The Parish of Sandal Magna

Who am I & How do I fit in? 
Pat Manners


When were you born and where?

Halifax 3rd July 1932.
My Dad walked with my mum high up on this hill. "There’s going to be houses here. Do you want a house or an engagement ring? She said: "A house". She got the ring 16 years later.
Dad was a policeman. He saw a pretty girl and stopped the traffic to let her cross. He asked to take her to the pictures and he had bought her carnations. He went to sleep during the movie as he had been on nights. They were married before she was 21. Very romantic. He was a Welsh lad, and I spent many happy summers in Aberkenfig.

Do you have any interesting family memories?
I knew from the age of 4 that I was going to be nurse. At Warley Road school, I learnt to swim. Miss Lack would use a long pole and poke you to encourage you to swim. I had long red hair in plaits, but I got nits and had to have it cut. Miss Mountain said: “O Pat where’s your beautiful hair gone.” I ran home, so upset. The boy sitting behind me, Alan Rawnsley, used to put ink on the back of my neck. He could embroider beautifully.

Who influenced you most in your life?

My parents. My headmistress, although I didn’t like her. She was old school, and wanted me to read medicine and go to Girton. I had a place in Leeds, but I knew I wasn’t academic.

How did you come to faith?

It was just part of my life. We went to St Hilda’s Church. I went with my cousin Joan to what is now Halifax Parish Church, where I was married to Mike. Church was part of life, part of me. I never questioned it.

What was your profession?
Every Sunday, I went up to the Halifax Royal Infirmary to see who was in charge and got a voluntary job. I scrubbed floors, washed wards, boiled instruments, helped old people, just to be in hospital. I walked out of school at 17. I served most at LGI and lived in nurses homes for three years. It was good training. In 1953 I became an SRN, and went off to London for 6 Months to study 1st part midwifery, and came top. I was good at it. Part 2 I took at Leeds. I wanted to work in the worst area, to know what it’s like to be really poor, to live in a house without a toilet. In Samuel street, there were 76 houses, multi-occupation, with only 3 sets of toilets at the back. Police went around in twos but nurses were safe. Call the Midwife? I could have written it! Been there done that. In Leeds, the poverty, the dirt, the smells. Being a Midwife was the gift that God had given me.

What recent experience of God stands out? 

Getting a wheelchair. Finding this home at Snydale was a real blessing. It has a lovely view. God-given. Michael up there laughing his socks off, with me getting all the problems he had.
What is one thing you would change in the world?
Christians suffering persecution. We all want peace. Understanding, admitting when we’re wrong. If we could live in peace. Why can’t we all live together.

Share something you get excited about in your life?

Being creative! I’m an avid photographer and love going out in nature to capture the beauty that is all around us. It really makes me appreciate life, and allows me to switch off from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

What is your favourite film, play, work of art, piece of music, band, book or all six?

Favourite film; It’s a Wonderful Life, The Grinch, Fantasia, Bambi.
Favourite play; The King and I. 
Work of art; Seascapes, I love the sea.
Piece of Music; The Armed Man. I’ve sung in it twice and especially like the Benedictus.
Book; The Lord of the Rings.

Who you like to spend time with?

Alice, Tom, Harry, Sam, William who died as he was being born. Rowena and Ben, Simon and Amanda, Mark and Annie.
Nia Frobisher who become a Barrister. Able Seaman Ossian a firefighter on the aircraft carrier. I am proud of them all; John, my Children and Grandchildren. I am the bow they are the arrows, and they went far away. I gave them freedom.




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