Articles from November 2010

Deep midwinter arrives in November!

It may be December, but the impact of the Great November Snowfall on the very last day of November lives on in Whaley Bridge. It is believed to be the heaviest snowfall so early in the winter for nearly (more…)

Touch of winter for Santa and Lights switch-on

SANTA Claus got a big welcome from Whaley Bridge families, as Christmas  officially started with the Lights switch-on.  The weather was suitably wintry.  As Santa arrived (more…)

Mystery of midnight canal boat blaze

A blazing boat mystery on the canal near  the Tesco supermarket, Whaley Bridge, is being investigated by Derbyshire police and  the fire service.

The narrowboat -named Inca Hombre – was spotted in flames just before midnight on Saturday20 November.  Fire fighters were dealing with the fire which gutted the boat until after midnight.  Days later, the smell of smoke was still (more…)

Christmas tree lights switch on: Friday 26 Nov

Details of the arrival of Christmas in  Whaley Bridge have been announced.  The lights and  Christmas tree will be switched  on early in the  evening of Friday 26 November. Almost every town centre business has its own flashing tree, turning Market Street into (more…)

In the name of charity – local school seeks your vote

Taxal and  Fernilee Out of School Club has been nominated as one of the three charities in this area to be put forward for the Nat West Community Fund.  This means that the club will receive a share of £5,000; the charity with the most votes receives £3,000 and the other two charities receive £1,000 each. 

The club is appealing to local people  for their help. 

Voting is now open.  You can vote on line through the Nat West website – if you search Community Fund it should bring you to the right page.  You need to put in your postcode, or an SK23 postcode, select one of the local branches (New Mills, Marple, Chapel, Buxton, Hazel Grove) and it will show Taxal & Fernilee as one of the three charities.  To support a local school,  click Taxal & Fernilee and enter name etc.  Or, you can vote in the bank branches – New Mills, Disley, Marple etc. 

The money will go towards more outdoor play equipment to enhance the children’s time at the club.  The community benefits from the club, which offers an invaluable service to families in the area.

You only have until 26 November to vote!

Whaley Bridge remembers the Fallen

There were large congregations at memorial  services in Whaley Bridge on Remembrance Sunday, 14 November.  The Rev Michael Peat, chaplain to the local branch of the Royal British Legion, conducted both services: the first in Holy Trinity church, the other round the Cenotaph n Whaley Bridge’s Memorial Park.  The church was packed for a service attended by local councillors, members of many local organisations, some with flags and wreaths that were received at the altar by Rev Peat.  The service at the Cenotaph, although short, was very moving.  Whaley Band member Daniel Sergeant, 15, played the Last Post at each service.  His colleague, Cara Wheelsdon.  13,  played the Last Post at war memorials in Furness Vale and Bridgemont.

Royal British Legion officials: at The Cross, near the Jodrell: Sue Cox, John Cooke, vice chairman, Jenny Woodward, women's chairman, Les Cox, treasurer and Rev Michael Peat.

Teenage tribute: Daniel Sergeant, 15, plays Last Post

Whaley Band played in Holy Trinity: From hymns to It's a Long Way to Tiperrary

Cllr John Swift, Chair of Whaley Bridge Town Council lays a wreath. We will remember them.

Teenagers to play Last Post at local ceremonies

Teenage members of Whaley Bridge Band take on the responsibility from one of their veteran colleagues to play the Last Post at Remembrance Sunday services  and ceremonies in the Whaley Bridge area on 14 November.

Teenagers rehearsing the Last Post: Cara, 13, and Daniel, 15

Daniel Sergeant , aged 15, will play the haunting piece on his cornet at the service inside Holy Trinity Church, Whaley Bridge and later at the Cenotaph in Memorial Park.

Cara Wheeldon, aged just 13, from Disley will play the Last Post, also on cornet, at  wreath-laying ceremonies at the War Memorials in Furness Vale (on the main road, near the Imperial Palace restaurant)  and Bridgemont (near the Dog and Partridge).. 

Whaley Bridge’s main remembrance service is in Holy Trinity Church, starting at 10.30am, and conducted by the Rev Michael Peat, chaplain of the Royal British legion’s local branch.  Whaley Bridge Band,  with many young members, will play as the banners and flags are welcomed in the church.  The names of the fallen will be read out. 

Afterwards members of the British Legion, as well as councillors, local Scouts, Guides, St John Ambulance and the police,  will move to Memorial Park for the wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph.  That will be between 12 and 12.15 midday. (The Cenotaph is to be restored as part of a £470,000 project to improve the park, which was opened shortly after World War I on land gifted by the Jodrell family.)

Thursday 11 November is the  92nd anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I – the Great War – at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. There will be a short  service at the Memorial Cross,  Jodrell car park, near the station at 10.45am on the Thursday and another service, again at the same time, on Saturday 13  November.  Children from Year 6 at the two primary schools in Whaley Bridge, who have been studying World War II, have been invited to the 11 November service. The public is welcome to join either service.

The Memorial Cross, made from Derbyshire stone,  was donated to the town by the Middleton family, owners of the Jodrell  Arms  in 2008.

Memorial Cross at Jodrell car park is dedicated by Rev Graeme Lamb in 2008

  • Daniel Sargeant has been playing the cornet since he was six.  He was in the Stockport Schools Orchestra for six years, then the Hawk Green Band at Marple, before joining Whaley Bridge Band.  In 2009, he was flugelhorn solo champion in the North Wesr Brass Band Association contest.He is fascinated by history, including World war II – where his great grandfather served in the RAF in Hong Kong.  Daniel has played the Last Post at his school, Hazel Grove High, seven or eight times.
  • Cara Wheeldon, a pupil at Poynton High, has been with Whaley Band for only a few months,  She was previously a member at New Mills.  Her mum’s father Roy Waterhouse, from New Mills, served in the Burma campaign in World War II, and was wounded.
  • Marcus Bridge, musical director of the band, said:  “We’re very proud of them both.”

The Restoration of Whaley Bridge Station

Friends of Whaley Bridge Station

   The Restoration of Whaley Bridge Station

Work has started at Whaley Bridge Railway Station.  It is described in a Network Rail Media Release published in June 2010; see:

It is understood that further work, currently at the design stage, is to be carried out over the next two years at this station to overcome the problems on each platform of the mismatch between the level of the platform and the steps on the railway trains’ carriages.

The car parking area at the station has been redesigned to provide a new pathway dedicated to pedestrians, and in particular wheelchairs and prams.


The restored station will be an attractive facility for residents of and visitors to Whaley Bridge.


By that time, work at Memorial Park (following the success of the Parks for People Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)/BIG Lottery bid), should also have been completed. For further information, please see:

Greenway Go-ahead for Shallcross Incline

Derbyshire County Council, in conjunction with Whaley Bride Town Council, will start work  early in January to create a ‘greenway’  on the Shallcross Incline, one of Whaley Bridge’s most significant historical sites.   It will open up a safe route for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and children walking to school.

Shallcross Incline, overgrown -waiting for work to begin


Shallcross Incline, running from New Road and Cromford Court to the Elnor Lane/Shallcross Road area, was once part of the Cromford and High Peak Railway, one of the earliest in the High Peak.

The narrow incline has been abandoned for many years, though back in the 70s it was tidied up and used occasionally by walkers.  Now it is heavily overgrown.

In a letter to local houseowners, Wayne Bexton, greenways and countryside officer at the county council,  says the improvement work will start early in the new year.   There will be a stone surface, creating ‘an excellent local facility’.

Whaley Bridge Town Council instigated the £40,000 project, which is part of a wider vision, eventually linking up a route for cyclists and walkers the entire distance between Whaley Bridge and Cromford, near Matlock.

Town clerk Stephanie Raybould said:  “We are very pleased the project  is going ahead.  We hope to have information boards telling some of the railway history.”

The dream of the canal developers in the early 19th century was to link the North West and the Midlands – the canal basin at Whaley Bridge and the cotton mills at Cromford.  The original hope was to continue a waterway over the Peak, at the 1,00ft contour.  Lack of water, then money ended that dream.  The Cromford and High Peak Railway became the option.  It used a series of stationary steam engines to haul wagons up and down the inclined planes, including the other incline, just beyond the canal basin and now a public footpath.  The company was incorporated in 1825.

Original railway company plaque near New Road: 'incorporated 1825'

Street dance Kicks into the Mechanics !

THE Mechanics’ Institute, hub of Whaley Bridge, has seen  everything in its time – linedancing, ballet, wartime jitterbugging, even  kick boxing – but not until autumn 2010, street dancing.

For four successive Friday nights, until  19 November,  the Mechanics is hosting a series of workshops in free break dance and hip hop, led by an award winning street dance group from Derby.

The sessions are on these Fridays – 29 October, 5 November, 12 November and 19 November from 7pm-9pm.  Admission is FREE – just turn up and gain the experience!

Trinity Warriors, current UK B Boy champions, will be showing local teenagers how it’s done.  They will be showcasing the latest moves and free running skills, from 7pm-9pm on the four Fridays.

The first night was a success, with a number of local youngsters eager to see what they can learn.  Each Friday night until 19 November admission is FREE,   thanks to funding from the Going Local Fund and Derbyshire Dales district council.  Support to the project has come from High Peak borough council, Derbyshire police and High Peak community and voluntary support.

Volunteer Lynda Conway from Whaley Bridge, mother of a teenager, is helping co-ordinate the local part of the initiative.  She welcomed the successful launch.

Jean Wharmby, executive councillor for social and community development at the High Peak council, is confident about the success of the project.  She said:  “Street dance is hugely popular with lots of young people, and shows no sign of losing its appeal.  These sessions are a great opportunity to keep fit, make friends and learn some new dance moves.”

PCSO Karen Green, of the local Safer Neighbourhood policing team, has helped to support the initiative since it began in Chapel en le Frith in 2009.  She said:  “Youngsters should try street dancing – the dance skills are impressive and it’s a great way for young people to improve fitness levels, self esteem and confidence.”

The sessions are on these Fridays – 29 October, 5 November, 12 November and 19 November from 7pm-9pm.  Admission is FREE – just turn up and gain the experience!