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Chairman's Bulletin (November 2021)

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Parish Council

Two Councillors left the Council in September so their seats are vacant and residents who feel they would like to represent the area are invited to apply. Details are on the notice boards and the Parish Council website.

Policing. We are in danger of losing any sort of police presence because there is very little crime in the area. Of course we don’t want crime to happen, but neither do we want to lose our beat officer, so if you see or hear anything suspicious, don’t just ignore it, contact the police via the website.

Bus services

The number 70 bus travels through Bulkeley once a day to and from Nantwich. In addition there is a new bus called Go Too that serves the rural area south east of Nantwich on an ad hoc basis. You have to down load an app or phone 0300 1235 103 to book your journey. Details on the notice boards and the Parish Council website. Each journey costs no more than £3. The service will run for three years but it will then be withdrawn if there is not enough demand. Another case of use it or lose it.

Vyrnwy pipe line.

Repair work on this pipe line (actually three parallel pipes), as it passes underground through Bulkeley will not start until 2023. Working sites will be established every 800 metres and work will be carried out from there to clean the pipes and insert a new lining pipe without the need for a continuous trench.

Toasting the Oak

We were not able to gather by the Millennium Oak on 1st January because of Covid lockdown. Instead a group met on midsummer’s day and enjoyed prosecco and delicious pork pies and sausage rolls provided by Sue Harvey. It was the first opportunity many of us had had to meet people outside our family circles and was a lovely occasion. Next year we will meet again at 2pm on 21st June, this time by the Queen’s Jubilee lime tree at the junction of Mill Lane and Stonehouse Lane. I can’t promise good weather on that day but at least we shouldn’t have a snowstorm!

Brassey Stones

These were removed from the field behind the Mill in 2007 and placed at the Marl Pit together with a board explaining who Thomas Brassey was and his legacy of railway building in many countries. The site needed renovation this year and the decision was made to move the memorial to a more prominent position. In consultation with the Cheshire East conservation officer, the best place seems to be beside the lime tree at the northern end of Mill Lane.

Community speed watch.

Volunteers always welcome to help monitor the drivers who speed through Bulkeley. If you have the occasional hour to spare, please contact me.


Alan Alfred Ernest Rose died on 1st February following a fall at home in which he broke his hip. Born in London on 22nd December 1927, he moved with his family to Rock Ferry in 1939 when his father got a job on the PLUTO pipeline. Standing for Pipeline Under The Ocean, the pipe ran from Stanlow oil refinery all the way down the country and under the Channel to France to support the Allied invasion. Alan was evacuated to Carno in mid Wales with the school in 1940 and so enjoyed the experience he kept in touch with the host family for over 60 years. Returning to Rock Ferry, he left school in 1941 and joined his father to work on the pipeline which had then reached Marlborough in Wiltshire. His sister worked for Lever Bros in Port Sunlight, and through her he met his future wife Joan and they married in 1952. At first they lived with his mother, but soon after their first born daughter Ann was born, Alan answered an advertisement offering employment on the Bolesworth estate and they moved there. Later he worked at Rawhead for Scotts the bread makers until one day at the Red Lion (now the Poacher), he was told there was a job vacancy at the waterworks, and they lived at the Pumping Station for the rest of Alan’s life. Alan leaves his widow Joan, 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

Jack Lebeter (that is how he spelled his name) died on 12th March at the age of 94. Born in Mansfield in October 1926, he joined the Sherwood Foresters in December 1944 and became Regimental Sergeant Major before leaving the Army after 25 years’ service all over the world. He met Muriel at a dance when he was stationed at Eaton Hall and they married in St. Werburgh’s Church in Chester in July 1956. On leaving the Army, Jack and Muriel moved to Bulkeley where they took over the village shop and Post Office and ran it for many years. Muriel served in the shop and Jack brought in the supplies and delivered bread around the district. In his spare time Jack enjoyed golf, crosswords, maths puzzles and jigsaws and was a whizz at mathematics, statistics and accounting.

Some of you will remember Clare Speed who lived in Mill Grove for many years and raised her children there. She was skilled at handicraft, especially knitting, and made many dolls and other things which she took to the Annual Tractor Show at Hampton. There she met her second husband Elwyn Roberts. After their marriage they moved to Buckley near Mold, but Clare kept in touch with local friends until she died in July 2021.

I am including this next obituary because it evokes a picture of how life was like in this area many years ago. Some of you might need Google to understand the wartime references!

Margaret Mackeynee Threadgold died peacefully on 22nd June this year at the age of 96. She was born a week before Christmas 1924 in Coole Pilate and moved to a small holding in Hitchens Lane with her family at 2 years of age. Her father had a haulage business but there was a depression and he was out of work for a long time. As she grew older, Margaret helped her mother augment the family income by taking large panniers of dressed chickens, eggs, vegetables and fruit on the bus to Chester and Nantwich markets and also helped deliver food to regular customers in Chester. The cottage had its own well, but perhaps the water was not good for drinking, so one of her regular household chores was to fetch water from a spring in a field opposite the Poacher.

A Major Holt owned the pond in Hitchens Lane and stocked it with trout. When he found Margaret fishing, he always asked if she had put back any fish she caught. Margaret assured him she had, but forgot to mention the larger fish which ended up on her Dad’s plate at tea time! In winter the pond often froze and Margaret and her brothers and sisters enjoyed sliding on the ice. One particularly hard winter, the coach bringing the children home from a school trip got stuck at Harthill and Margaret walked all the way home. When she arrived with her long hair hanging in icicles, her mother popped her in a warm mustard bath and she was fine the next day.

A treat was to visit the zoo at Shavington until it closed in the early 30’s and the animals and staff moved to Upton near Chester where it became the world famous Chester Zoo.

When Margaret left school her first job was as a maid at Mill House in Bulkeley, then as a maid for the headmaster of Nantwich and Acton Grammar School, now Malbank. From there she was persuaded to become a companion to someone at Willaston, but finding out she was really only there as a cleaner, she resigned and went to live with her married sister Molly in Shavington where she drove a milk cart to free the driver to join the war. She then passed her police driving test and drove ambulances. After that she joined the NAAFI and drove food supplies to military bases all over Britain before becoming a driver in the ATS and was employed all over the world including South Africa and Egypt. Returning to England she rejoined the NAAFI which is how she met her future husband, Scotsman Andrew MacKay, who was stationed in Hornchurch in Essex. The couple lived in Leeds for over 50 years where Margaret worked as accounts clerk for the food company Van Den Berg. Finally, widowed and retired, Margaret bought a flat in Nantwich overlooking the Barony and lived there until she had to move to Woodeaves Retirement Home which is where she died.

Produced by Idina Hastings, Springfield Cottage, Bulkeley.

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Bulkeley & Ridley

Bulkeley & Ridley Parish Council

The villages of Bulkeley & Ridley are part of the unitary authority of East Cheshire.

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