Baronets Diary February 2016

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

Welcome To The Baronets Diary February 2016


Award Winning Photographer Lorne Campbell.

What have Nelson Mandela, George Galloway, and Fiona and I have in common? Well the answer is that we have all had our pictures taken by award winning photographer Lorne Campbell. Having been chosen as the owners of a mid-range historic house with all its associated problems, Lorne appeared at Tissington to provide the illustrations for the piece by top property writer Caroline McGhie. The shock of our being presented with this opportunity was a great perk to Ashbourne shopkeepers as Fiona proceeded to replenish her wardrobe specifically for the shoot. Having allocated an hour of our afternoon to the task it soon became apparent that it would last nearer five as we, both together and separately posed in various rooms about the Hall. Such being the point of the article one shot had to be taken in the billiard room with the obligatory buckets that catch the drips from the leaking roof. The piece went out in a December edition but only one outdoor image was used!! A rather unusual end to a rather quirky afternoon.

Remembering Christine Wheeldon

It is always sad when someone dies young but it was even more poignant in the village recently when we all attended the funeral of Christine Wheeldon who died at the terribly youthful age of 54 as the result of a heart attack at the family farm at Hulland. Brought up in Tissington as the daughter of the Bailey clan from Wibbern Hill Farm Christine gave a ‘lot to others’ despite her busy life with both family and farm... She was one of the last pupils at The FitzHerbert School in Tissington (which transferred to Fenny Bentley in the early 70s) and was one of the fervent players and supporters of Ashbourne Hockey Club where she showed ‘fearless determination and always put the team first’. I have never seen our small Parish Church quite as packed as it was for her funeral with well over 220 mourners and our best wishes and condolences go out to her husband Tim and their two boys Tom and Jake. She will be missed.

Carsington Wind Turbines

The debate about wind turbines in our area continues apace. With the four massive turbines on the Carsington pastures site well established I can reveal that a further two have been erected next to the first site. These mammoth structures have been put up by local employer Longcliffe Quarries who spend over £3.5m on their energy bills each year. In the last two years it became clear that the firm saw making their own energy a priority in order to sustain the business. With the two turbines and a proposed 3MW solar installation at their transport depot at Curzon Lodge it is hoped that the firm will be energy replete in two years’ time. On our early dog walk every morning Fiona and I can see these monoliths dominating the landscape to the east of Tissington and I admire their peculiar grace.

Who’s Who in Derbyshire

On clearing one of the many storerooms in the Hall recently we came across a fascinating book entitled ‘Who’s Who in Derbyshire’ a limited edition (of which I have Number 222) published in 1934. In the Preface the unnamed Editor explains ‘The County of Derby has long been without printed records of its leading inhabitants and has neglected to preserve permanent data respecting the men and women who have conducted the County’s affairs and who have administered its religious, professional and business life. This compilation rectifies that’. From Harry Adams the Rector of Atlow to Julian Young the Bursar at Repton School the book lists over 500 people who were in Derbyshire that year. It does include my Grandfather Henry who was Rector of Nether Seale and my cousin Nicholas the then Joint Headmaster of Stancliffe Hall. Strangely it fails to include my Great Uncle Sir William who lived at Tissington at that time. However it does include the 9th Duke of Devonshire (born in 1868) who, amongst other duties, was then ‘President, Territorial Forces in Derby’. An interesting collation.

Christmas Carol Service Readings

It is not often that one gets to read a lesson at a Carol Concert but this Christmas I read twice on consecutive evenings in the village. Firstly on the Saturday night I read at St Mary’s for our village carol service that attracted over 60 worshippers. And then on the Sunday afternoon I walked over to the Methodist Church on the far side to join Tim Morris and his flock at their 4pm service which saw us gazing out of the newly restored building at the cattle grazing in the eastern fields! As I walked in, Tim asked me to read….exactly the same piece as the day before namely the journey of the Magi! Will I read twice again next Christmas I wonder?.

See Your Next Month RRF