The North and East Mills have been in the news this week. BBC Radio Derby and East Midlands Today came to interview one of the Belper North Mill Trust trustees, Mary Smedley.
The mills made it into the news because the local authority, Amber Valley Borough Council,are working with the owners, First Investments, over the state of the listed buildings that make up the site.
The North Mill visitor centre and museum tries to share and spread the very significant story of the heritage of the site and the Strutt family. This significance is very important locally, as a place of work and in the light of the development of the town of Belper. It's also significant on a global scale,as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The factory system, enlightened employment conditions, mass production, workers' housing and welfare, skyscraper technology, cotton industry developments, fireproof and earthquake proofed buildings, and the development of a hosiery fashion industry can all trace their heritage back to Belper.
It's an amazing story.
The condition of the buildings is always a topic of conversation with visitors to the Mill museum. I overhear conversations on the bus on my way to work about them. Hopefully the recent news items on TV, press and radio will alert the public to some of the questions and part of the answer.
We definitely seemed to have more visitors the day after the Mills hit the news. It would be good if it raises interest and concern for these amazing survivals.
The North Mill is open throughout the Bank Holiday weekend, including Monday August 31st.If you have always intended to visit, come and see what the fuss is about. Find out why the story is so important, not just in the past but in the present and future too.