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Belper railway station is situated on the Midland Main Line. Regular trains between Derby and Matlock on the Derwent Valley Line are almost the only services to stop there, although one main line service per weekday stops each way and the Friends of the Derwent Valley are campaigning for more.
The Marston's Stadium Bridge Street Belper Derbyshire DE56 1BA View with Google Maps
Belper is twinned with Pawtucket, Rhode Island after Samuel Slater – an apprentice of Jedediah Strutt – went there and founded the American cotton spinning industry.
St Peter's Anglican Church, a prominent landmark in the town, was built in 1824 to replace the smaller 13th-century St John's Chapel which is now used as a town council and heritage chamber. A second Anglican Church, Christ Church, was built in 1850. A local saying calls St Peter's "the low church in the high place" and Christ Church "the high church in the low place" based on their different liturgical traditions.
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Strutt had previously patented his "Derby Rib" for stockings, and the plentiful supply of cotton encouraged the trade of framework knitting which had been carried on in the town and surrounding villages since the middle of the previous century. Mechanisation arrived about 1850, but by that time the fashion for stockings for men was disappearing. However elaborately patterned stockings, for ladies especially, were coming into vogue, and the output of the Belper "cheveners" was much in demand.
Belper is also home to a weekly folk club welcoming singers, instrumentalists, poets, readers and audience members. Two traditional dance teams make their home in the town: Heage Windmillers (rapper) and Makeney Morris (Cotswold morris).
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The Herbert Strutt Grammar School was among the Strutt family's bequests to the town. It became a middle school in 1973 with the opening of Belper High School, and latterly a primary school, in use as such until spring 2008 when it was replaced by a new building on a different site. Notable among its pupils were the actors Alan Bates and Timothy Dalton.
Belper is 8 miles (13 km) north of Derby and is in the valley of the River Derwent. The town had a population of 20,548 living in 8,790 households according to the 2001 census.
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From at least the 13th century there were forges in the Belper and Duffield areas and iron-working became a major source of income, particularly nail making. By the end of the eighteenth-century there were around 500 workshops in the town supplying nails to the newly built textile mills. The workshops were eventually superseded by machinery during the 19th century. Some of the nail-makers' houses are still in existence and form part of local tours of the town.
The Belper Singers are an experienced chamber choir of some 25 voices, who sing both sacred and secular works. They give about five performances a year, including singing in various cathedrals.
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Tuesday 20th September6.30pmSinging Group Tuesday 27th September6.30pmUkulele Group Saturday 8th October10.30amDiscussion Group Link to Chapel Calendar
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There are eight primary schools which feed the single secondary school:
The town is served by regular bus services to Derby and surrounding towns and villages as well as longer routes to Manchester and London. The major operator is Trent Barton who operate the bus garage on Bridge Street.
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Belper School and Sixth Form Centre has approximately 1,400 pupils aged 11–18. It was originally named "Belper High School" when it was built in 1973, and is adjacent to Belper Leisure Centre. Famous people to have attended the school include Ross Davenport – winner of two swimming gold medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games – and Alison Hargreaves, holder of a number of mountaineering records.
The mill is the perfect place to learn more about Britain's rich industrial heritage.
The A6 is the major through-road of the town and runs parallel to the River Derwent to the west.
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Belper Town F.C. play their home games at Christchurch Meadow and are currently in the Northern Premier League Division One South. They are nicknamed The Nailers as a reference to the historical nail manufacturing industry in the town.
The oldest church still used for its original purpose is the Belper Unitarian Church, built in 1788. The present Methodist Church was opened on 28 June 1807 and was originally built to hold 1,400 worshippers.
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The town is also home to a Baptist, a spiritualist, a Roman Catholic and a further Methodist church at Openwoodgate, as well as Belper Community Church which meets at the Whitemoor Day Centre twice a month.
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Before 1983 the town gave its name to the Belper constituency, which from 1945 to 1970 was the seat of George Brown, the deputy leader of the Labour Party.
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Discover how the Strutt family turned Belper from a small hamlet to a thriving industrial community