Jack Haworth

From Rhaworth

90th birthday

Jack Haworth (13 August 1914 - 27 August 2006) was born in Rossendale, Lancashire to Herbert Haworth (1884 - 1950 ) and Ellen Mary Haworth (née Taylor) (c.1884-1957). Herbert was deputy town clerk of the Borough of Rawtenstall.

"Jack" was his one and only given name - not a contraction which he had adopted. Jack's siblings were: Richard (1913 - ?) and Mary (1918 - 2001). They lived at Worswick Crescent, and later, Raby Street, Rawtenstall. Jack was educated at Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School (BRGS) (1926-30). He later met and married another BRGS pupil, Florence Ashworth (1909 - 1999).

When Jack left school he worked as a clerk in Rawtenstall Town Hall (1930-1937). During this time he became an active scouter, working with local the cub-scout pack. He attended the World Jamborees in Birkenhead in 1929, and in Holland in 1937. Enjoying working with young people, he trained as a teacher at City of Leeds Training College (1937-39). He was offered a scholarship for a third year to train as a PE specialist at Carnegie Hall, Leeds but declined this, as war was brewing.

At the start of World War II in 1939, Jack was working in his first teaching post at Starnthwaite, an Approved School near Kendal. He lost this job, when he registered as a conscientious objector. He told his tribunal that he was willing to do "work of national importance" and was sent to Riversmead, a residential school for German refugee boys (via Kindertransport) at Riversmead, near Clitheroe. This was run by the charity that is now NCH (National Children's Homes). In 1941, the school closed as the boys moved on to higher education. Jack was fortunate to be able to join the staff at a special school nearby at Dunnow Hall in the Hodder Valley. This school set up by Quaker psychologist, Dr Arthur Fitch, was for "maladjusted children" (high IQ but behavioural problems) and is now located at "Breckenbrough", near Thirsk. Jack taught there from 1941-44, including leading outdoor pursuits activities. This was a very formative and enjoyable time in his career.


In 1944, he moved to Kendal Boys Modern School, (initially at Stramongate School, later moved to Longlands). He taught there for 30 years, retiring in 1974 just before the school changed to both comprehensive and co-education. He taught the remove classes for "educationally sub-normal boys". The term was politically correct in the 1940s!

During the War he and Florence Ashworth decided to get married and go and live in Kendal. For both their families living in the close-knit community of the Rossendale Valley, to do this was considered to be "letting the side down". They were married quietly in November 1939 in the Congregational Chapel in Kendal, and telephoned home after to tell their families!

In 1944, they finally set up home at Barnsdale near Kendal. They had two children: Roger William (1945 - ) and Rosalind Mary (1948 - ).

In 1946 they moved to a semi-detached house in Burneside Road, Kendal (maps). About 1953 after endless discussions with the architect, Michael Bunney, they had a house built to their specification in Sedbergh Road, Kendal (maps).

Jack retired from teaching in 1974 but continued to be active, working as a receptionist at The Hydro Hotel at Windermere.

For many years Jack was an active member of the committee of the Friends of the Lake District, although strangely, he and Florence did little fell walking.

Jack's peace concerns led them to the Society of Friends, and Jack and Florence became active members of Kendal Meeting. But in later years they transferred their allegiance to Kendal Parish Church.

Later years

Jack coped well with Florence's illness and her death in 1999. Soon after he suffered a mild stroke and lost half his sight. He stayed on in the Sedbergh Road house for a year but finally moved in 2000 to live with his daughter Rosalind and her husband John Batchelor in York. He lived an active life, enjoying walking around the city, outings to theatres and the countryside and activities with the Society of Friends. He celebrated his 90th birthday in 2004, with a large party.

In May 2005 returning from an outing with his grandson, Peter Batchelor, Jack suffered a further stroke. Although he made a good recovery, this left him with greatly reduced vision and mobility and short-term memory loss. A place was found for him near to Rosalind's home in the Hartrigg Oaks Community.

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