200th post!

Crikey, this seems to have come round quickly – so quickly, in fact, that I hadn’t actually prepared anything for it. However when I was trying to sort out the mis-dating of the family photos recently I stumbled across a little snippet of family-related news which is definitely worth including here – no matter how distant the actual relationship may be.

So, let’s start with an explanation. You’ll have figured out by now that Leonard’s wife, Eva, had a brother named Joe. Joe, married to Lydia, lived in the fascinating house in Shelly Road, Exmouth, which fell a victim to the Council bulldozer in the 1970s.

Family at Tiverton, 1960

This picture, taken by either June or Eva*, shows Lydia in the centre with her grand-daughter Claire on her lap and Joe standing behind her. Joe is flanked by (left) his son-in-law Eric Shapland and (right) Eric’s father Harold Shapland. On either side of Lydia are her daughter Pat (left), and Alec (right), and on the front row are Susan, Kay Shapland, and Carol.

Harold Shapland was a bit of a minor celebrity and actually a good deal younger than he looks in this photo – he didn’t turn sixty until a few months later – and among his other achievements he was a commentator on bowls for both BBC radio and television.

Eric, although apparently not sharing his passion for bowls, certainly followed him in local politics. It was while attempting to verify the identification of the men in this photo as Harold and Eric that I stumbled across Eric’s recent obituary. Our families had lost touch over the years, but clearly Eric was a very popular man in the Tiverton area and his passing will leave a considerable gap.

I wrote a letter on 20 July which I hoped would reach a member of the family eventually, and by coincidence had a message via this page from one of Eric’s daughters a day or two later. I replied by e-mail but haven’t had any further response, although it would be nice to join up another loose end and exchange family news.

*Likely, I think, to be June, who is obviously missing from the photo. This was almost certainly a day trip from Clevedon, and if we left one adult behind everyone else would fit into Leonard’s car; Eva, therefore, despite the visit being to her brother, would no doubt have ‘stayed behind to get the dinner’. The only exception might have been if June was unwell and had opted out, allowing Eva to go instead, but Eva was not exactly a reliable hand with a camera and I honestly don’t think this is her work!


Monday 30 May, 1960

Eva to the family:

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol,

Many thanks for my pretty nylons also Alec’s letter & June’s card. I like the coloured tops of the nylons hadn’t seen any down here like it. I had a hat & dress, also eau de cologne & three cards.

We got back after a lovely weekend about 12.20 p.m. not a drop of rain all the time. We walked miles or so it seemed. Exmouth is improved very much & the holiday bungalow is a good one, they can sleep six people, 2 double beds and a put-u-up settee in the lounge which is a good size room. The dining room & kitchen are rather small but the bedrooms are nice & there is a bathroom & lavatory. They have company’s gas & electric & water laid on & a shop near which sells everything you can think of including milk & bread. It is 22 Shelly Road & there are 200 bungalows different sizes. The people on either side of them are permanent. You go from the end of Promenade through docks & over a swing bridge & the yacht club also put their boats there.

We found everything o.k. back here. Lydia and Joe are coming for a week end in July & when they visit Exmouth again after their last let which is in Sept. they want us to go with them again for a few days. They have let Bungalow for the winter from October & are booked all Aug. next year. They have honeysuckle & flowering plants all round & a few flowers. The beds have interior sprung mattresses & are very comfortable. All the incomers have to find is their food & gas & electric which run on meters. Somerholme is looking very nice & we went out Prescott to see Pat & Eric & the children. We also went to Chettiscombe to see Eileen & John. They have half of Bridge House belonging to Mrs Moore an old aristocrat & have a lovely garden with flowering shrubs & flowers all around & even a stream running through. When we were shopping in Rolle Street Exmouth Joe felt someone tap him & turned round it was Auntie Bessie*. She has got very thin but is lively enough but very deaf. You would not know Tiverton now, down over the bridge in Westend South [?] they have pulled down the houses & made the road three times as wide & going to pull down William St. which is beside the hospital turning into Barrington St. There has been a big fire in Fore St, Timothy White & Burtons burnt down, a funny business I think.

Well I hope the girls are enjoying the nice weather now, can imagine them playing in the garden in their shorts. You do not want to bother to bring bucket & spade down, we have Susan’s which I bought her last year & I will get another for Carol. Alec can borrow a pair of pyjamas & June a night dress if that helps with the packing. June has an old pair of green slippers here & Alec can borrow Dad’s.

Pat’s youngest is being christened next Sunday so we hear.

Well I think this is all for now & thanks very much again.

Lots of love to all


Mum & Dad.

*This was presumably Eva and Joe’s aunt, Bessie Fewings, who would have been about 73 at the time and who died five years later.

Saturday 14th May, 1960

Eva to the family:

Dear Alec, June, Susan and Carol,

Many thanks for Alec’s letter. First of all Happy Birthday to Susan as she is 4 today. [Actually on the 16th.] I expect she will have lots of cards & present.

We are sending you £1. note for Mummy to get what she likes with it.

Dad has been busy on the garden this week, digging the beds or the lawn & earthing up the potatoes – & I have been doing a bit. We had rain at last a good six hours of it.

The two divans came today so we had them taken up by the men who brought them from Bristol. I sent to Manchester for them they are O.K. There is more room there than before as no bottom of bedstead.

We are going up to Staceys tomorrow the first time we shall have gone anywhere since we came home.

I think the photos are lovely & the children especially look natural.

Everyone here says how alike they are.*

I met Mrs Revel [?] today & she says that Peter has gone to Canada & Raymond is married & living in London. They are in Long Avenue now after living in Kenn Rd for seventeen years. It is pelting with rain again for three evenings running it has done that.

We have had one or two strawberries from pots in the greenhouse, nice & juices hope the ones in the garden will turn out as nice. We shall be putting the nets over them soon.

Has June started the small bedroom yet as she said she was going to.

I have rubbed down our bedroom window but that is as far as I’ve got what a mess it was but it’s the worst part done now. Paint is an awful price be it either undercoat or top.**

Billets the fruiterers next to Co-op grocers in Old Church Road have closed down the Co-op has bought it & going to open shortly as greengrocers shop & next to that where Normans used to be is flattened & the house gone & Timothy Whites are having it.

Our new Blkcurrant trees are being attacked by greenfly & we wrote to Smallholder who said to use a nicotine spray so this morning I went down for a tin & they said I should have to sign my death warrant for it as it was poison & it is very strong.

Joe is coming up on Sunday on his scooter hope he gets here. I believe they want us to go down for Whitsun it’s three years since we were there.

Eileen, John’s wife, is expecting on the 23 June that’s on Pat’s second child’s birthday.

Our flax is nearly 4 inches high. I sent for some blue & yellow etc. No more have come yet guess somebody else has got them as sent before Easter.

I think this is all the news now so will close with love from us both to all.

Mum & Dad.

*It was an awful burden to bear; people treated us as a unit and nobody ever – parents least of all – seemed to understand that they were dealing with two distinct individuals. We hated being asked if we were twins, especially when – as so often happened – we were dressed identically, only with me in blue and my sister in red.

**I’ve tried, but I can’t locate the price of paint in 1960. We’ll just have to accept that it was ‘extortionate’ (a favourite family adjective, along with ‘diuretic’ – which was treated as an amplification of ‘dire’!).

Wednesday 16th March, 1960

Eva to the family, on smart letterheaded paper:

Dear Alec June Susan & Carol

Many thanks for letters. I am a bit late in answering last week’s, had the screws in my neck, it was the wet weather. We are very interested about the children they keep you guessing alright.

We were shocked to hear of Graham’s death, never dreamed he was delicate. Now I come to think of it his parents died very early didn’t they, it must be a terrible blow to Iris. We haven’t written either, it is very difficult to write letters of condolence.

We went to Exeter yesterday and oh what a day of it. To begin with it poured with rain the whole time. We went straight and got some flowers then took a bus out to Butts Lane. After putting flowers on grave we went back again to city and had lunch in the Burlington restaurant in High St, been there before.

Well it was only 12.30 when we had come out so mouched [sic] around the shops bought Dad his birthday present etc. & had loads of time. By that time my neck was aching again & we were getting wet so we decided to go back to Taunton earlier left 2 p.m. instead of 3.45 & had the pleasure of waiting there over 1 1/2 hours. Fortunately the train came & we were able to get in. It was still raining when we arrived home at 6.10 p.m.

This morning the weather was very nice but hazy so did the washing but by the middle of the afternoon we had a bad storm.

Dad has been very busy planting out lettuces & chrysanths etc. Also doing bit of digging. I have planted Parsley & Virginia Stocks.

Don & Joan are coming up next Sunday to lunch. We should have been very pleased to see you had you been coming but we shall soon be with you I hope.

No the tea at the laundry did not taste soapy it was a jolly good one. There were hot mince pies scones & butter & every kind of cake including some home made ones. First of all we went over the washing part etc. then tea and after went over the dry cleaning part. They don’t use detergent, only soap soda & a little bleach on table cloths. There were thousands of articles all packed in the containers which boys manipulated.

One of the girls was ironing shirts said she did nothing but that all day & every day, I should be heartily sick of it. The noise in there was terrific & they will only take parties of 15 at a time you can see why as they wouldn’t be able to get near enough to the man who was describing the processes.

I believe we are going somewhere else in June sometime, there was something said about looking at some printing works, another noisy place.

I hope you are all noticing the posh paper which I bought about two years ago. I air it now and then.

Soole is going to be married the same day as Princess Margaret only half on hour earlier. Just like him isn’t it. he wants organ & bells etc. His father is out of hospital but at the Highcliffe Hotel for the time being query whether he will ever take part in a service again.

You know Kelly, he used to live just round the corner next house to where Cummings live now, had three little girls. He moved to the Wilderness up behind Dyers at East Clevedon.

Well I think this is all now so hope you all are quite well.

Lots of love from Mum & Dad

P.S. Please keep that private about Soole & he doesn’t want it got about yet.

Monday 19th October 1959

Eva to the family:

Dear Alec June Susan & Carol

Many thanks for the letter. Glad to say dad is going on satisfactorily but don’t know when he is coming out. He was to have had the stitches out on either Sunday night or this morning. It is a nice hospital but a drag to get up there it is on Brandon Hill in Upper Byron Place makes me puff.

It would be far better to come down when he is out; no point in going to the hospital as its nothing serious.

So you are having a sink unit & fridge* very nice too. After the mess we have had & still have I began to wish it had never been started but it looks much better & bigger. It was to have been 3ft longer but my guess is that it’s more than that a lovely big window taking in all the garden opposite & through the side to the lawn. They had a job with the sink unit though were here until 10.30 Friday and 9.30 Saturday, haven’t seen them today yet. What remains to be done is painting & tiling. I have a strip light over sink as the one light would not be sufficient.

We had a terrible gale here Saturday night. We are all right but next door (empty) house shed roofing came off in strips. It will disappear altogether one day if they don’t live in it.

Glad you are all feeling better, can breath with this colder air & its much colder.

I expect you have also hear from Dad so I will finish now as have some more to do. Has June finished her knitting yet?

Love from us all,

From Mum

*At this time neither of my grandmothers had a fridge; they both had pantries/larders and the old-style tin kitchen cabinets in which dry goods were stored. It’s easy to forget, from our relatively privileged modern position of being able to stock up our fridges and freezers and always have something in reserve, what a treadmill it was for housewives to keep the family fed in earlier times. June’s mother lived among shops and could easily go out every morning for meat, bread, vegetables and other perishables; June had a long walk, which included going up and over a hill (so literally ‘up hill both ways’) to the Fine Fare supermarket – there was no bus service – and had to carry everything back herself until she caved in and bought a trolley. Some tradesmen did deliver, but you still had to go down to their shop and choose your goods in person and they would bring them round to you later in the day. Buying a fridge, although it was a big-ticket item and still fairly uncommon, would have made a huge difference to her life. And people who paid out huge sums of money for ‘deep freezes’ and drove out to farms to buy ‘half a cow’ were as legendary to us as nineteenth century polar explorers; they were at the forefront of something that was seen as wildly exciting and adventurous at the time, but which has now become far more commonplace. Sixty years can bring an awful lot of changes, not just for individuals but also for the world.

Tuesday 13th October 1959

Eva to the family:

Dear Alec June Susan & Carol

Many thanks for both letters & Susan’s drawing, is that supposed to be me on one side?

Dad went into St Mary’s Hospital Bristol to-day to have a Hernia Opperation. He has meant to have had it done this last twenty years & finally made his mind up. He should not be there more than a fortnight if all goes well.

The decorators are still here & the place is an awful mess, ankle deep in dust in the shed from the bags. They are now plastering outside, but have to paint inside & fix the sink unit. Also the man has to fix another light as one will not be sufficient. If you see or speak to Geoff tell him that not to tell Don, as Dad will write to him in a few days. I am writing to Geoff but he may not get to read it until Wednesday is over. I expect Dad will have the operation that day.

How did you get on with the knocking down the larder, it will make more space there.

We had a nice lot of rain again but fine this morning. The ground is still pretty dry yet.

I have to be busy now weighing up some apples for Norman he is taking them to Cardiff on Friday, there is plenty to keep me occupied while Dad is away*. If you write it’s just St. Mary’s Hospital Bristol.

I expect Pauline had a lot to talk about when she visited for the week end. All the visitor have disappeared by now even at Weston. Mr Cummings goes into the hospital in a week or two to have his opperation I think I told you it was Goitre. They had him up on false pretenses a few weeks back then kept him a night & sent him home again. This was at Southmead. No more now hope you are all feeling better.

Love from Mum to all.

P.S. To make things brighter I had to send my aid away & the other one konked out so was nearly a week without a thing & couldn’t hear anything. Cost me £5.0.0. Hope your Mum & Dad are feeling better.

*Not least of which would have been the watering; their garden was huge, and productive (hence all the vegetable sales and sending apples to Cardiff) and I have no recollection of ever seeing a hose; they trundled down the paths with watering cans several times a day.

Sunday 13 September, 1959

Eva to the family:

Dear Alec, June, Susan & Carol,

Many thanks for both letters & Susan’s drawing. I should think she will be a first class sketcher in time.

I don’t know about the children not being able to sleep this weather but we can’t. I am in one room & Dad in the other & I can’t seem to get to sleep for ages & making tea about 4 or 4.30 every morning then when it is time to get up I fall asleep, it must be the heat.

We had a lovely trip over the Malvern Hills & it was a glorious day. We left about 2.45 the coach was hot to start with but soon cooled down. We had a good trip round Bristol picking up, places I had never been before. Tewkesbury is a quaint place, the abbey is very large outside but disappointing inside. We had a good tea lovely butter & pineapple (home made) & strawberry jam lovely cakes & to finish up fruit sundae 3/6 ea. We did ourselves proud. On to Malvern where there is a British Camp/earthworks the biggest in England & from the top you can see fourteen counties. Where they lit bonfires after the Armada. We passed through Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire & Somerset so we had a bit of everything. On return we stopped at the Prince of Wales at near Berkeley & had a Golden Godwin*. Back to Bristol 9.45 & home after a cup of tea at Newmans. Mrs Newman’s great niece (17) and nephew (not great) 33 went with us. They all came down here on Thursday to tea. The niece lives at Harefield & the nephew at Devizes.

Thank goodness we have finished picking plums but not tomatoes to date we have picked 70 lbs & still going strong.

Mrs Pugh was buried on Friday afternoon she died in C[levedon] Hospital. Lionel Mogg is very ill & also in there. He can’t stand and it is thought he may go like his father who had creeping paralysis**. I am going to get a pattern to make up that material that June gave me am getting short of blouses.

Heels have gone to Bournemouth. We had a card from them they went to Swanage which seems a very nice place so we were thinking of going by car on Tuesday for a last trip & taking Mrs Cornish with us.

The assistant surveyor has been measuring up drawing plans you would think we were going to have the house pulled down & rebuilt they are so fussy. I don’t suppose they will start until October as the meeting is not until the 15th inst.

Well I think this is the lot just now so will close with best love to all from us both.

Mum & Dad

Eva’s drawing for her grandchildren accompanies this letter.

*A ‘Golden Godwin’ was apparently a champagne perry marketed by Bulmers (cider manufacturers). I tracked it down via a 1950s message board, to which I am indebted, but the same Google search produced a link to a specific Golden Godwin glass being sold on e-Bay for £5. This looked very familiar, so I did some in-depth research in my china cabinet (!) and produced two vastly superior examples of the genre which I had thought were simply champagne glasses. I now know that they are specifically Golden Godwin glasses and date from the 1950s. Little discoveries like this are the whole reason for running this blog in the first place!

**’Creeping paralysis’ is not a recognised medical term these days, and it seems a little unfair to diagnose the poor man from a distance of sixty years, but this sounds like Guillain-Barre Syndrome to me. Tick-borne paralysis is not as common in the UK as it is elsewhere, and from the descriptions it sounds more ‘galloping’ than ‘creeping’. It isn’t hereditary, but it’s not impossible that Mr Mogg and his father could have been infected at the same time – and also may have shared some genetic precondition which exacerbated it. But that’s as far as I’m prepared to speculate with the limited data available – and many may already consider it too far.

Sunday 30 August 1959

Eva to the family:

Dear Alec, June, Susan & Carol

Many thanks for your letters to hand. Sorry about the plums having fur coats. probably due to the rain we had also they were in the box over night. Still I expect you could eat some of them. Another time we must send them before they are ripe. Fit for bottling or stewing that is.

The tomatoes are still going strong & selling as quickly as can get them ripe they are down to 1/- lb now though*. Mrs Clarke at the bottom of field calls them the Covent Garden fruit. I say they are better than that fresher in fact. I suppose we shall be on the apple tack soon selling fall downs already. I wish we had all this fruit when we were younger don’t fancy climbing ladders etc.

Dad cleared the coalhouse of the ton of coal yesterday & could have passed for a coal man, he put it in shed in readiness for the men when they arrive.

We are still having lovely weather no rain yet although it is really needed.

Mrs Richings came up on Friday haven’t seen her since Easter Monday when she was up. Went home with tomatoes cucumbers cabbage & apples. Michael goes back to University at Reading end of September, he has finished work at Victoria & they are all going to Spain next week or week after.

I should like to see the children dressing up, it’s a way to keep them from mischief. Boys don’t want that. I used to give Alec a hammer wood & some nails but out of doors.

Old Ching got fed up at Bristol & went off sick August Bank Holiday Saturday & hasn’t been back since. Mr Burge is there instead.

Mr Phillips who used to be at Bristol & married again has a child & they say though I don’t know if it is correct that Mrs Edwards is expecting.

We had a card from Dinard where Geoff is can’t say I was thrilled with the view it looks something like Cornwall suppose they are back by now. Well I think this is all news mustn’t hog it for Dad. Love from us both to all

Mum & Dad

Dad will write later.

*For many summers Leonard and Eva sold fruit & veg to their neighbours. There would be a blackboard at the gate with prices on and people would knock on the door to have their purchases weighed and bagged by Eva. They didn’t need the money, of course, but had more fruit and veg than they could ever have used themselves.

Wednesday 5 August, 1959

To Alec from his parents:

Written on the reverse of timetable 184: Aberystwyth, Welshpool, Oswestry and Whitchurch and 179: Wellington, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Bewdley, Kidderminster, Stourbridge Junction, Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon and Leamington Spa

Dear Alec June Susan and Carol

Thank you both very much for the two long and very interesting letters received this morning – glad to hear you are all keeping well in spite of weather – incidentally we have had very little rain here in fact almost another heatwave except for an odd shower now and again. Very pleased to hear all about Susan and Carol and glad Carol now on her feet. Susan is full of life and her energy must be expended somehow but it is nice for her to help Mummie. What a surprise and a bit of a shock I suspect to find Carol on the table. We are enclosing a couple of church magazines (very small owing to Printing dispute) and thought you would like to keep one and pass the other on to June’s Mum & Dad. Have another one if you should want it. Hope you have a nice evening out on Thursday. We have not been out over the holiday but hope to have a day out next week – possibly in one of WEMS coaches for a day trip – will be a change to driving car all day.

Shall be interested in copy of your first report on Paddington Station – pity the ‘boys’ are upset over their expenses bit its about time some of them toed the line. I feel very sorry for Mr Grey and family with all that trouble with outlet from toilet – must have been a job getting things straight again – no doubt the plumber was very pleased. Note the position in garden and how you are coping with slugs – haven’t seen any of the latter here for a long time – no don’t send any over please. How nice for Miss Baker* to come over from Ealing to see you I bet she was pleased to see the girls. Am glad that in the end the Elderberry wine was put to good use. I’ve still a drop left of the bottle we opened when you were here. Yesterday I racked off the blackcurrant and the cherry wines into bottles – seven full bottles of first names and seven and a half of second – looks fine but not too good to taste at the moment – will keep.

Most of the last week and this week have been assembling garden frames – ran into one or two snags but now sorted out and the lights (tops) were put on this morning. Anyhow they will served a very useful purpose in bringing on seedlings and plants etc. Have also put in four long iron stakes where the two buddleias formerly grew parallel with the drive and am hoping to interlace these with stout wire and then plant climbing roses to form a screen. Have put out one row of leeks and sown seed for spring cabbage also prepared ground for the sowing of onion seed. Have just harvested those sown last Autumn and have a really good crop.

(Mother just checking Premium Bond winners with Daily paper – what a hope.)

The beetroot are now the size of tennis balls and very nice eating. Plums beginning to redden and we have picked some of the green gages. A lot of people have looked over empty house (next door) but I do not think it has been bought yet. Have sent to Railway Supply Association for information re: Electric shavers and incidentally to Tarpen people for brochure of their hedge cutting motors (remember Bristol Zoo**) but do not know if shall get one of them or not.

Since writing previous sentence another lot of people have arrived and are now inspecting house next door. Had a line from Geoff this morning – says they were at Exeter over the weekend and found Uncle Joe had finished stone for grave and had erected it and put concrete floor and chippings in position. Geoff said it was a first class job and looks fine. We shall be going down to see it in the near future.

Now I must close – Mother will reply as well I expect and deal more fully with items I have only just mentioned or missed altogether.

All the best and lots of kisses for our two lovely little girls.


Dear Alec June Susan and Carol

Many thanks for letters. Glad to hear Carol is walking at last all by herself. She must have got on to climb up on the table.

Hope you had a nice drive with Delph and Roy. We could have done it if Pauline had come over.

What are you doing for Xmas/ We should be pleased to have to here again if Alec can get a few days or do you think it is too much for the children if he only has say a couple days let us know. I suppose we shall have the usual Xmas present of two chickens can pretty much bank on it.

I have been busy picking greengages & have bottled 6 bottles & going to make some jam. Dad keeps eating them though.

We have both had streaming colds, Dad went to bed for a few hours on Monday but is practically alright again. Our tomatoes are ripening very gradually can only get 1lb every two days yet. One big plant gave way from the pot so we shall have to watch it, the trusses are very heavy.

We hope to go to Bournemouth next week, it being the best trip we think it gives up to 4 hours there & if it rains there is plenty to see in that time. They have four or five trips somewhere for every day of the week.

Have sampled the cherry wine it is very distinctive & has a nutty flavour but I hope it improves with keeping, the black currant isn’t bad but there again I hope it will improve. A proper mess it is cleaning the jars & bottles after straining & syphoning.

Marchants were broken into again last week the front window got it this time done with a huge stone, all for a pocket radio set.

Well you won’t be idle during the coming months that is certain with all that knitting you must do it when you go up to bed.

We have had some lovely colour gladioli & one lot has two colours whether it’s a freak or not I don’t know but I’ve never seen a two colour one. It is cream outside & orange inside.

Our galardias are in flower now & make a nice show.

Well I think this is all news now as I have to draw.***

Love from us both.


*Eda, June’s aunt.

**He may not remember Bristol Zoo, but I certainly do. It was the only time we went there and I have never been back since, despite living in Bristol for eighteen years. [It’s expensive and full of visitors.] We were looking at a cage full of monkeys and someone helpfully pointed out to me that they lived in families like people, and showed me a ‘Mummy Monkey’ and a ‘Daddy Monkey’. I spotted a tiny little baby in its mother’s arms and excitedly exclaimed that it was a ‘Carol Monkey’ and everyone collapsed laughing. That remark haunted me for decades – it was a constant source of teasing – and I would have been about three years and two months old at the time. Lesson learned, at least for a while; keep gob shut where possible.

***How to communicate with children too young to read and write; you send them picture letters. I don’t remember any, but I can imagine them – sweet little dogs, butterflies, wobbly yachts, trains, and grandad with a wheelbarrow out in the garden. Eva was a brilliant grandmother and one of my very favourite relatives – which is a pretty small pool!

Monday 29th June 1959

Alec to his parents

Dear Mum and Dad

Just a brief note to thank Dad very much for the brace and bits, it is a first class implement and much superior to others I have seen. The parcel duly arrived on the 9-0 a.m. Bristol and I had the train met. Thank Mother for letter dated 27th which arrived to-day. Susan was pleased with her letter, but I am afraid she has been a naughty girl again to-day. She was taken out for a walk despite the fact that she had been naughty and when she came home apparently she played up again and was sent to bed at 4.10 p.m. Of course she promptly went to sleep and has been awake most of the evening so far. Good idea to fix hair appointments early, the kids should be less trouble that way. You don’t want to overdo the path making or by time we get down you will not have any energy left and by gum you will need some. We had lots of rain in the night and again to-day so garden is very wet. Grass and weeds again shooting up. Note operations on the cake taking place but don’t slip up and think you are still path making. I am not surprised the house next door is in a poor condition, Mrs C did not look particularly bright to me. I know a Spencer in Knowles Rd, if it is the same one he is fellow I used to Home Guard with at the West End Post. Note also that Mother has been doing a little Duck shooting, you should save these Bonfire Night tricks until the 5th. Well that’s all for now, no further office news.