The life of Emmanuel “Manny” Jackson

Mannie Jackson.
Mannie Jackson.

One of Bentham’s oldest residents has died, aged 101.

Emmanuel Jackson, known as Manny, was born at Bideber Mill in 1912.

Bideber was originally the corn mill serving Westhouse with parts dated to 1527.

When Manny was four the Jacksons moved to Hardacre near Clapham.

The family’s possessions were loaded onto a horse and cart and one of Manny’s earliest memories was the grouse and tewitts being noisily disturbed as the family rode across the moor to their new farm.

There was no road to Hardacre until Manny’s father, a builder and farmer, installed one.

During the Great War Manny remembered how his brother John rode to Hardacre to visit their mother Isobella and the family.

John was stationed at Ripon and galloped quickly on the back lanes to avoid the military police before riding back to barracks.

Fortunately John survived the war despite being badly gassed and he went on to manage the Co-operative shops in Low Bentham and Ingleton.

Mother Isabella made butter from the shorthorn herd and this was sold at the Co-operative.

From Hardacre Manny walked to school and chapel in Newby. The Sunday School teacher Herbert Tennant, late of Clapham, taught him poems to recite at the annual prizegiving.

The teacher at Newby School, Mrs Slater, was one of the first in the area to have a motor car.

This seemed to engender in Manny, and his many brothers, a lifelong interest in cars and motorbikes.

Manny was apprenticed as a joiner to William Wilson.

However, in the Depression of the 1930s business was quiet so Manny worked for the new Bentham Electric Company in Duke Street.

He also helped his father build the houses named Sandaber on Tatterthorn Lane in Bentham.

Sandaber was the farm at Austwick where Isabella had lived as a girl.

During the Second World War Manny worked at Yeadon Airport.

The wings of early Anson fighter-planes were made of wood and Manny worked on these as well as carrying out maintenance work for the company.

Manny met his wife, Nesta Wrathall, whilst roofing on School Hill behind what was then Dewsbury’s Garage.

Nesta’s aunt owned the cottages and gave them to Manny and Nesta, although the couple insisted on paying, and they were married at St Margaret’s Bentham in June 1943.

In 2013 Manny and Nesta celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary.

Manny bought Bentham Sawmill in 1950 and the couple lived next door. The business grew from two to twenty seven employees. His firm had a reputation for quality and was bought out by Naylor Myers.

Manny and Nesta were enthusiastic supporters of Bentham generally and Manny was President of Bentham Show.

They retired to Clapham and enjoyed village life, gardening and walking.

More recently they returned to Bentham and spent alternate seasons with daughter Marion and son Russell and their respective families.

Manny loved receiving and chatting to visitors and his 100th birthday was a memorable occasion.

He even offered to send the Queen a card when she reached her own centenary.

His funeral at his home church of St Oswald’s near Westhouse was full of relatives and friends spanning five generations from most corners of Britain and the Channel Islands.