Another Country Life

After reading my piece on Tosside Chapel, a lady sent me a copy of her grandfather’s autobiography Country Life. Robert Jackson, (‘Farmer, Agricultural Contractor and Lay Preacher’) was brought up at Tosside as a child before moving to Whittington and Newton in Lancashire’s Lune Valley, another place I know. He pastored Carnforth’s pentecostal church for some time in his later years. 

Having left Tosside chapel, though tragically returning to bury two of his siblings, he described his happy times at Whittington village school. Twice he was caned, the second time ‘for something I don’t think it would be discreet to publish’. How intriguing.

The best part for me was a young Mr Jackson’s encounters with Happy Jack, a large, cheerful farmer of the Brethren persuasion who was instrumental in his conversion to Christ. Young Jackson was ill and restricted to his bedroom. Happy Jack procured a ladder from the barn, climbed up to his room saying “I’ve come to speak to you about your soul and about the Saviour”. There followed rejoicing in heaven. Maybe there are folk around Capernwray and Arkholme who still recall talk of Happy Jack’s Converted Jackson.

The book gives an interesting account of a young farmer making ends meet, his hedge cutting business and even inventing a part for muck spreaders which he had patented. Sometimes when reading, one develops an affinity for the writer. One likes his turns of phrase, his thoughts, his views. It’s only a little tome at 68 pages, but it persuaded me that Robert Jackson is a man I rather like, and thanks to God’s grace, one whom I shall meet one day.

Allow Mr Jackson the last word:

I believe the greatest thing is to be faithful to God and your calling, leaving the results and fruits to Him who knows best. If we can help somebody onto the straight and narrow way that leads to eternal life, then our living will not have been in vain, not forgetting that it is quite a full-time job keeping ourselves in the love of God and on the straight and narrow path.

He being dead yet speaketh.