Garden Centres, Disappointment and a Widow

We  went to two garden centres this morning. The first one was disappointing, with a closed cafe and a definite lack of things worth buying. The second was equally poor, despite promises of 50% off. At least the cafe was open, even if they did serve the cheese toasties with salad on a breadboard. Not even a traditional British breadboard either, but a modern pressed bamboo monstrosity.

Both of them seem to be plagued by thieves, judging from the notices stuck up around the centres. Hampson’s in Wakefield have gone as far as to install a security shed and employ two people to write signs telling you that “Your on TV” (sic), or in the case of the second person “You’re on TV”. I’ve never had the opportunity to write (sic) before; blogging is really expanding my horizons.


Security shed ay the Garden Centre

The garden centre at Ackworth takes a different approach, having a sign up to ask customers to report each other if they see them stealing.

So there we were, with hardly an item purchased, nothing of interest seen and not much of a back-up plan. At that point we found the Ackworth memorial to local quarrymen. I’ve driven through the village dozens of times before Number Two son’s enforced retirement from Rugby League and never knew it existed.

It lists 15 men of the area who died between 1878 and 1935.

I had a quick look for John Desborough on the internet – it’s a reasonably uncommon name and it produces several results. Born in Lincolnshire in 1843, spent some time in Holbeach Workhouse with two brothers and a sister. He was an agricultural labourer until 1876, when he married in Ackworth, worked as a quarryman and had five children before being killied in a quarry accident on 17th  May 1889.

His wife Susanah did not remarry, and his three sons all went to work as quarrymen. Susannah died in 1916, and is buried in St Cuthberts churchyard.

Tough times, and an interesting memorial.


13 thoughts on “Garden Centres, Disappointment and a Widow

  1. Pingback: Spiders, Shopping and Dead Butterflies | quercuscommunity

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, and I must have driven within 50 yards of it
      a hundred times over the years. At least two of my ancestors were in quarries and several more were stonemasons so it was interesting to see.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Now you come to mention it, perhaps it should. I’ll have to look it up. Or insert a “sic” after “sic”. 😉

      Two of our local garden centres have now transformed themselves into gift shops with plants and a few tools. This seems to be the way.

  2. Laurie Graves

    Very tough times, and those who complain about the nanny state might want to take note of what things were like before there were government services. Those garden centres do sound like duds. And the picture you posted doesn’t exactly shout welcome, does it?

    1. quercuscommunity

      To be honest, I felt quite unwelcome in the first centre. In the second, they only had one, harrassed, staff member on duty and we felt guilty at adding to her burden. 🙁


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