COLUMN: Pupils learn about Wirksworth’s mining legacy

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One thing we often say in the heritage centre is that much of Wirksworth’s heritage is beyond the museum, in the town and its community. I have thought of that quite a bit this month.

David, one of our volunteers, has been involved in drawing up a new architecture trail walk picking out the town’s significant buildings and this is now an official printed leaflet to accompany the Wirksworth mini guide.

Both are available from the centre and many of the town’s retail and catering outlets.

Volunteers Nicole and Diane have recently been helping Sally in extending the range of walks we offer to schools throughout the area.

Wirksworth Junior School last month spent a morning learning about the mines and tunnels under their feet.

After dressing up as lead miners and acting out the famous mining tale of Stafford’s Dream, they optimistically jumped up and down together in the Market Place to be sure they weren’t about to fall through to the depths below.

We were sad to hear that Raymond Doxey had unexpectedly died after living all his 75 years on The Dale.

Some months ago, he had told us of his adventures as a boy playing in the tunnel which carried trucks loaded with stone from the quarry at the top of the town 1,200 metres to the railway at the bottom.

The Doxey name has featured round Wirksworth for 500 years and it had been my intention to talk to him properly about life in Wirksworth from WW2 onwards.

As happens all too often, I left this too late and I have promised myself that we must record as many other such stories as we possibly can.

The auction of the Silk Mill, October 27, is now almost upon us, and so we are continuing to pack up all the contents with only a little still to do.

Finally, the tickets for the T’Owd Man Rocks dance on November 19 are selling well! They are still available from Traid Links and the heritage centre.

Don’t forget too your tickets for our big raffle which will be drawn on the night.