Strutts Logo Run by volunteers for Belper

Welcome to the Strutts Community Project web site.

Strutts Launches Lift Fund

Nick McCleod, Chair of Guardians of Strutts, said ”This is the next step in our two pronged plan of major improvements to the building. One target is to make the building secure and weatherproof, the other is to make the building more usable for us all.“

He continued ”So far we have got the building warm, provided access to the rear for car parking. We have been awarded a grant to help replace a rotten and leaking roof, that work will start very soon. Now we want to do something inside the building to make a major improvement.“

Cynthia Maddock, Belper Strutts Society, said ”We are not all as able bodied as we would like to be and this, when built, will open the first floor to everybody. Several of the larger rooms in Strutts are on the first floor and not everybody can get up the stairs. The Dalesmen have recently moved rooms because of the difficulties of accessing the upstairs rooms.“

So we have started the long hard drive to get a lift built to give access to the first floor. We estimate the lift itself will cost around £20,000 and the associated building works about the same again. So the target is set at a nice round £40,000.

This is an expensive and complex project involving structural changes to the building which we must do in a way that is in keeping with the existing building. Further, we cannot disrupt the existing uses of the building, must meet planning and building regulations. Finally, we must work within the requirements of the Listed Building and World Heritage Site, no small set of needs and restrictions to understand.

So far we have had some really heart lifting examples of generosity. Everything from keep the change, put it in the lift fund, to the gent who was paying his room fee and simply put his hand back in his pocket pulled out a twenty pound note and said “My daughter is disabled, she couldn't climb those stairs, here have some cash.” - Thank you all every penny counts.

P.S. If you would like to help volunteer, we can always use the help!

We have the space for you

In line with the wishes expressed in the original covenant we have opened the building for all sorts of activities. Everybody is welcome to come along hire our rooms and organise all kinds of events and activities. As well as social and community activities we welcome businesses into the building to present exhibitions and have meetings, in fact you can organise almost anything that is legal and does not interfere with others within the building.

If you want free publicity on this web site tell us when you book your room or if you already have a booking get in contact and tell us about your club or event and we will do our best.

Come along hire a room and do your thing at Strutts

Please note the entries below this line are historic.

Rain Gardens

Strutts trustees plan the raingarden with Trent Rivers Trust and designer Bob Bray. Left to right: Nick McCloed (Strutts Charman), Bob Bray (Designer), Cynthia Maddock (Strutts), Julie Wozniczka (Trent Rivers Trust)

Rain Garden Community Planting Day
Saturday 14th March

Come along on Saturday March 14th to see the innovative raingardens at the Strutt Centre and help to plant them up. “A raingarden mimics nature and soaks up rainfall from buildings and hard surfaces close. This helps to cut down the amount of water flowing into the sewage system, which can overwhelm it, bringing sewage into the river and even into people's homes,” says Environment Agency's Angela Mayson.

“When you think about it, the river starts where the rain falls, so raingardens help to keep our rivers clean and healthy, and it's something we can all do. It will form a beautiful garden. The only difference is that all the features are dish shaped so water can soak into the earth.” explains Trent Rivers Trust's Julie Wozniczka. “It's really good working with Strutts, who saw straight away the benefits for the environment and for the centre, and with nationally renowned designers, skilled local contractors and enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff at the Environment Agency.”

“We are having a Planting Day on Saturday, March 14th, from 10 to 4pm. Come for an hour or two or all day. We'll provide some lovely soup and snacks, just bring your trowel, family, friends, and if possible contact Julie on 01773 821982 or to let us know you're coming! We want to show as many people as possible about raingardens and hope to put on courses for the public to learn more about raingardens for their own homes, so anyone helping with planting will get a free place on our course,” says Julie.

“We are also looking for a volunteer who is interested in rainfall to help us monitor how the raingarden is helping by using a rain gauge and measuring the depth of any water in the raingarden. Please get in touch if you can help.”

LIbrary Window

Donations and Strutts

On behalf of all the users and the Trustees I would like to thank everyone who has made a donation to Strutts. No matter how large or small these donations make a difference to the project.

In particular at this time I would like to thank the Rotary Club for their continued support which is greatly appreciated.

Many of the donations being made at this time are being directed, by you, towards helping us build up the fund for the lift. This major investment will mean that people who have difficulty climbing stairs will have access to the first floor. Once this is done we will effectively have an increase in available rooms of almost sixty percent. I say effectively because many of the rooms are already in use but we have to carefully check that everybody coming can gain access and it does occasionally cause us more than a little headache.

As the lift will cause changes to the toilet arrangements we are looking to make improvements here as well. Hopefully, once the resultant works are complete we will be better quipped with enhanced provision for those of all abilities and both ladies and gents in both the north and south wings. That would be a great improvement when the building is busy.

Just to reiterate, thank you for all the support.


Britain in Bloom 2017

Well Belper has done it again with a Gold Medal in three out of four categories. I'm glad to say we at Strutts got two special mentions one for the rain garden and one for the flower garden at the north end of the site, the one one we know colloquially as Albert's Garden.

This is fantastic for both Strutts and Belper and everybody who contributed should be congratulated, well done.

The Mercian Piano Trio 7.30pm 24th May

The Piano


To welcome our new piano donated by Howard Ducker, The Mercian Piano Trio gave the grand a good workout playing music by Beehoven and Gershwin amongst other. The trio which consists of Beate Toyka on the piano, Clair Stanley on violin and Peter Wilson on cello played to a packed main hall.

The event we such a success that it was gone midnight before the capacity crowd dispersed. Quite a number of those present watched from the recently reopened balcony because it offered a clear view of proceedings. More pictures across on our facebook page.

Vintage Fair Update - 8th March 2014

It was a very busy day at the annual Vintage Fair at Strutts with nearly 400 people coming through our doors. Besides the 40 stalls which packed the hall and rooms round it there were other attractions this year:

  • Les played medleys of 1940's songs on the newly-donated baby grand piano interspersed with Nick's vintage vinyls from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
  • Pat, Mary, Joan and another Pat put on demonstrations of vintage craft - patchwork, knitting, felting and rag-rug making.
  • Vintage games from Ludo to Quoits, Shove Ha-penny to Chinese Chequers were available for anyone to play.
  • Our new pink and green bunting - you can hire this bunting for your event for a small fee, just ask at reception at Strutts.
Vintage Fair


The catering team were kept busy all day too providing their delicious refreshments.

A big thank you to everyone who came and to our many volunteers. The event raised £1,400 for the Strutts project - a great outcome don't you think?

More and higher resolution pictures are available at Strutts on Facebook.

Vintage Fair - 8th March 2014

Last years' Vintage Fair was a huge success, if you didn't get along last year then do come and join us this year.

There will be over 30 stalls selling antique and retro items ranging from bric a brac, jewellery, clothing, memorabilia and much more. We shall also be providing vintage craft demonstrations throughout the day. To help you get into the mood we shall have Nick playing records from the 50's/60's/70's intermixed with Lesley playing the old tunes from yesteryear on the beautiful newly acquired grand piano. The venue will be decked in vintage bunting (which you can hire out if you have an event coming up).

For those of you with children (who get in free!) there will be vintage games so they can experience what it was like to be a child in years gone by.


Refreshments (courtesy Belper Strutts Society which will run by Cynthia and her team) will be available and will include bacon rolls, cake, teas and coffee.

There is free on-site car-parking and entrance to the fair will be only £1.00. (Children free).

To the left we have Alison of the Belper Strutts Society Events Committee in the headmaster's oak-panelled office making green and pink bunting ready for the Vintage Fair on Saturday 8th March. We also found some real vintage bunting in one of the old school cupboards so we'll put that up too.

There are more larger pictures over on our Facebook page.

A list of the stall holders who have agreed to publicity is available here.

Bunting for Hire

You can hire our bunting for your event at a modest price. Just ask at reception who will give you details of the hire period, the cost and the lengths of bunting we have available. Phone 01773 599993.

Christmas Fair - Updated!

30th November



Today there are many tired feet and aching limbs in Belper because yesterday we had our Christmas Fair. It take a long time to plan and set up but judging by the smiles on the faces of one and all, old and young, it was worth it. Nearly five hundred people visited the fair on Saturday and many cups of tea, mince meat pies and bacon butties were consumed.

All the rooms were full of fetive goods and as the number of people present increased the atmosphere was wonderful. The activities raised more than £2,000 to support the Strutts Project via the Belper Strutts Society. Sheila Guyatt, a local artist who designed and made Santa's grotto, is so fired up she is already designing next year's home for Santa!

Our own Lady Mayoress opened the Fair at ten o'clock and I spent the next hour trying not to take pictures of her. We must have taken the same route around the building. So as a net result see how many times you can spot her in the ever more pictures over on Strutts on Facebook

To quote a few of the people:

  • Maggie Louise Chocolate Fairies said: "I would like to thank Strutts for a very, very successful day and I've nearly sold out!"
  • Jo said" Fantastic craft fair! Cards are wonderful and the mulled wine wasn't bad either!"
  • Rob said: "First time we've been. A good selection and we've done some Christmas shopping. We've enjoyed supporting individual crafters."
  • Janet said: "Al in all: good. Very nice veg soup and mince pies too."
  • Mary said: "So many unique things!"
  • Andrea said: "Having visited the Christmas Fair at Strutts I'm going to make sure I come every year! A brilliant Christmas shopping opportunity - great quality, affordable, unique hand-crafted items. Do not miss this!!"
  • Mum, Laura together with children Paige, Lewis and baby Noah said: "'Had a good time, plenty to do for the children - Santa and face painting."

So finally and behalf of all at Strutts;

  • To all out helpers, gents as well as ladies, thank you.
  • To all our stall holders we hope you had a good day.
  • To all our visitors, we hope you found everything you wanted.

Finally, to you all have a very Merry Christmas.

The Belper Strutts Society
Fantastic Fundraising Quiz Night!


The hall was transformed into a quiz studio on 18th October ready for our first Quiz Night. Team tables at the ready, decorations done, scoreboard prepared, supper on the plates and quizmaster Anthony Sharpe organising the technology.*

The event was sold out so the hall was full of eager quiz aholics in no time. Armed with fortifying drinks from the bar Anthony kicked off the evening using the battery of equipment which surrounded him.

Who would win the prizes?

  • 1st a wicker hamper with wine, cava, pickle, chocolates, jam and tea
  • 2nd a bottle of wine
  • 3rd Speciality biscuits

Tension mounted, wine, beer and Coke flowed.


The raffle sported prizes from Belper firms:

  • Harpers Hairdressing
  • Stephania's Mobile Hairdressing
  • Primsisters
  • Moss Services
  • Sweet Memories
  • Peakland Outdoor
  • Liquid Treasure

Our thanks to them!

The winning team was The Free Spirits . Here they are with their well-earned hamper. Joint second were Rosey's Ramblers with their bottle, Derby Brites with speciality biscuits to share and The Dunsleys.

The evening raised more than £600 for our Strutts Community Centre. Looks like Quiz Night at Strutts could be an annual event!

See the photographs

Room 10 Talks - The 2013-14 Season

This year our series of fundraising talks is kindly sponsored by

Greenhill Construction (Derby) Ltd

The talks start at 7.30 pm (Doors open at 7.00 pm)
Ticket Price £5.00 at the door (including a glass of wine or fruit juice).
Strutts Society members £4.50

Future talk dates and titles for your diary:

The first of the Room 10 Talks series at Strutts got off to a great start with Andy Minion's talk about the monster movies at Universal Studios in the 30s and 40s. Hilarious stuff despite the monsters, fire pits and electrifications!

Andy Minion

Here's Andy, glass in hand, after entertaining the audience with his encyclopaedic knowledge and witty delivery.

  • Wednesday 20th November
  • Oh, What a Picture! A Photographer's Tale.
  • Peter Davis
  • Wednesday 15th January 2014
  • England's Bloodiest Battle - Towton - Palm Sunday 1461.
  • David Skillen
  • Wednesday 19th March 2014
  • Japanese Baskets. Talk with demonstration and chance to make a basket.
  • Tân Draig
  • Wednesday 21st May 2014
  • Belper Celebrations.
  • Adrian Farmer

We always welcome volunteers who would like to help and support Strutts. In this case if you are able to donating your time to give a talk on a particular subject we would be very interested to hear from you. Please e-mail Joan Hardy, Chair of the Events Committee on if you are able to help.

Vintage Fair

Saturday 23rd February 2013

There will be lots to see from retro/vintage clothing, costume jewellery, vintage greeting cards, bric a brac and much more. Music of yesteryear and old-style bunting will help to evoke a vintage ambience for those who are old enough make the experience nostalgic.

This spreadsheet lists the confirmed stallholders who have given permission for there email and/or web site details to be published. So why not have a browse round there sites before you come down and look at the wares first hand.

Entrance: £1 (children: free)

Onsite parking and refreshments will be available.

Saturday 23rd February sees the first Vintage Fair to be held by the Belper Strutts Society at Strutts Community Centre in Belper. Come along and help make this a success. Strutts is a volunteer-run community centre used by over 140 community groups covering a wide range of activities including art, sculpting, boxing, dog training, singing, Zumba circuit training, an orchestra and even pole dancing! Yes folks we're really on the ball here in Belper!

But to keep this wonderful resource going we need you to support our events so join in the fun and come along on the 23rd February.

A Blast from the Past at Strutts Vintage Fair

Balcony Customers Councilor Biss Stalls

We didn't need Dr. Who's Tardis to go back in time last Saturday at Strutts Vintage Fair at Belper's Strutts Community Centre. From WWII nostalgic music to material from the 1970s, and from Notty Hornblower's classy 40s furs and hats to Selina Whittle's delicious liquorice and coconut mushrooms we were surrounded by bygone eras.

What a trip down memory lane for the 500 people who packed the Fair all day coming from not only from Belper itself but also from Mickleover, Codnor, Derby, Findern, Ripley and Buxton. “Girly heaven”, said Lesley from Findern, “A good opportunity to meet old friends” commented Ray from Codnor, “Takes you back” said Barbara of Belper.

It was a successful day for the stallholders too, many, like Gael, commenting that “It was excellent. I'm very pleased with the atmosphere, punters and the sales.” The Strutts Society made over £1,000 from the event which will swell the coffers of their lift fund.

Deputy Mayor of Belper Councillor Debbie Biss opened the Fair and emphasised that the Strutts Community Centre is now owned by all the people of Belper and is run entirely by volunteers.

What really pleased the Strutts Society Events Committee was the range of people who came to the Fair: from young parents with small children to teenagers, from pensioners to young professionals like Rachel who said, “Can you have another Fair? I've bought loads including a 1940s dress which I'll love wearing.”

So our thanks go to all the people who supported this fundraising event, to our stallholders and the Strutts volunteers who made it all possible. See you next year!

Even more pictures at This is Derbyshire

Strutts Christmas Craft Fair 2012

another fantastic, local day out

Saturday 24th November saw a hugely successful Christmas Craft Fair at Strutts Community Centre on Derby road with over forty stalls throughout the ground floor. The event raised over £1,200 for Strutts.

Stalls representing the best of local crafters ranged from handmade jewellery to jackets, wedding quilts to watercolours, cakes to cushions, patchwork to pottery, bags to broaches, cards to candles, wooden toys to wall-hangings and much more!

Linda, a shopper from Duffield said: "What a great Craft Fair with such quality products and reasonable prices" and the stallholders were pleased too:

"Thought (the) food was great and very reasonably priced and organization impeccable as usual. Overall we had a thoroughly enjoyable day." commented Liz selling her son's cartoon-style Christmas cards.

"Can I thank you for a very well organised event. The volunteers were enthusiastic and most helpful." said Sue selling recycled vintage jewellery, hand-made flower broaches and fascinators.

Bacon butties were on offer early on for stallholders, by the Belper Strutts Society volunteers, who went on to provide coffee, tea and mince pies all day. Lunchtime fare included turkey and ham rolls with homemade chips and relishes and a veggie option too by local caterer Jeremy Field.

There were Christmas stories and crafts for children, a face-painter and magician and a chance to visit Santa too.

We are establishing a great tradition of quality, well-supported and successful Christmas Craft Fairs at Strutts. Look out for next year's event and if you're a crafter contact us if you want to have a stall:

Fluxx Theatre Company at Strutts
Friday 3rd August at 7:30pm

Without Planning Permission
Presented by Fluxx

A new kind of theatre event involving film, interactivity and performance

As the audience arrive, they are invited to imagine they are all residents in our imagined neighbourhood. They watch a film and learn something of the area in which they ‘live’. Then the event opens out and spectators walk round the space to discover and meet some of the other characters who live there. What links all these characters is a story, an immediate dispute that affects everyone in the neighbourhood. The dispute touches on issues of land, ownership, planning and local history. A residents meeting is called in which the spectators can consider the different perspectives of the characters they've met. The spectators make a decision to resolve the dilemma and then watch a series of scenes all triggered by their decision.

Fluxx has been developing shows using improvisation since 1998 and has performed throughout the UK, in the USA and in Europe.

“Fascinating, involving, intriguing - all those things that you really want from theatre but don't always get” Total Theatre Magazine

Fluxx is an experienced, professionally-lead theatre company who have been funded by Arts Council England to undertake this tour. Chris Johnston, who runs Fluxx, says it is -
“A new kind of theatre event involving film, interactivity and performance......... Local Performers: For each show we aim to involve around 6-8 local performers from the community who will be incorporated into the show. These might come from the local amateur dramatic society, from volunteers or from the theatre profession.”

Local performers need to be aged 14 or above in all cases. Please note participants will be paid a nominal total expense of £10 for their contribution to the process. The director of Fluxx Chris Johnston will need to run two sessions with the local performers as preparation. This can take place either on a full day (morning and afternoon) or two evenings on the 1st & 2nd August and will be at Fleet Arts.

SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL - 9th and 10th December 2011

Here is something a little different!


On Friday 9th and Saturday 10th December there will be performances of extracts from Shakespeare's works here at Stutts. The performances begin at 7.30pm and tickets cost £5 and children under 12 will be admitted free of charge. Tickets can be purchased from reception, or from the Telegraph News shop on King Street, Belper.

On the Friday evening the Chevin singers will be performing, along with recitations from members of the U3a Poetry Society. Also on the programme will be actors of all ages presenting extracts from a broad range of Shakespeare's plays. On Saturday the programme will be slightly different, with some young people from Belper School using the performance opportunity to work towards their Silver and Gold Arts Awards.


On Saturday from 10am the Strutts building will be open to visitors; on show will be the Shakespeare Exhibition which is free of charge. The U3a Shakespeare group have prepared visual and musical presentations and there will be a range of related artefacts on view.

There will be something for all the family.There will also be the opportunity to purchase a quiz - all proceeds to the Tom McGonigal Trust Fund.The event is sponsored by Derbyshire County Council. lease come along and support us!

The pictures were taken during recent rehearsals which explains the look of utter concentration on some of the faces. By the performance all words will have been remembered and the expressions will fit the action! To see the original pictures in all there glory join our Facebook page.

Joan Hardy

School Reunion - Photos

Strutts Book Sale 16th & 17th July 2011

Books 2

Since we opened our doors we have had a very large number of books donated to us. This is your chance to browse and buy those books. The collection contains just about every type of book you can think of from big expensive tabletop hardbacks to cheep paperbacks. The titles are just as diverse with books in categories for DIY to Mills and Boon, Stained Glass Windows to Science Fiction. It's imposable to tell you the list so come along and browse.

We are open from 10am till 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is just 50p and you get that back with the first book you buy.

FIRST MEETING - 16th July at 2pm

It is proposed to launch a Belper Shakespeare Festival on 9th and 10th December 2011 here at Strutts.

A Shakespeare Festival Committee has been formed to oversee the planning and organisation of this event.

The idea of the proposed Festival is to provide opportunities for individuals and community groups to contribute towards a celebration of Shakespeare's work within the context of his life and times.

We hope to include events such as play and poetry readings, short performances of extracts, dance and songs with appropriate musical accompaniment as well as relevant exhibitions. Throughout the festival period we will arrange quizzes and competitions and provide appropriate refreshments.

We plan to arrange workshops for those, in any age group, who are interested in performing - with or without ideas of their own! Families and groups of friends will be particularly welcome. We are also interested to receive suggestions from Arts groups in the area, who may wish to participate.

If you are interested we would be very pleased to see you at a meeting on Saturday 16th July at 2pm, where we can make more concrete arrangements.

Joan Hardy

If you wish to contact Joan before the meeting please use the contact form and we will froward you email to Joan.

A Summer Ceilidh - Saturday 4th June

Another good night was had by one and all, one of these days I will get to one!


We're having a 'ho-down' at Strutts with a caller and music. It's going to be a great evening, learning new dances - going wrong of course, that's part of the fun - and having an opportunity to let your hair down. A great family and friends' event.

The ceilidh is being kindly sponsored by The Dolls' House Emporium.

Tickets cost only £5 and there will be a licensed bar. Doors open 7pm 'til late.

Strutts School Reunion - 21st May

The Belper Strutts Society has organised another of it's highly successful School Reunion Nights on Saturday May 21st. Simon Groom will talk to the gathering about his time as a Grammar School Student at the school. Why not come and enjoy a great evening with old friends and have a wander through the places you remember from your days at Strutts.

All this and much more for the great price of £8 for society members and £10 for non-members.

For more information contact Cynthia Maddock at Strutts on 01773 599993.

Race Night a Huge Success!

A hundred race-goers packed the hall at Strutts to be ready for the 'off' on Race Night recently. It was a fantastic night full of fun for everyone - even if they didn't win! People were delighted with their delicious pie and pea supper cooked by Jeremy of Peak Catering Consultants some having come remembering just how lovely the food was last year. A big 'thank you' goes to Vanda Hollinshead-Rowell whose business ActionCOACH sponsored the whole event, to Lockwoods who gave us the peas, to Amber Valley Rotary Club who ran the event, to Nick who ran the bar and to our 8 race sponsors too. The picture shows Vanda presenting the owner of just one of the winning horses with a bottle of bubbly.

The best news is that the night raised over £1,000 for Strutts and looks like being a firm favourite with Belper audiences so if you missed it this year look out for it in March 2012. Thanks to all those people who came and supported us as well as to the Strutts Society Events and Social Committee who organised the evening.

Strutts Society Race Night - Saturday 19th March

Following its huge success last year the Strutts Society presents Race Night 2011 on Saturday 19th March. The £5 ticket includes a great home-made pea and pie supper: what a bargain!

Doors open 7pm and first race starts at 7.30pm

Sponsoring the whole event is ActionCOACH Business Coaching based in Belper and amongst local race sponsors are:

  • The Tavern Public House
  • Joy Clarke Furnishings Ltd
  • Lilac Florists and Hat Hire
  • Status Social Media Marketing
  • Clearfirst
  • Innes England
  • Alfred Tomes
  • ADEvent and David Hearn

Thanks too to Lockwoods for donating the peas!

Join us for a family, fun-filled night at the races with our licenced bar, ample parking and delicious supper, including a vegetarian option. Get your tickets from the Telegraph News shop in King street or from reception at the Strutts Centre.

Hurry places are limited!


Update - Strutts Book Sale
26th & 27th February 2011

Thank you for your help everybody who helped or bought a book has provided a little of the money that is need to help keep the centre open.

Since we opened our doors we have had a very large number of books donated to us. This is your chance to browse and buy those books. The collection contains just about every type of book you can think of from big expensive tabletop hardbacks to cheep paperbacks. The titles are just as diverse with books in categories for DIY to Mills and Boon, Stained Glass Windows to Science Fiction. It's imposable to tell you the list so come along and browse.

We are open from 10am till 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is just 50p and you get that back with the first book you buy.

Happy New Year

I'm sorry there has not been a great deal to report to you. We are still open and people are still coming in and doing there think! However, that does not make for a great deal to say here.

We are still in need of people to help with many of the task around the site, everything from manning reception to cleaning, making tea and coffee to fixing electrics or pluming. So if you have a few hours to spare every week why not come down and see how you can help. Its great fun and you will meet lots of new people whilst doing something to help the community.


We have been open throughout the cold snap. The picture above taken by Frank shows the building on one of the clearer days.

Annual General Meeting - 11th Dec 2010

The Annual General Meeting of the Guardians of Strutts, the Strutts Centre Ltd and the Belper Strutts Society was held at Strutts on Saturday 11th December 2010 at 2pm. The three separate meetings were held in quick secession and all the required business, i.e passing of accounts, election of officers, etc was completed.

The turnout was small but a considerable amount of interesting debate occurred. A full report will follow in a few days but in the meantime here are a few interesting facts.

  • There are currently over 70 groups using the building on a regular basis. Most come in on a weekly basis.
  • This is equivalent to 26,000 people per year or more than the population of Belper.
  • Recently in one week we had more than 1,000 people use Strutts.

Clearly we are allowing many people to pursue there activities.

Christmas closure

The Struts Centre will be closed from Friday the 24th December until Monday the 3rd January inclusive (Updated). Thus all our volunteers and helpers get at lease a week off to relax and enjoy Christmas and recover before the start of the coming year.

Belper Strutts Society
Membership renewal and the AGM

A gentle reminder to all our members, your membership is due for renewal on December 1st and only fully paid up members will be entitled to vote at the upcoming AGM which will probably be held in mid December. The date will be announced soon.

Strutts at the Ritz - Saturday 24th October 2010

As part of the Derwent Valley Mills Discovery Days week the Strutts 'Reflections 1909-2009' DVD will be screened at the Ritz for free at 4.30pm! However, book up soon or you will net get a ticket as they are selling fast.

To get your own copy of the DVD, use this form or come to reception at Strutts and get your copy for £12.95.

Live and Local - Saturday 16th October 2010

On Saturday 16th October the Strutts Society held an evening of music entitled 'Live and Local' at the Strutts Centre in aid of improved outside lighting at the Centre.

Performances were given by local artistes, Pete Castle, Rough Truffles and Derwent Brass to a packed hall. At least £500 was raised.

Rough Truffles

Rough Truffles conducted by Beth de Lange perform in the hall.

Thank you to all who attended and the volunteers who made it possible.

Strutts Centenary Dance

On behalf of the Belper Strutts Society thank you to everybody who came to the dance and made it such a huge success a truly great night was had by all.

Strutts Centenary Dance - 2009

On Saturday 28th November 2009 the Belper Strutts Society are holding a dance to celebrate the Strutts Centenary in the Main Hall with live music and a licensed bar from 8pm to 11.30pm. The ticket price includes a pie and pea supper and a chance to win a Christmas Hamper with a lucky ticket to be drawn on the night.

Come and dance all evening to Mike Graham Music and watch a dance display by Strut Your Stuff. Tickets can be purchased from the Telegraph News Shop on Kings St or from Strutts at £8. Members of of the Belper Strutts Society are entitle to a £1 discount on the ticket price.

Centenary Celebrations


Thursday evening at 6.30pm close on three hundred people gathered in “STRUTTS” to celebrate the centenary of the building.

Derwent Brass and Rough Truffles provided a wonderful musical accompaniment to the gathering and reminiscences of the old school pupils, whilst those who had never attended as pupils explored the rooms, nooks and crannies of this wonderful old building.

Belper Historic Society provided a display of Belper photographs and memorabilia which focused particularly on the school and its history.

Dixie Dean the oldest living ex-pupil sat in the hall and discussed his memories with a number of generations of pupils who all have differing memories of their school days.

The clock was rewound and restarted as one of the prizes in the raffle and caused great excitement as the chimes rang out for the first time; an old friend, a marker back in the life of those who live locally.

The life that was breathed back into the old girl was wonderful and points the great future the building holds as “STRUTTS”. (7th April 2009)

Poster now available for the celebration event on Thursday 7th May.

Come and Celebrate!

An evening event on Thursday 7th May will mark the centenary of the former Herbert Strutt School on Derby Road in Belper and celebrate the future of the Grade II listed building as a business and community centre.

The doors will open at 7pm and there will be lots to see and do on the evening, starting with a complimentary drink. There will be an exhibition by Belper Historical Society, a performance by Rough Truffles (community choir), a raffle, and the chance to look round this interesting building as many rooms will be open to view.

A volunteer committee of Strutts Society members has organised the event to open the doors of the building to the community. “We really hope lots of people come on the night and enjoy the surroundings of this beautiful building, the exhibitions and performances as well as support the Strutts Community Project. There will also be the opportunity to find out more about future plans. Everyone is welcome, whether you are an ex-pupil, a local resident, or just interested in having a look round.” commented Jessica Saunders.

Local film company Treacle City Films of Milford, is currently planning a documentary about Strutts and its centenary. They will be in attendance on the night to gather stories from people who have links with the school and have asked for people to bring any photos, school reports, films, school uniform or any other memorabilia to show them.

To promote this event, Belper’s Town Crier Terry Porter will be announcing it on Saturday 2nd May around the town.

Almost 100 people have already become members of the Strutts Society and there will be an opportunity to join on the night.

The Strutts Community Project has received many kind donations from local companies to assist with the preparation work currently happening in the building including Deb Chemicals, D.S. Smith Packaging, Nelson Distribution, Pennine Plant & Tool Hire, Fresh Basil and Chesterfield Adult Community Education Centre, plus a recent donation of £1000 from Councillor Joyce Sanders. (28 April 2009)

Councillor Joyce Sanders Donates to Strutts Society

Nick n Joice

A donation of £1000 will be made to the Strutts Society from Councillor Joyce Sanders on Tuesday 7th April at 7.00pm during the Society’s weekly committee meeting.

The donation is from the Derbyshire County Council’s Members Community Fund which enables each County Councillor to donate to local projects in their area. As a member for Belper, Councillor Sanders, has already been involved in saving the Grade II listed building and has recognised that funds are vital for the ongoing project.

The donation is welcomed by the Strutts Society, who are currently preparing the old Herbert Strutt school building to be transformed into a Community and Business Centre. It has not yet been decided exactly what the money will be spent on, but it will help to take the whole project forward. (2 April 2009)

Centenary Celebration Marks New Era for Strutts

An evening celebration event on Thursday 7th May will mark the Centenary of the opening of the former Herbert Strutt School on Derby Road in Belper and the start of a new era for the Grade II listed building as a community and business centre.

The event will celebrate the future of the building that was built by George Herbert Strutt in 1909 to benefit the people of the town, and at the same time commemorate its Centenary.

The building ceased to be a school in February 2008 and just as the children and staff at the brand-new Herbert Strutt Primary School are celebrating their first year in their new state-of-the-art eco school building in Bargate, the Strutts Community Project Team have been busily working behind the scenes to secure the old former school building, which has lain empty ever since. On 16th February Derbyshire County Council gave the Governors of Strutts a licence to occupy the site and members of the Strutts Society wasted no time in starting work to prepare the site for future users. Derbyshire County Council propose to transfer the whole site to the Governors of Strutts in the near future.

According to local history books, when the school was officially opened on 7th May 1909 the local mills were closed and the streets packed with people to welcome the Duke of Devonshire who opened the school with an ornate golden key.

”It is a wonderful coincidence that as the school’s Centenary falls, a new era for the building is beginning.“ Commented Strutts Society Volunteer Coordinator Cynthia Maddock. “We have been delighted at the interest shown in the project so far, and its success depends on the generosity of local people and businesses. There are many opportunities for people to be part of the exciting plans we have for Strutts; by becoming a Member of the Strutts Society, donating time, money or resources, attending events or by hiring space in the building when we open.”

More details about the celebration event on Thursday 7th May will be announced shortly. Poster now available. Visit for more information. (12 March 2009)

Extracts about the opening from the books ‘The Herbert Strutt School’ by Roland Sutton - the history master from the school, and the book ‘The Strutt Family.’

In the early months of 1909 arrangements began for the formal opening of the school. Mr Strutt issued personal invitations to virtually all the notables of the County to attend the opening ceremony and many of the humbler people of the district. 500 of these accepted. It was stated at a later date that there were probably more silk hats in evidence than have been seen on any subsequent occasion.

The weather was glorious; the mills were closed; the whole town was ‘en fete’ and beflagged; the church bells rang almost continuous peals; and dense and excited crowds thronged King Street and the Derby road to witness and cheer the arrival of the Duke of Devonshire at Belper Station where the express from Carlisle stopped especially for the Duke’s convenience. He was met by Mr Strutt and taken by car to the ceremony. On arrival at the school he was presented by the architects with a gold key bearing the County Arms in an engraved shield ‘The Herbert Strutt Higher Elementary School, Belper 1909’. A similar key was presented to Mr Strutt. Mr Strutt handed over his beautifully engrossed and bound Deed of Gift to Alderman Oakes, Chairman of the Derbyshire Education Committee. They were later able to look around the school or listen to the strains of the ‘ White Coon Banjo Team ’ before going to the River Gardens Pavilion for tea with Mr Strutt.

228 autographed the Visitors Book provided for the occasion and the next day members of the general public were invited to look round. More than 1000 attended, expressing their delight with the school and everything connected with it.

Public Meeting

The Belper Strutts Society is holding its first public meeting on Friday 16th January at St John‘s Chapel at 7:30pm.

At the meeting the society will give a presentation on the current state of the project and be looking for your ideas and help. In very broad terms the Society and the overall project are going to provide rooms to let to groups and societies of all types. To help make the project self sufficient some commercial tenants will also be using the building and it‘s that mix of commercial and community uses that will be different from most community projects.

As you might imagine with a large old grade two listed building the cost of maintaining the building and the overall site is not going to be trivial. However, with careful financial management we hope to make the project viable for the next one hundred years.

So please come along and let us know what you think!

STRUTTS - Wonderful news!

Another big step forward today, Tuesday 25th November 2008, the Belper Strutts Society was formed. Go to the Belper Strutts Society web site and read all about the society, its aims and objectives.

This organisation is at the heart of the community that will support, use and run the center. From there we can all help as volunteers, with events, fund raiser and keep track of our progress to opening the center.

A poster promoting Strutts can be downloaded and printed here. If you want to control the way the file is printed or want to print a number of copies, right click on the link and use “Save Link As...”. You will then be able to print the file normally.

The Councils Agree

Today Amber Valley Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council announced the lease of the old Herburt Strutt School. The intention is that the building will be used for community and commercial purposes and that it will be organised as an independent self-financing community enterprise. Today‘s lease is the first step in this process which simply allows the building to be used. Further steps will be necessary before the tenure of the building is finalised, however today‘s announcement is ground breaking news.

Without the expressions of support from the people who attended the open meetings or signed the petitions today simply would not have happened. So on behalf of everybody trying to make this work - Thank you.

If you know of any group, organisation or business looking for accommodation please contact us on the telephone or via the form on the contact page.

Finally, a plea from the heart; if you have the time and skills to give no matter how small please give. We have a building to clean, heat and repair so we can all use it soon. Oh! and did I say we also need your money.

Please watch this site and the press for future announcements about the public meetings to build the organisation, arrange management, organise work parties and fund raising for STRUTTS.

Read the press releases and what the press have said.

Thank you

The future and Why!

The Herbert Strutt School occupied magnificent buildings on the A6, just south of Belper town centre until March 2008. This web site has been set up by the Strutts Community Project as part of its campaign to ensure that the buildings remain as a community asset in line with the wishes of Herbert Strutt who donated the school to the town 99 years ago. Our vision is for a self-financing community, education and training centre, to which we have given the working title "Strutts". It would also include some office development that would provide local employment and contribute to the costs. Overall Strutts would become an important focal point for the town and generate considerable benefit for everyone in the area.

The importance of the Strutt family and Belper has been recognised internationally since it is at the core of one of very few World Heritage Sites in Great Britain. The old school is an exceptionally fine building with many unique high quality architectural details.

The Students

Over the years hundreds of people have been educated in the Strutts School and large numbers of photographs have been taken. These photographs are dispersed amongst the many pupils and there children. We would like to collect as many of these pictures and the details that describe the time, place and people present. The idea is simple lets get a picture of every class and the name of every pupil.


The consultation period on the feasibility study has now closed, we have added our comments to yours by submitted them to Amber Valley, now we all need to be patent and await the next stage. The feasibility study sponsored by Amber Valley is still on-line so if you have not read it please do. If you have any comments please feel free to send them to us as when we go into negotiation all ideas will be useful.

This is a plea from the heart. If you have any interest in this building, its pupils, its history or the town of Belper and would like to help stop this building being sold off for housing then please get in contact. Your skills, knowledge and help may tip the balance and ensure that our objective is achieved!

The petition on the PMs web site has now ended and the results are available on the PMs web site.

We have the space for you

We are finally in possession of the old Strutts School and we are open for business. In line with the wishes expressed in the original covenant we have started to open the building for all sorts of activities. Everybody is welcome to come along hire our rooms and organise all kinds of events and activities. As well as social and community activities we welcome businesses into the building to present exhibitions and have meetings, in fact you can organise almost anything that is legal and does not interfere with others within the building.

Our three web sites are relatively quiet at this time for all sorts of reasons; these range from a lack of time because we are completely run by volunteers to a self imposed restriction which only allows us to publicise something happening in the building once we have permission.

The other two sites can be found at:

If you want free publicity on this web site tell us when you book your room or if you already have a booking get in contact and tell us about your club or event and we will do our best.

As I write this we are already open mornings and evenings on weekdays with occasional weekend openings but as bookings come in we are opening more and more. We are in the process of drawing up a calendar and that will appear here real soon, so why not:

Come along hire a room and do your thing at Strutts


Lift Fund





has raised