Sunday, 1 February 2015

A Letter From Australia

 Geoff Baker, born in Furness Vale has written from Melbourne, Victoria
My grandfather Noel Baker and grandmother Winifred Baker lived at 200 Buxton Road Furness Vale, their son Walter Baker is my father, Noel was a traffic inspector working at Gowhole (what his duties were I do not know), Noel died on 16th August 1942 aged 55 years.(1887-1942) My father Walter served in the 8th army in Egypt during the war, on return from the war he courted and married my mother Alice Shepley of 17 Eaves Knoll Road New Mills who worked for the New Mills Co-op society, my father was employed on the railway at Gowhole as a goods guard, they both came to live with my widowed grandmother at 200 Buxton Road. I was born in the front room of that address on 4th May 1947. It must have been approximaetly 1950 my parents and I moved to 9 Hockerley Lane Whaley Bridge when my father became station master there, I do not remember how long we lived there, other than I do remember starting school there must have been around 1952 at Whaley Bridge primary school. My grandmother arranged to take in a boarder, Bill Bosten the local constable in Furness Vale, and 200 Buxton Road became  the local police station. Bill Bosten was there for many years I think until about 1962/3.
Approx 1953 my mother, father and I relocated again and took up residence in the station masters house at Hyde North, my father became station master there, and later station master at Pinxton although we still lived at Hyde North.
My grandmother Winifred Baker of 200 Buxton Road Furness Vale died in 1972 at Stepping Hill Hospital.
Approx 1957 my mother and father bought a bakery business and residence in Moss Street Blackburn and left the railways.
During I think 1966 my father again joined the railways in the district inspectors office based in Preston that's about the time I joined the merchant Navy as a Radio Officer, I stayed in the service for  years before emigrated to Melbourne Australia, where I lived until 2012 before I retired to live on Camiguin Island in the Philippines, I am currently back in Melbourne I have been here the whole of 2014 up to date, receiving cancer treatment, I hope to be able to return home to Camiguin in April or May this year.
My mother and father retired to Thornton Cleveley's around 1982, my father passed away 20th October 1996 in Blackpool (1917-1996) my mother came with me back to Australia, she passed away 19th May 1999 in Leongatha Victoria. (1909-1999).
During my whole school life, during school holidays I always stayed at my Grandmothers, and used to work on Longhurst farm helping in those days Joseph Barber, that was always a very happy time for me.
I had to come to England a number of time's after the death of my father, one trip in 1977, I did a tour of the places I used to live, I called in 200 Buxton Road, but no one was home, I looked at Gowhole, Longhurst farm which is living accomodation what was cow sheds, I even had a couple of pints at the Soldier Dick, checked out Hyde North, Blackburn, and returned to Blackpool with very mixed feelings for what I saw, I have no desire to return, but do love reading about the area which I miss, except the weather.

Longhurst Farm
Just another thing you might be interested in, in the early 1960's Jo Barber was quite severly injured, a cow jumped on him in the byre whilst he was feeding hay, I am not sure if Joe ever worked the farm again, I remember his daughter and son in  law came back from New Mills to run the place for a while, thats about the time when I moved on to other things.

Geoff Baker

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