North Notts Association of National Trust Members had another extremely interesting day out in August with two visits, the first to Strutt’s Mill in Belper and then on to Melbourne Hall in the afternoon. Strutt’s Mill is an amazing place, several huge mill structures which were some of the earliest fire-proof multi-storied buildings in the world, all started by Jedediah Strutt and becoming part of the Industrial Revolution and making Belper the world’s first cotton mill town. Situated on the beautiful River Derwent which had been dammed and sluiced, to enable the most powerful rush of water which was required to feed the many huge water wheels which were the mainstay of the mill.
Much of the old machinery had been removed but there were still many examples of the originals as well as many explanatory boards around the place, and well informed guides and these showed how the original home workers became obsolete and the industry evolved with super-efficient tools and machinery for every stage of the process of turning the original raw cotton into stockings and the like. Jedediah Strutt and his family also looked after their workers and built cottages, schools, chapels and a recreational water garden which is still open to the residents of Belper.
Melbourne Hall is a totally different venue, once being the home of an early Victorian Prime Minister, William Lamb, with many connections to other famous people from that era. It is a beautiful house, still used by Lord Ralph and the family as their home, with beautiful gardens and a nearby Parish Church.
The last outing of the year will be to Bowes Museum and then the regular monthly meeting at The Crossing will start on Wednesday 15th October, when Sarah McLeod will be talking about Wentworth Woodhouse, and the group hopes to have a visit there in the new year to see the progress being made. The meeting will start at 7.00pm for coffee and the talk will start at 7.30pm. Visitors are welcome, as are new members and the only criteria is that you are a member of the National Trust. More information is available online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/north-nottingham-association or you can email NthNottsNTAssoc@gmail.com or follow the group on Twitter @NthNottsNTAssoc.