Book of the Month: A Child’s Christmas in Wales

Book of the Month: A Child’s Christmas in Wales

There are the Christmas classics that are known and loved from birth, then there are classics that are happened upon later in life and cherished all the more for it. I'm sure Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales falls into the first category for many, but this short story written in that familiar Thomas lilt has been an unexpected treat for me this year – a wide-eyed, rosy-cheeked, mischievous memory of a childhood Christmas. And, of course, never-seen-again, epic tales of snow [...]

Getting Christmassy

Getting Christmassy

This time next week it will be Christmas Eve and I'm finally starting to feel a bit Christmassy. This is thanks, in part, to deadlines passing and snow falling, but also to kind recommendations of festive music I've never heard before. Don't get me wrong – Last Christmas is still right up there with the best of them, but there's something about a pure voice and a simple arrangement that sparks the magic back into this time of year [...]

Legends of the Snow

Legends of the Snow

So snow has arrived in Edale and it's beautiful – for us relative newcomers to the valley, a few inches on the hills is a thrill. But no sooner have we stocked up on tinned goods and battened down the hatches in anticipation of further downfalls, our excitement is inevitably overshone by village tales of snows past. "Wait till you see real snow," has become something of a catchphrase in Edale, delivered with a raise of the eyebrows to those of us who've arrived in the last five, even ten years. What generally follows is an anecdote involving ten foot drifts, tractor-based rescues, schools closed for weeks or Christmas guests remaining stranded until long into the New Year [...]

Keeping The Village School Alive

Keeping The Village School Alive

At the heart of Edale is its village school. Now the smallest school in Derbyshire, there are fewer than ten children currently attending, but the determination of the village to keep the school open and thriving is palpable. Over the centuries, pupil numbers have risen and fallen as local farming families have expanded or moved on, newcomers have brought young children for a life in the country or merely snapped up half-used holiday homes, and transport links have made access to other villages – and other schools – more viable. Today the odds are firmly stacked against the school, as they must be with small rural schools all over the UK, but with a village full of past pupils the passionate support of the community is vital to Edale School's survival [...]