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Matlock Travel Society -latest excursion

On Tuesday 18th June the friends of Matlock Travel Society enjoyed an interesting day out to the Etruria Industrial Museum and Heritage Centre at Stoke on Trent and to Biddulph Grange Gardens (NT) nearby.

On arrival we enjoyed coffee/tea and biscuits followed by a talk and IT presentation on Jesse Shirley’s Bone and Flint Mill, opened in 1857 and the only remaining operational steam driven potter’s mill in the world. It operated commercially until 1972 producing ground bone, flint and Cornish stone used by the pottery industry to produce English porcelain, better known as bone China. It also produced bone meal for the agricultural industry. Now fully restored, the mill is driven by a rare 1820s Boulton and Watt beam engine, the oldest still working with steam raised by a rare Cornish boiler built at nearby Cliff Vale. Following a tour we had the chance to see narrow boats navigating the only staircase lock in Staffordshire and enjoy the museum displays.

We moved on to the gardens of Biddulph Grange, one of the exciting survivals of the great age of Victorian gardening created by James Bateman and his wife, Maria from 1842-1868. It was the first compartment garden containing ‘rooms’ with individual microclimates perfect for growing plants from all around the world. Now owned and maintained by the National Trust, it is beautiful.

Lunch was taken in the café followed by some time for exploration, not forgetting the all important tea and cake before we set off home.

Our next visit is on Wednesday 17th July to Wortley Top Forge and Elsecar Heritage Centre, much loved places to visit

Please contact Marion on 01246 466925 if you would like to join us. You’ll be welcome.


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