Editor’s com­ment

Derbyshire Life - - Front Page -

Oc­to­ber can of­ten seem an in­de­ter­mi­nate, rather unin­spir­ing month, but here in Der­byshire it is packed with in­ter­est: a time to de­fer melan­choly thoughts of bat­ten­ing down the hatches for win­ter for a lit­tle longer.

The friendly Derby Folk Fes­ti­val, from 4th-7th, is a good place to start, a chance to get back to our pop­u­lar roots and en­joy a di­verse range of mu­sic, while this month any coun­try walk or drive lets us revel in glo­ri­ous au­tumn colours. As I drove through Mat­lock, Mat­lock Bath and Crom­ford the other day, leaves were al­ready turn­ing red and yel­low down the val­ley. The area has a unique at­mos­phere. Even when I’m rush­ing along the A6 and can’t stop – I al­ways want to – it never fails to tell me I should take the day off and ex­plore. If you do have the chance to pause, this month’s walk is a lovely hike from Am­ber­gate, a lit­tle fur­ther along the val­ley, am­bling gen­tly back be­side the Crom­ford Canal.

Later in the month the Der­went Val­ley from Crom­ford to Derby is the fo­cus for the im­mensely suc­cess­ful Dis­cov­ery Days fes­ti­val (p.24) with its en­ter­tain­ing pro­gramme of events, walks and talks. And, of course, in Oc­to­ber Mat­lock Bath’s most colour­ful at­trac­tion has come to life – the Il­lu­mi­na­tions. Wan­der­ing through the river­side gar­dens as dark­ness falls, then en­joy­ing the re­flec­tions of light on wa­ter as the re­mark­able boats pa­rade down the Der­went is surely just as mag­i­cal and en­chant­ing as those first il­lu­mi­na­tions must have seemed in 1897 – and on Satur­days fire­works light up the night.

The dark sky is some­thing else that comes into its own in Oc­to­ber, one of the best months for as­tron­omy (p.30). Der­byshire can lay claim to the first As­tronomer Royal, John Flam­steed, so it should be no sur­prise we have some notable lo­cal as­tron­omy groups as well as three spe­cially-des­ig­nated dark-sky ar­eas. Though satel­lites or­bit­ing Earth are now com­mon, the night sky has lost none of its fas­ci­na­tion (and doesn’t it seem amaz­ing that on 11th Oc­to­ber it will be 50 years since Apollo 7, the first mis­sion to carry a crew into space, was launched?).

Back down to earth, Oc­to­ber is also the month for mush­room hunt­ing, so a good time to fea­ture award-win­ning lo­cal com­pany

Get Funghi, whose founders, Deb Hamp­son and Bengt Sax­mark, have used their New Mills and Swedish roots to cre­ate a fas­ci­nat­ing busi­ness per­fectly suit­ing their way of life. An­other splen­did lo­cal en­ter­prise that comes into its own at this time of year (the Wyn Monath for the Sax­ons) is at Carr Head Farm near Hather­sage (p.160), where a re­tire­ment project to start a vine­yard has be­come a source of great lo­cal pride. A Der­byshire Oc­to­ber is also a good time to en­joy plough­ing matches, clas­si­cal mu­sic, caves, cas­tles and, at the end of the month, lots of spooky go­ings-on.

Mat­lock Il­lu­mi­na­tions 2018

JOY HALES,Editor, Der­byshire Life01332 227861, joy.hales@der­byshire­life.co.uk

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