With its Unesco-protected mills, rolling dales and outstanding pubs, Derby is one of the Midlands’ most underrated cities

Browsing Derby’s new Museum of Making, my guide ushered me over to her favourite object: a copy of John Flamsteed’s Atlas Coelestis, a fat catalogue of stars, instrumental in fixing longitude. Flamsteed was appointed as the first Astronomer Royal in 1675 and started his astronomical life here in Derby before moving to Greenwich. “What if he’d kept his old calculations? We might have Derby Mean Time!” said the guide.

Though often under the radar, this east Midlands hub has long been a key player in Britain’s technological advancement. The Museum of Making itself is built on the site of what’s widely regarded as the world’s first factory (opened in 1721). Inside now is a trove of eclectic treasures illustrating Derby’s creative legacy, from a seven-tonne Rolls Royce engine to a Midland Railway pen holder – and it’s all very hands on. “It’s like an open storeroom to which we’ve given you the key,” says my guide.

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Source: Gaurdian

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