Historic Cromford to celebrate its past

Sir Richard Arkwright and his wife with some of the children wjho are taking part in today's Cromford School Performance of "Lucky Thirteen" which gives a glimpse in to the life and times of the village squire.

Sir Richard Arkwright and his wife with some of the children wjho are taking part in today's Cromford School Performance of "Lucky Thirteen" which gives a glimpse in to the life and times of the village squire.

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Forty years ago Cromford staged a festival to relive the village’s history.

And this year – as part of the annual Celebrating Cromford event – villagers will once again be turning the clock back to the time of Richard Arkwright.

Derek and Dorothy Rice as the Arkwrights with their 13 children.

Derek and Dorothy Rice as the Arkwrights with their 13 children.

In July 1971 the Mercury reported on the Arkwright Festival to mark the 200th anniversary of Arkwright’s first water-powered spinning mill.

The event included a performance by primary school pupils, maypole dancing, music, sport, pageants, costumed processions and exhibitions.

This year the village will once again be reliving its industrial past on June 17, 18 and 19.

Cromford Primary School pupils will be donning costumes – provided by Masson Mill Museum – and parading in the Market Place along with members of captain Peter Arkwright’s company of volunteers on Saturday, June 18.

An exhibition will also take place to showcase old photographs and newspaper articles.

Mole Vessey, one of the organisers of the event, said: “There will be lots of really good things going on this year.

“Residents have been coming together to come up with new ideas and we have got many more people involved.”

He added: “There is a real community spirit in Cromford. The majority of people know each other and there is always a friendly face on the street.”

This is the seventh year the village has hosted Celebrating Cromford, to mark the varied talents of residents.

The festival kicks off on Friday, June 17, at 6.45pm, with the opening ceremony by VIP guest Ally Law – musical director of award-winning chorus DaleDiva.

The famous traction engine tug will then take place up Cromford Hill and a beer festival will be at the Bell pub.

On Saturday, the primary school will be hosting a fair which will include a bouncy castle, hula-hooping, traditional games, a photograph display and refreshments.

The first Cromford Fell Race will take place and then the inaugural Celebrating Cromford procession down the hill to the community centre.

Stalls will be available on North Street and Scarthin and exhibitions and tours of the area’s rich historic heritage, will take place.

On Sunday there will be an open-air service in the marquee, a mini zoo on Scarthin and the Hereford Moles Touring Cricket Team will take on Cromford’s finest on the meadows.

Villagers will also be opening their gardens to the public and a duck race will take place along the Derwent.

Live music will be on offer in the marquee from 3.30pm kicking off with DaleDiva and finishing with Cromford’s own Rock Factory.

Steve Rawlinson, guitarist with Rock Factory, said: “Celebrating Cromford is a real community event and an ideal opportunity to involve everyone who lives here. A couple of hundred years ago everyone in the world got to hear of Cromford and Richard Arkwright.

“Cromford is a great place with diverse talents and abilities.”

Other activities and events to look out for include: a Celebrating Cromford film made by resident Bryan Smith, which will be shown at the Methodist Church, a children’s poetry competition, a craft fair at Cromford Mill, a gun dog display, Morris dancing and tours of Willersley Castle and Masson Mill Museum will run all weekend.

For a full programme go to www.cromfordvillage.co.uk/celebrating.

Have you get any pictures of one of the past events wich could be included in a feature? Bring them into our office in Firs Parade or email them to news@matlockmercury.co.uk.