“Twenty five years ago Belper and Pawtucket entered a Twinning pact. To celebrate Belper is staging a unique concert that will be attended by guests from Pawtucket. The concert will be headlined by SERGEI PODOBEDOV, a truly world class pianist who is a Belper resident. For just £5 you get to see and hear this sensational musician. Also appearing are Sue MacFarlane, Sue Reaney and Pete Castle. Tickets available from OXFAM BOOKS and Derby Live.” [from organiser George Gunby]

Pawtucket is a city in Rhode Island in the N.E. United States. The reason for the twinning is the shared cotton industry. Belper factory worker Samuel Slater went to America taking the secrets of the Strutt’s cotton mills in Belper with him and in 1793 set up the first fully mechanised cotton spinning factory in the USA. He is still known in Derbyshire as ‘Slater the traitor’ although I think he has been forgiven!

I’ll be doing some songs relevant to Derbyshire and the cotton industry.