End of an era for Hurst Green farming family

Harry Ainsworth
Harry Ainsworth

It was the end of an era on Tuesday, October 18th, when Henry (Harry) Ainsworth, the last of a Hurst Green farming family, died in the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

In the early 1900s, the Ainsworth family were well known throughout the country for “wood leading”. This was done for many years with heavy horses, sometimes using as many as five horses at once. In later years it was done with a wagon, using a metal cable though a pulley and a device called “three legs”. This powerful piece of equipment, with “legs”, was used to haul the trees onto the lorry, which Harry would then take for miles to different destinations.

Harry lived at Bailey Hall Farm with his three older brothers throughout his early life, until, in the early 1940s, he married Ellen Jane Mercer, of Shireburn House Farm, Hurst Green. Harry and his wife set up home on Quality Row, Hurst Green, where their two children were born. Harry lived to see another two generations blossom, as he and Jane were blessed with both grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

His family has this week been paying tribute: “Harry was a well known and popular character in Hurst Green. His love of “wooding” remained with him all his life, and at the age of 98, he was still to be seen pulling branches home on his trolley and sewing them up with his chainsaw.”