Our projects shine in heritage awards

Three of our projects have won awards in a prestigious awards ceremony, with a fourth being highly commended

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Derbyshire Record Office, and two Markham Vale initiatives – the Walking Together Mining Memorial and The Story Mine project – were recognised at Derbyshire Heritage Awards, run by Derbyshire Museums and Heritage Forum.

The awards took place at Barrow Hill Roundhouse in Chesterfield on Friday 3 May 2019. The annual awards celebrate all the wonderful work taking place in museums, historic houses and heritage sites across the county.

Our Derbyshire Record Office won an award for reaching new audiences with its Amazing Pop-up Archives Project.

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, our only museum, won the judges’ special award for Wonders of the Peak – a journey through time and place.

The Walking Together memorial – which we led on – won the award for best volunteer project.

Markham Vale Heritage Group was also highly commended in the category recognising the involvement of young people in heritage with its Story Mine project.

Councillor Barry Lewis, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism, said:

“Derbyshire is a fantastic place to visit, with a heritage to celebrate and these projects celebrate and interpret that heritage on behalf of the county council for the benefit of us all. I am delighted that the hard-working people who devise and run these schemes have been recognised for their achievements.”

Derbyshire Record Office’s Amazing Pop-up Archives project worked with a group of young people, artists and an experienced family history researcher. Together they 'popped up' at events around the county, bringing archives to places where people would normally never expect to see them. Hundreds of people came to look at the documents, listen to songs and stories, and tell their own stories of their lives and the place where they lived.

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery’s Wonders of the Peak explores lives, landscapes and artefacts through a web app and in the museum.

Markham Vale’s Walking Together mining memorial will eventually feature 106 life-size steel figures stretching between the village of Duckmanton in Chesterfield and the former pithead. Each figure is part of a walking trail which symbolises a miner’s journey to the pit and back home again and represents the 106 men who lost their lives in three accidents at the site in 1937, 1938 and 1973.

The Story Mine project at Markham Vale, our flagship regeneration site, seeks to unearth and share stories from the former Markham Colliery. It gives details about the lives of the workers at the site, their jobs and the local mining community.

Chair of Derbyshire Museums and Heritage Forum, Glynn Wilton, said

“It’s our mission to show people what great, high-quality heritage attractions Derbyshire has. So much hard work goes into looking after Derbyshire’s heritage and maintaining the brilliant visitor attractions by staff and volunteers, and the awards event is our way of recognising that.”


This year’s awards were judged by:

  • Sir Richard Fitzherbert (chief executive of Tissington Hall and chair of the Regional Attractions Network)
  • Joy Hales (editor, Derbyshire Life magazine)
  • Bill Bevan (freelance heritage interpretation consultant)

Award winners were presented with a plaque to showcase their achievement, while highly commended projects were awarded a framed certificate. There were 33 entries from 16 different organisations in this, the awards’ 11th year.

The award categories were:

  • behind the scenes
  • award for enterprise and innovation
  • best volunteer project
  • young people in heritage
  • reaching new audiences
  • partnership working
  • judges’ special award
  • excellence – museum of the year (judges selected the winner from all of the entrants).

Derbyshire Museums and Heritage Forum is a friendly, informal network that brings together people who work or volunteer for a diverse range of heritage organisations and sites in the county. For further information please contact forum secretary Kate Watts, email: derbyshiremuseumsforum@gmail.com or tel: 01773 743986.

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