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Remembering Jack Waterfield

There have been Waterfields in Kibworth for generations: the family can trace their tree back to at least 1750. Waterfields have always played their part in village life: 100 years ago, Jack Waterfield can be seen in a photograph of bellringers taken outside St Wilfrids, John Waterfield was a Parish Councillor and Mrs Waterfield was winning prizes for her honey.

John Walter Jessie Waterfield, known to everyone as Jack, was born on 2 August, 1934 in Kibworth Beauchamp. He was the eldest of the three children of John and Edna Waterfield, having two sisters, Margaretta and May. He attended primary school in Fleckney and, although he passed the entrance exam for Kibworth Grammar School, insisted on going to the more technical school in Church Langton as he didn’t think that he needed academic studies to become a farmer.

At 14, Jack left school to work on the family farm. He had his own stock and paid ‘rent’ to his dad by doing farmwork. His initiatives included laying hens, kept in a shed on deep litter, ducks, which his sheepdog helped to round up into the barn, and pigs. From the age of 30 he managed the farm with his dad in the background. After the pigs came calves and sheep, at first Border Leicesters but later Mashams which he preferred.

Jack met his wife Judy on Christmas Eve 1948 on a blind date. Judy was a Londoner who had been evacuated to Market Harborough during the war. They were married on 4 April, 1957 at St Hugh’s Market Harborough. Just over a year later, their son John was born. Jack and Judy celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in April 2017.

From May 1987 to September 1992, Jack served as a Councillor for Kibworth Beauchamp Parish Council and took an interest in all the concerns of the Council, no matter how small. He soon became involved with the campaign to re-open Kibworth Railway Station and became Chairman of the Working Party formed to work with the Railway Development Society and LANRAC, the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Railway Action Committee. Jack continued his involvement with the campaign after he stepped down as a Councillor and regularly spoke about it at Council meetings. Subsequently, Midland Mainline and Network Rail ruled out a new station at Kibworth. The emphasis of the campaign changed to the possibility of a park-and-ride station to serve Gt Glen and other villages including Kibworth. Jack continued to attend Parish Council meetings and regularly commented on local issues up to 2018.


Jack had a great store of knowledge about Kibworth. He liked nothing more than a long chat about village matters, often stopping his landrover to talk if he spotted you in the street. Jack died on 15 November, 2018, aged 84. He never actually retired and laid a hedge just two weeks before his death. The family tradition continues and the farm is now run by Jack’s grandson Mark who specialises in Texel sheep and also runs a carpentry and joinery business.

 

Issue 409
February 2019


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