Memories of old post lady

Long-time Hanging Heaton resident Jack Bunn has written down lots of his memories about village life. (D524A447)
Long-time Hanging Heaton resident Jack Bunn has written down lots of his memories about village life. (D524A447)

A long-time Hanging Heaton resident has written down lots of his memories about village life.

Here he tells the story of the Christine Stone:

In the 1990s, after the death of Eddie Lodge the Hanging Heaton postmaster, the post office was taken over by Mr and Mrs Anderson.

They ran if for a few years until Christine Anderson contracted a terminal illness and was taken to Cookridge Hospital in Leeds.

At the time I was President of Hanging Heaton Working Men’s Club and also president of Hanging Heaton Village Residents.

Mr Anderson approached me and said could a few villagers visit to cheer her up at Christmas time. “I can do better than that,” I said.

At that time we had a brass band at the club so we arranged to have a telephone line to her bedside in Cookridge and I got the band to play on the pathway and road outside the post office in High Street.

It was Christmas Eve and soon a large crowd had gathered, blocking the road and all singing carols with the band.

Several of the villagers spoke to her and I asked her for her favourite carol for the band to play. It was In the Bleak Midwinter and you could hear the noise in Batley.

In those days we had a village bobby – PC Gallagher – who joined in and a bus had stopped and everyone got off and sung with us.

Sadly, Mrs Anderson passed away later but at least we had done a good deed.

Opposite the old Post Office in the High Street is a banking of grass. Just higher up than the seat up against the high wall and railings is a stone – the Christine Stone, in memory of our post lady.

Hanging Heaton Residents also paid Kirklees £8.50 to plant a flowering tree in front of the stone. It is a flowering cherry tree and blossoms every year.

There are also seven pear trees planted in Hanging Heaton. This was to celebrate the Relief of Mafeking during the South African War.

Some are still bearing huge pears, others have been cut down to make way for extensions for newcomers to the village.