Sunday 3rd December, 1961

Alec to his parents:

Dear Mum and Dad

Thanks for another newsy letter. Shall be down next Friday night so shall not read the next one until I get back. By the way I have not looked up train yet as all the times have been changed around, Cannot say offhand what it will be. Shall probably come down on something leaving about 5 p.m. (diesels excepted) or, if I fiddle a few hours off, it may be earlier. 

Glad to report that both of the girls are seemingly normal now, although Susan had a bit of a cough in the night. It did not amount to much. I am keeping the cherry wine for coughs, but letting them have apricot on demand when they think they would fancy a drop of wine. I think it is the sourness of the cherry that does the trick. Apart from a snivel or two, which thank goodness have not developed so far, June and I have both been free from colds etc. I did have one early in October, before the flu injection, but no sign of one since. 

I expect you are glad you finished the papering. Good to get the accolade from Mr Palmer. He should know a thing or two about it. Is this the first time you have tackled the dining room? I do not remember it being done before although I know it was done. 

Shall hope to see your agricultural and horticultural displays when I get down next weekend. Ours are finished now, and probably the first signs we shall get will be small show from the forsythia cuttings (if they flower this year).

I did  see David Dimbleby in the holiday programme some time ago, and think that was the only time I have actually seen him. I agree about the old pals act of T.V. stars. Shocking racket. 

No trouble since with the battery and I think that the topping up did the trick. 

I do not know how Sara came to take the 11-plus as I am under the impression that Middlesex contracted out of that business.

The annual wine list came round to our section and I had a couple of bottles in the order.

Hope you manage to get your TV right for Christmas. It was at this time the first year you had it that it failed. About time they found what the trouble was I think. 

There will be less and less cohesion between the Divisional Offices as time goes on. At the moment everyone is fighting for prestige etc. Orders from the G.M.’s office are being openly disobeyed, and the G.M. seems powerless to stop it. It is a serious state of affairs, as previously, even if the decisions were wrong, all Districts were wrong together. Today you can get five versions of wrongness. By now you will have read the note and closed to us all in our pay packets by Dr Beeching. Can only hope he gets cracking soon. it wants some strong handed person to unravel the present mess. 

Had not heard that Joan was going into hospital, but the operation is a very minor one so she should not have much trouble. Usually they do it with a local anaesthetic. Can’t think what they want her as an inpatient for. 

Mrs Baker is much better now after extractions. Just a little soreness which should soon go. Probably be able to bite a bit for Christmas. Went over there yesterday and they both seemed to be in fine fettle. Also went on to Ealing for June’s new glasses, and dropped in to see Aunt Eda. She was up in an armchair before the fire and seemed also in good shape. She asked after you both. A Mrs Moody is staying with her and looking after her. She herself is bent double with some disease, but gets around quite well. 

Could be that you now have new neighbours at the bottom of the garden. change from fairies. 

I do not suppose you will be hearing anything from Uncle Arthur again after his last visit to you. Should think he has got the message by now. 

Broke a pane of glass in the garage yesterday. Had a brick under the door to stop it from swinging-to, and found it jammed when I tried to close the door in the dark. Had to shift it with the mattock in the end, but before that, had pulled the top half of the door forward (the bottom remaining still), and the resultant twisting effect on the frame, broke the glass. It has only cracked across, and is held in by the putty. Shall I leave it for a while. 

Hard to think of Rebecca as fifteen. Not long now before she will be thinking about school leaving.

It is getting very misty here today, and as I write, the mist seems to thicken. After a fine day yesterday this is a bit of a contrast. 

Went to Reading and Maidenhead on Thursday. No trouble there. At each place we are gradually extending the field with good co-operation from the staff. Have not seen the yard people again yet, too tied up on other things. 

I gather that our old friend Baynton-Hughes is the leading candidate for David Pattison’s old job. That will give him well over 2000 per annum. Not bad when you think that he was a Special A in 1956. The Reading Station staff do not want to set eyes on him again. 

Of all things, I see it is now raining. Hope it keeps off for the afternoon. 

Well that is all the news for now, look forward to seeing you next weekend. Love from us all for now.


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