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

Sheldon Parish Meeting Newsletter – April 2012

A very good AGM Parish Meeting on Wednesday, with a good turnout although many had given their apologies because of holidays.

We warmly welcomed our new residents, Angie and Andy of Lower Farm, who hope to move in at the end of May. It was great to see them, especially as Andy drove back from Bradford specially to come to the meeting.

April is our election special, and I was re-elected Chair for another year, for which thanks. It is a very great honour which I never take for granted. I promised to  continue to do my best for the village and all residents during the coming year. Georgina Tanner was nominated and seconded for Vice Chair and elected unanimously. To her, many thanks and congratulations. We re-elected Brian as our Finance officer, and re-elected the existing Finance, Planning, Playing Fields (with one new member, our new resident Andy), the Sheldon Day Committee. Our new trustee for the Village Hall is Julia. Sheila agreed to continue as Parish Secretary, and Lindsey as secretary as well as Village Hall trustee. Thanks to them both for their hard work and good advice. The full list will appear in the minutes in due course.

I gave my annual report on village activates for the past year. Our activities, for such a small village, are enormous and involved almost the entire village at some time or other during the year. Attendance at our bi-monthly Parish meetings continues to be excellent with good representation from throughout the village. Looking back through the year, our small community worked together for cream teas on bank holiday Sundays and at other times, Sheldon Day, the Royal Wedding day celebrations, harvest festival, a local history weekend exhibition, rug making days, monthly local history group meetings, the Sheldon Christmas light up, the Nativity procession, Remembrance Sunday service with the laying of the wreath by Marlene on all our behalf, our twice monthly church services with an increasing attendance, monthly coffee mornings with the Vicar, the rapidly growing success of our village website, our fight for better gritting (not yet successful), our fight to retain our village as a polling station for elections (successful), and our fight for better broadband, not to mention other locally inspired and organised events; work continues on the neighbourhood plan.

This is quite a remarkable list of events held in our village throughout the year, and even more remarkable, it is never just the same two or three people helping out (complaints we often hear from other villages) but the majority of the community; in fact probably every household in one way or another is involved through out the year in some form of our community togetherness…quite remarkable.

Lindsey updated us on how plans for this year’s Sheldon Day are going…very well indeed from her report. More volunteers are needed and the team will be asking people for help as time goes on. Lindsey said that the group did discuss an informal Jubilee Weekend picnic on the playing fields (where people just bring there own food etc – no other cost or organisation required, except to have the hall ready in case of rain). Andrew says he will do a poster for it. And they would like to use some of the money from last year to buy a few jubilee coins for anyone under 21 in the village (this would probably only come to £100 or so). This was welcomed and agreed by the Parish meeting.

I explained that there is currently a vacancy for one Parish member on the National Park, and Parishes in the dales are currently being asked to vote for one of seven nominees. After hearing the election statements of all seven the meeting made its decision on which one Sheldon would vote for, and I have now sent in the completed voting paper to the electoral reform society which is running the election; the result will be known in May.

We had a discussion about the need for better broadband in the village, and this is being pursued by our broadband champion.

The police reported that crime has once again gone down in Derbyshire Dales, and of course, Sheldon, apart from the very occasional blip, is an extremely safe village, one of the safest in Derbyshire Dales. Let’s keep it that way!

I also reported on the new government consultation about how the National Park should be governed, particularly in relation to whether there should be direct elections and if so how these would be held. There is a seventeen question response required, and I read through my suggested response to all the questions. We discussed, and the response was agreed. Basically we believe, as we have done, that the whole of a national park authority to be directly elected by the local community, in some form. We believe this should also include the currently nationally appointed secretary of state members; local democracy requires local accountability and this requires locally elected members, all living within the national park they serve and accountable to the local communities they serve. Local people should have a say in National Park affairs and in who are members of the National Park. I have now sent it off to the Minister and government department in Defra.

We discussed the visit by the CEO of the National Park, Jim Dixon, to Sheldon in June. This will be on the afternoon of the June Parish meeting and he will meet as many as possible. We will put together a programme to ensure he meets everyone, and he will attend the first part of the Parish meeting that night. We will make sure he meets our businesses, the garage, pub, farming community and all who work and live here, ensuring that he meets all ages, young and old. I will report separately on this when the full programme is known.

We had a letter from Canon Tony who gave his apologies for not being able to attend the meeting regarding allocation of money raised for the Church. He said that the Church is very thankful for any financial support that it receives, and particularly for the donation from the Sheldon Day proceeds. With a very small regular church membership and the need for the church to `pay its way’, people will appreciate that donations received, unless designated, are used to help the church to remain out of deficit. However, if the Sheldon Day Organising Committee in making a donation to the church wish to indicate that their donation is for Church Repairs, the money will be designated for that alone. Rather than indicating a specific thing (unless there happened to be a special appeal at the time of the donation) Canon Tony asked  that such a donation be highlighted for the `Fabric of St Michael and All Angels Parish Church’. This way it gives discretion to the Church Council to use funds for general repairs, rather than leave money in the funds for a specific item that might not require maintenance for a while. At the moment we are faced with the need to replace the church guttering at some considerable cost. We agreed to this suggestion. We had a discussion about mowing the churchyard and ways in which the village could help with the amount required. Since this does not need to be paid until the end of the mowing season there is time. Some suggested extra cream teas and other possible fundraising events. We would also inquire why the previous arrangement (whereby we got it done free as part of a community scheme) was no longer available. We will discuss this further at our next Parish meeting

Lindsey reported that the village hall funds were in a good state but that we need to continue to think of new uses for the hall; and Oliver has very kindly volunteered to mow the village hall from now on, for which great thanks from me in particular.

Newsletter for August 2010

A fine Parish Meeting on Wednesday August 11th, mostly taken up with a report form the Sheldon Day team on the event which everyone agreed had been an amazing success. The team worked very well and we all thanks them for their hard work. All takings were up, all entries were up, the dog show was about double, the fell race certainly double last years numbers, and the money raised worked out at just over £1000 per hour! The £3117 profit was then discussed regarding the division to beneficiaries. It was decided that it would be a three way split, one third to the church, one third to the playing field, and one third to the village hall. But that the amount for the church would depend on discussions regarding precise projects for which it would be used to maintain the fabric of the church building. The meeting asked me to write to our vicar on the matter and this I will be doing in the next day or so; I will let you know what happens. We also discussed how to pay for some work which will need to be done on the playing field and in the village hall during the coming year. The village hall refurbishment programme, now being worked on by the trustees, will be brought to the next Parish Meeting.

In Gill’s Absence on holiday, Nigel brought us up to date on the latest work by the Home Farm task team and other planning matters as well as the result of complaint number one and the position regarding complaint number two. Other matters included the agricultural building proposed for Devonshire Arms Farm, to which we had responded with comments but had not objected (although we raised a number of questions); we have now heard that the application has been withdrawn.

I reported that Central Networks had given the Parish a cheque for £350, to allow us to do any necessary work on Church Lane both now and in the future, for which we are very grateful.

As part of the Sheldon Day discussions, it was suggested by the Sheldon Day team that we keep back some money from our grant distribution for a Bonfire Night party, basically to say thank you to the village for all the hard work everyone does, not just for Sheldon Day, but for everything we all do during the year; our village has an amazing community spirit and we should celebrate this! The Parish Meeting agreed that a sum of money can be taken form the overall Sheldon Day proceeds for this purpose. To make it a real party, this money will be used to buy “ready to eat” food, so no one in the village would have to do the usual baking and cooking. I will find the best place to order pies (and peas) as well as a vegetarian option and pudding which will be laid out for all to eat in the village hall after the fireworks. It will be on Friday November 5th, and we need a convenient field where everyone can bring some wood and help lay the bonfire. Anyway, more about this in October, but it isn’t too far away, so put it on your calendar now.

And that’s about it! Have a good rest of the summer, and remember that our next Parish Meeting is October 13.