Sheldon Jottings for September 2016

What a fabulous Fell Race evening and a super Sheldon Day.

A  record 216 entries for the Fell Race and a wonderfully warm and calm evening made for probably the best fell race ever. Thanks of course to all the hard work put in by Phil organising the event and the expertise of Jo, Jenny, Marlene and Pat signing in and recording so many runners, the event was a miracle of slick organisation. Due to the often forgotten car parking crew and the Marshals  positioned around the 4 mile course, it all went without a hitch. Thanks to the expertise of Al and the recorders at the end of the race,  everyone very quickly had their positions and times.

This year the winner was Jack Ross from Staffordshire Midlands Club in a time of 23 minutes 54 seconds. The first lady was Steph Curtis from the Pennine Club in 30:13. The first local runner was Matt Nichols from Bakewell in 27:42. Well done to them and all who ran. The event raised a cool £1080! Well done Phil and all his crew.

Then Sheldon Day dawned fine and what a day!  The visitors just kept coming – numbers must have been a record. Spare a thought for those who parked a record number of cars – well done lads!  All went without a hitch – well nearly!  The baker only started to bake the scones for cream teas at 11o’clock, so they arrived, still warm, 5 minutes before the doors were due to open. Have you ever tried to put cream on warm scones? They were put in the fridge to cool – so all was well and everyone enjoyed them immensely!

As people streamed into the village the cake stall was a magnet as usual, selling more cakes, jams and chutneys  than ever. As they headed for the playing field, having a try at Splat the Rat, Find the Golden Nail, the Lucky Dip  then visiting all the stalls on the way, the band added that English summer time feel to the day .Many always feel drawn to our little Church and they were hugely rewarded with that powerful sense of calm and a  magnificent flower display. Then Stephen sat down to play the organ – a lovely touch which was completely spontaneous – the Church became packed.

If you managed to get to the playing field you will have seen the many popular attractions including a wonderful display of vintage cars and tractors, animals, a magician, the dog show and so much else. All those who organised the day and those who took part in whatever capacity – and there were many unsung heroes – can be justly proud of what our small village achieved. The grand total of £4,143 (after expenses) was a record. But what was even more impressive was the number of people who said that the village had given them a truly wonderful day out.  Well done Sheldon!!!

We hear that Lindsey’s Springer Spaniel, Beau, has given birth to 8 puppies. All are doing well, although things must be pretty hectic in that household!  All have good homes to go to. There is also a new dog called Gyp at Top Farm  who will be helping Oliver with the work around the farm.

In July the History Group was invited by the Peak District Mines Historical Society to a small celebration at Magpie Mine as they had secured lottery money to do urgent repair work on one of the chimneys. Some dignitaries were also there and as the scaffolding was already in situ we were able (suitably dressed in high viz vests and hard hats) to follow a guide and climb to the top to see the work going on. Believe us it was a brilliant  adventure and the 360 degree views were tremendous.

BOOK LAUNCH – September 21st  at the first Sheldon History Group meeting a new book will be launched.   ‘FW GOES TO WAR’ by Brian Greasley tells the story of Frederick Brocklehurst, the father of Tom Brocklehurst of Ashford. It is thanks to Tom and his generosity, foresight and knowledge that the book was written.  FW was born in Sheldon, lived at Woodbine Farm, went to Sheldon School and at 13 left to work on his father’s farm. The book tells of work in the village up to 1914 when FW volunteered to join the army to fight in WW1.  This 182 page book with numerous illustrations uses the archive of over 250 letters he wrote to his sister Clarice,  plus the diary he kept, to give a vivid account of what it was like to be an ordinary front line soldier during 4 years of war.

FW arrived in France as a member of the Grenadier Guards in October 1915 and was wounded in the Battle of the Somme 11 months later. The book, through the letters and diary, recounts stories of other men from the village who served, and the happenings and concerns of the village during this traumatic time. After returning to England to recover from his wounds he went back to France to join his Battalion, served in the trenches and suffered from a gas attack in the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. He spent his convalescence in the north of England where he met his future wife, Rose, finishing his service as a Guards Physical and Musketry Instructor.

Come to Sheldon Village Hall at 7.30 on 21st September to help us launch this delightful book – with tea, coffee or a glass of wine and small buffet. You will be able to buy a copy of the book for just £5 and gain other insights into this remarkable story.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for July was Ben Hatcher with no 8 and for August it was Oliver with no 2.  Congratulations both!

Sheldon Jottings for June 2016

We all heard the very sad news in April that Ian Fletcher had died suddenly. He appeared to be making a good recovery at home after having heart surgery, when he was taken ill and rushed into hospital.  Ian spent his whole life in the village and had farmed at Johnson Lane Farm for much of that time. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the village and local area and the folk who lived here. He often attended the History Group meetings with Peter and Christine. Our thoughts go to Doris and the family at this sad time.

The weather continues to alternately please and then disappoint, but one bright spot in the village are the plants for sale again outside Yew Tree House – a sure sign of spring. The swallows and house martins duly arrived in mid to late April but once more there seem to be fewer than in the past.  The village seems to come alive again at this time of year with daffodils on the greens, the sounds of lambs and lawn mowers, the cows out in the fields – all sights we have waited for throughout the long winter. One sad note about ‘our’ pair of beautiful song thrushes – they seem to have lost two of their fledglings within two days of each other. They were almost fully grown but were found in different areas and one had obviously flown into a window.

Our second Cream Tea Day on May 1st raised over £230 for the Village Hall funds – another very creditable effort. Well done and thanks to all those involved particularly to Pat and Wendy and to young William. Also to those husbands who stepped in to help at the last minute because illness had created a ‘staff shortage’!  The splendid new sign on the gate certainly takes us into new realms of advertising!

Also because of illness, the Bunting Evening was also depleted. (This horrid virus has really been very difficult to shake off).  However, 5 ladies did manage to make it and many more metres of bunting were created to replenish our stock for Sheldon Day. Thank you ladies.

Plans for Sheldon Day on Saturday 23rd July are now well advanced and we hear that a new caterer is due to sustain our visitors with delicious home-made beefburgers, bacon sandwiches and a hog roast.

This month the History Group will be visiting Horsborough – a Romano-British site at the ‘bottom’ of Deep Dale where, incidentally the display of cowslips and orchids are again a delight.  Little is generally known about this site and, led by Ralph, we have the opportunity to learn more of its secrets. We will meet at White Lodge car park at 7.00pm on June 15th. This will be the last meeting of the year and our thanks go to all involved in making this such a successful village activity.

We have had another burglary in the village where certain items were taken from outbuildings during the night. Fortunately, the culprits were soon caught red-handed with the items and they were subsequently arrested.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for May was no 4 – Jane Slater. The draw is now entering its second year and Kath would like to gently remind people to please renew their payment. Remember you have to be in it to win it!

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Wednesday June 8th – Sheldon Parish Meeting in the Village Hall 7.30pm
Wednesday June 15th – Sheldon History Group at White Lodge car park 7.00pm
Wednesday June 23rd – EU Referendum voting in Village Hall 7am – 10.00pm

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 January 2016

When you receive this Parish Magazine it will be the beginning of January 2016 so we wish you all, together with our friends in Ashford, a very Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Actually, as we write this it is the 12th of December and the Christmas decorations are going up, cards are being written, festive meals are being planned and for the children the excitement about Santa’s visit is mounting. We have yet to enjoy our Nativity and the Midnight Mass.

We had a very enjoyable wreath making evening led by Lindsey, helped enormously with plenty of mulled wine and mince pies!  Now our front doors are ‘dressed’ and many of our houses and gardens have decorative lights and look so welcoming.

At the Parish Meeting we were told our main street village trees had had a safety inspection – important not just for the people living nearby but also for insurance purposes. The defibrillator which we will have from the British Heart Foundation, will probably be attached to the wall in the middle of the village near the bus stop and the public notice board. We will then have a quick training session to become familiar with the equipment. We are told no-one need worry about how to use it as it really is so very easy!

The village has already had its first (2.5cms) snow but thankfully it disappeared within a day. We have also had high winds, rain and more rain, murk and frosts, the latter causing the first collision with ‘that’ wall on the bend near the bottom of Kirk Dale. Oh dear – here we go again. Do remember our road and Kirk Dale will only be gritted by DCC as a last resort when all other ‘more important’ roads have been treated.  Also DDDC will now only provide piles of grit by the roadside for a hefty price – a double whammy for us. We are hoping to buy some cheaper elsewhere.

The History Group had a very interesting and thorough talk given by David Windle on the Ashford Marble Works which were situated at the bottom of Kirk Dale. If you were not there you missed learning about the skill of the craftsmen who worked here doing this intricate inlaid work which is now rare. If any of you have some the Group would love to see it but you can go to Buxton Museum to see some beautiful examples.

Dave and Gill have recently returned from Yalova in Turkey where they witnessed first hand the plight of many refugees – Iraqis, Iranians and Syrians forced to flee for a variety of reasons. Each refugee has a tale to tell of suffering and loss and a very difficult journey. ‘We were helping with the distribution of winter stoves to help keep them warm, of baby milk, nappies, fuel and food supplies, and listening to their stories. We went to one makeshift home where about 30 Kurdish Syrians are living in 2 semi-derelict bungalows, many barefoot kids running around simply wanting a hug, one very sick lady in a room warmed by one of the new heaters. We were served tea and they told us the story of their escape, walking from village to village as IS moved in and destroyed the place they had called home for centuries.

On another occasion we met one young Arab, about 20 years old, who showed us the scars on his chest where IS had punished him with electric shocks for smoking.  We heard for ourselves the atrocities of IS – every refugee has a story of sadness, of violence, of loss. We met 2 teenage girls whose mother had died on the journey, now they have no-one. Yet for all these sad stories we also heard stories of hope and of great generosity like the Iraqi Pastor who had escaped kidnap and fled for his life with his young family, now working to help these refugees; like the Pastor who had found the young man wounded by IS living on the street in Istanbul and arranged for him to go to the Yalova project where he is slowly rebuilding his life. Some of these people will face death if they return to their homeland because of their faith, others have no homeland left to return to. It was a privilege to hear their stories, to meet such brave and courageous people.’

If you would like to know more or would like to support this work please get in touch with Gill.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for December was Elizabeth Fisher.

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Wednesday January 20th in the Village Hall at 7.30pm
History Group talk – Our House

Sheldon Jottings for December 2015

It was with great sadness that we heard that Adrienne Blackshaw had passed away on 25th October. Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time. Adrienne had lived in Sheldon all her life and for over 30 years she had acted as a Church Warden. At services she always had a welcoming smile for newcomers and invariably led the singing with a wonderfully clear voice. She was never happier than when her family was gathered around her, or visitors called to pass the time of day. At midday there was always a post van parked outside the house as generations of postmen were welcomed for tea, cake and a gossip!

Adrienne’s funeral, held on 6th November, was a true celebration of her life. The service, led by her nephew the Rev. Chris Blackshaw, was extremely well attended. Pictures of her life shown on a big screen illustrated the importance of her family in her life, and a refreshingly lively account of her life and character was given by the Rev. and was much appreciated. Adrienne is interred close to the door of the little Church she loved so much and to which she wished all donations in her memory to be given

The Remembrance Day service saw another good congregation as we remembered those who fell in the service of their country, particularly the five young men from our little village who are commemorated on the memorial in the Church. The wreath was laid by Steve (Emma Gregory’s fiancé), who has just returned from service in the Falklands.

The Playing Field is shortly to have a set of football goal posts and, it is hoped, two horse chestnut trees to supplement the variety of trees already planted there. We have been asked to request that anyone practising golf on the field to please take all their golf balls home with them, The mower throws them up and they present a danger to those cutting the grass and anyone else nearby.

Have you joined the happy band of people in the village who now have superfast wireless broadband provided by W3Z? They say the service is so fast now and they can do so much more via their computer, even watch a film or two.

At this time of year there are a busy round of activities in the village. There is a Christmas Wreath Night led by Lindsey on the 7th and a Table Decoration Night led by Angela on the14th. Two very enjoyable occasions.

The History Group is having its annual ‘Christmas Do’ on the 16th… The entertainment is again being provided by Simon Unwin with his unique blend of slides, music and storytelling. All you need to do is to bring yourself and some ‘eats’ to enjoy a very entertaining evening.

We hope as many people as possible will attend our bi-annual Nativity, led by Canon Tony. We leave the Church to re-enact the Christmas story with readings and carols as we walk through the village to the barn/stable at Top Farm to meet the baby Jesus lying in a manger. This truly atmospheric event, to which everyone is invited, will be held on Sunday 20th December at 4:00pm. There will also be a Midnight Mass on 24th December at 11:30pm…a perfect start to Christmas.

Amid all this activity we must not forget that there is a Parish Meeting on Wednesday 9th December, we look forward to meeting you there.

The winner of the Church Draw for November is Mary Barber from Monyash.

We wish everyone a very happy and enjoyable Christmas…including Bernard, the Top Farm, ultimately very lucky, top turkey!

Dates for the Diary

Monday December 7th in the Village Hall at 7:30pm
Wreath Making Night

Wednesday December 9th in the Village Hall at 7:30pm
Parish Meeting

Monday December 14th in the Village Hall at 7:30pm
Table Decoration Night

Wed December 16th in the Village Hall at 7:30pm
History Group ‘Christmas Do’

Sunday December 20th at 4pm in the Church
Village Nativity

Thursday December 24th at 11:30pm in the Church
Midnight Mass