Nat Gould

His life and books

J.R. Swann

John Randal Swann was born in Accrington, Lancashire in 1875, the son of George and Emma Swann of 5 Mountain Lane, his father being employed in a print works. John Swann was employed for over fifty years by Entwistle and Kenyon Ltd as a clerk in their Ewbank Works in that town.

He was a long-serving member of the Lancashire Authors’ Association, and was its honorary secretary and treasurer. He also edited The Record, the association’s quarterly review.

In 1924 John Swann published a bound volume of biographical sketches entitled Lancashire Life. He also contributed articles on various literary topics to local journals and was a regular contributor to the Accrington Observer.

He attended Whalley Road Methodist Church, and was a Past Chief Ruler of the local tent of the Independent Order of Rechabites. He retired to live at 2 Clive Avenue in St Anne’s-on-Sea. He died in hospital aged 87 in February 1962 and was buried at Accrington Cemetery, his wife Harriet having predeceased him. (1)

His pen-name was "Rambler Rose".

After the death of Nat Gould, J.R. Swann wrote a series of articles about him which were published in his local newspaper the "Accrington Gazette" on 6, 13, 20 and 27 January and 3 February 1923. They were reprinted by the newspaper as a book entitled "Nat Gould : Biography and Appreciation" by J.R. Swann "Rambler Rose". It provides a well-written and affectionate portrait of Nat Gould and includes examples of some of his best writing.

(1) Summary of his obituary from the Accrington Observer 13th February 1962. (Information kindly supplied by John Simpson, the Community History Library, Accrington.)