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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
May 1944

My dear Friends,
You are very much in our minds at this time. “Salute the Soldier” week here is April 29th to May 6th, and we want you to know, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen, A.T.S., W.A.A.Fs, W.R.E.N.S. and all, that we are not thinking so much of investing money, important as that is for the war effort, as of YOU YOURSELVES and the HOMES which stand behind you. Pray for us that we may be faithful to you, as we assuredly are praying for you. Above all, remember Jesus Christ’s promise to his faithful followers, ‘I am with you always, even unto the end.’ That motto, given to us in 1940 is the motto for the Second Front and for all Fronts. “ It all depends on me , and I depend on God.”
Yours very sincerely,

Tom Hurst writes cheerily from hospital in Italy to say that he is much better, and that his wounds are healing nicely; he is full of praise for all the nurses and doctors out there. He sends his best wishes to all, and to Leslie Bramwell he specially wishes good luck.
Sam Iddon said he had a nice surprise a few days ago (early in March) seeing a snake sweeping into his tent, which he promptly got rid of with picks and shovels. However after similar experience in Iraq, he was not satisfied, but realised that “the loving wife” might not be far away taking an evening crawl, so further hunting had to be done, and there she was, only fifteen yards away, both of them SIX feet long! Sam has noticed the oxen ploughing. He says it makes a very nice picture.
Fred Carr sends his remembrances to Bert Miller, Tom Brewer, Leslie Bramwell, and Len Ball, not forgetting his own sister Ruby. He asks for the following addresses. Here they are: 7266961, L. BRAMWELL. 167 Field Ambulance., R.A.M.C., C.M.F. and L.Bdr. T. BREWER, 1499976, 229/71st H.A.A. Regt. B.N.A.F.
Thomas Bond contributes the following:
LOW ALTITUDE. Patient: Doctor, what happens when a person’s temperature goes down as far as it can go?
Doctor: He has cold feet.
HIS ESTIMATE. A man who had just finished his lunch in a Restaurant looked very dis-satisfied. Having received his bill one shilling and three pence, he walked up to the cashier’s desk, and put down four pence. “yes but-” began the girl. “There is no but about it ,” said the man “That represents the exact value of my lunch, and this will go to swell the dividends of your company”, and he put down the balance of eleven pence and left the shop.
Harry Buck writes from Birkenhead and compares his own good fortune at present being so near home with the lads overseas.
Malcolm Taylor has now reverted to a training course once more, this time to be a wireless operator mechanic.
His first Sunday, in addition to the morning church parade, he attended a voluntarily service in the evening conducted entirely by three airmen, who, he presumed were local preachers.
Cecil Cookson writes from Co. Durham, says he is in a magnificent camp, which sounds a paradise but we daresay the work is hard.
Leslie Bramwell writes just after receiving his December N.L. on Feb 7th. He says it seemed to arrive just at the opportune moment, when he came back from the front line for a rest, and needed a cheer up. Leslie has evidently been in the thick of it. “Once”, he says “whilst taking some casualties back to M.D.S. we heard the drone of planes, but before we could scatter, he was diving on us, with all guns firing. My pal next to me was wounded and has lost the sight of his left eye. You don’t know how much I prayed whilst lying on my stomach, praying for all my pals to come out of it safe and sound.” Here is Leslies usual menu for the day, mostly , bully beef and biscuits, with a little cheese and a bar of chocolate for luxury, bully beef hash for breakfast, bully for lunch, bully for dinner - and he adds - we are just starting to like it!
John Jackson writes from Scotland, and tells us how hospitable the Scotch people are. Appraising the home front John says “ If ever a party of women worked hard, it is the W.V.S. of Hesketh Bank. John considers that ‘Country Lad’ must have a very picturesque mind (He also has a bright round face, and lives on the Brow, EDITOR) He sends his best wishes to Harry Hoyle, and hopes he will be seeing him soon, also to Raymond Bailey, Bill Bailey, Harold Cookson, Bill Ball (Newarth) and Arthur Taylor.
The Rector also acknowledges letters from William Bailey, William Melling, and Will Ashcroft, and George Taylor.

Mrs. Wignall has received a very kind letter from the Chaplain at the Wellington Barracks, London. He says that no details of Harold’s death have yet arrived.
While filling up with petrol at Bridge Garage, Tarleton last Monday evening, a motor lorry from Cheshire, caught fire. It is believed that petrol overflowed on to the hot engine. Live poultry valued about £20 were lost in the fire, the lorry was considerably damaged.
A bequest of £50 to St. Andrew’s Church, Longton, to provide prayer books for the first six persons to be married after March 15 each year, is contained in £3.000 will of Mrs. Sarah Topping of Longton.
Eileen Whiteside of Dunkirk Farm is engaged to Nick Taylor of Coe Lane, Tarleton.
Frank Taylor, Boundary Road, has been for his medical and passed A.1.
Kenneth Branwood, The Brow, has volunteered for the R.A.F.
Sam Iddon has received his African Star.
Mrs. S. Iddon, Jumps Farm, is very poorly.
There is quite a noise down Guide Road each morning about 9.30 when the Italian prisoners are being brought to work on the farms. They are usually singing and waving and they all seem very happy. One that works for J. Hornby doesn’t want to go back to Italy. Mr. R. Wignall has two working for him, and Mr. Macford two.
The following have been home on leave since the last N.L. W. Rimmer, H. Melling, S. Gautry, W. Ball (Newarth).
It was a real old fashioned Easter Monday this year at home. Many people spent time on the bank. Guide Road was quite busy both with people we knew, and many strangers cycling and hiking. Many children went down to the bank to roll their eggs. Then towards evening you could see them coming home all looking tired but better for their walk or ride in the fresh air, many carrying bunches of palm and others wheeling bags of wood and sticks got from the new bank. There has been quite a lot of wood left by the spring tides this year. So much for another Easter Monday, which finds us very thankful for many mercies, but also wishing that you were all back home to spend it amongst us.

No.1 The Titmouse Brow, hitherto noted for being the quietest place in our village, has been recently the scene of great activity. On Sat. April 1st about 4p.m. there were loud noises, bangs, and shouts which to the neighbours seemed like the opening of the Second Front! On opening their doors they discovered our village modern Dick Turpin engaged in battle with an inhabitant of a nearby village. Loud and long lasted the royal struggle, much to the excitement of the neighbourhood. Like true sportsmen we must give credit where it is due, and grant the laurels on this occasion to the outsider. While the battle raged, Turpin’s noble steed, White Bess, was standing by, intently watching, and noting her masters sure defeat.
Evidently she considered it was time for her to be moving away from this painful scene, so, throwing her lovely white head high, she gathered all her strength and dragging her wooden chariot behind her hurtled along the road, heading towards the steep little brow. For once in fifty years the law of the Titmouse was broken, which forbids the passage of any horse-drawn or motor vehicle. Fortunately for Bess and her master, the local constable must have been cleaning his buttons or patching his cycle, so both were saved from the horrors of goal. Most of you will remember the white posts at the foot of the little brow - well they proved to be the end of Bess’ journey, for she was brought to a halt there, jammed between posts and hedge.
Turpin who had by this time a sufficiency of the bitter medicine meted out to him raced after his steed, and was confronted with an awful sight - his once stream-lined chariot now a battered heap of matchwood, relics of shafts and harness waving in the breeze, and in front of the ruin, White Bess munching to her hearts content the tasty herbs of the Titmouse hedge. Turpin, always a man of great determination, swallows the whole scene of desolation with a supreme effort, gathering together what remained of his chariot, and, with White Bess following in the rear ‘homeward plods his weary way’ back to his home on the Brow, a sadder but more determined hero than ever.
No.2 On Easter Monday two young ladies and one gentleman came on cycles from Southport, intending to visit the Old Church in Becconsall Lane. Unfortunately for one of the ladies (about twelve stone in weight) her brake snapped off going down the hill, and she ran into the church gate. The impact bent the front forks and threw her over the gate into the churchyard, with consequent bruises to both her legs. Mrs. Wareing and Annie Hurst rendered first-aid. Mrs, Slinger rang for a taxi from Southport but they could not come being outside the five mile radius. So after a rest and a cup of tea at Mrs. Wareing’s they managed to get the lady home by train. Mrs. Slinger promised to send their cycles the following day by the milk wagon.
Being told this story at our Easter Vestry meeting one of the officials said “AN ‘OW WAS GATE?

Saturday - March 18th.
To-day I had a walk along the bank to the Douglas, and round to the new bank corner. I had, by this date, expected to find a few bird’s nests, but unlike last year - when I saw one containing eggs, the first week in March - there didn’t appear to be any signs. Giving up on the “search”, I went over to Hugh Baxter who was busily spring-cleaning the Lodging Boat in preparation for salmon fishing. As I walked back along the river, I spotted a flock of what we used to call “Astland” geese, along with Shell ducks, Teal and a number of ‘gulls. I was greatly surprised to find that a large number of Widgeon have been feeding on the Marsh between the old bank and ‘Cabin road.
The good weather lately has enabled the Farmers to go ahead with their work; one or two were quite busty this afternoon, sowing Oats. Some peas and onions have been sown, and the planting of ‘caulies’ has just been commenced.
EASTER MONDAY - April 10th.
Most of the ‘caulie’ planting is now finished. The early peas are “showing green” along the rows, and the onions are just breaking through. The farmers are now quite busy setting potatoes.
L. Dawson has so far, caught about 5 salmon - getting two of them on his first trip, which was in March. This is the earliest he has ever been. Hugh Baxter has “tried a few tides”, but has not, as yet, had any luck.
I have seen several swallows darting about and singing in the sunshine. A nest near the greenhouses, which I hadn’t noticed, I found, contained three young thrushes - quite early!

1844 and 1944.
At the Easter Vestry, 1844, ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, Mr. Thomas Topping was elected People’s warden of the Parish Church. At the Easter Vestry, 1944, Mr. Thomas Topping , grandson of the 1844 warden, was elected People’s warden for the forty fourth year in succession. This is indeed a splendid achievement and is striking evidence of the trust and confidence which the parish places in M. Topping.
EGGS. The Day School had its Annual Egg Collection a week or two ago, and was able to sent 175 eggs and a donation of 10/- to the Southport Infirmary.
RATS. A rat destroying club has been formed under the leadership of Earnest Bannister and Jimmy Fowler. They have already destroyed quite a large number.
CHAPEL. Christian Endeavour Anniversary - last Sunday in March. Preacher: Rev. Maurice Harker of Burscough. Choir rendered special music. Monday evening following lecture by Rev. J.W. Hornsby of Bretherton “Experiences of a Trekker” President Mrs. J.E. Edmondson.
Special Easter Services on the 9th. Preacher: Mr. Fred Leigh of Longton (afternoon). In the evening the Choir rendered Stainer’s Crucifixion, Mr. Lee presided. Vocalists Mr. Bebbington and Mr. Sumner, both of Southport. Organist Mrs. R.C. Wright. Conductor Mr. J. Atkinson.

Jesus Christ taught the supreme value of the individual. That is one factor giving significance to the Cross. God Himself was willing to go to the extreme limits of life, even to death itself, to win men’s love and co-operation, but God would force no man. Men’s choice must be freely made. It is because Fascism has denied this fundamental doctrine of Christianity that the world is in confusion today. The truth we must never surrender is just this - the state exists for the benefit of its members. It is true that men find their fullest development only in so far as they are members of a community, but that community exists not for itself, still less for the aggrandisement of its leaders, but that each member of it may find fuller and a richer life in its service. It is the business of the State to see that each member has the means of living a healthy life, in a comfortable home, with opportunities for mental and spiritual development. It is the business of the Church to inspire and encourage the State to fulfil its obligations. That is at least part of the Christian message for to-day.

Measure thy life by loss instead of gain,
Not by the wine drunk, but by the wine poured forth!
For Love’s strength standeth in Love’s sacrifice;
And he who suffers most has most to give.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear -
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.
A thousand blessings, Lord, to us Thou dost impart -
We ask one blessing more, O Lord - a thankful heart.
A Short Prayer.
Save us, O Lord, waking, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep may rest in peace.

P.S. Received after going to press.
In connection with the Chapel there was a circuit rally on Good Friday. Preacher in the afternoon, Rev. A.L.Wigley, B.A., B.D. Soloist Mrs. Jepson of Banks. This was followed by a tea in the school. A Public meeting was held at 7p.m. presided over by Mrs. Wignall. Mr. Wigley gave an address on his experiences in a Commando campaign. Mrs. R. Cookson and Mrs. R. Miller sang a duet, and the choir two anthems.
The W.V.S. recently made a house-to-house collection for St. Dunstan’s which raised £27.11s 10d.

Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society

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