Friday 24 June 2011

Belper Community Matters By Adrian Farmer

Royal Connections

With a Royal Wedding so recently behind us, I thought I’d look at some of this area’s royal connections (with thanks to the Friends of Duffield Frith, and others).

Duke William of Normandy’s invasion of England in 1066 had considerable repercussions for the Duffield Frith, of which Belper was a part. Siward Barn was the Danish Earl who owned the Frith at the time of the invasion and he resisted the Normans strongly, but to no avail, and his lands were taken from him.

When William, now King William, had completed his conquest, he rewarded his followers handsomely. Few were so well rewarded as Henry de Ferrers, the principal of the six Baron Fossiers (iron-workers) of Normandy’s iron-producing district. It is likely he was armourer-general for the invading forces, and he was a favourite of William. Henry de Ferrers received a total of 210 manors, 114 of which formed an almost solid block in Derbyshire. One of these manors, or lordships, included Duffield and Belper, and he built a castle at Duffield, with some of the thickest walls of any Norman Castle. He brought with him iron-workers and nail-makers who honed the industry for which Belper was so well known for much of the millennium that followed.

The Norman and Plantagenet kings were occasional visitors to the Belper area in the centuries that followed, attracted by the good hunting to be found in the Frith. This provided many jobs for the villagers, protecting the land and the deer and other game which lived in the forest.
The last of the de Ferrers family to hold the Duffield and Belper lands was Robert, 8th Earl of Derby, who after two attempts at rebellion against Henry III, in 1263 and 1266, had his lands taken from him and given to Prince Edmund, Earl of Lancaster and second son of King Henry. King Edward I, elder brother of Prince Edmund, was the first King to hunt locally after the change in ownership, visiting several times between 1290 and 1293. His son Edward II spent a month here for the same purpose in 1323.

These lands remained with the Earls (later Dukes) of Lancaster, until Henry Duke of Lancaster became King Henry IV in 1399, after deposing Richard II. The lands then went to the crown, and the woodlands surrounding Belper became a royal forest. The Duchy of Lancaster has remained with the crown ever since, although the manors of Duffield and Belper were disposed of by Charles I in 1628.

Henry VIII’s break with the Church of Rome in August 1533 had repercussions in Belper. November 1534 saw acts of parliament put in place which made the King head of the English Church, and this move away from the old faith accelerated during the time of Henry’s son Edward VI.
During this ‘Reformation’ Belper’s Chapel was renamed. It was originally dedicated to St Thomas the Martyr, the Thomas Becket murdered by Henry II’s men less than a century before the chapel was built. Becket’s memory was not relished by the new heads of the English Church, and so the chapel was rededicated to John the Baptist, from whom it still takes its name today.

Next time I’ll be looking at more recent royal connections. If you’d like to know more about the history of Belper and the surrounding area, drop in to St John’s Chapel on the last Saturday of the month between 10am and 12.30pm when members of Belper Historical Society are on hand to answer questions and there are historic images to see and information to read.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Music Scene by Rhia Calvert

BuryTheLadybird are a female-fronted rock band from Derby. Their unique sound and powerful performances have gained them fans all over the UK. Here's guitarist Matt Gascoyne, bassist Zach Shannon and vocalist Tiggy Dockerty to tell us more.

Can you introduce us to BuryTheLadybird and tell us a bit about your sound?

Matt: Well, I guess I can, although these are always the hardest questions! We've been building up to where we are now since late 2009 and we've come so far! We actually started out playing soft rock with funky riffs, so it’s quite strange looking back at that saying that we now play rock'n'roll! As a band, we're quite easy going and laid back but we all have the same dedication and we put so much effort in because we all know what direction we want the band to go in. With regards to 'our sound,' it’s a tough one to answer because we all bring in loads of different influences from across the board. However, we've come to terms with the idea that we have a very classic rock edge with a strong blues and soul edge which is very commercially accessible.

What is currently happening with the band?

Zach: Right now, we're getting a new drummer in, teaching the new songs, etc - but our main thing is to finish our recordings. We've been recording for the past few months for our first proper E.P. and we're looking forward to releasing it to the public as well as sending it out to record labels, promoters, etc. When we get these done, we'll be getting them out into the public domain, and then really pushing for bigger gigs and such.

Matt: I'm so excited about the fact that we are playing so many big festivals this year, such as Glastonbudget, Amplitude and Silver Bullet. We are also playing at Rock City with Mcfly's support band That Sunday Feeling on 6 August.

How important do you think image is when it comes to being a band?

Tiggy: Music and image combined is a major part of being in the music industry especially now in the 21st century. Although you should never hide behind an image or become fake to whom you are, you should emphasise your own personality through your looks, to stand out from the crowd.

Zach: I do think, nowadays more so than ever, that image and music have come together, not necessarily for the better or for the worst. Image has changed how music is viewed, and how people perceive some bands or artists before they've even listened to their music. I do think that it has been pushed too far by certain labels or personalities, where their image is more recognisable than their music.

The rock world is predominantly male dominated. How does this affect you as a band being female-fronted?

Tiggy: I love being one of the few girls in the Midlands rock scene. When people think about female-fronted bands they think of the stereotypical female bands like Paramore, wearing boyish clothes and taking on the more male role. I love being around the guys but love the fact that I am a girly girl. I love my make-up and dressing up and I really want to encourage females to be true to themselves rather than trying to fit into a particular role. Rock'n'roll is my love and I am inspired by artists such as Axl Rose and Steven Tyler: I want to incorporate their styles with a feminine twist. As a band we do get noticed more because of the fact that I am a girl wearing high heels and fake eyelashes whilst still rocking out, but I love the reaction we get as usually people are surprised by our act.

Any last words?

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Win Hill and Ladybower

Walk supplied by Angela Clarke of Belper

Start: Heatherdene car park (SK 2025 8599)
Route: Heatherdene car park - New Barn - Win Hill - Hope Brink - Hope Cross - Ladybower Reservoir - Heatherdene car park

Map: Explorer OL 1 Dark Peak
Distance: 8.5 miles   

Terrain: Good tracks

Refreshments: Yorkshire Bridge Inn

Toilets: Heatherdene car park

A walk that despite its location and length is generally on good paths and tracks. The route used to reach the summit of Win Hill means the ascent is relatively gentle and once the summit is reached your effort is rewarded with views that extend for miles in all directions.

From the car park follow the footpath on the left, that starts by the toilet block, to the main road. Cross the road and take the path across the dam wall, ignoring the footpath, signed Win Hill, on the left.

Having crossed the dam turn right to soon find a footpath, signed for New Barn, on the left. Follow it uphill until you reach a gate.

After passing through the gate continue straight ahead along a broad track ignoring the one heading downhill on the right. As the broad track swings left continue straight ahead to find a gate with a yellow public footpath arrow on it.

Follow the grassy track through the woods to a sign, on the left, for Win Hill. Head uphill to eventually cross the broad track you were on earlier. Continue uphill, following the yellow arrows, to a gate (missing at time of writing).

Follow the narrow stepped path uphill to a further gate. Pause to look behind you and you will see the distinctive Crook Hill opposite you, with Derwent Edge following the line of Ladybower Dam on the right.

The path continues straight ahead, uphill, to yet another gate. Although Winhill Pike is straight ahead of you turn left, signed for Thornhill, to follow the path with the wall and fence to your left.

At the next gate don’t go through it, instead turn right, signed Win Hill, to follow a narrow path uphill, with the wall on your left. The path will soon swing away from the wall and head up towards Winhill Pike, which is in front of you. Follow it to reach the summit with its trig point and wide-ranging views.

From the summit of Win Hill the view extends beyond Crook Hill to include Hope Forest and Alport Moor, with Bleaklow in the distance. In the opposite direction Hope Valley and the Great Ridge dominate the view. Elsewhere the view includes the Edges, which follow the line of the Derwent Valley.

Pick a path down through the rocks to the path just below and to the left of the summit. Follow the clear broad track across Hope Brink, ignoring any gates on the left, to eventually reach a gate and stile.

Cross the stile and continue straight ahead crossing two broken walls. Ahead of you the scenery is dominated by Kinder Plateau, whilst to your left the view of the Great Ridge is constantly changing, as Hope Valley is replaced by the Vale of Edale.

As the track starts to run alongside a wall on the right it splits. Take the path on the left and follow it across another wall until you eventually pass Hope Cross on your right.

Take the gate to the left of Hope Cross and continue straight ahead to a further gate and stile, which you cross.

Despite the multitude of signs next to the stile none of them point in the direction you want. Turn right and follow the track downhill, to a gate, into the wood.

Follow this track downhill, through the wood, to reach another gate. Continue straight ahead to join another track.

Continue straight ahead to follow this track where you will soon find Ladybower Reservoir below you on the left.

Follow the track, alongside Ladybower Reservoir, back to the dam wall, which you cross in order to return to the car park.

We have taken reasonable steps to ensure that this walk is safe and achievable by walkers of a realistic level of fitness. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any injuries caused to readers whilst following the walk. Always wear appropriate clothing and footwear.