History of Lindal & Marton

A village community at the heart of Furness


Parish Council

Memories of Marton Spencers

The photos and memories below were provided by Alan Spencer, with some additional information from Dave Arts. There are several references to photos on the page Thomas Thompson's Memories of Marton.

TIP: Please click on each photo to see a larger version.

Jack Spencer & Sherry

Jack & SherryI enjoyed finding the Lindal & Marton Website, especially the Marton memories photo of the two men on the snowdrift. I take that to be the big snow & freeze of 1940. I was one of the Spencers who were on the reservoirs, and had the horses at the lower Poaka Beck at that time on the other side of that snowdrift. I remember how the road had to be dug out, and how difficult it was due to there being nowhere to put the snow due to its 24ft thickness just beyond the photo.

My sister Margaret was born at home at this time, and a route had to be found to get the midwife through the fields and anywhere that the wind had cleared bare patches. Once the roads had been cleared, my father Jack Spencer made a sledge and brought coal by horse and sledge from the sidings at Lindal to the village. Needless to say, all the local lads made use of that sledge on the Lots at Poaka Beck (it held 15).

I also remember how thick the ice was on the reservoir, and my uncles who had ice skates pulled me round on a sweeping brush. They were really good times and were almost forgotten until being reminded by your website.

Jack & Sherry The photos are of my father Jack Spencer, a well known character in the horse world, riding a horse called Sherry. I think it was the day he won the show jumping at Cartmel Show. I think I won the pony jumping the same day.

Olive Spencer

Dave Arts wrote, "On the Marton part of the Website there is a page called Thomas Thompson's Memories. Below the initial 5 pictures there are a further 11 pictures. One of those called Marton7, which is the third picture from the left on the second row down, shows a happy group of ladies with their children on their knees. Behind them are a group of ladies and a man in a uniform on the left. I looked at this picture and was certain that the lady third from the left holding the baby on the front row is my Aunt Olive (a very young one at that as I knew her more during the 1960s!). She lived in Marton all through the 1940's until the 1980's. Her married name was Spencer and her maiden name was Breakwell. She had two children David b1942 and Colin b1947. This picture I would think therefore dates from mid-1947."

Alan Spencer confirmed, "Olive I am sure is the one with what I think is David on her knee. She was married to my father's brother Bert Spencer, who died just last year (2008) at 92. David went to Canada but is now back in this country. Colin of course still lives in Marton."

Wartime air crashes

Did you know of the two local air crashes we had in the war years, one in Marton, the other at Poaka Beck? The one classed as being in Marton was in very early 1943 and I remember it well. We were having Sunday lunch at our lower house in Poaka Beck when we heard the roar of engines followed by the flash and explosion. My brother Stephen was first on the site, but due to the heat and shells going off was unable to get near. All the airmen died. According to people on the Marton side, eye witnesses said it just cleared the Thompson Brothers Dutch Barn(which I don't know if it's still there) and crashed in the field over what at that time we called Forty Steps and just before Pencil Lane.

The other, for which I can't remember the date, crashed in the overflow steps between Harlock and Poaka Beck Reservoirs. Again, all the airmen were killed. One of the engines finished up in the steps and made an enormous crack which remained there for years, it could still be there. It was just lucky at the time that Harlock Reservoir was not overflowing or Poaka Beck Reservoir would have been polluted.

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