MSWP (& FEP) diaries

Diary, 1938

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 | 1938

January

1st. Sat.

F. came home from Guild in morning. C. staying with Millicent Richardson. Aft. hired car and all but F. went to Grazeley to see a cottage.

2nd. Sun.

D. Groom and Peggy Lowery to tea.

3rd.

Caro came home having much enjoyed Birmingham. Reg. came in aft.

4th.

C. and I spent day in London shopping. Also saw film "South Riding" with Ralph R. in it. Quite good.

5th.

Friends’ party to which most went. Ruthie stayed to look after bairns and I went to W.L.A. Annual meeting and social.

7th.

F. and I to Meeting for S. and then chose dinner service, etc. at Waring and Gillow’s. Ruthie went back to work on 5th.

8th.

I forgot to say that I got Barbara Robson to take charge of children for a week for £1 plus 5/- fares. It is v. satisfactory. She comes at 2.30 and goes about 6.30 and has tea with them in dining room.

F., Reg., M. Ruthie and I started about 12.30 by bus for Buckleberry. Ate sandwiches in bus. Saw over some old cottages, but they had just been sold. Then lovely walk (only it rained) by Stanford Dingley to join bus from Yattendon—about 10 miles. Home to tea. All v. tired. Reg. and M. to Raymonds’ to supper.

9th. Sun.

M. v. poorly with awful cold—went back to bed directly after breakfast. F. and I had both children at night.

10th.

M. better, but Reg. had to go home alone. Play Hour Treat v. nice. About 22 small children and 16 older. I ordered all the food.

11th.

Stansfield took F. and me in car in aft. to Barratt Brown’s ‘House warming’—the Malt House at South Stoke—lovely place, grounds stretching to Thames. I talked to Sir and Lady Fox, v. interesting. We knew no-one!

12th.

Woken up with bilious attack, but it soon passed off. M. and children and C. all departed after dinner. C back to school, M. home. We miss them awfully, but I feel very tired.

15th.

Robert came home. Ruthie to Shipps’ dance.

16th.

Robert’s 31st birthday. We all went to meeting and aft. to excellent song recital by Stuart Robertson. No one to tea (by request). Some candles on cake! R. enjoyed his birthday and was sweet.

17th.

Florence and I started spring-cleaning.

20th.

Evie came for day. Lovely to have her. Book Club with new members at Alexanders new house. On A.E. (Geo Russell). V. good. F. splendid chairman. He and I both read—C. Stansfield gave talk, and Rosamund read a Yeats play. V. amusing. F. has had heaps of nice things said about being a magistrate. We have just given the 3 large Penguin Crucifixion ‘Arundels’ to Abbey School, also Elgin Marbles plaster casts. They seemed very delighted.

21st.

All the children met in London Y.W.C.A. Hall for Old Scholars of Mount & Bootham, Ackworth etc. dance. Ruthie took Gerry, Rob Miss ?, C. ‘Arthur’, and Marg. Reg. They enjoyed it tremendously. Thank goodness no bar!

F. and I by 5.35 to London to see ‘Fidelio’. V. good indeed—about a prisoner. Got excellent 3/6 seats. It finished at 10.45 so we had soup at milk bar and caught 12.0 train home. Waited for R. who came by 12.10 and took taxi for about the second time in our lives!! We usually walk or cycle!

22nd.

F. to Q.M. at Oxford. I sketched. R. to cinema with Melville and he came to tea.

24th.

Spring-cleaning.

25th.

W.L.A. Young People’s meeting at Mrs. Kirk’s café.

26th.

F. and I to see ‘Moloch’ performed by Pax Players. V. good indeed.

27th.

I went to see cottage at Great Bedwyn. Charmed with it and had lovely walk by Kennet canal. Man said it would be £375 at lowest and sold it 2 or 3 days afterwards for £320. A pity.

28th.

Spring-cleaning.

31st.

Spring-cleaning. The weather mild and lovely.

 

February 1938

1st.

Overseers meeting.

2nd.

W.L.A. meeting for trying to form a Young Liberals Group again at Mrs. Kirk’s café. F. spoke and Miss Henley.

3rd.

I went to Margaret’s in morning. Children enchanting. Slept with M. as Reg’s young brother Norman was staying there.

4th.

Left after breakfast for M. for Sufferings. Interesting about Spain, China etc. The wars there are too horrible to contemplate. At ¼ to 4 met Marg. and Norman and went to see Carnet de Bal at Studio 1. Very clever. Then home.

5th.

F. in London for day. Ruthie went yesterday to stay week-end with Winnie at Bradford-on-Avon. Robert came in after. Glorious warm sunny day. We went to Archaeological on the Mediaeval House. Parts interesting. Stayed to tea. F. home to supper.

6th.

Robt. gave me his present as he wanted to read "Short Stories" by Algernon Blackwood. Also gave me the "W. Plan" and made me read it. Exciting. Miss Edgar and Miss Logie to tea. R. came home in evening having had a lovely time. Says B. on Avon exquisite place.

7th.

My birthday and such a happy one, in spite of washing and making marmalade. F. gave me a necklace, M. C. and R. a table runner from Norway, Evie and E. a guide to Wilts. and chocs., Robt. books, Jeanie soap and scent, and heaps of nice letters. F. out in evening of course.

8th.

W.L.A. Evening most interesting and amusing lecture by B. Saxon Snell on dolls dress from time of Alfred the Great. She and her sister have dressed over 100 dolls.

9th.

Overseers visiting Committee at Mrs. Talbots’ M.M. afterwards.

14th.

Penal Reform Meeting. F. in chair. F.E. Pollard J.P.! Marg. Bondfield and Mrs. Norman. V. good.

15th.

Book Club at Reynolds’s. People read from any book they liked, F. from "Comments from Bagshot" by Spender. Amusing.

17th.

F. to Woodbrooke for night. I with Florence’s young man ‘Smith’ to interview her father. Difficult job!

18th.

I went by 10.30 to York—horrid not having F. to see me off. Bertha met me at 4.30 and we had a delicious tea, and talk. Bowes arrived late and Betty who is head of a nursery school in Leeds and is so sweet.

19th.

Bowes and Bertha took me round the fascinating museum which is almost ready now. Aft. Christian Howard and Miss Muspratt? addressed Liberal meeting of 40 or 50 men and women in drawing room. They are young girls—former 21. They came to lunch. B. gave very good tea to all ordered from Works. V. successful gathering. Evening played contract bridge—Anna Kernessebury? (sic) (Agnes Hill’s adopted daughter) too.

20th.

Sun. Ber., Bowes, Anna and I started in car about 11.30 (Betty did not want to come) for Lastingham. Had good lunch in car just beyond Hutton-le-hole. Cold day, but grew sunny and lovely. Lastingham charming, but cottage not ideal, and buses only twice a week: nice but difficult. Motored on to Goathland for tea. Lovely day. Home at 6.0. Edna and 2 others to supper—the Norwegian lady sang well.

21st.

Betty back to Leeds. B. took Anna and me to Harrogate where we all had a lovely Turkish bath—about 2 hours. Lunch at Fullers, then on to see Betty’s delightful nursery school. Evening Mrs. Black to dinner and stayed night. B. took Anna and me and Mr Pockney and wife to see "Judgement Day". Awfully well acted but very terrible—really is the Reichstag trial.

22nd.

B. and Anna saw me off at 10.0. I have had a perfectly lovely time, only I do wish her rheumatoid arthritis wasn’t so bad. She is plucky. I came back by London, met Robert at his flat and saw the new room he has taken, advised about carpet etc. It is nice. Home by 4.15. Evening F. and I to University dinner. Lady Maud Hoare came instead of Sir Samuel, as Eden’s resignation has made almost a crisis in the country. I sat by Registrar (G. Smith) and Prof. Ure.

23rd.

Reading Music Club concert, the last. New English trio, Dorothy Aspinall, Gwynneth Trotter and Audrey Piggott. Extremely good.

24th.

Karlin Capper-Johnson to high tea. Played piano v. well. Caro arrived later. Lovely to have her.

25th.

Reg., M. and children came in morning for half term. Reg. has been off school 3 weeks with fibritis and is still not right. In evening all but Reg. went to Folk House to see "Mr. Pim passes by"—F. was splendid as Mr. Pim and very amusing. All were good.

26th.

Aft. I went to lecture on "Lost Histories of America". Evening 3 girls to Field of Red Rose –a thriller by Jeff. Darjeon.

28th.

Reg., Marg. and Caro had to go back. Reg. to see Dr. who said he could not go back to school for a week still—he will have been off a month.

I kept the 2 darling children for 3 days to give Marg. a rest. It is the first time she has been away from them (except 1 week) since they were born. They were very sweet and good, but Rosemary had a bad cold and Rowland a bad cough, which woke him (and us) at nights. Rosemary slept alone in spare room.

 

March 1938

4th.

I took the children by 9.25 to London. M. met us at Paddington and I went on to M. for S. Aft. to chiropodist and had feet massaged too. £1 altogether.

5th.

Norman Kirby came to tea and he and R. went to St. David’s dance. He stayed the night, but had bad cold and looked poorly. Heard today that Dr. Niemoller who was released in Germany has been put in a concentration camp. It is too cruel.

6th. Sun.

Wonderful sermon by H.G. Wood on Niemoller partly. V. touching. R. and Norman went on river. Miss Cree to tea; Norman went away after it.

7th.

R. and I to "St. John Passion’ at Univ. V. beautiful. Jacques conducted, as Stanton has gone.

9th.

To London. Met Ruth for lunch. Then to exhibition of 17th century art, then at 3.20 met Robert and went to Carpenter’s Hall—lecture, tea, and saw silver plate. Old wall has been pulled down. R. was so sweet, and is working so hard for good causes. Had been speaking at Grays, Essex on Council for Civil Liberties and had given much satisfaction.

10th.

C’s room nearly finished being spring-cleaned. Weather still wonderful and so warm. F. and I sat on the verandah.

11th.

B.W.T.A. Annual Meeting. I had just sent in my resignation from committee and Registrar—have been latter for 6 years. Mrs. Spurgeon and Mrs. Pierson v. nice about it. F. and I dinner on verandah.

12th.

In aft. I went to Kintbury and walked to Inkpen to see a cottage. It was ugly, tho’ situation lovely. When I returned the key the dear old lady took me into the kitchen and had tea ready for me. It was refreshing. We had a v. nice chat. She has 11 sons and 4 daughters. I then went back to K., catching a bus part way—they only run 3 times a week! And saw another house, then sketched by river and caught 6.38 home. Heard that Germany has had a great coup and taken Austria in one fell swoop. It is awful, tho’ clever. Poor Schusnigg!

13th.

Sun. F. spoke at L.P. in evening on Erasmus and Mill and stayed there for supper.

15th.

Tuesday. A man came from Julians in morning and took me a short ride in a small Triumph car (1930) and I bought it for £12.10.0, but really paid £15 to get some repairs done. Quite exciting. Finished spring-cleaning our bedroom. I went to tea at Folk House to hear Dorothy Litten on Brumana.

Ruthie has had a bad cold for days. It is getting better at last.

16th.

Liberal Social at Boston Hall. Small hall full. F. made splendid speech and Mrs. Wheal recited v. well indeed (Rubinstein playing etc.).

18th.

F. went to York for week-end, to speak at Bootham on Sunday. Ruth and I to "Sorrows of Deirdre? " at L.P. Excellently done, and beautiful but tragic. Dresses v. good.

19th.

I went to Archaeological. Mr. Healas on Old Wokingham. Interesting, only poor lecturer.

20th. Sunday.

Florence allowed to have whole day off, as we are both tired (from spring-cleaning—I did some painting, and bathroom was whitewashed). Ruth went to see John (and to Caro’s to tea) in hospital at Harold wood, so I had whole day alone and went to meeting and had a novel for a rest. The day seemed long. R. came back late evening depressed.

21st.

Lovely to feel all upstairs spring-cleaning is done at last. Last year we were earlier.

F. came home, thank goodness!

22nd.

W.L.A. address on ‘Congo’. Evening Carl Heath to high tea, then to Institute where he spoke on Friends and other religions. Should try to come together. V. interesting.

23rd.

Liberal Regional Conference at Boston Hall. Women in aft. Dr. Marg. Deas good. Tea made by Mrs. Kirk and her helper v. good. Lord Meston and various people in evening, F. included. I’m glad he said how dreadful it is that England won’t admit Austrian refugees freely. In Vienna there have been hundreds of suicides of Jews and others. It is appalling. Ghastly.

To-day I bought a gas refrigerator 2nd hand—a £29 one for £12.10.0 but it came to £1.12.0 more as we gave the latter to the man who is selling it as he is so badly off. I have to pay by installment system for 2 years, then it will be paid off. Guaranteed for 2 years.

25th.

Could have had the car to-day; it is taxed from to-day. First rain for about a month. It has been hot and sunny and perfect nearly all March. R. went to dance in London after her work. Yesterday she was at home with headache.

26th. March 1938.

The car "Triumph" RX7178 arrived this morning, and the young man took me to the shop for my licence which had been forgotten and then I drove up Redlands Rd. and Shinfield Rd. turned and came home. I got on alright, but it doesn’t run as easily as the old Morris. Aft. Robert arrived and he and I were going in car to Andover (Ruth was going to London for a Dijon reunion in a Soho restaurant!) but it wouldn’t start. After a lot of bother a man who had taken a bus to Sutton’s came to help and after cleaning the plugs managed to get it to go. It is a nice little car, dark blue, with room for 4. Pneumatic seats. We had not time to go to Andover so went to Silchester to see a cottage, but the man was out, then to Tadley to see another, but couldn’t find it, so came home by Aldermaston (went 50 miles an hour along the Bath Rd) and garaged the car in N/C road (3/- week). It is only 8 horse power, the Morris was 11 h.p. Just 6.0 o’clock and we had high tea with F. and then he went to L. Park to perform "Mr. Pim" to the boys.

28th March. Monday.

Did some washing in great hurry, then caught 9.27 bus to Silchester and went to Mr. Goddard’s—had to hire car to go to the cottage in Forest Lane, Tadley. I liked it—nice garden of about ½ an acre, fruit trees, wonderful pyrus Japonica—2 cottages, no upstairs, thatched and secluded. As several people are after it I agreed to buy it for £300, Goddard to pay the lawyers. Rest of morning as no bus till 1.45 we walked about thro’ wood, etc., I being introduced to the Benyon’s keeper and various village people, and then Goddard came home with me by bus, to get the money and we surprized F. Shook hands on the bargain; I felt a bit depressed having taken this big risk all alone.

29th.

Washed 6 blankets. Townswomen’s Guild at last. Mrs. Shorney on "One county’.

30th.

To Margaret’s in aft. Children delightful, Rowland exquisite. Played monopoly in evening.

31st.

M. and I took children to Zoo in aft. Hot and tiring but gt. success. They loved it—Rosemary v. excited, tho’ she is not yet 2.

 

April

1st.

Meeting for Sufferings. Interesting account of Vienna by May Ormerod. Tragic.

2nd.

Sat. I took Frank and Ruthie in morning to see the cottage. Drove them there, tho’ in coming back nearly went right into ditch—I felt too hurried, as R. wanted to get back to go to "Bill and Dorry’s" wedding, but the car mostly went alright, and I think F. and R. liked the cottage.

3rd. Sun.

Viebeleke, a nice Danish girl came for the day—Ruth met her at Montpellier and she is in London at present. Melville to tea—car wouldn’t start when they went out, so next day went to Julian’s again to have carburettor put right. Robert had taken ‘Trissie’ out for day in hired car and brought her to supper, so busy day.

4th. Mon.

Washed 5 blankets—our 2 big ones should have gone to laundry. They are finished now.

My new bicycle, bought with Ber’s present money, came. Raleigh £5.19.6 and I got 9/6 on old bicycle. (my cyclometer registered 1749 miles when I got my new bicycle—that means the number since we started on our bicycling tour to Shropshire.) This seems a very nice one. It is cold weather now.

5th.

Drizzled a little. F. and I to service at Fraser Mitchell’s house as his father has just died.

Caro broke up and arrived with Joe about 6.30 p.m.

6th.

C. in bed to breakfast. Afterwards I went in and found her sobbing, as she says Joe is going to China and no longer loves her. I had an appointment with Madam Prender so had to go. She eased my feet tremendously. I pickled 10 doz. eggs. In evening had a short talk with Joe and thought it fairly satisfactory, so tried to comfort poor Caro.

7th.

Caro v. unhappy and Joe said I had not quite understood and that he does not want to marry her—thought lately that she didn’t really care for him. V. tragic and Carina utterly broken down. Finally they agreed that he should not settle yet to go to China (he still is at college for 1½ years or so) and at the end of the 3 months they should see how they feel. She seems now to feel sure she loves him. It was a terrible morning.

8th.

C. and Joe went off in the car for the day to Aldworth, etc. and seem v. happy tog. now. Joe seems to have changed. F. and I in evening to F.o.R. meeting on Air Raid precautions.

Morning I had nice visit to C.S. Stansfield. He is getting on well. Ruth broke up and has finished at the ‘Triangle’ except for a week to make up after Easter. Says she has hated the place, tho’ she likes the staff. She is certainly v. tired, has worked hard and done splendidly. She came home late having gone to a dinner "Gerry" took her to.

9th.

F. went to Norwich to speak at meetings. Stayed at Arthur Eddington’s.

10th.

Sunday. C., R. and I to meeting. Mary Stansfield to dinner.

11th.

F. came home. Joe, C. Ruth and I motored in aft. to the cottage and Joe went away after tea. Poor J. and C. What is going to be the outcome of all this? They seem happy together—I think J. thought C. did not care for him (and she wasn’t sure) so almost decided to go to China and now C. does care he is not so sure.

12th.

Sweep at 7.0, then did books etc. F. C. R. and I left by 3.0 train for London, where we had some tea, and then went on to Gravesend and travelled by the Batavier Line to Rotterdam. Boat left at 7.30. C. R. and I shared a 4 berth cabin, tiny but clean. After the dinner was over about 9.15 we had some bread and butter and coffee etc. Pretty expensive. V. calm voyage.

13th. Wed.

Cold, got to the Hague about 9.0 met by someone from Hotel Pomona and went thither in taxi (included in what we paid the Polytechnic). Extremely nice hotel, most tasteful and unusual. Nice pretty bedrooms, large lounges and dining rooms. Latter looks on to Palace Gardens. Excellent food, heaps of it and great deal of choice. We had breakfast at once, coffee or tea, bread and butter, boiled eggs, oranges, rye bread, rusks etc. Then we went to the Mauritzhuis, the museum where there are a lot of famous pictures—glorious Rembrandts etc. Also went over House of Commons and Lords and Waterways Ministry. After very good lunch went over the Peace Palace, which is marvellous and much more beautiful than I expected. Also went round the lovely garden, but it began to drizzle. Just got back in time for dinner.

14th.Mary & Caro Pollard in bulb fields, Holland, April 1938

Taxi to station and caught train about 10.0 to Amsterdam. Bulb fields lovely colour. About an hour’s run. Met by "Poly" representative and drove to Rijnders Hotel—quite nice, but simpler and more ordinary than Pomona. Went to see Ryks Museum in aft. V. fine pictures. F. and I also to old English church in courtyard. Evening visited Mr. and Mrs. Liepentink at Quaker Hostel. V. nice people.

15th.

Slightly warmer. Stederlijk Museum. Modern pictures. Van Gogh, most of which I disliked, but exquisite Mauve, Maris etc. A lovely little Mauve of girl and cow on a sand dune. Aft. delightful motor boat tour round canals and harbour of about 1½ hours, saw old parts. 48 canals in Amsterdam and 400 bridges. Sun came out a bit. This is Good Friday. After breakfast Caro and Ruthie blindfolded F. and me in the bedroom and led us into their bedroom, where they took off the scarves and made us hunt for tiny chocolate Easter Eggs. It was great fun. Frank got the most. It was a pretty idea of theirs.

16th.

Sat. C. and I went to visit Erne ’t Hooft. She was surprized. F. R. and I to Colonial Institute. Wonderful exhibition. Aft. started at 2.30 in bus for tour of bulb fields, via Haarlem. Fine sight, especially when the sun came out for a bit. Had a walk among the flowers, and also by the sea and got home about 6.30. Met the Howard Collinsons by the sea! C. and I had expensive orangeade with Mr. Van der Bock ("Poly" rep.) before bedtime in a café. I had bad night.

17th. Sun.

A marvellously interesting day, but terribly cold though sunny morning. Morning I went to the old Presbyterian church. Aft. early we had a taxi to the station (a large party went from here and other hotels) then ferry across water and tram like little train to Volendam—charming place with people in exquisite costumes and lovely lace caps. Then steamer across to Isle of Masken. The people here in quite different costumes and it was a lovely sight to see young men and girls going to church all in their Sunday best, and paying no attention to us. Fishing place, and the boats and brown sails etc. so pretty. At Volendam we went into a house and saw the funny beds in the wall, one above the other, etc. The people wear heaps of jewellery. From here in steamer to Momickendam, then tram (train) to Edam and saw a model cheese factory and tasted the cheese. The men have their beds in the cow stall! The hay barn is close to. We saw the living room. Tram home where we arrived about 6.30 frozen with cold.

18th. Easter Monday.

Cold and windy. Snowed a bit. Wandered about in morning. Aft. C. and R. went to see airport at Schiphol. F. and I to see Nierweue Kirk (frightfully dull and ugly) then had tea in a deserted tea room—1 cup cost 5s each! The two girls quite enjoyed their trip.

19th.

V. showery. C., R. and I spent the morning shopping in a wonderful store. F. went to Ryks Museum. Left in aft. and got on steamer at Rotterdam which left there 7.30 p.m. Rough at first but we slept well.

20th. Wed.

Had some tea and coffee on board and biscuits (our own) and caught early train to London, got bovril and choc. at Paddington and arrived home in time for dinner. Florence had a v. good dinner for us. I have enjoyed it all, but am a bit disappointed with Holland, and v. glad to get back. I think the others have all enjoyed it, and the Polytechnic made excellent arrangements. Taxis to and from stations and no tipping required and so on.

Poor Carina dashed upstairs with a letter from Joe and was most miserable afterwards and for the next few days. I am sorry for her. It quite knocked her up, and she looked so white and poorly and finally had to go back to school 2 days late.

22nd.

Book Club—essays by different people. Several failed to come. Rather dull, tho’ essays good. I got 1 qt. ice cream from Walls which was good. ‘Smith’ helped Florence!

23rd.

Robert came with Beatrice. In evening Ruth to Univ. dance. Rob. drove F., Beatrice and me in car to Slough and we saw over wonderful Social Centre—got back 9.30 or 10.

24th. Sund.

All to meeting except C. Meant to go to cottage in aft. but car wouldn’t start. R. took B. to Rawlingses and they were delighted with her. Mrs. R.’s 80th birthday.

25th.

Ruth went back to ‘Triangle’ for a week. R. and B. departed. She is very nice, helpful and interesting, and interested in things. Showed her photos. During the week R. had an interview at an American bank.

26th.

Aft. I went by bus 2.0 o’clock to meet Goddard at cottage, but forgot keys, so could only talk of outside alterations. I adore the garden and get so excited I can hardly sleep! It takes about an hour by bus, ½ to ¾ by car, but the car is being repaired again—oil got into engine and piston rings have to go to the makers. Most annoying.

27th.

Marg. and children arrived in aft. I met them. She and Ruth went to Reading Rep. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in evening. Both children sleeping with M.

28th.

Caro went back to school after tea. She did not feel well and wept in station and asked me not to wait to see her off. M. and I to cinema to see "100 men and a girl". V. good, delightful young singer. Improbable story but v. amusing.

29th.

Weather cold with winds, but hot in sun. Reg. came for day and he, M, children and I went by 12.10 bus to Tadley. Directly we got to cottage, sat in garden and had lunch. Children most happy. Goddard came, also a gardener and we had great discussions. M. and Reg liked the place very much. Home in time for tea. I had to go to a Spain meeting in evening.

30th.

Chrissie Mennell arrived in evening.

 

May 1938

2nd.

M. and Ruth to see "Heidi" cinema. Chrissie and I had great talk, recalling old times. She hasn’t stayed with us for many years and is such a nice easy visitor and such fun. She and I went to Rosamund’s to tea. She is good with children.

3rd.

Weather broke yesterday and after the long drought there was much needed rain. Chrissie went after tea.

4th.

Ruth is working in Robert’s office this week. I saw M. and the children off at 3.0 o’clock. They are perfectly sweet, but rather tiring. Rosemary can now say a few words. She climbs everywhere and hauls poor ‘Jerry’ about mercilessly. Liberal Social at Boston Hall. Gt. Success. Miss Muspratt spoke.

6th.

F. and I to Digswell Park, Welwyn, for a Friends Peace Conference. About 18 of us there. Travelled with Karlin and had tea at his house. Mrs. Capper Johnson v. nice. Dinner at Digswell and meeting afterwards till 11 p.m, I think.

7th. Sat.

H.G. Alexander spoke v. well on "What contributions have we to make to Peace in the Modern World". Discussion. After lunch Mr. Strachan took me and the 2 Czecho-Slovakians to Hitchin where we saw the beautiful church. At 5.0 discussion and at 5.30 "Problem of Imperialism."

Sunday 8th.

Most to Meeting. I was tired and went lovely walk to bluebell wood. Sunny but v. cold wind. Folk dancers on lawn charming. After tea Frank summed up the discussions in a masterly manner.

9th.

We had breakfast at 8.0 and left directly after and got home to lunch. The food has been v. good, nice vegetarian things and it is a lovely place, but a bit cold. I hope it has been a profitable time.

About May 9th heard from Robert of his engagement to Beatrice Pascall. Very pleased.

16th.

I think it was to-day that I decided to let Dray give me an estimate for cottage as Goddard’s was so big and he and I and Mrs. Dray went out in their car to see it. They were delighted with it and Mrs. D. was a great help. Came back thro’ Basingstoke. Had already wired and written to Goddard to tell him not to begin alterations.

17th.

Dray brought estimate £36 (Goddard was £46 and Dray included a lot more). Accepted it and wrote to G. which was posted after F. saw it next morning. V. miserable in case G. is offended!

18th.

R. went back to work tho’ hardly fit. She is at the British Council temporarily but doesn’t like it. F. and I at Y.M. all day—Friends’ Service Council etc. Agnes Hill took me to lunch at Regent Palace (or Strand Palace?) and paid for me. V. nice to see her.

20th. Friday.

I went by 1.30 to Woodford Green. Caro met me and I deposited my bag at the Sir W. Lawson hotel (7/6 bed and breakfast) and we went to Mrs. King’s to tea. She was v. nice and kind and it is a nice house. The school concert began at 6.0 in a v. nice hall at the W. Lawson. I sat next Miss Huntley and her mother. It all went extremely well and lasted 2 hours. The children were perfectly sweet in their little yellow dresses and so natural and amusing and spoke up clearly and well and sang so well. C. was at the piano all the time and I was v. proud of her, for her small children did excellently a little nursery rhyme etc. with action—also took the story of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and sang songs from it. ‘Pied Piper of Hamelin’ was also v. good, done by older children. Afterwards C. and I had coffee and biscuits in the hotel and she told me about Joe. I am sorry for her, but am relieved the affair is closed, tho’ it has been tragic. She is brave about it. I said goodbye as I was going away early next day.

21st.

Y.M. Peace. Aft. I went to M’s. Children enchanting, and exquisite to look at. (M. was at Y.M.) Rosemary sent for sponge, climbed into basin and sat there!! She is not yet 2! Evening Reg, M. and I to Y.M. F. there of course.

22nd. Mon.

After. Dray took me to cottage which is getting on splendidly. I saw Goddard who is perfectly affable, but he is an old rogue. Evening lecture by Dr. Christian Lange (Norwegian) on "Peace and Imperialism". Marg. there and Ruth came too, tho’ not feeling well. She and I caught the 9.25—F. later. He was in chair. Tension between Czecho-slovakia and Germany dreadful. Gt. fear of war. It is terrible.

24th.

Rowland’s birthday. W.L.A. Report of Bath meetings. F. to L.P.

25th.

C.’s birthday. She went to M’s to tea.

Ernest gave us 2 tickets for Chelsea Flower Show, so I went to London early and bought a dress (2 piece), hat and handbag at Barker’s, and met Marg. after 2.0 at the Show. The pouring rain spoiled it a lot, especially the outside rock gardens, but flowers glorious. We separated about 4.30 and went to our respective homes.

26th.

Got the car back from Julian’s at last and had a drive up Shinfield Rd. and cam back by Whitley Wood Lane and Basingstoke Rd with a man who thought I got on quite well! And I got it into the garage. So far I have only driven it about once any distance, I think, i.e. once to the cottage.

28th.

Marlies Schneevoight (Ruth’s friend of Montpellier days) came in afternoon. I met her there too (at Montpellier). She is a very nice girl and clever, about 3 years older than Ruth. R. has just finished her temporary job at British Council.

31st.

I took R. and Marlies to the cottage in morning. Made fire in kitchen and had a jolly meal. I got on quite well with car.

 

June 1938

1st.

Heard from Robert that he is to be married very soon, and wanted to see me and discuss things, so went to London by 1.30 and straight to his office. Opened his 1st wedding present from Gibbs, a pretty coffee set!

Pouring, but went pretty walk in St. James’ Park while R. interviewed a client. Then at 6.0 he and I went to his flat (he was v. tired) and we bought provisions and had a lovely supper together. I boiled eggs, made soup from packet for R. and we had strawberries and cream, the first this year, to celebrate our last meal together alone before his marriage. I had not seen the flat since it was furnished and it is really charming. We had a record or two and I caught the 9.25 home. Ruth and Marlies at D’Oyley Carte. They had a business walking home at 1.0 a.m. for there was a fearful gale—tree blown down in the Avenue—more like winter than summer.

The road in the Avenue has just been made up.

3rd.

Marg. and children arrived in morning. Both so friendly and looking exquisite. Reg. in aft. and C. in evening, so we are a large party.

4th. Sat.

Marlies went away. Ruth went to a farm at Hemel Hempstead to stay with Rob, Beatrice, Dick Melville, Peach and Rachel—9. (R. has just finished working with the British Council.) All of us, F. included, went to the cottage. F. and Reg. by 12.10 bus. When we got near Burghfield the car "seized up"—sent a man who was working in his garden for a man from nearest garage. He told us not to drive so fast (30 was our most!), got car to go and went on again, but stuck again. Had to telephone to Julian’s and he came out with a mechanic and followed us most of the way to the cottage! In aft. sent a man out with a new battery. Result we arrived at cottage after F. and Reg. about 1.30—children so good, for so long to wait for dinner. However we had a happy afternoon, except for interview with "Charlie West’ about plot of ground on other side of road. Home after tea. I drove part way. Ruthie has given me lovely chair for cottage, and C. and Marg. bowls, colander etc. They are so sweet.

5th.

The children, Reg. and M. and I drove in aft. to Loddon (near Arborfield) and threw sticks in water. Morning Rowland (only just 4) went to children’s meeting (1st time here) and Rosemary and I went for him at 11.30. He did not go into the big meeting.

6th. Whit Monday.

All but Frank drove to cottage for day. Had dinner and tea there. Reg. v. kind in helping to deal with ‘Charlie West’ who threatened to pull stakes up. Ruth back in evening after good time.

7th.

Dales went away in aft. We do miss them. The children have been sweet. Caro went in evening. She arrived home with bad nettle rash and has not been feeling v. well and is tired.

9th.

Evelyn came in evening. It is lovely to have her. F. at Woodbrooke.

10th.

Ruth has not got a post this week, so she, Evie, and I drove to cottage in morning and had picnic lunch there. Home to tea. Evie v. pleased with cottage. I drove alright, only car not too good in starting. Evie went after tea. She looks better now and is a wonderful person. She thinks Ruthie is looking so lovely; so she is.

11th. Sat.

Robert and Beatrice came in aft. 1st time since they were engaged. Rob. drove us to cottage in evening to see it, but bitterly cold.

12th. Sun.

So cold that we had a fire. I had hired a car (ours is being broken in) and R. and B., Ruth and Birdie went to Mr. Pritt’s treasure hunt. They got back about 7.30 I think, with Bennington and 3 friends of his to supper—9 of us!

13th.

R. and B had to catch 8.20—Ruthie going up later for interview. Beatrice we like more and more and the 2 seem so happy. She has exams to-day and to-morrow. R. and I to Mrs. Timms to tea.

16th.

Aft. made bride’s cake for R. and B. over 6 lbs (recipe Evie used for Erica). It was in oven from 4–8!

18th.

Ruthie to interview. F. and I by 1.30 to Woodford Green. Met R. and Beatrice there and went to ‘Overdale’ (Mathieson’s house) to garden party. "Shepherd’s Delight" an arrangement by Dorothy d’Orsay of songs and dances by Purcell was very charming. Caro was a shepherdess and looked lovely with curls hanging down and flowers in her hair and a lovely blue flowered satin dress with big panniers, etc. Most of the men’s dresses were made out of old curtains, etc. and were beautiful. Had tea and ices, and F. and I left about 8.30 having been to see Kings. C. sweet.

19th.

Mr. and Mrs Pascall, Rob and B. to tea. Pascalls very nice.

20th.

Hon. Degree giving, Sir Hugh Allen, Neville Chamberlain etc. Latter disagreeable face.

21st.

Book Club at Ethel Stevens. Thackeray.

22nd.

Liberal garden party at Darwall’s.

24th June 1938

Friday. Robert’s wedding day, and happily fine. F. and I went to London after early lunch to look at rooms for Ruthie. Arrived R’s office 3.30 and found Ruthie there. Robert looked very handsome in lovely dark blue suit with stripe and huge white carnation. Soon others arrived, Carol, Dia (Marg. and Reg. had gone straight to Caxton Hall), Roger Peach, Leonard, one or 2 friends of Beatrice’s. Robert was signing letters till last minute. Cups of tea and biscuits brought in for us. Just before 4.0 we all walked along to the very nice Caxton Hall. Beatrice, her parents and sister arrived almost at once. The Rathbones and 2 small children also there and Diana presented B. with red roses. (She is 5, I think.) Rob had to go into another room for a few mins. Then we all trooped into a nice room and the ceremony was soon over, and the elderly clerk wished the couple much happiness. They were photographed on the steps of Caxton Hall, and then were driven by Leonard to the station en route for Ditchling where they stayed in a farmhouse over the week-end. Beatrice this week has started a ½ time job at a special clinic, so had little time for preparations. Ruth went back to work, and then out with Roger Peach, M. and Reg. home, and the Pascalls drove F., Caro and me to their pretty home near Richmond Park and we had an excellent tea in the garden—the daughter and a friend there too, and Mrs. P’s sister? It was a lovely drive by the embankment. We left about 6.30, Mr. P. driving us to Hammersmith and then went to see "Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfs". V. clever, parts pretty, but too long, and dwarfs too grotesque. Then parted from C. and home about 10.30. R. just arrived.

25th.

Kirby came for night.

26th.

I drove, F., Norman, Ruth and self to cottage for tea, after which car went wrong again.

27th.

F. to Jordans, I to open air Peace Meeting. ‘Archie’ v. good. F. back next day.

Delightful card from R. and B.

 

July 1938

1st.

Meeting for S. Shopped in aft. and to M’s to tea. Children splendid, garden lovely and dainty tea. Rowland knows names of all the flowers. Rosemary is terrifying, for she goes everywhere and has no idea of danger.

2nd.

Bedford for week-end. Spoke well on Sun.

3rd. Sun.

In evening saw Ruthie off to London to stay at 25 Ampthill Square, NW1 and felt very melancholy.

4th.

Got Mr. Stroud for car lesson. He says I’m 100% better than last year.

5th.

E. B. Castle on Jews and Arabs in Palestine. Most interesting.

6th.

Spent 1st night at cottage. F. and I motored in evening and had fire.

7th.

Gardened etc. but poured. Started home after tea in terrific storm. I was drenched to skin and terrified of driving. Yesterday I backed car into the garage.

8th.

Caro came home for week-end. Lovely to have her. Her arm is rather bad, owing to a fall in tennis.

9th. Sat.

C. very helpful as I was busy preparing for a reception for Robert and Beatrice. I finished icing the cake a few days ago, 2 tiers—Christina lent me stand and pillars and I put a silver vase on top containing one of our own lilies and some sort of asparagus fern. It really looked nice. Ruthie arrived about 1.30. She seems to like her room very much and finds it less tiring living there than travelling up daily. I had just gone upstairs to change when Robert and Beatrice arrived, so I had to rush down in a dressing gown. It was exciting to see them. 26 people, I think, had accepted 4–6.30. Some arrived about 4.0 and it was lovely to have Evie and Ernest. Evie was a great help. Nelly Barnes helped in kitchen. We had tomato sandwiches, cucumber and banana and nut scones (nut didn’t taste), little cakes etc, 1 pint economy cream for the tea. The cake looked nice and dark when B. cut it. Then strawberry ices (2 thermos’s) from University. Everyone was charmed with Beatrice, who looked so nice in her wedding dress wearing a spray of lilac sweet peas and Robert most handsome in his wedding suit, a lovely tie and dark red carnation. I think it was quite a success.

After supper Ella, Aubrey and Gladys came in. Beatrice very tired naturally. Unfortunately tho’ fine not nice hot day, so garden useless.

10th.

B. and Caro in bed to breakfast, but all except C. went to Meeting! Caro had to go back after tea.

11th.

Breakfast 7.30. R. and B. and Ruth by 8.20, Rob drove us to station in car and I drove it back alone.

12th.

W.L.A. party at Mrs. May’s. Croquet. I drove myself there in car.

13th

I think I drove alone to cottage.

16th.

Ruthie came home last night. Sometimes she gets the whole of Sat. off. F. and I with 9 or 10 others by char-a-banc starting ¼ to 2 to High Barnet to Liberal fete at Mr. Hackforth Jones! Quite nice. I won prize (choc) for "Killing the rat". Sir Archibald Sinclair made excellent speech, and Hackforth-Jones nice old chairman. Didn’t get home till after 10.0 I think.

17th.

Headache, so didn’t go to meeting.

20th.

Helped for N.B.W.T.A.U. fete at Palmer Park. Aft. Hon Hilda Dillon opened it. I waited at tea.

21st.

F. and I ‘visited’ Mrs. Castle (only she came here!) on her application for membership.

22nd.

Marg. and Edith White for day. So nice. Took them round H. and Palmer’s. Ruthie arrived unexpectedly, just as F. was going off to Sibford. Nice surprize.

23rd.

R. and I in aft. to Bulmarsh Court, L.N.U. garden party. Basque children sang.

24th.

F. back from Sibford.

25th.

Took R. to station, then car went wrong again.

28th.

Caro came home.

29th.

C. went in car after tea to music camp, near Hampstead Norris. Joan Talbot’s wedding. V. pretty and F. and I to reception at Mansfield House. Quite swell!

30th.

Ruthie came home last night. F., she and I went for an hour on the river. It was lovely, and gardens exquisite. First time this year I think for me!

31st. Sunday.

Frank, Ruthie and I by excursion train (about 5/6 return) to Canterbury. Started about 9.30 and got back about 10.30 p.m. It has suddenly turned extremely hot. We had a glorious day—got there before 9.0 and had a good lunch in a café which was open—then to Cathedral seeing interesting old houses en route—heard part of service. All beautiful, and such a beautiful situation. Then to end up on river in ferry for 20 mins, part of time right under houses, and delicious tea in Black Friars Refectory. I tried to make a sketch.

 

August 1938

1st.

Bank Holiday. Ruthie and I had a bathe in evening at Freebody’s. Florence went off after washing done about 11.0 a.m. My first bathe this year.

2nd.

Ruthie had to go back to work. It has been lovely having her for a long week-end. Theodora and C.E. Evans to tea. To L. Park to hear Demodvia.

3rd.

F. and I to lunch with Robert (our wedding day)—he seemed very subdued, but it was nice to see him alone. Then on to stay with Marg. (Reg. away). Children lovely. Took them to bathing pool and they went in fountain and M. and I bathed. Terribly hot day and about 2000 at pool!

4th.

Aft. took children to a park and went on lake. Evening met Ruthie and went to open-air performance at Regent’s Park of ‘Twelfth Night’. Could not see well—rain began just before end. Gladys Cooper acting.

5th.

Left M. after dinner having had a happy time and I went to see Elsa. Poor girl, she can’t get a post. Jancis canny, but Eliz. in hospital having had adenoids and tonsils done. I got home 8.30.

6th.

F. and I to cottage in aft. Ruthie came home and Marlies came to stay.

7th. Sun.

Pouring.

8th.

Ruthie went—also Marlies. She is interesting. Caro came home having had a glorious time at camp and wonderful weather. Florence went to Woodcote with Smith for a fortnight’s holiday. C. F. and I to L.P. to see E.B. Castle’s film of Syria and Palestine.

9th.

F., C. and I motored to the cottage and slept the night there. Gardened a lot, C. too and C. dug up our first potatoes which were very good! The Reynolds’s and Mrs Timms came after tea. Mr. R. helpful about bushes etc. Gave them coffee. Mary R. weeded.

10th.

Ursula came to dinner and tea, and we motored home afterwards just as it began to rain a bit. C. adores the cottage, and we have had such a happy time there.

11th. Thurs.

We started in the car at 9.30 for Guildford, got there after 11.0 G. and E. gave us warm welcome. We went to Peaslake by bus and then a glorious walk along paths among heather and trees to the top of a hill where we had a marvellous view, also excellent lunch. (Saw Hon. Emily Lawless’s grave in a churchyard.) V. hot. Back to delicious cold high tea (supper at ¼ to 5.0) and then home again. A perfect day, except that C. had headache. Nearly a year since I had been to Guildford.

13th.

C. went off to Germany—a week with International Youth Tours at Oberwesel, and a week at Frankfurt with Liselotte. She and F. went to London tog. By 11.20, F. to join Ruthie at Lords to see cricket match. She is not coming home this week but going to see John. I had very busy day, dinner to do—Dick Woodson called with his wife and baby. 15 years since I had seen him. Then all the Dales arrived in time for dinner. Lovely to see them. Afterwards M. shopped and I washed up. They started in car about 4.0 for the cottage, laden with push chair, blankets, food I had got for them etc. Worn out, I sat on verandah having a cup of tea, and M., Rowland and Rosemary suddenly appeared again. They had a puncture beyond bottom of Northumberland Av. So I told M. to give children tea, and rushed off on bicycle to find Reg. and a garage. Eventually got wheel taken off and other on and Reg. came back to tea, and they started again about 5.30. I was tired and discouraged at bad beginning. F. enjoyed the match.

14th. Sun.

I was too tired to go to meeting.

15th.

Much cheered by happy letter from Margaret. All seems going well. Poor Robert terribly depressed as Beatrice goes into hospital tonight.

16th.

Rob. rang us up at Ella’s today. B. got thro’ operation alright, but they will never be able to have any children. Great disappointment.

17th.

F. and I started at 1.30 and bicycled to "Three Firs". V. out of practise and tiring as wind mostly against us, but got there 2.30. Reg. and Rowland met us there with car and we drove to the cottage where M. and Rosemary welcome us. We had a lovely time and M. gave us a beautiful tea. They are so happy. We left at 7.0 and I drove to "Three Firs", then Reg. went back and F. and I got home about 8.0. Letter from Ruth saying night before B. was in danger, so I rang up hospital from Ella’s and was reassured. Poor Robert. R. says he is nearly off his head with anxiety.

20th.

Ruthie came home and the Dales came for the day. Children so sweet. We had our Sunday dinner today and ices too!

21st. Sun.

Nice, peaceful day. I believe at last had some Badminton.

22nd.

Ruth back to London by 8.20. Florence came back, and it is a relief to have her. She and Smith were run into by a car when cycling but fortunately not seriously injured. F. and I to tea at the Wallis’ splendid new house in Northcourt Av. (not a new house). Garden beautiful. Reg, Evelyn Davison and Rowland came here.

23rd.

I to London to see Beatrice at Grosvenor Hospital for Women, Vincent Sq. Robert there for minute or two. She looked sweet with her pretty hair and blue nightgown and pinkish jacket. I stayed an hour. She is getting on well and has nice room. She is reading Father’s life. Then I went to R.’s office for few minutes, then met Ruth at Shellmex and saw the office and Miss Hines and Miss Hardy. We got stools for just 3/- at Duchess and went for a meal at Fuller’s. "Glorious Morning" is a very good play, against totalitarian states but very harrowing. It was lovely being with Ruthie. I got home about 1.0 a.m. Cycled from station.

24th.

Wed. F. and I left Caversham Lock by steamer at ¼ to 12.0 and went all the way to Maidenhead which we reached about 5.40. Turned into lovely day and country exquisite, but boat got rather crowded. Took sandwiches and had cup of coffee and 2 biscuits on board at 4.0. At Henley an hour to wait and made a sketch, or tried to. Home about 8.0. V. nice, but rather long.

26th.

F. and I had some Badminton. I collected Liberal subs. Ruth came home. She had headache and seemed rather overdone.

27th.

Sat. R. in bed most of morning. Marg, Reg, Rowland and Rosemary arrived about 6.0 in a car laden with all sorts of things including potatoes (our own), and veg. which the Pikes had given them. Gt. excitement. Children so sweet. Reg. and M. have given us some delicious honey.

28th.

I drove Father, M., Ruth, Rowland and myself to Meeting, as v. wet. Rowland went into children’s meeting and then Marg. took him home. Barbara Robson to tea. Reg. met C. about 8.0 in car (pouring). She has had a grand fortnight in Germany—one of the best holidays she has ever had! She has lovely photos, etc. Gave F. cigars! And me a pretty plate of 2 people dancing.

29th.

Ruth went back to work. Wet in morning. Huge wash!

30th.

All but F. started in car at 10.30 for Farnham Green—got there at 11.30. Gt. fun going on miniature railway—20 mins run. We got out at a station, walked thro’ wood to field and had our lunch, then threw sticks in the Blackwater and rested. Home to tea. Children loved the railway!

 

September 1938

1st.Mary Pollard at the cottage, 1938

Reg. and M. had day by themselves, cycled to Henley, went on river etc. C and I took children in car to cottage and had dinner there. Then I put Rosemary to sleep. We all had tea in garden and Rowland helped me to dig potatoes giving sage advice! Went home after tea and got children to bed before M. arrived.

3rd.

Reg., M. and children went home. They have been enchanting and it has been a happy week. Miss Keet, a nice friend of C’s (designer of tomb stones) came for night. We had expected her to high tea, but she was late in arriving, so had hurried meal and then drove C., Ruth and me at 6.30 in her car to the Music Camp near Hampstead Norris. Excellent concert in barn and very interesting experience, but we didn’t leave till nearly 12.0. Came back by Newbury. V. tired.

4th. Sun.

F. high temp. C. gave me tablets for him and it went down, but he wasn’t really well for some days. I had him in bed to breakfast and gave Miss Keet hers too. She went away in evening.

6th.

W.L.A. Committee, then to London to see Beatrice who looked very ill, much more so than when I saw her last—only stayed about 10 mins. Rob. sweet. Then to supper with Ruthie. Great thunderstorm, but worst over while I was in bus. Ruthie also sweet and gave me lovely supper—tom. canapes.

7th.

Jeanie came in aft. I met her with car. She is so sweet.

8th.

C. J. and I in car to station at 2.0. Met M’s friend Mrs. Sherwood and took her to cottage. All had tea there. Mrs. S. delighted with it. C. and I got the laundry. Started back soon after 6.0. Mrs. S. back to London.

9th.

Denys and Marie to lunch. V. nice. F. and I to reception at Herfords for Harold and his wife.

10th.

Jeanie went away. C. to cottage for day, having taken the Bishops there yesterday.

12th.

F.’s birthday. I took Ruthie to station by car. F. to London in aft. C. to stay at cottage with Mrs. Bishop. Mr. B. had to go back to London.

13th.

Mr. Jackson’s funeral—cremated.

14th.

F. to speak at Wandsworth. Beatrice at last, after 5 weeks, I think, in hospital, removed home, but still ill.

15th.

Dentist. C. brought Bishops back from cottage—Mrs. B. and baby fell out of car on to grass. Happily not much hurt. They went to London, having loved the cottage. Miss Clegg, Australian lady who C. met in Germany, to spend day. We took her and Ella in aft. to tea at cottage. Lovely day. She is v. nice. I drove back!

16th.

Ruthie home in evening. Aft. C. and I to see "A Yank at Oxford". Amusing.

17th.

Aft. C. and F. to Maidenhead by car to M.M. Ruthie started for Montpellier after tea (fortnight’s holiday without pay. We gave her £12.) I could not see her off, as Ella and I started at 2.20 for Archaeological Excursion to Old Basing, Basing Church and Pamber Priory Church. Fascinating. Mr. Long explained all very well. Tea at Wellington Arms Hotel. F. and C. got back from Maidenhead in ½ hr. (about 7.30).

18th.

Ursula for day. Beautiful meeting praying for peace. These are terribly anxious days. Chamberlain flew over to see Hitler a day or two ago, but if there is peace will it be peace with ‘Honour’ or will Czecho-Slovakia, like Abyssinia, be betrayed?

19th.

Saw Caro off to school at 3.0 and drove F. back in car. C. has had a happy holiday and been sweet and helpful. She does love the cottage. After tea I drove F. to Bear Wood and we got 3½ lbs. blackberries, behind road in field. Beautiful evening and I did enjoy it.

20th.

Mrs. Castle at W.L.A. on P.P.U. Good. F. to F.O.R. meeting at 7.30. Presided.

21st.

Florence and I (F. in London) to see "Hurricane", a terrific film, but too long. Also delightful tour of Scotland.

23rd.

Book Club at School House. Roger Moore’s "Holidays".

24th.

F. and I went to Apsley House, Lyme Regis, arriving there about 1.30, having had lunch. It poured, but we walked to the little town, and had another short walk, but are both v. tired and in need of a holiday. Have a nice bedroom with view of sea.

25th.

Sunday. Fine. Went walk on shore and I sketched. Towards Landslip in evening. Rather uninteresting people staying here. Mrs. Rowe away, but daughter Mrs. Baker v. kind. 2 big sailing ships in harbour.

26th.

Glorious day, as took lunch and walked to top of ‘Golden Cap’. Hot. Walk along shore tiring, but first just thro’ fields etc. lovely. Got bus back from Morcamlake in aft. Most delightful day.

27th.

Went by bus part way to Landslip. V. fine there, but far too much rush to get back to lunch and arrived a good deal late, hot and tired. Beautiful walk through woods.

CRISIS

The great crisis has begun. Chamberlain has been over to Godesberg to see Hitler and there is now going to be a talk between Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and Daladier in Munich. It is all terrible. Robert wants us to get home.

25th.

Went blackberrying, etc. Aft. took motor boat to Beer where we had tea, and listened to the news on the wireless. When we got back to Apsley House found a family with their children who had motored from London, as they said it was so dreadful there, trenches being dug everywhere and so on. Sent telegram to tell Ruth to return from France. Down at L. Regis everything so peaceful that it is difficult to believe war is imminent.

We have delightful bathes every day before breakfast; F. enjoys them too. Fortunately it is high tide then. Water not cold. Everyone is feeling very worked up.

29th.

Walked to town and saw over a house. Had lunch at 12.30, then taxied to station and got home to late tea. Florence at door to welcome us.

30th.

Ruthie arrived home just as we had finished breakfast, only a day earlier than she had meant to come. She has had a delightful time at Montpellier. The crisis is really past. Last night we heard that poor CzechoSlovakia has been sacrificed for the peace of the world and everyone is wild with joy and full of praise of Chamberlain—later one grew more critical, for it is not peace with "honour" and as he says we must re-arm quickly, is it peace at all?

Robert and Beatrice arrived in aft. in taxi all the way from London. She is much better and at last they are going for a holiday.

 

October 1938

1st.

R. and B. departed for Woolacombe where they stayed several weeks and she grew well, and he got rested from the severe strain he has been through.

2nd.

Took Ruth and Mrs. Timms by car to cottage in aft. to see Mrs. Sherwood. Last drive.

3rd.

Ruth had to go back to work in London, alas! Started Play Hour.

4th.

At last finished my great scrap rug for the cottage!

7th.

F. went to Digswell Park. Heard of Lillie’s death. Caro came for week-end, as they had had to take the children to Bath during the crisis and had had a most tiring time (though interesting). I was out when she arrived having been to M. for S. and then to see Marg. The children were enchanting.

8th.

Ruth came home. Aft. I went to Archaeological. Stuart Piggott gave lecture.

10th.

Caro had to go back after tea. I nearly sold car. F. went to Exeter to speak.

11th.

I went to cottage by bus to see thatcher. Evening sold car for £4.10.0 to 2 young men. Then ensued horrible week, for Mr. Carr who was garaging it for me, told me to refuse it, and tho’ I gave money back (he did really) there was an awful fuss. Most unpleasant. They had to have it in the end. Sold insurance too.

Slept alone 10th and 11th.

12th.

F. came home, thank goodness. M.M. and Reading Music Club Social. Advertised for maid and had lots of interviews, to my surprize.

14th.

L.N.U. and P.P.U. meeting in Council Chamber. F. in chair. Knox Taylor and Mrs. Harrod.

17th.

Saw over old house at top of Shinfield Rd. Q.M. Maud-Bower on "Friendship with Allotment Holders".

18th.

Q.M. H.T. Silcock most interesting on his visit to China. Terrible to think of 60,000 homeless people. F. stayed to dinner. I came back as new maid Alice Walker was coming for part of day to work with Florence. W.L.A. Colin paid call in evening.

19th.

Ella and I went over house in Shinfield Rd. Aft. I went to see Florence’s house in Mount St. Very nice. Book Club at H.R. Smith’s. Roger Moore on visit to Italy.

20th.

To London to see Bertha and Evie. B. gave us lunch German Restaurant. Lovely to see them. In evening with F. to "The Farmer’s Wife" in Reading. Good and amusing.

21st.

Lovely day and I went to cottage. Thatcher there and gardener came. I had dinner in garden in really hot sunshine.

Evening F. and I to hear Mrs. Ormerod on "Refugees".

22nd.

F. to Bournemouth for week-end. I met Ruthie at 1.12 and we went the beautiful Pangbourne Walk. Sunny and lovely. Easily caught the 4.16 back, but we started earlier than usual.

24th.

Mon. F. came home. Ruthie back to London. Florence’s last week, alas!

26th.

I took Florence to cottage. Lovely day. Gardened and had dinner in garden. Concert—folk songs. Peter Updike? sang well and clearly. Dressed up so rather wonderful.

27th.

Rather cold. F. to Leeds for day. I to London, met Ruthie and got stools at Wyndham’s for Ester McCracken’s play "Quiet Wedding". Gallery 1/6 and got into 2nd row (had supper first). V. good and clever and mostly sensible! Got back at ¼ to 1 a.m. and had cumficab home!! Felt luxurious, for usually we cycle!

28th.

Met Edna at 11.36 and brought her to lunch. Aft. she and I to see a school at Wokefield Park in bus and taxi (Mr. Thomas at Burghfield, cheap). Wonderful place, huge grounds. Edna had to see a boy there. Mr. Thomas has been a manservant. It was so lovely seeing Edna.


Florence’s last day but one. Ruth came home I think.

29th.

Florence worked hard and left everything nice. Said goodbye to her in evening and shall miss her much, for she is nice and kind and amusing, though sometimes exasperating.

30th.

F. and Ruth to concert. No maid to-day. Bubbs to tea.

31st.

My new maid Alice Walker (Scotch) aged 21 came at £36 a year plus insurance. She has had an operation and is not v. strong but made a good beginning.

 

November 1938

2nd.

I went to cottage and enjoyed it.

3rd.

F. and I in evening to Robert and Beatrice’s to dinner. First visit since their marriage. I got there at ¼ to 7 but F. at committee at F. House and not there till nearly 8.30. Beautiful dinner (vegetarian) and delightful time in the charming flat. One or 2 gramophone records. Saw presents. Home by 11.p.m. train. And got cumficab from the office at 12.0.

4th.

Meeting for Sufferings. F. didn’t go. To L.P. in evening to see staff do "Milestones". V. good. Ruth came home.

5th. Sat.

The Dales arrived about 11.0. Lovely to have them. Florence came in aft. to dress here for her wedding at 3.30. V. calm! Looked nice in wine coloured coat and skirt and hat and carried chrysanthemums. Taxi for me at 3.0 and I and Sendall (old maid of Miss Connell’s and Rose and Mrs. Stacy drove to London St. chapel (I wore new fur coat.) V. nice service. Mr. Smith gave Florence away. Then drove with the Smiths and their married sister to their home in Amity Rd. Had dreaded reception, but enjoyed it thoroughly. 22 there—one woman who remembered me when I took Adult School—Miss Brown also who takes Bible class that Florence and Smith attended. The youngest people had tea in another room. V. nice tea, sandwiches, cakes, and jellies and v. pretty wedding cake (H. and Palmers). I was sent home in taxi at 5.30! and Smith thanked me so nicely for the interest I had taken in them!

6th. Sun.

M. and I took Rosemary a walk and she and Reg. met us (and Rowland) at the little house beyond the bus terminus and went over it. Donald Groom to tea. He is going to Spain to work for Quakers.

7th.

Marg., Reg and children and I by 9.20 bus to cottage. Rained a bit, but turned into lovely day. Gardened. Dinner of eggs, potatoes, toast, logans and cream and tea. Walked thro’ woods to Kildwater and home in time for Play Hour.

8th.

Reg. went v. early. M. and I (after I had done washing) took children to swings. I saw them off at 3.0. The children are enchanting, but I felt tired with new maid, late nights last week etc.

9th.

Eyes tested, new spec’s and frames £4.10.0.

11th.

Caro home for week-end.

14th.

Cap. Macdonald spoke at Mrs. Kirk’s cafe on "Popular Front".

16th.

F. and I to cottage.

18th.

Spent night as Agnes Hill’s guest at Kingsley Hotel after hearing Horace Alexander’s lecture at Friends House on the Development of Friends’ Peace Testimony. V. good.

19th.

Special Y.M. began to consider our Peace Testimony. F. House so packed that chairs had to be brought in. Rob., Beatrice, F., Reg. and I all had dinner together. Marg. came later. I went home in evening (F. stayed at Ruth’s flat) as Norman Kirby came for night. He and R. out at dance at Univ., but I saw R. about ¼ to 12.0 when they returned.

20th. Sun.

Terribly wet, and I had to walk to station, as no bus. Friends House packed again, and as I was late I had to sit on stairs in gallery for a bit. Dinner with F. at table with Sylvia Clark (Head of Saffron Walden) and a Mount mistress. Came out of meeting just before 4.0 and met Marg. who had brought Rosemary in, in her mac. and hood looking sweet. I was taking her home as Rowland has been poorly and M. is very tired. M. and Reg. came to Pad. with me and M. saw us off. At Reading I took taxi as it was pouring. Rosemary v. good and I soon got her to bed in camp bed alone in spare room. Norman K. went away about 7.0. Y.M. finished in evening. It has been disappointing in some ways, but has strengthened our peace testimony. Many young people there.

All the week I was busy with Rosemary. One day there was a fearful gale. On the 24th a little boy aged 2½—Richard Duncan—came to tea with his nurse, but Rosemary was getting a tooth and was not very happy. She had a very bad night, ending with sleeping with us.

26th. Sat.

Rosemary slept splendidly last night. Ruth came home in morning, and to-day saw Rosemary and me off to Pad. by 11.15. Rosemary was v. good. Reg. met us, but we were late. Fortunately I had given R. some biscuits. I gave her to Reg. to take home. M. said she arrived very subdued and when M. said "I think she is missing Granny", the tears streamed down her face, poor wee mite. I met Evie and we had a good dinner at Shearn’s, then went to Crosby Hall 3.30–6.0 for the Old Girls of Gateshead H.S. re-union. Extremely nice. Everyone so friendly. Miss Mason there and Alice Morrison (said I looked so like mother), also Win. Daleyears, Alice Allen, Nelly Eynes, Mar. Temperley etc.

27th. Sun.

Wonderful concert. Jacques (new man at Univ) London string orchestra. Mozart’s exquisite "Eine Kleine Nacht Musique", Vivaldi, Brahms and Bach I think. 2 nice Austrian Jew boys from L.P. to tea. Played letter game and peggity.

30th.

I went to cottage by 9.20 bus, met Janet at 1.0 at Tadley and took her to cottage for dinner. V. jolly. I unpacked the grandfather clock. Back by 3.0 bus. Overseers in evening. F. in London most of week.

 

(December)

2nd. Friday.

Robert arrived about 7.0. He and I had supper (F. had committee) and then joined F. in Folk House, where Rob. gave most interesting talk to F.o.R. on the work of Council of Civil Liberties, and how we are gradually losing our liberties. Many questions. Home about 10.0 and found Beatrice getting her own supper.

3rd.

R. and B. to see "The Rookery Cottage" for me, at terminus of Shinfield Rd. Then to Rawlingses to tea.

4th. Sun.

F., Ruth and I to meeting. Brought Ellen Cumber back to dinner as her car had broken down. John came to fetch her and had coffee with us. Mr. and Mrs. Scott Blair to tea. He is in research (dairy) dept. at Univ. and has only been here a year. They were nice and all had heated, but amicable arguments on politics, Hitler etc. Rob. and B. were very glad to meet them.

5th.

R. B. ,and Ruth went away.

6th.

Book Club to choose books at Dilk’s.

7th.

Liberal Bazaar opened by Mrs. Philip Argenti.

10th.

I went to cottage in aft. F. was at conference at Baliol college of progressive people, and didn’t arrive till 9.0. Rained and was pitchy dark when I went to shop but I had a small torch. Aired beds, lit fires, gas in kitchen wouldn’t burn etc. and I felt rather in despair. Not v. good night.

11th. Sun.

Saw beautiful wreaths the Pikes had made. Did various odd jobs. Gardener has done a lot. Nice dinner. Home by 3.0 bus.

14th.

Iced cakes.

17th.

F., Ruthie and I to Hobby Exhibition—did not stay to speeches.

20th.

Caro came home in evening.

22nd. Thurs.

Very cold and lots of snow.

The Dales arrived by train, very late for lunch and the children were angelic and not a bit cross, tho’ so late. Rosemary is really lovely now. Gt. scurry, as they wanted to go to cottage, so Mr. Hives came for them at 3.0 and I went too. Had to drive very carefully because of snow and frost. Arrived just before dark and I helped them for a few mins, and then left in the car. The pump was frozen, but they got it thawed all right. In evening F. and I to Ella’s to supper. Mrs. Cass too. Whist.

23rd.

Ruthie arrived fairly early.

24th. Xmas Eve.

Busy cooking for to-morrow. Robert and Beatrice arrived for tea.

Xmas Day 1938 Sunday.

Had arranged for car for Dales and fortunately they were able to come but man said snow and frost too bad to take them back in the dark. We had Yule Doos and family presents at breakfast (¼ to 9) then I hurried with the cooking and Dales arrived during morning. F. to meeting. C. would have gone too, but has v. painful foot; is having treatment. Alice managed the dinner well—usual things. For tea had christingles, room decorated and lanterns and so on. Children so good and sweet. After tea their presents round Xmas tree. Rosemary thrilled with tree and sat on the ground looking at it in ecstasy. She loved ‘Gackie’s’ carol, dancing round the tree, and said ‘More, more". It was a great squash at night. Ruthie on drawing room sofa, M. and Reg. in her bed with Rosemary in the cot, and Rowland in C’s bed. Alice supposed to be in all day, but went out a bit in evening. She slept in for 2 or 3 nights as her landlady away, and told me she was so happy, and it seemed much more homelike being in.

Nice supper, more carols etc. It was lovely having Robert and Beatrice, and B. fitted in so well and was sweet. She dressed a doll for Rosemary, poor Beatrice.

26th.

Meant to go a picnic to cottage, but snow too bad, tho’ the Dales went back there in the car and said they loved it. I believe we did the cooking on

27th.

Anyway R. and B went back to London in aft.

28th.

Ruthie went back to London. Dales came back by bus in morning and in aft. they and F. went to Teachers Guild at Sidcot in cars driven by others going there. So C. and I busy with children.

29th.

Barbara R. and Dr. Taylor and her adopted baby to tea.

31st. Sat.

F. got back in time for dinner. M. and Reg. later. M. rather troubled because Rosemary would cling to me so. However she got over it in time, tho’ she wept when I went to meeting on Sunday.

 

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

 


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