Archive for the ‘2008’ Category

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…)

Read Full Post »

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:

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

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

The Winner is …..

For more clips (more…)

Read Full Post »

“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!

Read Full Post »

Tom and Camilla after some fourteen competition dances have made it to the finals.  To see any or all of their dances again click on the relevant photos below:

Week 1 ChaCha
Week 1 ChaCha


Read Full Post »

BLF Grant Announced

BLF Grant Award
click on poster to enlarge


Read Full Post »

Last Friday Adele Metcalfe and Dan Yates (the Peak District National Park Authority’s Community Planning Officers) organised an inspirational Peak District National Park Villages Conference.  The day was intended to share ideas and experiences between villages.  Parwich Village Action Group sent along a member of our Environment Sub-Group who was struck by how much Parwich has achieved and the opportunities that are open to us.

This day also served to highlight how much the Village Action Group and Parwich have benefited from the support of the Community Planning Officers, who are currently funded by European money due to end in March.  At present further funding has not been identified, but the following report of the Conference illustrates how the Authority can not let this essential part of their work be lost – Peter Trewhitt (Village Action Group Chair):

a quotation

Keynote speaker, Matthew Parris, Times correspondent and political journalist, fired off the opening salvo at a recent Peak District National Park Villages Conference by disagreeing with the quotation. In his own inimitable style he challenged us to consider the importance of local, regional and national government in facilitating the changes that communities at the grass root level need and require. It is neither a top down nor a bottom up process. It is by interweaving the will of people and communities to control their environment and lives with the appropriate mechanism that effects positive change.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

Parwich Guizers

For many years the Parwich Guizers (also known as the Brothm Mummers) have been bringing festive cheer to Parwich and beyond. Last Saturday, the group (Denis, Roy, Ben, Arnold, Rob, Ken and Brian) ventured out on the road again, taking their traditional Christmas play to Buxton in the afternoon, and to various local pubs in the evening.

You are invited to join the tour, watch Bold Slasher swinging his sword, and see the Doctor and his gurdy gout on this video:

By double-clicking on the video window, you can also watch this clip in a larger widescreen mode.

It is possible they will also magically appear on Christmas eve in the village, maybe at The Sycamore and The British Legion.  Click here for more information on the Guizers and their play.

Read Full Post »

Book Launch

Parwich resident, Jo-anne Jewett, launched her new book “The Beautiful Truth: make up made easy” today.  There was a potential mishap last Saturday with the whole stock of the book nearly being left in the rain outside an empty house by the delivery men.  Fortunately the Vicar, out walking the dog, was able to intercede, and offer temporary sanctuary at the Vicarage.

The Beautiful Truth


Read Full Post »

Sandra S has contacted us with the following thoughts on the current state of the B5056 between Fenny Bentley and the Parwich turn-off, with particular reference to the so-called “temporary” traffic lights:

1. Traffic lights.

Whilst searching for information on another subject, I noticed that the B5056 used to be the A524. How much sooner would the traffic light problem be dealt with if the road was classified as an A-road, and why was it downgraded in the first place?

The amount of heavy lorries putting so much pressure on the road should surely mean that a substantial surface should be put down to take the weight, or the lorries should be re-routed onto an existing A-road.

We do see roads with signs for no more than 7.5 tonnes.

Perhaps someone would like to approach the council with the above questions. I did ask Highways some time ago why this very busy road was not called an A-road? I did not get an answer, but more of a mumble.

P.S The traffic lights are battery powered apparently, and over a weekend they can run out of juice.

2. Road safety near the Bentley Brook.

Because so many people from Parwich travel on the B5056 past the Bentley Brook pub, would they please be mindful that where the road sinks on a regular basis just prior to the pub, there is actually a gaping gap under the road there. One day, the road will give – and on a selfish note, I just hope that I am not the one travelling by at the time. Has anyone noticed the wall listing?

Lorries pass on the opposite side to the pub laden with goods. On the way back, they are empty. I am certain that if they were laden coming back, then many more places on the B5056 would be at risk.

3. The chevron sign.

A van collided with the wall at the bottom of Ravenscliffe Farm next to the B5056. The wall was damaged. Some of it was knocked down. The gate and posts were obliterated. The chevron sign was also knocked off of its posts and sent into our field. That happened in October 2007.

I consider the chevron sign to be quite important on a fairly sharp bend. The wall and chevron sign were only put back up by the council last week. It has taken one year to put right.

It is a shame the cement in the wall will not last, due to it having been done in frosty weather.

The 50 mph signs are a good thing to help with road safety, but I am not too amused by the fact that signs have been erected on our land without even a please or thank you!

– Sandra S.

For a recap on the current traffic light situation as we understand it… (more…)

Read Full Post »

Thank you to Emma M, who visited Parwich on Tuesday evening, for sending us these photos. Well done to Janet for accommodating everyone despite having builders and decorators repairing the flood damage. Also click here for a video clip of the evening.


Read Full Post »

This evening Tom, Clare and Camilla spent over an hour in the Sycamore Inn, enjoying a brief break from the ultra-intensive schedule of Strictly Come Dancing.  The BBC from London were there, as well as local reporters.  A very lively crowd of regulars as well as visitors tried to get the camera crew to pre-record us all wishing the nation’s viewers a Happy Christmas …

Read Full Post »

For those of you who may have missed yesterday’s Politics Show on BBC1, here’s a chance to catch up with the segment of the programme which featured Parwich residents (Lynette, Peter, Chris, Ray and Karen) expressing their desire to see greater democratic accountability within the Peak District National Park Authority. Well done to all of them for making their cases so eloquently.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

ADMIN: As the number of Parwich-related videos is beginning to stack up, we have added a separate VIDEOS section to the column on the right hand side of this page.

Read Full Post »

Memories of Summer

The following photographs were taken in July this year (when the sun did shine).  We spent a week in Parwich on the occasion of my wife’s 70th Birthday & every one in the village made us very welcome.

We hope that all flood damage has now been cleared and that everything is getting back to normal

Kind Regards
John & Pam Lamb

A Derbyshire View

 Parwich Church (more…)

Read Full Post »

BBC back yet again!

Having been here for the Politics Show on Wednesday, BBC cameras will be in Parwich again tomorrow.

Tom ChambersThis time they are back to film Tom’s local supporters watching Strictly Come Dancing at the Sycamore Inn.  The programme starts at 6-05pm on Saturday evening, with the wide screen TV and chip butties laid on in the pub.  This week Tom and Camilla are dancing both a waltz and a samba, and they desperately want to achieve a 10.  As it is so close dance-wise, the non-dancing publicity will also be vital.

Janet would welcome as many people as possible to block sight of the building work from the cameras.  Indeed she deserves a big thanks for keeping the shop and pub going during the flood damage repairs.


Read Full Post »

Dorothy Foden – in memory

Dorothy Foden, of Brook Cottage, was well loved by many people in Parwich and beyond.  She was very much at the heart of St. Peter’s church, as well as being a strong supporter of Parwich Methodist chapel.  A new altar frontal in her memory, donated by Brian, was last week put in place in the chapel at St Peter’s.  It was made by Jenifer Baines of Littleover, Derby, using the fabric ‘Venetian Tapestry’.  Jenifer is an old friend of Andrew and Rachel Robinson, as well as being someone I have got to know through the Derbyshire-India links.  The frontal enhances the chapel enormously, and it is very fitting that it should be in a part of the church which is also used by Parwich Methodists for their twice-monthly service.


The frontal will be dedicated during the Carol Service on Sunday 14th December at 5.00 pm, along with the first of the kneelers which have been made in memory of Ambrose Wilton.

Read Full Post »

These dramatic images were taken from the garden of Barn Cottage, at around 8:30 on Thursday November 13th. Our thanks to Matt for sending them in.


Read Full Post »

It might have been miserable on Sunday morning, but Saturday afternoon was glorious! A bit nippy, but lovely crisp clear air. Here are a few snaps taken doing the circuit round the back of Parwich Hill.


Read Full Post »

Clear up success

Parwich Parish Council would like to thank everyone who turned out yesterday for the work day.  An incredible amount of debris and rubbish was removed.  The Brook is flowing much more freely.  Further work to remove sediment and excessive vegetation growth will be undertaken by a mechanical digger.  Also an especial thanks to the WI who made cakes and to all who helped with the refreshments.

clear up dat (more…)

Read Full Post »

Goodbye Freda & Sheila

Best WishesHaving spent virtually all their lives in Parwich, Freda & Sheila are moving to Ashbourne at the end of November. They have a delightful two bedroomed flat with super south facing views overlooking the town and up towards Derby Road.

It will be extremely sad to see them both leave Parwich but hopefully they will be regular visitors, especially if there are any volunteers to help them with transport from time to time.

Last year Sheila enjoyed a memorable helicopter ride for her 60th birthday and Freda is renowned for her fabulous Christmas cake which is raffled for the Church. Also their table decorations always enhance the Open Gardens teas.

They both spent their early childhood at Mellow Meadow Farm before moving into the village, firstly at Japonica and then Shaw Lane Cottage; in 1995 Freda moved to Smithy Close, with Sheila living for some years at Bradbourne Mill Farm.

Freda and Sheila, best wishes to you both in your new home!

Read Full Post »

Dawn over Parwich.

These photos were taken at sunrise on Saturday morning, the sun on the underside of the cloud making an amazing effect…


Read Full Post »

End of a Retail Era

Yesterday saw the last visit of Andrew Peach with the butcher’s van to Parwich and the area.  The firm of Peach’s of Ashbourne has been selling meat from a van in the village for at least three generations of Peaches and over three generations of villagers.

There has been a decline in the number of firms bringing vans out to the villages over the years, and increasingly Andrew Peach has found it had to staff the shop and go out on the van.  It was with obvious regret that he felt obliged to stop the service, which has been much appreciated by those who have used it over the years.

All that remains of the mobile shop services is Morris & Son’s fish van on a Friday

Read Full Post »

PARWICH.ORG would like to commend the Peak District National Park Authority and its Chair Narendra Bajaria on their series of visits to villages in the Park.  We feel it is a very real attempt to develop their understanding of the needs of residents and our communities.

Narendra Bajaria and senior Officer(s) are to visit Parwich on Tuesday 13th January.  On the day they will visit various local facilities and meet members of the community.  Anyone from Parwich interested in meeting senior leaders of the Peak District National Park Authority during these events can contact John Fern, head of communications, on 01629 816356 or email

The Authority has previously indicated where possible neighbouring hamlets will be included in village visits, so it would be worth Alsop, Ballidon and Pikehall contacting the Authority to see if they are likely to be on any future list or if they should participate in this visit.  Further details will be posted nearer the time.  (more…)

Read Full Post »


Thank you to Ben B for this article.

The first national act of Remembrance was held at Whitehall on November 11th 1920, when the new Cenotaph was unveiled to commemorate the passing of the Unknown Warrior on its way to Westminster Abbey. The Cenotaph, designed by Edwin Lutyens has become the focal point for the Nation’s Remembrance, with the reigning monarch laying a poppy wreath as a mark of the nation’s respect for the fallen of the two world wars, and all subsequent and ongoing conflicts. The following year, 1921, marked the first National Remembrance Day, then called Armistice Day, when the now familiar two minutes silence was first observed.

The Poppy – the symbol of Remembrance (more…)

Read Full Post »

click on poster to enlarge

Read Full Post »

Dappled autumn light.

As always, please click to enlarge.

Read Full Post »

Here are the results of our recent poll. Thanks to all who participated.

Key findings:

  • Only 10% of respondents believe that the Peak District National Park Authority adequately represents the views and needs of its residents.
  • 88% of respondents favour the introduction of directly elected members onto the PDNPA’s board.

Detailed findings:

1. Do you live in the Peak District National Park?

  • Yes – 83% (40 votes)
  • No – 17% (8 votes)

2. Does the Peak District National Park Authority adequately represent the views and needs of its residents?

  • Yes: strongly agree – 0% (0 votes)
  • Yes: mostly agree – 10% (5 votes)
  • Unsure/undecided – 27% (14 votes)
  • No: mostly disagree – 43% (22 votes)
  • No: strongly disagree – 20% (10 votes)

3. Should some or all of the Peak District National Park Authority’s board be directly elected by residents of the Park?

  • All members should be directly elected – 40% (20 votes)
  • Some members should be directly elected – 48% (24 votes)
  • Unsure/undecided – 2% (1 vote)
  • No members should be directly elected – 10% (5 votes)


Read Full Post »

Jean Allen, of Croft Avenue, who lived for many years at Woodeaves, just outside Fenny Bentley, has shown me some splendid photos of people from Alsop en le Dale dating back to the 1920s. Her father, Charlie Allen, was stationmaster at Alsop when the trains still ran on that line. These provide a remarkable glimpse of Alsop church and parish, from a time when there was a Sunday School and choir!

See them below, or click here (which includes a full screen option) –

I have also uploaded onto Youtube some photos from our link diocese in India, Patna, which date from the late 1800s. These were shown to me earlier this month by the Bishop of Patna, Philip Marandih, and show scenes from the early years of the Christian missionaries among the Santal tribe in the village of Taljhari. Click here to see them.

Christopher Harrison

Read Full Post »

Meet The A52s!

If you took a Tuesday evening stroll along Smithy Lane this Summer, you may have heard the sound of clinking beer bottles, manic strumming, improvised accordions and uncontrollable laughter. This, ladies and gentlemen, was the sound of The A52s creating music. In the first week, the band learned some notes. In the second week, they tried putting them in the right order. As the weeks went by, these top musicians learned enough notes to do a debut gig! Terrifying huh?! We think so too!

The band turned down frantic offers from lesser venues such as the NEC and the O2 Arena, opting instead for the prestigious yet intimate Parwich Legion. The band will appear 8.30 to 9ish on Saturday 8th November. Make a note in your diaries for an evening of fine entertainment. Free admission (in fact, the band may be paying you)!

The A52s is Parwich’s foremost folk-rock band, comprising 4 musicians at the top of their game (which happens to be Snap):

The A52s Publicity Shot

The A52s Publicity Shot

Rob ‘Squeezebox’ Francis (concertina accordian, guitar & vocals)
Lewis ‘Bassnote’ Noble (piano accordian, guitar & vocals)
Chris ‘Deliverance’ Radlett (banjo, 12 string guitar & vocals)
Mike ‘The Ax’ Hughes (guitar & vocals)
The A52s In Full Effect

The A52s In Full Effect

Read Full Post »

This afternoon’s meeting with Justine Ball, our grants officer for the Big Lottery Fund, was very positive. She met with several of the Project Team: Mike Gerard-Pearse, Brian Beasley, Val Stevenson, Nick Stevenson and Peter Trewhitt. First she looked round the Memorial Hall and the site, and then we moved to the School to access their internet and projection facilities.

We discussed the consultation process, the additional future uses of the Hall that have been identified (e.g. after-school activities and adult education classes) and our strategies to obtain matched funding / in kind donations. Some additional detail was required and several of our outcome measures need rewording to fit into their format, but overall Justine was very complimentary of high standard and thoroughness of our application.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

The Bishop of Patna, the Rt. Rev’d Philip Marandih, has long been trying to get me to visit his diocese.   So when the director of schools for Derby Diocese suggested that I join a trip to India, designed to set up and develop links between schools in Derbyshire and in India, including Patna diocese, I readily accepted her invitation.  A few days ago I returned from a tour which took me through the flooded areas of Bihar state, one of the poorest parts of India, to some tribal villages which have been left virtually untouched by India’s recent economic growth. 

Christianity was first brought to these peoples – the Santali tribe – in the 1860s, and the first church was built there, in the village of Taljhari, at about the same  time as St. Peter’s church in Parwich was being rebuilt.  Fenny Bentley school is making links with two schools in this area, one in the tribal village of Barharwa, where it costs only £800 to build a new classroom, and one in the city of Patna, where email links are likely to be better.  My tasks during the visit included speaking and preaching on several occasions, and giving three talks to a conference on the Church’s engagement in society in another tribal area, this time in the diocese of Eastern Himalaya. 

This is a video clip of the welcome shown to us by the Santali tribespeople of Barharwa –


Other video clips of the visit, and of my visit to Assam earlier this year, may be seen here.


Read Full Post »

Many congratulations to Esther Tyson, our recent artist addition to the village (see previous post).

She has won not one but two(!) prestigious awards for her art work, which are:

The RSPB Award for “Bullfinch Study” and the Capmark Europe Art Award (first prize) for “Early beginnings – Moorhen nest building”.

Interestingly, the Moorhen picture (see below) was based on Esther’s studies of the Parwich village pond.

Both awards were presented by Germaine Greer at the Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition 2008 at the Mall Galleries, London on the 23rd September (see photo below).

Read Full Post »

Autumn Sun

These photos were taken in Wolfscote Dale behind Hartington on Sunday afternoon. It was glorious to see the turning leaves in the sunlight….and such a short drive from Parwich. Makes you forget all about the wet Summer!

Read Full Post »

Vicar to move to Nottingham

It is with much sadness that I have announced that we will be moving from Parwich in February – I have been asked to be priest in charge of three churches in the centre of Nottingham. 

St. Mary’s is situated in the Lace Market; St. Peter’s is in the heart of the shopping area, next to Marks and Spencer’s, and All Saints is near to the Arboretum and to Trent University.  Our years in Parwich have been wonderful in so many ways, but working in the heart of a major city will also offer some splendid opportunities.  

I expect that we will leave Parwich in early February – my licensing service in Nottingham is on Sunday 22nd February at 3.00 pm.   The process of finding a new vicar for Parwich will involve the drawing up of a profile of the group of five parishes, which will be put to possible applicants.  This will be overseen by the bishop and his colleagues, but the main work on the profile needs to be done here.

At least it’s not too far from here – do come and visit!   Details of the parish are at


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: