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Talk of the Dales

Leader calls on NatWest to reverse Bakewell bank closure decision

Leader Councillor Steve Flitter has written on behalf of Derbyshire Dales District Council to the Group CEO of NatWest Bank urging the management team to reconsider the decision to close the NatWest branch in Bakewell – the town's last remaining bank.

Expressing the council's strongest objections to the decision, which he points out was taken with no prior notification or consultation with the District Council, the MP or local NatWest customers, Councillor Flitter writes: "Whilst it is recognised that banks are commercial organisations, in a world hurtling towards digitalisation, it is all too easy to forget that not every part of our society can adapt to that transition equally.

"For many people in rural areas, key facilities such as banks and post offices offer more than just financial transactions or mail delivery points: they are lifelines and community hubs that connect individuals to the wider social and economic network. The withdrawal of those services is more than an inconvenience; it is a disruption that risks leaving our rural communities feeling isolated and disconnected."

He adds: "Rural communities deserve the right to access the same services and facilities as urban communities. The role of rural communities in our nation is indispensable, preserving our environment, ensuring food security and maintaining cultural heritage, yet these communities are often side-lined, left grappling with dwindling essential services. Bank branches are not mere conveniences – they are essential lifelines connecting them to the broader social and economic network of our country."

The Bakewell NatWest branch, the Peak District's last remaining bank is scheduled for closure at the end of February 2024.


Bradwell Junior School joins Chorus Education Trust

On Friday 1 December, Bradwell Junior School joined the Chorus Education Trust family of schools.

In joining this medium sized, Sheffield-based multi-academy trust, Bradwell Junior School benefits from the support of other schools in the trust and specialist expertise of the trust’s central team in areas including IT, safeguarding, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and finance.

Staff at Bradwell Junior School are working with colleagues from the trust’s Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ primary schools and the Director of Safeguarding to address areas highlighted in last year’s Ofsted report. The school already collaborates with fellow Chorus Trust secondary school, Hope Valley College, which was recently awarded a ‘Good’ rating by Ofsted.

Chris James, CEO of Chorus Education Trust said: “We are delighted to welcome Bradwell Junior School to Chorus Trust. The school has many areas of strength and the support its staff provide for the children in their care is widely appreciated. We look forward to working with, and learning from, the school’s dedicated staff.”

Kathryn McGuiness, Headteacher of Bradwell Junior School said: “We are delighted to have joined the Chorus Trust family. As a smaller school, membership of Chorus Trust enables us to be part of a larger education community, offering our children the best of both worlds. Chorus Trust’s support in key areas will help us to provide our children with the excellent education they deserve, and we are looking forward to working together towards a bright future in Bradwell.”


Poppy Appeal

Philip Swift, Rowsley and Darley Dale Poppy Appeal organiser, wishes to thank all schools, public houses and hotels, shops and businesses for their donations to this year’s Poppy Appeal. I am pleased to report to you all that the donations are slightly up on last year. The total for this year is £4,417.63. Well done to all who helped achieve this wonderful amount.



Hello Mr field mouse,

what are you doing here,

scurrying in my garden.

You are so small,

we nearly missed you.

Barely saw you there.

Sorry the BBQis over,

everything is put away.

We are sitting out here,

having a late beer.

Don't be frightened little one,

we would never harm you.

So on your way now,

you beautiful creature.

Just mind how you go,

it is getting darker.

We heard an owl earlier,

hooting in the trees.

Bye bye enjoy your night,

home to your family you go.

You are welcome here,

whenever you like.

Our garden is yours to share,

it was so nice meeting you.

Keith J Furnival


The Old Quarry

Where once the wooded hill

Was loud with the clamour of drill

And pick and hammer blow,

And the rattle and rumble of trucks

Transporting the rough-hewn rocks

To the Valley far below,

The bare bones of the land

Now lofty, silent stand.

Save the scattered broken rocks

And forgotten part-shaped blocks

Half hidden in undergrowth,

Few other signs remain

Of the quarrymen’s domain

Abandoned long ago,

For nature has reclaimed

The place for her own again.

Rock faces, once raw, exposed,

Stand weathered, dark, moss-grown;

In places sparsely clothed

With stunted, gnarly trees

Clinging fast to crevices,

While in shadowed dells below

Trees reach an uncommon height

In their struggle towards the light.

And the steep rock walls enfold

A stillness more profound

Than any to be found

In the valley down below

Or even the woods around:

Mysterious, rock-bound

And infinitely old

From an age when yet the land

Lay undisturbed by man

Millennia ago.

Caroline Bennett

March 2014


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