Extracts from Parish Magazine for April 2003


Doreen and I




Click to enlarge
The local branch of this nationwide charity repairs and furbishes used hand tools so that they can be made up into kits which are then sent, via our HQ in Southampton, to people in the third world. The motto is “in the struggle to survive, bare hands alone are not enough.”
We are well supplied with used tools, but are short of skilled hands to help in this worthy cause. The tools are of immense value to the groups or individuals that receive the kits.
If you are experienced with hand tools and can help, please contact Don Bass (01244 335517).

Many of the attitudes that we carry through our teenage years, early adulthood and beyond are derived from our parents. However much we think that we have quietly rebelled and moved on, many of those values still linger.
My father’s upbringing in a poor rural environment and his successful stand as a conscientious objector in 1939 (a year before my birth) still shape my attitude respectively to wealth and to peace.
An academic historian, in 1936 Joseph Carruthers both married and became a Quaker. The following year he stayed with a family in Munich. Although he rarely spoke directly about it, he attributed much of his early pacifism to this visit and to the family’s teenage son already conscripted into the Nazi youth organisation, in whose uniform he sat at the dinner table.
Pacifism can itself seem rather militant, but the generous welcome given to my father as he became Head of History at King’s School, Peterborough in September 1939 itself held a Christian understanding and compassion beyond his expectations. The Headmaster, Major Hornsby, was another historian and he held his rank from earlier service in the First World War. By October 1939 he was called up again and, with Hitler advancing through Europe, my father asked Major Hornsby why on earth he had appointed a conscientious objector as Head of History. “You go your way and I go mine,” was the immediate reply. A lifelong Christian friendship was forged.
So it was that in his own eventual two headships my father delighted in having the children of servicemen as pupils, particularly at the Quaker boarding school where the nomadic nature of army life was compensated by the security of a caring education in one place.
Another historian of strong Christian faith, my father’s youngest brother George was immediately called up as he left Oxford. After kicking his heels in East Anglia he was swept into the D-Day landings and led a battalion pursuing the German army towards Hamburg.
I have George’s tattered letters home to my father and he wrote from the Front on 19th June 1944:

“I am impressed with the huge capabilities of mankind to organise, but when this is all over, would to God that they could organise themselves for the preservation of peace…We hope we can spare this scourge for others.”

None of us has a monopoly on peace but we all pray for it and in the service of Holy Communion we look in the face of our neighbour, shake his hand and convey a warm, precious fragment of that love from God which resides in each one of us. “The peace of the Lord be always with you.”
In our troubled world, we pray for that time when peace may be permanent and famine and poverty may be eliminated for everyone.
John Carruthers

A big thank you from Mr & Mrs Jarman, the Stamps and Collectables organisers for the Leprosy Mission. The collections made in Christleton contributed to the £47,427.65 raised during 2002 for stamps and collectables.

Doreen and I will have been married 54 years on 2nd April. We met when she was 16 and apart from service time, we had never been apart until she had to go into residential care nearly two years ago. She was my first love and although we had our moments like most couples, it has been a love that stood the test of time; she is my best friend, a wonderful wife and mum and also a loving and devoted nana to our seven grandchildren. There are several versions of this old song but I think this is the best and sums up my feelings for my dear wife who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

If I had my life to live over,
I would still fall in love with you.
Only sometimes I get to thinking,
All about my life and mistakes that I’ve made.
Well, I might have changed direction
And there were dreams I’d rearrange
But there’s one part of my life I’d never change.
If I had my life to live over
There’s no question of what I would do
If I had my life to live over
I would still fall in love with you.

But there’s a rhyme and there’s a reason
When I’m lying next to you
You’re the one dream in my life that’s come true.
J Murray

More traffic, especially buses, meant wider roads were needed. Brown Heath Road, part of Plough Lane, and from the Christleton Pit to Littleton were all widened. Traffic had to go round what is now Dandy’s farm; it is now isolated with the Bypass being built, very inconvenient for the farmers especially in times of Foot & Mouth when farmers had to keep stock off the roads.
Roadside hedges and banks were cut by hand, a very slow job, now it is done mechanically but hedgelaying had to be done by hand, a specialist job, but very satisfying. Each county had an annual ploughing and hedgelaying competition, it made a wonderful day out. Ploughmen came from different parts of the country to compete, horse ploughs only were used then and the standard of work had to be seen to be believed, often national champions took part, the hedgelaying was also a joy to see, eventually the competitions came to Littleton at the farm of Philip Hunter – some of the competitors came mainly to enter their shire horses, they were always beautifully groomed and dressed in their best harness.
I went to a missionary conference at Swanwick in 1934. Gypsy Smith the world famous evangelist was one of the speakers, his sister was Gypsy Evens, mother of Rev G Bramwell Evens, Romany of the BBC. She used to stay at Littleton and through her, we were able to have Romany come and speak and give his nature talks illustrated with pen and ink sketches, this took place in the Boys’ School. Romany was also a visitor to Christleton as a boy, staying with my grandparents at Stamford Heath farm – now the golf club – he used to swim in the river Gowy with my uncles.
In the afore mentioned conference at Swanwick, I met a farmer’s daughter from Staffordshire, we had a lot in common both from dairy farms, both regular attenders at our local Methodist church, she was a very gifted pianist and organist, she travelled widely accompanying her sister who was a very much appreciated soprano singer. We did not keep in touch until an exchange of Christmas cards, but the following year, we met again at the Methodist Guild holiday home in the Lake District and had the best holiday of a lifetime, though living 45 miles apart, we managed to see each other fortnightly and in 1938 I plucked up courage to ask her father if we could become engaged, being his mainstay at the farm, he said “I don’t know how we could manage with her” and it wasn’t long before they sold up and went to a small holding keeping poultry and rearing calves.
Two sand holes were opened at Plough Lane, all the sand being loaded into wagons by hand, it provided most of the building sand in this area, one has since been filled in and is now a field again.
We used to run a bull with the cows, so that they would calve year round, while milking one after noon mother said “Where’s your father?” Jokingly I said “Playing with the bull.” I was sent to find him, and yes the bull had him on the ground, rolling him along, fortunately the bull’s horns turned back or things could have been worse, he took a long time to recuperate and suffered headaches for many years.

The Chester Epilepsy Support Group meets on the third Tuesday of each month. For details and an information pack, telephone 01244 335693.

Peter Foster and family would like to thank all relatives, friends and neighbours for their kindness and support at the sad loss of Maureen. Our thanks for all the donations made to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd.

Christleton Village Show
Saturday 12th July 2003 in Christleton Parish Hall
Schedules should now be available from Paul Jackson at the Post Office, so get a schedule, choose some categories and start planting, sewing, painting etc etc – whatever is your thing. It doesn’t cost much, is great fun and you could win a trophy – there are lots of them.
As in previous years we’ve listened to comments made after last year’s show and there are some new categories as well as the old favourites.
The Hanging Basket competition is again on the list and anyone in Christleton can join in, and you don’t need to be an expert.
The theme this year is Magic and the theme trophy will go to the exhibit(s) which best portray magic.
If you have any queries or if you would like to help on the day (PLEASE) contact any of the committee below.
David and Beryl Cummings (332410), Janet Brown (335785), Charles Smeatham (335209), Margaret Croston (335955), Sue Haywood (01829 741814), Chris Marsland (335424), June Pearson (335101), Jane Pickering, Judith Butt (335296), Pat ffrench Lynch.

We had an excellent conducted tour around Chester Cathedral on Monday 10th March. Our guide was Margaret Croston who is an official guide at the Cathedral and she pointed out many things which we normally would not have noticed had we just visited on our own. Margaret Renner very kindly treated us all to tea and cakes in the Refectory afterwards, which we all enjoyed immensely.
At 2pm on 8th April, we will be having our Quiet Hour in Church followed by tea in the Parish Hall.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Peggy Wolfe on Smith Court for her 90th birthday on 6th April and she still plays three full rounds of golf a week!!

We shall shortly be updating the blue Community Register. If you are aware of any changes which may have occurred to these activities, groups or organizations during the year, would you kindly inform me as soon as possible. Thank you very much. Jan Bowden, tel. 335705

‘The Love I Carry Inside Me’
Like most people who live in Limete, an area in the centre of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Therese Atatu has not had an easy life. Now 63, Therese has brought up 14 children, all of whome were born in military camps when her late husband was a serving soldier. Yet although she has reached an age where most of us would be looking forward to taking things more gently, Therese has turned her energies to bringing up an even greater number of grandchildren.
Among Therese’s extended family is her daughter-in-law Josephine, who came to live with her after her husband died of AIDS five years ago. Josephine is herself HIV-positive as is her son Junior, who is 16 but looks about half that age. Although Josephine also comes from a different tribe, Therese refused to follow the usual custom of rejecting her son’s widow. On the contrary, Therese decided she would take in all her grandchildren in Kinshasa who have lost one or both parents to AIDS. She reckons that she has brought up or is bringing up a total of 18 grandchildren! Besides that, she is involved in her local church, taking part in their work of distributing food to the poorest people in the capital.
Josephine receives support from one of Christian Aid’s partners in Kinshasa, Fondation Femme Plus, who offer help with health care, psychological counselling and income generation to women who are HIV-positive. They also organise seminars for people like Therese who are caring for family members living with HIV/AIDS.
Therese’s grandchildren know that their grandmother is a very special person. Eleven-year-old Gloria explained, “When we’re naughty she scolds us but she never smacks us. She tells us we won’t have anything to eat as a punishment but she soon calls us to come and eat after all. We love her very much.” Seven-year-old Dorcas said simply, “I love her, she cuddles me.”
When Therese was asked what motivated her to devote herself so unstintingly to caring for her family she replied, “It’s the love that I carry inside me. I can’t abandon the grandchildren or my daughter-in-law – where would they go? It’s much better to have them with me. Since I was young, giving is all I’ve known how to do. My Christian faith helps me to live and builds up feelings of love within me.”

This year Christian Aid Week is focusing on ordinary people like Therese who are changing the lives of people around them, some of them from the UK, others from overseas. You can join them and help change the world through your gifts and your prayers.

‘How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?’ 1 John 3:17

to all those who helped make The Vale Royal Singers’ concert in aid of St James Restoration Appeal such a success, in particular David Mercer and his team of helpers for the delicious refreshments and Dave Ellis for his ticket selling efforts. The exact profit is not available at time of writing but in excess of £400 was made for the Appeal.

Our hands are not machines in the factories of profit, our bodies not just robots for production of wealth.
Our lives are given dignity by God not by possessions, our dreams achieve their quality in freedom, not control.
Our job is joy, our labour creation, our business peace, our task to be.
Be with us, Lord, in rest and work.
Our hope is to live life and to live it to the full.
(Linda Jones/CAFOD)

God of all compassion whose Son Jesus Christ laid down his love for us:
may we who seek to follow you be inspired to change the world for good, so that our brothers and sisters in need may glimpse in us the hope of justice and the love of Jesus, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(Collect from the Christian Aid Week service)

Christleton Local History Group.
Wednesday 9th April. 7.30pm at The Primary School.
Llangollen to Chester via the Shropshire Union Canal. David Cummings.
The history and wildlife of the various waterways in our region, from the Llangollen and Montgomery, to the Ellesmere and Chester Canals, which later became the Shropshire Union Canal System, and the links with some of the greats in the canal era, Telford, Brindley, Rolt, etc; It passes through some beautiful countryside and has great features, structures such as tunnels , bridges and superb aqueducts making it one of the most interesting sections of the canal system in the UK.

Christleton Golden Jubilee Cook Book
These are available for sale priced £3, with all proceeds going towards refurbishment of the Parish Hall. They are available from the Post Office, Margaret Croston or David Cummings.

Three Peak Challenge.
Plans are underway to enable a group of walkers from the village to tackle the three major British Isles peaks of Snowdon (N Wales), Scafell (Lake District) and Ben Nevis(Scotland) as a sponsored event to raise funds for St James’ Roof Restoration Appeal. We aim to complete this exciting challenge on the weekend of June 14/15th with a team of friends from the village. If anyone is interested in joining the team, as a walker or a member of the back up team, please contact David Cummings on 332410.

Age Concern urgently needs Volunteer Drivers.
If anyone has a few hours to spare on a Monday, Age Concern would welcome your services to help transport senior citizens to Heathfield Day Centre, Tarvin Road in Littleton. Drivers are needed between 9.30- 10.30am, and 2.00- 3.00pm. All journeys are local, between Christleton, Littleton, Vicars Cross and Boughton. Mileage can be claimed. It is a very rewarding activity, and is very much appreciated.
If you can help, please contact
Day Care Co-ordinator,
Age Concern Cheshire
67 Liverpool Road, Chester
Tel 01244 381710.

The Townsends.
Towards the end of the 17th century the Old Hall was purchased by Gerard Townsend, a rising and wealthy merchant in Chester. Gerard, the son of Robert Townsend, married Sarah Stratford, widowed daughter of Randle Vause. They had many children, all baptised in Christleton; but the eldest son, another Gerard, whose son predeceased him at the age of nine months, was succeeded at Christleton by his brother Robert Townsend a very shrewd lawyer and Recorder of the City of Chester from 1754 to 1787. He was evidently a grasping and ambitious man of affairs, who married three times for profit. First to Elizabeth daughter of William Farrington of Eardshaw, by whom he had two surviving daughters Anne and Elizabeth; secondly to Anne younger daughter of John Myddleton of Chirk Castle; and thirdly to Betty, widow of Thomas Farrington, but there are no more children. His eldest daughter Anne was advantageously disposed in marriage to Mr Cecil Forester, and their son, the first Lord Forrester, married the daughter of the Duke of Rutland. Elizabeth married Thomas Ince, an ensign in the Army and son of the Reverend Thomas Ince, a minor Canon of the Cathedral and later a much loved Rector of Handley. His wife Susan Robinson was the daughter of Hugh Clough of Plas Clough, and a lady of distinguished parentage from Denbighshire.
One of the benefits of having a Lawyer living at the Old Hall was that he always kept good accounts and particularly receipts, and we have found a wonderful source of material on life in the 18thC by reading the papers relating to the Old Hall.

In this section I include the cost of food bought from J Bulkeley in Eastgate Street.
A leg of mutton; 4s. butter; 4s. lard; 10d. cheese; 1s. potatoes; 7s. milk; 1s 2d.
gooseberries; 3d. soap; 1s. sugar; 8d. beef; 7s. bread & flour; 11s 8d. 3 cream cheeses; 2s
beer; 7d 1 gallon of Jamaican rum. 12s.0d.

The cost of items purchased from Nathanial Dewsbury’s Chester
6 gallons wine; £2.5s.0d. 1 gallon Raisin wine; 10d. 1 gallon Cognac 15s 0d.
2 gallons Geneva wine; £1.0s.0d. 1/2gallon gin; 5s 3d. 1 gallon old red port; £1.10s.0d
2 gallons rum; £1.0s.0d.
2lbs cherries; 18s.0d. 4lbs pears; 5s.0d 1lb plums; 4s. 50lbs clover seed; 18s 9d.

The cost of haberdashery & miscell. items;
6yards Coleraine linen; 11s 9d. 1 blue silk hat; 8s.6d. 1 pint lavender; 10d.
Epsom salts; 2d. Wine & campha; 10d. 3 pairs silk stockings; £1.2s.6d
1 beaver skin hat; £1.2s 6d. doe skin breeches £1.11s 6d for the master Mr Ince.

For making a coat for Mr Ince. 6s.0d
Trimming, linings, pockets, buttons 9s.0d
For making a coat for Mrs Ince. 5s.0d
Trimmings, linings, pockets, buttons 8s.0d
Making a waistcoat. 2s.0d
Trimmings, linings, pockets, buttons 4s.0d
Total £1.14s.0d

David Cummings.

Last month I gave my first ever talk on antique maps to the Christleton Local History Group. What a lovely jolly crowd they are and not a dusty boring fossil to be seen. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and not just for the chaos I caused by suggesting everyone should move away from Christleton to Radnorshire, Breconshire and other far flung counties. One lady was sorely in need of an antique map as she was unsure as to where Radnorshire was. The early 17th century map I could have provided for her might have assisted but having no roads marked on it the journey would have been interesting and scenic. I always get a thrill when I am motoring along a road I have not been on before and suddenly a sign appears by the wayside saying “The Scenic Route”. You know you are in for a treat with special views of our wonderful countryside. Back in 1611 the famous mapmaker John Speed described Britain as “The Court of Queen Ceres, the Granary of the Western World, the Fortunate Island, the Paradise of Pleasure and Garden of God”. Funny how some things never change.
Please give the Christleton Local History Group a visit. I am sure you will get a great welcome and an interesting evening at the Primary School on 9th April. I was very surprised when David Cummings introduced me and mentioned the short monthly pieces I used to write for the magazine up until a couple of years ago. I had forgotten all about them and had to check past copies to remind me what I used to chatter on about each month. I am not sure why I stopped. Perhaps it was I had dried up on ideas. I know that feeling of complete loss when staring at a blank sheet of paper hoping that inspiration will come very soon. Perhaps I stopped because I didn’t have to do it unlike our much respected rector, Peter Lee who has to write a monthly letter for our Parish Magazine which I am sure is sometimes difficult but which usually does not fail to make us pause for thought. Perhaps it was that I was too busy. Perhaps it was that my time was being used up in different ways. Perhaps I had fears I was addressing an unreceptive audience.
If you like something about a person or you enjoy their company do not assume that they know this. Tell them. All of us want to feel needed. Never assume that a gift of flowers or a box of chocolates is the right way or the only way of saying something. Appreciative kind words will far outweigh any of these material gifts. Just remember how good and surprised you felt when you were last complemented or told how valued you were. Don’t put it off until tomorrow. It maybe too late. Tell someone today how much they enrich your life or how they please you. To receive you must first give.
Kindness, however, can sometimes be construed as interference and nowhere more so than in nature. In early March I was repairing a pump in my pond, once a swimming pool, when I noticed a very large frog in some distress. I know from experience with the high sides of the pond frogs find it extremely difficult to get out. I scooped her from the water and put her on dry land but within two seconds she leapt back into the green murky depths of six feet of water to almost certain doom taking with her the smaller love sick male still clutching onto her back. Perhaps that cry he let out as they hit the water was “All for One and One for All”. Or could it have been “Geronimo”? The subject of meddling with nature was mentioned by David in his excellent and well attended wildlife talk illustrated with an exceptional collection of carefully collated colour slides at the Parish Hall early in March.
Whether I can start again writing these monthly pieces I do not know yet as it needs a spark to ignite them and this time it was David. If I do then it will be under the heading of Brand X Junior. This is in loving memory of my dear father who wrote a weekly column known as Brand X in the Deeside Advertiser for many years back in the 1960’s. At that time black and white television adverts showed an energetic but overworked housewife using a temporary undisclosed soap detergent which had conveniently been left on top of her washing machine and known as Brand X. I cannot promise to wash whiter than white. If, however, in one of those moments when all the chores are done and you sit down quietly to read this magazine I can make you smile I will have brought one of the ingredients of Brand X to you - brightness.
Richard Nicholson

Rambling Group.
First, there was a fantastic turnout on 9.3.03 - 50+!! peole came can you keep it up?

Dates for the diary
April 6th, Sunday afternoon.
Location - Moel Famau from lower car park
Meet in church car park at 13.00 hr but you may like to leave some cars in the parish hall car park to avoid congestion. Journey will take 45 mins.
Boots or stout shoes.
Small picnic to have at the top - I am not carrying this one!
Hope to arrange transport in as few cars as possible.
There is a lovely tea shop at the foot for those in need of restoration.
Dogs welcome, small kids may well need carried part of the way, pushchairs not really possible (unless you know better)!
£1 car park fee pay and display.
Return in time for evensong.

May 10th, Saturday.
Location -  Moel Sych, Berwyn mountains.
Meet at 9.15.in Church car park - or parish hall as above!
Journey via Oswestry bypass to Pistyl Rheadr. This will take 1 hr 20 mins or so. This is a waterfall, higher than Niagara, one of the seven wonders of Wales.
0 boots - Lazy bones can come for lunch in the pub and visit the waterfall
1 boot option - A short local walk can be done to top of waterfall and back - perhaps an hour in total and wonderful views.I need a volunteer to lead this section - if you feel a leader is necessary. Stout shoes or boots advisable, as can be boggy.
3 boot option - this is a steady but in the main gentle gradient up a well marked path to a lake.Then a steep climb up the ridge to the top and along with superb views of all the kingdoms of the world - some anyway if the cloud is not down! Picnic lunch at the top of Cader Berwyn (827m) and return down via Moel Sych (827m), knowing you have conquered 2 Corbetts.
Cream teas at the pub!
Projected return time 4.30 - 5.30pm but hard to know how fast people will walk!! Ron and I did this in 4 hours.

June 13th, Saturday
Location - Snowdon
Watch this space! 2 Corbetts and now a Munro! Have we got you fit enough to join the Snowdon Limb of the 3 peaks climb in aid of the restoration appeal?
I have no idea how we will do this but shall we try?
For Snowdon I would need numbers and help with planning.

NB Responsibilities - we are all responsible for ourselves and each other - stick together folks - who is my neighbour?! 

Liz McLure 01244 - 409414

Leprosy Mission
Stamp out leprosy!
Please donate your used stamps so that money can be raised for Leprosy Mission. Stamps should be trimmed to quarter inch border around the stamp, and can be left at the back of Church.

If you know of any special birthdays, anniversaries or anyone celebrating a special occasion, who is a Parish Magazine reader, please inform the editor, David Bull.

“Loop” system, for the hearing impaired
Large print books for the visually impaired & large print weekly notice sheets
Easy to follow Communion Service Books for children
Access for wheelchairs
Please ask any of the Churchwardens or Sidesmen if you need assistance in any way.

Informal coffee mornings are held locally offering support to mums-to-be and families with young children (whether members or not) in a friendly, informal way. Please contact your local organiser Debbie Tel. 332103 for further details.

Christleton Local History Group
Books for Sale
Christleton 2000 years of History.
136 pages of text, fully illustrated with b&w photographs, maps & drawings,
and including 8 pages of colour photographs. Laminated cover with water-colour
painting of the Church & Pump House by Phil Hodges.
£12.50 & (£2.75 postage & packing.) Free delivery locally.
Christleton Village Trail
A self guided tour of the Village in aid of the "Well for Africa" Appeal.
£2.50. (+30p postage& packing))
From David Cummings, 25 Croft Close, Rowton, Chester CH3 7QQ
or from Christleton Post Office.

Registered charity 1022817
Christleton Under-Fives is an established pre-school playgroup attracting children from a wide area. It enjoys good and well-founded links with Christleton Primary School.
Children from the age of 2_ years until school entry age are accepted.
Please contact the Supervisor, Carole Penney, on 336586 for further details.

Mobile Library Van Service
The van calls fortnightly: for details of when the van is next in your area, please telephone Upton Library on 380053.

Please remember to support our magazine advertisers and mention where you have read their name.