Sheldon Jottings for January 2015

A Happy New Year to all our readers!

As we write this (13th December), it is the run-up to the Christmas festivities and all that entails. Already we have had some snow up here. Do remember we are denied any gritting on our road until everywhere else has been satisfied. This is even though the Derbyshire County Council gritter comes through the village to get to other, supposedly more important roads, and comes back to its base on our route too. Logical? Fair? We may well ask.

Do be constantly aware how dangerous our route down to the A6 is – what with the steep descent, made even more treacherous with the severe bends, whenever it is at all icy or slushy with snow. Do not be hassled by people from behind who are not savvy to our hazardous journey or who perhaps have a four-wheel drive vehicle and think that they cannot possibly skid. They can and they do. Already we have had one bad accident – the driver was fortunately OK, but the car was severely damaged.

Did you know that Brian’s big, brilliant ‘Sheldon Field Map’ now has pride of place in the village hall? It names every field in our parish which Brian has found through research from old records and talking to people. Some names are really fascinating, Thank you Brian for that and also the lovely drawings.

Our Christmas wreath-making evening was fun. A group of us made wonderful decorations for our front doors to welcome all who come through the village. A good social evening it was too, with mulled wine and mince pies to aid our concentration when fixing in that prickly holly! Thank you Lindsey for organising that. Next time we must persuade a few chaps to have a go to show their creative side!

The Christmas lunch at the Cock and Pullet was for all those with three score years plus of wisdom, experience and life’s challenges behind them. In recognition of this collective worldly-wise knowledge, the village offers a superb meal at the pub. Needless to say a good time was had by all and they extend their thanks to everyone, especially Kath and her staff who do the cooking and look after them.

The Parish Meeting was, unusually for us, quite depleted on the night. Having said that, it was rather a wild weather evening and a few lucky stalwarts were taking a break in sunny Australia where they each have far-flung family members. Think of us in shivering Sheldon, we say!  The good news is we now have a new secretary. Good luck Richard and thank you for taking on the job. We will therefore continue having our six meetings per year. Having a defibrillator easily accessible somewhere in the village was discussed and thought to be a very good idea. Any thoughts on where it could be available 24/7 please tell Alistair.

Stop Press

Sadly, Derbyshire Dales District Council (DDDC) have apparently been surprised by the bad winter weather, and increased amount of domestic waste/recycling generated over the Christmas/New Year Period. As of today (Wednesday January 7th), we are still without a recycling collection (over a week late), and were one day behind on our domestic waste collection. This surely shouldn’t have come as a surprise to DDDC, and sadly yet again Sheldon finds itself forgotten in preference to the villages that are easier to reach.

Dates for the Diary

History Group
Wednesday January 21st 7:30pm in the Village Hall
A short DVD on the history of Calver Mill and Weir and the River Derwent that connects them, through stories and photos of those who have lived, worked and played there.

Sheldon Jottings for November 2014

We were all very sad to hear of the death of the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. She often visited Sheldon, which at one time was a ‘Chatsworth Village’, to see the Cowslips and Orchids in Deep Dale, to attend the Harvest Service in Church, and to open Sheldon Day. Many of us have memories and stories to tell of her interest in all things rural, her support for the villages, her sharp mind and her tremendous work at Chatsworth. Several of us attended the funeral in glorious weather – a real Derbyshire occasion, superbly organised as only Chatsworth can, from the staff lining the route from the House to Edensor, the big screens on the Green outside the Church, the moving Service to the refreshments on the South Lawn. Her wicker coffin, a recording of Elvis during the service and the swing band playing on the South Lawn provided a perfect ‘Debo’ occasion to remember and celebrate the life of a truly remarkable lady.

Now for really great news, we have a new resident in the village. Elizabeth, Mark and George now have a new member of the family – Alice was born early on Monday September 22nd, in rather a hurry! According to all who have been lucky enough to meet her, she is truly beautiful. Congratulations from us all.

The Harvest Festival Service, held as it always is in Sheldon on the first Sunday in October, saw the Church decorated with vegetables and donations from the village. There was a goodly congregation to celebrate and give thanks for the harvest. The produce was sent to Newholme.

We send our best wishes to Wendy N and to John C. Wendy is slowly recovering from a hernia operation. John and Michelle have had a very difficult time lately as John battles to recover from his cancer. Our thoughts are with you all.

The Sheldon History Group will meet on Wednesday November 19th at Hartington Memorial Hall for a ‘Bring and Show’ evening. We hope that members will bring an artefact, document or picture, indeed anything that has a Sheldon connection that we can show and perhaps explain. Here is a chance to show those little things which have been gathering dust in the attic which we can share with others. All are welcome, do come along even if you have nothing to show you may be able to shed light on something brought by someone else.

As we reported in last month’s Jottings, Sheila has relinquished her post as our secretary to the Parish Meeting. We are still looking for someone to step into her shoes. If you would like to be involved in our village affairs here is a post which allows you to do just that, there are six meetings each year when minutes are taken. If you wish to take this prestigious post or know anyone who would be willing to become our secretary (the person does not need to live in Sheldon) could you please contact either Alistair Warren or Andrew Joly.

Plans are already being laid for next year’s Sheldon Day, the group have booked the sunniest, warm and windless day of the year for the 2015 extravaganza. The great day will be held on Saturday 25th July with the Fell Race taking place on the previous Thursday 23rd July.

Dates for the Diary

Tuesday 4th November – ‘Cock and Pullet’
Vicar’s Coffee Morning

Wednesday November 19th – 7:30pm in Hartington Memorial Hall
Sheldon History Group Meeting ‘Bring and Show’ evening

Funds for Village Hall Notice Board

A Big Big thank you to the Members Community Leadership Scheme fund for the cheque of £400.00 which we received at our Parish Meeting, from Cllr Judith Twigg. The funds are going to be put towards a new Village Hall notice board.

The notice board will be in memory of John Herbert and all the work he did for Sheldon during his time as Chairman of our Parish Meeting.

Sheldon Jottings for October 2014

Signs of Autumn are all around us. Most swallows have flown south, they went at the beginning of the month – rather early this year. The nights are lengthening and are becoming cooler – and the morning mists are with us. Some leaves are beginning to turn – and the gardens are taking on a distinctly autumnal air with the asters and other autumn flowering plants brightening the borders; the children have gone back to school….

The 7th of September was an important day for several people in the village. Andrew L was 21 and the family celebrated with an evening at Hassop Hall. Peter and Sarah celebrated their first wedding anniversary on the same day; congratulations to you all!

We are delighted to welcome the new residents of Rose Cottage. Melanie F and her beautiful daughter Ruby have joined us in the village and it has certainly made Oliver very happy! We hope they will enjoy being with us for many years to come.

The last Cream Tea of the year was held on August Bank holiday Sunday – a lovely sunny day resulted in a very successful afternoon raising £265 to swell the coffers of the village hall. Cream teas this year have again been a great bonus for the hall and our thanks must go to all those who helped in any way, setting up and decorating tables, putting out the signs and helping in the kitchen on the day – a great effort. Well done to everyone and thanks go to you all.

Much of the money raised through Cream Tea Days has gone to the refurbishment of the newly painted, newly curtained Hartington Memorial Hall – Sheldon’s village hall. It has been a long journey for the trustees and particularly Lindsey, who has shouldered the lions share of the work and Pat, who has kept things going as the work has progressed. It has all been well worth the effort. We are lucky to have such a beautiful hall with such a long history. It was, of course, the village school before being gifted to the village by the Duke of Devonshire; thanks to all those involved.

Unfortunately, we hear from the last Parish Meeting, that Sheila has decided to hang up her pens and retire as secretary to the Parish Meeting. For many years she has been there as a tremendous support for each chair – John H, Georgina and now Alistair. Her work has been exemplary, her efficiency legendary – Sheila we will all miss you sitting next to the Chair at the Parish Meetings; thank you so much for all your hard work.

Would someone please think seriously about taking over the role and serving our community?

The next History Group meeting on October 22nd takes the form of a talk by Martha Lawrence from Buxton Museum, on the prehistory of the Sheldon area. Our countryside is full of evidence left by the earliest peoples to settle here. Stone age flints are found in the fields, there are bronze age round barrows near Manor Farm. We can see Fin Cop, an iron age fort to the north of the village and Arbor Low – the Stonehenge of the North – is a dramatic stone circle just a short distance away. It should be a fascinating talk. We hope you can join us at the village hall.

Finally, a reminder from Bakewell Safer Neighbourhood Police Team, for us to take steps to better protect our vehicles from being targeted by thieves. Valuables such as sat navs are still being left on display, as witnessed by them at Chatsworth Country Fair on August 30th. So secure your vehicle properly, park in well lit, overlooked areas and remove any visible marks such as sat nav holder rings.

Dates for the Diary

Tuesday 7th October
Vicar’s Coffee Morning in the village hall

Wednesday 8th October
Parish Meeting 7.30pm in the village hall

Wednesday 22nd October
Sheldon History Group Meeting 7.30pm village hall.
‘Before history’ – a talk by Martha Lawrence of Buxton Museum. You will be most welcome to join us

Sheldon Jottings for May 2014

It is April 14th as we write and Julia saw our first swallow on April 9th. They faithfully come thousands of miles each year, back to the barn off Johnson Lane. It is just so incredible to think they fly so far. We hope that more will soon follow.

The dairy cows will soon be going back to their summer pastures after the winter inside. Have you watched them when first let loose – they are jumping about wildly then gorging on the fresh grass – so, so happy to be free again – a sight to behold.

We have a new Chair of the Parish Meeting – Georgina has relinquished the role after 15 very successful months following on from John’s tenure of office. We are all sad to see her go as she has done such a wonderful job, but needs to place her energies elsewhere. Good luck and thank you for all your hard work Georgina. Alistair has been elected to take on the role. We wish him all the best and can assure him of the support of all of us in the coming months.

The Parish Meeting was held in the village hall as usual, complete with its new and very smart radiators which are part of the ongoing refurbishment. Decorating will take place shortly and new curtains will complete the job. We were reminded that Sheldon Day is on Saturday July 19th and the team is already working on the details with Angie looking after the raffle this year. That great social occasion – Bunting Evening will take place in the next few weeks so look out for that. Do come along, it is great fun as well as contributing yards, or should it be metres, to our bunting!

The Blackshaw family are pleased to have Diane, Kelvin and their two children over here from New Zealand for a month’s holiday. Diane went out to NZ many years ago now to be a shepherdess and comes to visit her family back in Sheldon whenever she can. Welcome back for your holiday Diane.

We have planted 2 apple trees on the playing field, they are within the grove of trees nearest to the playground. Being Sheldon, they are no ordinary apple trees as they need to cope with the playing field climate, even though we hope they will have a bit of shelter. They are Bardsey Island Apple. Bardsey Island is a lonely, windswept island off the tip of the Lleyn peninsular in north Wales. It has long been a venue for pilgrims both pagan and Christian. A single gnarled old tree was discovered near the remains of the 13th century abbey in 1999. Hailed as the ‘rarest tree in the world’ it is perhaps all that remains of the monastic orchard. It is the only apple variety from the Celtic Welsh heartland. On the island both tree and fruit are completely disease free. The fruit is a medium sized eating apple, sweet and juicy with a unique lemon aroma and to be picked about the end of October. An exciting prospect!!

A new business has been opened by one of our busy villagers – Scoff Online – the brainchild of Amanda and her friend. They are providing meals to parties of 10 or more who come to the Peak District to stay in large holiday cottages and do not wish to cook for themselves. The meals look, and we are assured, taste terrific. We wish the enterprise luck, although with the number of orders already flooding in, signs are it will be a great success.

In March, Dave and Gill visited Tajikistan to meet Aid workers who have lived there for 15 years. They write:

Tajikistan is one of those ‘forgotten’ countries on the Silk Road, bordering Afghanistan, China and Uzbekistan – a mountainous, land- locked country in Central Asia with an inhospitable climate (-20c in winter to +40c in summer), influenced by Persians, Chinese and of course Russian occupation for most of the last century. The remains of Soviet influence are everywhere, drab concrete apartment blocks, concrete hospitals and schools, with an occasional red star or statue of Lenin still in existence. The black haired locals were generally friendly, amazed to see westerners, and spoke no English, staring as we walked about on muddy roads wrapped in our winter clothes. There are no cafes to stop for coffee, but delicious flat bread everywhere, bazaars that extended for acres, worn-out vehicles and groups of unemployed men (Tajiks provide the migrant workers for Russia). It was such an interesting visit, enabling us to learn about their culture, how we can support Aid workers in the field but also made us appreciate our western comforts’.

DIARY DATES

Sunday May 4th and Sunday May 25th – 2pm until 5pm
Cream Teas in the Village Hall

Tuesday May 6th
Vicar’s Coffee Morning in the Village Hall

Week beginning Monday May 12th (day not yet decided)
Bunting Evening in the Village Hall

Wednesday May 21st – 7:30pm
Sheldon History Group Meeting in the Village Hall.
Ray Slack will give an illustrated talk entitled “Taddington – the history of a village”. This will be followed in June with a walk around Taddington.