Extracts from Parish Magazine for September, 2003

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Forthcoming Restoration Fund Events
Friday 12th - Sunday 14th September. Parish Hall.
Photographic Exhibition of Christleton.
This contains over 1000 prints taken in 1986/7 to record all aspects of village life for the BBC Electronic Domesday Project. The Village Photographic Albums for the Fete, Millennium, History Group will also be on display together with the Village Scrap Books 1972-2003.

Friday 12th 2.00pm until 6.30pm
Saturday 13th 9.30am until 2.00pm
Sunday 14th 12.00 noon until 2.00pm
Refreshments will be served

There is no charge but donations for the Restoration Funds will be welcome.

Friday 26th September 7.30pm Parish Hall
Ladies Retail Therapy Evening

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”

Parish Walking Group
Saturday September 13th
This will take place from Beeston as part of the Parish Day at the Outdoor Centre.

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 21st 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

Christleton Letter Cards.
A set of five new letter cards of scenes from 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.

Thak you to all who supported Margaret Croston’s Garden Tea Party in July which raised over £100 each for the St James Restoration Appeal and the Chester Branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Christleton and Littleton Conservatives would like to thank all who so generously donated bottles for their stall at the Village Fete.

The first meeting of the Autumn will be held at the Primary School in Quarry Lane at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17th September. The topic will be Evidence of the Roman Occupation of Britain through visits to various archaeological sites. Members donate £2 per meeting which helps towards the hire of the school hall, lecturer fees and a glass of wine. All welcome.
New Video on Thomas Telford.
Shropshire Connections have produced an excellent video on the life of Thomas Telford, the second in a series about famous people from Shropshire. Charles Darwin, being the first. The narrator for the second film is Judy Smith from Christleton. The videos are excellent value at £12.99, and are available from the Local History Group or myself on 332410.

New Member of the Cathedral Chapter
The Bishop of Chester, after consultation with the Dean, appoints one person in holy orders to be a member of the Chapter. The Venerable Christopher Hewetson held the position until his retirement last year. Now Bishop Peter has appointed Bishop Alan Chesters to this post. Bishop Alan retires this month as the Bishop of Blackburn and, with his wife Jennie, comes to live in Tarvin. He will preach in the Cathedral at the 11.00 am service on Sunday 5th October.

Sale of Cakes, Crafts and Conserves
Friday 19th and Saturday 20th September from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm in the Cathedral Visitors’ Centre.

Margaret Croston

In Spring 1970 a youthful education officer was dispatched from County Hall to view the recently closed primary schools at Beeston and Burwardsley. Not long out of teaching, and experienced in geography fieldwork for secondary pupils, I was viewed by the Deputy Director as a reasonable judge of whether these two vacant buildings might be suitable for primary school children to engage in similar activities.

My superior added, “For Beeston you get the key from Mrs Bennett at the corner, but enter Burwardsley quietly as you will find Tattenhall Primary School using it as an overflow for two classes of children.” Beeston was eerily quiet, but sure enough Burwardsley was alive with two young teachers at work, Pat Hatfield and David Cummings. Both Pat and David became Headteachers, David at Christleton of course.
That both centres were quickly established and still flourish despite the ebb, flow and cuts of educational finances, is a credit to the quality of work and care there. The present and past Wardens, non-teaching staff and volunteers, and the visiting teachers with their groups of children have all made enthusiastic contributions.

When St James has its second family event at the Beeston Centre on 13th September, David and I will be a bit greyer than we were in 1970, but still excited at the opportunities that the Centres continue to offer.

John Carruthers

1st and 2nd
Christleton Brownies

This is our new logo and name.
1st and 2nd Christleton Brownies continue to be very grateful to the Fete Committee for their donations to our funds.

Recently 2nd Christleton Brownies used part of their donation in a trip to the Gateway to see Double Act (a book by Jacqueline Wilson). These are some of the Brownies’ comments:

“It was really interesting so I bought the book.”
“It was sad in parts and really funny in others.”
“It was clever with the set made of books leaning over.”
“I liked the food popping up on plates – it was really clever.”
“I liked when they danced.”
“I’d recommend it.”
“The pretend car was acted out well.”
“I thought it was funny when one of the twins was sick over Rose.”
“Thank you Fete Committee for subsidising our trip.”

Both Packs are looking for a new leader to replace Amelia Stockdale and Laura Smith who have trained with us and gone from being Young Leaders to warranted Brownie Guiders. We wish them well in their studies at University and thank them for their many years of service to our Village packs.

Could you join us to help on a regular basis? If so please ring June Pearson (335101) for Monday Brownies or Anne Stockdale (335819) for Thursday Brownies. Both Brownies meet 6.15 – 7.45 pm during termtimes.

If you enjoy slide-illustrated talks on out-of-the-ordinary countries and topics, why not consider joining the Lecture Section of the Chester Society of Natural Science, Literature and Art – there may a few vacancies. Please contact Anne Large on 01244 336108, 34 Bridge Drive, Christleton. The Committee have drawn up an interesting programme for the 2003-2004 season. All meetings are on a Thursday evening, starting at 7.30 pm in the Grosvenor Museum Lecture Theatre and finish at 9 pm. There is free parking on the Castle Car Park.

The October programme is:

2nd: David Foster gives a personal view of Switzerland, over a six-week period.
9th: Clive Garner recollects Merseyside memories of 1934.
16th: Michael Leach is a wildlife photographer and shows his further adventures.
23rd: Stephen Greenwood presents Cornish Charisma – pre-history, mining and the Eden Project. (The Royal Geographical Society members will be attending this lecture.)
30th: Ed Millius shows us around the Isle of Wight.

Christleton Village Fete
We hope that you all enjoyed the 'Magical' 2003 Christleton Village Fete. This annual event is managed by a small group of volunteers who desperately need your help if this popular village tradition is to survive.

We meet once a month to plan the next event. The first meeting for the 2004 Fete is on Monday 8th September 2003, 8pm at the Village Institute. Why not join us for a drink and find out how you could help to make the next Fete even better?

The Christleton Village Fete Committee

Life in the Big House (Part 5 continued)

A list of persons attending the funeral of Robert Townsend in May 1791, taken from the list of people needing gloves, and found in the estate papers.
Immediate family mourners.
Mr & Mrs Birkitt, Mr Hardy, Elizabeth Ince, daughter.
The best shammy gloves for the Gentlemen.
Mr William Forrester, Mr Hall, Mr George Forrester, Mr Thomas Ince, Mr Clegg
Mr Dickinson, Mr Wilkinson, Mr Cheers (Estate Manager) Mr Oldfield, Kelsall,
Mr Forrester of Willey, Mr Mostyn of Mostyn, Mr Nelson, Mr Wingfield, Mr John Adams,
Mr William Adams, Mr Bailey, Mr Barton, Mr Foreshaw, Mr Wright.
Gloves for the men of the common sort.
Jacob Adams, Thomas Brown Clerk of Christleton, Clerk of St Bridgets,
George Moulton*, John Parry*, Peter Gibson*, John Moulton*, Thomas Peers*, John Pritchard*,
Mr Townsend’s two servants.
*These men were workers on the estate, and were paid 2s.6d “ for carrying him to church”.
Gloves for the best sort of ladies.
Mrs Bailey, Mrs Forrester & two daughters, Mrs Lecardby, Mrs Adams, Mrs Foreshaw.
3 pairs of common black shammy for Mrs Townsend’s servant, cook and Mrs Forrester’s maid.

The funeral party would almost certainly have proceeded to the Glass House Inn where Mr Witter kept good ale & an eating house. In the diaries of Henry Prescott we learn a great deal about this particular place, first recorded on the John Ogilby map of Britain in 1685. It seems to have been an excellent eating place where the nobility of the city and county would gather, and meals including whitebait, lobster and Sir Loyn of beef were served. The Inn had a fine cellar of wine & beers and offered a good selection for Henry Prescott himself to sample. Employed as a finance officer for the Chester Diocese, Henry seems to have travelled extensively, and was always trying out the spirits, wines and local beers as part of his unofficial duties. Certainly the number of times in his diaries that he writes “that he has taken one or two early morning circuits around the Roodeye to clear his head”, indictates that he took his drinking seriously. He travelled to Christleton, not only to sample the local brew, and have a small wager on horses, racing at Farndon, or perhaps gambling with his friends at the Glass House Inn, but also to visit his friend Mr Townsend at The Old Hall, often accompanied by his beautiful wife Suzanna. They would sometimes continue their journey on horse back through to Wareton, (Waverton) to see their son Jack who was the Curate there. He didn’t have a very good reputation, as he was often absent when needed, and seems to have been dismissed from his post because of these bad habits.

The Glass House was also a meeting place for funerals, being the first Inn outside the City boundary.** There are records of distinguished persons, including the Lord Bishop and Mayor & Corporation, coming out of the city to assemble at the Glass House in order to accompany the body of a notable person being brought from a country house, and being taken for burial at the Cathedral. The whole company would be fed whilst waiting for the burial party to arrive, before walking in stately procession behind the hearse into the city.
**When the celebration of the Beating of the Bounds takes place, the stone at the Glass House marking the boundary between Christleton & Great Boughton is one of the first to be visited. The next celebration is due in May 2010.
David Cummings

Nature Notes
The five cygnets born at the Pit, now resident on the canal between Christleton and Waverton are almost fully grown, and beginning to test their wings for their first flight. A second brood of swallows have now almost fledged at The Alms Houses, and there are many young house martins flying about indicating that they too have had a good breeding season. Two speeding sparrow hawks were watched plundering a flock of sparrows in Pepper Street, whilst a beautiful male kestrel was quartering over Birch Heath Common. Two large dragonflies, a greenish blue southern hawker and a brown hawker were hunting in the churchyard, and were seen to roost on a yew tree. The warm sun has finally helped many butterflies to emerge, and amongst those spotted in and around the village have been, cabbage white, small white, tortoiseshell, painted lady, peacock, red admiral, small heath, small skipper, holly blue, meadow brown, small copper and gatekeeper.
David Cummings

Early Guestbook Success
A guestbook was added to the Christleton website in July. Very few people have signed in yet but one entry has linked up a family again. It started with the following entry.

Shirley Ann Dodd nee Vickers Littleton 1959 married Christleton Church. I am the daughter of the late Gladys and Albert Vickers both buried in Christleton Church. Prior to my marriage in 1959 I regularly went to St. James Church and as a child attended Sunday School. I lived in Littleton Lane. I came to NZ in 1964.

The entry was seen by Shirley’s brother Keith Vickers and his wife Mavis who live in Sandrock Road. They had temporarily lost contact over the last 18 months but are now in touch and emailing each other. In 1997 Shirley and her husband Eric stayed for a month at Whitewalls, the home of Brian and Hilary Devenport and were able to show their kiwi born daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren a bit about their origins.

A very pleasing and early success for the website guestbook. I would encourage you to sign in and see how many friends and relatives appear out of the woodwork or should it be network. The number of people using the Christleton website is increasing month by month and can of course it can be seen all over the world.

Other new features on the website include the facility to send an email greeting with a picture of Christleton of your choice. The start of a project to illustrate how Christleton is shown on old maps going back to the days of Elizabeth I. Back issues to December 2000 of the Parish Magazine are included and these are now all fully searchable. Newly discovered old photographs of Christleton have been added recently including one of a magnificent barn which used to stand between Windmill Lane and Stoneydale.

The Christleton website is just the best and most sophisticated place to chill out and be seen so make an entry in the website guestbook and wait to see what happens.

Richard Nicholson

Brand X Junior

In 1975 I made my first visit to Stoneydale in Pepper Street, Christleton with my father and mother, Cuthbert and Dilys. The reason being that the house was being offered for sale by the Ferguson family who had resided there for some 15 years or so. The price was £50,000. A figure we were just unable to raise. At that time we were living in a wonderful house on the banks of the Menai Straits at Bangor with access to the beach and its own pier and boathouse. This had cost the princely sum of £14,000. I can remember feeling totally dejected at not being able to afford Stoneydale as it seemed to be the most perfect house and the most desirable place to live. My father’s practical answer to the problem was to start saving in case such a property came onto the market again.

Richard and Myra Wilson purchased Stoneydale. They were dealers in fine antique furniture and my neighbours in the rows above my shop at 25 Watergate Street, Chester. I did as suggested and saved like mad. Two years later another house in Christleton came onto the market and we telephoned Richard Wilson to ask his opinion, as we were to view the next day. He suggested that we should call in at Stoneydale as he and Myra had thoughts of selling the house. I remember my very cursory and disinterested viewing of the first property as I eagerly awaited seeing Stoneydale again. The house I had fallen in love with and the house that was never matched by any of the other properties we had looked at during the intervening two years. Stoneydale had changed. It appeared more desireable than ever as we were guided around. Myra was serving cream crackers and the most delicious strong cheddar cheese with a glass of wine when my father asked Richard Wilson how much he wanted for Stoneydale. The reply was £75,000. My father raised his eyebrows and looked at me enquiringly. I tried very hard not to appear too eager. I uttered no words but pretended to ponder for a respectable period of time before giving the smallest of nods. “We will buy it,” my father said. Richard and Myra were for a moment absolutely speechless. If only buying and selling houses was always so painless, easy and quick. It is nice to cheekily think how much more we might have paid but that is my secret. If you wish for something hard enough it can come true. It did for me.

On a very hot sunny day in July 1977 the three of us moved into Stoneydale. It was so hot that all the removal men retired to the swimming pool in the afternoon. That is all except the foreman who maintained his dignity and authority by keeping his underpants and cloth cap on. I was in my swimming trunks when I answered a knock at the front door. There was an attractive smiling lady far younger than I am now. “Hello, I am Mrs. Cullimore your neighbour”, she said. “Mrs. Birch Cullimore”, I replied. She smiled at my ignorance. “No, just Cullimore” she said. Twenty six years later to the very month I have had to say goodbye to Mrs. Cullimore or Stella as I now know her. Also to her husband Rae for they have left Faulkners Lodge where they have lived since the 1950’s. I am going to miss them. What value can you put on good neighbours? I hate goodbyes. It seems like the end of an era and that is just what it is as there have been Cullimores living in Christleton since the late 1800’s. Rae and Stella have moved to Wiltshire so as to be near their family. I wish them joy and happiness in their new home.

On the evening of 16th July, 2003 Rae and Stella invited some twenty odd people from Christleton to Faulkners Lodge for eats and drinks as a farewell. Faulkners Lodge is the only house in Faulkers Lane but it is also has a second entrance drive from Pepper Street and from the street were the Wareings, the Hodges, the Faircloughs, Sheila Pickavance and myself. Our Rector Peter was there with Fiona, Dorothy Checkley, Gill Brackenbury, David Cummings and Beryl, Peter and Margery Jackson. Also there was Peter Hingston with Sarah. Peter has tended the extensive Faulkners Lodge gardens for longer than the ten years he has looked after my garden

Not were we only saying goodbye to Rae and Stella but hello to the purchasers Dave and Helen Quinn who have now moved in with their two boys. The asking price for Faulkers Lodge was offers in excess of £1,000,000. Whatever price was paid they probably know already what a fine residence they have bought but only when they discover Christleton and its community will they realize its true value.

Rae and Stella moved out a week later on 23rd July and when I went to say goodbye they were in the kitchen guarding the necessities of life for if their vigilance quavered for just one moment anything would quickly be scooped up and disappear into the long white tunnel of the removal van. Stella handled the operation like an expert although she admitted it was only the second time in her married life that they had moved. Not only was it removal day but it was Stella’s 80th birthday. What an amazing thing to do on such a day,

After a hectic week of unpacking and sorting out the new house in Sherston it is beginning to look really nice. All the pictures are hung and bright on the walls so thoughts are now turning to the ominous ominous gardening ahead. Yes, I can remember the fun on your old tennis court and the resultant limp. Well done to you both and a sincerely felt au revoir.

Richard Nicholson

With five games remaining Christleton 1st team are still top of the league. A good win last week against 3rd place Bollington means we are 26 points clear of Birkenhead Park in 2nd place.
The 2nd team are in third place and the 3rd team continue to show progress having opened up a gap at the top of their league.
Christleton Womens’ team maintain their good form and remain in first place. There could be a number of trophies for Chairman Gareth Davies to polish during the winter.

Our thanks to the following sponsors for July:

David Cummings
Bill Malkin
Geoff Stanworth
Pizza Guy
Russ Crowley

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.