Sunday 5th June, 1960

Alec to his parents:

Dear Mum and Dad

Thank you for both your letters and the cream which arrived last Monday. Glad you had a good week-end last week at Exmouth. Fancy running in to Bessie. I do not know what went wrong with your cream despatch arrangements but I thought you said ours would be despatched on Friday. June says she forgot about the buckets and spades at Clevedon. We shall be bringing the new plastic ones and the girls can play with them all. It would never do to leave them behind. Do not worry about Pyjamas etc., we can bring all we want; position not nearly so difficult as when we had to lugg it all by train.

I think I should still remember Tiverton as the parts I was used to seeing probably have not altered much. You would notice a greater difference. I can only remember going over the Bridge at West Exe South very few times.

We bought a plastic paddling pool for the children and they have been having fine fun with it. It pumps up with a car pump and looks like two large inner tubes one on top of the other. We shall be bringing it with us and they can have it on one of the lawns. We only give them about four inches of water and that involves only about six or seven gallons. They have been in it morning and afternoon on Saturday and Sunday (for short spells).

June has been spring cleaning the bathroom and kitchen this week-end. This involves washing down ceilings and walls etc. I have turned out the shed, and taken the front off to let car roll back further. Instead of bending the shed door it now bends the lawn mower.

The bungalow sounds very good, indeed. It sounds as though it would be ideal for us. Glad you were able to see Pat and John and families. Johns place sounds very good.

We had some excitement at S. Ruislip as you say, but did not go round to see it. I heard it on the South East England news. It could have been very disastrous but fortunately was not so. I gather that petrol cascaded through the roof on to the work and people below. Again fortunately it did not Ignite.

How nice to gather and eat your own cockles. I do not recall tasting any but I have had Mussels.

We learn to-day that Mr and Mrs Baker received their cream but could not think who could have sent it. They found it delicious and thank you very much for it. By the way ours was in good condition and by putting it back in the fridge after each session it kept till Thursday and was ” fresh to the last slice “. Have shoved in the runner-beans and also another lot of dwarfs.,- bought half dozen tomato plants and generally cleaned up the veg plot. My onions are growing very well and looking healthy. Parsnips are quite a success although I understand a lot of gardeners have lost theirs round here this year. The place is eaten out with black fly but I find ” Lindex ” chases them away. Trouble is that a spray is needed for greater effect. The syringa is now out in bloom and looks fine although black fly have even had a go at that. I hope your trip to-day was successful, cars on roads in the South East have beaten all records apparently. Our time of starting from here on holiday trip depends on many factors as you well know. We shall aim to get away between five and six o’clock, probably nearer six. After due consideration I think I shall go via Cirencester and Yate. It also depends on the weather and the Children as to the number of stops we need on the way. If they show any reaction, and/or if the weather is hot we shall stop more frequently and even possibly make some distinct breaks for recovery. If coldish and no troubles we may press on to get journey over. This all adds up to an unpredictable arrival. I should say you should begin to look out for us about twelve o’clock.

I remember Dittisham very well. It is a pretty place not far up the river from Dartmouth. Can also remember the “Commentator ” who filled in local colour.

No progress in the wine field. When cleaning out the shed took the opportunity to through [sic] away two or three early unsuccessful bottles. Made the place stink like a brewery.

Well that’s all for now. By the time you next write we shall be down to two weeks prior to trip. Must say we are all looking forward eagerly. Love from us all, June, Susan, Carol and Alec.


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