Sheldon Jottings for January 2020

Welcome to 2020  – a new decade! The New Year means a new beginning and here’s hoping for a happy one for all. We hope you had a most marvellous festive season and are looking forward to the New Year with joyful anticipation.

The shoots of early bulbs are already showing through the soil and there are still some berries about, particularly the cotoneaster, still looking gloriously red and luscious for the blackbirds.  We must remember to keep our feeders full for the birds – we have more than ever coming to the table and are very pleased to see good numbers of sparrows, fewer of whom have come in the last few years.

The Book Club had a lovely Christmas meeting at Amanda’s with superb nibbles and wine to help the conversation along. Thanks to Amanda for hosting such a wonderfully festive evening and to Julia for ‘running’ the club. Julia has posted the interesting and exciting list of books which have been chosen for reading during the coming year. The first for the meeting at Marlene’s on February 4th is ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ by Stella Gibbons. If you have not been to this club, why not make it your New Year resolution to do so and enjoy a great social evening with friends and neighbours.

In early December the ‘Golden Oldies’ made their way to the ‘Cock and Pullet’ for their annual Christmas Dinner. This is paid for from village funds and enables the older members of the village community to get together, catch up with gossip and friends and reminisce about days gone by and friends who are no longer with us. Ten of us enjoyed a most delicious meal, good conversation and Christmas cheer. Kath, who organised the occasion, donated a bottle of Baileys for a raffle which was won by Pat. We would like to thank the village and Kath for providing this opportunity for us all to travel back down memory lane and catch up with the latest news – and thank you to Claire and Helen for looking after us so well.

The wreath-making evening in the Village Hall was, as usual, fully subscribed and some wonderful examples were made for our Christmas season front doors. There were 3 very welcome people from outside the village, so word has spread about this popular evening run by Lindsey – and, of course, wine and mince pies add to the flow of creativity!

It’s brilliant that our village hall is such a useful community hub and so well looked after by the committee. If we all made good use of it on election day then perhaps the ‘powers that be’ will not see fit to close it as our Polling Station, especially as we are being led to believe that there will be a lot more money sloshing around now that ‘austerity is over’. Not everyone here has a car, public transport for us is non-existent, and it is a lengthy walk to Ashford BUT an even greater struggle back – up a long drawn-out hill all the way!

The village hall is where we hold our Parish Meetings. The last one on 25th November was so well attended and we even welcomed a Councillor from Bakewell. We hope he was able to see how a parish meeting was a friendly and very democratic affair for us, with anyone having their say on the topics discussed, unlike a Parish Council or Town Council where there are strict rules.

Everything seems to be working smoothly with detailed reports from our different sub-committees for Finance, the Village Hall, Planning, the Playing Fields and last but not least, our fund-raising, celebratory and now famous Sheldon Day. A big thank you to everyone who is helping to run our affairs and to John who runs our village website.

Congratulations to Marlene Greasley who won the Big ‘100’ Church Draw for December with no 73.  A lovely Christmas Bonus!


Sunday 12th January 9.00am – Sheldon Church Holy Communion

Sunday 26th January 9.00am – Sheldon Church Holy Communion

Tuesday 28th January 7.30pm – Parish Meeting in village hall

Tuesday 4th February 7.30pm – Book Club at Marlene’s

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.


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

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 February 2012

Just as the old year ended, the best present of all, a new baby in the village! Elizabeth and Mark Fisher are very proud of their little man, George James, who was born on the 28th December two weeks early, weighing 6lb 13oz. Elizabeth says a big thank you for all the kind messages, cards and gifts George has received. Congratulations from all of us!

Sheldon’s spirit of community involvement was seen clearly over the Christmas period. The Christmas tree in the church (donated as always by David and beautifully decorated by Julia and Michael), the Christmas Day flowers serene in their elegance and beauty (thanks Marlene). The Christmas morning Church service was very special. About 18 of us shared Christmas morning together, and enjoyed Canon Tony’s reindeer hat! At the end of the service, Canon Tony set us singing a couple of carols together, with Elizabeth playing the harmonium.

The Sunday before Christmas we, at last, had the nativity procession after two years of postponement. About 40 people of all ages joined the procession as it wandered slowly and prayerfully up the road, stopping along the way for carols and readings, and ending in Harold’s barn at Top Farm, which Julia and the family had made into a stable of whom the Infant Jesus would have been very proud! Mince pies and other refreshments capped a wonderful afternoon, and set the scene for the start of a typical, community inspired Sheldon Christmas; a fitting end to a year full of community activities in this small village of ours.

A great surprise for me in January with a Matlock Mercury award for what the Paper described as ‘dedication to Sheldon’. This came as a total surprise, and here’s me thinking I know everything that goes on in Sheldon! Not this time. Such an award is really for everyone in the village because there is such an amazing sense of togetherness and community spirit here; everyone helps. Thanks to those who nominated me, it was much appreciated, and I was very touched.

Sheldon History Group started 2012 with a talk by Brian Greasley on ‘The Sheldon Hoard’. This is a collection of coins which were found in Sheldon, and which have recently been tracked down and photographed by members of the group.

Broadband: please remember to fill in your survey forms that John delivered to every household in the Parish. If your house isn’t on our broadband map, then he hasn’t got your form yet.

Finally, the mystery of the black cat deepens! Pauline has been feeding a black cat, and enjoying doing it, together with the tortoiseshell that has also adopted her. Both remained after Emma and the family left, and now the black cat has a collar on it. So, if anyone has laid claim, could they let Pauline know as she will be happy to hear it has a new home!

Next coffee morning: Tuesday 7th February in the Village Hall.

Parish Meeting: Wednesday Feb 8th in the Village Hall at 7:30pm

Please note that only registered voters within the parish are able to attend the Parish Meeting, and public attendance is discretionary and by arrangement only.

Sheldon Jottings for January 2012

A very happy New Year to you all! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, one full of joy and peace with families and friends, and that 2012 will bring you all you could wish for.

Despite the cold and current recession, the Christmas Light Up this year raised £690. After a discussion at the Parish Meeting it was agreed that it would be split thus: £250 to Contact the Elderly; £210 each for the Church and Village Hall; £20 towards the Sheldon Website upkeep. The team says thanks to everyone, and it is only because of our local community, generous in getting involved with time and donations, that the team could make such a success. Here’s to next year!

Our best wishes to Oliver who was in hospital for a while during the month. He’s feeling a bit better at home now, but has lots of pills to take every day, as well as lots of rest and a different kind of diet to get used to. Our thoughts are with you.

Harold has also been in hospital for three days to have a seriously infected hand seen to. He’s on the mend, using one-and-a-half hands, he says, and still milking! All our best wishes to Harold as well.

We’ve had to get used to coping with a new County Council approach to gritting roads in small villages such as ours, which means when it snows we don’t get any grit until much later in the day…if at all! The general view after the first relatively mild snow of the year is that it’s not working and has made life very difficult for residents who try to leave or enter the village early in the morning. We’ve told Derbyshire County Council; they say they are looking into it.

This year’s Christmas parish meeting was suitably festive although on probably the coldest night of the winter so far! Lots of the villagers there, mince pies, splendid chocolate cake (Marlene comes up trumps again) and a cup of tea before we started the meeting; this gave us all time to chat before the serious part of the evening started. The meeting, amongst many other decisions, decided to freeze the precept for the next year.

We’ve been having some trouble over the years with school groups and Duke of Edinburgh award groups not understanding how to protect and enjoy the countryside. We were pleased therefore to hear that John recently gave a talk on ‘Safely and Responsibly Enjoying the National Park’ to Duke of Edinburgh award assessors at Calver Village Hall. John was invited to talk about issues surrounding the use of the National Park (using Sheldon as an example) such as closing gates, not climbing over walls, and parking responsibly by assessors and parents. The discussion went well, and John has been invited to give further talks on this subject.

No Vicar’s coffee morning in January, but the next one will be Tuesday 7th February in the Village Hall.