News & Views - Easter 1982 - Issue 27


In everyday life we frequently see saints’ names on buildings, streets and towns. Most churches are dedicated to a saint’ e.g., St. Thomas at Biggin and St. Giles at Hartington. What do we know about them? Were they in fact real people?

Well, let’s look at St. Thomas, a biblical saint and one of the apostles, who was known as ’Didymus”, which in Greek means ’’The Twin”. So, he must have had a brother or sister, but the Scriptures don’t record this. He is credited with founding the Christian Church in South India and was murdered there in 53 AD. The Syrian Christians at Malabar have a tradition that he was buried at Myla pore, near Madras. He has been adopted as the patron saint of carpenters. Through his disbelief at Jesus’ appearance after the resurrection-, the phrase “doubting Thomas” has passed into proverbial speech. His Feast Day is 21st December.

What of St. Giles? He is perhaps less known. Wounded accidentally while protecting his pet hind from huntsmen, this 8th century hermit had in England alone over 160 churches dedicated to him, before the Reformation. He is now the patron saint of cripples, beggars and blacksmiths, his emblem being the hind. His Feast Day is 1st September



I had just been watching “One Man and His Dog” in the BBC’s series on sheep dog ‘trials. My thoughts roamed back to 1941. I had just been posted to Palestine, a horse depot at Natanya. The war had not yet caught up with me, much as I longed for action.

Evening feeding was over and I reported to the office. “You will be packed ready to move off 7 a.m. tomorrow to Tel Mond to take over the ’sheep farm’ there. You are a good vet, son of a farmer, make a good job of it!”.

There were between three and three and a half thousand sheep, split up into ten large enclosures, ten Arab shepherds, and I who could hardly speak a word of Arabic! The sheep had been collected and driven from Syria, Jordan and Palestine and looked like greyhounds, with big floppy ears like Bedlington terriers and tails like empty bladders, although these should have carried all their fat. Heaven only knows what


breed they were, cross upon cross; the Arabs said they were Syrian.

They were lousy, full of ticks and in a sorry state. The first job was to dig and erect a dipping lay-out. Gan you imagine, dipping three thousand sheep in a temperature up in the 80s? I must say that the Arabs and I understood each other better at the end of the week. The next job was foot rot – quite abit of it. I dressed it all with tar and copper sulphate. The feeding was some job, comprising hay of a sort, maize and carob beans; but they thrived.

Then came shearing; could those Arabs shear? They were as good as an Australian stockman, fast and efficient. Three months and the flocks looked great, disease-free; the tails heavy with fat. True the jackals had a few, Bedouin Arabs tool. The future of the sheep — food for Middle East forces. For me, something to look back on, and wonder how I Coped                                                 Banton

(Banton was a fellow patient in the Devonshire Hospital, Buxton, when Reg Prince had his recent operation. Natanya is the place where the Vicar and his party of 22 will be spending three nights on their visit to Israel).


On February 27th Jimmy Saville OBE fixed it for ten-year-old Georgia to find out how the blue markings are put into stilton cheese. The BBC l’s “Jim’ll Fix It” team didn’t visit J.M. Nuttall’ & Co. Ltd.’s Dove Dairy but instead the Long Clawson Dairy at Melton Mowbray.


Both-the local and the national press featured a reunion which took place on Shrove Tuesday at the Jug and Glass, Hartington, the three chief participants were former tail-gunner John Douglas, who survived the Wellington comber crash near the public house on April 10th 1943, Tom Rowarth, Victoria House, Hall Bank, Hartington, a Home Guard Corporal at the time, and Hilda Dunn, now Mrs Kirkham, daughter of the then licensee. John Douglas, had travelled down from Carlisle, where he now lives.


A VISIT TO INDIA by F.E. Ireland

Late in 1981, the Government of India requested assistance from the British Government in the education and training of some of their Central and State Government officials in the environmental control of air and water pollution. The UK Overseas. Development Administration thereupon arranged for a preliminary sur- —vey of-,the situation in India, so that a proper assessment of the heeds could be made and appropriate education and training could be organised. Mr George Eden, formerly Director of the Water Pollution Research Laboratory and now a consultant, was assigned the task of assessing .the water pollution situation and I was asked to assess the air pollution control policy needed.

We left London on Saturday, 9 January, our take-off being delayed for 2 ½ hours whilst the plane was being de-iced. The plane touched down first at Kuwait and then at Dubai in the Persian Gulf and there we had to sleep the night in Dubai airport because Delhi was bathed in thick fog and no planes could land or take-off until the fog dispersed on Sunday morning. The result was that we arrived in Delhi many hours late and only had a few hours of daylight left in which to see the city. Fortunately, we were able to visit the Mahatma Ghandi Museum, which was close to our hotel.           ’

Apart from Delhi, our travels took us from the State of Punjab in the north to Kerala in the south and across to Madras on the east coast. India is a vast sub-continent stretching for about 2,000-miles from north to south, and 1800 miles from east to west. It has an estimated population of about 650 million, which is expected to reach about 900 million if the birth rate cannot be reduced. So far, many social improvements introduced by governments have been negated- by the population explosion. One hears lots of stories about living conditions in India, but only by going there and seeing oneself can some of the. appalling conditions be appreciated properly. There are said to be at least 200 million people living in home-made hovels, or nothing at all, and scraping an existence by begging and scavenging, every village, town and city we visited was dominated by their presence, and at night the railway platforms and the shelters of public buildings became dormitories for the homeless.

Traffic was chaotic with every form of transport being used, including elephants, camels, cows, oxen, donkeys, bicycles, rick— -shaws, mopeds, cars, lorries, taxis and buses, all mixed up together. We saw families of 4 on a bicycle and 5 on a moped.



Notwithstanding the gloomy side of the present-day picture,  there is much to admire in the history leal background and ancient monuments. In Delhi, there is the Lutyens building built by the British and now the seat of the Government of India, the India Arch and the ancient Red Fort, a walled city built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. One evening we found time to visit the Red Fort to see a performance of the Son et Lumiere and it was. a great spectacle. Tom- —bs and temples keep company with high, rising buildings in Delhi. Unexpectedly amidst the. monuments of Old Delhi there is the fabled Chandni Chowk (Silver Street), once the richest street in the world, and still lined with gold and silverware shops. The slow march of history carved in stone is all there to see.

Like other developing countries, India has imported western industries and technology, but in many ways is still living in the past. It has not yet learnt the art of maintaining its industrial plants and processes in good operational _ condition, especially the non-productive parts concerned with environmental protection, and we saw numerous examples of gross water and air pollution. Whole reservoirs and stretch- —as of river were completely covered with water hyacinths, plants which feed and multiply rapidly on polluted water.

Dried cow dung is a major domestic fuel, together with any combustible scraps available, and the result is an evil cloud over most communities, especially in the evenings when people begin to cook. It is a pity that the dung cannot be returned to the soil to enrich growth and an alternative found for fuel for the poor. Perhaps this will come if and when there is an improvement in the quality of life. The sulphur content of Indian coal is very low and the sulphur dioxide concentration in the urban atmosphere is less than half what it is in UK towns. On the other hand, the suspended fine dust is about’ fifteen to twenty times as much, some of it natural  in the dry season and some of it man-made. Rain falls heavily during July, August and September, and then there is a

 virtual drought for the next nine months. Vast water storage and irrigation schemes keep the enormous plains fertile, producing crops for India’s teeming millions.

Our visit was both exciting and depressing and we hope that the measures we recommend will help even in some small measure to improve the quality of the environment and public health.




It was alone the Saviour knelt

In dark Gethsemane,

His soul was sorrowful indeed,

With bitterest agony.

There all alone he humbly prayed, “Thy will, not mine, be done.” But whilst he thus in anguish spoke, His followers slumbered on.

It was alone the Saviour stood

In Pilate’s judgment hall,

Betrayed by one of those he loved, Forsaken by them all.

“What shall I do then with this man

Called Christ?” the governor cried;

“Away with him”, the people said, “Let him be crucified”.

It was alone the Saviour hung On Calvary’s rugged tree, Bearing the awful burden there, Of sin and misery.

“Forgive them, Father, for they know

Not what they do,” said he;

“My work is finished; I commend My spirit now to thee”.

Oh, praise his name, he now is risen and sits upon the throne, Waiting the day when he will come to take his ransomed home.

The Lord himself will come that day, Our blessed redeemer he;

Who gave himself, that we might live?

With him eternally.

Helen M. Aitken


“When I arrive in the Holy Land, I shall climb to the top of Mount Sinai and there I shall read the Ten Commendments loudly to myself”. Yes, and that is, after all, much easier than to stay at home and keep them.

Fana Parish Magazine, Norway



Donations to St. Thomas’ Church, Biggin received this year include £84.00 given in memory of Frank Bonsall, £9O.00 in memory of Edith Heathcote, with a similar amount to Cancer Research, £66,00 in memory of Gladys Wilton, with other donations to the British Heart Foundation, and £76,00 in memory of Marjorie Twigg, with a similar amount to Holy Trinity Church, Peak Dale, Donations to St. Giles’ Church, Hartington include £54,00 in memory of Thomas. Moorcroft, £34.00 in memory of Jack Peach, £75.00 in memory of Sheila Stevens, with £100.00 to the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, and £217,00 in memory of Arthur Slater. Mr, Slater was chairman of the Hartington Town Quarter Parish Council for over 19 years and a bellringer at St. Giles’ Church for double that length of time.

Parish Clerks Mr. Dennis Storer and Mrs Kathleen Gibbs have been succeeded by Mrs Susan Wardle and Mrs Carol Clayton after 12 years and 11 years’ service respectively with the Hartington Town Quarter and Nether Quarter Parish Councils.

The annual Coffee Evening raised £236.36 for Hartington Church, The Brownie Guides acted as waitresses, serving the coffee and biscuits.

Mothering Sunday services were well attended. At the close of the Family Service at Biggin a presentation of a cut glass vase and spray of flowers was made to Mrs Dorothy Allcock. It was made by Mr. George Stubbs and Miss Kay Clayton on behalf of a group of church members, who wished to thank her for playing the organ at St. Thomas’ Church until her recent move to Ashbourne, Congratulations to….

……Joan Gornall, who has successfully completed her training and will be licensed D.V as a Reader in the diocese of Derby in Derby Cathedral on Saturday, 19th June at 11 a.m.

……Bill and Rita Lamb on becoming grandparents twice in 17 hours when their daughters Mandy Boulton-Lear and Kathy Mansfield gave birth to Thomas and Brett respectively,

……Paul Riley who matched his prowess at soccer by scoring 6 tries at rugger when the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Under 15 team played the John Port School, Etwall.

……Biggin Rovers Football Team who by mid-March were leaders of the Hope Valley League’s B Division with four games in hand.

Good Friday services will be held on April 9th at 10 at Hartington and at 6 p.m. at Biggin.

The annual Service of Dedication of the Backpackers Club will be held in St. Thomas’ Church, Biggin on Sunday, 23rd May at 10.30 a.m. Parishioners and visitors will be most welcome.

An Open Day at Woodscroft Museum of Rural Life is being planned by Mr and Mrs George Stubbs., The Laurels, Main Street, Biggin.

It will be held on Saturday, 15th May commencing 11 a.m., There

will be a Bring and Buy Stall. Admission including refreshments 30p. Proceeds for Biggin Church Funds. During the past two years Mr Stubbs has acquired additional old tools, and hand operated machinery, including many ancient veterinary items, entries in the exhibition are also being provided by the Manifold Preservation Group, including stationary engines and old farm machinery.

An Open Day to celebrate the Launch of the Appeal for £250,000 is being held at the Parwich Hospital Care Centre for the Elderly on Sunday, 28th March from 2 to 5 p.m.

St. Michael’s and All Angels Parish Church, Taddington are holding a Flower Festival to celebrate Easter, starting on Saturday,

10th April until Wednesday, 14th April.

The Fellowship Group meets in Hartington Vicarage on Wednesdays

 At 8 p.m., Details on porch noticeboard in Hartington Church. Parishioners and visitors are all welcome.