Take a step back in time with the Salt Brook Heritage Trail

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A celebratory unveiling of sculptures and history boards is being held as part of a new heritage trail in South Derbyshire.

Four national, professional artists, Rachel Carter, Graeme Mitcheson, Dan Rawlings and Alex Blakey, have been working since February this year on unique works of art inspired by the global industries that started and grew in Hatton.

The ribbon will be cut by local resident Harry Shaw, one of the oldest remaining former employees of Trent Valley Glassworks and Frances Toye, an avid local historian whose late husband Peter, researched, gathered and protected many of the images and archive material used in this project. Both Harry and Frances’ working lives are among over 25 oral histories recorded and used by the artists as inspiration.

Among the local industries is Nestlè, now a worldwide household name who chose Hatton for their factory in 1901 because of its proximity to the many dairy farms, nearby river and adjacent railway. Others include Trent Valley Glassworks, the worldwide exporter of all things glass (including Chanel perfume bottles), and Claytons, which designed ‘The Pony Loco’ - a non-sparking train that could descend into mines in the place of the pit ponies.

The Salt Brook Heritage Trail will include a series of history boards, telling the remarkable story of how Hatton has been the scene for many industrial manufacturing and engineering breakthroughs. For example, the first ever photographic tile in the world was created in the corner of the Glassworks.

The Trail is being installed on a disused plot of land at the back of the Nestlè factory, with access from the village along the bridlepath at the end of Church Avenue. The site is owned by Nestlè, but the project has been given public access to it, providing a perfect setting as it allows all four sculptures to sit together.

Overseen by arts organisation People Express, in collaboration with the Friends of the Salt Brook Trail, it has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, South Derbyshire District Council and Nestlè.

Over the next few years the land will be encouraged to once again become a wildflower meadow, enhancing the natural landscape.

Everyone is invited to the unveiling of the sculptures and history boards, which will take place between 3.30pm and 5.30pm on Friday, October 12 at the Salt Brook Meadow. Free arts activities and refreshments will be on offer.

For more information, please visit People Express or contact People Express on 01283 552962.

5 October 2018