News & Views Vol 12, Issue 2 Mar/Apr 2022

News & Views Vol 12, Issue 2 Mar/Apr 2022

Table of Contents

History of Biggin Village Hall- Part 3- “A grand old lady bows out”

Thought of as a ‘grand old lady’, this much-loved meeting place was a ‘time capsule’ of events. Continue savouring further recollections as you’re guided towards the birth of a new hall, which, although built on an alternative site, its aim remained steadfast; “to preserve provision of a community venue, that sustains a meeting & entertainment facility for all.

The late 50’s and 60’s saw youngsters embracing more freedom. Indicating a generation craving a changed society from that of their parents. With more money, people witnessed times of a youth culture developing from ‘Teddy Boys’, ‘Mods & Rockers’ and others. The dances such as Quick-steps and Polly-Glides remained popular, Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard and The Beatles were now to the fore. Full to capacity and often drifting outside, revellers Rock and Rolled, Twisted and Shouted, spritely dancing The Locomotion. Popular beat music was often performed by local groups ‘Georgina and the Georgettes’, ‘The Hickory Sticks’, ‘The Manifolds’ (no relation to Keith) and others, whilst party-goers ‘Bunny-hugged’ and ‘Hula-ed’ the nights away.

For entertainment value, Blackpool’s ‘Tower Ballroom’, never competed with BVH’s floor. It was 1st class for bounce and spring, making it more conducive to dancing. Prior to a dance night, the dull, dilapidated boards were sprinkled with ‘French Chalk’. When stocks became exhausted, ‘Lux Soap Flakes’ (usually used for washing your smalls) were substituted. “Fantastic” they cried, until inevitably, accidental beverage spillages resulted in a congealed, foaming gloop. “Yuk” they replied as gummed up footwear or feet

became worse than they were from having trudged up Biggin Dale in a flood. Fashionable ‘stiletto-heeled’ shoes, predictably become stuck-fast in numerous cracks or crevices, causing wearers to trip, fall or sprain an ankle whilst twirling around. Barefoot capers weren’t an option, as for many days afterwards, unfortunate party-goers inevitably spent hours picking numerous splinters from their feet. However, the worn-out hazardous nightmare problem was BIG, yet it took another 20 years for a new hall to be built.

The extent to which the swinging 60’s fundamentally changed Biggin is a debateable point, but what is beyond doubt is that during this era, everything changed Nationally and Globally. Every meeting saw concerns raised to update this ‘grand old lady’. Obtaining ‘Public Liability Insurance’ for a wooden, zinc-clad building was almost impossible, as well as unstable fixtures, inadequate catering and Dickensian toilet facilities; coupled with facts that whilst amusing, ‘aerobic’ talents demonstrated on rickety roof- stabilisers and ‘gymnastics’ performed on a trampoline floor, teetering on rotten hollow foundations maybe hilarious fun whilst inebriated, fixtures and fittings were far from safe for the public when sober. Consequently, these countless issues prompted the then

‘Trustees’, Messrs West, Gibbs, Stubbs and Watson to promote fundraising plans for provision of a new hall. They met frequently, discussing tactics at one of the homes. However, this was not welcomed by the non-cigar- smoking, home-owners wife. On the meeting days, disgruntled, she’d travel via bus, to Ashbourne, journeying just long enough for meetings to begin and end. On return, she’d energetically pitch all sash-windows open, stating, “I’m reet fed-uppa-‘avin-ta-git-awey-from-th’ blinkin’ smoke i’th’ best parla”. Inevitably, meetings promptly resumed at the old BVH.

During this time, new members joined and (excluding the added extension to the rear) the ground on which the new hall now stands was offered ‘for sale’. But ‘funds’ were insufficient. However, a benevolent ‘Club’ (active at that time) donated an anonymous sum for BVH to purchase the plot. A terrific bequest. However, large amounts of money must now be realised to build their goal.  Whist and Beetle Drives, Jumble and 60/40 Sales, Fashion,

Pippa-Dee and Jewellery parties were promoted, along-side endless Raffles, Social Evenings and other fund-raisers. Another idea was offering bricks for sale at £5.00p people could then purchase unlimited amounts. This excellent notion progressed well and many contributed. BVH now had ‘cash-in-hand’- Painted on ply-wood, a ‘thermometer’ depicting progress was erected on the exterior west wall of BVH; the temperature rose representing a plus bank balance. The 1960’s heralded the game ‘Bingo’. It swept the country. Appearing fun for all, Charlie Webster, Janice Allsopp (Riley) and Joan Bonsall (three committee members), proposed a trial run of this entertainment. Although not unanimously favoured, the game proceeded. Played for grocery and household items originally, a special ‘Flyer’ game was launched at the end of  the evening.   In 1957 the  Government  introduced  ‘Premium Bonds’.

For many locals they were unaffordable. Although (cash was not allowed lawfully) they were considered a novelty initially, but soon became more valued than the ‘household fuel vouchers’ that could also be won. Worth a value of £1. 0s. 0d. for a ‘line-call’, rising to £5. 0s. 0d. for a ‘full- house win’ they became a ‘flyer’ offering future investment. Rain, hail, sunshine or snow, Thursday became the weekly ‘Bingo Night’. This roaring success was a housewife’s favourite night out and woe-betide any ‘hubby’ not returning home soon enough from work for her to attend. Filled with fans from near and far, BVH prospered.

Meanwhile Keith Manifold, born and educated in Biggin had mastered the art of guitar playing. As a youngster he’d demonstrated musical abilities ‘clacking’ ‘Spoons’ together, beating time to music alongside another relative playing beautiful melodies of age-old music-hall songs on a ‘Carpentry-saw’ with a ‘Bow’. These haunting tunes could reduce anyone to tears. Nonetheless, influenced by people such as Hank Williams, Jim Reeves and more, Keith remained true to himself favouring ‘Country and Western’ type music. He tried many jobs, including a delivering milk. He also practised for hours singing and playing Slim Whitman songs, which resulted in him becoming hailed as ‘the yodelling milkman’. Keith’s professional debut was singing in a local club, but he made a name for himself both Nationally and Worldwide following an appearance on a television programme called ‘Opportunity Knocks’ in 1974.

Although finishing 2nd in the final series to 10 year old Lena Zavaroni, nothing deterred Keith’s progress into ‘Country’ music whilst concurrently recording in Nashville, Tennessee. Lena, a child prodigy (whose close friend was Bonny Langford), had links to this Parish too. Her Aunt Mary lived at ‘Glebe House’, Heathcote. Lena, following a 22 yr. battle with an eating disorder, sadly died in 1999 aged 35 yrs.

Keith was a firm favourite amongst his many fans.  He was always proud to

return to his ‘roots’ providing countless nights of entertainment in both old and

new village halls. Often, he was supported by his wife Alice (Nadin), who assisted by setting-up equipment prior to performance. She too was a local girl and alongside Keith encouraged their daughter Louise to sing solo and

duets. Keith’s career spanned over 40 years, but he too, having suffered a massive heart attack, died all too young in 2005. A memorial plague is displayed proudly in the (new) BVH.

Many fund-raising and community events continued and late in 86/87, the ‘grand old lady’ was destined to bow out gracefully. According to the Ashbourne News Telegraph February’87, the “impending closure prompted an official function with an ‘exhibition of Biggin and district memorabilia’. A cake, decorated with relevant dates was cut by Mrs. George Stubbs. A village party in the evening was attended by approximately 100 people.

Biggin & District memorabilia Exhibition 1987

Around £55,000 had already been paid towards the new hall costs, with around £10.000 remaining. Grants of £7,000 from DCC and DDDC were still outstanding. However, the Village Hall Committee received £9,000 worth of interest-free loans from village people to be repaid promptly from proceeds of the old hall sale.

Serenely, the ‘grand old lady’ sold off her wardrobe, quietly closed her doors whilst a gentle demolition began.

All that remained were pictures of a mirrored reflection in our minds.

The ‘new’ Biggin Village Hall– one of the first events in the new well-constructed BVH, was an 18th Birthday party for Denise Webster on 28th February 1987, followed by a 21st birthday party in March, for Brian Greatbach.

Commemorated within the building is a ‘committee room’, fixed with a name-plate dedicated to the late George Stubbs, an early ‘Trustee’, enthusiastic committee man and fund-raiser.

A further extension and improvements have been added and many clubs/societies continue to make use of BVH for

meetings and get-togethers as they did in the past. ‘Bingo’ continues to thrive some 60 years on, maybe not with the same flair. Nonetheless “hatches, matches and despatches” continue to dominate usage alongside “tournaments, concerts, shin-digs” coming a close second.

I hope you have enjoyed reading these recollections of old BVH as I’ve enjoyed writing them. No doubt it will prompt more memories still to be unearthed. Dearly I would love to share (and return) any memorabilia, not only on this subject but whatever you have- ‘Carnivals’, ‘Cricket’ or ‘Football Clubs’, ‘Institutes’, ‘Societies’, memorable events or any age-old stories. Maybe you will allow me to record them too. The aim is to put them into print. Whichever one wishes to be called, ‘Bigginite’ or ‘Bigginer’, from ‘cradle to grave’ it’s part of our footprint.  So, how about it?  I’m game if you are!   Joan – 07854 436288

“Vicar Letter” -Can it be, can it possibly be, that the evenings are getting a little lighter? At any rate, my thoughts are starting to turn – hopefully – towards spring and the opportunities for regrowth and renewal it brings. At one end of the scale, I have my T&M spring catalogue and I’m making a (small!) list of plants and seeds to purchase, bring on and nurture. At the opposite end of the scale, we’re saving up to replace our old kitchen which is very shabby but not in a chic way! We’ve thought about replacing the cupboard fronts and swapping out the odd cracked floor tile. This would definitely be the cheaper, easier option! But we know in our hearts that – to do a good, lasting job – we need to strip the room back to its bare bones, renew the electrics and take everything back to its very foundations. This endeavour reminds me of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (NIV 1 Corinthians 3:10-11). This is such a great metaphor. In his imagined role as a skilled builder, Paul has laid the foundations for the Christian church and community in Corinth. Paul knows that others will continue what he has started. He urges them to work together and to work carefully to create something lasting that will stand the test of time. On a day-to-day practical basis, this message encourages us all to try our hardest to be “wise builders” and “do good work” in our lives. If we look into the heart of our own Church and community families, we are certainly blessed with people who strive to do “good work”, as fund-raisers, volunteers, professionals, carers, neighbours, teachers and leaders. My list is not exhaustive – I am sure you can add to it! The most important thing is that we don’t need a title or an official role to be a wise builder. Whatever we do – if done well, to the best of our ability – will help to create the strong foundations needed to grow what is good and best all around us, whether that is a loving home, a thriving community or a Church family. As for me, today I’m adding peat-free compost to my T&M list, to give my seedlings the best possible start in life. Roll on spring! (Elizabeth Cook, parent governor, Earl Sterndale CE Primary School)

Tales from the Fields-North of the Wall – For those not familiar with game of thrones this is an area that is in constant winter and by this time of year it feels like that’s exactly where I live. Winters are at least a month longer than where my mum lives (near London) and they are certainly much much colder, I realised this when a new external boiler was installed and we had to source one that could withstand -10 and not just -5. That first winter with the new boiler it dropped to -7 so a job well done by the clearly experienced installer who is probably still laughing at my disbelief of temperatures ever dropping below -5.

Walking the dog before work in winter involves doggie foot balm if its -3 and whilst he really should wear a coat, anyone that has seen me attempting a walk with my dog in a coat will acutely feel his embarrassment and watch his even slower than normal walk with much amusement, it appears my old dog has decided doggie fashion is not for him and he’ll tough winter out (or practice his fake shiver until I return home which is his usual plan B).

My chickens refuse to come out of the coop if the ground is frozen, making winter in “flockdown” a little more

tolerable as the run is covered, which stops most of the snow getting anywhere near them. It has to be said, this

doesn’t appease my wonderfully fluffy Orpington Mrs Haversham, who despite all her petticoats, spearheads the revolt for more sunflower seeds every time I venture anywhere near the run, the lonely quails insistence on fresh but not too cold water daily, (she’s called lonely quail but she has secretly murdered her last two quail companions resulting in her new name of Keyser Soze) and not forgetting the vigilante rescue guinea pigs squeaking their ‘right to roam’ protests if I try to keep them inside their hutch past breakfast, all this animal malarkey can make winters feel like a carry on film!       but then there’s the pure joys…

The beautiful sunrise walks dragging my reluctant “foot balmed” dog, my childish glee of breaking a frozen puddle with my boot, the frost glistening on the mossy walls and the truly breath-taking sunsets, like earths reset button, bringing hope for tomorrow in a world filled with so much turmoil. These moments of wonder and laughter will thankfully see me through to the first signs of spring, when Me, my menagerie of rescue pets and my shivering dog will be overjoyed to see sunshine and longer days and we will have survived another winter north of the wall.

Children’s Corner – Spring is just around the corner and it’s a great time to get out walking with your grownups and help them find a few of our villages special and sometimes hidden places. A different village every issue. We’ll start with Biggin – if you manage to find every one send your name into childrensnews and you’ll get a mention in the next issue! The next edition will see EYE SPY Hartington.

EYE SPY BIGGIN – can you spot these whilst you’re out & about in in Biggin?


We have two new book reviews!

Warhorse – Michael Morpurgo. Suitable from around age 10 to adult. I had been meaning to read this book because I had been told what an incredible book it was and when i got to reading it, I was not disappointed.

This book is in the perspective of Joey, a horse. It starts when he is bought from an auction by a drunken man and separated from his mother. After being roughly handled, Joey is thrown into a barn with one other horse. Destined for a life of misery with his new master, Joey quivers in the corner of the barn until someone else comes in. Albert, the drunken man’s son is kind and gentle. Joey immediately takes to him and they grow a strong bond together. Joey is making his living by being a work horse on the farm, Albert’s father stays away from him… everything is blissful. Until Joey is sold off to war.

Albert makes a promise. When he is old enough to join the army, he will find him and they can be together. Joey goes through very difficult times in the army, with death, destruction and injury. But Joey has only one goal, to see Albert again…

This is a brilliant book. So meaningful and emotional. Morpurgo has really made Joey’s perspective seem so realistic and all the more amazing. I’ll give this book a hefty 4 1/2 / 5 stars. Reviewed By Millie-Jane Baldwin

Please Mr Panda by Steve Anthony. Age – suitable from baby Mr Panda has a tray of amazingly delicious looking donuts which he offers to each of his friends, but they all forget the most important word – please! This delightfully funny board book teaches little ones about the importance of using their manners and even very young children will delight in the simple illustrations and enjoy the repetition of the text. 4/5 Reviewed by Ernesto Serrano who loved this book. Would you like to write a book review or article for Children’s corner? Please send your ideas to

FUND RAISING for ASHGATE HOSPICE– On the 13th March, Sophia age 11 and Isla age 7, supported by Katherine and Ollie, will be walking 11miles (from Pikehall to Cromford) along the High Peak Trail, to raise money for Ashgate Hospice. As the hospice is a charity they rely on donations and goodwill of supporters. Family and friends have used the hospice, so this is a very important charity to us. If you would like to support Sophia and Isla please go to or see the sponsorship form in the post office. Thank you.

Royal British Legion, Church Street, Hartington – The following events will take place in the Legion – Saturday March 26th Ray Vonn- singer and guitarist; Saturday April 16th John Daniels- singer and guitarist. Quiz first Sunday in the month with a free hot supper; Bingo 3rd Sunday in the month Look forward to seeing you Harold and Jen Ball.

“A Cheesy Night with Alan Salt”– Friday March 18th 7.30pm Hartington Village Hall. Tickets £7 available at Post Office. Cheese, Biscuits and Good Stories and memories of Mr J Nuttall and Hartington Cheese factory will be on offer. Bring your own beverage. Let Sue know if you want to book a table and how many for. More information on HCG facebook and posters

Derbyshire artist featured on TV’s ‘Four in a Bed’ rediscovers her freedom after life-changing cataract surgery

Annie tells of restored sight bringing new lease of life, after celebrating her 80th birthday A Derbyshire calligrapher and artist has shared the ‘mind-boggling’ impact of cataract surgery that has allowed her to rediscover her sense of freedom.

Annie Larner, who recently celebrated her 80th birthday, is back in her art studio and busy gardening following successful surgery at SpaMedica in Newcastle-Under-Lyme this summer.

The surgery put a stop to what Annie describes as a ‘circus’ whenever she ventured into her local area in the Peak

District with her golden retrievers.

The resident of Biggin explains: “Due to my sight, and because I didn’t want to be recognised in the high street, I wore dark glasses. But while walking my dogs I began to notice people opening doors for me and providing assistance, obviously thinking they were my guide dogs. Although initially I took it as a nod to my well-trained pets, it was like a circus. I thought, ‘there has to be a way out of this’. And cataract surgery was the answer.”

Annie, who featured on Channel 4’s Four in a Bed in 2017, became aware of her sight deteriorating due to colour distortions. These affected her artwork and she resorted to tinted glasses to operate a lightbox. Colour distortions were impacting her vision and quality of life. Annie explains: “In particular, I noticed it while gardening. I would wear hats and sunglasses to cope as much as possible, but I craved the feeling of freedom that I knew cataract surgery could bring. A letterbox is bright red and it got to the stage where I couldn’t see one, so I had to get my act together. “I wasn’t worried about the surgery itself because I knew the procedure was straightforward and it seems like it’s over in a second – literally almost a blink and it’s done. “SpaMedica is 110% eyes – they know what they’re doing. My only concern was the knowledge I’d be returning home to see the dust and filth I’ve been happily ignoring for a long time!” Annie moved to Derbyshire from her home county of Hertfordshire and has three children scattered over the globe, pursuing their own passions. Thanks to SpaMedica, Annie can now do the same. On life after the TV series, which is being currently repeated, she added: “The show wasn’t my sort of thing, but it paid off in terms of guests who come to stay at Biggin Hall, and they’ll say hello to me if they see me in the garden. Seeing our new wildflower meadow was a very colourful climax to end the gardening year, and the surgery allowed me to go and visit my family in France.” It is in France that Annie celebrated her 80th birthday with a spa day in October – and she plans to have a tiny tattoo inked on her to commemorate the occasion.

Hartington News

Congratulations – Mrs Hazel Deaville, previously long-term resident at Church View Cottage, Hartington; mother of Ian and Alan was 100 years of age on February 17th. She is fondly remembered, most especially as the cook at Hartington School. Congratulations on this milestone.

THANK YOU- Anne, Russell and their daughter (currently residing in the Woodyard cottage) for the amazing job they have down in dealing with the path edges in the church yard. It looks so good, your hard work is really appreciated.

Lent Course – 4 Wednesdays on Zoom Everyone is invited to join folk from St Giles and surrounding churches for a 4 week Lent course on zoom. It will be hosted by Rev John Fountain and runs on Wednesdays from 7pm to 8.30pm on March 9th, 16th, 30th and April 6th. The theme is ‘Embracing Justice’ and we will be following extracts from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book, of the same name,  written  by Isabelle Hamley.               Copies can be purchased online or as an e-book. The aim of the course is to reflect on what justice means to God. You can come and listen, you don’t have to say anything, but you can if you want to and you can certainly ask challenging   questions!      Please contact Dorothy

Hawton for zoom details on dorothyhawton@ or check St Giles website or facebook.

Informal Flora– Dear Classmates-Linda and I are preparing 2 classes in the Village Hall where we shall be doing “Flowers for Mother’s Day,” and “Flowers for Easter,” when we hope old and new ‘mates’ will come along and join us. The dates are -Wednesday March 9th and April 6th – 1.00 pm – 3.00 pm. Sessions will be

£10   per   person,   per   session.   Tea,   Coffee,   Cake definitely included!

In addition, there will be 2 workshops on offer, which will take place in the church. Hopefully these will inspire you to want to participate in the up-and- coming Commemorative Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Flower Festival, in June. The dates for these are, Saturday April 14th – 1.00pm – 3.00pm – Decorating the church for Easter. Wednesday May 11th 1.00pm – 3.00pm – decorating the church for Spring. Costs will be kept to a minimum using the Jubilee grant obtained, much will depend on what comes up in our gardens!

We are looking forward to all of the above and very much hope that you will be too. Please contact Linda on F.B or 07757844977, Sarah on 01298 84319 to book your place.

Queens Platinum Jubilee – Thursday June 2nd

– Sunday 5th June. Please save the date – we have so much happening over the 4 days. These include Warslow Band, Beacon lighting, Scarecrow Competition, Family Treasure hunt, Wheel barrow races, Tug of War, Family picnic, Flower Festival and much more. Everyone welcome. We have obtained a National Lottery Awards for All grant to help support these events, so please come along and enjoy a great community event. If you would like to help in any way, however small – please contact Liz Broomhead 01298 687263 or Keith Quine- 01298 687384

Rural Social Group – meet 4th Tuesday each month

– 2-4pm -Hartington Village Hall. All welcome. The meeting on January 24th were treated to an excellent presentation by Linda Woodroffe about “Lip Reading”. Much “mouthing” and laughter with the aid of hand mirrors. As always, the cake was delicious with plenty of tea and coffee. An update the session on February 22nd – “A Farmers Life- a Farmer’s Wife” will be in the next on edition.

Hartington Village Hall – Following the installation of our new heating system volunteers have been engaged in installing insulation in both the Upper Bakehouse and toilets/entrance way loft spaces. This has been financially supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund through the South West Peak Landscape Partnership who also funded the John Bob Sherratt publication and contributed £10K to our replacement roof. Over the 5-year life span of SWPLP our community has much to be grateful for – see https://www.southwestpeak for a full appreciation of their achievements.

Not only has recent work ensured further savings on energy consumption but will also further reduce our carbon footprint. We discovered a very large foam ‘crash mat’ in the Upper Bakehouse loft. How it got there (the loft hatch is small) is a mystery. Does anyone know how it came to be there? It had to be cut up into 10 pieces in order to get it out. We also have replaced the wooden boxing to the pipework in both Main Hall and Boiler Room. Volunteers have also been busy refurbishing the Upper Bakehouse, creating space as well as effective map and document storage space for our growing collection of historical documents and artefacts. User groups: we now have the following regular bookings. If interested just come along.

Mondays: 7.30-9.30 Badminton and table tennis Tuesdays: 9.00-12.00 Lending library plus IT assistance;

7.30 – 9.30 Table tennis (3 tables available); 4th Tuesday of the month 2.00-4.00 Rural Social Group Wednesdays: 9.00- 1.00 Lending library; 10.30 – 11.30 Pilates; 11.30-12.30 Chair Pilates; 7.00 – 10.30 Dance Club Thursdays: Fortnightly 2.00-4.00 Indoor Games (bowls, curling, boccia, table tennis); 6.00 – 8.00 Beavers/Cubs/Scouts; Fridays : 3.30 – 5.00 Parent and Child Group.

The popular ‘Hartington Young Peoples’ Activity Club’ (HYPAC) will re-start on Mondays from March7th Rescheduled because of the pandemic, on 18th March Alan Salt will be the guest of Hartington Community Group at a cheese and wine event. Alan will be supplying cheese and will entertain us with tales from the life of J.M. Nuttall, so influential in the early 20th century in taking forward the production of cheese in Hartington. Bring your own beverage. Keep an eye out for further information. Our calendar can be seen at

Hartington Sings……..

Wednesdays 5pm to 6pm in the village hall

March 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th and April 6th then, after a break, May 11th, 18th and 25th

This gives us eight sessions during which time we will enjoy ourselves singing in preparation for Easter and for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. On Palm Sunday,

10th April, we will take part in a church service of music and drama (and we hope to have a donkey taking part too). We are also

invited to sing on Easter Sunday. To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June (2nd to 5th) we will have fun singing songs spanning the last 70 years. Absolutely everyone is welcome, wherever you live, and whether you think you can sing or not! We

accept all ages from 3 to 100 (school age need to bring a parent/carer). We have secured a small grant

to cover costs so there is no charge! Please contact me if you’d be interested in joining us.

Liz Hitch 687148

Village Hall Lottery– We held the first draw of the Village  Lottery  on  12th   January   and   the winners, Number 43, were Vicky and John Colley, of Minton House in Hartington. They generously donated 50% of their winnings back to the Village Hall.  When  the  February   draw   took   place   on 9th February the winning number was … 43, so congratulations again to Vicky and John, and they generously donated 50% of their winnings back to the Village Hall again, for which we are most grateful. We all await the result of the next draw on 9th March to see if No. 43 appears yet again ! The Lottery continues to be well supported by our community and now has 116 active numbers, so thank you to everyone who is helping to make the improvements to the Hall, for everyone’s benefit

Hartington Community Group -HCG

HCG met for their AGM followed by a general meeting on Wednesday 9th February. 22 folk came along to share information about the events and activities in Hartington. We now have 26 voluntary groups which come

together under the umbrella of HCG for the purposes of communication, co-operation and co-ordination. Please get in touch with one of the committee members if you wish to know more or, indeed, wish to start a new activity: Liz Broomhead (Chair), Phillip Neal (Vice Chair), Liz Hitch (Secretary) and Leon Goodwin (Treasurer). Further information can be found on the village community website. Secretary HCG.

Social Walking – The positive benefits to health and well-being –Both local and new residents of Hartington and the surrounding areas, have been meeting on a Monday morning for an informal social walk. We first choose together a different route for variety, taking into account the weather and how people are feeling in themselves.

The participants have given feedback on how the walking group has helped them to :-

“feel welcomed into the community “, “it’s a chance to meet new people”,

“learn about the history and life in the village”,

also “appreciate the beauty of our surroundings and

an opportunity to explore the local area”, “the walk helps to motivate me”,

“I like to walk but walking with good company makes

the miles fly-by” ,

“It lift’s my spirits, I can’t help but go home happy”,

“I have seen health benefits as my balance and stamina has improved “,

“It has helped to make me feel less lonely”,

It’s a very relaxed, friendly group, so welcoming and a lovely way to enjoy our beautiful countryside. The group is informal, and you just turn up when you can.

Meeting point: Mondays 09.15am at the village bus stop opposite the Devonshire Arms. Be prepared for all weathers. Kay x

There are many people who are very grateful to Kay for establishing this informal group and co-ordinating the communication THANK YOU!


The Hartington Parents Playtime Group continues to run during term time on Fridays between 3.30pm and 5pm in the village hall. A number of parents and children attend regularly and many have commented how much the children enjoy playing and making new friends, and how parents and carers value time to sit and chat to the other mums and dads.

The craft activities are particularly enjoyed by the children, as well as having space to play freely. A big thank you to Hartington Community Group, who have funded the initial sessions. This has enabled us to keep the sessions free for everyone attending. Additionally, we have been able to purchase some equipment specifically for the babies who attend. We have also received some donations of toys for the older children to enjoy, thank you. If you are interested in coming along, please feel free to pop by.

Neighbourhood Plan We received over 30 responses to our Draft Neighbourhood Plan from members of our community, together with those from Statutory Bodies, including the Peak Park Authority. All responses will be considered and logged prior to a review meeting with Peak Park planners on 28 February. There were some robust views expressed, even challenging the validity of the Plan in its present form. This is exactly what consultation is about, enabling us to consider amendments, to ensure any final Plan complies with statutory requirements and can pass examination by a planning Inspector.

Parking, affordable housing, recreational areas and green spaces, were among the responses and a list of the main comments will be made available, following our meeting with the Peak Park and will form an important part of  our  Consultation  Statement.  This Consultation Statement, together with a

Conditions Statement, Environmental Assessment and Habitats Assessment all need completing for submission with the Draft Plan. The body submitting the Plan is Hartington Town Quarter Parish Council, however drafting has rested with a Steering Group of residents, who volunteered at an early public meeting. Over time this has reduced from the original twelve, to four including myself.

If the Parish Council is satisfied with amendments and a final Draft is agreed, it is sent for “Regulation 16 Consultation” where the Local Planning Authority (Peak Park) conducts an open public consultation on the Plan before it is sent to a planning expert, the Examiner, for the next stage in the process. Residents and any members of the public will then have a further opportunity to comment on the Plan.

Hartington C of E Primary School

We re-opened on Monday 10th January, after what seemed like a long break, although we didn’t finish until 23rd December. Children returned to school ready to work having recovered from the festivities. Unfortunately, within a few days the school was hit with Covid and spent the next few weeks down on numbers. I am pleased to say that no one was really ill and everyone is back working hard and completing catch up work. Due to the outbreak, we missed a few offsite events: Change 4 Life festival on Tuesday 18th January for years 4, 5 & 6 pupils, Tag Rugby at Parwich with Y3, 4, 5 & 6 pupils – joining with Biggin as ‘BiggHarts’, Disney Festival for Yr1 & 2 pupils and the years 3 / 4 Sports Festival. The children were also going to experience a taster Karate session on Friday 11th February but unfortunately this has been postponed until the summer term as the practitioner has had an operation.

MAST attended school on Friday 4th February to perform their much-loved puppet show on the Bible story ‘Daniel and the Lions’. They also presented the children with a beautiful book called ‘The Lion Book of 1000 Prayers for children’, which they informed us ‘Cornerstones Book store’ at Matlock had donated. They also attended on Friday 11th March and performed ‘The Good Shepherd’.

On Tuesday 18th January the whole school, in groups of KS1 & KS2, undertook a virtual Road Safety workshop, learning about how to stay safe when out and about. This work is especially valuable for children who live in small villages as there is often a misconception that there is limited traffic passing through a village and that they are a very quiet place to live in.

Tuesday 8th February saw ‘Safer Internet Day’; we chose to celebrate this day through the I-Vengers scheme and activities, which were spread over the final week term. Pupils learned all about how to stay safe online, who to contact if they were worried and keeping passwords and personal details secure. They have each created a superhero mask to wear as part of the I-Vengers scheme.

Friday 18th February the children attended St Giles Church for an RE lesson regarding similarities and differences between a Christian and Synagogue church. This was delivered by Sarah Lacey and has involved follow up work in class.

School reopened after half term following an Inset day with staff undertaking training virtually on the Computer Curriculum with Elton school. The children enjoyed pancakes for lunch as it was Shrove Tuesday.

On March 2nd & 3rd Mrs Broomhead and community members will be visiting school to continue the ‘Wildflower’ project. They will be working outside with the children, setting up a vegetable plot with companion wildflowers, which is in unison with the school’s wildflower plot and the children’s individual plots created at home. Let’s hope for dry days! This is just one event which the school is working on with the local community this year. 3rd March is ‘World Book Day’ and 18th March ‘Red Nose Day’ the content of these two days is still to be decided, but it is certain whatever happens, everyone will enjoy the events

Spring term 2 will see the talented Rachel Wilkes from Music Partnership return to the school following a two year break due to the pandemic. She will undertake 5 weeks of delivering the music curriculum to the whole school and delivering to the different key stages.

During the summer term the outcomes change as she will embark on developing the children’s ability to sing and perform. This will hopefully culminate in an end of year concert for all to enjoy. Once again, the staff and children would like to thank the parents, governors and community members for their continued support and patience during these uncertain times. School will close for Easter on Friday 8th April, re-opening on Monday 25th April.

Hartington Wildflower Group The arrival of Snowdrops reminds us that Spring is edging closer each day and there are many beautiful displays all around the village and surrounding areas at present. A perfect excuse if needed to explore the lanes and woods around Hartington. The focus of the Wildflower group since the start of the year has been on planning and preparing our wildflower areas for

the year ahead – clearing the ground where needed to provide space for wildflowers.

We now have seven areas across the village that we help manage as wildflower areas. In particular, a great deal of work has been carried out over the last few months clearing the extremely overgrown pond area at one of those sites – the Youth Hostel. Many of you will recall that historically this was a popular spot for residents and visitors alike, including a place for pond dipping, and our aim is to return it to its former state working together with the lovely team at the Youth Hostel. It also provides a fabulous view of the village as well from the recently rediscovered bench! There is always more work to do, so in partnership with the team at the Youth Hostel, we are organising a volunteering day on the 17th of March which will be open to anyone who would like to help with further clearing of the area in and around pond. If you are interested in finding out more, please email

Thanks to a grant awarded by the Parish Council we will be replacing the planters in the centre of the village – as the existing ones are now showing signs of deterioration. As well as replacing the planters, we will be planting pollinator friendly plants that will help attract bees, butterflies, and a range of other insects. The challenges caused by biodiversity loss doesn’t only impact our community of course and we are always keen to share information and ideas with other similar groups across the area – a new exchange group has just been formed sponsored by Derbyshire Dales District Council, and includes several other groups including Hathersage, Bradwell and Wirksworth.

Finally, a presentation to the Rural Social Group (RSG) on the Wildflower project takes place on March 22nd at 2 pm in the Village Hall. You are most welcome to attend if you’d like more information on the project. If you’d like to find out more on any of the topics in this update, would like to get involved in volunteering with the group or need some advice on what to do in your garden, please send an email to – we would be

delighted to hear from you. We also have a Facebook page – Hartington Wildflowers.

YHA Hartington Hall

One of the goals of the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) nationally is to work closely with the communities they are part of and following on from a successful meeting in December 2021 with members of the Hartington Community Group (HCG) we identified many opportunities to work with groups from across the community on a range of activities, three   of   which   are   already    underway.   Working in partnership with the Hartington Wildflower project, we have identified two areas at the hostel – the pond and orchard – that have been designated as Wildflower areas. These add two new ecosystems to the existing wildflower areas across the village, and over the course of the next few months we will be working to clear these areas, especially the pond which is extremely overgrown.

There is always more work to do, so in partnership with the Wildflower project, we are organising a volunteering day on the 17th of March which will be open to anyone who would like to help with further clearing of the area in and around pond. If you are interested in finding out more, please email

With the Digital Hartington team, we will be developing further links and a range of communication tools to jointly promote the activities, events, and opportunities both of the YHA and the community. Being based in a beautiful 17th century manor house, as you’d expect we have a great deal of history, and we will be working with the History group to share and further publicise our extensive archives with the wider community. We are looking forward to working on these three areas with and plan on developing further opportunities throughout the year.

If kyou’d like to find out more information either about these specific activities or YHA Hartington Hall,                   please           email           Marta           at or if you haven’t visited the Hall yet, why not pay us a visit and say hello!

Biggin News

St Thomas Church -Many thanks to everyone who helped with and/or attended the snowdrop service on the 6th February. The church looked beautiful and the bishop commented on how effectively the church and

school are working together. Our next service will be the Easter Sunday communion service on 17 April.

Services 2022 are as follows this year – Jubilee Service – 5th June, Harvest Festival 16th October, All Souls       community       service       6th                                          November, Remembrance Sunday 13th November, Candlelit

Carol service and Nativity 18th December and a communion service on Christmas Day. Archdeacon Carol is leading a teddy bears’ picnic for pre- schoolers, toddlers and family  on  16th  June  at 10am. Small people, their carers and teddy bears are warmly welcome to St Thomas’s first messy church service. Times for the services to be confirmed. If you have an idea for a community service, messy church activity or a fund raiser please talk to a member of the PCC. We are a small team and we welcome anyone who would like to help in whatever way they can. We also have two weddings and a baptism booked this year.

Thinking of getting married? – you can get

married in St Thomas’s if:

  • You live in the parish
  • Were baptised (christened) in St Thomas’s
  • Are confirmed and your confirmation was entered in the St Thomas’s register of confirmations
  • or has at any time regularly gone to church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months.

Flowers If you would like to decorate a window or do a display for Easter Sunday please talk to a member of the PCC. Everyone is welcome to join in. For the Jubilee service on 5th June we’re asking people to decorate the church with jars of flowers – all ages are welcome to put a small or large jam jar of flowers into church. Please check the back of the church for the calendar of altar flowers. If you would like to put flowers on the altar in memory of a loved one, please put your name down. The rota works on a first come basis. All floral donations welcome. Thank you too all the ladies who have worked so hard and been so creative this last year. The church has looked beautiful.

St Thomas Flower tower. Please keep knitting and crocheting those flowers in all shades of red, white and blue – some purple would be good as well. It won’t be long before we’re checking the net and arranging to sew the flowers on to it. If you’d like to be involved, please keep an eye on the church notice board and our Facebook page.

Churchyard. The trees have now been maintained so our insurance is valid. Some of the crocuses and daffodils we planted in the autumn are beginning to make an appearance and the headstone survey remains ongoing. We have put up some new bird boxes and bat boxes – we still have space for more if

anyone would like to make one or donate one. This year we are looking at how we can repair the drystone wall as well as put a path from the side gate to the main path. The headstones deemed to be dangerous by Derbyshire Dales can be laid down this year and we want to maintain the wrought iron railings in the churchyard. We will be planting red, white and blue wildflowers in a small area of the churchyard and the school are planting some as well.

Hartington Nether Quarter Parish Council- If you wish to view, or comment on, any planning applications in the area, you can visit the Peak District National Park portal on In response to a request from a local resident, the Parish Council has arranged for the previous stile over the wall, providing access to the fields blow the Tissington Trail, to be replaced with a more ‘user friendly’ walk through stile as directed by the Peak Park Ranger. In conjunction with the Peak District National Park, plans are also in hand to place a bench, set into the wall, under the bridge below the entrance to the Trail. The village bench refurbishment project is well underway as most of the benches have now had a ‘face lift’ with thanks to Pete and Steve. In preparation for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration, the unused telephone box will be decorated with a Union Jack theme and will depict pictures of by-gone photos of the Parish Further information can be found by visiting

Biggin C of E Primary School-Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how different and diverse are the activities that play a part in out learning at school. This last fortnight has been amazing, when we think of the range of wonderful opportunities available for our children to enjoy. School has a longstanding friendship with Bemma Akyeampong. This energetic champion of Ghanaian culture regularly visits school to teach children about African Dance and Art. Recently she has written and published a story book about turtles and the dangers they face due to pollution in the world’s ocean. Despite meeting us virtually on Zoom, her story-telling was spellbinding and everyone was captivated, joining in with African chants and dance moves and then producing traditional paintings of the main character in the book. We really hope to see Bemma in school in person soon.

Onto Music, our Key Stage 2 children showed us their skills playing trumpet and trombone in the village hall last  Friday.  Our  audience  of  parents, grandparents

and  one  baby  were  very  impressed  by  how  much

progress they have made as an ensemble in the few short months since September. The highlight had to be a lively rendition of ‘I feel good’ by James Brown. What a treat! We’re encouraging everyone to keep practicing as we have another concert lined up in Derby in the Summer term.

Snowdrops have been a very prominent theme this term. We helped ‘Save the Snowdrops’ at Biggin Hall which were growing into the lawn. We have brought some of these back to school to plant under the three trees which the gardeners at Biggin Hall have donated to School. We also held our own Snowdrop Service at St Thomas’s Parish Church which was a delight. Some children also got the chance to meet Bishop Libby on Sunday at the Snowdrop Festival as their families were able to attend the service. This was a very special event and the children thoroughly enjoyed talking to Bishop Libby personally. We created a lovely display of photographs to show the rich and productive relationship School enjoys with St Thomas’s. This included everything from leading our own services in Church, helping with the headstone survey and meeting the expert from the British Lichen Society to count lichens in the churchyard last summer. Bishop Libby was very happy to see the close involvement of the children in all of this work, as are we.

Lastly, the whole school jumped on the coach for a trip to Buxton Opera House to see the Northern Ballet

Company perform Pinocchio. This was perfect for our Reception and Key Stage 1 class as they have been learning about traditional tales this term. Key Stage 2 were entranced too, because the choreography was stunning and the characters were such fun. The highlights were the Cat and Fox tap dance and the leaping movements of the cricket. We certainly recommend you take a look next time they are in town. How lucky we are to enjoy such a variety of learning every week!

Waterloo Inn- We are starting to have music back at the Waterloo Inn on a regular basis – hoping to have events on the 2nd Saturday of every month but we do get requests from group booking on the campsite so there will be additional ones as well. See below for the ones that have been booked so far-12th March – Gold Top; 16th April – Mel Christi; 18th April (Bank Holiday Monday) – Karaoke by Ellen tbc; 12th – 14th August – Beer Festival with the Fun Day on the Saturday 13th August If you are interested in having a stall at the Fun Day please contact us on 01298 84284. October 29th – Eclectic Duo – Halloween Fancy Dress Optional. A reminder that we have a Quiz every Thursday at 9pm. Thank you everyone for supporting us. Debs, Steve and Stevie

Earl Sterndale News

Earl Sterndale Chapel – Sunday services are continuing to take place at 10am on the 4th Sunday each month and everyone is welcome to join us. The future of the Community coffee morning is still being discussed as there is a shortage of volunteers to help. The community sewing group are now meeting again on a Thursday morning at 1030am. This very friendly group enjoy sewing and knitting and friendship each week

The members of Earl Sterndale Chapel were very sad to hear the news that their good friend Derek Lindley had died. Derek was kind, welcoming and always willing to help. In his own quiet way, he would notice a job needed doing and would set about doing it often without even being asked. He never sought praise or thanks, but we always appreciated his help.

As a regular attendee at the community coffee morning, he loved to share his local knowledge and history of the village and his boy hood pranks when he lived at Hindlow.

We send our love and condolences to Anne and Derek’s family of whom he was so proud and supportive, and we know he will be missed by all those who had the privilege of knowing him. Derek’s funeral was held at Buxton Methodist church and the internment was in the graveyard back in Earl Sterndale

Valentine’s Afternoon Tea. On Saturday the 12th of February, we ventured again, with our, eat-in or take-away homemade afternoon teas. We were very pleased to sell all 40 boxed afternoon teas. Thank you to everyone who supported our event and thank you to everyone who helped make the teas.

Mothering Sunday We will be having a Service in Earl Sterndale Church on Sunday the 27th of March at 4.30pm. The Service will be led by Sarah Lacey Easter Sunday An Easter Service for Easter Sunday, April 17th is also being planned.

Dates for Diary. Monday 28th March and 25th April Earl Sterndale Bingo, in church – 7.30pm

Thursday 7th April, Earl Sterndale Annual PCC meeting, in church, 7pm

Parish Council– Have you seen the parish council website? Why not browse Hartington Middle Quarter Parish Council, where you can find details of the next council meeting, agenda, and minutes of the previous meetings. There is space on the site to give information regarding events and projects within the parish. Please send information to the clerk to the council. Ian Saunders

Earl Sterndale CE Primary School – We remain in Covid times, which makes it difficult for children to go on school trips, participate in organised activities or even have whole school assemblies, which were all such regular features of pre-Covid school life. However, pupils and staff remain admirably optimistic and in good spirits. The Infant class have been going on regular visits to the White Hall Outdoor Education Centre to participate in weekly sessions on the indoor climbing wall. Children have enjoyed these sessions immensely. Climbing offers a great opportunity to improve core stability which helps to develop fine and gross motor skills, so hopefully we may see some beautiful handwriting in months to come! We’re stepping tentatively forward to a return to normal school life and are hoping to book some

well-deserved fun trips and activities for the children throughout the Spring and Summer. In the meantime, the children are hard at work in school and we’re very proud of their ongoing resilience and positive attitudes in these very challenging times.

Pomeroy Memorial Hall – This has been a quiet time, with no meeting since November 2021. Our planning application for the hall has been submitted. Our new website is almost ready and will be launched shortly. The winner of the100 Club for December was Ann Cooper (80) and January, Brenda Wheeldon (79).

Parish Register

Renewal of Marriage Vows Kris and Sharon Owen – officiated by Rev’d Gillian White – Tideswell Team Ministry on February 14th

Funeral of Mrs Dorothy Palfreyman on the 18th January

The Funeral of Mr Derek  Lindley  took  place on Friday the 4th of February, at Buxton Methodist Church, he was then laid to rest in Earl Sterndale Church Yard.