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.


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.


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

Sheldon Jottings for April 2014

As we write (16th March) we have had a lovely fine week with much sunshine but there has been an icy cold wind the last couple of days. The first lambs have been reported at Johnson Lane Farm but lambs are not expected until the beginning of April at Top Farm. The daffodils are just beginning to flower, the larks and our garden birds are singing again. In the wild, the cheery celandines, coltsfoot and butterbur flowers are now appearing. Roll on Spring!

However, Easter is coming and that means our first Cream Tea Sunday is on April 20th, Easter Sunday. Help is needed for this and for the following two Bank Holiday Sundays in May and the one at the end of August. Please volunteer if you can – it is 3 hours of enjoyable chat and fun whilst welcoming our village friends and supporters and the visitors to our lovely area. The Village Hall is undergoing some refurbishment and the Cream Tea monies are a considerable help towards the cost.

Our Parish Meeting and AGM is on April 9th so do come and perhaps volunteer for a role on one of the various committees.

Dear Reggie, the fox terrier friend of Angie and Andy, is absolutely bursting with pride as one of his immediate relatives was in the Grand Final at Crufts this year! Quite an achievement….

Did you know about the Farming Life Centre? It is a local farming charity and offers a free confidential advice service to farmers about business and farming matters. They also offer free support if there are health and wellbeing worries. Please do get in touch for more information on 01298 85162 or or [email protected] The Centre is based in the courtyard of farm buildings at Blackwell Hall Farm at Blackwell not too far from Sheldon.


Wednesday 9th April – Parish Meeting and AGM 7:30pm Village Hall

Wednesday 16th April – Sheldon History Group Meeting 7.30pm Village Hall
John Titterton of the Ashbourne Heritage Society will be talking to us about the ancient market town of Ashbourne and its many fine old buildings and customs. All very welcome

Sunday 20th April – Cream Teas 2pm – 5pm Village Hall

Sheldon Jottings for June 2013

The swallows are here! The plants in the garden are growing strongly and the chore of cutting the grass begins. Sam’s pretty plant corner is awash with plants for sale including some vegetables and herbs. All the lambs are born and are enjoying being alive, entertaining us in the fields. On a sad note, however, Elaine’s oldest sheep has died at the ripe old age of 23 – has anyone heard of one older than this?

The Sheldonians were gravely concerned to learn that a sheep was killed in Sheldon on Bank Holiday Sunday. It was being worried by a dog with its owners vainly calling to it. By the time the farmer reached the field the dog and its owners were nowhere to be seen – when will people learn to keep dogs on leads in fields with farm animals. The poor sheep was from a long line that was selected for breeding purposes, so she was very valuable and not just in monetary terms. If anybody has any information as to who might have been responsible, please contact us by email in strict confidence.

Our first Cream Tea was held on May Bank holiday Sunday, a great success. Cream teas were sold out and at one time the queue stretched out of the door! The lovely weather must have tempted people to visit our beautiful part of the world. A produce table did a brisk trade and an exhibition of paintings from the art group who meet regularly in the Village Hall added to the occasion. A grand total of £200+ was raised which goes to support the village – well done everyone who was involved – a superb effort.  The next Cream Tea was on Spring Bank holiday, Sunday 26th May, but there are further opportunities to enjoy one of our famous cream teas on both Sheldon Day and August Bank Holiday.

The Lambing Service was held in May and was as lively as it was enjoyable. With 31 participants, Andrew Herbert on the organ, lambs from Top Farm, Rev. Tony led the service. It focused on making the connection between the teachings of the church and everyday life in our small community. It was an unforgettable occasion, made more memorable for seeing the Rev. on his hands and knees attempting to get that prize winning photo of the children giving bottles of milk to the lambs!

We are reminded that Noel and Adrienne celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary on 5th June – our very best wishes and congratulations go to them both.

We heard of success for William and Alec J.  At the Buxton Festival of Music, William gained 2 first places and 1 second place for his piano playing and Alec, who has not been playing the piano for long, achieved a third place. Well done to both!

Welcome to Sue F. who has recently moved to Sheldon. She is living in South View Cottage near the top of the village. We hope she enjoys her time with us.


The next History Group meeting is Weds 19th June. We will be strolling around the Lime Kilns and other features in the fields around our village.  Meet with us at the village hall at 7.00pm (no charge), and learn about some of the lost and largely forgotten aspects of Sheldon’s past.

Vicar’s Coffee Morning in the pub on 11th June at 10.00 am with the meeting in church afterwards.

The Parish Meeting is Weds 12th June at 7.30 pm

Sheldon Jottings for August 2011

By the time you’re reading this Sheldon Day will have come and gone, as will the annual Sheldon Fell Race. The village excelled itself this year looking even more beautiful than ever; we even managed to buy a new boiler in time for the village hall cream teas. Expect full details in September Jottings.

Wendy and Joe have two new Gloucester Oldspot pigs, and they are thriving; Lindsey on the other hand, has just sent theirs to the abbatoir …lots of orders for the meat I hear, and everyone says, delicious! But this year we have something even more exciting: beehives. Two sets of them. Georgina is following in her Dad Tony’s footsteps, he was the first to have them in the village many years ago, and Georgina now has a grand hive with very happy bees. I hear they have already had some delicious honeycomb. Nothing nicer than fresh, natural, local honey. And that’s also what we will be getting from Lindsey as well, her beehive, proudly settled in the front garden, is also very busy with happy bees. Bees, as well as all the other local wildlife makes this village even more special. But let’s not talk about all the baby rabbits, at least in our garden.

Andrew Lester has finished college in Buxton for the summer, and I hear he did very well in his first year exams. He’s having a  productive summer busily spray painting cars, and doing them very well I hear. Like his Dad.

The June Cream teas in the Village Hall went well. It was a slow day for walkers, but in the end a good profit of £82 was made and that’s what matters, although even more important is the satisfaction of those who came to enjoy their scones, jam, cream and cups of tea. Everyone was very satisfied indeed, so thanks to the team.

Emma and family have now sold their house and sadly it won’t be long before they leave us for their new farm. Maurice and Judy are in process of selling their property as well, so it is all change with a big slice of history disappearing when they go.

With the support of our local Police Safer Neighbour Team, we now have a security marking kit for our Church. Everything of value in the Church, and on the church, has now been marked. So thieves, don’t bother! Any concerns about what you think is suspicious activity can be reported via 0345 123 3333 and emergencies via 999

Finally, I have been re-elected as one of our Parish members on the National Park which makes me very proud. I was then re-elected Authority Chair of Planning, always an onerous but satisfying job, with lots of changes for good  in prospect. I’m pleased that the villages for which I will be responsible this time are all around here.

No vicar’s coffee morning in August. Our next Parish Meeting is on Tuesday August 16th at 19h30.