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 October 2013

As this lovely Summer draws to a close and Autumn approaches, we are enjoying late season sunshine and are getting up to misty mornings with those wonderful views of fog in the Wye valley with the sun on the hills beyond. The butterflies, Peacocks. Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, and Whites have all been seen on the buddleia and sedum plants in the gardens. Twenty one partridges were seen crossing the road at the top of the village joining the hens in foraging for food.

The bushes and trees are laden with fruit after this wonderful summer, blackberries in the hedgerows and the Mountain Ash trees looking resplendent with their red berries. For those plants which flowered early and were caught by the late cold weather, however, the story is a different one, there is almost a complete lack of sloes and only a poor crop of damsons on some trees this year.

Peter and Sarah were married on Saturday September 7th in All Saints Church, Mackworth. It was a wonderfully happy occasion, the setting was stunning and so was the bride, little Harriet was so pretty and Peter looked the happiest man alive. The church, which stands amongst fields, was beautifully decorated with spectacular floral displays. The simple, but moving service was attended by a large congregation of family and friends, some of whom had come from as far away as Scotland.

Afterwards the well wishers and the newly married couple attended a champagne reception at Langley Meynell a beautiful country house with extensive views towards Derby. Many of the guests also came to the new house in Sheldon for an informal gathering on the Sunday.  The Belted Galloway in the field behind their new home was one of their wedding presents, and is due to calve before Christmas. We look forward to welcoming Peter, Sarah and Harriet when they move to Sheldon in the near future.

The History Group Meeting on the 18th October was a great success, with friends from Great Longstone History Group joining us to listen to Ken Smith from the Peak Park give a fascinating talk about the recent discoveries and work to preserve the ancient monuments in the Park. From the discovery of a long barrow bronze age burial mound exposed when the waters of the reservoirs in the Derwent Valley were at their lowest to the amazing discoveries at Fin Cop and liberally illustrated with slides, the talk was enjoyed by all, as were the tea and cakes which were served during the evening.

We hear that Pauline is to leave us. She has finally decided to take the plunge and retire to her new house in Ireland before Christmas. She will long be remembered not only for her work in the village, on Sheldon Days, for the ‘Light up’, for the cream she always gave to Cream Teas and the wonderful scones she arranged to be delivered, but also for all the small ways she was always on hand to help people in the village. ‘Pauline’s been!’ was an early morning call in many households, part of life’s daily routine, always said with added emphasis on all those cold, snowy and icy mornings when we were not venturing out but somehow the milk would arrive on our doorstep. She will be sorely missed. We wish her well.

We hear that Claire’s fortieth birthday party went well. Congratulations Claire from us all!

Dates for the Diary



For the past year Brian Greasley has been researching the story of Sheldon School which was open from 1878 to 1935 and is now our village hall. This is the first of two illustrated talks during which Brian will speak about the building of the school, its opening, the mistresses and their successes and failures and the children and their highs and lows, misdemeanours, and punishments. Here is a chance to hear about a piece of the history of our small village not told before, much of it in the words of the people who were there.


Sunday 8th October – 9:00am Holy Communion
Sunday 15th September – 9:00am Holy Communion

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 September 2012

Our farming families have been out hay making, dodging the bad weather in between and our Swallows are on the move, soon to leave the village until next April. I always think our Sheldon year really begins and ends with the swallows…but they were still here swooping around on August 25 for Jenna (Colin & Lindsey’s daughter) and Richard on their wedding day in our Church. We all enjoyed hearing the banns read over the past weeks, and 3.45 was the magic time on 25th August. Lindsey and Colin invited the whole village to join them in the Church and for champagne at Townend Cottage afterwards. Always a wonderful occasion. St Michael and All Angels the best place to be married and who better than the Guardian angels to watch over them for their future life together! No place better. Congratulations and all the best for a long life together, Jenna and Richard.

August was also a celebration for Julia and Mick Lester, their 25th wedding anniversary. It only seems like yesterday that I remember them on their wedding day at Sheldon Church….Hassop Hall afterwards then…and Hassop Hall now for their 25th as well! Congratulations and best wishes for the next 25.

Brilliant news about John, who, amongst many other things, is the webmaster and developer of this excellent Sheldon website. He has successfully passed all the assessment hurdles to become a police officer. He starts his training on Sept 3rd. When he told me he said: ”I think I’m still in shock to be honest!” Happy shock, but shock nonetheless. It is a most demanding process getting into the Police Force, and he deserves every possible pat on the back for being successful. Another success for Sheldon, again punching above its weight, as the Chief Executive of the National Park remarked several times when he visited the village recently and attended the start of our last Parish Meeting.

Then there was Sheldon Day. We took £4330.48 and made a clear profit of £3251.36. When you realise that we made over one thousand pounds AN HOUR, it puts it into proper perspective! It was my pleasure and honour to present the best of the best produce cup to Julia for her fantastic Victoria Sponge….this was the first time we had such a prize and the cup, a cup cake complete with cherry on top made out of wood on a beautifully made stand was all made by people from the village, and it will be presented every year. Julia also got a certificate to keep…the cup comes back to us! I also was honoured to present the Best of the Best shield in the dog show as well. The dog show was its usual noisy and most enjoyable success…39 entries this year, and as I said on the day, they all deserved to be winners! Walking from the car parking (what would we have done without Ken Brocklehurst’s kind offer of the use of his fields for the afternoon) where our busy car park attendants (thanks guys) were working out where to put the enormous number of cars down the village past the cake stall (where the cakes and goodies just fly off the shelves), past the queues waiting for their cream tea in the village hall, past all the stalls and games, the band, the dog show, and all the stalls on the playing field, it was an afternoon that will stay with me and everyone in the village for a long time. I always like to visit the Church to see the flower display and this year I dropped in several times during the day. They were magnificent, the flowers, the way they were arranged and the theme and the quiet music. The beauty of the place and the peace felt by all those who came to see our Church and its display gave an atmosphere that was truly spiritual and thoughtful and uplifting. Wonderful, always, I feel the centre of our Day, our Church. Then of course there was the Fell Race the Thursday evening before, again, a huge success, and thanks to Phil and the team for that…better than the Olympics. And then on Sunday at our Communion service Canon Tony spoke movingly of the relationship between Sheldon day and our intensely committed small local community and the community of the Church. Exactly right. The flowers were all still in the Church with the theme display, so the small congregation that morning all had to sit at the front…it took flowers and Sheldon day to get everyone to sit at the front, he said with a grin.

Meanwhile Sheldon life goes on. Andrew Lester has now finished college at Buxton, did very well in his exams and spent a happy Summer holidays working on the farm and fixing body work on cars! He’s currently thinking about options for the future, but one thing is for certain, it will involve cars in one form or another!

Ann Lomas and the whole family are back from a great week’s holiday together in Anglesey . We are all wondering if she managed to see Kate and William in their favourite supermarket; but Ann tells me she is sure she saw William fly over in his helicopter. If anyone could arrange it, Ann could! And she says she’s off back there again soon for another break. I was telling Ann about our recent short break in Llandudno…guess what, Ann has been to Llandudno every year for the last 60 years…can’t beat that. But good to see her out and about. Good health, Ann.

There was good Sheldon presence at the Olympics. Marlene and Brian are still in the clouds after a day’s trip to the Olympics for the first day of the Athletics. They reported a wonderful atmosphere and the organisation was excellent. Before that they also had a day at Wimbledon. Andrew Joly and the family went to the Fencing finals and had an excellent time. William is now keen to take it up! So won’t be long before we have a Sheldon Fencing Champion.

Vicar’s coffee morning: Tuesday Sept 4th in the village hall at 10am.

Jottings for June 2012

June 2nd, the start of the Diamond Jubilee weekend is a very special one for Alex and Gemma, who are getting married in our church that day. Gemma says they would welcome anyone from the village at the ceremony. They live in Sheffield, and saw a picture of our church when visiting Buxton. They came to the church, fell in love with it and the village, and determined to get married here. So all the best to Gemma and Alex for a very happy life together.

Cream teas on May Bank Holiday Sunday were a huge £240 success. The walkers were out in abundance; well done to the team! The next cream teas are on the Diamond Jubilee Sunday, June 3rd,  from 2pm in the Village Hall. Come and celebrate with a Sheldon cream tea!

Sheldon is also celebrating with a family/village picnic on Tuesday June 5th, from 12 noon onwards, on the playing fields. It’s a bring-your-own-picnic event, with a rounders competition as well, for those who fancy their chances! Thanks to Andrew, Lindsey and the team for organising it. Everyone welcome, from far and near.

Dianne and husband Kevin, and children James & Ady, have now returned to New Zealand after a most enjoyable time with Adrienne, Elaine and the Blackshaw family. While they were here it was Judith’s birthday and there was a great gathering of the clan. Dianne says she loves visiting Sheldon (who wouldn’t?) but NZ is still best.

Our twice-monthly Communion Services in the church continue to flourish. It shows the importance of a local church, and you can’t get much more local than our small, beautiful, peaceful church, welcoming to all and important to the whole community especially when we remember those who are sick in the parish by name each service. Recently we’ve been praying especially for Ann Lomas, very ill in hospital for some time, David Melland who hasn’t been well, and me too. A great comfort. Illness of anyone touches us all in a small community.

I was watching the sparrows the other day…they’ve taken to our bathroom…we can’t open the window or they are in, thinking they are home. Sparrows might be in decline elsewhere, but not in Sheldon! Neither are the swallows, now busy with their nests and new families. They like our open windows too!

The village History Group is having a lively time. The May meeting looked into the history of our farming families with the Farming Life Centre. The June meeting, on Monday June 11th, is a guided tour of Temple Mine and the Mining Museum at Matlock Bath; booking is essential.

The June Parish Meeting is now on Monday June 25th at 7pm in the Village Hall. This is because the Peak District National Park Authority’s Chief Executive, Jim Dixon, and Chair of the Authority, Tony Favell, will be visiting the village that afternoon, and then coming to the start of the Parish Meeting. A separate programme for the day will be sent round to everyone later.

Please note that only registered voters within the parish (i.e. on the electoral roll) are able to attend the Parish Meeting, and public attendance is discretionary and by prior arrangement with the Parish Chair.