Extracts from Parish Magazine for July, 2003

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The Ravens
Canon Trevor Dennis writes that once again a small miracle has taken place on the Cathedral tower. The Ravens have nested for the eighth year running. It is thought that the male bird has been the same individual throughout that time, but his first mate must have died during the winter of 2001/2, so this has been the second season for the young female he brought to the territory last year. They were a month late, the last pair to nest in an area stretching right across to the Menai Straits. This year their schedule was what one would expect: egg laying in late February and hatching in mid March. Five eggs were laid but only three hatched. One of the young birds died in the nest, probably due to a shortage of food. Two ornithologists who survey ravens over a wide area in North Wales report that many pairs only reared one or two young this year – the prolonged dry spell in March and early April resulted in a shortage of slugs and worms, which are an important part of a raven’s diet. The two young left the nest and flew at the beginning of May.

The Song School Appeal
There is a chance to spend an enjoyable and relaxing evening on a ‘Cruise and Dine’ on the Shropshire Union Canal on Wednesday 30th July. Starting from the Mill Hotel at 7 pm for 7.30 pm, you can enjoy a two and a half hour cruise while enjoying a four course à la carte meal plus coffee. A selection of fine wines will also be available. Tickets are £25. More information and booking forms are available from the Cathedral Office (01244 324756). As places are limited to 50, please book early as this will be a popular evening.
Margaret Croston

Very many thanks to all who helped during Christian Aid Week, by organising the service, and as collectors, counters and contributors during the house-to-house collection.

The final total for the week was £2915.39:

House-to-house collection: £2654.57
Family Service collection: £ 186.42
Refreshments after Service: £ 74.40
Fiona Lee

A farmer was the only person in church but the vicar preached a full length sermon. As the farmer was leaving he remarked on this, to which the vicar replied, “If you had only one hen wouldn’t you feed it?”
“Yes,” said the farmer, “but I wouldn’t give it a bucketful.”

Ask for God’s blessing on your work, but don’t ask him to do it.
Margaret Croston

Sunday 13th July at 10.45 am
People are invited to bring small bunches of flowers to lay on graves at the end of the service.
Followed by Picnic and guided walk for those who wish (outdoors if fine)

Jenny and Penny Ralfs would like to thank everyone who attended and/or supported their coffee morning in aid of epilepsy research and helped to make it an enjoyable and successful day.


to Margaret Roberts of Birch Heath Lodge who will be 94 on 15th July.

Saturday 12th July in Christleton Parish Hall
Don’t Miss Out!
Schedules are still available from Paul Jackson at the Post Office or any of the committee. It doesn’t cost much, is great fun and you could win a trophy – there are lots of them.
There are many new categories as well as the old favourites – in fact something for everyone.
If you have a Hanging Basket why not enter that section, 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.
It is important to read the rules particularly regarding when entries are to be in and when to bring your exhibits, these are shown on the schedule.
If you have any queries or if you would like to help on the day (PLEASE!) ring any of the committee below.

David or Beryl Cummings (332410), Janet Brown (3357875), Charles Smeatham (335209), Margaret Croston (335955), Sue Haywood (01829 741814), Chris Marsland (335424), June Pearson (335101), Judith Butt (335296).

The original construction of the Church of our Lady, the Frauenkirche, coincided with amazing developments in the culture and architecture of Dresden. Built between 1726 and 1743, the Frauenkirche was commissioned by the City Council as both a civic monument and a Protestant church. The city architect, George Bähr, created an exceptional baroque building with the structure of its great dome unusually built entirely of stone. Acoustically superb, it contained a fine Silbermann organ and the church attracted great musical figures to it from J S Bach onwards.
George Bähr’s beautiful plans and gently-tinted elevations survive and computerised have provided the basis for the present reconstruction.
The early 1700s saw a remarkable growth of co-ordinated baroque buildings in Dresden from townhouses to government buildings, palaces and other churches. Dresden was the seat of the extraordinary Elector of Saxony, Frederick Augustus I, commonly known as Augustus the Strong.
Crowned the Protestant Elector in 1694, Augustus also managed to be the Roman Catholic King of Poland for the first 10 years! He patronised wave after wave of artists, composers, and musicians to come to Dresden from all over Europe. The Frauenkirche was a fundamental part of the emerging ‘Florence of Germany’, just as much as the Zwinger Palace and the Semper Opera House (both completely rebuilt since 1945). From its beginning, the church’s civic focus gave it a central place in the worship and choral music of a mainly Protestant Lutheran city, but it also extended its hand to other faiths and to racial minorities (as it will again in the 21st century).
Church music in Dresden would not have been the same without the earlier influence of the composer Heinrich Schütz who was Kapellmeister to the Saxon Court from 1617 to 1656. Of devout Lutheran faith and with a fine singing voice, Schütz produced a succession of pupils and wrote a wealth of fine compositions. These sustained the finest choral traditions in the churches of Dresden, thus providing a firm platform for the composers and musicians ‘imported’ and fostered by Augustus the Strong as the Frauenkirche was established 100 years later.

Completion of the ‘new’ Frauenkirche in 2004 will have been a combined and an international effort and it is intended that, true to its founding tradition in 1743, the Frauenkirche will be both a base for regular Lutheran worship and for other religious, civic and musical groups to meet, pray and perform.
As for the British, music and the arts have provided the main avenue for contacts with Dresden over the past 300 years. The Electors of Saxony were derived from the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family, ancestors of our own Royal Family. When the Dresden Trust was founded in England in 1993, it was therefore appropriate that the Duke of Kent became its Royal Patron. As if to emphasise the Trust’s non-partisan commitment to Dresden in terms of faith and nationality, the late Lord Menuhin was also a Patron.
The Trust has already raised over £2 million from donors in Britain. Large sums have been given to the Frauenkirche project, but already the vision has widened to subsidise senior pupils from Dresden spending time at schools in Kent and two postgraduate students from Dresden have been supported at Oxford University.
When the beautiful Frauenkirche is completed next year, it will truly focus for this century the reconciling vision it conceived and practised from 1743 onwards.
John Carruthers

Dear Sir
What an impressive Parish Magazine. It would serve as a fine example in many places with the inclusion of the Diocesan News and so much practical information about your community. Mum would have been delighted with David Cummings’ articles about his wildlife work and about some family connections.
Noel Roy

On Saturday 31st May 2003, 40 intrepid explorers met at Windy Ridge, Toll Bar Road, to take on supplies of blue cheese and mackerel mousses, bread and wine before they set out on their safari. After adequate stores were taken onboard, they set off past the temptations of the Ramada, over the ravine with the smoking steel monster, along the side of the dangerous rapids of the Shropshire Union Canal, avoiding the traps of the Old Trooper to the valley of Durban Avenue, then turning into Haslin Crescent where, if they made the long trek, replenishment of supplies awaited. There the explorers ravenously devoured copious amounts of game, roots and wine. When replete of these, they set out on their final part of their journey, this time trapezing the valley of Durban Avenue, along the grass verges of Whitchurch Road to the oasis in the lay-by for a cornucopia of sweetmeats and wine. After the distribution of gifts from the Treasure Chest and considerable association from the participants, farewells were said and the intrepid explorers returned to civilisation, leaving behind a bounty of £400 towards the Church Restoration Fund. Thank you to everyone who participated in any way.
Our next event is on Sunday 10th August 2003. Tea and cakes at Melrose, Roadside, Christleton between 2 – 4.30 pm. The garden bungalow and facilities are all wheelchair friendly and we hope that many of you will join us, no matter what the weather. All welcome.

St James’ Church Restoration Appeal Events
Congratulations to Liz & David Evans for their wonderful effort in fund raising over £600 for the Restoration Appeal by running in the Chester Half Marathon. Also to Janet & John Milton, Gillian Brackenbury and Christine & Mike Abrams for their magnificent Safari Supper which raised over £400 for the appeal. When you read this Mrs Maura Jones will have held her Coffee Morning, and
ten members of the Church Community will have completed the Three Peak Challenge. The team; Rector K P Lee, Nigel Seddon, Al Holland, Graham Ranger, Rod Alexander, John Pearson, Chris & Jos Platel and David & Beryl Cummings. Full details in next month’s magazine.

The next events planned are:
Sunday August 10th 2 - 4-30pm Tea & Cakes in the garden
Christine & Mike Abrams, Melrose, Roadside, Christleton
Entrance £2 Everybody welcome
Friday 12th - Sunday 14th September Parish Hall
Photographic Exhibition of Christleton
Friday 26th September 7.30pm Parish Hall
Ladies Retail Therapy Evening
Saturday 11th October 7.30pm Parish Hall
Concert in Parish Hall to celebrate Harvest Festival
Saturday 25th October 7.30pm St James’ Church
Concert by Chester Ladies’ Choir
Saturday 1st November 7.00 Parish Hall
Buffet Supper & Talk with Slides
The City of Athens & The Greek Islands of Samos & Ikaria “Nature’s Wild Gardens”

Nature Notes
Now you see them, now you don’t.
This month I have to report that our swans have done it again. Not only have our resident pair walked their cygnets to the canal, but another pair took over their nest site within an hour of them leaving, as happened last year. What is amazing about all this is that the new pair must have be flying around the area waiting for the other pair to move out. Otherwise how do they know that the Pit is free for them! Our resident pair probably had seven cygnets, with five surviving at the time of their walk. One is much smaller than the others, but they appear to be healthy, and broke the world speed record for swans between the Ring O’Bells Car Park and Quarry Bridge, much to the amusement of all who witnessed it. Later that morning they appeared on the canal bank outside my house in Rowton, inviting people to think I had actually persuaded them to move.
I’m pleased to report that since last month I’ve found two big colonies of house martins within the Parish, with over fifty birds in each, and also seen and heard four pair of skylarks. However the numbers of migrant warblers are well down this year, with only one pair of willow warbler, white throat, reed bunting and sedge warbler, with perhaps three pairs of blackcap.
It seems so quiet walking through the lanes, without the sounds of these beautiful song birds, having just experienced walking in Greece and listening to a large number of nightingales with their magnificent songs, with black caps, cettis and reed warblers aplenty. I also had the awe-inspiring experience of observing a total eclipse of the moon sitting near the Parthenon in Athens, and then watching the sunrise over the Acropolis an hour later. During this time there was a fantastic dawn chorus, and the sight of Alpine and common swifts screeching their way around the hilltops searching for insects to feed on. However I’m not sure what story the ancient Greek Gods would have created, to explain the numerous bolts of gold light, thrown like Poseidon or Zeus arrows in varying directions across the polluted Athens skyway, caused by passing jet airliners.
David Cummings

Life in the Big House (Part 4)
Goods going to and from the Big House and the Townsend estate would, at this time, have had to pass through the various turnpikes on roads leading to and from the village. There was one on Stamford Heath at the junction of the lane to Guilden Sutton, at Vicars Cross where Hare Lane joins Tarvin Road, another in Littleton Lane, and what appears to be the main gate, sited opposite Christleton Bank near the Abbots Well. There was also a gate for a short time in 1745 at Cotton, charging people for crossing the bridges at Hockenhull. Villagers were given the task of maintaining their own roads through a Highways Committee, but the turnpike roads were private roads raising money for the owners, ie Chester - Whitchurch Turnpike Trust. A photograph given to me recently shows the gate on Whitchurch Road, and it is clearly of the “Telford” style.
When workmen presented their bills to the estate, the toll charges were added for example,
Mr Gresty
Carrying slates with charge for turnpike 6s0d
Carrying brick with charge for turnpike 6s.0d
Carrying lime with charge for turnpike 6s.0d
Carrying 2000 slates @ £3.10s per 1000 £7.0.0
Carrying 7 loads of sycamore @ 12d per foot 10s.0d

John Pearson Marling at Stamford Heath £10.5s.6d

Rob Rowe Putting marl in cart at Stamford Heath £25.4s.0d

Sam Price Marl Pit at Stamford £19.6s.6d

3 men pumping and loading for 8 days £3.4s.6d

Marl was clearly an expensive and important product, and produced at the Townsend fields at Stamford Heath and at Little Heath Pit. Teams of marlers would descend on the village for a month on end, and dig and deliver the marl, which was used to improve the quality of the farmland and to make bricks. It appears that sometimes the marl was liquid from the description on the bills and receipts. The marlers were hard workers, had meagre pay, but supplemented their earnings by entertaining villagers at the Ring O’Bells or the Red Lion, which would have reverberated to their ribald songs and poetry on most evenings during their stay in the village. They had a culture and folklore of their own, and it’s said that the village fully enjoyed their visits by holding their own Festival at the end of marling, with Sword & Maypole Dancing, Bear Baiting and eating pink & white candy, a special sweet made in the village. The marlers also wore colourful headresses, perhaps in the style of the present day Morris Dancers, which they wore when they danced with village girls during the celebrations.
David Cummings

Christleton 1st team continued their excellent start to the season and remain unbeaten. They are top of the League and almost 50 points clear of Irby.

The 2nd team are mid table and the 3rd team are in contention for promotion. The women’s team are also top of their league, still unbeaten this season.

Junior coaching continues on Monday evenings and is attended by a large number of boys and girls.

There will be a JUNIOR COACHING WEEK at the end of the school term. Four days of coaching and matches will be supervised by Australian Todd Campbell. Places will be limited so early registration is important. Details are available from Brian Wareing Tel. 01244 332326

Our thanks to the Match Sponsors for May:

Arthur Broster
Gareth Davies
Phil White – Skips
Jason &Jill Lea
Vince Parsonage
Phil Edwards - Adoption matters
Owain Davies


Chester Half Marathon.
Thank you to all those who so generously supported Liz and David Evans in their Chester Half Marathon Run. They completed the course successfully without falling over or getting lost and raised £580 for the St James Restoration Appeal.
Liz thought you might be interested to hear a bit more about how it went and has written the following account.
We had run this race12 years ago as mere chickens in our mid fifties but this time the prospect was a whole lot more daunting.
The forecast for Sunday 18th May was not promising- windy with showers. After early morning porridge – “de rigueur” for aged long distance runners- and, with what we hoped was adequate training and appropriate energy giving food consumption over the past 3 months, we set off for the Roodee under overcast skies. Our son Tim, from Cambrige,also a runner, who had given much long distance support and advice over the weeks had managed to get a last minute place in the run so he came too which cheered us greatly.
The race was due to start at 9.30 am.As 2,300 runners were expected we arrived early to be sure of parking but even by 8.15 a carnival atmosphere was beginning to build up, with the various official tents, tents selling the latest running gear, lines of loos and the inevitable refreshment tents already erected. The smell of frying bugers did nothing to calm our nerves nor did the arrival of increasing numbers of athletic looking young people very confidently stretching their lycra clad limbs. Not a lot of grey head,s! In fact we learned later there were only 7 men over 70 (David’s category) and only 3 women over 60 (Liz’s category) Old age pensioners did not figure hugely!
By 9.20 we were certainly ready to join the throng making its way to the Little Roodee and set off apprehensively clutching our energy drinks . On arrival there
we were the rounded up into categories, according to likely finishing times. We parted from Tim at this point and cowered behind the “over 2 hours” sign along with a lot of happy chattering youngsters We could not help feeling a little out of place but were overtaken by the atmosphere of excitement which was not dampened when the rain began in earnest. Progress to the start on the Old Dee Bridge was rather slow on account of the large numbers and restricted space. Eventually however we were heading in a mass over the Old Dee Bridge.
As we went up the hill from Handbridge and on to Eaton Road the field began to thin out. The rain began to ease and halfway to Eccleston it finally stopped.. I had by this time been left behind by both husband and son but was still well surrounded by other runners. I missed the first mile sign but the second came at Eccleston where we turned right along Rake Lane. The atmoshere was still very jolly and the weather was now very pleasant -bit of a head wind and not too hot.- but I was very glad to see the drinks station at 3 miles. Grabbing a cold drink from the outsretched hands holding beakers I jogged on much refreshed to turn down the Wrexham Road.
As we were going past the Garden Centre I was horrified to see the lead runners racing past on their way back! I still had nearly 8 miles and well over an hour to go! I was still up with the pack though which was a relief and their company and chat kept me going to the next drinks station at 6 miles.
As we turned on to the Staight Mile I tried not to be too depressed by the view of
the long line of runners ahead. Although I was still feeling reasonably good it certainly seemed a lot more than a mile until we turned back on to the Eaton Road to retrace our steps.
As we passed the Grosvenor Garden Centre again- at about 8 miles, I reckoned that Morning Service at St James would just be starting and I reflected that by the end of the service, I too would be nearing the end of the race. The thought of St James and its roof spurred me on and I realised that I was actually enjoying it all –the Spring countryside and the jolly company.
.My original aim had been not to be last and I had promised myself that in order to achieve this in reasonable comfort I would allow myself to walk for a minute every 2 miles. So far I was by no means last and had in fact passed one or two people -and not walked at all- so I revised my goal-to complete the course, running all the way
Another drink at 9 miles and I had high hopes of achieving this. In fact I was now seeing that my very veteran status was bringing its rewards. Training and experience were paying off and I was steadily beginning to pass people and move up the line pushing towards the finish through the last couple of miles
At we were re-entering Handbridge, I was delighted to see Tim crossing the road, having come back from the finish to encourage me home, having waved to his father on the way. He was impressed that I could still talk and encouraged me to pass a few more people through Handbridge, back over the Grosvenor Bridge and on to the Roodee where I was able to put on an extra spurt and to finish, -as I’d started- in the pouring rain – in 2 hours 20 minutes.
David also had a comfortable and enjoyable race- in 2 hours 9 minutes.
Tim was delighted to achieve a personal best of 1 hour 39 minutes.
David and I feel very forunate to have had the opportunity to raise money for such a pretty church in the heart of a friendly and supportive community and to have been able to complete the course comfortably (Tim says we weren’t running fast enough in that case) with so much encouragement. Thank you all very much

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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