Belper's George Herbert Strutt to be honoured with blue plaque unveiling
BELPER'S former cotton mill owner and philanthropist George Herbert Strutt is to have a blue plaque unveiled in his honour.
The plaque to commemorate Strutt’s generosity towards the people of Belper and surrounding villages, will be unveiled by the Derbyshire County Council leader Andrew Lewer at Strutt’s former home, the Makeney Hall Hotel, on February 28.
Assisting him with the unveiling will be Strutt’s Granddaughter, Lin Ryan.
Mr Strutt was born in 1853 in Belper.
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He was from the wealthy Strutt family, who made their fortune in cotton mills and himself went on to own mills.
Like a number of his ancestors he was High Sheriff of Derbyshire, in 1903.
Before that Strutt and his wife, Emily, bought the Glensanda and Kingairloch estates on the Morvern Peninsula in Scotland
In 1909 he opened the Herbert Strutt School, in Belper, after spending £20,000 on its development and, in 1910, he funded a public swimming pool in the town.
The school was eventually merged with other nearby schools to become Belper School.
Another lasting legacy was his donation to the development of Belper's River Gardens, which were opened in 1906.
In 1922, he founded the Belper Memorial Gardens, which commemorated those who had died in World War One.
Mr Strutt died in 1928.
Nominated by Adrian Farmer, this is the third blue plaque to be put up by the county council this year to celebrate the important people and places of Derbyshire.
Councillor Lewer said he was pleased that the people of Derbyshire had voted for someone who had done so much to transform the quality of life for local people.
He said: “George Herbert Strutt was one of the first members of Derbyshire County Council, becoming its chairman in 1901. In this role, he always had the needs of local people at heart and was extremely popular, remaining a member until his death in 1928.