The story of Sheldon’s school…now available in paperback!

Village resident and author Brian Greasley has written a super little book entitled ‘This remote little school – the story of Sheldon National School open from 1878 to 1935′. Those of us who were at his talk on Wednesday evening were able to buy a copy – it was a lovely big surprise for us all. If you were not able to come to either of Brian’s talks you have missed a treat.

Brian’s book is priced at £10, or £5 for Sheldon residents (excluding postage).

If you would like to buy a copy please get in touch with Brian using the form below. Be quick, they are selling fast and there are only a limited number!


Sheldon Jottings for December 2013

After so much rain here over the last few weeks we were treated to one or two frosty mornings, creating black ice. As we all know, Kirk Dale can be treacherous in bad weather, not only because it is a long steep hill but there are narrow, severe bends nearer the bottom and no pedestrian pathway. Already we have had a car collision – into the lovely new wall being rebuilt. So, the thorny question of whether high altitude Sheldon should have a decent council gritting service is raised once again as winter approaches.

We hear that Noel is settling in to a new home at Ashgate. We wish him well and Happy Birthday on Christmas Day. Adrienne continues to cope well with her worsening sight problem, even to the extent she can still do much of the housework – all those brasses get polished regularly she told us.

Next year it will be 100 years since the outbreak of the first world war and the BBC will be launching a programme on this. BBC Radio Derby have been collecting information in our area because of Sheldon’s famous Maria Gyte Diaries, and Anne and Brian have given short interviews; the programme is due to be shown next February.

This month we have a note from Alice Ford, daughter of Andy and Angie at Lower Farm:

Having recently returned from Durban, South Africa, I am now living with my parents whilst on the hunt for a new job. I am very much enjoying my time in Sheldon, especially as it’s the first time I have actually stayed here, but having swapped monkeys and the odd snake for sheep and the occasional pheasant, it’s definitely going to take a little adjusting to. I won’t even begin to comment on the weather! I am a programme manager in the international development field and have been very lucky to work in both Swaziland and S. Africa over the past 4 years.  I’ve had some incredible experiences, having travelled to Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and around S. Africa, with some beautiful photos to go along with it – perhaps I could put a few up on the website? I look forward to meeting you all in the village and I’m sure the Christmas season will provide plenty of opportunities.

Please note, there will be no Christmas Day Church Service or Sheldon Light Up this year.

A very Happy Christmas to you all and to all our friends in Ashford.


Tuesday 3rd December
Vicar’s Coffee Morning in village hall at 10.00

Wednesday 18th December
History Group Christmas ‘do’. Simon Unwin will entertain us with history stories

Sunday 22nd December
Nativity Procession. Start 4.00pm at church and finish at Top Farm in the Barn – with refreshments

Tuesday 24th December
Christmas Eve Service in Church at 6.00pm

Sheldon Jottings for November 2013

Hurray! Church News is being revived with a new Editor – Ann Ashcroft – who has bravely taken the helm. We wish her all the best in this endeavour. The little magazine forms an important link between the Church and the people in the parishes of Ashford and Sheldon and a vital link between the people of the two villages. Contributions please must be with Bron or Brian by the 16th of the month, so the 16th November for the December issue.

Autumn is well and truly upon us, the cold weather arrived in October, the days are getting so much shorter, the winter coats are on, piles of grit have appeared in the dale, the Christmas cards and presents are in the shops and the cattle are looking forward to being inside for the winter season if they have not been brought in already. If you are eligible and have not yet booked your flu jab at the surgery, now is the time to do so, it’s well worth the few minutes it takes.

Peter, Sarah and Harriet are settling in to their new house after their visit to Scotland and the Galloway cow, given as a wedding present, has duly produced a beautiful Belted Galloway calf.

The phone box outside the ‘Cock and Pullet’ looks very splendid having been painted in its traditional red by BT. The gold crowns at the top look particularly grand. The Hall too has had a facelift, the floor has been renovated and the hall has been painted, it all looks very nice, well done Trustees.

We all woke up on the 15th October to a dry Sheldon as there was no water in the taps. Severn Trent dug holes to fix the problem (a burst main), two water tankers appeared in the village, sales of bottled water at the Co-op rocketed and residents were discussing the merits of water from the ‘pot boil’ and the Wye at Sheepwash Bridge! Luckily normality was restored by evening.

At the Parish Meeting held on October 9th the proceeds of Sheldon Day, some £3,600 was allocated. After subtracting the expenses and the money required to fund next year’s extravaganza, £3000 was divided equally between the Village Hall, the playing field and the Church. These funds are crucial if we are to maintain these village amenities. The Meeting endorsed Andrews heartfelt thanks to all those who helped in any way to make this year’s Day such a resounding success. Sheldon Day next year, 2014, will be on Saturday 19th July, and the Fell race on Thursday 17th July.

The Harvest Festival was celebrated with a very pleasant service at the Church which Julia decorated with the produce provided by members of the village. This was donated to Newholme Hospital.

PCSO Hayley Grundy and PC Ian Hyde from the Bakewell Safer Neighbourhood Team cover our village and can be contacted on Bakewell SNT Tel: 101. PC Ian Hyde will be attending our next Parish Meeting on December 11th to talk about Operation Illuminate. PCSO Hayley Grundy is keen to sign up residents for Derbyshire Alert (former Ringmaster). This is a free service that the police provide to send e-mails, texts or telephone calls to keep you updated about anything that is happening in your area. The easiest way to sign up is via or you can obtain a form from Hayley to complete.

Dates for the Diary


Brian will be continuing the story of Sheldon Village School, which became Hartington Memorial Hall (the Village Hall). There will be a quick recap of the first part of the story if you missed the first meeting. The illustrated story is told mainly in the words of those involved. The Teachers, pupils, Inspectors and Managers tell of the ups and downs of a typical village school in the Derbyshire Dales in the early years of the 20th century. Refreshments provided. All welcome.

Sheldon Jottings for October 2013

As this lovely Summer draws to a close and Autumn approaches, we are enjoying late season sunshine and are getting up to misty mornings with those wonderful views of fog in the Wye valley with the sun on the hills beyond. The butterflies, Peacocks. Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, and Whites have all been seen on the buddleia and sedum plants in the gardens. Twenty one partridges were seen crossing the road at the top of the village joining the hens in foraging for food.

The bushes and trees are laden with fruit after this wonderful summer, blackberries in the hedgerows and the Mountain Ash trees looking resplendent with their red berries. For those plants which flowered early and were caught by the late cold weather, however, the story is a different one, there is almost a complete lack of sloes and only a poor crop of damsons on some trees this year.

Peter and Sarah were married on Saturday September 7th in All Saints Church, Mackworth. It was a wonderfully happy occasion, the setting was stunning and so was the bride, little Harriet was so pretty and Peter looked the happiest man alive. The church, which stands amongst fields, was beautifully decorated with spectacular floral displays. The simple, but moving service was attended by a large congregation of family and friends, some of whom had come from as far away as Scotland.

Afterwards the well wishers and the newly married couple attended a champagne reception at Langley Meynell a beautiful country house with extensive views towards Derby. Many of the guests also came to the new house in Sheldon for an informal gathering on the Sunday.  The Belted Galloway in the field behind their new home was one of their wedding presents, and is due to calve before Christmas. We look forward to welcoming Peter, Sarah and Harriet when they move to Sheldon in the near future.

The History Group Meeting on the 18th October was a great success, with friends from Great Longstone History Group joining us to listen to Ken Smith from the Peak Park give a fascinating talk about the recent discoveries and work to preserve the ancient monuments in the Park. From the discovery of a long barrow bronze age burial mound exposed when the waters of the reservoirs in the Derwent Valley were at their lowest to the amazing discoveries at Fin Cop and liberally illustrated with slides, the talk was enjoyed by all, as were the tea and cakes which were served during the evening.

We hear that Pauline is to leave us. She has finally decided to take the plunge and retire to her new house in Ireland before Christmas. She will long be remembered not only for her work in the village, on Sheldon Days, for the ‘Light up’, for the cream she always gave to Cream Teas and the wonderful scones she arranged to be delivered, but also for all the small ways she was always on hand to help people in the village. ‘Pauline’s been!’ was an early morning call in many households, part of life’s daily routine, always said with added emphasis on all those cold, snowy and icy mornings when we were not venturing out but somehow the milk would arrive on our doorstep. She will be sorely missed. We wish her well.

We hear that Claire’s fortieth birthday party went well. Congratulations Claire from us all!

Dates for the Diary



For the past year Brian Greasley has been researching the story of Sheldon School which was open from 1878 to 1935 and is now our village hall. This is the first of two illustrated talks during which Brian will speak about the building of the school, its opening, the mistresses and their successes and failures and the children and their highs and lows, misdemeanours, and punishments. Here is a chance to hear about a piece of the history of our small village not told before, much of it in the words of the people who were there.


Sunday 8th October – 9:00am Holy Communion
Sunday 15th September – 9:00am Holy Communion

Ancient Monuments in the National Park

We have Ken Smith, the Peak District National Park Authority‘s Senior Conservation Officer, coming to give us a talk this coming Weds 18th Sept at 7.30pm in Sheldon Village Hall. The illustrated talk is on Ancient Monuments in the National Park.

Ken is, of course, the top ‘conservation man’ (not in the “planning” sense) and he is always very interesting!  We will gain from yet another new perspective on the area in which we live.

Do join us – you are all very welcome.  We always have tea and home-made cake!