Wednesday 7th November, 1962

Leonard to the family:

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol

Many thanks for letter received this morning with all the latest news. Expect weather was cause of late dispatch this week but yesterday (Tuesday) was the limit here. It rained continuously all day and the atmosphere was overpowering. Much better today and I felt able to do a little work in garage.

Yes we both enjoyed our visit to you and if not exactly restful it was certainly a change and of course nice to see you all again. Note you had another visitor almost immediately after our departure and I expect he was glad to see you and bring you up-to-date with the news from Weston. I’m surprised he is still called upon to deal with BBC matters in the London area but perhaps his successor is not yet in full control. I see in last night’s Bristol paper that a Bristol BBC engineer named Hawkes was killed in a car accident in Bristol a couple of nights ago.

Pauline too has visited you again. I’m sure the girls were pleased to have her there for a few hours – perhaps gave mother a bit of a break. Hope she is keeping well.

A really good idea for using the old tank – it will serve in turn as a collector for compost stuff. If I remember rightly the other container was practically worn out. All the tanks here as you may guess are full to capacity after so much rain.

Glad to hear June had an evening out with Delphine and hope they both enjoyed themselves. What did Carol think she was going to get then? Or was she really off colour? Susan too with an upset tummy after twisting herself around too many times. They will do it. So glad to hear how she took to the glasses. It could have been a most difficult time getting her initiated to them. Once taken to however she must realise herself she can see and read much better. It is going to make a tremendous difference to her at school to and I’m sure she will make headway now even more so then hitherto.

Yes June we are sure you must have been busy after our departure especially with the washing. Could you not get any help from Carol? And of course Susan as she was home for the week.

Plenty of bonfires and fireworks down here these last few nights and I understand there was a bit of a to-do along the prom Monday night when the police were involved. Teddy Boys were at the root of the trouble.

Glad the cherry-with-orange wine satisfactory – on your recommendation I tried some today and agree it is quite nice. Hope it does the trick with the catarrh this winter. By the way have you arranged for an anti-flu injection from your local doctor? June and told us on Tuesday before we left that the E.R. do not have their senior staff dealt with as on the W.R. but in your case I should certainly pay the doctor to give you one. Would help you through the winter.

The fire grate we brought back is a perfect fit for the front room but we are now up against a replacement for the fire brick that fits inside the front of the grate. Have tried three places in Clevedon without result and will try again when we go into Weston. If we light fire without the brick I fear the front of the grate will become permanently tarnished. Mum has cleaned it up now and it looks fine so it would be a pity to spoil it. Thank you very much for it, we must report further on our efforts to get firebrick.

I’m enclosing a cutting taken from last night’s Bristol Evening about screens for use in connection with projectors. Thought you would like to see it and maybe note suggestion for future information.

Well since writing last Tuesday week I have not done much about the place. For one thing the weather has been against outside work and it has been too cold to do much in the greenhouse or garage. Last Friday and Saturday I did manage to get in a couple of long rows of broad beans by using boards to stand on. At least half a dozen times I had to break off because of rain but eventually completed the job. Since then have picked most of the runner beans and shelled them for drying for seed. These are now spread out on the staging in greenhouse. All tomatoes have now been cleared out and both sets of staging reinstalled. Firewood to has had to be cut and chopped up. Impossible to cut lawns yet and grass is longer than I like to see it. Am wondering if shall be able to have another go at it this season.

Our next door neighbour (Bushell) is building a porch outside his French Windows. the framework was already there but he has had to fit glazing bars and renew cross pieces of wood and buy and fit glass. it will take some time yet to finish.

Not a lot of local news this week. I see Bill Raine has again secured the premier prize for chrysanthemums in the Clevedon Show. This is the second year running and he is up against experts like Mr Yandle whom I expect you remember at the Clevedon Hall Lodge some years ago. Bill I understand belongs to the Chrysanthemum Society but is only an amateur so far as growing is concerned. I saw the winning bloom last Sunday morning and it was a real beauty. Only grows one flower to a plant.

Mr Heel came round one morning when I was in garage (most unusual for him) and had a chat. Said he was feeling a lot better but still chesty following his recent illness. Have not seen Cornish (except at a distance) since we came back. Mrs Bush seems to be back in circulation again, none the worse for her drug taking incident. Had one morning in the field picking up fallers which are now spread out on floor of garage to dry off. A lot more down by now I expect.

Had to get TV people to look at set on Monday – the horizontal black line was creeping further up the picture and another had started to come down from the top. Required another valve. Now he has left the picture a little out of focus – elongated – and this can only be got up from the inside so I suppose he will have to come again.*

Good news today on the TV, Beeching has now offered 6% rise which has been accepted by the unions to date from Monday the 5th inst. No doubt it will come to the ‘Out of Categories’ later on. A letter from Geoff this morning says the reorganisation of timetables on W.R. expected to come into force for the winter of 1963.

Hope Susan and Carol enjoyed their fireworks on Monday night. We thought of them. Not bad weather here in the evening but heavy rain during morning and early afternoon.

No more this time. All our love to you both and lots of kisses for Susan and Carol.

Mum and Dad.

*For younger readers – this was even before the transistor revolution when both radios and TVs had glass valves inside. If you needed any evidence of exactly how much daily life has changed over the past sixty years, this should do the trick!

Eva to the family on the remaining half sheet of Leonard’s paper:

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol

Many thanks for letters. Glad you had no trouble with Susan I think left to themselves they take anything in their stride. The grate fits perfectly and needs no filling up with cement. We are going into Weston on Monday to see if we can get the fire bricks. I think it makes the room look better and certainly won’t take as much coal to keep warm as our Devon grate.

I have just made a funny mistake in the tomato chutney I’m making put in a whole lot of Pudding Spice instead of the other and later looked to see if I had all the ingredients and it said tie the spice up (I ask you) so as it was put on top of sliced apple. I managed to get most of it out.

We enjoyed the trip to Walls factory only another in the country at Acton where they do not have visitors. It was a scream we had to leave all our possessions in the coach and when we got inside had to put on a white coat and fancy silk scarf which latter we kept. Then around the building, it’s really all automation. They employ coloured men. They gave us a good tea cheese and ham sandwiches, fancy cakes and a special gateau the chef made for us then all sorts of ice cream. On leaving they presented each with a square box which rattled. On opening it at home it was another cold pack with 1/6 ice cream in it so Dad had his ice cream after all. It simply poured all the time.

Glad June had a change lots of love Mum and Dad 


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