News & Views - December 1980 - Issue 18

Dear Friends,

May I begin by wishing you and your family joy and peace in your hearts and homes this Christmastide. My wife and I will not be sending out individual greetings around the parishes, nevertheless our thoughts and prayers are for you and for God’s blessing upon you in 1981.

                                   Once again, we are indebted to Trevor and Joy

Stone for the cover design. Bombarded as we are by so many appeals from worthy causes, believe that the picture and verse strike the right note. It is our hearts first – not our money – that Christ desires. So often we are tempted to substitute the one for the other. That is not to suggest that Christ wouldn’t accept a lamb! However, it is personal commitment to Jesus Christ which should have priority, summed up so well in another hymn:-

“What shall I give Thee Master?

Thou hast given all for me;

Not just a part or half of my heart, I will give all to Thee”.

When that kind of response has been made, then the giving of our time and talents and money should automatically follow. If we feel it right to give a definite proportion of our income to God, then our only problem is to decide which causes to support and to what extent. Many of us wish to support our own local church. Some of us like to make Christmas a time of caring and sharing with the poor, the distressed and the homeless. Special Christian Aid envelopes are available in church for this purpose. For anyone who finds giving a difficulty or a burden, may I pass on a bit of doggerel, which our Bishop asked us to consider at the recent Diocesan Synod in Matlock:-

“Giving again, I asked in dismay, Must I keep giving and giving away?

No! said the angel looking me through, Only till God stops giving to you”.

Looking forward to meeting many of you through the Christmas activities listed on the back page.

Yours sincerely, DOUGLAS GIBSON, Vicar.

After over’. 30 years of dedicated service, Mary Stubbs retires as cook-in-charge at Biggin School at the end of the Autumn term. She shares with us some of her many:- MEMORIES

I commenced work with the School Meals Service in 1950, succeeding Mrs J. Warrington. During the 1939-45 war years, when school meals first started in Biggin, she prepared the dinners in the Village Hall, which was also Used as a dining room. When I started, the Prisoner of War Camp was being used as a canteen. It was very well equipped, complete with two good larders, big fining room, cloakroom, bathroom and two store rooms. The kitchen had a stout, black leaded cooking stove in the centre of the kitchen floor, with two big ovens and plenty of boiling space, when the fire was going well. There was also a small stove to heat the hot water system. In the dining room were two solid fuel stoves for winter time. Before we could start to cook the dinners, we had to get the fires going. This meant chopping sticks, carrying in big coal buckets and hoping that the wind was blowing in the right direction. We always tried to have the dining room warm by dinner time, for the staff and children had to walk up to the canteen in all weathers.

The building was kept very nice by the County Council. They did repairs and painted it regularly. The floors were concrete and we had to clean them on hands and knees – no long mops! We always seemed to be short of floor cloths and scrubbing brushes. The cloths quickly wore out on the rough floors. I think there must have been a squeeze on!

The water tank was situated over the main entrance and in very frosty weather the overflow froze- and large icicles formed. When the thaw came, we had to dodge the drips. It was very cold in severe weather.

In those days the trains were still running. We used to be biking up the road at about the same time that the 8.10 “downards” and the 8.20 “uppards” passed at Alsop. We often got a cheery wave from the driver and guard. The buses were also running every two hours; no one needed to  tell us the time! We knew that when the 12 o’clock bus went down, the dinner must be ready. At that time, what is now the offices of Barlow and Hodgkinson Ltd Was the High

Peak Harriers Inn, serving Offilers Nut Brown Ale.

In 1957 the new classroom and adjoining kitchen were built. I remember that we moved in just before Christmas. We had to get used to the new arrangement as we prepared to cook the Christmas dinner.

It made a Big difference; no fires to light or floors to be scrubbed. But we did have to lose some working hours. In the first year, we did find the classroom, which was used as a dining room, a bit small. This was especially so as the year went on and each term brought in a new intake of children. The summer term was rather crowded with about 70 or 80 pupils.

Mr R. Kennett was headmaster when I started. Mr John Oliver took over in April 1952 and, along with Mrs Lyon and Mrs Lucas, had a long and happy association without a break.

Looking back, I wonder where the years have gone. They seem to have just slipped by. There have not been any big changes. There are not so many pupils now, but numbers are still keeping up very well. Since I started, more than 300 children must have passed through the school, and nearly all have stayed for school dinner.

I should like to take this opportunity of saying to workmates, past and present, who have all been good friends, it has been a privilege to work with you. I say the same to all the children who have attended the school and the ones who are here now; also, past teachers and today’s excellent headmaster and staff. It has been a rewarding association throughout the 30 years. There are not many JO years in one’s lifetime and to have spent them in happy surroundings will leave me with many happy memories. I am indeed very sad to leave it all, but time marches on and the years catch up.

                                         Mary Stubbs

Following a presentation, of ”Zalzabar the Wizard”, a Christmas cantata for children, at Biggin School, Mrs Stubbs received a bouquet and four pieces of Royal Crown Derby. These were handed to her by Carol Coles, Sandra Currington and Janette Flower and were the gift of the children, parents, staff, governors, former staff and pupils, Meals on Wheels recipients and drivers’, and other friends. The thanks and appreciation of all these were expressed by the Headteacher, Mr C.G.Truman.

The Vicar recently completed the 8 stages of the 101-mile Peakland. Way, which runs from Ashbourne to the Snake Pass and back. On the Kinder Scout section of the route, he Was accompanied by Bob Woodroffe, who, with just a little poetic licence, has written the following jingle about the experience. He has called it:-





The Vicar’s invite was a day out

to have a walk up Kinder Scout.

Some walk that turned out to be,

The Vicar thrived, it shattered me!

“Take your time”, the parson said,

As I set off and forged ahead.

“Pace yourself, come down a gear,

You will not last the day, I fear”.

By midday we were at the top,

Ate our butties, drank our pop.

We started again, we’ve had our break,

Our destination is the “Snake”.

I lag behind, he’s going faster,

Have I met my walking master?

Now I’ve blisters and wet feet,

I’m knee-deep too in Kinder peat.

“Keep to the right of that gritstone wall”,

As in another hole I fall.

I’m dying for a drink and dying for a smoke,

I think it’s getting past a joke.

He stops at last, I catch him up,

If this is walking, I give up.

The map he studies with a frown,

I think he’s got it upside down!

“Now which is north and which is east?”,

We must have walked 12 miles at least.

He whips a compass from his coat,

This village priest, this mountain goat.

“Come on,Bob, I’ve got a bearing”,

Oh, this parson can be wearing.

Very soon he’s out of sight,

I struggle on in fading light.

An Inn is seen, is this the “Snake”?

Now at last my thirst I’ll slake.

A phone box there he soon espies,

“I’ll phone my wife”, the Vicar cries.

“You go in and find a seat,

Take the weight off your poor feet”.

It’s very posh, don’t care two hoots,

But they throw me out for wearing boots!

From the phone box he appears

And finds, me standing close to tears.

“I sent you first, it’s just my way

Of getting someone else to pay”!

But Douglas Gibson they’ll not fox,

We try again just wearing socks.

All is well, we get a drink,

We sit refreshed, I have a think.

Dare I tell him, will he fuss?

My brainwave is, we’ll catch a bus!

He said, “It’s tough, I told you so,

We’ve still got six miles to go”.

The Roman Way and Doctor’s Gate,

No brotherly love, it’s brotherly hate!

A warning friends, when you next meet

Our Vicar in your village street.

You stay at home, watch T.V. talkies,
Don’t go with Douglas on his “walkies”!

Bob Woodroffe

The Backpackers Club, of which the Vicar is honorary chaplain, has donated a lamp to St. Giles’ Church. This has been fixed outside the church porch and proved most effective when it Was first in use at a well-attended Songs of Praise service. The Backpackers Carol service was also well-attended. This was held at St. Thomas’ Biggin.

Donations have been received by Biggin Church amounting to £10.00 in memory of the late Leslie Coles and £24.00 in memory of the late Thomas Worrall Naylor. Tom will be greatly missed in Biggin and among the congregation at St. Thomas’.  The Fresh Food Demonstration and Social Evening arranged by Gwen Clayton and friends raised £60.00 for Biggin Church funds. The Coffee Evening held in Hartington School raised £312.70 for school funds; the Sponsored Disco at Biggin raised £228.00.

Dear people of Hartington and Biggin,

When the Vicar first encouraged me to think about the possibility of becoming a Reader, I had no idea about the scope of the training course or about the very interesting field into which it would lead me. I am grateful to him, to the P.C.C. and to the Diocese for accepting me for training.

I attended the first seminar in September at the Convent of St. Laurence, Belper. There were seventeen others, like myself, very new and very nervous. Mingled with us were a number of second year students and it reminded me of that feeling at school on the first day, when the next class seemed so far ahead and advanced in all knowledge!

The course is for two years and the seminars are held on the first Saturday of each month. Each session begins with Holy Communion in the Chapel and Series 3 and the 1662 service are alternated. This is followed by a lecture and discussion. The lectures have been of the highest calibre end the subjects absorbing. We are set an essay after each lecture and this is the difficult part, particularly as it is such a long time since most of us did work of this nature. The afternoon session is lighter and some interesting practical training is included. The day ends with Evensong in Chapel, taken by second year students.

During the course, our Vicars have been asked to help us by letting us take part in the services as much as possible, as part of our training. I am grateful to our Vicar for giving me the opportunity and to the people of Hartington and Biggin for accepting my efforts so kindly. I hope that your kindness and patience will bear fruit and that at the end of the course I shall be of some use in the parishes.

Until my husband and I are settled in Hartington permanently, we shall time our visits so that I can be at Belper for the first Saturday in the month and I look forward to meeting you all, either in Hartington or Biggin, during those week-ends.

I particularly value your prayers and hope that you will continue to support me in this way as I go forward with my training.

Yours sincerely, JOAN GORIIALL (Reader in training)








Carol Singers meet at Church View, Biggin.




Hartington Carol Service with School taking part.




Carols by Candlelight at Biggin Parish Church; Soloist: Janice Evans (Buxton)




Carol Singers meet at Church View, Biggin,

23 rd



Carol Singers meet at Stone’s Shop, Hartington.




Midnight Communion at Hartington Church,

25 th



Holy Communion at Biggin Church,




Family Communion at Hartington Church.