Sheldon Jottings for June 2015

Spring is moving into summer in Sheldon, the trees are in leaf, the cows are in the fields and the bedraggled groups of D of E students with their massive packs are again tramping across the fields. Sam’s plants are giving a lovely splash of colour as you come into the village, and they are all for sale! Are we right in thinking there are fewer birds around this year? Our impression is that the number of swallows, house martins, robins and sparrows in the village have declined over the last few years. We hope it is just a natural cycle and they will be back again soon.

May 7th saw us casting our votes for the last time at the village hall. A victim of the drive for ever greater economy, we will have to travel to Monyash village hall which will be our local polling station in future. We were discussing what this means with an elderly resident and he told us that before WW2, that was where Sheldon people always voted. He recounted the tale that the Tory Party always sent a very large car up to Sheldon to take their voters to the polls. Tommy Morton, a well know Labour supporter was hurrying to get a lift in the car when Mr Sheldon, who had already claimed his seat, pointed out his affiliation and Tommy was left behind to find his own way to the Polling Station which must be at least 2 miles. Could this actually happen again in the future we wonder?! The village hall as it is now was first used as a Polling Station directly after the War and has remained so for almost 70 years. So another slice of life in Sheldon becomes history and another facility is taken away from us.

Late April however saw a piece of Sheldon life resurrected as a tent was set up outside the hall and we had a table top sale. The wares were as varied and the tables as colourful as the day was beautiful with clear blue skies. People not only indulged in a bit of retail therapy but, like us, took lunch outside, wonderful soup and roll and the most delicious carrot cake as afters. The event raised over £200 to swell the village hall funds. Many thanks to Lindsey who organised the whole thing and her helpers for their enthusiasm in arranging a great day.

The second Cream Tea Day held on May Day Bank Holiday Sunday was another success for ‘the team’. The morning rain caused hearts to sink but the day brightened and there was a steady stream of visitors, including 2 walking groups, enjoying their scones with jam and cream and cups of tea but also buying from the always excellent goodies on the stall. Altogether another £200 was raised – well done everyone!

On the evening of May 11th (the day we were always told to plant runner beans!) the faithful gathered for the bunting evening in the village hall. This has become a very enjoyable annual social event organised by the Sheldon Day Committee to repair old and make new bunting ready for Sheldon Day. With food and drink – not all of the non-alcoholic variety- the work goes with a swing and the excellent results will grace our village in July. Thanks to everyone who took part.

The History Group ‘Bring and Show’ meeting on 15th April encouraged several people to bring some wonderful historical artifacts they have in their possession and also a full documented history of one Sheldon cottage which is truly amazing to have.

As you all know Kath has started a monthly lottery to raise much needed funds to help maintain our beautiful Church. We understand that a few numbers still remain so if you contact Kath you may still be able to take part. The first winner of the £25 prize was Jayne Melland. Congratulations!

Congratulations must also go to William and Alec who again took part in the Buxton Festival of Speech, Music and Drama. William gained first place in the piano trio competition and Alec gained a third place. Alec’s choir – from Great Longstone – also came first in their section. Well done to both!

We also have good news about our resident Bobby, John. Despite having only been a full time Officer for a short period of time, he has just heard that he has been accepted onto the government’s flagship accelerated promotion scheme to become an Inspector within 2 years. This, after several gruelling months of interviews, exams and assessment centres. Congratulations John!

DIARY DATES

Tuesday 2nd June 10.00am
Vicar’s coffee morning at the Cock and Pullet followed by the Church Meeting

Wednesday 10th June 7.30pm
Parish Meeting in village hall

Wednesday 17th June
Sheldon History Group Meeting – to be announced

Sheldon Jottings for February 2015

The lengthening days and the snowdrops pushing through the soil, are heralding the start of a new year. Now we can begin to look forward to the joys of Spring in our most beautiful part of the world.

In case you were wondering – Bernard, the turkey, has again escaped the Christmas pot and so also have his two wives. He is a very lucky bird!!

We could not comment on our Christmas services as January’s copy had to be in by 13th December. However, the Carol Service in our small, welcoming church was very well attended and much enjoyed. The Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve was extraordinary in that Sheldon has not had such a service for many years. It too, was well attended with a beautiful atmosphere in the soft light of the candles. Our younger members performed some of the readings most eloquently and it was truly a wonderful setting.

At the History Group Meeting on 17th December we heard the ghostly story of Finn, now a local legend written and performed with the requisite air of mystery by Simon Unwin! This was followed by our Christmas ‘do’ and a really good time was had by all.

The December Parish Meeting put us on course for the next two months. We heard that stiles had been rebuilt, that the precept is frozen for another year and we heard of the lack of gritting through the village and thus the first car accident, due to the council’s short-sighted policy.

Also BT’s idea of putting a defibrillator in the telephone box, which would then be decommissioned and the village would be responsible for its upkeep. The feeling in the meeting was, as with other villages, this ploy has been tried, and that we should allow BT to continue their legal obligation to maintain our telephone box. But we should seriously consider the option of a defibrillator to be kept accessible 24/7 elsewhere in the village. Have you thought of where? A defibrillator can be used by anyone, as step-by-step instructions are given for non-medics.

Of course, we all know that since the first skidding accident on our untreated roads (well before Christmas) there have been others. The snow came down thick and fast on Boxing Day evening – up to 8 inches (20 cm) in places. This really did curtail everyone’s movements for a few days before we had a plough or any gritting. The day after Boxing Day, eight vehicles came to grief down Kirk Dale, although thankfully we understand they did not go into each other. The police were called but surprisingly, this may not help our predicament, as the fact that we live at 1000 feet and quickly become snow-bound or ice-bound, falls on the deaf ears of our so-called representatives – council members and officers. We know that in one part of the outskirts of Sheffield, on very minor streets, they too had been denied any gritting, but after some collisions and much protest by the local people aided by some of their local councillors, this vital service has been reinstated there. They do not get the snow that we do…what a nonsense this all is.

We are now, as a village, fully paid up members of the Friends of the Peak District, which is an arm of the CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England). This organisation does sterling work scrutinising and commenting on every contentious planning issue.

DIARY DATES

Wednesday 11th February – 7.30pm Village Hall
Parish Meeting

Wednesday 18th February – 7.30pm Village Hall
Sheldon History Group

Sheldon Jottings for December 2014

Living in Sheldon we are all acutely aware of the wonders of nature around us. At dawn and at dusk each day during November we have been treated to a spectacular event. We first noticed it this year on the 2nd November and since then it has been a wonderful twice-daily sight as a great cloud of Starlings flies over our village. As it gets light they come from their roosting grounds on the far side of Longstone Edge on Middleton Moor, past Longstone and Ashford, over the River Wye and up over Shacklow Wood. They then fly over the village to their feeding grounds in the fields of Flagg, Monyash and beyond. The flock returns at twilight and although it can vary in size is a sight well worth seeing. For an even greater spectacle go to Middleton Moor and see the ‘murmuration‘ where the flocks are coming in from all directions, creating amazing patterns in the sky before settling down to roost in the reeds. It happened last year and should now continue throughout the winter months.

With the shorter days of winter the number of visitors to our area has greatly diminished. Several of our farmers have heaved a sigh of relief. Pete Bush, our Area Ranger, has been in touch and has asked us to include the following:

Over the last 3 years a number of stone stiles in Sheldon Parish have been badly damaged. At first I thought by cattle as some of the adjacent walls are not that robust, but it has continued to happen sporadically, with the latest attack resulting in 3 stiles being completely smashed with some large through stones being broken in two. Some of these stiles were built at least 3 generations ago, when they were most commonly used by local people coming and going to work.

Now they are used mostly for recreation by local people and visitors to the area and have to be stock proof whilst at the same time relatively easy for people to use. What used to be regarded as suitable is not always the case today and the Peak District National Park Rangers have worked with many farmers in the area to improve their gates and stiles.

There is often a dilemma in changing a stile to improve access as it may be a heritage feature but in most cases we are able to alter it sympathetically.

There are limited resources so we cannot tackle everything at once but if there are stiles causing problems please contact me:

Pete Bush
PDNPA Area Ranger
Tel: 01629 884992
Email: [email protected]

We all need to keep an eye out and report damage if we are out enjoying the Countryside; please contact Pete if you see anything untoward.

In mid-December last year the History Group met in the village hall for the Christmas ‘Do’. With one of the worst gales of the winter raging outside Simon Unwin entertained us with his ‘Story of Magpie Mine’ in music, pictures and verse. The atmosphere was tremendous – it was probably one of the most gripping and pleasurable evenings held in the Hall for many years. We are happy to report that Simon is coming once more on December 17th to entertain us with his latest extravaganza. Come and join us, entry is free, we all bring some food (savoury of sweet), some drink is supplied, and enjoy a great evening with neighbours and friends – you will be most welcome.

If you did not manage to get to Sheldon History Group in October when Martha Lawrence from Buxton Museum came to talk on the pre-history of our area then you missed a treat. It was fascinating to think how ourancestors were living so long ago.

On Christmas Day it will be Noel’s birthday. We wish you and your family a happy day Noel.

The planning application for the substantial development at Home Farm has been unanimously turned down by the PDNPA Planning Committee.

Finally, villagers can sleep safely in their beds in the knowledge that the recently vandalised ‘fence’ was nothing more than a piece of string that two cows, Daisy and Buttercup, got caught in. Neither of them will admit responsibility but keep blaming each udder!

Happy Christmas and a great New Year to you all and to our friends in Ashford.

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Monday 1st December
Christmas Wreath Making Night – 7.30pm Village Hall
Contact Lindsey for information

Tuesday 2nd December
Vicar’s Coffee Morning – Cock & Pullet (with Church Meeting afterwards)

Tuesday 9th December
Sheldon Seniors Christmas Lunch – Cock & Pullet

Wednesday 10th December
Sheldon Parish Meeting – 7.30pm Village Hall

Wednesday 17th December
Sheldon History Group Christmas ‘Do’ with Simon Unwin – 7.30pm Village Hall

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

Police issue warnings after Land Rover thefts

Two similar vehicles have been stolen within a week of each other in the north of the county.

Sometime between Friday, December 27 at 4pm and Saturday, December 28 at 8.30am a green Land Rover Defender, 52 registration plate, was stolen from a house on Church Street in Monyash. The car was parked on the main road.

A further Land Rover Defender, green in colour, 56 registration plate, was stolen sometime between Sunday, January 05 at 11pm and Monday, January 06 at 8am. The keys were not stolen and the vehicle was taken from the driveway on White Tor Road, Starkholmes, Matlock.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Calvin Karpenko at Matlock police station using the non-emergency number 101.