Tuesday 11th September, 1962

Leonard to the family:

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol

Many thanks once again for your interesting letter received this morning together with drawings from Susan and query Carol. It is a very bad morning – rain and a very close atmosphere and although it is only 11 am I am starting to reply. Have been up the Library but can do nothing outdoors. Yesterday morning was the same but it cleared up in the afternoon and I was able to help Mr Bushell erect a fowlshouse he has bought second-hand. Earlier he had had another go at car to stop a vibrating noise in the silencer system – a leftover from his previous attention to same. Now quite alright.

We are very pleased June to hear there is an improvement to your leg following the injections but it is noted the latter will have to be possibly repeated in two years. If however you get some easement by this treatment then it will be worthwhile having this bi-yearly attention. We do hope you will have no further trouble with the leg now.

Thanks Alec for the up-to-date information on the move to the E.R. and state of the office you have left. Seems as if McDonald is drawing his money the easy way by leaving the work to other people. This unfortunately is typical of many highly paid officials when they can put the work out. Never mind it will be interesting to have his comments when he returns from leave.

Yes I was a bit out in the London terminal quiz. Where do the G.C. trains start from in London? The question now arises who is Jagger and Russell – is latter a relative of Russell who was once assistant goods manager at Bristol? If your proper designation is Senior Work Study Assistant than presumably the assistant already with Russell does not rank so high. It does seem as if the Western Region Staff have infiltrated quite well into the E.R. and I think there are very good prospects there. Anyhow it is no good speculating and we must wait for your report following your actual arrival at Liverpool Street and how you find things. You know you have our very best wishes on the new work and I’m sure you will be able to put them up to a thing or two in due course. Salary really good too – better than when I finished at Temple Meads. Actually if I remember rightly you had not quite reached the maximum of the job at Paddington so it should be a worthwhile lift to start with.

Note Douglas Matthews still with E.R. and continuing to reside at Ruislip. It is pretty certain you will run into him now so please give him my kind regards.

Thanks, in anticipation, of the magazines. I shall be most interested to learn a bit about the E.R. In the past it is a section of line I’ve never bothered about. In my old invoicing days it was G.E. via Acton and Hackney Wick or G.N. via Acton and King’s Cross. Noted you met Haynes and Scragg in the old days. I can faintly remember Alec Eagle and another S.R. man named English – one of Godfrey’s friends.

Your report of 17 Eccleston Road shows that it is in a shocking condition and it is obvious with the best intentions in the world the various members of the family cannot do what is necessary in the time limit of three weeks. It is a major job and professional workmen are needed to do the place right through. This means money I know and it must be a tremendous worry to you to know what to do for the best. Unfortunately applications for grants seem to take a long time to get past the authorities and then you are the builders’ and decorators’ hands as to when they can start. Meanwhile Mr and Mrs Baker want to move in in three weeks so immediate attention is necessary for at least a couple of rooms to enable them to feel a bit comfortable. As we have said before we are very sorry it is necessary for them to have to make a change like this at their age. We can only hope that when they are there they will feel better for the rest they get by not having to attend the shop.

Perhaps in view of all the circumstances it would be better if we postpone our visit – you will both want to do all you can in your spare time to improve number 17 in the shortest possible time.

Actually we had a letter from Tiverton this morning – same post as your letter – and they are asking us to go down on Friday October 12th for the weekend at Tiverton and Exmouth so by a pre-arrangement with you this would mean coming to Ruislip the previous weekend which does not give you much opportunity to straighten out things at Eccleston Road. We will leave the decision to you but to do not hesitate to postpone the visit if by our coming up it would complicate matters for you.

Yes Geoff was not due back at office until yesterday and I expect by this time he has been in touch with you. I know he is hoping to get another move shortly but at this precise moment I have an idea you have caught up with him. Nice of Bob Hill to wish you well – expect he reminded you it was his original suggestion that took you to London twenty years ago. Very nice of the staff to present you with a leather despatch case and June a box of chocolates. They had to think and act quickly to do that as it was less than a week after your notification of appointment. Noted you took them out to the Mitre – place I do not know. A leather dispatch case will be most useful to you now especially with travelling in the offing.

So your neighbour did not think much of the bungalow then. The only real objection I had to it was its position in relation to other premises – some of them seemed so near and you could almost see what the neighbours were having for breakfast. The site on Worlebury Common and the view of Sand Bay must be ideal on a fine sunny day. £5400 however is a lot of money for a residence and will take some pegging back. A good premium bond would help or a Lucky Strike on the Pools.

In addition to Bill Aston and Roy Hewitt Mrs Marshall asks us to send her very best wishes for your new post.

Regarding  Norman Allen’s T.S.S.A. effort I should think the Union has been given some inside information regarding redundancy and being told to pipe down for a while. It is certain that position at Bristol is critical and I should say at Cardiff also where the District and Divisional offices have to amalgamate. Wonder if there is any comparable position on the E.R. or is their organisation different?

Thanks for measurements of the tank. I must put the rule around the boot of car but speaking off hand I should think it would just about fit.

Don’t worry about visiting Tottenham Court Road Alec I will manage with what is on hand for the present which reminds me this time last year I had a nice lot of blackberries and a lot of loganberries soaking for wine but so far the weather has not been at all suitable for gathering.

It is now 12:30 p.m. and raining as hard as ever. Had one interruption – Mrs Clark over for tomatoes. Mum and I called in at Alf Crane’s place at East Clevedon last Friday to order some gravel and cement and he himself happened to be there attending to his own pond. Not nearly as big as ours but lovely with a fountain throwing up a jet of water and a miniature waterfall over a rockery. Altered my ideas of designing our pond but although his pond is entirely surrounded by a rockery I think on reflection such an arrangement would spoil ours. This does not mean I will not make a rock garden around pond but having regard to its size I think the flat surround will show up the water better. Anyhow it was a very interesting call on Crane for he showed us round the garden and lawns – latter not a weed in them.

Mr Heel and Mrs Heel are off tomorrow for three or four weeks’ holiday in the Rugby area. Mum and I have both been off colour for a week or more so not a lot of gardening done although mum has been doing a bit in the front where she has planted out some of the wallflowers. I have finally cleared up the raspberry canes and put the rose right for another season. There is still a lot to be done including hedge cutting. Yesterday morning between showers I cut off about a foot in width of the hedge on the path side of the pond preparatory to having a narrow path alongside as far as the pond but the rain since has put paid to any outdoor work for the remainder of the week. All water containers are full and overflowing – what a contrast to a few weeks ago.

We were in Sealeys in Hill Road the other day and I spotted a Wonderland on the stall so got hold of it for the girls and I am enclosing the same herewith. Have often looked for a copy but without success before.

The letter from Tiverton said that the business in Bampton Street had been sold but Joe did not know who had bought it. I think the disposal of the business was inevitable as George’s son is not capable of managing it. Understand he will remain with the business but how long he lasts is anybody’s guess. Joe did not know it was up for sale but in any case would not I think have made a bid for it. After all he is now over sixty and must be thinking in terms of retirement. Also heard that John (Chevithorne) has joined the golf club.

The Richings (Weston-super-Mare) started their holiday yesterday. Apparently after the wedding they can only manage day trips this year but they promised to get in touch with us for a run round one day. So far nothing doing but what can one expect this weather.

Since last writing have managed to pick enough runner beans for two meals but it is a sorry state of affairs to be short of this vegetable so early in the season. The rain has come too late for them to recover.

I do not think Norman and Marion had any particular wish boy or girl but I’m afraid Marion has her hands full now as the boy is not so very old yet.

Looks as if I’ve reached the bottom of the page again so muchst close with all my love to you both and lots of kisses for two little girls. Shall be looking forward to the next letter with more news on the new job and perhaps that information of number 17 Eccleston Road. We do hope that in spite of the upset Mr and Mrs Baker are keeping well. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s