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Last updated 06 November 2013

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As chronicled in Wagtail, the Parish Magazine in Whittington, Arkholme and Gressingham.
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November 13 - October 13 - September 13 - July/August 13
June 13 - May 13 - April 13 - March 13 - February 13 - January 13

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The musings of GERALD - November 2013

The Whittington Charities Trustees meet next month to distribute the annual income. As usual part of the income goes to first year full time university or college students' living in Whittington Parish. Sally Hall, Eric Pelter, Gerald Hodgson, Stuart Close or Helen Mackereth would like to hear from you or a relative if you qualify, please let us know. Also are there any widows who have recently moved into the Parish as four widows' share the rent of Widdowdale a small field down Coneygarth Lane. If you qualify please let us know.

I have had the sad news of the death of Albert Greenwood who you may recall I wrote about last year. Albert left Whittington to join the Merchant Navy as an 18 year old in 1940. His ships were twice torpedoed and he spent 15 days in a lifeboat in mid-Atlantic, before making landfall in the West Indies. His ship was again torpedoed off West Africa. He then spent 12 hours in the water before being rescued. After returning to England he joined the D Day landing force, after which he joined a hospital ship that took wounded American soldiers back home from the Far East. After the war he retrained as a nurse and spent the rest of his career in hospitals around the Bristol area. We now have only one survivor who served in the Second World War, Arthur Tallon.

Many thanks to the PCC for the kind gift of the lovely painting of Devil's Bridge with which I was presented at the recent Harvest Supper in recognition of 39 years service winding and taking care of the church clock. It now hangs very proudly on my living room wall.

I was very impressed by the presentation of B4RN in the Village Hall and the community project to get fibre optics around Whittington. We were told that there would be a connection fee of 150 per household which sounds very reasonable and I am sure most of the villagers would want to join the scheme as it speeds Broadband up enormously.

Gerald Hodgson

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The musings of GERALD - October 2013

I had never heard of William Cowper until John Keegan found his obituary in the Daily News dated September 11th 1858.

William Cowper was born here in Whittington on December 28th 1778 the son of a yeoman farmer, at 17years of age he became the tutor of a clergyman's family and moved to Hull. He studied for the Ministry and was ordained in March 1808 and became a curate at Rawdon, there he met the Rev S Marsden who persuaded him to go to Australia. He arrived in Sydney on the 18th August 1809 where he found the people in a demoralised state as it was still part of a convict settlement and for the rest of his life he devoted his time to improving the lives of the people and raising the funds to build St Phillips Church. William Cowper died on the 6th July 1858 he was so well thought of his funeral was attended by the Governor General, the Chief Justice and members of the Executiove Council as well as well as members of both Houses of Parliament, a good man who helped to stop the transportation of convicts to Australia.

The dance on September 7th was well attended with dancers coming from far and wide from Keighley to Ulverston and Shap to Preston we all enjoyed a very good night. Dennis Westmorland is back playing at Whittington on Saturday the 19th of October.

Gerald Hodgson

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The musings of GERALD - September 2013

That very rare beast the street sweeper came up Church Street last week unfortunately there is now so much debris reinforced by a growing population of weeds that the brush was almost ineffective, the footpath was left unswept the bus shelter still has last years leaves carpeting the floor and the notice boards are thick with dust, what must visitors think of our village. Our roadside grass verges have never been cut this year, two Parish seats have disappeared under the long grass chances are when the mower does arrive he will mow staight through the seats not knowing that they are there. Sometimes I wonder why we pay our council tax the people of Lancaster and Morecambe do not have to put up with the conditions we endure.

Dennis Westmorland is providing his very own style of music for dancing in the Village Hall on Saturday September 7th a wonderful night's entertainment even if you don't dance and the home baked cakes at suppertime are superb. The proceeds are for Lupton Church, you are most welcome to come along and enjoy the company.

Old friend John Jackson is 90 years old at the end of August congratulations John have a wonderful day with your family and friends.

Gerald Hodgson

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The musings of GERALD - July & August 2013

The swallows finally arrived on the 21st of April a good two weeks later than last year. There are not as many birds swooping and flying around the Church Tower this time. The number of birds get fewer every year.

It was seventy years in May since the Church bells were rung to celebrate the surrender of the German forces in North Africa, We hadn't heard the bells ringing for three years as they were only supposed to ring to warn of a German invasion so it was quite a celebration to think that just perhaps things were getting slightly better. We were still surrounded by army personnel with camps at Redwell, Capernwray, Storrs Hall and Kirkby Lonsdale as well as the local Home Guard which met every Sunday morning at Storrs Hall and had a rifle range up Locka Lane. The Tower at Storrs Hall was also used as an observation post to warn of German aeroplanes heading for the dockyard at Barrow in Furness, The nearest bomb to us exploded at Over Kellet, it was thought a German bomber unloaded it on the way home rather than risk the anti aircraft guns defending Barrow. I don't think anyone was injured but I well remember seeing the large crater left by the exploding bomb. It was a very exciting time for a small school boy. Arkholme had never seen anything like it since the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie but we just did not realise the danger those young soldiers were going to face in the following years. I hope they made it home.

Gerald Hodgson

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The musings of GERALD - June 2013

Unfortunately we are deprived of Geralds' musings for the month of June. No doubt Gerald will return to our pages, suitably refreshed, in the near future.

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The musings of GERALD - May 2013

No sign of any swallows yet but can you blame them as there are still signs of snow on the fells and not a lot of food available for insect eating birds I just hope that when they do arrive they bring some lovely spring weather with them. Not many people would be at home to see Whittington on the T V programme 'A Home in the Country1 last week No2 The Chestnuts was the house featured but there were some very good shots of the Church, Manor House, and also the Crofts, the house was very well presented it was just a pity that the property did not suit the would be buyers on the programme.

Once again the flowers in the Church yard have been an absolute picture much admired and photographed, what a pleasure it is to sit for a few minutes in such beautiful surroundings we are so lucky to have such beauty on our doorsteps. I see another volunteer has been picking up litter from the road side from Sellet Mill to the County Boundary it would appear to have taken three afternoons to clear the verges on this short stretch of road, but what a great improvement to see a litter free road, congratulations.

Gerald Hodgson

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The musings of GERALD - April 2013

The Whittington Wombles did a good job last weekend picking up the rubbish from the road side verges, but be sure the litter louts will have noticed and will be back any day soon leaving yet more beer cans fast food cartons and carrier bags full of old picnic trash. The road at Lime Kiln corner seems to be the favourite place to deposit litter these people just have no conscience I just wish some of them could be caught.

Keep a look out for the first swallows this month they arrived on the 6th of April last year, surely they won't be any earlier this time or they will arrive before the snow has cleared. I have finally had to give up winding the Church clock, I am having trouble with my left knee and find going up and down the tower stairway very difficult especially as there is no safety handrail if you should slip. I was hoping to carry on till next year when I would have been doing the job for forty years but it is not worth the risk. Just hope Paul and Simon the present winders beat my record.

Gerald Hodgson

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The musings of GERALD - February 2013

A belated Happy New Year to everyone I just hope everything you have promised yourselves comes true. I spent Christmas and New Year with my sister Joan and her family in New Zealand not having seen them for ten years it was a wonderful reunion, a lovely time to be visiting, the trees and flowers in full bloom the fruit trees laden down with oranges, plums, avocados, and peaches just help yourself to the windfalls or buy large bags full at the roadside stalls they taste so much better just off the tree.

I travelled part way there on an Airbus A380 Super Jumbo a beautiful aircraft so much quieter and more comfortable than the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on which I finished the journey. It makes you feel safer when you see the R R sign on the engine cowling and know the wings were made just down the M6 at Chester we should be very proud of the engineers who helped make this beautiful aircraft.

David Kenyon tells me The Lune Valley in Times Past calendar has raised 3000 for The St Johns Hospice at Lancaster, two of The Rev John Hodgkin's photos were used in its production. I still have two calendars left if anyone would like one.

Denis Westmorland is back playing music for dancing in The Village Hall on February 9th helping to raise money for Lupton Church, a good night out and lots of lovely home made cakes at supper time.

If you enjoy good fish and chips try them at The Dragons Head on a Friday night, do not be late or they may have sold out they are so popular.

Gerald Hodgson

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The musings of GERALD - January 2013

The website has to report that Gerald has taken a Christmas break this year and has travelled to the Antipodes, visiting family among other things. As a result this month we are without musings or, to prove our European credentials, in French: sans musing, German: Ohne Gedanken, Spanish: Reflexiones sin, Italian: Senza riflessesioni and, to prove that the Romans had a word for everything, in Latin: Site cogitationes.

We hope to be able to return to normal next month.

John Keegan on behalf of Gerald Hodgson

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