Wednesday 7th March, 1962

Leonard to the family:

Dear Alec June Susan & Carol

Many thanks for letter and excellent drawings received once again on Monday but I wonder what happened to the one you should have had on Saturday – my guess it was wrongly sorted and arrived on Monday with an extra postmark on it. We make a practice of posting for the 1:15 p.m. collection on Fridays. Anyhow in case it might happen again this week we will post on Thursday. Hope the last one did eventually turn up safely.

Sorry to hear Carol under the weather again but hope it was of short duration and – the winds are still very  treacherous. One day I can work comfortably in garden and the next has to be spent in greenhouse or garage but however bad it is here I’m sure it is worse in your area. Just heard on 1 p.m. news that the south coast has had another battering and Dawlish Warren has been washed away again. I suppose the better weather will come soon.

Note your visit to dentist and latter’s method of getting the girls confidence that makes a wonderful difference. Sorry to hear you all have a bit of bother with your teeth. It was in 1939 when I last had trouble and then had the lot out – good and bad. A bit awkward getting used to false dentures but everything alright since. Mum can tell you what trouble she had today we all get it at some time or another. Susan was a good girl then when it came to her turn – she sent us some nice drawings again and gave them titles as well. No doubt about it she is improving quickly.

Did you finally make a selection at the gas showrooms? You must have warmth in the house during these icy blasts. Is not the trouble with the electric heater that so many are using electricity for the same purpose heating that the generating station cannot properly cope?*

Noted re: Forsythia and Esther Reeds – will try and take cuttings off former and have plenty of roots of latter to replace – shall have to start another list of things to bring up on our next visit.

Very interested in your Acton Yard anticipated savings per annum – what was Phillips’s reaction? Should like to have seen his face when he went through the report. I see the South Wales people are kicking up a tremendous row over probable loss of passenger services on the Eastern and Western Valleys. Presumably the cut in the West Region passenger service came into operation last Monday but I have had no reports about it yet.

So Notley has got a job in Costing Section of B.T.C. – he has not done so badly since he came back to the railway service after completing his National Service.

No more trouble with car then – that was an extraordinary occurrence for tyre to go completely flat without apparent cause.

Have not heard from Geoff since our last letter to you so we do not know how he is progressing. I believe he is doing a bit of travelling in connection with a committee he is on.

Your kitchen waits then for workman to turn up – hope he does not arrived on a washing day. It is a bit of a nuisance though to be left wondering when the job will be done.

Fancy car due for another test already but this time there should be no query about this or that.

So Leslie Morgan did not relish Raymond’s economy drive? Some of those individuals have been having a right royal time and obviously do not like being cut off without – as it were – the proverbial shilling.

Our neighbour – Bushell – who recently obtained a job with the St John Ambulance people in Portishead bought himself a motorbike to do the journey and a few days ago his uncle – who is is Puddy of the East Clevedon Garages – chivvied him about it and said he would have sold him a car for £10. Anyway Bushell went back to him and asked to see the car but he said he was only joking about the price. Anyhow having quoted £10 he let him have it – a Morris 8 1936 in good condition and with a test certificate. Bushell says it is in good condition as and as he himself has already learnt the trade of fitter he can look after it properly. I think he has got a good buy.

It was the parish church and St. Peter’s annual social last night in the new Pavilion at the community centre. It is a fine structure and will certainly be an asset to Clevedon. Should think there were nearly 200 people at the party which started at 7:30 p.m. and continued until 11 p.m. but we left about 10:20 p.m. Not a bad do really. Mr Palmer was there – his operation due that day having been postponed by surgeon for a fortnight.

Frantic efforts are being made by river board to rebuild the sea wall behind us before the high spring tides are on us – a matter of days only. Fortunately at the moment the wind is southeast and this would not affect the wall so much as if northwest.

No typewriter yet as you can see but I have to go down to Houghton’s house in Coleridge Vale at 7:30 p.m. tonight to get the one he has picked out. Cannot tell you any more about it at the moment but may add a P.S. to this letter. I hope it is one that can spell properly.

In the Mercury to you with with this letter – there is a paragraph under heading of Spade and Plough about homemade wine thought you might be interested to read it.

Presumably no more news from your neighbours removing to West Country. Hanson the Town Clerk told us at party last night quite a lot of non-townspeople were having houses or bungalows built here and were going to occupy them themselves – the last few months having seen a remarkable increase in such building.

Vicar and Curate still absent owing to sickness and neither could be present last night. Three retired clergyman took charge of proceedings and made a very good job of it.

Did you notice in national press and exhumation of a body in the Clevedon Cemetery had been necessary to establish the identity of a man missing from Radlet (Herts). He was washed ashore here last November. **

Not much local news again this week – gardening still subject to weather but I did manage to dig up up up a small plot yesterday morning. Greenstuff  getting very scarce now – the east winds having shrivelled up what little there was. Broccoli should however be soon turning in but they will be very small.

No more now hope this letter arrives on time. all our love to you both and lots of kisses for Susan and Carol

Mum and Dad

P.S. the typewriter is an Oliver – Four Bank – Model 21 in excellent condition £6 but source of origin must not be disclosed or Houghton might be in trouble. I am very pleased with it. Dad.

*I don’t really know whether or not this was ‘a thing’ at the time although we did sometimes have ‘brownouts’ which June insisted were caused by excessive use of the system – everybody making a cup of tea at half-time in the football match, or after ‘Doctor Who’ for example; the same was also said of the gas supply, and was reputed to be due to ‘low pressure’ – especially on Sunday lunchtimes when ‘everybody was cooking their dinner’. It’s not impossible that the demand for these services occasionally exceeded the supply, and it’s also difficult to convey to what extent – at this time – everyone was presumed to be doing exactly the same thing at exactly the same time; anyone who actually didn’t cook a big Sunday lunch or watch ‘Doctor Who’ for any reason would really have been considered an oddity!

**I have not been able to track down any further information about this poor man, whoever he may have been.

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

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol

Many thanks for letter & drawings which were very good this week. it has been blowing us nearly inside out again, hope the sea wall will stand it it. We saw on TV about Cornwall and Torquay, dreadful. Wonder if Aunt Lydia’s bungalow is alright.

We have the typewriter at last this evening, but Dad had already written his letter. I must get into practice to as I mean to use it.

The party was very good considering that three retired clergy had to stand the racket. The hall is really an asset to Clevedon. It was designed by Mrs Plant of Tickenham one of the W.I. members. We each had a sausage roll, roll and butter, an iced cake and cup of coffee but it was an awful scramble to get it. I grabbed the eats while dad got the coffee and Mrs Cornish waited, there were 200 or more there. Of course the object was to bring the churches together but I noticed that St. Peter’s kept down one end of the room while we were at the other end.

The council want to make a roadway behind Joe Reed’s place down to the end of allotments but Cox whose property Joe Reed’s house is on is kicking up about it.

The lorries are going along the seawall at back from early morning till dark filling up the breaches in sea wall.

Lots of love from Mum and Dad.

Eva’s drawings are enigmatic; there is what may possibly be a washing line, a woven mat, a Wellington boot, and three oddly shaped shoes, with stiletto heels, labelled ‘winkle pickers’. 


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