Last Saturday Belper North Mill took a stand at No.28 as part of Belper's Farmers' Market. It gave us an opportunity to publicise the North Mill, thanks to Pippa and George who run No. 28 as a community space and also support the Mill in other ways.
There is a link between local farms and the North Mill. The Strutts turned their attention to the agricultural as well as industrial revolution, setting up model dairy and arable farms in the Belper and Milford area. These farms fed the workforce, now housed in specially built cottages in the town. Wyver, Dalley, Crossroads, Moscow, Shottlegate,and Chevin House Farms were built or redeveloped to incorporate innovations in design influenced by new factory designs. Jedediah Strutt was born into a farming family himself.
The Strutts originally bought in produce for their workforce, responding to the huge rise in population of the town as a result of the mills. Payment for provisions was deducted from wages.
Those of you familiar with the rise of the Co-op and the Co-operative movement will know that mill owners weren't always so enlightened. In Rochdale the provisions were of such poor quality that a Co-operative Wholesale Society was founded in 1844, based at Toad Lane. This was the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, to give them their full title. The rest, as they say, is history.