Sheldon Jottings for October 2016

Mick saw two red kites circling over the fields at the top of the village the other week – a sight not seen in Sheldon for many a year!  Summer is disappearing  (if it ever fully arrived depends in your viewpoint!)  and autumn is on the way. The swallows and house martins have left us and the weather is turning cooler. In the gardens the flowers are having a last fling, the asters still have some colour but others like the rudbeckia and dahlias are  fading. Soon it is time to plant the spring show of wallflowers and daffodils.  Now we can look forward to those beautiful displays of autumn colour provided by the leaves and berries on the trees and shrubs.

The last Cream Tea of the year on August Bank Holiday Sunday was another success for that band of helpers who put in so much work during the summer months to raise much needed funds for the village hall. A wonderful £265 was the total for August. Thank you to all local people who come to aid the cause and love scoffing our delicious, mighty big jam and cream scones!!

The population of our village has varied over the years in both numbers and composition. Using the Census details from 1841 to 1911 the History Group Meeting on Wednesday 19th of October will be looking at these changes.  From the influx of the Cornish miners who came to build the Engine House and its chimney in the early part of this period,  to the fluctuating farming community of the latter years, the details are interesting   For such a small village Sheldon has a wealth of history hidden within it. Come and find out more of the background to the place in which we live. There is certain to be a warm welcome and a cup of tea or coffee plus a slice of Julia’s famous Victoria sponge cake to enjoy.

Now we must say belated birthday wishes to Rosemary. Hope you had a happy 80th birthday on the 29th September Rosemary surrounded by your family and friends. BIG birthdays to come – Happy 80th Birthday to Ralph on the 11th October and a Happy Birthday to Sam who will be 90 on 24th October. Our very good wishes are sent to you all.

Doesn’t time fly?  Little Harriet has now started school at Taddington and little George has started school at Longstone.  It doesn’t seem five minutes since we announced their birthdays!  Also baby  Max was 1 on 15th September and little Alice was 2 on 22nd September.  We hope you both had fun birthdays!

A big thank you to Stephen Melland (Joe) for supplying and fixing our new Church Notice Board. Please read about the Church Harvest events and take note that the Harvest Festival will NOT be on the first Sunday this year, it will be on the 9th October.  Everyone is welcome at the Harvest Supper on the 10th at 7.30 at the Cock and Pullet.

The lucky 100 Ball winner of £25 for September was no 47. Congratulations Michelle!

Don’t forget that if you wish to give your point of view regarding the closure of Newholme Hospital and all its services,  the 5th October is the last date. Go online  or fill in the questionnaire at the back of the booklet (strangely entitled for us in this rural area) ‘Better care, Closer to Home’

Please remember that Sheldon Jottings is a free way of advertising an event or of letting the village know of something of interest. We have missed 1 or 2 events because we did not know they were taking place!  If Bron or Brian are not informed they cannot include it.  Can we remind everyone that we MUST submit copy of Sheldon Jottings on the 12th of the month to appear in the Parish Magazine distributed at the end of the month ie.12th October to appear in November’s edition.

Dates for the Diary

Sunday 9th October 3pm – Church Harvest Festival

Monday 10th October 7.30pm – Harvest Supper at the Cock and Pullet

Wednesday 12th October 7.30pm – Parish Meeting in village Hall

Wednesday 19th October 7.30pm – History Group Meeting  ‘Unravelling the census’ in village hall

Sunday 23rd  October 9.00am – Church Holy Communion

Sheldon Jottings for September 2016

What a fabulous Fell Race evening and a super Sheldon Day.

A  record 216 entries for the Fell Race and a wonderfully warm and calm evening made for probably the best fell race ever. Thanks of course to all the hard work put in by Phil organising the event and the expertise of Jo, Jenny, Marlene and Pat signing in and recording so many runners, the event was a miracle of slick organisation. Due to the often forgotten car parking crew and the Marshals  positioned around the 4 mile course, it all went without a hitch. Thanks to the expertise of Al and the recorders at the end of the race,  everyone very quickly had their positions and times.

This year the winner was Jack Ross from Staffordshire Midlands Club in a time of 23 minutes 54 seconds. The first lady was Steph Curtis from the Pennine Club in 30:13. The first local runner was Matt Nichols from Bakewell in 27:42. Well done to them and all who ran. The event raised a cool £1080! Well done Phil and all his crew.

Then Sheldon Day dawned fine and what a day!  The visitors just kept coming – numbers must have been a record. Spare a thought for those who parked a record number of cars – well done lads!  All went without a hitch – well nearly!  The baker only started to bake the scones for cream teas at 11o’clock, so they arrived, still warm, 5 minutes before the doors were due to open. Have you ever tried to put cream on warm scones? They were put in the fridge to cool – so all was well and everyone enjoyed them immensely!

As people streamed into the village the cake stall was a magnet as usual, selling more cakes, jams and chutneys  than ever. As they headed for the playing field, having a try at Splat the Rat, Find the Golden Nail, the Lucky Dip  then visiting all the stalls on the way, the band added that English summer time feel to the day .Many always feel drawn to our little Church and they were hugely rewarded with that powerful sense of calm and a  magnificent flower display. Then Stephen sat down to play the organ – a lovely touch which was completely spontaneous – the Church became packed.

If you managed to get to the playing field you will have seen the many popular attractions including a wonderful display of vintage cars and tractors, animals, a magician, the dog show and so much else. All those who organised the day and those who took part in whatever capacity – and there were many unsung heroes – can be justly proud of what our small village achieved. The grand total of £4,143 (after expenses) was a record. But what was even more impressive was the number of people who said that the village had given them a truly wonderful day out.  Well done Sheldon!!!

We hear that Lindsey’s Springer Spaniel, Beau, has given birth to 8 puppies. All are doing well, although things must be pretty hectic in that household!  All have good homes to go to. There is also a new dog called Gyp at Top Farm  who will be helping Oliver with the work around the farm.

In July the History Group was invited by the Peak District Mines Historical Society to a small celebration at Magpie Mine as they had secured lottery money to do urgent repair work on one of the chimneys. Some dignitaries were also there and as the scaffolding was already in situ we were able (suitably dressed in high viz vests and hard hats) to follow a guide and climb to the top to see the work going on. Believe us it was a brilliant  adventure and the 360 degree views were tremendous.

BOOK LAUNCH – September 21st  at the first Sheldon History Group meeting a new book will be launched.   ‘FW GOES TO WAR’ by Brian Greasley tells the story of Frederick Brocklehurst, the father of Tom Brocklehurst of Ashford. It is thanks to Tom and his generosity, foresight and knowledge that the book was written.  FW was born in Sheldon, lived at Woodbine Farm, went to Sheldon School and at 13 left to work on his father’s farm. The book tells of work in the village up to 1914 when FW volunteered to join the army to fight in WW1.  This 182 page book with numerous illustrations uses the archive of over 250 letters he wrote to his sister Clarice,  plus the diary he kept, to give a vivid account of what it was like to be an ordinary front line soldier during 4 years of war.

FW arrived in France as a member of the Grenadier Guards in October 1915 and was wounded in the Battle of the Somme 11 months later. The book, through the letters and diary, recounts stories of other men from the village who served, and the happenings and concerns of the village during this traumatic time. After returning to England to recover from his wounds he went back to France to join his Battalion, served in the trenches and suffered from a gas attack in the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. He spent his convalescence in the north of England where he met his future wife, Rose, finishing his service as a Guards Physical and Musketry Instructor.

Come to Sheldon Village Hall at 7.30 on 21st September to help us launch this delightful book – with tea, coffee or a glass of wine and small buffet. You will be able to buy a copy of the book for just £5 and gain other insights into this remarkable story.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for July was Ben Hatcher with no 8 and for August it was Oliver with no 2.  Congratulations both!

Sheldon Day 2016

From Andrew Joly

What an amazing day! We had perfect weather for both the Fell Race and Sheldon Day itself; more runners than ever before on the Thursday and more visitors than ever coming to the village on Saturday (from the looks of the car park), more families, more vintage cars, more stalls and more fun than ever before. This year was a record, with £4143.50 being raised (full breakdown here).

Thank you to Phil and the whole Fell Race team for managing the busiest and best Fell Race we’ve ever seen, and thank you to everyone who came, helped out on Sheldon Day (village people and guests) from the top of the village to the very bottom, and everywhere in between, and to the Sheldon Day Group who put in such a huge amount of time preparing and getting everything ready and perfect for such a great day.

Sheldon Jottings for June 2016

We all heard the very sad news in April that Ian Fletcher had died suddenly. He appeared to be making a good recovery at home after having heart surgery, when he was taken ill and rushed into hospital.  Ian spent his whole life in the village and had farmed at Johnson Lane Farm for much of that time. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the village and local area and the folk who lived here. He often attended the History Group meetings with Peter and Christine. Our thoughts go to Doris and the family at this sad time.

The weather continues to alternately please and then disappoint, but one bright spot in the village are the plants for sale again outside Yew Tree House – a sure sign of spring. The swallows and house martins duly arrived in mid to late April but once more there seem to be fewer than in the past.  The village seems to come alive again at this time of year with daffodils on the greens, the sounds of lambs and lawn mowers, the cows out in the fields – all sights we have waited for throughout the long winter. One sad note about ‘our’ pair of beautiful song thrushes – they seem to have lost two of their fledglings within two days of each other. They were almost fully grown but were found in different areas and one had obviously flown into a window.

Our second Cream Tea Day on May 1st raised over £230 for the Village Hall funds – another very creditable effort. Well done and thanks to all those involved particularly to Pat and Wendy and to young William. Also to those husbands who stepped in to help at the last minute because illness had created a ‘staff shortage’!  The splendid new sign on the gate certainly takes us into new realms of advertising!

Also because of illness, the Bunting Evening was also depleted. (This horrid virus has really been very difficult to shake off).  However, 5 ladies did manage to make it and many more metres of bunting were created to replenish our stock for Sheldon Day. Thank you ladies.

Plans for Sheldon Day on Saturday 23rd July are now well advanced and we hear that a new caterer is due to sustain our visitors with delicious home-made beefburgers, bacon sandwiches and a hog roast.

This month the History Group will be visiting Horsborough – a Romano-British site at the ‘bottom’ of Deep Dale where, incidentally the display of cowslips and orchids are again a delight.  Little is generally known about this site and, led by Ralph, we have the opportunity to learn more of its secrets. We will meet at White Lodge car park at 7.00pm on June 15th. This will be the last meeting of the year and our thanks go to all involved in making this such a successful village activity.

We have had another burglary in the village where certain items were taken from outbuildings during the night. Fortunately, the culprits were soon caught red-handed with the items and they were subsequently arrested.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for May was no 4 – Jane Slater. The draw is now entering its second year and Kath would like to gently remind people to please renew their payment. Remember you have to be in it to win it!


Wednesday June 8th – Sheldon Parish Meeting in the Village Hall 7.30pm
Wednesday June 15th – Sheldon History Group at White Lodge car park 7.00pm
Wednesday June 23rd – EU Referendum voting in Village Hall 7am – 10.00pm

Sheldon Jottings for March 2016

A walk in ‘our patch’ in mid-February showed the effects of the unusually mild winter continuing as the days begin to draw out. Patches of hawthorn were beginning to turn the lovely fresh green which we will see to full effect in spring. In sheltered spots, favoured by the sun to warm them, were the occasional primrose and cowslip daring to show us a splash of their wonderful pale yellow – one of the most beautiful colours of spring.  ‘Our’ spring/summer resident song thrush was back almost to the day, singing in the tops of the trees. We are told he probably goes down to Shacklow Wood to spend the winter where conditions are not so harsh. We also saw a bullfinch resplendent with its red breast, bright and shiny ready for courting – easily rivalling that of the robin on a nearby tree. Even the blackcaps at the feeder were clothed in the brighter colours of spring. All this at least a month earlier than expected. But what lies in store?  Will this weather hold? Will everything be checked before the full beauty of Spring arrives in our spectacular part of the world?

Terrific news – Melanie and Oliver have become engaged to be married.  Needless to say all at Top Farm are delighted. Congratulations from us all.

Two horse chestnut trees have been planted in the far corner of the playing field. The dream is that in years to come village children will collect the fruit and be able to play the time honoured game of ‘conkers’ as they did in the past.

Small piles of grit have appeared down the Dale.  We must thank Joel for getting the grit and for distributing it.  Anyone who has lived in Sheldon for a few years is aware of the dangers of snow and ice on the hill, so we are all grateful to Joel for this service.

The History Group had a super meeting last month with Tony telling us the background to the redevelopment of Hope Cottage which is one of the oldest houses in the village. Amanda told us of the history of Barleycorn Croft, which could well have been built by a mining company, and of the succession of people who have lived there.

In March, we look forward to The Annual Exhibition put on by the History Group in the village hall. This will take place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March from 10.00 – 4.00pm on each day. Not only will this include a photographic display but also a range of artifacts ranging from stone-age flints to 20th century household and farming implements. If you have anything relevant to the historic record of Sheldon and its people and you think others may like to see, please bring it/them along. This is a popular event, entry is free and there is always a cup of tea plus cake and biscuits to welcome you!  There is something to interest everyone and we look forward to seeing you there.

At the Parish Meeting held on February 10th we learnt that the defibrillator has been delivered to the village and will shortly be installed on an outside wall of the village hall. A training session will be held so that we all know what it looks like and how easy it is to use it in order to help someone in need.

It is that time again when Lindsey will be asking for volunteers to help with cream teas this summer at the village hall. These raise much needed funds for the upkeep of the hall which is so vital as a centre for our village activities. Thanks to Lindsey for organising these.

The lucky Church Draw winner for February was number 28 –  Mary Barber from Monyash.

Finally and sadly, we end by saying that Alistair is stepping down from the position of Parish Chair at our next AGM.  He says he has thoroughly enjoyed the experience but feels other pressures mean he must relinquish the post.  We have all felt that during his office the village has been in safe hands and that he has done an excellent job. We must now elect a successor at the Parish Meeting  AGM on April 13th. So, can we all ask, cajole or arm – twist any one of the many suitable people who live in our village to continue the good work??