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.

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