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Gerald’s – September 2017 Blog

It is amazing what some families will do to defend their privacy. When Thomas Greene built Whittington Hall, he had a bill go through Parliament that allowed him to build a new road from the Church to the top of Moor brow, with bridges over Pearson Ghyll and Moor Ghyll, with a spur off to West Hall. The drive had previously been a
public road ever since the Romans built it as part of the Keighley to Kendal highway.

The North family built a short by-pass from Docker Lane to Laundry Cottage, to divert the road away from Newton Hall, and Francis Pearson allowed two cottages in the field in front of Storrs Hall to become derelict, so that he could close the old green lane that served them, and is now Storrs Hall back drive. This road then carried on down the fields until it reached the river where it turned left up the river side and joined the road at Ferry Cottage. The two cottages in front of Storrs Hall were eventually demolished, and the stone was used to build the barn and shippon at Storrs Gate farm.

I hear that some young drivers see the speed device at the School corner as a challenge to see who can record the fastest speed as they approach it. They should have more sense.

If you want a good night out and value for money come to the Village Hall on Saturday 9 September when Dennis Westmorland is playing his own brand of Lakeland music. You will be well-entertained for four hours, get a good wholesome supper and two drinks at the bar, and come away with change out of a twenty pound note. Not much dearer than a lonely night at home with a bottle of wine. I know which I prefer.

Gerald Hodgson

Elephant Hawk Moth

Someone once said “Fly like an elephant, sting like a bee”, or something approaching those words.

Even it’s mother must find it difficult to love this giant creature which I recently discovered in our garden.  It’s mother refers to it as Deilephila elpenor but it is known as the Elephant Hawk Moth because it’s caterpillar resembled the trunk of an elephant.

Elephant Hawk Moth

The caterpillar is easy to see but the moth, although common in the British Isles,  is nocturnal and therefore less commonly seen in the garden, even when they are flying around (between May and August.

Graham Williams
(Resident Ornithopterist)

Halle Orchestra

In the early 60’s I worked in an office at 37 Peter St Manchester, directly opposite the Free Trade Hall, the home of the Halle Orchestra.

Manchester Free Trade Hall

The Free Trade Hall was an inspiring building. It was a venue for public meetings and political speeches and a concert hall. Charles Dickens performed there in the summer of 1857. In 1872 Benjamin Disraeli gave his One Nation speech. In 1904, Winston Churchill delivered a speech at the hall defending Britain’s policy of free trade. In 1905 the Women’s Social and Political Union activists, Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney were ejected from a meeting addressed by the Liberal politician Sir Edward Grey, who repeatedly refused to answer their question on Votes for Women.

In the 60’s the Halle Orchestra used to have a programme of free lunchtime concerts, which they continue to this very day but now in the Bridgewater Hall.

I used to walk immediately across Peter Street from our office and into the front door of the Hall, armed with my cheese sandwich and green apple, and enjoy the free recitals.

Inside the Concert Hall

The resident conductor was Sir John Barbirolli, following in the footsteps of Sir Malcolm Sargent.

Sir John Barbirolli

Imagine, at lunchtime, this charismatic individual with his flowing locks and emphatic style, whose  repertoire was not as wide as that of many of his colleagues because he insisted on exhaustive preparation for any work he conducted, launching into Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” just as you bit into your apple.

It was my introduction to classical music.  I became an ardent Beethoven fan, and still have a tape recording of Beethovens Piano Concerto No.5 “Emperor Concerto” played by Daniel Barenboim,

A young Daniel Barenboim

which I recorded on my Grundig TK25 reel to reel tape recorder round about the same time (despite the fact that I now have no machine I can play it on.

Grundig TK25 Reel to Reel tape recorder.

At the time all this was happening Maureen and I were in our early twenty’s and we frequently got the steam train from Earlestown to Manchester to attend concerts at the Free Trade Hall. – However, I was also playing guitar in a skiffle group and rock band and went on, some years later, to accept a diminution of my musical horizons by playing banjo in a Trad Jazz Band.   This is the Gateway Jazz Band a couple of years after we left Carlisle.

The Gateway Jazz Band, leader Micky Potts, owner of Carlisle’s famous Dixon’s Chimney.

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