Thursday, July 15, 2010

Anecdotes from Fairhurst Hall, Parbold

Anthony Travis ( shares this amusing anecdote to the Fairhurst Hall story.......
When my father, George Travis, retired in about 1977 he handed all his business suits to his full time gardener. By coincidence it happened that the gardener, a retired coal miner and local Parbold man, was called Matthew Fairhurst. He was known by us as Matt.
Matt took to wearing my father's old suits when working in the grounds at Fairhurst and was often joined by my father, who wore very old and well worn outdoor clothes when they were clearing the leaves, mowing the lawns and generally keeping things in good trim.
Visitors who were unfamiliar with the Hall, which is only visible when one is already well down the drive, would sometimes stop and ask Matt, who was of course the better dressed of the two gardeners, the way to Fairhurst and where to park their car. Matt would reply that he was Mr Fairhurst and point them in the right direction. Naturally the visitors assumed that Matt was the owner.
This confusion was a source of great amusement particularly when the visitors, on meeting my father in the Hall to discuss the purpose of their visit would insist on meeting the owner rather than the gardener.

By the way, when Dr and Mrs Tom Rigg sold Fairhurst Hall they built the house on the land just behind the large stone built barn that is to be found at the southern end of the estate and at the bottom of the main drive.
Tom was a well known and successful pigeon fancier and kept his flock of pigeons in the barn next door to their house. On many occasions he could be seen with a tennis racquet hitting tennis balls high into the sky at the pigeons as they wheeled in circles above the barn. He explained that this technique was to train the pigeons to fly at a good height.
Such was country life!

Being a doctor Tom Rigg was able to treat and sew up wounds suffered by his racing pigeons when they returned from their long flights home. I would sometimes join him and hold the pigeons while he operated on them. They were wonderful creatures. Tom and his wife were the most genial and interesting neighbours one could wish for and helped make Fairhurst a fascinating place to live.
One final point. Did you know that the Hall is haunted? That of course is another story for another time but I can say that I and others were sometimes woken by the sound of strange and unexplained footsteps in the night!
Kindest regards

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Just wanted to show my appreciation for your time and hard work