Hitchen, John (Jack)
The funeral was held recently for the late John William Hitchen of Lostock Gralam who died on 21st October 2005 aged 84 years. John, known as Jack, was born in March 1921 in Northern Ireland to the late John William and Eleanor Hitchen. The family moved back to England, to live at Weaverham, when Jack was four, he had an older sister Annie and a younger sister Lena. On leaving school Jack was accepted to join the RAF apprenticeship scheme and joined up in August 1938. On completing his training as an aircraft fitter he was posted to South Africa. He was stationed at Pretoria, there he met Ruby, a local girl, they married in November 1942 and their son Ian was born the following August. In March 1945 Jack was sent back to England and his family followed him in July. Back in England life was very different to South Africa; no housing, rationing and very cold. Jack and the family moved in with his parents who lived in a terraced house in School Lane, Lostock Gralam until they moved into a newly built house nearby. Jack was demobbed in March 1946, but the only work available to him was labouring on a building site. The following year Michael was born and to help out the family budget Jack grew all their potatoes and vegetables and kept hens. Jack took a plumbing course in Accrington becoming a qualified plumber, which enabled him to join a union and work on building sites. He found work on local sites in Northwich and Knutsford, travelling to them on his bike. He became the local Plumbing Union official, trying to improve conditions for the tradesmen. Eventually he became self-employed, which he enjoyed, even working part-time until he was over 70. Jack loved to listen to “The Archers” on the radio, rarely missing an episode. He loved going ballroom dancing with his wife, they won many medals for their dancing. They often went to the local I.C.I. and British Legion Clubs, sometimes they would go to Belle Vue at Manchester, dancing to the top bands. After his health deteriorated, in November 2003, Jack went to live at Acorn Hollow Nursing Home where he stayed until he passed away. Jack is survived by his wife Ruby, sons Ian and Michael, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren and his sister Lena. The funeral service and committal were held at Walton Lea Crematorium. In addition to family floral tributes, donations were received for Acorn Hollow Nursing Home. Arrangements by George Bell Funeral Service, Greenacre Funeral Home, Northwich.