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.

Sheldon Jottings for January 2014

Happy New Year everyone! We hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and have made all those New Year resolutions which no doubt we will all break! Unfortunately the deadlines for the Magazine do not let us report on the Christmas Nativity procession through the village and the festive season – more in next months jottings.

The “Great Gale” at the beginning of December certainly hit Sheldon hard, ripping off the side of a barn, taking tiles from roofs, blowing out the glass from a greenhouse not to mention the branches and trees damaged by the terrific wind. But apart from that Autumn and early Winter have treated us kindly so far – but we are still without gritting so we must hope that the rest of the Winter continues the same way.

Has anyone else noticed the flocks of starlings flying south over the village at sunrise and back again in the twilight each evening? They are apparently roosting overnight at the lagoons on Middleton Moor. A couple of residents have commented on the fact that the number of small birds, especially the sparrows and blue tits seemed to have declined this Winter and that the sparrowhawk has been particularly active. Is there a connection, or is it the normal predations of Winter?

We extend a hearty Sheldon welcome to Charlotte and Richard who have moved into Devonshire View, it was wonderful to see Charlotte attending and participating so wholeheartedly at the December Parish Meeting.

Brian’s book about the school here in Sheldon, This Remote Little School, has virtually sold out and looks as if it will need to be reprinted, still one or two copies if anyone wants one. He has even had an order from Japan! Ah, the wonders of the internet!

January and February are usually quiet months in Sheldon, except for the weather! However the History Group meets as usual. A cheery welcome is extended to anyone who would like to join us – it is always interesting and Julia’s cake is worth turning out for on its own! The Group meets on the third Wednesday of each month, so why not come and join us.

Dates for the Diary

Wednesday January 15th – History Group Meeting – 7:30 in the Village Hall. We will be showing a DVD of The Peak District on Film. There are a series of beautiful amateur and professional archive films which have been enhanced and re-edited to illustrate what life was like in our spectacular National Park in the past. We invite you to come and join us – our meetings are open to all.

No Vicars coffee morning this month.