Sheldon Jottings for November 2015

Autumn is truly with us heralding the start of winter, with short days, long nights and cooler weather, we have already had the first frost here in Sheldon. The cows are coming along the road and back to the farm for milking at dawn with the lights of the Landrover shining brightly and at night they are going back in the darkness too. The calm weather for harvest allowed the farmers to bring in the crops and the gardeners to prepare for winter by getting their autumnal jobs completed.

A joyous event on the 15th September – the birth of Max, weighing in at 7lbs 6oz – a son for Melanie and Oliver. A welcome addition to the increasing numbers of young people in the village. We send the adoring couple and the very proud family our congratulations.

The Harvest Festival  Service in Church, always held on the first Sunday in October and led by Canon Tony, was well attended. The church was decorated with offerings brought by parishioners and a wonderful floral display by Julia and Mick. Many thanks to them and to all who celebrated this special time of year in our lovely church.The produce which was donated to decorate the church was gifted to Blythe House.

For the first time, courtesy of Kath, a Pie and Pea Supper and Quiz Evening was held on the following Monday at the Cock and Pullet, to help raise badly needed funds for the Church. The pub was full, good food and great companionship helped to make the evening a resounding success, although some found the quiz questions a bit tricky!  We have heard many calls in the village for this to be an annual event. It raised a staggering £415. A big thank you to Claire and Michelle for all their hard work supplying the supper and thank you to Helen for doing the quiz. Postman Pat’s Team were the winners and they kindly donated their prize money back to the church – a big thank you. The raffle prizes were won by Michael Holdsworth, Amanda and Andrew J and Philip G.  Thank you to everyone for supporting the event.

As winter approaches we hear yet again that we will not be receiving a regular gritting lorry through the village. Also, this year we have been asked to pay for any piles of grit which are usually placed free by the Council in the Dale and on Hunterside. Yet another in an ever lengthening list of cuts to services reducing our quality of life due to government cutbacks in funding to councils. As a result of the necessity to pay for our rock salt/grit, and to cover other costs, the Parish Meeting on the 14th October agreed, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, that we would need to increase the precept to £1500 – an increase of £250.

The Parish Meeting also discussed the division of the money raised on Sheldon Day which was £4627 after expenses – a record amount. The Sheldon Day Group would retain £827 to act as a float for next year’s Sheldon Day and  £200  will pay for the Christmas Party for the older residents. The remainder would be divided equally between the Church, the Village Hall and the Playing Field,  giving them £1200 each.

The winner of the 100 Club Draw for October was Mark Elwis of Wardlow who won £25.

Sheldon Jottings for November 2014

We were all very sad to hear of the death of the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. She often visited Sheldon, which at one time was a ‘Chatsworth Village’, to see the Cowslips and Orchids in Deep Dale, to attend the Harvest Service in Church, and to open Sheldon Day. Many of us have memories and stories to tell of her interest in all things rural, her support for the villages, her sharp mind and her tremendous work at Chatsworth. Several of us attended the funeral in glorious weather – a real Derbyshire occasion, superbly organised as only Chatsworth can, from the staff lining the route from the House to Edensor, the big screens on the Green outside the Church, the moving Service to the refreshments on the South Lawn. Her wicker coffin, a recording of Elvis during the service and the swing band playing on the South Lawn provided a perfect ‘Debo’ occasion to remember and celebrate the life of a truly remarkable lady.

Now for really great news, we have a new resident in the village. Elizabeth, Mark and George now have a new member of the family – Alice was born early on Monday September 22nd, in rather a hurry! According to all who have been lucky enough to meet her, she is truly beautiful. Congratulations from us all.

The Harvest Festival Service, held as it always is in Sheldon on the first Sunday in October, saw the Church decorated with vegetables and donations from the village. There was a goodly congregation to celebrate and give thanks for the harvest. The produce was sent to Newholme.

We send our best wishes to Wendy N and to John C. Wendy is slowly recovering from a hernia operation. John and Michelle have had a very difficult time lately as John battles to recover from his cancer. Our thoughts are with you all.

The Sheldon History Group will meet on Wednesday November 19th at Hartington Memorial Hall for a ‘Bring and Show’ evening. We hope that members will bring an artefact, document or picture, indeed anything that has a Sheldon connection that we can show and perhaps explain. Here is a chance to show those little things which have been gathering dust in the attic which we can share with others. All are welcome, do come along even if you have nothing to show you may be able to shed light on something brought by someone else.

As we reported in last month’s Jottings, Sheila has relinquished her post as our secretary to the Parish Meeting. We are still looking for someone to step into her shoes. If you would like to be involved in our village affairs here is a post which allows you to do just that, there are six meetings each year when minutes are taken. If you wish to take this prestigious post or know anyone who would be willing to become our secretary (the person does not need to live in Sheldon) could you please contact either Alistair Warren or Andrew Joly.

Plans are already being laid for next year’s Sheldon Day, the group have booked the sunniest, warm and windless day of the year for the 2015 extravaganza. The great day will be held on Saturday 25th July with the Fell Race taking place on the previous Thursday 23rd July.

Dates for the Diary

Tuesday 4th November – ‘Cock and Pullet’
Vicar’s Coffee Morning

Wednesday November 19th – 7:30pm in Hartington Memorial Hall
Sheldon History Group Meeting ‘Bring and Show’ evening

Sheldon Jottings for December 2012

Happy and peaceful Christmas to you all.

Julia was telling us about the timetable for the winter: the milk cows stay in at night and go up to the top yard for silage in the day. They don’t seem to mind! But all the other animals are still sleeping under the stars. The tup has been put to the ewes, so that there will be Easter lambs, due on April 1st. All part of the wonderful rural timetable of Sheldon.

Congratulations to John, top marks overall in his final police exams, 98%, after 10 weeks of hard training. At the passing out parade ceremony on November 9th the student police officers took their ‘oath of attestation’ and received their warrant cards and certificates. The evening finished with tea/coffee and cakes and lots of photographs! John started his shifts as a fully-qualified police officer on Friday 16th November, based at Buxton for the first two years.

Nigel and Mickey’s daughter, Jenny had a son earlier than expected. All is well. Welcome, Oscar to our world! We look forward to seeing him in the village soon. Needless to say Mickey and Nigel are over the moon.

The village bonfire and fireworks evening on November 3rd started with a huge fire at the far end of the playing field before Ian and Andrew’s fantastic pyrotechnics display! More than sixty people then went on up to the hall where Lindsey, Pat and Wendy were prepared with fabulous pies and peas. We were lucky with the weather, even fairly mild at Sheldon heights, although Bron and Tony commented that, being used to Sheldon’s weather, even climbing mountains in the rarefied Himalayan air on their holiday this year had not posed a challenge. It was great to see villagers old and new filling up the hall again, and we missed those that couldn’t make it. Many thanks to everyone.

Welcome to Angie and Andy who have now moved into Lower Farm (at last!). They have been  hard working members of the village community for many months, but only now have they moved finally in after all the renovations. Great to have you with us.

There was a moving and well attended Remembrance Day Service on November 11th in which Brian read one of the readings and Marlene placed a wreath under the memorial in the church for the service men from our village who gave their lives: John Brocklehurst, Thomas Brocklehurst, Anthony Gyte, Alfred Wildgoose and John Sherwin.

The Monyash, Flagg and Sheldon Broadband Project committee have decided upon the next steps for taking this work forward.  The committee has expanded, with more representatives from each village now involved, including Andrew Joly and Andy Ford from Sheldon (in addition to John and Georgina).

Some important dates:

Sunday 23rd December, 4pm at Church – the  Sheldon Carol Service returns.
The next vicar’s coffee morning is on Tuesday 5th February 2013 in the pub (none in December and January)
Sunday 9th December at 9am Holy Communion
Christmas Day at 9am Holy Communion

Sheldon Jottings for March 2012

Welcome into this world, Harriet Charlotte Elizabeth Fletcher! Born in Derby, a beautiful baby girl to Peter and Sarah. I hear mum and daughter came home the next day. Warmest congratulations and best wishes from the whole village to you.

Sitting in our church as we prayed together during Holy Communion this last month I was particularly struck by the beauty of both the service and the surroundings; our church beautiful in its own simplicity and peace. We are very much blessed in Sheldon to have not only our own church, a Vicar who willingly gives of his time not only for our church matters but also for the important monthly coffee mornings on the first Tuesday of each month, but also the community volunteers who help when the need arises. The flowers, always a labour of love by those who provide them for each of our Services, donated by them, arranged by them, and looked after by them. Other activities throughout the year which help make it special include the Christmas tree, always donated by David and Kath Melland and decorated by Julia and Michael, the voluntary work of the Church wardens, the fundraising, Anne the ever vigilant caretaker (one of the major benefits of our church is that it is open every day for anyone to drop in and spend a few quiet minutes in reflection), Brian who every month collects from Ashford the various information and prayer sheets, and then photocopies them himself for the Church, and so on. All of this is done as part of our outstanding village and church community volunteer spirit. At our last Parish Meeting we discussed the importance of our church not just to those who attend services (and it is pleasing to see a good number with often 12-14 in the congregation) but to the whole Sheldon and indeed to the wider community. The wish is that we make more use of the church, in a wider sense, for the good of the whole community to support not just our religious needs but our community needs as well. Our church is in the centre of the village in more ways than the obvious religious ones. We have some ideas, which we will discuss with the Vicar and Wardens of course, so watch this space!

Our village broadband champion is working hard on our behalf to get some funding from the County Council to raise awareness and ease our broadband problems. This is important work because Sheldon has very poor communications infrastructure, and there is money available from the County Council which we want to make sure is used to upgrade this. John has done a map of all of our broadband speeds in the village and it is on our website.  If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to return the broadband survey he delivered to every household in the village (whether you have broadband or not) as he would like them back for his survey results. If you’ve lost yours, ask John for another one, and he’ll be pleased to provide it.  Incidentally, this site is much praised by those who drop in on it, and I hear the Jottings every month now have over one thousand hits from all over the world! It also now has planning matters on it as well, so drop in and take a look. It is beautifully designed and well looked after by John, to whom, as ever thanks. This is another example of the community spirit of volunteering, because this is how he does it.

Good to see our History Group so active, and that Georgina has done a programme for the year (they meet every month in the village hall). On Saturday and Sunday March 24th and 25th is the History Group Exhibition, which in past years has been very popular indeed. Come and see some of the amazing artefacts found in Sheldon and the surrounding area. The Exhibition is from 11am – 4pm on both days. It’s in Sheldon village hall and donations to the History Group will be most welcome.

Lindsey will be circulating a list as she did last year for anyone wanting to help with the cream tea rota. This worked very well last year, so thanks to the cream tea group. Hopefully as last year there will be a big enough rota so that no one has to give up too many bank holiday Sundays; this year our cream teas will be on the Sundays of Bank Holiday weekends, which will include the longer weekend for the Diamond Jubilee. Easter Sunday will be the first this year, so come and join us then! I’ll remind us all again in the April Jottings.

Finally, we’ve been in touch with County Highways about the holes appearing in the road surface throughout the village. They were very sympathetic, and have said they will investigate and repair. Down our end of the village, on the way out towards Ashford, we had some excitement, if that’s the right word, when one day holes appeared more or less overnight…not just your normal potholes but something altogether more worrying! The main hole is about one metre deep, so something must be going on underneath. Anyway the Council have been very attentive to the problem, for which we are thankful. We await their additional attention to the more regular potholes which are getting worse with the winter weather. As for the gritting problems, well, grit trucks have rediscovered Sheldon! This is a good development, again, for which we give thanks to County Highways officers, the grit truck drivers and our County Councillor Mrs Judith Twigg (who has interceded on our behalf).

Vicar’s coffee morning: Tuesday March 6th in the pub.

Sheldon Jottings for February 2012

Just as the old year ended, the best present of all, a new baby in the village! Elizabeth and Mark Fisher are very proud of their little man, George James, who was born on the 28th December two weeks early, weighing 6lb 13oz. Elizabeth says a big thank you for all the kind messages, cards and gifts George has received. Congratulations from all of us!

Sheldon’s spirit of community involvement was seen clearly over the Christmas period. The Christmas tree in the church (donated as always by David and beautifully decorated by Julia and Michael), the Christmas Day flowers serene in their elegance and beauty (thanks Marlene). The Christmas morning Church service was very special. About 18 of us shared Christmas morning together, and enjoyed Canon Tony’s reindeer hat! At the end of the service, Canon Tony set us singing a couple of carols together, with Elizabeth playing the harmonium.

The Sunday before Christmas we, at last, had the nativity procession after two years of postponement. About 40 people of all ages joined the procession as it wandered slowly and prayerfully up the road, stopping along the way for carols and readings, and ending in Harold’s barn at Top Farm, which Julia and the family had made into a stable of whom the Infant Jesus would have been very proud! Mince pies and other refreshments capped a wonderful afternoon, and set the scene for the start of a typical, community inspired Sheldon Christmas; a fitting end to a year full of community activities in this small village of ours.

A great surprise for me in January with a Matlock Mercury award for what the Paper described as ‘dedication to Sheldon’. This came as a total surprise, and here’s me thinking I know everything that goes on in Sheldon! Not this time. Such an award is really for everyone in the village because there is such an amazing sense of togetherness and community spirit here; everyone helps. Thanks to those who nominated me, it was much appreciated, and I was very touched.

Sheldon History Group started 2012 with a talk by Brian Greasley on ‘The Sheldon Hoard’. This is a collection of coins which were found in Sheldon, and which have recently been tracked down and photographed by members of the group.

Broadband: please remember to fill in your survey forms that John delivered to every household in the Parish. If your house isn’t on our broadband map, then he hasn’t got your form yet.

Finally, the mystery of the black cat deepens! Pauline has been feeding a black cat, and enjoying doing it, together with the tortoiseshell that has also adopted her. Both remained after Emma and the family left, and now the black cat has a collar on it. So, if anyone has laid claim, could they let Pauline know as she will be happy to hear it has a new home!

Next coffee morning: Tuesday 7th February in the Village Hall.

Parish Meeting: Wednesday Feb 8th in the Village Hall at 7:30pm

Please note that only registered voters within the parish are able to attend the Parish Meeting, and public attendance is discretionary and by arrangement only.