MSWP (& FEP) diaries

Diary, December 1936–December 1937

by Mary S.W. Pollard

 

Key

NB If a name is not listed in the key the person concerned has not yet been identified.

1888–92

1893–95

1896–98

1897 (FEP)

1896–99

1899–1900

1901

1903

1904 (with FEP)

1904–07

1907–10

1911

1910–15

1915–20

1920–22

1922–26

1926–29

1930–36

1936–37

1938

1939

1940

1941–42

1942–46

1946–52

1950–58

1958–61

Mary S.W. Pollard diaries | 1936-37

December 18

Margaret, Reg, Rowland & Rosemary arrived in time for tea. Ruthie met them. It is ages, more than a year I think, since M. was here. Both children have been poorly and poor little Rowland screamed at having to enter the house at all. I got Kathleen O’Dwyer aged 14 to come afternoons 2-6 to help with them and paid her 5s a week.

19

Reg and M. cycled into the country and got beautiful holly.

21?

C. came home. She has been staying with Kathleen Robinson & Bertha and caught a bad cough at York.

One day had bridge party—also Reg had chess.

24.

Great preparations. Got on well. Robert came home—slept in boxroom.

25. Xmas Day.

The first time we have all been together for several years. Rowland recovered just in time and was like an angel all day. He is sleeping with us, and was enchanted with his sock which we took in to open on his bed. Then lovely family presents and Yule Doos at breakfast. Frank gave me a beautiful green umbrella. Good Xmas dinner—lanterns lit for tea and candles on cake. Lovely sunny mild day.

F. and Marg. did amusing play, about man and woman going by train.

Then Xmas tree and more presents and carols. It was a delightful day.

26.

F., Reg, Rob, Ruthie and I long walk by Kennet to Theale—about 8 miles, and back by bus. Very foggy, but enjoyable. Took lunch. Home to tea. Evening some of us to Rawlings’s Charades.

27. Sunday.

Robert came to meeting with some of us.

28.

Robert back to London. Reg. to stay at his home.

One morning M. and I cycled to see cottage at Pingewood which has been made charming.

 

January 1937

1st.

No-one sat up last night, though I was not yet in bed when the New Year arrived! I wasn’t very sorry to see the old one go!

Reg. came home.

2nd.

I went to London to meet Robert. We had lunch at a nice place at Aldwych, then to see ‘Whiteoaks" at Playhouse. Nancy Price marvellous as the old lady. It was all extremely good. Then short walk by river, lights lovely, and to R’s flat by bus. V. nice indeed. Supper in the restaurant. I got home at 10.30. R. is so kind. 3 girls at a party at Miss Halliday’s.

3rd.

Sunday. M and I bicycled round by near Arborfield and Swallowfield.

4th.

The Dales went home in afternoon. It has been so lovely having them. The baby is enchanting, always smiling and I bathed her several times and usually put Rowland to bed. He is such a clever, observant little boy, he sits on my knee every morning for reading and hates not to have it. He put his little hands over his face when I was dressing to show me I had not said my prayers and then he said "Granny not ready, eyes," because I had not put my specs on. (I did the breakfast as there were so many of us.) A few months? ago when here he poured cream into every cup and put a lump of sugar in, and he is only 2 ½ now. He loves nursery rhymes and can say some himself. He worked me a duck for a Xmas present which I am very proud of. I must say I felt tired when they had gone and F. & C. went to Teachers Guild at Saffron Walden, so Ruthie & I were quite glad of some quiet, and I got the house tidied up. We have had a good many visitors to tea lately.

6th.

F. came home.

7 th.

I met C. in London and we chose her a ring at Liberty’s. Afternoon we went to see the film ‘Green Pastures’ but I was not as impressed as I expected to be.

8th.

B.W.T.A. Committee

10th. Sunday.

Miss Halliday to tea.

11th

Play House Treat and older children. Gt. success. Over 30 altogether. It was tiring and I had had to get all the presents and order all the food by myself. Got back to find telegram wanting C. to take post at Edinburgh. I went to Ella’s and telephoned there about it.

12 th.

After many talks decided against Edinburgh, but C. is going to Saffron Walden to take place for short time of mistress who is ill.

13 th.

C. to Saffron Walden stopping in London for interview at R.C. school en route. Quite exhausted! M.M.

16 th.

Robert’s 30th birthday.

17th. Sunday.

Mrs Saxton and Margaret to tea. Torrents of rain. F. to speak at Oxford.

18th.

F. to stay at Jordans at Mrs. Bigland’s with several others to talk over Peace Committee and various peace work.

Ruthie working hard now.

20th.

F. came home in morning.

23rd.

Q.M. at Oxford. Mary Stansfield took F. and me. Got back about 7.0 in time to see R. in her pretty new dress (net) going to St. Patrick’s Hall dance in great excitement. Robert had arrived at tea-time, and C. arrived for supper. She had left S. Walden on Friday, stayed that night at M’s and been with her to see "The Two Bouquets" which they much enjoyed. She had greatly liked teaching at S.W.

24th.

Charmiaveley?? = wonderful cellist.

25th.

Robert went. C. helped me with cooking (washing put off) and then went to interview in London at Woodford Green. Mrs. Corbett Ashley and Rosamund Wallis to dinner. Had a waitress in. Liberal meeting in small Town Hall. Mrs. C.A. very good. Caro came back just too late for the dinner. R. went with us.

28th.

Thurs. C. was offered the post at Essex House School, 35 High Road, Woodford Green and very reluctantly accepted it. I was very sorry to have to go away, but Charles Merz had sent me a ticket to go to Newcastle and Grasmere. I went by London, arrived N/C 40 mins late, (about 7.0). Teresa met me with car as awful night. Lovely house and most comfortable bed—2 hot water bottles. V. nice to see Teresa.

29th.

Snowing hard. Called on Eva and Sarah, Gilbert R. (recovering from pneumonia). The maid Ellen had a great chat about old days and was so friendly and to lunch at May Gurney’s. She was so kind. May took me to Molly’s in afternoon. Poor Molly in bed with sciatica—has a nurse. Children haven’t been well but were sweet. Ioan played violin with Rhys playing cello and Donald singing. Rhys took me most of way home.

30th.

Sat. Deep snow but started with Teresa in car (man driving) at 20-30 miles an hour. Just beyond Haltwhistle AA man said impossible to go further. Went to station—decided to go on by train but T. went home. Got to Windermere alright, then bus and walked up White Moss. Margaret White and ‘Jane’ surprised to see me without Teresa. Chas. & Stella in time for supper. Play "Where there’s a Will there’s a Way" good and amusing.

31st.

Sunday. Drizzling and horrid. All to church. Bishop dedicated the window to Aunt Anna and Aunt Car and altar in memory of Mrs. Roby, very nicely and simply during morning service. Beautiful window, Jacobean. Gt. improvement to church. Then to Allan Bank. Marvellous view. Mrs. Rawlings showed me the 4 sitting rooms, one full of books about Wordsworth. Bishop said he remembered Father.

Back to lunch, nephew of Stella’s and his very young wife. To tea to Simpsons. V. interesting to see book of photos with J. Bright and old Mr. Potter (father of Beatrix Potter) in the grounds, etc. The Simpsons are sisters of Mrs. Rawnsley.

 

February 1937

1st.

Stella & Chas. going to N/C. Marg. and I left about 10.0. Dolly (Dolf?) Valpy came to station to see us. So nice. At Bletchley Mar. left me and I got home during evening. I ought to have said that on Sat. Jan. 30th poor Caro departed unhappily for Essex House School, Woodford Green. I was sorry not to be able to help her pack. She has had a worrying time lately with applying for posts, interviews. etc. and does not think she will like this one. £50 resident.

Busy week and Meeting for Sufferings on 5th. Evie met F. & me for lunch. Then I went to stay night for first time at Blake Rd. Children enchanting, Rowland tearing to meet me. I bathed him.

6th.

Caro came for the day which was v. nice. Children not v. well. Evening M. & Reg went to Friends’ Social and I left at 10 p.m. when M. came back and caught 11 p.m. train home. Ruthie had just got back from Wantage dance. She had St. Patrick’s lately and has been to a lot of dances this term.

7th.

F. gave me fire-irons (v. nice) and anemones. C. photo of herself & goodies, M. & R. photo of Rosemary & chocs, Robert ‘Murder at Moat Farm’, Ruth chocs & Evie shopping bag—later Jeanie a scarf. Unhappily F. had to go to Sydenham in aft. to speak. Young J. Billings to tea. Concert.

8th.

I went to Missionary Helpers Union to read to them as Ella couldn’t go. Interesting letters about India. At Mrs. Reynold’s.

9th & 10th.

Began spring cleaning box-room. Fearful business. Most drawers are done.

12th.

Ruthie to stay week-end with M. I have a cough.

13 th.

F. & I to hear young Seaby on old coinage.

14th. Sun.

F. to Watford in aft. I let Florence home for the day.

15th.

Florence spring cleaned her room.

16th. Tues.

F. in London all day till later. I went to W.L.A. Alone to tea, felt poorly, found temp. nearly 101 so went to bed.

17th.

Had Dr. Field in aft. as cough v. bad—and thought she might hurry up and cure it. Not serious. In bed all day and 18th and 19th when Dr. F. came again and said I might get up, which I did on Sat. 20th.

23rd. Tues.

Felt much better, and at last a sunny day (it has poured nearly the whole of Feb.) so went out for first time. With Ella to opening of new boiler plant at Read. & Cav. Laundry. Quite swell. Mr. Sherborne made interesting speech, then we saw round—v. interesting. 60,000 garments dealt with weekly. Tea (nice) and ices, but I felt terrible tired and v. cold when I got home and temp. again 100 so back to bed.

25th.

Downstairs, but rested all day. Cough much better. F. gave up Woodbrooke for my sake. F. has been kind.

26th.

Cooked a little. Caro came home from Essex for weekend, arriving about 7.15. She looked very pale.

27th. Sat.

F. to Peace conference at Leeds for day. David Claxon arrived in morning—v. nice. He & R. & C. went to cinema in afternoon. He and Ruth to St. David’s dance in evening. R. greatly enjoyed it.

28th. Sun.

A young student—Foster—to tea. Played violin beautifully to C.’s accompaniments. C. & David both departed about 7.

 

March 1937

3rd.

Florence & I springcleaned our bedroom. Got it nicely done in the day and even got the carpet out, tho’ the weather has been terribly wet lately. (She did the pictures evening before.) Evening Sylvan and Trist. V. good. Flute, oboe, piano.

5th.

F & I to Meeting for Sufferings. Oh, I forgot, yesterday Thurs. 4th I went to Mr. Cairn’s, Queen’s Road and bought a car (the 2nd I looked at) for £18 (£10 Ber. gave me for Xmas). A Morris Cowley 2 seater with hood and dickey. Ruthie astonished when I told her, and F. still more so when he returned at night from London.

After Meeting for Sufferings I went to see Caro at Woodford Green. She and I had tea together. Miss Huntley, Headmistress, was out. Then I saw the school and then C. and I in fearful sleet went to look for lodgings (unsuccessfully) and I went off at 6.30 by bus to catch 7.55 home. V. cold.

6th.

Robert for week-end. Ruthie out at Staines for aft. seeing Rowland. Told Rob. about car. Thought I was stupid. Mr. Cairns brought car up and we both had few mins. ride in it. I paid for it. Evening F. to hear Gerald Hibbert, Robert and I to University play "Tobias and the Angel". V. good but queer.

7th.

F. and I to meeting. I’ve missed 3 Sundays. German Jew, Leonard and Donald Groom to tea. F. and I to hear G. Hibbert. Dull.

8th.

Robert went away.

10th.

Young Mr. Stroud came up at 6.0 and gave me a lesson in the car. It was getting dark but I went down Northumberland Av. and he said I had passed elementary stage. I only had 40 mins. or so and had meant to go to M.M. but when I came in shivered so that I had some soup and went to bed. When F. came back from MM my temp. was 102.4 and I did feel ill and had a bilious attack also.

11th.

Still feverish and miserable, but in aft. temp. went to normal and I began to recover.

12th.

Got up to tea. F. and R. to ‘Iolanthe’ at L.P. I had to miss it, alas.

13th.

Got up after breakfast and went to town to help R. to shop.

14th.

Sun. M’s birthday. Terribly wet and sleety, so only F. went to meeting.

15th.

Feel well at last. Did some washing and went to play hour. Actually fine!

16th.

Ruthie did not go back to Univ. after dinner (though really she ought to go tomorrow too) and I helped her to pack, but felt pretty wretched. Awful day again. It has rained for months and the floods are dreadful. It is most unhealthy weather. Went to bed early, temp. just over 100 again. It is most annoying.

17th. Wed.

Breakfast 7.15, but of course I had to stay in bed. F. saw Ruthie off. She looked lovely in a pretty new green coat. She is going an Hellenic tour (17 guineas & fare to Toulon and back, altogether about 25 guineas with tips I expect), tho’ she knows no one else who is going. It is very plucky. I do hope she’ll enjoy it. Dr. Field came after tea. Thinks right kidney wrong. Temp. 99.4

18 th.

Up soon after breakfast.

20th.

In aft. Drove with Mr. Stroud up Shinfield Rd and along by Univ. grounds.

21st Sun.

I went to Christchurch. Aft. drove with Mr. Stroud along to Pinge Wood and back by Three Mile X. Got on much better.

22nd

Last Play Hour. Hear from Dr. that kidney is alright. Relief.

23rd.

Visited Dr. Field. Alright now. Evening drove with Mr. S. to Wokingham, through it and back. Had to have lights on as we neared Reading. Got on quite well but it’s a strain. Ought to have lessons every day but Easter too much traffic and I have a pain in my back. F. not v. well.

24th. Wed.

F. in bed all day after castor oil. Caro came home about 6.0. She looks better and is so happy now. It is lovely. F. got up in time for Book Club here on ‘Disraeli’. Quite successful. 14 came. Some failed at last minute.

25th.

Helped C. with sewing and saw her off to Marg. Parker’s wedding, at 5.0. She is staying there and at Brockbanks over week-end.

26th. Good Friday.

F. much better. I went by 1.55 to Reg. and Margaret’s. Fine but cold. Children angelic.

27th.

F. came in morning. We went long walk to a part in aft. and came home after supper. I was v. tired but Florence went off this aft. for holiday, and it was a peaceful restful week-end.

28th. Sun.

To meeting again at last.

29th. Easter Mon.

Did some washing. Had dinner at 12.0 then F. and I cycled thro’ Three Mile X, turned to right and made a short round 7 or 8 miles. Got a very few primroses. Cold but fine. Florence came back at 10 p.m. and said she hated doing so!

30th.

In evening at 6.0 (Florence had done some washing today) I drove with Mr. Stroud to station to meet Caro. She was surprised. Joe Hardie with her, so we took their things and they came by bus. I went, after getting home, to Townswomen’s Guild. Miss Hole on "Animals". When I returned Caro gave me a gt. account of the wedding etc. She had enjoyed it all immensely.

31st.

Nice and fine and warmer at last. F. to London all day. Joe & C. to Bracknell in car. Aft. they met ‘Erlie’ Miss Huntley’s maid who is coming here for a week. In evening they went to cinema. F. back after 9.30 p.m.

 

April 1937

1st.

Dinner 12.30 and then C & Joe to Oxford in car. F. in London.

2nd. Friday.

Marg, Reg, Rowland & Rosemary arrived in aft. and Joe went away after tea. ‘Erlie’ is sleeping in Florence’s room and Florence is sleeping at home.

3rd.

The children are enchanting. Reg, M. and I to hear Prof. Mortimer Wheeler on ‘Life in Britain B.C. Maiden Castle’. Most interesting.

Evening Reg, M. and I to cinema. "Tale of Two Cities’. V. good but sad.

4th Sunday.

F. and M. and I to Meeting. C. took Reg, M and Ruth a run in car in aft. C. and I to L.P. service. C. drives very well indeed.

6th.

Aft. C. took me to see Mrs. Ive, and we called on Miss Halliday.

7th

‘Erlie’ had to go back to London. She has cooked beautifully and it has been a great rest for me, for she did everything without consulting me at all. I pay half her wages (she gets £1 a week) and her fare to and from London. Wet day.

8th.

F., C. Reg and M. to Crookham by car. Glorious daffodils.

9th.

The Dales went back to London. Poor wee Rowland v. sick the night before. M. has begun to wean Rosemary and I gave her her midday meal twice.

10th.

Robert came.

11th. Sun.

R. took me a drive to teach me!

13th. Tues.

C.& I started in car at 2.0 for Lyndhurst. I drove to Basingstoke, but C. rest of way. Saw Cathedral at Winchester, v. fine. & Guildhall, and got tea. Felt quite excited going off like this for first time. Arrived Ormonde House 5.30 and Molly and the 3 boys gave us a lovely welcome. Short walk. C. & I sleep tog. Private hotel.

14th.

Molly can still hardly walk at all, so took us all in taxi to Beaulieu Abbey. V. grey day, but forest lovely and Abbey exquisite. Drove back another way (about 30 miles in all) in time for lunch. Aft. thunderstorm and poured. Caro went in car to see ‘Rachel’. Had a puncture mended first. I didn’t like her going alone. After tea cleared a bit and I took the boys a walk. Nice evening talking to Molly. I wish she was well.

15th.

C. and I left at 9.30. I drove a bit. V. cold. Stopped at Basingstoke for some coffee, but home by 1.0 o’clock.

19th.

Caro went back to school. She is living now with Mrs. Wykes at 1 Monksham’s lane. Gilbert Richardson for the night. Most interesting, easy visitor. He and I to see "My Man Godfrey" at Cinema. Quite good.

20th.

Gilbert went on to Bournemouth.

22nd.

Ruthie to University reception, then she and I caught 6.40 to London and got to Sadlers Wells at 10 mins. to 8. Marg arrived a few minutes after and we saw "The Magic Flute". Seats 2/6 reserved. Singing good and clear, English. Enjoyed it very much. Got back to Reading at 12.0 and cycled up from station. Fortunately fine. All this year it has rained practically every day or night. It has been terrible.

23rd.

F. to London. Actually went to see (after doing other things) "The two Bouquets" and enjoyed it v. much. Springcleaned C.’s room. To Curtis’s to tea. They are v. kind and nice. Fine!!

24th.

R. to dance at University.

25th Sun.

Lina Scattolin for the day. She is studying in London, and Ruth met her in Venice just one day. She is Italian and very nice—if only she would see what Mussolini is like! Gerry and Birdie to tea. Actually really fine and lovely. They played Badminton.

26th. Mon.

Heard that poor Caro started severe attack of tonsilitis on Friday night. Temp. nearly 103 . I went up to see her by 1.25. She was v. surprized, but I think pleased and said it was "terribly kind". Mrs. Wykes gave me tea with her and I left in the evening, having telephoned to the Dr. but got little information!

29th. Thurs.

I was going to Margaret’s on a long promised visit, so went in the aft. round by Woodford Green to see Caro. She was much better and hoped to be up tomorrow. Got to M’s in evening. Children in bed and Reg. out.

30th.

Nice day; children sweet, Rosemary standing and crawling all over. Has learnt to drink well from a cup.

Played Monopoly in evening.

May 1937

1st. Sat.

About 5.30 telephoned to C. Alas! Mrs. W. answered and said C. has now got quinsy. I felt v. miserable, and didn’t know how to help and couldn’t tell F. Reg and Marg to play and social in evening—Peace Pledge Union. M. taking one of brief parts in a play—has to make gas masks etc. She did v. well, Reg said, but I had to stay in the house because of the children.

2nd. Sun.

Gardened. I had been going home tonight but phoned Rob who phoned Leonard to tell F. I couldn’t do so and instead I went to C’s after early lunch. She could not talk properly, could take no food and was in great pain. Dr. came after tea and I begged him to get her to a nursing home, for Mrs. W. could not go on with all the gargles etc. At first he said he couldn’t, as quinsy infectious for wounds, but about 5 he telephoned that he had got her a private room at the Forest Hospital, Buckhurst Hill 1½ miles away. So I ordered a taxi and at 6.30 Mrs. W. and I got poor C. downstairs, with Mrs. W.’s fur coat on (temp 101 ) and I took her to the lovely little hospital—flowers in the room, lovely view and all v. nice—balcony outside for lying on, in the bed. I stayed till 8.15 then walked back to Mrs. Wykes (bus strikes but Green Line buses running still. Hot and lonely. Mrs. W. gave me supper and kindly kept me for the night.

3rd.

Borrowed Miss Huntley’s bicycle and went to C. after doing odd jobs about 10.a.m. Found her much happier for Dr. lanced her throat about 11 p.m. It was agony, but she soon felt relieved. Miss H. wants to get a substitute and keep C’s place open till Sept. V. kind. At 12.15 Dr. came and I had long talk with him. I went back to Mrs. W. for lunch and then back to C. and home by 5. I felt I had been away for years, and Frank and Ruthie gave me a lovely welcome, R. saying it had seemed a long time since I went away, and that it was very nice to have me back. Florence too was nice. Peter Mailson arrived soon after me.

5th. Wed.

F. in London. Ruthie, Florence and I started at 2.15 and cycled to Mapledurham (top way). Wind against us v. tiring, but bluebells at their best and a glorious deep blue in the sun. Had to hurry home as R. is working so hard, so back by 4.40.

6th.

Took R. in evening to the Dix’s with bluebells. Felt v. nervous, but got on alright, tho’ took ages to get car out of the gate.

7th.

Went to M. for Suff. for short time and then to Woodford Green to pack all C’s things, but Mrs. W. said she thought C. was going back after all after Whit. So I telephoned to C. and found she had got on so well that she said she might go back, and have operation on tonsils in holidays. Miss Huntley had not got a substitute and I know she values Caro, for she wrote at end of first term "It has been a joy to me to have your daughter with us this term, and I hope she will settle down with us." One of C.’s children, aged 6, who she has only had for 3 days, wrote to her to say she was sorry she was ill.

8th. Sat.

Molly Inglis’s father kindly motored C. to Paddington and she got an earlier train than expected so took a taxi here and arrived before F. who had gone to meet her. She feels weak and looks white, but is better than one expected. Ruthie to dance in evening.

9th Sun.

Pouring and cold again. Robert came yesterday aft. All except C. to meeting, even Robert. Evening Robt. took Ruthie and me 30 or 40 miles in car. Fair, and country pretty.

10th.

I had car lesson in evening, reversing and stopping and re-starting on hills. I forgot to say that we are having Peter Maison for this term; he goes to L.P. as day boarder. His father and mother left Germany as Mr. M. a Jew and went to Majorca. When terrible Spanish war came on had to leave and managed to get to England and Reading through the Miss Floods—now have gone to Edinburgh, where he thinks he can get work (old pictures connoisseur).

12th.

Coronation Day.

14th.

Ruth went to York for O.S.

15th. Sat.

Marg, Reg and children arrived.

17th. Whit Monday.

Florence out after dinner.

18th.

Ruth came home at breakfast time. Harry and Lucy’s golden wedding day.

19th.

Y.M. at Bristol. F. went.

21st.

Had birthday tea for Caro and Rowland as C. will be away on her birthday—3 candles on cake for R. Foster (C’s musical friend) to tea too.

22nd.

C. went back to work, though still far from strong.

23rd. Sunday.

Marg and children went back (Reg. went 2 or 3 days ago).

26th.

Raymond and Barbara married. Nice reception. Robert best man. Lansbury meeting in evening.

27th.

Ruthie had bilious attack, in bed all day. F. went to Buxton to Liberal meetings.

28th.

‘Shelley’ at Book Club at Alexanders.

 

June 1937

1st.

Spring cleaned dining room. Nelly helped. Lord Meston at WLA at Mrs. Darwall’s garden party.

2.

Spring cleaned drawing room. Nelly too. Ruthie for day to Stallards.

3rd.

Ruthie’s finals began. She has 1 exam every day at present, except Sat.

4th.

Meeting for S. Went to tea with Marg. in garden. Children sweet.

5th.

Robert came. Drove to Northend where got tea. Then on river at Henley. Perfect weather at present. Rob. has taken up a diet—great bother—no meat, coffee, cocoa or tea. Mostly fresh fruit, salads etc. Some badminton next day.

14th.

Mon. In aft. to stay with Caro. Mrs. Wykes away. C. went to Hiawatha in evening.

15th.

Spent morning at school. Children sweet.

16th.

Came home after breakfast. Liberal meeting at Mrs. Jackson’s in aft. Mrs Banting good.

17th.

Car lesson. Got on well. To Caversham and through the town, Broad St. etc.

18th.

Leighton Park Speech Day. F. and I went. Wilson Harris (Editor of Spectator) good speech on "Journalism and Truth". Tea and gym. Display on lawn. Betty Morrell came for night. She and F. and I to L.P. for concert (good) and peace play by Duncan Wood—skit on Aristophanes’ "Birds": very clever and amusing..

Weather for a week has been nearly like winter—also a lot of rain.

19th.

Betty and I went short drive, each driving part of time. In aft. Betty and I to cinema to see Eliz. Bargues (?) in "As you like it". Quite good, but very abridged, and not like the theatre. Ruthie met us for tea at McIlroy’s, then I to Peace Shop for 2 hrs. Betty returned to Blewbury.

20th. Sun.

Ruth’s friends, Edith Ellis and Jimmy Edwards (Dijon friends) to spend day. Both v. nice. I went to hear Brig. General Crozier at L.P.

23rd.

Bertha came in evening. Lovely to have her, but alas, she has got arthritis in her hip. She is a plucky person and never complains.

24th.

Betty came. Unhappily F. and I were going to a Liberal picnic to Mrs. Neville Dixey’s—a lot of Liberals, including Ella, started in char-a-banc at 1.0. Got there about 3.0. Nice day, not too hot. Lovely grounds. Watched physical exercises on lawn. Speeches by Geo. Marder M.P. etc. Tea. Back 9.30.

25th.

Bertha, Betty and I to Henley in car. Lovely bathe. They went away about 4.0. I saw Ber off, then Betty to Blewbury. Got home 4.15 to find ‘wire’ "Marg. and I both ill. Can you help—very sorry. Reg." Packed at once. Robert Merz turned up to tea and took me to catch 5.35 in car. Arrived at Blake Rd. to find Reg. up, but very feeble having had pharyngitis (temp. 104 ) M. in bed looking v. ill, 102 , and gathered finger. She had tried to do a week’s teaching, getting woman to look after children, but doing cooking etc. herself and attending to Reg. and cycling twice a day 20 mins. to school, then today fainted when she got up. Next day or two v. tiring, but children sweet and good—then Rowland began—102 . Had Dr. for him. Then Rosemary began to be ill, but M. now up and recovering.

 

July 1937

Thursday July 1st.

I returned home. Heard yesterday that Ruthie has got 2nd class 2 b? Very glad she is through.

July 3rd. Sat.

Degree giving. Ruthie looked lovely. V. proud to have 2 daughters B.A. Jack Boag and Isabel arrived about tea time. F. to Book Club. Visitors, Ruth and I to Henley by car—rowing over, but stayed for fair and fireworks and home about 11 p.m. Motored beyond Henley for supper and had it in a field. V. nice.

Sunday July 4th.

Visitors, R. and Peter to bathe. Drive in aft. They went at 5. Both v. nice.

5th.

V. busy, large wash, etc. I am getting much more confidence in driving car.

6th.

Rained. Got man to motor me to Winterbourne to see a cottage.

7th.

Took Peter’s things in car to the Hoods where he is going while we are away.

 

Ireland 1937

8th. Thursday.

Florence went home yesterday, so we were busy. Frank, Ruthie and I started by 6.0 train for Fishguard. After Swindon train packed. Arrived about midnight. S.S. Innisfallen packed also. We had 3rd class tickets for 16 days (£2.2.9 from Reading to Cork return) but R. & I managed to get berths 3/- each after waiting nearly an hour. F. sat up all night and everyone was sick all over the floor. It was ghastly.

9th.

Arrived Cork about 10.0 and got motor bus to Killarney. Pretty drive, but we were all so tired and headachey. Got there about 1.30 and went to Glebe Hotel (special day & night tickets 12/6 each) and had v. good lunch. After short rest had jaunting car driver for 2½ hours thro’ Muckross Demesne by lower and middle lakes—exquisite. Saw arbutus trees and masses of rose of Sharon. Climbed to Torc Waterfall and beyond. V. beautiful. Nice driver. V. good dinner, and early to bed.

10th.

Fine. Hired cycles (awful old things) and cycled to foot of Manguton, 2nd or 3rd highest mountain in Ireland, and climbed it. F. stopped by the Devil’s Punch Bowl but R. and I persevered to the top and had a superb view, to sea and Kenmare river and all round. Nice lunch. Coming down painful as my knees hurt. It rained a little but faired and we were v. lucky to have had 2 fine days for we are told the weather has been awful.

11th. Sunday.

No buses today or trains, but some people were going the Atlantic Coast tour, so we squashed into the car so as to get to Waterville (about 50 or 60 miles, I think). It was an exquisite drive by Glenbruigh and Caherciveen. Saw Caragh Lake in the distance, but alas, it began to rain and then we got no distant views. The Irish villages and small towns are ugly and squalid looking. Arrived Waterville about 12.45 and thought of staying at Foley’s Hotel (Mr. and Mrs. Noxon) 56/- for the week each. Not at all full and got nice bedrooms. Poured all afternoon and sea hardly visible.

 

12th.

Still raining, but we went a walk by the beautiful lake.

13th.

Went by mail cart to Ballinkillig. Rather fun, tho’ not luxurious! It began to clear and R. & I had a lovely bathe. Perfect hard sand. Saw old ruined Abbey and Castle and ate our lunch, but not clear enough for distant views. Got a cup of tea at the hotel and then walked back to Waterville, having to plodge thro’ a stream and cross the mouth of the river by ferryboat. Difficulty in finding our way, but the Irish are so kind and amusing, tho’ difficult to understand, perhaps because it is an Irish speaking part.

14th.

Poured all day. Went over Atlantic Cable Station; v. interesting—got a message from the Azores in about half a minute. After tea, cleared, and went exquisite walk on hills with views of mts., sea and lake. Saw some tiny one-roomed cabins (thatched).

 

Frank & Mary Pollard, peat cart & donkey. On the road from Ballinskelligs to Waterville, Ireland, July 1937

Frank & Mary Pollard, peat cart & donkey.

On the road from Ballinskelligs to Waterville, Ireland, July 1937

15th.

Rosemary’s 1st birthday. Went up Coomakista Pass—lovely view. The hard road gave R. and me blisters. Nice old lady who said "at the top, the ocean is more closer". Aft. Had a muddy bathe, not v. nice. Evening Mrs. Noxon came in and we sang French and German songs and chatted. She is nice and kind and gives us excellent and ample food.

16th.

Borrowed Mrs. Noxon’s boat for row on lake. Started, but it began to rain and then grew windy and we couldn’t manage it well (rough) so came back and ate sandwiches in a barn close to our hotel!! Poured rest of day, so played "Chinese Missionary", read, worked and sang. 2 Irish girl cyclists came and amused us.

17th.

Sat. R. and I went a lovely walk. We had to leave by the mail cart at 1.15, v. reluctantly and Mrs. Noxon gave us an early lunch. She is so nice. Mail cart kept taking up passengers and it was very hot and stuffy, but exquisite drive near Derrymore, past S? and Parknasilla. The people were very amusing. At Kenmare (think it would be a good centre) had tea at Randle’s Hotel, then got a private car and had marvellous drive to Glengariff, very high up, thro’ some tunnels, and then down a windy road, wonderful views of sea and mts. Meant to stay at Bay View Hotel but it was full and Mrs. Daly took us in close to at her bungalow for 9/- a day. She and her husband are awfully kind and nice and she gives us huge meals which she makes us eat so that Ruth and I grow quite hysterical. Private walk thro’ woods to the sea. Breakfast we have at a quarter to 9.0—grapefruit all prepared (or orange), porridge and eggs and bacon, fried egg for me and great plate of hot buttered toast. Also marmalade.

18th. Sunday.

Pouring, but cleared a bit and we want a short walk up a hill. Aft., rowed ourselves on the sea (but it’s almost like a lake), but it was rather windy. Returned to a cup of tea, then as it was sunny went a short walk and lazed and read. Lovely streams. I had a bathe in sea I think.

19th.

Went part way up a mountain, clegs awful. R. & I bathed in a lovely pool. Nice sandwiches. Returned to cup of tea (we always have coffee after dinner and coffee or tea after lunch when we are in) and then went a grand sail 1½ hours, F. steering. Man, L. Sullivan, very amusing, 2nd cousin to Michael Collins. We got out into Bantry Bay. V. hungry for supper.

20th.

Not v. fine, but went lovely walk 5 or 6 miles—grand view, and then thro’ Lady Bantry’s grounds—wonderful woods and rocks. Aft. R. & I had lovely bathe in sea, quite warm. Washed our hair afterwards in hot soft water. Then lovely drive in jaunting car to Lady Bantry’s View—walked up to it. Drizzling, but would be a splendid view. Heather and ferns exquisite. Osamunda we have seen sometimes and the fuchsia hedges are everywhere. When we got back walked thro’ grounds of Roche’s hotel to see the Rock gardens. Delicious dinner.

21st.

Fine. Mrs Daly kissed R. and me when we left at 11.0 by bus for Bantry. She is a character, left Ireland when 17 and went to America till 3 years ago. Prob. was a cook and Mr. Daley a gardener—he does a lot at home. They have retired. Got to Bantry about 12.30 I think. It was a lovely drive by the sea. Then got train to Cork. Got welcome tea (we were v. hot) at a milk bar and steamer sailed at 6.0. All of us have berths this time. Lovely sailing down past Queenstown harbour. R. went to bed about 8.30, I 9.30. It grew v. rough. 2 others in cabin. Broken sleep. Arrived Fishguard 3.0 a.m.

22nd Thursday.

Caught the 3.55 home. Had had nothing but 2 or 3 biscuits since tea yesterday and could get no light breakfast till 8.0 when others were finished. Home at 9.30 a.m. and nice welcome from Florence, also lovely letters. R. found John had come home (I hope cured) and went down at once to see him. V. nice to be at home, except for having to cook. Peter home in evening. R. had gone to see Alec in London.

23rd.

C. went into Golden Square Hospital in evening, for 3rd or 4th operation on tonsils. Last night I dropped asleep at 10.45 just before R. came back.

24th.

All day waited for message about C. Finally as no reply to telegram rang up from Ella’s at 9 p.m and heard operation had been satisfactory.

25th. Sunday.

Quiet day. V. good game of badminton. Peter and R against F and me. Meeting.

26th.

Breakfast for Peter and me at 7.15 and I saw him off at 8.0 for London and Edinburgh. He has been so nice and little trouble. Kissed me affectionately in station and thanked me for having him. I shall miss him but it has been a tie and a responsibility. V. nice letter afterwards from Mrs. Maison. Thinks Peter well and improved. Went by 1.30 to London to see Caro. She looked lovely but throat v. sore and tongue too swollen to talk properly. Had been over 2 hrs. under anaesthetic and had several stitches in throat. Mrs. Ormerod said it was difficult and he was thankful he had done it himself. Joe there when I arrived. I took him out to tea and then he went back to C. I had Liberal Bazaar Committee on return at 7.0.

27th.

In morning I took John and Ruth to Brimpton to see a cottage. Then we drove on to Crookham Com. and Ruth drove there. I drove J. home and afterwards nearly ran into cyclist—horrid. Aft. F. spoke to W.L.A. on J. Stuart Mill.

28th.

Helped at Palmer Park for B.W.T.A. in morning. Went to opening by Lady Benn and then acted as a "nippy".

29th.

A nice quite day. Town with F.

30th.

Went to London to bring Caro home, in aft. We had taxi to Padd. and taxi here, and she went at once to bed, weeping with weakness. She did look ill, but soon began to improve and was thankful to be home for the food had been bad and her throat was dreadfully raw and sore. Dr. Field away but Dr. Taylor came several times to see her. Ella most kindly sent her ices several times which was a help to me too.

 

August 1937

2nd. Mon.

Margaret and the 2 children arrived. (Reg has gone camping with his brothers.) Lovely to have them. Rosemary angelic.

Next few days rather hard with C’s special food, also Rosemary’s, but weather wonderful and hot. Motor drives occasionally and bathes, and one day F., Marg., Rowland and I went on river steamer to Pangbourne and back by train. Also good badminton party, and Mrs. Dilkes and baby girl to tea.

Ruthie upset as John came to tea with her, and she had to look after Rosemary and it was all a muddle and he is leaving soon for a post in London.

On Aug. 14th, C. and Eliz. Halliday went for a 10 days cruise to Bergen, Ulvik, Oslo and Copenhagen—a musical cruise. She came back on the 24th, having enjoyed it hugely and looking much better.

On Aug. 16th Marg., Rowland and Ruthie went to Goathland—Reg. joined them there. Bertha and Betty have kindly lent them the house with Mrs. Grayson to cook etc. It will be a real holiday for Margaret. I had Rosemary entirely under my care for over a fortnight and she was enchanting, tho’ a great tie. She is 1 year, 1 month old and climbs everywhere, sleeps alone in spare room. She is beginning to walk well now. Never used to make any noise till nearly 7.0!

21st.

Frank went off early to Southampton to sail with other Friends on the Georgic for the World Friends’ Conference at Philadelphia. I hated letting him go. Rosemary and I slept alone for 2 nights but it wasn’t very bad and Ruthie, to my joy, returned on the 23rd having had a glorious week at Goathland. M. and family stayed there another week and went to Bradford before going home.

24th.

Expected C. in morning, but she came about 4.0 having had nothing but an ice since breakfast at 7.0 a.m. It is lovely to have her and R. at home again, and they are being so sweet. R. doing a good many little things to help me.

28th.

John came to say goodbye. He is so nice (and so brave) and I feel very sorry he is going away and that things have to be as they are. He is such fun too. One day R. and I went to see "The Garden of Allah". Good, in colour.

 

September 1937

1st.

C. drove Rosemary and me to see the Jacksons and Mrs. Ive. She behaved like a little angel and they all loved her. Mrs. J. said she had never had such a nice visit from a baby.

2nd.

Rosemary went, R. taking her to London where Marg. met her. I miss her dreadfully.

I forgot to say that Ruthie started a secretarial course at the ‘Triangle’ on Aug. 30th. She goes up every day (except Sat.) by the 8.50 and gets back about 6.0. I don’t like having her out all day but she likes the work though at first she found it very tiring.

After Rosemary went, C. and I started at 9.30 in the car for Cambridge (about 94 miles). I drove to High Wycombe, then C. took over. It rained a good deal, but was fair while we ate lunch in a field. We had to hurry to be at a Mr. Means’ house at 2.0 (only 10 mins late) but turned out v. hot and sunny. We went by Welwyn and Letchworth, not v. pretty route. Mr. Means and his wife took us in their Lanchester to see 3 old thatched cottages (£200 the lot) in Suffolk near Haverhill. Interesting people. About 20 miles there. We loved the cottages but did not care for the situation. Back to Cambridge, to Glengarry Hotel in Regent St., 6/6 bed and breakfast. Went out and got a high tea, then round heaps of colleges before bed. Mouse in my room.

3rd.

Rang up Olga. Left about 10.0 and did not hurry home. Went by Hertford and some small roads. Much prettier. Stopped for 2 walks and got some blackberries. At St. Albans saw the Cathedral. Had lunch. Home about 4.30. I drove part way but C. most.

4th.

Aft. we drove on Arborfield Rd. and R. and I had lovely, but cold bathe in Loddon, C. sunbathed! A new place to us.

5th. Sun.

All to Meeting. Singing in evening and C. played violin accompaniments. Lovely day—the 2 girls were sweet.

8th.

A glorious day. C. and I called at Rawlingses at a quarter to 9 for Janet & Donald Groom and we drove (C. drove all the way) to Boxford beyond Newbury to see 3 cottages. Charmed with them. Then to Greenham Common which was exquisite with heather and had v. nice tea on it, then saw another cottage and home by 7.0. Views clear and beautiful.

9th.

Rain at last. Much needed. I went to Windsor by train to see Miss Till in the hospital.

10th.

Quite cold. C. to tea at Bearwood, I to tea with Mrs. Timms. Had a fire here, alas, already. Ruthie top (of 4 people) in a test—89% and "very good indeed". C. and I are reading "I would be private" (Rose Macaulay) aloud. Amusing.

12th.

F’s birthday. Would he were here. C., Ruth and I motored to Guildford to tea. Poor Elsa is now separated from Bobbie. She has had an awful time. Evie and Ernest are quite overdone.

14th.

Warmer again and C. and I had dinner in garden and tea on verandah. Caro went back to school at 5.0. "Harnett" had had the car, so took us down and I saw her off and then he drove to his lodgings and I brought it back. I miss her: it seems so quiet. She is going to new rooms while she looks out for a place to stay, having left Mrs. Wykes. Staying now with Mr. and Mrs. King.

15th.

Old Mrs. Hawkins’s funeral. V. beautiful. Ella & I tea at Curtis’s.

17th. Friday.

Ruth & I took car to station garage and caught the 8.50 to London (‘Jerry’ and 2 Greens travelled with us!) I went to see Bertha in Devonshire Place clinic. She has had manipulation for her leg and hip under chloroform; got on well and is soon going to Droitwich. She looked v. pretty. Then v. nice day with Marg. and family. Met Robert at Copthall Court at 6.0 and had supper with him. Then Marg. joined us and we went to Daly’s Theatre to Upper Circle (v. uncomfortable) to see "The First Legion", a drama of the Society of Jesus "by Emmet Lavery". Let others conquer the world … even as Alexander … for us something more is required ... it is for us to conquer ourselves." Scenes are in the Community room of the house of St. Gregory. V. moving play—all men taking part.

Afterwards went to Milk Bar! I caught 12 p.m. Ruth and Harnett there having been to "Whiteoaks". H. got the car out of the garage at station and drive to his rooms in Erleigh Rd. then I drove home for 1st time in the dark. Dreaded getting it in at the gate, but managed alright.

18th.

Robert came for week-end. I met Evie at 2.0 and we went to Streatley to visit "Tisby" Hutchison at ‘Thurle Grange’. She met us with car. Gt estate, back goes on to downs, lovely garden and large beautiful house. V. nice visit. Dr. Hutchison, Dr. Rogers (who lives with them) and 2nd son, a delightful youth, were there. R & R went bathing etc.

19th. Sun.

Aft. Charles Crisp, a Dijon friend of Ruth’s came to tea and supper, and Leonard to tea. I took C.C. and Ruth a short drive.

20th.

Went in car to see Mrs. Archibald, but she was out, then to Mrs. Reynolds. Read to her for half an hour. I took Robert (he drove) in car to catch an early train and drove back alone.

21st.

Took car to near Loddon (Arborfield way) and sketched. Aft. took Florence to same place, (after W.L.A.) and we got a few blackberries.

22nd.

V. excited to think Frank is coming home. I took Ruthie to the station in the morning, went to Reading West in aft. But F. not there, and R. came with me at about ¼ to 6 I think to station—G.W.R.—only I didn’t drive right up this time and F. and I had a joyful meeting. He told us much of interest of the Friends World Conference and of his visit to the Purdys, to a conference at Providence etc. The heat has been great. He has been Chairman of the section "The Individual and the State". It is lovely to have him back. He went by S.S. Georgia and back by Aquitania 3rd class and was just over a fortnight in America.

23rd.

Great baking.

24th.

Reg. has an extra holiday, so he and family came here. F. came with me in car; they arrived about 6.0 and Reg and F. went by tram, but I took the others and Ruthie who came by same train in car—lots of traffic, but I managed quite well. Rowland much more friendly than last time. Sleeps in our room. Supper at 7.0 tonight.

25th.

Aft. Ruthie looked after children and F., Reg., and M and I went in car to near Boxford, 3 miles beyond Newbury to see the thatched cottages. Not v. fine, but we enjoyed it. Reg drove most of way, tho’ hasn’t driven for 4 years. I drove to Theale. We were back by ¼ to 5. Ruthie is v. depressed as Harnett has left Reading—also she is not taking her driving test. She helps me a lot with advice when I go in the car with her. Once or twice I’ve met her at station, and several times taken her there.

26th. Sun.

Reg, F. and Ruth went to Meeting. Sweet wee Rosemary fell out of her cot and screamed fearfully so as she is v. brave, I got Dr. Holder. He said no bones broken, but v. gt. shock. We were alarmed, but after a sleep she seemed alright, except for a swollen black eye and gt bruise on forehead and marks on nose. She is an enchanting wee thing, and walks about all over now. Dr. H. came again in aft. just to make sure all was right. Exquisite swimmers’ day. Reg. and M. went drive in evening.

27th.

Heard of Herbie Corder’s death. He was a splendid man.

Aft. F. looked after Rosemary and Reg (he drove), M. Rowland and I went to Cold Ash to see a thatched cottage. Lovely situation. Views glorious. Got a few blackberries.

28th.

A beautiful hot day. Aft., Reg, M , children and I in car to Loddon by Swallowfield. Had an enchanting time and got 9 lbs of good blackberries. Rosemary sat in push chair and watched us. We picked from 3–4.14, then had tea on rug near river, then M., Rowland, and Rosemary plodged—at least M. held Rosemary in the water. They were a pretty sight! Children saw horses drinking in river, cows milked by electricity, etc. As we left Rowland said "I’ve had a lovely time! We got home about ¼ to 6—took 10 mins or so in car. Rowland said "Will Grandpa have to have tea alone with Grandpa?"

F. and I to Liberal Committee in evening.

29th.

Reg. went away early, then Ruth, then M. and children and F. by 9.57. F. took Rowland by bus to station (F. was going to Friends House) and I took M., baby and luggage in car, and drove properly into station but felt v. nervous. After seeing them off, I took car to Cains, to garage, to be sold. Said goodbye to it (G.J.8302) with a good deal of personal relief but it has been a joy in many ways and I think has done C. especially good with the fresh air we’ve had so I’m glad we’ve had it. It has been a great success.

I gardened, made jam etc. We’ve had a lovely visit from the Dales, all so happy and shall miss them much.

 

October 1937

1st. Friday.

Meeting for Sufferings, then met Ruth to help her choose an evening dress, then on to stay with Dia and Hedley at Chelsfield. Their house and garden is very nice and they were so kind. Patrick v. canny and friendly. P.P.U. meeting—Sat. Elsa & Eliz. and Jancis to tea—poor Elsa, what a tragic time she has had—3 of Hedley’s family on the Sunday.

4th. Mon.

Home in time for dinner and we started the Play Hour in evening—D. Brain, Joyce Bowen, Mrs. Cummings and myself.

5th.

Book Club at Robsons on Barrie. V. nice.

8th.

Raymond & Barbara (his wife) and Elsie Harrod to supper. V. nice.

9th.

Lovely day. Robert for week-end and M., F., Ruthie and I to Pangbourne by 2 trains, the usual exquisite walk and home by the 4.55 train. Rather too much hurry, for it is a good long walk. Tea directly we got in (¼ to 6) and then Harnett arrived for week-end and he and Ruthie went to Univ. dance.

10th. Sun.

F. and I to Meeting. Hirsch Quartet at Univ. Archibald to tea.

15th.

Lecture by Cadoux on "How we know there is a God" or some such title.

16th.

F. went to conference at B’ham. Colin and Merl for week-end. Singing.

17th. Sun.

Ruthie, C., Merl and I to Sonning by bus. Short walk there. Evening I took them to L.P. Service. Mrs. Sharpe on Leper Colony. F. came home after 9.30.

18th.

C. and Merl went. It has been lovely having them, but I’m tired, for last week I did canvassing for the Liberal Assn. and work for the Ministry of Labour to try and get new index figure of cost of living, and have had little spare time. Q.M. in evening. Sewell Harris on ‘Community Centres’.

19th.

Q.M. Richard Graham and Frank splendid on the American conference and most amusing. I had Liberal meeting in aft. and 2 committees.

20th.

Have been paying visits at far end of Oxford Rd for Ministry of Labour but have not succeeded in getting anyone to sign the budgets. Weary work. ‘Tudor Singers’ in evening. V. fine.

21st.

Foggy. F. and I by 10.40 to Kintbury? Then we walked uphill 1½-2 miles to see a cottage for sale near Inkpen Common looking on to Combe Down. Evidently glorious view, tho’ mist prevented us seeing it, but cottage in bad repair. Wish I knew what to do. Had sandwiches and arrived home about 3.0. A week ago we saw a cottage at Cold Ash. Not suitable.

22nd. Friday.

C. came home about 8.0 p.m. We were in the midst of a Liberal meeting here—about 15 came at 7.30—we had coffee, sausage rolls, biscuits, ham sandwiches and cakes. Latter not as popular as the other things. Good discussion. Mrs. Ryder sang and they went at about 9.45, then I rushed up to see C. who had gone to bed. She looks fatter I think, but is v. tired, having had Inspectors. Pouring day—rain at last after a long drought. It has been wonderful sunny mild weather.

23rd.

C., R and I to town. Evening F. and I to Book Club at Rawlingses on ‘Will Harvey’. V. good. Then decided to carry on with the Club, tho’ Castles and D. Brain have resigned.

24th.

V. good concert at Univ. esp. singer Margaret Bissett. Lovely mezzo soprano voice and sang in such good taste and looked charming. ‘O Jesulein Suss’’ by Bach exquisite. Organist Dr. Peasgood. Accompanist Harry Stubbs.

C. had to get 5.30 train. I saw her off. It has been lovely having her, and she seems better and happier. We had great fun playing a duet by Brahms which is playing soon at a music club concert—2 pianos and 4 people!

25th.

Peace Pledge Union meeting at Town Hall. V. small audience but excellent speeches by Captain Philip Mumford (used to be in war but converted) and Canon Morris. Questions well answered.

27th.

Ruthie and I went to Chopin recital by Ponishuoff. Most beautiful and wonderful.

29th.

Finish Xmas puddings. Have already made the cake and mincemeat. Aft. F. and I to opening of nursery school by Lady Astor. Then someone motored us with the Archibalds to the Boston Hall, where a large company were assembled by invitation of Mrs. Curtis. Good tea and then Lady Astor made a very good and racy speech—attacked the brewers (in a friendly manner) and then discovered that Eric Simmonds was there! Several non-teetotallers—Dr. Hewitt and his wife etc. Robert Curtis made good speech. Evening to Cadoux on the Bible at University.

30th.

Ruthie to London to see John in his new home. Institute Social. F. sang "Had a Horse" and "Vicar’s Song". His voice is still v. good, but not as melodious as it was.

 

November 1937

1st.

Heard of Dick Sheppard’s death which occurred suddenly yesterday. Terrible blow to the Peace Cause and he was only about 52. There was a great lot said about him in all papers—a huge queue a day or two after this at St. Martin’s (Marg. went and it took her half an hour to get thro’.) He had just been elected to Rectorship of Glasgow University.

2nd.

Heard of Mrs. Gardiner’s death. I have missed and shall miss her greatly. She was a good friend to me. W.L.A. also Book Club committee.

3rd.

R. to St. David’s dinner. F. in London.

4th.

F. to London. At 12.30 I went to Mrs. Gardiner’s funeral in Cumberland Rd. Methodist Church. Beautiful service and music. Lots of us rather overcome. Poor Mr. G and daughters. Coffin with huge beautiful wreath of heather—no other flowers. I ate sandwiches after in station and caught 1.30 to London—at M.’s about 3 and had warm welcome. We went a walk with children, then nice tea. After Reg came in we all went into garden for the ‘gasworks’ as Rowland called them—he was so brave with the fireworks, and Rosemary (1 year 3 months) laughed aloud with joy.

5th.

Both children in the one cot after they woke looked so sweet. They are enchanting and Rosemary is extraordinarily advanced in walking and climbing up steps etc. M. and Reg seem so happy and were both so kind and they are full of peace work and other activities. I left at ¼ to 10.0, the children and M. seeing me off. Met F. at M. for Sufferings. Lunch. Back to M. for S. for short time, then I went to cinema, Studio 1 and saw ‘Tales of Vienna Woods’ which I didn’t care for, and Mickey Mouse as ‘Little Hiawatha’ (v. good and news—Dick Sheppard speaking about never having war—he looked and spoke just as I remembered him—it was v. impressive, but followed by Mussolini being cheered by gigantic crowd when he said Germany must get back her African colonies. The other film "Edge of the World’ was marvellous, but v. tragic. About island off Scotland (Orkneys I think) which had to be given up as impossible to go on cultivating it—the sea and rocks etc. were grand.

Got 6.55 train home, meeting Caro at Pad. coming home for half term.

6th.

I went to Archaeological "Church Woodwork" by E.T. Long. V. good. Evening at 8.0 we had Mr. and Mrs Sikes, Mr. and Mrs. Hare, K. Rawlings and Eliz. Halliday to music. Gt. Success and everyone enjoyed it. Mrs. S. and Mrs Hare both played beautifully and Mr. H. sang v. well, also Eliz. and we did "Waltzing Matilda" and "Brother James"—9 altogether, in parts. Gt. talking too. Refreshments at 20 to 9.0—I kept Florence and her father came for her afterwards. Everyone praised the coffee and had 2 (or 3!) cups. Ham sandwiches, sausage rolls, egg sandwiches, orange cake, walnut cake, biscuits and scones. They went about 10.30. With ourselves 10 people and that was really enough for the room. Handed cigarettes after supper—unusual for us.

9th.

C. and I by bus to see Mrs. Robson in new house at Emmer Green. C. went back to London at 6.10. I saw her off, then went to enquire after Miss Snell.

10th.

Mrs. Curtis to tea. M.M. Hilda Tompkinson on China. Music Club. Cheston String Quartet.

11th.

Had kitchen repapered.

12th.

Had spare room repapered. Finished on Sat. morning.

13th.

Robert for week-end.

16th.

I went to see cottage at Greenham Lock. No use.

18th.

Molly to lunch. V. nice.

20th.

Norman Kirby arrived about 8.0 p.m. and he and Ruth went to dance at Univ. I left ‘beans’ for them to heat when they came in about 11.45.

21st. Sun.

Meeting. Sylvan Trio in aft. exquisite. Piano Millicent Silver, oboe Joan Boughton, flute John Francis. F. was speaking to men at Whitley Hall.

We had Mr. Black (L.P.), Miss Gaynor and Miss Almond (2 students) to tea. Letter game, and then singing all together. Norman K. who has been very nice left about 7.30.

22nd.

Gt. debate at Olympia between Liberal and Labour on which of their respective parties best. Conyers Carr K.C. and Marg. Bondfield. Quite exciting and Liberals feel cheered for C. Carr so good. F. had dinner with him at Mrs. Kirk’s shop.

23rd.

I bicycled to Beech Hill to see a cottage (12 miles). Lovely situation. W.L.A. lady spoke on rescue work.

24th.

Mr. Dray motored F. and me to Beech Hill. £250 but gave it up as man next door is going to make a petrol station. Jean Pouguet, violinist, in evening. Good.

Ruthie at Barbara Sargent’s 2lst birthday treat. Motored to Oxford (after returning from London). Dinner at ‘Mitre’—21 of them! And then saw "The Two Bouquets".

25th.

Mr. Dray motored F. and me to Hunts Green, but couldn’t get into the house. Also saw Boxford village. V. pretty. In evening F. and I to "Yellow Sands" (Eden Phillpotts) done by Reading Repertory Co. (amateurs). Extremely well done and very wholesome, amusing play. Devonshire.

29th.

F. and I to University for installation of Sir Samuel Hoare as Chancellor. Various people got degrees. Mary Stansfield took me.

 

December 1937

4th.

Morning to Boston Hall to help with Liberal Sale of Work. Caro arrived about 12.0 with John Dix. They had motored, so that he could take his test. He stayed to lunch. Poured in aft. F. and I went to Liberal Sale opened by Mrs. Mander. Quite a good sale but not many there. C. and R. went to League of Nations exhibition (I went yesterday). V. good, and charming dances of various countries by children. C. and R. came on to Sale for tea. Major Ellershaw brought his ‘elves’ and they were extremely good. I went home about ¼ to 7.0 but F. stayed for concert.

5th. Sun.

Only F. to meeting. John, who has passed his test, came at 12.0 for Caro (with his parents) and they departed for London. He doesn’t look at all well. Clifford and fiancee Alison (Biddy) Thompson to tea.

6th.

To dentist.

14th.

Book Club at Stansfield. Choice of books, new members and readings from Nobel Prize winners’ books. I real from Bunin, a Russian.

15th.

R. has had bad cough and missed a day or two at ‘Triangle’. She and I went by 2.55 to London, had cup of tea, then found our rooms (taken by Bertha) at Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch. V. luxurious—each bedroom has its own bathroom, etc. and the beds are so comfortable. Caro arrived soon after 5.0—she and R. share a room. Bertha soon after—lovely to see her. We talked, then had hot baths and dressed. B. lent me a lovely blue dress and blue velvet coatee. Ruthie and I had to rush out at ¼ to 8 to get 3 long chiffon handkerchiefs as I had not packed her sash. Then met Bowes, Robert, Mrs. Whitworth, Bill, Dia and Hedley and Betty and had a swell dinner. Ball began 9.30! Went in 2 taxis to Mayfair. I started a streaming cold which spoilt it for me, and I got no dances, but didn’t feel up to it. C. and R. looked lovely, C. in a new pink dress. I spoke to Mrs. Mander, Mrs. Corbett Ashby and one or two others. Another huge dinner at 12.0—my voice hurt so that I longed to get away, and Bowes and I left at 1.4 to 2.0 a.m.—the dance concluded at 2.30.

16th.

I heard Ber. come back. C. had to be up at 7.0 to get back to school. My voice had nearly gone. B., Ruth and I had an excellent breakfast, but I couldn’t eat much. Then B. went back to York, R. and I to Sadler’s Wells to try to sell 2 tickets for tonight’s opera. I had been going for day to Marg.’s but R. gave up ‘Triangle’ and went instead and I got home to lunch. F. went to opera with Reg., Marg. and Ruth in evening. Said it was splendid. F. and R. had taxi from station at 1.0 a.m. I listened to ‘Messiah’ on wireless and went v. early to bed.

19th.

V. cold and frosty. Florence was late and when I scolded her gave notice, alas! But she withdrew it a day or two later, but I am going to let her off earlier in the evenings.

21st.

Caro came home.

22nd.

F. went to ‘affirm’ on having been made a magistrate. I’m glad he has been made one.

24th.

Robert came home late in evening. Listened in aft. to King’s College, Camb. Service and carols. Exquisite. Also sang carols ourselves.

25th. Sat. Xmas Day. 1937.

Robert came down to breakfast at ¼ to 9.0 tho’ he usually has none, and we had the family presents. I had scent from Frank, Norwegian slippers from C. and Ruthie, "This England" from Robert and an exquisite photo of Rowland from Marg and Reg. F. had one of Rosemary, and a lovely little worked card of chickens from Rowland, tiny pot pourri from Florence. Usual dinner, v. good, then rest, then other presents (Evie scent and book), Bertha £10, Edna aft. tea cloth etc. Tea room lit with candles and cake lit. supper 8.0—Ella came. Christingles etc. v. pretty. Crackers in drawing room. Father’s carols, Robt. and F. sang (The Oxen) and C. played. Then we played guessing word game (Robt. and I out and chose sun, son) and letter game. R. set off stuff to make us sneeze; it was v. amusing. V. nice, quiet day. Children sweet.

26th. Sunday.

F., Ruthie and I to Meeting.

27th.

All but C. who had a cold, left here by 9.30 bus for station and got the 9.55 bus to Henley. (I forgot to say that Florence was here all day Xmas Day—Smith came to tea with her and they stayed till after supper. On Sunday she went after dinner and I did not make her come at all on Monday—not till 7.0 a.m. Tues.)

We met Miss Bourne and her sister Ruth, Maisie Hemingway (friend of Leonard’s) and Gerry Heath. From Henley we took stile near Meeting house and walked thro’ Fawly court fields (deer) and then on to near Gusset Woods and back another way, ending up along Fair Mile. Sat on log for sandwiches. V. fine walk about 10 miles, but v. cold and dull. Called on Timms’s. Got 3.0 bus home and had tea—then R.C. and R. went to Kentish Wright’s dance at ‘Green Monkey’ with Peggy Lowery in her car.

28th.

C. and I went to tea to Ella’s and played games with her and Mrs. Cass, Ralph and M. Bowman-Smith.

29th.

My 3rd and last visit to dentist’s for the present. Weather dull and drizzly after all the cold and frost. F. and C. went to Woodbrooke for Teachers’ Guild by 1.30 train.

30th.

R. and I had a nice peaceful day—went to town etc.

31st. Friday.

Marg and the 2 children arrived from Widnes in aft. R. met them. They are perfectly sweet. Rowland slept in my bed. I did not sit up, but heard bells and had poems.

 

[Transcript by Lucy R. Beck, with her permission.]

 


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