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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
October 1944

My Dear Friends,
We are in the middle of the Harvest Festival season, and our thanksgivings cover a wide area of blessings received. Indeed we have a very great deal to thank God for. When we think of all we have passed through during the past five years, of what might have happened but never did happen, of disasters turned into victories, of Dunkirk and the Air Force Battle of Britain, of Tobruk and then El Alamein, and all that followed it up to the Gothic line of Italy, of Stalingrad and the Russian come-back, with its vast reverse of fortunes for the Germans, of Normandy, and the liberation of France and Belgium in three months, to say nothing of the rapid shrinkage of Hitler's Europe to the present situation, the invasion of Germany, we can only say with Field-Marshall Montgomery quoting from the Psalm "This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes." We simply must go back to the old Church Service, in which this nation has been brought up, and say "O come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker, for He is the Lord our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand." But we know too well that it will take a lot more than singing psalms and Harvest hymns to bring our old Country back to God.
There is a lot to do both for you 'out there' and for us at home, and we shall have to mend our ways together. Pray then for us as we pray for you that we all may be worthy of victory and turn faith into practice now.
Yours very sincerely,

Roger Watson writes (from India) Airgraph dated Sept 8th to say that he has just received a batch of NLs and has particularly enjoyed DT's 'Marsh News'. He calls it 'a breath of Hesketh air.'
Cecil Cookson (Sept 20th) received the last NL just before going on a night Tank drive, so he read it at 1.30am in the middle of Durham city by switching on the turret light. He is now on the new 'Sherman' with the new seventeen pounder. He sends George Taylor his greetings, also Stacey Gautrey, Frank Taylor, Colin Stringfellow, and Kenneth Baxendale.
Lillian Iddon writes from her hospital to say how much she enjoys her work and to thank us for the NL.
Reg Cookson's letter (Aug 6th) must have been overlooked last month. (Anyway, many thanks for it, Reg) He was particularly interested in the 'Old Church' item and in 'Country Lad's' contribution, which brought back unforgettable memories.
Harry Buck reports (from France) that he has met Tom Miller now of Longton, his former work pal, and they conversed together about the Hesketh Newsletter.
J R Taylor (June 20th) has just completed a round the world trip since he left England ten months ago on the 'Empire Tide'. He picks out the Argentine, South America, as the finest Country he has seen. He received four NLs in Australia. He sends his special regards to Peter Dawson for his part in the sinking of the Scharnhorst.
William Harrison (Sept 21st) writes from Southern England. He gives praise for the people around him who have had such a trying time with the Flying Bombs.
Stanley Holden's letter (Aug 30th) from a camp in Southern England came just too late for the September NL. He contrasts his camp, (which is not too bad), with the very comfortable billets at St Helens, which he calls the finest six months holiday he has ever had. It was real Lancashire hospitality. So far, the South has beaten the North hollow for rain.
Martyn Wright (Sept 23rd) wishes to thank 'Country Lad' for his efforts. He has just returned to the Midlands from a course at Sidcup, Kent, where he saw some of the few 'doodle-bugs' which got through. He agrees with John Parkinson, that the people have stood up to them marvellously. M. is now in a large country mansion, and the parkland seems to stretch for miles. There is a station three miles away where a train stops twice a week. "It brought me here and will take me away." Anyway they are very well looked after and have plenty of entertainment
Tom Brewer writes an interesting letter from Italy. First he dilates on the NL, how 'Country Lad' puts into words all the nostalgia of the lads abroad and paints a picture of the English countryside which is ever present with any village lad. Then turning to Italy he says 'I have come to the conclusion that those who live and work on the soil are the same the world over. Even in Italy, despite the Fascists, the peasants and small farmers have remained untouched, simple, direct and honest people, a great change after the hypocrisy of the towns. They (the peasants) care nothing about politics, only about their farms. There is something about their stolidness and good nature which disarms the most cynical, for we had little illusions about Italian people after Naples and other towns similar to it. I heard many a lad say, as we lay in the straw of a stack on a little Italian farm, "this reminds me of home." Tom closes by sending greetings to his friend Fred Carr and sends this message, "not long now, old pal."
Malcolm Taylor (Sept 25th) tells us how interesting the NL is to many of his unit to whom he has shown it. He has recently completed his six months course at Cramwell, and is now an ACI wireless mechanic.

Dick Baxter has been made a Petty Officer. Congratulations to Dick and the family.
Ronnie Wignall is leaving Mr Heatley's after 6 years service.
Mr Mrs J Baxter have a daughter.
Measles has been spreading amongst the youngsters. David May, a little evacuee staying with Mrs Jack Iddon, and Brenda Johnson, Barbara Iddon and Jim Scambler are amongst its victims. But they are all doing well.
Keith Garlick of Station Road is in the Southport Infirmary with appendicitis, also Hazel Harrison, of Boundary Lane, with the same complaint.

On 2nd September a welcome was given by the Circuit to the Rev. B Oliver in the Banks School. The Chairman was Mr John Taylor, Circuit Steward. Solos were rendered by Mr Wm Iddon (Hesketh) Mr Richard Eatough (Hundred End) and Mrs Jepson (Banks). Mr Oliver began his ministry the following day by preaching at Banks.
At the Moss Harvest Festival the preacher in the afternoon was the Rev B Oliver; anthems were rendered by the choir. In the evening the Hesketh Bank Choir gave a Service of Song to a crowded congregation.
The Methodist Young Fellowship opened their winter programme of September 8th with a grand Social, one outstanding item being a General Knowledge Bee. Miss May Cropper acted as Question Mistress and some of the questions would have made even Professor Joad and Commander Campbell scratch their heads. Yet, in spite of the difficulties our local talent did extremely well, the Gents just managing to beat the Ladies by half a point. Refreshments came up to the usual standard, there being unlimited quantity for everyone, and they were all free. Various games were also played including Quoits, in which Mrs Joyce Coulton and Jimmy Sharples gave a very interesting display.
The Fellowship intends to meet on Friday nights from 7.30 to 10.00 in the Methodist School, Back Lane.

Youth Clubs are in the air. We hope and trust they will come down to earth, and get well rooted and growing. Hesketh Church Youth Club is being formed, and is to meet on Wednesdays (ages 15 to 21) in the school, Shoreside. First Aid, Country Dancing, Socials, Talks are among the regular items of the programme.
ARP WARDENS, gave a Whist Drive on September 21st in the school in aid of the Red Cross. It made £10. Councillor N Parkinson presented the prizes, and the MCs were Messrs D Iddon, W Cookson (Alty's) and H Tinsley
Mr Wm Topping who has a small farm down Guide Road and is an expert onion-grower had a very unwelcome visitor on Sunday night September 17th, who relieved him of some of his fine show of onions. Mr Topping says that the next time this thief wants some more he hopes he will come and ask for some, so that he may give him something else to go with them.

A good instance of this occurred in Hesketh Bank recently. A lad was burning some refuse on the marsh and the seat of his trousers caught fire. He put the fire out by jumping into the dyke!

NEWS September
Fire Fighters Success. A Tarleton part time crew in the charge of Section Leader Parker, won the light pump cup at Manchester on Saturday.
We have been having some good shows at the Garrick since our last NL, and it may interest some of you to know what is going on in Southport, but we hope it won't make you long to be back too much.

Week commencing September 4th
Henry Hall and his Band
September 11th
Joe Loss and his Band
September 18th
Old Mother Riley and her Daughter Kitty
September 25th
Rocky Mountain Rhythm with Big Bill Campbell
October 2nd
"Too Funny for Words"
October 9th
"Serenade to Fun" with Betty Driver and Clapham and Dwyer

In the Open Handicap organised by the Hesketh Bank Bowling Club in aid of the Local Comforts Fund, 96 Competitors entered for the event. Some excellent bowling was witnessed by a good crowd of spectators. In the closing stages N Taylor (Penwortham) beat R Robinson (a well known Preston bowler) 15 - 11 in one of the semi-finals. E Edmondson (Hesketh) beat Ken Bailey (Hesketh) 15 - 10 in the other semi-final. E Edmondson bowled exceptionally well in the Final beating R Taylor 15 - 5 and won the Handicap.
The prizes were presented to the winners by the Chairman of the Club (Mr Joseph Taylor) as follows: -

Winner Ed Edmondson Hesketh
Runner-up R Taylor Penwortham
3rd R Robinson Preston
4th K Bailey Hesketh
5th H Coulton Hesketh
6th J Trafford Croston
7th Frank Miller Hesketh
8th Joe Barker Hoole

A very successful bring and Buy Sale, organised by the WVS in connection with the Red Cross, was held in the Shoreside School, on Saturday afternoon, September 16th. This Sale was arranged specially as a contribution to the Preston and District Agricultural Effort with which most of the parishes round have joined. The Sale was opened by Mrs Whiteside of Dunkirk Farm, and the Chairman was Mr Warburton who was acting as Chairman of the Preston Co-ordinating Committee.
Betty Dawson and Shirley Iddon very charmingly presented a spray of flowers and a buttonhole to Mrs Whiteside and Mr Warburton respectively, and each of them handed Mrs Piper our local Secretary, a purse of money. Those children had also raised £21 by a small sale got up by themselves. Various rather 'scarce' articles were auctioned, and fetched good prices, and the stalls were cleared in record time, especially the cake stall. We realised the sum of £60. Mrs Thorne, in a short speech very much to the point, thanked the Opener and Chairman and all those who had contributed to the success of the afternoon.
On September 18th the final Sale of the Preston Effort was held in Preston Auction Mart. Lord Derby was present to open the proceedings and auctioned the first heifer. This grand animal was sold seven times over and realised the sum of £1,105. The members of the WVS from Hesketh Bank went for the whole day to help with the refreshments.

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