1803 - Jack Hilton

Jack Hilton (1900-83) moved into Wilcot some time after WWII, lived at 20 Wilcot, and married Beatrice Bezzant, a sister of Sid Bezzant of 43 Wilcot.

He was from a large, poor family from the Rochdale slums. He wrote:

‘Of eleven children (maybe there were thirteen) seven died before reaching two years. Only four of us became adults […] [My] mind doesn’t recall how many brothers and sisters I had because they died too soon for me to have memories of association. This was normal for slummies.’

He was a plasterer, trade unionist, unsung Rochdale genius, and friend of George Orwell.

Jack Hilton with his first wife Mary pushing the handcart with their belongings on their tramps

He promoted the Labour movement, equality of opportunity, and education for all.

Jack Hilton

He wrote a number of spirited books, such as Caliban Shrieks (1935), English Ways (1940), and English Ribbon (1950).

He is remembered in the village for his defiant support of socialism, dedication to education for all, and (for children) terrifying demeanour.

Beatrice died in 1975, and Jack in 1983.