Tuesday, 15 December 2015 18:33

Newsletter 144 - December 2015

NL.144                                                                                                                                                 1st December 2015



Stella Carson:

It was with great sadness that the village learned of the death of Stella Carson.   Stella had lived in the village all her life until  around four years ago when ill health forced her to live in a nursing home in Chesterfield.  After leaving Lady Manners School she attended college and trained as a cook, working firstly at the Coal Board then at Birchover School (before its closure) as a cook and mid-day supervisor helping Mrs. Mavis Shimwell.   After marrying her husband, David they moved into Dene Cottage where they lived until David’s death around four years ago.  Stella was a member of the Methodist Chapel on Uppertown Lane and regularly played the organ  there.  She was also the Sunday School teacher and many children will remember her kind and quiet Sunday lessons often bringing home things they had painted or drawn during their time there.  Stella and David had two children, Deborah and Howard.  Deborah and her husband Philip have two children, Hannah and Sara and live in Tansley and Howard still lives in the family home in Birchover.   It is to Stella’s family we send our deepest sympathy and to all who knew her as the kind and caring person she was.  She will be sadly missed.

Martin Willis:

During October the village learned the sad news that Martin Willis had died at the age of 49.  Martin moved to the village 43 years ago with his mother Pat, father Keith and brother Dominic. On leaving Lady Manners School he went to Christchurch College, Canterbury where he did a joint honours degree in film and ceramics.  His work from a small animation studio in London took  him all over the country  doing research into wildlife films for TV programmes and later working for the BBC Wildlife in Bristol.   In his work for ‘Off the Fence’ he travelled to South Africa and  India  to do a  programme on monkeys. 

His late father Keith and mother Pat had many friends in the village and following Martin’s death Pat wished to write an open letter to Birchover News in response to the many messages of condolence the family have received.

Pat Willis writes:

Following Martin’s sad death Mary said she would like to include a piece about him in the Newsletter.  I do hope it is okay if I actually write an open letter to all our lovely friends in Birchover to thank you all so much for your very kind messages and the amazing garden vouchers which arrived this morning.  Martin loved my garden so it will be very appropriate to add something special to it in his memory.  Thank you.

Martin moved to Birchover with us all 43 years ago and always loved the village.  Both he and Dominic thought it was a wonderful village in which to grow up.  Even after Keith and I retired to Norfolk he regularly returned to Derbyshire to walk with his old school friends.  He had stored some papers with us for safe keeping and they included exercise books from Stanton School listing in  his school diary that his hobby was wildlife - finding newts on Moor End with Dominic and Mark Walker,  walking on the moor, finding birds and water voles along Lathkill Dale and then in capital letters he described finding BEAVERS at Riber Zoo.  They allowed him to go and feed them - and when aged 8 he was asked to write a letter to Mrs. McManus as though he was 30 - explaining how he was living and working, Martin wrote he was living by a lake in Canada studying beavers.  At a parents evening Mrs. McManus expressed concern about him - she felt he was obsessed with wildlife and where would that lead.   I shared this memory at the Crematorium and as he had been working in wildlife production for 23 years in Bristol and there were at least 100 of his colleagues there it raised laughter. 

Another of Martin’s passions began in Birchover too when he went to Rolling Stone gigs with Keith on the back of his Triumph.  His interest in blues music developed from there to include hundreds of trips to see his favourite artists (including to Chicago) and he created some blue musicians in clay for his college finals.  Friends from Derbyshire/London, Ireland and Bristol sent hours of musical memories of Martin - plus hundreds of photographs.  Martin’s wonderful company “Off the Fence” arranged them all to be seen and heard at the ‘wake’ that Martin had chosen. 

To end, Dom, Archie and I are obviously devastated by Martin’s sudden death but everyone’s kindness has been a great comfort to us.  Thank you.  Also for those who remember Keith’s motorbike - and the fact that I was always teased for storing all my favourite things in baskets, Martin arrived at the Crematorium in a special small hearse in a wicker coffin, attached to a Triumph motorbike.  Both Martin and Keith would have loved that. 

With love to everyone  
 Pat and Dominic Willis

Church News and Carol Service:

The carol service at Birchover Church will be on Sunday 20th December at 3 pm.  All are welcome.  On Sunday 27th December the United Service will be at Youlgreave Church at 11 am.  The Church agreed to spend some of the money raised at Open Gardens on speakers to relay services to members of the congregation who were not able to fit inside and these have now been installed at a cost of £500.  

Christmas & New Year Bin Collections:

Wednesday     23rd December    Grey Bin + Green Food Caddy
Thursday        31st December     Grey Bin + Blue Bin + Green Food Caddy
Thursday        7th January           Grey Bin + Green Food Caddy

P.S.                Green garden waste bin collections will be suspended during weeks commencing
                       21st & 28th December and will be replaced by a househoold waste collection

Village Baking Challenge: 

Sunday afternoon 13th December from 2 pm to 4 pm in
The Reading Room:

Details of the baking challenge were published in the last newsletter.  The event is intended as a fun day and admission is £1 which includes a cup of tea or coffee.  Free admission is offered to  anyone entering any of the baking classes.  Various demonstrations will take place and many of the products will be raffled at the end of the afternoon.  This event is in aid of fund raising for the Birchover Tea in the Tent and Barn Dance on Sunday 12th June 2016 in celebration of the 90th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth.

Carol Singing around the Village:

Sunday 20th December

Everyone welcome…come along and join in the fun - all fundraising towards next year’s carnival.  Meet at The Tank at 6 pm and then join Matteo and Alyson in the Red Lion for a glass of mulled wine and mince pies.  If you can play a musical instrument please bring it along and don’t forget your festive hats and jingle bells.

Winster Guisers:

Druid Inn, Birchover - Friday 18th December
Red Lion Inn, Birchover - Saturday 19th December

The Winster Guisers (traditional Christmas entertainment) dressed in costume will perform their play at The Druid Inn on 18th December and the Red Lion on the 19th.  Guising is a local tradition better known around England as Mumming.  The dictionary tells us that a ‘mummer’ is one who ‘masquerades’ in a folk play usually at Christmas whilst a ‘Guiser’ is a person in disguise.  The Winster tradition character and costumes are based upon a photograph taken outside Winster Hall in or around 1870 and is the oldest existing photographic record of the mumming/guising tradition in the world today.

Red Lion Inn, Birchover:

Pizzas and Christmas Fancy Dress Party/KaraokeNight:
Sunday 27th December - 7.30 pm onwards

Pizzas - £2.50
Karaoke and Christmas Music - 8.30 pm onwards
Prize for best fancy dress
Raffle, Mistletoe
Percentage of pizza sales towards village carnival

Birchover Puzzle Walk:
28th December   10 am to  2 pm

This is a fun walk for all the family to raise money for village funds.  The routes will cover either
1 mile or 2½ miles and will start and finish at the Reading Room.  Soup and refreshments will be on sale and all correct answers will enter a prize draw.  In the event of bad weather please check Birchover Village Facebook page for rescheduled date or ring 01629 650438 or 01629 630004.

Derbyshire Dales Local Plan:

The Parish Council has been notified of the above consultation.  Full details of the key issues and how to get involved in the consultation can be found at www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/LocalPlan.  The deadline for the receipt of comments is 14th December.

Housing development at Barton Hill:

The Parish Council has been notified that the developers are close to completing the construction of the six new local occupancy affordable houses.  Under the conditions of the planning permission these houses are only to be made available at a discount to open market value to housing associations  or to occupiers who live or work in, or have close family ties with, the parish of Birchover or the immediately adjoining parishes of  Elton, Harthill, Stanton in Peak, South Darley and Winster.  The developers have appointed the Matlock office of Saxton Mee to market the properties and they would welcome enquiries from anyone who feels they may qualify under the planning restrictions.  Please call them on 01629 828250 for further details of the approved selling prices placed on the properties by the District Valuer and of the local occupancy restrictions that apply.

‘A Dogs’ Dinner’:

Brian Bunce has produced a collection of humorous recollections of his twenty one years at the Druid Inn, Birchover and copies of these are available, price £4 from either the Druid Inn, the Red Lion Inn or the Pet Shop in Bakewell.  All monies raised will go towards the Birchover “Tea in the Big Tent” to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Queen on 12th June.     

This newsletter has been sponsored by
Glyn and Chris Holt of Sunny Dene, Main Street
Wishing alll Birchover News readers a very Happy Christmas
and best wishes for the New Year

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