All posts by John Keegan

The Family Postlethwaite

Gerald has been contacted by Sarah Gilbert (nee Postlethwaite) who has sent him a series of pamphlets about her life. She has also given permission for extracts to be printed on the Whittington Village Website.

The reason for her contacting Gerald is that she, her mother, Caroline, and her sister, Ann, moved to Arkholme in 1941, and lived there throughout the war years. Both Ann and Sarah attended Arkholme Primary School with Ann going on to attend Casterton School, where she was known by the nickname of “Pothy”.

Mother, Caroline. Sister, Ann and baby Sarah in 1938.

The stories she relates are fascinating. And I am going through them in order to design a suitable web page.

In the meantime, she has sent two cartoons by Timothy Birdsall, which were given to her sister Ann when both Timothy and Ann were fifteen years old. They depict Ann’s impending journey by Troopship to join her parents in Egypt. Ann was in charge of her younger sister Sarah for the voyage.

Departure for Egypt.

Timothy went on to be the cartoonist for The Spectator. He also drew cartoons for The Times and Private Eye. Unfortunately, he died in 1963 at the young age of 27. There are many examples of his work available on the Internet.

In the cartoon, Sarah is depicted as “Pothy junior!”. Timothy has drawn Sarah (whom he had never met) quite understandingly as a rather obnoxious small version of Ann in the same school uniform. In fact, Sarah’s school uniform at the time was a Sailors suit as she had been at a Belgium convent.

The Egyptian is wanting to sell you some carpets but you are explaining that you already have enough to carry, pointing at Sarah.

Sister, Ann, was very unhappy to be leaving Casterton. She was born in Rochester, Kent in March 1936. Unfortunately she, and her dog died in the icy waters of the Sewell River in Oxford during the very cold spell just before Christmas 2010.

Personally, I think the caroons are exceptional for a fifteen year old schoolboy.

From the extracts that I have read Sarah has a superb narrative style which makes her tales absorbing. I am looking forward to finding a process of getting them safely onto our website.

Village Summer Barbeque 2019

On behalf of the Parish Council and the Village Hall Committee a huge Thank You  to all those who arranged, set up, and supported the BBQ at the Village Hall on Sunday 25th August.

Attendance was estimated at well over 100 and with a plentiful supply of excellent hot dogs, beef burgers, salads  and a variety of drinks enjoyed in full sunshine it was a most successful afternoon.   Special thanks must go to the Village Hall committee for all their work behind the scenes organising the event, especially to Adrian and Malcolm our Master Chefs for the cooking marathon and to all who supplied  such an enjoyable selection of cakes and puddings.

Takings on the day from the Entrance, Bar, Tombola and Raffle made a profit in excess of £750  which  will be split between  maintenance of the Hall and the village bulb planting project.

It is our intention to build upon the success of this year with a larger event in 2020 including fun sports for children (and those older but still young at heart) and perhaps a bouncy castle weather permitting.

Once again Thanks to you all.   Keep an eye on the Village Blog for news of future events.

Iain Sutherland

Educational Grants

Whittington educational grants

The local charity The W Margison Eleemosynary Charity provides a grant of £150 (once per person only) for any Whittington resident aged 16 to 19 in full time education.

Applications are now open for grants for the academic year commencing September2019. Send applications to including the following details:

1. Full name
2. Full address including postcode
3. Age on 1 September 2019
4. Name of the educational institution for the academic year 2019-2020
5. Name of course or courses being studied in the academic year

2019-2020Payment will be made by cheque. If you do not have your own bank account, you must also include your instructions about the name we should put on the cheque.Please note that incomplete applications will be returned, and applications so incomplete that they look like spam will be ignored!

This information is also available online at

Privacy notice: your personal details will be used for no purpose other than the processing of the grant, and the keeping of proper records by the charity.