Extracts from Parish Magazine for October, 2003

Click to enlarge
Forthcoming Restoration Fund Events
Thursday 23rd October 10.30am-1.30pm

Our Village Affair.
Coffee Morning & Craft & Cakes Sale.
At Fernleigh Plough Lane
Contributions of small crafts, cakes, pickles, jams welcome.
Organiser Mrs Margaret Renner
Saturday 25th October 7.30pm St James’ Church
Concert by Chester Ladies Choir.
Admission by Programme £5. Including refreshments.
Organiser Sid Hardy 332503
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”
Tickets £6. Including Buffet Supper & Glass of wine.
Organiser David Cummings 332324

A small group meets at the home of Rena Griffiths in Hawthorn Road each month for an informal time of fellowship. It is a tranquil and relaxed time when we can share together the happenings in our lives and the truths of our faith, and find refreshment. Do come and join us if you can. Contact Margaret Bass (01244 335517) for further information.

As from 21st September, Sunday School will meet at 10.30 am and finish at 11.45 am.

Harvest Supper will be at the Bickerton Poacher on Saturday 18th October 2003 in the evening.
It will be a Carvery Supper of beef or lamb (vegetarians can be catered for) at £6.95 plus approximately 75p a head for skittles.
We will not be having a coach this year but anyone without their own transport or who would like further details, can contact Janet Brown on 335785. A list for names will also be at the back of Church.


Sunday October 5th
A delightful two & a half hour circular walk around the Marbury & Anderton Country Parks. Lots of opportunities for watching wildlife and seeing some of Cheshire’s Industrial Heritage, including a visit to the Anderton Lift, newly restored and now fully operational.
Meet at The Church Car Park at 1.30pm Leader David Cummings

Sunday November. 16th
A walk in Delamere Forest. See some spectacular Cheshire Countryside from a new section of the Mersey Forest, together with Black Lake, Blakemere Moss and Hatchmere.
Meet at the Church Car Park at 1.30pm. Leader David Cummings.

Midweek Winter Ramble.
A number of people have suggested that we could perhaps have the occasional longer midweek ramble. I propose to lead a walk to Macclesfield Forest & Shuttlingsloe Hill as an introductory walk on Tuesday 28th * October. Starting from the Church Car Park at 8.00am using our own cars & sharing petrol costs. If you are interested (particularly if you would like transport) please let me know. Contact David Cummings 3324210 or e mail Davidandberyl @aol.com

* Please note the change of date to the 28th October.

This ancient trust was founded on 23rd December 1779 for the education of poor children in Christleton and Littleton. It was to provide instruction in reading, English, writing, arithmetic, as well as for spinning, sewing and knitting. The original Minute Book is still in use; is this a record?

The sole income is from the rent of a field in Plough Lane. It is the intention of the present trustees (who comprise the Rector, the Clerk, a County Council representative, two Parish Councillors) to try and increase the capital, so that interest can be given out to comply with the original intention. Donations or legacies would be very much appreciated.

This year money has been given to the Primary School and to the High School. Applications for grants are not available to individuals.

Any group wishing to be considered for a grant and fulfilling the conditions should apply to the Clerk in writing before November.

M Croston (Clerk)
Rookery Nook
5 Bridge Drive
Chester CH3 6AW

Christleton Letter Cards
A set of five new letter cards of scenes of the village, are now on sale from David Cummings or Paul Jackson at the Post Office. They cost £2.50 with all proceeds going to The Restoration Fund.

Life in the Big Houe (Part 7)
I suspect that many people today imagine that taxes paid in the past were relatively simple, and straight forward. In fact the running costs of the village community was very complex, as the following bills for taxes paid by the Townsend Family shows. These taxes were incurred by the family, to help with the general running costs of the village, in 1755. In this instance, they paid towards the upkeep of the church, for having too many windows in their house, the watch tax which was an early form of police service, the poor tax to look after the poor and destitute, and working the roads tax, to keep the village roads in a reasonable state of repair.
Miscellaneous Bills & Accounts. 1755
Church tax — 5s.0d
Windows tax- £1. 8s 0d
Watch tax -- 5s 0d
Poor tax-- £1.10s 0d
Working the roads 10s.6d

Other items paid for Robert Townsend a Lawyer by occupation in that year were;
Bill for tayloring ; £7.16s 6d
Stockings £1. 8s 6d
A new wigg £1.11s 6d
Shoes 19s10d
Apothecary’s bill £10. 0s 6d
Beer £ 10 9s 0d
Coal* £ 12 13s 6d

*In the AAGW collection of papers I have also found several bills for coal obtained from the Port of Chester at a weighbridge called the Chester Machine. One is dated 21st September 1793 for 33cwt. The coal probably came from the Wrexham Coalfield, and there are numerous references to The Nine Coal Exchange in Eastgate Street.

There are also interesting accounts of for Mrs Ince at this time. The first Mrs Ince was Elizabeth the daughter of Robert Townsend, and wife of Thomas Ince who built Christleton Hall to rival the house of his father in law [now Christleton Law College.]
Mrs Ince to John Palin Butcher.
16 legs of mutton- @ 7s. - £5. 3s 33lb of beef- @ 3 1/2d - 11s.0d
Breast of veal- 2/6d
Mrs Ince to Moulton & Rosingreave
55 trees @ 1s 6d per tree
600 fagots [sticks for making a fire] @ 3s per hundred.
Mrs Ince to Mr Hesketh.
For 6 gallons of Red Port; £2.5s.0d
Wine £1.3.6d

There is also a fascinating letter from John Cheers the Estate Manager to Mrs Ince about making beer, which makes interesting reading;
Madam. I am very much obliged to you for your friendly behaviour in being such a well wisher relating to my health. I am thank God much better today. I took oil yesterday. Thy beer will be ready tomorrow morning by eight o clock. As to the beer of Friday no such thing. I expected ……..yesterday, but I have not seen him yet, or or I should have seen you, as you may depend I will in the tavern house after. Wishing you health and ye family.
Madam, From your very humble servant, John Cheers.

The tavern might well have been “The Bottom of the Wood” a village ale house close to the junction of Plough Lane with Village Road, now the house named Hen Davarn [The Old Tavern.] and next to the Old Smithy. It might possibly have been the first “The Ring O Bells”, which stood on the site of the present Parish Hall, and is known to have existed around the 1780’s. The documentary evidence shows that, although the estate produced its own beer, it purchased most of its requirements from merchants in The City of Chester. It also used the services of men working locally from within the village community to carry out building tasks and repairs, and to provide transport. However It’s also quite clear from data to be found in the National Census of 1851, that by that date, Christleton was virtually a self contained village, which could provide services and goods covering a whole variety of produce, crafts and trades servicing the village people and all their needs. I will explore village life in the 1850’s a new series later in the year.

David Cummings

Nature Notes
One of the highlights for me this month has been the bird life on the canal at Rowton. Several times the canal has appeared to boil, with hundreds of house martins and swallows, swooping, diving and fluttering over the water, taking insects and droplets of water almost instantaneously, as they feed greedily, storing up precious food reserves for their long journey to North & South Africa*. They then sun themselves on television aerials and rooftops, chattering noisily to each other, drying out and re-waterproofing their feathers. Our swans and cygnets continue to thrive, also spending a great deal of time feeding up for their journey’s to come. It is said that they eat over 4lbs of grass each per day at this time, and the cygnets now weigh almost the same as the cob and pen, 35lbs and 28lbs respectively. A cormorant and young grey heron have also found good pickings near us, whilst up to 60 mallard have been roosting on the banks of the canal at Brown Heath Farm.

Butterflies continue to have a good year, with large numbers of small tortoishells in the gardens and churchyard. Beryl & I recently saw over 50 red admirals on a large scented bush in the gardens of Penrhyn Castle. There have also been really good numbers of the migrant butterfly the painted lady, and they have been seen almost everywhere. We even saw one fluttering right on the summit of Snowdon. In some years these colourful migrants appear to have been blown by strong winds across the Atlantic from America, but this year with mainly southerly winds, clouds of them have come north from N. Africa and France. You might also have been lucky enough to see the diminutive humming bird hawk moth, feeding on any colourful scented flower. They are really quite small, but have the habits of a humming bird with wings appearing to flutter hundreds of times a second, as they hover with their long black tongue out, searching for nectar in the top of a flower head. They too have been seen in very good numbers this summer. So the warm summer sun has been of great benefit to many of our native and migrant insect species, and hopefully they will be able to recover from the low numbers experienced in the recent past.

David Cummings
* Swallows ringed at Christleton in the 1970’s were recovered in an area south of Johannesburg in South Africa.

September Meeting
June Hargreaves’ talk on “What’s God Doing in Pakistan?” was extremely interesting. We saw lovely examples of women’s traditional dress, modelled by our speaker, and Mrs Hargreaves also brought slides to illustrate her talk.

In November we are hoping to organise an outing to the Albert Dock, Liverpool to see the exhibition about “What We Did in The War”. Helsby Mothers’ Union will be joining us on what should be a most enjoyable afternoon and we would like names of those interested in coming.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 13th October in the Parish Hall at 2.00 pm.

Recent additions to the Library include a number of books owned by our dear and much missed friend, Margaret Hogg. As we know, Margaret was a modest and unassuming person but her books demonstrate her mature Christian faith and desire to walk closely with God. Do go and have a browse among Margaret’s books – they all have her name in them – and enjoy them and remember a lovely lady.
Margaret Bass

The cricket season finished on 11th September with two fine victories over Stockport Georgians. This resulted in the 1st team winning the league ahead of Birkenhead Park. Skipper Jim Gilson made another unbeaten 1oo runs to complete an excellent season. The 1st team are now promoted to Division One – their third promotion in five years.
The second team also finished a good season in fourth place.
The third team also finished top of their league, thus achieving promotion.
Christleton Women’s team finished Runners Up in their league after losing only one game.

Our thanks to the match sponsors for August & September:

Brian Davies
Mrs Gordon Williams
Briscoes Dairies
Paul Jackson
Derek & Alun Garner
Simon Watt- Smith
Walker, Smith & Way
RKQ 82

The club was also pleased to accept a donation of £50 for our junior section from Christleton Fete committee.

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.