth Heritage Centre features retail equipment and goods sold in the town’s shops in the past.

There is a snapshot timeline for shops in three years from 1912, lots of old photos, adverts and memories.

Visitors to the exhibition at can watch videos about some of the historic shops, including Blitz Records, Killer’s Bakery, Marsden’s Hardware and its ancient ceiling, Nagziz and Thor Biscuits.

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Exhibits that are on show at the Open All Hours exhibition in Wirksworth Heritage Centre.

They can also listen to memories of shops and take in the smells of coal-fired bread ovens and sweet shops.

Open All Hours runs until April. Entry is included in the Heritage Centre’s general museum ticket price, which gives you a whole year’s entry to the museum including next summer’s special exhibition. The exhibition opens a year later than originally planned due to the Covid lockdown in early 2021.

There are also three self-guided trail leaflets to help visitors explore the history of the town or take them on to the surrounding hills. Open All Hours is a walk around the town to introduce some of the well-loved shops that used to be in Wirksworth. The other two trails take walkers on to the surrounding hills, one limestone and one gritstone, to showcase some of the farming, industrial and trading stories of the valley. They are available at the Heritage Centre, railway station, library and National Stone Centre.

The Open All Hours book is on sale at Wirksworth Bookshop, Top Ken’s, Marsden’s and the Heritage Centre, and is available to borrow from Wirksworth Library.

The exhibition, book and trails are the result of the hard work of residents who have done the research and the people who have shared memories, photos and stories of shops and shopkeepers.

They are part of the New Opportunities Wirksworth Works project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by Wirksworth Town Council, Wirksworth Heritage Centre and Wirksworth Traders.

The heritage centre on St John’s Street, Wirksworth, is open Thursday, December 23, from 9am to 4pm, and Friday, December 24, from 9am until 3pm then will reopen on January 13, 2022.