Spreading Christmas goodwill across Dales

Well-known Dales figures are spreading Christmas cheer this festive season - and wrapping up some ‘shop local’ gifts for under the tree .

Gregor Macgregor, chairman of The Grand Pavilion Ltd which runs the Pavilion in Matlock Bath, will be spending Christmas Day in Lockerbie, Scotland but will travel back on Boxing Day for the annual raft race on the River Derwent.

His favourite ‘shop local’ gifts are rock fossils bought from the Mining Museum in Matlock Bath.

Adrian Farmer, heritage coordinator for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, said: “Christmas Day is for family – but Boxing Day I’m leading a history walk from Strutt’s North Mill in Belper at 2pm. A great way of working off that turkey.”

He added that he was pleased with Cromford Revisited, a book by Doreen Buxton and Christopher Charlton – bought as a gift.

Councillor Lewis Rose, leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, said he would be enjoying Christmas lunch with his wife’s brother and family before returning home to watch Downton Abbey. Cllr Rose said his favourite gift he had bought locally was a bird table.

Bakewell Mayor Paul Morgans will be enjoying a lie in on Christmas morning: “In the afternoon myself and my partner Janet will venture out to our local bar, the Castle, for a few drinks, then we’ll light the fire and have a leisurely late lunch at home.”

He added he would be having pheasant and Janet would have a vegetarian option.

“I love the shops in Bakewell,” Cllr Morgans said.

“For it’s size it’s an amazing shopping experience with something for everyone, in particular Mr Bees Vintage, AG Gallery and Brocklehursts – quality shops with something different that will last a lifetime. I’ve bought something for Janet from each of these but can’t say what I’ve bought... yet.”

Wendy Spencer, of Matlock Town Team, said: “On Christmas Day we will all be taking a well deserved day off - spending time with families and friends who we give too little time to in our busy lives.

“The aim of Matlock Town Team is to see our town thrive. We encourage people to use local business and tradesmen and are committed to this ethos ourselves. Personally I have bought all the produce for our Christmas lunch from local butchers, greengrocers and brewery.

“On behalf of the members of Matlock Town Team we thank you for your custom during the last 12 months. We wish you all a happy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy 2014.”