And here we go with the major part of the archive – ten years’ worth of letters, written sixty years ago!
So, when we last saw Alec he was nearly 21 and living in lodgings with a Mrs Stone in Hanwell. Fifteen years have passed since then, at some point during which he moved from Hanwell to Ealing to lodge with a Miss Eda Baker. (Mrs Stone may have ceased having lodgers when her husband came home after the war.) Miss Baker started life with seven brothers; one of them died in the Great War and one of them – Frank – had lost an eye in a childhood accident and was ineligible for military service. It also ruled him out of employment with the GWR, which was the course his five surviving brothers took.
Alec married Frank Baker’s elder daughter, June (Eda’s niece), in December 1954, and they bought a house in Ruislip and had two children. Now read on!
Sunday 24th May, 1959
Dear Don and Joan
Just a letter to thank you very much for Susan’s present duly received and appreciated. As you may know Dad and Mum came down for the week and they were present for her Birthday. We invited the two little girls from either side and of course Carol was there. She had a very good time as the weather was fine and they were all able to go out on the lawn. I am afraid that when bedtime came she was reluctant to go but as she was very tired the ructions did not last long. The following day ( Sunday ) we all went to Headstone Lane and she had a fine game with the girls there. I asked Sara if she would like to have Carol to live with them. She did not think much of the idea but said she would like to have Susan. On Tuesday we went to West Drayton to see the other Grandma and Grandad so have had quite a number of outings as a result of car and driver being available.* To-day I removed the whole of one side of shed and rebuilt to accommodate two windows. Had the assistance of next door neighbour this morning and this afternoon he took June and the girls out to a picnic tea in Kenton Park in his car. It was very hot work as sun shining strongly and the bitter wind of yesterday has gone. I hope Don’s Bronchitis is easier and that he is better condition than when we last met. We have asked Dad to contact Vicar of Clevedon with a view to getting Carol Baptised at Parish Church there when we are down there early in July. If Vicar agrees to do the job ( which is by no means certain apparently) we shall go down that week-end that he nominates. You were unable to come to Susan’s Christening because of the distance but if you can, we would like you both to come to Carol’s and stand as God-Parents. Well back to work to-morrow, got to do enough to keep the Governor’s pension going I suppose. Hope to hear from you through Clevedon that subject to date etc., being convenient, that we shall all see you in July.
*The car belonged to our very accommodating neighbour, Doug Gray, who seems to have chauffeured us around a considerable amount at this time.