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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
March 1945

My Dear Friends,
This number marks the beginning of the Newsletter's third year. We are more than thankful that it is growing up healthy and strong. Those who are responsible for its upbringing are not above receiving good advice and helpful criticism in regard to the development of its character. Remember, what helps you helps us.
God bless you all this month. We are delighted with a revival in the number of your letters arriving in February.
Yours very sincerely,

Sam Iddon (CMF Feb.12) tells us that his wife has been in Preston Infirmary for a seventh operation, but has returned home to Hoole and is doing well. He sends his best wishes for recovery to Mrs Cookson (Church View). Sam welcomes his weekly Church Parades. He would like to see all ex-service men after the war starting a Sunday School class of their own. Commenting on the Italian weather he reports snow six feet deep, now giving way to mud and rain. Our mention of the Sunday School tea party reminded Sam of the Botanic Gardens, Churchtown and then Southport after tea. Sam devotes a page of his letter to a talk with David Taylor about "Marsh News". Sam has seen hares surrounded by the tide and practically waiting to be picked up. He has only seen five geese since he left England, and one duck on the Gagliano river. Sam evidently looks forward to 'Marsh News'.

Ronnie Whiteside (CMF Jan 28) writes from Greece to send his deepest sympathy to Mrs Pill (Betty Ball) on her bereavement. He was recently on a big ceremonial parade and was actually in charge of their gun, a very great honour. Ronnie is looking forward to a great day in Hesketh Bank, let us hope, in the near future. (Gordon Iddon's address is following Ronnie). Ronnie sends his greetings to the Carr brothers, and Ruby and Gordon Iddon and Leslie Bramwell. Gordon is to treat the old mule kindly.

Elijah Cookson (South Africa Jan.31) makes our mouths water with his account of warm weather and plenty of fresh fruit. He sends his best thanks to the Comforts Fund and the Bowling Club for their gifts.

Roger Watson (RAF, India, Jan.13) reports regular arrivals out East of Newsletters. He too, wants to thank the Comforts Fund and the Bowling Club for all they do. He had 14 days leave in the hills, amid the wonderful scenery of the Himalayan mountains, and enjoying the mountain railway 7,000 feet up.

Bob Iddon writes (Jan.6) that he has almost 'done' the Aegean Islands, so he is ready to see other parts, and he concludes "So long as everything is alright at home I don't mind where I go'"

W Melling writes from Inverary, West Scotland. The Rector wonders whether he has passed a little hotel down the road at Loch Gair, where Mrs Thorne and he stayed some years ago, and did not like it. Bill hopes to be on leave March 2nd. so perhaps he will give HB a call. He wishes to be remembered to Bert and Tom Miller and Joe Eastham, also to Leslie Bramwell, (to the latter he says, 'Croston is still the same as ever.')

Harry Hindley (Jan.24 BLA) sends his best wishes particularly to the lads overseas. He refers to Astland Tennis Club, now rather spread-eagled, and Roger Watson, Freddie Coupe, Malcolm Parkinson, Dick Rymer and the rest. Sorry that the NL has been late. The correct address is herewith inserted. Glad you mentioned it.

Robert Sharples (SEAC) (Jan 18) looks forward to a Home chat with Joe Iddon, who, he is glad to hear, has a daughter. He has met Eric Ashcroft, but had also hopes of coming across Albert Taylor, John Banks and Joe Eastham.

Arthur Taylor's letter took a long time to get here, posted Nov.27th. He would like 'Country Lad' to see the scenery he has seen. It would give him a lot to talk about, but Arthur prefers the smell of Hesketh hay in the autumn. He has also had a lot of ice-cream where he has been, but he prefers Devitt's any day! He sends his greetings to John Jackson, Wm. Ball (Newarth) and Harry Hoyle.

Two letters from Joe Iddon (HMS Devonshire) the first dated Dec.10th and the second Feb.11th. He concludes by thanking us more than he can say for the NLs and those who help to make these things possible for us.

Fred Tiffin has written to us twice since last month (we have the right address now, Fred) He was interested to hear of Alan Cook, who with Tom Brewer, Jack Nelson, and himself have had great times down the river Douglas. He sends his greetings to them, and to his brother Leslie. He hopes to start his leave on Feb.25th. On Christmas Eve at his RAF camp they gave a party to the local children, including a pantomime.

A welcome from Bernard Eldridge (on service in Jamaica) whose wife lives opposite Hesketh Church. He tells us of English summers without the rain, and many kind friends. He is grateful for the friendship extended to his wife in Hesketh Bank.

Wm Ainscough (BLA) sends his greeting to Harry Hoyle on his marriage, and he is very glad to hear of Tom Bond's recovery. He returns many thanks for Christmas Gifts received from the parish.

Cecil Cookson (MEF) writes late January to say he has safely arrived 'over there'. He reports that the Sunday Services are quite good, and on board ship they cheered things up a bit. He greets Peter Dawson, Stacey Gautrey, Kenneth Baxendale, Leslie Tiffin, and all others, with a special one for his brother Syd in India. Fruit out there is in plenty and rationing is unknown. He concludes alluding to the girls whom, he says, are doing a fine job of work there, equal to a man's. Very glad to hear again from JohnTaylor (RN) posted Feb 10th. Rector quite understands you not calling, specially in that cold spell. John finds it strange to be in barracks after five years at sea in the old 'Fleetwood'. On Feb.4th he met Dick Baxter ashore, the first friend from home he has met for four years. They spent a very happy evening together.

The Rector wishes to thank Nicholas Taylor (Pioneer Corps) for his Christmas and New Year card, which was somewhat delayed in the post.

Colin Wignall (HMS Enchantress) writes his very first letter. When he heard of the snow in Hesketh he would have given anything to be in it on the Marsh, instead of being down the boiler-room on his ship. He wishes to be specially remembered to Colin Stringfellow, and Stacey Gautrey, and thanks us for the NL which he says is the best thing anyone could wish for in the Forces.

At the Church Assembly in London on 9th Feb. the Bishop of Rochester wished this message to be sent to all members of HM Forces, and the Archbishop of Canterbury said it voiced the feeling of all at the Assembly. "You are not forgotten. Your names are remembered before God each week in your home church. We pray God to support and protect you. We also pray for a speedy victory that soon we may welcome you home and thank you, and we earnestly look for your leadership and comradeship in days to come as we prepare to work for the rest of our lives for a Christian England and a Christian world."

If you happen to be standing near the Rectory gate just before seven o'clock on the last Thursday of the month you would probably see five or six people going up the drive within a few minutes of each other. Take a peep inside and you will see that when they are seated round the Rectory table the Editor comes in the room carrying a pile of copies of the current News Letter. Everybody is anxious to read all the news within the first two minutes or less, and then tongues wag freely as the latest news is discussed and the new number commented on and criticised. But there is work to be done and soon the members are busy folding the NLs inserting them in the already addressed envelopes, stamping and then checking, so that no member of the Forces is omitted. Then all the envelopes are packed in a bag ready for posting the following morning. The next number is discussed - more news wanted - somebody to get busy on this, that and the other - the next copy, when must it be in? - when is the next meeting? - and so if the members of the Committee have been fortunate the distribution is completed and plans made all within two or two and a half hours.

Lillian Iddon writes from Whittingham Emergency Hospital to thank us for the NL. She tells us how much it is appreciated there not only by herself, but by all, patients and staff, to whom she shows it.

THE ENGLISH, A foreigners view - written in 1598.
They are powerful in the field, successful against their enemies, impatient of anything like slavery; vastly fond of great noises that fill the ear, such as the firing of cannon, drums, and the ringing of bells, so that in London it is common for a number of them, that have got a glass in their hands, to go up into some belfry, and ring the bells for hours together, for the sake of exercise.
We don't seem to have changed much in the last 350 years, do we?

MR CHURCHILL speaking in the House of Commons immediately after the formation of his Government, 1940.
"You ask, what is our policy? I will say: it is to wage war by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: it is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.. Let that be realised. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal."

What with the petrol restrictions and the warm weather approaching, some of our women folk here at home have begun to get cycle-minded, and on a warm sunny afternoon in a remote part of the village they can be seen being put through their paces under the expert tuition of the Shore Rd School of Cycling. We certainly intend before long to be able to compete against the Wigan Wheelers.

The Home Guard hut which was sold for £90 to Mr William Coulton of Shore Side, is going to be removed and placed down Guide Rd, the smaller cabin which was bought by Mr Pettiner for £20 is also going to be removed.

In a recent Draw held at her Hospital, Nurse Lillian Iddon won the first prize which was a new bicycle.

Kenneth Brandwood and Arnold Cookson have been called up, and both are at the same barracks.

Believe it or not, during the cold weather recently one of our farmers threshed his corn with the aid of a blow lamp. It happened like this: Most of you will know our famous threshing engine which answers to the name of Jessie, well her driver the pleasant good-humoured man whose appearance in any stack yard in Lancashire during these last five years was as welcome as the cuckoo in spring, had placed his faithful old bag of tricks by the side of the stacks and had commenced threshing when he discovered that Jessie was not getting her milk properly and on investigating he found that the frost had settled in her bowels, so after much discussion and expert advice from the large but intelligent staff of men under him, it was decided that the only remedy to cure poor Jessie's indigestion was a blow lamp. After hours of searching one was eventually found and with its aid the thrashing was finished.

We have seen the first signs of Spring during the past two weeks here at home, snowdrops can be seen in lovely white clusters, and they are all out down at the old Church, daffodils are just springing through, two and sixpence each so I'm afraid most of us will have to wait for our own blooming.

Hilda Wickham, daughter of the late Dr and Mrs Wickham, is in the WRNS, and has gone abroad.

A Dance and Whist Drive was held in the School last Friday promoted by the Premier Dance Band, which was in charge of Mr W Hall, in aid of the United Welcome Home Fund. Nine pounds was raised. There was a crooning competition, the winners being Mrs T Taylor, Moss Lane and J Rigby,
Hesketh Bank. On Shrove Tuesday the Bowling Club held a Whist drive in the school and they raised £34 for the United Welcome Home Fund.
Mrs Measham also organised a whist drive for the same fund recently, realising £17.

£40 was raised at a sale and concert at the Hesketh Bank Methodist Schoolroom last Saturday. The opener was Miss Annie McFord, and Miss Frances Taylor was the pianist.

Frank Foster has received his discharge from the Army.

Sally Pye (who used to live in Mr W Coulton's house, Shore Side) died last Saturday. She had been ill a long time, and was 19 years of age

The house with 2 3/4 acres of land containing 17 greenhouses, belonging to Mr M Johnson of HB were withdrawn at a sale in January. The highest bid was £5,600 made by Mr Robert Sutton, Moss Lane. The reserve price was £10,000.

Heatley's bungalow (in Guide Rd) with four acres of land, and three small greenhouses, was sold on January 27th, to James Iddon, Delta, Chapel Road. For £3,620.

Heatley's 12 large greenhouses and four acres of land, were sold to Mr Duckworth, New Road, Tarleton for £4,950. Edward Moss was the auctioneer.

Mr J Coulton's greenhouses were withdrawn - Chapel Road.

The Rector of Tarleton has volunteered to fetch boys home from Preston, coming from BLA forces between the hours of 10.30pm and 4am going to Bretherton, Hoole, Tarleton, Rufford or Hesketh Bank

Margaret Edith, infant daughter of Mr Mrs Clarence Iddon was christened on Feb.11th at Hesketh Church. We were very sorry that Clarence could not get home for the event.

Mr Mrs Johnson's (nee Vera Buck) baby Peter was christened on Feb 4th also at Hesketh Church. We were pleased to see Ernest Buck, home on leave, as one of the Godparents.

Mrs Hugh Melling (Jenny Slinger) has got a baby boy, and Mrs Alan Wignall a baby girl.

Willie Rimmer and Walter Bassett have been home on leave.

Mr Mrs H Iddon ('Harry Sam') have a daughter.

Raymond Bailey is being married to Winnie Quinlan on Wed. Feb 21st.

M H Hoyle, Shore Road, is selling his farm and farm stock by auction on Feb 28th. Mr Mrs Hoyle are removing to Churchtown shortly. We are very sorry indeed that they are going. Mrs Hoyle has been the teacher of the Women's Class in Hesketh C/E Sunday School in recent years, and has been most regular. She has also been one of our chief helpers in church affairs and a most faithful member of our WVS. She still hopes to visit us when she can.

On Feb 10th Mary Bond, eldest daughter of Mr Mrs Thomas Bond, Bonfield Farm, and John Ball, only son of Mr Mrs Alben Ball, Wood Farm, were married at the Hesketh Moss Chapel.

On Feb 14th a Concert was given in the Moss Chapel for the Welcome Home Fund, realising £23.
Two Socials were also held on Jan 9th and 10th and 30th in the Moss Sunday School, for the same fund, realising in all £16.
William Ainscough (BLA) came home on leave on Jan 19th. John Bond on Feb 6th.
Thomas Bond came home on leave Feb 11th looking quite fit again after his operation.

Home Mission Services were held on Sunday, 11th Feb, the preachers being the Rev B Oliver (afternoon) and Mr R Marshall (evening). On the following Tuesday a lecture 'Life in London' was given by the Rev B Oliver, Mr W E Higham was the Chairman.

There was a sad accident on the afternoon of Sunday 18th Feb when Lawrence John Fowler, aged 16, of Pall Mall, Chorley, died from wounds received when a rifle carried by another youth accidentally exploded. L Fowler and his friend were returning from shooting on Hesketh Marsh when the accident happened.

The snow which I mentioned in my last letter, didn't stay with us very long, and although we experienced a 'spot' of Arctic weather, the few Spring days we have had since, have made us almost forget how cold it was.
On the day of the thaw, I was on the marsh, and couldn't recollect having seen so much water lying on there. To give you some idea, the Hundred End 'Outlet' and the next, were joined into a huge lake. Although there seemed to be water everywhere, there wasn't much damage done to the potato hogs. Sprout picking is coming to an end, but the ground isn't yet in a fit state to plough them up.
A few years ago, a sharp frosty spell was a good time for wild duck shooting, but the recent hard weather did not prove so successful.. This may be due to the decrease in the number of Mallards round this district, although one afternoon, I found about 2, 000 widgeon down the 'Salmon' gutter. As they rose out, I killed 15 using only two barrels. I heard that Hugh Abram and Hugh Twist had a similar experience on Banks Marsh.
Harry Devitt has spent quite a bit of time shooting, whilst on leave recently. I believe he did quite well, but I'm sorry I forgot to ask him what his total 'bag' was during the past few weeks he was at home.

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