Chairman of Kearsley Local Board: 1872-77
Born: Fletcher's Farm, Higher Kearsley c. 1811
Educated: Mr Winder's School,Ringley; Mr Wilson's School, Moor Lane, Bolton
Local Agent for the Estates of Mrs Wynne Corrie. These were in Clifton, Kearsley, Shakerley (Tyldesley), Little Hulton and Denton. He worked for the family for 55 years, serving her father and grandfather. He was also Secretary of the Clifton Mutual Improvement Society and cashier for John Fletcher.
John Lever's life is described in an article in the Farnworth Journal of 5 December 1891 with the headline "A Veteran Kersleyite*, Interesting Reminiscences."
He was still the senior tenant of the land at Fletcher's Farm, where his father and grandfather before him had been tenants, and had a garden there, the farm being owned by Colonel Starkie of Huntroyd Hall, near Burnley. He lived there for 70 years but had moved to a more modern semi-detached villa on Manchester Road, on the Clifton side of St Stephen's Church.
In 1891 he had been on the Local Board and Urban District Council for 19 years.
In 1887 his employers, Mr and Mrs Wynne Corrie presented him with a silver salver to commemorate the Queen's Jubilee Year and 50 years service to the family. Mr Wynne Corrie was Mayor of Oswestry three times and the family lived at Park Hall, Oswestry.
He was a leading gooseberry grower, with a wide reputation for over 60 years. In 1873 he exhibited the largest berry in England at the Beehive Inn, Clifton. This was a yellow 'Garibaldi', being 32dwts and 17grs (about 51g.) The nearest to this was attained by Joseph Smith, of Newport, his 'Bobby', a red berry shown at Manchester weighed 32dwts and 10grs. He had over 200 trees in his garden and could charge 10 shillings for a sprig from one tree called 'Twin.'
He was an Oddfellow and was associated with the Royal George, No. 45, Manchester Unity, whose headquarters were at the Unicorn Inn, Spindle Point.
Anglican - he was the Churchwarden of St Stephen's Church, Treasurer and School Treasurer.
*Kearsley was often spelled 'Kersley' until the 20th century.