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.

Sheldon Jottings for September 2013

It is almost September and the last of the hay is in. The swallows and house martins are preparing to depart from Sheldon on their momentous journey south to warmer climes. Their exuberant chattering is a wonderful country sound and we are sad to see them go but we always look forward with great anticipation to their arrival again next Spring. A badger was seen snuffling its way down the village street the other evening. It eventually wound its way between the cottages to the fields so we hope it found its way home. We have had wonderful Summer weather this year and it has been marvellous to see so many grandchildren enjoying the delights of Sheldon especially the hens, cows and calves, sheep and lambs, horse and foal, dogs, pigs and of course Bernard!

The final Cream Tea Day of the year took place on August Bank Holiday Sunday and was another success with over £150 collected for village hall funds. After a false start the weather was kind in the afternoon with visitors sitting outside enjoying their teas. Our hard working band of helpers enjoy seeing and chatting with our ravenous customers (many of whom have walked a long way) – its just less interesting when you happen to be on washing up duty!

Sadly Ralph will no longer be delivering the Peak Advertiser which he has delivered voluntarily for the last 20 years in all weathers. This is a remarkable record and service to the community. His cheery whistle and friendly chats as he wended his way through the village on his rounds will be sorely missed. Ralph – many, many thanks. His round has been taken over by the Taberner family.

The £12,000 worth of building work on the Church is now complete. The building has had pointing work, renovated guttering and the undercroft entrance made safe and secure. The work has left the Church with nothing in the coffers so hard times lie ahead.

Our website goes from strength to strength and has reached 27,000+ hits over the last two years from all over the world! How can we possibly have so many avid readers? Is it nostalgia for village life we wonder? We, of course, know there are many disadvantages of rural living, but we, who live in Sheldon, know that the advantages considerably outweigh them.

After the shed break-ins in our area we must all be extra vigilant and think seriously about our security and of fitting a shed alarm. Drive and shed alarms are available at a cheap subsidised low cost from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team at Bakewell Police Station (open 9.00am – 1:00pm Mon – Sat).

The Parish Meeting held during the month decided not to allocate Sheldon Day funds until the meeting in October, when fewer of us will be on holiday. The equipment is now stored away in Ken’s barns ready for another year – we must thank Ken whole-heartedly not only for storing this not inconsiderable amount of ‘stuff’ but also again this year for the use of his fields for car parking. Sheldon Day could not operate successfully without the support and generosity of all the residents of the village.

Peter and Sarah are getting married on September 7th in All Saints Church, Mackworth, and hope soon to be in their lovely new home here on the farm. We wish them and Harriet a long and happy life together.

Dates for the Diary

History Group Meeting

Wednesday 18th September
7:30pm at Hartington Memorial Hall

Speaker – Ken Smith – Peak District National Park Authority’s Senior Conservation Officer. A rare chance to learn more about the Ancient Monuments of the Park and gain a new perspective  on the area in which we live.

Magpie Mine Open Day

Saturday 14th September
12:00pm – 5:00pm at Magpie Mine

The Peak District Mines Historical Society are running tours and have a stall selling mugs and publications, amongst other things. Why not wander over there, it is so much part of Sheldon’s history, and you never know you may join them in preserving our industrial heritage.

St Michael and All Angels

Tuesday September 3rd – 10:00am Vicar’s Coffee Morning at the Cock and Pullet
Sunday 8th September – 9:00am Holy Communion
Sunday 15th September – 9:00am Holy Communion
Sunday 29th September – 10:00am The Benefice Eucarist to celebrate St Michael and All Angels

Please respect, protect and enjoy our Village

Sheldon is a very popular place for visitors to pass through, and there are a number of walks that go through our beautiful village in all directions. We love the fact that visitors coming through stop at the village hall for one of our famous cream teas, and we are also of course very proud, as are our farmers, of our landscape including all of the dry stone walls that keep our fields in good order.

However, sometimes not everyone understands or realises the preciousness of our village, landscape and walls. Nor indeed do they realise how important it is when out in a working farming environment, to keep the walls and gates as they found them and not disturb the animals. Recent incidents noted by residents include damage/graffiti to village property, inconsiderate parking, people climbing over and on top of walls, children playing on silage bails, dropping litter, dog fouling amongst cattle, dogs killing sheep, and visitors swearing at local residents! It is also worth noting that some of the people in charge of visiting youth groups don’t set a very good example to their charges (allowing theirs dogs to run free in fields full of lambs, ignoring advice of landowners etc). We must stress that this is a minority of people, and it isn’t just/all youth groups who behave in this way.

We’d therefore like to remind everyone that, whilst visitors are very welcome, we’d ask them to keep to the countryside code and remember that ours is a working village, with the fields owned and worked by our local farmers. Please remember that the village street needs to be kept free of obstructions for farm machinery to pass, and that all of the green spaces in the village (with the exception of the playing field) are in private ownership; they aren’t car parks.

This might sound like nimby-ism, but please remember that it is perfectly possible on a busy weekend for our population to swell from 80 people to over 1000; we all want to enjoy the Peak District and our lovely village…why spoil it?

Sheldon Jottings for January 2013

We were all so sorry to hear that John Herbert had sadly passed away at Ashgate Hospice on Sunday 9th December, following a courageous battle with cancer.  This is a huge loss for our small, close-knit community, and we are all deeply saddened by the news.  John was very much a leader within our village, and someone who brought people together.  We will miss him greatly.

John, a retired Professor of Journalism who previously worked for the BBC, had served tirelessly as Chair of Sheldon Parish Meeting since 2002.  In this role he undertook a great deal: chairing meetings, compiling the newsletter, checking minutes, dealing with village correspondence, consulting residents and serving as Chair of the Village Hall Trustees.  As most of you will know, John compiled the wonderful Sheldon Jottings every month, which appeared not only in the Parish Magazine, but also on our village website and have been read by almost 18,000 people from all over the world during the last 18 months; a remarkable achievement!

But John was much more than simply Sheldon Parish Meeting Chair.  He performed a vital role leading the community and binding us together through both troubled and happier times.  He always made himself available for anybody to contact him, or ask for his help and advice.  He was approachable, open and honest.  Up until recently, John was also serving a third term as a Parish Member of the Peak District National Park Authority, having been elected by Parish Councils from across the National Park.  As a Parish Member of the Authority, he had a particular interest in issues of importance to people and communities across the National Park, such as planning and enforcement, and the rural economy.  Holding this position into a third term, illustrated the high regard in which John was held by Parish Councillors in the local area.

John gave up hundreds of hours of his precious time on an entirely voluntary basis, on behalf of our community, and 2012 marked his 10th year as Parish Chair.  In January 2012, John received a Matlock Mercury New Year Honours award for his community work.

At the time of writing, John’s funeral is due to take place at St. Michael and All Angels Church, Sheldon, on Friday 21st December.  Following the service, the whole community will come together for a celebration of John’s life in Sheldon Village Hall.  Our thoughts are very much with Margaret and the rest of John’s family at this sad time.

Our next jottings will report on the Sheldon Traditional Light-Up, which we very much look forward to and also the carol service in our beautiful church.  The next vicar’s coffee morning is on the first Tuesday in February in the Cock & Pullet.

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Jottings for June 2012

June 2nd, the start of the Diamond Jubilee weekend is a very special one for Alex and Gemma, who are getting married in our church that day. Gemma says they would welcome anyone from the village at the ceremony. They live in Sheffield, and saw a picture of our church when visiting Buxton. They came to the church, fell in love with it and the village, and determined to get married here. So all the best to Gemma and Alex for a very happy life together.

Cream teas on May Bank Holiday Sunday were a huge £240 success. The walkers were out in abundance; well done to the team! The next cream teas are on the Diamond Jubilee Sunday, June 3rd,  from 2pm in the Village Hall. Come and celebrate with a Sheldon cream tea!

Sheldon is also celebrating with a family/village picnic on Tuesday June 5th, from 12 noon onwards, on the playing fields. It’s a bring-your-own-picnic event, with a rounders competition as well, for those who fancy their chances! Thanks to Andrew, Lindsey and the team for organising it. Everyone welcome, from far and near.

Dianne and husband Kevin, and children James & Ady, have now returned to New Zealand after a most enjoyable time with Adrienne, Elaine and the Blackshaw family. While they were here it was Judith’s birthday and there was a great gathering of the clan. Dianne says she loves visiting Sheldon (who wouldn’t?) but NZ is still best.

Our twice-monthly Communion Services in the church continue to flourish. It shows the importance of a local church, and you can’t get much more local than our small, beautiful, peaceful church, welcoming to all and important to the whole community especially when we remember those who are sick in the parish by name each service. Recently we’ve been praying especially for Ann Lomas, very ill in hospital for some time, David Melland who hasn’t been well, and me too. A great comfort. Illness of anyone touches us all in a small community.

I was watching the sparrows the other day…they’ve taken to our bathroom…we can’t open the window or they are in, thinking they are home. Sparrows might be in decline elsewhere, but not in Sheldon! Neither are the swallows, now busy with their nests and new families. They like our open windows too!

The village History Group is having a lively time. The May meeting looked into the history of our farming families with the Farming Life Centre. The June meeting, on Monday June 11th, is a guided tour of Temple Mine and the Mining Museum at Matlock Bath; booking is essential.

The June Parish Meeting is now on Monday June 25th at 7pm in the Village Hall. This is because the Peak District National Park Authority’s Chief Executive, Jim Dixon, and Chair of the Authority, Tony Favell, will be visiting the village that afternoon, and then coming to the start of the Parish Meeting. A separate programme for the day will be sent round to everyone later.

Please note that only registered voters within the parish (i.e. on the electoral roll) are able to attend the Parish Meeting, and public attendance is discretionary and by prior arrangement with the Parish Chair.