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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
November 1945

My Dear Friends,
A lot of your letters came just towards the end of September so I have not had opportunity to acknowledge them till now. Demobilisation is in the air, perhaps too much in the air, let us hope it will find its way very soon (for you) to the solid and fruitful earth of Hesketh Bank. Sooner or later, may it be soon.
Cheerio from
Yours very sincerely,

Points from Letters.
William Bailey (RAF) (Sept 18) writes from Brussels. One sentence of his is worth special mention. "I am moving about the countryside and see the graves of our comrades straggled along the roadside. I hope that we may make it worth while them paying the supreme sacrifice and not let the same thing ever happen again."

Jack Banks (SEAAF Sept 9th) reminds us that the RAF out in Burma have really been part and parcel of the famous Fourteen Army and have been the important factor in keeping that Army going. He has been out there two and a half years and has been lucky in avoiding all the diseases of the East. He remarks that he gets his NL most regularly 9 days after dispatch.

Fred Coupe writes (Sept 14) from somewhere overseas (Labrador I gather), a very interesting letter of his travels from Trinidad through the States to Canada and far north to Labrador, a change from the hot-house to ice-house. He met some millionaires in Jamaica who treated them well, thence to Miami, a paradise of a place, and New York, where, as he says, they saw everything and did everything (in two days!) He spent 9 days leave at Cleveland, Ohio, with his relations, then a couple of days in Montreal, and so to the wilds of Goose Bay, Labrador, where he expects soon two feet of snow for many months. He looks forward to his return next summer. Best wishes to you Fred, we do not forget you.

J W Parkinson (Sept 20) writes in great appreciation of the NL as he has been unlucky in not 'contacting' anybody from home all the time he has been on service; except one day in Hanover and a couple of days in Brussels, with his brother. He wants to know whether Jim Coulton, his pal, is 'pen shy'. He has had no reply to his letters and looks for one.

Ernest Buck writes from Wimbledon. He saw Ronnie Whiteside when he was on leave.

Jim Woodhead (Oct 10) writes from Bombay (a big hop from Canada.). He says that the past years would have been a grim life without the gifts and Newsletter from home, especially when you are on the other side of the world. Out in India he has seen real poverty, many only having the pavement for their bed.

Malcolm Taylor's (Oct 16) letter from Calcutta reached us in seven days. He had a calm voyage and arrived in Bombay at the end of the monsoon, through the straits of Gibralta, past Tunis and Bizerta, with the lovely blue Mediterranean, and the ragged splendour of the North African coast. Going through Suez he saw his first camel and scores of native dhows coming alongside to sell their goods. He ate his first banana after 5 years, near Bombay, in fact, a lot of bananas.

Norman Harwood (Oct 18) is at present at Suez. He is likely to spend his 4th Christmas away. He has been wandering round Alexandria and Greece, and expresses his deep appreciation of the NL and gifts from home.

Arthur Taylor (HMCS Cornwallis) writes from hospital, having had an operation and spent six weeks in bed, but he reports very good progress now, and especially that the nurses are very good to him, when they find that he is English.

Joe Power (Sept 30) is busy destroying German shells and flying bombs, heaps of them. He has been to Sadler Wells Opera in Hamburg, and expects leave in October.

W Melling (Sept 30) is still in Loch Fyne. He greets Joe Eastham, Rigby Melling, Bert Miller, and all the lads.

Leslie Bramwell (Sept29) is back again at his job in the same hospital where he was in war-time chiefly attending to road accidents. He has a football match every Saturday afternoon. Going out he had the experience of a twelve-mile railway tunnel (the Simplon?).

Joe Eastham has been in hospital again with Malaria, but is fit again. He has evidently had a bad time, what with the sand-fly fever, pneumonia, and pleurisy, and then malaria. He expects to be home very soon.

Malcolm Parkinson was married to J Donaldson of Preston on 6th October.

My Dear Friends,
I am glad to be having another chat with you. Well, chum, its goodbye to old Hitler and that goes for the rice pudding country too and I am sure that now more than ever your thoughts are right here at home. Six long and weary years have rolled by, six dreary years you have been almost separated from your loved ones. What a time it has been! What strange and wonderful things have happened during that time! friends, as regards yourself you certainly feel that you have had enough and are ready for the dear old village again. Have you forgotten when you said goodbye to your old home and those that you loved and you wended your way bravely, yet with a feeling of sorrow in your heart, to the station, - to the station where, at the weekends you caught the train for town, to the pictures or a dance or the football match, but now how different it seemed, so strange and cold, not at all like the old times, and as the train rounded the bend in the distance, the choking feeling that came over you, as you said goodbye to her and as you leaned out of the window and watched the little white handkerchief growing smaller and smaller. What a feeling that was. Yes, my friends, it was a feeling you will never forget. But now all that has almost gone, and the time for re-union is almost here, and what a time that will be. All those plans that you have dreamed will come into operation. Won't it be grand to come home from work once again, tired and hungry, and waiting for you is the one who has borne so bravely those long years of absence, perhaps a little wrinkle in her face put there by her constant worry for you but never-the-less still looking as lovely as the first day you met her, the kettle singing merrily, your slippers warming on the kerb and the smell of baking coming from the kitchen. Yes, it's sure something to look forward to my friends, and to those of you who are not quite at that stage, but hoping to be as soon as time will allow - for you my friends, I want just for a short time to try and picture what it will all be like. - You waken up, the sun shining through your bedroom window, the lovely smell of apple blossom mingled with that of the rambler roses that hang close to you window. You gaze round the room, how pleasant it all seems, and can it be the room where you have spent so many happy and perhaps worrying moments thinking of the one, who today, the day of all days, is to become your wife. Suddenly a homely pleasant voice calling from the kitchen below tells you breakfast is ready. You get up and look through the window. Everything seems so peaceful; a thrush singing merrily in the old pear tree, over across in the meadow, Sally, the old grey mare, munches contentedly, while nearby an old hen with her chicks fusses, as if she owned the place. Down the road comes the sound of happy childish laughter, it's from the children who are playing in the sand which has fallen from the shelter, which, thank God, has never been used. The old oak standing at the bottom of the orchard what memories he has, how you used to climb and hide in his rough thick branches, the swing you made and the girl next door would insist she could go higher than you, which ended by the rope breaking and she cleared the hedge and finished in the ditch below. What grand and happy times they were, and how beautiful all the things looked now. You dress and go down for breakfast. Mother as usual is hard at work but not too busy to greet you with a cheering smile, father comes in out of the garden with the advice "Eat a good breakfast son, you've something on today". You eat your meal or at least try, but how can one eat when they are as excited as you are. You finish and then begin to dress for the great occasion. The white stiff shirt, how you hated the things but mother would insist on you wearing one, the black pin stripe suit which you had ordered for a dear old friend's funeral but had come too late to serve the purpose, but after six years of careful storage had come as a blessing in these utility times, and luckily still fitted you well. At last you are ready and are now waiting for your best pal to come and do his stuff. How the minutes seemed like hours, but at last he came, and after a last goodbye as a single young man, you bid farewell to your dear old mum and dad. As you speed on your way to Church you passed friends here and there who were coming to see you wed, and on passing them, they gave you an encouraging wave. At last you were there. You stepped out of the taxi and make you way in Church, by now several people had already gathered and on your entrance they turn and you hear a slight murmur and babble of voices. You take your place at the front of the Church, and then begins the awful agonising wait, you probably had often heard that a visit to the dentist's was like eating strawberries in comparison to this, and you thought yes, it's perfectly true; your pal says something to you, but you can't answer back, words won't come, you try and move your feet, but strange, they don't seem to want to move, the only signs of movement comes from inside of you, as your heart beats and bangs like a steam hammer, and you feel sure everyone in Church can hear it. Suddenly the strains of the organ comes floating through the Church, a door banging, someone coughing, more friends taking their seats nearby. All there tend to prolong your agony, how much longer will you have to suffer, the organ still plays, a piece which on any other day would have sounded grand, but now you just couldn't' bring yourself up to the standard of interest, you try to swallow but couldn't, you do your best to be brave but it's hopeless and you wonder how on earth you are going to see it all through. Then, all at once, the music stops, a door opens, everything is quiet for a second, then the organ starts again, but with a changed tune, this is it, everyone rises, for coming down the aisle in all her loveliness comes your bride, nearer and nearer she comes. You wait for your pal's word, then it comes. You step out and as you do so she slips her arm in yours and from the corner of your eyes you see her. Never has she looked so lovely as she does now, her gaze meets yours and as if by magic, you gain strength and proceed to walk to the altar, the minister, who looks so different now, from any other times, stands in front in his long flowing snowy white surplice, the deep purple and crimson of his robes all fit in with this beautiful ceremony and then he begins, and as you stand side by side to take part in what is the most beautiful and sacred act in your life, your mind turns for a brief second and you think about the first time you met her, and what has happened since then, and you say to yourself" Yes, its jolly well been worth it, I'd go through it again for this."
Well my friends, I am sure I don't need to go any further with this little chat as I feel that I have said enough already, and I can only add that when the day comes when you will be doing this, you will just try and give a thought to your old friend who has tried to paint a picture of your coming hopes.
Country Lad.

ALL SAINTS' DAY. On 1st Nov, we shall keep our Patronal Festival. The doctrine of the Saints is a very practical, everyday affair, and if the Communion of Saints had been actively realised during the past fifty years we should have been spared two World Wars and the horrors of the concentration camp. Because some people believed intensely in this Communion, slavery disappeared, and if once again we should believe in the Communion of Saints, slums, depravity, and the degradation of man, will disappear too. It's a wholesome doctrine - health-giving and conduct bracing. It has a tonic effect and corporately pursued would make the world a saner, safer, and cleaner place. Why not find out what you can about it and the help it can give you? It's worth while.
A Layman

There were good congregations at all services on Sunday 7th Oct for the Harvest Festival. The preacher, both morning and evening, was the Rev B Oliver, and special anthems were sung by the Choir. In the afternoon a Service of Song, entitled 'John Dale's Fortune' was rendered by the Choir, conductor Mr J Watkinson, organist, Mrs W Iddon. The Reader was Miss Margery Wareing and the Chairman, Mr T M Wright. The collections for the day, amounting to £88.12.6, were for the Trust Funds.

It was my good fortune on the second Sunday in October to worship in Hesketh Church at the Harvest Festival. The building was bright with autumn flowers tastefully arranged. To a townsman there is always a special interest at a Harvest Service in a country Church: there seems an added note of sincerity and a deeper intensity, for who is more deeply conscious of the fact that the success of his work is dependent on the Bounty and graciousness of God than the land worker? Truly, God and the land worker are workers together that the families of the earth may be fed. Because so many workers on the land feel this, the Services of that day are, in the best sense of the term, 'people's services': they are popular and full of meaning. With what fervour we sing the old Harvest hymns - our invitation to all our neighbours, "Come, ye thankful people, come, Raise the song of harvest home", and our wonder if someday for us it would be "All upon the golden floor Praising Thee for evermore". What pictures the mind paints as we sing "We plough the fields, and scatter the good seed on the land" - the snow in winter, the breezes, the sunshine, the wayside flowers, the evening star - pictures of Nature in all her moods, and the thought that "All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above" -these are encouragements in these days of turmoil. The mood changes as we sing "The Sower went forth sowing" and our thoughts go out to those who laboured here in the old days. Many a face rises up before us as we sing "Within a hallowed acre He sows yet other grain, When peaceful earth receiveth the dead He died to gain". We are conscious of the way they were willing to work for their Church, with zeal, with laughter, and with good humour. It is many years since I paid my first visit to Hesketh, long before the new Church was built and I got to know quite a number of the old folk. We comfort ourselves with the thought that "Even now they ripen in sunny Paradise". As a congregation we remember that his life is a time of preparation, that one day we shall come to the harvest of our lives, and so we pray "O holy, awful Reaper", Have mercy in that day Thou puttest in Thy sickle, And cast us not away." Yes, the Harvest Festival was a Thanksgiving, a Remembrance and an Encouragement.

The peoples of the United Nations looked together for the winning of the war. They realised that their very existence was at stake. They knew that if the enemy triumphed it would mean a life of misery, and of slavery for the peoples of Britain, the USA. and Russia. The concentration camp and the gas chamber would be their lot. In the face of that danger, the peoples worked as one. Now that the war has been won, can that unity be maintained, for if it is not, we shall not win the peace. The peace of the world depends upon the unity of the United Nations. Their leaders have a tremendous responsibility. We must pray for them that in sanity and righteousness they may have a vision of the peoples of the world in fellowship and by their wisdom and statesmanship translate that vision into accomplished fact.
There is something wrong with this country when, with so many men in the Forces, we are constantly reading the newspapers of strikes - and unofficial strikes at that! If the strikers are unable loyally to abide by the decision of their own Trade Union leaders, the outlook for democracy is not very bright. The vast majority of Englishmen are in favour of all workers having a fair deal - but they are also anxious that they themselves should be treated with some consideration. It is the ordinary man and woman who is inconvenienced by the various strikes up and down the country. It was not for the rule of anarchy that our lads died on foreign shores or suffered privation at the hands of the cruelly-minded Japanese. They fought for freedom, for constitutional government - not for mob law. The primary business of a Government is to govern and the Cabinet must let the dockers know that there is nothing to be gained by unconstitutional means, and all must learn that the welfare of the country as a whole is more important then the gain of a section, though every sectional interest should be considered, receiving justice and a fair economic wage

Well after VE Day an' VJ Day aw thowt as happen we'd hev some peace an' happiness an' things ud be better. Mind you, we're jolly glad as th' fighting stopped - in moast parts at ony rate - we're thankful for that an' for th' prospect o' you lads coming home again. But aw mun say as th' government's mighty slow in getting its demob scheme going. Somebody ud do wi' a flip-flap behind him. They're about as quick in demobbing as in building houses, An' look at th' time they've spent over th' Belsen murderers. Nay, aw'se not say what aw think about; it wouldn't get printed. My mother says it's a tribute to British justice ('oo read that bit in a newspaper), aw says it's evidence of British stupidity. Ed we bin intelligent we'd of put th' commandant an' th' doctor of th' camp against th' wall an' shot 'em in Belsen itself. When th' guilt's browt home to one o'them Belsen folk he should be shot reet off. Tojo should now be telling his ancestors all about it in person, not recovering from his attempted suicide. Th' French 'ev had a bit of sense, Laval has paid for some of his crimes. Aw'm wondering how our would-be collaborators are getting along. Eh, those English friends o' Hitler are keeping quiet - they seem to be avoiding th' spot light an' their coloured shirts. Aw don't think they'll be able to set up a Belsen camp here, not now. It's sad to think there are any folk in this country of that type. Ay, it's a sad an' maddening world.
But it's a funny world as well. Trust th' War Office to add to the gaiety of nations - not to mention th' language of sergeants! Th' Director of Military Training 'es issued an order for military clerks to do military training and ' special emphasis will be laid on saluting'!!! It'll not matter if demobbing is a bit later so long as men who have saved their country salute nicely! O, the pity of it; we mean well. Ay, we're a funny nation.
An' now th' dockers are showing their worse side. Aw used to respect um quite a lot, especially the way they stood up to th' blitz an' went on wi' their work, but now seemingly they don't trust their own leaders. It's a pity; th' Germans an' the' Japs mon be laughing up their sleeves. O ay, we're setting a grand example o' democracy when th' workers won't follow their own Trades Union officials. It seems they're not bothering whether th' country gets fed or not; th' sojers can unload th' ships. A bonny nice way th' dockers ev of saying 'Thank you' to the men who fought for them. Aw hopes they get to know what th' sojers think about 'em.
Th' Church folk are getting up a 'do' for th' Welcome Home Fund at th' end o' th' month and Mr an' Mrs Bowker 'ev promised to come over for it: happen aw'st be able to tell you summat about it next month. Cheerio, aw hopes aw'st be seeing you before long.

The wedding took place on Sept 29th at Tarleton Holy Trinity Church, of Miss Lily Tindsley, only daughter of Mr Mrs John Tindsley, of Hesketh Moss, and Flight Sergt David R Hanson, oldest son of Mr Mrs David Hanson, of Kearsley Ave, Tarleton. The service was conducted by the Rector of Tarleton.

William Ainscough (BAOR) has come on leave.

Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society

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