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

Sheldon Jottings for July 2015

Congratulations to all those involved in Ashford well dressing festival. The dressed wells as always were superb, the flower festival in the church was exquisite, the exhibition in the old school was a delight, the teas scrumptious and the sheep dipping…wet!!! We were pleased to hear that volunteers from Sheldon joined in, Angela with a wonderful flower arrangement ‘The Pennine Way’, Bron and Georgina with dressing the ‘Magna Carta’ well and Ralph with the exhibition – we hear he even sold a painting!!

The cream teas on the 24th May was a great success and attracted discerning customers in good numbers including a couple of walking parties – with the help of the ever popular produce table the event raised over £200 for the Village Hall funds; well done Lindsey and all who helped.

We hear that Angela Warren was confirmed last month by the Bishop of Derby, Bishop Alastair in Bakewell Church, best wishes Angela.

The Sheldon church fund lottery was won by Mick Johnson from Ashford – his number 35 won him £50!

As we have reported in earlier editions of jottings that Sheldon is committed to follow Ashford’s example to install a defibrillator – we already have some money donated towards buying one but more is needed. Alistair is establishing a small group to raise the funds required. If you would like to be a member of this group could you please contact Alistair Warren.

We were sorry to hear that Mark Witherall is leaving us to take up a new post in Devon. Mark has been writing the Nature Watch blog on this website which over the last few years we have all been reading so avidly. The articles have been as educational as they have been entertaining, we have learnt so much about our local flora and fauna. Many thanks Mark from us all and we all send our best wishes for the future.

The annual extravaganza that is Sheldon Day on Saturday 25th July is well on track and plans are in hand for an even greater than usual feast of fun. If you are not involved and would like to be please let Andrew know  Any help to put up the bunting from around 6:30pm on Tuesday 21st July will be gratefully received.

Don’t forget that the annual Fell Race on Thursday 23rd July, Phil will be contacting the usual helpers no doubt, but if anyone else would like to give a hand please let Phil know, the more the merrier! Come and support all the brave souls who run the very demanding course.

The History Group will have a stall/exhibition on Sheldon Day. If anyone would like to help, or exhibit artefacts or memorabilia, please let Ralph know. There will be no formal History Group meeting in July or August, the next meeting will take place as usual on the third Wednesday of the month, Wednesday 16th September.

Dates for the Diary

Tuesday 21st July  – 6:30pm
Bunting Evening

Thursday 23rd July – 7:30pm
Fell Race

Saturday 25th July – 2pm onwards
Sheldon Day

Sunday August 30th – 2-5pm in the Village Hall
The final Bank Holiday Cream Tea of the year

Wednesday 16th September – 7:30pm
History Group Meeting in the Village Hall

Sheldon Jottings for May 2015

We were all extremely upset to hear of the death of John Lomas-Cousins on 21st March after a long illness. We all knew John for his willingness to stop for a chat and his cheerful greetings for everyone he met. The funeral service and interment held on 1st April in our church, was led by Canon Tony Kaunhoven who spoke warmly of John’s life from catering college in Sheffield to his work in several catering establishments. The Rev Peter Davis also officiated. It was attended by so many friends and family that there was not room for everyone in the church. Afterwards refreshments were served in ‘The Cock and Pullet’. We have lost a friend and special member of our community and our thoughts are with Michelle at this very difficult time.

The Easter Service in our church, led by the Rev Peter Davis, was very well attended and included friends from California. It was good to see such a large congregation for this important date in the Christian calendar.

We heard our first curlew this year on 5th April during the wonderful Easter week we all enjoyed. Whilst looking for this bird Julia saw a swallow, perhaps just passing through, but the first of many we hope will have arrived here by the time you read this. There seemed to be fewer swallows and house martins in the village last year – perhaps more will successfully make the hazardous journey this Spring.

The History Exhibition held on 21st and 22nd March was a great success and many members of the village came to see photographs and information about the Sheldon Hoard, The Marble Works, The Water Supply and High Days and Holidays. There was also a fine display of old tools and curios, flints and pottery. Sheldon is a remarkable small village with a wealth of history to keep us all fascinated. Our thanks go to the History Group for such a fine effort and for educating us all.

The first Cream Tea of the year took place on Easter Sunday. It was a glorious day with people sitting outside the Hall enjoying their tea, the weather and the beauty of the setting. A table top sale of the most wonderful homemade produce was a magnet for visitors. It looked magnificent and the realistic prices meant that trade was brisk. Over £250 was raised for Hall funds – well done everyone. The next Cream Tea is to be on Sunday 3rd May and yet another on Whit Sunday 24th May. Two more dates for the Diary and a tea so delicious that we are sure you will never forget!

We would like to welcome Marie to the village and to our community. She has moved into South View Cottage and we hope she will enjoy living in beautiful Sheldon.

The Parish Meeting AGM was held on 8th April and we are pleased to report that Alistair has agreed to remain as our Chair and Richard has agreed to remain as our Secretary for the coming year. We thank them, particularly Alistair for his excellent work in guiding the village through the last 12 months and send them best wishes for the year to come. Alan brought a cheque for £250 on behalf of Padley Lodge Freemasons to kick start donations to fund a defibrillator for the village. Well done and thanks to Alan and the Freemasons.

Dates for the Diary

Cream Teas – Sunday 24th May at 2pm in the Village Hall
Yet another chance to enjoy one of the best cream teas you will ever have!