Sheldon Jottings for June 2015

Spring is moving into summer in Sheldon, the trees are in leaf, the cows are in the fields and the bedraggled groups of D of E students with their massive packs are again tramping across the fields. Sam’s plants are giving a lovely splash of colour as you come into the village, and they are all for sale! Are we right in thinking there are fewer birds around this year? Our impression is that the number of swallows, house martins, robins and sparrows in the village have declined over the last few years. We hope it is just a natural cycle and they will be back again soon.

May 7th saw us casting our votes for the last time at the village hall. A victim of the drive for ever greater economy, we will have to travel to Monyash village hall which will be our local polling station in future. We were discussing what this means with an elderly resident and he told us that before WW2, that was where Sheldon people always voted. He recounted the tale that the Tory Party always sent a very large car up to Sheldon to take their voters to the polls. Tommy Morton, a well know Labour supporter was hurrying to get a lift in the car when Mr Sheldon, who had already claimed his seat, pointed out his affiliation and Tommy was left behind to find his own way to the Polling Station which must be at least 2 miles. Could this actually happen again in the future we wonder?! The village hall as it is now was first used as a Polling Station directly after the War and has remained so for almost 70 years. So another slice of life in Sheldon becomes history and another facility is taken away from us.

Late April however saw a piece of Sheldon life resurrected as a tent was set up outside the hall and we had a table top sale. The wares were as varied and the tables as colourful as the day was beautiful with clear blue skies. People not only indulged in a bit of retail therapy but, like us, took lunch outside, wonderful soup and roll and the most delicious carrot cake as afters. The event raised over £200 to swell the village hall funds. Many thanks to Lindsey who organised the whole thing and her helpers for their enthusiasm in arranging a great day.

The second Cream Tea Day held on May Day Bank Holiday Sunday was another success for ‘the team’. The morning rain caused hearts to sink but the day brightened and there was a steady stream of visitors, including 2 walking groups, enjoying their scones with jam and cream and cups of tea but also buying from the always excellent goodies on the stall. Altogether another £200 was raised – well done everyone!

On the evening of May 11th (the day we were always told to plant runner beans!) the faithful gathered for the bunting evening in the village hall. This has become a very enjoyable annual social event organised by the Sheldon Day Committee to repair old and make new bunting ready for Sheldon Day. With food and drink – not all of the non-alcoholic variety- the work goes with a swing and the excellent results will grace our village in July. Thanks to everyone who took part.

The History Group ‘Bring and Show’ meeting on 15th April encouraged several people to bring some wonderful historical artifacts they have in their possession and also a full documented history of one Sheldon cottage which is truly amazing to have.

As you all know Kath has started a monthly lottery to raise much needed funds to help maintain our beautiful Church. We understand that a few numbers still remain so if you contact Kath you may still be able to take part. The first winner of the £25 prize was Jayne Melland. Congratulations!

Congratulations must also go to William and Alec who again took part in the Buxton Festival of Speech, Music and Drama. William gained first place in the piano trio competition and Alec gained a third place. Alec’s choir – from Great Longstone – also came first in their section. Well done to both!

We also have good news about our resident Bobby, John. Despite having only been a full time Officer for a short period of time, he has just heard that he has been accepted onto the government’s flagship accelerated promotion scheme to become an Inspector within 2 years. This, after several gruelling months of interviews, exams and assessment centres. Congratulations John!

DIARY DATES

Tuesday 2nd June 10.00am
Vicar’s coffee morning at the Cock and Pullet followed by the Church Meeting

Wednesday 10th June 7.30pm
Parish Meeting in village hall

Wednesday 17th June
Sheldon History Group Meeting – to be announced

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 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 October 2014

Signs of Autumn are all around us. Most swallows have flown south, they went at the beginning of the month – rather early this year. The nights are lengthening and are becoming cooler – and the morning mists are with us. Some leaves are beginning to turn – and the gardens are taking on a distinctly autumnal air with the asters and other autumn flowering plants brightening the borders; the children have gone back to school….

The 7th of September was an important day for several people in the village. Andrew L was 21 and the family celebrated with an evening at Hassop Hall. Peter and Sarah celebrated their first wedding anniversary on the same day; congratulations to you all!

We are delighted to welcome the new residents of Rose Cottage. Melanie F and her beautiful daughter Ruby have joined us in the village and it has certainly made Oliver very happy! We hope they will enjoy being with us for many years to come.

The last Cream Tea of the year was held on August Bank holiday Sunday – a lovely sunny day resulted in a very successful afternoon raising £265 to swell the coffers of the village hall. Cream teas this year have again been a great bonus for the hall and our thanks must go to all those who helped in any way, setting up and decorating tables, putting out the signs and helping in the kitchen on the day – a great effort. Well done to everyone and thanks go to you all.

Much of the money raised through Cream Tea Days has gone to the refurbishment of the newly painted, newly curtained Hartington Memorial Hall – Sheldon’s village hall. It has been a long journey for the trustees and particularly Lindsey, who has shouldered the lions share of the work and Pat, who has kept things going as the work has progressed. It has all been well worth the effort. We are lucky to have such a beautiful hall with such a long history. It was, of course, the village school before being gifted to the village by the Duke of Devonshire; thanks to all those involved.

Unfortunately, we hear from the last Parish Meeting, that Sheila has decided to hang up her pens and retire as secretary to the Parish Meeting. For many years she has been there as a tremendous support for each chair – John H, Georgina and now Alistair. Her work has been exemplary, her efficiency legendary – Sheila we will all miss you sitting next to the Chair at the Parish Meetings; thank you so much for all your hard work.

Would someone please think seriously about taking over the role and serving our community?

The next History Group meeting on October 22nd takes the form of a talk by Martha Lawrence from Buxton Museum, on the prehistory of the Sheldon area. Our countryside is full of evidence left by the earliest peoples to settle here. Stone age flints are found in the fields, there are bronze age round barrows near Manor Farm. We can see Fin Cop, an iron age fort to the north of the village and Arbor Low – the Stonehenge of the North – is a dramatic stone circle just a short distance away. It should be a fascinating talk. We hope you can join us at the village hall.

Finally, a reminder from Bakewell Safer Neighbourhood Police Team, for us to take steps to better protect our vehicles from being targeted by thieves. Valuables such as sat navs are still being left on display, as witnessed by them at Chatsworth Country Fair on August 30th. So secure your vehicle properly, park in well lit, overlooked areas and remove any visible marks such as sat nav holder rings.

Dates for the Diary

Tuesday 7th October
Vicar’s Coffee Morning in the village hall

Wednesday 8th October
Parish Meeting 7.30pm in the village hall

Wednesday 22nd October
Sheldon History Group Meeting 7.30pm village hall.
‘Before history’ – a talk by Martha Lawrence of Buxton Museum. You will be most welcome to join us

Sheldon Jottings for September 2014

The days are beginning to shorten and Autumn is on the way. The silage is collected in its plastic around the farms and the hay is in the barns. The show and sheep dog trial seasons are ending and the swallows and martins will soon be leaving us for the winter. But we have had a wonderful summer, the weather has been beautiful and this lovely area in which we live has never looked better.

During the summer Doris and Ian celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a party with friends and family. Our belated congratulations to them both and may there be many years of happy married life ahead.

A new resident has been making its presence known to us all. A donkey has taken up residence at Top Farm. We are told his name is Charlie and we understand that he is very partial to apples!

The Sheldon Fell Race was a great success with over one hundred runners – a wonderful evening and excellent organisation. After following the same route since it was started, the course was slightly amended this year. Nevertheless, it is the same length as it has always been and just as challenging! The winner – E. Fitzpatrick – recorded the excellent time of 25 minutes. We are certain it would take us 2 hours 25 minutes!!! Well done Phil and all his helpers – you gave us a great evening.

After twelve hours of rain which stopped at about 1.30pm, a rather soggy Sheldon Day got underway. It was inevitable that many of the activities and takings would be less than usual but the final count was amazing. Although about £1,000 less than last year, we still raised a very creditable £2,500. Well done everyone! This is a remarkable effort from such a small village and involves almost everyone – from the organising group planning for months beforehand, those who put up bunting, set up the stalls and tents, those who donate plants, books, bric-a-brac and prizes and decorate the Church, those who park cars, run the stalls, cream teas and activities on the day and those who pack everything away afterwards, store the equipment and do all the other jobs which need doing to enable the visitors to enjoy our village day. Take a pat on the back everyone, absolutely fantastic!

DIARY DATES

Tuesday September 9th
Vicar’s Coffee Morning followed by Church Meeting in the ‘Cock and Pullet’

Saturday September 20th
History Group visit to Masson Mills and Arkwrights Mill, Cromford
Meet 10.30 at Masson Mills