Extracts from Christleton Parish Magazine for July 2002

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Sunday 14th July at 10.45 am at St James’ Church (outdoors if fine)

The new Rose Queen and her attendants will be present, and everyone is invited to bring small bunches of flowers (preferably in a jam jar) to be placed on graves after the service.
Followed by refreshments in the Parish Hall

90th Birthday Wishes for Mrs Hilda Garner on 15th July. Many happy returns and best wishes from all your friends.

Belated Happy Birthday to Mrs June Owen of Rowton who celebrated her 70th birthday on 2nd June.

Doreen Murray will be 74 on 16th July. Doreen has been in residential care for the last year and Jim will be spending time with her on the day and feeding her with her favourite sweets, ‘Smarties’.
Jim sends his thanks to Peter Lee and the congregation for all the support he has received over the past year.

Song School Update
Scaffolding has been erected in the Cloister Garth and work began on 7th May. Those who have managed to peer through the Cloister windows will have seen the plywood protection installed over those windows and buttresses and the beginning of the erection of a forest of tubes to support the temporary roof.

This roof is an essential part of the whole works as it will protect the fragile structure of the East Cloister, Slype, Song School and Chapter House Vestibule from the elements once the existing flat roof is removed and will enable the whole of the new structure to be constructed without delays due to inclement weather. It will also mean that as the building is constructed it will immediately begin the long process of drying out.

The contractor and the cathedral works team have also been busy diverting water mains, electricity and telecom cables in the region of the Slype boiler house. Whilst digging another trench, part of a brick-paved floor and evidence that there was another range of buildings directly to the east of the Refectory gable have been discovered. Also the foundation of a wall, ribs from collapsed vaulting and a very fine corbel stone still in its original position but now some 700 mm below the existing ground level have been found.

What will the Song School be used for?
Apart from the daily use by the Cathedral choir (40-50 children, 12 adults) it will provide much needed space in the Cathedral for a wide number of community groups who make music there. The existing ground floor room will be the robing room for the clergy, a working sacristy of interest to visiting groups, capable also of use for meetings of approximately 30 people and exhibitions from time to time.

A very big THANK YOU from Caroline Dennis to all who contributed or participated in the recent Plant Sale/Tombola which raised just over £2000.

The Commonplace Book
Press cuttings and photographs about the Cathedral have been in existence on and off for many years, but during the Deanship of Dean Cleasby, the present Commonplace Book was begun. This provides a complete week-by-week selection of newspaper cuttings, photographs, Orders of Service and leaflets. There are now several volumes of Commonplace Books which will eventually be lodged in the Cathedral Library. They are always available for viewing during the Cathedral Open Days, through the Librarian Canon L Roy Barker. (Cathedral Chronicler, Bruce Bright, receives a copy of our Parish Magazine each month.).

New Curtains
Have you seen the beautiful new jewel-coloured curtains which cover the great West Door and the door near to the Consistory Court?
Margaret Croston

At the May meeting of Christleton Parish Council Councillor Mrs Pam Evans was elected Chairman for the ensuing year and Councillor Mr Eric Kenyon elected Vice-Chairman, on the proposal of Councillor Henson, seconded by Councillor Butt.

Approval was given to the action of the Chairman in approving a response under urgency powers in relation to political material. She believed it was inappropriate for the Council to be seen to be involved in party politics. The Vice-Chairman indicated that there had been previous occasions when the need had arisen for the Council to take urgent action. Councillor Beech believed it would be important to have appropriate procedures in place for the future.

The Clerk had pursued a response from the City Council as the proposed maintenance and inspection regime at the Play Area and had been advised of the officer who was now responsible. It was agreed that this area is in need of modernisation and County Councillor J E Burke agreed to provide information on grants which might be available under the land-fill tax credit scheme. The advice of the City Council would be sought as to the improvements which might be appropriate. A site meeting would also be sought to discuss improvements to the Capesthorne Road play area.

The Clerk reported on his enquiries concerning Cotton Hall Lane. It was agreed that organisations within the Parish should be contacted as to possible evidence of use. A long-standing discharge of sewage affecting the path would be drawn to the attention of the Public Rights of Way Unit.

Councillor Butt reported that he had attended a meeting of the Chester Police Forum which had discussed anti-social behaviour orders. He believed that activity in the village might attract such an order and would advise the Divisional Commander. He regretted that high visibility patrolling of the parish had ceased. Councillor Beech said that provision for young people should be included on the Council’s agenda on a regular basis.

Councillor Crawford reported on the Traffic Group. The position regarding pedestrian safety on Quarry Lane was under consideration. The local Panel Money for a possible safety scheme had been lost, but he believed the scheme should be kept in being. Decisions had been taken on how the suggestions which had been raised at the open morning should be progressed. These included parking outside the Church and the Parish Hall, the situation at Rowton Bridge, parking and speeding on Birch Heath Lane and the need for a crossing at The Pit.

Other issues included the upgrading of the canal tow path, the sub-standard visibility at the junction of Rowan Park and Quarry Lane, the extension of the footway from Church Walks to the Village Green, the possibility of a footway on Birch Heath Lane, improvements to major footways throughout the village, improved crossing points and refuge islands and improvements to the Quarry Lane/Village Road/Rowton Bridge Road junction.

Councillor Henson was appointed to the Planning Group.

Councillor Butt indicated that the Castle Cement kiln at Padeswood, which had been granted planning permission, would require an operating licence from the Environment Agency to ensure the proper control of the operation of the plant.

The Chairman reported a request by Mrs Bibby, the daughter of the late Mr F Watkins, for her father’s ashes to be buried on the Village Green. This was agreed subject to conditions suggested by Mrs Bibby, who also wished to donate a seat in memory of her father.

The Chairman reported the receipt of a letter suggesting that daffodils be planted on Little Heath Road between Christleton and Littleton to mark the occasion of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Congratulations to Mrs Hilda Wasley, former resident of Whitchurch Road and a stalwart member of the Christleton Players for many years, who has recently celebrated her 99th birthday; she now lives in Caldy Valley.

Birthday Surprises
I had a wonderful 80th birthday on 20th May, although I had tried to ignore reaching this awesome age.
I would like to thank you all for all the lovely cards, flowers and good wishes, and also for the generous donations to Raby Hall Autistic Community. I have just sent off a cheque for £100.
On the morning of 20th May, when I opened my front door, I found to my surprise, “Happy 80th Birthday” streamers stuck all over the front door and porch. After making a few enquiries, I discovered the culprit! I won’t say his name, but his initials are J.P. (ex-butcher and fount of all knowledge).
Thanks to all of you for making my 80th birthday such a happy day.
Rena Griffiths

Enthusiastic adults required to help in the running of our thriving local Brownie Pack. No previous experience necessary. Age no barrier but an ability to enjoy games/crafts/outdoor activities in the company of fun-loving 7-10 year olds essential! Must be available Monday evenings between 6 and 8 pm.

For further information contact Carole Rivers Tel. 336068.

The Golden Jubilee Christleton Village Show
Saturday 13th July in Christleton Parish Hall

Show entry forms and schedules are available from Paul Jackson at the Post Office. Please get your entry forms in as early as possible but no later than the closing dates in the rules.

The theme this year is ‘Jubilee Bonnets’ and there will be a competition for the best! They will be displayed and worn during the afternoon session of the show in the Parish Hall and will be judged then. There is a separate leaflet with the rules etc attached to the Schedule.

Entry forms for the Hanging Basket Competition need to be in by 1st July as judging starts then. So if you have a hanging basket at the front of your house, why not enter it? We are expecting a lot more exhibits this year with the village looking particularly ‘floral’ for Jubilee Year!

Residents of Littleton and Rowton are particularly mentioned this year as they are of course also residents of the parish of Christleton and in recent years have not been much in evidence, so take note!

Young people have their own schedule this year and it’s a particularly interesting one which takes in what has been done at the schools this year, so there’s no excuse not to enter for at least one category.

All the rules are shown on the schedules, but if you have any difficulty, ring any of the people below.

The show will be open from 2.00 pm for the exhibition.

We still need volunteers on the DAY. If you are interested in helping, please ring any of the committee below.

Chris Marsland (335424), Margaret Croston (335955), Judith Butt (335296),
John Davies (336633), Sue Haywood (01829 741814), Charles Smeatham (335209),
Janet Brown (335785), David & Beryl Cummings (332410), Pat ffrench-Lynch (336050),
June Pearson and Jane Pickering.

An upstairs flat for single occupancy is expected to become vacant during July. Under the terms of the original endowment by the Dixon family, accommodation in the Almshouses is available for elderly people within the Parish who have insufficient funds to house themselves.
Dixon’s Almshouses are currently administered by the Order of Malta Homes, based in Lincoln, but enquiries should be addressed, in the first instance, to the Rector (01244 335663).

A letter from the Clerk to Christleton Parish Council to the Parochial Church Council.

At the Parish Council Open Morning this year there were a number of comments reporting that cars parked in Pepper Street, while the drivers attended the Sunday Morning services at St James’, were causing an obstruction to traffic. The problem appeared to be a continual string of vehicles parked from the Lych Gate, down Pepper Street, towards Windmill Lane.

As the PCC will be aware, this road is a main feed into the village and also a bus route. The line of parked cars made it difficult for other vehicles to negotiate that part of the road especially buses turning the corner at the Parish Hall.

To prevent this situation becoming a regular occurrence the Parish Council would be grateful if it might be possible for members of the congregation to be asked to park sensibly in the area of the church and respect the needs of other road users.

Yours sincerely
David Norbury
Clerk to the Council

The Mothers’ Union Banner was dedicated by the Rector at the Communion Service on 29th May. Jeanne Goulbourne was thanked for her leadership of the Mothers’ Union Branch over the last three years and Margaret Renner was welcomed as our new Branch Leader. June Brocklesby was enrolled as a member of the Mothers’ Union as well as Mary Jackson and Daphne Peters, who are already Mothers’ Union members who have transferred to our Branch.

We had a very successful Coffee Morning which was well attended and raised over £100.

Our Speaker in May was Wendy Steadman and we had a very lively discussion on ‘Worshipping with Young Families’ when we were all able to voice our opinions on accommodating young children in church services. We have minuted the results if anyone would like to read them.

In June, our new leader Margaret Renner read out a letter from Rena Griffiths thanking us for her birthday cards and plant. Preparations are being made for our Tea Party in July when it is hoped that our link Mothers’ Union from Helsby will join us.

Poems and Pros are invited from Mothers’ Union members for a book which is to be published.

We had a very interesting talk by Mrs Gertrude Wright about Islam. Muslim women are treated very severely in some countries but in other parts of the world it is quite different. Gertrude explained to us the hardships that some women have to bear and also told us about the life of Mohammed.

At our next meeting on Monday 8th July we will be joined by Helsby Mothers’ Union. It will start with a short service at 2.00 pm and be followed by a Tea Party in the Parish Hall.

There will be refreshments available and a raffle. Admission will be 50p with accompanied children free. Proceeds will be added to those of the Christmas Fair which are donated to local, national and international charities.

We would be grateful for:
Volunteers to help
Good quality clothing
Raffle prizes
Books and tapes (NO electrical goods please)

Goods can be left at the Parish Hall on Friday 13th September.

Clothing: Cynthia Siddall (335486)
Bric-a-brac: Moira Jones (336204)
Other: Janet Brown (335785)
Betty Dunning (335652)
John Pearson (335101)

The Special Jubilee Tea by the Green was a very happy memorable occasion. We had a merry time singing along with Steve Roberts and the St James’ choir, and reflecting on days gone by thanks to David Cummings’ slide show, and a Jubilee cake to cut into.

We hold this event about six times a year, and I would like to thank everyone who plays a vital part in its success.

Our Mothers’ Union make cakes, scones etc and help in so many ways as do many others, with transport, socialising and keeping us informed of people to encourage to come along. May I mention just a few of them who give so much support: Laura Rowson, Betty Dunning, Dorothy Robinson, Lois who runs the free raffle, Olive who brings flowers, and Len and Shirley who play the piano…

A big ‘Thank You’ to everyone. Our next Tea will be on 11th September 2002. This ongoing event is dependent upon everyone to keep us informed of those who might like to be invited and for ‘hands on’ in all areas.

Gill Hibbert

When I was driving home to Christleton from Littleton in March I had the idea of planting some daffodils around and between the trees on the grass verge. This would celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and be a lasting reminder of this occasion. I also thought it would be a lovely way to link the two villages in a joint project from which we would all benefit.

I would be very grateful for donations of bulbs and volunteers to help me plant them! I thought the weekend of 28th – 29th September would be a good time to plant. Both Littleton and Christleton Parish Councils support the idea and have kindly agreed to allow this activity to be covered by their Public Liability insurance. I will provide the County Council with a plan after the planting so they are aware when mowing the grass.

If you are interested in supporting this project please contact me, Judith Edwards at 1 The Paddock, Little Heath Road, Christleton, Chester CH3 7AJ or by phone (332387). I look forward to hearing from you.

When I recently re-published the programme of events in Christleton of the 1953 Coronation of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II little did I think that it would bring in the response of a Programme of Events in Christleton for the 1902 Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. This is not as detailed as the 1953 Programme, but is nevertheless fascinating to read. Note the lack of any physical events for girls or women in the sports, except the Egg & Spoon and Thread the Needle races. Note also the Steeplechase through the canal!! I’m not sure how many times they would have to cross it, but there is a photograph of this event in our archives. It’s also interesting to see that the Rev G M V Hickey was on the organising Committee. I have now found several instances when he deputised for Lionel Garnett at village events, such as burials and marriages in the early 1900s and that, although Curate at St Mary’s Handbridge, he seems to have been being groomed for the task of taking over from Rector Lionel Garnett in 1911.

(The Morris Field was the field between Pepper Street and the Canal, opposite Butler’s Mill.)

7 to 10 A Peal on the Church Bells.
1 o'clock Procession through the village of children carrying flowers, headed by the
Christleton Brass Band and members of the Oddfellows Club.
2.00 Open Air service at the Lych Gate
2.45 Tea for the Children in the Boys’ School.
3.00 Sports begin in the Morris Field.
4.30 Tea for Parishioners in the Boys’ School.
3 to 9 Sports and Dancing in Morris Field
9.30 to 12.00 Dancing in the Boys’ School.

Held in Morris Field, by permission of Mrs Townsend Ince.

Foot Races 150 yards Handicap Youths 14 to 17 years
220 yards Handicap Men 18 to 30 years
120 yards Handicap Men 30 to 40 years
120 yards Handicap Over 40 years
Quarter Mile
Half Mile.
Egg & Spoon Race for Women
Sack Race
Obstacle Race
Steeplechase through the canal
Needle & Thread Race
Pick a Back Tournament
Tug of War (8 a side)
Committee Race (Handicap)
Children’s Races

Chairman Rev Lionel Garnett Rector
Messrs J Atkin, A Beech, H Bentley, T Butler, J Cullimore,
J Dutton, Sidney Earlam, Rev G M V Hickey, T James, R Jones, R Lunt, S Lyon, T Mayers,
W Mayers, W Millwood,
J Mosford, L C Rolt, J Roberts, H Richardson, J H Salmon,
T Toft, W Towers, R A Walley, J Weaver, W Williams
Hon Secretary Mr Sam Earlam

Programme of Events for the Coronation Day of
Queen Elizabeth II in Christleton 2nd June 1953
A facsimile copy of the original Coronation Day Service and Programme of Events held in Christleton in 1953, is being produced for sale at the Village Show. Each programme will be numbered, and the holder of the lucky programme number drawn at the Village Show will win a specially commissioned painting of Christleton Pit and Swans. All the proceeds from the sale of these commemorative programmes will go towards our appeal for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd.

Photograph of the Month
The Christleton Pit pair of swans on the towpath side of the canal at Rowton in the middle of May. The pen is sheltering the five surviving cygnets under her wing during a very heavy rain storm

Nature Notes
Now you see them, now you don't
Yes, the village swans have done it again, they’ve walked their cygnets through the village to the canal when they were about a week old. However, this year they’ve caused even more consternation and fun because another pair C181 & CB33 took over the territory on the same day and so many people wrongly assumed that all six cygnets had been lost. However, we were able to put anxious villagers at ease, as I had earlier supervised their walk from the Ring O’Bells Car Park to the canal, via the Stile Footpath and Quarry Lane. It was really quite easy this year, as the pen, C175 knew exactly where she was going, and with the help of some young pupils, I was able to guide them safely through the traffic to the canal near Quarry Bridge.

They had caused chaos along Little Heath Road by holding up the traffic between 6.00 and 7.00 am and several traffic queues had occurred. Six cygnets were born on 6th May and one died or was taken before their adventurous journey began. Subsequently another went missing after some days on the canal. Happily, the remaining four cygnets appear strong and healthy, as they swim on the canal between Christleton and Waverton Bridge. The second pair at The Pit had tried to nest in the area in the last two years: in 2000 at Manor Farm in Littleton, and last year at Manor Farm in Christleton. They were very poor parents, abandoning their two cygnets at the nest site each day whilst they flew off to the river. The pen from this pair C181 is the sister of C175 and daughter of our cob C852 (VZN). He bred on the canal near Rowan Park with another female in 1986, and his instinct seems to be to want to take his family from the Pit to the Canal each year. He couldn’t last year as I had to rescue him, having seen him crash land onto the road in Littleton, and he spent five weeks at The RSPCA Centre in Nantwich. When he returned he was in moult and therefore safer at The Pit, until he gained new flight feathers later in the season. All swans moult between June and August, and become flightless. This is the reason that we have a build up of immature and unpaired adults at the Groves in Chester during the summer months. There are currently 41 swans there and this will continue to build up during the next few weeks. When they grow their new flight feathers they will start to fly around again, so we should see the Christleton Pit adults with their surviving cygnets back at The Pit around the end of September or early October. Let’s hope that the new pair don’t lay any eggs and have any late cygnets, because there will surely be a battle royal when the original pair return to their old breeding territory. Watch this space!
David Cummings

A History of Christleton Village Show (Part 1)
The first Fruit and Flower Show in Christleton was held in 1872.
There’s no doubt that the instigator was the new Rector, Lionel Garnett who had arrived in the village just four years before and was responsible for much of the development of the modern village we see today, including a new Church, new schools for both girls and boys, and a Men’s Institute. He also promoted various festivals and shows to encourage people to show pride in their village, and also act as fundraisers. He formed a sports club for both Football (Association and Rugby) and Cricket. The teams met and changed at The Institute, and played their matches on The Park now the site of Christleton High School. It is believed that one of the first personalities to appear in the village was the famous cricketer W G Grace, possibly because of the friendship between Canon Garnett and A N Hornby the Captain of Lancashire who lived nearby in Nantwich.
In 1871 an Annual Show of Cheese, Brood Mares, Foals Horse Leaping and Turnouts had been held on the Rectory Field and seems to have been an extremely well organised event. This became a show for the whole District open to residents of Christleton Townships, Barrow, Guilden Sutton, Trafford, Picton, Wervin, Plemstall, Tarvin, Stapleford, Hargrave, Huxley, Handley, Tattenhall, Waverton, Saighton, Huntington, Aldford, Hoole and Newton. The Hon Secretary was J H Salmon of Rowton and the Vet Mr J Storrar MRCVS. The committee included Mr Beech, Sam Earlam Headteacher, Mr Heywood, Mr Lunt, Col Logan and Mr H Witter. By 1913 the Rev Hickey was involved, and Mr Porrit became President, Mr Charles Cullimore Vice President and Captain Townsend Currie Chairman. Mr Salmon remained as Secretary and Treasurer. There were four additional prizes that year for the Best Kept Cottage Gardens and Allotments in the village. 1st £1. 2nd 15/- 3rd 12/6d 4th 10/-.
The first flower show was in 1876 when a rose show was held to raise funds for the new church building at St James’, and it took place on Sunday afternoon July 25th, following the Patronal Festival, “and was attended by a very large aristocratic congregation. The show was deemed a great success, indeed judges were perfectly astonished with symmetry and general healthiness of the exhibits” reported the Chronicle. Among the local winners was Lucy Anne Ince of Christleton Hall who won the class for an Epergne dressed with flowers. The Band of the Militia played for dancing until dusk. At another Rose Festival in 1882, there was an admission charge of 1s. Teas were also 1s, and transport to the Festival was organised by a Mrs Barnes, who ran her Favourite Omnibus and Brakes from the Bars in Chester to Christleton every hour for a fare of 4d.
David Cummings

Wanted - September 7th

The Pastoral Committee is organising a fun day for the Parish on September 7th to precede the Rededication Service to be held the following day. The Beeston Outdoor Centre is the venue and has been booked from 3.00 pm to 9.00 pm. The setting is magnificent, with lovely views of the castle and glorious Cheshire countryside. There is plenty of space for outdoor games or enjoying the sunshine. If it should be wet there is accommodation indoors. It is hoped to organise long and short walks, outdoor games for the young, seats in the sun for those who wish to sit and talk and a camp fire and barbecue. Come for as long as you wish.
How successful it is depends on you! Volunteers to help and make it a Parish event to remember must be found.


Barbecues and cooks

Games organiser and helpers

Walks leader, long and short

Transport organiser

Car park attendants

Assistance with food preparation


Please contact David Bowden tel. 335705
John Pearson tel. 335101

or any member of the Pastoral Committee as soon as possible.

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.

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