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Web Transcript © 2004 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
October 1945

My dear Friend,
Harvest is with us again and the reports from the fields are very good. All this adds to our thanks givings for many mercies received. How richly blessed is the Earth with all that Man needs to sustain him, and how dreadful it is that the war, not God, has caused such distress and famine in many countries, a distress amounting to chaos. Here is a divine promise for the future. “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten”. God makes this promise but we must fulfil the condition of it’s fulfilment, which is that man who has forgotten God must see that GOD is re-instated on His Throne. Unless God is again in command, He cannot help us. That is the condition of the Peace, which we all desire.
Yours very sincerely

We shall long remember 15th August - V.J. Day. What a thrill when we heard on the wireless the announcement from Number 10, Downing Street telling of Japan’s unconditional surrender. Then the singing, the cheering, the dancing, the ringing of bells, the lighting of bonfires - the expression of the pent up emotion of six years of war. But deeper than all this was our thankfulness to Almighty God that He had granted Victory to our arms. The cause of righteousness had triumphed, God had been vindicated in the sight of men. We thank God for the courage, devotion and endurance of our sailors, soldiers, and airmen which made the victory possible. We must needs remember that we are “bought with a price” - and the price was the life and blood and suffering of our lads. When taxes are high and we are inclined to grumble, we might remember that, and insist that members of H.M. Forces get a square deal - they have earned it. We thank God for the unity of our people. Every part of the Empire and Commonwealth (with the exception, of course, of Eire) rallied valiantly to the defence of the decencies of life and the cause of liberty. We thank God that the United Nations were able to sink their differences and fight together for the cleansing of the world from the evil of Nazism and Fascism.
We thank God for the inspired and inspiring leadership of Winston Churchill, who by his words cheered us and expressed so well our own sentiments, and by his actions brought us through the dark days to a Day of Promise. Through men and women of various classes and nations God worked out His purposes. To God be the glory and to His servants be our praise.

We are filled with disgust at the cruelties and tortures practised by these foul fiends on their prisoners. The Japanese must be made to feel not only the full force of our contempt and that of all civilised people but also the full force of our power to punish. The punishment must fall not only to the ordinary person in Japan but also to the highest in that land. The highest officials must suffer most. To them is due in large measure the depravity of the ordinary Jap. soldier. It may be that in our individual capacity we can do little, but there are two things we can do; one is never to forget the devilishness of the Japanese; the second is to pray daily that leaders of the United Nations mete out to Japan the sternest retribution. We were cheered when we heard that Lord Louis Mountbatton had told the Forces under his command, “you are to stand no nonsense from these people. You will have my support in taking the firmest measures against any attempt at obstinacy, impudence, or non-cooperation.”

Since our last N.L. we acknowledge with many thanks letters from Jas. Latham, Malcolm Taylor, Robt. Sharples, Joe Eastham, Nicholas Whiteside, Arthur Taylor, Harry Buck, John Jackson, William Bailey.
Robert Sharples (S.E.A.C. Aug. 18) reports that he had a pleasant surprise in July in meeting Hugh Melling, who has travelling in the same troop train as himself, so they had an hour’s talk together about Hesketh Bank. He hopes to be back home in the New Year.
Joe Eastham (S.E.A.C. July 5) has been in hospital for a month with pneumonia and pleurisy, but is now (July 5) well on the road to recovery and waiting for his ticket home. He wishes to be remembered to Leslie Bramwell, Stacey Gautry, Rigby Melling, Bill Melling, and Bert Miller. He wants to tell the N.L. Committee that he appreciates very much the fact that they are keeping up the N.L. His weather is still as hot as ever.
Nicholas Whiteside (India Aug. 22) had quite a Cook’s Tour arriving in India via Malta, Palestine, Iraq, etc. He had ten enjoyable days in Cairo, seeing the Pyramids, the Sphinx, various Mosques, a trip up the Nile. In Italy he saw the ruins of the famous Pompeii, an amazing piece of workmanship. After living in a tent all the time, his comfortable quarters in Delhi were a great contrast. The July N.L. reached him there early in August. His real V. Day will be his arrival home. He says that he is well, despite the constant sweating with clothes wringing wet.
Arthur Taylor (H.M.S. Upright. Aug. 12) writes from a Royal Canadian Naval Hospital where he has been laid up with pleurisy. He hoes to be better by this month, and if possible to be home in November. His Naval Chaplain is Canadian but knows something about Lancashire. Good luck and good health to you Arthur, is our greeting, if it gets to you before you sail.
Harry Buck ( Aug. 19 Germany) writes from Hamburg. He was glad to meet Joe Power and sends him his best wishes.
William Bailey (R.A.F.) writes (somewhere about August 15) that he was glad to have the Bowling News and hopes, with a bit of luck, to be able to try for the Victory Cup.
John Jackson (Deal. Sept.6) thanks Harry Hoyle for his message and returns it with interest. Also to Harold Cookson, Arthur Taylor, Raymond and Bill Bailey.

The night was dark, the rain beat against the windows, the wind howled through the wires overhead, whilst nearby a sign creaked wearily. A faint streak of light coming from a crack in a covered window was the only indication of life anywhere about on this dreadful night. But there was plenty of life behind that darkened window. That night above all nights the cream of the villagers had set out on some important work - to find means of swelling the funds of the “Welcome Home”. The busy secretary of the Parish Council had very kindly placed his workshop at the disposal of this body of men for this all important meeting. As the minutes turned into hours, brains creaking and cracking under the most awful strain, still no solution had been found, when at last one man whose lettuce patch had stood him in good stead said, “How about a bazaar?” “Bazaar!” cried one old weather-beaten farmer. “ay”, cried another “and tha can be Queen o’ the May”. The laughter and the arguments were quickly brought to an end. The Chairman said, “Has anyone else thought of something better?” and when it came; timidly, faintly, but distinctly a voice was heard saying, half to itself, half to the meeting, “Why not A SHOW?” All eyes were turned on one who was sitting on a none too steady chair and playing nervously with the cobbler’s last, had all unknowingly made history in a night for the village. “A Show, a Show, of course, why hadn’t we thought of it before. A Show it must be”. So said everybody. “Right said the Chairman, who had for the past three hours been holding a big wooden mallet in his hand, and had been dying to bring it crashing down on the bench in front of him. “Right”, cried the Chairman again in tones of finality and down crashed the mallet and up flew the dust while the nails and the what-nots did a rattle. With light hearts but aching heads the men trouped home to anxious wives who wanted all details. “Did you tell them what I told you to, about asking the War department for the loan of a couple of Matildas and half-a-dozen Churchills so that we could put them on view at sixpence a time?” Ay, the husbands had a busy time explaining how it was all going to work and what a lot of money was sure to be made. Then followed weeks of toil, sweat and tears, plans were made and scrapped, new ones following the old ones, but at last all difficulties were overcome - a site chosen, small but energetic sub committees appointed, and everything went with a swing. The Ribble was swept for salmon, cattle were slaughtered for sandwiches, bakeries for miles around were put on priority work, Wigan was notified for coal to feed the furnaces, tents were borrowed; the whole village was a scene of activity. Even the babies played their part as they said “A Sho, a sho”; this according to the proud mothers was their way of saying “A Show”. It is no wonder excitement was running high and to have mentioned rain on the Friday evening would have been to die the death of a dog. Great was the anxiety as the first streaks of dawn came peeping through the windows on Saturday morning. It was fine and soon everybody was astir. Never had so many Sunday suits been seen on a Saturday morning. People came from far and near to see the finest vegetables that only our marsh can produce. The band was in attendance playing excellent music for the Morris Dancers. There was a bar where the thirsty sons (and daughters) of the soil could quench their thirst. There was something for everybody - on the field we mean, not in the bar. To end the doings on the field there were “The All-in-Wrestlers”, and believe it or not, nearly all the mothers of the village gathered to watch. We were told privately that they were there to pick up points. They will see to it in future that they give not only the last word but also the last blow! At any rate since the show the men folk seem to be quieter and take a good look over their shoulder before laying down the law. The activities of the field were followed by a grand dance in Tarleton Council School. The organizers of the Show had plenty of reasons for being pleased with themselves. It shows what the villagers can do when they work together.

The following have been on leave since our last N.L.
Harry Baxter, Bill Ashcroft, William Sutton, Ronnie Whiteside, George Taylor, Jack Basset, Herbert Wignall, who is on Agricultural leave.
Harry Baxter has got a grand job in Germany, serving beer to the troops. He looks like a real landlord. He hopes to be home in a few weeks, his group number is 20.
Jack Basset will be home in a few weeks, his group number is 17.
W.W. Iddon should have been home this week (demobbed with B group) but he has had to stay as he’s not well.
Mrs. W.W. Iddon has got a baby girl.
The following have been ‘demobbed’ - James Cook, George Milray, Ronnie Wagnall (Moss Lane). Malcolm Taylor is proceeding oversees - S.S.A.A.F. We send him our very best wishes.
William Bradshaw (our Sexton) was married to Lizzie Ward, of Chapel road, in Hesketh church on Monday, September 10th. Our best wishes go with them both.

John Bond is home on Agricultural leave. Sept. 16th was Harvest Festival Sunday at the Moss Chapel. The Rev. A. Wigley preached in the afternoon, and in the evening there was a Service of song. Chairman: Mr. T Johnson, of Banks, reader: Mrs. Campion of Marshside. Hesketh Bank Chapel choir sang at both services, conducted by Mr. J. Watkinson. The organist was Mrs. W. Iddon. The Collection amounted to £46. This being a record.

Saturday, September 15th:- To-morrow the Moss Chapel service will be the commencement of the Harvest Festivals round the district. There is still a bit of corn on the marsh to be carted, but most of the farmers have got it in.
The main job at the moment is carting the grass from along the ditches, and putting it ready for covering the pot to hogs. Some farmers have got all their ridge ends off, although its rather too early yet to commence ’lifting’.
A few sprouts have been picked, but of course its rather early yet. The onions have done very well this year, and judging by the standard of exhibits at the show last Saturday, most people have had a fine crop.
The thrashing machines have started their winter’s work, and due to the good harvest this year, the corn is quite ’bright’.
The prospects of shooting are much better now, than a month ago, and the widgeon (which have been here a fortnight) are increasing in number daily. There haven’t been any really good mornings for shooting yet. I’ve been down a few mornings this week and got 14 widgeon and a few teal. There seems to be quite a number of the latter in the gutters, at present. Last Thursday night a goose was seen on the marsh, which must have been one of the first to arrive.

The Hesketh Victory Cup was won by Bobby Cookson, who beat Dick (Sam) Iddon in the Final, both players being on the scratch mark.
The Astland League fixtures, have not yet been completed but Tarleton “A” wins the League Championship this Season with the runners-up still undecided. Our “A” team have one more match to play at home to Rufford “B”. If they are successful, a play-off for runners up will have to be played between them and “Holmeswood “A”. It may be played on the Tarleton Subscription Green, on Saturday next.
An open Handicap was held on Sept. 15th and 18th., in aid of the Welcome Home Fund on our Green with a record entry of 110 Competitors, from Preston, Longton, Hoole, Croston, Tarleton, Holmeswood, Banks, and Mere Brow.
In the closing stages two old veterans clashed in one of the semi-finals in Hugh Iddon (our Groundsman) opposing Philip Barron (Tarleton). After Barron taking the lead to 10 - 7, Iddon pulled up and run out to game 15 - 10. In the other semi-final, Dick Iddon (Sam) Tarleton beat Harold Gautry 15 - 10, Iddon kept the lead from the start. Gautry was in top form on Saturday. In the Final, Hugh Iddon from the 4 mark took the lead all the way against Dick Iddon (Sam) to win the Handicap 15 - 9. The Green was in excellent condition. The Chairman (Mr. Joe Taylor) presented the prizes.

Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society

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