Former Bentham Sawmill owner Emmanuel Jackson dies, aged 101

Craven Herald: Emmanuel Jackson Emmanuel Jackson

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

Emmanuel Jackson, known as Manny, was born in 1912 at Bideber Mill, once a corn mill serving Westhouse.

When Manny was four, the Jacksons moved to Hardacre, near Clapham, and the family’s possessions were loaded onto a horse and cart.

His brother, John, was badly gassed in the Great War, but survived and 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. There was such a demand for her produce that shoppers would queue onto the pavement.

From Hardacre, Manny walked to school and chapel in Newby. The teacher at Newby School, Mrs Slater, was one of the first in the area to have a motor car and 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 Sandaber houses on Tatterthorn Lane in Bentham.

During the Second World War Manny worked at Yeadon Airport, making and maintaining the wood wings of early Anson fighter-planes.

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

They were married at St Margaret’s, Bentham, in June 1943, but it was a very low-key ceremony as Nesta had received news that her brother, Jack, had been killed on HMS Dasher and another brother, Edward, was a prisoner of war, although he returned safely to England.

Manny bought Bentham Sawmill in 1950 and the couple lived next door. The business grew from two to 27 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.

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.

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