Mary S.W. Pollard diaries | 1920-22

MSWP (& FEP) diaries

Diary, 1920–22

by Mary S.W. Pollard



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




1897 (FEP)





1904 (with FEP)



















Mary S.W. Pollard


Sept. 6th.

Isabel Yewdall came for a week.

Sept. 7th.

All our books packed & sent off to Reading.

One day we went to "the pictures" which were really rather good, & one night we took Bobbo & Marg. to see Charles Doran in the "Merchant of Venice"—pit not early doors, but got quite good seats & much enjoyed it.

Sept. 16th.

We really got possession of our new house "White Knights" at Reading yesterday & so I had to go there to-day to meet F. & arrange about papering, etc. Poor Robert was going back to Ackworth at 4.0, so I could not wait to see him off, & he saw me off at 12.0, nearly breaking down & saying "I hope it will be the last time I ever go to school without your seeing me off, Mother." Marie said he cried a little when he got home, but went off cheerfully in the end. He has slept with me all the last few nights.

I changed at Banbury & Oxford; the journey was lovely from there to Reading which I reached at 6.0 & Frank met me. We rushed to get a meal, & he to see about the box which had been sent with the books containing mattress rugs, etc. However we could not get it as it had been warehoused & the man had gone. We walked to the house, looked round it quickly as it was getting dark, found a gas which wd light & had to make the best of an uncomfortable night. Fortunately I had brought 2 cushions with me & we had macintoshes, & hold-all for a pillow too, but we hardly slept at all. There was a gas stove, & we had some food for breakfast.

Sept. 17th.

Interviewed electricians, paper man from Hulas'—plumber etc. Cooked some dinner (a tin of beans) went to see Abbey School, but Miss Mussen away, & only saw outside. Also convent school & interviewed one of nuns. Then town to gas offices, etc & to get a meal. F. had headache. Our box had arrived & with camp bed & mattress slept better, but I felt very unhappy & disliked the house. Forgot to say we planted some plants I had taken from here.

Mary, Robert, Margaret, Caro & Ruth Pollard, and 'Marie', in Whiteknights Garden, August 1920

Sept. 18th.

Sat. Showery. Photographed house. Finished arranging about papers, etc. Caught 2.0 train to London—tea—F. saw me off at 6.0 & I had carriage to myself to York. Kind Edna met me outside station & walked home with me. It was about 10.30 so bairnies asleep, but Marie welcomed me & gave me nice supper, & a comfortable bed was luxurious after 2 horrid nights, not undressing.

Sept. 19th.

Sunday. Heard of Edgar E's tragic death, 2 nights ago.

Sept. 22nd.

B. & B. returned home after their splendid "Imperial Conference Tour" in Canada. It is glorious to have them back.

Sept. 27th.

Bertha took Dia & Betty to Croham Hurst, as it is Betty's first term there. Billy went up too.

We suddenly heard from the Abbey School that there were vacancies for Margy & Caro, so I very hastily got them ready, & they went on

Thurs. Sept. 30th.

Whiteknights House, September 1920










Whiteknights House, September 1920

- of course the school began a week ago. Ruthie & I saw them off to London by the 9.32, all alone. F. met them there & kind Bertha had stayed in London on purpose to take them to Reading, as F. couldn't. It was sweet of her, for they are going to stay with the Rawlings' whom they don't know at all as "paying guests." (3 guineas a week for the 2)

So Billy & B. took them right to the Rawlings, & also saw our house. I miss them fearfully, & feel quite melancholy.

Oct. 1st.

Bertha & Billy came home. I went to hear Dr. Mann at N.C.F. on India. Quite an event for me to be out in the evening.


Ruthie spent day at Burton Croft, & I went to Ackworth by 1.0 train. Robert & Jack Hefford met me & I had a lovely time with them—R. so sweet & loving. Called on the Hibberts. Had tea with Jeannie & caught the 6.20 train home.

Oct. 11th. Monday.

The men came to pack, about 8 of them, at 8.0 a.m. It was rather horrid—Bertha came & helped & Ruthie & I went to B. Croft to dinner & tea, & B. brought Marie some tea. At about 6.0 I think the men stopped—they had packed 2 vans full—even on the top & were going by road (steam) the rest to go by rail. So Ruthie & I went to stay at Bertha's, & I had found lodgings for Marie (10/6 bed & breakfast till Thursday.)


Up at house early—another huge van packed (books had gone several weeks previously) & finished before lunch—then Marie & I swept up & locked up the house for the last time—our dear old home—it was melancholy. Aft. took keys to landlord, paid bills, etc. Lovely evening with B. & B. Bertha so sweet & loving.



Wed. Left York somewhere about 12.0—Bertha, Edna & Eva seeing me off—I'm leaving Ruthie with kind Bertha. It was an awful parting—Bertha & I quite overcome. So Frank & my 16 happy years at York are ended—how good B. & B. have been to us both in sorrow & joy—I cannot be grateful enough for their love & help & sympathy.

F. met me in London about 5.0 & we went to Reading & stayed night with the Rawlingses. Caro & Marg. were in bed but awake (about 7.30) & it was lovely to see them again.


Thursday. I woke up with sick headache & couldn't get up till 10.0. Then struggled down to house where we expected furniture to arrive. I sat in Mrs. Cane's house. Our house was filthy, so Mr. & Mrs. Cane came & scrubbed floors. Aft. I recovered, but as furniture never came had to go to sleep again at Rawlingses. I met Marie in aft.—she had to sleep alone in a camp bed.

15th. Friday.

At last, after dinner the 2 vans that had come by road arrived—such a comfort. Great work getting unpacked before dark. Next few days most horrid—hardly any kitchen things—only our best small tables, & so on. Horrid muddle. M. & C. spent Sunday with us.

19th. Tuesday.

Frank only went to London for ½ day, & in aft. rest of furniture arrived—awful rush. Some of it very scratched & pieces of picture frames chipped, etc. Marie worked splendidly. On the whole the moving has been very well done (£90) but we took off about £2 for damages, & gave the men 15/- between them.


After tea, Margaret & Caro came home to my great joy, for it has been very lonely, & we gradually got straight—stair carpets down by Sunday.

rowing, October 1920

Oct. 31st.

Went to meeting for 1st. time. People kind. Very cold, foggy weather—horrid climate. Davie & Jack Rowntree to tea. Are getting the garden improved at last, thanks to Mr. Cane.

Nov. 3rd.

Edna came for 2 or 3 hours in morning. Long. Aft. my first callers—Ella Pollard & Marian Prout.


F. & I to jolly Friends' Social—good singing & reciting etc.

We are nearly straight at last.

Nov. 16th.

At last Bertha brought Ruthie—I was beginning to pine for her, but it has been tremendously kind of B. to keep her so long. I met them at 6.30 & we drove here. Ruthie tired & evidently felt it all very strange—at first lost her way in the house!. Lovely to have Bertha too, just lovely.

Nov. 17th.

B. stayed in bed to breakfast. Aft. took Caro & Ruthie a walk by river.

Nov. 18th.

Shopped. Aft. B. & I over Huntley & Palmer's. Most interesting & given heaps of biscuits to taste. Kept Ruthie's birthday tea. Choc. cake!

Nov. 19th.

Ruthie's 6th. birthday. She is growing into a big girl so quickly. Lots of nice presents. Bertha, alas, went by early train to London, but Margaret & I followed by 2.45. B. met us, & after seeing outside of Houses of Parl. etc, we went to Regent Palace Hotel, a splendid place, got delicious high tea in grill room, then left M. (her first visit to an hotel) to go to bed, & B. & I went to Hampstead to Everyman Theatre to see Romeo & Juliet—well done—got back to hotel about 11.30 & found Bowes there. Lovely rooms with hot & cold water, & hotel so warm.


Dia's birthday. Breakfast 9.0. Bowes went to Croydon for D. & Betty & Bertha, M. & I to Liberty's & the Zoo. V. cold, but fascinating. Splendid dinner altogether at 1.15. Cheese soufflet [sic], meringues etc, then to Haymarket to see Barrie's play "Mary Rose"—very wonderful, but very pathetic—10/6 seats in stalls given by Sir C. Starmer. Then tea, & M. & I caught the 6.5 home, we to leave the Morrells, but having had a gorgeous time.


Evie came & stayed till the 26th. We enjoyed having her immensely, & she brought plants for the garden. She, Ruthie & I went to Sonning by bus, & thought it exquisite.

{Sometime at end of Nov. or beginning of Dec. F. & I went to hear Asquith in Albert Hall on Irish question.}

Dec. 17th.

Marg. & Caro broke up. Caro has been making lovely things in her spare time with Margery Rawlings, who thinks she has clever fingers—a raffia bag for M. paper cutter for Frank, serving bag for me, etc.


Bobbo came home. I met him.


Letters to Santa Claus, etc

Xmas Day.

Yule doos, stockings, lovely presents, but for the first time away from all our relations, & it felt very flat to me—we missed especially the Morrells who have always given us such lovely times. However with lots of cards & gifts, etc, we had a good time. We walked up to visit the Rawlingses. Dinner had goose (the first I've ever bought!) artichokes, plum pudding & trifle. (My milkman supplied me with ½ pt cream for 1/-) & mince pies—then fruit & chestnuts & chocolates. The Canes came in to dinner afterwards with Marie in the dining room, as he is out of work.

At about ¼ to 4.0 the children (not Bobbo) gave us a performance they had got up entirely alone; & M. had dressed them all so well. Ruthie made a little bewitching maid in cap & apron, most professional, Caro a sweet little Mother & Margaret a very efficient doctor (à la Dr. Fraser!) only dressed as a man. (a Dr. visiting an ill child.) After a good tea with crackers, we had a X mas tree & sang carols.

Robert gave me a calendar—M one she had made—Ruthie silks & reel of cotton & goodies, & C. a bag she had made—F. 2 books of stories for the children.


All walked by river to Sonning starting 11.0—Ruthie in go-cart. Took sandwiches. Tea 3.30 at Black Bull & home by road in pouring rain. The rest of the holidays were very uneventful, very bad weather, & it seemed horrid not to have F. at home for more than a few days. We did a good deal of digging in the garden.


Jan. 5th.

Wed. Joined F. in London about 3.30, as he is President of the Teachers' Guild this year, went to Penn Club, Tavistock Sq. afr. tea, dinner at 6.0 (I had on evening dress) F. gave an address at 7.0 on Education & Progress (very good) & then he & I & others went to a concert at Queen's Hall.


Meetings all day. I did not feel very well. Music in evening.


I shopped at Sales in pouring rain, & went home in aft. sooner than children expected me. F. came later. Children hated my going away (esp. C. who wrote me a sweet card) but had a lovely time at tea at Rawlingses, who are so kind.


I had to go to town Aft. I got awful headache & went to bed.


M. & C. began school.


Ruthie & I saw Bobbo off by 10.39, via Birmingham. He rather dreaded crossing B.ham alone, but got on alright. Wd not reach Ackworth till 6.20.

Prices are at last beginning to go down. They have been far higher than during war—loaf of bread 9d instead of pre-war 3d! Housekeeping is awful in these days. Milk 11d qt. The situation in Ireland is terrible. Murder & reprisals every day. Cork largely destroyed by our soldiers. F. is working hard on Committees to help Ireland, etc. How wicked the English have been in their treatment of Ireland.

In June 1918 penny post vanished & became 1½d—now, Jan. 1921 for sometime, it has been 2d for an ordinary letter & 9d for the least parcel.

Jan. 24th.

Heard of Mr. Crichton's tragic death. It is terrible for Edna & the children.

Jeanie came for a few days. We walked to Sonning & Woodley & called on the Players.

Feb. 2nd.

I spoke on 'York' to Women's Adult School. About 50 there.

Feb. 4th.

Billy & Bertha came for week-end.

Feb. 5th.

Bowes came for 1 night. He & Bertha & I walked to Sonning—back by bus.

Feb. 6th.

All to meeting. Bowes went away in aft. (I had Mrs. Cane to wait.)

Feb. 7th.

I'm 46! F. gave me a subs. to Boot's Library, Caro a lovely apron she had maid [sic], Marg. Rob. & Ruthie a hearthbrush, Evie a cake, Jeanie 2/- & a blouse of hers, Nurse Probart a hdcf, & Bowes is going to give ma a new fireplace (grate) for drawing room.

In evening B. & I went to see "Three Weeks" by Elinor Glynn—stalls 3/- each—first time I'd been to this theatre. We enjoyed it very much.


Bertha & Billy left at 8.15—I did not go to station. It feels melancholy now, esp. as F. went to Yorks. yesterday for several days to speak at little meetings.


Worker's Service Exhibition opened. M. & I went to hear about 'Klessheim' for Austrian children.

One day I read a paper sent by the S.I.L.

About now, Marie was in bed for a week with clot on leg. I did have hard work.

March 25th.

Good Friday. F. had holiday, so had M. & C. & it was a glorious hot summer day, so we all started at 10.30 & walked to Loddon Bridge—about 1 hour's walk—got a boat for 3 hours, & rowed up to a mill—found "snow flowers", marsh marigolds, etc.

Had lunch, then walked to Woodley & got 4.10 bus home—Ruthie v. tired, but so good. She has never (hardly) been a walking excursion like that before, & it was about 6 miles.


Quite cold. F. & I to Cousin Mary Pollard's to tea, & to boys' concert (& masters') at L. Park in evening.


Very cold & rather showery. Aft. we all except Ruthie walked past Erleigh station, then thro' wood (Bullmershe) to Wokingham Rd—2 hours walk—very pretty, but rather tiring.

I forgot to say that 3 weeks ago (March 8th.) Anton Missmer, a little Austrian boy of 10, came to stay with us. He goes to the convent school & is a dear little chap.

April 1st.

F. M. & I to L. Park to hear Mr. Chettle sing. Splendid. All classical songs, & nearly all in German, French, or Italian.

April 2nd.

F. to Liverpool for week-end. Boiling day. Sports at Abbey School at 2.30. Ruthie, Anton & I watched till after 5.0. Caro did well in Kangaroo, but was one of smallest & did not nearly win. M. went in for 100 yds, Kangaroo, obstacle & house flag, won 2 points for latter—very nearly won obstacle, but was second. It was very funny to watch—first finding shoes, skipping, legs tied tog. getting on old clothes, picking up beans, & racing on hands & feet to the end. There were great cries of "Margaret, Margaret"!! Miss Mussen & 6th. form asked all the girls to tea, so M. & C. stayed.


Began summer time—a far too early. Tea in garden.

April 6th.

Robert broke up a day early because of threatened railway strike, & went straight to Disley. M. & C. broke up yesterday & M. went up to-day with F. to London, & he put her into a train for Manchester (no changes) & she travelled alone. Evie met her. It is a pity she is now a whole ticket.

Expected Ernest for week-end here, but put off in case of strike.

April 11th.

Robert came home to our joy.


I took the children on the river for an hour. Rather windy.


One hot day we took sandwiches & went by train to Prospect Park. Strike seemed imminent, so telegraphed for M. to come home.


Robert & I cycled to Goring Heath with lunch. Gt wind. Gorse & blossom lovely. Left 3 little ones—(Caro, Anton & Ruthie) to have dinner alone. Caro very proud.


Marg. came home. F. met her in London. Evie has been most kind, & both M. & Bobbo had a glorious time.

Sun. 17th.

Caro not well. To bed in aft. Next 2 days very feverish & v. bad throat, & in evening on 19th. I got Dr. Gilford. It is influenza. Fortunately I kept others out. C. has been so good & patient, but has had dreadful head, & couldn't bear the light & it is depressing. Coal strike makes one have to be v. careful of coal.


F. took a holiday & in aft. he, Rob. & Marg. cycled to Goring Heath. Took tea. I lately bought a small 2nd. hand bicycle. Rob. strained his ankle playing hide & seek & had to rest for the next few days.


F. & I to see "The Right to Strike". V. good seats in pit, tho' we only got there at 7.30. Very good play & well acted.


Caro downstairs again. She came down for a short time on Sunday (24th.) R's foot nearly well, so he, Marg. & I for an hour on the river.


F. to work & then to Dublin Y.M. I am rather anxious about him, as the "Black & Tans" are behaving terribly badly, & shooting indiscriminately.

Marg. back to school. C. not quite well enough. The holidays have not been v. easy without Frank or Bertha, but the garden is a great boon & the weather has been lovely. Marg. & Anton have specially enjoyed croquet—I bought it 2nd. hand for £1 & they throw a rope over the tree & have splendid swings—all of them. This is their own idea.

Yesterday Cousin Ella brought a doz. eggs & a beautiful doll for the children that had belonged to her & they are enchanted with it.


Robert back to Ackworth for his last term. We do miss him. He has had a few clarionet lessons this holidays. This evening Miss Crane came for a fortnight. Marie met her, & it is nice to have her.

May 2nd.

C. back to school.

May 3rd.

Frank back from Dublin. He has had a most interesting time, stayed with Joe Wigham. Talk with "A.E" (Geo. Russell) & S. Graveson & he had an hour with Gen. Macready trying to get leave to visit the prisoners camps.


M. & C. had a holiday & in aft. we bought 6 chickens 3 weeks old. Miss Crane made coop & run & helped us with the chicks. Rather a business. Fearful excitement.


I woke with bilious headache, but it passed off.


Sun. F. to Southampton.

C. & Ruthie wheezy coughs & colds.


C's chicken has died. C. not able to got to school, because of cold. She & Ruthie very good, playing together.


The night before Robert went to school he slept with me in my bed.


Miss Crane went away. She has been so nice in every way, & in her 12 days of sewing (9–4) has made 4 holland tunics, 4 prs. knickers, 2 stuff dresses for C. & Ruthie & 2 prs of knickers, a dress for me, done up a hat for me, cut out & partly made 3 'tops' for the children's tunics, made a green linen coat for Marg. & turned a serge coat & skirt of mine into a winter dress. I paid her 3/- a day (excluding Sundays & 2 days of travelling) & her fare (30/- each way) She often helped in the garden in the evenings & while Marie was in bead with a bad ankle helped me to wash up, etc.


The chickens are now quite big—unfortunately 3 are cocks & only 2 hens.

It has been wonderful weather, practically no rain since Feb. & unhappily the gardens & fruit etc are suffering greatly. We have hard work watering—all our beans are spoilt. Until the end of Jone it was only nice & hot with cool winds; then we had 2 or 3 days wh. were too hot. We've got a good crop of cherries, but little else.

June 10th.

I went to W.I.L. meetings in London. Saw Bertha & Bowes & Dia & Betty.


Took Caro & Ruthie to the Zoo—Dolly Richardson (Garnett) had asked us, & she took Olaf & a little—Gillingham girl.

Splendid day, but very tiring. Rides on camel, elephant & in llama cart.


Bertha, Bowes, Dia & Betty are staying at 'French Horn', Sonning. Caro & I walked, others cycled (not Anton) with Ruthie on back, & had dinner with them. Lovely—salmon & new potatoes! So lovely to see the Morrells. They came back with us to tea & supper. Marg. sat up to supper.

12th. [sc. 13th.]

Morrells went away ½ term holiday, so I took the children to the lake near Arborfield, but the buses were so stupid, & we only had time to eat our sandwiches & come straight home.


Frank & I went by 10.39 to Birmingham, National Peace Congress. Unfortunately owing to coal strike (which has been going on for a good many weeks) train slow after Oxford & we had to take a small motor from Leomington, over £3. Got there just before 3.30. After meetings, reception by Lord & Lady Mayoress, then Frank & I drove to Sophie Sturge's to dinner. She & Lily (who remembered me from seeing me when I was 15) & Joseph (talked about days with us at Östervik) all so nice. Lady Clare Annesly there too. Drove down to big public meeting—Lord Parmoor, Lansbury etc. Welsh miners sang at end. Dean of Worcester came to talk to me.


V. hot. Frank & I are staying at Mrs. Henry Lloyd Wilson's. She is a sweet, wonderful woman. Meetings all day. Tea at Bournville—strawberries & whipped cream! Dances in costume by girls on the green, etc.

Call on Sturges at Woodbrooke.


I left after the meetings at 6.0 & got home 8.30. Ruthie woke up & welcomed me, & of course dear old Marie.


F. came home in evening.


Children to hay part at Mrs. Childs'—very jolly, but very hot. Yesterday I took Ruthie by train to Mortimer—we walked to the Common & then called on Cousin May & Ella & back by bus. We did lessons first.


Post Cards have lately gone up to 1½d. Telegrams have been 1/- for sometime.

June 5th.

H.M. Wallis said to F. after meeting "Your children (Caro & Ruthie) are like flowers when they come in—so refreshing" or words to that effect. They have a children's meeting & come in to ours at ¼ to 12.0 & pass in front of him.

July 3rd.

F. at Hitchin. I am very homesick!

July 25th.

Anton went away to Fairly Grange, Kent—he wept bitterly & we felt quite desolate.

July 27th.

M. & C. broke up.

July 28th.

Bobbo came home. We had a welcome shower. The garden is dried up—we have had hardly a drop of rain since February.

Aug. 8th.

F. went to a peace conference at Luxembourg. He had to speak at 2 meetings outside L. one night.

Aug. 10th.

R's friend Denis Constable came for about a week. We've had a lot of visitors.

Aug. 13th.

Olive & James Macartney came in aft. for a call, then Wilfrid, then Miss Bennington from York, who has come to head of Rescue home here.

Aug. 14th.

Frank came back from Luxembourg about 9.30 p.m.

Aug. 16th.

Ruthie & I to tea at Miss Bennington's. M. & C. to the Pollards. Denis left. One day R. & his friend went by steamer to Henley & M. C. & I cycled (I took C.) to Mapledurham & sketched.

Aug. 19th.

A glorious day. M. F. & I cycled with Labrey Jackson at ¼ to 10.0 to "The Volunteer" at Greenham Common near Crookham Common  getting there about 12 (17 miles.) the other children went by train with Mr. & Mrs. Jackson to Thatcham & walked the 2 miles & joined us at 12.0. Got over 4 lbs. of blackberries—had dinner & played about—all the children went home by train—F. & I cycled agst strong wind—very tiring. All had high tea after 6.15 & Ruthie so proud & excited she kept jumping up to see the time, hoping it was past her usual bed-time.

Aug. 20th.

F. M. & R. & I to Pangbourne by 2.0 train with Mr. Hawkins—walked back to Caversham (6 miles) by Hardwick & Mapledurham & had tea about 6.0. Tiring, but immensely interesting.

Aug. 24th.

Children wildly excited, myself too, as it is 2 years since we had a holiday away together except the 3 days camping last year, & F. & I are very tired. Last year, the holidays were so stupid, as we were always expecting to get a house.


Thursday. R. M. & I walked—others in taxi to catch 10.0 train. Marie is going to-morrow of 'House of Rest', Peppard. Sandwiches in train. 12.30 on board steamer at Lymington—C. & Ruthie laughing when it rolled a little. Got to Totland Bay about 1.30 & walked up to Warden Villa (Mrs. Hale.). Unpacked, & children went walk with F. before tea.


V. fine. Went to Colwell Bay, wh. is sandy & water shallow, & all except me bathed. Aft. played by sea.


Walked over cliffs to Alum Bay. Fine view of Needles. All but Ruthie bathed, but had to hold hands as almost too rough & v. stoney. Rather cold & windy, but go shelter for sandwiches. Then scramble up cliff, (Ruthie did so well) & picked blackberries. Turned out hot. Home to tea.


Sunday. All bathed at Colwell Bay in aft. Service tog. in morning, & lovely hour's row.


Walked by road (2 miles) to Freshwater Bay—glorious bathe, much deeper than Colwell—swam out to raft. R. M. both good swimmers now, & thoroughly enjoy it. Lovely place for sandwiches & then fun playing by sea. Walked back past Tennyson's house at Farringford & through lanes, arriving for tea at 4.30.



Bathed at Totland Bay (some of us.) Aft. walked towards Alum Bay & the children bathed in the open & Ruthie had a sun bath afterwards.


Frank, R. & M. walked to Calbourne & then trained to Carisbrooke Castle. Home to high tea. C. Ruthie & I bathed at Colwell. Aft. walked on cliff & they drew sailing boats. They were so sweet.

Sept. 1st.

V. windy, so went lovely hour's sail (Colwell Bay) with man. Waves came over a bit. Quite a new exciting event for the children. Aft. went to Tennyson's Cross. Took tea. Children sketched.

Sept. 2nd.

Went to Freshwater Bay for the day. Rob. had headache & stayed at home. M. C. & I had exciting bathe in the waves. Home to tea. Lots of lovely walks by lanes instead of high road.

Sept. 3rd.

R. & M. had a bathe & then went round the island in a steamer, starting 11.25 & getting back 4.45. They had 1½ hrs. at Sandown. It was a lovely hot day. Caro, Ruthie, Frank & I had a bathe at Colwell Bay—aft. picked blackberries, & met R. & M.

Sept. 4th.

Service indoors. To Colwell Bay—got boat & double canoe. R. & I went in latter first, then F. & M. Aft. all bathed at Totland Bay. R. M. & I swam out to raft.

mostly Mary Pollard, 1928


A glorious hot day. Walked towards Yarmouth, then down to sea, & spend day in a beautiful bay. Not a soul came along & we had a perfect time altogether & a lovely family bathe. Children bathed twice. {Ruthie had sun & air bath too.} I sketched. Watched steamers & sailing boats.


Very hot & hazy. Walked along towards Alum Bay by the shore & had a lovely bathe, as no one came near. Then climbed to top of cliffs & got glorious blackberries—home to dinner. Aft. children bathed again & went in canoe alone.


Very hot again. Walked to bay just before Victoria Fort on way to Yarmouth. Bathed. Delicious. Children bathed twice. Got heaps of huge blackberries. After dinner of lovely sandwiches etc, Bobbo & I walked on to close to Yarmouth. Very pretty indeed. Got home to tea after 5.0, very thirsty, & ate heaps of delicious stewed blackberries. V. sad that it is our last day. I have a very bad swollen foot, due probably to a bite.


Thurs. My foot so swollen I had to travel in slippers. Children bathed. Early dinner. left sadly by 2.10 steamer & got home 6.30. All in taxi, but F. & C. who went by tram. Mrs. Cane had cleaned house, & made nice cakes & we had tea at once—then after children in bed F. & I had to make our blackberries & apples we had brought into jam. Rooms were £4½ per week inclusive of everything.

Sep. 9th.

Marie came back. Has had a splendid holiday.

Sept. 15th.

All but F. (who is at work again) to Loddon. Glorious 2 hrs in hot sunshine on river. R. & M. rowed. Sandwiches.

Sept. 20th.

Tues. R. went to Bootham very happily. Ruthie & I took him—M. & C. saw us off, poor M. in tears. It is dull for them in Reading with F. out all day, & no Bertha etc. We went by 10.38 & arrived York 4.15. Edna met us—drove to the school, & she & Ruthie went on to the Cottage while I took R. to Bootham—saw Miss Grey, Mr. Livesy, Mrs. A.R. etc. Latter said how funny for me to be going as a parent! Saw R's bedroom, looking on street—no. 15. Only 6 boys in it. Said goodbye reluctantly & had lovely tea at Edna's. Edith Davies came in in evening.

Sept. 21st.

M. & C. were to begin school to-day. Saw R. in morning with his friend Llewellyn Rutter. To town—then to Duncan Naish's to lunch—R. & L. Rutter joined us in aft. & we all went to tea to Katherine R's. Everyone so kind & jolly.


Left Edna to go to B. Croft. B. has just returned from Switzerland. I went to Aunt Gertie's at Thirsk for the day.


Bowes, Ber & I to Knaresborough with sandwiches. Glorious day. Walked to Harrogate. B. & I hasty call on Yewdalls.


Meeting. Robert to dinner & tea, so sweet.


Saw R. for ¼ hour & said goodbye to him. He is very happy & has made a good start & I am much encouraged about him. Played games in evening with Rudolph (Austrian boy & Billy & Ruthie) & then B. & I went to "The Maid of the Mountains." V. pretty & amusing.


Ruthie & I left York at 12.15. B. saw us off. I felt v. melancholy, but it was lovely to get home too. F. met us & M. & C. welcomed us at home, & kind Marie had bought a beautiful fern for me. C. said Marg. had sometimes cried while I was away. She said "I couldn't cry, Mummy; I minded of course, but I couldn't cry"!!


Poor F. had horrid meeting of Council—may have to lose his post. He is very brave, but it's a shame.

Oct. 5th.

After Committee Meeting of Council, Mr. Baillie-Weaver told F. they had decided he was not the right man for the post, tho' they recognized his undoubted abilities. It has come as a great shock to us both, & I think they are making a great mistake. He has had a very hard task with subs. so hard to get, & has done splendid work on the "Peace with Ireland Council" & now the Disarmament Campaign, & the last Annual Meeting at B'ham was such a success. He has not been helped by the Council as he shd have been, & they evidently do not realize all he has done. Miss Huntsman v. angry & threatens to resign. It is a bitter, humiliating thing for poor Frank, & I am very angry about it. It is a shame.

Oct. 13th.

Last tea out of doors. The weather is still hot & glorious, but grows chilly about tea-time. We have done without fires, except one evening. (perhaps once also gas fire in evening.)

Had dinner out of doors one day later.

Oct. 15th.

Just before breakfast C. found the hens had laid an egg. There was terrific excitement—Ruthie & I burnt the toast—Will P. who was staying with us was much amused.

Oct. 26th.

Council meeting. Still in suspense.

Oct. 27th.

F. came home & said "It's all up." He has got 3 mos. notice. It is very hard to bear, but worse for F. than me. We had planned to go to a Chamber Music Concert in the College (cheap seats 1/3) & it was our first concert in Reading, so we stuck to it & enjoyed it in the intervals when our minds didn't wander. Poor Frank, he is so brave & wont say a word against anyone, tho' it is so humiliating for him, & he specially feels the attitude of the 3 Friends who were on the special Comtee Bertram Pickard, Edward Backhouse & Harrison Barrow. He is to go to the office till a new man is appointed & to get his salary anyway for 3 mos. We've had all the expense of moving here for 1 year, & it is a very serious thing.


F. has been away a great deal speaking on Disarmament, & he spoke splendidly to some Friends in Reading too.

Nov. 16th.

F. came home a little early from the office, & waited till after 'high tea', then told me it was proposed he shd go to the Washington Conference on Disarmament, as a Representative of the Soc. of Friends—we were awfully excited & I am delighted for his sake for it is a great honour & such a relief after all he has been through. Of course he must get leave from the N.P.C.


F. saw Mr. Baillie-Weaver & he & others of the N.P.C. liberated him. & he will still get his salary.


To-day (Friday) it is quite decided that F. is to go to U.S.A.—he sails next Thursday.


Ruthie's birthday. 3 little boys & 1 little girl to tea. 3.30–6. Christingles gt success. Ruthie got lots of lovely presents & was so happy.


F. spoke beautifully in meeting. Quiet Sunday for his last.

23rd. Wed.

F. to office for last time, but returned to dinner. Miss Huntsman & others had given him a beautiful pair of fur lined gloves, & again of Jaeger slippers, & a lot of well known people had signed an illuminated address testifying to his good work. (Why then did they send him away?) The N.P.C. are curious, for when they knew he was going to Washington they wanted him to represent them also—he wont, for he says he can't when they passed a vote of non confidence in him. All the aft. F. was so poorly I wondered if he cd go—bad headache—but we finally got the packing done & the taxi arrived at ¼ to 1. in the night. (B. & B. lent him a fur coat & gave him choc. & Evie sent him a woolly jacket.) Ruthie woke up & sat up in bed hugging him but the others slept. I could hardly bear it—I felt simply awful, & would have given worlds to keep him at home.


F. reached Liverpool about 7.15 I think & the Albania started soon after 1.0. I got a card, & later a letter from Queenstown. He has nice cabin with 1 other man. It felt awful & flat all day & I have heaps of arrears to clear up.



M. went for the night to the Cumbers—slept 3 in bed.


M. was a blue cloud in a performance at the school. Caro went to see it.


Sun. Took children in aft. to hear West Indies negroes & negresses sing. Salvation Army. Then enjoyed it. We had carols & singing in evening.

Dec. 23rd.

After a very busy time making little gifts & packing I left with the 3 little girls by the 10.37 for York, having sent our box in advance. Marie is to sleep at Canes. She has a bad ankle. Easy journey & got to York about 3.30. Met by Evie, Bertha, Erica & Edmund. Latter took some of us in his car. He, Elsa, Robert, Marg. & I are staying at Edna's boarding house, St. Mary's; the rest of Evie's family & Ruthie & Caro at Burton Croft.

Dec. 24th.

Kept this as Xmas Day, & had a lovely one though I did miss Frank. 19 to dinner at Bertha's. Then children acted. M. C. & Ruthie did "Sarah & Betsy" out of "Anyhow Stories," beautifully. Lovely tea & crackers, Xmas tree & Father Xmas, & tho' the children know now who he is, Ruthie jumped with terror into Evie's arms when he suggested taking her away in his sack! Great opening of beautiful presents. Bowes makes a splendid Father Xmas. Then carols, dance round tree (I made Cuthbert dance) Sir Roger, little ones to bed, older ones supper, F's health, & they sang "He's a jolly good fellow". I nearly broke down. Bertha & Bowes kindness itself, & every thing most beautiful. Ended with "happy we've been a' togither".

Xmas Day.

Edna had Xmas dinner at boarding house. We went to B. Croft to tea.


Cuthbert took Evie, Bertha me, Dia & Erica nearly to Goathland in car. Within sight of Whitby stopped & had lovely sandwiches, but v. cold.


Evie & family departed. It has been perfect all meeting together. We moved from boarding house to B. Croft. It has been lovely seeing Edna. She is plucky, & the house is v. comfortable.


B. & B. took 14 of us to see Cinderella. V. pretty.


Frank Pollard and Frederick J. Libbey, clip from Evening Star, Washington, December 1921


Jan. 1st.

Everyone at meeting so cordial.

Jan. 2nd.

Went home, thro' journey to Reading West. It was awful leaving Bertha. They are all so sweet & kind.

Jan. 3rd.

Marie had to go to bed with bad ankle & I had everything to do, most disappointing in holidays.

Jan. 4th.

Heard that F. is coming home in a few days. So exciting.

Jan. 7th. Sat.

Telegram that F. is arriving about 12.0. Great hurry to get everything nice. Bobbo went to meet him. It is glorious to have him safely home again, for I have been very anxious. He has had a splendid time. I'm only sorry he has come when I am short-handed. I think the time away has done him good.

Jan. 8th.

A lovely Sunday with Frank.

Jan. 17th.

Raymond Irwin for the night. League of Nations Union plays in which M. took part. I had to dress her at Town Hall for rehearsal in aft. & again in evening. Robert, F. Raymond & I went. In the "Nations," M. represented Japan & looked really exquisite.

Jan. 18th.

2nd. performance of L. of Nations Union plays.

Jan. 19th.

R. went back to Bootham. He has much improved & we miss him dreadfully. Children have had several parties—meeting house, Le Mares, Reynolds. R. had a happy birthday too I think.


Russian famine grows more & more terrible.


F. has got lecturing work to do in connection with Settlements—very thankful, but fear it will take him much away. He started on

Jan. 30th.

At last Marie was allowed down to tea & on Feb. 1st. she even got down to breakfast—it is a blessed relief, tho' she is not doing full work yet. M. was in bed too the last few days & it was hard for me, but M. gave Ruthie her lessons. Poor little Caro & Ruthie had to do the hens alone in the cold before breakfast, & Caro looked so lonely starting off alone early to school, tho' this term M. is not taking her on the bicycle as she is too heavy, so she goes by tram.

Feb. 4th. Sat.

F. & I to lovely concert—Carrie Tubb, Eric Marshall (Singer) Laurie Kennedy (Cello) Katherine Goodson, a wonderful pianist. When we got back C. very poorly & went to bed. In night Marie started bad bilious attack, so my "rest" had not lasted long. Sunday Marie in bed, still bad—C. in bed & I had dinner, etc to cook. Evening Marie said she felt much better.

Feb. 6th.

Mon. Marie got awful pain & couldn't move, so I sent for Dr. I did a little washing. Dr. thought it serious—came in aft. before 4.0—said Marie must go to hospital. F. went went away to lecture. Ambulance came before 6.0 & the poor old thing was operated on at 8.30—ovarian cyst (tumour.) I felt very anxious. It was an awful day.

Feb. 7th.

Dr. came to say Marie had got on splendidly—in aft. Mrs. Cane came in to do drawing room so I went to see Marie—& to dressmaking class, but felt unhappy for C. is very poorly. F. at Letchworth for 2 nights.

He has to work hard preparing his lectures. It is my birthday. F. gave me Subs. to Boots—Robert a book—M. C. & Ruthie a penknife—M. a little shopping book & C. a piece of sealing wax & pretty pen—Jeanie scarf—Nurse P. handkerchief. The children were sweet, but with F. away in aft. & night—& C. so poorly, Marie away ill, it was rather a queer day.

Feb. 8th.

C. a good deal better.

Feb. 9th.

F. came home & I rushed to Registry Office & was lucky in securing a good woman to come in next day—by the day—17/6 a week. I was feeling tired out. Ever since Jan. 3rd. someone has been in bed (except for 4 days.)

Feb. 10th.

Ruthie began to be poorly & was feverish next day. I put her & Caro together.


F. went to B'ham till to-morrow night. M. & I went to see Marie.


C. & Ruthie downstairs to tea.


C. has got rid of congestion, Dr. says so she & Ruthie can go out, but C. not to school for a week.

I have a raging cold & feel poorly.

F. came home in morning (16th.) & I went to bed in aft. In evening M. not well (sore throat) but put children to bed & we locked ourselves in. F. ought to have been home at 11.0, but missed train & not home till 12.30. I was v. anxious & miserable. I woke poor Margy.


Mrs. Lay came early & got breakfast ready. I stayed in bed all day. M. bad throat & looks v. poorly—another dreary evening for me in bed without anyone to read to me.


Sat. F. & C. & Ruthie did the breakfast. Caro put kettle on all alone. M. has rash. I got up directly after breakfast—sent for Dr.—mild scarlet fever. Awful bother though. I have to be so careful washing hands in carbolic etc—& have her fire to do etc. People are so terrified of it!


M. sat up for tea, but not dressed. Dr. is not coming anymore at present. Caro & Ruthie do not seem to be going to get it.


M. dressed in aft.

We—Father & I—read to M., play games etc, & she is very industrious sewing, etc.

March 14th.

M's birthday, & tho' it was not quite a month since she began scarlet fever the Dr. let me disinfect her, & she came downstairs after breakfast & got her presents: it was so exciting & lovely to have her with us again. Caro used to say "I'll die you if you don't come down soon Margy." M. has been the best possible patient, never grumbling & always good & content.

I forgot to say that another exciting event was Marie coming back from hospital on March 9th. Of course she was not fit for work at first, but it was lovely to get her back.


M. went back to school—Caro not till 22nd.

April 5th.

Children broke up. C. had missed the last 2 days.

March 30th.

2 chickens came out—so pretty, but only 2 out of setting of 13.

April 5th.

Robert came home. F. met him as I was at Adult School. Lovely to get him back.

" 7th.

M. went with F. to London & then on to York, & on the

" 13th.

to Bowness with the Morrells. We were going away also, but had to put it off, as the 2 little ones were in bed with terrible colds & coughs.

" 15th.

Left in morning for "The Volunteer Inn" (Mrs. T. Moore) Crookham Co. nr. Newbury, 2 bedrooms—had to bring a camp bed—Robert & Ruthie sleep tog. After dinner we went a walk in an exquisite wood, the ground starred with primroses & anemones. A little stream at the bottom. Unhappily as we came back, the wind was terrific & very cold, & C's temp. at once went up to 100°. As she only gone out of bed yesterday aft. & the Dr. was not at all encouraging about her I felt anxious.

Next 2 or 3 days bitterly cold & awful winds, but C. & Ruthie gradually improved, & loved the cows & pigs & calf, & chickens. Lots of primroses & marsh marigolds in the woods & anemones.


Much warmer. F. R. & I went to see Lord Falkland's monument on site of Battle of Newbury & C. & Ruthie played so happily in the wood alone, not frightened as I feared they would be.


Lovely walk to a ford. Aft. I taught Mrs. Moore to make bread.


Took sandwiches & went to lovely wood to pick daffodils. Then R. & I saw Father off at Thatcham, as he has a lecture to give in Kensington to-night.

22nd. Sat.

This Inn is 30/0 a week each for everything, awfully good food, heaps of eggs, milk fresh from cow, etc & splendid fires. Only not much hot water!

Left at 10 & walked in drizzle part of time 3 miles to Newbury. Luggage by carrier. Got home to dinner—1 chicken has died, the cat had to be destroyed, & so it was not a cheerful home coming for the poor bairnies & Ruthie who was tired, cried a good deal.

April 24th.

Hilda, my new little maid of 14, came.

April 26th.

Gt. excitement to get Margaret home. F. met her in London. The last week she has been at West Head Farm Thirlmere. B. has been so very kind & she has had a glorious time. C. & Ruthie were waiting in drawing room in their dressing gowns when she arrived about 8.0. Lovely to have her back.

April 27th.

M. very 'weepy' at breakfast & afterwards kept crying. About dinner time I put her to bed, temp. 102. In evening I sent for Dr. as temp. 103°. Most mysterious & dreadfully disappointing, for we thought she would be so well. She is quite felled, far more so than in scarlet fever.


Ruthie & I saw the darling boy off at 10.38. He has been so sweet, & it is hard to let him go. He is very tall now, & looks beautiful.

Then I took C. to see a specialist. M. a little better.


M. downstairs to dinner.

May 3rd.

Caro had operation on tonsils, adenoids & deviating septum. Ruthie in bed very poorly in another room—most awkward. I had to prepare the room, light fire etc. Operation took over ½ hr (because of septum) & F. & I were getting terribly anxious. He said "I haven't minded anything so much since thy babies were born". However it got over alright. C. was very sick afterwards—all aft. & evening.


C. a good deal better. Ruthie still very poorly.

Marie & Hilda have finished the spring cleaning. I got Mrs. Lay to do a good deal of it.


Dear old Marie left, after more than 4 years of devoted service—she has been splendid & we miss her much. She is still in Reading for a few days.


Caro very feverish. Long summer day at last, after months of cold & wet.

Marg. & Hilda went to get cowslips.


Ruthie nearly well, but weak—has almost starved for a week. Saw an owl in our elm trees. Lovely & hot & Ruthie went in garden a little.

I do miss Marie, but Hilda is doing nicely. I miss Marie's lovely Sunday dinners too!


The owl has evidently built in one of our trees, & we see him every day—a great interest.

13th. Sat.

F. Marg. & I started at 2.15 & cycled a mile beyond Swallowfield to Byes Farm to get fritillaries. back about 5.15. About 7 miles there I think. Fine, but cool weather.


Dr. Field took Ruthie, Caro & me to Peppard Common in her car. Left at 3.0—back at 6.0. Country exquisite & lovely hot day. Tea with cakes & sandwiches. I was feverish in evening & have sore throat.


F. took children & Hilda on Loddon.


I spent yesterday in bed but am better now. Heat is tremendous & quite sudden. Record for May! Caro & Ruthie are having breathing lessons.


C. had heaps of lovely presents & a very happy birthday. Ruthie decorated her plate with flowers. We all enjoyed the day, but F. was at Y.M.


I went to Y.M. to hear F. on International situation. Ted Harvey & his wife gave us lunch.

June 2nd.

Dear Cousin Mary Pollard died. She has been a good friend to us.

June 6th.

Funeral. F. read at graveside, & we went up to house afterwards. Ella wonderfully brave.

June 7th.

I've not been feeling very well, so went to see Dr. Field. She said my heart was very irregular, & I must go away at once for a rest.

June 8th.

Evie & Mabel came & Mabel stayed till 12th.—Evie till 10th. & week-end at Bedales.

On 9th. she F. & I went at 4.30 from Caversham to Goring by steamer—good tea on board, exquisite evening, few people, & altogether a most restful lovely time. Got to Goring after 6.30, & walked up Streatley Hill, & back by train, getting home ¼ to 9.0


Dr. Field came to see me & as I'm much better, I need not go away, but must rest as much as possible.

June 16th.

Bertha came. Lovely.

" 17th. F. got up to breakfast, but had to go straight to bed after feeling ill & feverish. Our picnic had to be altered, so B. & I only went to Henley & back by steamer.


F. had a dreadful night & seemed very ill. In aft. temp. 103°. so I hunted round for a Dr. & got Dr. Murrell. He said F. had an awful throat, tonsillitis & pharyngitis. He seemed over the worst, but was pretty bad for several days. Ber went back on the 19th. & we did miss her.


Dr. Abram thinks F's condition partly due to rheumatism.

F. took a long time to really pull up again.

July 2nd.

Marg. started at 9.30 (tho' Sunday) for Streatley cycling with Labrey Jackson & Eric le Mare.

On June 26th. F. went to speak at Walthamstow & he gradually seemed picking up strength.

On July 4th. he went to London, returned at 9.0 p.m with temp. of 103°, & began with Dr. Abram again. He says it is a relapse—calls it rheumatism & influenza.

July 11th.

F. rather better & we had Mr. & Mrs. Robson to supper—violin & singing, but F. looked ill. They were so nice. Supper was fish patties, salad, blancmange & fruit salad, cocoa & cheese.

July 12th.

F. in bed again—has jaundice. I {& Margaret} went to hear Fanny Davies play in St. Lawrence's Church.

July 24th.

F. downstairs again at last to tea. Still looks ill & is so thin.


My last lessons with Ruthie, alas.

July 27th.

Took Caro & Ruthie by 8.15 to London & they went to York in train with Dia & Betty (Cd not get in same carriage) were going on to Wensleydale to-morrow with Milly & Miss Garnett, but mistake about rooms. It remains to be seen what B. will do. I went to International Peace Congress—Sir Geo. Paish, etc were speaking. Rather dull. I caught 1.37 back to Reading & met R. at Reading west at 3.37 & we taxi'd home. (4/-) It is lovely to have Bobbo home again. Bertha is good to him, having him every Sunday.

3 or 4 days ago we heard that Frank has not got Education Secretaryship at York—a blow in some ways, & now alas, he is out of work. Later—his work is to continue till Xmas.

July 31st.

F. R. M. & I by 11.45 steamer to Maidenhead. Lovely. Heavy showers in aft. but we did not get wet. Got there about 5.30—took a trap to the station & got back to Reading after 6.0.



Erica came.


Went on river at Caversham. Took lunch—nearly to Mapledurham. Got back just before rain.


Erica went away. She is sweet & such fun.


R. M. & I cycled to "The Merry Maidens" (Shinfield Rd) F. by bus, as tho' he is well now he is not strong yet. Then walked down to Loddon, F. not quite all the way, thro' lovely fields.


Went round Snowflake Laundry.


R. & I cycled to Twyford to call on Mrs. Streetcher.


Beth & Mary Cumber for day. We took them on Loddon. It poured.


All went to London by excursion. British Museum. Lunch at Plane Tree. Met Jeanie at Nat. Gallery, then London Museum (St. James Park)—then F. to meet Caro & Ruthie who had come from Scarboro' (alone from York) Jeanie gave R. M. & me lovely tea—then we went to Paddington & had a rapturous greeting with Caro & Ruthie. Home at 8.0.


Robert went to Birmingham to stay with the Constables & we miss him dreadfully. On the 26th. he went on with them to Burlchroesfaen, near Machynnlleth, & had a splendid time, climbing Cada Idris, etc.

Aug. 31st.

Shut up the house (at least left Hilda to do it) & left at 9.30 for Saundersfoot. Feeling very tired. Through carriage to ourselves all the way, so easy journey. Arrived at 3.0 & luggage sent by bus, also Caro & Ruthie, but F. M. & I walked down about a mile to :-

        c/o Miss Twigg

                Bay View, Saundersfoot.

She gave us nice welcome. House on beach with glorious view. All our rooms but one face sea (East) & we have the whole house & 2 sitting rooms. 4 guineas a week, but 2/6 extra for firing & one or two other extras. Children wildly excited. Rather cold. Down to sand almost at once, but it poured later.

Sept. 1st.

Played on shore & all but me had a lovely bathe. Aft. i sketched—walk through tunnel, etc. After tea Miss Twigg took C. & R. to the farm, & F. M. & I walked to station to meet Robert, examining St. Issell's church on the way. R. had missed a connection, so we left F. to meet him at 7.0. We are glad to have him.

Sept. 2nd.

Children bathed before breakfast, & I could watch them from my bed! They looked so sweet. Seemed rather doubtful weather, but we started at 10.0 & walked along the firm sands & rocks to Amroth (3 miles) Children bathed. Walked up cliff path & had dinner in front of a lovely cornfield—then along cliffs home. Glorious. Back along "tram" lines last part. Ruthie did walk well & is much braver in bathing. I sketched.

3rd. Sunday

All went to St. Issell's Church. Poured all day till 4.0. After tea cleared. Children made 3 beautiful sand castles, for which I gave prizes (2d. to M. 1d. to Ruthie & Caro) & F. Rob. & I had a lovely hour's walk thro' woods.

Sept. 4th.

Glorious & hot. Walked by shore to Monkstone & all had a perfect bathe on lovely sand. Then dinner. Back by cliffs & woods, but got stung by flying ants, so all had another quick bathe when we got back. Letter from Ber, speaking of Uncle Johnny's death. One by one our dear relations are leaving us.

Sept. 5th.

I woke up poorly & had rather a wretched day.

M. C. & Ruthie sketched the farm, all alone & so prettily—Ruthie's just pencil.


Woke up with bad headache & stayed in bed half the morning. Then got better, but did very little all day. Children went in canoes—the little ones with F. older ones alone.


All together built a huge sand castle. Aft. left Caro & Ruthie (who bathed all alone) & went to Tenby.


Along near to Wiseman's Bridge. Bathed. Up railway lines to saw mill—dinner- back by road.


Manorbier Castle. Tiring day, but beautiful. Home 7.30. No tea out!


Rob. Marg. Ruthie & I too Baptist church. Short walk by Bath Cottages.


Glorious day. Bathed beyond tunnel.


F's birthday, & alas, poured all day. Bairnies bathed in rain.


Showery, but beautiful—fine light on sea. Picked blackberries, all bathed from house, packed.


Left house about 10.0—got home at 8.0 2hrs. in Cardiff. Hilda did not give us a very nice welcome.


M. to stay night at Cumbers. F. Rob. Caro & I cycled (one by bus) to near Bear Park & got 10 obs. blackberries. Lovely day.


R. back to school. F. & I saw him off. Horrid to let him go & I felt utterly miserable taking my "baby" Ruthie to school—Miss Banwell's new school—only 1 other girl & she is much older. Ruthie looked lovely & was so set up in her new blue tunic & grey top! I went to fetch her & Miss B. thought her extremely intelligent.

Sept. 20th.

F. & I to very good concert—Balokovic violin—Lanri Kennedy (cello) Joan Ashly contralto—Madame Salterin-Modin soprano, etc.


F. & I to see Andrew Applejohn's Adventure. Very funny.


F. & I took children by steamer to Pangbourne & back by train in time for dinner.

Oct. 2nd.

Hilda left after 5 mos. here. Though not thorough, she has been very good, tidy & quick, & I am sorry she is leaving. I got a day girl for a week. I started upholstery classes at College.

Oct. 7th.

F. at Jordans for the night. I took children out to dinner—C. went by bus to end of Shinfield Rd, M. & I bicycled with Ruthie on back of mine. Then we all walked thro' lanes to Loddon, had dinner on the bridge, got 6 lbs. lovely blackberries, & home to tea. It was a lovely day.

Oct. 10th.

Hugh & Edna to tea.

Florence Moss, aged 17, came as general.

Oct. 31st.

To see "Beggar's Opera."

Nov. 5th.

Sunday. Caro & Ruthie spent the day at Ella's & were very happy, but said "we did miss you Mummy".

Dec. 2nd.

Glorious walk—F. I & Chrissie Mennell—12.0 bus to Pangbourne, walked thro' woods to Streatley (4 or 5 miles) & back by train about 6.0 Chrissie treated us to it all I think, & dinner at a nice café at Pangbourne. Next weeks quite exciting with parcels arriving etc. M. & C. broke p on 19th. Ruthie 21st. Rob went straight to B. Croft.

On Dec. 23rd. Sat. we left about 1.30 by excursion train, luggage having gone in advance day before. Got quite good seats—very glad of the food I had provided, for we should have reached York about 7.20 & were 1½ hours late, & kind Bertha, Billy & Robert had waited all that time for us. Squashed into a taxi, (R. cycled in pouring rain) & the little ones soon got to bed, in the nursery with Billy.


Bowes in bed poorly. All went to meeting. Heard last night of Molly's engagement to Rhys Thomas. Most exciting. The Richardsons are at 37 St. Mary's & all came to supper with Rhys. He is 37 Molly 25. Love at first sight!

Xmas Day. Monday.

Santa Claus very exciting! Then lots of presents at breakfast time. 19 to dinner with Richardsons & Rhys & Mrs. Morrell & Cuthbert & Edmund. Gorgeous dinner.


[Transcript by Benjamin S. Beck.]


Contact me 

This page was created on 2012-08-09.

1915–20 diary | 1922-6 diary | Family history home page | Website home page