Made in Derby

By Visit Derby

Created June 19, 2019

Last updated December 12, 2023

Made in Derby is a trail of mosaic and cast iron plaques celebrating the the lives of people who have had a huge impact on the city and who have helped Derby to make it's mark on the world. 

Each star named has been nominated by the people of Derby. Whilst over 80 names were put forward, the final selection was based on the merits of each candidate and their role in developing Derby. The eight stars named are just the start of the project. 

The Made in Derby plaques feature a design celebrating aspects of the city’s heritage that have had an impact around the world: from the creation of Lara Croft to the iconic time-pieces of Smith’s Clocks. The city mascot, The Derby Ram, makes an appearance alongside the trains, planes and automobiles that contribute in such a large way to the city’s economy. Continuing a tradition of craftsmanship that emerged in the industrial revolution, the plaques have been cast at local foundry Manor Foundry.

From the world’s first factory to the Olympic medal inspired, Derby Arena, Derby is a city of making. Making has shaped Derby’s past and present and is influencing its future. It is a reason to be proud to live, work or visit the city.

Derby’s Made in Derby trail celebrates the people and the places that are… Made in Derby.

Made in Derby star by the Intu shopping centre

Made in Derby I

The first ten Derby stars to have had their names etched into the Hollywood celebrity style, cast iron plaques were;

  • Alice Wheeldon Derby’s most famous suffragist and a fervent anti-First World War campaigner
  • Bess of Hardwick England’s richest Elizabethan woman after Queen Elizabeth I used her considerable wealth to help Derby poor and needy
  • Brian Clough and Peter Taylor the top management duo that took Derby football from obscurity to national fame
  • Sir John Hurt in recognition of his sterling contribution to the arts as an accomplished actor
  • Joseph Wrightglobally recognised English landscape and portrait painter and the first to express the spirit of the Industrial Revolution
  • Louis Martinthe Jamaican-born sportsman who became Britain’s greatest-ever Olympic weightlifter
  • Philip Noel-Bakera former MP for Derby, credited with saving the 1948 Olympic Games for Britain
  • Charles Rolls the pioneer aviator and Henry Royce the engineer and designer who formed Rolls-Royce which sets the global standard for excellence in automotive and aviation technology

The Stars can be found on Albion Street and Exchange Street in Derby, the route between the Market Hall and Derbion, for more information see the Made in Derby Map. 

Made in Derby map of stars

Made in Derby II

The next ten Made in Derby II Derby stars to have their names etched into the Hollywood celebrity style, cast iron plaques were;

Adam Peaty (1994 -)

Despite being scared of water as a child, Adam Peaty's training with City of Derby swimming club has led him to become one of the top athletes of the modern era.

Born in Uttoxeter, Peaty overcame his fear of water and joined the Derby swimming club, under coach Mel Marshall, at age 14, who encouraged him to develop his breaststroke and drop freestyle.

Eleven years later, Peaty has represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games, World Championships and European Championships, and England in the Commonwealth Games.

He won the gold medal in the 100 metre breaststroke at the 2016 Olympics, the first by a male British swimmer in 24 years. He is the current holder of the world record in 50 metre and 100 metre breaststroke events.

He was presented with the Freedom of the City of Derby in 2016 and now has a plaque in Derby's second Walk of Fame in recognition of success so far.

Jack O'Connell (1990 - )

Born and raised in Derby, Jack O' Connell's major debut film Starred Up prompted Entertainment Weely critic Chris Nashawaty to say: "O'Connell bristles with terrifying hair-trigger unpredictability. Watching him, you feel like you're witnessing the arrival of a new movie star."

Since that film in 2013, O'Connell has gone on to make several notable movies, alongside well-known stars, such as George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and also been directed by actress Angelina Jolie.

His long list of film and television credits - the former St Benedict schoolboy found fame and a teenage following in Skins - earned him a BAFTA Rising Star award, a University of Derby honorary degree and now a place in Made in Derby II's Walk of Fame for his meteoric Hollywood rise.

He is also one of the patrons at Derby's Quad arts centre.

Karam Singh (1998 - )

Champion Karam Singh is on record saying that Derby and his home area of Normanton have been inspirational in helping him to travel the world doing what he likes best - break dancing or breaking as it is better known.

Still only 21, Karam is now hopeful that if break dancing is accepted as an Olympic sport in 2024, he will earn a place in Team GB after being among the top ranked breakers in the world.

He says that his regime is the same as any other sports person - training, training and more training - and his attention to diet and lifestyle is crucial. He hopes his success will inspire other young people to aim high.

Karam's selection for a star on the Walk of Fame will be popular with young Derby citizens.

Birds Brothers 

It's pretty difficult to live in the Derby area and never have had a Bird's bakery product. Yet without the enterprise of three Derby brothers we might never have been exposed to the delights of a Bird's walnut cream or pork pie.

Frank, Thomas and Reginald founded the bakery in 1919 - ensuring that the company, now with 61 outlets, celebrates its centenary this year.

Fittingly, the plaque is sited outside the current shop in Iron Gate and not more than about 300 yards from one of the most famous outlets in St James Street, which opened 99 years ago this month but has now closed. Hundreds of people queued around the corner into Corn Market every Saturday to buy the famous Bird's products.

Making the Birds Brothers Made in Derby star

Lara Croft (1996 -)

No-one could be more homespun than video game character Lara Croft - who already has a road named after her in the city.

She may be fictional but the highly intelligent and athletic English archaeologist - beloved by millions in games and films - was "born" at Core Design in Derby.

Lara first appeared in the video game Tomb Raider in 1996 and after a couple more games, Crystal Dynamics took over the series in 2003.

Critics say that Lara is "a significant game character in popular culture". She holds six Guinness World Records and was the first video game to make the transition to film.

Many people were surprised not to see her on the first Walk of Fame but now has her place in Iron Gate and a part of Derby's history.

Liam Sharp (1968 - )

As a young schoolboy in Derby, Liam Sharp's talent for art soon caught the eye of his teachers who advised him to meet with the Gifted Children's Society.

The rest as they say is history - his meeting resulted in an art scholarship in Eastbourne, college and a meeting with comic book artist Don Lawrence to whom he became his assistant.

Famed for being a British comic book artist, writer, publisher, and co-founder/chief creative officer of Madefire Inc, Sharp has worked mainly in the USA where he has worked on X-Men, Hulk, Spider-Man, Venom, Superman, and Batman.

He had hoped to be present to unveil his plaque but work has prevented it but members of his family will be there in his place.

Steve Bloomer (1874 - 1938)

The England and Derby County footballer grew up in Derby and began his remarkable career playing for Derby Swifts when he was aged 14 and working at Leys Foundry.

He was the Rams most capped player with 525 appearances, record goal-scorer with 332 goals and the only Derby player to score six goals in a single first class game.

The anthem Steve Bloomer's Watchin' is played at every Derby home game and there is a bust of him at Pride Park Stadium. He is also listed in the Football League 100 Legends and English Football Hall of Fame.

Florence Nightingale (1820 -1910)

A national heroine even in her own lifetime, Florence Nightingale was much more than a pioneer of the modern profession of nursing. She is also renowned for being a scholar, statistician, theorist and social reformer.

In Derby, her advice to Dr Wiliam Ogle, who was in charge at the DRI in 1860, led to a complete rebuild of the hospital, which reopened in 1869 with a new wing named after her.

Several statues also exist in the city - outside the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary (DRI) site in London Road, one in St Peter's Street above the shops at the junction of East Street and one above the entrance to the former Nightingale Maternity Home in Trinity Street.

John Flamsteed (1646 - 1719)

As the first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed prepared a 3,000-star catalogue and a star atlas called Atlas Coelestis, which were published posthumously.

He was the father of modern astronomy and paved the way for the establishment of the Royal Greenwich Observatory by laying the foundation stone in June 1675.

His extensive career, which started in Derbyshire, also led to the establishment of the Greenwich meridian to help with navigation.

His name is perpetuated in the name of a secondary school in his home village - John Flamsteed Community School.

Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)

Move over Salvador Dali, Derby-born Marion Adnams is probably best known for her surrealist paintings in which unconnected objects appear together in unfamiliar largely outdoor environments.

Marion travelled to gather the material that helped formulate her paintings and she was also a teacher at a couple of Derby girls' schools and also a senior lecturer and head of art at the University forerunner - the Derby Diocesan Training College.

Her paintings are in collections across the country including Salford and Nottingham. A major exhibition of her work took place at Derby Art Gallery in early 2018.

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership is the private sector-led partnership promoting economic growth, jobs and business start-ups in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. It’s invested £1.65million from its Local Growth Fund allocation in a Derby City Council city centre improvement scheme, which includes the Made in Derby project.

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership logo
Midlands Engine logo

Sign up to our monthly newsletter

Be informed about the latest offers, events, stories and tips for Derby and its region.

All information will be treated in accordance with our privacy notice.