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Hesketh Rectory
October 1943

My dear Fiends,
I do not think any of you have ever had a letter from a Bishop before. Well, here is one this month from our own Bishop of Blackburn to you all. You will, I am sure, be as glad to receive it as I am to send it. He responded to my request immediately. We eagerly await your letters to us with any news which you may lawfully send. May the blessing of God be with you this month and always.
Yours very sincerely,
A.P.THORNE.

Bishop’s House,
Blackburn.

Letter from the Bishop of Blackburn.

My dear friends,
The Rector of Hesketh has asked me to write a short letter to you all to be sent with his monthly News Letter. I am very glad of the chance because I want you to feel that you are part of the Church of the whole Diocese and that the Diocese is interested in you.
I know that you have difficulties to face and that it is anything but easy to be away from your home and friends. I know also that the interruption which War has brought into your lives must make you feel anxious about the future and whether there will be room for you when you come back. All I can say about that is that we shall all do our best to see that those who have undertaken on behalf of the country the duty of military service shall not be forgotten when the war is over.
Meanwhile do your best to keep in touch with the Church to which you belong and be faithful to it. There are many temptations for those who have up to now only had the experience of the more sheltered life of their own homes. It is a great difficulty for you all but it will make you all the stronger and all the more useful in days to come. Do not neglect when you have the opportunity to receive Holy Communion and take whatever chances you have of helping the cause of Christ wherever you may happen to be.
We are trying in this Diocese to send some more of the Clergy into Chaplaincies. Many of them have long been anxious to be allowed to go and though it will mean that it will be extremely difficult to carry on in the parishes at home we feel that it is even more important that the Services should be properly staffed with Clergy.
I hope I shall have an opportunity of meeting all of you some day when you return to Hesketh. May God have you in His keeping and help you to be sure of His presence and His love always.
BISHOP OF BLACKBURN.

POINTS FROM LETTERS:
John Jackson, writing on 29th August, says he is camped where there are orange trees and other fruits, also sand-storms and flies. He hopes the Field Day was a success.
James Woodhead bubbles over with thanks for the N.L. He wishes specially to be remembered to John Coulton, who by the way is recuperating on leave.
Cadet James Buck is impressed by the Welsh mountains, compared to Hesketh Bank, and the number of churches there.
Thomas Bond, who is home on agricultural leave, sends his greetings to Harold Wignall and Albert Taylor. He registered with Albert three years ago.
Fred Coupe is in a hot country, and enjoys “swimming in water so clear that when you dive under you can see fish swimming about” but adds “they go so fast that you cannot catch them. The majority of the population are black, but they speak English of a sort, so it is not so bad.” He hopes to see the Duke of Windsor sometime, so we can guess his whereabouts. He reports that he is in the best of health and keeping his chin up.
Peter Dawson (H.M.S. Jamaica) sends his love to all, especially Leslie Tiffin, and John Taylor (Navy).
W Bailey wrote again just before coming home recently for a few hours on the occasion of his little girl’s first birthday.
John Bond sends a message home thanking us for the N.L.
Sergt. W H.S. Parkinson says “ Give the shooting fans the news that the geese are flying around the Lakes, and I suppose that in the near future the beat of their wings will be heard over the Marsh.”
Fred Carr, writing from the Middle East, sending us his warm thanks for the N.Ls., sends a message to Jimmy Sharples to get ready for post-war football. He asks for Bert Millar’s address.
Merchant Seaman John R. Taylor wants to be remembered to Harry Hoyle, and says he hopes to call at the Rectory when he is on leave. The Rector says he will be only too delighted to see him.
Tom Brewer (North Africa) tells us that Leslie Bramwell was in the Victory march through Tunis. He himself was just outside Tunis, so near and yet so far. Tom has a special message for Fred Carr. Here it is: “before you came up, Fred”, He says Fred will understand. Also he wishes to be remembered to Rigby Melling and Ted Baybutt, and he reminds the former that he (Tom) is in training for the celebration he promised. We are sorry to hear from Sam Long that he has been on the sick list. Glad he is getting better. He has had a letter from Tom Hurst reporting all well with him.

NEWS FROM THE VILLAGE:
You will all be sorry to hear of the death of Mr. Stephen Wareing, and Mrs. Coulton, Becconsall Lane. Mrs. Peter Coulton died on Sept. 2nd after enduring very patiently years of failing health. She was a good mother and had a loving spirit. We send our sympathy to James.
Stephen Wareing had not been well for some time. His end came very suddenly on Sept. 9th. Besides his family and many friends, the Church will specially miss him.
Little Audrey Ashcroft (Newarth) is home again and has made a good recovery, likewise her mother who had a very severe operation in Liverpool.
Mr. Bowker’s old friends will be interested to know that he has now retired from Slaidburn and lives near Ingleton. He is still on the active list, and though no longer a Rector does a good deal of work helping the clergy round about those parts who are so short-handed.
There was a very good turn up at the Hesketh Church Day of Prayer. The Parish Council, Home Guard, Fire and First Aid Services all sent good contingents, and the Church was full.
Mrs. Sharples (Shoreside) has been very ill and has had to go to Southport Infirmary. She is progressing favourably.
The Church Harvest is on October 10th. Tarleton Church had theirs on Sept. 26th.
John Robert Coulton (Chapel Road) was married to Ellen Ball (Mill Farm) on Sept. 15th at Hesketh Church.
You may like to know that on Saturday Nov. 6th at 6.30p.m. in the B.B.C. Home Service our friend, Mr. Herbert Parkinson, will be taking part in “Every Accent tells a Story”.
Leslie Goring was married to M.D. Walmsley at Southport on the 23rd. August.
Mr. And Mrs. John Coulton gave a party at the Chapel School on Saturday 25th September to celebrate their Silver Wedding. We have had cheerful letters from Bob Iddon and Jimmy Buck. Both seem to be enjoying life and study!
Robert Sharples, who is in India, has been in hospital for three weeks but has now recovered.
Jack Edmondson (Beatrice Cookson’s husband) has arrived home after spending twelve months in Canada.
Mr. And Mrs. J Coulton (nee Joyce Cookson) held their Silver Wedding anniversary in the Chapel School on Sept. 25th.
Commander Boston and Mrs. Boston’s Silver Wedding Anniversary was on the same date.
The organisers of the Tarleton Comforts Fund held a Horticultural Show in Tarleton School on Sat. Sept. 25th, at which thee was great excitement. Many prizes came to Hesketh. Mrs. Bannister, Shoreside, got second prize for the Ankle competition and a first for her baby son Peter. Mrs. Raymond Goliper was third with her little John David.
Tom Ashcroft and Frank Iddon (aged 12, Chapel Rd.) got prizes for ropes of onions, and William Coulton one for Brussels sprouts. Frank Iddon also got a first for rabbits, and a special for drawing.
Mrs. Iddon (Chapel Rd.) has had another telegram from Ralph to say he is well and happy. Mrs. Francis Iddon, Shore Side, is slightly improving after a long and anxious illness. Mrs. McFord is in hospital with throat trouble.

ON LEAVE:
George Milray, Robert Holden, H. Baxter, Joe Power, J. Garlick, Stacey Gautry, Carence Iddon, Martin Wright, Herbert Wignall, and Will Ashcroft ( the two latter on Agricultural leave).

NEW ARRIVALS:
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Whitehead (nee Mary Edmondson) a son, Roger.
Mr. and Mrs. Wignall (nee Margaret Latham) a son, Bruce.
Mr. and Mrs. R Farrington (nee Mary Leadbetter), a son .

HOME GUARD: (note by W.C. Holmes)
All members of the Home Guard send their greetings to all ex-Homeguardsmen wherever they may be and wish them all the best for a Happy Xmas and a safe return to their families. Our training programme this Summer, although interrupted by the urgent necessity of getting in the harvest, has included Field Engineering and Battle drill. The Platoon has improved its Defences and also constructed very good machine gun emplacement. We have now a very well trained team of Machine Gunners who have enjoyed occasional visits to the Range with their gun. Sergt. Bernard Stringfellow has received a Certificate of Merit from the G.O.C. Western Command for good service and we are delighted that his good work for the Platoon has received this recognition. Our Winter training programme commences on the 1st October and a very interesting syllabus has been prepared. Good results are anticipated. The highlight of the Platoon’s efforts during the year was the training demonstration on the 30th June, given in aid of the Red Cross when the grand sum of £56 odd was handed over. The men undoubtedly gave a splendid display and even surprised the Platoon Commander. All the credit for the organisation of the show must of course be credited to Lt. Houghton who gave a real Victor Smythe show on the microphone.

Very bad weather has given our farmers a very trying time, but with care and hard work they have nearly overcome their difficulties.

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