Bacup, Lancashire

Jack Staveley 1909-1978

Jack Staveley was born at 113 School Lane, Brinscall, Withnell in 1909, the youngest son of Enos Davenport Staveley and Emily Haworth.  Jack is the great-grandson of George Staveley and Dorothy Wray of Aysgarth, Yorkshire.  Jack married a local girl, Eleanor Taylor, on March 28, 1934 in Bacup.  Jack and Eleanor had long been known to each other, and an old school photograph shows the two of them standing side-by-side, probably aged about 14 or 15 years at the time.

After Jack's mother Emily died in 1939, he and Eleanor moved to Manchester.  Jack had moderate to severe asthma for most of his life, and when World War II broke out, he was unable to serve in the military.  Instead, Jack was able to 'do his part' by moving to Manchester and becoming employed as a mechanic at "Metro-Vicks".

The Metropolitan Vickers Company was located in Trafford Park. It was responsible for the production of the "Manchester" and then the "Lancaster" bombers during the war, and was also responsible for the manufacture of the first commercially produced radar system.  During the Christmas season in 1940, for three days and nights the entire city of Manchester was relentlessly bombed during the 'Manchester Blitz'. 

Manchester Blitz 1940
Jack and Eleanor, along with hundreds of other families during those three long nights, were bombed out of their home.  For years afterward Eleanor was terrified of the sound of any 'air-raid' siren, and considering the magnitude of the devastation around the city that Christmas, there is little wondering why.
Jack Staveley in Scoutmaster Uniform with Local Troop

After the war was over, Jack and Eleanor returned to Bacup to make their home in Stacksteads.  Jack found a job as a mechanic working for Bacup Shoe Company.  Sometime after the war it also appears that he became a scoutmaster, but with only a photograph to go by, with no dates, and no names of any of the troop members, it's been difficult to ascertain exactly when, where, or for how long he did this. 

I do recall that during the later years Jack and Eleanor eventually owned a sweet shop and bakery on Union Road, in Oswaldtwistle during Jack's 'retirement'.  Jack never lost touch with his mechanic-side however, and if ever you couldn't find him in the house, you could be assured he was outside tinkering with his car...

Author: Clare M. Staveley


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