Baronets Diary February 2017

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

Welcome To The Baronets Diary February 2017


Tall Trees

It is always nice when someone from the past contacts you out of the blue. One recent occasion was when ex-Ashbourne Telegraph reporter Natalie Wakefield approached me about finding a new home for some trees she and her daughters had nurtured from seedlings. The saplings were in fact giant redwoods and were fast outgrowing their small back garden. One sunny Sunday morning in November, armed with the spade and brawn of her father, we relocated them in woodlands on the Estate. They will, I am sure, eventually outgrow the indigenous ash and oaks in those plantings and be super assets to the Estate. In addition I have another contact for press releases as Natalie now works for Cheadle’s local paper.

Everything Stops for Tea

Regular readers will recall that I often visit local churches around the country. This New Year I took in two in the pretty villages of Wiveton and Glandford on the Norfolk coast. At St Mary’s, Wiveton, there was something that I had never encountered before... a self-help coffee station complete with UHT milk! Quite a neat idea and much appreciated after a good hour and a half on the cold and windswept Holkham beach. We may instigate such a station at our own St Mary’s at Tissington in order to encourage visitors to linger longer.

Family Lineage

This Christmas we had all three of my younger sisters staying with us at Tissington. And after the celebrations I decided that it would be a fun idea to show the lineage of the FitzHerbert family. Have dined in the Main Hall on Christmas Day I rearranged the trestle tables so that we could stretch out our family from the roll that I rarely show to anyone, let alone family and paying visitors. The roll was first commissioned in 1742 for William FitzHerbert whose ‘family by good authority are said to descend from Henry FitzHerbert Chamberlain to King Henry I’. So long are the listings on the ancient velum that it stretches back to 1100 and so we four lay down on the floor to calculate its length. As you can see from the photograph we are approaching 900 years and nearly 25 feet!

True Bravery

I am often contacted by family members from around the world. Recently a CD arrived from one John Vickers from Rangitikei on the North Island of New Zealand. Several of my forebears emigrated to New Zealand in the 1800s and I was sent this fascinating tome, Rangitikei Remembers – Stories from World War I, because an ancestor features in one of the profiles. AR FitzHerbert was determined to fight in the 1914-18 war despite being 60 years old. FitzHerbert managed to persuade his officers that he was only 40 and joined first the Canterbury Regiment in Egypt in 1915 and then second the Wellington Regiment, where his great knowledge of horses soon won him great praise and his ‘unfailing cheerfulness endeared him to all’. Sadly he was to die later in the war at Gaza in the midst of battle with his rifle in his hand. It is satisfying to learn of our ancestors’ bravery in war and to note that this conduct was mirrored in the Second World War when my father, David, gallantly defended his position ‘with complete disregard for his own safety’ in Italy and was awarded the Military Cross.

Waste Not!

The Derbyshire Dales District Council is immensely proud of its record on waste management. Despite the inconvenience of all the bins gathered on our doorsteps, as residents our efforts at recycling put us in the upper quartile! In comparison with other councils in Derbyshire we are the clear number one, with 54% of our waste being recycled. The next nearest is South Derbyshire at 47%. So please can I implore on all our Dales’ residents to keep striving to reduce landfill and retain our position at the top of the league. I’m proud to be a member of our illustrious Council!

See Your Next Month RRF