Projects

The preservation of the history, traditions and landscape of mid-Derbyshire is important to us as a way of strengthening our community and encouraging local people to develop a shared understanding of place and heritage. 

In recent years we have undertaken a number of projects with this in mind:


Dally Wash
With the support of the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and a donation from Severn Trent Water, local resident and member of the Association, Betty Cowan, led a major project to excavate and restore a fascinating landscape feature which lies just south of Belper Lane End on the east side of Dalley Lane. 

Betty’s enthusiasm soon engaged the interest of Derbyshire Archaeological Society and excavations of the derelict site revealed a fairly shallow well which, unusually, has two opposing sets of stone steps to provide access.

The site is known locally at Dally Wash but it’s origins and uses are not clear.  Several functions have been suggested for the feature including a general washing facility; a plimming pit for use by stagecoaches on the turnpike road;  a Spout Well or even an Ebbing and Flowing Well! But most likely, it was simply a rather elaborate water source for local communities and industries in the valley.  Uses may have varied through the ages and some have left their mark on the archaeological and historical record.

As a result of the project, the area has been cleared of trees and shrubs and the original stonework of the well is now restored to its proper place.  An information board provides some background material while a bench provides a relaxing place to sit and enjoy the countryside.

 

Phone Kiosk
With the help of Belper Town Council, we have adopted the telephone kiosk in Belper Lane End under BT’s Adopt a Kiosk scheme.

The British red telephone box was designed in the 1920s by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect who also designed Liverpool Cathedral, Waterloo Bridge and Battersea Power Station.  Over the next few years, the model was developed, the kiosk at Belper Lane End being a 1935 K6, sometimes known as the ‘Jubilee’ kiosk as it was commissioned to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V.  It is 2.5m tall and weighs 0.7 tonnes.

This project has recently been completed.  The kiosk is fully refurbished and is now in use as an information point and book exchange.  The official opening of the kiosk was performed by Councillor Tim Sutton, Mayor of Belper, on Saturday, 30th June 2018.

 

"Faith on a Derbyshire Hillside: A History of Saint Faith’s Church, Belper Lane End and North West Belper" by Rod Hawgood
Published in 2014, this book tells the story of a church in a small corner of Derbyshire as well as describing the life and times of the community which it served.  The Association is grateful for the support of Belper Town Council, The Herbert Strutt Fund and the Derbyshire Community Foundation which allowed this long-cherished ambition to be realised.  Copies of the book are available from by contacting Rod Hawgood on rod.hawgood@gmail.com, from the Hilltop Stores on Belper Lane, and from the Belper Bookshop on King Street.