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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
March 1944

My Dear Friends,
Once again I want to thank our good correspondents for their letters. Twelve of these have reached me this month up to February 23rd, and if at any time I do not acknowledge them in the Newsletter, please do write and tick me off. Also, do not forget to notify me of any change of address. We are grateful to our friend Mr Barton for writing the special message this month.
God bless and prosper you all,
Yours very sincerely,

Once again it is my privilege to send you a word of greeting, As I think of these letters coming to you from your own village, I think of that marvellous creature - the spider. There it is - swinging about in the breeze - reaching out here - exploring there - now dropping lower - now rising higher until, its purpose achieved, it disappears into some crack high up in the wall. It is able to do all this because of a fine thread which keeps it in contact with its home. There does seem to be a close connection between these letters and that thread, doesn't' there? They are that which bind you to your loved ones whilst you are far away. I can well imagine that such letters can be a source of strength in temptation; of companionship in loneliness; of refreshment in moments of despondency. Though you are wanderers on the face of the earth, you have one fixed point - your home - and to it you are anchored by a thin thread of a letter. May I push the figure a little farther? We are pleased to remember that you have been trained in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord". If you are anchored to one fixed point - your home - you are likewise anchored to another - God. And sometimes it is by the finest of threads. Opportunities for fellowship in God's House may be few; the regular means of Grace may often be denied you. Yet you need not feel cut off from God. Wrote one lad to me: "It is Sunday and there is no chance of a Service. So I sat by my lorry, pulled out my New Testament and read a bit. Then I said my prayers". He was strengthening the link that bound him to God.
Yours most sincerely,

Points from Letters.
Bob Iddon is having a successful and happy, if strenuous, time in South Africa. The last we heard of him he was busy digging banana trees in the bush and transplanting them to the site about the huts. Bob tells us that the wild monkeys were very interested in the work.
Harley McKean (Jan 14th) sends thanks for Christmas Greetings, and a special thank you to the War Comforts, mentioning Mrs Bramwell in connection with the latter for her hard work for the troops.
William Melling (Jan 26th) tells of his few days leave up in the hills of India. It took him three days to get there, and during his leave he managed to get half-way up Mount Everest. So he must have attained a height of at least 14,000 feet, as high as Mont Blanc. Nevertheless William says that he prefers old Hesketh.
Bert Price (Feb 7th) sends special greetings to Robert Sharples, Jack Banks and Doris Whiteside, and he desires to thank particularly the Bowling Club, War Comforts, and Douglas Iddon for all their work for the benefit of the troops.
Thomas Bond (Jan 26th) writes very cheerily from Scotland after his leave. He thanks all those who got up the Fancy Dress Dance for the NL.
Ann Wright writes from Cambridge. She gives us a glowing account of Trinity College grounds packed with snowdrops and crocuses. The girls in her office love to read the NL after her, so we are glad it helps other people as well as our own. Ann wishes to be remembered to Ruby Carr and "will Ruby please give Subaltern Benkendorff all best wishes from the SMI".
W Bailey says that a parson in the Portsmouth area asked for the loan of his NL to show to some committee in his parish, so that they might start a similar effort for their lads.
Ralph Whitehead (Feb 4th) writes to say that his brother Harry and he are still together. He sends his remembrances to all the lads.
Ernest Buck reports that the parts of London he likes best are Kew, Richmond and Hampton Court. He saw quite a lot of the suburbs, such as Cockfosters, Ascot and Kempton Park, when they had cricket or football teams. Ernest has been recently responding to requests for stage hands in various local theatres. It must have been interesting work to get behind the scenes and see how things are done. So far he has only met one Hesketh lad in London, John Coulton (Newarth) at Euston Station a year ago. Ernest sends his best wishes to Dick Townsley.
Ronnie Whiteside's (Dec 30) letter reached us on Feb 21st. It is good to hear what an excellent Xmas dinner he had, turkey, pork, roast potatoes, and plum pudding and wine. He sends remembrances to the old work crew Ted Baybutt, Leslie Bramwell, and Gordon Iddon.
Rector also acknowledges a letter from Robert Sharples (written Jan25th, India) We are glad that he has received all the NLs up to November. We hope the others will come along.
Martin Wright (Feb. 18th) writes about a stiff course he has been through recently. Twelve of them were in for the examination, and only four out of the twelve got through. Martin was one of the lucky ones, and all four were from Lancashire, which fact he points out, disproves the old saying, "Lancashire born and bred, strong i' th' arm, and weak i' th'ead"! He is now a "Class II Tele-mech", short for Telecommunication Mechanic. While on the course Martin was lucky enough to spend an afternoon in London, his first visit to that wonderful world.

News from the Village.
We deeply regret to tell you that Harold Wignall (The Green) has been killed in action in Italy. The sad news reached his parents on Feb 21st. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to them, and their family, and to Harold's friends in their bereavement.
Mrs Wm Baxter (Chapel Road) died in Southport Infirmary on Feb 19th. She had not been well for some long time past, but the end came rather suddenly. We extend our deep sympathy to Mr Baxter and his son Kenneth, who is in the Middle East. Mrs Baxter was buried at Hesketh Churchyard on Feb 22nd.
Little Brenda Johnson (The Grange) is in the Southport Infirmary, also Mrs Moore (Dorothy Sharples). Both are progressing favourably.
The Dance held at Shoreside School, in aid of the Old Church and Churchyard realised £14.
On Saturday February 19th the Whist Drive organised by Douglas Iddon realised the sum of £21 on behalf of the Preston Free Buffet.
Mr Mrs Iddon (Nellie Higham) of Chapel Road have a baby boy, and Mr Mrs Tom Wareing (Annie Hornby) a baby girl.
Mr Joe Hague's house and greenhouses "Isle of Moor" were sold by auction on January 29th to Mr Wm Ball, Moss Lane for £2960. The latter has recently married Alice Johnson, of Hesketh Lane.
Mr Heatley is also having a sale of all his hen cabins, as he is going to plough up all the land on which they stand.
On Sunday February 13th a slight mishap occurred to the motor-blower of the Church organ, and it ceased to function, so that we had to resort to our old friend the little harmonium. The motor has been removed for repair and we shall meanwhile have to return to the old hand-blower.
Mr Edward Taylor is still quite poorly in hospital in Manchester.
The WVS have arranged two good dances in the C/E School. A draw was held for a big cake and the winner was Edwin Taylor. Mr Clegg also gave a big cake to be drawn for and Miss Mary Hurst won it.
Harry Baxter, Shoreside, was amongst the troops visited by General Montgomery.
A wild duck was shot down in Lancaster, and on its leg was a ring marked "Stockholm", so the ring is being returned there.

Chapel News.
On the last Sunday in January the collections at the Chapel (£8) were given to the Southport Infirmary, February 13th was kept as Home Mission Anniversary, The preachers were the Rev W B Barton, and Mr T Hunter of Liverpool. On the following Tuesday, the Rev C H Pugsley, of the Linacre Street Mission gave the address, the Chairman being Sgt Sydney Cookson, (RAF).
Since going to press we hear that Edward Taylor has got home from hospital and though still quite poorly, gets up a little each day. Brenda Johnson and Mrs Moore are also back home again.
Tom Hurst has been wounded in Italy. Not many details have come through. He is at No. 2, British Hospital CMF. We hope this letter gets to him, to convey to him our sympathy, and to tell him that we are not forgetting him.

The shooting season is drawing to a close. It has been quite favourable as far as widgeon are concerned, but unfortunately, the Geese have failed to put in an appearance in any quantity; they seem to have favoured the Mere more than the Marsh. I have not even had a shot at them this season - this is the first time in my shooting career that this has happened. I believe only 3 or 4 have been shot. Referring to the widgeon, the "going has certainly been good". One morning at the beginning of November, I went down, and was amazed at the number flying; flocks of about 1,000 were constantly passing and everyone down got a "decent bag", ranging from 15 to 20.
As this winter has not been very hard, the birds have kept in good condition considering the heavy shooting - there seem to have been more strangers down than usual.
During some evenings, there must have been approximately 200 shot on Hesketh and Banks marshes together. On one such night, Bill Baxter (Banks) got 40, his total to date being 600. Jim Iddon (Delta) shot 35 one night, making a total of 303. Bill Guy has killed above 200, and David Wignall over 150, I have got 150. To my knowledge these are some of the best scores, but most of the shooters have done well.

For our government is not copied from those of our neighbours: we are an example to them rather than they to us. Our constitution is named a democracy, because it is in the hands not of the few but of the many. But our laws secure equal justice for all in their private disputes, and our public opinion welcomes and honours talent in every branch of achievement, not for any sectional reason but on grounds of excellence alone. And as we give free play to all in our public life, so we carry the same spirit into our daily relations with one another. We have no black looks or angry words for our neighbour if he enjoys himself in his own way, and we abstain from the little acts of churlishness which, though they leave no mark, yet cause annoyance to whoso notes them. Open and friendly in our private intercourse, in our public acts we keep strictly within the control of law. We acknowledge the restraint of reverence; we are obedient to whomsoever is set in authority, and to the laws, more especially to those which offer protection to the oppressed and those unwritten ordinances whose transgression brings admitted shame.

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