Sunday 24th January, 1960

Alec to his parents:

Dear Mum and Dad

Thank you both for your letters also crate of apples and onions duly received and collected. You sent off apples on the 20th also the letter same day and both arrived on the 21st. June handed me your letter when I arrived home on the Thursday and said that West Ruislip Station had telephoned to say they had arrived there. I was very surprised to see the charge was so high. Will get you back the 6/7 on the charge. If you send any more it will be much cheaper to send by freight and will get here quick enough. I must look up what parcels and freight facilities they have at Sudbury Hill and Northolt Park as those stations are quite near here and the rate would be less due to the shorter distances. The apples and onions arrived in good condition and very securely packed. I thought you had tacked on a couple of leaves out of the old dining room table. We picked up the consignment on our way to West Drayton on Saturday. I left June and the children at I55 while I went to see the match. It was quit a a good match up to half time and not much to choose. Hayes were the better side and were able to keep going on the thick mud better than Clevedon. They deserved to win but the score was just a little out of keeping with the relative skill of the teams. The locals seemed very impressed and there was much comment at the standard of play. It appears most people liked the game much better than the previous weeks match against Barnet. That appears to have been played in a most unsporting manner. We had a bit of trouble with Carol again last week-end and again last night. She stands up in her cot and bawls her head off. We had another session of it again to-night but June managed to get her off after a while. Hope she stays quiet as not in favour of changing to a cold bed at 1-Oam. We have got round to having a few thoughts on holidays etc to I960 and at the moment have this in mind. Easter leave plus odd days to make one week. Ten days towards the end of June, some odd days later in the Summer and balance to combine with Christmas leave to make the last week. If it is convenient, and you would like to come, perhaps you could come to us at Easter and Christmas, and we could go to Clevedon at the end of June, The last time you came at Easter you came on the Thursday for a week, and a similar arrangement would do this year. Stop longer if you like, but I shall have to return to work on the Thursday. Regarding the Summer, we have in mind something like Thursday to the following Monday week. We are thinking about having odd day trips out in the car later in the Summer and Christmas as previously stated. I think you said you preferred to cone up before the calls of the garden got too heavy. Will wait to hear your comments on these proposals before booking the dates. Susan again went to Sunday School to-day. She has been given a medal. (Badge) with S.R.M, on the outside and S.S. in the centre. Presume this means South Ruislip Methodist Sunday School. Apparently all children who have been attending for 16 weeks get one. Did not realise that she had been attending for so long. Nights beginning to get lighter now. It is just light at 5-Opm. The weather here over the week-end has been most depressing. I think it has rained solidly all the time. Fine driving rain with half a gale behind it which becomes heavy at times. Most of the hollows in the field are full with water but there is no great collection of it in the garden. Along the edges of the borders there is some though. Car still going well. Have not been out to-day but may go to Kensington next week and the week after as have a couple of 12 hour jobs to do involving getting up quite early and getting home quite late. From the road point of view, Kensington is not far from Shepherds Bush so should not take much more than half an hour. Carol is talking a lot now and said Grandma Atkins quite clearly this afternoon. When I came in from garden this morning in Wellingtons, she took one look, said “Slippers Daddy “and promptly brought them over. By the way, I saw Tom Houghton passing by on Saturday and gave him a shout*. There were a number of others there I recognised and quite a bit of local support. There two two’s and two one’s in W./Study on this week’s vacancy list and I understand there will be two more two’s in next week’s or the week after. If Norman is still keen he will not get a better chance. I will of course mention his name to Baynton-Hughes (Heir Apparent to Wilkinson). I shall only be in office Monday and Friday for the next two weeks so it may be a while before I can see him. Our crowd are doing Worcester Marshalling Yards and Swansea Carriage’ Cleaning’ and Passenger Stn. After that I understand they will be going to Bristol for C. Cleaning. Shall be interested to hear reactions of L.E. Well that must be all for this week. Hope you are both in the best of health. Love from June, Susan, Carol and Alec till next time.

*In later years he was firmly of the opinion that attending at football matches and actually shouting was something only lower-class people did; possibly because at different times both of his daughters exhibited a tendency to do this. [Double standards, dad? What a shock! Not.] I went to a match at Elland Road and saw a West Ham side which included Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, and probably Bobby Ferguson against the classic Leeds United line-up including Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner etc., but my real love was actually cricket.


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