Monday 19th October 1959

Eva to the family:

Dear Alec June Susan & Carol

Many thanks for the letter. Glad to say dad is going on satisfactorily but don’t know when he is coming out. He was to have had the stitches out on either Sunday night or this morning. It is a nice hospital but a drag to get up there it is on Brandon Hill in Upper Byron Place makes me puff.

It would be far better to come down when he is out; no point in going to the hospital as its nothing serious.

So you are having a sink unit & fridge* very nice too. After the mess we have had & still have I began to wish it had never been started but it looks much better & bigger. It was to have been 3ft longer but my guess is that it’s more than that a lovely big window taking in all the garden opposite & through the side to the lawn. They had a job with the sink unit though were here until 10.30 Friday and 9.30 Saturday, haven’t seen them today yet. What remains to be done is painting & tiling. I have a strip light over sink as the one light would not be sufficient.

We had a terrible gale here Saturday night. We are all right but next door (empty) house shed roofing came off in strips. It will disappear altogether one day if they don’t live in it.

Glad you are all feeling better, can breath with this colder air & its much colder.

I expect you have also hear from Dad so I will finish now as have some more to do. Has June finished her knitting yet?

Love from us all,

From Mum

*At this time neither of my grandmothers had a fridge; they both had pantries/larders and the old-style tin kitchen cabinets in which dry goods were stored. It’s easy to forget, from our relatively privileged modern position of being able to stock up our fridges and freezers and always have something in reserve, what a treadmill it was for housewives to keep the family fed in earlier times. June’s mother lived among shops and could easily go out every morning for meat, bread, vegetables and other perishables; June had a long walk, which included going up and over a hill (so literally ‘up hill both ways’) to the Fine Fare supermarket – there was no bus service – and had to carry everything back herself until she caved in and bought a trolley. Some tradesmen did deliver, but you still had to go down to their shop and choose your goods in person and they would bring them round to you later in the day. Buying a fridge, although it was a big-ticket item and still fairly uncommon, would have made a huge difference to her life. And people who paid out huge sums of money for ‘deep freezes’ and drove out to farms to buy ‘half a cow’ were as legendary to us as nineteenth century polar explorers; they were at the forefront of something that was seen as wildly exciting and adventurous at the time, but which has now become far more commonplace. Sixty years can bring an awful lot of changes, not just for individuals but also for the world.


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