Saturday, 28 May 2011

Up close and personal with one of Anthony Gormley's Iron Men. Jan,Gill and Clive (and friends) testing out the next church walk on Crosby beach. Why not join us on June 18th. Meet at 9-30am in the church car park (lifts available). For more details ring 495 2707

Sunday, 8 May 2011

We've Lost Our Trees!

The Church with its four Poplars (two visible here)

The present generation of the congregation cannot remember the church building without its Lombardy Poplar trees. The earliest known photograph of the church shows it set in a field with no trees. Another, estimated as about one hundred years ago, shows the chapel with Poplar saplings.

Saplings can be seen - about 100 years ago

The trees were inspected about twenty years ago by a reputable arborealist who declared them healthy. However, during a storm early this year, one poplar blew down, fortunately without damage to neighbouring property, but requiring emergency clearance of the road. There was evidence of hollowness within the trunk.

The Damaged Tree

It was apparent that the other poplars could only be judged to be in similar condition and we needed to arrange for their removal. This was completed recently and we now need to monitor the effect on the water table. The removal process and the result are illustrated in the following photographs.

Start of Work- Here you see the scale of the trees

Work in Progress

Working at Height

Close Up

Logs for Removal

The Residue Stumps

The Result

Friday, 6 May 2011

Traidcraft and Christian Aid

On Tuesday 3rd May, the Widnes Christian Aid Society arranged an evening with Ralph Dransfield at Farnworth and he gave a presentation on his Traidcraft "Meet the People" visit to Vietnam. The purpose of these visits is to offer tourism with the opportunity to meet groups that are aided by Traidcraft to develop markets for their skills.

(apologies for the colour - from closed pink curtains)

Ralph in North Vietnamese tunic

Vietnam is "a country of youthful hope" with more than 60% of its population under 25, which means they have no direct experience of the Vietnam War. The trip started in Hanoi, and visited Supa in the north, where an organisation called "Craft Link" is developing "New Markets for Traditional Artisans".



Ha Long Bay

Then on to Ha Long Bay, a magical area of limestone cliffs, islands and inlets; Hue, where "differently abled" persons (including some injured by mines) develop their products and skills. This is a project supported by Traidcraft, and is now receiving government support. From Hue, they moved on to Hoi An, and then Nha Trang, a beach resort. "Mai Handicrafts" have one of their centres there, and street children are given schooling and craft skills. 30% of their sales are via Traidcraft, which illustrates how Traidcraft offers, not only development opportunities, but also market outlets for the crafts. Visits to Ho Chi Min City, and the Mekong Delta brought the trip to an end.

Skills observed during the trip included pottery, furniture and other items of bamboo construction, laquer work, jewellry, weaving in traditional materials and hemp, bamboo, even telephone wire scraps, and also the manufacture of items from recycled paper. Examples of these crafts, purchased by Ralph and Margaret Dransfield, were on display for us to see.

Craft Items

It was an enjoyable and informative evening. There was a stall of Traidcraft products and Traidcraft tea, coffee and biscuits were served at the close.