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.

Sheldon Jottings for October 2015

Most of the hay and silage is now in after such a dismal summer of showery weather – what a nightmare for our farmers…Talking of showers, did you view the night sky around the 13th August to watch the annual Perseid meteor showers?  We saw 4 – not exactly a shower but still an incredible sight!

The last Cream Tea afternoon of the year was on Bank Holiday Sunday 30th August. It was very busy and thus a great success, raising a profit of £280 for Village Hall funds – the best yet. We seem to have many regulars and not just locals so thank you to all who support in this way and to all those who help on the day and to those who put up the all-important advertising on the roadsides.

The Parish Meeting on August 19th discussed our very poor broadband service. Well we now have exciting news about getting faster broadband in the village. After being told by Derbyshire County Council broadband team at the meeting that it was unlikely that BT would be improving the village infrastructure before 2017 (at the earliest), and the ongoing broadband interference problems being experienced by everyone, we have decided to look for help elsewhere. Thankfully, a local company has come to the rescue, W3Z based in Ripley, who can provide a superfast wireless broadband solution to many villages in the Peak District. W3Z does not rely on dodgy BT cables and it can provide your telephone service (keeping your existing number). If everything goes according to plan, W3Z engineers will be installing the necessary equipment on those houses that have signed up just as these jottings drop through your letter box!

Other items included at the Parish Meeting were the proposed defibrillator – more monies are coming in and another big thank you to the Masonic Padley Lodge for helping us.

The new seat is now in situ and should last a long lifetime. Details of the monies raised from Sheldon Day to facilitate our village life and its amenities will be discussed at the next meeting on Wednesday 14th October.

We have some very sad news to report this month – Nigel died on the 28th August. We send our sincere condolences to all the family. Nigel had been poorly for some time but only latterly was he diagnosed having a liver disease and also Crohn’s disease. He took an active part in our village life but largely behind the scenes – he was a stalwart of the Planning Committee who so often needed his wise counsel. We will miss you greatly Nigel. Mickey would like to thank John who was a big help in the family’s hour of need. Also Mickey says thank you for cracking the safe!  Regrettably, Nigel’s funeral is to be just after the deadline for these jottings.

The winner of The 100 Club Draw for September was Emma Mosley from Buxton with no.23.

Last but not least we welcome Ben Everet who has moved into Clover Cottage. We hope you will be very happy here.

Dates for the Diary

Wednesday 14th October 7.30pm
Parish Meeting in the Village Hall

Wednesday 21st October 7.30pm
Sheldon History Group 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!

Sheldon Jottings for April 2015

Hopefully, we have seen the last of snow and the weather is beginning to improve as Spring is almost upon us. The snowdrops are still looking wonderful up here and the daffodils are beginning to bud up nicely. Many of us have helped to provide some food and water for the birds throughout Winter and they will now be thinking of nest building. The male chaffinches in particular are looking really smart.

With Easter comes Cream Teas – arrangements are well in hand – the Hall is looking superb after its refurbishment, people have volunteered to help and the scones, cream and jam are ordered. Don’t forget there is a sales table at each Cream Tea Day so we would be very grateful for any produce to sell in order to help swell the funds. The first Cream Tea Day is on Sunday April 5th from 2pm until 5pm in the Village Hall; we hope to see you there!

A new venture this year is a Table Top Sale to be held on Sunday April 26th in the Village Hall to raise funds, so hopefully we will all go along to give our support.

As we all know, Adrienne was taken to hospital recently and was quite poorly for a time but is now much better and is on her way to a full recovery. Both Adrienne and Elaine would like to thank everyone who sent her good wishes, cards and gave their support at a difficult time.

The Parish Meeting AGM takes place on Wednesday 8th April at 7.30pm. At this meeting we reflect on the progress we have made during the past year, receive reports from the Committees and look forward to the year to come. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our Chair, Alistair, for all his hard work and for steering us through the year.

Our local First Medical Responder, Tom Bailey, lives in Great Longstone and has written below, a summary of his valuable work. As we live so far from the hospital we may have our First Responder get to us before an ambulance can, so it is comforting to know we are not too disadvantaged living so far from Chesterfield.

Our emergencies have followed the usual pattern of mostly medical incidents but a fair amount have been trauma with a few road collisions, sporting and leisure injuries.

Several have been in Longstone, others in surrounding villages.

As some of you will have experienced the role of the MFR is not just to provide immediate care while waiting for an ambulance. Some patients may be assessed and referred to primary care, GP or out of hours services, minor injury units or to accident and emergency either under your own steam or by ambulance as required. Another function is to support ambulance crews and solo responders at incidents where extra hands are needed. The local team of 3 MFRs has been expanded recently to 4.

May I remind you to ensure your house names and numbers are clear and easily seen from the road as this will greatly speed up our response to you. If it is dark, put your front lights on, or the hazard lights on the car in your drive if it is safe and appropriate to do so. House names are hard to find so anything to help is greatly appreciated, as is informing our control room of any directions or landmarks to help identify where your property is.

A happy Easter to you all.

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Sunday April 5th – 2pm Village Hall
Cream Tea Day

Wednesday April 8th – 7.30pm Village Hall
Sheldon Parish Meeting AGM

Sunday April 26th – 10am Village Hall
Table Top Sale