MSWP (& FEP) diaries
Honeymoon diary, 1904
by Francis E. Pollard (1872-1951) & Mary S.W. Pollard (1875-1962)
[italic text is by FEP, normal by MSWP]
NB If a name is not listed in the key the person concerned has not yet been identified.
1904 (with FEP)
Summer Holidays 1904
We got married at two o’clock: Mary was a few minutes late. Left Newcastle at 5.29 in reserved first class—seen off by Bertha & Bowes, Laurie & Gertie & Sturges. Supplied with cakes by Bertha (Aug. 8th still extant—Mary fed upon them in the middle of the night): also Evening Chronicle with account of wedding. Sympathetic guard—swept up confetti and shook cushions out of window. Tea at Berwick. Very hot. Edinboro’ about ¼ to 9. Drove to Darling’s Temperance Hotel; had room No 17. Walked round Carlton Hill. Milk & lemonade.
It was a perfectly delightful day & fearfully exciting. We sent a telegram home from Edinburgh "The Rector’s problem solved" *, and indeed were both very happy, and I felt a delightful sense of peace after the turmoil of the last few days and the unrest of several months. I hardly felt married till Frank wrote our names in the visitor’s book at the hotel; it was ‘queer’ but I believe it’s rather nice having a husband! It seems very funny to be left alone in our bedroom and to know we were not to be parted from sometime to come—it seemed impossible to be true, and too good to be true. I felt rather shy at first, but it was all so lovely it seemed like a happy dream; it takes a long time to realize the reality.
* [Canon Moore Ede had given them a wedding present of a book entitled How to be Happy though Married—eds]
Thursday Aug 4th
Breakfast about 8.30—coffee, porridge, fish. Mary’s dress, skirt, hat & dressing gown packed up and sent off to Gateshead. Shopped—Mary already in need of gloves! None in Edinboro’ to suit! To Prince’s St. Station—had a second fight with cabman—again successfully. 11.0 train to Glasgow: read the Scotsman, Mary went to sleep! At Glasgow, to cafe—coffee and poached eggs. To Ardrossan—steamer straight on to Brodick—and another to Corrie, reaching it about 3.15. On the voyage, Mary’s hat came somewhat to grief. Arran in clouds. Corrie little place at foot of mountains. Hotel close to sea—road between. Our room (NO 6) looks out seawards: is somewhat small—especially for two such shy and untidy people—but usable as sitting room. Afternoon tea at 4.0 in Drawing room. Mary said afterwards she felt terribly shy and very much married. A bit of a walk up the hill: splendid views of sea with Bute, Little Cumbrae and the mainland beyond. Unpacked at great length—distribution of drawers and pegs one of the first problems of married life. Our stock of literature is:- Sandra Belloni, Wilkie Collins ‘No Name’; Scott’s ‘Lord of the Isles etc’; Lockhart’s ‘Life of Scott Vol 1; Oxford Book of Verse; Lyra Germanica; Martineau’s ‘Hours of Thought 1’; Erasmus on Education; New Testament; Baddeley’s ‘Scotland 1’. Dinner 7.30
We can’t believe we were only married yesterday; it seems such ages ago in many ways, although we are not yet accustomed to being always together with no one to interfere with us.
August 5th Friday.
Breakfast at 9.0—we thought it dreadfully late, but weren’t down in time! Walked Northwards in the direction of Fallen Rocks—splendid view up Glen Sannox—struck across heather—sat in the midst of jolly stream with feet in water. Back to lunch about 2.15. In the evening, delightful hour’s row, and later up the hill. Think sometimes of our letters to one another after the holidays are over, and suddenly remember we shall still be together! A blessed end of farewells!
August 6th Saturday.
Wet: walked a few miles towards Brodick. Slept on bed after lunch. Another hour’s row. Played Bezique with Ruth’s present—M well ahead.
Mary and Frank Pollard;
cabinet by Sword of Gateshead, probably 1904
A little way up the hill and read aloud from Martineau’s Hours of Thought—the two on ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God’. Assisted by small fox terriers. After lunch, drove to Loch Ranza—along coast, up North Glen Sannox and over: dogcart—F hanging on behind by the skin of his teeth. Pony excellent—raced down hills. We had a longish walk up. Fine views of mountain and sea. Half an hour at L. Ranza—back to 5 o’clock dinner. In evening up the hill a fair way.
Took lunch with us and sallied forth for Glen Sannox and possibly Goat Fell. A beautiful day, and good for walking. Soon after turning up Glen Sannox M. had a bathe in a pool in the stream—looking like a river nymph. I sat hard by and kept a look out, to the accompaniment of a pipe. Glen Sannox is a tremendous Valley—one smooth sweeping curve from side to side, and fine crags and ragged edges against the sky are in front. Satisfactorily lonely, and the crags look great as we mount towards them.
We climbed to the ridge between Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa, and sat down with a glorious view in front of us to eat sandwiches, etc. I believe I dozed for a few minutes afterwards! Soon after continuing the climb, the ‘Paps of Jura’, of happy memories, came into view. From this point we had quite a scramble to the top of Goat Fell, F. lending me a helping hand all the way.
There were some awkward steep gravelly slopes to cross sideways, and then on the last ridge some curious (?)—looking like Cyclopean walls—to scale or work round. Then the top: great and beautiful view—Jura, Islay, Cantyre, Ireland, Galloway, the Solway mountains probably Ben Lomond and Ben Cruachan, the mountains of Mull etc etc—and the great ridges of Arran close to, and the blue sea. Then down direct to Corrie—straightforward track. Tea at 7.15, dinner at 7.30.
It was a perfect day, both as regards weather and our own feelings. I wished it wouldn’t come to an end.
Got up at the early hour of eight, and ran down in bathing garments, overcoats and sandals to the rocks just below the sea wall. M. thought it very cold. We undressed and dried under the wall: by lying on the ground it was possible to escape the eyes of the populace!—very rummy and audacious! Very lazy in the morning—found an impossible position on a large rock and began this diary. After lunch, with a bathe in view, we strolled Brodick-wards—no nice place. On way back struck a stream that came down from Goat Fell, and in a pool close to a path and within a few yards of the high road, M. actually had another bathe! Amazing! After tea, Bonnie Strathyre and Lizzie Lindlay in the Drawing room. Great row—two hours—began Wilkie Collins’ ‘No Name’: inspected a yacht ‘The Gael’.
Morning bathe. Splendid walk to Fallen Rocks: a superb day. Fine lovely shore. Ate chocolate at the rocks. In afternoon, No Name, M. sketched, walk to stream, midges, oaths etc. Beautiful sunset. Bezique. Planned expedition across island, early(?) breakfast, sandwiches in huge quantities etc,—for next day. Great discussion at dinner on romances, impossible stories, fairytales etc.
Sat watching sunset for sometime, then I went upstairs leaving F. to forget the woes of married life by revelling in a Manchester Guardian!
Pouring rain early, and in response to maid’s knock summarily abandoned all our plans. Bathed. Spent morning in summer house, reading No Name and writing diary, letters—Malcolm’s snapshots. After lunch walked to Brodick: fine bay, and neighbouring woody valleys, and view straight up Goat Fell. Tea at Grocer’s shop. Walk back across sands, encountered mighty river, waded through, M. refusing to be carried: and another one over which we scrambled via rocks. Bezique.
9.30 coach to Brodick, on board the ‘Glen Sannox’ round Arran—after very hot at start, turned out terrifically cold on the briny. Small band—played Alice, where art thou!, Washington Post, Auld Robin Gray etc. Back to 2.30 lunch. Read and smoked. After tea, another attack upon the hill behind—defeated by combined attack of laziness and midges.
I could do nothing but laugh at Frank’s frantic attempts to slay them; we tried to eat an orange but he couldn’t sit still one minute, but kept banging his handkerchief about and telling me to hurry up and come on, which made me laugh all the more.
Bathed in stormy waves. Read ‘No name’ and wrote diary in summer house during rain; after 12.0 walked a few yards to watch the steamer arrive and people landing in ferry boat. Spent most of the afternoon writing letters. After tea started for a walk over the hills, came down on to the Glen Sannox Road, and back by the shore in torrents of rain. Got drenched to the skin. Read again after dinner.
Our energy in the matter of letters was immense—we wrote to Mother (for her birthday); Mrs Frith (to apologize for my wife’s aberrations); Teresa; Banks, riding schools and things; Malcolm; Captain Krohn; Philip Spence etc etc.
Boisterous bathe again. Read Martineau out on the large rock, ‘Rest in the Lord’, and ‘The Moral Quality of Faith’; talked. A varying unreliable day—short walks along road South, and North. Storm, sheltered under umbrella, madman. Honey for tea. I should have mentioned that after lunch I was turned out of our room, and made the best of a bad job with a pipe in the smoke room.
The ‘turning out’ was originally suggested by F. so it wasn’t exactly a ‘bad’ job for him! I forgot to mention that one morning I went to breakfast without my wedding ring on, and never discovered it till the middle of breakfast. Also, that on Aug 10th while sitting among the Fallen Rocks, Frank suddenly appeared with a wedding ring on his finger!
Which he had had on for ages without its even being noticed!
Very showery and cold. Went up Arn Birmein (2172) armed with chocolate and an umbrella, under which we sat at the top in a driving mist and fearful gale—the effects of this were disastrous to the umbrella and we had to leave it reluctantly behind. It was an invigorating walk (and irrigating!) and really rather delightful and amusing! We came back to a late lunch. After tea we went a short way along the road northwards, and I sketched while Frank read ‘No Name’ aloud. We walked to the gravelly beach near Glen Sannox; the sea was a lovely colour and the mountains lit up by the sunset. Played Bezique after dinner. F. won for the first time!
Fine morning. Nice bathe—only low tide. Decided to do Glen Rosa and Sannox. Set off for Brodick about 10, with sandwiches etc (in moderate quantity), chocolate, a pipe, a ‘corrie’ and two handkerchiefs. After passing the Park, were recommended to strike to the right along stream and to say we didn’t know it was trespassing, if the josser attacked us. Crossed Rosa by bridge. Entrance of valley beautiful with fir woods etc—splendid stream all the way: glen grows wilder and barer and Cir Mhor etc came into view. When past the last traces of tourists, we found a pool and got into it, and had a perfect bathe, jolly rocks to dress on, and a nice, slight current. It is lovely bathing with F. when he doesn’t seem to dislike it, and I don’t think he does that now. Steady ascent of Glen, getting hungrier and hungrier. Lunch once more on top of Col, with the great view both ways. Steep and scrambly descent into Glen Sannox, found a heathery spot by the stream and smoked pipes and rested in great comfort. Boggy walk down glen. Surveyed the scene of Mary’s first bold bathe, back about 5.45; and had nice tea in our room. Bezique—I won again, getting double bezique.
Lazy day. Read all the morning—except for a quarter of an hour while M. was asleep. After lunch—ditto—pipe. After tea, nice fire in drawing room, sang Turn ye to me, Geordie, etc. Walk Brodickwards. Bezique.
Packed for an hour or so. M. still burning for a bathe from a boat. So we hire and row north along coast. Beyond the river, we find seclusion and she takes the fatal plunge. It was cold but jolly. F. had great work to haul me into the boat again! Bruises lasted for days—hers, not mine! Last lunch, alas! We are to catch the Jupiter for Greenock, at three o’clock. Leave Arran in cloud and rain—much as we found it—after a fortnight’s wedded life upon its shores beyond the reach of the weather. Touched at Rothesay, Innellan, Dunoon. Tea on board. Landed at Greenock in terrific storm of rain. Seized a cab etc and drove to quay for Claymore—not in yet. Incoherent porter. Claymore arrived about 6. Successful difference of opinion with the said porter. Expedition for shops cut short by rain—pears. Away about 8. M. in ladies’ cabin, no.7: self in men’s—no 55. Thick on the ground. Read in saloon, private supper of poached eggs etc. Sat on deck in rain. M. retired: I had a pipe and read Balfour at the Brit. Association. Rolled in the night a good deal after rounding the Mull. Up about 6—passing Crinan: M. turned up about 7.30.!
Showery, but a good deal of fine. Into Oban—landed after breakfast, bought photos of Arran. Away about 10: view of Ben Nevis. Sound of Mull, Arlarnish Castle: called at lots of places to leave and take up goods of all descriptions—from kegs of whisky to easy chairs, and from haystacks to pianos and yowling dogs. Into Tobermory: landed, walk to waterfall—sat by stream, put most things into the mud and the rest into the river: hung them on the nearest hedge and lay down against a haycock. Claymore ready sooner than expected—whistled violently—people scurry up—altercation between captain and local boss—Gael waiting. Quiet round Ardnamurchan. Splendid view of Rum! Called at Eigg, Mallaig, Armadale—where we got rid of stupendous boatload of spinning wheels and other furniture and stores—Isleornsay, and Glenelg. Reached Balmacara about 11. Beer, oil, easy chairs and we were discharged into a boat—fine moonlight evening and still waters. Boy guided us to Seaforth Cottage, the residence of Miss McKenzie—about a mile away and carried baggage, except largest. Supper of fish and tea. Miss McK. somewhat deaf and weird, but very well meaning. Bed about 12.30 and listened to the rain on the corrugated iron roof.
It was a most interesting experience landing at Balmacara in the middle of the night and walking along unknown roads in the dark. Our bedroom is a kind of attic; we have a nice sitting room, wooden walls and ceiling like Norway; it is very convenient to have a sitting room; the cottage is rather primitive, and it does not seem very easy to get the food one wants, but the place and views are enchanting, and it is delicious to be alone with Frank after hotel life, and after our separation of last night.
Glorious day with one or two showers. We are staying close to the p.o. and hotel, but apparently what is called Balmacara is where the steamers call, about 1 mile west. We went in this direction over the hills, and climbed a small hill, having a lovely view over the Skye mountains, and returning by the road. After some afternoon tea we went in the opposite direction and climbed another small hill from whence we had a splendid view of the Loch Duich mountains in the lovely evening light.
The ‘feeding’ is a subject of curious interest: the blue potatoes struck horror into our hearts at first: the vast masses of porridge incapacitated me for further service—but the eggs were excellent. Mary has actually missed out the fact that in the middle of the day, in cold blood and out of a blue sky so to speak we went upstairs, got into bathing bananas, and sallied out into the loch. This we did on getting up, ever afterwards.
Bathe in pouring rain. Hopelessly wet; fire in sitting room—jolly. Read Martineau—Life to the Children of the Prophets: and some poetry. Wrote vast supplies of letters—after working out walking programme for the last week. Vast dinner of Scotch broth, weird chunk of meat, cabbage, sago pudding. Miss McK. is coming to understand our appetites. After some tea, it seemed clearer and we ‘tucked our trousers into our boots’ and went out. Along the Kyle road, turned into the Plockton road, back through Duirinish—some nine or ten miles probably.
Seemed likely to be fine. Decided to Stromeferry. Went by long route—through Duirinish via splendid beech woods, past a lovely lake, L. Achadnahuich—backed by fine wooded crags—then towards Plockton on Loch Carron—fine views of the latter and the Apple Coss mountains: then through the Duncraig grounds, under the great crags, past a notable raised beach—inland, joining the main road and on to Strome. Lunch at the Hotel—Scotch broth, fish pie, poached egg, mutton, cheese, milk and lemonade. Walk diversified with showers—especially on way back, which was the direct route through bare moorland mostly, coming down into the Kintail road. Some ginger snaps at the shop. About twenty miles in all. Pretty tired. Bezique—won.
Fine morning. Restful time to begin with—Mary sketched on the rocks, and I read ‘No Name’. Early lunch and off to catch the Gael to Kyle Akin. On board met W.S. Hill and Arthur Bewley. At Kyle Akin inspected scene of Curlew upheaval and the great football match, tried to buy some wool for darning socks—without success, ferry to Kyle of Loch Alsh. Tea in small shanty—I ate straightforward scones, Mary ate strange and variegated confections as usual. Walk over the hills home. Path part way, then struck off over the heather, and joined the road at the Balmacara boat landing. Pleasant evening with fire in sitting room. Made toast!
A year ago we met at Carr End! Went out in boat kindly lent by man at lodge. Mary bathed round the point: great wind sprang up—rough time getting back—tide low—long pull up of boat. Read under hedge. Read on the rocks after lunch. Went up ‘my’ ‘mountain’: steep, magnificent view—very clear—Skye—piece of Rum, Applecross, Loch Maree mountains possibly, Lochs Long and Duich, the extraordinary Scour Ouran range, the Hourn mountains, and away to Ardnamurchan through the windings of Kyle Rhea and beyond.
Lazy day—fine—wet. In morning began walk towards tarns—got stranded—heather to send away. Box and wool from shop. Began Lockhart. Walk up Kyle road for more heather in evening, in drizzle. Wrote letters and played bezique—my luck continued, score standing at 1 thousand to 2, when time was called.
Pouring—bathe in wet and storm—high tide. Fire at once. Packed up knapsacks, Fort William box, and rest for York. Started after lunch for Loch Duich leaving baggage to go to Strome Ferry next day.
Very, very sorry to leave. We have had a perfectly delicious time here, and it has been much nicer in lodgings of our own, than all the time in hotels. The time is simply flying, and alas! we have only a week more. We have led quite a Bohemian life here; I’ve been able often to have my hair down, and very few people come, so it is jolly. There are only a few houses, a small hotel and one general store. The trees are very autumnal looking: the heather in parts is at its best, and altogether Balmacara with its beautiful distant views is an enchanting place! Tea at Aird Ferry Hotel very good. Crossed by the ferry to Dornie: strong tide. View of Eilean Donan Castle. Very fine road above the Loch but along it. Beautiful views of mountains in the clouds: unfortunately Loch Duich mountains not clear.
Long way round head of loch—getting dark when reached Shiel Inn—about eight o’clock. Ground floor room, blocked up with shelves when dinner was being served. Dinner—great supplies of food, but meals waited inexcusably for the fishermen—company turned out pretty interesting—a decent old Scotch doctor, a major and a very anecdotish Anglo Indian young looking grandmother—Mrs Ziegler, etc., and later an East Anglian who had just been to Educational Section and told some good stories. Bed—M. in combinations, I in shirt.
Showery and dull. Walk up Glenelg road: lay on walls, read a little. M. summarily dismissed me and had a pleasant and unintruded-upon bathe. In afternoon, out a bit—read. M. slept. Tea in bedroom. Walked up road to small and reedy tarn, where the hotel kept a boat for fishermen.
Breakfast about 9.45! Seemed clear; determined to tackle Scour Ouran—the middle and highest of the five Sisters of Kintail—which rise with one unbroken steep grassy ascent from the valley. Started about 11 o’clock. At foot of mountain M. had a bathe in the stream: and left skirt, and I left overcoat, under a rock. Stiff pull up—managed it by dint of frequent rests and M’s gathering of bilberries—a hot day. Reached top (3503ft) about 2.30—fine mountain view but not distant. Mists rolling up soon on us. Cold. Lunch on top—sandwiches! Got warm again jogging and tumbling down the mountain—both bathed! Back about six: tea in room. Dinner notable for good stories—two young puppies, gardens not for husbandry, natural death etc.
Left at 8 o’clock in dog cart, driving up to the head of the loch and on 5 miles or so in all, to Dorusduan (?)—just a lodge. Thence walk,—the first with burdens on our backs—usual search for path—steady pull up to the head of the valley—a beautiful day—wild and lonely regions. A stretch of marshy uplands—the headquarters of watercourses—then a slight descent—and suddenly the gorge where are the Falls of Glomach—some 350 ft—fine ravine. We peeped from above—then scrambled down to the view point by the mountain ash. A splendid fall, finely split in two by a great rock. Great walk down the glen—splendid pools. Down into Glen Elchaig. Problem to cross the river. Plodged. Ate lunch by the water. Picked our way beside L. Leitreachan. Welcome milk at cottage. Road to house mile further on: then up and up the ridge over to L. Long and a long and laborious pull up, and slow descent down desolate valley—Loch in far distance. Change of socks was a help. Lo! A possible stream and a rapid and saving bathe. Then the shepherd’s cottage near the loch—an efficient damsel—superb milk—down to river—boat—man willing to take us to the other end of loch—a most delightful row—M. fondling a dog in the stern, I reclining in great peace in the bow. A walk of a mile and a half brought us to Benula Lodge—here the trap from Invereannich for our 15 mile drive, ordered for 5.30, we arrived about 6.30. Splendid drive in evening light along shore of L. Mullardoch—and later when getting too dark through beauties—mostly unseen—of Glen Cannich. Reached the Glen Affric Hotel a little before nine. Bedroom at Post Office. Supper of broth and salmon and unlimited cocoa: and then bed!
It was a magnificent walk, but we got pretty tired. Going up and down the 2 long valleys we never met a soul, nor saw a human habitation and scarcely a living creature. We only wished we had time to linger on the way, to revel (for it was hot) in the beautiful pool and to bask in the sunshine. Loch Mullardoch is very fine and apparently very little known.
Secured dog cart, seating us both in front. After wiring to Jeanie for cheque book, started drive about 9.30. After a mile or two, turned up Glen Affric—exceptionally splendid—grand stream with still stretches and tumbling falls and rushing rapids—and all round beautiful woods. Then down L. Beneveian—a long and splendid loch. Trap stopped some way short of Loch Affric. Took the next 10 miles or so pretty steadily—along L. Affric and on up the valley to Altbeath—because somewhat sultry and at A. we were almost too hot and tired to eat, but procured quantities of milk, and ate our provender with it on the grass. After fair rest, on again to find the path (!) over to the Cluanie Inn. But before starting upwards, had a bit of a bathe—the last! Then another lovely walk up and up and then down. Oh that valley! Bogs innumerable! And path after path vanishing as soon as found! A very long 6 miles from A. to Cluanie! Began to rain, and towards the end to grow dark. At last in sight of Glen Shiel—drop to the road and a mile to the Inn, just before a downpour begins. At the Inn—darkness and a mysterious and dour female—requiring much courage and persistence to get required supper and hot water and things dried etc. Cocoa and eggs. M. got a beast in her ear.
The walk was not as beautiful as it would have been as the sultry heat made everything very hazy, and it was so tiring. The curious landlady seemed rather like a ‘last straw’ but she improved upon acquaintance.
Drove 5 or 6 miles on the road to Tomdoun, in dog cart driven by burly old Innkeeper. Talked interestingly about the deer, the shooting tenants—had been a gillie. A walk of another 5 miles or so brought us to the Tomdoun Inn—a much more stylish establishment than Cluanie. On the way crossed river joining two halves of Loch Loyne—then over into Glen Garry where is the T. Inn. Got there between two and three. Down to the small and shallow loch—just widening of the river—baled the boat, got it off with some difficulty, cruised about—M. reading. Shirt that M. had washed still quite wet. Secured a private room and tried to dry it by fire. Read outside. Dinner. Bezique and ginger beer etc which M. ordered and I had to drink!
The landlady at Cluanie was quite different this morning, most gracious. The Inn might be very nice, gardens full of currants etc, we had a nice bedroom, but the sitting room was not very clean and very shabby. It was dreadfully disappointing to give up our long looked forward to walk to Loch Hourn—that remains now till another time. (This was to have been done from Tomdoun and instead we went via the canal) Very interesting looking people staying there, about 7 of them—a family of Schwarm’s etc. The landlord who drove us had been a gillie under Wimans. He looked out for white heather, but alas, we have found none all our tour. The evening in our sitting room was most delightful.
Drive in dog cart down Glen Garry, past Loch Garry, and Invergarry, to the Laggan Lochs. Picked masses of heather. Magnificent river, lunch on steamer, Fort William between 3 and 4. Carriage to ourselves from Banavie to F.W. Found the Station Hotel an imposing and aristocratic structure for two such travel-stained wanderers. Box there happily with some more clothes. Roamed round buying presents, fruit etc—no photos to be had: tea in the town. Dinner at hotel. Bezique. Met the Simpsons from Newcastle.
After some argument as to bill (a prodigious one), off by the eight something train—with a cheap lunch of fruit, and, from the refreshment room, eggs and rolls. M. wheedled the guard into keeping us a compartment—but it didn’t last all the way. Magnificent ride—rushing river: then rolling hills with views of Glencoe Mountains. M. slept the sleep of the just. Later Loch Lomond, Loch Long and Gareloch. No time in Glasgow, and less in Edinburgh—train full—M. again wheedled attendant—this time into giving us a first class carriage. Into Newcastle, catch 5 train to Bensham.
[Transcript by Katharine S. Coleman, with her permission.]