At the start of the 1800s, Derby emerged as an engineering
centre manufacturing machine tools and exporting them to countries such as
In 1840, the North Midland Railway commenced its works in
Derby and, when it merged with the Midland Counties Railway and the Birmingham
and Derby Junction Railway, to form the Midland Railway, Derby became its
headquarters. The London, Midland and Scottish Railways took responsibility for
the Midlands railway in 1923 and relocated their headquarters from Derby to London.
Derby was for numerous years a railway centre, being the
former headquarters of the Midland Railway, with both British Rail workshops
and research facilities in the town. Although much less important than in years
gone by, train manufacture continues in Derby and Derby railway station retains
an important position in the railway network. The city is highly considered for
a national railway centre and in World War I, Derby was targeted by German
Zeppelin air bombers.
In 1907 Rolls-Royce opened an aircraft and car production
facility in Derby, thus initiating a twentieth century industrial boom.
Derby's two largest employers, Rolls-Royce plc and the
Toyota Motor Corporation are engaged in engineering manufacturing. Egg, the
Internet and telephone bank, has its national headquarters in Derby.
In 1977, Derby was awarded city status by Queen Elizabeth II
on the 25th anniversary of her coronation. The Queen presented the ‘charter
scroll’ or 'letters patent' personally on 28 July 1977 on the steps of the
Council House to the then Mayor Councillor Jeffrey Tillet (Conservative). Derby
had previously been amongst the few English towns to have a cathedral but have
no city status. The height of Derby Cathedral is 212 feet to the tip of its
During the 1900 general election, Derby won a seat for the
recently formed Labour Representation Committee, one of only two seats to be
held by the party, earning Derby a memorable position in the history of the
The deaf community holds a significant cultural centre
within Derby and a great deal of deaf people move to Derby due to its strong
sign language-using community. It is estimated that the deaf population in
Derby is at least three times greater than the national average and that only
London has a greater deaf population. The Royal School for the Deaf on
Ashbourne Road delivers education in both British Sign Language and English.
The world famous game Tomb Raider was developed in Derby by
Core Design. A section of Derby's inner ring road has been named Lara Croft Way
as a tribute to the games protagonist.
Derby County Gaol is home to a tourist attraction based in
dungeons that date back to 1756.
The Derby Industrial Museum displays the technological
achievements of Derby and its industrial heritage and is situated in the Derby
Derby has extensive transport links with other areas of the
country. The proximity of the M1 motorway provides links to Leeds and Sheffield
in the North and the London area in the South whilst the A50 M1 / M6 link
connects Derby with the main west coast arterial route to Scotland and the
Derby has a proud sporting heritage and the city is home to
Derbyshire Cricket Club and Derby County football club, a club with a proud but