Leonard to the family:
Dear Alec June Susan and Carol
The postman certainly called on Monday the 27th inst. and what a budget he brought. Thank you all very much for same and I see both Susan and Carol were allowed to use the typewriter this week. Also Susan trying out her longhand – very good indeed for a start.
What a change in the weather over the weekend. Pity to complain about it but it was so sudden that it took all the energy out of one. The sun was so scalding when I was working in garden on Saturday and I had to turn my cap round to protect my neck. Expect you thoroughly enjoyed your trip out in car on Saturday. A good day for the cup final for once too. How did June find her mother? Going on all right we hope. Nice to have Eileen with you again for a weekend and no doubt two young ladies kept her very busy. What a load up for the car for Chorleywood!
Am sorry you imagine flower garden pretty shipshape. I honestly think it is the worst effort we have made for years. It is due however to bad autumn when we could not square up for the winter following the severe winter and wet spring. However we must make the best of it this time and see if things can be improved as we go along. We shall have some flowers of course and the beds will be tidy (I hope).
Yes all arrangements well in hand for Geoff and family who arrive at 12:53 p.m. Sunday. Evidently Stella and Rebecca going to work on the Saturday.
That chap at the bottom of your garden with the lawn mower (motored) does not intend to push around an ordinary mower. Perhaps he picked it up cheap.*
Yes sugar well in the news but prices seem to be steadying again. Quite a shock to find that commodity going up – what about our winemaking? Noted Pauline and Norman visiting Roy and Delphine last Sunday and your comment re: former. What surprised you about the gas bill? Presumably it covered the worst period of the winter. Have the charges been increased?
Spearmint eh? Years since I had to go at this stuff. Hope the girls do not take it to school with them or the teacher will be after them.
You clean your car far more often than I clean ours** but I suppose in point of fact you use it far more often and in all kinds of weather whereas if possible (Ruislip trips excepted) we try and get out in the nice weather.
Noted you have picked up other contacts with the transmitter – Cheltenham and Hall Green. Geoff said he had recently spoken to you but not on the radio. I do not think there is any part of our old wireless sets laying around in the shed nowadays. We have to have a clear out every so often otherwise we would never get into the shed.
Sorry no seeds have come up. Great pity but I think it proves that the soil is infested with insects who destroy the seeds. just as well you have the sweet peas in pots. Any sign of them?
Hope Susan has not to wait too long before she can really join the Brownies. Last Sunday afternoon there was the usual Commonwealth Youth Service at the church and all the Guides, Brownies, Scouts including Sea Scouts, the St. John Ambulance cadets etc. etc. paraded with their banners and it was a very good turnout. No doubt the same kind of service was held at Ruislip and other places. The new headmaster of the school at the bottom of Holly Lane gave the address and he opened up by saying “I hope those of my pupils who are present will not think it is a bit thick to have to put up with me today as well as on weekdays”. He gave a wonderful address however and it was noticed that he is a Cambridge M.A..
Yes Roy and Mrs Hewitt are now well on their holiday. Apparently they went to Paddington last Friday evening and stopped the night at a hotel and proceeded to Liverpool Street to catch the 10.05 a.m thence to Harwich to be on board for sailing at midday to Amsterdam. Change there into a Dutch boat and cruise up the river. Cannot say if they are gone for 10 days or a fortnight but we shall get a card in due course. If they had been travelling from Liverpool Street on a day other than a Saturday you could have wished them ‘bon voyage’.
No further trip to Retford then so far. Does it really take you an hour to get from Liverpool Street to King’s Cross?
So you remember Donald Fortune then. Is he not in the photo taken at the infant school?
If they are not in the way please keep old London Division News until we next come up to Ruislip – they are always interesting even if stale news to a lot of people.
Have since heard that Rodney Meadows was one of the band of ringers who rang at Westminster Abbey for Princess Alexandra’s wedding last month. He must be quite an expert ringer to be included in such a team.
No more news of proposed land sale – no news is good news – so they say.
It was only the old chrysanthemums we lost by slugs. I have a lot of new rooted cuttings in pots in one of the frames and they should give us some good flowers later on.
Evidently you did not go on the annual outing to the Isle of Wight.
Clevedon Goods closes on the 10th prox. after which date all traffic will be dealt with at Yatton including coal. Deliveries of latter to be effected from Yatton. This will increase the cost of coal per ton to everybody in Clevedon.
Last week I noticed starlings going in and out of the next doors vent shaft near guttering of house and suggested to Bushell he should borrow our ladder and investigate as he had no wire basket on top. He did so and found young dead starlings in the bend of the pipe. Apparently when they were ready to fly they could not get up the shaft to get out and eventually the old birds abandoned them. He has now put some wire gauze over the top to keep out future nest builders.
Mum just told you last week we had Stan James here doing something to our pipe. About two years ago we noticed a small damp patch on wall at bottom of stairs and this had gradually increased in size so we had to investigate. My first thought was that the asphalt on path had ridden above damp course but this proved not to be the case. The downpipe from roof guttering at this point we knew only drained into a soakaway and over the years this pipe had become choked with soil and muck washed down off the roof. Consequently the water was finding its way back into the wall of house above the damp course and causing the patch inside on the wallpaper. The remedy was to put underground pipes to take water direct to the inspection chamber near the small triangular piece of garden at back of house. So while Stan James went to Yatton to get about fifteen 3 ft pipes I dug out the trench. Fortunately it was dry for the two days the job took and all in order again now except that we have a rough surface to walk over for the length of the trench. I lost two days on the garden because of this and I’m now trying to catch up before the weekend.
Mr Aston brought me around two bundles of bean sticks and together with those I had left over after putting in one row enabled me to make a second row. This was completed on Saturday and I put beans (seed) in on Monday. Altogether I have 218 bean sticks and the equivalent number of beans sown. Mum has been busy cutting grass around the trees etc. on the lawn and planting out flower seedlings. I’m still at a loss to know what to try next to seal pond and I think I may try Sylglas before embarking on anything more costly. I would like to get the thing put right.
Had a walk down the field the other day and can only confirm what has already been stated that the apple trees are one mass of bloom. The cherry blossom is over now but this too has been a picture.
Had not realised until you mentioned it that you have been at Liverpool Street for eight months now. How time flies.
Assume you have not done any more decorating June lately – nothing mentioned of it in letter this time.
Yes Alec your photos have been most favourably commented upon by all who have seen them. Did you have your picture show on Sunday evening? How far out is it to Chorleywood?*** and what teams were playing cricket there? Presumably only local sides but I expect it was interesting. As you can see in mercury there is cricket most Sundays on Dial Hill.
Saw Elford the other night and he said the police still have no clue as to who broke into their shop.
Was very pleased to see the Ford management were sticking to their decision not to reinstate the seventeen men who were the chief agitators in their works. Something like this should have happened years ago when perhaps a lot of the trouble in recent years might have been avoided.
Have had to use hose to fill up the baths twice this week and at the same time have also taken opportunity of watering the garden. The winds had hardened the top crust of soil which had to be broken. We are cutting lettuces now and mum says they are priced at about 1/3d[£1.60 in 2023 money – a little cheaper, in fact, than they are at present] in shops. This is a bit surprising as there should be plenty of them about now. Other green stuff is still very scarce and Mum continues to buy frozen peas and broad beans. Incidentally my broad beans I see are just beginning to form but will not be ready for this coming weekend unfortunately. The first row of peas not yet in flower but second is already showing through ground. Have earthed-up a few rows of potatoes. According to my gardening diary the tomatoes were forming this time last year but it will be a few days yet before this year’s fruit will begin to show. Just shows the state of the gardening world for 1963.
A little rain is falling at the moment (6:45 p.m.) but it does not look like continuing very long. I wish it would rain most of nigh.
Think I must close now. All our love to you both and lots of kisses for the girls. I’ve got a postcard of Walton Castle to enclose for Susan this time and not to leave Carol out of it have one of the Old Church for her. Mum and Dad.
*Or perhaps he had a bad back/leg/heart and just needed a bit of extra power. Let’s just try to think of a charitable explanation for once, shall we, rather than assuming the guy is lazy or has more money than sense?
**Only when there’s something he wants to get out of doing…
***I make it roughly fourteen miles, mostly along the valley of the River Colne.