Wednesday 12th July, 1961

Leonard to the family:

Dear Alec June Susan & Carol

Another week gone – how they slip by. Thank you once more for your newsy letter duly received. Sorry to hear June and the children have been under the weather but hope all right again now. The continuous dry atmosphere must be blamed for a lot of nose and throat troubles at the moment – a great pity that fine weather does any harm. Thought we were in for a downpour yesterday afternoon. The sky was covered with dark and angry looking rain clouds but we had less than five minutes and the paths were not even damped so it was back to the hosepipe again. Note you have not looked at Rebecca’s puzzle yet should very much like to know the proper way of working that one out but it shows the kind of problem set for the children nowadays or did you have anything similar? Nothing wrong with Susan’s ‘thinking box’ in suggesting it was a snake in the pea. I think she worked that one out very well not actually knowing the name of the pest. We both had a little chuckle over it though.

Surprised you did not visit cafe on the beach while you were here but on reflection you did not have many opportunities of getting that far. Bad luck with your fence posts but presumably they will be alright for the job required. Creosote is good stuff for woodwork but oh what a mess one can get into using it and it takes a long time to get off hands, arms and even faces but I don’t think it comes out of clothes. Some of my old gardening shirts and trousers have carried the stain until the articles have finally been discarded.

Yes it is a bit disconcerting to find the pond still has a fairly large leak but yesterday when in the ‘Do-It-Yourself’ shop in Alexandra Road I bought a tin of bitumastic paint and in the near future will try and fill up all known cracks across pond with it. Incidentally I had to go into that shop to get a piece of glass for the end frame 14½ by 41¼ in the original having been accidentally broken last Sunday. I don’t know how livestock getting on in deep portion have only seen the one eel but it was lively enough.

Oh yes Don does drink other than cider but not a lot – usually a glass of Burgundy which he often has, I understand, before dinner says it keeps him going. These last few weeks with weather so sultry I’ve enjoyed a drink of cider about midday and again for supper.

So Beeching is on the warpath than regarding stations – he should see what kind of staff is available to keep them clean. The new rates of pay do not appear to have lured many of the better type of individual to the railway service and I believe some places are still seriously short of men*. Note you have applied for another post – the best of luck. Can you give more details? It will in any case let McDonald know you are not on your present job indefinitely. Expect by this time he has mentioned it to you.

I saw Payne (Binding and Payne) on Monday when calling for petrol and he asked how you were getting on with your car. Said he saw it in Old Church Road a few weeks ago and guessed you were down on holiday. He has changed his car now (one identical to mine) for a second hand model of the later type. He said he was quite happy about having a second hand car. it certainly looks a nice job as he had it with him whilst we were talking so examined it thoroughly. I told him you had covered many hundreds of miles when on holiday and had had no difficulty with the car.

Bill Aston gone to Bristol today for results of X-Ray and I may know results before posting this letter. (Nothing serious will tell you next letter.)

I put blackcurrant and rhubarb wine brew under fermentation lock on Monday but it is only just working. it is however clearing rapidly so maybe worked out. Note you may try some greengage. Not surprised you don’t care for the elderflower – neither do I. A great pity really but trouble no doubt due to too much flower when brewing. Your garden like mine very dry and as hard as concrete. Shall be picking first runner beans this weekend after which they will be plentiful.

Mr and Mrs Baker then up to their eyes in redecorating work hope they are both keeping well this hot weekend – not much shade for them to take advantage of at 155.

Had a letter from Arthur in America this week and we learn from him that Tom Chilton, (Lily’s husband – Dawlish) died a few weeks ago. Lily you remember came to Heavitree Church to funeral service for Grandma. It is obvious Uncle Joe had not heard as we had a letter from him last week but no mention of Dawlish. We do not know at the moment what to suggest about August. Arthur is coming over by Jet Plane early in August and we have not heard how he is spending his time or for how long he will be in the country. As mum has already mentioned Uncle Joe and Aunt Lydia will be here on Thursday 10th August for the weekend. Arthur has been invited to call on us and spend a few days but we are waiting to hear when that will be.  Must keep in touch with you about this but I’m sure in any case you would not want to travel at the peak holiday period so towards the end of the month may be best.

The Spencers moved out last Saturday and the Rees Barretts in on Monday. No local news again unless mum can give you some. Has Susan returned to school?

No more now. All our love to you both and lots of kisses for two little pea shellers.

Mum and Dad.

Eva to the family on the remaining three quarters of a sheet of Leonard’s writing paper.

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol,

Many thanks for letter what a change to the weather. I have a sniffy cold now and do nothing but sneeze. I think it must be hay fever. The wind has been terrific and blown down lots of stuff.  We have today been staking the gladioli etc. The roses snapped through the wind and no sap in the stems. We are still picking raspberries, come to hate the sight of them.

We hope the weather will clear for you later on when you come again.  I wish we knew the various dates Arthur and you were coming don’t want it to clash. He leaves on 6th or 7th August and only takes 10 hours and he said he would be going to Taunton first but now Uncle Tom has died and he has been been invited to Dawlish he may change his plans, at present he is in Canada for 3 weeks then going back to California for one week before coming here.

Some more furniture gone in the newlyweds’ so I reckon they have completed their house now. Gibsons have not moved in yet their paint is a black and white affair far more professional looking than the others who have done theirs. 

Well I think this has to be the lot just now so will close with love from

Mum and Dad

Staceys stayed at Butlins hotel in Hove £13.10 each and at a Brighton hotel B&B 37/6d each and they couldn’t sleep for noise. 

*You would think this might have been taken as an indication that the jobs could be opened up to women, but nobody seems to have thought of that.


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