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 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

Risk of Wildfires

Fireposter

The recent hot weather experienced across the Peak DIstrict is increasing the risk of wildfires on moorland and farmland. The next few days sees the Fire Severity Index for the Peak District raised to high, and stay high for the following week. As such, we advise the following:

  • Dispose of rubbish, especially glass bottles and cigarettes, responsibly.
  • Do not throw cigarette ends out of car windows.
  • Do not start a bar-be-que or open fire on moorland or farmland.
  • Immediately report any signs of smoke or fire by calling 999…don’t assume that somebody else will report it!

Please respect, protect and enjoy our Village

Sheldon is a very popular place for visitors to pass through, and there are a number of walks that go through our beautiful village in all directions. We love the fact that visitors coming through stop at the village hall for one of our famous cream teas, and we are also of course very proud, as are our farmers, of our landscape including all of the dry stone walls that keep our fields in good order.

However, sometimes not everyone understands or realises the preciousness of our village, landscape and walls. Nor indeed do they realise how important it is when out in a working farming environment, to keep the walls and gates as they found them and not disturb the animals. Recent incidents noted by residents include damage/graffiti to village property, inconsiderate parking, people climbing over and on top of walls, children playing on silage bails, dropping litter, dog fouling amongst cattle, dogs killing sheep, and visitors swearing at local residents! It is also worth noting that some of the people in charge of visiting youth groups don’t set a very good example to their charges (allowing theirs dogs to run free in fields full of lambs, ignoring advice of landowners etc). We must stress that this is a minority of people, and it isn’t just/all youth groups who behave in this way.

We’d therefore like to remind everyone that, whilst visitors are very welcome, we’d ask them to keep to the countryside code and remember that ours is a working village, with the fields owned and worked by our local farmers. Please remember that the village street needs to be kept free of obstructions for farm machinery to pass, and that all of the green spaces in the village (with the exception of the playing field) are in private ownership; they aren’t car parks.

This might sound like nimby-ism, but please remember that it is perfectly possible on a busy weekend for our population to swell from 80 people to over 1000; we all want to enjoy the Peak District and our lovely village…why spoil it?

Vandalism in the village

May VandalismWhilst cleaning the village noticeboard the other day (which was paid for by a grant from the Peak District National Park Authority), Sheila H noticed that somebody had vandalised it by carving their name, and various other works/pictures into the woodwork.

We hope that the damage is just superficial, but it will cost time and money to repair. This isn’t the first time that property in the village has been vandalised, and we are certainly noticing an increase in antisocial behaviour (e.g. parking, litter, noise, trespassing, dog attacks).

The National Park Authority talks of sustainable tourism, but the sad reality is that tourism has a detrimental impact on the lives of the residents of our village and the wider National Park.

Those of us who are lucky enough to call Sheldon “home” are very happy to share it with visitors who respect our property and the surrounding countryside.