Fred Firth's WWI letters

October 7th 1928

The following is probably to Fred's father Thomas, from Fred's uncle Fred Firth. It shows that Fred was now farming. Ernest Lockwood, in Colne Valley Folk, states in 1936 that David Firth's "farm is now [in 1936] in the occupation of Fred Firth, a son of Thomas Firth". Fred's uncle David did not marry, and died in March 1925; previous letters suggest that Fred was expected to take over the farm.

TEL. 878


I am Sending you £25 towards buying the Cow Cow for Fred, & I want this Money spending on a Cow or heifer & would like to see it when I Come up 
I don't See that there is any need to be in a hurry have a look round and see if there is anything good about F.F.


The following hand-written opening speech for a church Sale of Work is undated; reference to "the recently demolished Sunday school under the chapel" should provide a clue. The writer, like Fred, is a farmer; the writing, however, resembles neither that of Fred nor of his brother Norman.

Mr Chairman Ladies & Gentlemen,
It was with a certain amount of reluctance that I promised to occupy the position of opening the Annual Sale of Work here this afternoon. When Mr Armitage approached me with regard to it I refused, but he asked me to think it over. This I did & after due consideration, I finally decided to accept, because knowing that the old scholars who have been asked to do it in the past did not refuse, but accepted willingly & in all fairness to them I felt in duty bound to accept.

I may as well say here that I should feel more at home on a milking stool or opening a bag of corn than opening a Sale of Work, but these footprints in the sands of time come along & we look back of on them very often with very pleasant recollections.

I have spent many happy hours in this Sunday School preparing for past Sales of Work, they are a good thing in many ways the most important in my opinion being that it gives everyone a good chance of doing their share & pulling their weight towards the upkeep of this place.

I can cast my mind back on many happy occasions at these functions, but the one I enjoyed most I think was when I took part in a dialogue held in the recently demolished old school under the chapel. This dialogue was entitled "My Wife's Dentist" & I think one or two here this afternoon will remember it. In those days the platform was made up of old table tops & forms & packed as well as we could for the occasion (no set stage manager as you have today) & well remember during the performance one of my colleagues intended making a dramatic entrance, which he did, but in a much different way to what he intended for on coming into view of the audience he stept on to a weak place of the platform & his foot went through much to the amusement of all present except himself.

I am pleased to have my friend, [Mr] Ben Smith alongside me this afternoon as Chairman for we were together here for a good number of years as both scholars & active workers in both Church & Sunday School.

I do hope y