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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
February 1945

My dear Friends,
Not quite as long a Newsletter this month, as only a bare three weeks have elapsed since we posted the last one.
Here is a thought for you all this month. It comes from the daffodils which are revealing their shoots already. In spite of the snow and the frost, which after all is good for the land, we are all definitely looking forward to the beautiful Spring, which is surely coming. We must both patiently wait and actively strive, and then if we are faithful, we shall be able perhaps sooner than we think, to look back and thank God. “The night is far spent the day is at hand.” “Lift up your hearts,” His voice cries. Let us all answer “We lift them up to the Lord. “
Yours very sincerely,
A.P.THORNE.

POINTS FROM LETTERS.
Since our last record of letters from you and acknowledged in our January N. L. only about a fortnight has elapsed, so we have not as many letters as usual to acknowledge herewith.
We apologise to John Jackson for having omitted to thank him for his letter of Dec. 12th from Deal, and for his Christmas card and good wishes.
Many thanks Hugh Melling, Harley McKean for your Christmas cards which arrived too late for acknowledgement in the Jan. N.L.
Thomas Bond (Jan. 12) writes to say he did not receive his December, January N.L’s. They must have gone astray in the post. We enclose two more for him. Hope they arrive. Leslie Bramwell (Jan. 8th) is now on duty in the 83rd British general Hospital, a change indeed from Field Ambulance jobs. He now takes his orders from Sisters, and he adds “you know what women are like to take orders from”!
Round Christmas he was working in the Front Line at Faenza. On Christmas Eve he was working all night, and attending to wounded on Boxing Day, and he started off 1945 in action. He wants to send thanks to the War Comforts Fund, the Bowling Club, and Douglas Iddon for all their kind gifts. Whoever wrote “Country Lad” in Dec. N.L., he says “made a good job of it.“ It made him feel he was having a good time himself.
Joe Power (Jan. 2) wants to thank the War Comforts for the ten shillings. He had an excellent Christmas with an abundant issue of tinned turkey, chicken and Christmas pudding. The Dutch people are now on their skates on the canals. Everybody apparently can skate in Holland, young and old. Joe had good hopes of leave this month, but somehow, when the names were drawn out of the hat, his must have got stuck in the bottom.
A welcome airgraph from Sydney Cookson (R.A.F. India Dec. 18).He says that Indians have great physical, mental and spiritual handicaps. Lately he had the pleasure of a visit to a Roman Catholic Convent. He closes with “Best wishes and humble prayers for each and all. God bless and inspire you all”.
James Woodhead’s (Jan. 5) letter will be of particular interest to the Hesketh Bank Band. Jim is playing 1st horn in the Regimental Naval Band at Chatham Barracks, not a permanent job but only until he gets a ship.
He desires to convey his thanks to the W.V.S., and the Bowling Club for the Christmas gifts, and he does not think the lads will ever forget them.
The Rector has been pleased to receive a letter from Coxswain Alan Cook, not one of our lads, but a friend of the Bannister’s in Becconsall lane, and others in Hesketh Bank. He is now in his third year of service with a Coastal Force Craft, somewhere in the Adriatic. He is grateful to his friends for letting him see the Hesketh Bank N.L’s which he maintains ought to go down in local History.

NEWS FROM THE VILLAGE.
We deeply regret to say that James Sutton only son of Mrs. Sutton, Fermor Road, who has been missing for some time, has now been reported killed. Our very deep sympathy is with his widowed mother.
Harry Devitt has arrived home from India. After four years service he has got five weeks leave. Mrs. Dick Johnson (Vera Buck) Hesketh Lane, has presented her husband with a baby boy. George Taylor and Gordon Iddon (near neighbours in Shoreside) have met in Belgium.
P.O. Richard Baxter has arrived home after being away at sea in the far East for over a year.
The first Hesketh Bank boy’s name to come out of the lucky bag was William Iddon (Bill) Chapel Rd. He arrived home Jan. 11th. We are very pleased to say he looks fit and well.
A Ribble bus skidded into Howard‘s Farm at the end of Hesketh lane on Sat. morning, Jan 2nd. Luckily no one was hurt.
Many have fallen from bicycles recently as the roads are covered with frozen snow.
Harry Hoyle has arrived from Canada. He expects his wife to arrive in about a month’s time. Also home on leave, Albert Blackburn and Richard Baxter.
Mr. W. A. Cook, formerly rector’s Warden at Hesketh Church, attained his eightieth year on Jan. 11th. It is only transport difficulties which prevent him from his once regular attendance at Church. He is in good health and still carries on his business in Southport.
Ronnie Marsden, son of Clement Marsden has had a touch of pneumonia but is improving.
The Hesketh C.E. Sunday School Christmas Party took place on Thursday Jan. 4th. It was made an entire success by the Sunday school teachers and scholars who gave a very good entertainment. The school was packed, and Father Christmas presented each scholar with a small money gift and an orange. It is nice to see everybody enjoying themselves. After it was over the children indulged enthusiastically in their old time games. A Whist Drive previously got up by Douglas Iddon was responsible for providing the money gifts. Perhaps we shall see the Christmas Tree restored next time. Who Knows!
Hesketh Moss Chapel has recently organised a social in aid of the Welcome home fund.
George Taylor of Shoreside made great friends with a French family in Lille. One of their girls has recently written a beautiful letter in perfect English to George’s family, describing the joys of their liberation and sending photographs of their family.
Mrs. H Taylor, the Brow has a son. Mrs. Edmondson (nee Beatrice Cookson) a daughter. Mrs. Wagnall (Margaret Latham) Hesketh Lane, a daughter.
William Bradshaw (the Sexton) has had a nasal operation and is getting over it nicely. John Ashcroft, Newarth, has most kindly been stoking up these last two weekends on his behalf.
Harry Hoyle has had an additional ten days leave granted. Albert Price and Horace Hornby are also home on leave.
Peter Cropper from Banks, has bought Ted Holgate’s Bungalow and land. On Jan. 27th there is to be a sale of all Mr. Heatly’s Guide Road green houses and bungalow are to be sold. Moses Johnson’s was withdrawn. In a recent N.L. we heard about horses shieing at threshing machines.
Now there is a public order that when coming up Guides Road to avoid meeting the thresher horses must be taken round the greenhouses and stay behind till the way is clear.

CHAPEL NEWS.
Sunday 21st witnessed the Men’s Effort on behalf of the Chapel Funds, The Preacher in the afternoon service was the Rev. J. W. Hornsby of Bretherton. The soloist was Mr. John Watkinson and selections were give by the Male Voice Choir. In the evening there was a Musical service given by the Male Choir. Solos were rendered by Master M. Brewer (soprano) and Messers John Watkinson, J. Ashcroft, R. Johnson, Mr. Leslie Sewell was organist, Mr Joseph Watkinson, conductor, and the Chairman was Mr. Eastham of Preston. The collection for the day amount to 10 guineas.

THE BISHOP’S VISIT.
The Lord Bishop of Blackburn paid his first official visit to Hesketh on Sunday Jan.21., when he preached before a large congregation at the morning service. The collections £18 throughout the day were for the Bishop’s Appeal Fund for the work of the Diocese. We were sorry that the Rector was prevented through illness from being present at the service on that day.

LENT.
Lent comes early this year. Has it a meaning for you at the Front? Just this; your self discipline is a means to victory. Lent is not an end in itself; it is the preparation for the keeping of a Happy Easter with Him who is the triumphant Lord. May your daily work in foreign lands lead to that happy union.

HORTICUTURE:
There was a large audience, including many from Hesketh Bank, and Tarleton, at the Atkinson Gallery, Southport, on 13th Jan., when Councillor Parkinson J.P., lectured on ‘Tomatoes in Cold Greenhouses’, and his son, Mr. Arthur Parkinson, B.Sc., F.R.H.S., lectured on ‘Tomatoes in the Open Air’. The lectures were organised by the Southport Corporation Horticultural Committee for ‘Grow more Food Campaign’, and Councillor Tomlinson, former Mayor of Southport, presided. The keen interest of the audience was shown by the large number of questions asked after the lectures, and these were most ably answered. The lecturers have been invited to lecture on the same subjects at Haslingdon towards the end of the month.

NOTES BY THE COUNTRY LAD:
My friends, in this my first article this year I want to tell you an episode that happened in this little village many many years ago, it is the sad story of Felix the cat, and it took place down one of our famous country lanes. For many long weary nights the neighbours living down this lane had almost been reduced to nervous wrecks owing to the cries and calls of Felix to her true love. Now this particular night, one old man decided that tonight must be the end of all these agonising hours, and he forthwith made all preparations for bringing it to an end. Now in those days to be an owner of a gun was a great thing, because guns were very few, and what few they were....

N.B. the rest of this news letter is missing from our copy
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