Friday 27 November 2020

Alternative Local Shopping Options

In the midst of the pandemic, many voices are arguing that we must learn lessons, seize opportunities and ‘build back’ our economy and society ‘better’ than it was previously, with its emphasis on conspicuous and often reckless consumption, waste and lack of thought for the future. And we are definitely amongst them. Even the government is using this language. But deeds are more important than airy words.

So we thought we’d just mention a few local options worth considering as you contemplate your shopping this season, and beyond.

  1. Getting fruit and veg locally. Why bother travelling miles, when a variety of veg box schemes (e.g. Riverford Organics, Cain and Abel) deliver to the village, Hayfield News and The Village Store stock a range delivered frequently to store, and Village Greens do home deliveries and ‘stand’ with pre-ordered boxes, for collection, at the Pack Horse every Saturday morning?

  2. Sourcing you books carefully. With apologies to anyone who might work for the incredibly efficient Amazon, but this company’s financial muscle threatens a huge range of small, local bookshops where you can (ordinarily) browse your selections. This is even more so in the pandemic, when bookshops have had to close their doors during ‘lockdowns’, but Amazon is allowed to carry on. Now, though, the Booksellers’ Association – the trade organisation for local bookshops – has set up its own home delivery service, with part of the proceeds going to the local bookshop you want to support. And personal use confirms it works!

    So, if you’d like to avoid using Amazon, as many of us do, you’ve now another alternative. Using Bay Tree Books in Glossop as an example, if you know what book(s) you want to order and have delivered to your home, place your order via and it should happen!

  3. Buying individually-crafted goods for someone special For obvious reasons, this year Handmade Hayfield is not able to run its Xmas Gift Fair outside and inside The Royal Hotel as normal.. But it’s still up and running!

    It’s moved ‘the fair’ online November 27th and 28th, but participating craftworkers are always ready to take orders and can arrange delivery. Go to and see what’s on offer!

  4. Shopping Zero Waste We’re delighted to advise the opening of a new ‘zero waste’ shop in New Mills, called, very appropriately, ‘Millers' Refillers’, who opened earlier this month.

    As with all such shops, it aims to help people reduce the amount of plastic and other packaging they send to landfill by selling a wide range of unpackaged/’loose’ goods and providing an affordable refill outlet. Goods are ethically sourced, and comprise a mixture of organic/non- organic, with all clearly marked.

    It's started out selling pulses, grains, pasta, nuts, snacks, herbs, spices, seeds, cereals, dried fruit, gluten free options, sugars, flours, baking ingredients, teas, coffee, beans, vinegar, vinegars, shampoo, conditioner, cleaning liquid, laundry liquids, eco-friendly soaps, and lots of other bits.

    If you’d like to try their range, Millers’ Refillers is at 34 Market Street, New Mills. They’re open seven days a week (most days 9-5, but 9-8 Thursdays and 10-4 Sundays). They’d be very pleased to see you! We wish them very well.

We hope you find these ideas helpful.

Sunday 8 November 2020

John McCall Obituary

John McCall believed in improving community housing instead of bulldozing it

By Neville Kirk
4th November 2020
The Guardian

My friend John McCall, who has died aged 75 from cancer, was a leading architect who was committed to the green environment, social housing and civic provision. John designed pioneering low-energy and sustainable homes in north-west England.

He was also involved in a successful campaign to prevent slum clearance in Longsight, Manchester, and to save the homes instead. In Hayfield, High Peak, Derbyshire, he was centrally involved in refurbishing the Memorial Square, reviving a neglected central part of the village.

John was born in Glasgow, the only child of George McCall, a decorator, and Edith (nee Davis), a factory worker. The family moved to Hyde, Edith’s home town, while John was a baby. John attended Stockport school, a state grammar. He studied architecture at Liverpool University, gaining a first-class honours degree in 1969. He retained teaching and examining connections with the university up to his retirement.

John met Susan Hotchkiss, a student at Liverpool Art College, and they married in January 1971. Sue became an established artist. From 1973 to 1991 John was a key figure in Michael Hyde and Associates in Manchester. Between 1991 and his retirement in 2010 he was head of John McCall Architects, based in Liverpool and Hayfield.

In the 1970s John was involved in a campaign that prevented the demolition of many homes and communities in Longsight, as part of Manchester City Council’s slum clearance programme. As a key member of the Manchester and Salford Housing Action group, formed by radical architects and other professionals, he pioneered more democratic ways of working with residents.

They carried out surveys of targeted properties, costed the options and concluded that it would be preferable to save and improve the existing houses and preserve the strong sense of local community and identity than bulldoze the properties. They produced information for residents, including material in Urdu. They made their case to the slum clearance hearings and were successful. Seven out of the nine proposed slum-clearance areas in Manchester were saved and became general improvement areas.

In 1977 John and his colleagues, working under the auspices of the Help the Aged Housing Association, won a Civic Trust award for their provision of the first sheltered housing scheme in Norman’s Place, Altrincham.

In Hayfield, High Peak, he was centrally involved in environmental and civic projects, including the Sustainable Hayfield Energy Group, which secured funding to help villagers improve the energy efficiency of homes. The creation of an eco-friendly environment, including social housing and strong communities, underpinned John’s philosophy and practice.

John was a generous, caring and optimistic person with a passion for fairness and social justice. He was sociable, enjoyed the pub and music and had great joie de vivre. John played cricket, the drums in his own band and, unusually, supported both Liverpool and Manchester City. He actively promoted local fell-running and believed in wider access to the hills. He designed his boat, Muddy Waters, on which and he and Sue spent happy holidays.

John is survived by Sue, his children, Katy and Jim, and grandchildren, Arthur, Anna, Johnny, Etta and Rose.

Wednesday 4 November 2020

Green Homes Grant - for you?

Hayfield residents amongst you should all have had in the ;last few days a little leaflet delivered to you from the Parish Council and Sustainable Hayfield drawing your attention to the government's Green Homes Grant. We are very grateful to the Parish Council, as part of its wider work on climate change, for generously funding production of this leaflet.

The Green Homes Grant is amazing in three respects:

  • it's huge. It offers up to £1.5 billion to homeowners and residential landlords to help fund energy efficiency improvements and cut their carbon footprints, up to £5,000 per household for those not relying on benefits, and up to £10,000 for those on means-tested benefits, and/or Attendance Allowance. Those on benefits need make no contribution to costs, those not on benefits are expected to pay one third the cost of energy improvements commissioned.
  • it's got a really short timescale for applications, and for having work done, which will be authorised by vouchers. All works are, currently, due to be completed by March 31st 2021 although it will be interesting to see whether a renewed 'lockdown' will cause a change of heart there.
  • it's all to be progressed online via the website identified on the leaflet we distributed. i.e. There is no government-sponsored hard copy information about the scheme. But, for those who might need some help applying for the grant, we have given our energy group's email address ( and a telephone number of one of the group's members (07769 508302) if you want to make contact.

So, if you are serious about securing greater energy efficiency in your home, do have a look at what's possible by this scheme. There are eligibility criteria to be met. We wish you well.

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