LETTER: History behind John Eastham Nurses Home

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Regarding the query about the “John Eastham Nurses Home” (Clitheroe Advertiser letters page February 14th), I have some information.

The Nursing Association was founded in 1891 to provide District Nurses for the town and Miss Bailey was the main founder along with Mrs Fraser, the wife of Dr Fraser. In 1893 the first ladies’ class of the St John Ambulance Brigade was held, in connection with the St Mary’s Branch of the Girls’ Friendly Society, and the first secretary was Mrs Fraser. Maybe the two groups joined together?

John Eastham was born at the family farm at Mytton in 1827 where his ancestors had lved for more than a century, but young John had ambitions to go down the academic road and left for Clitheroe when he was 16. He studied to become a copying clerk for 12 months then he was articled to the then Town Clerk Mr Robert Trappes, where he completed his apprenticeship.

In 1853 he was admitted as a solicitor and became the partner of Mr Trappes and in 1862 took over the position of Town Clerk. Mr Trappes died in 1863.

John Eastham was also appointed to the position of Clerk to the Clitheroe Local Board, whose main concern was the wellbeing of the community, and he was also made the Clerk to the Urban Sanitary Authority; the Clitheroe Union; etc.

The further position of Superintendent Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages could explain his connection with the Nursing Association.

Some 40-odd years later he was presented with the highest honour that any community can bestow upon a fellow citizen, namely the “Freedom of the Borough”. He had been present at the election of our Mayor on 64 occasions and was the second oldest Town Clerk in the country. He passed away in early February 1909, aged 81.

JOHN LAMBERT,

Chatburn Road, Clitheroe