Sheldon Jottings for March 2014

The rain and wind continues to sweep in from the Atlantic and our hearts go out to those people in the south of the country whose homes have been flooded. We are all watching the River Wye and hoping it does not rise any higher, our thoughts are with our friends in Ashford. The storms have been a little less severe here but have still caused problems. The farmers are having great difficulty getting the manure and slurry onto the fields and opening the large barn doors which are acting like sails, and there has been some minor damage in the village. Let’s hope that it will all come to an end soon. On the plus side the late winter flowers, the snowdrops, aconites, hellibores and winter honeysuckle are out to cheer us, and the bird-song is quite spring-like now on fine days.

Despite the terrible weather on the night of the February Parish Meeting, it was one of the the worst nights of the year, the meeting was very well attended. Matthew Hutson who is the Peak Assessor Network Co-ordinator for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme attended this meeting. He gave a short but very informative talk and answered questions during a lively discussion.

We learnt that the Peak District hosts more groups than any other region in the country, in fact more than the next three areas, The Lake District, Snowdonia and The Yorkshire Dales, combined!  Indeed it is quite possible that even more groups will be coming to our part of the Peak District this year. The Scheme, it seems, is tightening up on its regulations and ‘control’ of groups participating in their Expedition section. However, it also became obvious that if there are issues like gates being left open or walls being knocked down, it is necessary to have clear evidence and the name of the school before any action is likely to be taken.

Two other points emerged from the Meeting. The lively Sheldon Day Group will be beginning its planning meetings shortly, if you would like to join them please contact Andrew. Secondly, if you need contact numbers in emergency for electricity, water etc they have been placed permanently on the excellent village website.

Last month a very well attended History Group Meeting viewed films shot in the Peak District in the first half of the last century, particularly in the 1930’s and 40’s. A very enjoyable and entertaining meeting was enhanced by some of the ‘pearls and shines’ i.e. senior members, ‘spotting’ people they recognised. Thanks go to Bron for arranging this excellent meeting.

During March the History Group will be holding its annual exhibition of artefacts, all found in and around the village, often as a result of some members engaging in their favourite pastime of ‘turning’ molehills to find out what the industrious little creatures have dug up! There will also be maps, old photographs, pottery, and many other objects of interest. You will be very welcome to pop in and look round, learn more about our lovely village and have a cup of tea, a bun and a chat on Saturday 22nd March and/or Sunday 23rd March. You will be very welcome.

Finally we hear the happy news that Pauline’s daughter, Georgina, is getting married in September – more later.

Dates for the Diary

March 4th Cock and Pullett
Vicar’s Coffee Morning
Your chance to have an informal chat with Canon Tony over a coffee and cakes

March 19th Hartington Memorial Hall 7:30pm
History Group Meeting
Preparation for Exhibition

March 22nd and 23rd Hartington Memorial Hall 10am to 4pm
Sheldon History Group Annual History Exhibition
An opportunity to see original artefacts, flints, pottery etc. found in the village.

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

botnet attack

ZombieIf you’ve been having problems visiting this website, it is because somebody simple minded idiot has decided to launch an attack against the hosting company. Since one minute past midnight on 24th May 2013 approximately 19,000 attempts have been made by “zombified” computers to login to the administrative section of this website; 9000 in the past few hours!

Thankfully, the perpetrators of this attack are too stupid to bypass simple countermeasures, and as such everything is now back up and running without hitch…jealousy is a terrible thing isn’t it!

Website Changes

Some of our more “eagle eyed” readers may have noticed a few changes to the website recently. Whilst this probably isn’t the most interesting post for the vast majority of our readers, some of you who also run village websites might like to know what we’ve been up to.

  • Gone is the rotating header image as it was no longer supported with the current version of WordPress that runs this site. This has the added benefit of reducing our monthly bandwidth costs, as several images were served every time a web page was loaded.
  • Twitter has recently changed the way it allows users to access their API. As such, we’ve replaced the old Jetpack Twitter widget with a funky new rotating widget.
  • We are now using Google Fonts to serve a better looking open-source font, Open Sans, across the whole website.
  • Our images galleries are now using Jetpack to improve their layout.

Let us know what you think!

Sheldon Jottings for May 2013

The unseasonal weather and the heaviest fall of snow for years brought out the best in everyone in the village. A great community spirit prevailed with folk helping each other and looking after their neighbours. The Gregory’s seemed to be everywhere clearing the drifts, some of them over 6 feet high, and they still had their work to do on the farm. The council gritters and snow ploughs were conspicuous by their absence and thus the milk lorry could not get through, so 3 days worth of milk at the farm was poured away.

Several villagers have asked us to thank all those who helped out, clearing snow, shopping for those who were unable to get to Bakewell, clearing paths to houses, to the Church and Village Hall, and for just being there as one can feel quite ‘hemmed in’ with such deep snow. Rosemary and Sam were particularly grateful for all who helped them – the wartime spirit is still alive and well in Sheldon! Several events were cancelled due to the conditions – the Palm Sunday Church Service, the annual History Group Exhibition and Easter Cream Teas.

Just one story of the many which will be told about the Easter weather of 2013 – Julia, checking on her sheep on Kirkdale, heard a tinkling in her ears but could not understand where it was coming from. Then suddenly it dawned on her, it was icicles in her hair being blown against each other in the wind! Mercifully, all their sheep are alive and well and now – it’s lambing time! During the cold winds of Easter the first lambs were born at Top Farm – new life to herald what we all hope will be a long, warm and beautiful late Spring and Summer. Amazingly, the tough but so delicate looking snowdrops were still flowering under the mountains of snow and they still are up here as we write this on the 9th April.

Our good wishes go to Wendy S who is recovering well from her recent major operation – hope you will soon be feeling on top form Wendy – from all of us.

There is a History Group visit to the Magpie Mine on Weds May 15th. We will be meeting at the Mine at 7.00pm for a conducted tour with Keith Gregory, a member of the Peak District Mines Historical Society. This is a great opportunity for those new to our village or Ashford, or for those who have not had the chance of a real tour of the site to learn more about it. For those who have a pretty good understanding of the Mine it will perhaps refresh and add to their knowledge. Come and join us for a pleasant and instructive evening.

For anyone who would like to know more about Sheldon go to our website at (editors note: Congratulations, you are already here!) The Nature Watch section on the website is written by our resident ecologist and you will find some wonderful pictures of our local wildlife.

Dates for the Diary

Sun May 5th and Sun May 26th
Cream Teas in the Village Hall