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The musings of GERALD - June 2018

I must first apologise to David Airey of West Hall farm, for it was David who turned out after the last heavy snow fall in March, and gritted the whole length of Church Street, making travelling so much easier for us all. Thank you David, it was much appreciated.

The swallows did finally return on May 18th. Stuart Close saw them at Docker Hall on the 20th, and the house martins on May 1st. There are far fewer than in previous years, and it was only today May 17th that I saw the first one flying around the Church Tower.

It seems that the flying insects they feed on are getting fewer. Our modern lifestyles must be responsible in some way. It is such a shame how many varieties of birds have disappeared locally in my life time.

The next dance in the Village Hall is on Saturday 2 June when the music for dancing will be played by the Scottish band Tartan Sound. Another good night guaranteed.

Part of my Whittington Archive will be on display in the Church on Sunday 10 June. Come along and see what the village was like in days gone by.

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The musings of GERALD - May 2018

I have had a large variety of birds visiting my bird feeder this spring. They love fat balls and have eaten two every day blue tits, great tits, long-tail tits, sparrows, robins, goldfinches and nuthatches have all enjoyed a feast, and the blackbirds and jackdaws wait patiently under the feeder to pick up the crumbs. I have finished feeding them now as I think they should search for food in the summer months.

I keep searching the sky for swallows but have not seen any yet. They are usually here between the 12th and 26th of April, so maybe they will arrive later this week.

Best wishes to Evelyn Pelter, our oldest resident to be born in the village. Evelyn is in hospital at the present time but hopes to be home shortly.

I think the council must have run out of the paint they use to mark potholes! Do you think if the Parish Council bought a white spray can and went round marking the potholes they would get repaired any quicker?

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The musings of GERALD - April 2018

Once again the large carpet of snowdrops in Moor Ghyl has been a wonderful sight. It just seems to get better every year.I thoroughly enjoyed the Arkholme School reunion night. A lot of effort had been put in to displaying all the memorabilia and it was so nice to meet up with old school friends after almost seventy-five years, thank you.

The annual charity dance held earlier this year raised 835 for cancer charities.

Thank you to the two workmen from the woodyard who spread salt the whole length of Church Street during the recent heavy snow. It very quickly made travelling so much easier.

On one of my recent afternoon walks I watched two treecreepers as they crept up the trunk of an ash tree searching for insects hiding in the bark. What a lovely sight it was, and how lucky we are to see these beautiful birds so near our homes.

We had a great night at the Pancake Party. Everyone was tucking into the delicious pancakes. I think I know which boy ate the most, he may just manage twenty next year.

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The musings of GERALD - March 2018

What a sad state our roads are getting into. Church Street is now one long pothole. How cyclists manage to negotiate it without damaging their bikes I do not know. I just hope no one gets hurt or has an accident. The condition of Hosticle Lane is just as bad. The retaining walls are falling in, the grates are blocked solid, and in some places the road surface is down to its foundations. If the road surfaces deteriorate much more, the Parish Council will have to employ a stone breaker, like they did before the roads were tarmacked.

It was not thought necessary for girls to be educated during the nineteenth century, but Mrs Greene from Whittington Hall thought otherwise, and with the help of the Rev Carus Wilson, who was the rector at the time, she opened a school at what is now numbers 1 and 2 Church Cottages. The girls were taught religion, the three R's, and sewing. The school became so popular there were over seventy pupils attending at one time, and girls were travelling quite long distances to get there.

Is it possible that those two architectural gems, the tea room and the model dairy, at Home Farm, were built as teacher training aids for the girls to learn home making skills? There was also Whittington Hall laundry on the site which is now Church Close, so is it possible they were taught washing ana ironing as well? For those people who have never seen the tea room, it was designed by Payley and Austin of Lancaster, with the oak panelling and carved fire surround by Waring and Gillows, and the beautiful stained glass windows by Shrigley and Hunt of Lancaster. The dairy is tiled with Italian tiles denoting the seasons of the year. What a pity villagers are never allowed to see them.

The next dance is on March 3rd when Bill Johnston will be playing the music for dancing.

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The musings of GERALD - February 2018

What a happy afternoon we had at the pensioners Christmas lunch. The meal was beautifully prepared and served along with all the usual festive trimmings. After the meal we were entertained by the school children singing Christmas carols. Thanks must go to all the ladies who help prepare and serve the lunches. They really do a first class job.

We really owe a great deal of thanks to all the people involved in getting the bus service reinstated, to John and Duncan and our local councillors who have put enormous pressure on the County Council to fund and support the service. I am sure all those people who use public transport will be so glad to see the return of the local bus.

Many years ago when the church boiler was coal-fired the ashes were spread on the footpath across the Crofts. This winter, the gateways that the footpath passes through have become very muddy and very difficult to navigate in normal shoes. Would it be possible to have a barrow-load of hardcore tipped in each gateway?

The next dance at the Village Hall is on Saturday 3 February when Denis Westmorland will be providing the music for dancing. A very enjoyable night is guaranteed.

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