Sheldon Jottings for January 2020

Welcome to 2020  – a new decade! The New Year means a new beginning and here’s hoping for a happy one for all. We hope you had a most marvellous festive season and are looking forward to the New Year with joyful anticipation.

The shoots of early bulbs are already showing through the soil and there are still some berries about, particularly the cotoneaster, still looking gloriously red and luscious for the blackbirds.  We must remember to keep our feeders full for the birds – we have more than ever coming to the table and are very pleased to see good numbers of sparrows, fewer of whom have come in the last few years.

The Book Club had a lovely Christmas meeting at Amanda’s with superb nibbles and wine to help the conversation along. Thanks to Amanda for hosting such a wonderfully festive evening and to Julia for ‘running’ the club. Julia has posted the interesting and exciting list of books which have been chosen for reading during the coming year. The first for the meeting at Marlene’s on February 4th is ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ by Stella Gibbons. If you have not been to this club, why not make it your New Year resolution to do so and enjoy a great social evening with friends and neighbours.

In early December the ‘Golden Oldies’ made their way to the ‘Cock and Pullet’ for their annual Christmas Dinner. This is paid for from village funds and enables the older members of the village community to get together, catch up with gossip and friends and reminisce about days gone by and friends who are no longer with us. Ten of us enjoyed a most delicious meal, good conversation and Christmas cheer. Kath, who organised the occasion, donated a bottle of Baileys for a raffle which was won by Pat. We would like to thank the village and Kath for providing this opportunity for us all to travel back down memory lane and catch up with the latest news – and thank you to Claire and Helen for looking after us so well.

The wreath-making evening in the Village Hall was, as usual, fully subscribed and some wonderful examples were made for our Christmas season front doors. There were 3 very welcome people from outside the village, so word has spread about this popular evening run by Lindsey – and, of course, wine and mince pies add to the flow of creativity!

It’s brilliant that our village hall is such a useful community hub and so well looked after by the committee. If we all made good use of it on election day then perhaps the ‘powers that be’ will not see fit to close it as our Polling Station, especially as we are being led to believe that there will be a lot more money sloshing around now that ‘austerity is over’. Not everyone here has a car, public transport for us is non-existent, and it is a lengthy walk to Ashford BUT an even greater struggle back – up a long drawn-out hill all the way!

The village hall is where we hold our Parish Meetings. The last one on 25th November was so well attended and we even welcomed a Councillor from Bakewell. We hope he was able to see how a parish meeting was a friendly and very democratic affair for us, with anyone having their say on the topics discussed, unlike a Parish Council or Town Council where there are strict rules.

Everything seems to be working smoothly with detailed reports from our different sub-committees for Finance, the Village Hall, Planning, the Playing Fields and last but not least, our fund-raising, celebratory and now famous Sheldon Day. A big thank you to everyone who is helping to run our affairs and to John who runs our village website.

Congratulations to Marlene Greasley who won the Big ‘100’ Church Draw for December with no 73.  A lovely Christmas Bonus!

DIARY DATES

Sunday 12th January 9.00am – Sheldon Church Holy Communion

Sunday 26th January 9.00am – Sheldon Church Holy Communion

Tuesday 28th January 7.30pm – Parish Meeting in village hall

Tuesday 4th February 7.30pm – Book Club at Marlene’s

Sheldon Jottings for December 2019

Most of the cows which had been grazing in the fields around our village all summer were taken inside in early November. We have noticed the overwintering migrant birds beginning to arrive and there are numbers of starlings flying over the village to their feeding grounds. By the time you read this a lot more should have arrived.

The heavy and continuous rainfall at the beginning of the month made the gateways like quagmires and the grass had ceased to grow. The rainfall flowing off our sodden fields and into the rivers in the district has caused havoc elsewhere. Our thoughts go out to all those whose homes were devastated by the flooding in South Yorkshire and along the River Derwent, both areas where members of the village have friends and relatives.

The Christmas season is almost upon us – it is a joyful time with all the preparations taking place, the wonderment of the Christmas story, brightly lit and decorated shops and holiday fun as the end of the year arrives and the New Year begins.

If you wish to take part in the very popular wreath or garland making evenings then phone Lindsey by the beginning of December as these are extremely popular events and our village hall is quite small so spaces are limited.

This year we shall have our biennial Nativity Procession starting in Church at 4.00pm on Sunday 22nd December. Then we process up the village street following Mary, Joseph and the donkey, stopping at relevant places such as the inn for the reading and the singing of a carol and ending in the beautifully evocative stable with manger at Top Farm Barn. This is a magical occasion for adults as well as children, especially when we arrive at a real farm stable and manger with real sheep and calves! Mulled wine and mince pies add to the warmth of the spectacle after you have followed the story and sung your heart out!

The Book Club will be meeting for the final time in 2019 at Amanda’s on December 4th at 7.30pm. The book which will be discussed will be ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama, a real ‘must read’ for anyone and a terrific insight into the life of a remarkable first lady and US President. This is an excellent time for new members to join this group, as the books to be read for the coming year will be chosen and the usual bonhomie will be enhanced by the good cheer which is always part of ‘get togethers’ at this time of year. So if you enjoy reading and would like to extend your reading list or just like to meet friends and neighbours for a good chat, or just want to find out what this club is all about, then do come along and you will be very welcome.

The winner of the Church Draw for November was Jacob Webster Melland with number 44. Congratulations!

A very Happy Christmas to everyone in the village and to our neighbours in Ashford and a peaceful New Year.

Late news….. Sadly, we have just heard about the death of a dear friend of our village, Tom Brocklehurst. He was a lovely man and supported many things going on here such as our History Group and our Cream Tea Days. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends in Ashford.

Cow Trampling

As most people will now be aware, the afternoon of Tuesday 10th September saw a female walker and her dog get trampled by Cows on the footpath in the field immediately before Magpie Mine. The lady was very badly injured, and sadly her dog died at the scene of the incident. Derbyshire Police and The Air Ambulance Service arrived on the scene relatively quickly, and with the assistance of locals and other walkers, the Cows were secured in a closed field whist the lady was airlifted to hospital. Our understanding is that there is a Bull in the field with several dozen Heifers, and whilst this is accepted practice, it is favourable to keep this type of herd away from rights of way or provide warning signs/fencing.

As a result of the incident, Derbyshire Police, The National Park Authority, Derbyshire County Council, and the Health and Safety Executive (who are now conducting an investigation into the incident) have taken the decision to close the field (and footpaths which cross it) until the tenant farmer moves the Cattle to a safer location.

UPDATE: 6th October 2019

Unfortunately, due to the inaction of The Health & Safety Executive and Derbyshire County Council, the footpaths which have been formally closed are easily bypassed (by both members of the public and the cows) meaning that the entire area shown below (outlined in red) should be considered dangerous and avoided until the owner of the cows decides to do the right thing and clear them from the fields in question.

Sheldon Jottings – Summer 2019

It’s early June as we write these Jottings and we have had the joy of listening to many different garden birds. But for the last 3 to 4 weeks a pair of garden warblers, who will be visiting for the summer, have been singing loudly on and off all day around the middle of the village. These are quite secretive little birds but their song is a strong, well-sustained sweet, even warble of notes.

Sadly, a pair of visiting redstarts crashed into a window (even though there were window stickers) a few weeks ago and one died as a result. The other was very stunned but after a brief spell recovering on the ground, it eventually flew off.

The song thrushes know that there is much food to be had in our gardens judging by the number of empty large snail shells around. Keep up the good work thrushes!

If you want to encourage bees into your garden then get a shrub called Cotoneaster Horizontalis which is flowering at the moment. At present ours, which grow up against the sides of walls, are covered in bees, all working so hard, and there are so many different types of them – some huge, some very small. In the autumn this shrub is covered in berries which the birds love, especially the blackbirds.

Our meadows and flowery verges (which are mainly cow parsley and red campion), are looking gorgeous now and the may blossom and elder blossom are creating a wonderful display. The ash trees are almost out as these are usually one of the last trees to make their glorious show of lovely new green leaves.

The wild flower meadows are alive with insects on the tall yellow meadow buttercups, the red of the sorrel, the brown/black of the plantain and the white of the pignut, amongst others. But the all-important flower is the yellow rattle which helps to keep down the grass as it feeds off grass roots and thus enables more flowers to gain a space to grow.

Our 3rd Cream Tea Day in the village hall was on Sunday 26th May (the Bank Holiday weekend). Although the weather was not too warm there was still a good number of people scoffing the scones and we now have a steady clientele of followers who visit us regardless of the weather as our cream teas are such good value. A very good sum of £200 was raised and this all helps to keep our village hall going.

The Lucky Dip for the children also needs smallish items worth around 50p. This is a popular little ‘stall’ and was sold out quickly last year. As they all need to be wrapped please can you deliver to Bron, if possible a few days before! Here’s hoping for a beautiful day….

The last Cream Tea day will be on Sunday 25th August so go and indulge and enjoy for the last time this year!!

The £50 winner of the Church Draw for this month was Alistair Warren with number 40. Congratulations!

These Jottings are for July and August as is usual, so we wish you all a lovely summer and September will hopefully be the next issue.

DIARY DATES

Sunday 25th August – Cream Teas in the village hall 1pm – 5pm

Sheldon Jottings for June 2019

We were saddened to hear that Doris Fletcher passed away on 27th April at Derby Hospital, aged 83. Her funeral service, which was well attended by family and friends, was held in Sheldon Church on Tuesday 14th May and led by Rev. Alan Griggs.  Born in Millers Dale in 1936, Doris moved with her family to Flagg where she went to primary school and then on to secondary school in Buxton. She met Ian in 1957 and they married in 1964, settling in Sheldon. Ian always wanted to farm and Doris lived on her parents’ farm and always enjoyed helping in the work there. So it was no surprise when the couple moved in 1975 into the house which they had built on Johnson Lane, where they were to farm for the rest of their lives.

They had 2 children, Peter and Christine, to whom she was a wonderful mother. When Peter and Sarah’s daughter was born in 2012 Doris was overjoyed and found great happiness in being a grandmother. Doris loved farming and as Rev. Griggs stated ‘farming defined her life’. She was buried next to Ian in the churchyard in Sheldon. Doris will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with her family and those who were close to her.

The Parish Annual General Meeting was held on 16th April and we were delighted when Wendy was re-elected unanimously to continue her excellent work as Chair and Joe was re-elected as our Secretary.  Congratulation to them both. They make a very good combination and have the full support of the village. They have worked hard on our behalf over the last 12 months and for that they have our heartfelt thanks. The Chairs of all our committees remain the same and if you are not a member of one but would like to help, please have a word with Wendy or Joe. Our grateful thanks go to the committees and especially their Chairs for the work they do. The next Parish Meeting is on June 24th.

May 5th saw our second Cream Tea Sunday of the season – and what a Day it was! This was also the afternoon of the Yard Sale when 9 households had a bric-a-brac sale at their garden gates and stretching from the top of the village to the bottom. The weather was dry but with a very chill wind but that did not deter customers coming to the village which was filled with people. The stallholders reported a steady trade as objects from model cars to bicycles went up for sale. Well done to all who took part in what could well be an annual event.

As for the Cream Teas – they were a roaring success raising £425 for Hall funds. So many people were attracted to the village and nipped into the warmth of the hall for a cream tea, that all the scones were sold with an hour and a half to go!  It was rumoured that Colin was dispatched to the supermarket for more and that frantic cooking took place. Meanwhile some of us enjoyed a delicious cake and cream with our cup of tea! Well done and thanks to all those involved and to Lindsey for all her hard work organising.

The Book Club continues to prosper. Thank you to Jenny for hosting the last meeting when the group discussed  ‘The hen who dreamed she could fly’ by Sun-Mi Hwang. As always this was a lovely meeting enjoyed by all. The new book is  ‘After you’ve gone’ by Maggie O’Farrell which will be discussed at Angie’s on Tuesday 11th June. Sure to be another great evening – do come along.

Another new event taking place in Sheldon is the first of what we hope will be a succession of Social Evenings which will take place in the village hall on Friday 7th June starting at 7pm. This will be a Pie and Peas/Quiz Night organised by Julia H and Angie. We understand that places are limited so if you haven’t booked your place or need more details please contact them. We hope you will come and support this initiative and have a great fun evening with friends and neighbours.

It is good to see Louise up and around again after her illness when she was struck low by pneumonia and spent time in hospital. She is recovering well and we send her our love and best wishes.

There was much lively fun on Sunday 12th May at the village hall as Jenny and Alan celebrated a double event. Their grandchild Joseph, son of Adam and Fiona, was enjoying his first birthday and Joel and Natalie and proud grandparents were also celebrating the birth of Annie Rose who was just 2 weeks old. Lovely events in which the whole family joined on a wonderful Sunday under the cherry blossom.  Best wishes to all.

One final thing to celebrate here in Sheldon is the return of the swallows and house martins, particularly around Top Farm – more than we have seen for a few years. But sadly there are far fewer further down the village.

The winner of the Church Draw this month was Tracy Gregory with number 70. Congratulations!  Kath has reminded us that it is now time to sign up for next year’s Draw (2019-2020) so see Kath to take part before all the slots are taken.

DIARY DATES

Friday 7th June – Pie and Peas/Quiz night in the village hall at 7.00pm

Tuesday 11th June – Book Club at Angie’s at 7.30pm

Monday 24th June – Parish Meeting in the village hall at 7.30pm