Obituary - Don Farnsworth

Don Farnsworth was a gentleman with a gentle humour and it was always a pleasure to be in his company. He had acquired a wealth of knowledge through his life-long interest in history and had, in the past, worked on archaeological digs of Roman Derby.

His research into the history of Markeaton and Mackworth resulted in the publication of his book, A history of MARKEATON and MACKWORTH - FROM MEARCA TO CLARK-MAXWELL which was a fascinating compilation of the many facts and details he had gathered. It is fair to say that his book has become a reference standard for anyone interested in the history of the Manor of Markeaton. He also produced a book on Long Lane, the Roman Road from Rocester to Little Chester. As part of his interest and his research in Markeaton he acquired details about the mills and the brook which he placed on the Derby Heritage Forum web site as reports.

Don had worked in the photographic department of Bemrose Printers and was a skilled photographer. It was no doubt due to his photographic expertise that he came to own an extensive collection of old Derby and district photographs which he had built up over a lifetime of interest in the towns history. Don added to this collection by photographing nearly every building of interest before they were knocked down in the various clearances and developments that constantly plagued Derby's heritage.

Don was generous with his knowledge and was always willing to share his photographic collection with his colleagues on the Derby Heritage Forum of which he was a founding member along with Charles Clark-Maxwell and myself.

The Derby Heritage Forum was set up as an informal group with diverse historical interests and even though the forum consisted of people with differing interests Don was always willing to contribute ideas and share information relevant to each members project. He was also willing to listen to alternative arguments regarding the interpretation of the historical events concerning the evolution of the town and would never discount such ideas out of hand.

Don will be greatly missed by the Forum as he will by all who knew him in the various groups and organisations with which he was associated.

Ron McKeown

 

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