Arts Derbyshire


New Mills Festival; Walking and Talking events

This newsletter covers a range of walks and talks happening during the New Mills Festival fortnight of 9th to 25th September.

New Mills past and present

There are a number of opportunities to get to know more about New Mills, its history and its present.

Local man, Mike Daniels is sharing his knowledge of New Mills History at the Shrub Club (Torr Vale Mill) on Wednesday 14th September starting at 2pm. This is a talk, walk and quiz, all in one! Mike kicks off with a talk about the town’s beginnings, characters and historic landmarks, then goes on to explore these on foot before finishing back at the Shrub Club for a quiz and prizes. Finish time around 5:30pm. Free event.

On 20th September, the knowledgeable Mike is back, with a walk around the historic mills of Newtown. The walk starts at 10:30 behind the bus station. Be prepared for many flights of steps (difficult to avoid around here), and a walk which is expected to take around two hours. Free event.

On Friday 23rd September the annual New Mills Local History Society Festival Lecture is on the subject “The New Milne”. Roger Bryant presents the lecture at New Mills Town Hall, Spring Bank, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. It is a free event and I recommend getting there with plenty of time to spare as this one packs the place to the rafters.

5 hours up, 5 hours down: Soloing the Matterhorn

Wednesday 21 September 19:30 to 21:00 at the Spring Bank Arts Centre, local man, James Ellson (author, climber, small holder) is talking about his mountaineering experiences climbing the Matterhorn, one of the highest and most famous mountains in the Swiss / Italian Alps. It’s going to be atmospheric, gripping, and an education! Tickets £5 available online:

For All Ages

For the retired and semi-retired, the local U3A have a coffee morning on Tuesday 20th September from 10:30 to 12pm at the Town Hall. This is a free social event with tea, coffee and biscuits, and an opportunity to find out more about the U3A’s creative, educational and leisure activities. A warm welcome is on offer.

For the 18+ crowd on 17th September at the Pride of the Peaks from 8pm to 9pm we have all the way from Glossop, Angela Bra: Life Lessons. An hour of pop, parodies and puns, it’s a shower of silliness in a world all too consumed with what other people think. Tickets are an affordable £5 from here:

Aimed at young families, there are Talking Space stories at the old phone box on Park Road SK22 4NZ, with the phone box converted for the period of the New Mills Festival into a space rocket by the local yarn bombing group, the Woolly Wanderers. Storytelling sessions (approximately 15 minutes) take place on Saturday 10th September 2pm, 2:30pm, 3pm, 3:30pm and on Sunday 11th September 2pm, 2:30pm, 3pm, 3:30pm. Children must be accompanied by an adult. You’re encouraged to bring your favourite books to share with other families to turn this small space back into a chatterbox. Free event.

New Mills Home Farm

Rest and Rise Again is a documentary film about The Bakery of Slow Ideas, coming to town as part of the New Mills Home Farm project. The showing is at the Old Heritage Centre at 7:30pm on 16 September. It’s fantastic to see the Old Heritage Centre discovering a new sense of purpose, and I’m excited to see inside the place again.

The Bakery of Slow Ideas is a social art practice (created by artist Leo Kay and produced by Unfinished Business), which places dialogue, ritual and collective action at its centre. Slow down, resist hyper-productivity and regain your right to rest and digest. Between the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 local communities from across the city of Derby came together to talk, create, and bake – reconnecting after periods of intense isolation. Focusing on the act of baking, the film reflects a unique moment in time, capturing a community’s resistance, resilience and hopes for the future.

The Screening will be followed by a Q&A with Unfinished Business (Leo Kay and Anna Smith). This is a free event but booking essential to manage attendance:

In case you missed it in the confusion of the last two years, more information about New Mills Home Farm here:

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