DERBY HERITAGE FORUM
21st January 2021
Alan Gifford has submitted a revue of the
industrial use of the Holmes
Join us on
Ron created the Derby Heritage Forum website to report on the activity of
it's members. Ron wrote the Heritage Column in The Derby Trader free newspaper
until the paper closed in May 2008. Ron has written a controversial book, The Rivers of Time,
containing his research into the historic water levels around Derby and
the effects of these levels on the development of the town. The
research also indicates the evolution of Nottingham and the whole of
the Humber flood plains, which is most of the central eastern region of
England. Importantly, the evidence in the book is suggesting that the Medieval Warm Period
was warmer than today and that this caused higher water levels in the
Also on the subject of Global Warming Ron's last book contained an
investigation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles for evidence of higher sea
and river levels during the Medieval Warm Period. In
it Ron is suggesting that higher temperatures are normal and that the
Little Ice Age has confused the Climate Scientists causing them to
think that lower temperatures are normal. If Ron is right then we can
expect average temperatures to continue to rise and for sea and river
levels to follow.
Kevin was Head of the Art department at St. Ralph Sherwin school in
Allestree, Derby in 1974 and worked there until he retired in 1997. On
retirement he began to produce historic
maps of the County of Derbyshire. Littleover was the
first map and following its popularity several more followed.
Kevin has published a book based on the 1852 map and this is now
Brian is a heritage investigator and has a number of projects ongoing and has
carried out investigations of Markeaton Park amongst others. Information on
Brian's investigations can be found at his web site.
Alan was chairman of Willington History Group
from 1998, when it was formed, until 2015. He is now the first ‘Honorary Life
Member ‘ of the Group. The history group
meets monthly through the winter and spring. Alan has large collection of
material and old photos about the village and has published a booklet
'The lost Gentry of WILLINGTON' which
traces a major family to Vancouver in Canada.
For the past 8 years Alan
has been researching the 18th century Derby water engineer George Sorocold and
has had some of this work
published on an Inst Civils web site.
main interest for past 40 years has been wind and water mills and he has
published the two definitive Derbyshire books on these. Alan is a founder
trustee of Heage Windmill Society and was one of the leaders in its restoration
to working order in 2002. He is still active in it's Growth to a major tourist
site and has written several books on this mill. Alan has given many
talks on mills and Sorocold to local groups and is a regular contributor to
Bygones in the Derby Telegraph newspaper.
Andrew spent most of his working life
as an aircraft engineer in the RAF and now gives talks all over the midlands to
ex service groups on the history of several aircraft types.
back to Derby with his wife Rita he spent 10 years, 4 of them as chairman, as a
member of the Chaddesden Historical Group before joining the Derby Heritage
Forum some 5 years ago. Andrew published an anthology of Chaddesdens History and
still writes articles for Local History sites as well as for various Historical
Aircraft Groups. He is an active member of the East Midlands Airport AeroPark
Museum where he looks after their Nimrod R1 aircraft, a type that he worked on
during his 22 years in the RAF. He is also a member of the Derbyshire Historical
Andrew is currently writing articles from the notes of
his old friend Derek Palmer, one of our founder members who diedin 2019.
With a keen interest in local history Ritas'
overriding passion is family history having researched her own and Andrews
family back to the 16th century. She has undertaken research for others and has
recently retired as secretary for a local WI branch. Whilst with this group Rita
wrote, directed and produced a short film on the last 100 years of education to
celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Derby Federation of Womens Institutes.
She has travelled round Derbyshire showing this film to WI members.
During some research into local history Rita discovered the location of a
previously unknown water mill dating back to the year 1294 on the Derwent River
in an area of Chaddesden known as Beaumont Acre. She has published a paper on
this subject. Rita has researched the history of the Derwent Isolation
Hospital and gives a Power Point supported talk on the subject.
result of a request for information regarding the famed mining engineer James
Ashworth, who developed an advanced safety lamp that could detect miners damp,
Rita has written and published a book detailing his life, his achievements and
his time living in Chaddesden. She also gives talks on this subject to
interested groups. When relaxing from research Rita is a member of a
local Tatting Group and enjoys various other handcrafts.
John worked for most of his life at Rolls Royce and is a
keen observer of Derby History and Heritage.
Charles is a Proffesional Civil/Transportation Engineer and
his Qualifications include Chartered Engineer and Chartered European Engineer.
He gained a BSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering from St Andrews University. Charles
has a particular interest in the Rosehill area of Derby and documented
information he holds promted a Forum investigation into the origins of the name
'Rosehill' and it's previous associations with the Gallows Closes.
Don has taught Vertebrate Biology and Evolution in universities both here and
abroad. He is a keen semi-amateur geologist with a research background in
vertebrate fossils. His interest in the heritage and origins of Derby started
while "revising" for his O levels in the old reference library on The Strand
where he came across a copy of Citizens Derby. Since retiring he has
investigated in family genealogy and discovered that most have been in the Derby
area since at least the fifteenth century. He now hopes to add flesh to these
family names. He has a real interest in the origins of the town and its Roman
Don is at present reviewing Ron's paper on the Dewent
Follow the link for a list of books
written by Forum contributors
Roman Road across Darley
Floods on Darley Park
in June 2007
Medieval Strips of ridge
and furrow on Darley Park
Ripley branch line
The Great Northern Railway line
from Friar Gate Station to Darley Park
1932 flood at Duffield
A walk around Darley and Nut Wood -
Investigations undertaken by Derby Heritage Forum members are listed
here. Click the link to view current projects.
Location of Darley Abbey -
Report by Ron McKeown
Sorocold and the Franceys family - An investigation by
Old East Prospect of Derby
- Dating evidence - Ron McKeown - Revised December 2012
Great Bridge of Derby
13th century - Ron McKeown
Alternative Climate Change Argument
- Ron McKeown. This is an argument based on documented historical evidence.
Who are the English? - Ron
McKeown summarizes a few facts concerning a much debated topic.
Joan Waste - John Keys 1890 relates the burning
of a young blind girl during the reign of 'Bloody Mary'
Mackworth Castle - Real or Fanciful? -
Another ron McKeown report questioning the historic record.
Roman Roads at Little Chester - Ron McKeown
questions the assumption regarding the direction of 'Stukelys gravel path' on
the Darley Park side of the river
Was Rose Hill
the Gallows? Investigation by Ron McKeown
Follow the link below to a list of interesting sites.
Web Master and owner of Derby Heritage
Forum site - Ron McKeown