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Talk of the Dales

Editorial contributions from our readers play a vital part in the success of the Peak Advertiser. We are very grateful to everyone who takes the time to send us their articles and photographs, but from time-to-time we receive more than we can possibly have space for in the paper.

Here on our website we now have the opportunity to publish a selection of those stories that didn’t appear in our latest issue.



Excitement is building in Wirksworth and the surrounding area, as plans to build a new Skatepark move one step closer.     A voluntary group of local parents and supporters have been working hard behind the scenes on a plan to develop a brand new Skatepark.  With plans for the new Skatepark firmly in place, efforts have moved to local fundraising and completing grant applications.


Wirksworth has had a wooden Skatepark at the Fanny Shaw’s Park for the past 14 years. The former skatepark had reached the end of its life and escalating repair costs meant it had to be dismantled in 2020.


Skateboarding and scootering continue to be in high demand, with a number of makeshift ramps and rails popping up around the town. With so many young people feeling the impact of Covid-19, never has there been a more important time to re-establish such a valuable and much needed community facility.


The new concrete design aims to provide a sustainable and long lasting skatepark, offering exercise and something to do, regardless to whether you like skating, scootering or cycling.


The group have recently launched a Go Fund Me page to help raise funds for the new skatepark https://www.gofundme.com /f/skate-wirksworth-needs-your-help.


In addition, any local businesses or organisations offering support or grants for such projects are encouraged to get in touch by emailing wirksworthskatepark@ gmail.com


Because of his connections with Chatsworth, the name of Joseph Paxton is very familiar to those of us living in this part of Derbyshire. It was appropriate, therefore, that Paxton was the subject of a talk (by video conferencing) given at its first meeting of 2021 to the Bakewell and District Probus Club by one of its members, Don Naybour.


Relating the story of Paxton’s life, the speaker started by describing his subject’s early years. Born in 1803 as the seventh son of a farmer in Bedfordshire there is no record that he ever attended a school but, from evidence of his handwriting, he was clearly not an uneducated man. In his mid-teens he became a garden boy, later being employed by the Horticultural Society at their gardens in Chiswick. It was here that he met William Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, who offered Paxton, then aged only 20, the job of head gardener at Chatsworth. Having accepted the offer, Paxton oversaw a number of major schemes including the relocation of Edensor village and the construction of the Emperor fountain, and a series of greenhouses. He also met and married Sarah Boan, who proved to be skilled in managing the family finances, leaving Paxton free to pursue his creative ideas and to develop his circle of influential friends and acquaintances.


The proposed Great Exhibition of 1851 gave Paxton the opportunity to present a scheme for the building based on his existing design for the Regia Lily House at Chatsworth. It was a modular arrangement which lent itself to a method of prefabricated construction, with the result that the exhibition hall was completed in a remarkably short time. For his contribution to the success of the undertaking, Paxton was knighted.


His reputation firmly established and now a wealthy man, thanks mainly to his investments in the early railways, Paxton left Chatsworth after the Duke died in 1858. He later worked on a number of projects and, from 1854 until his death in 1865, was a Member of Parliament for Coventry.


The speaker concluded his talk by examining the factors that had helped Paxton rise from his humble beginnings to his success in later life. Clearly, a formal education had not been essential but support and encouragement from his family and friends had played a vital role.


Details of the Bakewell and District Probus Club, including reports of earlier meetings, can be found on its website at www.bakewellprobus.org

Pictured above: Don Naybour. Photograph taken at an earlier meeting


Free coronavirus testing kits will be available to everyone without symptoms at Derbyshire County Council’s community testing centres.     


Derbyshire residents are now able to visit their local testing centre to pick up the rapid test kits for them and their families to use at home.     


It comes as the Government announced that everyone in England can have twice weekly lateral flow tests to control the spread of Covid-19.     


Alongside the vaccine rollout, regular testing is at the heart of plans to reopen society and the economy by helping to supress new variants of the virus and break the chain of transmission.     


Rapid testing has so far been available to those most at risk and people who cannot work from home and are mixing with colleagues or the public.     


One in three people with Covid don’t have any symptoms and could be passing it on without realising. With results in a round 30 minutes, rapid testing helps to detect positive cases quickly.     


Derbyshire residents will be able to pick up two boxes of seven tests when they visit a community testing centre. To find your local community testing centre visit www.derbyshire.gov. uk/communitytesting     


People will now also be able to pick up kits from the county council’s mobile testing units between 9am and 3pm:

• Every Thursday - The Agricultural Business Centre (far end of car park), Agricultural Way, Bakewell, DE45 1AH

• Every Friday - The Arc (right hand side of car park), High St, Clowne, Chesterfield. S43 4JY

• Saturday/Sunday - Glossopdale School car park, Newshaw Lane, Hadfield, Glossop SK13 2DA     


Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health Dean Wallace said: “Everyone has made a massive effort to get us to the point where we can start to go back to doing some of the things we love.   


“But we don’t want to undo that good work so, together with the vaccine rollout, rapid testing is another weapon in our armoury against this deadly disease.     


“To get back to a more normal life we all need to play our part and get tested regularly. This will help to give us peace of mind as well as stop the virus in its tracks.     


“By doing all the right things – self isolating if we test positive, staying apart, washing our hands and wearing a face covering when required - we can all make a difference.     


“So I’d urge residents to do their bit – get tested for Derbyshire.”     


Supervised testing is still available at the county council’s community testing sites where staff are also on hand to offer support and advice to people who test positive.     


Rapid testing kits for use at home are also available to order online at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests     


If testing at home, people will need to register their results online at www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result or by calling NHS 119. They should self-isolate if positive and order a confirmatory PCR test.     


Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate immediately. They should not attend a community testing site but should book a test online at www.gov/uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling NHS 119.

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