Saturday 14th May, 1960

Eva to the family:

Dear Alec, June, Susan and Carol,

Many thanks for Alec’s letter. First of all Happy Birthday to Susan as she is 4 today. [Actually on the 16th.] I expect she will have lots of cards & present.

We are sending you £1. note for Mummy to get what she likes with it.

Dad has been busy on the garden this week, digging the beds or the lawn & earthing up the potatoes – & I have been doing a bit. We had rain at last a good six hours of it.

The two divans came today so we had them taken up by the men who brought them from Bristol. I sent to Manchester for them they are O.K. There is more room there than before as no bottom of bedstead.

We are going up to Staceys tomorrow the first time we shall have gone anywhere since we came home.

I think the photos are lovely & the children especially look natural.

Everyone here says how alike they are.*

I met Mrs Revel [?] today & she says that Peter has gone to Canada & Raymond is married & living in London. They are in Long Avenue now after living in Kenn Rd for seventeen years. It is pelting with rain again for three evenings running it has done that.

We have had one or two strawberries from pots in the greenhouse, nice & juices hope the ones in the garden will turn out as nice. We shall be putting the nets over them soon.

Has June started the small bedroom yet as she said she was going to.

I have rubbed down our bedroom window but that is as far as I’ve got what a mess it was but it’s the worst part done now. Paint is an awful price be it either undercoat or top.**

Billets the fruiterers next to Co-op grocers in Old Church Road have closed down the Co-op has bought it & going to open shortly as greengrocers shop & next to that where Normans used to be is flattened & the house gone & Timothy Whites are having it.

Our new Blkcurrant trees are being attacked by greenfly & we wrote to Smallholder who said to use a nicotine spray so this morning I went down for a tin & they said I should have to sign my death warrant for it as it was poison & it is very strong.

Joe is coming up on Sunday on his scooter hope he gets here. I believe they want us to go down for Whitsun it’s three years since we were there.

Eileen, John’s wife, is expecting on the 23 June that’s on Pat’s second child’s birthday.

Our flax is nearly 4 inches high. I sent for some blue & yellow etc. No more have come yet guess somebody else has got them as sent before Easter.

I think this is all the news now so will close with love from us both to all.

Mum & Dad.

*It was an awful burden to bear; people treated us as a unit and nobody ever – parents least of all – seemed to understand that they were dealing with two distinct individuals. We hated being asked if we were twins, especially when – as so often happened – we were dressed identically, only with me in blue and my sister in red.

**I’ve tried, but I can’t locate the price of paint in 1960. We’ll just have to accept that it was ‘extortionate’ (a favourite family adjective, along with ‘diuretic’ – which was treated as an amplification of ‘dire’!).


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