As we write this on the 12th May it has just begun to rain after a wonderful dry spell.
What a splendid time of year this is when the weather is getting warmer and our gardens and the countryside are looking so beautiful and fresh. We do have some swallows who have made the journey back from South Africa but so few. Considering the ever – increasing hazards, both natural and human, that they have to encounter on this dangerously long flight (which takes around one month), it is a miracle that any of these small birds make it this far.
Also today we have noticed that a pair of spotted flycatchers are back! They too, are long distance summer migrants with most wintering south of the equator. They are about the size of a house sparrow and have the distinct habit of darting out from a bare branch or other prominent position, catching the flying insect, then dashing back to the same perch. Do hope they nest in our garden again…
Have you noticed there are two or three greenfinches about again? It is wonderful to think they are making a comeback after the devastating disease they incurred a few years back.
Our next Parish Meeting is on MONDAY 19th June. As the defibrillator is due to be installed in the telephone box very soon it has been decided we shall have a training session given by Alistair, on the use of this equipment on the same evening. Neither the Parish Meeting nor the training session will take very long so please come along and acquaint yourself on the use of this potentially life-saving piece of kit.
Our second Cream Tea Day at the end of April was again very busy even though there were many other events on elsewhere. The final sum raised for the village hall was a magnificent £300. A big thank you to all our helpers.
We notice the work of renovating the attached barn at Top Farm is progressing apace and Andrew and his helpers are working flat out. Soon be there Andrew…..
The Church Draw will resume again very soon.
THURSDAY 8th June – all day
Sheldon Village Hall – Voting for the General Election.
MONDAY 19th June – 7.30pm
Sheldon Village Hall – Parish Meeting and a short training session on the use of the defibrillator.
WEDNESDAY 21st June – 7.30pm
Sheldon Village Hall – History Group Meeting
This month we have to report the very sad news that Mrs Fearn died in Leyland, Lancashire on 26th February aged 99 years. Mrs Fearn was born Marjorie Brocklehurst in 1918 and up until six and a half years ago, when she went to live with her daughter Helen, she lived all her life in the village at Devonshire View Farm. She went to the village school during the 1920’s and married Alwyn Fearn.
We all remember her as a lively and cheerful person who regularly attended village events. She was always ready to participate and on her 90th birthday took a supersonic flight on Concorde!!. She has been cremated in Leyland and her ashes will eventually be brought to Sheldon to lie with her husband in the churchyard. How sad that she reached 99 years and missed her telegram from the Queen.
April is the month when traditionally we look for the swallows returning to nest in the village. It is always a red letter day when the first one arrives. Fewer swallows and house martins seem to have been spending the summer months with us in recent years but they are always a welcome sight swooping over the fields to catch their food or diving down to muddy pools to collect material to build their nests.
We welcome Lee English and Suzanne Allen who have come to live in the village having moved from Dore. They moved into Miners Cottage on 3rd March and we wish them a happy time here in Sheldon.
On Easter Sunday 16th April the spring/summer season really arrives with the first Cream Tea of the year. Lindsey as usual will be organising the Cream Tea campaign again and if you wish to take part and have not completed a form, please let her know when you will be able to help out. This is a major fund raiser for the village hall to help maintain and improve an important village facility, so please give it and Lindsey all the support you can.
The Annual Parish Meeting will take place in the village hall on MONDAY 10th April. We are very fortunate to have a Parish Meeting which allows everyone to have an equal say and where every member of the village has a vote. This is an important meeting in the village calendar which sets the scene for the coming year, so we should all make every effort to attend.
On the agenda for this month’s History Group is a visit to one of the oldest historical sites in our Parish. Ralph is leading a guided viewing of the Romano-British site at Horsborough which is at the bottom/northern end of Deepdale. Ralph has conducted his own survey of this little known site so here is an opportunity to learn more about the history of our fascinating Parish. We will be meeting at White Lodge car park at 10.00am on Saturday April 22nd. Do come and join us as all are welcome.
The lucky winner of the Church Draw for April was no.89 – Kirsty Allen from Taddington. No! We haven’t made a mistake, she did win last month as well. Congratulations!
February is the month of the snowdrops. They have been pushing their green shoots through the ground for a couple of months with small white flashes showing since the middle of January. Soon their white carpet will be spreading through the hellebores, bringing the garden to life to cheer us through the cold winter days.
This month is also the middle of winter in Sheldon. We have already been warned of icy and snowy mornings and because we so rarely have the gritter now, accidents have already happened down Kirk Dale. A very long stretch of wall has been knocked down by a colliding vehicle. Indeed the road was closed by the police for some time after this collision.
Has anyone else noticed, when, joining Kirk Dale nothing has been seen coming down from the top of the Dale – but progressing downwards for a short distance a vehicle is suddenly behind us having travelled so fast down the length of the Dale. This road is indeed very much a rat – run nowadays for commuters who, for some inexplicable reason cannot take on board its dangers regarding its downwards trajectory and its bends – and the weather conditions.
The atrocious high winds of January 11th left their mark as a field barn roof took off and a wonderful, very old ash tree on Hage Lane lost a large limb. We are so pleased that our Parish Council have had all our village street trees inspected, not only for human safety but also because they are so close to houses.
Also on the morning of the 11th around 8.15 I was walking down the street to post a letter when wave after wave after wave of starlings flew overhead, battling against the wind to reach their feeding grounds to the south of Sheldon. It was an amazing sight…
Despite the difficult weather we can experience in Sheldon, as always there is a silver lining. We do have some exceptionally clear days as the clean arctic air sweeps across us and the views from the village when this is the case (particularly to the north) are spectacular.
We have seen very few hares this year in the fields. They are difficult to see at the best of times, but there seem to be fewer around at the moment. On days when snow lies on the ground however they reveal their presence as they move from their snow hides leaving their tell-tale tracks across the snow. If this happens it will give us a good indication of whether their numbers have declined or whether old eyes are unable to pick them out as they lie in the grass or dash across the fields and over the walls.
The ‘Old Folks’ – that is those over 65, would like to thank Kath and her team at the ‘Cock and Pullet’ for an excellent Christmas Dinner. We had a great time with good cheer and lively chat. Tony won the raffle prize of a bottle of Port and Sam was given whisky when he cheekily suggested one would go well with his Christmas pudding!! The dinner is paid for by the village (via Sheldon Day) so we thank you all for this opportunity for us to get together once a year and to enjoy each other’s company.
This month’s meeting of the History Group takes place at the Village Hall on Wednesday 15th February. The meeting is the opportunity for anyone to bring an artefact of any description from kitchen utensil to peculiarly shaped stone, from farming implement to old coin – indeed anything which might be of interest. Tell the meeting what it is and what it is used for or if you don’t know perhaps someone will be able to identify it. We hope also to show some old photos of people who lived in the village in years gone by. Do come, you will be very welcome.
The lucky winner of the Church Draw for January was no. 82 – Joe Tibbles. Congratulations!
Mick saw two red kites circling over the fields at the top of the village the other week – a sight not seen in Sheldon for many a year! Summer is disappearing (if it ever fully arrived depends in your viewpoint!) and autumn is on the way. The swallows and house martins have left us and the weather is turning cooler. In the gardens the flowers are having a last fling, the asters still have some colour but others like the rudbeckia and dahlias are fading. Soon it is time to plant the spring show of wallflowers and daffodils. Now we can look forward to those beautiful displays of autumn colour provided by the leaves and berries on the trees and shrubs.
The last Cream Tea of the year on August Bank Holiday Sunday was another success for that band of helpers who put in so much work during the summer months to raise much needed funds for the village hall. A wonderful £265 was the total for August. Thank you to all local people who come to aid the cause and love scoffing our delicious, mighty big jam and cream scones!!
The population of our village has varied over the years in both numbers and composition. Using the Census details from 1841 to 1911 the History Group Meeting on Wednesday 19th of October will be looking at these changes. From the influx of the Cornish miners who came to build the Engine House and its chimney in the early part of this period, to the fluctuating farming community of the latter years, the details are interesting For such a small village Sheldon has a wealth of history hidden within it. Come and find out more of the background to the place in which we live. There is certain to be a warm welcome and a cup of tea or coffee plus a slice of Julia’s famous Victoria sponge cake to enjoy.
Now we must say belated birthday wishes to Rosemary. Hope you had a happy 80th birthday on the 29th September Rosemary surrounded by your family and friends. BIG birthdays to come – Happy 80th Birthday to Ralph on the 11th October and a Happy Birthday to Sam who will be 90 on 24th October. Our very good wishes are sent to you all.
Doesn’t time fly? Little Harriet has now started school at Taddington and little George has started school at Longstone. It doesn’t seem five minutes since we announced their birthdays! Also baby Max was 1 on 15th September and little Alice was 2 on 22nd September. We hope you both had fun birthdays!
A big thank you to Stephen Melland (Joe) for supplying and fixing our new Church Notice Board. Please read about the Church Harvest events and take note that the Harvest Festival will NOT be on the first Sunday this year, it will be on the 9th October. Everyone is welcome at the Harvest Supper on the 10th at 7.30 at the Cock and Pullet.
The lucky 100 Ball winner of £25 for September was no 47. Congratulations Michelle!
Don’t forget that if you wish to give your point of view regarding the closure of Newholme Hospital and all its services, the 5th October is the last date. Go online www.joinedupcare.org.uk or fill in the questionnaire at the back of the booklet (strangely entitled for us in this rural area) ‘Better care, Closer to Home’
Please remember that Sheldon Jottings is a free way of advertising an event or of letting the village know of something of interest. We have missed 1 or 2 events because we did not know they were taking place! If Bron or Brian are not informed they cannot include it. Can we remind everyone that we MUST submit copy of Sheldon Jottings on the 12th of the month to appear in the Parish Magazine distributed at the end of the month ie.12th October to appear in November’s edition.
Dates for the Diary
Sunday 9th October 3pm – Church Harvest Festival
Monday 10th October 7.30pm – Harvest Supper at the Cock and Pullet
Wednesday 12th October 7.30pm – Parish Meeting in village Hall
Wednesday 19th October 7.30pm – History Group Meeting ‘Unravelling the census’ in village hall
Sunday 23rd October 9.00am – Church Holy Communion