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Chairmans Report Autumn 2023

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CORONATION DAY. Jane Macrae and her team organised another lovely gathering on the playing field to mark the occasion. Competition for the best homemade crown was won by: adult – Colin: child – Hathi. Best cake adult – Julie, child – Bertie with Charlie second.

PLAY EQUIPMENT. Plans to install equipment on the playing field are underway, but funding is a big problem.

TOASTING THE OAK.The annual ceremony was well attended on the now regular date 21st June. Next year it will be the turn of the Jubilee lime tree at the Stonehouse end of Mill Lane to be toasted. The trees are measured during the winter as it is so much easier to obtain a (near) accurate height when all the leaves have dropped.

SPEED This is a constant concern for everyone who uses the roads. The Parish Council plan to install a device to remind motorists if they are speeding through Bulkeley and we are trying to obtain funding and permission about exactly where we can place the device. Please don’t expect it to solve the problem of speeding: as all road users know, some motorists assume laws don’t apply to them. At best it will remind the absent minded drivers they should concentrate on road signs and not on their phones!

SPEED WATCH. In August we were advised that the whole scheme was to be revised and everything had to stop until further notice. When it does resume, our PCSO has to be retrained and she then has to retrain all her volunteers in all villages. When we are allowed to get going again, we will need more volunteers for Bulkeley. Please, if you think you might be able to help even only occasionally, contact me as soon as possible. Some drivers are above the law, but everyone who sees a group with a speed gun standing by the road, is reminded that a speed limit I is in operation on our road.

VILLAGE WHATSAPPS. Residents of Bulkeley and Ridley can join the village WhatsApp groups. One is for social interaction and the other for emergencies or warnings of any suspicious activity in the area. If you would like to join either or both apps, please contact Judy Kendrick.

PARISH COUNCIL In September, I announced my intention to retire in Spring 2024. I will continue to produce this yearly bulletin, forward Police notices and news of road troubles to those who wish to be on my distribution list, organise speed watch, the Toasting the Oak annual ceremony and the local oil buying group. The Councillors are always pleased to hear from people who wish to stand for election or to be co-opted on to the Parish Council


Anita Bebbington died on Sat 31st Dec 2022, Nee Hammett she was born at Hoofield Hall, Huxley, She married Joe n 1964 then to Common Farm, Grange Estate where the children Lee and Julie were born. For over 40 years she helped Brenda Harvey in her catering business during which they catered for the Queen, Princess Di and other celebrities when they came to Chester on official visits. They retired to Brook Villa 21 years ago.

Sir John Barlow died 1st Jan. 2023. He and his wife, Susan lived in Bulkeley Grange for many years until they divorced.

Janice Ryan died on . 2nd Feb She was born in Blaenavon, Wales on 14th August 1953 then moved to Crewe, where she became a legal secretary and also worked at Leighton Hospital, first as a typist in the eye department, then as a receptionist She met Andy Rubbathan in 2008, and they moved to Bulkeley 2010 . In February 2022 their bungalow was badly affected by the fire that destroyed the next door bungalow and they were forced to move to Bunbury. She enjoyed many trips abroad and once flew in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon. Janice was a loyal speed watch volunteer, and when Bickerton Village Hall needed a cleaner, she took the job.

David Nightingale was born in Bulkeley in 1938 to Harold and Ruth, the eldest of five children. As a boy he played on the Hill, exploring Tommy Tiddler’s cave or sitting in the King’s Parlour. He and his friend Bob Murray even sledged down the railway track but managed to avoid hitting the concrete block at the bottom. He did his National Service as a fireman, then became a joiner and builder with the family firm in the old Mission Room on Bulkeley crossroads. He married Jean Price, his teenage sweetheart and they had 3 children, all born in the family built bungalow near his parents’ house. He died on 3rd February 2023 and his ashes have been scattered on the Hill.

Jean Davies and Violet Blakemore, both long term residents in Mill Grove, died earlier this year.

Vera Walker died in Leighton Hospital on June 16th at the age of 85. She was born at Blakenhall, one of 16 children. She worked for Chatwins for many years then married Herbert and they moved to Oldcastle then farmed at Brindley and Park Farm Ridley before retiring to Mill Grove.

Valarie (correct spelling)Taylor died in Grosvenor Manor Care Home on 18th October. For 30 years she ran a very successful fashion business in Tarporley until early onset dementia struck and eventually the need for full time nursing care meant she had to go into Grosvenor Manor Care Home. She lived in Bulkeley for 43 years and will be greatly missed by Gordon, her husband of 59 years, their sons Jonathan and Jeremy and grandchildren Sasha, Cassia and Montgomery.

Grace Parker died on 27th October in Sandiway Manor nursing home. Born in Tarporley in 1930 to Herbert and Jessie Woodcock, she became the main family carer for her sister Margaret and two brothers Rob and Cyril when her mother died in 1946. She met her future husband Fred Parker at a dance. They lived in Peckforton where Fred worked for Bob Jones, then moved to Mill Grove in 1965 where Fred worked as a lorry driver and Grace helped pick asparagus for Edward and Myrtle Morgan and also helped with the meals on wheels service. Ill health forced her move to a nursing home in 2018. She leaves 3 children, Kevin, Valerie and Lynne, 7 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Joan Elizabeth Rose died on 28th October. Born in Bromborough on 10th June 1932, she worked as a typist at Lever Brothers until her marriage to Alan in June 1952. Their first home was at Bebington, then Bolesworth and Rawhead before moving to the Water Works cottages in 1958, where Alan’s job was Engine Assistant. She will be greatly missed by her two daughters Ann and Janet and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Bulletin produced by Idina Hastings. d.hastings123@btinternet.com 01829 729241

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Ruth Shackleton
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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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