Baronets Diary October 2016

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

Welcome To The Baronets Diary October 2016

Under Public Scrutiny, Murder Most Foul

As part of the transparency of the organisation, the Derbyshire Dales District Council has taken to YouTube to broadcast all pertinent important meetings. A recent wellattended (200 people) planning meeting was held at County Hall and the full three hours of statement, debate and argument is there for the world to see in perpetuity. Sadly I was on leave for this one and handed over the chair to my deputy Andrew Shirley. His well-polished handling of a tricky and controversial agenda has been viewed so far by over 70 people. All future such meetings will be broadcast and it is the Chairman that takes the pivotal role in the filming. I had better get a haircut!

Murder Most Foul

My holiday reading this summer included a book that I had been drawn to through the Baronet’s Society newsletter. Entitled Murder of the Ninth Baronet by J S Fletcher the book was published in 1934. The story involves the fictional Heronswood Estate and the disappearance to South America of the Ninth Baronet Sir John Maxtondale after a family tiff. On his return he is murdered along with several other characters and the mystery involves the workers, woodsmen and staff from his Estate. I managed to buy a copy through Amazon and the edition was a rather moth-eared tome which had been well utilised over the 90 years since it was first sold at the North End General Stores at Higham Ferrers. My interest in this book lay in the fact that I am the Ninth Baronet of our creation from 1784. I trust I will not suffer the demise of my namesake in this book.


This August marked the 125th Anniversary of Ashbourne Show. Once again taking place on the Polo Ground at Osmaston Park, the show highlighted all that is great and good from the countryside around our marvellous town. Despite overnight downpours over 9,500 hardy souls visited the Show. They were treated to the amazing JCB Dancing Diggers, who performed their ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ routine in the Main Ring. The Diggers – regular guests at the show – were celebrating 70 years since they were founded by Joe Bamford in 1945. The Committee had also hoped to be able to assemble 125 Shire Horses for a fantastic photograph to celebrate the 125 years. It managed to gather around 65 alongside Past Presidents (of which I am one from my appointment in 2000). The Show retains its popularity and the Committee is now planning for the 2017 event..

Higher Than a Knight, Lower Than a Baron

I have written before about the ability of the Internet to highlight the public’s amusing perceptions of not just Tissington but also Fiona and I. One recent TripAdvisor review, although giving us a 5 star rating, also promoted me to ‘Baron’ and commented on my appearances at the Hall and subsequently at the Tearooms. The beauty of the website is that one can respond to the reviews (whether good or bad) and advise the visitors of the veracity of any comments. On the open forum I explained politely that correspondent ‘Wishywashy fairy’ had inadvertently promoted me and that I was only a mere Baronet. I hope ‘Whishywashy fairy’ will return soon for more good humoured heritage and I can correct her in person.

bui ldings preservation

The Derbyshire Churches and Chapels Preservation Trust (of which I am Chairman), has grant money to allocate to any project concerning a building of worship in the county. Over the years the Trust has helped ‘pump prime’ works protecting the structure and fabric of these buildings and has given grants ranging in total from £2,000–£10,000. Presently the Trust is welcoming applications from Church Councils. For details contact the Secretariat in Wirksworth on 01629 824904 or by email:

See Your Next Month RRF