Archive for December, 2008

Bleak outlook for Hartington cheese makers

The advertiser reports this week that the Competition Commission has finished its provisional investigation into the takeover of Hartington cheese factory.  It concludes that with out Long Clawson Dairy takeover, Dairy Crest’s Blue Stilton factory would close down anyway, shortly after Christmas – it has been making a loss for years.    The downturn in the factory’s profitability has been partly put down to a decline in the quality of cheese going back to 2001 when expensive new equipment was brought into the site, they lost customers like Sainsbury’s.  The Hartington Creamery was founded in 1870 and has been used for the production of Stilton since 1900.  

The Commission has invited the public to have their say on the finding, please email before January 9th.

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It had its ups, it had it downs – but life in Parwich during 2008 was rarely uneventful. On the downside, we lost the Spar shop, the Methodist chapel and the direct bus service to Derby, and much of the village was battered by freak floods. On the upside, we gained a shop in the pub, a refurbished hard play area, a replica tympanum and a beautiful new stained glass window in the church, half a million quid’s worth of Lottery money for the Memorial Hall, nearly £8000 for the primary school, a national award for the Sycamore, prime time TV success for a Parwich lad… oh, and can we mention this very website, which launched in March?

To help us look back on the past twelve months of village life, here’s a month-by-month reminder of some of the main events. We’re splitting it into two parts, starting with the period from January to June. (more…)

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new-years-eve-midnight-300Come along and join in the New Year’s Eve Parties – there are three in the village tomorrow.

Memorial Hall – from 8pm.  Stepping Stones are holding a family party night with buffet.  Pay on entrance – £6 adult, £3 child.  Please bring your own drinks.  Everyone of all ages are welcome.

Parwich Legion from 8pm – Karaoke & free buffet.  Come and welcome the New Year in.

The Sycamore – Entertainment with DJ Will” and a light buffet

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The Old Coach House, Tissington

Open all week until Sunday 4th – 10.30am – 5pm for teas, coffees, light lunches and afternoon teas.  From January 8th it is open Thursdays to Sundays.

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This Week’s Stunner

This week’s Stunner may only be a very slim edition, but as usual there is plenty of  Parwich-related content to read about.  Due to technical problems at Burton on Trent they are not sure when the paper will be on-line, that is why the usual links we put on are not available.  Links now available.  Why not read the whole paper, click here for the  on line version.

Page 2.  “Cash harvest for schools’ growers”.  Parwich Primary School kept up the village’s current streak by attracting the highest figure in the area, scooping £7860 to grow their own fruit & veg.  Their slice of the £510,000 will be invested in tools, a greenhouse, propagators, plants & seeds.

Page 3.  “Credit crunch?  Not here, say retailers”.  Ashbourne appears to be avoiding the worst of the economic doom & gloom with many traders reporting a successful Christmas.  New managing director of Bennetts, Simon Ingham said it was “too early” to say for sure how well they did over Christmas.

Page 6 & 7.  “Speech day awards for QEGS high-flyers” 

Page 8.  “May’s legacy ends its 10-year blessing”.  May Heathcote of Bradbourne left all her money to benefit the community,  the trust set up in her name has awarded nearly half a million pounds & has now completed their job.  A number of organisations in Parwich benefited from this trust, including The Over 60’s Club, Parwich Youth Club, Parwich Crown Green Bowling Club and Parwich First Responders.

Page 9.  “Army officer plans new manoeuvres”.  Simon Ingham a former army officer, now living in Parwich is the new managing director of Bennetts, he will also oversee the company branches in Derby and Bakewell.  He is keen to support local businesses, charities, artists and designers and will have specific 10% sales of which 5% will be passed on to charity, benefiting the whole community.  Speaking about Parwich he said “Parwich is a beautiful place,  I enjoy living and working here and really enjoy the countryside”.

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Blowing our own trumpet...Thanks to the triple-whammy of a) the Big Lottery Fund grant, b) the cheeky Advent Calendar pages and c) Tom’s Strictly Come Dancing victory, PARWICH.ORG has enjoyed a record month in terms of visitor numbers, with over 20,000 page views (and counting).

This beats our previous record of just over 15,000 page views in July, when the excitement of Wakes Week also sent the stats sky high. Interestingly, the week following Wakes remains our busiest week to date, by the merest of whiskers.

Perhaps this goes to show us what tabloid newspaper editors have known for a long time: that nothing “sells” like sauciness, sportiness, success and celebrity!

We’d be surprised if these extraordinary figures were ever matched again in the future… but then again, as 2008 has shown us time and time again, you never quite know what’s lurking around the corner…

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Answers to Another Brain Teaser.

Lots of people have looked at this brain teaser published on Saturday, but I’m not sure how many of you got the correct answers.  All the answers are to do with pounds, shillings & pence and the sum of the answers comes to 32 pounds, 7 shillings and 81/2 pence.  Be sure to say the answers out loud, it all becomes so obvious! (more…)

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Weekly weather update

Well it wasn’t a white Christmas but here’s how the weather was…..



in mm


in Mb am


in Mb pm

Temperature in ºC



Sun 21st






Mon 22nd






Tue 23rd






Wed 24th






Thurs 25th






Fri 26th






Sat 27th












The weatherman on the hill wishes everyone a happy new year!

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Parwich Nativity Play

This year’s critically acclaimed Nativity Play, which took place in St Peter’s Church on Christmas Eve, is now available as a DVD.

To obtain a copy – in return for a donation to St Peter’s Church Restoration Fund – please contact Martin by e-mail at, or by phone on 529.

Martin has also loaded a preview clip to YouTube:

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Another Brain Teaser

 Another teaser, but no clues this time. 


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Brain Teasers

After all that turkey and pudding, let’s exercise the mind.  What are the next two numbers in the sequence?



For a clue, but if you don’t want to know don’t click here. (more…)

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Ilam open

If you’re trying to think of somewhere (other than the sales) to go over the next few days, and running out of ideas about where to take the rellies, well good news. Ilam tearooms is open from 11am tomorrow until January 4th. If the weather is anything like it was today it’ll be gorgeous over there. These photos were taken this afternoon. (more…)

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Christmas Day Stroll

Making room for the turkey. (more…)

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Click the door to reveal the window...

Christmas Day is here at last, meaning that it’s time to reveal our final Advent Calendar window. Please be sure to click on the door marked “25”, to view a veritable feast of visual delights! (The tinsel alone took Kevin a whole afternoon to arrange…)

If you’re using Internet Explorer with your speakers switched on, then there’s also a little audio treat in store.

Every single one of the images that we’ve featured over the last 25 days has been taken by Parwich photographers, using Parwich locations (yes, even the indoor “still life” shots). Many thanks to everybody who contributed to this epic project!

And finally, here’s a chance to revisit all 25 windows and all 6 of our “specials”… (more…)

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This week’s Stunner.

As so often seems to be the case these days, there’s plenty of Parwich-related content in this week’s Ashbourne News Telegraph…

Page 1.What a turn-up for Shrovetide!” – Simon Spencer, who represents Dovedale and Parwich Ward on Derbyshire Dales District Council, will be turning up the ball for the Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football match on Shrove Tuesday, February 24th.

Page 4. Editorial comment: “Tom’s secret of success”. A veritable eulogy to our Mr. Chambers, which pegs him as “the kind of person that every mother would like their daughter to marry”…

Page 8. “Should Tom have won?” – a news piece announcing the opening of “what could be our most one-sided poll ever” on the Stunner’s website.

Page 8. “Tools stolen from garage” – report on last Saturday lunchtime’s theft of several hundred pounds worth of equipment from a wooden garage in Parwich.

Page 10.Public says Yes to Tom’s magic steps.” A detailed full-page article on last Saturday’s victory, featuring quotes from Stephen Conway at The Sycamore, the Revd. Christopher Harrison – and an interesting exclusive mini-interview with Tom’s mum Rosemary, which also contradicts some of this week’s national newspaper headlines…

Page 19.Lottery windfall for village halls.” Another full page feature, covering the Big Lottery Fund grants made to Parwich and Clifton. There’s also a colour photo of committee members Val S, Mike G-P, Brian B and Nick S.

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Christmas greetings from Kevin and Mike.

Merry Chrunch-mas from Kevin and Mike


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Parwich Advent Calendar – Day 24.

Click the door to reveal the window...

Please click the door marked “24” to reveal today’s pair of images. There will be one more window to open on Christmas Day.

Who's behind the mystery door?

As for our sixth and final EXCITING MYSTERY WINDOW, we are happy to announce that we exceeded our target of £40… raising a final total of £151.

This was in no small part due to a very generous donation from a couple of well-wishers from outside the village, who discovered PARWICH.ORG following Tom’s Strictly victory. This is what they had to say:

Tom has given us such pleasure over the Strictly series. If his good humour and spirit is indicative of that of his locality, we wanted to show our appreciation by supporting a local cause.

As a result, we can now reveal our “Seasonal Stocking Filler” Calendar Girl! Please click on the window to view the image.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our cheeky cavalcade of Calendar Boys and Calendar Girls, who between them have raised over £300 for the Memorial Hall Fund. Our sincere thanks to all who participated, and to all who donated.

And finally… there’s just enough room for one more Bumper Bonus Calendar Boy, whose submission reached us too late to be included in the “Pay Per View” series… who can it possibly be? (more…)

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Where are our sheep?

shepherdsTwo delightful shepherds were seen wandering around Parwich today. Were they looking for their sheep?  Find out tomorrow.  Come along tomorrow at 4pm to Parwich Church and see The Nativity Play and Christmas Eve service.

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Parwich in fine voice


What a super evening, there must have been almost 100 people singing on The Green, we even managed an original compilation, Once in Royal David’s City to the tune of Hark the Herald Angels Sing – the original was better than our version. Thanks to Chris for accompanying us and to Barbara, Mary & helpers for providing mulled wine & mince pies. More photos… (more…)

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Bin collections over Christmas.

Just in case you missed this piece of information on the blue cards:
the green bins are being collected on Christmas Eve.

As for the regular domestic waste bins, these will be collected on Saturday 27th December.

Next Friday’s refuse collections will also take place a day later than usual, on Saturday January 3rd.

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They say that good things come in threes. Following last week’s Big Lottery Fund grant of £500,000 towards the redevelopment of Parwich Memorial Hall, and Tom Chambers’ spectacular success in Strictly Come Dancing, some of us were left wondering what our third stroke of good fortune would be.

And now we know! We’re grateful to our friends at the Ashbourne News Telegraph for passing on the excellent news that Parwich Primary School has been awarded a grant of nearly £8000, as part of Derbyshire County Council’s “Growing Better Together” funding initiative. This award is amongst the highest given to any of the schools on the list.

The funding is designed to encourage Derbyshire youngsters to:

  • Plan, plant, grow and eat healthy food
  • Share experience and knowledge by working alongside older people, parents, voluntary groups and horticulture/conservation organisations in their communities.

To read the full text of Derbyshire County Council’s press release: (more…)

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Parwich Advent Calendar – Day 23.

Click the door to reveal the window...

If yesterday’s theme was “arboreal”, today’s theme is “ecclesiastical”. Please click the door marked “23” to see what we’re on about…

Who's behind the mystery door?

There’s just one more day to go before we reveal our sixth and final EXCITING MYSTERY WINDOW – but we’ll only be revealing it if we raise at least £40 for the Memorial Hall Fund.

Today is your final chance to donate! As always, you can do so via PayPal, or via the collecting tin in the Sycamore, or via one of the blog team.

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Carols on the Green

Don’t forget to join us for the annual “Carols on the Green”, a delightful village event to celebrate the start of Christmas. 

After a hearty sing, we can refresh ourselves with mulled wine & mince pies.

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We were delighted to receive a couple of friendly and informative e-mails from Bernard Tapp, who lived at “Stanworth” on the Alsop Road in the 1960s. Over to Bernard…

It was not until I saw the end of “Strictly” last night that I discovered that Tom came from Parwich. My link goes back to 1965 when I was appointed Head Teacher at Clifton Primary School at the age of 31. We had to move from Northampton.

Estate agents in Ashbourne offered us the choice of three farms to buy! Exploration led us to the Moore’s builders and I was offered a plot of land opposite the Legion for £450. Moore designed and built the house I called “Stanworth” (Stone House) and we lived there for four years until I took another post near Bristol. I am Bernard Tapp, my wife, who died in 1997 was Meg, and the three youngsters are Marion, Trevor and Jayne.

I can tell you a few tales of how we were gradually accepted in the village. As Alan and Violet Oldfield said, “When they tell you you are not digging the garden right you are in”. Someone coming out of the Legion did, and we were.

We were “Nobs” according to Alan, and when Col Sir John Crompton Inglefield was unable to open the village fete, Meg was called in at the last minute. She had to buy a hat! I remember he called his wife Bunty.

We were friendly with Cath and Cliff Goldstraw, but they have both passed on. My dog once sat outside the Sycamore all night in drenching rain, ‘cos their bitch was on heat!!

If you want me to rack my brains further, I will. Like when my toddler son threw Violet and Alan’s gnomes in their pond, and then followed them in in the middle of winter, or when he and another lad, whose name I have forgotten, smeared wet tarmac in their hair after I had had a “Cheap” delivery from the quarry. We could buy cheaply some left over loads at the end of the day.

I won’t bore you any more but please e-mail if you want to chat. I still keep in touch with the Oldfields, and have been onto the History Society Website.

Bernard Tapp

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This evening Tom’s high profile ‘thank you’ to Parwich village, to the Sycamore and its loyal band of fans, and to the people of Derbyshire in general was featured on the BBC East Midlands evening news, including footage (taken from us!) of Tom and Camilla’s visit to the Sycamore and another interview with Janet Gosling.

Click here to watch the clip.

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In what has been billed as the only post-Strictly television interview that they will be doing, Tom and Camilla appeared on this morning’s BBC Breakfast, alongside judge Arlene Phillips.

Click here to watch the clip, which can also be viewed in full screen mode.

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The following was sent to us this afternoon:

I would like to wish you all and your families a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Thank you for your continued support throughout 2008. The information that you pass on to Derbyshire Constabulary following Ringmaster community messages is much appreciated.

Many thanks to the Safer Neighbourhood Teams for recruiting new members of the community, who are now registered with the messaging service. We look forward to working along with you in 2009.

Together we can continue to make this area a safe place to live, work in and visit.

Best Wishes, Trisha Mellor
Buxton Police Station

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A message from Stuart (and Tom).

PARWICH.ORG has just received this message from Tom’s dad Stuart:

Hi and we are still in London enjoying lots of emotion. We go to the Xmas recording tonite too. No telephone voting required.

The first place the Strictly Come Dancing trophy is coming, says Tom, is to The Sycamore.

Tom says thank you for your support and all the best for Xmas and New Year. He cannot get up until mid January, due to more Strictly tour rehearsals.

My favourite film is It’s a Wonderful Life, James Stewart. It sure is at the moment, thanks to the public. Tom is very humbled.

Big episode on Holby City too on Tuesday night. More Kleenex. Thanks Parwich.

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Parwich Advent Calendar – Day 22.

Click the door to open the window...

Please click on the door marked “22” to reveal today’s pair of Advent images.

Who's behind the mystery door?

As for our sixth and final EXCITING MYSTERY WINDOW, our Calendar Girl will appear on Christmas Eve – but only if we raise at least £40 in donations for the Memorial Hall Fund.

Please donate online, or via the tin in the Sycamore, or by contacting one of the blog team.

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Carols on Tuesday

Carols on the Green

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Do you want to see Mamma Mia again?

Mamma Mia has been one of the most popular in the current parwich film season, and a few people have requested a second showing. This is more than possible if there is sufficient demand:

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Keep your garage/shed secure!

A Parwich resident reports a theft of power tools from their garage on Friday night or Saturday morning. Please check your own garages and/or sheds are secure. Christmas is a time when everyone needs to take extra precautions.

If you saw anything suspicious in the Chestnut Cottages/ Sycamore Cottages area during this period please let the Police know (tel 0345 123 3333).

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Jean C. writes….

Ben And Martin put up the village map today, on the south approach road to the village, at the entrance to Stephen Dale’s yard. Thank you to Stephen for letting us site it there.

If you would like a paper copy of the map to keep at home for easy reference, then please attach a comment here, or contact us at, or phone us on 529.

Happy Christmas from Parwich First Responders.

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Parwich in the press.

We’re not quite sure how this happened – but a nice article appeared in today’s “Fenland Citizen” on the subject of last night’s Strictly Come Dancing shenanigans at the Sycamore, featuring lengthy quotes from Janet. Click here to read the article in full.

Meanwhile, Friday’s Derby Evening Telegraph included a article on the various changes planned for the Bennetts group of department stores, with extensive quotes throughout from incoming managing director – and Parwich resident – Simon Ingham. Click here to read the article in full.

Update: Thanks to Christopher Harrison for pointing us in the direction of this Press Association article on Parwich’s reaction to Tom’s win.

“We are all totally on cloud nine. It’s unbelievable. We are so happy for Camilla.” – Tom’s dad Stuart.

“Everyone was really happy for him when he won. It’s a close-knit community and everyone knows him.” – Janet, landlady of the Sycamore.

“People know him here as Tom and it’s strange to think of him as a celebrity because he’s so normal when he comes back to the village.” – Reverend Christopher Harrison.

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Parwich Advent Calendar – Day 21.

Once again, today’s Advent Calendar post is a bumper triple-feature!

First of all, here’s today’s regular window. Please click on the door marked “21” to open it.

Click the door to open the window...

You can also click here to view all of our calendar windows to date, on a single page.

Moving on to our hotly anticipated series of EXCITING MYSTERY WINDOWS, we can once again reveal a brand new blushing Parwich Calendar Boy (and his secret admirer).

To find out who’s baring his manly physique beneath that bowler, please click on the hat!

Who's behind the mystery door?

Once again, thanks to all who contributed towards the £40 target.

And to complete our series of seasonally saucy snaps, here is our sixth and final EXCITING MYSTERY WINDOW…

Who's behind the mystery door?

We’re calling this image “Stocking Filler”. To find out which Parwich Calendar Girl is wearing the stockings in question, we need to raise at least £40 by Christmas Eve.

If we hit that target (and let’s hope that we exceed it), then we’ll be opening the mystery window on Wednesday morning.

Please make your donations via PayPal, or via the collecting tin at the Sycamore, or via one of our blog team.

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After Friday’s performance at The Sycamore, The A52s have made available on Youtube some highlights of their performance.

Your chance to sing along once again to I Saw My Baby Wearing Santa’s Beard or Death is not the End – alternatively if you were unfortunate enough to miss the gig, see what all the fuss was about:

1. Death Is Not The End
(also featuring the massed voices of The Sycamore Chorale)

To watch the other three A52s videos from Friday night: (more…)

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Weekly weather update

Here is the week’s weather, with a distinct hotting up last night, and Christmas greetings to all our readers from our Weatherman on the Hill:



in mm


in Mb am


in Mb pm

Temperature in ºC



Sun 14th






Mon 15th






Tue 16th






Wed 17th






Thurs 18th






Fri 19th






Sat 20th












Will there be a white Christmas?

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Here are the highlights of Tom and Camilla’s Strictly Come Dancing final:

The Winner is …..

For more clips (more…)

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Happy Solstice

The Shortest Day
Time is running out to get your own Seasonal Greetings Card posted at PARWICH.ORG, so click on the photo to find out more

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“I’d just like to thank family and friends, everyone at the pub in Parwich…”

OK, so PARWICH.ORG is a little drunk right now. But quite understandably so, as it’s not every day that a Parwich lad wins – yes, WINS! – BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Down at the Sycamore, we were in absolute uproar over tonight’s well deserved result – especially following Tom and Camilla’s truly stunning final freestyle show dance, which had to rank as one of the absolute highlights of the whole season.

Congratulations to both of them, and of course to Tom’s wife Clare – and also to Stuart and Rosemary, who must be two of the proudest parents in the country right now.

All this and a £500,000 Lottery award too? It’s been quite a week!

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