Village Hall Harvest Supper, 13th October 2018
A record number of almost 100 people ranging from lively young children to adults of more mature status descended on the Village Hall on Saturday 13th October to enjoy an excellent evening of good food, live music, and dancing. Doors opened at 6.00pm to accommodate families with hungry offspring, and once everyone was seated, supper was served.
The choices of ham, beef, salmon, and vegetarian options (including Ian’s legendary leek croustade) were accompanied by delicious salads, potatoes, bread, and cheese.
We were spoiled for choice by the array of puddings that followed, and sincere thanks must go to everyone who contributed their culinary skills to produce such a wonderful supper.
As in previous years, the popular local HiJinx Ceilidh Band – whose aim is “to give your ears and feet the best night out they’ve had for a long time!” – provided the music, which soon had everyone enthusiastically proving that this was not merely an idle boast. Guitarist Garry Wiseman who acted as dance-caller kept both youngsters and oldsters in order, and ensured that an excellent time was had by all.
Once again, the new Village Hall has proved itself worthy of its recent refurbishment, with local families and their friends and relatives benefiting from a hugely enjoyable and successful social event.
The people who contributed to this success behind the scenes are too numerous to mention individually (though they know who they are!), so thank you all!!!
61st Annual Corvedale and District Autumn Show, 1st September 2018
Brilliant sunshine ensured a good turnout to the Corvedale & District Autumn Show at Diddlebury Village Hall. Over 150 people attended the event which attracted more than 60 entrants across 74 categories, ranging from cookery and crafts to flowers and produce.
The judging of the Spud in the Bucket competition drew the biggest crowds, with John Morris taking the honours for the third successive year.
Margaret Jones was the most successful show entrant, winning three cups and a shield in the Fruit and Vegetables, Flowers, Preserves and Cookery sections.
Corvedale pre-school/holiday club won the Marvellous Mannequin award for Peter Pan and a very creepy looking Captain Hook.
Thanks everyone for making it such a great success. We look forward to even more entries next year.
All photos by Ross Stokes and Laurie Robinson
Diddlebury Church Fete and Dog Show - 30th June 2018
Diddlebury Church Fête
It’s come home! Not football, but the Church Fête, back in the Village Hall and school field after two years’ absence on a glorious last day of June. And what a day it was! In our brand-newly refurbished Village Hall we were able to enjoy the luxury of air conditioning, which was much appreciated by those of us manning the stalls there. Outside there were dogs a-plenty doing their stuff in the show ring, and plants galore in the marquee. Teas and ice creams added to the pleasure of the occasion – and for the organisers the pleasure was greatly increased by a grand total of £1,104 which was raised.
Such a good result could not have been achieved without the efforts of so many helpers.
Many thanks to all who helped in manning stalls, providing refreshments and carrying out all those behind-the-scenes tasks which often go unseen. And, of course, many thanks to the punters who came along and spent so generously.
While it is difficult to thank everyone who helped individually, special mention must be made of Paul Noble, who did so much of the heavy work, and to Russell and Kim Simm, and Stuart and Jayne Husband who organised the dog show so professionally.
We should like to make the fête even better next year, but to do so we need more helpers (and some younger strong chaps to assist us pensioners with tasks like erecting the marquee would be most welcome!).
If you think you can help next year, please give Megan a ring on 841650.
All photos: Sophie Noble
Diddlebury Dog Show
It was sunshine and smiles all round at this year’s Diddlebury Dog Show with plenty of fun for dogs, their owners and spectators alike, making the show a great success. Judge for the day, Lucinda Wrigley, was spoilt for choice judging the Best Six Legs class and after much deliberation the award went to Stuart Husband (with his two legs) and Roscoe (with his four) to the amusement of the spectators who deemed that Roscoe must have had four exceptionally good legs! Roscoe went on to take the top spot again, this time in the dog race where he raced back to his owner Jayne Husband, narrowly beating the large dog Claude running headlong to his owner Pete Foster.
There was much laughter to be had watching the owners struggle to keep three sausages on a small plate while racing down the field leading their dogs on a lead and trying to stop them pinching a sausage! Winner by quite a good margin was Amelia Glede with Tallulah while the other dogs decided to just check out the racetrack afterwards in search of any stray sausages.
Everyone agreed that Mandy O’Rourke’s bitch Holly did indeed have the Waggiest Tail and, with so many very good–looking dogs on show, the competition was fierce for Prettiest Bitch and Most Handsome Dog, so Donna Howles and her bitch Tallulah and Sheila Williams with her lovely dog Oakley were both very proud of their champions.
Finally there were cheers all round for Lucy Foster’s sweet little bitch Mouse who was chosen as the Dog That the Judge Would Most Like to Take Home.
Not only was the Show great fun for all but it also succeeded in raising a grand total of £57 for St Peter’s Church. Maybe next year your prized pooch might like to join in the fun - keep a look out for the date and put it in your diary.
We should like to say a special thank-you to our guest photographer, Sophie Noble, who took the wonderful pictures both of the fête and the dog show. She has brilliantly captured the atmosphere of a very special day, and we look forward to seeing her (and her camera!) at many future events here in the Corvedale.
All photos: Sophie Noble
Dog Show Results
Melanie McHugh as Elsie
Pentabus Rural Theatre Company
Here I Belong, by Matt Hartley
Thursday 8th March 2018
Live theatre is special, and to be able to experience high quality professional drama in our local village hall is a privilege to be treasured. The standing ovation given by the audience at the conclusion of Pentabus’s latest show at Diddlebury Village Hall on Thursday 8th March was testament to that feeling.
The action in Matt Hartley’s ‘Here I Belong’ takes place entirely in the village hall of the fictional village of Woodside. There are 4 Acts, set in 1953, 1979, 1998, and finally 2016. It’s a journey through time with one of the two characters, Elsie, played by Melanie McHugh, being present throughout. Elsie arrived in the village as a Land Girl in 1943, an incomer from London. She embraces the village community, who by and large accept her, and as the play proceeds she becomes more and more the guardian and exemplar of the rural virtues of neighbourliness, community, solidarity, self reliance. As time goes on Elsie remains true to these traditional values, at first having to earn acceptance through making friends and participating in local affairs, and then increasingly defending and explaining them as the next generation moves away to the city, and when, later, young rich adults from the city move into the village. The final Act, set essentially in the present, sees the ninety-year-old Elsie poignantly, almost desperately, trying to find a way of staying in the village with the support of youngsters who can no longer afford to live there. Her sense of ‘here I belong’, which has nurtured and sustained her for all of her adult life, now leads her to fear isolation or removal.
Director Sophie Motley chose to present the action in cabaret style, with the audience seated around tables on the floor of the hall, and the actors moving around them. This was exciting and involving, but with the disadvantage that not all the dialogue could be heard when actors were facing away from audience members. Nathalie Barclay’s 1953 character Dorothy wore period shoes that looked terrific but clattered loudly as she moved, masking some of her words. Some of the stage ‘business’ specified in the script, putting up bunting for the coronation party for example, was difficult to perform quickly, leading to occasional longueurs in the action. The production is on tour until the end of April and will no doubt iron out these glitches as it proceeds.
I found the script challenging. At times it seemed historically lazy; did some people aspire to be, and others revile, ‘London bankers’, seven years before the ‘Big Bang’ financial deregulation of the mid 80s? Occasionally characters veered dangerously close to caricature; Act 3’s 1998 incomer Scarlett starts off like a cartoonishly insensitive ‘Sloane Ranger’. At other times there is dialogue of authentic sensitivity and genuine emotion: a few lines in Act 1 between Elsie and her best friend Dorothy succinctly summarising the need for children to be allowed to make their own way but be welcomed back if it doesn’t work out; Elsie’s grief at not telling her husband she loved him just before his sudden and unexpected death assuaged simply and movingly by Scarlett repeating “he would have known”.
Actors Nathalie Barclay and Melanie McHugh gave us contrastingly
versatile performances. Nathalie Barclay had four very different
characters to play, and played them all with energy and commitment
so that we never for one moment confused one with another.
Melanie McHugh’s Elsie grew and developed and became
increasingly the focus and centre of the story as the play progressed;
at the end of Act 3 the stage direction says that ‘Elsie ages before
our eyes’. I don’t know how she managed it but standing feet away
from the audience that is exactly what she did. These were two
performances of high quality.
The play became more engaging the longer it went on and for me
the final Act, set in 2016, felt by far the most authentic and thought Nathalie Barclay as Marion
provoking. Elsie, the original incomer, finds herself yearning for the
certainties and securities of village life that seem to be abandoning her just when she needs them most. “I don’t want to leave”, she tells her young carer Katie, but “I’m alone”. Katie explains why she can’t afford to live in the village where she grew up or carry on travelling there to care for Elsie. Elsie defiantly tells her “the school won’t close”. “It will if no one with kids can live here”, says Katie. There was an audible intake of breath in the audience. By the end we were fully engaged with Elsie’s story; sympathetic to her desire to remain in the village she’s known all her adult life; appreciative of how she has offered love and understanding to successive generations, and pleased that her friends all rally round at the end to share her 90th birthday party with her in the village hall.
And she even shared her cake with the audience, and very nice it was too.
Diddlebury Parish Flood Action Group
Meeting held in Diddlebury Village Hall on Thursday 15th February 2018 on Shropshire Slow the Flow.
Around 60 people attended the meeting including many members of the local farming community.
Andrew Osbaldison – catchment co-ordinator, Environment Agency - spoke first. He went through the new Farming Rules for Water which come into force on 2nd April. Afterwards, Andrew answered several questions from the floor.
Luke Neal – River Officer, Shropshire Wildlife Trust – then gave an overview of how Natural Flood Management, of which Slow the Flow is one important part, works and how effective it can be. He then gave an update on his present project in the Corvedale. Many leaky dams have already been installed in the Seifton Brook above Culmington and about 130 in the stream below Wilderhope Manor. Work starts on 21st February on the installation of 50 leaky dams in the Diddle Brook catchment above Diddlebury with the kind permission of Delbury Estates. Luke took several interesting questions from the floor and then showed an excerpt from the film “High Water Common Ground” which looks at Slow the Flow in practice around the Country and which included some clips about Culmington and Diddlebury.
Also present were James Turner of the Environment Agency and Anne Marie Jones who works with Catchment Sensitive Farming, run by Natural England. This organisation has grants available to carry out farm improvements with water quality benefits – yard concreting, feeder improvements, fencing, water storage etc. Her contact details are: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will provide further updates from time to time on the Corvedale Project.
16th February 2018
Diddlebury Parish Flood Action Group