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??

Sheldon Jottings for February 2016

Early in January the snowdrops were already showing white and some even nodding their heads. The aconites in the warmer parts of the garden were opening their yellow flowers and the white and purple of the hellebores were ready to begin their annual display. We are promised much colder weather during the latter part of winter so those plants beginning to grow in answer to the mild weather will need watching.

Virtually all the animals are inside now sheltered from what may come, only the hardiest are still outside. The first lambs have appeared in the fields on our route to Buxton and have been outside since they were first noticed at the end of December.

Increasingly large flocks of starlings are flying over the village on their early morning and twilight journeys to and from feeding in the fields towards Monyash and Flagg, from their roost on Middleton Moor.  However, we are told numbers are well down on last year. The jackdaws are beginning to investigate the openings, nooks and crannies of the tithe barn looking for nesting sites. We hear that two collared doves have already started building a nest. They may have to put their efforts on hold if colder weather comes!

There is a Parish Meeting this month on Wednesday 10th February in the Village Hall at 7.30pm, we look forward to seeing you there. As always there will be a welcoming cup of tea and cake, good companionship and interesting discussion. The Parish Meeting is arguably the most democratic method of local governance, where everyone can attend the meeting, give their opinion and vote on the many issues which occur, even in a small village like ours. Your opinion is much valued so come along and join in.

The following Wednesday 17th February at 7.30pm in the Village Hall is the next meeting of the History Group. Again there is the opportunity to enjoy a welcoming cup of tea or coffee and a piece of cake. It is always a relaxing evening with the bonus that we learn something new about the area in which we all live. This meeting is of particular interest as it is entitled ‘Top Farm’ and is an illustrated talk about one of our three fully functioning farms. At one time almost every family in the village was engaged in farming in one form or another, but times have changed and here is a unique opportunity to learn more about a subject in which we surely all have an interest. You will be made very welcome.

If anyone would like a 15 page booklet ‘A brief history of Magpie Mine –  a guide for visitors’, they are being sold  (£1 at Hope Cottage) on behalf of The Peak District Mines Historical Society. It is a very useful little booklet, short, concise and illustrated, and a good read for locals and for visitors to the area.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for January was number 98 – Tim Robinson from Reapsmoor.

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Wednesday February 10th – Parish Meeting
Village Hall at 7.30pm

Wednesday February 17th – History Group talk ‘Top Farm’
Village Hall at 7.30pm

Sheldon Jottings for January 2016

When you receive this Parish Magazine it will be the beginning of January 2016 so we wish you all, together with our friends in Ashford, a very Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Actually, as we write this it is the 12th of December and the Christmas decorations are going up, cards are being written, festive meals are being planned and for the children the excitement about Santa’s visit is mounting. We have yet to enjoy our Nativity and the Midnight Mass.

We had a very enjoyable wreath making evening led by Lindsey, helped enormously with plenty of mulled wine and mince pies!  Now our front doors are ‘dressed’ and many of our houses and gardens have decorative lights and look so welcoming.

At the Parish Meeting we were told our main street village trees had had a safety inspection – important not just for the people living nearby but also for insurance purposes. The defibrillator which we will have from the British Heart Foundation, will probably be attached to the wall in the middle of the village near the bus stop and the public notice board. We will then have a quick training session to become familiar with the equipment. We are told no-one need worry about how to use it as it really is so very easy!

The village has already had its first (2.5cms) snow but thankfully it disappeared within a day. We have also had high winds, rain and more rain, murk and frosts, the latter causing the first collision with ‘that’ wall on the bend near the bottom of Kirk Dale. Oh dear – here we go again. Do remember our road and Kirk Dale will only be gritted by DCC as a last resort when all other ‘more important’ roads have been treated.  Also DDDC will now only provide piles of grit by the roadside for a hefty price – a double whammy for us. We are hoping to buy some cheaper elsewhere.

The History Group had a very interesting and thorough talk given by David Windle on the Ashford Marble Works which were situated at the bottom of Kirk Dale. If you were not there you missed learning about the skill of the craftsmen who worked here doing this intricate inlaid work which is now rare. If any of you have some the Group would love to see it but you can go to Buxton Museum to see some beautiful examples.

Dave and Gill have recently returned from Yalova in Turkey where they witnessed first hand the plight of many refugees – Iraqis, Iranians and Syrians forced to flee for a variety of reasons. Each refugee has a tale to tell of suffering and loss and a very difficult journey. ‘We were helping with the distribution of winter stoves to help keep them warm, of baby milk, nappies, fuel and food supplies, and listening to their stories. We went to one makeshift home where about 30 Kurdish Syrians are living in 2 semi-derelict bungalows, many barefoot kids running around simply wanting a hug, one very sick lady in a room warmed by one of the new heaters. We were served tea and they told us the story of their escape, walking from village to village as IS moved in and destroyed the place they had called home for centuries.

On another occasion we met one young Arab, about 20 years old, who showed us the scars on his chest where IS had punished him with electric shocks for smoking.  We heard for ourselves the atrocities of IS – every refugee has a story of sadness, of violence, of loss. We met 2 teenage girls whose mother had died on the journey, now they have no-one. Yet for all these sad stories we also heard stories of hope and of great generosity like the Iraqi Pastor who had escaped kidnap and fled for his life with his young family, now working to help these refugees; like the Pastor who had found the young man wounded by IS living on the street in Istanbul and arranged for him to go to the Yalova project where he is slowly rebuilding his life. Some of these people will face death if they return to their homeland because of their faith, others have no homeland left to return to. It was a privilege to hear their stories, to meet such brave and courageous people.’

If you would like to know more or would like to support this work please get in touch with Gill.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for December was Elizabeth Fisher.

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Wednesday January 20th in the Village Hall at 7.30pm
History Group talk – Our House

Sheldon Jottings for December 2015

It was with great sadness that we heard that Adrienne Blackshaw had passed away on 25th October. Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time. Adrienne had lived in Sheldon all her life and for over 30 years she had acted as a Church Warden. At services she always had a welcoming smile for newcomers and invariably led the singing with a wonderfully clear voice. She was never happier than when her family was gathered around her, or visitors called to pass the time of day. At midday there was always a post van parked outside the house as generations of postmen were welcomed for tea, cake and a gossip!

Adrienne’s funeral, held on 6th November, was a true celebration of her life. The service, led by her nephew the Rev. Chris Blackshaw, was extremely well attended. Pictures of her life shown on a big screen illustrated the importance of her family in her life, and a refreshingly lively account of her life and character was given by the Rev. and was much appreciated. Adrienne is interred close to the door of the little Church she loved so much and to which she wished all donations in her memory to be given

The Remembrance Day service saw another good congregation as we remembered those who fell in the service of their country, particularly the five young men from our little village who are commemorated on the memorial in the Church. The wreath was laid by Steve (Emma Gregory’s fiancé), who has just returned from service in the Falklands.

The Playing Field is shortly to have a set of football goal posts and, it is hoped, two horse chestnut trees to supplement the variety of trees already planted there. We have been asked to request that anyone practising golf on the field to please take all their golf balls home with them, The mower throws them up and they present a danger to those cutting the grass and anyone else nearby.

Have you joined the happy band of people in the village who now have superfast wireless broadband provided by W3Z? They say the service is so fast now and they can do so much more via their computer, even watch a film or two.

At this time of year there are a busy round of activities in the village. There is a Christmas Wreath Night led by Lindsey on the 7th and a Table Decoration Night led by Angela on the14th. Two very enjoyable occasions.

The History Group is having its annual ‘Christmas Do’ on the 16th… The entertainment is again being provided by Simon Unwin with his unique blend of slides, music and storytelling. All you need to do is to bring yourself and some ‘eats’ to enjoy a very entertaining evening.

We hope as many people as possible will attend our bi-annual Nativity, led by Canon Tony. We leave the Church to re-enact the Christmas story with readings and carols as we walk through the village to the barn/stable at Top Farm to meet the baby Jesus lying in a manger. This truly atmospheric event, to which everyone is invited, will be held on Sunday 20th December at 4:00pm. There will also be a Midnight Mass on 24th December at 11:30pm…a perfect start to Christmas.

Amid all this activity we must not forget that there is a Parish Meeting on Wednesday 9th December, we look forward to meeting you there.

The winner of the Church Draw for November is Mary Barber from Monyash.

We wish everyone a very happy and enjoyable Christmas…including Bernard, the Top Farm, ultimately very lucky, top turkey!

Dates for the Diary

Monday December 7th in the Village Hall at 7:30pm
Wreath Making Night

Wednesday December 9th in the Village Hall at 7:30pm
Parish Meeting

Monday December 14th in the Village Hall at 7:30pm
Table Decoration Night

Wed December 16th in the Village Hall at 7:30pm
History Group ‘Christmas Do’

Sunday December 20th at 4pm in the Church
Village Nativity

Thursday December 24th at 11:30pm in the Church
Midnight Mass