Wirksworth: Get stuck in and make difference

I hope that next time Mr Furnival reflects back to the Wirksworth of old he will take off those rose-tinted spectacles and remember that Wirksworth was not necessarily the beautiful old town 37 years ago he seems to recall in his letter.

Prior to the regeneration and improvement work in early the 1980s Wirksworth was described as “dirty, dusty and noisy”. I too arrived here around that time and it was, indeed, often quite filthy at that time - dust from the active quarry and crushing machines covering every surface; historic buildings, which are today the pride of the town, neglected and yet to be regenerated, and Wirksworth exuding none of the vibrancy, economic diversity and sense of community it does today.

Many local people have worked hard over the past 37 years to improve the local environment, improve signage and amenities, and develop the business, creative, sports and leisure activities in the town. I wonder if Mr Furnival has played his part in this activity?

As someone who regularly works voluntarily with older people in the town, I can also assure Mr Furnival that the location of the Post Office is of major importance for those with limited mobility and resources, and that the Town Council is properly safeguarding the interests of a significant proportion of the community when it tackles this concern.

I would like to learn what positive contribution Mr Furnival would like to make towards the improvement of the town. How about joining the Town Council to assist those councillors who give much of their spare time not for personal gain but to help make things better for the people of Wirksworth; or perhaps coming to help on the occasional town clear-up activities; or helping to improve the look of the town by joining the Civic Society which has done much to cherish the best in the town; or joining the Stoney Wood group which has helped to transform the old quarry from what it was 37 years ago into a beautiful and flourishing community space; or giving his time to those who would like some assistance to walk around the town?

There are many more ways to make things better than complaining from the sidelines.

I would certainly be willing to help point Mr Furnival in the right direction if he is willing to join in.

It is not what you say which makes a difference, but what you get stuck in and do.

Come on Mr Furnival, we need more community champions, not community curmudgeons!

Peter Riddle

Coldwell Street, Wirksworth