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Supported by Ellesmere Town Council MERE NEWS www.ellesmere.info/news The community magazine for Ellesmere and surrounding villages ISSUE 35 Spring 2007 Mere Insides Curtain Up 4 Celtic Myth and Mystery 6 Dog Show 9 Record of Cheese 12 Walk 16 Wharf Road Dairy 20 Crossword 23 This ‘out of print ’ Chapters from the History of Ellesmere’ is available from Ellesmere Infolink for only £5– proceeds in aid of Mere News Next Issue — Articles & Adverts in by 15th June 2007 The Editor: Terry Cartlidge, 28 Hill Park, Dudleston Heath, Ellesmere SY12 9LF 01691 690563 Production Team: Sue & Geoff Ardill Heron Watch 01691 624331 Jennie Roberts At the Meres Visitor Centre 01691 622595 Advertising Manager: Margaret Lagoyianni, See Page 9 for more details 1 Church St, Ellesmere SY12 0HD 07780988739 Adverts—email@example.com Editorial—firstname.lastname@example.org Picture - GAconsulting printed by ABBEY WORKS of Shrewsbury Mere News Issue 35 page 2 Blakemere Veterinary Centre 12 Talbot Street Ellesmere Shropshire SY12 0HQ Tel: (01691) 622201 Fax; (01691) 622118 SMALL ANIMAL CONSULTATIONS by appointment WEEKDAYS 8.45am, 2.00pm,- 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 6.00pm SATURDAYS 10.00am —10.30am FARM & HORSE VISITS AVAILABLE 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE Mere News Issue 35 page 3 E ditorial Welcome to ‗Mere News‘ No.35, Spring 2007, the start of another year. This time last year, (March 2nd), we had a covering of snow, this year we have had so much rain., I think that perhaps, we should start to build an Ark. We are told there should be no hosepipe ban this summer, I‘ll wait and see. At ‗Mere News‘, we start the New Year with optimism, our finances are in quite good order. The Ellesmere Community Chest grant (£1500) came through, we were able to buy a laptop computer and can fund our printing costs for the rest of the year. Cllr Pat McLaughlin of the Ellesmere Community A key factor in our successful bid is the ‗match funding‘ in Chest presenting us with a new computer and other equipment. the form of the efforts of all our contributors and production tasks. We have been totting up the hours of all the individuals. For example, just one article in this issue took over thirty hours work, in research and compilation to create. We are also grateful for the support given to us by the administrators of the Community Chest– North Shropshire Voluntary Action. Another generous donation has been received from our Town Council as well as a number of readers and contributors. We have also benefitted from the sale of copies of J W Nankivell‘s book, ‗Chapters from the History of Ellesmere‘ (copies available from the Infolink). So with revenue from adverts and sponsorship we are, for now, fairly comfortable financially. This all certainly helps the Editorial peace of mind. Sponsored Walk in aid of – The National Association of Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Jane Farncombe is going to walk 141 miles of the Shropshire Way, supported by our contributor, her driver/ Terry Cartlidge manager/husband David. To find out more or sponsor Jane visit www.justgiving.com/Shropshireway This page is sponsored by Our Rates :- Please send your advert requirements with cheque payable to ‗Mere News‘ to Margaret Lagoyianni or any member of the production team - address details on front cover. A4 A5 A6 A7 Station House per issue £45 £30 £20 £15 Station Road Feature position * £50 £40 £30 £20 Ruabon, Inside front or back cover Wrexham, LL14 6DL Tel: 01978 822367, For 3 issues £120 £70 £50 £30 Fax: 01978 824718 Feature position * £140 £100 £70 £40 Mere News Issue 35 page 4 nearby, in St Anne‘s. Charlie Drake and Tommy Curtain Up! Cooper both started their early careers in the resort of Blackpool. Peter Goodwright, the impressionist, loved A good solid and appeared many times in the resort, as did the great variety act in and sadly missed Roy Castle. the Golden Another name that keeps cropping up in a ―performer‖ Variety days, summer show edition that I have is Bill Pertwee who especially with played the ―air raid‖ warden in ―Dad‘s Army‖. He a good agent, appeared in many summer shows. Arthur Askey could have 12 started in summer shows in Shanklin and an old months of solid programme that I have of a summer show has an artist work, based on Bernard Lee, who in later years played ―M‖ in the the following – Bond movies. Also another old programme of the December, ―Pier Theatre‖ Eastbourne for July 1957 starring January – Norman Wisdom and Sandy Powell. Another advert I ―Pantomime‖, have is for 1957 at Babbacombe and Bruce Forsyth was February-March-April-May Touring in ―Variety‖, on the bill!! June, July, August and sometimes into September, in Summer Shows at the very many variety theatres Great names from those entertaining years, but as I said around the British – Welsh and Scottish coast!! In fact in my last article, television was beginning to be a in those days Summer Shows were just as big as worry to variety. As a matter of historical interest variety itself and to be ―Beside the Seaside‖ in the variety began in 1919, before that it was ―Music Hall‖. summer months was the ―in‖ thing and believe me This died in 1960, as television got a hold on the public from my old copies of ―The Performer‖ and the in that year. Less and less people were going to ―Stage‖ there were hundreds of seaside theatres and theatres, and as audiences fell it became financially pier theatres to choose from!!! impossible to produce a variety show, and make a profit, so variety in a way became the first casualty of As I write I‘m looking at an advert in the Performer the modern age!! Many novelty acts such as jugglers, that reads ―Winter Gardens‖ Bournemouth—Ted Ray – acrobats, roller skaters and the like went to work on the Harriett and Evans – Ken Platt. Also in another advert continent, but this was impossible for talking acts, for 1960 – at the Opera House, Blackpool – Marty comics or singers etc. so many artists were on the scrap Wilde – Dora Bryan – Al Read. And some of the heap. names of the Summer Shows famous in their day, such as ―The Fol-de-Rols‖ at Hastings and at Bognor Regis, Lots of comics turned to ―after dinner‖ speaking or the Summer Show ―Twinkle‖ with Clarkson Rose. entertaining on cruise liners and some, like Bruce Also an advert for Shanklin ―Pier Theatre‖ (Isle of Forsyth, Max Bygraves and more, successfully moved Wight) in 1930 starring Tommy Trinder. Another to television, but many artists couldn‘t master not Tommy started in summer shows – Tommy Handley. having a live audience!! So variety was falling apart!! Lots of entertainers started to work in clubs- labour, Colwyn Bay had early pierrot shows presented by Will liberal, conservative, working men‘s. But lots of clubs Catlin. One of the most memorable events early in the century was the Colwyn Bay debut of boy soprano David Ivor Davies with his mother Clara Novello Davies. He became famous in later years as composer Ivor Novello. There was an open air theatre called ―Happy Valley‖ in Llandudno, just a wooden stage with a canopy. Also in Rhyl one of the Will Catlin‘s daughters (Gladys) married a female impersonator called Billy Manders Chiropodist and he took over the amphitheatre at Rhyl and called his productions the ―Quaintesques‖ and his shows ran Sue Haskey BSc(pod), MChS, DpodM from 1921 for 29 years. But the place where nearly every artist wanted to be for summer was Blackpool, At Bliss 17 Green End, Whitchurch which had a theatre on each of its three piers. It also Tuesdays and Fridays 01948 666909 had the Opera House, Winter Gardens, Hippodrome, Tower, The Queens, The Palace, The Grand. Max Wall began in Blackpool doing his impressions of a Home visits 01939 270906 mad concert pianist Professor ―Wallofski‖. Les Dawson liked Blackpool so much he moved to live Mere News Issue 35 page 5 in those days had no stage or dressing rooms, so you had to adapt to what we used to call ―working bare‖!! without mikes, or spotlights or stage lights – no curtains – so artists didn‘t feel as they would on a proper stage You will recall that in Issue 34 of Mere News we and many couldn‘t adapt to club work, so they left and celebrated the 60th anniversary of the marriage of worked in any job where they met the public – shops, Mr and Mrs Bond. Mrs Doris Bond is, of course, a hotels, pubs. I have quite a few friends from variety regular contributor to our issues as the author of days who took over pubs and did quite well. You see, our Poetry Page. when they were serving in the bar and pulling pints, they were in fact once again meeting their public!! In It is with sadness that we report the recent death fact the bar was their stage!! It was a great pity to see of Mr Reginald Bond. great ―variety‖ theatres such as – The London Palladium (yes, in those days the Palladium was a Our sincere ―variety‖ theatre) and others like Finsbury Park Empire, condolences go to Wood Green Empire, Golders Green Hippodrome, Mrs Bond at this Empire Shepherd‘s Bush, Chelsea Palace, Hackney time. Empire and Max Miller‘s favourite variety theatre, The Holborn Empire and the many wonderful provincial Mere News team variety theatres. Many are now bingo halls and gone forever – how sad!! NOTE – I can recommend a very good book ―Beside the Seaside‖ (a 100 years of seaside entertainment) Happy Days – Keep smiling! More next time Charlie Edwards Lakelands Page Due to lack of space we have regretfully had to leave out the latest Lakelands School page from this issue. You can however, download a copy of the page from our web site— www.ellesmere.info Heavenly Holistic Lyn Anderson - DIP HYP, GQHP. C.P.AMT MICHT, MGHT, MGPBT [IHBC, IIHHT] Reiki Master & Teacher Treatments tailor made to soothe, restore and energise your mind, body and spirit Aromatherapy Hypnotherapy tailor made to your require- Reflexology ments for Quit Smoking, Weight Loss, Stress Swedish Massage Management/Anxiety, Fear & Phobias, Confi- Hot Stone Therapy dence/Self Esteem, Nail biting, etc. Thai Compress Massage Also Emotional Freedom Technique, NLP and Indian Head Massage Past Life Regression available. Crystal Therapy Colour Therapy Visit www.heavenlyholistic.co.uk or Ear Candling www.hypnosis2change.co.uk or telephone Reiki (tuition available) Ellesmere 01691 622936 or 07967 058877 Sekhem Holistic Facials, Manicures/Pedicures, Waxing and Eye Treatments Home visits available for some treatments Member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists Mere News Issue 35 page 6 Ellesmere’s Rich Heritage of Celtic Myth and Mystery T hose interested in mythology whether it be were quartered in the house of Heilyn Goch, a grandson Arthurian legend or Lord of the Rings will of Iddon, in Didlystwn (Dudleston). They are given a sooner or later be drawn to that collection of fairly hostile welcome by an old woman who is feeding ancient Welsh tales known as the Mabinogion. Evolving an open fire with handfuls of chaff when a wizened bald over the centuries in the bardic tradition until they man and an angry thin woman appear who prepare a appear in written form around the twelfth century, these meager supper for them. When they try to settle for the tales are not the product of night they find the bedding is very poor and infested any single hand. They are with fleas. Rhonabwy finds a yellow ox skin on which preserved in written form in he falls to sleep and here the dream begins. the White Book of On waking Rhonabwy finds that he and his companions Rhydderch (1300-1325) and have slept for three days and three nights. Without the Red Book of Hergest recounting the dream with all its fantastic contents, (1375-1425); portions of the including the appearance of Arthur, we are given enough stories were written as early detail in the opening to be able to identify a real and as the second half of the moreover local historical context. 11th century and some stories are much older still. The narrative is set in the kingdom of Madoc ap It's from this older oral Meredith, grandson of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, the last tradition of story telling that prince of the whole of Powys. He had succeeded many of the fantastic and Meredith in 1132 and, taking advantage of the political supernatural elements of the disorder in England under Stephen, he acquired tales have come. They first Oswestry. Here Madoc either built or rebuilt the castle came to general literary along with Overton castle, which was said to be his chief prominence in 1849 when residence. With the accession of Henry II Madoc Lady Charlotte Guest changed his alliance to the King, which turned out to be Tomb in Meifod Church published her translation of thought to be that of an important element in the king‘s victory over Owain 11 medieval Welsh folk Madoc ap Meredith died Gwynedd. After a tenure of seven years Madoc lost 1160 Oswestry to William Fitz Alan who was reinstated in tales under the title The Mabinogion. Since then newer and better translations 1155 but he remained on good terms with the king until have appeared but the title she gave them (Mabinogion), Madoc‘s death in 1160 upon which he was buried in the itself a mistranslation, has remained. The stories are set church he had founded at Meifod. In a eulogy one of the in a magical world with a quasi-historical landscape, poets described him as ―the roof timber of Powys, the which creates a dream-like atmosphere. The subject mighty dragon of dragons‖. Exactly corresponding to material ranges from ancient Celtic myth, through the the tale, Madoc did have a brother Iorwerth Goch (Red Arthurian Dark Age, down to medieval civil strife. Full Edward) whom he had dispossessed in favour of two of white horses that appear magically, giants, beautiful, nephews and who had razed Ial castle to the ground in intelligent women and heroic men and kings like Arthur, reprisal. Iorwerth seems to have been on good terms these tales are concerned with the themes of fall and with the king and served as his official translator redemption, loyalty, marriage, love and fidelity. (latimer) for which he was well The shaft of a Saxon Cross in Dudleston The scene described at the start of ―The Dream of Churchyard paid. Eventually Rhonabwy‖ is of particular interest for it is clearly set in he acquired the the kingdom of Madawg ap Maredudd, the last prince of manor of Sutton, the whole of Powys. It states that his kingdom extended which later came from Porffordd (Pulford) to Gwafan in Arwystli (in the to be known as Plynlimmon range in central Wales). The subject is the Sutton Maddock. animosity of his brother Iorwoerth because he had not His son Gruffudd had his equal share of Maredudd‘s kingdom according married Maud Le to the Welsh custom of gavelkind. With the support of Strange and his relatives and followers Iorwoerth rejected through this Meredudd‘s compromising offer of the captaincy of his marriage obtained war-band and set off on a destructive raiding campaign lordship of in England. No doubt fearing a reprisal, Madawg Kynaston, the ordered his men to ascertain the whereabouts of name adopted by Iorwoerth and his party. Three of these scouts, Rhonabwy, Cynwrig Grychgoch and Cadwgawn Fras Mere News Issue 35 page 7 Part of the tips….‖ This was in all probability a ‗Welsh long medieval Plas all future house‘. In these the animals share the domestic Yolyn still generations of quarters and the only entrance is through the cow- standing adjacent to the modern his family, house. The hearth is on the beaten earth floor with a house which spread hole in the roof to function as a chimney. This is into branches at certainly concordant with the description in the tale of The Stocks, the woman feeding the fire, ―when cold came upon her O t e l e y , she would throw a lapful of husks on to the fire, so that Hardwick and it was not easy for any man alive to endure that smoke Hordley. entering his nostrils‖. At the time of We shall never know for certain exactly who was the the Domesday bard who wrote, ―The Dream of Rhonabwy‖ but the survey in 1089 a Rev. Arthur Mosley, a late vicar of Dudleston, put Norman overlord held practically every manor in the forward a very interesting theory in a paper on area and the Welsh proprietors seem to have become Dudleston. The author, according to him, was quite free tenants. The possibly Madoc yr Athraw amounts rendered by some (the teacher) a brother of of these ‗Welshmen‘ are Heilin, who lived at Pentre recorded, for instance in Madoc. It is perhaps the Finis terrae Wallensis worth noting that in the (March of the Welshland) tale Heilin is described as Tudor ap Rhys Sais was Heilin Goch (the red) and paying £4. 5s. a year to in the Welsh genealogies Roger, Earl of Shrewsbury. Madoc i s si milarl y A similar arrangement The old Kilhendre mansion demolished 1600 described. Perhaps the must have existed in most remarkable thing is Dudleston. Iddon, the first that descendants of Iddon recorded lord of Dudleston, who lived at Cilhendref lord of Dudleston still live at Plas Yolyn (Iorwerth‘s (Kilhendre), was the son of Rhys Sais (so named mansion) with a family tree stretching back through because he had learned to speak English and probably Iorwerth, Iddon‘s great grandson, to Tudor Trevor. held land in England) who in turn was a grandson of I gratefully acknowledge the generous assistance of Tudor Trevor. Rhys appears to have seized Dudleston Roger Curteis of Plas Yolyn in the preparation of this before the Norman Conquest, which was inherited by article. Iddon when he died in 1073. This would have been his share following the Welsh system of inheritance known as gavelkind in which the land was equally Christopher Jobson divided between the sons. It is thought that his name is still preserved in Crogen Iddon in Glyn Ceiriog and from him all the ancient families of Dudleston are derived. Exactly as in the tale Iddon did in fact have a grandson called Heilin whose house probably stood on the site where the more modern Pentre Heilin now stands. Heilin ap Trahaiarn of Dudleston was the ancestor of the Holbeaches, the Kynastons of Pant y Bursley, and the Wynnes of Pentre Morgan, while the Eytons of Pentre Madoc were descended from Madoc, a brother of Iddon. The original Pentre Heilin is described in the tale as, ―a black old hall with a straight gable end, and smoke a-plenty from it…….inside a floor full of holes and uneven. Where there was a bump upon it, it was with difficulty a man might stand thereon, so exceeding slippery was the floor with cows‘ urine and their dung. Where there was a hole, a man would go over the ankle… with the mixture of water and cow dung and branches of holly a -plenty on the floor after the cattle had eaten off their The family tree in the Plas Yolyn muniments Mere News Issue 35 page 8 WELLGUD DISCOUNTS ELLESMERE MOWERS/STRIMMERSHEDGE CUTTERS KITCHEN ELECTRICAL HEDGE CUTTERS DVD RECORDERS CORDLESS PHONES TOYS VACUUM CLEANERS FREEVIEW TELEVISIONS HOME THEATRE SYSTEMS WELLGUD DISCOUNTS 9A SCOTLAND STREET LOTS OF BARGAINS ELLESMERE. SY12 0DG OPPOSITE THE POST OFFICE TEL 01691 622833 P & G Vehicle Repairs YOUR ONE STOP MOT/SERVICE CENTRE Open 7 days a week 6.30 am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday (7.30 am to 10 pm Sunday) Mere Motors Ltd. M.O.Ts - Class 4 & NOW Class 7 Servicing/Repairs all makes & models Petrol Diesel Sweets Tyres, Balancing & Tracking Cigarettes Snacks Newspapers Exhausts & Batteries Sandwiches Groceries Cards & Gifts Snap—On Diagnostic code reading Coal & Gas Phonecards Dry-cleaning Parts & Accessories available Contact: Tel 01691 622849 Church Street Fax: 01691 624483 Ellesmere TEXACO Shropshire Cargotec Industrial Park, Tel/Fax Elson Road, 01691 622343 Ellesmere Mere News Issue 35 page 9 Heron Watch Ellesmere Dog Show Every year, around January, a Sunday 29th July 2007 story begins to unfold at The Classes start at noon Mere, Ellesmere. This tale has all the makings of a good soap opera Many of you readers will remember the Ellesmere Dog – thrills, passion, deception, and Show that used to be held within Cremorne Gardens. sometimes tragedy. Well its back! The Greenfields Greyhound Rescue will be No, it does not revolve around a holding a Companion Dog Show on Sunday 29 July. well known square in a fictitious There will be two rings with mixed breeds/ hounds area of London, but it happens Classes ranging from best dog/bitch/puppy to best vet- right on your door step. This eran. Greenfields Greyhound Rescue specialises in the re- influx of prehistoric looking birds homing of ex-racing greyhounds in Shropshire, Cheshire, has been going on at The Mere Staffordshire and parts of Wales. During their racing life for the last 35 years with the they hurtle around the tracks but in real life they are lazy numbers of nests on the Moscow and really only require, apart from your company, a soft Island growing annually. We have been able to watch bed, food and a walk. The Conservation and Ranger team and hear live action of these comical and ungainly and North Shropshire District Council‘s Dog Warden birds as pictures are relayed back to a monitor in our want to promote responsible dog ownership in public Visitor Centre from a camera mounted on a tree places and therefore, as part overlooking the island. We can get up close and of this event, they will be en- personal with a camera in one of the nests, where we couraging people to control see great pictures of every day life of the heron. We their dogs and clean up after have seen spectacular footage of the adults as they go them. about their daily duties of nest building, (often with Please come along and sup- twigs stolen from neighbours whilst they are off port the event. All the money elsewhere looking for suitable nesting material), raised will go towards help- mating and feeding. There are frequent disputes and ing the Greenfields Grey- raucous objections as the birds squabble over hound Rescue. If you would territory. Then, of course, there are the chicks. Our like more information please contact Hayley Bradley on first sight of them usually reveals a somewhat 01691 657212 or visit their website bedraggled and wobbly youngster with a punk hairdo www.greenfieldsgreyhoundrescue.co.uk. that would make any 70‘s rocker proud. You would be amazed just what they can swallow in one go (or perhaps not if you happen to be one of those unfortunate folk whose fish pond helps support the local population). As the season rolls on and the young herons gain their new feathers and develop the muscles they will need to fly, our Heronwatch draws to a close. We know that we have been privileged to have witnessed the intimate world of one of The The Border Fork Mere‘s most remarkable birds, many of whom we Friendly Professional Garden Services expect to return next year to star in ‗The Sequel‘ All aspects of gardening including planning, Heronwatch runs between March and May. If you planting, weeding, autumn and spring tidy-ups; lawn have some free time (you know – that bit in between maintenance including sowing, cutting, edging, working, eating, sleeping, socialising and doing all feeding, scarifying and aeration; hedge planting those domestic things) and would like to help out as a and maintenance; ground clearance and, volunteer, contact Lynne Dean on 01691 624448 or preparation of soil for spring planting; general and email email@example.com specialist pruning. Regular and one off bookings No expert knowledge or experience needed as welcome. training will be given. Only enthusiasm and a Fully Insured with RHS Training in Horticulture, willingness to talk to people are necessary and experience of working in a National Trust historic Garden Heron Watch at the Meres Visitor Centre Tel: Marc Brimble on 01691 623822 11-4 Thurs-Sun until the end of March and then Mobile: 07761859093 every day from April until mid May Mere News Issue 35 page 10 ELLESMERE‟S RAILWAY CHILDREN As one gets older one tends to remember one‘s Further up the station towards the passenger part of the childhood. I had a very happy time, living near the station at a certain time of the year the farmers from railway station and the Smithfield, with a builder‘s yard around Ellesmere would bring sugar beet to be loaded also close by. In those days television was very much onto the trains all b hand, some brought by horse and in its infancy, so we made our own entertainment. cart, and the more up to date farmers with their Fordson Standard, and Fordson Major tractors, all smelling of On a Friday in the school holidays my friends and I paraffin. What the farmers of that age would have were always around the cattle auction, I‘m sure we thought of the giants of today I do not know. Next to really were a bit of a nuisance but nobody ever seemed t the heap of sugar beet there was always a large pile of mind. We used to ―help‖ to load the calves; we never timber brought to the station on what in those days were gave a thought to where they were going. called by the men in the trade ―timber carriages‖ this The highlight of the day was seeing the bulls being timber was unloaded with a crane operated by two men brought in by lorry. We were always told to keep well turning huge handles the crane was then swivelled out of the way. After they had been sold, probably for round to either be put on the heap ready for future slaughter, they were loaded by a rope passed round their transportation to some timber yard goodness knows horns and through the ring in their nose; the rope was where, or direct onto the timber trucks. then passed up into the lorry and through the ventilation Next to the timber and sugar beet were the milk tanks. slots in the side of the lorry. The drovers and lorry To my memory the only road tankers were the ones drivers all joined together some pulling on the rope and bringing milk from the dairy to be pumped onto the some at the back end of the bull with a certain amount railway tankers. One man seemed to be permanently of persuasion with a stick. based at the station, he had a wooden and glass shed. If The railway was only a very short distance away across my memory is correct the tankers were hooked to the a rough old bit of ground, which I think now is part of back of one of the passenger trains. Fullwoods, we would watch the coal trucks being The Turntable shunted to the various coal merchants pitches (there were three coal merchants in Ellesmere at that time) one At the tender age of about ten years some of my friends of which delivered round the town with a big old cart and myself were playing over the far side of the station horse and a dray. and we decided to give each other rides on the turntable Mere News Issue 35 page 11 Excursions used for turning the big steam locomotives round. Let I used to look forward from one summer to the next me give a brief description of a turntable. It is a large when about once a month there would be an excursion hole in the ground with a set of railway lines on it. It is to Aberystwyth. In my memory the weather was circular with brick sides and small wheels running always perfect, though one tends to only think of the around it. The engine is driven onto the track over the good times. round bricked hole then pushed round. I remember the train coming down from Oswestry and It is pretty obvious the track running to the track on the the engine being unhooked and turned round on the said turntable have to meet for the engine to be safely driven turntable and connected to the opposite end of the train. into the turntable. It was a most exciting day out for a young boy. We boys had been giving each other rides on the The train left Ellesmere at 9.30 and arrived in turntable which is very easily pushed round. When we Aberystwyth at 12-30. The fare was 9 shillings and saw an engine approaching of course we ran as fast as sixpence (47½ pence in today‘s money). Unbelievable our legs could carry us. We knew we had not left the by today‘s prices. It was a lovely day out leaving Aber turntable line in line with the approach line. We were at 16-30 and returning to Ellesmere at 9-30pm. expecting to see the engine turn over, but to our great relief the fireman got out and lined the tracks up. But it It was and still is for most of the way a beautiful ride, of taught us a lesson and we never ever played on the course today from this area the part of the journey to turntable again. Welshpool by rail does not exist. I have driven the route to Aberystwyth many times but, one does not see The Signal Box anything like the scenery to be seen from the train. The signal box was a very special place to be. We were Extra trains of course not supposed to be in there for any reason but on a Sunday afternoon, the signal, and only this one During the war when the Americans were at Oteley, we signal man, who I would imagine must have been bored saw many hospital trains taking wounded soldiers. The to tears, would sometimes ask my best friend and me trains were ―parked‖ on both sides of the station with into his box. He must have been bored because on a ambulances parked along all the approach roads to the Sunday there was only one train running and that was station. taking the milk to, I think, Manchester and he was there On a happier note, during the holiday season I think it from 2pm - 10pm. He would give us a cup of tea which was every other Saturday, long trains used to run I think he would brew on his little stove, and show us how the from Manchester taking holiday makers to the Welsh signals worked. He would pull levers which operated Coast. The trains were very long, part of the train went the signals. The one that fascinated me most was one to Aberystwyth and Borth and the other part was which worked a signal at Crimps a distance of, I would disconnected and went to Towyn and Aberdovey. They think, at least a mile away. were very happy days living by the railway. On the Platform We used to go every year by train to Aberystwyth but it When one arrived at Ellesmere from Oswestry, the was always my ambition to go on a goods train in the Oswestry train had to very often wait just outside for brake van with the observation part open at the back. the Wrexham train to come in first. I travelled with But to my disappointment I never had the chance to do other children daily to and from school. Two boys who it. lived down Caegoody Lane took the opportunity to The line from Frankton to Whittington jump off the train where it was stopped, by the Loop. They nipped up the Loop Lane. Of course it was too A few years ago my son and I were asked to cut up a much of a temptation not to go all the way to the large oak tree just above the railway cutting between station. When the train arrived very often the fireman Frankton and Whittington so we drove along the old had to fill the boiler. The boiler was filled by a flexible railway line in the Land Rover. It is possible to only floppy pipe which he would swing over from a cistern. drive as far as Hindford. We stopped on the line and Some firemen would take a delight in soaking anybody climbed up the embankment to the tree. It brought back who happened to be within range. Though it could be many memories of my school days. We were able to annoying it was all part of the steam railway, entirely climb up some steps cut into the embankment and see a different, to the diesels of today. On the platform there little farther along the track where we went over the were a couple of vending machines for Fry‘s chocolate canal. bars. With it being directly after the war, of course they I could almost swear I could hear the old whistle of the were not working, very disappointing for an eight year engine just before it entered Frankton Station. old boy. During the war with the blackout it was very difficult for the postman to load the mail into the train. But thanks to Dr Beeching those happy days will never In fact the Station Master was, I know, warned on more return. than one occasion for showing a light. John Peake Mere News Issue 35 page 12 Record of Cheese – I By Stanley Horton The rich pasturelands of south Cheshire and north must mostly relate to stages in the cheese-making proc- Shropshire have long been renowned for the production ess from liquid to solid form. Inevitably, other com- of milk and its manufactured products, butter and ments on farming matters have found their way into cheese. Up to about two centuries ago, the transport of writing and it is largely on these remarks that we shall milk and its products posed major problems for the pro- concentrate. ducers thereof. In fact, the only way that milk could be The farm concerned was just under a hundred acres in made available to the inhabitants of industrial towns extent, the year 1933, and the ―first day of cheese‖ and cities was via ―town dairies‖ where small numbers March 6th … but we must wait for the next Mere News of dairy cows were kept under conditions that were to hear of more doings of that time. cramped and frequently filthy and disease-ridden. The milk produced thereby was hazardous if not downright dangerous. Beer, probably costing no more than about fourpence a gallon to produce, was deemed safer to drink – tea being far too expensive. These town dairies were often sited near breweries, the spent brewer‘s grains (draff) being excellent food for cows producing milk. Probably, and less happily, a little further down the street was situated a slaughterhouse where the unfortunate cows (when they went dry) began their journey to the local pie factory. Although the coming of the canal system about 1800 helped with the transport of cheese, it did nothing for moving quantities of liquid milk around. It was not until the coming of the railways to the highly productive ag- Tranquillity ricultural areas, such as surround the market towns of Healing and Well Being for the Mind, Body and Soul Whitchurch and Ellesmere in north Shropshire, that the situation improved. In 1896 a meeting of local farmers was held under the chairmanship of Mr Brownlow R.C. Tower to consider the building of a creamery at Ellesmere, but nothing came of the idea for more than twenty years. Around 1919, a collection depot was opened by United Dairies and about the same time a factory was built for the Reiki Healing A Reiki treatment relieves stress and allows natural relaxation. manufacture of cheese. This meant that local dairy It energises and balances the mind, body and soul and brings farmers could sell their milk in liquid form for delivery harmony into your life. by rail to big towns and cities, sell it for making into cheese at the newly constructed factory at Ellesmere or L.I.A. Therapy Facial by Heaven® Organic Skincare make ―farmhouse cheese‖ themselves. A unique healing massage to get your skin and your confidence glowing! It should here be noted that many farmhouses built dur- ing the nineteenth century were designed as cheese fac- Meditation tories in miniature with plenty of sleeping accommoda- Learn how meditation can improve your health and tion for living-in staff, a room specifically set aside for help you to feel good. Guided meditations in a peaceful the actual cheese-making process and cool dry storage environment for groups or individuals. space for maturing cheese; outside – and nearby – would be pig sties, the occupants of which would con- Heal Your Life, Achieve Your Dreams An inspirational two day workshop designed to help you sume the whey, the main by-product of cheese produc- increase your self esteem and learn how to create a positive tion. Some farmers and their wives had long experience future. of farmhouse cheese making, but younger entrants were advised to take a short course of instruction in the art. Jean Hesketh Another recommendation made to aspiring cheese- Holistic Therapist / Tutor makers was to maintain a ―Record of Cheese‖, a daily diary to include their comments on the process. 01691 690665 or 07753 108146 It has not been possible to decipher many of the various numbers and their positions in the book although they Mere News Issue 35 page 13 Mere Ambles Ellesmere - Programme April to June 2007 For healthy walking and getting fit All walks start at 11.00 o‟clock on Tuesdays Even if you currently do little or no physical activity, just starting to do a little more each week will improve your health! Set yourself small and realistic targets based on what you think you can achieve. A great starting point would be to go along to one of the Mere Amble health walks. Each walk is led by a trained walk leader, and is aimed at people who currently do little or no physical activity, but would like to make a start to change their lifestyle. The walk will be led at a pace that suits you, so there is no need to worry that you won‘t keep up. If you are interested simply turn up at one of the walks shown and see what you think. If you would like to know more please call one of the following: David Farncombe Tel: 01691 622497 or Foong Chee Tel: 01691 622798 3rd April The Wharf Ellesmere: Beginner/intermediate – easy walk along canal towpath with small gradients over bridges, 45 – 60 minutes 10th April Mere Visitor Centre Ellesmere: Intermediate – some gradients and steps along woodland footpaths, Castlefields and Plantation, 60 minutes 17th April Canal and Blakemere Ellesmere: Meet at the Wharf Ellesmere – transport provided Beginner/intermediate - from the far side of the canal tunnel, easy walk with a gentle gradient, along canal towpath past Blakemere, 45 – 60 minutes 24th April The Wharf Ellesmere: Beginner/intermediate – easy walk along canal towpath with small gradients over bridges, 45 – 60 minutes 1st May Mere Visitors Centre Ellesmere: Beginner – easy flat walk through Cremorne gardens and woods, 45 minutes 8th May Colemere: Meet at the Wharf Ellesmere – transport available Intermediate – mostly easy walking on partly surfaced paths with some steps and gradients around the Mere, 60 minutes 15th May The Wharf Ellesmere: Beginner/intermediate – easy walk along canal towpath with small gradients over bridges, 45 – 60 minutes 22nd May Mere Visitor Centre Ellesmere: Intermediate – some gradients and steps along woodland footpaths, Castlefields and Plantation, 60 minutes 29th May Frankton Junction: Meet at the Wharf Ellesmere – transport available Intermediate – walk along canal towpath past locks, slight gradients, 60 minutes 5th June The Wharf Ellesmere: Beginner/intermediate – easy walk along canal towpath with small gradients over bridges, 45 – 60 minutes 12th June Mere Visitors Centre Ellesmere: Beginner – easy flat walk through Cremorne gardens and woods, 45 minutes 19th June Canal and Blakemere Ellesmere: Meet at the Wharf Ellesmere – transport provided Beginner/intermediate - from the far side of the canal tunnel, easy walk with a gentle gradient along canal towpath past Blakemere, 45 – 60 minutes 26th June The Wharf Ellesmere: Beginner/intermediate – easy walk along canal towpath with small gradients over bridges, 45 – 60 minutes Why not come and meet us and give it a try Mere News Issue 35 page 14 Welshampton Bonfire 2006 Do you have any photographs or memorabilia you would be willing to lend us for our exhibition of ‘Welshampton Past and Present’? These might include: Photos of your house - then and now Village events Outings then or now Old Postcards and Village Scenes Wedding photographs from Welshampton Church Please include your name and address/telephone number, and don’t forget to name any people in the photograph and any other relevant information. In order to avoid damaging any of your precious photos, we should like to take a copy for our display. You can contact Carole Youngs (01948 710582) or Chris Jobson (01948 710210) for more information, or bring your photographs etc. into the Infolink on Wharf Road. WELSHAMPTON WHITSUN FAIR Monday 28th May 11am to 4pm GRAND PLANT SALE STALLS including home made cakes, books, bric a brac & tombola REFRESHMENTS — cream teas MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT by Thomas Adams School Band & a celebration of WELSHAMPTON PAST & PRESENT - displays & activities A warm welcome to all at the Parish Hall Proceeds towards improving the Church path to ensure safe access for all & for donation of equipment to the school for project work. Mere News Issue 35 page 15 GLOBAL WARMING: HOTTING UP FOR GARDENERS? by Gill Eleftheriou Last year's record breaking summer has been facing slope will dry out much more quickly than a shady followed by the warmest January for 80 years (despite north border. Understanding the variations and, therefore, a minor cold snap). If we were in any doubt, the scientists the limitations of one's soil is an important first step in the have just informed us that the world really is heating up process of developing a successful gardening strategy. at an alarming rate - and that it is our fault! Oh dear! Having assessed the soil, the next part of the equation is to Forecasters predict that we ourselves are likely to be tackle the "right plant" issue. Key to this approach is to confronted with major problems in our lifetime, never recognise that plants have evolved over thousands, and mind the legacy which we shall be leaving for the next sometimes millions, of years to successfully exploit an generation. ecological niche in their environment. Thus, some plants can cope with a degree of water logging over winter So, what is the outlook for gardeners? Surely warmer which would spell instant death to others. Similarly, a few weather could be rather attractive, especially in summer have adapted to life in the arid steppe or desert, others to when we can sit out and admire the results of our efforts in the extremes of life in alpine regions. the garden! It appears, however, that things are unlikely to be quite that simple. If your usual approach is to saunter around the nearest garden centre, picking up plants which catch your eye, Warmer winter spells, yes, but wetter and windier too. then your chances of matching right plant to right place The strong gales of January, which battered so many trees, are slim! Labelling in most garden centres leaves much may well become the norm. We were not immune, losing to be desired when it comes to describing the optimum the crown of a venerable damson which had provided us growing conditions for their stock. In fact, I would with welcome shade last July. Then, when lulled into a describe it as inadequate. false sense of complacency by the mild westerly air flow, we are likely to come up against a short but sharp frosty So, when looking for suitable plants, it pays interlude. handsomely to do a bit of research before a trip to buy! A good reference book (or, better still, several) is an Summer months are forecast to see hotter spells, and to be indispensable aid. Also, in these days of the information generally drier, accompanied by storms rather than by the highway, a quick dip into the net will usually turn up some more beneficial effect of steady rain. useful information. The Royal Horticultural Society's website is a good place to start (www.rhs.org.uk) In view of last summer, and possibilities of another warm one this year, perhaps we need to take stock now. After Armed with a list, a visit to a nursery, where your all, the commercial brave are already doing so, planting selection can be discussed with knowledgeable vine yards - and even olives in Devon! Already, many plantsmen who may well have actually grown the plants ornamental garden plants which were not considered to be which they are selling, should pay better dividends. You hardy in this country are now grown with little problem or may also like to visit our Grand Plant Sale, at the second thought. Welshampton Parish Hall on May 28 t h (see separate notice for details), where we shall be Do we just plant up our borders with Mediterranean displaying plants in groups according to the plants? Well, again, it's not that simple. Remember the conditions which they require. forecast of warmer but wetter winters. In all but the sharpest drainage, these plants are likely to die. Having selected your purchases, there are several ways in which you can help their successful transition into So where do we go from here? Well, back to the old the ground: mantra "right plant, right place" is a good starting point. The basis for determining "right place" is a thorough • dig a good sized planting hole appraisal of soil conditions and aspect in the individual • puddle the plants in garden. With alluvial deposits, left behind after the last • mulch the surface well after planting Ice Age, spread over much of our area, the resulting soil • don't plant in dry summer weather, especially can vary from heavy waterlogged peat to dry sandy loam on well drained soil - instead repot the plant over very short distances, even within the individual into a bigger container and keep well watered in garden. a shady spot until autumn Soil type can be further accentuated, or ameliorated, by the garden's aspect. For example, a sunny south Mere News Issue 35 page 16 Ellesmere to Welshampton …. and beyond The second in an occasional series on walks in the Ellesmere area This is a walk that is familiar to many of you, but for those who have not tried it, or who haven‘t walked it recently, you will find a pleasant route across surprisingly hilly country, and there are some impressive views. Moreover, the walk has recently been improved, and there are no longer any stiles to negotiate. Ways of returning to Ellesmere are discussed below. Walk Facts 1:25000 map – Pathfinder 828 Ellesmere (East) & Prees; Explorer 241 Shrewsbury, Wem, Shawbury & Baschurch. Distance Ellesmere to Welshampton: 4km or 2 and a half miles Time: one hour if walking at a steady pace. Distance if taking the circular route via Welshampton and the Canal towpath: 12km or 7 miles. Time: allow up to three hours plus stops Terrain: easy going through Cremorne Gardens on surfaced paths, then field footpaths and farm tracks, with some surprisingly steep sections. No stiles. Liable to be very muddy in places in winter. The Canal towpath is level and mostly in good condition. Start anywhere around the Mere between the Mere Visitor Centre and Swan Hill, and walk through Cremorne Gardens with the Mere on your right. There should be plenty of bird life on the water and in the woods, and there are some fine trees to admire. The path goes through the first of several galvanised kissing gates along the route – practical, if not as attractive as wooden ones. At the end of the woods a new sign post clearly shows the way to Welshampton, and the path is now fenced off from the fields, and it then joins a farm track. This continues to Crimps Farm, where a way mark points to the right along another track. This comes out onto a field, and the path leads straight on up the hill (with an optional detour to the left around the edge of the field to view and wonder at the ruined house – could this be turned into someone‘s perfect dream hide-away?). Head between the fence on the right and the woodland on the left, and continue through more kissing gates. This section has a delightfully remote feel, with not a single house in sight, and with luck not a helicopter or plane to spoil the peace! Climb the hill leaving a pond in a hollow on your left, and head for the top left-hand corner of the field, and go through yet another gate. This section was particularly muddy in December at least, and a walking stick might help give a feeling of confidence on the slippery going. Follow the fence round to the right and pass two ponds, then join a farm track that meets the road beyond a farm yard on the edge of Welshampton. So far so good, but decisions have to be made about getting back, and there are a number of alternatives: in case anyone plans to walk this route who is unfamiliar with the area, we must advise against any ideas of walking back towards Ellesmere along the A495 – there is no footpath, the road is narrow and windy and there are steep banks on both sides. So the choices are:- Return the way you came – you can then enjoy facing the views from the highest point on the route, over the Mere and as far as the Berwyn Hills. Or turn left at the road and walk along the footpath until you reach the road junction on the right by the church, signed to Lyneal. This is a quiet lane that with care may be safely walked. It crosses the canal after three quarters of a mile. Here you can get down to the canal towpath, and if you turn right there are just over three miles of easy walking back to Ellesmere, passing fields, woodland and marshland, as well as Colemere and Blakemere close by. As well as seeing Mallards along the canal, there is a good chance of catching a glimpse of electric blue as a Kingfisher flashes by. This route involves a total circular walk of around seven miles – and there are still no stiles on this extended route. From the end of the Canal arm in Wharf Road a short walk through the town will take you back to wherever you started. Mere News Issue 35 page 17 Of course you could arrange to be collected in Welshampton, or catch a bus back. The latter are not very frequent, and it might be better to catch the bus to Welshampton and walk back along the route to Ellesmere. Bus timetables are available at Infolink in Wharf Road. Whichever option you choose, there is an excellent excuse to break the journey at Welshampton at the Sun Inn, which is about six hundred yards along the road from the end of the farm track on the edge of the village. Stu and Shirley warmly welcome walkers, and have a comprehensive menu that includes baguettes, home-made soup and a roll, and ploughman‘s lunches as well as more substantial meals such as steak and kidney pie (especially recommended). Meals are all cooked to order using local produce where possible, and are very reasonably priced. For full details visit the pub‘s website at www.thesuninnwelshampton.co.uk Opening hours are basically 12.00 noon to 11.00pm, but they are closed on Mondays until 6.00pm. There is a beer garden for refreshment on warmer days. If you then decide to return to Ellesmere via Lyneal Lane and the Canal towpath (and your resolve hasn‘t been weakened by your visit to the pub!), you can take a short footpath opposite the pub car park. Turn left when you reach Lyneal Lane. There is however a stile here, and to avoid this you will need to return to Welshampton church and go along Lyneal Lane as described above. We hope you enjoy this walk. Please let the Editor know if you have any comments about it. David and Jane Farncombe Ellesmere Market Hall development proposals In 2005 a group of local organisations, based on the Ellesmere Economic Development Forum, initiated a feasibility study to explore the possibilities of ensuring a viable and sustainable future for the Market Hall. Through public consultation some new and alternative uses for the hall were identified. These included: Community facilities with a cafe and improved public toilets Better facilities for young people Library, information and community computer facilities Visitor attraction to link with the Mere and the Canal More markets Performance space for theatre and music Meeting rooms Since November 2006 a steering group representing the community and the Town, District and County Councils has been meeting to identify possible sources of funding and to refine the ideas and aspirations of the community. The Big Lottery Community Libraries fund has been identified as a major and an important source of funding. The grant application will be made in March 2007 and must show that the community is actively engaged in the development and that the library: • can act as a centre for community learning • will be better designed, more accessible and more available to meet the needs of the community. • will work in partnerships with the voluntary and community sector. The Market Hall is an important community asset and securing its future offers Ellesmere a Big Opportunity. The local steering group have some Big Ideas and with your help and support the Big Lottery can make it a reality. Shropshire County Council For more information contact Geoff Ardill on 01691 624331 or Claire Cartlidge on 01691 653211 Mere News Issue 35 page 18 If you would like to sponsor a page or part page pl e ase send your contribution ( c h e q u e s payable to ‘Mere News’) to the Editor or contact any member of the production team – see front cover for details. Full page £20 , 1/2 £10. 1/4 £5 SATS help is here. I can help you get a better grade. Call 07780988739, Email firstname.lastname@example.org Do you need help with your Writing? Would you like to get a better mark? I am an experienced proof reader with excellent skills. Call or email: email@example.com 07780988739 ROGER OWEN WHITE HOUSE, VICARAGE LANE, KINNERLEY, Christopher T Jobson NR OSWESTRY, SHROPSHIRE SY10 8DE Tel: (01691) 682008 Mobile: 07980 626998 Watchmaker Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Antique Vintage and Modern watch repairs. Unit 5 FREE QUOTATIONS 12 English Walls Oswestry FULLY INSURED 07988 609531 Shropshire SY11 2PA Member NPTC QUALIFIED ALL ASPECTS OF TREE SURGERY Speak to Abbie at her weekly ‗surgery‘ @ Ellesmere Infolink on Wednesdays 2- 3.30 pm Mere News Issue 35 page 19 The Mosses by David Farncombe Just a few miles from Ellesmere is a very special place for wildlife. Since the end of the last ice age, some 10 000 years ago, peat has been accumulating there, creating a uniquely wild and remote landscape, home to many rare plants, insects, birds and reptiles. It survives – just. At a recent meeting of the Ellesmere Branch of the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Dr Joan Daniels, the Site Manager of Fenn‘s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve, gave a history lesson covering those 10 000 years. She told a fascinating story – a detective story unravelled by scientists, much of it learnt from the plant remains and the pollen in the peat, and the underlying geology. 15 000 years ago north Shropshire was covered by a sheet of ice one mile thick. As the climate warmed the ice gradually melted, leaving a barren landscape of sands and gravels and clays, forming the hummocky landscape familiar to all who live around Ellesmere and beyond. The melted ice left water in every hollow to become the meres, often surrounded by marshy areas. Around Whixall a clay ridge trapped shallow water behind it, and here sphagnum mosses accumulated and over thousands of years formed layers of peat up to ten metres thick. As the climate warmed trees moved in around the peat bogs, and they left pollen trapped in the peat, leaving a record for scientists to read with the aid of microscopes – dwarf willow, then hazel and birch and later still oak and elm appeared, each species leaving a unique pollen record. As the climate changed the type of peat varied with differing temperatures and rainfall, and bands of colours, from black through greys to almost white tell the story of these changes that have occurred. Around 5000years ago humans arrived in the area, bringing grazing animals which helped to change the woodland to more open pasture, but the mosses changed little. Hunters would have caught duck and waders and perhaps deer in the shallow pools and marshes, and the smooth pebbles they used for sling shot have been found across the Mosses. From Celtic times some 2700 years ago bog bodies have been found, preserved and pickled by the acid peat – possibly evidence of ritual sacrifice, aimed at propitiating the Celtic gods in some way. Then from the 16th century peat began to be cut as a fuel, but only on a small scale. From the late 18 th century Enclosure Acts led to the draining of areas of the Mosses around the edge. Meanwhile the building of the canal meant that increasing amounts of peat could be taken from this remote area much more easily to markets further afield, both for fuel and increasingly for animal litter. When the railway was laid across the Moss, making transport even faster, the peat cutting increased again, gradually putting ever more pressure on the fragile habitat. During the First World War, the Mosses were used for gunnery ranges, and the demand for peat as litter for horses grew dramatically. In the Second World War, part of the site became a bombing range and part was periodically set on fire to fool enemy bombers into thinking that they were over a burning Liverpool, and thus release their bombs there instead of over the real target. Peat cutting continued after the war, but still traditional hand cutting tools were used and damage to the fragile Mosses habitat was still relatively slight. However the increasing demand for peat from gardening centres from the 1960‘s onwards attracted commercial cutting on a much bigger scale, and when this started much of the Mosses was drained by the cutting of a whole network of ditches. Once the surface water had gone much of the wildlife also goes, and woodland trees especially birch began to invade. With a real threat of whole areas of peat being removed completely, the future of the Mosses as a unique wildlife habitat seemed doomed. Then a came a successful campaign to save the Mosses in which many local people were involved, and in 1990 the site became a National Nature Reserve. The work of restoring the habitat by blocking the drains and removing the invading trees began. Nature responded magnificently, and the rare creatures and plants rapidly re-colonised the area from their last few strongholds. The team that has made this happen is small, and the success of their work is due in no small measure to the hard work and passionate enthusiasm of Dr Joan Daniels, although she is much too modest a lady to agree. The Mosses and all who appreciate their unique atmosphere and wildlife have good reason to be grateful to her. For anyone who has not visited the Reserve, a sunny day in spring or early summer is possibly the best time for a first visit to this fascinating and magical place. The songs of breeding skylark, meadow pipit and curlew fill the air, dragonflies are on the wing, and if you are lucky you might see an adder, a rare raft spider or a water vole. There are a number of way-marked paths around parts of the Mosses, and a permit to visit the more remote areas can be obtained. Details from the Site Manager, Natural England, Manor House, Moss Lane, Whixall SY13 2PD (01948 880362) Leaflets are also available from Infolink or Meres Visitor Centre in Ellesmere. Mere News Issue 35 page 20 Ellesmere Wharf Road Dairy by Mr. Don Stokes, Haughton Farm The recent demolition of the Wharf Road Dairy brings to many of the lorry drivers were War Veterans, driving an end a part of Ellesmere's recent history. One has to Dennis and Albion lorries. They had a wonderful safety go back over 140 years to find out why Ellesmere was record. No power steering or hydraulic brakes in those chosen as the site for such a large dairy enterprise. At days. The highest day's milk gallonage nearly always one stage Ellesmere U.D., or Unigate as it later became, occurred on the 21/22 May. As the years went by, was one of the largest milk factories in the U.K., Unigate was sold to Dairy Crest - the commercial collecting milk from 450 farms and smallholdings. A subsidiary of the Milk Marketing Board, with the large number of dairy farms were created after the 1860's workforce growing to 450 people. Great changes took by the large estate owners, after the collapse of the place in the dairy industry, when farms were equipped previous farming systems, due to an outbreak of with bulk tanks, and bulk collection arrived. Superb Rindupest, causing high livestock losses and the inability cooling of milk on farms and new processes in to pay the rent. Landowners at the time created new factories, such as Whey products, arrived in the late dairy farms, larger in size -100 to 250 acres being the 1960's. Supermarkets started to sell milk and wanted popular sizes. Many of the new tenants came from cheese and other products prepacked. In the 1970's, Cheshire - a county very familiar with cow keeping. So Ellesmere was the dairy capital of Britain, with Dairy a large milk field existed, although the vast majority Crest, Fullwood, Fabdec and the Ellesmere A.I. Centre. made cheese, small amounts of liquid milk was Unfortunately politicians upset the situation, by transported by train, after the railway came to Ellesmere declaring North Wales a depressed area and giving large in1865. subsidies to firms that wanted to re-locate and use more modern methods, and so Dairy Crest sold the Ellesmere In September 1917 my father, a dairy engineer, who had factory to developers, and Dairy Crest at Bangor on built factories in Australia, Norway and France Dee took over. previously, was commissioned by Great Western Dairies of London, to build and manage a milk factory at And so 70 years of production, 7 days a week, without a Ellesmere - a site chosen because it had ample water for single break, came to an end, and as a local farmer, I cooling, washing and sterilizing, and a railway line close would like to pay my tribute, with a vote of thanks to all by. London was getting desperately short of milk in 1917 the people who did such a good job - laboratory and -18, due to wartime conditions, and so milk was office staff, drivers and mechanics, cheese makers and despatched to London in 17 gallon churns. The factory packers, boilermen, whey products staff and all others grew rapidly as many of the dairy farms were persuaded who made such a good team. to give up cheese making and supply the factory - now named United Dairies. The surplus that London did not want was made into cheese at Ellesmere. Extra buildings were constantly being built by Griffiths John’s Handyman Service Brothers - Bill, Tom and Fred - a local firm that still has other interests in and around Ellesmere. I well Property Maintenance remember my father telling me what happened during & the General Strike in 1926. A milk train with military escort left Ellesmere for London, as the city was Renovation desperately short of milk. On arrival in London, strike pickets blockaded the milk depot, but the women of London got to know of its arrival and marched to the depot, all banging their milk cans. The pickets melted away in the face of mass women power. Ellesmere United Dairies later became Unigate, after an amalgamation with Cow & Gate. The expanded factory had a remarkable record of quality production, due to a superb workforce - loyal, hard working, and adaptable. If in doubt ring for a quote How adaptable can be judged by the following: In 1946 Ellesmere Farmers' Ball Committee sold over 600 tickets, in celebration of the end of the War. Nowhere in Ellesmere could cope with that number and the factory John Hawkins was asked for help. The staff emptied the cheese 01691 690780 pressroom, draped the room with curtains, put plenty of French chalk on the floor and transformed the place into www.johnshandyman.uklinux.net a ballroom, and all had a good time. In the early years Mere News Issue 35 page 21 In Issue 34 of the Mere News there was a letter from London asking for relatives Letters of Daniel Bartlem Jones. My name is Colleen Cubberly and I am the daughter of Bart Jones – as he was known. He was not the youngest as stated but he had a brother ―Bill‖. His daughter is Vera Roberts and I have been in touch by letter and phone to Doreen and Mick Jones from Lewisham. My dad often told us of his young days and one tale I must tell you. When he left school, war must have been declared and with six boys and two girls to keep – no hand outs in those days – he took a job at Boreatton Hall near Baschurch. Some sort of gentry must have owned it because he was in charge of the silver (a sort of glorified pantry boy). As a living in boy he would have one night per week as well as a Sunday night once a month. He would bike home to Tetchill through Rednal past the Woodhouse estate with dark pine trees on every side. Past the Hordley Church and cemetery and over the humped back bridge – and it was just that! Then on to the Hordley straight; this was an avenue of big trees on both sides. On a moonlit night the trees cast grotesque shadows – a real ghostly experience, another quarter of a mile and home. Remember in those days there were no street lights, no cars, probably didn‘t have bicycle lights either. His bicycle was s ‗Bone Shaker‘ It had solid rubber tyres held together by a sort of staple. Well, on his night off he had just passed the humped back bridge when ―WHACK‖! something struck his back. He thought the Devil himself was behind him. That quarter of a mile past Winston Farm he must have broken the speed barrier! He collapsed into the house wild eyed and breathless. Much later they ventured outside and found the tyre on his bike had parted – hence the whacking. For a fourteen year old boy this must have been very scary. When dad went to Boreatton there were no posh zip bags then, so he took his worldly goods in a black wooden box, which measured 21 inches x 13 inches and 13 inches deep. I still have that box with its original black ‗paint‘ and iron handles. It is always referred to as ―me dad‘s box‖ and it is full of memorabilia. It is nearly 100 years old so perhaps I will have it on the Antiques Road Show. Half page sponsored by Mrs C Cubberly RED LION COACHING INN A.J. SUMNER & SON FUNERAL DIRECTORS Proprietor: Paul Sumner For a Personal and Caring Service Private Chapel of Rest Church Street, Ellesmere 24 Hour Service 01691 622632 Coronation Cottage Homely B&B Criftins Food served Noon—8.30pm daily Nr. Ellesmere SY12 9LN Quiz Nite –Sundays at 8.30pm 01691 690328 / 623726 Meeting rooms www.ellesmere.info/redlion Mobile: 07746 787 444 Mere News Issue 35 page 22 MOTHER GOOSE Dave Dean NURSERY Carpenter & Joiner 35 years experience Unit 17, Penley Industrial Estate, PENLEY, Doors to Decking WREXHAM LL13 OLQ Kitchens to Kennels Pergolas to Playhouses www.mothergoosenursery.org.uk For Children 3m — 8 yrs No Job Too Small Mon– Fri 7.30am – 6 pm Free Quotations Caring and Friendly Staff Competitive Rates Large Outdoor Play Area and Garden Tel: 01939 270766 Home Cooked Meals Mob : 07767 668500 PHONE 01948 830003 email@example.com OR CALL IN Answers to 22. yorkie 48. fisherman‘s 72. brittle “Name that Sweet” quiz 23. all gold friend 73. marble 24. turkish delight 49. walnut whip 74. tunes 1. quality street 25. milky way 50. gobstoppers 75. pontefract 2. mint imperials 26. galaxy 51. glacier mints cakes 3. black magic 27. lion bar 52. whole nut 76. murray mints 4. mars bar 28. humbug 53. midget gems 77. fudge 5. smarties 29. drifter 54. bon bons 78. sugar mice 6. liquorice all 30. minstrels 55. lollipop 79. creme egg sorts 31. celebrations 56. ripple 80. victory ‗v‘ 7. polo 32. picnic 57. barley sugar 81. york fruits 8. moonlight 33. fuse 58. bourneville 82. texan 9. treats 34. maltesers 59. neopolitans 83. bulls eyes 10. kit kat 35. bonus 60. everton mints 84. hacks 11. roses 36. dime bar 61. twix 85. mini eggs 12. dolly mixtures 37. wine gums 62. milky bar 86. marathon 13. milk tray 38. good news 63. flake 87. star bar 14. match makers 39. candy floss 64. weekend 88. liquorice laces 15. chocolate 40. skittles 65. flyte 89. crunchie buttons 41. after eights 66. green & black 90. sugared 16. jelly babies 42. pear drops 67. chocolate almonds 17. wispa 43. aniseed balls orange 18. double decker 44. time out 68. contrast 19. opal fruits 45. topic 69. toffee crisp 20. twirl 46. refreshers 70. butter scotch 21. edinburgh 47. love hearts 71. after dinner rock mints Mere News Issue 35 page 23 CROSSWORD by David Farncombe This one is a cryptic crossword designed for 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 those who like their clues other than straightforward! The usual valuable prize is on 8 offer for the winner, and the closing date is 15th June 2007. Good luck! Clues Across: 9 10 11 1 Jump back over new section of door (5) 12 13 4 Enliven team in a different formation (7) 8 To improve situation made strange hit, then 14 15 caught maybe (10,3) 9 List includes a hundred fish (4) 10 US spy network returns men from picture 16 17 18 house (6) 19 20 14 Emperor‘s headgear inspires Walton march (5,8) 21 22 16 Early Ford model he and I love so lose nothing getting a dozen (6) 23 24 17 French, initially actually upcountry German housewife (4) 21 National Union of Teachers briefly involved in matters due when sorting an older person on a course of study (6,7) 23 Proposed for office in guano mine election (7) 24 Uncle, no liberal – follows end of dead donkey (5) Competition winners from Issue 34 Crossword: Mrs Jean Jones, Millbank Rd, Rhyl Clues Down: Name that Sweet Quiz: Mrs Audrey Harris, Tetchill 1 Delivery position maybe (4) A Shropshire Quiz: Mrs Verna Roberts, Ellesmere 2 European follows direction to get to this axial point (5,4) Double Limerick Competition: Mrs Olwen 3 French flower, one in traditional learning (5) Purslow, Ellesmere with this entry:- 4 Accountants closing hospital extension initially causes pain (4) 5 Time ‗e is organised to make a list (7) A lady from Ellesmere said, “Hugh, 6 One party leads to bother (3) The happiest new year to you 7 Learns it from internal organs (8) But new year means new man, 11 European with one cent loses nothing to create luxurious I’ll forget I’m a gran style of living (9) And noted for my Irish stew. 12 Highlander possibly, initially Southern Californian, first of Hugh answered, “Well, Sally my dear, twenty such found in Oman (8) Your news gives me endless good cheer, 13 Little devil hiding in dim passage (3) No more smell of onions 15 New one reversing a van backwards gets in a stew (7) Or sight of your bunions, 18 The way that the wheels on a bus go (5) Just chips, belly - dancing and beer. 19 Former Wimbledon champion – a sportsman honoured everywhere, in short (4) Congratulations to all our winners! 20 One in the eye can be painful (4) 22 Boy in pantomime (3) 6. Captain Matthew Webb (born Dawley 1848) 7. Telford 8. Laura‘s Tower, Shrewsbury Castle Answers to Crossword Issue 34 9. A small pie from Market Drayton from a recipe of Clive of Across: 1 Rupert 4 Stump 8 Peer Gynt 9 Olga 10 Aurora India 12 Rubble 14 Pen Name 17 see 1dn 18 Stoats 10. Hawkstone Park 20 Plum 21 Micawber 22 Trent 11. Battle of Maserfield, Oswestry (now Grammar School play- 23 Festus ing fields) Down: 1&17 dn Rip Van Winkle 12. The Dingle, Shrewsbury (Roman goddess of River Severn) 2 Poetry 3 Roger 5 Trouble 13. Grinshill Stone 6 Muggles 7 Star Wars 11 Aunt Emma 13 Spiller 14. The Mount, Frankwell, Shrewsbury 14 Pokemon 15 Rabbit 16 Osiris 19 Thane 15. Whitchurch Parish Church porch (John Talbot killed at Bat- tle of Castillion, 1453) Answers to „A Shropshire Quiz‟ 16. ‗Mad Jack‘ Mytton, Halston Hall 1. Brown Clee (540m – 1772 ft) 17. Founded Wenlock Olympian Society (forerunner to modern 2. River Severn Olympic Games) 3. The Wrekin 18. Uriconium (Wroxeter) 4. A5 19. Rev. Donald Carr (on the Long Mynd) 5. Welshampton Churchyard 20. Ludlow Parish Church, Churchyard.
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