Sheldon Jottings for February 2017

February is the month of the snowdrops. They have been pushing their green shoots through the ground for a couple of months with small white flashes showing since the middle of January. Soon their white carpet will be spreading through the hellebores, bringing the garden to life to cheer us through the cold winter days.

This month is also the middle of winter in Sheldon. We have already been warned of icy and snowy mornings and because we so rarely have the gritter now, accidents have already happened down Kirk Dale. A very long stretch of wall has been knocked down by a colliding vehicle. Indeed the road was closed by the police for some time after this collision.

Has anyone else noticed, when, joining Kirk Dale nothing has been seen coming down from the top of the Dale – but progressing downwards for a short distance a vehicle is suddenly behind us having travelled so fast down the length of the Dale. This road is indeed very much a rat – run nowadays for commuters who, for some inexplicable reason cannot take on board its dangers regarding its downwards trajectory and its bends – and the weather conditions.

The atrocious high winds of January 11th left their mark as a field barn roof took off and a wonderful, very old ash tree on Hage Lane lost a large limb. We are so pleased that our Parish Council have had all our village street trees inspected, not only for human safety but also because they are so close to houses.

Also on the morning of the 11th around 8.15 I was walking down the street to post a letter when wave after wave after wave of starlings flew overhead, battling against the wind to reach their feeding grounds to the south of Sheldon. It was an amazing sight…

Despite the difficult weather we can experience in Sheldon, as always there is a silver lining. We do have some exceptionally clear days as the clean arctic air sweeps across us and the views from the village when this is the case (particularly to the north) are spectacular.

We have seen very few hares this year in the fields. They are difficult to see at the best of times, but there seem to be fewer around at the moment. On days when snow lies on the ground however they reveal their presence as they move from their snow hides leaving their tell-tale tracks across the snow. If this happens it will give us a good indication of whether their numbers have declined or whether old eyes are unable to pick them out as they lie in the grass or dash across the fields and over the walls.

The ‘Old Folks’ – that is those over 65, would like to thank Kath and her team at the ‘Cock and Pullet’ for an excellent Christmas Dinner. We had a great time with good cheer and lively chat. Tony won the raffle prize of a bottle of Port and Sam was given whisky when he cheekily suggested one would go well with his Christmas pudding!!  The dinner is paid for by the village (via Sheldon Day) so we thank you all for this opportunity for us to get together once a year and to enjoy each other’s company.

This month’s meeting of the History Group takes place at the Village Hall on Wednesday 15th February. The meeting is the opportunity for anyone to bring an artefact of any description from kitchen utensil to peculiarly shaped stone, from farming implement to old coin – indeed anything which might be of interest. Tell the meeting what it is and what it is used for or if you don’t know perhaps someone will be able to identify it.  We hope also to show some old photos of people who lived in the village in years gone by.  Do come, you will be very welcome.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for January was no. 82 – Joe Tibbles. Congratulations!

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 www.joinedupcare.org.uk  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 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

Sheldon Jottings for March 2015

We hope the worst of the winter weather will be over this month – we did get better service with gritting and snow clearing during the late January/early February fall, enabling us to get to work eventually. Some of the birds seem to be looking forward to the better weather to come – two great tits in our garden are spending a lot of time together in and out of a nest box on the trunk of a tree. The male blackbirds are seriously fighting and the Sparrow Hawk has been doing his rounds of our gardens over the winter; a sight to behold for us but not so for all those smaller birds we have been feeding. We now have two woodpeckers who come to the feeders.

The Christmas festivities are now well past but we have been reminded that Sheldon decorated a tree for the Bakewell Tree Festival. It was decorated with farm animals, which of course was very fitting for our village.

The Belted Galloway cow given to Peter and Sarah as a wedding present gave birth on 21st January to a beautiful heifer calf – her last one was a bull calf. We look forward to seeing it in the fields. Lambs have been born at both Top Farm and Johnson Lane Farm heralding the approach of Spring.

Before the end of the month the village hall refurbishment will have taken another step forward with new curtains, a new notice board and a new Cream Teas sign. We are lucky to have such a facility with so much history attached to it. Built in 1878 to be the village school, the building was gifted to the village in 1959 by the then Duke of Devonshire and dedicated to his brother who died in the Second World War. Many thanks go to Lindsey who has born the brunt of the organisation for the refurbishment process and as ever to the Trustees and Pat, who stoutly continue to maintain the hall and its traditions.

The question of the defibrillator to be accessed in the village is now on-going and funding is being sought from different sources. It will probably be stored in a box on an external wall of the village hall; donations welcome!

We were delighted to hear that on Sunday 15th February beautiful baby Alice was christened in our lovely little church – a happy ceremony for the proud parents Elizabeth and Mark and a lovely occasion for all who attended.

The village received a special card, personally signed by the Duke of Devonshire with a lovely photograph of the late Dowager Duchess (Debo) on the front. It was sent in response to the village sending our condolences on her death late last year; you can see the card in the village hall.

We have been informed that there are people going around villages selling fish from a van. Do beware as they will ask you to spend a lot of money on a lot of dodgy fish. Phone the police on 101 if you are suspicious!

On Saturday and Sunday 21st and 22nd March the History Group will be holding their annual exhibition in the village hall. This is always an interesting event with photographs, artefacts and features reflecting the long and surprisingly varied history of our delightful little village. The exhibition always contains one or two surprises and entry is free, just come along for a browse, refreshments and a chat.

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Wednesday 18th March 7.30pm in the village hall
History Group Meeting

Saturday and Sunday 21st and 22nd March 10am to 4pm in the village hall
History Group Annual Exhibition

Sheldon Jottings for December 2014

Living in Sheldon we are all acutely aware of the wonders of nature around us. At dawn and at dusk each day during November we have been treated to a spectacular event. We first noticed it this year on the 2nd November and since then it has been a wonderful twice-daily sight as a great cloud of Starlings flies over our village. As it gets light they come from their roosting grounds on the far side of Longstone Edge on Middleton Moor, past Longstone and Ashford, over the River Wye and up over Shacklow Wood. They then fly over the village to their feeding grounds in the fields of Flagg, Monyash and beyond. The flock returns at twilight and although it can vary in size is a sight well worth seeing. For an even greater spectacle go to Middleton Moor and see the ‘murmuration‘ where the flocks are coming in from all directions, creating amazing patterns in the sky before settling down to roost in the reeds. It happened last year and should now continue throughout the winter months.

With the shorter days of winter the number of visitors to our area has greatly diminished. Several of our farmers have heaved a sigh of relief. Pete Bush, our Area Ranger, has been in touch and has asked us to include the following:

Over the last 3 years a number of stone stiles in Sheldon Parish have been badly damaged. At first I thought by cattle as some of the adjacent walls are not that robust, but it has continued to happen sporadically, with the latest attack resulting in 3 stiles being completely smashed with some large through stones being broken in two. Some of these stiles were built at least 3 generations ago, when they were most commonly used by local people coming and going to work.

Now they are used mostly for recreation by local people and visitors to the area and have to be stock proof whilst at the same time relatively easy for people to use. What used to be regarded as suitable is not always the case today and the Peak District National Park Rangers have worked with many farmers in the area to improve their gates and stiles.

There is often a dilemma in changing a stile to improve access as it may be a heritage feature but in most cases we are able to alter it sympathetically.

There are limited resources so we cannot tackle everything at once but if there are stiles causing problems please contact me:

Pete Bush
PDNPA Area Ranger
Tel: 01629 884992
Email: [email protected]

We all need to keep an eye out and report damage if we are out enjoying the Countryside; please contact Pete if you see anything untoward.

In mid-December last year the History Group met in the village hall for the Christmas ‘Do’. With one of the worst gales of the winter raging outside Simon Unwin entertained us with his ‘Story of Magpie Mine’ in music, pictures and verse. The atmosphere was tremendous – it was probably one of the most gripping and pleasurable evenings held in the Hall for many years. We are happy to report that Simon is coming once more on December 17th to entertain us with his latest extravaganza. Come and join us, entry is free, we all bring some food (savoury of sweet), some drink is supplied, and enjoy a great evening with neighbours and friends – you will be most welcome.

If you did not manage to get to Sheldon History Group in October when Martha Lawrence from Buxton Museum came to talk on the pre-history of our area then you missed a treat. It was fascinating to think how ourancestors were living so long ago.

On Christmas Day it will be Noel’s birthday. We wish you and your family a happy day Noel.

The planning application for the substantial development at Home Farm has been unanimously turned down by the PDNPA Planning Committee.

Finally, villagers can sleep safely in their beds in the knowledge that the recently vandalised ‘fence’ was nothing more than a piece of string that two cows, Daisy and Buttercup, got caught in. Neither of them will admit responsibility but keep blaming each udder!

Happy Christmas and a great New Year to you all and to our friends in Ashford.

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Monday 1st December
Christmas Wreath Making Night – 7.30pm Village Hall
Contact Lindsey for information

Tuesday 2nd December
Vicar’s Coffee Morning – Cock & Pullet (with Church Meeting afterwards)

Tuesday 9th December
Sheldon Seniors Christmas Lunch – Cock & Pullet

Wednesday 10th December
Sheldon Parish Meeting – 7.30pm Village Hall

Wednesday 17th December
Sheldon History Group Christmas ‘Do’ with Simon Unwin – 7.30pm Village Hall