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Derbyshire Heritage Walks was created in 2013 by Adrian Brown. While writing a book on the history of the railway between Derby and Manchester, he realised that nobody did guided walks along the Monsal Trail, which now occupies part of the route of the line. Having built up an extensive knowledge of the history of the railway, and looking to do more with it, he decided to look into the possibility of doing such walks himself. Building on this early idea, he developed other walks with a history or heritage theme, many of which came from his own personal interests or past experiences.
Currently, Derbyshire Heritage Walks is very much a one-man operation. This means that, while you very much get the personal touch and are always dealing directly with "the boss", it may not always be possible to reply immediately to your enquiries. This is especially true if Adrian is out guiding a walk or scouting out the route of a new walk.
Adrian Brown, B.Sc.(Hons), MInstP.
Born and raised in Belper, Adrian is a proud Derbyshire native. In 1987, he began work as a tour guide for the Arkwright Society at Cromford Mill, showing visitors around the mill site and village. After taking a degree in physics at Manchester Metropolitan University, he trained as a post-16 lecturer and worked in a number of further and adult education facilities, teaching physics, IT and astronomy. In 2003, he returned to working as a guide at Cromford Mill, becoming one of the Arkwright Society's senior guides and helping out with filming of TV programmes including Restoration and What The Industrial Revolution Did For Us.
Adrian has always been interested in writing, and has written published articles for Holding Together, a respected and popular fanzine dedicated to the US bands Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship. He has also always been interested in the history of the railways, having a strong family connection to them via his paternal grandfather, who helped to build the first mainline diesel locomotives to run in the UK, LMS numbers 10000 and 10001. In order to keep himself occupied during a prolonged spell of unemployment, he began writing his book on the history of the old Midland Railway route from Derby to Manchester. This led to the realisation that there was a gap in the market that he could fill, and the subsequent birth of Derbyshire Heritage Walks.