SLIDESHOW – A century of celebrations in Darley’s busy life

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Over the last century, Darley has hosted parades and celebration, feasts and festivals, weddings, christenings and jubilee parties.

It is these celebrations that inspired Darley Celebrations - the local history group’s most recent publication commemorating the picturesque village’s past.

The book was published in November 2012, following the success and popularity of the group’s first foray into publishing – Darley Remembered – in 2009.

Both books were compiled by Sue Welch and despite being a relative newcomer to Darley, Sue has found herself at the centre of the project to remember the villages’ rich social history.

The story began when Darley in Bloom won the Best Village category and wanted to find something extra to add to their “Champion of Champions” entry.

The group decided to set up a heritage trail and put together a leaflet to guide visitors round the village’ past. But, they discovered they had enough information and photographs to fill a book – and that book became Darley Remembered.

Three years later, with many more photographs still not included, it was followed by Darley Celebrations - an idea that came after Sue and history group received humdreds of photographs of weddings through the years.

Besides weddings, the second book remembers the christenings, dances, parades, fesitvals, feasts and school occasions that have happened through the years, as well as the popular Summerbridge and Dacre Silver Prize Band.

Sue said: “The weddings are my favourite. I like to see the dresses and the bouquets – they have changed so much over the years.”

And among the many wedding photos including several from the same families - with three generations of marriages celebrated, bringing the book up to the modern day.

And with 2012’s Jubilee and Olympic celebrations, the celebrations theme means the book is bang up to date.

Sue said: “Originally we thought we would stop in the 1980s, but it just got longer and longer.”

“In the end, we included events that happened in 2012. There was a community library opening and the community broadband events. There is one picture in the book that was taken in October, and it was published in November.

“I wonder if someone will do this in 50 years time.”

Even after the publication of the second book, the photos and memories are still flooding in and Sue is doing her best to preserve them in a digital archive. They would love to see more photographs, she added.

“When I got the second book out, I said ‘never again’, but I am fascinated by it.”

And Darley Celebrations is selling well – showing many more are interested in the village’s past.

Darley Celebrations is on sale at the Darley Mill Centre and Darley and Summerbridge Post Offices, or direct from Sue on 01423 780970.