American minister takes over at Whaley churches

The Uniting Church Partnership in Whaley Bridge, Fernilee and Kettleshulme is to get a new minister. American-born Rev Keith Sandow will be welcomed at an induction service in the Whaley Bridge church at 10.30am on Sunday (31 Aug).

Keith is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He achieved a BA in music at university in Cleveland. Later, at Emory University, he received a Masters of Divinity degree. At one time, he studied under the legendary Archbishop Desmond Tutu and was once an intern at the Jimmy Carter Centre in Atlanta. He received an award for volunteer work in the Ecuador rainforest.

Keith came to Britain in 1999 and served in the Sale Methodist circuit. He was ordained into the British Methodist Church in 2002, serving as a superintendent minister at Ashton under Lyne for eight years.

Keith is the second American to lead a church in Whaley Bridge in recent years. Rev Cheri Pinner was priest in charge of the Church of England parish until two years ago.

Tears as Whaley Greenfield estate is voted through

Whaley Matters

Fighting to the end – Whaley campaigners at Chapel town hall meeting

Whaley Bridge’s battle against the Gladman housing estate, which started at Christmas, came to an end on Monday, 4 August. The development control committee of High Peak Borough Council voted the controversial plans through with just two objections, despite final pleas by a young mother and solicitor and all three of Whaley’s borough councillors. Some of the large group of campaigners who sat in Chapel town hall through the meeting left in tears.

A disappointed Kevin Worthington, who has led the campaign group WhaleyBridge Matters since early January said later:

“This is a very sad day for all of Whaley Bridge. Clearly, the precedent this sets means that no green field site is safe whilst there are landowners willing to sacrifice their heritage for short term monetary gain.

“The approval of this site with such poor and dangerous access means that it is only a matter of time before the first serious injury or death occurs and I along with the rest of the members of Whaley Bridge Matters will be there to remind HPBC and the councillors of their very poor decision.” Continue Reading »

Grants for World War One community projects

High Peak Borough Council are inviting ‘not for profit’ groups to apply for grants for World War 1 commemorative projects:-


They have made £20,000 of grant funding available to be allocated in small grants (maximum £500 or more by exception) to support local community organisations, Town and Parish Councils to deliver local centenary projects.

What can the grant be used for?

This £20,000 fund is to support local, small scale World War 1 (WW1) Centenary community projects such as those which bring cultural, sporting, recreational, health, environmental, intergenerational, heritage or educational benefits to the local community. Continue Reading »

Paying respects to the World War I heroes on Centenary night

_merged_picsWhaley Bridge people are being invited by the local branch of the Royal British Legion to attend a candle vigil, between 10pm-11pm at the  Cenotaph in Memorial park on Monday 4 August, the centenary of the start of World War I.

“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”  Words spoken by Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary in August 1914.

Everyone in the UK is invited to take part in LIGHTS OUT by turning off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on Monday, August 4– leaving only a single light or candle for this symbolic act of reflection and hope, to mark the 100th Anniversary of the date Great Britain entered the First World War.

You can take part in this national moment of reflection at the newly refurbished Cenotaph in Whaley Bridge Memorial Park.  Members of the Royal British Legion will be holding a candle-lit vigil around the Cenotaph to mark the Centenary between 10pm and 11pm on 4 August 2014.

You can bring your own candle or a special Centenary Candle, available from your local Marks and Spencer. All profits from the sale of Centenary Candles will support serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families.

Come and join the event at the Memorial Park in Whaley Bridge and pay your respects to all those who sacrificed their lives during this conflict.

For more information:

Candles will be lit and extinguished at 11pm. People are asked to bring a candle or torch.

Earlier in the evening, there will be another commemoration of the centenary. Muffled bells for mourning will ring out from St James’,  Taxal, from 7pm.

Mystery of the poppies in the park as Centenary approaches

USERS of Whaley Bridge’s Memorial Park are mystified by the sudden flowering of red poppies on a grassy bank in front of the Cenotaph, only days before the centenary of the start of World War I.

The distinctive white Cenotaph was controversially unavailable for Remembrance Day services last year and in 2012, because of extensive work in the park.  After restoration, it was rededicated in May.

A few scattered red poppies were first noticed in mid-July.  Since then, they have increased, to the amazement of walkers in the park.

Park ranger Paul Evans said: ” We can only assume that disturbance of the soil when the memorial was brought back has somehow awakened seeds in the ground.  Maybe years ago,someone planted red poppy seeds as a personal tribute, and they have been dormant in the ground, but not flowering until now.”

Local people have asked Paul not to cut the grass until the poppy flowering season is over.  Regular users of the park say they have never seen poppies there before.

The park was given to the people of Whaley Bridge in the 1920s by the Jodrell family, local landowners.

Arson in the park robs children of zip wire thrill

Teenage arsonists are suspected of damaging one of the newest attractions in the recently renovated Memorial Park, Whaley Bridge. After part of the equipment was set on fire, children from three to 12 years have been robbed of a thrilling ride on a zip wire.  It may be mid-August, before the attraction can be reopened. Access to the zip wire was from a metal stage and a ramp.  The badly burned ramp has been taken away for repair or replacement.  Park ranger Paul Evans  says this will cost ‘hundreds of pounds’.

Park ranger Paul at the zip wire: the fire was at the platform, near where Paul is standing

Park ranger Paul at the zip wire: the fire was at the platform, near where Paul is standing

Mr Evans added: “A group of youths were bent on damaging our beautiful, brand new play area, created at great expense.  Younger children are now being disappointed when they can’t go on the zip wire.”

Police are investigating the act of vandalism that has spoiled the summer fun for countless children, and left ratepayers footing the bill.

The park was fully reopened in the spring after a makeover costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.  This has included landscaping and improvements to pathways, as well as the children’s play area. Children and youths from other areas are using the park, which is run by High Peak Borough council.

New allotments take shape – ready to rent by autumn?

John Swift takes a break in the wheelbarrow, as Martin Thomas, second left,  standing, draws up plans. Also in picture,  volunteers Mick Ridgway, Dave  Dusgate and Michael Darby

John Swift takes a break in the wheelbarrow, as Martin Thomas, second left,
standing, draws up plans. Also in picture, volunteers Mick Ridgway, Dave
Dusgate and Michael Darby

Councillors and volunteers, working in the intense heat at the newly restored section of the aptly-named Sunnybank Allotments near Memorial Park, are hoping that they will be complete and ready to rent by the autumn.

Cllr John Swift – dubbed ‘the foreman’ by the team – got a work party together to map out where the new allotments will go. Cllr Martin Thomas, Vice-Chair of Whaley Bridge Town Council, was responsible for putting the fourteen allotments, each 100 metres square, into the final map.  Ultimately these will join the existing allotments, which, with harvest festival levels of vegetables and fruit are reaching late summer maturity.

Cllr Swift says the site is an all day ‘sun trap’.  There is a waiting list of about 20 people at the town council offices in the Mechanics’ Institute.

Work began on the overgrown site last year.  The then council chair Anne Winter supplied tea and biscuits to the 15 volunteers who removed trees,  organised brushwood clearance, drainage and a water supply, which will have taps at three points when the allotments are completed.

Cllr Swift said: “The soil was heavy clay in most parts, with some areas very fertile.  The site will soon be able to live up to its name Sunnybank. Who knows what fruit and veg will be possible?”

For details about rents and availability, contact the town clerk at the Mechanics’ Institute, 01663 733 068.

Information appeal following fire in Whaley Bridge Memorial Park

High Peak-20140716-00458Police are appealing for information after a suspected arson attack causes damage to the Memorial Park in Whaley Bridge

Sometime between 2pm on Tuesday, July 15 and 8.45am on Wednesday, July 16, a fire was started in the Memorial Park on Wheatsheaf Road in Whaley Bridge.

The small fire caused damage to the wooden ramp of the zip-wire in the children’s play area.

Officers believe that this is the second time a fire has been started in the park. On the first occasion, no damage was caused.

Anyone with any information about the incident or who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area is asked to contact PC Ellen Barlow on 101, the non-emergency number for Derbyshire police.

To report a crime anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Future of Furness Vale Post Office and Village Store

The Community of Furness Vale is acting urgently to find a way of retaining the facilities provided by the Village Store and Post Office after it closes on August 1st.

Although time scales are so tight, there is a great sense of determination to relocate to the Community Centre to provide essential daily items for the convenience of the Community with as little break in service as is possible.

Negotiations are currently taking place with the Post Office regarding options to provide future Post Office services.

With your support the future for Furness Vale looks bright.  Donations of help/volunteering/ gifts of financial support are much needed to help make this happen.

Contact Linda Hill (Treasurer) 07850 173549  or Susanne Lomas 01663 744764.

Furness Films Autumn Programme

Sept to Dec 2014

Things to do in the summer school holidays.

Now that the Summer holiday is starting in earnest, you may be looking for things for the kids to do during the day.

One possible activity is the Summer Holiday Football Coaching Sessions being held up at Whaley Bridge’s 3G artificial grass pitch,  by the Derby County Community trust. These sessions are taking place throughout the summer on dates shown on the poster below. Please contact them on 01332 667575 to book and for more information.

Derby County community trust also provide football training sessions throughout the year in conjunction with the local schools.

DCCT Summer Leaflet 4 HR-2

Also on the 3G , throughout  summer, and all year round,  Continue Reading »