The villagers of Tissington celebrated the Coronation of King Charles III ‘ better late than never’ as the inhabitants of our small Peak District Village gathered under the stretch tent of Herbert’s Tearooms on the last Sunday in July after the completion of the annual St Mary’s Fete held in the grounds of Tissington Hall. Over £2500 was raised through the various stalls and then we all gathered at the tearooms to listen to the music of Alex and Dan Penfold and enjoy the pizzas and refreshments provided. The Tissington Parish Council organized the event in July as the relevant weekend in May was already taken by weddings booked several months ago at the Hall. Despite the rain the Village was able to congregate outside St Mary’s Church for a Coronation photograph and sing the National Anthem. God Save the KingRead the full blog
It was a pleasure to attend the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Derby & District National Trust Members’ Group at Kedleston Hall in July. The organization was founded by local members to promote friendship through the various meetings and outings that are part of the annual events programme. Over the 50 years the group has raised over £100,000 for local National Trust properties including Calke, Staunton Harold, Sudbury and the Ilam Estate near Dovedale. At one time it had garnered over 400 members but today is more around the 120 mark , with the membership enjoying lectures in the winter with outings and rambles in the summer months. I was delighted to say a few words in my role as President alongside Hilary McGready the Director General of the Trust and local chairman Ian Samways. After a gorgeous cream tea, we were entertained by the Rock Choir made up of over 100 local singers. It was a glorious afternoon in great weather and let us look forward to the next 50 years!Read the full blog
Readers will know that I often write about the antics that arise from the 50 or so weddings that we host at Tissington each year. From the morning openings to let in brides and their entourage to get made up from as early as 6am ( armed with copious amounts of prosecco) to the ‘kicking out’ brigade as the stragglers, well the worse for imbibing, have to find and then negotiate getting into the relevant taxi and not end in Buxton rather than Ashbourne !! And these stories are all true. What I do appreciate is the time and thought that some couples take in naming their tables at the reception. Rather than a standard 1 to 10 I like the quirky themes that some choose…this year the best table plan had to be the one based on the popular board game Monopoly….Wedopoly was its name and the board listed all the relevant characters from page boys to best man on the squares and the tables themselves were named after their favourite places in the Monopoly colours ! A great starter for conversation.!Read the full blog
Our annual Well Dressings at Tissington were sensational this year. Blessed with glorious weather over the seven days from Ascension tide we were truly fortunate with the spectacle and the turnout. The Thursday saw the Thanksgiving Service at St Mary’s Church followed by the Procession and blessing of each Well as a swarm of visitors joined the snake-like procession around the village. This year our High Sheriff Theresa Peltier joined the congregation along with her Staffordshire equivalent Victoria Hawley from Rugeley. This unusual brace stood out in their wonderful finery even being asked if they were characters from the Netflix drama Bridgerton! The sunny weather, however, does mean that the clay in the dressings begins to crack and the collages wane so it is pertinent that we dismantle them after a week . Next year Ascension tide falls earlier on the 9 May and I plan to go one better and get a trio of High Sheriffs to our celebrations!Read the full blog
I was delighted to be asked to the installation of Derbyshire’s new High Sheriff Theresa Peltier at the beginning of April. The service took place in St Mary’s Church Wirksworth and hosted a gathering of 200 made up of Theresa’s family, friends and the great and the good of Derbyshire. Theresa is our first black lady High Sheriff and kicked off her year with a rousing service in her home church with a gospel choir and inspiring music. Theresa gave an uplifting speech as she entered her year of Office and thanked Michael Copestake of Turnditch as he handed the baton( or should I say sword) over. Theresa is focusing in her year on working with the deaf community ( Derbyshire has the biggest deaf community in the country bar London) and on her links with the adoption and fostering sector in the County. Theresa is an amazing person-hers will be an uplifting year.Read the full blog
Those of us in historic houses are always looking for ways to improve our carbon footprint and recently I attended a seminar in London where other owners outlined their efforts to green their estates. Ewan Frost Pennington from Muncaster in Cumbria outlined his arrays of solar panels that he had installed on the former bear pit. Apparently his great Grandfather had brought two bears over from Europe to join his menagerie but the idea failed and the bear pit was filled in. Now providing over 50% of the Castle’s electric the eccentric forebear has provided a 21st century use. Another owner from Suffolk, Hugh Crossley of Somerleyton revealed that his great Grandmother had a pool dug for a pet seal in the1850s! Bizarre. The pool has been incorporated into Hugh’s resort on Fritton Lakes and provides recreation for the surrounding lodge-based visitors. Sadly none of my ancestors had the foresight to build homes for stray vertebrates and I am unable to continue the theme.Read the full blog
One of the residents of our small village, Meryl Anderson has written her first novel and had it published in London. The spiel about her book reads as such….
The Small Hill is a sacred place, a healing place, where the ancients buried their dead and holy men came to preach. In the reign of Henry I, a knight stood on the hill, a young warrior straight from the heat of battle and knew the hill and the surrounding land was to be his. A settlement grew and a Norman church with a solid square tower was built on the top.br>
Over the centuries many who owned the land and many who worked on the land were equally drawn to stand on the hill in front of the tower to look out into the distance. From the knight in the 12th century to Tom, an old retired tenant farmer in the 20th century, men stood on the hill looking out to the horizon, to dream of the future or remember the past, each one feeling the small hill’s spell.
Meryl has formed a great many of her characters in the book from the residents of Tissington and those that are familiar with her will no doubt recognise themselves in the book. It is an interesting read and copies can be bought from Meryl on 07960 941290.I hope to organise a book signing session at Herbert’s Tearooms shortly.
Another two tv requests hit my desk. This time the synopsis is along the lines of the latest Claudia Winkelman show on BBC 1 called Traitors! The show is to be called ‘Rise and Fall’ and follows various conspirators on a journey where scheming and trickery is very much part of the process to win the loot! After a lengthy conversation I turned it down only to then receive a call the next day from a researcher of well-known Channel 4 show Gogglebox. Regular readers of my column will recall that Fiona and I have been asked before onto this show. We feared that we were not able to watch all the shows that were suggested but I gather that Channel 4 send advance copies of the programme pre-transmission. With ideas of the two of us in dinner jackets and ballgowns swigging Bollinger we also turned that down! Perhaps we should try for the 2024 series!Read the full blog
As part of our insurance obligations we have installed a serious fire alarm system in the Hall. I have written before about the sensitivity of the system whether it be smoke, spiders or dust in the various detectors that adorn the ceilings in the Hall. I was stumped however just before Christmas when we all endured a very cold spell of frost and ice followed by an immediate rise in temperature of 12 degrees or more that meant the ice thawed and turned to water and moisture resulting in a myriad of activations ; the first being at 04.30am waking both Freddie and myself abruptly. We were able to locate the fault and cancel the fire service but the problems persisted and it took an array of heavy-duty dehumidifiers to extract moisture from the rooms on the top floor so that we could safely reset the system. On reflection I am glad that it is sensitive.Read the full blog
After six months of being sworn to secrecy I can reveal that I am now a High Sheriff in Nomination for Derbyshire to take on the role in the year 2025/26. My sister and I attended the Royal Courts of Justice one Saturday morning in November to hear my name being read out alongside all the other future county representatives. It was quite a spectacle as we all trooped into Court No 4 where the recent Wagatha Christie trial took place. All four Judges were dressed in their wigs and full livery as they read out the nominations for each County. This year the date coincided with the Lord Major’s Show and we were to witness the parade, the floats and the merriment from our allotted area in front of the High Court. I will report more about my future High Sheriff duties in the coming months. Meanwhile I am thrilled to be following in the footsteps of 5 of our ancestors who presided in the role with the most recent being our Great Uncle Sir William in 1940.Read the full blog