An Afternoon at Strutt House

An Afternoon at Strutt House
19th May 2019

Beam at Strutt House

As part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Great Places Scheme I wrote three new songs in response to the Strutt’s North Mill Museum for the Belper Arts Festival afternoon showcase at Strutt House.


The song ‘1873’ is about the decline of the nail industry in Belper and how the Nailers were affected by the Industrial revolution. I wrote this after looking at the  ‘Laws and Regulations passed at a general meeting of the Horse Nail Makers, held at Belper, May 17th 1873’

A Bold Young Nailer

‘A Bold Young Nailer’ is an unaccompanied folk song based on the traditional song ‘Died for Love’. I wrote this in response to seeing few stories about women’s experiences and I wanted a woman’s voice in my set. The lyrics are a story based on how I imagined a woman may have been impacted by the decline of the home-based ‘nailing trade. Some of the ideas were based on newspaper stories found in the North Mill Museum.

Jedediah Strutt

‘Jedediah Strutt’ is a song about Jedediah Strutt. He has a reputation locally of being a kind a philanthropic man who contributed to many of the local public buildings. I went to see his portrait, by Arkwright, in the Derby museum and he looked much more troubled and thoughtful than the other wealthy men of the time. I wanted to write a song which looked at both his kindness and the darker side of making money out of child labour. My original inspiration for the song was a list of ‘forfeits’ given to workers at Strutt’s Mill Belper between 1805 and 1813. The ‘bad behaviour’ struck me as things which children would do who were being asked to undertake monotonous jobs for long hours. I wrote the second half of the song based on skipping songs. The first half of the song is more solemn and formal and based on music by Matteo Carcassi, and contrasts with the street tune of the skipping song. I also added a spoken part in the middle which is part of the speech which Jedediah Strutt wrote for his own funeral. I used the repetition of ‘Jedediah Strutt’ at the start of the song to relate to the repetition of the mill machinery and also to sound slightly sinister.

Other artists who performed on the day were Umbilica and Grawl!x, Seiko Kinoshita, Toni Buckby, Spindrift, Debjani Chatterjee and Charu Asthana.

This event was funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund & Arts Council England.

An article about the event can be found here:



Milford Monthly Music

‘Milford Monthly Music’ starts again in September. It is an evening of unplugged folk, acoustic or classical music in the lovely acoustics of Holy Trinity Church in Milford. Musicians are donating their time for free so please come along to support them and donate some money to the future of Holy Trinity. At the moment the money keeps the building heated and insured. If they can get enough financial support then the church can be turned into a space for the community to use.

If you’re interested in performing a set next year please get in touch.


March 15th  Sarah Hinds, April 19th Sue MacFarlane, May 17th Kevin Hewick, June 21st Space McQuirk, Sept 20th Ola Wilson, Oct 18th Classical Jazz, Nov 15th Leo Swarvett and Maggie Braley, Dec 20th Umbilica and Grawl!x!


May 15th Brian Boothby

The performance is followed by an unplugged open mic so bring along a song, story or poem


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The Bullsmoor Song Project


In Nov 2017 I wrote a folk song called ‘Bullmoor Lament’ to the tune of Bonny Portmore. It was written in response to planning applications to build housing and a factory extension on land in Belper called Bullsmoor.

Bullsmoor Lament Sarah Hinds Dec 2017

I was persuaded to sing it into a megaphone at Belper market square during the Protect Belper march against developments threatening local and world heritage on Dec 2nd 2017.

I’ve now sung the Bullsmoor Lament at the Queen’s Head open mic in Belper, the Middleton by Wirksworth folk jam, The Northern Green Gathering, Derby Folk Festival fringe, Milford Monthly Music and Belper Goes Green.

Bullsmoor Lament – sung on Bullsmoor.

(Not great sound due to the wind, but you do get to hear the birds.)

I walk on Bullsmoor almost every day with my dog Charlie and have written the Bullsmoor Blog in an attempt to collect information, stories, memories, pictures and poems about the land. As I collect more stories for the Bullsmoor Song Project I’ll put them on there.

In October 2018 I found out that the planning application for Bullsmoor had been declined so the Bullsmoor song project is now a celebration of the land.

Collecting stories on Bullsmoor

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On May 11th,12th and 13th I sat in the sunshine at the top of Bullsmoor (near the park in the little fenced off field that used to be owned by Severn Trent) collecting stories about Bullsmoor. Go over to the Bullsmoor blog to see what I collected.

I’m still collecting stories, photos, maps, newspaper articles etc so if you have anything to share please get in touch.

Once I’ve collected all the stories I’ll write a series of songs about Bullsmoor ready for next year’s Arts Festival. If I get enough stories I might also compile a book.

To help fund this project Ruth Gray has kindly donated an original painting of Bullsmoor. If you are interested in viewing this to buy please let me know.

Bullsmoor Ruth Gray

Thanks to the owners of Bullsmoor Farmhouse for letting me use the land.

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About Sarah

British Folk singer and songwriter Sarah Hinds currently lives in Belper, Derbyshire. Born in Derbyshire, Sarah is developing a reputation for her songs about Belper and the surrounding area. She was previously known for playing bass guitar in ‘The Mothers’ an all mum punk band.

Using classical and flamenco guitar she sings songs of love and loss. Making observations about life she explores the impact of the modern world and loss of the natural environment on people’s lives. Described as “beautiful” by Dean Jackson BBC Introducing. 

Comments and reviews

Sarah’s voice can hover over a single nylon string, she evokes a really deep, primal feeling in me, she is a very uncontrived artist, very ‘real’ Kevin Hewick – Melton Folk Trail 2018.

..your voice is magical…I found it so moving…I thought it was hauntingly beautiful‘ Ronnie Thomas – Wales Sept 2018 talking about ‘Long Time Love’

Thankyou for uploading your tracks, they are beautiful…I’m so keen to broadcast some of your material.‘ Dean Jackson BBC Introducing Nov 2018

Great music on Soundcloud-you have a very special style and I love your lyrics.’ Adrian Kerr – Melton Folk Club Nov 2018

The world is a better place for more of your beautiful music being out there in it’ Hilary Prentice – Totnes 2018

Comments from the audience

‘Fabulous songs and playing, you have tons of talent’ 
‘Beautiful singing’ 
‘Your music touches my soul and makes me happier.’





Wirksworth Market 10.30-12.30 November 2nd – with Antoine Bowes on harmonica

Vegan Revelation Music Night No 28 Belper – Sat 28th September

Arkwrights Belper – Sun September 22nd – with Kevin Hewick

Northern Green Gathering – Thursday 15th August

Seed Festival Hawkwood College Stroud – Sunday July 21st 1pm at the ‘Seed Café’

Cleckheaton Folk Festival hiring Fair – Cleckheaton- July 6th

Paul Sartin Masterclass performance – Cleckheaton Folk Festival- July 5th

Wildside Festival – Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Woodside Farm, Shipley ‘The Holt’ stage Saturday15th June – POSTPONED TO A LATER DATE TBC



Past events


Belper Goes Green June 3rd

The Land – Grand Opening June 17th

Whistlewood Common Music Festival June 30th

Northern Green Gathering August 16-19

Sheffield Live radio interview September 18th

Derby Folk Festival Fringe October 6th 2018

Pulse Café 5th Anniversary party New Mills, High Peak November 9th

Arkwright’s Belper – Sunday Session Nov 18th

Holy Trinity Church Milford, CD launch – Nov 23rd

Melton Christmas Folk Trail –  Nigel’s Coffee Shop and The Gas Tap Dec 15th


Inkwell Arts Leeds – ‘Instrumental’- Jan 4th 2019

Holy Trinity Church Milford – Community Open Day  Jan 19th

Milford Monthly Music – Holy Trinity Milford –  March 15th 2019

Derby Sound Radio – April 13th on ‘The V Show’

She Speaks – Derby Sunday April 28th

Belper Arts Festival – Milford Monthly music Arts Festival Session. Holy Trinity Milford – May 17th with Kevin Hewick

An Afternoon At Strutt House – Performing songs based on North Mill Museum May 19th

Belper Goes Green – Earth stage – songs about the environment, also singing with Maggie Braley ‘It Can still be turned around’ – June 1st

Wirksworth Transition Group gathering – Wirksworth Community Garden- June 14th


‘A Place We Both Know’ CD


A Place We Both Know – Recorded and produced at 74 Sound Derby

Available as a CD. To order one email Sarah

Available as a digital download on CD Baby

Thanks to everyone who came along to the CD launch concert and who took part in the open mic session afterwards. It was a lovely atmosphere and you raised £100 towards Supporting Holy Trinity Church Milford to stay open and become a community facility.

Holy Trinity concert

People begin to arrive at Holy Trinity ready for the music. It was a cold night but it was a lovely relaxed atmosphere helped by the warm acoustics of the church.