New Era For Society As It Celebrates 60 Years

Sixty years of celebrating the history of their town was marked by Belper Historical Society members this week, and included the appointment of a new chairman, historian Mary Smedley.

The Annual General Meeting, which kicked off the 60th anniversary celebrations, saw Mary, previously secretary for the society, take on the mantle of chairman.

Mary, who was for many years the manager at the Strutt’s North Mill Museum in the town, and a speaker and heritage walk leader promoting Belper’s history, said: “I’m honoured for this chance to serve the town in a new way – I’ve lots of ideas for updating the society and making it a vibrant champion for the heritage and history of our wonderful town.”

At the meeting, members also heard from Audrey Barrass, another former secretary for the society, and now its president. In a letter she told them: “I would like to say congratulations to you all, as the society reaches its 60th anniversary. I’m unable to celebrate with you, but I do hope the society will have as many happy years ahead of it.”

Pictured: Cutting into the celebratory cake.

An exhibition on the town’s history is being planned by the society in May, with more activities expected to be announced soon.

The society meets on the first Wednesday of each month. To join the society, or for more information, contact Mary on 01773 822383 or contact secretary Adrian Keetley at

Pictured: Mary Smedley

By Adrian Farmer

Claire Meese


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