Sunday 25th September, 1960

Alec to his parents:

Dear Mum and Dad

Thank you for letter of 22nd. No letter from Susan this week, must remember to get her to do one next time.

Well the interview went off very well. There were no questions of significance asked. Each candidate had 10 minutes and the first two of mine was taken up by the introduction by the Chairman to the other members of the panel all of whom I knew personally. Jefferies of the GM’s Work Study Section was in the chair as was also Wilkinson, McDonald and Roy Benns (formerly of the Running and Maintenance W/S Section at Bristol). You would not have known the latter. It appears that all of our four candidates had the same type of interview in that no awkward questions were asked.

Glad Isles has his Special A, but I think he has had the grade on a temporary basis for some time. About time Norman got something. What section is he now gracing? I have heard nothing from Geoff or any further news about his job, I expect we shall hear in due course.

There has been no further activity in the search for a house for June’s parents, A house in Eccleston Rd West Ealing a couple of doors from Miss Baker was examined and found wanting but I can not think that that was a serious proposition.

Glad Don and Joan were able to make their proposed visit and that you found Don in improved health. He certainly likes his afternoon sleep. Wish I could get one occasionally. I gather they liked the car. The contribution of one gallon to the sinking fund also assisted no doubt.

So your second visit to Torquay has come round so soon. If you are lucky you may get a couple of good days. Every now and then we seem to get a good day out of the blue. To-day is an example. First thing there was quite a thick mist cutting visibility down to about 30 yards but it gave way to a sunny and hot morning with fading cloud. I note you have had to start fires. We have the heaters as you know so the problem has not hit us yet. Up until a few days ago we had not had to put heaters on and I for one had not felt cold but I see that it has been switched on a couple of times to take the chill off the air.

Your gardening activities seem to be at a low ebb for the time being due to inclement weather. No point in flogging yourself into digging waterlogged soil and there are always lots of things to attend to in greenhouse or garage.

Most unlikely that you will see Hewett sunburned, more likely he will be browned off.

Cardiff jaunt went off all right again – details later. My further applications will be unaltered by my possible promotion. If I get one of the first group of jobs the apps, will stand as the second group are a category higher, I do not think that Baynton-Hughes was a trainee. If so it must have been Departmental. Not surprising is it to learn that Bob Taylor has done so well. The wheels were truly enmeshed where he was concerned.

So the bomb scare has been settled. I wonder you did not find it was a squib left over from 5th Nov. (of Brocks origin).

Re garden produce, I have brought in all the remaining tomatoes and put in room near airing cupboard. The last of the beans has been picked and eaten, and the haulms fetched up. All that remains of the vegetable patch is the Pumpkin ( now about 10 inches across ) and a good row of dahlias. We have not tried to take off any apples from the trees yet as they do not seem to be quite ready. Few have fallen off so far.

You may find the squirrel has come to stay. It may be that he has made his nest in one of your tall trees down the bottom of the garden. I suppose if it is not rabbits it has to be something else.

Rotten luck on Mrs Stacey to have to undergo such an operation. As you say it is quite serious but there have been several successful jobs done and reported on in the press, Hope she is able to withstand it satisfactorily.

If your Elderflower wine is still working you need have no worries about its sweetness. After a while it will sort itself out. If fermentation has stopped the only way you can get rid of the sweetness is to mix a quantity of new must with it but make sure that you add no more sugar. Of course this means that you will have to ferment the whole all over again and this means an extra long wait before you can taste it. As you have plenty of apples, I suggest they might make the extra must you need especially if you have some sour ones.

Well to tell you of the Cardiff trip. Went down on the 8-5 a.m. Paddington on Tuesday and had lunch in the Great Western outside Cardiff General. Caught a train from Riverside at about 1.30 p.m. for Barry via Sully. From there went to Bridgend round the coast. Dumped bags at Bridgend and then went to Maesteg to view the layout but this was not successful. Returned to Hotel. Wednesday caught the 8-50 a.m. to Cymmer thence to Treherbert via Blaengwynfi. From Treherbert we went down the Rhondda Valley to Pontypridd from there we went to Merthyr High St via Quakers Yard and Merthyr Vale Bus to Dowlais Top and by train to Pant. Caught the Colliers Train back to Bargoed then walked to New Tredegar. On arrival walked across the valley to Tirphil and caught train to Rhymney. From Rhymney we returned to Cardiff and thence to Bridgend. On Thursday we again caught the 8-50am but this time only went to Maesteg to have a look at the junctions we missed on the Tuesday. Hitched a lift on a passing freight to Tondu South Yard then walked to Coity Yard and back to Bridgend along the road. The Mac. came in very useful not so much to keep rain out but as a badge of authority. Strange as it may seem the freight we caught reached Tondu about one hour earlier than it usually does. ( Broomstick with Bowler Hat on Etc ).

Well the Garage arrives on Tuesday and I hope we shall be able to get it up the following week-end. I hawked the car round to dealers on Saturday morning but the best offer I got was £7-10-0. As we had to get rid of it and to avoid paying to do so as we might well have had to do in a few weeks time I took it back in the afternoon and got my £7-10-0. As I walked back instead of getting bus that put the value up to £7-10-6*. I have as yet not seen Mr Gray since but will do so as early as possible to get insurance changed. Will let you know more on the point in due course.

I am afraid the children have both got colds they picked up from Christopher last week. Not very bad but they are having difficulty in breathing. They are past the worst now.

Well that is all from this end again for one more week. Hope you are both keeping well and that you enjoy your short holiday. Love from us all.

*Faulty logic IMHO; walking back actually kept the value of the sale at £7-10 instead of reducing it to £7-9-6!


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