What is a Prebendary?
Its a title going back to when the clergy who served in the cathedral were paid from the income from properties owned by the cathedral. The income was shared out and each portion was called a prebend hence the recipient being called a prebendary. The title still holds but the income was transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commission in the 19th century. According to London Link at one time the Prebendaries in London had an allowance of 30 gallons of beer and a quantity of bread each year.
The first stone has been laid for the new Song School. Stone mason Trevor Elson and his apprentice Andy Healey got the venture under way at an official launch ceremony at the end of October. The new Song School will be built in traditional style and it is believed to be the first time a demolished medieval building will have been restored to full use. It will also be a major step towards fully restoring the cloisters at Chester, already the most complete monastic complex in the country.
Amongst those watching the building project begin were the Dean of Chester the Rev. Dr Gordon McPhate, the music director David Poulter, assistant music director Philip Rushforth, appeals manager Roger Thornhill, site manager Tony Eccleston and Tony Broadbent from Cathedral Friends.
The Reverend David Fisher, Vicar of St James, Gatley and Miss Gillian Borthwick are engaged to be married. The marriage will be celebrated at 3 pm on Saturday 21st June 2003 at St James, Gatley. The Bishop of Chester will conduct the service.
Congratulations to David and Gill from all at St James, Christleton.
The peace of The Pit has been disturbed a great deal recently by battles between our resident swans and their three surviving cygnets, the pair that temporarily took residence in their absence, and another pair from the canal at Waverton.
I had to attempt to catch and rescue one pair, to prevent a killing, and eventually carried the cob being attacked to Hunters Field and was able to release it there. His pen had thankfully escaped by flying off from the water, had circled The Pit, and had on at least one occasion that day landed on a bungalow roof. The aggressive behaviour we witnessed is common in swans, but is purely territorial. There is only one site in England where swans live together in peace, and that is at Abbotsbury in Dorset, where the swans are the inbred remnant of the original herd, kept by the Monks of the Abbey since 1393. The true origins of the site are lost in the mists of time, and there is some evidence to suggest that it was there even earlier in the 11thC and that the monks merely took advantage of their presence, and potential, as a source of food and income.
The first written evidence of these mute swans being kept in Britain was in a Court Roll of 1393, written on strips of sheep or goats- skins sewn together with sinews. The writing says;
The East Tithing Presents that William Squilor Keeper of the Swans, stirred up the water under the bridge a la fleet with Les hacches, so that the water overflowed in Le Fleet and was so high that it washed against the nests of the Swans of The Lord and moved and destroyed the eggs of the Swans. By the default of the same William, therefore he is in mercy.
Although this is the first written evidence, there is a report that the bones of swans have been found in the peat bogs of the fens in Cambridgeshire dating from the Ice Age.
Abbotsbury is a good place to see swans at any time of year. Nesting time and the emergence of cygnets at the end of May is one, round up time every two years at the end of July is also a great spectacle, whilst almost one thousand swans form a herd on the Fleet during winter months, a truly wonderful sight. There are only two other places in the world where swans tolerate the presence of other swans at breeding time, at Roskilde Fjord in Denmark, and on the Kamchatka Peninsular in Russia.
CHRISTLETON LOCAL HISTORY GROUP
Are you looking for Christmas Presents!! Then these two publications might fit the bill.
In their words Life in Christleton between 1875 -2000
by Judy Smith.
This ring bound pamphlet about the Social History of Christleton as seen through the eyes of the Rectors, has now been reprinted with the illustrations included within the text. It is a fascinating insight into village life during this period, and is well worth reading. It is available from members of the History Group, or myself price £5, with all the proceeds going to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd.
Christleton 2000 years of History. £12.50.
There are only fifty copies of this superb book left in print, so take the opportunity of purchasing your own copy, or sending one to a friend for Christmas. The book including a section in full colour, was published by the Group to celebrate the Millennium. It was nominated for entry as the best Local History Publication that year, only to lose out to a book published by the National Trust! Contact 332410 to order either book.
David Cummings Chairman.
Christleton Christmas Cards.
Following the success of last years card, a village Christmas Card is now available from me featuring St James Church seen through the Lych Gate in the snow. The proceeds from these cards will go to the three charities chosen by the PCC for distribution this Christmas. They cost 30p each, in packs of five or ten.
Hospice Letter Cards.
Letter cards of the watercolour painting of Christleton Pit and the Swans by Roger Stephens have been produced, and are priced 30p each in packs of five. All proceeds are for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd.
Christleton Golden Jubilee Cook Book.
This revised version of the 1974 Christleton Cook Book is now at The Printers, and we hope to have copies available for sale before Christmas. The initial book proved extremely popular, and most peoples copies have fallen apart through excessive use, so the new publication will revive old taste buds, and provide many exciting new ones. All the recipes have been tried and tested by members of the community and their friends. In fact there is something for everyone in this wonderful collection of recipes. Look out for copies at the Post Office, or from Margaret Croston and myself. All the proceeds from the sales are to help future refurbishment of the Parish Hall.
FAMILY TOY SERVICE AT ST JAMES
Sunday December 8th at 10.45 am.
You are invited to bring a wrapped Christmas present of toys (labelled with appropriate age and sex) to be given to less fortunate children in the Chester area.
Followed by refreshments in the Parish Hall.
2002 BEST KEPT VILLAGE/CIVIC PRIDE COMPETITION
Judges S M King and R L Jones were judges in this years competition and made the following comments.
We found Christleton being maintained to a high overall standard and felt this resulted from active participation and involvement of all the residents.
1. Special features were enhanced by the use of flowers and hanging baskets to great effect.
2. Shop windows are not easy to make attractive but the addition of two flower baskets greatly improved appearances.
3. Notice boards were well used and tidy with only the occasional appearance of out-of-date notices.
4. Bus stops and car parks are usually difficult areas to keep clean, but we found no evidence of neglect anywhere.
5. Public houses were very attractive. It was difficult to see what more could have been done.
6. The cricket ground was immaculately maintained by some hard-working and dedicated voluntary staff. It was noted that the parish hall was being repainted.
7. Churchyards, if they are to be kept tidy and well maintained, take much time and effort. St James churchyard must be among the best kept in Cheshire. The chapel area looked neat and tidy.
8. The childrens play area and adjacent playing fields were largely free from litter.
9. Gardens were well maintained and floral displays much in evidence.
10. A negligible amount of litter was seen during both our visits anywhere in the Christleton area. The litter bins appear to be emptied regularly.
11. The village pond is kept looking beautiful. It is a great asset and its attraction extends beyond the village boundaries. The village green area gives focus to the centre of the village.
12. Crime prevention and public safety measures are given the attention they deserve.
ST JAMES CHOIR CONCERT
Sunday 8th December at 6.30 pm St James Choir with soloists, chamber orchestra and friends will be singing St Nicholas Mass by Haydn. Please come and listen to some beautiful music in the beautiful surroundings of St James church.
I am hoping to organise a trip to Llandudno on Saturday 8th February 2003, when CHICAGO will be on at the North Wales Theatre.
I am planning to leave Christleton Village at approximately 11.30am so that you will be able to have lunch in Llandudno, possibly a walk along the promenade (weather permitting!), time to visit the shops etc, before the show commences at 5pm.
We should arrive back in Christleton by about 7pm.
The price for coach/tickets will, as usual, depend on numbers attending, but the best seats are £28-00 each before any group discount (50+ tickets purchased = 15% discount, which usually covers the price of the coach fare).
If you are interested, please let me know as soon as possible, by Monday 9th December at the latest.
If you want more information about the show or wish to attend at a different time, please contact NW Theatre, 01492 872000, or visit their website at www.nwtheatre.co.uk
Pat Nilssen (336013)
CHRISTLETON CHRISTMAS CARDS
David Cummings is producing another Christmas card following last years success. It will feature St James Church seen through the Lych Gate in the snow. They will cost 30p each in packets of 5 or 10.
My Uncle William was a lovely man. Tall and handsome and full of fun, and I adored him. He was the manager of the co-operative wholesale society in Prestwich, and also quite an entrepreneur. I remember one Christmas, 1929 it was when Uncle William decided to have a big party in the Co-op Hall for the children. He, of course, was Father Christmas dressed in his bright red coat and long white beard and I was to be his little fairy helper, handing out the presents to the children.
The hall was decorated with coloured garlands and balloons and we had a little grotto in the corner of the ballroom, made from fir branches and logs and powdered snow. I was so excited standing there in my fairy dress and wings with my fairy wand with a glittering star at its end and with Uncle William seated by my side.
Along came the children; wee girlies in their pretty party dresses and black dancing pumps, holding tightly to their mothers hands and the boys with bright, scrubbed faces, boldly facing Father Christmas alone. The girls requests were mostly for baby dolls or pet stores and the boys for cricket bats and footballs. Each was given a surprise parcel wrapped in gaudy paper and off they went. Then suddenly before our eyes, at the front of the remaining children, stood a real little ragamuffin with a dirty face and torn clothes.
Uncle William peered at the boy, trying to conceal his surprise and asking for his request.
Please sir could I ave a plate of chips with brown sauce?
I started to giggle (as fairies do!), but Uncle William smiled and rising to his feet, he lifted up his red coat and produced a coin from his trouser pocket. Here lad, he said, heres a florin. Go to the chip shop round the corner and tell them that Father Christmas has said that they are to give you as many chips and as much brown sauce as you can eat. Ive never forgotten the look of sheer delight on that little boys face.
New Year was soon upon us and Uncle William had organised a New Years Eve Ball. So as to make the most of my fairy outfit he decided that I should be the New Year Fairy. A huge clock was constructed over one of the doors and at midnight, I burst forth into the ballroom, wishing everyone a Happy 1930 and shaking my little sparkling wand.
Uncle William, now divest of his bright red suit and white beard, was instead dressed in white tie and tails and he danced round the room with me. Then, with drooping wand, he scooped me up into his arms and handed me over to the my father and within half an hour I was fast asleep in bed. But I never forgot those moments of glory, nor the poor little boys smile of delight. Im sure that his pleasure was far greater than that of those more fortunate children.
MEMORIAL TO SUZANNE QUELLYN ROBERTS
On the evening of Saturday 19th October, a simple but moving ceremony was conduced by the Rector at the request of Rowton Parish Council, on behalf of the Quellyn Roberts family.
Suzanne, who died tragically early a few years ago, was a much-loved figure in the local community. Her husband, Paul, conceived the idea of constructing a circular wooden bench round a prominent tree on the village green at Rowton in her memory. After some unforeseen delays, the area was paved and the bench fitted this autumn.
So, on that October evening around 6 pm, members of the Quellyn Roberts family (including Suzannes father), their close friends and several Parish Councillors, gathered on the green to give thanks for Suzannes life and to dedicate the bench in her memory.
The Rectors prayer contained the following passage:
Father in heaven, we give you thanks for your servant Suzanne. We praise you as we recollect her life and cherish her memory. We bless you that in bearing your image she brought light to our lives; for we have seen in her friendship reflections of your compassion, in her integrity demonstrations of your goodness, in her faithfulness glimpses of your eternal love. Grant to each of us the grace to follow her good example so that with her we may come to your everlasting kingdom.
My strong impression was that this exactly reflected the feelings of all present, who could not have expressed it better or so feelingly.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the magazine this year.
Here are the cut-off dates for 2003.
13th December for January 2003 issue
10th January for February issue
14th February for March issue
14th March for April issue
11th April for May issue
9th May for June issue
13th June for July issue
11th July for August issue
15th August for September issue
12th September for October issue
10th October for November issue
14th November for December issue
12th December for January 2004 issue.
We welcome contributions about 500 words long, accompanied, if possible and suitable, by good quality photographs (but not photographs or pictures from other publications). It is now possible to send contributions in on computer disk (saved in text) or emailed (please ask for details). The editorial team looks forward to receiving your contributions during the next twelve months.
CHRISTLETON WEDNESDAY GROUP
Festive Lunch in aid of Chester Link on Friday 13th December at 12 noon in the Parish Hall. Tickets £7 including a glass of wine.
Our speaker in October was Canon Chris Birkett from the Cathedral who talked to us about prayer. Chris used to be the Rector of Whitegate and Little Budworth. He writes for Encounter, a journal about prayer and gave some amusing examples of people he had known and their experiences connected with prayer.
Helsby Mothers Union has very kindly invited us to their Christmas Party on Wednesday 11th December and we are looking forward to meeting up with our very friendly link again.
On December 9th, we will be having our Quiet Hour in Church, followed by mince pies in the Parish Hall.
Thank you to everyone who came and supported the Harvest Supper at The Bickerton Poacher on 19th October. We had a very enjoyable supper and a great game of skittles afterwards.
At the October meeting of Christleton Parish Council, Cllr E Beak of Malpas Parish Council made a presentation on the development of the Malpas Youth Project and the Malpas Youth Parish Council. Cllr Beak responded to members questions and was thanked by the Chairman Cllr Pam Evans for his attendance. Cllr Butt would circulate a note and the topic would be revisited in the future.
It was noted and reported by Cllr Beech that replacement items of equipment were to be installed at the play area. The replenishment and raking of the play bark on a regular basis was discussed.
Cllr Beech understood that a lease had been prepared in connection with the King George V playing fields. It was agreed a letter should be sent to the Sports Club and to Birch Cullimore (solicitors) suggesting the councils nominees, for the time being, as Trustees should be the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council. The Clerk had obtained from the Charity Commissioners a copy of a document setting out the duties of trustees.
It was noted there was a possibility of new evidence coming forward relating to Cotton Hall Lane and the Council agreed support would be given to any application to resolve the matter.
Cllr Henson expressed disappointment that the volunteers who wished to assist Project Rural Matters were experiencing delays in their appointment. The forthcoming retirement of PC Richard Tack was noted and the Council agreed that the Divisional Commander should be informed of the goodwill and support the Parish had had from PC Tack. Cllr Crawford reported that £20,000 had been earmarked for a Homewatch Manager for the Chester district.
The Council confirmed a draft letter prepared by the Clerk setting in context the Councils objection to the proposal for a footway on part of Plough Lane.
It was reported that the Local Panel money previously allocated for measures on Quarry Lane could not be applied to the modified scheme. A new application was required. The proposed extension to the footway was not now incorporated and the reasons for this would be ascertained from the Highway Authority. Details of the measures proposed by the school were awaited and would be pursued by County Cllr J Burke. It was noted that any application for a Local Panel grant would have to be made by the Parish Council.
Cllr Crawford reported on a presentation by the Highway Authority concerning major maintenance to be carried out to the A51 in the summer of 2003. He indicated he was in agreement with the proposal and would complete a questionnaire provided by the Highway Authority. County Cllr Burke asked to be advised of the Parish Councils views. The Council agreed that repairs and/or improvements to the diversion routes should be carried out in advance. As part of the scheme, the possibility of improvements to the junction with the A51 at Littleton would be visited by the Parish Council. The possibility of temporary traffic signals at The Trooper in view of the increased traffic on the A41 would also be sought.
The Chairman had obtained a document from the Land Registry as to the ownership of the land in Style Path. It was agreed that an approach should be made referring to the concerns of local residents, indicating that if the owners were agreeable the Parish Council would, without obligation, tidy the land and hedge.
It was agreed that the concept of the Open Morning should be retained and publicised in advance in the annual newsletter.
It was noted with great pleasure that the Parish had been placed first in its class in the Best Kept Village Competition and came second in the overall championship.
RICHARD'S CHRISTMAS BLOOMERS
Hello Mr. Nicholson. We are making a television programme and wondered if you would care to be interviewed said Emma from Vision Thing. The question seemed quite harmless on that lovely summers day back in June just as I was about to go out and have a gentle snooze in the garden. A reply in the affirmative seemed the right one. It was a Friday afternoon in mid October that Emma next rang and started asking me questions about myself and I got the impression as if it was a kind of initiation test as to whether I could put two or more words together. I must have just passed for she told me that they would like to visit me the following Monday afternoon at home. A kind friend said that it might be a good idea to do some dusting and that she would give me a hand. Oh blow that, they wont see the dust I replied thinking about all the work I had to do. There were the unfinished VAT accounts, maps to catalogue and the Parish Magazine was imminent. On telling my friend Brenda of my forthcoming fame she e-mailed me I think I will buy myself a T shirt emblazoned with I knew Richard Nicholson before he was famous. How exciting! Are you nervous? I presume it is HTV so let me know. See you Monday and I shall bring you down to earth or will it be Anita! This lady Anita she refers to is a highly energetic dance teacher who scolded me on my first lesson that I did not replace the weight on my feet correctly. My only excuse was that she had given me an entirely new routine to learn and I was using all my battery power to run my brain. On dancing with me later Anita said You are still doing it but you are getting away with it because of your hips. That was the nicest thing anyone has said to me all this year.
I digress, for it is now Monday. I got up a little earlier than usual but could feel no nerves concerning the forthcoming interview. In fact I was just rather nervous about not feeling nervous. I did forget to shave and I did forget to eat any breakfast until 11.30am but other than that all was normal. The morning went slowly and no work and no dusting got done. I kept looking at reference books trying to put to memory some dates and facts that I usually dont waste brain space on. Now what shall I wear? This as you will know is always a difficult decision when one is appearing on television. Having remembered all the check shirts that have an electrifying zigzag effect on the screen I opened a packed containing a brand new short sleeved pale blue shirt with a thin white stripe together with a conservative blue spotted tie. A bit of extra washing behind the ears and hair grooming but why bother as all this would be changed as I imagined being titivated by a very attractive make up artist called Blodwyn who possessed the amazing ability to make me twice as handsome.
Half a tin of baked beans was all I could manage for lunch. Relax I thought so instead of more swotting I watched a recording of Watercolour Challenge with the delectable Hannah Gordon. Now if I can appear as calm as that all would be well. Still another one half hours before they arrived when the telephone rang Would it be alright if we came a bit earlier. We are by The Cheshire Cat. Minutes later two vehicles arrived with a director, a cameraman, a sound engineer, an assistant producer and a load of equipment and no sign of Blodwyn. Good job I had not dusted as they wanted to film in the room where I work. Truly the most untidiest in the house where the desktops were last seen when you could post a letter for 5p. As quickly as I removed my clutter from the room in came tin trunks, cables, lights, camera, a very large fluid tripod and microphone. The director showed me a list of the questions he was going to ask. From the brief glance I gave it I could see no problems whatsoever and started quipping about Aunties Bloomers and the way presenters had to have many takes before saying something that made sense. All daylight disappeared from the room and was replaced with a huge square light that seemed as bright as the sun that immediately caused the house central heating to be redundant. The inquisitive camera lens peering from a square hood took aim whilst a cuddly hairy microphone floated somewhere above my head. The director started taking flash photographs telling me for the first time that there would be a book as well. Enquiring as to whether I should look directly into the camera lens I was told to look at the interviewer where he sat in deep shadow. The first question came and I started to answer it with great ease. That is until I had to clear my throat. Starting again and repeating what I had just said but rephrasing it I suddenly started thinking about what I was saying and it sounded like a load of rubbish it so I halted. Take it from the point where you say he was born in Denbigh the director said. This I found was impossible to do so I had to start at the beginning again. I lost count of all the takes I fluffed through loss of coordination between the brain and mouth but I do remember the one when Bunny my Cocker Spaniel started scratching the carpet and the one when Jenny my Bassett Hound clattered over the wooden floor in the next room. To my disappointment there was no voracious snappy clapperboard but each time there was a new take the cameraman had to confirm the camera was up to speed and the soundman was ready. Its all over said the director. How disappointed I felt. I wanted to do it all again as I knew I could do so much better. They all said I had done all right but I am unconvinced and just keep thinking of all the things I should have said. The director rejected my pity for the editor who was going to have to listen to all my mistakes as he informed me that the overpaid editor would be cocooned in a plush electronic room drinking endless cups of digital coffee. There then followed over two hours of filming maps in close detail. I managed to secure the job of turning the atlas pages for the cameraman in the hope that I would appear on the credits as the best boy or even catering manager as I plied the crew with tea and coffee. What about the maps with nude women on them said the assistant producer whereupon I enquired if the programme was for Channel 5. I knew the maps they wanted to see were those from Michael Draytons Poly-Olbion published in 1612 that portray naked nymphs bathing in the rivers observed by inquisitive shepherds sitting on the top of hills. The crew will be working on the series of twelve half hour programmes until next March when broadcasting Counties of Wales with Sara Edwards starts in May on BBC Wales. It is only now that the nerves have started thinking that I might have to watch it. I never want to hear the words Take Thirteen again and if there is a next time I definitely want Blodwyn and I most definitely want an autocue.
UNSIGHTLY AND OF NO USE AND NO ORNAMENT TO ANYONE
Mike Taylor and his wife Kate recently had their house gutters renewed at Nunholme in Village Road Christleton. Over the years starlings had built nests underneath the overhanging roof tiles and about fifteen nests were pulled out one after another and then with the next handful out came a lightly browned but almost perfect specimen of the city edition of the Cheshire Observer for Friday 6th November, 1964. One of the front page stories was that residents in Ellesmere Port were going to lose their milk deliveries on a Wednesday. The advert for the Deesider reminded me of my fathers anonymous weekly article which he wrote for many years called Brand X Column. Big tape recorders were all the rage in those days but would set you back about £40. Large advertisement for Park Drive with no warning of what 3/9d for 20 might do for your health. .Father Christmas was arriving at Richard Jones where you could get a selection of gifts from a chunky knit sweater at 52/6d to a Super Hide Pouffe at 79/11d. A Chester clothing manufacturer wanted machinists and if you were qualified you could earn in excess of £10 for a five day week. There is a wonderful selection of cars from £275 for a de luxe Ford Consul. How about that red and silver Lotus Elan you always dreamed of having at a mere £1,175. Scanning the property pages finding a house in Christleton seemed to be just as difficult as it is today but I did see a three bedrooms post war semi detached house with a neat garden at £2,975. That works out at 2.5 Lotus Elans. I ponder on how many sports cars you could get for the price of the house today. I wonder if the missing kitten Felix who was white and grey with dark spots on his side and stripes on his head was ever found and returned to Mrs. Rimington. I do hope so. Remember Monty Sunshine. His jazz band could be seen at Quaintways admission 5/-. I remember winning a saucepan and an electric clock in a Liverpool Echo competition for putting a list of songs in their correct popular order. Number one was his clarinet recording of Petite Fleur. Play it again Monty. In the Christleton column the Parish Council seemed to be up to their knees in mud as they considered a footpath from the girls school to the village. Progress was also being made in the formation of a Christleton and District Youth Club. Two familiar photographs of the Pit at Christleton greet the reader on the last page. One shows a winter scene in the 1930s with the Pit iced over and as the reporter says it was a happy rendezvous for skaters for miles around when it was frozen and villagers can remember when skating went on well into the night by the light of the headlights of cars parked around the Pit. Then in the great style of Charles Dickens it reveals in the lower photograph the desolate, grim and tragic view of the Pit which it describes as unsightly and of no use and no ornament to anyone. It says the Parish Council have formed a sub committee to seek a way and means of bringing back the lost beauty of what could be one of the most charming spots in the village. Just compare this to the description today in item number 11 on page 6 of this Parish Magazine as Christleton takes the Best Kept Village Award for the second year in succession. Sorry Mike and Kate but your interesting newspaper does not have any monetary value as an antique yet but hang on. How about putting it back under the tiles and giving someone else a surprise in another 38 years time.