Thursday 5th May, 1960

Leonard to the family – on the reverse of Table 50 – READING, MAIDENHEAD, SLOUGH, EALING and LONDON and Table 51 – WEST DRAYTON & YIEWSLEY and STAINES WEST (Second class only)

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol

Many thanks for letter duly received on Tuesday and we were so pleased to hear that both Susan & Carol had got rid of their colds. The photograph is lovely and we are delighted to have it – thanks very much.

So Carol takes a tumble down the stairs – she was lucky to get off so lightly. It will make her more careful in future but in any case she will soon be more sure of herself. As we have said before she has made wonderful progress since last July.

That reminds me I have not had a chance to speak to anyone yet re: birthday card from the Church but last Saturday I looked at the big notice near the Font containing the names of those christened in these last couple of years (since present vicar arrived) and Carol’s name is there alright and I should imagine the card is sent on anniversary of Christening – will try and confirm in due course. Now we have another young lady’s birthday very near – fancy four years old.

Am glad you managed to get polio injection Alec – what about June? Have you also been able to get round to it yet? It is a horrible scourge and something we heard nothing of – or very little – in our younger days.*

Note you have no further news of Iris’ father and assume therefore position going on satisfactorily.

You must take your pleasure very seriously to have to turn out so early for a game of golf and then have to wait your chance to start. Sounds a bit crowded to me.

So car has had some elbow grease and a spot of good luck from a bird but rain is something we have not had lately here and ground is like concrete. The chrysanths should break naturally and throw up a couple of shoots from the break – later when these secondary shoots get about 4 or 5 inches long they should break again – if not pinch them out and allow two shoots from each of these breaks to grow and bear flowers. When in bud there will be a lot of disbudding to do or you will have numerous small flowers instead of a few large sized ones. Can tell you more about this when you come down.

Got a bit of ringing to do this week – tonight at 7.0 p.m. a half muffled peal in memory of the Bishop of Bath and Wells who died suddenly last Sunday.** Tomorrow (Friday) at 11.30 a.m. for Soole’s wedding to Marjorie Richards and at 7.0 p.m. for the Royal Wedding. From this you will gather that I’m feeling much better than when I wrote last week but the cough is still a bit troublesome intermittently. This I hope will disappear sometime. Can do without that kind of flu in the future.

So far as garden concerned as mentioned above ground is still very dry and like concrete but I’ve put out – so far – 97 runner bean plants and something like 150 beans have been sown in boxes and in the garden for putting against the sticks of the second row. Had to go out late on Saturday evening last and cover up all the potatoes owing to frost warning given out on TV. The previous night I had two or three potatoes slightly frosted and was afraid of a more severe visitation. We did have another frost but no damage done.

Have found one blackbird’s nest in the hedge running across bottom of garden immediately behind runner beans.

Note Susan & Carol have heard the cuckoo (clock). I saw one a couple of days ago flying away from an attack by other birds.

Incidentally have you tried the greengage wine yet? I like it but Mum prefers the cherry because there is more bite in it.

Not much more to tell you this time – managed to cut all lawns again over the weekend but grass had got so long again that I had to keep box off. The flower borders on lawn are full of wallflowers at the moment but in any case I could not dig them over until we’ve had rain.

One more item – Clevedon lost replay in Somerset Amateur Cup Final to Radstock 1-0. Perhaps you had already heard. On Easter Monday it was a 1-1 draw.

All our love to you and we hope you are both feeling very much better now. Lots of kisses for our two little darlings.

Mum and Dad

*In this time of coronavirus it’s fascinating to hear of an earlier generation’s justifiable concern with polio, although it would be useful to know where they had to go for the vaccine and whether or not they had to pay. At any rate they would have been among the first wave of people able to take advantage of the Salk vaccine (, the game-changer in polio research.

** This would have been Harold Bradfield:


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