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Last updated 05 December 2014

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GERALD'S MUSINGS
As chronicled in Wagtail, the Parish Magazine in Whittington, Arkholme and Gressingham.
(Most recent first)

December 14 - November 14 - October 14 - September 14 - July/August 14
June 14 -

Archives for the following years
2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010
2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 -

The musings of GERALD - December 2014

What a lovely Remembrance service we had good weather, a large congregation and the Last Post and Reveille at the start and end of the two minutes silence it really was quite moving.

I have been reading a newspaper cutting written in 1942 by Fred Atkinson who lived at Gressingham in the bungalow between the bridges he was describing the life of Gawin Kirkham the outdoor evangelist who was born at Eskrigge in 1832 the family farmed Borrans Farm, as a young boy Gawin went to a Dames School run by Old Jane Danson and where anyone who misbehaved was placed in a dark cupboard under the stairs.

He must have done very well at school as he eventually became the secretary of The London Open Air Mission and was a noted Church of England preacher.

Also in the cutting was a description of a money raising event for Warship Week when 8 was raised to help the Warship Fund lots of old Gressingham names are mentioned including John Haston of Newton who won a raffle prize. Mr Fred Harmson played music for dancing to end the evening, Mr Harmson who played the piano often played at Arkholme Parish Hall to raise money for their Welcome Home Fund you really had to listen for the music then, no fancy loud speakers but we still managed to enjoy ourselves happy days.

David Kenyon asks me to thank everyone who bought calendars from him on behalf of St Johns Hospice he will let me know later how much money has been raised for such a good cause.

The Tartan Sound are back playing music for dancing on Saturday 20th December. Also on Saturday 17th of January Bill Johnston will be playing at the annual Cancer Charity Dance. Both events, at Whittington Village Hall. A happy Christmas to everyone.

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The musings of GERALD - November 2014

The trustees of the Whittington Charities meet this 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. The Vicar, Sally Hall Eric Pelter or Stuart Close would like to hear from you or a relative if you qualify please let them 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 the trustees know.

I have just come out of Kendal Hospital having had a Heart Pacemaker fitted the treatment I received was wonderful, I the staff very kind and helpful the whole place was spotlessly clean and the food very good. Such a pity our Local hospitals get such bad publicity I suppose a scare story sells more papers than ten good reports, I can only repeat the treatment I received was wonderful I just hope they can keep up the good work.

I have lived around Arkholme and Whittington for almost eighty years and one of the things I miss the most is the loss of the local accents and a lot of the wonderful descriptive words that have gone with it. When I was a boy most locals called Arkholme Arram or Arrum and the villagers were Arramites and quite proud of the title, what a pity such a lot of these words have left our language, am I the only person who remembers them?

Dennis Westmorland will be back playing music for dancing in Whittington Village Hal on Saturday November 22nd to help raise funds for Lupton Church if you enjoy good Lakeland Music played on the piano accordion come and join us you will not be disappointed.

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The musings of GERALD - October 2014

I met Jim Hayton from Bainsbeck Farm last week he had just got back from competing in a Ploughing Match at Ellel with his very reliable 1942 Standard Fordson Tractor he tells me it is 60 years since he first started competing there I imagine he must be one of the oldest competitors. Jim also has a slightly more modern Fordson Major it was bought new by the Barker family at Gunnerthwaite they both have to be hand started and use both petrol and kerosene fuel.

I have just started reading Gerrard Lees book about the men of Arkholme who fought in the first world war. How frightening it must have been for those young men trying to survive in such awful conditions the numbers killed just gaining a few yards of ground was a crime in itself but no one seemed to have an alternative answer. My father was one of the lucky ones he was sent to Salonika for two years but was sent to France later in the war there he was badly wounded when a German shell blew up right alongside him but at least he survived the war.

The Metcalfe's have had another herd test for T B and all their remaining cows were found to be clear they still have two more tests that must also be clear before they start to restock but they have some heifers due to calve shortly and then they can start milking again, still no clue how the epidemic started it must be very worrying you wouldn't want it to start all over again.

David Kenyon has now delivered the St Johns Hospice calendars they cost 5.50 each they really are a good buy and the photo of the Forge at Arkholme is the best of the twelve photos in the calendar, if you would like one please let me know I am sure you won't be disappointed.

The Metcalfe's at Holme House Farm are due another TB test on September 12th and if that proves clear they can then start restocking and selling milk again we just hope they have no more set backs.

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The musings of GERALD - September 2014

I attended the Save our pub meeting last night and was surprised at how well attended the meeting was and how passionate a lot of the people were to save the Pub for the village I just hope we are successful but from what we learned Mitchell's Brewery, the owners, are a very difficult firm to deal with.

Looking back fifty five years to the time we moved to the village what a change there is to the people now living here. Every Saturday night we would meet up with some wonderful characters that had lived in the village all their lives, brothers Ernie and Dick Hastton. Brothers Herbert, Bill and John Thornber. Fred and Mrs Boughen. Fred was the game keeper at Whittington Hall and had a very strong Norfolk accent. Norman Bateson who worked for the forestry commission and Bob Fairclough, who worked for the Braithwaite's at Home Farm. The Braithwaite's were great supporters of the Lunesdale Fox Hounds and the hunt were invited to stay at the Farm each year. Fox's were hunted at both Whittington and Hutton Roof and on the Friday night a hunt supper was held in the pub, a very memorable night with all the hunt followers singing their favourite hunting songs lots of chat and friendly banter. Nights like that leave many happy memories but sadly are now long gone.

The Metcalfe's have had another herd test for T B and all their remaining cows were found to be clear they still have two more tests that must also be clear before they start to restock but they have some heifers due to calve shortly and then they can start milking again, still no clue how the epidemic started it must be very worrying you wouldn't want it to start all over again.

I attended an Irish music and song concert in a small village hall just off the Skipton to Harrogate road last weekend. I was so lucky to get the invitation it reminded me of the two very enjoyable nights we had in our own village hall when Alice and I booked Anne Bream the Irish singer who played to full houses on both nights.

What a lovely service for the dedication of the new War Memorial placed in a peaceful setting in the Church Yard, it was so nice to meet up with some old friends. Derek and Sheila Webster, who I went to school with, Dr Angus Ross, who's grandparents the Booth family were tenants at Storrs Hall during the 1920's and who's family grave is in the Church Yard. Gerry Rees was also there telling us about the book he has written about the men who returned to the village after the war. It will be good to read about the people who still lived in the village when I was growing up.

David Kenyon is again publishing a calendar on behalf of St Johns Hospice again it comprises early photos of Lune Valley Villages the Arkholme one is one of the Forge with a group of children stood around watching the blacksmith at work. The calendar would make a nice Christmas present for people who have happy memories of our lovely valley.

Dennis Westmorland returns to Whittington Village Hall on Saturday the 6th of September to play music for dancing in aid of Lupton Church Funds a wonderful night's entertainment plus a very tasty supper at the interval.

We all have fond memories of Muriel Haston. She has joined in all the village activities for so many years, a long time member of both the Mothers Union and the W I as well as helping out at the Village Hall Dances with her husband John. Muriel made friends wherever she went and so many of them turned up to make her funeral service so memorable. Such a tribute to her memory our best wishes go to John and his family.

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The musings of GERALD - July/August 2014

I know I am three months late but I have seen no mention anywhere of the seventieth wedding anniversary of John and Muriel Haston. They have lived and worked in this area all their lives and Whittington especially owes a great deal for all the work they did on behalf of the Village Hall and other village projects. The anniversary day was a very happy occasion lots of friends calling and lovely cards to open Including a special one from the Queen. Shortly afterwards Muriel fell and broke her hip and spent some time in hospital and she is now being looked after in a care home at Carnforth, John has recently celebrated his 97th birthday still living and caring for himself, they really are a wonderful couple and it is a pleasure to know them.

Had you noticed there is not a cow to be seen in the fields all the way from Whittington to Kirkby Lonsdale? Disaster struck Metcalfe's at Holme House Farm when after a herd test for TB found that over 170 of their cows were infected and had to be taken away and slaughtered. After lots of tests the experts are still unable to identify the source of the infection and no animals are allowed to be moved on or off the farm until they get a final clearance from the ministry and that could be several months away. We mourn when we lose a family pet but what must the Metcalfe's feel on losing one hundred and seventy of their best milk cows and also the pay cheque that goes with them.

What a great afternoon we had at the Church open day it was good to learn all about the stained glass windows that are there and a little of the history of the memorials and of the families who donated them, a lot of interest was shown on my small display and any one who would like to borrow any of the material on display for a closer study are more than welcome three folders are already out on loan I just hope the people studying them get as much enjoyment from them as I have collecting all the material over the years.

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The musings of GERALD - June 2014

It is quite some time since I wrote a piece for The Wagtail, my old computer became very slow so I bought a new lap top, not realising what a big difference there was between my XP programme and the new windows eight. It has taken a few months to get used to all the passwords and the new way it works. I must be getting too old to change my ways. It takes a young head to master all this new technology.

Anyone watching for the arrival of the first swallows, the first ones I saw arrived on the 13th of April but once again there seems to be fewer birds than there was last year.

I have been asked to display some of my Whittington memorabilia on Sunday June 1st in the Church. If you are interested in the village history come along and view the old photos and the maps and records what I have collected over the years. There is lots to see, like the life of William Sturgeon and the attempt to launch an aeroplane on Sellet Banks, there will be a lot to view so give yourself plenty of time. I will also have my Arkholme folder that includes school photos from 1924-1954.

How long is it going to take to replace that broken man hole cover at Sellet Mill corner do we have to wait for an accident to happen before something is done, surely they keep spares and it should not take too long to lift the broken one out and fit a new one.

The Tartan Sound are back playing music for dancing in the Village Hall on Saturday the 9th of June for the Lupton Church Dance it will be a good entertaining night.

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