Coronavirus by Kaye Twomlow
As you are reading this, some of you will have been in self-isolation or social distancing for over 6 weeks. Things moved very rapidly in March as we got increasingly locked down.
We hope that those of you who have been isolated the longest are keeping well both in mind and body. We know
if can be very hard at times. There have been some tremendous acts of kindness in the village, with friends, neighbours and family helping out where they can. Some of you will have had a small note
put through your door from people you don’t know. This was not meant to worry you – just to show support if you needed it. Perhaps some new friendships will emerge following this – we do hope
The Parish Council were quite busy during this time, trying to understand what North East Derbyshire and Derbyshire County Councils were planning. Whilst this was happening your Parish Council added a page onto their website www.calowparishcouncil.co.uk/coronavirus which listed those local businesses who were willing to take orders over the phone and deliver to people’s houses plus some useful websites showing where to ask for help.
We are proud people in Calow – we don’t want to ask for help, but please do so if there is anything you need. Someone will be there to help you!
One way to get help is to register with North East Derbyshire District Council by ringing 01246 231111 or texting 07800 002425 or you can register online on www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk. Keep safe and keep well.
Pat Kerry Remembers...by Janet Mort
This month, and in future editions, Pat Kerry, Calow's longest serving Parish Councillor, tells Janet Mort about his 55 years on Calow Parish Council......
One year after their marriage, Pat and his wife, Sheila, moved in 1963 to their new home on Parker Avenue, built by the then Chesterfield Rural District Council. The village was very different in those days: three butchers, three pubs, a Co-op, Mace (now the Rose Avenue surgery) and, on Allpits Road, a chip shop and a general hardware/ D.I.Y. store owned and run by Jimmy Goodson. Jimmy was a Parish Councillor and it was he who first suggested to Pat that he might like to serve the community.
As now, the Council, of eleven councillors, met once a month, but while todays meetings are held at Calow Community Centre, in 1965, the all-male Council met at Calow Junior School, a Victorian stone building opposite the church (now Old School Lane). As the youngest councillor, Pat was taken under the wing of the Parish Clerk, Ron Wilcock, who explained the role of the PC and how it operated. Councillors today can access training courses, and each receives a formal document setting out the importance of corporate responsibility and financial probity, and how at all times they should act with integrity, respect and in the interests of the whole parish. Then word-of-mouth sufficed and it fell to Ron to guide Pat through the intricacies of Parish Council work which was covered by three main accounts; Street Lighting, a General Account for all other work needed in the village and the Free Penny Rate Account which enabled the PC to support local charitable causes.
At that time the Street Lighting Account was the largest of the three. Interestingly, half the village's electricity supply was provided by Staveley Works (Non-standard 110 volts) Calow Green, Cock Alley, Lower Alley and Dingle Bank. The rest of the village was supplied by the old East Midlands Electricity Board (EMEB) (National Standard 240 volts). Because coal was transported to Chesterfield, and, through the rail network to all parts of the country, our main road, Top Road, was classed as a road of national importance and the responsibility for Street Lighting fell to the County Council.
When Derbyshire County Council offered to upgrade the parts of Calow still on 110 volts and adopt the lighting, they offered to take on responsibility for the rest of the village, providing the PC brought street lighting up to standard. The PC decided that although costly initially, it would save money in the long term, and so a project of improvement began, which started with Blacksmith Lane (£1200) and took a number of years to complete. At every stage, external auditors had to be satisfied that the outlay was justified. Street by street, over the next six years, the Parish Council added lights to meet the standard required by DCC who eventually took over responsibility for the whole village.
Seeing through this major project was only part of the work done by the PC, but it convinced Pat that although serving as a Parish Councillor involved hard work and was often complicated, it was an interesting and worthwhile role to take on.
Helen Mort, Derbyshire Poet Laureate from 2013-15, with a range of fiction and non-fiction published, was brought up in Calow.
The winner of many awards, she was the youngest ever poet-in-residence at the Wordsworth Trust and, at the age of only 32, was made a Fellow of the Royal Society Literature. She has often said what an inspiration the half -rural, half -urban landscape of Calow was in her formative years and how our village environment contributed to her success.
She spent a great deal of time exploring the area around Oaks Farm Lane and Duckmanton Lodge. Her first published poem at the age of 9, which won the Nottingham Poetry Prize, was written about the path linking Eastwood Park to the Recreation Ground. Running in Westwood and around the Lodge helped her to `hear` the rhythm of lines in her head, and the natural world, seen from her window over Ottewell's field to the woods,provided her with the stimulus to write about familiar places.
Calow stars in this poem about winter, read on Radio 4's Today programme.
Snow wants my childhood for itself,
It wants to claim The Blacksmith's Arms,
digest the Calow Fish Bar whole. Snow's tongue
has found the crevices of Eastwood Park.
It licks the War Memorial, weighs down the trees
and everyone I knew is sinking past their knees.
On Allpits Road, the family dog is swallowed neat.
Snow gets beneath my schoolfriends' clothes
and touches them until they freeze, and still
it wants the long-abandoned Working Men's Club,
hollows where bar stools scuffed the floor.
It moves to fill each empty glass behind the bar.
On Orchid Close, I stand to watch it fur the driveway
of a man who's lived in the same bungalow for thirty years
and dreams of digging his way out.
Many residents are unaware of the activities of the Parish Council, many of which take place “behind the scenes” and go unnoticed. A brief description of what the Parish Council has done over the past two years follows along with plans for the upcoming couple of years.
If anyone is inspired to help or has a particular interest that they would like to see developed in the Parish then please get in touch!
Parish Clerk – Adrian Anderson
Phone – 07740 018584
Email – email@example.com
Many of the Parish Council’s activities are routine items;
However, we also carry out a great deal of “one-off” projects, many of which involve detailed grant applications to external bodies. These have recently included;
Grant assistance has also been given to the Scouts and Nursery group to purchase new equipment and we have established links to the School and the hospital to communicate on relevant items such as parking in the village.
Upcoming Projects include;
We also employ two part time members of staff, a handyman and litterpicker who help to keep the village tidy and litter free.
In 2019, Eastwood Park in Calow celebrates its one hundredth year, alongside the bowling green and Calow Working Men’s Club (the latter now sadly gone).
As early as 1908 there had been proposals to add to the number of parks in the local area. One site given serious consideration by Chesterfield Town Council was a section of land, known quaintly as “Hilly Fields”, donated by Councillor Markham JP, at the bottom of Crow Lane which eventually became Tapton Golf Course. These plans, of course, never came to fruition and neither did the proposed “stopping up” of Crow Lane (with a new road coming straight across from the railway station).
After the horrors of the First World War, towns and villages up and down the country felt the need to remember those who had fought. Because many thousands of soldiers were buried on the continent close to where they had fallen (“in some corner of a foreign field that is forever England”), parks and memorials gave people a focal point to pay their respects and remember loved ones.
In 1919 Alderman Eastwood gave 3 acres of land on Top Road (purchased at a cost of £250) to provide a recreation ground in remembrance of the 25 servicemen of the parish killed during the First World War.
Two years later a sandstone War Memorial, now a grade II listed monument, was installed and a bronze plaque affixed listing the names of the fallen. Later a further plaque was added listing the 10 soldiers who had died in World War Two.
Those parishioners around in the 1960s will remember the original playground equipment consisting of swings, a “spider’s web” and see-saw. These were located on the left hand side of the park near the “Little Houses”.
The Olympic Torch passed through Calow on its way to London for the start of the 2012 games; schoolchildren and locals assembled in the park to wave flags and cheer it on.
In 2014, to mark the centenary of the start of “The Great War” Calow Parish Council planted 25 acers in two rows on the right side of the park.
In 2017 new equipment for everyone – young children to adults – was placed down the right centre and last year new gates and fencing were erected. This year three large planters were installed which will feature artwork by Calow Primary School and are filled with perennials, herbs and a beautiful, white rose named “Peace”.
There are other projects to follow, so watch this space…and here’s to the next 100 years.
Thank-you Alderman Eastwood.