Winter Programme 2021-2022

Friday 7 January at 7.30pm – IAS
Vic Hallam – one man and his company
Speaker: Robert Mee
From the 1920s to the 1990s, this Langley Mill firm was the leading producer of pre-fabricated buildings (and much more) in the country.
Click here for recording

Friday 14 January at 7.30pm – ARG
Work of the Finds Liaison Officer
Speaker: Meghan King
This meeting is cancelled as the speaker is unavailable. We hope to rearrange  for later in the year.

Friday 21 January at 7.30pm – ARG
Rivers and riverine place-names
Speaker: Dr. Richard Jones
Early medieval place-names offer unique insights into local environmental conditions over a thousand years ago.  Focusing on the rivers and riverine-place-names of Derbyshire and neighbouring counties, this paper will explore what these names have to say about the rivers and their behaviour in the past, and how we might draw on this information to live with the growing threat of flooding in the twenty-first century.
Click here for recording

Saturday 29 January at 2.30pm – IAS
The life & times of Warney Mill in Darley Dale
Speaker: Tony Bonson
John Else was the miller at Warney Mill from 1847 to 1869 during which time he built a new mill at Warney. Fortunately, many documents concerning John Else’s business and the building of the new mill have survived. The talk covers the history of the mill before the arrival of John Else, together with the milling history of the Else family. The story of the mill after John Else’s death up to the present day is also covered. John Else’s documents have provided the basis of a book that not only tells this story but also gives a glimpse of rural life in the mid-19th century when the world we know today was just emerging. NOTE THAT THIS IS AN EXPERIMENT WITH A SATURDAY AFTERNOON TALK

 Friday 4 February at 7.30pm – LHS
Tales from the Lichfield Consistory Cause Papers
Speaker: Richard Clark
From 2016 to 2018 the speaker re-visited the Consistory Cause Papers for 1558-1730 to further his research for a potential book, Parishes and Parsons: the Church of England in Derbyshire.  Lots of photographs were taken and the following eighteen months were taken up in writing up cases of interest in a database after a great deal of transcribing. In the talk he will explore some of the problems these papers pose as evidence and discuss some of the strengths and weakness of what they offer. But on the way there will be some of the stories the cause papers contain – the occasional whiff of scandal and, perhaps, a source of mirth.

Friday 18 February at 7.30pm – LHS (including section AGM)
The Old Roads of Derbyshire
Speaker: Stephen Bailey
Derbyshire has a wealth of old roads, lanes, tracks, holloways and paths, some dating back thousands of years. It is a network which links a fascinating variety of sometimes enigmatic monuments, from fortified hilltops and stone circles to ruined abbeys and hermitages. This talk traces the development of these roads, from prehistoric ridgeways, Roman ‘streets’ and medieval pilgrimage routes, the growth of the turnpikes, and the heyday of the stage coach era, and finally to leisure use by cyclists and walkers. Travellers of all kinds are included: ‘jaggers’ with their packhorse trains, pilgrims, drovers, pedlars and tramps, and passengers in coaches and waggons, as well as the essential infrastructure of bridges and inns.

 Friday 4 March at 7.30pm – IAS (including section AGM)
Powering the Derbyshire Derwent Valley
Speaker: Ian Jackson
In the second year of his PhD, Ian Jackson is looking at the historic development and use of waterpower in the Derbyshire Derwent Valley, learning from past challenges and solutions to unlock the renewable energy potential in the future.

Friday 18 March at 7.30pm – LHS
The Chatsworth Archives and Library
Speaker: Aidan Haley
The speaker is the Assistant Archivist for the Chatsworth Estate, and is also responsible for the library at Chatsworth House. The talk will give an overview of the creation of the archive and how it is cared for and used – there is a lot of interesting research going on. For the library it will cover how it was created, its history, the room it sits in, and some of the key collections.

Friday 25 March at 7.30pm – Society Lecture
The rise and fall of early medieval Mercia
Speaker: Barbara Yorke
In 800AD it would have appeared that the kingdom most likely to expand so that it would take over all of England was Mercia. Yet less than 100 years later it had all but disappeared as a political entity. This talk will consider the rapid expansion of Mercia from early in the 7th century under a series of exceptional kings, its strengths and weaknesses, and the reasons for its later eclipse by Wessex. Examples will be taken from Derbyshire where possible. Barbara Yorke is Emeritus Professor of Early Medieval History at the University of Winchester. Her publications include Kings and Kingdoms of early medieval England (1990) and The conversion of Britain (2006).

Friday 1 April at 7.30pm – Society Lecture
Celtic art, craftmanship and patronage
Speaker: Wendy Morrison
The usage of the term ‘Celtic’ will be defined and discussed, before investigating the earlier Continental precursors of British art, the earliest Celtic art produced in Britain, and the development of various insular styles. We will examine briefly the different techniques for producing decorated objects, and the types of artefacts as vehicles for art with combinations of forms, layouts and elements of design. Also how art reflected the social standing of owners, the final pre-Roman developments and what happened to Celtic art forms in the Roman-British period. Dr Wendy Morrison currently works for the Chilterns Conservation Board as project manager of the NLHF funded ‘Beacons of the Past’ hillforts project. She is also senior associate tutor for archaeology at the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Her research areas are prehistoric European archaeology and landscape archaeology, with over a decade of excavation experience in Southern Britain, the Channel Isles and India.

Saturday 7 May at 2.30pm
Annual General Meeting at Strutts in Belper
Full details will be circulated in the Spring, but there will a display of material in our Library and a talk or talks in addition to the formal business of the AGM.


We have planned our talks for the first half of 2022 as ‘HYBRID’ events that can be attended online via Zoom or in person at St. Mary’s Church Hall, Darley Lane, Derby, DE1 3AX. The link to register for the online talk will be circulated to members by email the week before each event, and places for non-members to attend online can be booked via Eventbrite. Non members are also very welcome to attend in person.


NON MEMBERS – a limited number of places are available to book via our Eventbrite page. Once you have booked a place you will receive a link to the Zoom registration page as described below.

MEMBERS – members who have provided an email address will receive an email from DAS with a link to register for each talk. This is usually sent out a week before the event.

  1.  Click on the link and it will take you to a Zoom registration page. You need to fill in your name and email address and then click ‘register’.
  2. You will then receive an automated email which will contain the link you need to use to join the meeting from a computer, smartphone or tablet. It will also contain a telephone number to join the meeting using an ordinary telephone, but bear in mind if you use this you will not see the speaker’s slides and standard telephone call charges will apply.
  3. A few minutes before the meeting is due to start, click on the link and it will take you to a Zoom web page. If you have previously installed Zoom there will be a pop-up window “Open Zoom Meetings” which you should click on. If this is your first time using Zoom, allow some more time as you will need to click on “Download and run Zoom” on the main page and follow the instructions to install it on your device.
  4. You should then see a message “Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon”. You will also be offered an option to test your microphone and speakers and it is a good idea to do this while waiting to make sure you will be able to hear what is said. When the meeting is ready to start, you will be connected and should see and hear the speaker and chairman for the meeting or a welcome slide.
  5. At the top right of your screen, you should have the option of ‘speaker view’ or ‘gallery view’. We recommend you select ‘speaker view’ so that you only see the speaker and the chairman. When the talk begins, the speaker will share their screen and you should see the presentation slides in the main part of your screen with the video of the speaker in a small box to one side.
  6. By ‘hovering’ your mouse at the bottom of your screen, you will see various controls, e.g. for your own microphone and camera. These will be switched off by default, and we ask you leave them switched off unless you are invited to speak in the discussion session at the end of the meeting. However, please use the ‘Chat’ facility to type your questions and these will be relayed to the speaker by the chairman.
  7. In most cases our talks are recorded on Zoom and members will be sent a link to view the recording. Please note this includes the discussion and if you have your microphone and camera on you may appear in the recording.