Baronets Diary July 2016

Written By - Sir Richard Ranulph FitzHerbert, 9th Baronet.

Welcome To The Baronets Diary July 2016


A Heartfelt Cry.

It has taken me 27 years to understand Tissington Hall. Having moved in as a raw 25 year old in 1989 on the death of my Uncle John it has only now dawned on me how the house (and by that I mean the structure) can survive for a further 407 years. Since 1609 the Hall has been the family home to numerous generations of our family. As such it has evolved from being a fully staffed home to today’s established national wedding venue, also hosting other functions and tourist groups. However, the infrastructure of the Hall needs a serious overhaul to make it fit for the next 400 years. Whilst Fiona and I titivate and renovate various rooms the fact remains that the Hall needs heating, plumbing and facilities that are suitable for the 21st century so that the house can be fully utilised. On tours around the Hall I cite the analogy with the imminent refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament. It is proposed that all MPs and staff move out for 10 years so that the builders can go in and blitz the building replacing the decaying systems with modern up-to-date apparatus that will last for another 400 years! Our dilemma is that this ‘grand plan’ would cost many millions of pounds and require consents from the ‘heritage police’, both of which would, I fear, be gargantuan tasks. I write to warn that more houses in our position will face this situation in the next decade when you consider the lack of Government support for the heritage. Our well-known neighbours at Chatsworth are more than half way through their ‘Masterplan’ to completely do just that..update the house. We are jealous. We need support for our enterprise and innovation, not barriers.

Well Dressed

Our Well Dressings took place in early May and we were fortunate to be granted glorious weather. Once again the village community put in much hard work and a steady stream of visitors paraded through the streets admiring the six petalled creations. The 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s books was commemorated at Hands Well and fans of Royal Ashbourne Shrovetide Football gathered at Coffin Well where designer Diane Wilton commemorated the 100th anniversary of soldiers playing the ‘good old game’ during a lull in fighting on the Somme in 1916. Also featured in the collage were the designs of this years ‘turner-uppers’ Barry Greenwood and centurion Bill Milward. It was quite a year, and a fantastic well.

Merry England

Over May Bank Holiday I was invited to open the Dovedale Fête which this year moved venue to the stunning grounds of Ilam Country Park in the picturesque village of Ilam. Attractions included a dog show, maypole dancing, a wide selection of stalls and games, face painting, a ducking stool and bric-à-brac bargains. The event was organised by the Ilam School Association and the National Trust and was a huge success with over 2,000 visitors and more than £3,000 raised for Ilam School Association funds. The children were superb in their performance of various maypole dances, and the intermittent entwinement of ribbons – ‘an occupational hazard’ I was informed – made it all the more fun.

Robert Bowring Butcher

We have a new Butcher in the village. Robert Bowring and his wife Lynn have taken on the Butchery based in the former village Slaughterhouse on the eastern side of the village. Hailing from Warsop near Mansfield Robert has shops in Shirebrook, Chesterfield and Mansfield Woodhouse and is well known in the area. The new operation in Tissington sells local beef, lamb and pork and in addition Robert and Lynn have expanded the offering in the premises with homemade pies, a deli counter and fresh vegetables. Open every day from 9-5 why not pop by and visit him for yourself.

‘Be prepared’

Tom Stoddart has just stepped down from his role as County Commissioner for Derbyshire Scouts. It is a role he undertook for the past five years, during which the number of Scouts in the Derbyshire faction has increased to over the magic 10,000 mark. Tom continues to be involved in the movement, as I learnt when in my role as County President I presented awards to 50 Scout leaders at a recent glittering ceremony in South Normanton. Tom will continue to head up the refurbishment project at the Drum Hill camp while his former role has passed to James Stafford from Littleover. I wish them both and the Movement another successful year. .

See Your Next Month RRF