The people of Derby are so down to earth that you’ll rarely find them boasting about their heritage. So, few people realise that the Industrial Revolution started here! Nor do many people know Derby (keen on keeping law and order) once had no less than five prisons in their city at one time, two of which today are fascinating tourist attractions. Throughout history, Derby has been at the forefront of philosophy and art, and it’s been home to many pioneers of science and technology. In fact, the first factory in the world (a silk mill) was built right here in Derby!
Transport has always been key to the city’s economy. During the Industrial Revolution, this early focus on creating good road and rail links is partly the reason for Derby prospering the way it has today. Derby has also offered many more employment opportunities since then: its booming silk industry, Rolls-Royce factory (opened in 1907 for manufacturing both cars and aircraft) and its mining industry.
And so over the years, the city has grown into the booming economy we see today. Luckily, despite Derby being a prime bomb target (with its many, vital transport industries based nearby), the city survived both the First and Second World Wars with fairly little damage—compared to some of its neighbouring towns and cities. Some believe innovative radio jamming technologies, decoys and advanced camouflage techniques also played a big part in keeping Derby safe during the fighting.