Mill volunteers win award

The Arkwright Society’s Volunteer Tour Guide Team have won the 2017 East Midlands Marsh Award for volunteers in Museum Learning, and now you have a chance to join them as they are looking for new recruits.

Some of the tour guides, together with Arkwright Society staff from Cromford Mills went to the ceremony at the British Museum on September 24 to accept the prestigious award on behalf of the whole tour guide team.

Each year the British Museum and the Marsh Christian Trust recognises the contribution of volunteers from around the UK through the ‘Volunteers for Museum Learning Award’.  The award recognises the best and most innovative ways in which volunteers work within museums and heritage sites to engage the public with collections and exhibitions.

The award was won by the team of 13 dedicated volunteer tour guides at Cromford Mills who have been part of the Arkwright Society for many years.  The team deliver guided tours every day of the year, come rain or shine, and their knowledge and enthusiasm have been critical to the Arkwright Society’s success in engaging visitors, providing a context to what they see at Cromford Mills and whetting their appetite for the history.

The tour guide team are extraordinary for what they give above and beyond their core role.  Their input has been far-reaching – they are instrumental in training new volunteers and inspiring them about the history, as well as developing the educational offer for school children. They also help to develop new exhibitions and interpretation, including building model waterwheels and designing costumed guided tours.

Chief Executive of the Arkwright Society, Simon Wallwork, said: “I have been blown away by the dedication and enthusiasm of all of the volunteers who support our charity.

“The tour guides have made an exceptional contribution to the growth of Cromford Mills, the resources on offer for our visitors and the quality of their experience here.  Our debt to them is considerable and we are very pleased that they have received this national recognition.”

The Arkwright Society is now searching for new people to join the award winning team and share stories about the history of Cromford Mills with the public.

You don’t need to have a background in history, just an enthusiasm for the past and a love of talking to people – all new volunteers will go through a training programme so that they can share their knowledge.  There is also a chance to join the team of Visitor Centre Hosts and engage with people about the whole of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

Volunteers can gain work experience, build their confidence, and make new friends.  Whichever role you choose you will be inspiring people to discover more about the history of this amazing industrial valley.

There are a series of open afternoons at Cromford Mills during October and November for anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a volunteer for the Arkwright Society.

To express an interest please telephone 01629 343052 or email  You can also visit for more information.