Gerald’s May 2019 Musings

The swallows have arrived. There have been two sightings reported, both on 13 April, one on Locka Lane at Arkholme and one on Main Street Whittington. I just hope that there are many more on the way.

My old school friend and neighbour Jeffery Buckley has died. We both grew up in the cottages on Storrs Hill. We played together, went to school together, and worked on the farm at Storrs Gate in the summer holidays. As teenagers, we went on holiday to Butlins at Filey and had a wonderful time there.

When Jeff left school he worked for Joe Armer at Lodge Farm at Gressingham. He returned to live in the village and worked at Borransafter he married his wife Mary. They eventually bought a house at Crag Bank. Jeff started working for United Utilities and trained as a part time fireman. In his leisure time, he took up bowling and played for Carnforth for a number of years until ill-health made him give up the game.

Jeff’s father Charles was probably the last proper roadman that I can remember. His remit was to maintain the road and the roadside verges from Sunny Bank to the County Boundary at Kirkby Lonsdale. For this job, he was provided with a brush and shovel, a wheelbarrow, a pick, a scythe, a sickle, and a scoop to clear the drains. There was no protective clothing, no transport, and no warning signs. The grass was always neatly trimmed. There were no blocked drains and no litter. What a difference from today. In winter he would be spreading ashes on the icy stretches. It is a long way to wheel a wheelbarrow and spread grit all that distance. Just think about it as you sit in your comfortable car.

My good friend Denis Westmorland is not only a talented musician and songwriter but a very good photographer as well. You can see some of his works on the Denis Westmorland web site. He has just recently finished a DVD featuring Kirkby Lonsdale, and last week he asked me to walk around Whittington with him, pointing out the interesting houses and features. So do not be alarmed if you see two men stood on your drive taking photographs.

Your house might just be the star on his next DVD. Denis will also take his projector and screen and show his large collection of pictures to any group who are interested in seeing them

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