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Gerald’s Jul-Aug Blog

The Church heritage service was very successful once again. The flower arrangements were beautifully done – they really are a credit to the ladies who do them. The readings and poetry were well chosen and presented, and the collection of Church documents on display were very interesting – that table was busy all afternoon. Once again the food was delicious and the wine finished the afternoon nicely. Many thanks to the people who organised the service I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I am often asked the dates when our village was connected to the main services. Electricity came to the village in 1934/35, when Lancaster city Council built a coalfired power station near the Aqueduct Bridge, in Lancaster. Docker had to wait until 1949 for their supply when a cable was laid across the fields from the substation at Storrs Hall heading towards Craven View and Snab Green.

Water came in 1938 when the villages in the Lune Valley were connected to the Thirlmere pipe line at Capernwray. Mains water was a great relief to lots of families – not much fun going to the well or pump on a cold dark night.

Mains sewerage came to Whittington in 1969. That was the end of quite a few small dark privies at the bottom of the garden – not a pleasant job for the local dustbin men whose job it was to clean them out. The road through the village was also widened at this time.

Whittington was connected to mains gas in 1986 – even though a gas pipe had come through the village in 1955 when all the small local gas works were shut down and a large new gas works was built at Morecambe. This was later made redundant when North Sea gas came on stream – and now it is broadband that we are getting connected to. I just cannot think of what else will come in the next fifty years.

Gerald Hodgson

Planning – July

15/00261/LB Listed Building application for the installation of 3 roof lights and the removal of an internal wall to facilitate the conversion of the garage to ancillary accommodation associated with 2 Cross Cottages for Mr&Mrs Ian Hunter, 2 Cross Cottages, Main Street, Whittington, LA6 2NX Listed Building consent granted 15/00538/FUL Creation of an enclosed porch below existing entrance canopy for Mrs Julie Graham-Clegg, Swallow Barn, Kirkby Lonsdale Road, Newton, LA6 2NZ Permission granted

15/00001/REF Erection of a 80 metre high wind turbine from ground to blade tip, transformer, substation, temporary construction area, new access track and alterations to existing access arrangements for Mr James Hopkins, Sunny Bank Farm, Kikrby Lonsdale Road, Arkholme, LA6 1BG This appeal is against a refusal of planning permission.

Gerald’s June Blog

Would someone please ask the powers that be to please remove the antique Whittington road sign that is lying at a drunken angle in the hedge on Kirkby Lonsdale road, could we please have it repaired and put in a less vulnerable place away from predatory hedge cutter drivers who seem to delight in decapitating road signs and footpath finger posts. Could it possibly be moved before some passing scrap merchant decides it would just top up his load of scrap iron, as that would see it gone forever.

Marie Blackburn saw the first swallow on April 16th but there are a lot fewer birds about this year and I have yet to see the usual ones flying around the Church.

We will be doing a small presentation in Church on May 31st at the Heritage Service at 5 pm there will be some of the Church records on view lots of other interesting material to look at if you are interested in our villages long history.

The Tartan Sound will be back playing music for dancing in Whittington Village Hall on June 6th at 8 pm, well worth a visit.

Gerald Hodgson

Gerald’s May Blog

The sign at Biggins crossroads advising HGV drivers to use the Whittington road has been removed, I have no idea why. Did someone overstep their authority putting it there or has common sense prevailed?

Is it really 70 years since we celebrated VE day? What a relief it was. The ARP and the Home Guard were stood down, the black out curtains removed, church bells were ringing again, most of the evacuees went home, and the army camp at Storrs Hall was abandoned. No more gas mask practices, no need for people to carry their identity cards. Peace was really returning. We celebrated. Arkholme Trinity Sports restarted, a challenge football match between Arkholme and Whittington was arranged, Whittington won if I remember correctly, and we built an enormous bonfire on the island by the viaduct. Some soldiers who had been abroad for long periods returned. Billy Woodend had been defending Malta for almost four years and seen quite a few of his comrades killed whilst manning the anti-aircraft guns. Reg Bateson came home after four years as a prisoner of war and other men and women who had served in the forces returned to their families. What a celebration it was. Food rationing continued for a few more years – bread rationing was yet to start – but oranges and bananas were back on sale and some shops actually sold ice cream, what luxury and what a treat.

The swallows should be returning any day now. Keep watching for them, they are a bit later this year, they must be waiting for the weather to get warmer.

Could our new Parish Council when they take over in May do something with the Parish seats? They are in a bad state of repair and for the last few years they have totally disappeared under the long grass.

Gerald Hodgson

The Village Blog