Website for Milford & Makeney

The purpose of this site is to provide useful, important and interesting news, information and insight for residents and visitors, with the hope of enriching the life of the village, and the aim of bringing our community closer together.  If you have any information you’d like to add to the website or updates you’d like to make, please contact the webmasters (click ‘contact’ tab above).

Milford Mills Development – January news

In November we described how the planning application, that of Wavensmere Homes to build 67 homes on the site (see here for details) had been rejected by Amber Valley Borough Council. This was in respect of the archaeology of the site, regarding protection of remaining underground artifacts of the original mill and stopped Wavensmere from undertaking any further activity on the site. 

Archaeological investigations are now underway (we hope to report on the findings separately) and upon their completion Wavensmere hope to have accurate survey results of the position and condition of the former wheel pit and tail race (this is the culvert that connects the wheel pit to the River Derwent). This will allow them to assess the impact of these buried heritage assets upon the current ‘approved’ housing layout vs. their previously ‘proposed’ housing layout (that which was was refused in November by Amber Valley Borough Council). Wavensmere intend to re-submit their planning application, which they hope will be successful within statutory timescales.

In the meantime, whilst waiting for the planning application to be determined, Wavensmere are preparing to undertake various ‘enabling works’ starting from February, including restoration of the collapsed section of the lade walls, installation of the approved balancing pond and flood compensation area, installation of the site compound etc. All of this key preparation work will allow them to “hit the ground running”, regarding building new houses, towards the middle of the year, assuming the planning application is approved.

Meanwhile Chevin Homes, the renovators of the old buildings on the Milford Mills site (the Dye House), are continuing with their work. 

For the September update and links to previous articles covering the development of the site, click here.

Winter Fuddle on Greenspace

Despite the inclement weather, parents and children gathered on the Milford Community Greenspace for a Christmas Fuddle and crafting session on 17th December 2022, and good fun was had by all, as can be seen in the article here.

Christmas Star back in Milford

The Christmas Star created by Milford Craft Group and displayed on The Triangle last year, is back, this time in front of the Baptist Church on Chevin Road. For more detail, see article here.

Official switch on of Christmas lights in Milford 24th November 2022

The Christmas lights in Milford were officially switched on at 4.45pm on Thursday 24th November 2022 on The Triangle by the Mayor of Belper Katie Harris.

Milford Craft Group decoration of the Triangle Christmas tree, November 2022

The Christmas tree has already been decorated with knitted snowballs by the Milford Craft Group – see picture above. For more detail of what the craft group has been up to recently, see article here.


Strutt Arms reopens on 15th November

The Strutt Arms is reopening on Tuesday 15th November and will then be open every day from 12pm to 11pm, with food served from 5pm (and all day at the weekend).

The pub downstairs will now be called The Elephant and Peacock (the signs are going up on Monday 14th November), with the rooms upstairs still known as the Strutt Arms Hotel.

The new owners wish to stress that it is still very much a pub, but one that now serves authentic home-style Indian food. For more information about this new venue, see the article here.

Bonfire Night Celebration on the Greenspace a great success

The Bonfire Night celebration on the Milford Community Greenspace on 4th November was a great success.

See here for a more detailed article and more pictures.

New Community Autumn Garden for Milford

Following the success of the Spring Garden in 2020, Blooming Milford have created an Autumn Garden, their main project this year (see here for article in detail). The aim is to create a bed of perennial flowers, shrubs and bulbs that look their best September – November. The bed is close to the weir on the riverside in Hopping Mill Meadow.

Mulch in place – Autumn Garden complete.

Milford plays its part in Belper Apple Day celebrations

As part of the Belper Apple Day on 16th October Milford did its own children’s Apple Day celebration on the Community Greenspace on the 15th.

On Belper Apple Day itself Milford had a big presence. For more details and photos of both days see article here.

Nearly a third of the pies and cakes for sale at Belper Apple Day came from Milford

Milford Community Greenspace October update

It’s been a very busy month on the Milford Community Greenspace with a large shed constructed to allow a greater variety of equipment for the children’s activities to be stored, and many more improvements to the site. See here for a full report.

Milford wins Silver Gilt award in East Midlands in Bloom competition

On 21st September we learnt that Milford & Makeney were given a Silver Gilt Award, in the Village category, for our efforts in the East Midlands in Bloom competition. At 83/100 we were only 2 points off a Gold award and this is a very high mark. Milford Social Club also gained a Silver Gilt award in the Commercial Premises category, as did The Holly Bush in the Pub category. A more detailed report will follow shortly.


Beekeeping demonstration in Milford

Local beekeeper Chris Ring has just moved a beehive onto his allotment above the former Holy Trinity Church in Milford and organised an open afternoon on 3rd September to show Milford residents the art of beekeeping, which proved very popular. See article here for more details.

Observation hive and audience

Huge efforts in Milford to prepare for East Midlands in Bloom Judgement Day, 6th July

Hopefully many of you in Milford will have noticed the improved neatness along the route the judges took for the East Midlands in Bloom competition on the 6th July. This is thanks to the sterling efforts of the QTS contractors and the volunteers of Blooming Milford and the Milford Community Greenspace. For more details of these efforts, see the article here.

The QTS lads ready to start work 27th June 2022


Mart’s Meadow

Many will have noticed the huge improvement in the appearance of the allotments between the Derwent and the A6  just south of Hopping Mill Meadow but might be intrigued to hear the story behind this transformation. Read here to find out more.

Mart’s Meadow 2 years ago

Bank Buildings residents defy the weather to hold Jubilee Party

Despite the cold and drizzle on Sunday 5th June, the residents of Bank Buildings and others along Chevin Road still held their planned street party to celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee. Permission had been granted from Amber Valley Borough Council to close the road, which meant plenty of safe room for the children and dogs to run free. Meanwhile the adults were treated to tressle tables heaving with lovely home baked food, and a good time was had by all!


QTS contractors on Swainsley Bank help in village tidy up

As residents will be well aware, Chevin Road has been closed, near the railway bridge towards to top of Swainsley Bank, on and off for over 2 months March – May 2022, due to strengthening work on the nearby railway embankment, as can be seen in the picture below. For more detail and pictures click on this link.

QTS, the contractors doing the work, are well aware of the disruption this has caused so have very kindly offered their services for various tidying jobs around the village as a way of saying thank you for our patience. This May they have already cleared the verge at the bottom of Jackson’s Lane, improving visibility, cleared areas of undergrowth along the riverside in Hopping Mill Meadow that Blooming Milford plan to develop later in the year and completely tidied the historic sluice gate mechanism platform nearby.

QTS workers about to start on riverside clearance

With their superior tools and expertise they have done in a day what would have taken many days for local volunteers and we are very grateful for their help. For more detail and pictures, see article here.

Milford & Makeney May Day Parade 7th May 2022 

The first May Day Procession in 3 years took place in Milford & Makeney on Saturday 7th May 2022. The event has traditionally run annually for the past 40 years and is one of the highlights of the social calendar for the village, but the Covid pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events. Today it was back with a vengeance and, helped by lovely weather and a huge turnout, was undoubtedly a success, with great fun had by all.

For a more detailed write up and more photos, please see article here.

Milford’s chimney undergoes annual inspection

The giant chimney on the Milford Mills site, an iconic symbol of Milford’s past, is listed and has periodic inspections to check its integrity. Local photographer Sarah Stanton-Longdon has captured some great photos of the steeplejacks at work during the recent inspection on 30th March 2022.

Steeplejacks at work on 30th March 2022

For more photos of the work see article here.

Hopping Mill Meadow Flooded Again

Following three severe storms in just a week, the river Derwent burst its banks again in Hopping Mill Meadow on 21st February, only just over two years since the last bad flood in November 2019.

Floods in Hopping Mill Meadow 21st February 2022

Although the flood levels were even higher than November 2019, thankfully no properties were affected and most of the various flower beds, bulbs, orchards and benches emerged unscathed. The top orchard near the flats was completely submerged but speedy work by Blooming Milford volunteers restored it once the floods had receded. For more on Blooming Milford’s efforts since November, read the article here.

The New Inn reopened as The Palfrey on 4th December 2021

Extensive refurbishment of the former New Inn on Hopping Hill (car park on Derby Road/A6) has been taking place for the past 6 months. Passers by will have noticed the sand blasting and removal of old signage etc. to reveal the beautiful golden millstone of the original structure, and the tidying up and tarmacking of the car park. The inside has been extensively remodelled. The premises finally reopened, with a new name, The Palfrey, on 4th December. It promises “a unique and contemporary pub restaurant, where we aim to provide a relaxed and friendly environment for our customers.” More information and booking details can be found here.

Passers by will have also noticed the arches area below the main restaurant, for years blocked off and closed to the public, has been opened up. The Palfrey owners are hoping to open this soon as a real ale bar, also selling simple wholesome food (pork pies, fish and chips etc) to complement the more sophisticated fare of the main restaurant. A more detailed article can be found here, with more photos of the inside and outside, and a biography from Head Chef Daniel Cain and General Manager Tom Dempsey.

New Welcome to Milford sign on the A6

Belper Town Council have updated the Welcome to Milford sign on the A6 near The Strutt Arms bus stop to reflect our gold award success in the East Midlands in Bloom competition in 2021, as shown below.

East Midlands in Bloom – Milford gains gold award!

At the East Midlands in Bloom (EMiB) awards ceremony for 2021, held in Grimsby town hall on 22nd September, Milford gained a gold award in the mid sized village category. This is the highest level possible awarded by the EMiB judges and the village should be very proud. In addition, the judges gave a discretionary award to Milford Community GreenSpace. A great deal of effort by Milford residents, Blooming Milford, the GreenSpace volunteers, Belper Town Council and Amber Valley Borough Council was put into preparing the village for judging for the competition (see here), which took place on 12th July, and it has clearly paid off. The framed gold award certificate is displayed in Milford Social Club and the judges comments and copies of the certificates can be found here.


The final service at Holy Trinity, Milford on Sunday, September 26th attracted over 60 worshippers.  the service, led by The Rev. Geoffrey Marshall – vicar of Holy Trinity 40 years ago – was a poignant celebration of over one hundred years of worship at this wonderful Strutt-built church in Milford. All the cakes were eaten, too.


Derwent Valley Cycleway meeting in The Holly Bush judged successful by organisers

A public information session by the organisers of the proposed Derwent Valley Cycleway, which will run through Milford and Makeney, was held in the Holly Bush on Sunday 8th August – see here for background detail of the project.

The meeting was deemed successful, with a largely positive response from the public. The proposed route has also been clarified as follows: enter the Chevin Homes Mill site from the A6, cross the river at the northern end (below the weir), at the north end of the Hopping Hill development it would cross back to the west bank and proceed north through the fields of Strutts Estate (farmed by Michael Jordan), under the railway bridge, then on to the water treatment works, continuing on the west bank up to Belper Mill, before joining Wyver Lane.


Milford Mill development – demolition approved subject to conditions

In February we described that the new owners of the Milford Mill complex, Chevin Homes, had put in a planning application to Amber Valley Borough Council (AVBC) to demolish the industrial buildings on the site by the end of 2021 in a detailed article here. Many of you will have noticed the Chevin Homes signs that have appeared on the site announcing the demolition. This was indeed approved on the 30th April 2021, but is subject to 66 planning conditions. FYI, these have now been added to the bottom of the original article. If you have any queries please contact AVBC or our local AVBC councillors  (details here.)

Milford Mill Complex


Community orchard of 30 trees planted in Milford

Following a very generous grant from Belper Town Council to Blooming Milford, 30 fruit trees were purchased and on 17th April 2021 a dozen volunteers planted the trees in the Hopping Mill Meadow area. This brings the total number of community fruit trees in Milford to 35, the fruit from them is free for Milford & Makeney residents to pick and use. More details please see the article here.

       Hydroelectric power station in Milford is upgraded

Many residents noticed the cranes unloading strange looking equipment at the back of the Strutt Arms in September 2020. This was a new hydro-electric turbine being installed by Derwent Hydro, replacing the old one dating from the 1930’s.

New turbine runner for Milford HEP plant being delivered September 2020

For more information on this upgrade, please see the article here.

Did Rod ‘Strutt’ his stuff in Milford?

Do you remember live music at the Strutt Arms in the 1960s?  It’s reported that Rod Stewart sang there.  Bryan Bennion has some choice memories of seeing Gary Farr – and even Alan Price of Simon Smith & The Amazing Dancing Bear fame.  Read more here
The King William has a QUIZ NIGHT every Wednesday at 9.00 pm and Live Entertainment at 9.00 pm on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays.  
 Social Club - Milford 001Milford Social Club has fortnightly Live Entertainment on a Saturday and Sunday: All 9 pm start on Saturday and 3 pm on Sunday (unless specified).  Free admission.  


Have a need?  A want?  A sale?

This website has always been a resource where we can help you with a particular appeal. For instance: Do you need a recommendation for a good plumber?Would you like help with sponsorship for a charity? Are you keen to form an activity group within the village? Want to sell some horse manure for the garden? Just go to this page by clicking here and fill in the contact form.  Click here to read about a garden plot to let.


The News & Events box to your left will keep you up to date with what is going on – and coming up! The Menu tabs above open up lots of ‘sub-menus’, extra pages which fall under the main menu headings.  For instance, hold your cursor on the Information tab (or the box to the right) and you will see pages which, with one click, will lead you to information about essential and useful resources provided in the village and beyond e.g. schools, shops, pubs, public footpaths, churches, restaurants, residential homes, places to stay, doctors’ surgeries and MP surgeries, bus times and businesses. The Activities tab will reveal all the organisations and interest groups in the village – everything from Maypole Promotions to the Knit Knatter Club. The History tab mines the area’s rich heritage seam and we hope, in time, to make this area of the website a substantial archive.
Appeal Please let us know if there any inaccuracies to this website.  We would also like to hear from you if you can help in any way to improve the site.  Is there some useful information you can add?  Maybe you run a business or are part of an activity in the village that we ought to know about?  Perhaps you have some reminiscences of Milford and Makeney life along with some old photos?  Here is the webmaster’s email address again:
With thanks to the Milford & Makeney Community Group for promoting the establishment of this website and to Ashley Franklin and David Moreton for sponsoring and managing the site.