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10 Things You Didn't Know About Derby

Updated on March 10, 2016

Interesting Facts About Derby

Maybe you didn't even know Derby existed? Or maybe you've been fortunate enough to visit yourself?

Either way, this lens takes you through some very interesting facts about the UK city of Derby that I can confidently say you won't have already heard! There's a couple of surprises in there which will shock you. I promise you this - as whilst I was looking for some obscure facts about the city, I even surprised myself!

I've lived nearby to Derby for around 20 years or so now - and even some of these facts surprised me! It's amazing just how much you can find out about a place when you put some time to it!

Anyway, enjoy these facts and be sure to leave some comments on your way out :)

Photo courtesy of eamoncurry123

1) Most Secure Car Park In The World - Bold Lane Car Park in Derby

Most Secure Cark In The World
Most Secure Cark In The World

Photo courtesy of victuallers2

Believe it or not, Derby not only has the most secure car park in the whole world - it has one of the most secure places in the world!! Yep, you read correctly... IN THE WORLD!!

As per this BBC News story, Park Safe in Derby was recognised as one of the safest places in the world back in 2004. This modest car park based just on the outskirts of the city centre was in good company on the list, with other places including Fort Knox and Air Force One (the US Presidents plane!)

Having used the car park myself, I can vouch for it's service... my car is always where I'd previously left it!

2) Biggest Ever Bowl of Popcorn! - UCI (Odeon) Cinema Derby (1991)

Derby UCI Popcorn
Derby UCI Popcorn

Photo courtesy of Fuzzy Gerdes

In 1991, Derby really got put on the popcorn map. It's reported that the UCI cinema (now known as the Odeon cinema) created this monster of a pile of popcorn to break the world record for the biggest ever below of popcorn.

Apparently it took staff three days to break the record! Blimey!

Now I'm too young to remember this, but being a lover of all things sweet... I really really really really wish I'd been around to see this!

With Derby now having a variety of additional cinemas (more recently the Cinema De Lux), let's see if any of the other venues fancy taking a crack at this record.... watch this space!!

3) Birth Place of Herbert Spencer - Derby Philosipher

Derby's Herbert Spencer
Derby's Herbert Spencer

Photo of the Derby Herbert Spencer memorial in Derby courtesy of Eamon Curry

Herbert Spencer was the famous philosopher born in Derby city centre in 1820.

Never heard of him before? Well I hadn't either until just!

Have you heard the term "survival of the fittest before"? Well that concept and the theories behind it were all derived by Spencer himself!

What a clever little chap we had in our city!

4) Home of Rolls-Royce - Derby's largest organisation

Derby's Rolls-Royce
Derby's Rolls-Royce

Photo courtesy of Bien Stephenson

Yup, you guessed it, Derby' largest employer is... drum rolls please... Rolls-Royce!

You may know them best for their prestigious cars but in actual fact they're now more commonly known for being one of the leading supplier's of engines and energy! With an order book of aerospace engines equating to billions of pounds, Rolls-Royce are set to continue to be one of the East Midland's biggest employers for some time to come!

5) Lara Croft Was Created in Derby - Derby's Core Design Company

One of the most famous computer game characters was created in... Derby! Did you know that? Crazy!!

Core Design created the character for her first appearance in the 1996 Tomb Raider game. Since then, Lara Croft has literally boomed across the world and has been played with by millions of people!

To top it all off, Angelina Jolie played Lara Croft in the movie franchise that followed the games success!!

Well done guys, you did Derby proud!

6) Home of Derby County - Football Club

Derby County
Derby County

Photo courtesy of Matlock-Photo

This is probably the most obvious of all of the facts I've put together on this lens, but what would a UK lens be without some mention of our national sport, Football?!

Derby County have a long history dating right back to 1884. They play their home games at one of the most recently developed UK football grounds, iPro Stadium (formely known, and opened by roayalty, as 'Pride Park').

Arguably, Derby County's most famous player was Peter Shilton, the most capped England football player of all time. However, in more recent years, The Rams have specialised in more 'home grown' talent whilst they've resided in the lower leagues of English football.

In terms of famous managers, Brian Clough is probably the one that would spring to most people's minds for the success and outlandish nature that the late Brian used to bring to the team.

7) First Purpose Build Basketball Arena in UK - The Thunderdome Derby

Derby Basketball Thunderdome
Derby Basketball Thunderdome

Photo courtesy of acidpix

Derby were the proud owners of the UK's first purpose-built basketball arena which was home to the Derby Storm basketball team. The stadium was created from a converted factory, but has since been vacated by the local Derby basketball teams.

8) Derby Was Once Known as Darbye - Previous names for Derby

Derby Roman Time
Derby Roman Time

Photo courtesy of PhillMcIntosh

Derby has had a variety of names in it's time - the earliest records indicate going as far back as the Roman times.

Here are some of the names that Derby has had in the past:





9) Birth Place to Joseph Wright - Derby's Joseph Wright

Derby's Joseph Wright
Derby's Joseph Wright

Photo courtesy of Marshall Astor - Food Fetishist

Joseph Wright was born in Derby in 1734. For those of you who don't know, Wright was a very famous artist specialising in landscapes and portraits.

In this honour, Derby opened a brand new college in his honour. Aptly named, Joseph Wright College.

10) Twinned With Osnabruck - Derby's German Twin City

Derby's Twin of Osnabrück
Derby's Twin of Osnabrück

Photo courtesy of Jens-Olaf

In 1976, Derby became twinned with the German city of Osnabruck. The idea of the twinning of these completely contrasting (but complimenting!) places has led to some strong friendship and trading links. Throughout the decades there have been a variety of activities put on through the respective councils to engage in the relationships even further (I actually took part in a twin-city mini Olympics way back in the year 2000 - and I believe Derby were victorious on that occasion!)

Where is Derby?

If you didn't already know, this is where you'll find Derby - neatly tucked away in the centre of the UK!

Derby City Centre:

get directions

Useful Derby Links

Here are some really useful Derby related websites that you may find useful!

Did you know all of the above facts about Derby? Maybe you've got some other facts to add or even just want to talk about Derby in general?

Then use the form below and let's get talking about the beautiful UK city that is Derby!!

Give Us Your Feedback About Derby

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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thanks for this. My daughter has been doing a project on Derbyshire (now living in Tokyo) and we've not been in Derby for 7 years so have forgotten all the important stuff!!!!

    • profile image

      2 years ago

      To be fair, they may be the safest car park in the world, but they definitely know it too. For 5 hours I paid £10.10. About had a heart attack, especially considering the 'safest car park in the world' doesn't even take card payment, so I had to cover that in petty change. Lot of faff really, they can create an electronic car securing system, marking bays and giving you a card to register your car, but they can't take an electronic payment, bit of a joke really.

    • profile image

      Bev B 

      3 years ago

      Lived there once liked the place must visit again one day

    • profile image

      Bev B 

      3 years ago

      I for a short time lived in Derby many yrs ago ,loved the place and people I knew

      , Originally from stoke but now in Wolverhampton which compared to derby I dislike a lot

      .Will have to visit again .See how it is now .

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      i live in derby and there is nothing here worth seeing or being interested in lol ALSO you forgot our best claim to fame.. Jason Statham is from derbyshire

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      You forgot to mention the Silk Mill. The first of it's kind and set Derby up as an industrial hub.

    • caseymel profile image

      Melanie Casey 

      4 years ago from Indiana

      Great info and love the links. Even though I have never been to Derby, there is an 80% chance we will be moving there at the end of the Summer for my husbands work. I will check into the links to find out more. We are moving with kids and pets, so it should be an interesting transition.

    • Jogalog profile image


      6 years ago

      I visited a friend for a weekend once in Derby. She took us to Nottingham for the day! Poor Derby!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      I didn't know about this place. Thanks for a great introduction.

    • JennyReis profile image


      6 years ago

      I love to travel and when I can not travel I love to read about interesting things about the places I've never visited. Nice lens!

    • therealstig86 profile image


      6 years ago

      I was born in Nottingham :) we have Brian Clough in common!

    • wcjohnston profile image


      6 years ago

      what about the Railway Heritage? You make Derby Look as good as Leicester!

    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind Guides 

      6 years ago from USA

      Cool lens -- never been to Derby, but it sounds pretty great. Thanks!

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 

      6 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      As a Yorkshirewoman, I've been to Derby many times but now know a lot more about it - thanks!

    • juditpaton profile image

      Iudit Gherghiteanu 

      6 years ago from Ozun

      I never heard about Derby, it is my loss as i see reading your lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful info on Derby! Much an eye-opener! :)

    • rainbowbutterfl1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Haven't heard of Derby until I read your lens but oh well , I live in the opposite side of the world :)

    • Expat Mamasita profile image

      Expat Mamasita 

      6 years ago from Thailand

      I used to live in Stoke and Uttoxeter and have happy memories of shopping trips to Derby, and evening trips to the Pink Coconut!!


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