Tuesday 8th May, 1962

Leonard to the family:

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol,

Many thanks for letter and budget from the children received this morning. Glad to have another ‘all well’ report and hope it will continue throughout the summer. Shall be glad when your neck trouble is cleared up too.

Note your next visit is on June 5th – be careful you are not inside of the Whitsun holiday. June’s mother will be there as it is and I’m sure June won’t want you both laid up at one time.

What a grand effort by Susan this week; she is making a remarkable progress. Another week and she will be 6 years old.

Our weekend was a bit of a washout – storms frequent on Saturday and Sunday but it is good growing other. We again went to Southmead on Saturday and found Mr Palmer much improved, so much in fact that it is possible he will be allowed home some time this week although as mentioned before the second operation is very much in the distant future if at all.

Your kitchen improvements are proceeding very slowly but hope by this time it is finished to enable you to get on with your part of the job. Mum is having trouble with our electric oven and today asked the local people to attend to it. Note your reason for the hinges on trap door – we do not go up into the attic very often but apparently you have something stored there.

Position re dahlias noted and if can get the cuttings I have taken to root will put in a couple for the journey to Ruislip. They are of course from those you gave me last October. It was a very bad winter for storing anything like that and as mentioned last letter I had similar trouble with the gladioli and had to throw away about thirty corms – a big loss. Note June busy with sweet peas. I put out mine (raised in greenhouse) end of week and the very next morning the birds had bitten off the growing shoots of most of them. Fortunately this makes them bush out but to prevent more attacks I cottoned off half a row (no more cotton) and put bushy sticks around the rest. Anyhow it stopped the birds. Now they are after the lettuces I put in this week. Slugs have been busy too since the rain came at but slug bait has routed them.

Yes it was a bit steep having to pay £13 out for car repairs but the work has had to be done. Your friend with his Anglia must have been surprised with his account. Did he have to pay or was it covered by insurance? Note June having lessons with the B.S.M. – this was the firm I took lessons from but had about ten or twelve altogether. Cheaper then of course – believe it is about £1 per lesson of one hour now. The sooner June can pass the test the better as I’m sure she would be glad to use car locally.* By the way is not the 1962 A40 fitted with gear change on the steering column? Anyhow the best of luck June.

Yes I was surprised to learn that office outings are still being held. Perhaps Raymond has not got onto that one yet. Note you had a day out with McDonald, presumably in his car. I hear the M4 has now been completed so perhaps we may travel that route next month avoiding Maidenhead.

You seem to be lucky with the grass and earth being dumped in field. Pity you do not know who it is – might dump it direct into number 84.

Obviously no news of your neighbours  yet or you would have said. Noted you can do with any spare flower items we have available when we come up. The vegetable line am afraid will be a blank – just in between times after broccoli and before peas and beans. Even the broad beans will not be ready, worse luck. I’m still getting a few potatoes from day to day – have not been without yet.

Voting day today and someone you know is putting up for this Ward – R. Moule. Plays rugby for Bristol and is a schoolmaster here in Clevedon**. I think however you knew Alan better. Not much excitement these days but the cricket field will cause a lot of heart burning now following results of Minister’s public enquiry some months ago – see front page of Mercury to you with this letter***. After all that was said, the decision is that the cricket club has to come out of it in five or six years’ time.

Going back to your comment about sizing the walls. I wonder what paste your paperhanger will use? If Polycell wall should not be sized but treated with a coat of Polycell paste instead. This was something I learned recently. The instructions are on the packets of Polycell.

We went to Mr Newman’s last Wednesday but what chaos along York Road near Temple Meads Station – single line working, man one end and policeman the other and a long queue of traffic on either side. We read in next days evening paper that two cars had collided there and two or three people killed and next day there was another fatality. Bristol is getting almost impossible but when we go to Southmead we go over the bridge and alongside the zoo and it is much easier.

[continued on Wednesday 9th May 1962]

*As mentioned before, June never *did* manage to pass a driving test; she went to her grave half a century later still unable to drive.

** and *** – unfortunately I have been unable to track down any further information on either of these topics. I’m sure it’s out there in the multiverse, but I have limited resources and even less time; I have to draw the line somewhere!


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