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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
September 1946

My dear Friends,
I am writing this on the Anniversary of the end of the war, August 15th 1945, only a year ago, and yet what a host of events have happened in that short time, some of them quite natural and to be expected, many of them very much otherwise.
We cannot expect war by itself ever to bring any blessing with it, mostly it must inevitably bring out the worst in human nature - and the best. We have seen a deal of both kinds. Let us dwell on the best qualities which it has brought out in so many. I suppose this is another way of saying what St. Paul said, “All things work together for good (but let us finish his sentence) to them that love God.” If only we are ready to learn its hard lessons, can war lead us to a better and higher way of living. One of those lessons is obedience to the laws of God, and another if fellowship between man and man. When we acknowledge this, we must not content ourselves with saying hard things about other people, or other nations and declaim against their wicked behaviour (which is of course quite true), but remember that nations are composed of individuals, and that means ourselves and our own behaviour to God and our fellow men.
Remember that Chinese Christian prayer, “O Lord, send revival and begin in ME”.
Yours very sincerely,

The following have been demobilised since our last issue: Arnold Cookson, Malcolm Parkinson, David Rimmer, Robert Sharples, Richard Townsley, Ernest Winpenny, Nicholas Wright.
Our sympathy is with David Rimmer who has been demobbed but, for the present, to spend his leave in the emergency hospital Southport. We wish him a speedy recovery and an extra enjoyable leave afterwards.

Letters Received.
Lillian Iddon, Nurse in emergency Hospital, Whittingham, writes, 14 August, to convey her deep appreciation of the N.L. She says it is a great help to the patients in her ward, who wish that their parish had written the same sort of thing to them.
They particularly enjoyed “Lancashire Lass” and the opening messages.
Malcolm Taylor (August 3rd) writes from an island about 300 miles from Rangoon off the coast of Lower Burma. It seems rather a lonely spot, without any planes or mail for 16 days, with only an occasional coaster as the sole means of communication, and of course the wireless. There are 50 British Airmen on the Island, with Indian Troops, and very friendly natives, and sports field for occasional cricket or football. The Monsoon has brought torrential rain flooding them out, coming down in bucketfuls. Tropical vegetation at its most picturesque, cocoanut palms laden with fruit, bananas galore, and thousands of rubber trees.
Reggie Cookson, Chilwell, Notts. (Aug. 16th) writes his last letter, and hopes to be demobbed on the 28th August. He too thanks us for the N.L. most regularly received. During the past years it has made the link with home and friends seem so much shorter. He ends by conveying his thanks to the W.V.S. and the Bowling Club for the way they have remembered the boys and girls at Christmas times, and to the people of Hesketh without whose support these things would not have been possible.

Village News.
Little Dora Mesham is in the Preston infirmary suffering from eye trouble. She is going on well.
Mrs. Moore has undergone an operation in Southport infirmary. At the time of writing these notes (Aug.12) she was as well as could be expected.
Mr. and Mrs. David Taylor have a son; Mr. and Mrs. John Sharples a daughter; Mr. and Mrs. Smoot (nee Waters) a son; Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Baxter a son; Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Sunter a daughter.
Mrs. Jessie Philbin, of Preston, (nee Taylor), aged 47 years was buried in our churchyard on August 8th. Our deep sympathy is with Mr. Philbin and his family.
Some of our young people have been busy collecting for good causes recently. Some collected over £14 on Alexandra Rose Day for the Preston Infirmary, and others over £10 for the British Sailor’s society. We have received acknowledgement from both places for the same. The British Sailors Society (Aug. 19th) have written to the Rector, acknowledging with their warmest thanks to the helpers receipt of £10. 6. 7., being the result of the recent house-to-house collection for this well-deserving object.
Mr. James Taylor, Shore Side, died on 16th August. To his widow and members of his family we extend our deepest sympathy.
Heartiest congratulations to Nicholas Rimmer on passing the Higher School Certificate Examination.

Women’s Institute.
The August meeting was an open one when the Operetta, ‘The Gipsies’ Holiday’ was given. This was followed by various items relating to gypsy life and a humorous sketch written by Miss Cropper, the secretary. Those appearing in the concert were Mrs. R. Cookson, Miss. D. Cookson, Mrs. J. Coulton, Mrs. N. Whiteside, Mrs. J. Iddon, Mrs. T. Miller, Mrs. Mortimer, Mrs. Pill, Miss. J. Forshaw, Miss. A. Whiteside, Miss. N. Whiteside, Mrs. A. Wignall, Mrs A. Smith. Mrs. A. P. Thorne was the accompanist. Thanks to the artists were proposed by Mrs. J. Taylor, seconded by Mrs. Holden. Mrs. J. Ball presided.

Youth Club Activities.
A very enjoyable week was spent by four members of the Church Youth Club at Rossall Summer School from the 3rd to the 10th August. There were some 170 young people present from youth clubs in various parts of Lancashire. Tennis, cricket, swimming, social evenings, and country dancing formed a large part of the weeks entertainment. There were various lectures, discussion groups and drama classes, all of which proved both interesting and helpful. The food was excellent and was served in the large dining hall which cost over £30,000 to build. The members of the Staff were very helpful to us all and did their best to see that we had a happy time.

Funny Customers.
Queer folk! Well, if you want to meet them try keeping a stall on a market and your sense of humour will get plenty of exercise. As I stood behind my stall the other day I saw a man and his wife coming towards the next stall where pears and tomatoes were being sold “under the counter” - that is, just to their own customers. The woman approached the stall first and asked for a pound of tomatoes, the man wanted a pound of pears. Both were refused. Then the fun began; the man’s face was as red as a boiled lobster, he demanded to be served, it was no use talking about registered customers, pears he wanted and pears he would have, the war was over, he’d bring a policeman. The man standing behind him spoke, “I’m a policeman. What do you want?” “Nothing”, was the reply of the angry man, now strangely quiet, as he and his wife slunk sheepishly away. Then up came a woman for tomatoes. These she got, but when she couldn’t have some cucumber, she threw the tomatoes down on the stall saying, “If I can’t have th’one, aw’se not hev to’ther”. Another woman came along, felt at every cauliflower on the stall and then wanted one from an unpacked hamper. Being refused she indignantly exclaimed, !I’m not coming here anymore”. I think the gem was the woman who wanted half-a-crown changing. The stall holder gave her a shilling, two sixpences, four pennies and four halfpennies. That didn’t quite suit. Could she have two separate shillings? She was leaving the stall when she suddenly turned back. Could she have six pennies instead of the copper? “Eh, missus”, cried the next in the queue, “make up you mind what you want. I’ve a dinner to cook and it’s half past eleven now”. There were black looks from one and laughter from the others. If you would see the funny side of life try being a STALL HOLDER.

Britain and others.
We cannot claim to feel very happy about our International relations as revealed at the Paris Conference, the meetings of the Big Four, and so on. A section of the foreign press doesn’t speak very kindly of us, and the articles in the Russian papers leave us astounded. Palestine Jews and politically mixed Indians don’t treat us as though they were our friends. And yet to no country do the peoples of Europe, the Jews, and the Indians owe so much as to this country. The deliverance of Europe from the foul yolk of the Nazi and Fascist regimes was due to the peoples of the British Empire. No, we do not say we did it alone; what we do say, and what is apparent to every clear-headed person of whatever nation, is that if Britain had not held out even when all alone in the world then Germany would have triumphed, the present rulers of Russia would have been swept from Moscow, the Jews exterminated, and the peoples of India treated as some sort of inferior beings labouring for their German or Japanese masters. We think that should be stated and stated clearly. Since VJ Day Britain has exhibited a most exemplary patience in the face of the most impudent provocation, but the Lion’s tail should not be twisted too much. Lions have been known to snap.

The Greatness of England in the past has depended on the character of her people, who have been resolute in danger, resourceful in peace, ready to use these opportunities as they arose. Can we expect this spirit to continue in the future, or shall we then have become a people expecting so called ‘leaders’ to think, plan and act for us. If the latter , then good-bye to our greatness as a nation or our leadership in the moral life of the world. We may be more or less comfortable ( probably less than more) for a generation or two until we are absorbed or conquered by a more virile Power. We are in danger of becoming too obedient, too servile, to “the powers that be”, those folk who love control for the sake of control, those petty-minded bureaucrats who feel magnified when permits have to be sought from them. WE stand in queues like sheep waiting patiently while officials at their convenience hand out forms which they are pleased to favour us with. We eat, when we can get it, what the expert tells us is beneficial for us - the expert’s advice changing according to Government dictate. Once, a long time ago, it was “Eat more Fruit”, then “Eat more Bread”, now it is “The less you eat the better your figure will be”. We lend our money in the National Savings Movement to a Government which has never heard of thrift and which has a horror of retrenchment.

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