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 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 Jottings for August 2013

The Fell Race was a great success, not so many runners as previously but considering the hot weather it was not the best conditions for running such a gruelling race. Almost 100 runners was considered a very good turnout. What impressed the Sheldonians was the great atmosphere of enjoyment, friendly rivalry and excitement. It was also superb running – to walk round the course would be enough for us! Congratulations must go to Phil and his team for their flawless organisation.

Sheldon Day 2013

Sheldon Day 2013

Sheldon Day thankfully dawned cloudy and cooler than the sweltering, humid temperatures we had been experiencing. As usual the village swung into action and one of the most colourful and action-packed village fete days began. To arrive and park with the help of John, Mick and Phil then walk through the village in its wonderful setting was a totally unique experience. You pass the cake stall – irresistible, a cream tea – superb, Ethel back with her stall, splat the rat, pick a golden nail, buy a card or painting, take a luck dip (really for children but it is amazing how many adults have a go). Then browse the book, plant and bric-a-brac stalls, listen to the band, try to win a bottle or chocolate or many other delights and you are still only half way round. On past the Church with its stunning floral display, go wang a wellie, inspect tractors, engines, produce and animals. Have a go on the coconut shy, watch or show your canine friend in Sheldon’s truly unique dog show, learn about our village history and catch – or drop – an egg. Watch the mass of coloured balls rolling down the street and enjoy many other delights such as pork sandwiches and ice cream…the list is endless!

There were some incidents. One dog show competitor in the ‘ 6 hairiest legs class’ took one look at the opposition and bottled out! Ian had someone bring back a ‘bad ‘ coconut! A cake left on the cake stall to collect later was ‘exchanged’ for an ‘inferior’ (costing less) one! The first prize of the day, however, must go to the sight of Bernard the turkey, sitting in the front passenger seat of Oliver’s Landrover being driven back to his pad with one claw hanging nonchalantly out of the window – ever the survivor!

This magnificent day was organised by a village of some 80 inhabitants – it never ceases to amaze us how it is done. Thanks to Andrew and the organising team for another most successful year and our congratulations to everyone who was involved. The preliminary totals have been posted – well over £3,100 has been collected for our various necessary causes in the village. As a visitor from Australia wrote in the Church visitor’s book ‘Well done Sheldon!’

The Tractor Run on the Sunday was also a great success. We counted 25 tractors of all ages taking part including the Police tractor. What a stirring sight they were as they all roared out of the village.

We have a newcomer to our beautiful and lively village. A steady flow of admirers have been to visit Shelly, a foal, who was born during the weekend of 6-7th July at Rose Farm. She is the first foal to be born there for many years and is owned by Pat and Ralph’s grandson, Matthew. Despite this and the excitement of Sheldon Day, the cycle of the farming year goes on with silage and some hay gathered, sheep have been shorn and all the 101 maintenance jobs are being done.

On a very sad note we hear Wendy S’s mother died during Sheldon Week – we send our deepest sympathy to Wendy and her family at this difficult time.

Georgina informs us that Derbyshire County Council has let her know that the bottom of Kirk Dale will be closed from the 19th until the 21st August for ‘tree work’. We will all need to use alternative routes into and out of the village during these 3 days. DCC insist that this section of road is called Trueblue Lane and not Kirk Dale as we all know it (they say Kirk Dale is our colloquial name for it – how wrong can they be! We all know Trueblue Lane as a track, certainly not vehicular, don’t we?). Thank goodness our parish chair pursued where exactly DCC meant when they said Trueblue Lane would be closed!!!

Dates for the Diary

  • Parish Meeting – Wednesday 21st August in the Village Hall
  • Cream Teas – Sunday 25th August from 2pm in the Village Hall
  • There will be no Vicar’s Coffee Morning or History Group Meeting in August

Please respect, protect and enjoy our Village

Sheldon is a very popular place for visitors to pass through, and there are a number of walks that go through our beautiful village in all directions. We love the fact that visitors coming through stop at the village hall for one of our famous cream teas, and we are also of course very proud, as are our farmers, of our landscape including all of the dry stone walls that keep our fields in good order.

However, sometimes not everyone understands or realises the preciousness of our village, landscape and walls. Nor indeed do they realise how important it is when out in a working farming environment, to keep the walls and gates as they found them and not disturb the animals. Recent incidents noted by residents include damage/graffiti to village property, inconsiderate parking, people climbing over and on top of walls, children playing on silage bails, dropping litter, dog fouling amongst cattle, dogs killing sheep, and visitors swearing at local residents! It is also worth noting that some of the people in charge of visiting youth groups don’t set a very good example to their charges (allowing theirs dogs to run free in fields full of lambs, ignoring advice of landowners etc). We must stress that this is a minority of people, and it isn’t just/all youth groups who behave in this way.

We’d therefore like to remind everyone that, whilst visitors are very welcome, we’d ask them to keep to the countryside code and remember that ours is a working village, with the fields owned and worked by our local farmers. Please remember that the village street needs to be kept free of obstructions for farm machinery to pass, and that all of the green spaces in the village (with the exception of the playing field) are in private ownership; they aren’t car parks.

This might sound like nimby-ism, but please remember that it is perfectly possible on a busy weekend for our population to swell from 80 people to over 1000; we all want to enjoy the Peak District and our lovely village…why spoil it?

Vandalism in the village

May VandalismWhilst cleaning the village noticeboard the other day (which was paid for by a grant from the Peak District National Park Authority), Sheila H noticed that somebody had vandalised it by carving their name, and various other works/pictures into the woodwork.

We hope that the damage is just superficial, but it will cost time and money to repair. This isn’t the first time that property in the village has been vandalised, and we are certainly noticing an increase in antisocial behaviour (e.g. parking, litter, noise, trespassing, dog attacks).

The National Park Authority talks of sustainable tourism, but the sad reality is that tourism has a detrimental impact on the lives of the residents of our village and the wider National Park.

Those of us who are lucky enough to call Sheldon “home” are very happy to share it with visitors who respect our property and the surrounding countryside.