Denby Village - Star Studded Pottery
w/e 30 March 2003
Only half a dozen or so miles from Ilkeston lies the village
of Denby where the village church, hiding behind the trees, stands
alongside Church Farm. Ilkeston has a Flamsteed Centre and also
a Flamstead Road which is probably a derivation of the same name.
But it is here in Denby that the name has a greater significance.
Directly across the road from Church Farm is a Memorial Park
dedicated to England's first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed
(1646 - 1719) who was born in the village of Denby. He established
the Greenwich observatory and calculated and formed a catalogue
of the fixed stars. A contemporary of both Sir Isaac Newton (1642
-1727) and Edmond Halley (1656 -1742) of comet fame, his work
was of considerable value to subsequent generations of astronomers.
In the centre of the park, Denby Parish Council have erected
a memorial to Flamsteed. They wanted to avoid having a statue,
so approached local amateur astronomers for alternatives, finally
deciding upon a motorised celestial globe with illuminated star
positions set into a sandstone plinth. This is often known as
a planisphere but here is referred to as a stellarsphere. The
park was opened in August 2002.
Five years previously in April 21st 1997, another monument was
unveiled just a few minutes ride away. The Denby Colliery Winding
Wheel on the site of the former colliery and now at the entrance
to the Denby Pottery Visitor Centre bears this inscription: "The
half-colliery winding wheel is erected jointly by the Denby Parish
Council and the Denby Pottery Company Limited to commemorate
the lives of those from the Parish of Denby who earned their
livelihood from the working of coal and clay."
As well as factory tours, demonstrations and a museum to visit,
the visitor centre has a factory shop and a garden centre where
I spotted three ET clones pondering a "No Fishing"
There are also a number of other shops selling cooking utensils
and crystal glass among other things. For a small charge you
can also throw a pot but the flower displays adorning this row
of shops in the visitor centre are provided free of charge.