Sheldon Jottings for May 2014

It is April 14th as we write and Julia saw our first swallow on April 9th. They faithfully come thousands of miles each year, back to the barn off Johnson Lane. It is just so incredible to think they fly so far. We hope that more will soon follow.

The dairy cows will soon be going back to their summer pastures after the winter inside. Have you watched them when first let loose – they are jumping about wildly then gorging on the fresh grass – so, so happy to be free again – a sight to behold.

We have a new Chair of the Parish Meeting – Georgina has relinquished the role after 15 very successful months following on from John’s tenure of office. We are all sad to see her go as she has done such a wonderful job, but needs to place her energies elsewhere. Good luck and thank you for all your hard work Georgina. Alistair has been elected to take on the role. We wish him all the best and can assure him of the support of all of us in the coming months.

The Parish Meeting was held in the village hall as usual, complete with its new and very smart radiators which are part of the ongoing refurbishment. Decorating will take place shortly and new curtains will complete the job. We were reminded that Sheldon Day is on Saturday July 19th and the team is already working on the details with Angie looking after the raffle this year. That great social occasion – Bunting Evening will take place in the next few weeks so look out for that. Do come along, it is great fun as well as contributing yards, or should it be metres, to our bunting!

The Blackshaw family are pleased to have Diane, Kelvin and their two children over here from New Zealand for a month’s holiday. Diane went out to NZ many years ago now to be a shepherdess and comes to visit her family back in Sheldon whenever she can. Welcome back for your holiday Diane.

We have planted 2 apple trees on the playing field, they are within the grove of trees nearest to the playground. Being Sheldon, they are no ordinary apple trees as they need to cope with the playing field climate, even though we hope they will have a bit of shelter. They are Bardsey Island Apple. Bardsey Island is a lonely, windswept island off the tip of the Lleyn peninsular in north Wales. It has long been a venue for pilgrims both pagan and Christian. A single gnarled old tree was discovered near the remains of the 13th century abbey in 1999. Hailed as the ‘rarest tree in the world’ it is perhaps all that remains of the monastic orchard. It is the only apple variety from the Celtic Welsh heartland. On the island both tree and fruit are completely disease free. The fruit is a medium sized eating apple, sweet and juicy with a unique lemon aroma and to be picked about the end of October. An exciting prospect!!

A new business has been opened by one of our busy villagers – Scoff Online – the brainchild of Amanda and her friend. They are providing meals to parties of 10 or more who come to the Peak District to stay in large holiday cottages and do not wish to cook for themselves. The meals look, and we are assured, taste terrific. We wish the enterprise luck, although with the number of orders already flooding in, signs are it will be a great success.

In March, Dave and Gill visited Tajikistan to meet Aid workers who have lived there for 15 years. They write:

Tajikistan is one of those ‘forgotten’ countries on the Silk Road, bordering Afghanistan, China and Uzbekistan – a mountainous, land- locked country in Central Asia with an inhospitable climate (-20c in winter to +40c in summer), influenced by Persians, Chinese and of course Russian occupation for most of the last century. The remains of Soviet influence are everywhere, drab concrete apartment blocks, concrete hospitals and schools, with an occasional red star or statue of Lenin still in existence. The black haired locals were generally friendly, amazed to see westerners, and spoke no English, staring as we walked about on muddy roads wrapped in our winter clothes. There are no cafes to stop for coffee, but delicious flat bread everywhere, bazaars that extended for acres, worn-out vehicles and groups of unemployed men (Tajiks provide the migrant workers for Russia). It was such an interesting visit, enabling us to learn about their culture, how we can support Aid workers in the field but also made us appreciate our western comforts’.

DIARY DATES

Sunday May 4th and Sunday May 25th – 2pm until 5pm
Cream Teas in the Village Hall

Tuesday May 6th
Vicar’s Coffee Morning in the Village Hall

Week beginning Monday May 12th (day not yet decided)
Bunting Evening in the Village Hall

Wednesday May 21st – 7:30pm
Sheldon History Group Meeting in the Village Hall.
Ray Slack will give an illustrated talk entitled “Taddington – the history of a village”. This will be followed in June with a walk around Taddington.

Sheldon Jottings for April 2014

As we write (16th March) we have had a lovely fine week with much sunshine but there has been an icy cold wind the last couple of days. The first lambs have been reported at Johnson Lane Farm but lambs are not expected until the beginning of April at Top Farm. The daffodils are just beginning to flower, the larks and our garden birds are singing again. In the wild, the cheery celandines, coltsfoot and butterbur flowers are now appearing. Roll on Spring!

However, Easter is coming and that means our first Cream Tea Sunday is on April 20th, Easter Sunday. Help is needed for this and for the following two Bank Holiday Sundays in May and the one at the end of August. Please volunteer if you can – it is 3 hours of enjoyable chat and fun whilst welcoming our village friends and supporters and the visitors to our lovely area. The Village Hall is undergoing some refurbishment and the Cream Tea monies are a considerable help towards the cost.

Our Parish Meeting and AGM is on April 9th so do come and perhaps volunteer for a role on one of the various committees.

Dear Reggie, the fox terrier friend of Angie and Andy, is absolutely bursting with pride as one of his immediate relatives was in the Grand Final at Crufts this year! Quite an achievement….

Did you know about the Farming Life Centre? It is a local farming charity and offers a free confidential advice service to farmers about business and farming matters. They also offer free support if there are health and wellbeing worries. Please do get in touch for more information on 01298 85162 or www.thefarminglifecentre.org.uk or [email protected] The Centre is based in the courtyard of farm buildings at Blackwell Hall Farm at Blackwell not too far from Sheldon.

DIARY DATES

Wednesday 9th April – Parish Meeting and AGM 7:30pm Village Hall

Wednesday 16th April – Sheldon History Group Meeting 7.30pm Village Hall
John Titterton of the Ashbourne Heritage Society will be talking to us about the ancient market town of Ashbourne and its many fine old buildings and customs. All very welcome

Sunday 20th April – Cream Teas 2pm – 5pm Village Hall

Sheldon Jottings for March 2014

The rain and wind continues to sweep in from the Atlantic and our hearts go out to those people in the south of the country whose homes have been flooded. We are all watching the River Wye and hoping it does not rise any higher, our thoughts are with our friends in Ashford. The storms have been a little less severe here but have still caused problems. The farmers are having great difficulty getting the manure and slurry onto the fields and opening the large barn doors which are acting like sails, and there has been some minor damage in the village. Let’s hope that it will all come to an end soon. On the plus side the late winter flowers, the snowdrops, aconites, hellibores and winter honeysuckle are out to cheer us, and the bird-song is quite spring-like now on fine days.

Despite the terrible weather on the night of the February Parish Meeting, it was one of the the worst nights of the year, the meeting was very well attended. Matthew Hutson who is the Peak Assessor Network Co-ordinator for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme attended this meeting. He gave a short but very informative talk and answered questions during a lively discussion.

We learnt that the Peak District hosts more groups than any other region in the country, in fact more than the next three areas, The Lake District, Snowdonia and The Yorkshire Dales, combined!  Indeed it is quite possible that even more groups will be coming to our part of the Peak District this year. The Scheme, it seems, is tightening up on its regulations and ‘control’ of groups participating in their Expedition section. However, it also became obvious that if there are issues like gates being left open or walls being knocked down, it is necessary to have clear evidence and the name of the school before any action is likely to be taken.

Two other points emerged from the Meeting. The lively Sheldon Day Group will be beginning its planning meetings shortly, if you would like to join them please contact Andrew. Secondly, if you need contact numbers in emergency for electricity, water etc they have been placed permanently on the excellent village website.

Last month a very well attended History Group Meeting viewed films shot in the Peak District in the first half of the last century, particularly in the 1930’s and 40’s. A very enjoyable and entertaining meeting was enhanced by some of the ‘pearls and shines’ i.e. senior members, ‘spotting’ people they recognised. Thanks go to Bron for arranging this excellent meeting.

During March the History Group will be holding its annual exhibition of artefacts, all found in and around the village, often as a result of some members engaging in their favourite pastime of ‘turning’ molehills to find out what the industrious little creatures have dug up! There will also be maps, old photographs, pottery, and many other objects of interest. You will be very welcome to pop in and look round, learn more about our lovely village and have a cup of tea, a bun and a chat on Saturday 22nd March and/or Sunday 23rd March. You will be very welcome.

Finally we hear the happy news that Pauline’s daughter, Georgina, is getting married in September – more later.

Dates for the Diary

March 4th Cock and Pullett
Vicar’s Coffee Morning
Your chance to have an informal chat with Canon Tony over a coffee and cakes

March 19th Hartington Memorial Hall 7:30pm
History Group Meeting
Preparation for Exhibition

March 22nd and 23rd Hartington Memorial Hall 10am to 4pm
Sheldon History Group Annual History Exhibition
An opportunity to see original artefacts, flints, pottery etc. found in the village.

Sheldon at War on BBC Radio Derby

Keen listeners to today’s BBC Radio Derby’s afternoon program will have heard a fantastic piece on the role that a Sheldon family played during World War One.

Maria Gyte, a resident of the village during wartime, kept a detailed diary of village life and how the war touched her family. Her son, Tony Gyte, was called-up to the Army in May 1917 at the age of 19, and killed near Ypres in Belgium six months later.

Brian Greasley and Ann Lomas talked to BBC Radio Derby about our village, the village school at which Maria was headmistress, and her wartime diary; an extract of the program can be heard below.

Sheldon Jottings – Extra

We hope you all had a really great Christmas.

The celebrations in Sheldon really started on the 17th with the ‘Old Folks’ Christmas Dinner at the ‘Cock and Pullet’. Thirteen of the over 65’s enjoyed the good company, excellent food, and good cheer at this annual event. The time passed all too quickly and Harold won the raffle. Thanks to Ralph for organising us all and Kath for her tremendous hospitality.

The following evening with the wind howling and the hail cracking against the windows a hardy group gathered in the Hall for the History Group’s annual Christmas get together. We were entertained and ‘educated’ by Simon Unwin with a slide and musical presentation interspersed with Simon reading his wonderfully evocative poetry. The whole was based on the story of the Magpie Mine and the surrounding landscape and was a real treat. Christmas food and drink followed and by the time we wended our way home the wind had dropped – or so it seemed!!

The Sunday before Christmas, and it was time for the Nativity procession through the village. It all started in the Church, where a large crowd had gathered, including many grandparents, relatives and friends who are always very welcome. As the Vicar was about to start, a donkey arrived to join us, it’s the first time we have seen Tony lost for words!! After being introduced to a charming Mary and Joseph, two year old Eliza and three year old George, and singing ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, thanks to Andrew H for playing the organ for us, we continued telling the Christmas story as we made our way to the ‘Cock and Pullet’. Here people left the warmth of the fire to join us in singing ‘O come all ye faithful’. With Alec playing the trumpet, William on the flute and Andrew Joly on the mandolin to accompany us, (thanks to them all, such a talented threesome!). After more carols, we arrived at Top Farm. The scene which met us was truly magical. Inside the barn were a sheep, hens, a turkey (yes! He’s still surviving!!), a calf and our donkey, were gathered around the manger with the star above it. Well done Top Farm, you created a wonderful Nativity that none of us will forget! The Christmas story reached its climax and Canon Tony gave us his blessing. Afterwards the memorable evening was ended with mulled wine and mince pies – thanks go to Julia, Michelle and Lindsey. Thanks to you all for turning out and taking part, even though it was so cold, to make this such a gloriously happy occasion which put us all in a festive mood. Only in Sheldon could one enjoy such a marvellous celebration of the Christmas story.

Christmas Eve saw many of us in church again for a candlelit Mass, led by Tony and Aaron. Lit only by the candles we were holding and those placed around the Church, the service was very atmospheric. A good sized congregation was swelled by some visitors to our village. Thanks again to Andrew H for playing the organ. Mulled wine and mince pies prepared and served by Julia, Michelle and Lindsey concluded a beautiful service.

Wow! What a lead up to Christmas in our lovely village!

A Happy and Healthy New Year to you all.