Sheldon Jottings for September 2017

The family holiday season is in full swing as we write (Aug 12th) and by the time you read this it will be almost ‘back to school’ time again. Our short summer seems to go so quickly and we have certainly had more than our fair share of rain in this area. Sadly Bakewell Show was inundated and not just on one of the Show days but on both. Such real bad luck. Hay-making is definitely on hold until we get a longer spell of dry weather…..

On Sheldon Day (July 22nd) we were fortunate as, although rain was forecast, it held off until evening. What a brilliant day we had raising around £4000 for our village amenities – our little community should be VERY pleased. A big thank you to everyone. Just think – we are a population of around 65 people and together with our children, friends and relatives we can raise that amount of money on what is, for us, a quite large event. This money goes towards the upkeep of our village hall and playing field area – plus – the crippling costs of helping to maintain our beautiful little church – plus a small amount for our ‘golden oldies’ to have a Christmas lunch at the pub!

We are an amazing community.

Did you see the write-up and photos the roving reporter did for the Matlock Mercury? Such fame…. It’s a few years since we had a reporter visit our ever- popular Sheldon Day family event.

We now say Hello to our new neighbours at Manor Farm. Julia, John and family moved in around 3 weeks ago and we hope they will enjoy living in our community and enthrall at those amazing ‘top of the world’ views of our wonderful countryside from up there.

Nature notes over the last few months – We are so pleased to say that after an absence of 3 years, a pair of swallows have nested in our little barn again. We leave the top doors open each year hoping they will take up residence and this year a pair thought the old building would be perfect. However, overall there are so few swallows and house martins around the village this summer. So very sad. They need all the help they can get.

The spotted flycatchers did nest in the garden again this year – we are so lucky. They are such pretty little birds and they also (like the swallows) have to travel thousands of miles to get here from an area south of the equator and then back again. How DO they do it? We think the pair had 2 broods and worked so hard flying from their various perches (such as prominent tree branches or the roof of the bird table) to catch insects for their young. It was a lovely sight to watch. We actually photographed a young one which was close to a window. This was 3-4 weeks ago now and since a couple of days after that, we have neither seen any young nor the parents again. Surely a bit early to leave us to go back?

The gorgeous song thrushes were around but did not nest in our garden this year. They were heard singing many times nearby and were seen looking for worms and snails – lots of empty snail shells about. Sadly, early in the season we found a dead, fully-fledged one. Were they nesting in your garden? The different pairs of blackbirds nested in the front and back garden and they always seem to do well – we think there is quite some competition for territory and nest sites. We also had the robins and we saw the friendly young ones who came for tiny morsels as we weeded the garden.

If you want lots of wonderful butterflies in your garden you must have some Buddleia shrubs. On good days without rain or high wind the ones around us here have been covered with Red Admirals mainly, but also the occasional Peacock, Painted Lady, Small tortoiseshell and the White varieties. Also the wonderful flowers provide food for other insects and many different bees, not just our honey bees. A sight to behold…perhaps 20 + butterflies all at one time!

The defibrillator and CPR training evening in the village hall in July was very successful and we thank Alistair for guiding us and providing the mannequins for us to practise on. It was in part, a fun evening but obviously there were very serious issues and meaning behind what we were learning. If anyone wants to borrow a mannequin for themselves or their families to practise on then do let us know – we still have them.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for August was Keith Blackshaw with number 83.

Sheldon Jottings for June 2017

As we write this on the 12th May it has just begun to rain after a wonderful dry spell.

What a splendid time of year this is when the weather is getting warmer and our gardens and the countryside are looking so beautiful and fresh. We do have some swallows who have made the journey back from South Africa but so few. Considering the ever – increasing hazards, both natural and human, that they have to encounter on this dangerously long flight (which takes around one month), it is a miracle that any of these small birds make it this far.

Also today we have noticed that a pair of spotted flycatchers are back! They too, are long distance summer migrants with most wintering south of the equator. They are about the size of a house sparrow and have the distinct habit of darting out from a bare branch or other prominent position, catching the flying insect, then dashing back to the same perch. Do hope they nest in our garden again…
Have you noticed there are two or three greenfinches about again? It is wonderful to think they are making a comeback after the devastating disease they incurred a few years back.

Our next Parish Meeting is on MONDAY 19th June. As the defibrillator is due to be installed in the telephone box very soon it has been decided we shall have a training session given by Alistair, on the use of this equipment on the same evening. Neither the Parish Meeting nor the training session will take very long so please come along and acquaint yourself on the use of this potentially life-saving piece of kit.

Our second Cream Tea Day at the end of April was again very busy even though there were many other events on elsewhere. The final sum raised for the village hall was a magnificent £300. A big thank you to all our helpers.

We notice the work of renovating the attached barn at Top Farm is progressing apace and Andrew and his helpers are working flat out. Soon be there Andrew…..

The Church Draw will resume again very soon.

DIARY DATES

THURSDAY 8th June – all day
Sheldon Village Hall – Voting for the General Election.

MONDAY 19th June – 7.30pm
Sheldon Village Hall – Parish Meeting and a short training session on the use of the defibrillator.

WEDNESDAY 21st June – 7.30pm
Sheldon Village Hall – History Group Meeting

Sheldon Jottings for March 2016

A walk in ‘our patch’ in mid-February showed the effects of the unusually mild winter continuing as the days begin to draw out. Patches of hawthorn were beginning to turn the lovely fresh green which we will see to full effect in spring. In sheltered spots, favoured by the sun to warm them, were the occasional primrose and cowslip daring to show us a splash of their wonderful pale yellow – one of the most beautiful colours of spring.  ‘Our’ spring/summer resident song thrush was back almost to the day, singing in the tops of the trees. We are told he probably goes down to Shacklow Wood to spend the winter where conditions are not so harsh. We also saw a bullfinch resplendent with its red breast, bright and shiny ready for courting – easily rivalling that of the robin on a nearby tree. Even the blackcaps at the feeder were clothed in the brighter colours of spring. All this at least a month earlier than expected. But what lies in store?  Will this weather hold? Will everything be checked before the full beauty of Spring arrives in our spectacular part of the world?

Terrific news – Melanie and Oliver have become engaged to be married.  Needless to say all at Top Farm are delighted. Congratulations from us all.

Two horse chestnut trees have been planted in the far corner of the playing field. The dream is that in years to come village children will collect the fruit and be able to play the time honoured game of ‘conkers’ as they did in the past.

Small piles of grit have appeared down the Dale.  We must thank Joel for getting the grit and for distributing it.  Anyone who has lived in Sheldon for a few years is aware of the dangers of snow and ice on the hill, so we are all grateful to Joel for this service.

The History Group had a super meeting last month with Tony telling us the background to the redevelopment of Hope Cottage which is one of the oldest houses in the village. Amanda told us of the history of Barleycorn Croft, which could well have been built by a mining company, and of the succession of people who have lived there.

In March, we look forward to The Annual Exhibition put on by the History Group in the village hall. This will take place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March from 10.00 – 4.00pm on each day. Not only will this include a photographic display but also a range of artifacts ranging from stone-age flints to 20th century household and farming implements. If you have anything relevant to the historic record of Sheldon and its people and you think others may like to see, please bring it/them along. This is a popular event, entry is free and there is always a cup of tea plus cake and biscuits to welcome you!  There is something to interest everyone and we look forward to seeing you there.

At the Parish Meeting held on February 10th we learnt that the defibrillator has been delivered to the village and will shortly be installed on an outside wall of the village hall. A training session will be held so that we all know what it looks like and how easy it is to use it in order to help someone in need.

It is that time again when Lindsey will be asking for volunteers to help with cream teas this summer at the village hall. These raise much needed funds for the upkeep of the hall which is so vital as a centre for our village activities. Thanks to Lindsey for organising these.

The lucky Church Draw winner for February was number 28 –  Mary Barber from Monyash.

Finally and sadly, we end by saying that Alistair is stepping down from the position of Parish Chair at our next AGM.  He says he has thoroughly enjoyed the experience but feels other pressures mean he must relinquish the post.  We have all felt that during his office the village has been in safe hands and that he has done an excellent job. We must now elect a successor at the Parish Meeting  AGM on April 13th. So, can we all ask, cajole or arm – twist any one of the many suitable people who live in our village to continue the good work??

Sheldon Jottings for October 2015

Most of the hay and silage is now in after such a dismal summer of showery weather – what a nightmare for our farmers…Talking of showers, did you view the night sky around the 13th August to watch the annual Perseid meteor showers?  We saw 4 – not exactly a shower but still an incredible sight!

The last Cream Tea afternoon of the year was on Bank Holiday Sunday 30th August. It was very busy and thus a great success, raising a profit of £280 for Village Hall funds – the best yet. We seem to have many regulars and not just locals so thank you to all who support in this way and to all those who help on the day and to those who put up the all-important advertising on the roadsides.

The Parish Meeting on August 19th discussed our very poor broadband service. Well we now have exciting news about getting faster broadband in the village. After being told by Derbyshire County Council broadband team at the meeting that it was unlikely that BT would be improving the village infrastructure before 2017 (at the earliest), and the ongoing broadband interference problems being experienced by everyone, we have decided to look for help elsewhere. Thankfully, a local company has come to the rescue, W3Z based in Ripley, who can provide a superfast wireless broadband solution to many villages in the Peak District. W3Z does not rely on dodgy BT cables and it can provide your telephone service (keeping your existing number). If everything goes according to plan, W3Z engineers will be installing the necessary equipment on those houses that have signed up just as these jottings drop through your letter box!

Other items included at the Parish Meeting were the proposed defibrillator – more monies are coming in and another big thank you to the Masonic Padley Lodge for helping us.

The new seat is now in situ and should last a long lifetime. Details of the monies raised from Sheldon Day to facilitate our village life and its amenities will be discussed at the next meeting on Wednesday 14th October.

We have some very sad news to report this month – Nigel died on the 28th August. We send our sincere condolences to all the family. Nigel had been poorly for some time but only latterly was he diagnosed having a liver disease and also Crohn’s disease. He took an active part in our village life but largely behind the scenes – he was a stalwart of the Planning Committee who so often needed his wise counsel. We will miss you greatly Nigel. Mickey would like to thank John who was a big help in the family’s hour of need. Also Mickey says thank you for cracking the safe!  Regrettably, Nigel’s funeral is to be just after the deadline for these jottings.

The winner of The 100 Club Draw for September was Emma Mosley from Buxton with no.23.

Last but not least we welcome Ben Everet who has moved into Clover Cottage. We hope you will be very happy here.

Dates for the Diary

Wednesday 14th October 7.30pm
Parish Meeting in the Village Hall

Wednesday 21st October 7.30pm
Sheldon History Group in the Village Hall

Defibrillator Donation

The members of Padley Lodge and the Freemasons of Derbyshire have donated £500 to the purchase of a defibrillator to the residents of Sheldon.

W.Bro Alan Clark presenting the £500 to Mrs Charlotte Swift (Treasurer of Sheldon Parish Meeting)

W.Bro Alan Clark presenting the £500 to Mrs Charlotte Swift (Treasurer of Sheldon Parish Meeting)

This important piece of equipment can mean the difference between life and death, as following a cardiac arrest the chance of survival decreases by 23% per minute. It is therefore very important medical treatment starts as soon as possible. The UK Resuscitation Council suggests a defibrillator should be available wherever medical treatment is more than 5 minutes away. In practical terms this means the whole of the UK; of course we would much rather it never had to be used!

W.Bro. Alan Clark Charity Steward from Padley Lodge said: “We support our local community whenever possible, and this donation will contribute towards the cost of a Defibrillator for the community of Sheldon.