Thursday, 3 December 2015

A new recruit

Over the next few months we are hoping to share some of the stories of the wonderful people who volunteer here and keep the museum going. We are always looking for new recruits and if you are interested contact us at the Mill by phone or email, 01773 880474 or Patricia is one of the most recent volunteers to join the team and she has written this piece to set off this new topic for the blog. My name is Patricia Mayborne and I am a new volunteer at the museum at Belper North Mill. For the last 8 years I was running a property business while living in Portugal and prior to that I worked in Support for Learning at a secondary school on Orkney, in Scotland. I am also a qualified homoeopath. On my recent return to England I have become a lady of relative leisure with the time and good fortune to be able to indulge my interests, and l am enjoying exploring the many opportunities that are opening up to me. I moved to Belper in the summer of 2015, knowing very little about the area. I always like to find out about the history of the place I'm living in, and in the Derwent Valley the history leaps out at you at every turn. I started just by talking to people about the distinctive streets and buildings of the town and reading anything that came my way, then in October I heard about the Discovery Days and spent a wonderful Sunday participating in guided tours around the town and visiting as many sites as I could fit in. After that I was hooked and wanted to get involved in some way -⁠ so I did a quick internet search and was delighted to find that volunteers were needed at the museum at Belper North Mill. My email enquiry was responded to warmly and immediately, and a few days later I was down at the museum meeting Tom over a cup of tea as he explained how everything works, and we discussed what part I could play. My initial interest is in working on reception, building up to giving guided tours round the museum as I learn more about it, so it was agreed that I would come down for a number of sessions to shadow the regular volunteers as I learn the ropes. I am now included in the volunteers' monthly meetings and have several training and information sessions coming up. Everyone I have met has been remarkably friendly and welcoming, and I am learning so much about this fascinating part of the world and its historical and cultural significance. For me it is particularly the impact of working practices on people's daily lives and thinking that I find most interesting, and I hope I can contribute to ensuring that future generations value the role that industry here in the Derwent Valley has played in shaping the world.

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