Mary S.W. Pollard diaries | 1922-26

MSWP (& FEP) diaries

Diary, 1922–26

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)




















Xmas Day (Continued)

Before tea, Marg. Caro, Ruthie & Dia acted a scene out of "Uncle Tom's Cabin".

Ruthie made the sweetest little Topsy, Marg. Miss Ophelia, Caro Eva & Dia Jane & Rosa. It was a great success. Then Colin, Esther, Dia Betty etc & Robert did a clever charade, ending up with a skit on Bertha & Bowes & Dia Betty & Edmund climbing in Switzerland. Then splendid tea, & then Billy impersonated "Father Xmas" with Caro as Mrs. Xmas, very well, coming thro' the window & gave all beautiful presents. Xmas tree, carols & Sir Roger & singing "For he & she's a jolly good fellow "ended, a most delightful Xmas day. We missed the dear Weisses, but it has been lovely having F. this year. The great misfortune was that Bowes could not get up till tea-time, & Betty has a bad arm with vaccination.

Boxing Day.

Rob. Marg. & Dia went the walk. Frank & I went to Katherine's to tea.


I went to tea with Edna.


Edmund took some of us in car for 1½ hours drive, past Sand Hutton to Howsom Bridge. Others cycled. Billy, Caro & Ruthie to children's party at Mrs Tynedale Procters.


Bertha had large children's party about 20. Really a great success. Beautiful tea, but no supper.


Left York very sorrowfully M. & C. in tears, by 3.0 train, the whole family & Miss Collinson coming to see us off. Great work to get a carriage, but in the end had quite an easy journey to Reading West—½ hour late—taxi from our coach-house met us & we got home before 10.0 & Florence had things quite nice. The children have been awfully good.


No time to go to meeting. Pouring day.



Jan. 1st.

My new washerwoman—Mrs. Lapham—came. Not as nice as Mrs. Lay, but quite good. Children rather fractions next few days. Walks, starting nature diaries, acted Uncle Tom to Adult School, but alas, no parties.

Jan. 17th.

Rob. back to Bootham & Ruthie to "Clooneavon". C. in bed slightly feverish.


I went out to a lecture after putting the children to bed. Ruthie said "Do you know when you come to think of it I adore you". She often says "I adore you" but her phrasing is so quaint.

Jan. 21st.

Dick Woodeson came as a paying guest. (35/- a week—room to himself with gas fire for working in) After a month reduced to 30/- a week

Jan. 31st.

F. & I to hear Judas Maccabæus.

Feb. 7th.

Wed. For days past Ruthie has been saying "Aren't you longing for Wednesday Mummy"? When it came I enjoyed it thoroughly. The children were all so sweet. Caro was in bed to breakfast, as not very well, & as Dick was with us we waited till after breakfast & read letters & opened presents in our bedroom. Frank gave me "Krindle syke", Margaret a tray cloth (pussies) she had worked, C. & R. had been to Woolworths all alone & bought me a mat (for dishes) a pretty flower vase & a note book—Robert sent me a lovely knocker with the arms of York on it—Merce Probart a bag, Evie a beautiful hair brush & cakes, & later on Bertha gave me £1. Florence gave me a pretty mat, & I got cards & letters too. Jeanie a piece of blue silk crepe de chine.

We had a nice birthday dinner & tea, & jolly games.

Feb. 14th.

I went to London by 9.26 (excursion) Got there 11.0 & met Bertha, looking fairly well. Drove to Kingsley—lunch at Buzzard's—to "Sweet Lavender," in aft. tea at Fuller's & I caught the 7.12 home, arriving about 8.20. Simply lovely day, though a sad anniversary.


One day we took M. & C. to L' Park to a very good performance of "the Rivals". Did not get back till nearly 11.0 p.m.

Also in Feb. F. & I went to see "The Romantic Age" & "The Burglar that failed."

One Sunday night we went to supper at School House.

March 14th.

M. had a happy birthday & 2 or 3 days later we had 4 of her friends to tea.

March 21st.

Evie & Ernest's Silver Wedding Day.

March 22nd.

F. & I went to London (Caro in bed poorly) to Ideal Home Exhibition. Met Evie, Ernest & Elsa at 1.45 & went with Evie & Elsa to see "The Immortal Hour". Then F. & I gave them tea & we returned home in evening. Fortunately C. was no worse, & as Evie had got us the tickets we had to go. It was so lovely seeing them.

April 5th.

Dick went home as Robert is coming to-morrow, but D. is still coming to dinner, as he has not broken up yet. Children having exams & training for sports.

On Good Friday March 30th. we walked to Loddon in afternoon

Easter Monday Florence had aft. & evening holiday (from 1.0 o'clock) & F. took C. & Ruth to watch the Reading School sports. M. & I to Forbury Gardens to hear band.

April 4th.

Ruthie said directly she woke, "Mummy sweet, I love you". She is such a darling.

April 6th.

Ruthie & I went down in the taxi & met Robert at 3.47. Lovely to have him home again. V. bad weather.

April 11th.

M. & C. broke up. F. & R. to see Benson in "Macbeth."


M. & I to see Benson in Henry V. Splendid—Benson gave us 2 tickets for stalls & we went round & spoke to him at the end in his dressing room. He was so nice.

F. is at M/C. at War & Social Order Comtee.

April 19th.

We went a perfect excursion—the children were as good as gold all day, & when they went to bed gave 3 cheers for Father & Mother for the lovely time we had had—(one or 2 excursions have not been so happy!)

We left at 10.15 by bus for Caversham—walked near to Mapledurham & then turned up the hill & into a wood absolutely gorgeous with fresh green of birch trees & blue bells (it was about 12.15 when we got there.) a heavenly sight—then dinner, & walked through the wood & got home before 3.0—the only drawback being it was cold & sunless. Florence was out, but tea was set & we had some Devonshire cream Aunt Bertha had sent with pineapple. The children did all the flowers beautifully—M. put cowslips in our room & Ruthie arranged a vase of bluebells & beech leaves all by herself for our room. They were all so sweet, & Rob. was quite enthusiastic too!


Marg. & Caro went to M.H.U. at Robson's. Robert & I cycled to Goring Heath & back. In evening he & F. went to see the Arts League of Service Company. V. good.


R. & to Spiritualist Church in evening—did not like it much.

F. & I to Centenary at York at Whitsuntide


R. went back to school, &F. Caro & I seeing him off. We do miss him. Woodeson came back.


Ruthie went back to Clooneavon.


M. & C. went back to Abbey School.

May 5th.

Caro did a Stilt Performance to an audience of Frank Marg. me & Florence. It was very well done, & Ruthie had to do things too (not on the stilts) & it was screamingly funny, often, especially Ruthie's bursts of laughter. Caro is really good on stilts.

Sept. 12th.

I have written elsewhere of our glorious time in Switzerland. We returned on Aug. 23rd. after which we had a good many visitors to tea, one afternoon Florence's father, mother, 2 sisters & brother & old Mrs. Joseph—a small supper party at 7.30 (sandwiches, choc. shape, white shape, fruit salad, jelly & sausage rolls) & music—another day (Sept. 8th.) we started from "The Merry Maidens" with Hubert Robson at 11.20 & walked about 5 miles to Barkham Lake (Arborfield), had a lovely bathe & got home about 6.30 rather footsore to high tea. Ruthie walked well for her boots hurt, & Herbert & C. had great talks.

The children get asked nowhere (except to Miss Tyler's) which is a pity.



Rob. & I to Peppard—tea there.

Sept. 10th.—13th.

Olive Cumber stayed with us. She is a sweet little girl aged 11.

Sept. 10th.

F. & I to Margaret Player's funeral.


F.'s birthday. Caro & Olive decorated his chair beautifully—then excitement over presents. At 10 mins. to 10.0 the family started for the 10.30 bus to Henley & R. & I cycled. It took us just over an hour & we got there about 2 mins. before the bus people. We found Friar Park was not open till 2.0, so went off to get blackberries & had dinner, then back to the park—wonderful but tiring. Got home at 5.30, F. & M. having cycled & the rest of us by bus.


Dr. Field took M. C. Ruthie & me (Olive went home) at 3.0 in her car to Finchampstead. Lovely place—walk & tea then home by Swallowfield.


Pollard family at Whiteknights, 1923

Children really, I think, quite glad to go back to school after holiday ended.

Sept. 28th.

Took Marg. & Caro to the pit to see "Iolanthe". Very charming & amusing.

Oct. 24th.

F. & I have joined the Reading Music Club (just started) & went to the first concert. Very good. (25/- for 2 of us for a year)

Nov. 10th.

F. & I to London. Shopped. Met Sophie, Lily, Eric & Winifred & Wilfrid S. at Aeolian Hall to hear Jean Mackinlay (daughter of Mme Antoinette Sterling) sing. Old ballads etc. Charming. Tea tog. afterwards. I forgot to say that Will died suddenly on Oct. 25th.—a great loss to the family circle.


After the children broke up for the Xmas holidays we had a busy time, & exciting too, receiving parcels & keeping them till Xmas day. It seemed horrid not to be going to B. Croft, but it really was a very happy time at home & everyone was so kind in writing & send us lovely things. I got a goose for Xmas dinner & received a pot of cream as a great luxury (less would have done) but I had 3 cakes given me so had not much extra cooking.

Xmas Day

Tuesday. Breakfast at 8.0. Yule Doos & fresh eggs. (Of course there had been the usual Santa Claus excitement before, but only Caro & Ruthie hung their stockings up this year alas.) We had at this meal only our own family presents & that seemed a good lot!! Frank gave me The Fellowship Hymn Bk & the "Dinkie' fountain pen, Robert a knocker with arms of York in it, Margaret, 2 covers (for little mats) which she had made, Caro schimmell which she had made & Ruthie a duster she had made. Bertha & Bowes gave us a dining room tablecloth Evie fur gloves & a sponge & the children got beautiful presents.

After breakfast we went to the drawing room & opened more presents & then kept the rest till the evening. All the family but me went up to L. Park, F. M. & Caro to play hockey (C. had a new stick which we had given her) & I helped Florence with the dinner & then went part way to L.P. & met Robert. C. came back early, having got a rather bad blow on her cheek. Dinner at 1.0—goose, veg's, plum pudding, mince pies, trifle (made with pineapple.) Then dessert—Florence came in & had it with us, & we had crackers & streamers. Florence went home in the afternoon after having tea ready. Aft. F. & I acted "A Pair of Lunatics"—tea with Xmas cake, etc. & we washed up. Then Marg. C. & Ruthie did charming little thing with piano & drum, etc. Then we brought in the small Xmas tree & had the rest of the presents, sang & danced round it & then sang carols, played pigeon house & mulberry bush—very pleasant.

The 2 little ones stayed up to supper which we had early—chestnut cream, ginger cream & scraps. So ended a very happy Xmas day with many happy memories of previous ones.

29th. Sat.

Took C. & R. to a party for children at the meeting house. Night before C. & Marg. had been to a party at Theale.


F. & I. R. & M. to Friends' party at meeting house. Immense fun—great games. F. sang "Michael" & "Here's to the year that's awa." R. F. & I sat up to see New Year in. R. worked hard all the holidays—an hour with Frank & then Berlitz French & German. We have enjoyed his clarionet.

Several other parties for the children.

On Jan. 1st in the


evening M. C. & R. went for week-end to Sophie's. Quite an adventure for them. Next day she took them to Maskelyne's. They came back in the morning on Jan. 14th. after a very happy time & Jeanie says everyone was charmed with them. (She stayed there just afterwards.)

One day Robert went up to Maskelyne's & a lecture on Ido—quite an event for him too. F. & I had Book Club at Robsons' on the 11th. on [blank]

On 13th. after dinner (Sunday) F. R. & I by 2.0 train from Erleigh to Wellington Collge—walked up Wellington Avenue to Finchampstead Ridges & then began to walk to Wokingham to come back by bus. Met Talbots who took s in their car. Evening to meeting Mr. Robson on Lincoln. A few days ago the Talbots had a party to which Marg.  Ruthie went—there was a Punch & Judy Show. One day R. & I to Petty Sessions—tried Assizes & Quarter Sessions, but couldn't get in.

F. has to go to meet Dalton Hall Comtee on 21st. It is awful.


R's 17th. birthday—at tea had 17 candles, christingles, &c. V. pretty. Children's Play "Old Pog." with marionettes. They made the theatre etc themselves having bought a little [sic]


R. to school. He has been nearly perfect these holidays & it is dreadful to lose him. F. & I saw him off. (He has been learning a J. Bright speech which I have often heard to help him) In aft. Jeanie P. came. It is lovely to have her.


Woke up with bad headache & heard that I too have to be interviewed. It is a horrible surprise.


Children's dancing. Jeanie gave us all tea in town. Ella to supper.


Sunday. F. went to M/C. to stay with Evie & Ernest. I could not go with him.


Railway strike began, so J. & I were quick over breakfast & caught the first possible train to London. Then she came with me to Euston & I got a train for Manchester about 12.20. Travelled with lady who had been in Japanese earthquake last year (widow of British Vice Consul.) Arrived in M/C. an hour late, but kind Evie met me—it was pouring—& we drove to Institute arriving at 6.0 There I met F. & saw Falkner Hill. The Sutherlands had been interviewed & Cooper had not arrived owing to strike.

Then. F. & I went in—all the men stood up, but after the first moment I did not feel it formidable. Afterwards we waited about 2 hours & then Ernest came & said "The decision has gone agst you." It was rather a blow—Geo. King & J.W. Graham very kind—we were glad to get away & E. & E. went with us all the way to Disley in a taxi. (They have just bought a motor) but are only learning to drive.

Erica welcomed us & Mabel in bed & we had beautiful supper & saw all the beloved Bensham things, especially darling Mother's portrait.

Next morning left after seeing "Loot of Ease" & in spite of strike had easy journey & got home about 5.0. The E's have been excessively kind. In some ways it is a bitter disappointment for a settled post & income would be such a relief, but there are compensations. I'm sorry for the children, esp. Robert as he knows & wanted it so.

Feb. 7th.

Children decorated my chair. R. gave me india rubber the other 3, 8 little presents all done up prettily in coloured papers—a shampoo powder, glass butter dish, piece of soap, tiny scent bottle, piece of india rubber, piece of camphor, pencil & shipping list—F. tulips & a hearthrug. Mrs. Lapham pot of hyacinths (not out) Florence a biscuit box, Evie patent wardrobe fitter & B. £1—& Jeanie a book for doing leather work.

Florence went out in aft. & we all dressed up for tea. F. velvet coat—I wedding dress & my hair down—M. in my Japanese dressing gown (she looked exquisite with flowers in her hair) C. looking lovely in Father's morocco waistcoat & Ruthie a little picture in my old pink Cinderella frock—if only Robert had been here too. Everyone so kind & made me have a happy birthday.

Poor Caro has just got plates to straighten her teeth which hurt her a lot.

March 17th.

Musical recital by Miss Betty Bolton. She played really exquisitely.


F. & I & Mr. Elliott to Ella's to supper. Caro & Ruthie have influenza? & are very poorly. I have both at nights. One night Ruthie hardly slept at all.

I forgot that on my birthday I had a bilious attack, but recovered in time for her small party. We had tea & at 8.0 had lemonade, tiny shapes with jelly & orange & cocoanut.

March 19th.

F. & I to hear Oriana singers. C. & R. down to tea.


F. & I to L. Park to see part of "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme" acted by some of the boys. Sophie has been staying with us.

April 4th. Friday.

F. went to town about this house & while at the Agent's Mr. Stocker telephoned there & demanded an answer at once, so F. closed with it—that means we have sold it to him for £1200 & we paid £1250 plus £200 to get the freehold & we shall also have to pay the agents & lawyer so have lost about £300. Still I am thankful. Mr. Hawkins advised it strongly & I feel sure we have done wisely, for we cannot keep this big place up.


Esther has been staying with us. I went to see her off & then to Egginton & said we would take the house in Denmark Rd at £80 a year. It is a very big rent, but we are lucky not to have to buy. Frank went to Birmingham to attend the "Copek" conference. He was on the Education Commission. He stayed with Mr. & Mrs. Field, quite in luxury, & had an extremely interesting time.

The weather is awful. We've had practically no Spring yet, & it is bitterly cold.

April 8th.

Ruthie very poorly, & very sad at missing her last 3 days at Miss Banwell's school.


R. came home. I met him. He is lovely. Ruthie over 103°.


I went with R. in evening to Book Club at "The Lawn." Very nice. "Land of Heart's Desire".


Quite heavy snow. F. came back in evening.


Ruthie down to tea at last. I went to a sort of high tea at Miss Benington's & then with her to see "Outward Bound" a wonderful play in which the people onboard a ship are supposed to be dead.


At last after a weary winter the weather is growing warm. Aft. some cycled, others by bus part way, to Whitley Wood & got a few primroses. Everything is very late this year. Ruthie said "Thank you for giving us such a lovely day." We came back to high tea—a treat for Caro & Ruthie.


To town, with M. C. & R. Ruthie kept kissing my hand in the street. She was so sweet.

23rd. Wed.

F. had pupils, so I took Caro & Ruthie to London & saw them off to M/C. by the 11.50 from Euston. They were very sweet, very excited & very nervous; Evie met them at Stockport, & they are having a lovely time.


F. R. M. & I by bicycles & bus to Peppard, then walked (4 miles) to Nettlebed, got tea there in a nice cottage & arrived home about 8.0—2 cycling, 2 by bus.


All 4 of us to Book Club at Mrs. Reynolds' in her new house at Northcourt Avenue. F. had arranged it on Trollope & it was most interesting & amusing too. Mr. Wallis told about his life, & read, & F. spoke & read, & others read. It was a terribly wet evening. We are still having awful weather.

The Morris' moved from Denmark Rd on the 25th. & though we had not the key of the house, the next day we took R. & M. along & showed them the garden with which they were very pleased, & then nearly every day they went along to plant things from here in their own little gardens.

May 2nd.

Darling Robert went back to Bootham for his last term. I think he felt saying "goodbye" to this house & garden, tho' quite pleased about the next—rather glad on the whole not to be here when we move, as it will be such a "messy" business. M. & I saw him off. He is pleased it is his last term. He had a final peal of the bells in the house! F. had his last pupils before Sidcot.

May 5th.

We had so hoped to have tea in the garden for the last time with F. but tho' we have had it once or twice, as a rule it is still so cold & wet, & he has been out on those few times.

I saw him off to Sidcot at about 2.0, hardly knowing how to bear it. He is so brave: he has gone for a term to take Christie Burn's place, as he is away on leave. I am sure he dreads it a good deal, & I think he also felt leaving this house.

May 6th.

Marg. went for the day to Mapledurham (bicycling) with Jenny Steele, & got lovely bluebells. C. R. & I to Fairlight & helped Ruthie to plant her garden. She & C. are going to have separate ones.

May 7th.

Aft. took Ruthie to the Abbey School for her entrance exam. Saw Miss Sprules. M. went to bring her back.

May 8th. Thursday.

All 3 children went off to the Abbey Sch. Very cold & often wet, so they could not wear their summer tunics. Ruthie quite liked it—went in aft. too. Frank writes of nice lodgings (he has most meals at the school) but he sounds rather homesick & says it is "beastly" being a bachelor again!!

May 15th. Thursday.

Expected Newberry's men at 8.0, but it was 9.15 before they arrived. Children very disappointed as they wanted to see the vans. They had done most of the books beforehand, but not the glass, so were not able to finish in a day. There were 6 or 7 men & they were very nice & obliging, & fortunately it was a glorious day. The books & pictures seemed pretty hopeless, there were so many. The children went to Ella's to dinner & Florence & I had sandwiches, etc. I ate mine in the garden at Whiteknights House. Mrs. Lapham came all day & was a great help—she had to wash the dining room out this very morning. She made us & the men cups of tea, having lit the fire, but there was no time for food. The children took milk & buns into the garden & were good keeping out of the way. After the men left we made beds etc & had supper & had to go to bed early, as something was wrong with the electric light & we could not have any. However it is light till pretty late. I slept in spare room. It did feel strange, but I was thankful to have moved—especially as I was afraid of the children getting poorly & having to delay it. I had the gas stoves & lights removed the day before, but the men were bothering on part of the next day also.

May 16th.

Mrs. Lapham went round to W. Knights to clean up & sweep down. Ella came & was a very great help. Florence managed the fire alright in the kitchen & I found it far easier than the old range & got breakfast ready easily. We had a very simple dinner with oranges & apples for pudding. The men went about 12 or 12.30 & I gave them £1.4.0 between them (Ella said she gave 10/-) as the estimate was only £5.10.0. I was thankful when they had gone. For the next few days we worked very hard, & I had Mrs. L. several times. Am trying the "rough dry" system for the washing.

On May 20th. Aunt Gertie came & we had a scramble to get things nice for her, but the linoleum is down & part of the stair carpet. On the 22nd I took Aunt G. by steamer to Pangbourne & back by train arriving in time for dinner. She went away on May 23rd. & we have loved having her. She is nearly 70, but full of interest.

May 24th.

Dear little Caro's 12th. birthday. I could not manage a party, but meant to take the children a picnic but it simply poured (we've hardly had any settled weather) & it was not nice for the Baths. I said she could ask Eleanor Squire to tea, but she could not come & C. felt flat & melancholy. So we all changed our frocks for tea & then played ping pong etc. & had great fun.

May 30th.

I chose a new carpet for the dining room (£23.17.6) with some money Bertha has most kindly given me. As soon as we get that down we shall be practically straight. I've been staining floors hard & am sick of it, but I simply love this house & garden & would not go back to Whiteknights House for anything. The lilac (there is purple & white) has been quite gorgeous, also the irises. How I longed for Frank & Robert to be able to see it.


The roses have been glorious—some at least 8 [?5] inches across. At Whitsuntide we went to Sidcot.

Mrs. Peto, Mrs. Bowyer & the Miss Brains have called on me, & I have had a lot of visitors to tea & Miss Barringer to stay 2 nights & Edna 2.

On July 1st. Frank came for 2 nights. It was fearfully exciting. I met him at about 8.0—C. & R. rushed down in their nightgowns & took him round the house. He, M. & I had supper & then went round the garden. I think he likes it all.

July 2nd.

F. had [C.?]E.C. in London—I went up with him to shop at the Sales. He did not get back till 9.0.

{Book Club Charabanc picnic. 1st. time I had been in a motor char.}

July 3rd.

F. left almost directly after breakfast. I saw him off. It was horrid letting him go.

The rest of the month was busy with preparing for the Fair in aid of the swimming bath at the Abbey School, etc. The children got a lot of swimming which was jolly for them. The Fair was on July 25th. & 26th. & was beautifully arranged, but the first day rather spoilt by rain. That week I had Bertha for 2 nights, then Miss Wells, then Evie & Mabel for the week-end. They went away early on Monday July 28th. & on Tuesday July 29th. Robert & Frank returned home—Robert for the last time from Bootham (I met him at 3.37) & Frank from Sidcot at 8.9—I met him too. It was most exciting showing Robert the new house, & he was so sweet & appreciative. I had a final Fair Comtee at 5.0. It was an exciting day.

Aug. 1st.

All to L' Park to a tennis party. Robert actually played!

Aug. 2nd.

A lovely day, but rather windy. F. R. & I started at 10.30 & cycled to Aldworth via Pangbourne. Got there soon after 1.0 & saw the very interesting church with its monuments of the de Beche family. Then on to the top of the Downs—splendid view. Got home about 5.0. About 26 miles in all.

Aug. 7th.

I took all the children to Windsor by the 9.0 bus—a beautiful 2 hours drive, but not very hot. Saw the state apartments in Castle—quite interesting & the stables & the long avenue. Home to tea.

Aug. 11th.

Musical evening at Petos.

Aug. 12th.

F. Marg & Robert went by Chara-banc to Wembley, starting 5.30 & getting home 9.30 p.m. Very tiring, but most interesting they said.

Aug. 13th.

Children's marionette play—"The Lord Mayor's Fool".

Aug. 15th. Friday

Florence went off at 9.0 for her holiday & I had a busy day clearing up, packing etc. All the children went to bed as usual (only not all undressed & R. & M. earlier than usual) & at 10 mins. to 12.0 p.m. we woke them. The 2 little ones were very spry, & Ruthie almost shouting with joy, but R. & M. sleepy—Rob. saying "I don't want you, what are you doing here"? We soon dressed & started at 12.15 for the train at 1.0 a.m. We had a nice walk in the dark & quiet, having sent the luggage on earlier; we had engaged a carriage, but when the train came in it was taken & the train was packed & finally we had to separate & get in where we could. We changed at Taunton & got a better carriage & all tog. & then I dozed a lot, but the children hardly slept at all, but were absolutely good reading. We arrived late at Ilfracombe after 8.0 & it was pelting.

Aug. 16th. Sat.

We left Frank & Robert to attend to the luggage & walked to the town & found Mrs. Delve's lodgings. She had promised to give us breakfast & it was a relief to get washed & get an excellent breakfast & then to rest in the sitting room. She was most kind. We went out to a shop for a little dinner & then as it was now fine Rob. & I walked, the others went by bus to Combe Martin—Mrs. Sleeman, 3 Woodlands.

It was about 5 miles & rather hot & tiring, but lovely coast. We had tea at 4.30.

Our lodgings are quite nice, big rooms, but look on to the main street & the noise of charabancs is awful. We pay £6.10.0 a week for the rooms. It is near enough to the sea to bathe from the house. We had a very nice fortnight only the weather was bad: nearly every day it rained, for part of the day. We found some lovely bays for bathing. Frank, Rob. Marg. & I read a lot of "Joseph Vance" aloud & finished it after getting home.

I was glad to get home about 7.0 on Aug. 29th. & Florence had everything very nice. She had come in that morning.

Aug. 30th.

A great rush cutting heaps of sandwiches etc for Robert. He went to London about 11.0 & joined the Holiday Fellowship at Victoria & went with them to Wolfach in the Black Forest for a fortnight.

One day F. M. C. R. & I went to Arborfield (Barbara Lake) & the children bathed. They had sandwiches, but F. & I left them & cycled home to dinner.

On Sept. 12th. F's birthday we went a picnic to Upton Court. C. R. & I went by bus to the "Three Firs" & M. & F. cycled. Then we walked up to Upton Court (about 2 miles) & after persuasion the housekeeper showed us the wonderful Elizabethan place. It has lots of priests holes & secret passages. Then we had our own sandwiches & picked blackberries & the children came home by bus, F. & I cycling all arriving in time for tea & before the rain began.

Sept. 19th.

I took M. to the Mount & spent a happy week-end at Burton Croft.

Got home about 3.30 on Sept. 22nd. & F. met me & the children gave me a lovely welcome.


I had a dressmaking lesson.

Sept. 24th.

Robert & I cycled to Bearwood to get blackberries. He has Wed. half holiday but not Sat.

Sept. 27th.

Ruthie went by bus & Florence, F. C. & I cycled to Bearwood & got 6 lbs. blackberries. F. & I cycled home to tea, but left the children with Florence & they got home at 6.30.

Oct. 1st.

Took Ruthie & Caro to matinée (pit) of "As you like it." Doran's company. Very good. 1st. time Ruthie had been to the theatre except pantomime. Robert went in evening to Hamlet. Dia for the night. She is starting at the College.

In Oct. Florence left, & I was 2 or 3 weeks without a maid I think. I missed F. awfully. Then I got Violet by the day at first, but finally she came to sleep in.

We had a good many visitors & a tiring time, & Caro got poorly & finally the Dr. said it was her lungs & she must go away. It was a terrible blow. One day she had a bad bronchial cold, & felt pretty bad as she could not breather properly. She told Ruthie she could see the angels & was going to die.

On Wed. November 26th. I took her to Kelvedon to say with Wilfrid & Katie Hennell. It was a pouring day. We got there before 1.0 & I left in the aft.

Dec. 9th.

Mock Trial at Institute. F. v. good as Counsel for the Prosecution but had to go away early. Robert excellent as a witness (a doctor)—made out tremendous list of injuries! He had a moustache & blackened eyebrows & looked awful!

Dec. 16th.

Prize-giving. Ruthie looked sweet, & sang in "The Smoothing Iron" & "Oh no John," but it was dreadful not to have M. & C. there—M. got prize for Greek & C. for French. Many enquiries for Caro.

We went Ruthie all alone to York on Dec. 19th. I think.

On Dec. 23rd. (Tues.) F. Rob & I went to London, met darling Caro, looking well & went by excursion to York arriving in the evening. C. has loved being at the Hennells & has gone up splendidly in weight & they have been so good to her.       Bertha & Marg. met us & it was lovely to see them, esp. Marg. after her first time at the Mount.

We had a glorious Xmas everyone so kind—act "Waiting for the bus"—Caro & Billy enchanted to be with each other again,—quite mad! supper in the bath together, etc. Old Mrs. Morrell wonderful—sumptuous food! pantomime immense fun. We came home on Dec.

29th. Monday

- Ruthie & I direct—the others by excursion to London—arrived very late.



Jan. 3rd. Saturday.

Frank, Caro & I left for London directly after breakfast—he saw us to Victoria & then we had to part. I felt very miserable & absurdly nervous. Quite good crossing. In Paris Rosamond & Violet Wallis met us & saw us across. Then long journey began—rather crowded at night part of time & in corridor carriage. C. slept badly & got very tired.

Jan. 4th. Sunday.

Glorious by Lake of Geneva—lovely hot day, cloudless blue sky. Got funicular from Aigle to Leysin Village where we arrived between 12 & 1.0. Met by a porter from Les Irênes & walked there. C. examined by Dr. Rollier. Said little; thought she was asthmatical. We then drove down about 2 miles to "Les Noisetiers", Cergnat [illeg. character] /Sèpey, the school in the sun & had a nice reception—38 children, mostly French, but 1 Irish girl of 7, one little American girl & 2 little boys. Most of the children younger than C. She shares a very nice bedroom with Madeleine Meles (French) aged 13. We had tea with the school (rather formidable) then C. walked with me down to Le Sépey where after some trouble I got a room at "Le Cerf." The pull up again was very tiring & C. quite tired out & sobbed bitterly when I left her at 'Les Noisetiers.'

Jan. 5th.

I went up at 11.0 & C. came to talk to me. She was not very happy & it was dull & rather wet. In aft. I went up again & we played games together. The mountains are exquisite. At 'Le Cerf' I am the only visitor & no one can speak a word of English. I find I came thro this village years ago with Father & Mother, before there was a railway.

Jan. 6th.

Tuesday. A good deal of snow, but no wind. Caro was in bed (they are supposed to go to bed for 3 days when they arrive) & had had castor oil—Madeleine in bed too. I sat & played games with C. & read a little to her while she knitted with the tears streaming down her face, but never a word that she was feeling miserable.

I went back to lunch & then up again to C. where I stayed till nearly 5.0. It was terrible leaving her, for she put both her arms round my neck & clung to me sobbing & imploring me not to go. At last I just had to tear myself away, but it was awful, & I tore out of the house. Poor darling wee lassie. It was all so strange & not being able to speak French made her feel worse.

I got a meal & then took train about 6.45 from Sepey to Aigle—there I had several hours to wait, it was dark & pouring & in the waiting room the light too bad for me to read, so it was wearisome & I dare not think of Carina for it made me cry. I believe the train came about 11.0 & I got a nice carriage with 3 young Swiss gentlemen, so we were able to lie down a bit. At Paris I took a taxi across (17 francs, but that was only about 4/6) & then got safely to Calais. Very cold on the boat. At Reading no one met me—F. had been down & gone back but I got home about 8.0 I believe, & was thankful to be at home again. They have got on alright.

The term soon began—I saw M. off to the Mount—unfortunately in Feb. she got influenza which affected her heart, so she had to rest a great deal & play no games. It seemed a long term to me & I missed Caro dreadfully—so does poor little Ruthie. We had good news of her, but she had to have an operation on her nose which was worrying, & at first she did not seem happy. Madeline's mother—Madame Meles, came over from Slough where she was staying to see me & tell me about Caro, which was v. kind. Frank & Robert were v. busy at the Folk House & other things.

We had Colin for over a fortnight, studying pure milk. He took us to see "Charley's Aunt" which was immense fun. Then we had Raymond Irwin for 10 days, & after it all I felt very tired. In Feb. I began spring-cleaning drawers & cupboards & did most of them myself—I think at the beginning of March we started the rooms, doing them very gradually. We changed the spare-room into the childrens' room.

Marg. was away for her birthday, the first from home since she was tiny.

It was a dreary winter, sunless, but not cold, but on March 21st. & 22nd. we had quite a lot of snow & frost.

Dia came nearly every Sunday which was delightful. I took her & Rob. to see "The Wandering Jew" but did not like it.

Bertha took F. & me & Dia, Betty & a friend of hers to see St. Joan (Sybil Thorndike.)

April 3rd.

F. & I to Cavalleria Rusticana & Paggliaci.

April 7th.

Margaret came home, & Mabel Weiss came just before her. Princess Mary in Reading. I took Mabel & Ruthie to try & see her.

April 10th.

Good Friday.

Robert has holiday & went bicycle ride with F. In morning all but me went on Loddon. We made "pace eggs."


Sat. All went excursion. Glorious hot day at last. Went early to "Three Firs". Walked to near Upton Court & got crowds of primroses—nice sandwiches & or eggs, etc, & then walked back to Three Firs & home to tea.


Sunday. Violet out as usual & stayed away till Monday night.

13th. Easter Monday.

Not very fine. Mabel, Marg. & Ruthie gave us a good & amusing entertainment in afternoon, little plays, recitations, etc.


Went in aft. by bus to Riseley Common, walked to field & got frittillaries, & then to beech woods. High tea on return.


Mabel left. She is a splendid child, full of enthusiasm & very capable, & Ruthie, especially, will miss her dreadfully.


Paul Schultz, Robert's friend, arrived about 10.30. In aft. (F. was at Q.M. at Banbury) I walked with him from town by the river to Sonning. Back by bus. He seems delightful.

May 2nd.

Paul, F. Ruthie, Lydia & I & Margaret to blue-bell wood at Mapedurham. They were just out & exquisite. Started about 11.15 & got back at 4.0. I provided a very nice lunch. M. & R. did the flowers beautifully for me. Mary White (who is working at Maidenhead) to tea.

May 4th.

Paul went to the Rawlingses as a paying guest. We like him immensely.

May 8th.

Marg. went back to the Mount.

May 15th.

I went to Jordans to Sam Davies' funeral.

May 17th.

Mr. Beckmann, an elderly nice German came (Sunday) in connection with the W.E.A. Stayed till 20th. but out all day.


May 21st.

Ascension Day. I took Ruthie by bus to Sindlesham with dinner. At 5.30 to children's play hour at Folk House which we began last week (started in winter by the students) Only about 10 children there—Dia, Mrs. Matthews, Doris Lapham & I to help, & Ruthie! F. & R. had dinner in town as Violet & Mrs. Lapham were cleaning the dining room—the Spring cleaning is now quite finished. V. & I have done it all, beginning in March & trying to do each room on its proper day, only having Mrs. L. for kitchen, stairs & dining room.

We had breakfast in kitchen to-day while V. had hers after us. Sweep for dining room about 7.0. I hope fires are over now. We gave them up about a week ago.

Spring cleaning finished.


Sophie came.


Frank, Ruthie, S. & I to Goring by 4.25 boat. Tea on board. Back by train. This morning S. got locked in her room & could not come down to breakfast till F. had gone for a joiner (in pouring rain) who climbed thro the window & released her.


Mrs. Stansfield took Ruthie & S. a drive in their new car. It poured all day, but cleared up in evening. S. went at 8.0. Nearly missed it!


F. went to York to stay with Ber for Old Scholars. Robert began to be feverish & had awful cold. Betty came for week-end.

Mary & Caro Pollard, May 1925

June 1st. Whit Monday.

It has been cold & wet but to-day was lovely & fine though a cold wind. Dia took Betty, Ruthie & me on river. We left here about 10.15 & cycled to Sonning, Ruthie on back of Dia's bicycle. There got boat at Lock House. Most exciting going down St. Patrick's Stream. Lunch by Loddon—Dia bathed. Hard pull back agst wind & current up Thames to Sonning. Got there 4.15. I left the 3 to get tea, & cycled back as poor Robert in bed all day still & I wanted to let Violet out. It was a splendid picnic.

June 2nd.

F. came home, having enjoyed O.S. very much, esp. seeing Margy. He really went to meet others, as he is to edit a sort of book about the last 25 years of Bootham.

June 6th.

Rob. better & we sent him to the Blue Idol, Sussex till Monday. He had a difficult time getting there with 5 miles to walk at the end (we hadn't known this) but he enjoyed it the rest of the time & came back on June 8th. in the evening, & went to work agaon on

June 9th.

From June 4th.—6th. we had a very nice visit from Ernest. F. & I went to College to hear Lord Eustace Percy (Minister of Education), & had tea with Ernest in the grounds, & F. went to a dinner.


Evening party at Wessex Hall to which Dia had invited F. & me.


Concert in College Grounds. F. & Dia sang in it. Phandrig Crohroore etc. Beautiful flautist.

R. & I cycled to Henley in aft. to M. M. Very hot.


Ruthie's ½ term holiday. She & I by 8.30 char-a-banc to Wembley. Got there at 10.30. Terribly hot & tiring. I got a headache. Went to Australia, Canada, Gold Coast, down gold coal mine, Palace of Arts, Africa, etc. & on racer which was quite horrible. Started back at 7.30 & got home 9.30. Poor Ruthie had been so excited beforehand, but I'm afraid was disappointed.


R. & I in aft. cycled to Swallowfield. Country heavenly. About 6 miles there. A few days later I went with F. & saw the outside of Miss Mitford's charming house. How I wish the country was as it used to be, without any horrid motors.

July 3rd.

At last heard from Dr. Rollier & hope Caro will be home a fortnight to-day. We are so excited—Ruthie wild with joy.

July 13th.

Frank went by 9.25 to London, en route for Switzerland—very hot.

July 14th.

F. reached Switzerland.

July 15th.

Robert, Ruthie & I to see Dr. Hurry's wonderful garden—full of tropical plants, herbs, medical plants, etc, & a good museum. We each had a cup of tea & a cake! In evening I went to pit (second ½ as "twice nightly") to see "A Mother should tell"—I went in order to be able to protest afterwards if necessary, but it was not as bad as I expected, only far too many young men & women there, & they laughed at dreadful things.

July 17th.

(Friday.) All day thought of Caro & Frank. Telegram in aft. from Dover & soon after 5.0 Ruthie & I went to the Station. To our surprise only Caro appeared, as Frank had had to stay for the luggage had not turned up. C. looked exquisite in a blue coat & blue hat, so tall & brown & well. We came home by tram, & she kept breaking into French & seemed rather grieved to be in a town again after so many months in the country. It is lovely to have her. I tried to occupy her till holidays began with swimming baths etc. She had 2 driving lessons, & an embroidery lesson with Miss Barkas & went along to the school to see the girls etc.

Margaret came home on July 28th. with her friend Audrey Wood, a very nice girl.

On July 29th. we took her to see L' Park grounds & got leave to go in the Baths which was jolly. On the 31st. all of us but Robert who is still at work went on river with lunch in a boat, down past Sonning. Took dinner, back to tea. Audrey went away on Aug. 1st.

Aug. 3rd.

Bank Holiday & our wedding day. We had the washing as usual, but I let Violet out in evening. All of us went to Kintbury, just beyond Newbury & then walked to the "gallows" about 4 miles—nearly 1000 ft. up. It was close & tiring & rained a little. Seemed further coming back, tho' we were more on paths—we got a cup of tea & lemonade at Kintbury. Got home to high tea at 6.0. Evie had sent us lovely cakes.

Next few days often went to Baths at L.P. played a great deal of croquet which C. loves since "Les Noisetiers," etc.


Robert started his month's holiday. Went to Leicester for a night with Peach, then to Wheel Birks for a week.

Aug. 8th.

F. went to Hoddesdon to a Summer School got up by Adult Education Section of C.L.C. & Woodbrooke Extension Comtee Lectures on Bible, etc.

Aug. 11th.

Marg. went to the theatre as a guest of Neville Hodgkin to see "A Nervous Wreck". It was a very short performance.

Aug. 12th.

Ruthie & I saw Marg. off to Birkenhead to stay with Evelyn Davison. Next 2 days very wet.

Aug. 15th. Sat.

Lovely day. Caro Ruthie & I by 9.30 taxi to station—gt work to get porter. In London taxi to Euston, & there could not get porter—at last found F. who had come from Hoddesdon & he just had to carry the luggage. After gt difficulty got our seats & then had a through carriage to Windermere. There for 1st. time had, alas, to get a motor bus instead of coach to Grasmere & got to Prince of Wales at 6.20. Greeted by the man "Riseley"—"how the girls are growing up"! In garden greeted by Cuthbert & then by dear old Jane. Robert already here from Wheel Birks, not at all well. It is 6 years since we were at dear Heugh Folds. Teresa has kindly lent the house to us.

Soon Margaret arrived from Birkenhead—F. met her at Prince of Wales, & about 8.0 p.m. we all had a delicious supper, fish pie, etc.


16th. Sunday.

Short service in garden: then walk along pony path & back by other side of Rydal. V. hot. Lazy aft. After tea all went up Nab Scar, except Ruthie & me & she had a headache, so we only went up Nab Scar. She said "I do love the North. I wanted to go to the sea, but I think I like this almost better with the lovely streams."


Heavenly day—I have rarely seen the colour of lakes & mts so delicately beautiful. Walked by Loughrigg Tar. to "Diana's Looking Glass" where we had our sandwiches, then on to Skelwith—then to Randapike, but lost the way & got very tired. Gt. picnic tea at Bulheim [?] Tarn with Sara Renton, Dolly R. Mary Dixon, Baumgartners, Alaric's family (not him) & Phyllis Douglas & husband & son Basil. Bertha Holmes motored M. C. R. & me to Ambleside where we got a motor char. to Ambleside & the Douglasses motored F.  Rob. back.


Cloudy. Walked up Far Easedale—bathed, lunch—up Gibson Nott & along ridge to Helm Crag, down it & home to high tea at 6.0—pretty tired, but v. good walk.


Dull. Went along Pony Path to Rydal Park to see Sheep Dog Trials. Most exciting. Back to dinner at 12.30 (tickets let you in & out) & then back again for Hounds Race & more Trials. Took tea with us. C. & I stayed till after 6.0, but it was not quite finished.


Very misty. At 2.30 went part way up Nab Scar & had a splendid view of guides running up & down, only mist obscured them going down—also dog trail—they passed close to us. Guides did it in 14 mins. & a few seconds.

Frank, Mary, Robert, Margaret & Ruth Pollard, and Teresa Merz, Heugh Folds, August 1925


Rather wet & heavy showers, but we went off about 10.30 for Tilberthwaite. Did not take dinner, but had a scone & biscuit each at 12.30 & then after being up the glen (children bathed) we had an excellent tea (1/3 each) in a spotless cottage close to at 3.0 o'clock & got home, in spite of [mists?] & showers at 6.0 to a lovely dinner. Very tired.


Very wet. C. Ruthie & I went to put heather on Aunt Car's grave, then R. & I went on to village. Coming back she seemed very tired & complained of cold & cough, & I had to put her to bed. She had a bad headache.

In aft. F. & I went to see pictures by Lake District Artists.

23rd. Sunday.

Fine again

Short service, then the Douglases took M. & C. in their car to Derwentwater. Ruthie & I sketched. M. & C. back to tea & then we played by Donny Beck.


Fine & we went up to Easedale, but Ruthie & I went slower than the others & bathed in a small stream on the way. The rest went on up Harrison Stickle—Ruthie & I waited 2½ hours reading at the Tarn but then returned. A terrific shower began, bt we sheltered under trees. The others caught us up soaked to the skin. Home about 5.0—high tea at 6.0—bacon, beans & potatoes etc.


Lovely day. Phyllis Douglas husband & son made a long call in morning. Aft. we walked by [Pett?] How to Ambleside. M. & I shopped. Others on lake, then all to the Baumgartners to a beautiful tea. They have a lovely house & garden. Back by motor bus.


Pouring & so cold, we had to have a fire. F. & I went to village in aft. but it poured all day.


Looked fair, so started for Langdale, but it began to pour, so we had to shelter for a long time. However it improved & turned out lovely. Went up Langdale, had dinner near water fall & plodged, then on by Blea Tarn to Little Langdale & home to high tea at 6.0. Wasp in Robert's slipper which stung him. Probably 13 or 14 miles.

Nasty experience with ram at Langdale.


Wet. Fair in aft. so Father & R. got boat & rowed to foot of Loughrigg where they met the rest of us. The 3 girls & I had a jolly bathe—then C. & I walked home—rest went in boat. After tea C. & I went half way up Nab Scar, but turned back because of rain.

29th. Sat.

Wet at first, but faired, so we went up Nab Scar & had v. good view in spite of it being stormy & very cold. Then down other side & after a little search found the famous Rydal Pool. I had not seen it for years. All but Ruthie bathed—icy—then sandwiches & home by pony path before 2.0. Arthur, Elsie, Lucy & Willie arrived about 3.30 & soon after Teresa came. The Pollards stayed till nearly 7.0.

Aug. 30th.

Teresa, Marg. C. Ruthie & I to church. Harry & Lucy to tea. H. great fun.

Aug. 31st.

Started for Tarn Howes by Rydal—farside & over by Quarries down to Skelwith. Exquisite, but began to rain & went on all day. After Skelwith we lost our way & never to to the Tarn at all. Arrived home about 4.0, very tired.

Sept. 1st.

Cold. Teresa, Rob. & I round the Lake, partly thro' the wood by a new path. Lovely. I went in garden in aft. after a rest with Ruthie—rather wet.

Sept. 2nd.

All but Ruthie & me went along to Thirlmere & then to see Buck Castle. She & I went up Silverhow, had sandwiches & got home about 3.0, just before it began to pour. We had a most delightful walk. The other came in to high tea at 6.0 very footsore, having been 18 miles mostly on roads & up Raven Crag.

Sept. 3rd.

Very cold, but fair. Village. Aft. children bathed in river; not very nice as so cold.

Sept. 4th.

Our last day. Left Prince of Wales in a small 2 horse charabanc at 9.0. Lovely, only icy cold. Started at 10.0 from Wythburn to climb Helvellyn, & day improved & was glorious, only for a very cold wind. Top in about 1½ hours, & magnificent clear view. Criffel on Solway Firth & Morecambe Bay, & all the nearer mts.

Striding Edge pretty hard for Ruthie in the icy wind, lunch in a sheltered place just beyond it—then the long ascent & descent of Grisedale. Home at 12 minutes to 6.0 & a delicious high tea, fish cakes etc at 6.0. Then packed. I was very tired. Ruthie walked splendidly & never once complained, in spite of boots turned over.

Jane has been kindness itself & her meals perfect. We helped with bread & washing up, but it only took a few minutes.

Sept. 5th.

Teresa saw us off by 10.25 bus, & gave me lovely heather. Pouring & very cold. Train 11.25. Engaged carriage to Euston. Harry met us at Kendal. Cold journey, but bairnies so good, tho' Ruthie got tired, for we were 1½ hrs late & so missed train to Reading. She & M. did Cross Word Puzzles. Got home just before 9.0—F. & Ruthie & C. in taxi. Violet there—her room door wd not open & F. had to go & get a man, late tho' it was—& someone came just to oblige!

6th. Sunday.

Meeting. Very nice quite day. Children played & sang, etc.

I forgot to say that at H. Folds Jane was kindness itself, & an excellent cook. I paid her 2/- a day & 2/- board wages & she got her own food. Also Cuthbert was very nice & I never bought a vegetable or potatoes, except tomatoes.


Sept. 12th.

Sat. F's birthday, & at last a glorious day. All but R. who is at work again went by 3 bicycles & 2 by us to "our" fields near Swallowfield where we got a good many blackberries, had dinner & rested in the sun. Then walked on to the Loddon near the Mill & got very fine blackberries. Home to tea.


Marg. went back to the Mount. F. C. Ruthie & I saw her off at Reading West. Helen Sargent & Prof. Sealy with her.


C. & R. back to school. C. rather tired of her long holiday.


F. to Swindon for week-end, but got a feverish cold & came back on Sunday night.


Mrs. Lapham & I cycled to Peppard Had tea at an Inn.

Frank, Mary & Carol Pollard blackberrying near Swallowfield, September 1925


F. to Sidcot for week-end. Yesterday Mrs. W.H. Smith died.


An exquisite afternoon. R. & I cycled to the old Roman road beyond Beech Hill, about 8 miles, & back by Swallowfield. Got home at 5.30. High tea 6.0.


To 3rd year opening of Folk House.

Oct. 3rd.

A glorious day, like summer. I took Caro & Ruthie by 12.0 bus to about a mile beyond Peppard sanatorium (the old Bricklayers Arms) & then to the Common. Colours heavenly. Got 5 lbs. blackberries—had dinner—went along exquisite path C. found—got lost, but soon found the road & waited for bus which never came. Found it did not go beyond Peppard in Oct. & had to walk there. Home at 5.0.


Frank, Rob. Caro & I to matinée of "Patience".


F. & I to stay with Sophie—ages since we have been away together alone. Met S. & Wilfrid at the 'Plane Tree' where we had lunch—then to the 'Fortune' Theatre to see "We Moderns" by Zangwill. Clever & excellent moral, but rather a 'modern' play. Got to Wembley about 6.30. Eric & Winifred to supper.


To meeting at Ealing. Quiet aft. Got home at 9.15—Robt very glad to have us back; tired of responsibility!


Q.M. Hugh to stay night. Dr. Henry Hodgkin very good on China.


Evie & Mabel staying the week-end. To-day (Sat.) Evie, Mabel, Carol, Ruthie & I started at 10.27 (cheap tickets) in spite of pouring rain for Wellington College. It faired & we hardly had a drop of rain all day & it was quite hot. (Frank & Rob. couldn't come, so I had to get dinner ready for them before starting.)

Walked slowly by Finchampstead Ridges thro' exquisite roads & lanes to Arborfield (really Long Moore) late & got there about ¼ to 1.0 All bathed (naked) except me & all swam even Ruthie. Then ate our dinner, children played & climbed trees & E. & I walked round lake—then back to W. College & caught the 3.25 train home, arriving in time for tea just as it was starting to rain again. The colours of the trees & bracken were glorious & it was a most successful picnic.


One day F. & I to concert—Dorothy Silk & excellent oboe player.

Nov. 11th.

F. & I to Abbey School (Reading Music Club) where St. James' Choir sang (without piano) mass music by Palestriina, Di Lasso, Byrd, etc. Beautiful.


Tiny birthday party for Ruthie. She was not quite well.


Dia's 21st. birthday.


Sat. Ruthie up to breakfast at last & in honour of Dia's birthday we had been invited to London. Ruthie C. & I by 8.45. Met by Bertha & Betty in a car (3 cars lent them for week-end.) Drove to Kingsley, then some of us drove to see shops, Selfridges & Liberty's. Then Bertha, C. R. & I drove to meet Frank & with him joined Edmund at Simpson's in Cheapside—200 years old—the ceremony of guessing cheese etc not performed on Sat. V. good lunch & splendid coffee. Then saw Guildhall & Gog & Magog clock. Drove to Maskelyne & Devants & met rest of party there. Ruthie still v. tired. Excellent performance—ventriloquist, chinese conjuror with live ducks etc.

Drove back to Kingsley to change—then to Fuller's for the great dinner—all of us {Morrells (not Billy)} & Cuthbert Morrell, Edmund, Esther, Viola C. & Charles & Stella. Table exquisite with pink carnations etc. Perfect dinner. Then I drove C. & Ruthie (Robert arrived in time for dinner) back to Kingsley & left them to go to bed—drove back & all the rest of us (except Viola) went to see "La Chauve Souris"—a wonderful collection of grave & gay scenes, mostly Russian.

22nd. Sunday.

Breakfast after 9.0. Soon after 10.0 started in 2 cars for Hampton Court. Cold & foggy, & most of it shut, but we saw the gardens, the wonderful vine, & nearly all of us went in the maze. Back to Kingsley for lunch. We were driven to station & caught 4.30 home, having had a glorious time. Violet out, but F. lit kitchen fire & we soon got high tea ready.


Rob. & I to recital by Mr. Kelson—German songs.

Dec. 5th.

In about a fortnight we have had really hard frost. To-day was lovely with hot sun & I took Ruthie to Whiteknights (small lake) for her first skating lesson. She got on pretty well, but got tired.

Poor Caro in bed poorly & so disappointed not to go. Aft. F. & I to hear Pachmann—all Chopin. He is over 70!

I forgot to say on Nov. 27th. Gilbert & Sullivan Evening largely arranged by me at Institute. 2 glees—Bridal Morn & Strange Adventure—trio (Frank Mrs. Robson, Miss Bowman Smith) etc.


F. & I to Reading Music Club concert—"virtuoso quartette". V. beautiful.


Ruthie, Caro & I to L' Park Hobby Exhibn. Robert to his first dance in evening at St. Luke's Hall. I sat up for him. Frank at High Leigh War & Social Order Week-end.


F. Ruthie & I to Abbey School to performance by girls of "A Tale of 2 Cities"


Margaret came home from York.


Rob. down to tea for first time since Wed. He has had a feverish cold. M. F. & I to Book Club at Howard Smiths.


I have had rather bad toothache for 2 or 3 days, so got the tooth out this morning with cocaine.


Face very swollen. In evening Violet said her neck was swollen.


Bound the turkey (about 6 lbs.) & stuffed it with chestnut. Violet's face very swollen, but she says it is not mumps.

Xmas Day.

Snow quite thick on ground. Lovely presents. Yule Doos & scrambled egg for breakfast. F. gave me a cheese dish. Children (M. & C.) & F. went to L' Park, but too snowy for hockey. Violet & I cooked, but V. very unhappy with her face. However dinner lovely—turkey (hot) bread sauce & crumbs, artichokes, plum pudding with 2 threepennies in it & button & ring, mince pies & banana creams in glasses, & dessert. Then to drawing room, read etc. V. went home when she had washed up. M. C. & Ruthie acted "Under a toadstool crept a wee elf" very prettily—R. the elf. Marg. read the poem—C. the Tea with B's splendid Xmas cake in dining room hung with lanterns—also chocolate cakes Ruthie & I had made—little ones After tea M. C. & R. dressed in brown crinkly paper capes & hats & with lanterns sung in drawing room in the dark "Hark, ye neighbours & hear me tell". So pretty. Then F. & I lit the huge Xmas tree which C. & I had decorated & we sang carols round it, & then F. distributed more presents. We all had supper tog. in kitchen, sausage rolls, trifle, etc, & so ended a happy day. At tea-time we had crackers with fireworks in.

Boxing Day.

V. seemed very poorly, but was going home for the day & night. Lovely mild day, so we went almost directly after breakfast to Wellington College (V. departed after she had washed up etc) & walked to Long Moore Lake. Ruthie very tired, not extra well. Here dinner early of sausage rolls, fruit etc (my face still swollen where tooth out) & then back to Wellington College & got home about 2.30, just before rain came. Tea at once, & high tea at 6.15 with Xmas cake etc. Most successful day.

27th. Sunday.

V. not well enough to come back. All of us to Rawlings' to tea. Jolly games. My face still rather bad.


V. has mumps. It is tiresome & largely her own fault because she would go to see her little brother when he had it. We had to help Mrs. Lapham with the ironing.

I get Mrs. L. occasionally, but we do nearly all the work & are getting no holiday. Children very good about helping. They had several parties this week, only Ruthie missed them as in bed with very bad cough—I slept with her & we had bad nights & with my face too I am run down.


Rob. & F. sat up, as R. must see the "New Law of Property Acts" come into force!



Jan. 1st.

F. went to Teachers Guild at Woodbrooke. R. M. & C. to Friends party—not back till after 10.30. C. esp. loved it!

Quiet week-end.

Jan 2nd.

Sat. I took C. to London, dragging a great suit case about, & saw her off to Kelvedon to say with the Hennells.

Jan. 4th.

F. came home. I am so tired, I tried to make arrangements for us all to go away next week-end. Fortunately none of the 3 places I wrote to could have us, for on Sat. Jan. 9th. when I got up I at once knew I had got mumps. It is awful. I got breakfast ready, then had it by myself in another room—then sent M. & R. to Pangbourne by train to see the floods, & when R. & Rob. were out I cooked a Sunday dinner & enough food for the week-end. All in to dinner, but I had it alone, after wh. I retired to bed. Dreadfully painful night & hardly any sleep.

Jan. 10th.

Only Rob. to meeting. My temp 103° in evening.

Jan. 11th. Mon.

Marg. began mumps too & will now miss Matric. which begins to-morrow. It is vexing. Poor child. She is miserable. Ruthie helped Mrs. L. with the ironing. Mrs. L. is going to come every day to cook, but poor Frank is having a hard time with 2 invalids, all the fires before breakfast, breakfast etc & his work. The first few days were miserable as I couldn't read, but afterwards it wasn't bad, though the cold is intense, even with gas fire. Deep snow outside. M's temp. over 103° one night, & it has kept up longer than mine, but her face has not been so bad. Mine was awfully swollen both sides & I looked terrible. Temp. outside in some places down to zero. I couldn't get my room much above 40°!

Jan. 16th.

R's 19th. birthday.

I got up & went to sit in M's room.


M. got up.


F. went to London to meet Caro who has to stay with the Rawlingses, as she starts school to-morrow. Ruthie will have to miss school, so we sent her at 1.50 all alone to York, as B. has kindly said she would have her, & then M. & I can be free in the house, as F. & R. have had mumps.


Violet came back at last & now I trust F. will have a little rest. He has looked after us & everything splendidly. M. & I came down after breakfast & I began a little cooking again. A bit of a thaw, thank goodness.


Fine, if chilly & M. & I went on top of bus to Wokingham & back.

30th. Sat.

My three weeks quarantine up. M's not, but still she & I went out.

Feb. 1st.

M. & I to town. Jolly to be able to shop again! C. came home in great spirits, but unfortunately telegram that Ruthie not very well, so can't come.

Feb. 2nd.

I saw M. off to school. She is pleased to go back.


I went to London by 9.25 to see Sargent Exhibition. Did some shopping too. No time for dinner. Home again about 2.45.


At last Ruthie came home. i met her in aft. It was lovely to be able to kiss her again!


Ruthie back to school.

Feb. 6th.

As F. was going to Halifax for the week-end, we "celebrated" my birthday to-day. The children have been so excited about it—& I got lovely presents—F. narcissus, Rob. some of Jacob's stories, Marg. a trowel, C. a scarf knitted by herself (so pretty) Ruthie a pincushion made by herself, Dia & Bowes a cake, Evie a bag. Aft. Prize-giving. Dull going alone, but nice to see Ruthie get a prize for arithmetic & curtsey to Lady Waldegrave & the Bp. of Buckingham. The singing was very good.

7th. Sunday.

Beautiful plant (cinnaria) from Mrs. Lapham, my washerwoman. Very wet & dark. Ruthie & I (& Robert) to meeting. First time I have been for ages.


F. & I to P.C. Children meeting in Town Hall. Good concert & tea also. Evening F. to lecture at Wokingham (W.E.A.) on Industrial History (he is giving a course) & R. & I to Folk House to lecture by Prof. Hawkins on "Fossils".


Dora Minshall arrived for week-end after 7.0, very swell & with a huge car, & I had to take the chauffeur too. It was overwhelming & I felt very nervous.

14th. Sunday

All but Frank went to Oxford in the car. (Dia too) Poured. I went to St. Peter's church with Dora. Lunch (provided by her) at Miss Moon's lodgings—Merlin there. V. nice. Home at 4.0. Ruthie tired out & with a cold. Dora most interesting.


Dora in bed to breakfast—happily, for Violet so late. She gave us all valentines—mine pocket nail scissors—& did a lovely sketch in our visitors book. She has been so kind. Went at 9.30.


Bertha for night en route for France. Lovely.


I went to Arts League of Service at College. Excellent.


I started the children's room & on 18th. Feb. we really began Spring Cleaning.

March 5th.

Friday. I went to York by 9.25 train. Drove to B. Croft—no one there—so went to the Boarding House for night. Edna & Marian Prout very kind.


Saw over Edna's new flats. To B.C. to dinner. Darling M. arrived at ¼ to 2.0. We were just finishing a very nice meal when Bertha & Edmund arrived in a taxi!! I took Marg. Evelyn Davison, Margaret Staley & Audrey Wood out to tea in a café, then we played games at B.C.

7th. Sunday.

V. warm welcome at meeting from lots of people, & beautiful sermon from Dr. Henry Hodgkin. Dr. Hughes to tea. M. & I went early to Mount & saw her study etc. I saw No. 13. in bed after supper with the mistresses.


Up to Mount at "rec." time & said goodbye to Marg. B. & I to see old Mrs. Morrell who is nearly 94.

Edna & Edith Davies to lunch. B. saw me off by 2.5 for Newcastle. Molly met me & we drove up to her house. V. nice. Tea. Peter is a darling, 1 year & 2 mos. old. Supper early, & Rhys & Molly took me to Repertory theatre to see "The Ship" by St. John Ervine. Pathetic.


Terrible day—gale & snow. I managed to get to Aunt Gertie's in morning & saw her & Sarah & Eva. In evening to Quarries to dinner. Aunt Hope & Teresa sweet.


To Wheel Birks for day—Rollo Cameron too. Colin's farm so nice.

11th. Thursday.

Left N/C. at 10.20 went by London—F. met me at 4.30. Tea at Kings X then home at 6.30. Warm welcome from Caro & Ruthie.


Went on with Spring cleaning.


Our 4 post bed has had the box mattress done up £6.8.0 & new curtains (2 for the window) 13 guineas & it looks lovely. The old mattress had a date on & was 63 years old!


Reading Music Club concert—Pianist Ethel Bartlett, Cello'ist John Barbirolli & singer Dora Stevens.


To "The Critic" at L' Park

March 26th.

Gave Violet notice as she was dreadfully rude & has been so bad tempered this week.


Heard to-day that C. has got the 'Sylvia Jacob' Scholarship. I hate the idea of her leaving home, but she wants to go to the Mount, & it is very nice for her. We are grateful. I forgot to-day that a week ago F. & I papered out the lavatory! It was a business.


Violet whitewashed the pantry & I helped. At 3.47 I met Margy & she & I went straight to the Abbey School to a concert done by the different houses. F. Met us & went too & I let Violet go. 'Paget' had won the cup, & Caro had to play "Through the Meadows" by Somervell off by heart, & "Poetic Tone Pictures" by Grieg. She did very well indeed. She also sang in Part Song "The Lamb" by Walford Davies & Ruthie sang in "My bonny Lass" & both in "I vow to thee my country".


Robert & I cycled part way by the Kennet to Burghfield Mill & back by Bath Rd. V. pretty. Children broke up.

April 2nd. Good Friday.

At 4.0 o'clock Madame Meles, her son & Madeleine came to tea. V. nice. Some played croquet. At 6.0 they took Caro in small car to "the Nest" a furnished bungalow they have taken at Stoke Poge's.

April 3rd. Sat.

On the 1st. we made Easter Eggs—yesterday I hid choc. ones Bertha had sent us.

Violet left in afternoon. She has worked well this week, but all the same I feel it is a relief, for she is a selfish sort of person & thinks of & spends so much on clothes & is so bad about getting up & coming in late. Still she is splendid at fires etc. Fortunately the weather has turned warm & as soon as she went we were able to give up dining room fire.

I took Ruthie to town in morning & when we got back she had a headache, lay down & went to sleep—no food—aft. to bed, & slept most of the rest of the day & night & woke up nearly well again.

4th. Sunday.

I got dinner partly ready, went to meeting & left Ruthie all alone in house—finished dinner on return. Evening to here [sic] Frank at Folk House. Thunderstorm.

5th. Easter Monday.

A perfect hot, but fresh day. I got up early & did out drawing room. Ruthie helped, & M. did breakfast. At 10.50 we all got train to Pangbourne, then walked by river for about a mile, then turned to left p a path & went through woods & fields, (exquisite) probably about 5 miles to Bradfield where we got 4.7 bus home & had high tea at 6.0. Most successful. Found bluebells, primroses, anemones, violets wild cherry, cowslips—we had heaps of time, so loitered about. M. & C found a blackbird's nest with 4 eggs in it. Had no fire to-day. I did enjoy the day.


[Transcript by Benjamin S. Beck.]


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