DRO Parcel

Derbyshire Record Office

A couple of weeks ago I made my first visit to the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock for my New Opportunities Award (NOA) project. The NOA is for a collaborative project with Strutt’s North Mill Belper to make a series of moving image works that respond to the early history of the site, that will be installed in the museum for Easter 2015.

This intriguing parcel above was part of a number of items described in the online catalogue as ‘Watches, trinkets and other items, belonging to deceased lunatics with no known next-of-kin. Also a snuff box presented to Belper Union by Jack Strutt esq.’.

It proved to be a sad little collection of poor broken pocket watches and rings, which were all individually wrapped and stored in the snuff box.

The objects are from the Belper Union Workhouse, now the Babington Hospital, and in 1946 they were handed to the local authority when the building was transfered to ‘the ministry of Health under the National Health Service Act 1946’.

I’m looking for materials that capture elements of the day to day working lives of the people who were employed by the Strutts and this is clearly at a bit of a tangent to the project, but there is so little material available that speaks of the lives of those people, that I wanted to look at it, even if I can’t use it.

DRO Watch

DRO Ring

Thank you to the Derbyshire Record Office for permission to publish these images. The document reference number for all items is D19/CW/12/16.