Sheldon Jottings for September 2017

The family holiday season is in full swing as we write (Aug 12th) and by the time you read this it will be almost ‘back to school’ time again. Our short summer seems to go so quickly and we have certainly had more than our fair share of rain in this area. Sadly Bakewell Show was inundated and not just on one of the Show days but on both. Such real bad luck. Hay-making is definitely on hold until we get a longer spell of dry weather…..

On Sheldon Day (July 22nd) we were fortunate as, although rain was forecast, it held off until evening. What a brilliant day we had raising around £4000 for our village amenities – our little community should be VERY pleased. A big thank you to everyone. Just think – we are a population of around 65 people and together with our children, friends and relatives we can raise that amount of money on what is, for us, a quite large event. This money goes towards the upkeep of our village hall and playing field area – plus – the crippling costs of helping to maintain our beautiful little church – plus a small amount for our ‘golden oldies’ to have a Christmas lunch at the pub!

We are an amazing community.

Did you see the write-up and photos the roving reporter did for the Matlock Mercury? Such fame…. It’s a few years since we had a reporter visit our ever- popular Sheldon Day family event.

We now say Hello to our new neighbours at Manor Farm. Julia, John and family moved in around 3 weeks ago and we hope they will enjoy living in our community and enthrall at those amazing ‘top of the world’ views of our wonderful countryside from up there.

Nature notes over the last few months – We are so pleased to say that after an absence of 3 years, a pair of swallows have nested in our little barn again. We leave the top doors open each year hoping they will take up residence and this year a pair thought the old building would be perfect. However, overall there are so few swallows and house martins around the village this summer. So very sad. They need all the help they can get.

The spotted flycatchers did nest in the garden again this year – we are so lucky. They are such pretty little birds and they also (like the swallows) have to travel thousands of miles to get here from an area south of the equator and then back again. How DO they do it? We think the pair had 2 broods and worked so hard flying from their various perches (such as prominent tree branches or the roof of the bird table) to catch insects for their young. It was a lovely sight to watch. We actually photographed a young one which was close to a window. This was 3-4 weeks ago now and since a couple of days after that, we have neither seen any young nor the parents again. Surely a bit early to leave us to go back?

The gorgeous song thrushes were around but did not nest in our garden this year. They were heard singing many times nearby and were seen looking for worms and snails – lots of empty snail shells about. Sadly, early in the season we found a dead, fully-fledged one. Were they nesting in your garden? The different pairs of blackbirds nested in the front and back garden and they always seem to do well – we think there is quite some competition for territory and nest sites. We also had the robins and we saw the friendly young ones who came for tiny morsels as we weeded the garden.

If you want lots of wonderful butterflies in your garden you must have some Buddleia shrubs. On good days without rain or high wind the ones around us here have been covered with Red Admirals mainly, but also the occasional Peacock, Painted Lady, Small tortoiseshell and the White varieties. Also the wonderful flowers provide food for other insects and many different bees, not just our honey bees. A sight to behold…perhaps 20 + butterflies all at one time!

The defibrillator and CPR training evening in the village hall in July was very successful and we thank Alistair for guiding us and providing the mannequins for us to practise on. It was in part, a fun evening but obviously there were very serious issues and meaning behind what we were learning. If anyone wants to borrow a mannequin for themselves or their families to practise on then do let us know – we still have them.

The lucky winner of the Church Draw for August was Keith Blackshaw with number 83.

Sheldon Jottings for October 2015

Most of the hay and silage is now in after such a dismal summer of showery weather – what a nightmare for our farmers…Talking of showers, did you view the night sky around the 13th August to watch the annual Perseid meteor showers?  We saw 4 – not exactly a shower but still an incredible sight!

The last Cream Tea afternoon of the year was on Bank Holiday Sunday 30th August. It was very busy and thus a great success, raising a profit of £280 for Village Hall funds – the best yet. We seem to have many regulars and not just locals so thank you to all who support in this way and to all those who help on the day and to those who put up the all-important advertising on the roadsides.

The Parish Meeting on August 19th discussed our very poor broadband service. Well we now have exciting news about getting faster broadband in the village. After being told by Derbyshire County Council broadband team at the meeting that it was unlikely that BT would be improving the village infrastructure before 2017 (at the earliest), and the ongoing broadband interference problems being experienced by everyone, we have decided to look for help elsewhere. Thankfully, a local company has come to the rescue, W3Z based in Ripley, who can provide a superfast wireless broadband solution to many villages in the Peak District. W3Z does not rely on dodgy BT cables and it can provide your telephone service (keeping your existing number). If everything goes according to plan, W3Z engineers will be installing the necessary equipment on those houses that have signed up just as these jottings drop through your letter box!

Other items included at the Parish Meeting were the proposed defibrillator – more monies are coming in and another big thank you to the Masonic Padley Lodge for helping us.

The new seat is now in situ and should last a long lifetime. Details of the monies raised from Sheldon Day to facilitate our village life and its amenities will be discussed at the next meeting on Wednesday 14th October.

We have some very sad news to report this month – Nigel died on the 28th August. We send our sincere condolences to all the family. Nigel had been poorly for some time but only latterly was he diagnosed having a liver disease and also Crohn’s disease. He took an active part in our village life but largely behind the scenes – he was a stalwart of the Planning Committee who so often needed his wise counsel. We will miss you greatly Nigel. Mickey would like to thank John who was a big help in the family’s hour of need. Also Mickey says thank you for cracking the safe!  Regrettably, Nigel’s funeral is to be just after the deadline for these jottings.

The winner of The 100 Club Draw for September was Emma Mosley from Buxton with no.23.

Last but not least we welcome Ben Everet who has moved into Clover Cottage. We hope you will be very happy here.

Dates for the Diary

Wednesday 14th October 7.30pm
Parish Meeting in the Village Hall

Wednesday 21st October 7.30pm
Sheldon History Group in the 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

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.

Sheldon Jottings for February 2014

After our joyous Christmas festivities things may now seem a bit dull. However, we must look forward to Spring, with the days getting longer and the snowdrops even showing some white as they push through the waterlogged ground.

The balloons were out at Top Farm when Harold celebrated his 85th birthday at the beginning of January. He is still helping on the farm and when asked how he was, he replied in his forthright way ‘I’m feeling great – when I’m sitting down!!’ Belated Happy Birthday Harold.

Ken’s Bluefaced Leicester sheep were scanned the other day to ascertain how many lambs each was carrying. One ewe was carrying at least 4 – can she really deliver so many? The man who comes to do this job for the farmers is Gus Dermody of ‘One Man and His Dog‘ TV fame, where he does the commentary. His van with its vital equipment, says on its side ‘Don’t guess, get Gus’…!!!

Rosemary and Sam’s grandson, Matthew who is 12, has gained his First Dan Junior Black Belt in karate. He is the youngest ever junior to gain the Black Belt and he started the sport at the tender age of 7. Congratulations to him. His grandparents, and Mum and Dad, Sally and Martin are so rightly proud.

Welcome to Rhodri who has come to live next to Rosemary and Sam in the Old End of Yew Tree House. He has taken the job of River Keeper on the stretch of the River Wye between Ashford and Buxton. We are sure he will love the Peak District.

The village and Kirk Dale were gritted in the late afternoon of Saturday 11th January, presumably because frost was forecast for that night. We know that ice or snow make our exit from and entry to the village down to the A6 rather hellish. So we give credit here where it is due, to the powers that be for taking this preventive measure.  If they could only see the state of the beautiful new wall down Kirk Dale that was rebuilt a few weeks before Christmas. It is now down in 4 places (at least 4 accidents) and looks a sad and tragic mess. Cars have slid off the bend on the descent and collided with it, causing untold damage to the occupants and the vehicles and a cyclist also had some nasty injuries – all because this ‘rat run’ for commuters and our high altitude village have fallen off the list of the Council’s gritting routes. If we had spent weeks in appalling wet and cold weather creating this wonderful wall, only for it to be brutally assaulted by heavy metal we would be feeling so frustrated and deeply unhappy, wouldn’t you?

Remember there are no community recycling bins in the pub car park now.

Dates for the Diary

Vicar’s Coffee Morning – Tues 4th February
History Group Meeting – Weds 19th February