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THERE are over 160 events planned for the World Heritage Site Discovery Days this autumn – over 40 more than in 2011, making it by far the biggest in the Festival’s eight‐year history.

Discovery Days began as a single day of activities to celebrate the diversity and importance of the Derwent Valley Mills – the only World Heritage Site in the East Midlands, where the factory system was born.

The festival’s popularity, and the enthusiasm of the World Heritage Site volunteers who deliver activities, have grown and grown. Nearly 13,000 people turned out for events last year, coming from all over the UK.

Now the 2012 programme has been unveiled and it fills a 48‐page events booklet, with a host of new events and old favourites planned for the county’s biggest heritage festival.

“This is the eighth year of Discovery Days, but the mix of activities stays as fresh as ever,” said World Heritage Site Director Mark Suggitt. “As well as the annual favourites there are plenty of new experiences to enjoy, many of them free‐of‐charge.”

Events kick off on the weekend of 27 and 28 October with a wide range of activities, from walks and art exhibitions to theatre performances and dance demonstrations. Derby’s Silk Mill has a packed programme of activities and several historic properties in Belper will open their doors to the public on the Sunday.

It is by far the busiest year yet for midweek events, with activities including Singing round the Calendar with Pete Castle, Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham singing and telling stories which celebrate holidays and holy days, and walks and talks every day. On the evening of October 31 – Hallowe’en – there’ll be a chance to see the 1623 Theatre Company perform Supernatural Shakespeare in Belper’s River Gardens.

The final two days, November 3 and 4, will see the usual mix of walks and talks around the Cromford area, and for the first time examples of the world’s earliest industrial housing will be open to view on North Street. The Festival ends on the Sunday with a children’s torch‐lit procession to Masson Mills.

To see what’s on during the festival, visit www.derwentvalleymills.org/discovery‐days. The booklet explaining all the events planned for the Discovery Days Festival is now available from the mills and county libraries. Alternatively contact the booking line on 01629 536831 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday or email info@derwentvalleymills.org.

Notes for Editors

To find out more about the World Heritage Site, its history and how it is managed today, visit www.derwentvalleymills.org. More information is available from the World Heritage Site Office – contact Gwen Wilson at gwen.wilson@derbyshire.gov.uk or 01629 536831.


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