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A selection of stories and poetry from our current edition.


At the March meeting of Matlock Probus Club, Mr Ron Enoch presented a most informative and detailed illustrated talk entitled “Competing Claims in The South China Seas”. Ron has a history as a Naval Commander and has experience in many different areas of seas all over the World. The South China Seas are a long-time contested area of the Western Pacific Ocean. It is bounded in the north by the shores of China, in the west the Indo Chinese Peninsula, in the east by the islands of Taiwan and north western Philippines and in the south by Borneo, Eastern Sumatra and the Bangka Belitung Islands. The area encompasses around 3,500,000 sq km. There several ‘Straits’ that are used by shipping (oil, goods etc), one of the most important of which is the Strait of Malacca, a narrow stretch of water 500 miles long and from 40 to 150 miles wide, between the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. We learned of the history of the fight for ownership of the various areas of the South China Seas, China being a strong claimant! We were shown slides of man-made islands constructed by the Chinese which appear to be the home to Chinese missile bunkers, air strips and troops. These islands were made from existing coral reefs which have been built upon. We learned that the UN had set up a special Convention on the law of the South China Seas (UNCLOS). This is an ongoing situation which the UN is constantly monitoring.

This was a very informative talk about a region of which perhaps most of our members had little knowledge and it was quite an eye-opener to see what the Chinese are building in this area of the World.

Mr Enoch was thanked by our member Roger Flint.

Matlock Probus Club meets at the Duke William at Matlock Green on the first Thursday of the month. We meet at 10.30, followed by our speaker and the meeting is followed by a very tasty carvery lunch provided by the Landlords Janet and Phil. If you would like to join us or would like further information, please contact: Clive Robinson, Chairman – 01246 582938 or Nigel Carabine, Treasurer – 01629 823581.



Since COVID Lockdown it has been difficult to obtain accommodation. Many venues no longer function, and those who remain are full and/ or have put up their prices. Few places agree to block bookings.

Our next meeting will be held at the Methodist Church, Market Place Buxton, 7pm to 9pm on Monday 20th March.

Please enter by the side door, leading to St James' Terrace.

We will not have access to a kitchen, so please feel free to bring any refreshments of your own.

As ever we will have information leaflets, and will be able to catch up with the latest trends in Diabetes control.

If you would pass on the details to anyone who has been newly diagnosed, it would be appreciated. Thank you. Looking forward to seeing you then.

Sue Barber FIBMS

Hon. Sec. HPDSHG


The Fields

Dog-roses twinkle,

Fat, black slugs, eyed sausages, crawl across damp morning paths,

New-old paths that once served a purpose other than pleasure,

When this square Georgian pile was built,

Penny moons ago.

Old when as a boy I walked past here with grandad;

Old with me now.

(Creamy blossom foams upon the elder,

a humbug-snail aspires to scale the spiring dock)

And the Derbyshire hills rolling on forever,

The earth has healed itself, swathing itself in the trees and flowers,

To which the earth belonged before the mines,

Where once men, grimed, coughed and swore,

A maze, a beauty.

(A black, mindless fly rests on my arm;

Stings; reminding me that this is NOW).

Memories here, but no sadness, no regrets,

I haven’t made a fortune, but I’m rich,

The sum above, the ground beneath my feet,

Miles and the years behind, my collie to the fore,

Is all that any man could wish.

Gary Cooper


Arid, scorched asphalts not for me,

I should be,

Where white convolvulus silently trumpets,

And trembles as the bells make love to it,

Where dream cool trees,

Cloaked in rich robes of summer green,

And sleepy birds are quiet in the heat,

Where sunlight splashes shadows,

Where nettles grow as tall as man,

And the cow-parsley reaches higher still,

Where grass-carp smoothly glide,

Through tepid, khaki water,

Below a low, easy-winged heron,

Where hazel’s scattered greenly,

On a pink-brown path,

By the tawny flash of a levitating squirrel,

Where the deepest red are raspberries,

Lit by the yellows of tiny butterflies,

It’s a world of colours...,

Where I hear the whispered words,

Of that wise man, who was my friend,

“Life’s not a route-march,


And feel the trees grow.”

Gary Cooper


It rained an hour ago,

Now is the quiet calm of dusk,

A clear sky glows like an opal,

In a dark setting of silhouetted trees,

Across the silent meadow,

A low wraith of mist manifests,

Adding mystery to the stillness,

And on the path,

A toad silently hops.

Gary Cooper


Eyam Half Marathon celebrates its 30th anniversary ‘rat race’ in May

Eyam Half Marathon is hoping for a record turnout this year as the Peak District village celebrates the 30th anniversary of the popular ‘rat race’.

The iconic race – one of the toughest road half marathons in the country – was first held in 1993. Over the last 30 years thousands of runners from all over the world have completed the course which starts and finishes in the historic Plague Village.

The challenging route involves more than 1,500ft of ascent but rewards all runners with stunning views over five counties.

And every entry has helped Eyam Half Marathon organising committee to raise and donate more than £130,000 to cancer charities and local good causes. Nearly £12,00 alone was raised from last year’s event.

Current organising committee chair Laura Hayfield said: “Eyam Half is not only known as one of the toughest on the road running calendar, but also one of the friendliest and most rewarding races which keeps people coming back year after year.

“We are always touched by the comments we get from runners and by the generous support from the people of Eyam and other communities on the route – without them we could not put a race on.

“The fact that a small organising committee of enthusiastic volunteers over the last 30 years has put on such an amazing event, that has also raised so much for so many great charities and local organisations, is just amazing.”

The race has had to be cancelled on five occasions due to foot and mouth disease, Covid and road closures due to subsidence on the route.

And environmental issues are at the forefront of this year’s anniversary race with organisers partnering with Trees Not Tees to offer runners the option to plant a tree, rather than have a finisher T-shirt.

Laura added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Trees Not Trees and are working hard to make the event as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.

“We encourage entrants to car share where possible and to bring their own race refreshments. We do supply water on the course and at the end but are using recyclable cups and limiting the use of plastic bottles as much as possible.”

This year’s half marathon takes place on Sunday, May 14. To find out more and to enter go to


Cromford WI

Cromford WI met at Cromford Community Centre on 1st March 2023 where we welcomed Pam Bugg a South Normanton Member, who helped us all to make a small Easter Wreath. We all had a lot of fun choosing ribbons, wool, chickens, flowers etc. We then had the business for the evening, discussing the County Quiz on 27th April, Cavendish Via Gellia Spring Meeting on May 11th at the Wellspring Church, St. John Street, Wirksworth where Bolehill WI will welcome Ashley Franklin as the speaker. Seven blankets have been made and gone to make a difference Campaign by Radio Derby and Derbyshire Federation of WI's. Our 90th Birthday party at Oakhill, Cromford will be on Tuesday May 16th, which will be a lovely occasion. There are many more outings planned for the summer.

Our next meeting will be Shami Mitra giving us our second talk. This time on his marriage which will be at 7.15pm Wednesday 5th April.

You can also follow us on the Cromford WI Facebook Page.

Please come along all will be made very welcome.


Bakewell Townswomen’s Guild

Ship Ahoy

Perhaps we can blame the weather for this with the inordinate amount of rain we had last year, along with cold, frost and ice - all promoting a desire to get away to somewhere warm and tropical. It all started in 2022 with a talk by Liz Keeley entitled ‘Derbyshire at Sea’, closely followed by Alan Clements’ presentation ‘Cascades Gardens from Jungle to Paradise’.

Well, in February this year, we did get away for an hour with Janet and Les Waining during their power point presentation ‘Caribbean and Amazon Explorer’ when they shared their expe-riences on board the cruise ship ‘Seven Seas Navigator’ along with their adventures visiting places the rest of us can only imagine.

From St Martin to Barbados and many places in between, we sat entranced as Janet and Les told stories of tree top rides, pink dolphins, gardens with medicinal plants, exotic flowers, cocoa and coffee plantations, collection of sap from rubber trees, and of course – rum! Through virtual tours, we were able to ‘go inside’ a splendid opera house and visit various museums learning the history of the various artefacts on display. Towards the end of the presentation, we felt we were taking part in carnivals, enjoying, through technology, the sounds, the music and oh… the costumes which were whirls of colour and delight.

This was the February talk but what happened in January? Well, we were fortunate to welcome Rhodri from ‘The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust’ who gave an excellent presentation on ‘Pollinating the Peak’, raising our awareness of the links between our countryside, food and bumble bees.

We are a small friendly group who meet on the second Tuesday morning of each month in Bakewell Town Hall (9.45am to 11.45 am). If you want to know more about us please phone 01629 813105.



Local residents are invited to share their ideas about proposals to improve road safety along the 9 mile stretch of the A5012 between Cromford and Newhaven as part of a public consultation exercise.

Funding for the proposals, worth around £2.2 million, has come from the Department for Transport’s Safer Roads Fund to improve safety along the 50 most dangerous roads in the country.

To support the online public consultation, a drop-in session will be held at Cromford Community Centre, 7-9 Market Place, Cromford, Matlock, DE4 3RE with highways and road safety staff available to answer questions on Tuesday 14th March from 2pm to 8pm.

Feedback and comments can be shared by completing the online questionnaire available on the county council’s website at www. A5012consultation

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the safety proposals under consideration for the A5012 include:

• lowering the national speed limit section west of Grange Mill to 50mph and installing average speed cameras within the existing and extended 50mph section of the route to tackle excessive speeding, helping to reduce accidents.

• installing new traffic signals at the Grange Mill crossroads.

• improving the A5012 junction with Clatterway leading into Bonsall to reduce vehicle speeds by narrowing the road and extending the pavement.

• providing a new right turn lane and moving the kerb at the A5012 and Friden junction.

• improving the road markings to alert drivers to keep in the right lane and to stay on the road surface.

improving road drainage along the route to reduce standing surface water during heavy rainfall.

• improving visibility around bends and at junctions by removing bushes and trees.

installing new crash barriers on major bends, providing better protection to road users in case of an accident.

• improving the grass verges with a firmer surface where public rights of way cross the A5012 to make it safer for walkers waiting to cross the road.

Councillor Kewal Singh Athwal, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Assets and Transport said: “Improving road safety is a priority for the county council and we welcome the government funding to deliver these ambitious proposals along the A5012 between Cromford and Newhaven.

“Our proposals include a mixture of techniques and engineering solutions to encourage people to slow down and drive at a more appropriate speed for the road conditions.

“We want to hear from people who live and work in the area and use the route in their car, bike, motorcycle or on foot to help us refine our proposals.

“I’d like to encourage people to get involved and have their say by attending one of our drop-in sessions during March and by completing our online questionnaire available on the county council’s website.

“By working together with the local community, we will be able to deliver the very best safety solutions for this route.”

The safety proposals along the A5012 are just one part of the county council’s £6.8 million award from the Government’s Safer Roads Fund. Work on the A619 Baslow to Bakewell ‘Thirteen Bends’ has been completed and consultation about proposals for the A5004 between Buxton and Whaley Bridge ‘Long Hill’ has recently closed.

The public consultation will close on Sunday 26th March, 2023.




High Peak shoppers have helped a Buxton-based charity net £1,500 to help it boost the comfort and safety of disabled riders of all ages.

Volunteers, riders and supporters of Helen Atkin Group Buxton Riding for the Disabled (RDA) are extending a huge thank you to everyone in the area who recently backed their bid to secure the cash from the Tesco Community Grant scheme.

The award will enable Helen Atkin Group Buxton RDA – based at Buxton Riding School, Fern Road to replace and extend its range of specially-adapted tack to make regular riding sessions even more enjoyable and accessible for riders ranging from pre-school to retirement age.

Shoppers in Tesco’s Buxton and Whaley Bridge stores were asked to pledge tokens towards one of three local charities each time they shopped between mid-October and mid-January and Helen Atkin Group Buxton RDA scooped the lion’s share of the votes to secure the largest grant.

Group Chairperson Janine Frost said: “We are extremely grateful to both Tesco and local shoppers for their generous support in our efforts to upgrade and increase our range of equipment to make riding even more rewarding and effective for everyone involved.

“Their much-valued contribution will make a real difference to our riders' lives by further boosting their physical and mental health and will help our dedicated instructors and volunteers deliver the best possible experience for them, their carers, and parents”.

Fund-raising is an on-going priority for Helen Atkin Group Buxton RDA, and the next money-spinning event In its calendar is ‘From Ballads to Boogie’, a musical evening with refreshments and raffle, at Buxton’s Pump Room, opposite The Crescent, on Wednesday March 22 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from http:// rdaboogie.eventbrite. or Bells Shoe Shop, Spring Gardens, Buxton.


Boyhood at Lee Farm, Edale

What took me there

To breath that purest air

So potent I almost cannot bear

The lack of it?

Filled with vivid memory

A vial of writhing energy

The smallest sip would send me

Gasping back for it.

And yet those precious thoughts

Which within my past are caught

So easily to mind are brought

Through the slightest gap in it.

Richard Crabtree


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