Sheldon Jottings for June 2017

As we write this on the 12th May it has just begun to rain after a wonderful dry spell.

What a splendid time of year this is when the weather is getting warmer and our gardens and the countryside are looking so beautiful and fresh. We do have some swallows who have made the journey back from South Africa but so few. Considering the ever – increasing hazards, both natural and human, that they have to encounter on this dangerously long flight (which takes around one month), it is a miracle that any of these small birds make it this far.

Also today we have noticed that a pair of spotted flycatchers are back! They too, are long distance summer migrants with most wintering south of the equator. They are about the size of a house sparrow and have the distinct habit of darting out from a bare branch or other prominent position, catching the flying insect, then dashing back to the same perch. Do hope they nest in our garden again…
Have you noticed there are two or three greenfinches about again? It is wonderful to think they are making a comeback after the devastating disease they incurred a few years back.

Our next Parish Meeting is on MONDAY 19th June. As the defibrillator is due to be installed in the telephone box very soon it has been decided we shall have a training session given by Alistair, on the use of this equipment on the same evening. Neither the Parish Meeting nor the training session will take very long so please come along and acquaint yourself on the use of this potentially life-saving piece of kit.

Our second Cream Tea Day at the end of April was again very busy even though there were many other events on elsewhere. The final sum raised for the village hall was a magnificent £300. A big thank you to all our helpers.

We notice the work of renovating the attached barn at Top Farm is progressing apace and Andrew and his helpers are working flat out. Soon be there Andrew…..

The Church Draw will resume again very soon.

DIARY DATES

THURSDAY 8th June – all day
Sheldon Village Hall – Voting for the General Election.

MONDAY 19th June – 7.30pm
Sheldon Village Hall – Parish Meeting and a short training session on the use of the defibrillator.

WEDNESDAY 21st June – 7.30pm
Sheldon Village Hall – History Group Meeting

Sheldon Jottings for April 2017

This month we have to report the very sad news that Mrs Fearn died in Leyland, Lancashire on 26th February aged 99 years. Mrs Fearn was born Marjorie Brocklehurst in 1918 and up until six and a half years ago, when she went to live with her daughter Helen, she lived all her life in the village at Devonshire View Farm. She went to the village school during the 1920’s and married Alwyn Fearn.

We all remember her as a lively and cheerful person who regularly attended village events. She was always ready to participate and on her 90th birthday took a supersonic flight on Concorde!!. She has been cremated in Leyland and her ashes will eventually be brought to Sheldon to lie with her husband in the churchyard. How sad that she reached 99 years and missed her telegram from the Queen.

April is the month when traditionally we look for the swallows returning to nest in the village. It is always a red letter day when the first one arrives. Fewer swallows and house martins seem to have been spending the summer months with us in recent years but they are always a welcome sight swooping over the fields to catch their food or diving down to muddy pools to collect material to build their nests.

We welcome Lee English and Suzanne Allen who have come to live in the village having moved from Dore. They moved into Miners Cottage on 3rd March and we wish them a happy time here in Sheldon.

On Easter Sunday 16th April the spring/summer season really arrives with the first Cream Tea of the year. Lindsey as usual will be organising the Cream Tea campaign again and if you wish to take part and have not completed a form, please let her know when you will be able to help out. This is a major fund raiser for the village hall to help maintain and improve an important village facility, so please give it and Lindsey all the support you can.

The Annual Parish Meeting will take place in the village hall on MONDAY 10th April. We are very fortunate to have a Parish Meeting which allows everyone to have an equal say and where every member of the village has a vote. This is an important meeting in the village calendar which sets the scene for the coming year, so we should all make every effort to attend.

On the agenda for this month’s History Group is a visit to one of the oldest historical sites in our Parish. Ralph is leading a guided viewing of the Romano-British site at Horsborough which is at the bottom/northern end of Deepdale. Ralph has conducted his own survey of this little known site so here is an opportunity to learn more about the history of our fascinating Parish. We will be meeting at White Lodge car park at 10.00am on Saturday April 22nd. Do come and join us as all are welcome.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for April was no.89 – Kirsty Allen from Taddington. No! We haven’t made a mistake, she did win last month as well. Congratulations!

Sheldon Jottings for June 2016

We all heard the very sad news in April that Ian Fletcher had died suddenly. He appeared to be making a good recovery at home after having heart surgery, when he was taken ill and rushed into hospital.  Ian spent his whole life in the village and had farmed at Johnson Lane Farm for much of that time. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the village and local area and the folk who lived here. He often attended the History Group meetings with Peter and Christine. Our thoughts go to Doris and the family at this sad time.

The weather continues to alternately please and then disappoint, but one bright spot in the village are the plants for sale again outside Yew Tree House – a sure sign of spring. The swallows and house martins duly arrived in mid to late April but once more there seem to be fewer than in the past.  The village seems to come alive again at this time of year with daffodils on the greens, the sounds of lambs and lawn mowers, the cows out in the fields – all sights we have waited for throughout the long winter. One sad note about ‘our’ pair of beautiful song thrushes – they seem to have lost two of their fledglings within two days of each other. They were almost fully grown but were found in different areas and one had obviously flown into a window.

Our second Cream Tea Day on May 1st raised over £230 for the Village Hall funds – another very creditable effort. Well done and thanks to all those involved particularly to Pat and Wendy and to young William. Also to those husbands who stepped in to help at the last minute because illness had created a ‘staff shortage’!  The splendid new sign on the gate certainly takes us into new realms of advertising!

Also because of illness, the Bunting Evening was also depleted. (This horrid virus has really been very difficult to shake off).  However, 5 ladies did manage to make it and many more metres of bunting were created to replenish our stock for Sheldon Day. Thank you ladies.

Plans for Sheldon Day on Saturday 23rd July are now well advanced and we hear that a new caterer is due to sustain our visitors with delicious home-made beefburgers, bacon sandwiches and a hog roast.

This month the History Group will be visiting Horsborough – a Romano-British site at the ‘bottom’ of Deep Dale where, incidentally the display of cowslips and orchids are again a delight.  Little is generally known about this site and, led by Ralph, we have the opportunity to learn more of its secrets. We will meet at White Lodge car park at 7.00pm on June 15th. This will be the last meeting of the year and our thanks go to all involved in making this such a successful village activity.

We have had another burglary in the village where certain items were taken from outbuildings during the night. Fortunately, the culprits were soon caught red-handed with the items and they were subsequently arrested.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for May was no 4 – Jane Slater. The draw is now entering its second year and Kath would like to gently remind people to please renew their payment. Remember you have to be in it to win it!

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Wednesday June 8th – Sheldon Parish Meeting in the Village Hall 7.30pm
Wednesday June 15th – Sheldon History Group at White Lodge car park 7.00pm
Wednesday June 23rd – EU Referendum voting in Village Hall 7am – 10.00pm

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 November 2015

Autumn is truly with us heralding the start of winter, with short days, long nights and cooler weather, we have already had the first frost here in Sheldon. The cows are coming along the road and back to the farm for milking at dawn with the lights of the Landrover shining brightly and at night they are going back in the darkness too. The calm weather for harvest allowed the farmers to bring in the crops and the gardeners to prepare for winter by getting their autumnal jobs completed.

A joyous event on the 15th September – the birth of Max, weighing in at 7lbs 6oz – a son for Melanie and Oliver. A welcome addition to the increasing numbers of young people in the village. We send the adoring couple and the very proud family our congratulations.

The Harvest Festival  Service in Church, always held on the first Sunday in October and led by Canon Tony, was well attended. The church was decorated with offerings brought by parishioners and a wonderful floral display by Julia and Mick. Many thanks to them and to all who celebrated this special time of year in our lovely church.The produce which was donated to decorate the church was gifted to Blythe House.

For the first time, courtesy of Kath, a Pie and Pea Supper and Quiz Evening was held on the following Monday at the Cock and Pullet, to help raise badly needed funds for the Church. The pub was full, good food and great companionship helped to make the evening a resounding success, although some found the quiz questions a bit tricky!  We have heard many calls in the village for this to be an annual event. It raised a staggering £415. A big thank you to Claire and Michelle for all their hard work supplying the supper and thank you to Helen for doing the quiz. Postman Pat’s Team were the winners and they kindly donated their prize money back to the church – a big thank you. The raffle prizes were won by Michael Holdsworth, Amanda and Andrew J and Philip G.  Thank you to everyone for supporting the event.

As winter approaches we hear yet again that we will not be receiving a regular gritting lorry through the village. Also, this year we have been asked to pay for any piles of grit which are usually placed free by the Council in the Dale and on Hunterside. Yet another in an ever lengthening list of cuts to services reducing our quality of life due to government cutbacks in funding to councils. As a result of the necessity to pay for our rock salt/grit, and to cover other costs, the Parish Meeting on the 14th October agreed, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, that we would need to increase the precept to £1500 – an increase of £250.

The Parish Meeting also discussed the division of the money raised on Sheldon Day which was £4627 after expenses – a record amount. The Sheldon Day Group would retain £827 to act as a float for next year’s Sheldon Day and  £200  will pay for the Christmas Party for the older residents. The remainder would be divided equally between the Church, the Village Hall and the Playing Field,  giving them £1200 each.

The winner of the 100 Club Draw for October was Mark Elwis of Wardlow who won £25.