Time to Talk Day 2020

This Thursday is national Time to Talk Day when thousands of people around the country will be coming together in their communities, workplaces and schools to get the nation talking about mental health.

Time to Talk Day is a chance for all of us to choose to talk about mental health and to encourage our friends, families, neighbours and colleagues to do the same.

Colouring inIn support of Time to Talk Day the record office is holding an lunchtime ‘Colouring in for Adults’ session.  A chance to take some time out of your busy day for some mindfulness. Relax with a cuppa, have a chat if you like, and while away an hour colouring in designs taken from our collections.

This free session runs from 1pm-2pm this Thursday and is drop in, so no need to book.

For more information on Time to Talk day and for advice on mental health issues, visit time-to-change.org.uk.

Leonard Cheshire Photographic Exhibition

This is not a directly Derbyshire post, but our followers may be interested in an exhibition in Burton-on-Trent curated by the Leonard Cheshire Archive (based in South Derbyshire).

Royalty Carers and Residents, Leonard Cheshire life through the eyes of a Fleet Street photographer features the work of Norman Potter (a Fleet Street photographer who worked for the Daily Express and others from the 1960s to the 1980s) and provides a snapshot of life as a disabled person around the world, showing some of the work of the disability charity Leonard Cheshire.

The free exhibition runs until 29 February 2020.  Archive volunteer Susan Nield will be giving a free talk on the life of Norman Potter on 31 January at 10am.

The exhibition and talk can be found at: The Brewhouse Arts Centre,  Union Street, Burton on Trent, DE14 1AA

Derbyshire perspectives – reading landscape

Derbyshire artist Peter Knight celebrates his love of the craft of print media with the layered continuum of exploring this remarkable county.  His exhibition ‘Derbyshire perspectives – reading landscape’ is on show at the record office.

Here, Peter tells us about his work and inspiration.

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I’d always been interested in books and illustrated books in particular. I was developing my work with a strong printmaking approach and discovering historical work by George Cruickshank, politically focused and beautifully etched, and other historical graphic artists. I was struck by how ‘current’, applicable and entertaining their work was.

I enjoyed the combination of printmaking and book structures and crucially in the late 1980’s I had discovered letterpress which in my time was available cheaply from junk markets if not from skips.

I was researching the history of chapbooks and street literature, eventually writing a small article for the Society of Bookbinders newsletter as a by-product – I’m interested in traditional forms of book structure; methods materials and conservation – but informing my activity with plenty of references, prototypes and conceptual starting points in the process.

My work is varied in concept and starting point – exploring and recording the existential threat to life in ‘Four Horsemen Approaching’, exploring history and carved archetypes in ‘An Unreliable Derbyshire Bestiary’ and collecting and classifying flotsom and jetsom in ‘a Scottish Rainbow’.

The work stems from a love of printing in many forms.

My work is at its most basic, essentially focussing on recording and listing. It sometimes involves classification, e.g. ’Twigs that say Y’, but my locality and the history, geology and received narratives of ‘place’ are normally the starting point.

Additionally I produce engraved pop-up cards and letterpress ephemera as a strategy to break even and pay expenses which just allows me to keep producing in volume – and they are often, but not always, fun to do.

I paint in my studio in Wirksworth. I show work at bookart shows and print shows so there is often a bit of a cross-over effect of different print forms on my exhibition stalls. I decided to call my imprint ‘The Common Press Crich’ as I live on The Common.

For public consumption I continue, amongst other things, with my interest with the effects of lead mining in my locality in Derbyshire; mining landscape, mining place names, mining vein names, even the names of wildflowers that thrive on spoil tips are fascinating, see ‘Scrins, Flats and Pipes’.

Also it was printed as a page matrix on one sheet of etched metal so references basic book signature structures.

I’m a member of the Society of Bookbinders so I get exposed to a wide range of traditional and experimental approaches to bookbinding. A number of my books have variable structures that are not limited editions; they have been evolving with time, so they continue.

For my own consumption I continue with what I call ‘My Mnemosyne Atlas’ project. Started in earnest six years ago, it is a series of ‘perfect bound’ annual volumes that collect all the bits of reference material, drawing, photocopying, material ripped out magazines, text and found material; essentially the detritus that accumulates in sketchbooks and falls out when you give them a shake. It is literally the material that falls through the gaps. It is the marginalised supporting material that has no other existence – mainly for copyright reasons, it has an audience of one.

‘Derbyshire perspectives – reading landscape’ is at the record office from Thursday 19th September 2019 to Friday 17th January 2020.  Normal opening hours apply.

Peter will be giving an insight into printmaking techniques as they relate to his work in a talk ‘A drawn response to Derbyshire Landscape – printing from metal’ being held at the record office on Monday 30th September 2.30pm-3.30pm. The talk is free, click here to book a place.

 

 

Derbyshire Noir crime fiction festival

Derbyshire Noir

Derbyshire Arts Service and Derbyshire Libraries are holding their first ever Derbyshire Noir Book Festival 2019! A one-day crime festival for readers and writers. The event will be held at Chesterfield Library on Saturday 17th August.

The fantastic line up of authors and speakers include Stephen Booth, Roz Watkins, Sarah Ward, Jo Jakeman, Sophie Draper, Andrew Lowe, Tony R. Cox, Caroline England, Sylvia Marsden, James Ellson, John Martin, Fran Dorricott, forensic scientist and academic Jonathan Wright and the record office of course!

We’ll be there giving a talk on locally produced crime fiction and other genres and displaying original archives of crime and criminals – so lots of opportunities for inspiration.

Throughout the day there will be a choice of two events, a panel discussion in the library theatre or a smaller event in one of the library meeting rooms. Due to seating numbers spaces are available at meeting room events on a first come, first served basis. Each guest will receive the Derbyshire Noir 2019 candidate bag and there will be lots of chances to meet the authors and speakers and get your books signed. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided throughout the day. Please note that this event is suitable for adults.

Click here for the full itinerary and to book a place.

Searching for answers – the Derwent Valley Research weekend

Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site are offering a free event designed to help budding Derwent Valley researchers get started.

  • Got a history question about your family, your house , your community?
  • Discover how and what to research in and around the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
  • This event will help you understand what information is out there and how you can access it.
  • Learn what’s available on-line and where to go to see original documents.
  • Hear stories from others on how they got started.
  • Information on how to archive your research so it can help other researchers with similar questions.
  • No charge for participants – a light lunch is included thanks to the Great Place Scheme.
  • Archives along the valley will be open the following day.

To book yourself a place email info@derwentvalleymills.org or telephone 01629 536830.

Friday 5 April, 10am-4pm, at the Gothic Warehouse, opposite Cromford Mills, Cromford, DE4 3RQ.

 

On Saturday 6 April the record office will be open from 10am-1pm as part of this research weekend.  Will be offering behind the scenes tours of the office and drop-in sessions on accessing on-line resources.  There will also be information on the John Smedley Archive and Derbyshire’s Historic Environment Record (HER) Officer will show you how to access the HER database.

Don’t have a Derwent Valley connection?  That’s ok, the record office event is open to all.

Behind the scenes tours run at 10.30am-11.15am and 11.45am-12.30pm.  Tours are free, to book a place just click on the ‘Events’ tab at the top of this page and go to the ‘Eventbrite page’ link.

Secondary and FE Learning Tours – Derwent Valley Mills

Are you a teacher, teaching assistant or group leader working with KS3, 4 and Post-16 students? Staff from the World Heritage Site invite you to take a learning tour with them on Friday 13th March 2019 – Free of charge, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council funded Great Place Scheme.

 

Visits and free entry to the following venues will be included:

  • Cromford Mills, Cromford
  • Birdswood, The Friends of Cromford Canal trip boat
  • Sir Richard Arkwright’s Masson Mills
  • Derbyshire Record Office
  • High Peak Junction Railway Workshops
  • Strutt’s North Mill, Belper

You’ll go away with plenty of ideas and opportunities to build knowledge about this great place into your teaching, learning, enrichment and engagement activities, whatever your focus.  There is a chance to meet other staff providing learning opportunities at sites along the valley to really discover the range on offer.

  • Find out what a World Heritage Site is and why the Derwent Valley Mills was inscribed by UNESCO
  • Discover the wide range of learning opportunities available for Key Stage 3, 4 and Post 16 students along this 15 mile site.
  • Travel by minibus with expert guides visiting a range of museums, sites and venues to explore their learning offer.
  • Discuss and shape what you need for your students – are you looking for work experience?  Specific projects?  Enrichment Days?  STEM subjects?
  • Take away some learning activities and trip opportunities that you can share with your students to bring the story of the Derwent Valley Mills to life.
  • Find out about the world’s first factories, a hot bed of entrepreneurship and enterprise and the rich history and heritage available to provide a wealth of opportunities that you can unlock for your students

How to book:

Places are limited.  To reserve you place email: environmentalstudies@derbyshire.gov.uk  or call Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service on 01629 533439.

Please provide your name, school or organisation, contact email and phone number and any specific needs and mobility issues you have so we can ensure you have a successful and enjoyable day.

For more information see Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Projects.

 

The Cabinet of Curiosities

Unsurprisingly, people don’t tend to think of an archive as a place where objects are held, but as many museums hold documents, often archive repositories can hold objects. Admittedly it’s not something which we seek to collect but on occasion objects come to us as part of an archive collection and it can be more sensible to keep them together than to separate them.

For example, back in 2009 the record office purchased at auction a servants’ wages book relating to the Derby General Infirmary. We were interested in the link the wages book had to Derbyshire and its possible use as a source of family history. The small book includes a list of servant staff at the infirmary which includes the job they performed, how much they were paid, and an indication of when the worked at the hospital.

Whilst the book itself is an excellent addition to our collection perhaps the most memorable thing about this acquisition was what arrived with the book. On the morning the document was delivered we were very surprised when, as part of the lot, we found a Victorian death mask.

We don’t really know much about the death mask, sadly it didn’t come with any supporting information, so whoever the cast is of will always remain a mystery.

As this is just one of many unusual and interesting objects held at the record office we decided to hold an exhibition to display a selection.

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Take, for example, a stoolball bat. Ever heard of stoolball? We hadn’t either. It’s an ancient English game, originating in Sussex, which has been played for over 500 years. It is believed to be the origin of cricket. Tradition has it that the game was played by milkmaids who used their milking stools as a wicket and the milk bowl as a bat. A stoolball bat is part of the collection we hold of the Gell family of Hopton Hall.

Alongside our death mask and stoolball bat you will see on display a pair of spurs which saw action in the Napoleonic Wars, a lock of flaming red hair given by the actress Frances Kemble to Robert Arkwright, son of Sir Richard Arkwright, on the eve of their wedding in 1805 and a printed nightshirt with links to Beatrix Potter.

The Cabinet of Curiosities exhibition is on at the record office until 17th May, normal opening hours apply.

Kids get creative!

Kids get Creative crop

Looking for ways to keep the children entertained this summer holiday?  Then pop along to our children’s craft day this Thursday 16th August between 12noon and 4pm.  We will have lots for kids to do including our silhouette treasure hunt , creating a family tree or coat of arms and much more, and as children under 8 have to be accompanied by an adult – that means you can have a go too!

It’s a drop in event so no need to book and best of all it’s absolutely free.

Derbyshire Record Office, New St, Matlock, DE4 3FE