DERBY HERITAGE FORUM
Last update 10th June 2018
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Ron created the Derby Heritage Forum website to report on the activity of
it's contributors. Ron wrote the Heritage Column in The Derby Trader free newspaper until
the paper closed in May 2008.
Ron describes himself as a “Heritage Activist” rather than an historian
and has written a controversial book, The Rivers of Time,
containing his research into the historic water levels around Derby and
the effects of these levels on the development of the town. The
research also indicates the evolution of Nottingham and the whole of
the Humber flood plains, which is most of the central eastern region of
England. Importantly, the evidence in the book is suggesting that the Medieval Warm Period
was warmer than today and that this caused higher water levels in the
Also on the subject of Global Warming Ron's last book contained an
investigation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles for evidence of higher sea
and river levels during the Medieval Warm Period. In
it Ron is suggesting that higher temperatures are normal and that the
Little Ice Age has confused the Climate Scientists causing them to
think that lower temperatures are normal. If Ron is right then we can
expect average temperatures to continue to rise and for sea and river
levels to follow.
For a more professional analysis of historic Climate
Change information a visit to this web page is essential:-
Scroll down and click on - Handouts Higgs Geoclastica sea level rise
talk GSA Denver 2016.pdf (14.8 MB)
A recent investigation by Ron has shown that 'The Old Mayors Parlour'
was a nineteenth century mock Tudor building that was put up around the eighteen
fifties at the earliest. The 'myth' was born out of a
Derbyshire Archaeological Society investigation carried out in 1880 and
contained in the paper, Notes on Some
Old houses in Derby, Second Paper, by George Bailey.
Ron has put a video
report about The Old Mayor's Parlour on YouTube at
Contact Ron at Email Contact List
Derek is probably the best known of Derby's heritage commentators with
a large number of books to his name and a busy talks schedule. Derek's time as
an employee of Derby Council saw him involved in many operations including
demolition and, fortunately for us, he made notes and records of his involvement
during his employment and of previous demolitions by earlier organisations. Some
of his hand written notes can be found HERE of which the following are an extract.
Chaddesden Hall 1926 - Osmaston
Hall 1938 - Mayor's Parlour 1948 - Darley Hall 1962 - Markeaton Hall 1964 - St
Alkmund Church (Saxon foundation) 1967 - 69.
(Also in the notes are other
People unfamiliar with Derby council's record on
demolishing heritage buildings may be surprised to see a list containing four
major halls and a church of Anglo-Saxon
foundation but regrettably this is the norm.
Derek is also known for his well dressings and instructs school
children on the art. Arising out of his well dressing activities are
Derek's unique material pictures.
Follow the link to a file showing examples.
Contact Derek at Email Contact List
Kevin was Head of the Art department at St. Ralph Sherwin school in
Allestree, Derby in 1974 and worked there until he retired in 1997. On
retirement he began to produce historic
maps of the County of Derbyshire. (This is a pdf file and the
link should open the document in your Adobe Reader program. Use your
browser navigation keys to return to this page). Littleover was the
first map and following its popularity several more followed which were
available from the Heritage Center in Derby before its closure.
Kevin has published a book based on the 1852 map and this is now
Brian is a heritage investigator and has a number of projects ongoing and has
carried out investigations of Markeaton Park amongst others. Information on
Brian's investigations can be found at his web site
Bonnie Prince Charlie's
troops passed through Markeaton Park and Brian has prepared a guide which can be
printed from this file.
Denis is well known for his walking guide of places of interest around Derbyshire
and has written a book containing a number of his walks. He is a regular
The Derbyshire Magazine published monthly by the Derby Telegraph.
Kirsten is a Historical Archaeologist,
specialising in the Roman - early medieval transition in western Britain, and in
the Late Historic period, particularly in the Midlands region. Her research
interests include material cultures of domestic life, urban poverty, and social
mobility in the 19th - early 20th centuries; late 18th - mid 20th century
burial; and Archaeologies of Identity, Memory, and Ritual (Kirsten discusses
these topics, and presents related historical sources, on her blog
She has taught for the WEA,
and for the Continuing Education Departments at the University of Nottingham,
Keele University, and University of Oxford, and is post-excavation researcher
for the late Iron Age, Roman, and Early Medieval phases (c. 50 BC - AD 900) at
Crickley Hill, Gloucestershire
Kirsten leads the Living in the Past Community Archaeology Project Living in the past website,
which is piloting new ways to support public
participation in standing building archaeology and garden artifact surveys,
integrating other historical evidence and research (including documentary
sources, Oral History, photographs, and Family Histories), to investigate home
life in Victorian, Edwardian, and Inter-war Derby, especially within industrial
Alan was chairman of Willington History Group
from 1998, when it was formed, until 2015. He is now the first ‘Honorary Life
Member ‘ of the Group. The history group
meets monthly through the winter and spring. Alan has large collection of
material and old photos about the village and has published a booklet
'The lost Gentry of WILLINGTON' which
traces a major family to Vancouver in Canada.
For the past 8 years Alan
has been researching the 18th century Derby water engineer George Sorocold and
has had some of this work
published on an Inst Civils web site.
main interest for past 40 years has been wind and water mills and he has
published the two definitive Derbyshire books on these.
Alan is a founder
trustee of Heage Windmill Society and was one of the leaders in its restoration
to working order in 2002. He is still active in it's Growth to a major tourist
site and has written several books on this mill.
Alan has given many
talks on mills and Sorocold to local groups and is a regular contributor to
Bygones in the Derby Telegraph newspaper.
Follow the link for a list of books
written by Forum contributors
Roman Road across Darley
Floods on Darley Park
in June 2007
Medieval Strips of ridge
and furrow on Darley Park
Ripley branch line
The Great Northern Railway line
from Friar Gate Station to Darley Park
1932 flood at Duffield
A walk around Darley and Nut Wood -
Investigations undertaken by Derby Heritage Forum members are listed
here. Click the link to view current projects.
Old East Prospect of Derby
- Dating evidence - Ron McKeown - Revised December 2012
Great Bridge of Derby
13th century - Ron McKeown
Alternative Climate Change Argument
- Ron McKeown. This is an argument based on documented historical evidence.
Who are the English? - Ron
McKeown summarizes a few facts concerning a much debated topic.
Joan Waste - John Keys 1890 relates the burning
of a young blind girl during the reign of 'Bloody Mary'
Mackworth Castle - Real or Fanciful? -
Another ron McKeown report questioning the historic record.
Roman Roads at Little Chester - Ron McKeown
questions the assumption regarding the direction of 'Stukelys gravel path' on
the Darley Park side of the river
Follow the link below to a list of interesting sites.
Web Master and owner of Derby Heritage
Forum site - Ron McKeown