16 May 08 - Community Rail Weekend in the Derwent Valley

Friends of the Derwent Valley Line held two days of events on Friday 16th & Saturday 17th May to celebrate the National Community Rail Weekend.

A key event was the 'Discover the Derwent Valley Line Past, Present & Future' exhibition and talks held at the Gothic Warehouse, Cromford Wharf.




Ian Ambrose, FDVL Chairman (above) opened the session & there were presentations by Alastair Morley, Transport Partnership Officer, Derwent Valley CRP and Brian Barnsley, Operations Manager, ACoRP. Glynn Waite from the Rowsley Association provided an excellent display of memorabilia (left) of the line. There was a lively discussion on East Midlands Trains plans for the line from those attending.


To encourage visitors to explore the valley's attractions by rail, a programme of walks & tours was laid on over the two days in conjunction with other local societies. The highlight of these had to be Saturday night's bat walk at Matlock Bath when two dozen visitors braved the dark with Derbyshire Bat Preservation Group, equipped with bat detectors to listen to & watch their feeding activities (maybe a bat photograph soon?)



me_pnb_stop.jpg Friends of the Derwent Valley Line volunteers led two station-to-station walks from Ambergate to Whatstandwell via Crich (PNB stop pictured left!) & Cromford to Matlock via High Tor. The latter walk attracted a large following of 17 eager to explore the route through Willersley Castle grounds to Matlock Bath which had been specially opened for the occasion. FDVL hope to repeat this walk as part of the World Heritage week in October / November this year.


Belper and Cromford Stations were the starting point for tours of the Strutt Community and North Mill led by the Belper North Mill Trust, and Cromford Mill & Village led by the Arkwright Society. There were also walks exploring the Cromford Canal and the history of Matlock, via the town trail developed by Matlock Civic Association




All in all, the weekend attracted a wide range of visitors to the Derwent Valley, some travelling long distances by rail to take part in events - the record distance appears to be held by a gentleman from Maidstone in Kent!

FDVL 2020

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