Gerald’s April 2019 Musings

We said goodbye to that lovely man John Jackson last month. John lived at NewtonHall Farm after his family moved there from Tosside in Yorkshire in the early 1930s, and took over running the farm after his parents retired.

John’s brother Robert wrote a book describing how the family moved, loading all the furniture and farm machinery onto two horse-drawn carts, and setting off early one morning to travel the 27 miles from Tosside to Newton, arriving there tired and weary at 9.30pm that night. The Jackson family all attended Whittington School and Robert describes enjoying time there, and the teachers Mrs Clarke and Mrs Brown and vicar John Hodgkin were quite an influence on their lives. John attended Arkholme Chapel and met his future wife May there.

He became a part-time preacher and took services at a lot of local chapels. After retiring from the farm he moved to Arkholme and spent many happy years there beforemoving to a retirement home at Hornby in later life. Such a well-respected man and a good friend to many.

Once again the Pancake Party was a great success. I enjoyed both the pancakes and the company. It made a really happy night.

The Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor )

Keep watching the skies for the swallows returning this month. Any time between the 12th and 26th they usually arrive, but like all species of song birds they seem to get fewer every year. It is very sad to see how much the bird population has declined in my lifetime.

They have resurfaced Church Street but there is still an enormous amount of water running down either side. How long will it be before it undermines the new surface andwe have more potholes appearing?

Gerald Hodgson

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