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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
February 1944

My Dear Friends,
Most of this letter is news, which is, I know, exactly what you want. So there is not room this time for much else. Roughly, there are one hundred and fifty of you serving in HM Forces from Hesketh. During the last year I have been delighted to receive letters from about a hundred, and sometimes some of you have written more than once. So I still look forward to hearing from the remaining fifty, while also welcoming news, however short, from those who have already written,. It is a real pleasure to hear from you, for I verily believe that in this way both you and we are forging a link with home and with each other which will, I hope, remain firm in the years of peace.
God bless you this month and always,
Yours very sincerely,

Points from Letters
William Bailey, quite a regular correspondent, says that the NL helps him to re-live a few of the good times with the lads mentioned in it. He sends greetings to John Coulton (Newarth).
Joe Power (January 20th) has returned South again. He ran into Harry Buck on a Liverpool station platform, after not having seen him for four years. He wants Harry to know how sorry he was not to be able to meet him as arranged. Joe sends his thanks to the Hesketh Bank War Comforts and the Bowling Club for their kind Christmas gifts.
Tom Brewer's letter for Christmas arrived the first week of January, just after the January NL was printed. He has written again since, and the Rector acknowledges both herewith, with special thanks for the copy of the 'Union Jack' (African Edition) which was enclosed in the first letter. This is a small newspaper printed for the Forces abroad, and contained (November 25th issue) a remarkable article entitled "Corner Stone" telling how someone picked up a copy of the Tarleton NL in a NAAFI in Italy. It was dated August 12th, and contains some Hesketh Bank news already passed on in our own NL, such as John Taylor's (Moss Lane) marriage to Ruth Sutton of Banks, and the flying fish which appeared on board Bob Iddon's ship and provided him with a welcome change from tinned foods. For our part, we take this opportunity of wishing all success to the Tarleton NL. which was in the field long before ours, and we wonder who will be picking up the Hesketh Bank NL somewhere in Europe or Asia. We certainly hope they will.
Tom Brewer closes his letter by saying he is well pleased to hear that his old friend Fred Carr is still alive and kicking.
Harry Hoyle (December 16th) writes cheerily from Canada, and is enjoying his new experiences. In our ignorance of Canadian vast distances we fondly imagined that the Ottawa address meant that he was actually in Ottawa, whereas he is really some journey away from there. Anyway, we hope he will be able to visit this beautiful Canadian capital city sometime.
Ambrose Howard (January 15th) is evidently anxious to get his next NL. We have made a note of his change of address.
George Taylor (Jan. 18th) has been exploring Scotland's mountains in the course of a stiff bit of training. Washing and shaving in a Scottish burn in January does not sound quite like a picnic, but it must have been a very refreshing contrast for George suddenly to hear a voice which sounded as if it might have come from Hesketh, and then to discover that it did come from Hesketh, for there was Tom Bond, of Moss Lane. They spent two happy days together. George would like to know if Tom has had any more "Maconascies", which he will quite understand. He sends greetings to his cousin Albert Taylor in India, and looks forward to having a go at the widgeon with him. Best wishes also from George to Gordon Iddon, Martin Wright and Herbert Wignall.
Leslie Bramwell writes sometime before Christmas from Italy (Dec 4th). Carrying stretchers through Italian mud must be hard going, but Leslie says "PS. I am still wearing a smile on my face, that's one thing the Jerry can't knock off".
Hartley Latham writes to thank the Comforts Fund for their lovely Christmas box. The Rector in return thanks him warmly for his enquiry after his wife and young Stephen. The answer is "Very well, thank you, after the chickenpox"!
William Ball, from HMS Bulolo, writes from somewhere across the sea, a few thousand miles away (Nov.10th) but the NL found him alright and he has written to say a big thank you for it, as it is a great help to him when he feels lonely.
Jack Edmondson, of the RAF writes (Jan. 22nd) from a bleak spot somewhere near Edinburgh and says that Hesketh Bank is the most beautiful place in the world. He is in the last stage of his training before going on actual air operations.
Tom Bond (Moss Lane) writes on his way back from leave (Jan 24th) and alludes to the surprise meeting between him and George Taylor while they were both washing in the Scottish burn. Sorry Tom, that you did not get your January NL. Hope you get it with this one.
Johnny Wrigglesworth has written again (Dec 4th) for which many thanks. We got his letter on January 25th.

News from the Village.
On January 15th the Church Sunday School Christmas party took place, for the fifth time since the war started. Douglas Iddon organised a Whist Drive for it, so funds and food and fun were forthcoming. Each Sunday School scholar under 14 was presented by Father Christmas (alias Tom Baxter) with a shilling and a small bag of sweets. Tom did his part very well. In addition to an excellent tea, we had most enjoyable games organised by the teachers.
The Church Sunday School Prize-giving took place on Sunday January 2nd in Sunday School.
The Rector was pleased to see John Jackson in church on January 9th and to enjoy his visit to the Rectory.
Owing to increasing age and infirmities Mr Mrs Turner have had to give up their home in Chapel Road. We are truly sorry to part with them, as they are both most earnest members of the Church. At one time Mr Turner was a member of the Parochial Church Council, and up to the present month was a most regular Communicant, and, not least, a staunch supporter of the singing in the congregation.
Mrs Turner was a Sunday School Teacher, for a few years Secretary of the Scripture Union, and a keen supporter of the Church Missionary Society through her very fruitful missionary box. We shall miss them much, and extend to them our earnest hopes for their comfort and happiness.
Mrs Clegg and staff have raised over £22 for the Red Cross by carol singing, and hope to make it into £30 by raffling two cakes.
Mr Mrs John Coulton (nee Ellen Ball, Mill Lane) have a daughter.
Mr Edward Taylor, Chapel Road, is in Preston Infirmary, and has gone under a successful operation. He has to go to Manchester for further treatment. Mr Joe Deacon, formerly of this parish, was in the same ward next to him.

The Young Men's Services were held on January 16th, when the afternoon preacher was the Rev. F W Hornsby of Bretherton. In the evening there was a Musical Service given by the Male Voice Choir, with Mr Joe Watkinson as Conductor. The soloists were Mr E Bebbington and Mr S Rigby of Southport and Master Peter Leech, of Preston. Mr J N Whiteside was Chairman and Mr Leslie Sewell, organist. The collections amounted to over £11.
On Thursday January 20th, a great Concert was held in the School, Shoreside, in aid of the War Comforts. The old School was packed to the doors. A well-known group of Artistes entertained us, Mr Grisedale, Mr Bebbington, Miss Livesey, Miss Taylor (accordion) Mr Taylor (Comedian), Miss Cunningham (Elocutionist). Mr Herbert Parkinson was the Chairman.

This month we are making a collection throughout the parish on behalf of the Old Church. There is a deal of repair badly needed both in the building itself and in the churchyard, and we are confident that all the people of the parish will willingly contribute to maintain intact the place which is sacred to the memory of so many of the parishioners.

Old Gentleman: You're an honest lad, but it was a ten shilling note, not ten shillings.
Small boy: I know, mister, it was a note I picked up. But the last time I found one, the man who owned it hadn't any change.

The trivial round, the common task,
Would furnish all we ought to ask,
Room to deny ourselves, a road
To bring us daily nearer God.

Jesus Christ, Thou Child so wise,
Bless mine hands and fill mine eyes,
And bring my soul to Paradise.

In full and glad surrender we give ourselves to Thee,
Thine utterly, and only, and evermore to be!
O Son of God, Who lovest us, we will be Thine alone.
And all we are, and all we have, shall henceforth be Thine own!

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