MSWP (& FEP) diaries
by Mary S.W. Pollard
NB If a name is not listed in the key the person concerned has not yet been identified.
1904 (with FEP)
I had a perfectly lovely visit to Guildford, only greatly distressed to hear of Evie's eyes. Also she is under an osteopath for back and hip and has had great pain.
(Bank Holiday): Our wedding day 35 years ago. I met Ruth and we 'bus' ed to Tadley, Sidney cycling; Robert and B there for weekend. Lovely day, tho' heavy thunder showers.
I came back from Y.M. in afternoon to my joy. V. successful meetings.
F and I to Cottage in evening, stayed till 12th. Fine but v. windy. Plums not ripe. Worked v. hard. Called on Evans's. 2 or 3 days ago Gandhi, Nehru etc. arrested. How dreadful it is. At Cottage gt. American aeroplanes disturb the peace—aerodrome just been opened.
F and I to Saffron Walden. Arrived about 4.0. Staying at Clifton Boarding House, 62 High Street (Mrs ?Prinne). Quite nice, food good and nice veg. things for me. High tea 6.0 is last meal, and gas lights out at 10.30 from main! Rather squashy, and nothing in common with the other people. Lovely to see Marg. and the children (Reg is fruit picking near the Wye) and M. seems pretty well. Weather hot. A bit tiring going to and fro. £3.5.0. each per week. One day F. had to go to London and I had M. and the children to tea. One day we all went by bus to Thaxted and saw the beautiful old church and another we walked (Jonathan in push chair) to Audley Court and 'gleaned' in the corn fields. The children are so sweet and good and interesting and play in the garden happily together.
F. and I to meeting. I forgot to say that the Burtons had a picnic tea for M. and the children in the school grounds to which we went and we played games, and one evening F. and I had coffee with Leila.
Aft. went to see M. and had a lovely tea there, then left by car for Audley End (3/-). First train that came in was too full, but another soon after, also v. full, but a man gave me his seat. L 'P St. was a real fight. Caught the 8.10 at Paddington and discovered I had lost handbag containing over £1, my pearl and ruby brooch [JW: I believe that is the one I have in my possession], all my clothing coupons, fountain pen, etc. Fearfully distressed and was sure it had been stolen—to Lost Property office etc. Got home in good time.
Washing. C. arrived before lunch from May Harrod's (Godalming). She had been to stay at York after Goathland, arrived home on Thurs. (R. and S. were spending the week here and had left everything so nice for us). Went to May's on Friday till Mon. Lovely to see her and she has had such a happy holiday. She and I went, rather reluctantly to Cottage in evening to pick plums and found them barely ripe.
F. came to Cottage for day and we worked hard in morning. It rained in aft.
C. went early. I stayed the day and it was hot and plums much riper. Left large hamper for carrier. Went home by 5.0 bus with sack of plums which began to burst. F. met me at Whitley with joyful news that handbag had been returned by a lady—she said I had left it in the Metropolitan. I sent her 10/- and postage and wished had sent more! Concert in evening at Palace Theatre, but I was rather tired. Ida Haendel v. good violinist and is only a young girl.
Got 12 tins of our plums done at Preserving Centre. V. hot.
C. and I had lovely bathe (my first this year) at Caversham. Heaps of people bathing. Water warm.
Fearfully close, a ?little thunder in evening. R. and B. arrived about 5.0, in gt. spirits, from their holiday in Wales. We had high tea.
Only F. to meeting. R., B. and I to Cottage by 12.25 bus from the town. I had taken a cold lunch which we had immediately on arrival, in the garden. V. hot, lovely day. Ground strewn with plums and wasps. Picked masses and returned laden by 5.0 bus with plums, potatoes etc. High tea. Singing in evening from F., Rob. and Caro.
R. and B. went at 8.20. C. had a letter from Joe; he is a Captain in the army. She said "and that's the end of that I suppose". I felt terribly distressed for her. Helped her to pack, and saw her off to London at 2.29 to help the I.V.S.P. in West Ham. It is very good of her.
Tried to do too much, as I have no help at present. A large wash, cooking. Joyce to dinner, Mabel to tea and supper, etc.
R. and S. to supper. F. in London during day.
Entering 4th year of this awful war. Helped at Fruit Preservation in morning. Made plum jam.
M. for S. Met C. in aft. & we shopped.
To Oxford by bus to meet May Gretton whom I had not seen for years. Lunch at Randolph Hotel. Back by train in aft. Terribly crowded. Had to stand till lady lent me a suitcase. C. is happy in London, hard work but interesting. About 25 men mostly pulling down houses and 4 women who clean, cook, mend, etc.
F's 70th birthday. He had letters from the whole family and Rosemary and Rowland, presents and letters or cards from Bedford, Jeanie and Arthur and he was pleased. He and I all alone! but in aft. met R. and S. and all cycled to Bearwood. Got a few blackberries and had a lovely picnic tea with choc. birthday cake—home about 6.30, tired but such a lovely day.
C. came home, full of life and interest.
F., C. and I to Cottage. Brought back masses of fruit and vegetables.
Book Club—Coleridge. 17 of us altogether. F. and H.R.S. interesting. Good coffee and biscuits and a few little cakes.
Federal Union meeting got up by R. and S. in St. Giles' Hall at 3 p.m. F. in chair; Count Karolyi (Ex-President of Hungary), Maurice Edelman (on Russia), ?Logarici (Albanian) and Mrs. Knowles spoke. "The Problem of Eastern Europe". I rushed back for some tea which C. and Norman Beard had been having and she and he and I went to town and stood in queue half an hour for 7.0 p.m. bus to Tadley. Norman staying at Silchester to preach. C. and I arrived just at black-out time.
Wet at first, but warm and improved. Gardened hard. Had nice meals. Evening picked blackberries.
21st Sold 20lbs. fallen apples to Women's Institute. Early lunch and home by 1.25. F. met us. Refugee boy just left L.P. and now in post at Co-op jam factory came in evening to stay with us. "Franz Jacobsberg", aged 19. £1 week.
F. to Spiceland [JW: Meeting House in Uffculme, Cullompton, Devon]. C. started at Caversham School again.
W.I.L. Councillor Mrs Birkett on Health Services. She is daughter of Hugh Barber.
F. and I to "Thunder Rock" (Rep.)
F. to a weekend conference near Oxford.
Civil Liberties conference. Rev. Sorensen M.P. v. good. Lord Farringdon in chair. Then organ recital at Queen's Rd by Cunningham.
Special M.M. to consider Y.M. Peace minute.
Reg. rang up at 10. p.m. that poor Marg. has just been taken to hospital and had had a miscarriage. V. distressing.
I went to London by 12.5 and crossed to Liverpool Street. Ruth was in London (F. S. Council) and met me there and we met Reg and the darling children with pushchair and large suitcase. Reg. came with us to Pad. We had some tea and then he went, and we caught 3.55 to Reading. While waiting for taxi Mr. Milligan appeared and offered us lift in his car. (Ruth went home). Caro here and we soon had tea. Children so good, tho' poor little Jonathan cried occasionally and said "I want my mummy". They all 3 sleep in spare room—J. in camp bed. He is a fascinating little boy, and v. persevering over jigsaws, etc. They all build really well with bricks. He insists on taking his vest to bed with him; likes the feel of it M. says! Rowland and he are devoted to each other and roll about like 2 little puppies.
Sidney and R. took Rowland and Rosemary on river and they tried to row.
The 2 older children to Sunday School.
F. and I by 12.0 bus with the children to Cottage. Dinner at once. Apples on ground a great joy to them, and walk in wood for chestnuts. The 3 slept in same room—2 in same bed.
F. left early—I brought the children by 10.37. Unhappily my back had begun to be very bad.
Children at Meeting had a little harvest festival. Gt. success. C's idea. Occasionally R. and R. went to C's school. They went to tea at Mrs. Fawcett's and Mrs. Joselin's—J. too shy, but he is a darling, and so cuddly!
I took children to S. Walden leaving here about 9.30. F. saw us off. Beatrice met us at Pad. and saw us across. Got seats and left about 12.0. Had lunch at once. I had dreaded the journey, but children absolutely good all the time. Got into train and then discovered Reg! Soon had a happy meeting with M. who was in bed in downstairs room. She has been terribly depressed but cheered up with the children.
I left in aft. with gt. regret, but am very tired and have so much to do at home. Arrived about 9.0 and C. gave me warm welcome and F. later when he came in.
Next few days very busy and crowds of apples at Cottage. Carrier unreliable and a good many spoilt. Fortunately the fruit preserving centre is now closed, so I have not to go there. I forgot to say for some weeks I have had a good woman 2 hrs. in aft. Mon. Tues. Thurs. and Friday (latter day 3 hours)—Mrs Harris—1/- hour. It is a comfort and makes such a difference.
Pouring. Picnic lunch at Trinity Congregational Church and Mr. Castle spoke v. well on Quakerism. Mr. Levine, Chaplain at Reading School to tea. Knew Bensham and was a curate under Mr. Windley. Colder weather now. I wish "summertime" had ended. Just been bad raid on Canterbury.
3 or 4 weeks ago R. told us of the happy event expected in May. Quite exciting.
I cycled to Cottage in thick fog. Horribly cold. Back by bus.
Meeting for Sufferings
Hugh Birkett from I.V.S.P. in London for week-end. Old L.P. boy. Staff at L.P. did "The Moon in the Yellow River". Good, but rather queer.
F. was at Woodbrooke (had been at Sibford too) and I got a telegram at breakfast time that dear Jeannie had died suddenly yesterday outside the Patterdale Hotel. Sent telegram to F. but as no date given for funeral thought it best to go to London with C. as arranged, for the half term holiday. Got the 9.38 train and in London went straight to Kingsley Hotel, Hart Street, Bloomsbury? and deposited our bags. Then went shopping at Dryads and Friends' House. Lunch at Bertorelli's in Goodge St, not v. good. Then to Selfridge's where I bought a cot for Ruth—they are very scarce and double pre-war price. (Prams are almost unobtainable.) We enjoyed the shops. Met R. and B. at Veda Restaurant at 5.0 and had v. good high tea. At 6.0 to Upper Circle (4/6 each) at St. James' to see "The Duke in Darkness". Extremely good. Leslie Banks and Michael Redgrave v. good actors. I don't think any women in the play. It is about the time of civil wars in France and a Duke and his servant are in prison and have been there 15 years. Latter goes mad. The Duke, who has pretended to be blind, finally escapes to lead his followers against the tyrant duke. Afterwards C. and I went to Kingsley getting hot choc at milk bar en route and had most comfortable bedrooms with electric fires and I had a stone hot water bottle. Boiling hot water in bedroom.
Only middlingly good breakfast. Then shopped again. Dickins and Jones lovely. Lunch at 'Plane Tree' . Paid Kingsley 10/6 each b.& b. and 1/- tip to porter. Home in early aft. Joselin's evening Book Club "Age of Pericles". Knox Taylor v. good and showed views of Athens thro' epidiascope. F. v good too.
Jeannie was buried in churchyard in the aft. Church full. After Vicar had finished Arthur P. and Dot. Wilson prayed and spoke. (We heard this afterwards). J. was much beloved and we shall miss her greatly, and her pretty home. She was always so good to us from the time I first knew her. We loved her dearly. I arrived home from London to find that my excellent woman, Mrs Harris, had departed back to London. She never sent me word and yet had promised never to "let me down". So I had a busy day today.
Have just been made an Overseer again and spent the morning going to Henley with Dorothy Brain to see Mrs. Chandler and arrange what to do about her children. Country looking lovely. Got home just in time for lunch (which I had left ready.) Rev. Henry Carter to stay night. Easy and most interesting guest. High tea, then we took him to meeting house—public meeting on "Famine in Europe". (F. is on Committee about food for other countries, also Sidney.) Not v. large audience, but wonderful meeting and collection £15 or £16. Miss Elliot (Head of Queen Anne's) in chair—not a pacifist. Hon. Neville Lytton who only left France last year, told us much of the bad and scant food even then probably much worse now. He is married to a Frenchwoman. He lived in unoccupied France—since then occupied. I think he lived near Lyons. His body still scarred from boils owing to the bad bread. H. Carter's speech really the best and awfully good. A strong pacifist.
H. Carter left. He does a lot for C.O.'s. Has settled about 500 on the land I think.
R. & B. for weekend. Both v. tired.
R & B breakfast in bed. C. had pupils, but R. & B., F. and I left by bus about 12.0 for Peppard Common. Walked thro' woods (only a mile or two) to Gallows Tree Common. Ate lunch in wood, frozen with cold! No sun. Got to Mrs. ?Timmins' cottage about 1.30 and she gave us tea and cake and we got warm. Charming place. Walked to Sonning Common and home about 3.30. Robt. has shocking cold—prob. ought not to have gone the walk.
R. in bed all morning. Various remedies. Not a v. happy day!
R. had to go back to London, tho' not fit, because of a C.O. who otherwise might have to go to prison.
(I think in Nov. F. had bad fall in blackout in C. Av.—cut his fingers and it all gave him a bad shock. It was long before he really recovered.)
I went to Guildford arriving about 11.0 to see Evie who has been very ill and I have been anxious. She could get so little domestic help that she and Ernest have had to go to the small Mitcombe Hotel, where they have a bed-sitting room. I found her in bed, but rather better than she has been. One eye covered over because she sees double with it—the other has cataract. She has had terrible pain in her head which all swelled up owing to deep seated neuralgia of facial nerves, but she is having electric treatment at the hospital 3 times weekly wh. is doing good. At 12.15 Ernest took me out to lunch. Then I saw E. again for few mins. but she gets so tired that I got the 2.35 home. It was lovely to see her (and Ernest) but how I long to be able to help.
Helped Ruth to buy a dress, then to Cottage by 12.0 bus and had a nice time, but it begins to be dark soon after 5.0. F. as often, in London. Research group.
F. to see Pilgrim Players at L.P. Play about St. Bernard.
F.O.R. meeting. Rev. Artingstall. He got a cold and could not come. I had v. busy day—cooking, doing out kitchen, sweeping leaves, etc.
C. to the Harrods at Godalming for night. They have just lost their mother. Sidney and Ruth stayed night here.
I have been made an Overseer again and C. is one too. First meeting.
Meeting for S. Aft. Lilian Timms and I to see film "Pied Piper". V. charming. Englishman fishing in unoccupied France returns to England and children gradually "hang on" to him. Many adventures. The children are sweet and natural.
I did not go to cottage, but poured out at M.M. tea.
C. to L.P. speeches. I have no help at all and was glad to stay in with F. (tho' we usually go) for there is so much to be done. R. and S. have been on leave at Lyme Regis all this week. Last week he had 3 days tests "Octu" in London. They heard today that he has passed "grade C" (no one passed higher.) The tests were difficult but interesting.
A nice, quiet Sunday. Lately I went to Dr. F. and now wear a ring to prevent prolapse, and have to use pessaries for piles—a nuisance.
R. and Sidney came home, but we did not see them, and they went to his home on 15th for 1 night.
Ruthie to lunch—lovely to see her again. Mrs. Fawcett too, as Colin has sent us a pheasant. We haven't had one for years. Woman I had engaged, didn't come. I shall just have to do without.
Aft. went to C's Caversham School to see little play and hear songs etc.—held in a hall. Quite good. I left before prize-giving. Ruthie telephoned in morning that Sidney has to go on Monday, December 28th. It's a mercy he will be here for Xmas (& not fire watching) but I was so fearfully sorry for her that I cycled down in morning to see her, leaving Frank to look after joint. Poor lassie, it is hard.
Sidney & R. at meeting. I went into children's class—lots of carols, readings and story—several parents there. The 2 carols C. composed were sung. R. & S. here all day. F. and I to the party at Scotts. Later sang carols.
Marg. and the 3 children arrived early aft. F. met them. Reg. has gone to a brother's where his mother is staying. They were all so sweet.
Busy with decorations, etc. and letters to Santa Claus. Ruth & Sidney to tea and supper.
Yule Doos. Gt. excitement of stockings. Only F's and my presents at breakfast. Joyce with us—she gave us all presents! R. & S. had to walk up (no buses). C. took M. & Row. & Rosemary to Christ Church. V. good dinner. Chicken, cauliflower, Xmas pudding, pineapple trifle. Then rests and a concert. Rowland played 'King Wenceslas' and another carol for us to sing. Rosemary & Jon. repeated nursery rhymes. F. sang, etc. Tea—cake only slightly iced, but all quite nice. Xmas tree and carols and dancing. Presents. I had lovely ones—(rose bushes from F. had not arrived). C. gave me soap dish, beautiful cyclamen, engagement calendar, shopping list and ration card holder, far too many nice things, Marg. 'fudge' made by herself, R. & B. "The Country Child", R.& S. jam dish, toffee, cake made by R. (delicious), story of 'Mushroom Cottage' by Sidney, & pine bath liquid, Bertha £5, Evie 10/- for the family.
Simple supper. Carols again and then R. & S. departed.
I felt particularly well yesterday, but was taken ill in night with fainting, sickness and diarrhoea. It continued all day, and was extremely trying, though I did not have a very bad head. We had arranged a picnic to Sonning with tea at "The Country Kitchen" but F. had to stay with me. All rest went, R. & S. too—some by bus, some walked there by river. Cold, misty day. (Alas, I won't see Sidney again, as he and R. are spending their last day together and on 28th he starts to train as an officer at Wrotham, Kent). When they returned, C. insisted on Dr. Field being telephoned too, and she came about 5 p.m. I had brandy, etc. and next day was much better, but still in bed, and vexed to be giving Marg and Caro (& F.) so much work.
Got up for tea.
All but Jonathan and me (Ruth too) to "Cinderella". I managed to take him a short walk.
Marg. and children and C. lovely day at Cottage.
4 children to tea. V. jolly little party.
C. went to Teacher's Guild at Woodbrooke—"interview" in morning. Not v. satisfactory, but not settled.
Mon. Caro went on to Hinckley to stay with James ?Atkins and family. M. and I to see "Mrs. Miniver" (film) in evening. Wonderful. Pretty and amusing in parts, also v. tragic. Air raid too realistic. Had to walk back, as last bus 9.30 from the town now.
M. and children left by 10.8., F. going with them to Liverpool Street. Shall miss them terribly. They have all been lovely. R. came up and after I had finished the washing, we springcleaned her room, satisfactorily. Poor Ruthie—I am so sorry for her. It's so hard to be separated from S. and harder when she does not agree with his views.
C. home. She went, after Guild to stay at Hinckley with Mr. and Mrs. ?Atkins and James.
M. for S. Long and interesting. Aft. F. went to Oxford for week-end Friends' Peace Conference.
To Ruth's to tea.
Cottage. Violets and one or two primroses.
R. and B. for week-end. Still working at box room trying to get it emptied.
Federal Union meeting.
Cottage. Lambden planted 6 rose bushes for me.
Book Club at Rosamund Wallis's. Ruth went too, and read "Taming of Shrew". I have bad cough.
Townswomen's guild. Interesting talk on Poland by Miss Carleton-Williams, and a charming Polish girl (married but looked v. young) showed us how to alter hats! Cough troublesome. Evening R. and I to hear Mrs. Lord on the future of the W.I. League.
R. to Gillingham. I stayed in bed all day. Yesterday and today F. went to London to Nat. Peace Council Conference. Frightful gale in night and torrents of rain.
Bed for breakfast. Fearfully stormy day. Had Robin Fawcett to dinner and tea.
R. returned. Gale last night again.
I went to cinema to see "The Great Mrs. Handel". V. good. Singing lovely.
Cottage in aft. with Ruth. Just as leaving for last bus about quarter to 4.0 gt. noise of machine gunning. V. alarming, but luckily soon over. (Newbury raid.) When home discovered F. and C. had heard bombs while having tea. C., F. and I went to M.M. and heard that Broad Street and Minster Street had been badly damaged—Wellsteads only just a shell left—about 40 killed and a good many injured. Blandys' office destroyed and so on. First time we have had a "tip and run raid" like this—only 1 bomber I believe.
C. and I tea in town, then to see "Bambi", Walt Disney's charming picture of a deer.
F.O.R. meeting and Rev. Artingstall to stay the night.
Sidney arrived in time for high tea, having finished his course at Wrotham.
Madame Prender's for first overseas meeting.
R. and S. spent their last day at cottage.
Sidney, alas, had to depart early for Catterick (Yorks.) where his training continues. Poor Ruthie. F. to Sibford for night.
Fed. Union and L. of N. Union meeting addressed by Zilliacus. F. in time for it.
F. to Jordans for weekend.
Lovely visit from Evie. A relief to see her so much better.
A perfect Spring day, quite warm. F. and I aft. to cottage. A daffodil out and a good many primroses. The flowering currant Ruth gave me on my birthday looks v. healthy.
F. and I to Rep. "Dear Brutus" [JW: J.M. Barrie comedy]
Janet Eavis arrived 8.25. I met her at Whitley Pump. R. invigilated for her in morning for exam for Sibford. After I took her to hall in Silver St. to see a "Cavalcade of historical events". Almost all done entirely by the boys of the Club. V. good.
Janet left at 4.0 p.m. Since the end of January I have had some spasmodic help in the house; I got quite a nice woman but she only stayed a short time.
Now I have a Mrs. Kenley who used to be a cook one morning for 2 hours, but she is going to come 2 mornings, and I have just engaged Mrs. Higgins for 3 afternoons. (Latter never came, I think.)
A lovely warm "washing" day!
Book Club. Reynolds. Controversial questions. V. amusing and good. F. caused laughter (as did others, on "party politics").
I now have "Mrs. Kenley" 2 hours twice a week. For a week I had Valerie Ingram (aged 16) for some hours and she did very well, so we finished upstairs cleaning (except C's room) and stairs finished by 19th—then she ceased coming and I found Labour Exchange had sent her to work at an institution! Am paying 1/3d an hour—used to be 5d or 10d.
I went to rehearsal of Bach's Passion music, part 2. Wonderfully beautiful. C. had gone thru' it with me. She sings in the altos.
F. and I to piano recital by Joseph Weingarten. V. good.
Hugh Birkett and Bob ? came from East End (I.V.S.P.) for weekend. They went to see "Much Ado about Nothing" done by L.P. boys.
C. took the 2 men and Sylvia Tucker, a Univ. student to Cottage for day. I provided food. The 3 came back to high tea and then went to a play at Univ. F. and I to "Much Ado". Excellently done.
I went to see C's class and her new piano (£25)—2nd hand really. It is a beauty. Evening Victor Gollancz in meeting about Jews to get govt. to let them come here and then be sent on elsewhere. He was wonderfully good and not bitter. Asked for no applause, but that we shd. try and think what it must be to be treated like they are and especially the children. Collection over £20. F. has had a lot to do with getting up the meeting.
Cottage with Ruthie.
C. has had a gt. deal to do getting up a concert for Friends War Relief Service and Frederick Woodhouse and Norman Franklin gave their services and came to high tea here (Scotch eggs etc). Both v. nice—latter young and a C.O. F.W. sang gloriously and N.F. played v. beautifully.
F. and I by 10.0 train to Stroud for a week's holiday at Prospect House Hotel, Bull's Cross, nr. Stroud (4 guineas each—most people on 4½). Unfortunately C. not well and unable to go to school during the week, so Ruthie really had too much to do, but we did not know C. was going to be poorly. We got to Stroud at 12.0 and had taxi (6/- for 3 miles). Mr. Hughes gave us nice welcome. He and George Carpenter aged 25 are partners; both Pacifists. Glorious situation—house standing all alone on top of high hill. Quite nice bedroom. Mrs. Pullen and daughter there from Oxford (another daughter married a son of Sir Rich. Livingstone) and in aft. Prof. Austin and wife arrived from Cardiff. All nice, interesting people. Aft. went walk in woods. V. lovely—heaps of scented violets and white ones too. Dinner 7.30 or later. We really have 2 dinners a day—breakfast porridge and eggs, bacon etc. and nice teas. The 2 men do all the work, and Mr. Hughes makes me very nice veg. things.
Various walks. After tea walked to Sheepscombe and saw over the veg. guest house 'Fortune's Well' . Nice. Frightful gale agst. us coming back.
Bad headache—felt sick and wretched, but recovered gradually, and after tea went walk to Slad. (Short)
Walked to Painswick, about a mile or more away. Charming village, old church. Many yew trees. Saw, not far from Bull's X, old burial ground of Friends 1658 I think. Pullens left.
Aft. by bus from Painswick to Gloucester. Only 1½ hrs. there. Cathedral fine, but situation not as good as some. Cloisters have wonderful 'fan' roof. Saw "New Inn" really v. old and v. lovely. 2 girls arrived from Harrow.
The wind has dropped at last, thank Heaven. Glorious day, so took lunch out (cheese sandwiches and an apple). Walked over 12 miles and got v. tired! A good deal on hard roads, but nearly all our walks are on footpaths. To Edgeworth—back by Bisley. Home in time for tea. Saw wild flowering currant bushes. Have found a wild hyacinth, cowslip. V. early. There are heaps of sweet violets, both white and purple; some primroses, etc. Saw butterflies.
Sunday. I went to church at Sheepscombe, and then a walk over the hill behind it. Aft. rested. After tea walked down lane near Slad, up other lane to charming little 'Elcombe' (where Prof. Tawney lives) and back thro' fields. I sketched. All the country people are so friendly and seem to like to chat with us. The 2 girls left the hotel.
Monday. Car at 9.30. Mr. Hughes and George (who are most interesting and friendly) and the Austins said goodbye. Later we sent the 2 former "Across Barriers" and "Conscience and Liberty" in lieu of tip. Easy journey. Arrived Reading in time for 12.15 bus. C. back at school, but R. gave us warm welcome and had everything nice.
Cottage with Ruth in aft. Unfortunately missed Godfrey and Erica who had gone out. Garden lovely with coloured primroses, blue, white and pink bells, and Pyrus Japonica well up. Peas doing v. well. Fearful wind and the damson tree over garage at back blew down—a pity.
G. and Erica cycled in to tea. So affectionate and enthusiastic.
F. to Jordans for week-end. Education conference.
I went to Saffron Walden, arriving 7pm. Rowland and Rosemary met me. I had to go straight round the garden! Happy evening with M. Reg. came in rather late.
Marg. & Reg. Left for Crich near Matlock by 9.15 train. I was alone till F. came in evening, but managed fairly well. Rowland and Rose. at school. Jonathan good and sweet.
F., Jon. and I to Fry's gardens in aft. Pretty.
Aft. to Audley End Park. Weather lovely & hot.
F. went away. C. came.
C. and Rowland cycled to get oxlips. I took others a walk. The children don't go to school on Sat.
Aft. C. and I took children to Paddling Pool. Charming place. Sailed R's motor boat. Then on to Plantation. Home to tea at 6.0.
C. not well, feverish—breakfast in bed. Colder. Some rain. I did some washing. "Doddy" came. Jon. devoted to her (Charwoman). She came also once or twice last wk.
C. still not well.
Children broke up in aft. M. & Reg. arrived about 4.0, having had v. good holiday. We had tea and M. saw me off at 5.0. C. stayed till next day. I had bad journey—in corridor all way to London (Newmarket races)—1 hr. late so got 8.20—slow—home. F. had been in London all day, but met 2 trains. I did not arrive till 10.pm. and no bus after 9.0 so had to carry my heavy suit case home and we missed each other in the dark on the way. Ruth gave me warm welcome and F. arrived soon after me.
Good Friday. Did pace eggs.
F. C. and I (Ruth not to go in buses now) by early bus to Tadley. V. nice day with R., B. and Arthur Palmer.
Have got a new woman, Mrs. Johnson, occasionally. Thought Ruth's time had come, but false alarm.
Lunch to Bowes at Savoy Hotel given by Westminster Press. Most interesting. Dia, Betty, Lady Cowdray, Lady Denman and self only ladies. About 40 there. I sat between E. Taylor, and Hedley. Lovely lunch. V. good speeches about Bowes and he replied so well.
Ruth having v. dull time, so F. and I took her by bus to Caversham in aft. and nearly an hour on river. Not hot, but v. pleasant. Karlin to tea. Mrs. Hopkins and children, Mrs. Nash and a child to cottage for day and I think Muriel Stevens and the boys.
R. had had pain during night, so about 11.0 I took her in taxi to Miss Halliday's home. She had a nice single room, but the pain went off, and in spite of inductions, etc., nothing happened and she had to return home on Friday 7th in the evening.
(On 6th, I think, I spring cleaned dining room. Mrs. Kenley helped a bit.)
Book Club at Muriel Steven's on Dr. Johnson. F. good on his work, and Knox Taylor on life in England in his day—etc.
F., C. and I to v. good concert at Univ. (free)—Albert Sammons, violin, Geoffrey ? piano.
Mon. Cold and frightful gale and rain. Lately there has been a great deal of wind, and cold too. Snow in north.
Ruth and I to town! Sweep in aft. for drawing room.
I to Cottage in aft. Weather improving. Diana Roberts, C's friend, is staying there alone for a month.
Sidney arrived about 5.30 a.m. Ruth fearfully excited and so pleased to have him before the baby arrives. Poor child, she has only seen him in London for a few hours since Feb. We are glad for her. Suddenly the weather has grown very hot.
V. hot. R. and Sidney went by 10.40 bus from Pump to Riseley and got lots of bluebells (nearly over.) R. has been set on it! In wood v. near bus stop and they were back here at 1.30.
Robert and Beatrice for week-end. C. and I met them and we had tea at ?Heales' , then went to Caversham where F., Ruth and S. joined us. All but F. Ruth and I bathed—then went in boat for 2? hours. Delightful.
R. and B. went. She has had an abscess in ear and is rather deaf.
Meeting about food relief. Vera Brittain and Prof. Emile Cammaerts. F. has had a lot to do with getting it up.
C. to Cottage to stay with Diana and a friend.
Sidney had to go back to Catterick in aft. Poor R. did hope the baby wd. have arrived first. C. came home, having had lovely time.
R. went to bed happily last night, but at once pain began. At about 3.0 a.m. she came to tell me. I rang up Dr. Berry who said she must go to the Home at once, so I telephoned for taxi, and took her to Miss Halliday's and left her. Dr. had expected it to be quick, but we rang up several times and "Daniel" was not born till about 7.15 p.m. He was big—nearly 8 lbs, and nearly 3 weeks overdue. I was allowed to go and see Ruthie, 8.30 for a few mins. She had been v. plucky—had 4 stitches. She had gas. Sidney was able to come again on 29th (traveled by night) and had 2 days here. I went to see R. nearly every day—others went sometimes.
F. and I to see "Arms and the Man" (Rep)
Men came to paint the drawing room cream and take away the horrid looking glass. All the week was uncomfortable.
C. and I saw 'Fred Astaire' at cinema.
Men finished, but paint not properly dry till 10th. Mrs. Johnson and I finished cleaning the room wh. is a v. gt. success.
C. to Cottage with May Harrod.
Ruth and the baby came home, most exciting. The old boxroom makes a good bedroom when he sleeps alone.
C. came home, having had a v. nice time. Not v. hot.
Saw Leslie Howard in "Escape to Happiness". He has just been killed coming back by plane to England—shot down by Germans. Perhaps they hoped to get Churchill who has been in N. Africa. I don't put down all the Overseers meetings, etc. which occur at regular intervals.
F. C. and I to L. P. to hear Alex Wood on the future of Germany. Extremely good. Ruth is now much better and had to have treatment for her neck.
Speech day at L.P. Ella went with me. Canon Leveson Gower, Head of Winchester, spoke v. well.
Sidney is now 2nd Lt. R.A. and came home on the 3rd looking nice in Officer's uniform. He and R. and baby in carri-cot went to Cottage—I went too to help, but returned at 5.0. Had to wait ½ an hour in queue in Reading for bus, but Daniel like an angel.
I went to see poor Evie in the Eye Hospital in London, and after to see "They came to a City".
R. and S. came back. Had enjoyed it, tho' weather not ideal. I met them in the Butts in the morning. The baby caused quite a sensation!
Sidney went to Warminster, Wilts in aft.
To see Evie again in hospital. I am so sorry for her. She has been there several weeks and it is so dull as she can't read.
R. & B. for week-end. Ruth and I met them and went on river in punt, but too windy. Boats hard to get now there is no motoring. Roger Moore who is leaving & Prof. and Mrs. Ray to supper. F. was at Oxford 2 hr. during day.
F. to Oxford to Nat. Peace Council Conference.
I went to cottage to welcome Miss Happe and her friend (R's German typist) but had to come back before they arrived. V. hot.
F. went to London and met Rosemary and Jonathan at Paddington. They arrived here in time for dinner and flew down the street into our arms. (I could not manage Rowland as well—Mrs. Johnson, my woman, is not able to come at all at present and anyway only comes 4 hrs weekly. Wages gone up from 10d hour to 1/3 hour!) Jonathan is a picture with exquisite light coloured curls—Rosemary pretty, but losing front teeth.
C., the children and I went by 9.45 bus to the Cottage and had a lovely week, weather mostly fair but not as good as it might have been. Children blissfully happy playing with water in the garden—Jack and Jill etc. They had no quarrels and were so sweet and good. Janet and Brian Eavis came to tea one day and the children went there. We saw cows milked, goats, a horse being shoed, etc. and there always seemed plenty to interest the children. C. and I gardened and picked plums.
V. busy cleaning up—early dinner and caught the 1.25 back.
C. went to Spiceland for a week's training in Post War Service Work. Cooked (with others) for 70 or 80. Enjoyed it enormously and came back on 21st looking well.
Erica and Stella came over from the Cottage to lunch. V. nice. Ruth and I took Rosemary and Jonathan to the Fair at Caversham. Rosemary has such pretty frocks made by M. and she is so sweet with baby Daniel. She and J. went to tea at Mrs. Fawcett's last Sunday.
I took children to Pad. by 10.5 and Reg. met us there and took them home. I shall miss the darlings. I shopped a little and had lunch at ?Sharms, then went to see Shaw's "Heartbreak House"—very bored and could not hear well.
C. to Woodbrooke for a week's lectures. I have got a new woman—Mrs. Goff—it is a very great relief to have some help and not feel so rushed. She got ill for a few days when her son's body was found in Italy (he was in the R.A.F.) but when she comes I have her 2 hrs in aft. 3 times weekly and Mrs. Johnson in mornings twice weekly and that is good.
F. and I to Cottage by early bus and stayed till Sat. 28th. We had a lovely peaceful time together, though not perfect weather. Left Ruth all alone (except for Joyce). I think we both thoroughly enjoyed it.
R. and I to cinema to see "Keeper of the Flame". Fairly good.
Meeting for S. R. and B. in evening for week-end.
R., B. Ruth and I in morning had bathe at Caversham, my first this year. Cold, but jolly. They gave us coffee afterwards in café over the river. In evening Book Club here. V. large, about 18 including ourselves. Holiday readings. B. got help with sandwiches and coffee, etc.
R. and B. went. It has been lovely having them. They were on their way back from Cornwall. In evening I met C. who has been at Marg. Brockbank's since Woodbrooke. She wasn't very well and spent part of next days in bed.
C. went to Cottage with May Harrod.
C. came back (Sun. evening). She had enjoyed it greatly and seemed much better.
R., F. and I to see "The Silent Knight" at Rep. translated from Hungarian by Humbert Wolfe. Extremely well done and v. good play. Verse.
R. and I to W.I.L. Sale of Work.
Frank, Mary & Caro Pollard, and Daniel Beck, September 1943
R., C. and I in aft. hours on river. Delightful, tho' cold wind.
Meeting for Sufferings. Met Beatrice at lunch and she and F. saw me off at Euston Sq. I went to L.P. St. and got the train to Saffron Walden, arriving about ¼ to 4 I think. The 3 children met me at Audley End—so sweet—and Marg. at S.W. I spent a very happy week there and had wonderful weather the whole time.
On Sat., 2nd., all but Reg. went to Newport by bus and then a lovely walk thro' fields, woods, etc. to Debden Lake. We had a good lunch in a field and a rest and walked back another way. We were all getting tired, but ended with going down a lane full of blackberries which helped, and at Newport having a few minutes to wait, went to a café and got a cup of tea for me and milk for the bairnies and a cake each for 1/6. We got home in time for tea (with eggs!) about 5.30 and the children were so tired that they all went to bed at 6.0. It had been a very long walk for J. who is 3½, but there was never a grumble from any of them the whole day.
On Sunday we all went to meeting—children to Sunday school after ¼ hr with us—Marg. took it. The rest of the week went all too fast, and I returned home on Friday, 8th evening. While I was away Valerie Ingram came to work 2 hrs most mornings—a great help. Daniel seemed to know me—the darling.
Letter from Sidney to say he has heard of rooms for Ruth and Daniel. ' Phoned in evening, so excited. Blow for us!
Ruth and Daniel went in morning to meet Sidney in London. I saw them off. Took the baby in pram down in lift. They all went to Gillingham for week-end and returned on Mon. 25th in aft. Marg. met them in London for few mins. Unhappily on 27th and 28th Ruth was poorly, feverish and they missed the dance they were looking forward to. Packing up her big trunk done therefore under difficulties, but sent it off on Thurs. or Friday.
R. and S. went to cinema in evening and just as they were starting got cryptic telegram wh. looked as if S. wd. not be several months in Kilmarnock. V. agitating. F. to (Spiceland) Taunton for Committee for day.
F., C. and I saw Sidney, Ruth and Daniel off by 6.55 train. R. and I wheeled him to station. Crowds, but they went 1st class. Ted Milligan kindly helped them in London and they got a sleeper—heard afterwards baby v. good. Slept in luggage rack. 2 hrs. late and 12 hrs journey. Have 2 rooms at 2 Fairlie Avenue, Kilmarnock—comfortable—but 35/- weekly without board.
F. in bed all day, feverish. Catherine Childs to tea. Happy card from Ruth.
F. up part of day. I to tea at Marie Robsons. Old Miss Broadhead 92 was doing fancy work. Happy letter from Ruth.
F. to London. Depressed letter from R. Sidney to go to Suffolk next week. What a shame!
I to M. for S. F. didn't come as not overwell. Interesting account by Ralph Barlow of F.A.U. work in Middle and Far East, etc.
Mon. R. and B. came for week-end. B. started influenza and was v. poorly. I looked after her and she was v. patient. Dr. Berry good.
Poor Ruth home from Kilmarnock. I went up to London by v. early train and met her and Daniel about 9.30 at Kings X? (or Euston). We arrived home in time for lunch—pram had been left behind. The babe slept in the luggage rack.
I think B. returned home, but not to work yet.
Lovely visit from Evie. She is much better at last, but can only see with one eye.
F. and I to York—direct. Arrived about 6.30. Warm welcome.
Aft. B. and I to cinema up the street to see "Sanders of the River".
F. not v. well. I went to see Edna who is ill, and staying with 2 Drs.
Bowes, Dia (she is now living at B.C.) and I to see some houses he has bought. By bus. Bitterly cold.
I went to see Mrs. Milligan at Retreat.
F. and I came home. Bowes saw us off. They have all been so kind, but it is sad to see poor Bertha so crippled and with a wig. She is wonderfully plucky. Gladys cooked well.
Book Club at Muriel Stevens' . Choice of books, but hardly any can be got. Paper situation serious.
Betty for night. Ruth and she to Repertory "I have been here before".
I had a day or two in bed. Slight fever and sore throat—latter for some days. Enjoyed 1 day in bed. Restful.
C. and I went to cinema—"The Great Waltz"—about Strauss.
Daniel sent note to Santa Claus! Robert arrived in evening. Valerie left, so now I have no help.
Beatrice arrived in morning (she had been on fire guard duty or similar.) C. went to church. Fortunately milder weather and we have just managed to get 2 sacks of coke—for several days we were unable to have kitchen fires and had no hot water.
Busy cooking. V. nice chicken—pudding said to be one of the nicest—trifle not so good as usual but couldn't get proper sponge cake. Some presents and Yule Doos at breakfast (in kitchen.)
Rest of presents about 4 p.m. then tiny tree for Daniel which he enjoyed and a few carols. High tea at 6.0—boiled eggs—C. some pie—v. good cake with almond icing made from soya flour and some real white icing.
We missed the Dales fearfully and Sidney. All the children sent little presents and cards they had made. Not so much music as I should have liked, but a very happy day in spite of the war.
Most to meeting. Reception in aft. at ?Herfords to meet Martin and his wife.
Ruth has just weaned Daniel, so I looked after him with F's help, and the others and Colin Fawcett went to Mortimer by 10.20 train—walked to Cottage and back by 5.0 bus. Fair, but dull. Sandwiches. Little tea at Cottage.
R. and B. went home early.
Ruth went off before breakfast to Norwich to stay with Sidney—left Daniel in my care. C. helped.
C. left for York (Teachers Guild at Mount) before breakfast. Had raid warning last night, about 12 p.m. Not nice. Ruth arrived home in aft. S. had been v. sick on Sat. prob. owing to inoculations, but they had enjoyed being tog. in the hotel and R. had seen some of S's friends—had them to tea.
Daniel has been like an angel—never cried, but he missed Ruth for he didn't smile as much as usual. Woke one morning 4.30 but next 6.30 for his meal. Slept so well in the day that I did not have to take him a walk. Rather a responsibility but I've enjoyed it.
2 sisters Trimble 2 piano duets at University. Quite enjoyable.
Got some coke at last. Have been several days without—no fire in kitchen, no hot water, horrid. C. came home from York.
Little Jeremy Watson Dale born about 10 a.m. Reg. rang up, and Ruth went to London, met Jonathan (brought by M's charwoman, Mrs. Dodman) and they got here in time for tea. The baby was over 9lbs. Marg. is in a very nice home where only 2 patients are taken at Weedon, about 3 miles from S. Walden.
Horace Alexander came to speak on the Indian famine.
R. and B. came for week-end. R's birthday to-morrow.
Sidney came for 10 days leave. I was v. busy with extra cooking, Jonathan, etc., but J. is so good and sweet. Awfully good at 'jigsaws' .
F. to S. Walden for night, for Committee. Stayed at a boarding house.
F. got taxi and went to see Marg.
I took Jonathan to Cottage for ½ day. He is v. good digging up vegetables.
Sun. J v. good sitting in meeting for ¼ hour before Sunday School. He looks a picture with his dark eyes (very dark and lovely light curls).
Jonathan went to C's school, but was not v. happy at first, and v. tired. She took him on a bicycle.
Jonathan's 4th birthday. Great excitement, but he was not v. well and did not go to school. Townswomen's Guild. Talk on food and make do and mend.
I forgot to say that poor Joyce got ill and had bad cough just before J. came. Her sister-in-law helped to nurse her, but having to take her breakfast up, etc, was tiring. After about a week I think, she went to stay with Mrs Warters in Denmark Road.
Sidney went back to Norwich.
Had 3 or 4 small boys for little party for Jonathan.
I took Jonathan back to Saffron Walden leaving Reading at 12.0. M. had been 3 weeks in Nursing Home and 1 week at home. She got phlebitis, but has her leg bound up. Journey rather tiring. Reached S.W. about 4.0 and soon were at Sunflowers and happy meeting with M. Just before tea Mrs. Pumphrey arrived with Rosemary—latter had not been well—had ear trouble. Reg. on duty, but came in for few mins. to see J. Baby Jeremy is absolutely sweet—quite a lot of dark hair, pretty features and small hands and feet and already can raise his head well. He is so good. I stayed a week. V. cold, rather rainy weather. Helped M. a good deal—played monopoly one evening with Reg., M. and Rowland. A Mrs. Brown came in and sang beautifully one evening. I went nowhere except to call on Mrs. Pumphrey.
Left S. Walden at 3.12. M. looked rather tearful. I do hope the work won't be too much for her. Reg. and Jon. came to see me off. Raining. Rather cold journey. F. met me at Reading at about 7.0. Lovely to be home again, but I loved also being at S.W.
V. difficult to get coke, as delivery is so behind. Got a special man (awful old creature) to fetch some and he charged 12/6. F. to Sibford for night.
Miss ?Merivale to coffee.
Mary ?Stapledon to high tea. Ruth and I to exhibition of pictures "recording Britain" at Museum. I feel v. tired. Ever since Xmas has been such a strenuous time though now Mrs. Lovegrove comes for 1 hour daily after dinner (1/- an hour) but rooms have been much neglected, as she only does washing up and a few odd jobs. I've had so much cooking and mending to do. I miss Jonathan greatly, but am thankful to have a little more time.
A raid warning and much gun fire. All went down under stairs. Daniel like an angel—just lay on R's knee and cooed.
F. and I to see "The Corn is green" at Rep. Good. Raid warning soon after we got back.
Tel. from London from a Mrs. Wardley who had heard of Cottage. Said they were bombed out.
To Cottage to tidy it up.
Met Mrs. Wardley, Cap. and Mrs. Harris at Reading Tadley bus stop and then they went to see Cottage. They liked it and went to stay there on March 2nd with Mrs. H's boy Malcolm (6½) and Mrs. W's Bobby aged 3½– the husbands went for week-ends.
Ruth ill. I had to look after her and the baby etc. She was feverish and has bad cough.
I got to M. for S. tho' really R. hardly fit to be up. It was long and interesting. I think I missed the last 2.
R. & B. for week-end. They are tired out with very bad raids a few days ago, but had a splendid long night here (undressed for first time for some days) and stayed in bed all Sunday morning.
V. cold. Weather v. cold lately and such cold winds.
Started spring cleaning—Ruth's room.
'Forum' at Meeting House. Film "World of Plenty". Frank spoke excellently in discussion about the starving countries.
Book Club—School House. Discussion on modern novels.
Did our bedroom.
F. and I to see Ruddigore at L.P. Supper at Fawcetts.
C. and R. to Ruddigore. I bathed Daniel etc.
F. to Jordans (Peace Committee). C. had 4 of her small girls to tea, and they used her tiny tea-cups.
Bombing meeting. Rhys Davies and Sorensen M.P.'s. I could not go, but F. and C. went. Quite good attendance.
To Guildford. Lunch with E. and E. at British Rest. at Merrow—then rest in garden and lovely tea on verandah. E. seems much stronger.
Ruth and Daniel to Bournemouth to join Sidney. C. not v. well, so I went with them to Basingstoke—v. hot—caught the 1.45 from here (wheeled D. in pram.) Train at B. crammed, so R. got into 1st class. She does not need to take a cot, as there is one at Carlton Grange (boarding house.) I got home 5.0. F. had gone to Jordans for week-end. We had a warning in night and gun fire. Have had a good many lately.
F. returned. I gave C. breakfast in bed yesterday. She is better now.
To Cottage. Had nice lunch with Mrs. Wardley and Mrs. Harris and their children Bobbie and Malcolm. Lovely daffodils and primroses in garden.
Sweep for kitchen, and got it spring cleaned. V. tiring, but Mrs. Lovegrove stayed 1½ hours. Have now finished top landing and top stairs, lavatory and kitchen.
M. for S. Interesting. Aft. I went to 'Hamlet' at new theatre. Had to miss dinner, but got tea in theatre.
Now there is a ban on all the So. Coast and we have had to give up our arranged holiday at Thurlestone.
Double summertime alas.
Mrs Wardley and Mrs Harris left the Cottage, back to London.
F. and I to Cottage for week-end. C. later in day. (She has been several days at S. Walden.) Raids began again in London and Mrs. Harris would like to have come back but impossible. We had a lovely time and fine and returned home on 26th. C. found some nests. F. went for 1 night to Spiceland.
Godfrey, Erica and S. went to Cottage. Erica has been ill.
(15th. F. and I by R. & B.'s invitation to see "Twelfth Night". F. and I had good lunch at ?Shearins, then met R. & B. at the Scala. V. good performance. Then they took us for good high tea at Shearins.) We found—or C. did—bluebells at Waring. She and I went to a Sale.
Ruth came home from Bournemouth where she has been for 5 weeks. Daniel looks so well and brown. I met them. It is lovely to have them back.
Rev. Henry Carter for night. Good meeting—relief and rehabilitation of Europe.
Spring cleaned drawing room—all done now, except dining room and hall—and as we are not going to take up dining room carpet it won't take long.
Refugee concert at hostel.
Ruth to London for day. I looked after Daniel, but was not feeling v. well.
Weather perfect and I had a lovely day at Cottage.
With D. Brain to Henley to visit Mrs. Chandler and Mrs. Stanbury as Overseers.
Robert came to speak at Forum on Proportional Representation. I had to go to bed poorly.
Dr. Field came to see me.
Joyce took me to see play 'Jane Eyre' . V. good.
Book club at Rosamund's on "Letters".
Sidney came for 2 hours.
Daniel's 1st birthday. F. and I to Y.M. F. spoke extremely well, in Peace Session.
F. had a fall in Pad. Trying to jump some sacks. He and C. went to Y.M.
Horace Pointing to tea.
2nd Front began June 6th
While Ruth and I were washing up tea things she told me that she is expecting another baby in January.
R. & B. for week-end.
F. and I to see play "Noah". V. good.
Poor Ruthie came down to breakfast in tears. She had listened to the 7.0 a.m. news and there was nothing particular, but the 8.0 o' clock said the 2nd Front invasion had begun during the night. It is terribly hard for her (the whole day was an awful strain wh. will go on for months). I was thankful I had put off going to S.W. So Sidney's last visit here on May 24th is his last for a long time. After he went R. had no news for a long time as he could not write. I think she did not hear till Sat. June 17th and then she had 2 letters, pretty cheerful. He said they had started off on the 5th, but had to turn back because weather so bad. He wrote on board ship, but she never got that letter. He says everything was wonderfully planned. His troop was in an orchard, and he had been feeding some birds that were deserted by their mother. Of course, the noise of firing was terrific and they never got more than 5 hrs consecutive sleep. We were so thankful to hear that so far he was well and confident. He is near Caen. It is a fearful strain for R. and for Sidney too. She is very plucky. Added to all else, she is pulled down with bad hay fever. Daniel, however, is a constant joy.
F. spoke to P.P.U. and F.O.R. at L.P. on "Religion and Democracy". V. good indeed. R. and I went to hear him.
I have not written for a good time. At the beginning of June Ruth told me of her and Sidney's hopes for January. I am very pleased. The invasion started on June 6th I think. Sometime during June the 'secret weapon' began—P. Planes without a person guiding them. London and the South suffered much from casualties and damage. 17th Ruth heard from Sidney and soon she began to get extremely interesting letters fairly regularly. She is now on M. for S. instead of me and I miss it, but she also missed a meeting as it is dangerous going to London.
R. and B. for week-end. They always have to sleep in their shelter now and are thankful for rest here.
F. and I to hear Senor de Madariago at L.P. V. good. On 22nd F. poorly for a day or two with diarrhoea. Robert & Beatrice found strain in London v. gt. and came here to live on Mon. 10th. I think of July. R. goes up every day, except Sat., Beatrice only sometimes—otherwise works here.
On 13th. I went to S. Walden round by Oxford and Cambridge as evacuees make travelling from London so awful—also P. Planes. Got there about 4.0 I think, and had v. happy few days. M. met me and all rest of family gave me lovely welcome. Jeremy a sweet good little baby.
"Brains Trust" in Institute (mostly got up by Miss ?Halm and Ruth—held fortnightly). F. and I went. Room crammed. An Italian (Gardini), Englishman, Indian, Dutchman—'World Order' . V. interesting. When discussion began F. got up to speak and after 3 sentences nose began to bleed hard and we had to come out. V. humiliating. Walked home and he seemed alright afterwards, but it began again after tea on 27th and bled profusely, so got Dr. Berry. He did not seem to think it serious, but next day 28th it began in bed before breakfast and made such a mess, so got Dr. again. He found F's blood pressure up (about 190 I think—ought to be 140?) so was very serious because of his heart and he came again in evening. F. has to live on lukewarm slops at present and stay in bed. He got up in room on Aug. 1st or 2nd and Dr. paid last visit on 1st but F. has to give up a lot of work and take great care. I forgot to say that Evie came over last week—lovely to see her.
F. came downstairs on 4th. and is much better. C. went to help at an I.V.S.P. Camp at Clows Top, nr Kidderminster. She broke up last week—I went to see the "farm project"—very good. Children were sweet.
Poor Erica and Godfrey have had their house destroyed. Fortunately he was away and she had left the day before. It is awful.
F. and I to Cottage to visit Miss Happe and Miss Metz. F.'s first outing since his illness. They were so kind and gave us a lovely lunch. We came back by 1.50 bus.
First fortnight of Aug. very hot (not stuffy) and lovely—after that really cold, windy and a lot of rain.
Caro suffered terribly at Clows Top from asthma, 7 hrs of it one night; Dr. thought she had better come home which she did on 11th I think, and she soon recovered at home.
Tues. F. and I to Cottage.
Caro joined us—weather lovely. Worked hard in garden.
Returned home. Ruthie looks after things so well for me and Mrs. Lovegrove is very reliable.
Fearful day. B. has to go to hospital—R. telephoned that roof of flat partly destroyed etc., etc. Leonard kindly went up (he was on leave) and Mrs. Pascall went with lorry etc. and moved most of the belongings—fortunately little was destroyed.
After tremendous trouble arranging it, C. went to Grasmere—H.F. kindly lent by Teresa. F. and I and R. & B. were to have gone too, but could not, but C. had a friend and Erica and Stella went and C. met Rowland and Rosemary at Rugby.
Beatrice went to St. Mary's Hospital, Pad. in aft. She has been so plucky.
Dr. Alec Bourne did B.'s op and found it was not cancer. A very great relief.
F. & I to Cottage. Hot and no wind at last.
B. came back here and F. and I returned on 25th (morning). B. not strong enough for work and on 4th Sept. Robert started his holiday. They spent over 30/- on telephone calls and cd. find no hotel free to take them (except one wh. would not do.) V. discouraging and nothing to do here for weather awful. News from abroad exciting. Paris has been liberated and Allies are quickly going ahead, and the P. Planes are lessening a bit.
We got rid of our hens while C. was away, and had a week without any. I don't like hens.
R., B., Frank and I to Cottage for night.
C. came back from Grasmere after a very nice time, but terribly bad weather, and having evacuees there spoilt it rather.
R. and B. at last found a farm that cd. take them in Forest of Dean and went there today.
F. & I. in evening on steamer to Pangbourne. Rather cold.
Margaret & Jeremy aged 8 mos. arrived in morning. Nearly 2 yrs. since she was last here. It was so exciting.
Elsa and Elis. and Jancis to tea from Cottage. All so nice.
M. had to go home. C. & I went to London and I saw her off at L. St. It has been lovely having her and sweet wee Jeremy.
Rob. came home. B. still away. M. wrote that a bomb on Friday night broke the small study window—the glass fell on Rowland's pillow and he never woke. Thank Heaven no one was hurt. Jeremy was as good as gold when here and had a sweet smile. Beatrice came home (here) I think towards end of Sept.
Collyer took C. in his car to Cottage and she towed our car back. Afterwards he sold it for £5. It had got v. rusty, but tyres were good.
F. and I to Rep. to see 'Tartuffe' .
F. and I after much persuasion by the family went to Mrs. Miles, ?Stuts Farm, Shortstanding, nr. Coleford, Glos. for a week's holiday. Sandwiches in train. Fearful day, torrents of rain. We arrived Lydney about 2.30 and waited for a car which took us 10 or 12 miles to the farm (12/6). Mrs. Miles gave us nice welcome and lovely tea. We had good bedroom and most comfortable sitting room and excellent food for 3½ guineas each for the week. She is a very nice young woman, quite educated, with a small girl aged about 4, I think. We had a lovely restful week, no wireless or telephones, etc., but the weather was mostly wet, tho' not cold. The country was heavenly, with marvelous Autumn colouring, and there were endless short and long walks. Our longest was to the Kymin—about 8 miles there and back I think. Fine views of Black Mts. etc. We walked one day to Symond's Yat (about 2 miles). Wye in full flood. Went to Monmouth another day, walking most of way there but back by bus. On the Sunday we went to meeting at Coleford. Only 6 of us there. Frank spoke and another man. Our last day we took sandwiches out, but it rained a bit.
We left on Tues.24th. after a very happy week, and had a warm welcome. Got home about 3.0.
I went to London to see Dr. Mary Nelson. She was very nice and kind—said operation out of the question unless I cd. rest for 3 or 4 mos. Considered it a worse operation than piles—said I must rest more—never stand more than ½ hour without resting and so on. Next day I was poorly and had a day or two in bed.
Excellent Friends' film on homes for old people—Dick Naish spoke well about it.
Ruth went to Belvidere Mansion Hotel (1 guinea a day), Brighton for week-end and I looked after Daniel. He was as good as gold the whole time. R. came back teatime 13th and had quite enjoyed it.
Ruth and I to L.P. Staff play "Tons of Money". V. funny, but long drawn out we thought. F., C. & Beatrice went to see it next day and thought it most amusing. Weather v. wet. Peggy ?Lowery has told us the home next door is to be broken up. Miss Cornell has gone senile. It is very sad.
V. nice 'Book Club' at Jocelins. Discussion on 'Drink and Gambling' , 'Housing' , 'Reason' —also new books. They are so hard to procure now that different people lend them.
I felt I must see the Dales before Xmas, so went to S. Walden and stayed, I think, 2 nights and greatly enjoyed it.
Colin came to supper: we had not seen him since before the war. It was so nice to see him.
F., Ruth and I went to see the play "Arsenic and Old Lace"—quite amusing.
F. & I to Reading School Play, "Midsummer Night's Dream". One night we went to "Tons of Money" by L.P. staff.
Beatrice hasn't been well and had gone very deaf and was away at her home with Rob. for a fortnight.
Wednesday. Reg. rang up in evening to say Marg. had been taken to hospital with very bad thumb and could C. go to help? She had not broken up and was v. tired, so I said I would go.
F. & I to Craven Road to see C's children breaking up performance. Then I caught the train to London to catch the 1.50? train to S.W. There was a huge queue, but I managed just to get a seat. When I arrived at the house, no one there as Reg. had taken Jeremy to hospital and others breaking up at school, so I laid tea, and afterwards helped children, cooked, etc.
V. busy. Aft. all of us to hospital. Not visiting day, but I was allowed to see M. for ½ hr. Quite a nice ward with 7 or 8 others, but not long enough to hear v. much.
Came home arriving tea-time. Had left puddings ready, iced cake, etc but hated leaving Reg. to do everything over Xmas. V. hard work, as Jeremy not yet a year old. Warm welcome here. C. had bought me a lovely plant—primula. Rob. and B. had arrived in morning and R. came to meet me, but we missed in the crush.
Daniel quite pleased with his sock! Real Xmassy weather—sudden hard frost and rime on the trees really exquisite. An enjoyable day, but missed the Dales & Sidney, and sad thinking of Marg. Tiny Xmas tree and some carols.
R. & B. went a walk and to Cinema.
Rob. not well and in bed most of day. C. & Beatrice went to London by 9.20 or a little later and C. went on to S. Walden. Fearfully cold.
F. to Teachers' Guild at S.W.
R. & B. left at 8.20 having been here most of 6 mos. They have taken the flat below their old one, and it has been repaired, but no glass in windows and cold and draughty. We shall miss them greatly for they are so stimulating. Ruthie and I had a happy but busy week-end, preparing for new baby. V. excited for telegram to say S. is coming home on leave.
Mon. F. came home, having enjoyed Guild—has seen M. several times.
Telegram to say S. embarking on 4th. Also telegram (mysterious) from Joe from Chung-king. All most exciting.
Sidney arrived about 11 p.m. F. and I did not see him till 5th.
Splendid to have him here and he looks well—exciting, too, for him to see Daniel. Caro arrived at tea time. Mrs. Dale went on the 1st to help—Rowland has mumps badly and been v. miserable. The Friends are helping nobly but it is a most difficult situation. I think C. has been splendid and most helpful and the children devoted to her, but it has been hard work and bitterly cold. I can't go, because of Ruth's expected baby, and we can't have any of the children here because of infection. Marg. is v. poorly still and thumb not progressing. She went home after several weeks in hospital, but had to go there to get it dressed every morning and is still doing it on Feb.14th, and was unable to use her hand for a good many weeks.
Sidney had to go back to the front. Poor Ruthie and Sidney. It is very hard.
Peace Meeting in Palmer Hall on a "constructive peace". Stokes, M.P. and Gerald Bailey. Interesting and fair audience.
I went to Cottage. Lettice Jowitt paid us delightful short visit in evening. She is giving 2 talks in Reading.
Liberal meeting in Town Hall. F. had to take chair at few hrs notice as Lord Meston ill. F. and I, Lord Samuel, Miss Josephy, Wing Commander Sinclair Wood and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Miller had v. good dinner (paid for by Lord M. or someone) at Ship Hotel, but rather hurried. Good meeting. Body of hall more or less full. Ruth actually went to it. F. v. good, excellent and Lord S. good. Sinclair Wood our new prospective member not quite as good as usual. Got over £50 by Miss J's appeal.
Book Club at Reynolds. New members and readings.
Monday. Fearfully cold. Ever since Xmas it has been very cold (with one or two slightly warmer odd days) and in the North there have been heaps of burst pipes—also a lot of snow in places. We' ve escaped pretty well. Fortunately it has been still, no wind.
Thank Heaven, thaw began.
I've actually omitted the great event of Julia's birth on Jan 25th (Thursday.) Ruth went to Nursing Home in taxi about 10.30, Daniel and I with her. Julia born about 5 mins to 10 p.m. Ruth got on well. Baby 6¼ lbs, and a sweet little thing. I have Daniel to look after and he is very good and sleeps in spare room.
One or other of us went to see R. nearly every day.
7th. Wed. My 70th birthday and I was quite overwhelmed with far too nice letters (not at all deserved) and presents. It was quite exciting. Photos of R. & B. plant, pine essence and cake from C., £70 from Bowes and Ber, etc. Daniel and I were alone all day, except C. to dinner as F. had to go to Cottage. The only thing that spoilt the day was hearing that dear Bertha is suffering great pain with her hip, but she wrote me a lovely letter. A day or two later she was taken to hospital and X-rayed, and had a splint put on which allayed some pain. She is so good and plucky.
8th. Daniel and I went by bus to bring Ruth and Julia home, in taxi in morning. Most exciting. R. has got on well, but 1st week at home suffered greatly from piles. I still look after D. and R. has breakfast in bed and I try to save her all I can. R. soon recovered and felt much better than after D. was born.
24th. F. and I met Beatrice in London and went to see the Harvey Moore's house. It was most delightful in many ways with garden stretching down to the Thames and a boat for it, but it was not easily enough worked for us, so we turned it down, reluctantly. Then on to R. and B's new flat for tea. Still traces of bombing. V. pleasant.
26th. Rob. for night and Daniel went to sleep upstairs again to be looked after by R. (He has been in spare room).
Bertha has been very ill and in hospital, but is back at B.C. so on 10th Sat. I went to York to see her. She was much better, but still in her bedroom, and it was lovely to see her. All rest of family most kind.
I paid call on Kath. & Theo. and saw Elsie, Patrick (jolly boy) and Michael Richardson for day. Edna to supper.
Returned home by train after lunch.
17 people to coffee to meet Liberal candidate Wing Commander Sinclair Wood.
Frequent committees for Free Church Women's Council.
Bedford died. Liberal gathering. Refreshments given by Woods. F. in chair.
F. to M/C. to B's funeral.
Ruth heard of a house at Muswell Hill by telephone from Rob. 2 or 3 days ago and had to take it there and then. She went up to London to see it to-day—had to take a taxi to and from Pad. (21/-) to get back in time to feed Julia. Not v. pleased with house, but rain made it look worse.
F. and I to Cottage. Not v. fine. I had aired bed last week, but to-day we aired sheets etc. Had sent cot there. Laid tea for Dales who arrived just before 4 in taxi from Basingstoke (10/-). Most exciting. Garden looking pretty. Children sweet. We had to get 5.0 bus back, but next week 5.0 p.m. bus will start running. First time for several years.
Cold and windy. C. & I took Daniel to Cottage, and we had a jolly day.
2nd. Easter Monday.
Double summertime began, alas! Dales spent day here. 11 of us to dinner. Photographer in aft. They returned by 6.0 bus. It has been exciting, but tiring. They went back to S.W. on the 6th, not having had v. good weather, but they enjoyed the change.
C. and I went to London to see Ruth's new house 20 Fortis Green Avenue, Muswell Hill, N. Fine day, and we liked it v. much though garden too small—4 bedrooms. High up. Took measurements. Found café for lunch, then bus to Tottenham Court Rd, and to Academy to see ?Scenic Paradise and another film. C. found she had seen it before. V. long, and we could get no tea; arrived home 5.30 and C. felt sick and went straight to bed.
I forgot to say that Mrs. Lovegrove was here for over a year, 1 hour daily 2-3 and did v. well and was always nice, but left about 3 weeks ago as not well. I at once got a Mrs. Tigwell who come 2 hrs 4 times a week in mornings.
There have been no rockets for over a week—it is a mercy. The Rhine was crossed a bit ago and Sidney is on the way to Bremen. It's an anxious time. Holland is getting cleared.
Dales left Cottage.
Wed. C. and I to Cottage. Lovely weather and blossom, etc, exquisite. It is an early Spring—has been hot and things are a fortnight early.
F. to conference at Oxford for week-end.
Frank & Mary Pollard, Daniel & Julia Beck, Rowland & Jonathan Dale and another,
C. and I home reluctantly. She has worked very hard in garden.
Gt. reception in marquee—all of us went and Julia much admired. V. nice occasion. C. and I went later to Town Hall to prepare stall of fruit, flowers and veg's (hardly any fruit) for the Fair to get money for homes for old people.
C. and I worked at stall in morning. Fair opened by Lady Mayoress of London (Alexander). Town Hall packed. Our stall lovely and we made over £42. Tea good.
F., Ruth and I to see "Juno and the Paycock" at Rep. Fairly nice. Sad.
Rockets have stopped and black out ended, thank Heaven. (We have had "dim out" for some weeks.) There have been many casualties and much damage from the rockets in some parts, London of course, and we are happier about R. & B. now.
Book Club here on Brontes.
Weather is now very cold again. R. & B. to Cottage, stayed till May 1st.
Sat. F. and I to Mortimer arriving about 11.30. R. & B. walked there and met us. Almost at once a snowstorm began, but it soon cleared into sunny but cold day. Lovely walk of 4 or 4½ miles to Cottage almost entirely on paths and Silchester and then through wood. Went near a place called Sim's Farm. Sat in bluebell wood and ate sandwiches. Soon after arrival at Cottage had tea and later excellent supper and caught 8.0 bus home. During the war there has been none later than 5.0.
Denmark and Holland surrendered.
We know to-day that peace is really coming, but not official yet.
Churchill spoke at 3.0 quite well and the King at 9.p.m. Holiday and to-morrow too. Thanksgiving meeting at 6.30 to which F. & C. went. R. went ride to Mapledurham (first long ride for months) so I had to stay in, (bluebells nearly over) but felt very, very thankful to God, that Sidney (& Bill Morrell) are safe and not only they. It is almost unbelievable that after 5¾ years of terrible war (May 6) the Germans have at last surrendered and the awful slaughter ceased. But our bombing of them has been ghastly and as for their concentration camps they were too wicked for words. Many of the Germans sank to the levels (or worse) of beasts. Now we must pray that a just and good peace will be made.
Ruth had headache and breakfast in bed due to reaction I think.
F. to Sidcot for schools education committee. I did not feel well, but went with R. in aft. to Miss Halliday's clinic with the children. Afterwards had bad diarrhoea and went to bed. About 10.30 pm. got up, fainted and hit my forehead badly agst. the bed. C. & Ruthie got up and sent for Dr. Field who gave me brandy etc.
F. home. In bed all day. Still bad and on 12th took castor oil and had fearful attack.
Up part day. Finished with Dr.
Down to breakfast.
Y. M. started.
Examination by Dr. Field. I never got to Y.M. F. thought it interesting and seems to have spoken well.
C. and I to Cottage for day.
On C.'s birthday I think she got £200 from Joe. Book Club. Ruskin. F. & R. went.
R. and I to Cottage with children and Jonathan whom F. had brought from London in aft. (He hasn't been well). We had ordered a car from Tadley, but man made a mistake and we didn't get it till nearly 8.0. J. very tired, but all children so good—we gave them Force etc and soon got them to bed—baby in far room with R. and J. and D. with me. Next few days very happy, but weather only middling. I light fire and dress the 2 children—R. does Julia after breakfast. J. fond of card games. We had v. nice meals.
By taxi home in aft. (£1)
Took J. to S.W. and stayed night. Train packed—Races.
Home in time for Liberal meeting at 7.15. Have got a young Dr. (29) Tronchin-James as candidate. Had never spoken before and was not good.
Wed. Interview with surgeon Mr. Walker in Bath Rd. He was very nice.
Examn. By Mr. Walker at Dunedin. Not v. pleasant.
Mon. To Dunedin. 3 X Ray photos taken—huge enema of Bismuth.
Evie for day.
Cottage with C. and F. Lovely happy day—our last tog. at present, as Mr. and Mrs. Eames are going to rent it, alas! Evening C. said "Joe is coming home and may be back any time". V. exciting.
2nd V.E. holiday. C. to London. Bought peach satin wedding dress.
To see Dr. Field. X Ray photos alright, but must have operation.
13 people to simple tea to meet Tronchin-James.
L.P. Gilbert Murray on "Victory and afterwards."
Woke with headache but C. and I went to Bournemouth via London (F. direct.) I saw C's wedding dress. Lovely. Trains packed—we tried for 12.30 but had to stand in queue over an hour and got the 1.30. Arrived B' m 4.30 and taxied to Stafford Lodge, 26 Dean Park Rd, private hotel. F. and Rob. There. Beatrice arrived too having been in our train. After some tea, R. motored us to see the sea—years since I have seen it. He has been lent a car, covered with yellow ribbon & "vote hard for Pollard"! He is called Bob Pollard here! Then we went to Committee rooms and finally got tea, tomatoes and toast in a café and to R's meeting in a schoolroom about 7.30. Well attended. Another man spoke first. R. rather tired. A man was unpleasant about his being a C.O. He answered questions well.
F. C. and I home—C. and I via London as return tickets. Left about 3.0. All arrived soon after 8.0 and Ruth had put flowers in our rooms and gave us nice welcome.
Big Town Hall meeting. T. James brought his wife and baby here—she fed it in a hurry and C. said it screamed during evening. F. v. good as chairman. V. surprised to see Town Hall full, galleries included. Tronchin-James spoke first and was very good indeed—has improved immensely—then Sir Hubert Henderson and Sinclair Wood—with excellent and high tone. Candidate answered questions well.
Big poll. First time C. and R. have voted.
R. & B. for week-end. Poor R. slipped coming off platform 2 or 3 nights ago and broke bone in elbow. V. painful at first and he had several more meetings that evening. Someone had to drive the car, as he had arm in sling. B. has to dress him. (Aft. Ruth and I took Daniel in a boat. He loved it).
Glorious hot day. Rob rested in garden.
Free Church Council Committee. V. busy helping Ruth—all available space filled with her things.
Ruth and the children left for their new home in London. We shall miss them terribly. I went with them in the van—quite cosy at the back. Julia in pram. D. on my knee. We left about 12.0—ate sandwiches and R. fed Julia. Men stopped for lunch. Got to Fortis Green Av. about 3.0 I think. Gt. business next day or two getting straight. I left on 14th Sat in aft. just as Sidney was returning on leave to his first real home.
Caro and I to cinema to see "A Song to Remember" about Chopin.
I went to see Mr. Ormerod about my ears and he got a lot of wax out. Then to see Sidney and Ruth. S. looks well and very happy. Had tea there. Children sweet. At 6.0 went to garage and bought Jowett 7, £150—short ride in it, then home. F. and C. would hardly believe me.
Sweep for dining room and kitchen. Overseers.
Sidney had to return to Germany. Election results. Rob. not in but did well.
Got dining room carpet down. C's last day of her school. She felt it a good deal. She and I at 8.15 pm were trying to ice a cake with soya flour for her leaving party to parents and children tomorrow when Joe rang up to say he was at the station and she rushed off to meet him. They did not get here till after 10.0. It was fearfully exciting, as he had not been expected till several days later, but also a strain and I felt v. nervous. I brought them supper and then we left them. He had come in boat meant for 500 and there were 2000!
C. and J. had breakfast late together. They are not going to stay at the Cottage after all, though Mr. and Mrs. Eames turned out. They both went to her party at L. Park.
C. and J. went to London, cancelled the wedding dress and bought a different one! Went to see Ruth and came back in our car. It went alright. They stopped at Slough for supper, so arrived late.
F. and I to Cottage. C. & J. came for us in the car in the evening.
C.& J. have decided to get married by special licence as he only has a month's leave. Joe went to Coventry to see his people, and came back on 4th. C. busy finishing reports. She was quite knocked up when he came at first with the shock.
C.& J. to Cottage by car in aft. Meeting in morning. Has been v. hot weather, but changing.
Ruth and children arrived at tea time. Daniel tired out. Joe went to Ship Hotel for night. Gt. business, as we are a room short now, as I gave R. all her bedroom furniture and carpet.
Alas, inclined to be showery, but kept fine till the aft. Wedding at ¼ to 12.0 at Meeting House. Ernest and Evelyn arrived early, then Mar. and Rosemary who came all the way from S.W. for the day. Ella kindly took flowers to G.W.R. Hotel (only place that wd. give us lunch) and D. Brain decorated Meeting House beautifully. 2 taxis. F. C. and I went in 2nd. (the first really that came back for us). C lovely in rust coloured dress, spray of carnations and white heather and sort of navy flower hat and gloves, etc. to match. They said their says beautifully. B. Saxon Snell spoke and Father beautifully and Mrs. Herford. Then to Registry Office at 12.30. Also very nice and reverent. Lunch at 1.0 (ordinary lunch) at G.W.R. Hotel—17 of us with 5 of Joe's people. Then home (not E. & E. but Mabel W.) C. & J. took some of us in our car! Reception 3.-4.30. 50–60 people. Mrs. Tigwell helped all day and Joyce with the tea. We only had the wedding cake and some biscuits I had made and 3 cakes got thro' the Suttons from Huntley & Palmer. I gave materials to Goddard who made the cake (2lbs of everything) and I iced it with soya flour. We managed to buy icing sugar and C. iced it most beautifully. Presents in dining room looked lovely. Everyone so jolly—they went before C. and Joe departed in the car for Malvern—the only place where they could get taken in. Marg. & Rosemary left about 4.0. We cleared up in evening—Ruth a tremendous help.
Left with Ruth and the children by taxi at about 8.30—R. had headache. 9.4 to London—then put R. and children in a taxi and we took one to Euston—waited a long time for the 11.55 train. Surprised to find it v. empty and got good seats. Thermos. Arrived W.mere about 7.15. Dales not there, but arrived 7.30 and all but F. & Reg, who got a bus, had a taxi to H. Folds. It seemed queer not to have Jane to welcome us (she is too old now) but a friend of hers showed us rooms, etc, and we soon had a simple supper. F. and I sleep in Yew Room. We stayed a fortnight—weather marvellous, only 2 days with any rain, and first few days were almost too hot. Mrs. Pringle was extremely nice, v. North Country—came about 10.0, cooked a good dinner and washed it up, and made something for high tea. F. and I often looked after Jeremy and sometimes Rosemary and Jonathan too while the others went off for the day, climbing Helvellyn etc. R. & B. were staying in the village at a veg. place—Beck Allans—and it was jolly doing things with them—boat on lake, etc. Children & grown-ups (except F. and me) had heaps of bathes—twice children at Shepherd's Bridge spent aft. in river naked—Jeremy included, plucky wee boy (1 year 8 mos. old). On Sunday 12th we all had a grand picnic tea at the river, turning off to the right part way up the Easedale Rd.
On Wed. 15th. Joe and Caro arrived—most exciting. F. and I gave them our bedroom and went into the Birch room. On the 18th R. & B. went back to London. There were 10 of us to meals—rather a lot for difficult catering. Breakfasts v. simple with only an electric kettle and oil stoves that flared up suddenly, so we only had wheat flakes etc. and tea. Fire in kitchen bit later. On Tues. night 14th Japanese surrendered and at last this frightful war is over, but an Atomic bomb was a wicked thing.
C. & Joe, Marg., Rosemary, Jon. and I to church. Packed and sermon excellent. We had been rather afraid of a 'Victory' sermon. In evening F. and I delightful call on Miss Hills at Easedale House.
Whole family for day to Easedale Tarn. Jeremy carried in hammock thing where pushchair wouldn't go. Most had 2 bathes, one in river, one in lake. Gt. success.
Only twice did we have rain and then not all day. Pringle (gardener) & I got on well, but he was away 1 week. Nice veg's from garden. I had to buy some and paid 2/6 for a marrow! Fortunately M. and I had taken a lot of food with us.
On 22nd. afternoon Jon. and I climbed Nab Scar!
On 23rd. Thurs. we all left in 2 taxis at 8.15—M. and children and Reg. left us at to go to Mrs. Dale's at Warrington and then C. and Joe at Crewe to go to Coventry. F. and I had easy, but tiring, journey and arrived home about 7.0, thankful (I anyway) to get back, and we had a busy evening doing accounts, etc. The holiday has cost less than we expected!
V. busy clearing up, for house not cleaned since wedding. Mrs. Tigwell away till Monday and Joyce at Brighton. C. & Joe arrived after tea in the car which they had left at Rugby. It had been stolen, but the police had found it. I had got spare room ready for them and it is lovely to have them.
C. and J. took me to see "The Keys of Heaven" [JW: sc. The Keys of the Kingdom]—good film of Cronin's book about an R. C. priest in China.
C., J., and I in car to Cottage in aft. I drove there, but found the car rather difficult. Mrs. Eames gave us tea. We got veg's, also blackberries.
All to Sale of things by refugees—money to help children who had been in concentration camps. Evening F. and I to open air peace meeting in Market Place, addressed by Bernard Taylor.
3 Graveleys to tea.
Washing. Sweep for drawing room and started spring cleaning it.
I went to Ruth's arriving tea-time. She had not expected me till next day. I slept on mattress in D's room. Lovely to see her and the children again. Julia such a happy, beaming baby. Has 1 tooth.
I looked after children while R. went shopping. I took them a lovely walk to Cherry Tree Park. Aft. we all went to Highgate woods. After tea Marg. arrived for the night and I went home.
Dr. Fields' to get ring (vulcanite) cleaned.
Long M.M. Interesting talk by a man who visits the Prisoner of War camps.
Janet Rawlings came with Joe, C. and me in car in aft. to look at Frog Hall near Wokingham where a Sale was to be held. We then went on to Bear Wood (after tea in Wok.) and got blackberries. C. and J. made jam.
F's 73rd birthday. Nice letter and present. Fine day and at 11.0 Joe, C., F., and I started in car for Frog Hall, Mortimer (Sale of furniture etc.) then to Wasing Wood and had lunch by the lake. Then Cottage—got veg's and ?lettuces and home ¼ to 4.0 as C. and J. going out to tea. Had a birthday "dinner" in evening. All tired!
F. in London and C. & J. out and I actually had lunch alone. Easy day!
Rep. "Ghosts". Depressing play.
To Ruth's for day.
Free Church Council Committee.
Evening Joe had to go to Edinburgh. Frank walked with me about 6.p.m. to Greenlands and left me there. Quite nice room but facing North. Had enema, etc., also supper.
Cup of tea. Injection in arm but still quite conscious. Operation about 11. I think. Carried down on stretcher and outside to theatre. Another injection near elbow of left arm sent me off, and I did not properly come round till about 5. p.m. when F. came to see me. Next few days lying pretty flat and only drinks—mostly tea, occasionally beef tea! Felt headachy and sick and back ached. On the Thursday or Friday given large dose of medicine with violent result. Gradually began more solid food—fish nearly every day for dinner. Days dragged interminably, for hard to read until I was allowed another pillow, and every night I felt very feverish. Eventually C. brought me a thermometer and until the 11th Oct. I was always up to about 100̊. People v. kind but except F. C. and Ella I had few visitors as it was too tiring. All the family wrote to me a lot, and Ruthie nearly every day (such a joy). Even Sidney and Joe wrote—Ber sent 10/, Evie 5/- and Mar. and Ruth chrysanthemums—flowers from Castles, Mary Stansfield, Reynolds, Milligans, "Rose", etc, grapes from Edith Smith and Martin (who came to visit me when on a visit to Reading) and 2 peaches from Joyce. F. & C. very good in coming to see me, but I got terribly homesick. Nurse Evans particularly nice (married).
On Wednesday, Oct. 10th. sat up in bed; a great relief. 11th. sat in a chair, 12th had a lovely hot bath with dettol—also 13th—and on Sunday, Oct. 14th Caro came for me in car about 10.0 a.m. and I got home at last after 3 weeks away. I could do nothing at first but weep for joy. Stayed up till tea-time, but started sneezing hard, and had to stay in bed all next day feeling wretched. C. brought me lovely meals and was awfully kind. I gradually improved, but did not feel at all strong for nearly a fortnight. On 24th, managed with F's help to walk as far as Whitley, but got tired. Weather rainy and gales and car out of order. F. at Sibford 18th–19th and Jordans 20th–22nd.
I am terribly depressed as operation does not seem to have been a success.
C. was going to join Joe in Dundee on 26th and was busy packing, when he telephoned to say he had to take a 6 weeks' course at Arborfield and he arrived before breakfast on 25th. Poor C. very disappointed not to get the change and rest.
Joe has to have breakfast at 7.30, and finds the car very useful, so as I wanted to sell it and a lady had been to see it, he bought it for £150 which was what I had given, but I have paid insurance & 23/ over ?battery. I hope he is wise. It seems queer to have the car in our garage place and know it's not mine!
Came down to breakfast for first time—6 weeks I think.
Robert came for week-end (B. in Edinburgh) in good spirits having headed the poll at Council Elections.
Joe and C. took me in car to Meeting—1st time for about 7 weeks. Rob. and F. came too. Everyone gave me lovely welcome.
F. and I went to film Henry V. Middling. V. tired as could not get a bus back owing to crowds welcoming soldiers from Far East.
F. at Woodbrooke. C. and I to see Mayor installed in Town Hall. Dull. Flowers lovely. Lunch at Lyons.
FA.U. Sale at Mrs. H.R. Smith's. I had tea afterwards with Ethel Stevens who seemed well (for her) but she died a few weeks afterwards from a stroke. C. is teaching some afternoons at Caversham again. Joe began at first taking sandwiches, but usually comes back to lunch.
C. & J. took F. and me to play "This Happy Breed"—v. good seats. Most enjoyable. Went there and back in car.
Sidney is home on leave at last. He and Ruth brought the children here and left them with us. They returned to London after lunch to an hotel, to enjoy themselves. Julia slept with F. and me and was so good only she needed a meal at 4.0 a.m. Daniel missed his "shawlie" and tho' sweet was not very happy.
S. & R. arrived for lunch, having had a lovely time and took children home afterwards.
F. and I to L.P. play—"Late Christopher Bean". I could not hear.
At last had people to tea—Ralph Smith and fiancée, Elsie Harrod and Mr. Coleman (L.P.). All v. nice. Ralph most interesting, about Prisoners of War experiences.
I went to Cottage in morning. Eames's gave me lunch. Book Club at Millers. I have missed the last 3. This was very nice.
C. and I to interesting cookery demonstration (free).
Ruth has had bronchial cold and S. got a week's extension of leave to look after her and the children.
Liberal Sale in Palmer Hall. V. good and they got about £80; perhaps this included Social in evening. Good tea!
I went to Guildford. Evie and Ernest better than sometimes and so kind and loving. Ernest has just had 80th birthday.
Mrs. Strange and I to Free Church Council sale. V. poor!
Robert for week-end. C. and Joe fearfully busy packing.
Caro and Joe left altogether by car at 9.15. C. not at all well. It was dreadful letting her go—our last child to leave home and she has been so sweet and helpful, unselfish and kind. They got to York 7 p.m. and Ber had taken a room for them at Young's Hotel, Petergate. C. telephoned and said they had got on alright. Perhaps change of air will cure her constant catarrh. On 12th they go on to Edinburgh for 1 night, thence Dundee. Beatrice will come back from Edinburgh on the 14th. Rob. will be thankful.
F. R. S. Film at L.P. Very good. The young Friends and others who are helping abroad are doing wonderful work.
L.P. ?hobbies and speeches. Latter not v. good.
F. went to Pad. to help Ruth who had a taxi to there. They arrived here with the 2 children in time for lunch. Most exciting.
R. went to Meeting. Unfortunately I have started a streaming cold and don't feel at all well. Probably I gave it to Daniel and he coughed badly at nights, so on 24th we had Dr. Berry. D. in bed all day, but came down to send letter to Santa Claus and hear carol. He sleeps with R. in spare room—Julia in C's room.
D. rather frightened of his sock at first, but soon loved it. He had breakfast in bed, so only F. R. Joyce and I in dining room—a gt. change from usual. There seemed little to do compared to other Xmas's. We had a few presents at breakfast, but most after dinner. The chicken was a v. good one and we drank healths to all our dear absent ones. R. & B. are at the Pascalls. R. had never, I think, missed Xmas here (except when in Greenlands), nor C. either and we did miss them, tho' I did not feel fit for a big party. We wished Sidney was here—poor Ruth. Children enjoyed the lovely Xmas tree and we had carols as usual.
Daniel never got really well, tho' they were here 3 weeks and I continued with a bad sneezing cold.
R. and B. arrived before lunch for week-end. B. had a cold and did not seem well.
B. v. poorly and in bed all day (F. and I now have Daniel and Julia is with Ruth). She was feverish in evening. Rob and F. sang—lovely.
B. said she must go home as going back to Edin. at end of week, so Rob. went early and she followed in aft. tho' not really fit to go.
On Wed. Jan. 2nd. she was taken worse and on 3rd (I think) we heard she was v. ill, temp. 104.6—Rob. got a day nurse; then Dr. said she had Bright's disease and she was taken to Brentford Cottage Hospital. Here she was in a general ward.
Mar. and Jeremy arrived in time for lunch. Poor Jeremy very tired and shy. They stayed till the 9th. The only amusement they had was M. and Ruth going to cinema "Johnny Frenchman", which they much enjoyed. Jeremy and Daniel gradually became fairly friendly, but J. was not really very well. However, we loved having them and M. and R. had gt. talks. Unfortunately M. got cold and started influenza directly she got home.
On Jan 10th., Thurs. R. and children and I left for London by 11.20, F. coming too to a Committee. We had a taxi from Pad. to Fortis Gr. Av. 17/6 and at once lit a fire and ate sandwiches for dinner. Rob. rang up about a house belonging to Miss Berryman who had been Sec. to Charles.
My cold is going at last. Frightful, stormy day. Rob. rang up to say B's mind affected—gt. distress.
B. has been moved to West Middlesex Hospital. I left R. and the children regretfully at 2.30—they are all so sweet—and I went to Stamford Brook, (28 Pleydell Av.) to see the house, but it wouldn't do. Got the 5.12 home, and found F. well. He had got on alright alone. Just as we were going to bed, Rob. rang up and said B. is alright again—that she had had bad pneumonia. It is inexplicable, but an unutterable relief.
To Meeting, first time for ages.
Founding of United Nations Association. Excellent address by a Mr. Walker. Also I went to Bradbury about my teeth.
Felt particularly well and enjoyed at last having time to do a good bout of cooking, but did not feel v. well in the night.
V. hard frost continues. Meeting. Aft. F. and I to see Henry Currall who is ill with heart. Evening found my temp. 100̊.
In bed all day. Room never gets much above 40̊. It's awful.
Cold and sneezing began again and cough, so had Dr. Field. In bed all week—weather grew milder. First influenza I've had for ages—head and eyes v. bad and cannot read. Poor F. has everything to do, but is managing well and is so kind.
Allowed downstairs, but feel v. shaky and poorly.
Dr's last visit.
Bad headache in morning. Ella has been v. kind and has had several puddings made for me.
Down to breakfast for first time for ages. F. has been so good in bringing it to me. He went to M. for S. and about 11.0 I went to Bradbury who pulled my last 5 teeth out. I had cocaine, but gums were in a bad state and it wasn't pleasant, though not really bad. I had already had a denture made, and it is supposed to be put in at once, but dentist said next day best. Next few weeks I paid repeated visits to him, as gums so sore, and altering. Fearful bother.
W.L.A. Annual Meeting. I could hardly speak, but went for short time.
I forgot to mention my birthday on Feb. 7th. I had lovely letters and presents—F. snowdrops and violets, Rob. (later) a book, M. & Reg. jigsaw and 'The Housewife' , Caro exquisitely worked hdcf, Ruth had already given me a wooden tray to go across the bath, Rosemary a beautifully made kettle holder, letters from Reg., Marg., Rowland and Jonathan (latter a drawing), bath pine essence from E. & E. and 10 guineas from Ber, and letters from Teresa and Elsie Butts. I went to London and spent a happy day with Ruth and the children. It seemed quite an adventure, for I have done nothing lately (except bus to dentist). On 13th I went to Cottage, first time since Dec. 2nd. Walked thro' wood, but gloomy day. Lambden only able to stay a short time. Mrs. Eames kind and gave me tea.
F. and I took Joyce to Palace to see the "Gondoliers". V. delightful.
F. and I to see film "Johnny Frenchman" about Cornwall and Brittany. Good. It is lovely to be going about again. V. nice mild weather, and Mrs. Tigwell and I (& F.) got our bedroom springcleaned 18th & 19th.
F. at Woodbrooke for 2 nights—last week at Sibford. Evie came and we had a lovely time together, but she had to go back by 4.20. I met her and saw her off. She is not v. well. It has grown cold again, bad wind.
Collyer came with Ford 8 and I agreed to buy it—drove it up Northumberland Avenue.
Gerald Bailey and Eames's to tea. G. B. spoke at Meeting House on "Arms and the human spirit".
Surprized to see the car in our 'garage' place! Dentist again. He had to put a lining on my plate.
Frightful day, cold and snowy, but I went to London by 9.4 and met Beatrice (just back from Lyme Regis) at Burlington H. to see Arts and Crafts Exhibition. C's jewellery box in place of honour in large glass case—felt v. proud of her. Some v. lovely things. Then to R's office and heard the sad news of Mrs. Hickinbottom's sudden death. Lunch with R. & B. at Hill's, then by tube to see Ruth. She was surprised. Snowing hard, and it froze on my mac. We had a good talk, then got Daniel up at ¼ to 4 and then Julia. I stayed to see them put to bed, and got 7.40 home.
Sunny, but hard frost. Collyer came and we settled up.—£165 for car, but taxed till end of year, £5 odd insurance. He was nice and obliging. F. at F.E.C. and Gen. Purposes Committee.
Poor Caro took a job at a Nursing Home and at once fell down the stairs and hurt her leg. She rested 3 or 4 days, then pluckily went back, but after another day or two the leg gave way, and was terribly painful, so they got a Dr. It was X-rayed at Dundee Infirmary and found broken, so was put in plaster of Paris.
Mr. Milligan was going to Bournemouth on business, so kindly took F. and me in his car. It was bitterly cold, as there has been a lot of snow lately (not much in Reading, but hard frost) and very dull. We started at ¼ to 9.0 and got to Boscombe ¼ to 12.0 having been delayed through J.M. having forgotten his luggage when we had already gone some distance. We went to Court Green, 68 Glen Road, Boscombe, and left our suitcases and then F. and I went to Plummer's and had a nice lunch as we were not wanted till aft. We walked to the sea, but it was grey and cold. On returning, unpacked in our very nice bedroom facing South, h. & c., gas fire and kettle, and stayed in for rest of day. 7 or 8 others there, mostly elderly ladies; a nice Mrs. ?Allinson. We stayed here a week, but unhappily the weather was bad, icy East winds tho' no rain and we did very little. A free morning concert in the Pavilion, seats for 'Madam Louise' , a play we did not care for, morning coffee, one or two walks in Boscombe Gardens, and once to B' mouth by the sea. A lot of reading (& knitting) by the fire, tea with Edmund in his lovely bed sitting room (he was so nice), Meeting, greeted by Ethel Harrison & Sam Bell etc. One evening we talked to old Mr. Bailey (82 and blind) and Mrs. B. both v. nice and interesting. We were most comfortable in the Guest House, and had excellent meals, beautifully served, special veg. dishes for me. It is run by Norah Bailey (sister of Gerald B.) and Miss Smith. £4 each per week, cheap for these days. Our meals v. good for these days of rationing and difficulty—breakfast at 9.0, porridge, always, then often dried bananas in syrup for me, and bacon or fish etc. for F., plenty of tea and toast, butter and marmalade. Dinner at 1.0—vegetables, meat or fish for F., veg. dish for me and a sweet and coffee. Tea at 4.30. Supper 7.30. Delicious soup, then either cold meat or pie for Frank, or salad for me (or both a veg. dish). And a sweet, tart, or something in sundae glasses and always coffee. Unfortunately while there my new 'denture' was so painful that I hardly ever wore it and my right foot was so swollen that I found it hard to wear any shoes.
We went to Christchurch one morning; it is v. beautiful. Another to Poole Harbour, but too misty to see anything. We left on Wed. 13th by 11.17 train and were very glad to get home at 2.30. We were cold, but F. managed to scrape enough coke for kitchen fire and lit drawing room fire (we only have 1 ton monthly) and all went well. Joyce has looked after house—Mrs. Warters been here with her. Had kitchen spring cleaned and hall.
(Possibly it was a day or two earlier). Collyer brought the car and explained it, and I drove a little down Redlands Road, along Allcroft Road and back by Kendrick Road. Also once in and out of our gate, which I found hard.
Sidney got home on leave.
R. & B. for weekend. V. nice. All to meeting. Evening all to hear F. on "Quakerism and the Modern Man". V. good.
To Ruth's early in morning. Looked after children all day while she and S. went out. Children so sweet and good. S. & R. returned 11 p.m.
S. & R. out again till tea-time. Rained. I had to read Daniel about the Shepherd and the "littlest lamb" over and over again. Lovely to see Sidney again. Helped R. to put children to bed and caught the 7.40 home.
F. and I in car to Cottage. I managed well except getting in and out of gate. Mrs. Eames kindly gave us tea and we went to see Lambden. Mrs. L. v. ill. I saw her. Said goodbye to Mrs. Eames—they are leaving soon.
C. & J. came in morning on leave. Lovely to have them—C's leg better, but she can only walk a little—has had bladder trouble for 3 weeks poor girl.
In aft. to Pangbourne to see Collyer about car—walked to river. Good tea (1/9 each) at our usual place. Lovely day—weather perfect and so hot at present—above 60̊.
Joe went to Coventry.
C., Sheila Fawcett, Robin and I to Grove Farm, Cookham to see Bews and their pottery. Most interesting. Lovely drive by river; blossom out.
F. to Jordans Peace Committee.
C. and Joe went back to Scotland. I go to Women's Free Church Council Committees once a month.
F. to Oxford for Peace Conference. I stayed with Ruth till Sunday evening.
F. home. Started bad pain in leg (thigh) during night.
F. and I to Cinema "The Last Chance". V. good, but sad. Refugees trying to escape.
Got Dr. for F., 'Cooper' , a locum. Says it is neuritis. Next few days pain v. bad, especially in the night and F. has to rest entirely on drawing room sofa. He got v. depressed. Dr. Berry returned and agreed diagnosis.
On 27th. R. & B. came for week-end and cheered us. Unhappily weather poor. In evening they and I went by car to Goring Heath and walked through woods to view of river. Back by Mapledurham.
Thought it would do F. good to get out, so took him to Cottage, but it poured. Had tea there. Rob. made fire. Ruthie poorly, but I did not know till she was recovering.
At last a heavenly day and F. and I went to the Cottage for the day. It is blissful to have it to ourselves, though there was heaps to do and the garden is in a bad state as poor old Lambden has not been able to work for weeks as his wife was ill. She has just died—she was such a nice woman and always seemed pleased to see me when I called. He came today, but is very miserable.
The blossom was beautiful and the pyrus Japonica has been marvelous. I brought back curtains to wash etc. It did F. good to be there: he just rested. He came down to breakfast for first time yesterday (April 30th).
Wet and cold; the weather is awful. F. much better, went into town yesterday, and sleeps without sleeping pills.
Mrs. Lovegrove, F., Joyce and I to Cottage—tea in garden).
Halle concert—Barbirolli conducting. Wonderful.
Joe for day from Scotland to get some papers. V. nice to see him.
Cottage with F. Slight accident with lorry as I turned at Bartlett's corner.
Mon. To Buxton—F. will be most of week at Y.M. but he felt nervous being left without me (It did him good really.). He saw me off and I went from St. Pancras arriving Buxton early afternoon (Gertrude Gray in same carriage—knew me by my voice!). Walked to 'Old Hall Hotel' where B. had got me a nice room. Stayed till Sat 20th and B. and I had a very happy time tog. She had treatment in the mornings and in aft's I sometimes took her in a chair. Once we went a lovely taxi drive nearly to Leek, and another day 2.30–6.0 delightful motor coach drive to ?Youlford through Chatsworth, some of us nice tea at Bakewell at Red Lion, pretty old inn—waited here an hour. One evening to a concert and we often played patience. B. was so sweet and kind. I had 2 aerated baths—lovely. I came home on 25th and F. met me at St. Pancras and we caught the 3.15 home, arriving just before R. & B. who came for week-end.
On 26th. Sun. after tea we went to Ewelme, but it poured coming back.
Book Club at Muriel Steven's. Nearly all took part reading "Androcles and the Lion".
Sidney came home for good and Ruth and he are really happy now. I do rejoice to think he is safely back for good.
It has been a very wet, very cold blustery May, and June 1st was showery and windy. F. and I to Cottage for short time. The Morris's have done wonders to the garden.
Took F. and Joyce to Meeting in the car. Aft. F. to London to speak at Friends House on "William Penn".
I forgot to say I was sorry to miss Y.M. again. It seems to have been a helpful time. The food situation is very serious everywhere. Meeting (crowded) at Town Hall on 31st. Victor Gollancz, Michael Foot etc. for 'Save Europe now' collected over £400.
I fear conscription is coming. It will be for 2 years. How dreadful.
Sidney came—his first visit to us as a Civilian. We had lunch at 12.30 and then he and I started at 1.30 in the car for London. He drove very well and we reached Fortis Green Av. about ¼ to 4.0. Children sweet. After nice tea Ruth and I to Vaudeville Theatre to see "No Medals" by Esther McCracken—quite good seats 7/- each in Upper Circle, but I could not hear well. Still it was v. good and amusing and pathetic too. Parted from R. and caught the 9.50 train home.
[Transcript by Julia Whitaker, with her permission.]