A warm welcome awaited me at Chelmorton on Monday morning as I battled driving rain to see what the village had to offer at this festive time of year.
Over in the Village Institute I enjoyed a coffee and biscuit and a browse of crafts made locally such as handmade cards, fabric coasters, boxes and hearts and an array of enticing jewellery. There were also chutneys and jams including more of the excellent lime marmalade that I took home and relished last year. An anonymous local photographer had come up with some fantastic pictures taken on his or her dog walks while Caroline Fookes added more artistry with her accomplished oil paintings using cool colours and a lovely loose style to depict Derbyshire scenes.
Back out in the rain, I perused an array of well-made village scarecrows including the British diving team complete with pool, the Queen and corgi, Mary Poppins, Dorothy and Toto and an overgrown baby. On hearing peels of laughter, I realised that there were some in-jokes going on here too with granny and her picnic on one front lawn definitely referencing some local resident!
Up at the historic church there is a great display of wedding dresses from those who have been married in the village’s church or chapel. The addition of photos of their special days made it all the more interesting and it was fascinating to see the changing fashions from the Lady Di-ish dress of the 1990s to a sprigged Laura Ashley style robe from the 1980s and even a 1950s’ bridesmaid’s dress. In one case five members of one family have married at the church since 1955. I also learnt about the quaint village custom of children tying the church gates at the end of a wedding service and demanding money to open them up!
Visitors to the festival, which is 10 minutes from Buxton by car if that, can expect a treasure hunt, a pop up bookshop in a phone box (yes really) and much more with planned evening entertainment including a prestigious crime writers’ panel (Tues, 6-7.45pm), a performance from comic-poet Rob Barratt (Tues, 8-9pm), a family film night on Wednesday (6.30pm) and Hollinsclough Band in the Church on Wednesday (7pm). It all leads up to a grand family fun day on Saturday 16th with stalls, refreshments, vintage cars, plain weird cars, a dog show and more rounded off with a disco in the evening. What’s not to like?
For further information see www.chelmortonvillage.org.uk or email email@example.com. Chelmorton is a fascinating, historic and beautiful village and to see it festooned in bunting and with so much going on is a real treat.
Although for the time being the Buxton Museum ‘Wonders of the Peak’ exhibition is under refurbishment, for the period of the Fringe we will be covered by the series of pleasant lunchtime lectures providing a little insight into the finds and methods of the museum.
Of course, each lecture will be different, but for mine I had Alastair Willis talk about the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and interesting finds that have been found throughout Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire through it. Without going into too much detail, the PAS is a scheme to help amateur finders get their finds verified, helping both them and museums. All in all it sounds like a highly interesting arrangement, and the lecture was accordingly so. Alistair truly knew what he was on about, he was as the event says, an ‘expert’, and so learning about this topic which clearly fascinated him was in turn fascinating for the audience.
The lecture was very well designed to pique the audience’s interest. I personally am a big fan of the mysteries of the past, and Alistair delivered, highlighting wonderful finds that we simply don’t understand, and with his expert knowledge, divulging interesting theories for them. I can’t say I’m much of an expert in local history, or archaeology, but after attending this lecture I can certainly say I’m interested in becoming one, so clearly something was done right!
While Alistair was clearly very interested in his topic, I personally feel the delivery could have been slightly more exciting, just to captivate the audience a bit more, something I hope all lecturers will take on. However, I know how difficult it is to deliver a lecture on a close personal topic, and I must say Alistair did a far better job than I could have, the audience seeming highly interested all the way through. I of course was too.
If you have a bit of free time at lunch, and fancy sitting in on a gentle, thoroughly thought-provoking insight into the way a museum works, then these talks are certainly for you. It really made me understand more not just about finds themselves, but how they end up ready for you to see with a little description at the bottom. Insightful, friendly stuff.
What a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon – at an introductory course on natural perfumes. Neil Scowcroft has a passion for perfume and delivers this workshop with enthusiasm for a business he has been running for over 10 years.
It began with an overview to perfume making and dispelling myths and mistakes, all of which was very useful and set the scene. It was reassuring to be guided on the mistakes that may well be made along the way and how that is how great perfumes are often created!
Then it is straight into a hands-on workshop of smelling perfume and how to smell it whilst Neil is providing tips and answering questions. This gave the participants lots of confidence to experiment and reflect on the perfume’s aroma. Then there was blending and more smelling. We were also advised to sniff coffee granules and breathe some fresh air to clear your nose throughout and were provided with ample breaks to do so.
All of the materials and equipment used is provided at this workshop from base to top notes of perfumes, smelling paper and blending bowls along with note books to record our potions. Perfume making is a very relaxing pastime where you can get lost in the smells but Neil skilfully guided us through to creating our own bottle of perfume to take away.
All the materials are available on Buxton Spa’s Etsy site, but this was not a sales pitch. Neil’s energy is in his interest in the art of perfume making and his desire to share this knowledge. As the information on the workshop sums up “all you need is imagination and a love of perfumery” to thoroughly enjoy this workshop.
Sandra J Cooper