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Trevor Wedlake's Writings
The Milestone

Published in the Village Journal June, 1974

In the kitchen of a workman's cottage in a small Lancashire town, one day in the very early years of this century, the family had made its decision, very sad but definite - father, old and infirm, would have to go.

The old man had been a widower for some years and there was no one now to give him the time and nursing that his condition demanded. There really was nothing else for it, he would have to go.

Now there was at this time, in these circumstances only one place for a poor man, old and sick, to go, and that was the work-house. And the only way to get him there was to carry him pick-a-back.
Accordingly, a few days later the middle-aged son took his father on his back and set off down the road to the work-house.

A mile or so along the road, the son growing weary, paused and set his father down on the roadside and sat himself down to rest on a convenient milestone. He mopped his brow and breathed heavily, and quietly contemplated his boots. Then looking round he saw with alarm that his father was crying. “'Eh, whats t'matter with thee dad, does it pain thee so ?” he called. “Nay lad”, came the snuffly reply, “Nay lad, it were just that, I just remembered that I rested on t’ same milestone when I carried my dad to t’workhouse."