In boxing up lots of old papers recently we came across a copy of one of our early newsletters dated March 1989 which featured Woolley, the woolly rhinoceros, on the front page. It seems nothing in this world ever changes as the topics raised in its five pages included the perennial need for fundraising, the dependence on willing volunteers and, particularly relevant, the clouds of dust in the Silk Mill as the team were clearing it out.
The Silk Mill, the home of Wirksworth Heritage Centre for 30 years, was sold by auction on 27 October. The sale created a deadline for the current clear-up by our volunteers, and added impetus to our packing up of the heritage collection for storage in Derby. In the process Woolley has finally come out of the dream cave in the corner of the first floor and gone into hibernation until he/she finds a new home in 2018.
By the time this article appears our big dance and raffle will have taken place and brought much-needed funds to add to the pot of match-funding money we must have in support of our Heritage Lottery Fund bid. We have also made a number of grant applications which we hope will be positive and help get us to our required total as quickly as possible after our successful (we hope) bid is announced, perhaps around the end of the year. Probably the last local fundraiser we will have this year will be the Wirksworth Christmas Market on 27th November when we will again have the centre open as well as a stall in the marketplace. Last year’s was extremely cold so we had to rotate the volunteers on the stall every hour and, even with the mulled wine, it probably discouraged the visitors from staying too long. With luck, this year’s will be bright with some much-deserved sunshine warmth.