News & Views - June 1981 - Issue 21


No. 21. JUNE 1981

You say that you have read “NEWS AND VIEWS” ! Well, let’s see how much you remember; it’s question time now. There are no prizes for knowing the answers.

When was the first Newsletter issued?

Name the Biggin travellers who wrote about New York, Canada, Australia.

Who donated the outside porch light at Hartington Church?

A famous sculptor was born in Hartington; what was his name?

What is the name of the Alsatian dog in the charge of the local policeman who has now moved to Buxton? a

Where is Dampy’s Pinch?

’What was the temperature at Tiberius when the Rev. and Mrs. Gibson arrived there during their visit to Israel?

What event took place in Hartington Church in May 1979?

When was the church clock at Biggin installed?

Who was named the “John Merrill of Hartington”?

Who was presented with a gold watch for .25 years’ service at    .?

Who designs the cover illustrations for “News and Views”?

Where was Hartington Post Office situated in 1918?

H.M. the Queen signed an Order in Council in July 1978; how does this affect Biggin and Hartington?

Bob Woodroffe


A few years ago, when I was being questioned by a group of young candidates for Confirmation, one of them asked me, “Do you believe in a life after death?” What the question showed was chiefly a change in attitude towards the Christian doctrine of resurrection and life everlasting. Impressionable people of various ages are being strongly influenced in their beliefs by a society in which lively Christian convictions are much less widely held. There have been people in past centuries who have had strong faith in God but have not believed in a life after death. That was generally true of the Jews before the time of Jesus. Some of the Psalms show this unbelief and in the time of Jesus one group of men, the Sadducees. who tried to catch him out by their questioning, said that there is no resurrection. Jesus believed that there is. It was part of his faith in God. God’s love for people is not ended by physical death. So, Jesus met his death with simple and complete trust in his Father. He cried out in a loud voice, “Father! In your hands I place my spirit”.

What makes life after death a certainty for us is the fact that that same Jesus was raised from death. His enemies thought that his death was the end and so his cause was lost. Not so! The last word was with God. Death was put in reverse. The disciples of Jesus met him again and knew that he was alive again. Their faith in him and his cause was restored. They now knew that nothing in death or life would ever separate them from God’s love. That knowledge is still the ground of our hope and our joy. It is no surprise that the first Christians made every Sunday a celebration of the resurrection.

Chapter 15 of St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, which has stirred generations of people to faith and hope at funerals, is the place where the connection between Christ’s resurrection and our being raised to new life now and beyond death is chiefly argued. We need to read it at other times in this age when Christian conviction is weak and despised. Like the two disciples on Easter evening, we need also to let Jesus explain to us the passages which refer to himself in every part of the Scriptures.


I dreamed death came the other night and heaven’s gate swung wide  ‘With kindly grace, an angel came and ushered me inside.

There, to my astonishment, stood folks I’d known on earth –    

Some I’d judged and labelled as Unfit, or of little worth.

Indignant words rose to my lips but never were set free for every face showed stunned surprise – No one expected me!

(Derby Diocesan News)


This long-distance walk starts at Mow Kop on the Cheshire
border, north of Stoke-on-Trent,and spans the county as far as
Cannock Chase, the 60-mile footpath is waymarked and will eventually be extended a further 30 miles to Kinver Edge. I completed the route in 4 stages on separate days, using various forms of transport to and from points of departure and arrival.
The expedition began just before dawn on a cold, frosty morning
in March, when Eddie Blackburn called for me at the Vicarage and
took me to Leek, A bus to Hanley and then another to Mow Kop,
brought me to the starting point.

Primitive Street, Mow Kop is a reminder of the birth of Primitive Methodism in 1807, when Hugh Bourne and William Clowes held the first English camp meeting there. The landmark of Mow Kop Castle, where the walk begins, is a sham built by Randle Wilbraham in 1754 to enhance the view from Rode Hall. It is poised 1100 feet above sea level, whilst The Cloud, 6 miles away to the north east, is approximately the same height. The route meanders between the two counties and follows the remarkably straight gritstone ridge of Congleton Edge, which is part of the dramatic boundary between the Pennines and the Cheshire Plain. Superb views are to be seen through 360 degrees, which embrace the Potteries, the Cheshire Plain, the hills of Shropshire and Wales, and, to the north, the Peak District. A biting cold wind swept across the ridge, as I got into my stride and I was glad of my pullover, cagjac and snow-goggles, which kept my eyes from watering.

At Nick i’ the Hill the Way leaves the ridge and runs through the wooded slopes of the east of Congleton Edge, before turning back up to the end of the ridge above Mossley. One of the few climbs on the walk is the ascent of 691 feet in less than a mile and a half, up to The Cloud. I didn’t stay long up there, but quickly made the steep descent to the River Dane 2. miles below, which marks the Staffordshire/Cheshire border. The Way crosses the washland of the Dane to join the disused Churnet Valley railway line which suffered, like many others, under the Dr. Beeching axe of the early 1960s. I arrived at Rushton Spencer at 12.45 p.m., and having breakfasted at 5 a.m. was glad to tuck in to the sandwiches which Betty, my wife, had given me.

South of Rushton lies Rudyard Reservoir and the sunny afternoon afforded magnificent panoramic views from the east side of the lake. From the Rudyard Dam, the Way follows the canal feeder channel for 2½ miles to Leek, running parallel with the River Churnet along the valley floor. At Wall Bridge I left the Way and tramped into leek, where I was able to get a lift home with Malcolm Bassett and Alan Ollerenshaw.

The following Thursday found me in Leek once again at 6:15am.

but this time torrential rain had already started and continued for an hour and a half, I had passed Wall Grange and was well along the Cauldon Canal towpath to Cheddleton before I could begin to dry out. Since that month was the wettest March on record, it is not surprising that I came across a lot of boggy ground on the walk. I christened it “the watery way”. It was possible to photograph the restored drawbridge on the Cauldon Canal, one mile south of Basford Bridge and a pair of coots close to Consall Valley Pottery. At Cherry Eye Bridge the Way leaves the towpath to climb out of the valley to Kingsley village. On the way to Alton Towers, I stopped for a snack in the Hawksmoor Nature Reserve, a fascinating area rich in flora and fauna. By this time, it was sunny and warm. Climbing out of Alton towards Denstone, the Way soon joins Saltersford Lane. This green lane was originally one of the country’s network of saltways, when salt was an essential food preservative. East of Holebrook Farm one actually walks along the old stone packhorse causeway. Rocester was my finishing point that day, from where I hitch-hiked to Hartington,

Fred and Lesley Birch chauffeured to Ashbourne on the two final stages of the walk. From there it was possible to catch a Trent Bus to Rocester and Uttoxeter respectively. Between Rocester and Uttoxeter one walks beside the River Dove for about 5 miles. Further south is Bagot’s Wood and Bagot’s Park, now a farm, which demonstrates the scale and methods of modem farming – not very picturesque! That day’s walking was concluded early and thanks to a kind motorist I was given a lift all the way from Abbotts Bromley to Upper Mayfield and then home.

The final stint involved hitch-hiking from Uttoxeter to Abbotts

 Bromley. This was a shirt-sleeve day, with very high temperatures. The flowering shrubs outside the Blithfield Reservoir Engineer’s office were delightful. The route goes 3 3/4 miles on the tow path of the Trent and Mersey Canal between Rugeley and Great Haywood. Approaching Shugborough Hall, I was. able to photograph Essex Bridge, the longest packhorse bridge in the country.              It dates from the 17th century, has 17 spans, and

once had 40,           My final destination was Cank Thorn close to the German Military Cemetery and the Commonwealth Cemetery on Cannock Chase. It required a journey of 2½ hours and 5 lifts to get back home, but it had been a most rewarding experience.

Douglas Gibson


I have an 18th century Leek halfpenny. It is in excellent condition and was discovered many years ago in an ant­iques shop. It is exactly the size of the 1790 Macclesfield halfpenny found by Reg Prince whilst digging in his croft at Biggin. It is slightly less in diameter than that of the predecimal coinage penny, and round the edge appear the words, “PAYABLE AT LEEK, STAFFORDSHIRE”.

On the obverse of the coin are the words, LEEK COMMERCIAL HALFPENNY 1793″ with the initials W.R. and a caduceus, which is a wand surmounted with two wings and entwined by two serpents, carried by Mercury. Mercury has been described as “the Roman god of merchandise, theft and eloquence, messenger of the gods”. Also depicted is a bale of material, possibly silk, resting on a box or chest.

On the reverse side is a pair of clasped hands with an olive branch and the words, “ARTE FAVENTE NIL DESPERANDUM”, which probably meant “by favouring arts (skills), we don’t lose hope”.

                                                     Sylvia Pass

Donations to Hartington Church in memory of the late Mary Lough Gallimore amounted to £61.00. Nurse Gallimore was a native of Northumberland and came to Hartington 27 years ago and was District Midwife until her retirement.

The annual Spring Clean at Hartington Church will start at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, 30th June. Volunteers required – also to fill some of the gaps on the brass and flower rota.

The Sunflower Competition raised £60.27 for the C.of E, Children’s Society. Caroline Waring grew the tallest sunflower – 92 inches – whilst Sheila Smith, with 86″ had most sponsorship – £24.08. In this Year of the Disabled, the Ashbourne Rotary Club is organising a Sunflower Competition and children from Biggin and Hartington schools are taking part.

Stop Press. As we go to press proceeds from Biggin Church’s Spring Fair amount to £224.03. A big “Thank you” to all who helped and supported in any way.


A day at London

We left Hartington at 7.20 a.m. on Bernard Sutton’s bus. The journey lasted 3½ – hours, and we had a stop on the Motorway, we arrived in London at 11.45 a.m. First, we went to see St. Paul’s Cathedral; that was one of my favourites. Then we went on the underground, which was a very fast ride. After that we went to Trafalgar Square and had our packed lunch. There were hundreds of pigeons there. Next, we went to Whitehall and the Horse Guards Parade, then to St. James’ Park, Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews. At the Royal Mews we saw the Golden Coach and all the Queen’s horses. After that we walked along Birdcage Walk to Parliament Square, then down to Number 10 Downing Street. Later we went to the Pier ac Westminster Bridge and then by boat to the Tower of London, On the way back to Hartington we stopped at the Grange Hotel, Luton and had our tea. We arrived back at School at 11 p.m. We had had a lovely day and going to London is a once in a life time experience. I shall never forget my visit.

Julie Riley, aged 10.

Going to Prance

Last year we went to France. We went with a coach trip. All the things had to be bought, because we were going camping. We needed a tent, a camping stove etc. The journey down to France was a drag and it was all on the same bus, except the ferry crossing. The ferry crossing was really brilliant. We had our dinner on the ferry as well. From the back of the boat, where you looked out, it was a wonderful view of the white cliffs of Dover – for a little while, anyway. We went to the south of France to a place called Vias. “When we got there the weather was like walking into a heat bed. The children were ever so brown. The first time I went to the beach, the first thing I did was to lose a flip-flop. We looked for it all over, but we could not find it. Then we found it! I even learned to swim in the Mediterranean Sea,

The way back was longer than going. It was longer because we stopped in Paris. I saw the Eiffel Tower, which in French is written Tower Eiffel. I saw the River Seine and I even walked on the most famous street in the world, the Champs Elysée. I think that coming home took about five days. I really enjoyed my trip to France. When I got back to ‘England it was a Sunday morning. It was wet and cold, much colder than the south of France.

Rebecca Clayton, aged 9.

Your morning pints

When I come home from school at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, I have a cup of tea and a biscuit. Then I change my clothes and go across the farm to bottle the milk. I set the machine up, lift up the big bulk tank lid and take out buckets of milk and fill up the bowl, I can fill 4 bottles at a time and put them in crates, sort out the wide top bottles and narrow top bottles, and place the appropriate tops on each. These are then pressed with a little vacuum suction gadget. Next morning at about half past six, my Dad calls me. Mum then makes me a drink of tea. We take eggs and milk books and hope for a

fine morning. Then we go off starting at Friden and working our way round Hartington. Next Dad stops at Biggin School with me to start another morning’s work. I enjoy my work very much. It is much better than being bored and I enjoy spending and saving some of my pocket money.

Janette Flower.

Life in Manchester

I used to live in Manchester but we moved to Biggin. Life in Manchester is very different from Biggin. For instance, shops. The only shops in Biggin are Gwen’s and Polly’s Cafe. If you went to Manchester, you would find that there are much bigger shops like Spa, Debenham’s, Marks and Spencers and Lewis’s. Another thing that is different is the roads and traffic. The roads are much wider and there is much more traffic. So, if you ever go to Manchester, be careful on the roads.

Sarah Kitchen, aged 9.

Life in Biggin

I once lived in Manchester. Until one day in 1979, my Dad said that he wanted to move”. So, then we came to Biggin. I think that life here is very interesting and exciting. I never knew all about the snow, but I quite like it anyway.

Louise Kitchen, aged 13

The Biggin School Bazaar raised £166.30 for P.T.A. funds, whilst the Antiques fair raised £252.00 for Hartington School funds.


By agreement of the respective Parochial Church Councils, the Communion Service in the Alternative Services Book 1980. known as Rite a, is being used in alternate months at Biggin and monthly at Hartington. At St, Giles ’ this will be an evening communion at  7,30 p.m., normally on days when Matins has been used.

A Songs of Praise will be held at St. Thomas ’ Biggin on Sunday, 28th June at 6,30 p.m., when musical items will be given by the Queens Hall, Derby Quartets. Titles of favourite hymns should be handed to the Vicar or Wardens.

A Confirmation Service and Communicants’ Reunion will be taken by the Bishop of Repton,’ the Right Rev. Stephen E. Verney, MBE, M.A., at Hartington Parish Church on Sunday, 12th July at 1′ am. Refreshments will be served in the School afterwards. The occasion will mark the anniversary of those confirmed in 1978.

A Summer Market and Pair is being planned at Hartington for Saturday, 27th June at 2,30 p.m. Proceeds for church funds. Doug Blackhurst has kindly offered to give rides on his scale model of the Leek and Manifold Light Railway engine, J.B. Earle.