Marc Riley’s heartfelt tribute to David Bowie on Monday night was incredibly powerful radio, and should be on the unmissable list for anyone fortunate enough to be in a country where you can access BBC i-player and listen again. The last half hour features archive recording of the equally lamented John Peel introducing a pre-Hunky Dory ‘Bowie and Friends’ concert in typical style, and is pure radio heaven.
There are three good reasons to visit Cromford in Derbyshire. First, Richard Arkwright’s cotton mills on the edge of the hamlet were the birthplace of the factory system. Second, the nearby John Smedley shop, itself a survivor from the late eighteenth century, sells the finest woollen and cotton pullovers in the world. Third, the Scarthin bookshop boasts a cafe hidden behind a revolving bookshelf. Finally, my old history professor has edited a cracking volume of essays about Cromford’s role in the Industrial Revolution.