I had not been asked to appear on Radio Derby for a while so it was with trepidation that I ventured forward one morning to appear on the breakfast show with presenter Ian Skye. I was one of the ‘Loudmouths’ alongside the charming Professor Cecile Wright from Nottingham University and we were asked to pontificate on two differing subjects namely the situation in the Falkland Islands and smoking outside hospitals. The portion of the show lasted an hour and we were interrupted with listeners calling in. Somehow I managed to also speak about my television appearances on Top Of The Pops in the 80s between our discussions and I trust I may be invited again. Listen out on BBC Radio Derby for my next appearance.
In March Derbyshire Dales District Council (DDDC) offered ten grants of £100 each to ten community groups to assist Community Clear Up days in their area of the authority. Our Parish Clerk was quick on the draw and secured the sum for litter-picking sticks and gloves for the parishioners who volunteered. Our team undertook two sessions of two hours each and concentrated on the major roads that run astride the village boundary. In those four hours we managed to fill 50 black bags, find 22 wheel hubs, 3 tyres and numerous ‘bits of vehicle’ that drivers had discarded out of their lorries. It was staggering to discover so much rubbish and litter in our stints and we plan to reconvene in September to pick up some more. The volunteers were of course refreshed at the end at Herbert’s Fine English Tearooms alongside some donated home-made fudge from David Walker’s sweetshop emporium.
Once again we as country people are to be penalized by a national institution. Presently we have two red post boxes in the village and we are pleased to get two collections each day by postal workers at 9am and 5pm respectively. News reaches me that the 5pm service is to dropped so that we will have to have our correspondence organized by 9am in order to get next day delivery. What is so frustrating is that the postal officers and their vans will continue to drive past the boxes at 5pm each day so why cannot they just stop and collect? I can understand if they had changed their route but that seems not to be the case. I fear that it will not too long before all our collections will be scrapped and our postboxes relegated to antiques just like our red telephone kiosks
The annual start to the tourist season starts at Chatsworth each March. On a glorious Thursday evening the great and the good in our industry were asked to Chatsworth House by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire to hear an impassioned speech about collaboration in the trade by the Duke and to invite the assembled throng to view the latest exhibitions. This year one of the events that runs until October is ‘Make Yourself Comfortable..’ with visitors invited to sit on contemporary furniture by international designers around the house. It was an extraordinarily experience with wacky chairs interspersed amongst the more traditional seats along the visitor route. One that took my fancy was a canvas sofa and chair (see photo) where one can sit on a decorated image and it then appears like one is seated on an amazingly comfortable chair. Once again there is something for everyone at Chatsworth this season and you will need more than one visit, I promise you. I for one will certainly be back.
It is always a delight to host the Bloodhounds on the Estate. Once the shooting season has ended I invite the local Hunts to meet at Tissington. The Four Shires Bloodhounds meet on a Sunday and this year they had a full complement of forty hardy souls mounted and spurred to follow the pack of twenty couple. With the quarry (a young runner from Ashbourne) setting off half an hour beforehand to lay the scent across the Estate the pack then follow that smell taking jumps(mainly hard stone walls) in their stride. After a full four hours of hard exercise (interspersed with stops for stirring noggins of port) the exhausted team repair to the Bluebell Inn at the main gates for refreshment and vittals. A grand end to the season.