May 1914 …

It seems we have had all four seasons in one month …

We woke up to a severe frost one morning which affected the farmers’ crops and the vegetables growing in people’s gardens. The potatoes didn’t do well from it and one resident is said to have lost five hundred tomatoes plants! With that and the fruit trees being affected I reckon the harvest won’t be a good one this year. There was also a terrific thunder storm, and Mr Talbot’s chicken shed on Lingheath was struck by a bolt of lightning and burst into flames. Lucky for him he was on the scene quickly and managed to put the fire out before too much damaged was caused.

Later in the month we learned of the terrible sinking of the ‘Empress of Ireland’. Over a thousand poor souls drowned just off the coast of Canada after the liner was in collision with another ship. Apparently it went down within fifteen minutes, which gave too little time for people to escape. The Baptist chapel on the High Street held a special service for those poor souls and the pastor told his congregation that,

“… life’s end might come to one with unexpected and tragical sadness.”

He then went on to preach that if men learned how to live then they would learn how to die when the moment came. It certainly felt apocalyptical this month. Did he now something we didn’t?

Ah, talking of the Baptist Church. This month 67-year-old Frederick Rissbrook celebrated fifty years with the Baptist Church. His wife sadly died four years ago, but regardless of this, he still carries out his duties for the church and can always be seen at the front of the summer Sunday School parade through the High Street.

Last month Brandon’s football team finished their season and this month it’s the turn of the town’s cricket team to start playing. However, unlike the football team, cricket is not open to absolutely anyone; no it helps if you have some social standing. The team features Mr Rought who owns the huge fur factory and who is also a Brandon councillor and magistrate, as well as other business men from the town. Anyway they got off to a flyer in their first match of the season when Croxton were the visitors. Charlie Farrow, the Brandon school teacher, was a sensation for the team, bowling out six Croxton lads for only four runs, and catching out another. Croxton were all out for thirty-one. Charlie then followed this up by being Brandon’s highest run scorer with twenty-four, contributing to Brandon’s score of seventy-three for four. It was a walk over! It just might be a good summer after all.