Wednesday 18th October, 1961

Leonard to the family:

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol

Just a few more lines to follow short note on Monday to say we had reached home safely. It was a lovely journey and we were able to enjoy the various landscapes enroute. Stayed at Andover for 35 minutes where we had a look around the shops and Mum made a few purchases including some sausages which proved to be some of the best I’ve ever tasted – made apparently by a local butcher. We spotted Stonehenge this time much better view being obtained on the homeward journey than coming up and apart from Andover we did not get out of car en route. 

Well now thank you all once again for a most enjoyable break from our normal routine. It was nice to be with you just for the long weekend and to hear Susan and Carol enjoying themselves – they are growing up fast. Now we have been over to the school entrance we can picture Susan leaving Mummy at the gate and trotting off inside and being met again at 3:30 p.m. 

Needless to repeat really, but we did enjoy the views taken on your holiday this year. What a wonderful thing to be able to look back on them in the years to come – the colours were grand. Expect you have since heard from your Mum and Dad June that they duly reached home alright last Saturday. It was very kind of them to come and spend the evening whilst we were with you and we were pleased to see them once more, also for Peter and Pauline to come along too*. A pity your sister could not manage it but I’m sure if you get the opportunity to show her she will be delighted with those holiday pictures especially the ones of the children. 

You are getting on with various improvements in house and garden – little by little does it and there is always something else to be done – we have not finished yet and I do not suppose we ever shall. The dahlias look nice and those you gave me are now in greenhouse drying off. 

We had heavy rain here Monday night and  this continued in storms on Tuesday with half a gale blowing as well. Yesterday (Tuesday) I pulled up the tomato plants in the bay just inside the greenhouse on the right hand side and brought in and planted there eleven more indoor chrysanths. Had to put boards on the garden to dig them out as ground was very wet.

Monday afternoon I was able to pick 4 or more pounds of tomatoes and Bill Aston came over yesterday for 3 lbs – Mum had the other pound for the house so we are waiting for more to ripen off. Apart from Aston have seen no one since we got home but Mum has seen Mrs Cornish. Understand it was very foggy here all day on Sunday visibility at times been poor.

The grass on lawns has grown a lot and needs cutting at first opportunity.

Have sampled one of the bottles of your wine – you can guess which? All mine were satisfactory on return, the grape wine still fermenting strongly. Some of the others I must rack off and store for future consumption – can get on with this when nothing at all can be done outdoors. Found a mouse in trap in garage when we got back but no further success this week so far. 

How did you get on at Reading on Monday? Mum has been busy on one or two jobs since Monday but she must tell you about them herself.  Shall soon be starting fires – had to have electric heater on these last couple of evenings. Weather has deteriorated rather suddenly and we can consider ourselves extremely fortunate in having such sunny days whilst with you. 

Hope the girls liked Wonderland. I looked for it at Ruislip (Forbuoys and Prangleys) without success but spotted it in Andover. It is evidently issued on Wednesdays. 

Well I think this is the lot for the present, hope you don’t feel too tired after our visit. Once again many thanks for a lovely time. with all our love to you both and lots of kisses for two very lovely little girls. Mum and Dad 

P.S. Your chrysanths (? Westfield Flame) in full flower – very nice.

*NB how carefully Leonard distinguishes here between Pauline-the-girlfriend and the other Pauline who is of course June and Peter’s sister. Pauline-the-girlfriend presumably didn’t last long as I have no recollection of her, but thought the world of Brenda Hawkeswood; the next girlfriend I remembered seeing was the one Peter ended up married to, but that wasn’t until 1967. I can only imagine that (a) five in a car would have been a squeeze back then or (b) the two Paulines didn’t get on, and Peter – being in possession of a penis – decided his needs took precedence over those of either of his sisters. It was ever thus.

Eva to the family on two thirds of Leonard’s third sheet of paper:

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol

Thank you very much for the nice holiday we had with you. The time passed all too soon and we are here with nose to grindstone once more. We had lovely weather didn’t we, they say here that the fog on the Sunday cleared about 5. We had one of the best drives home it was very nice country and I like Andover for shopping. The sausages (chipolata pork) were super. it was a small butchers halfway up the hill. We had a nerve to go into the station but nobody challenged us, expect they thought we were the superintendent and his wife!!!

Norman Bakers mother died suddenly while we were away or rather the day before and was buried on the Saturday only 63.

Dad has been busy getting in the chrysanths into the greenhouse, they are just coming into flower some in the ground and some in flower pots on the gravel. 

I have re-covered three pillowcases and one to go with the tick cut from featherbed,

 that makes my pillows decent looking. Also cut in half one of the curtains I used to put on the door and hung up in dining room at each end makes it a bit fuller. Can’t afford new ones yet. Also put the other door curtain in stairs window as there is a terrific draught in the winter.

Been busy gardening this afternoon nipping off the daisies. 

No more now lots of love again thank you for a nice time. From Mum and Dad.

At the bottom of this sheet a small drawing of two people in a very overgrown garden titled ‘Guess where BB’ on the back of the remaining sheet is a village with a tractor in the foreground and what may possibly be Stonehenge in the background…


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