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.


Friday 18th February, 1944

Alec’s diary continues:

Got up at 8.0 a.m. good breakfast. To work in Inspector Reynolds’s office under Up side water column. Right hand door. Key hangs above it. Started work on summaries West Yard is a mess. Unable to get far with same. Mr Hill phoned from Exeter at 12.0 nn says will we send forms up addressed to him. Packed up same in parcel and put on first available train viz. 1.40 p.m. Taunton*. Way billed sealed marked value and also for immediate delivery. Had lunch at Floods [?] then caught 2.35 p.m. home. Missed connection at Yatton after carriage door came open. No blind and older type handle. Foreman Hill took me into his office and made a cup of tea. I caught 4.33 p.m. to Clevedon. Met Bob Day on the station is looking much thinner. Says he is on 10 days’ leave. he had a puncture so caught train home. I then cycled home. Went to Johnny’s but had slow puncture in my bike so he mended same. Phoned up Cedric but he has to look after the kids as Jim has been posted. Had a jam session till 9.15 p.m. then went home.

*Presumably this is a mistake as he was at Taunton himself and sending the parcel to Exeter. The train may have been heading for Paignton instead.

Thursday 17th February, 1944

Alec’s diary continues:

Got up at 8.30 a.m. too late to go to Tiverton or Minehead met Blizzard at East Yard walked up to West Yard. Same has 6 Double Ended roads and 21 others in two sections 6 and 15. Stayed until 10.15 a.m. walked up to Fairwater Sidings could see Silk Mills in distance. Walked back to station then caught 10.55 a.m. train for Chard. Arrived 11.35 a.m. busy place bitterly cold. No restaurants or decent cafes. Returned to station for 12.15 p.m. for Taunton. Train warm nearly slept in same. Arrived Taunton 12.50 p.m. on time. Went to Milk Bar the other end of the town and had lunch. Plenty of people there mostly Yanks. Bought some sandwiches for the evening then returned to digs. Waited until dinner over then sat by the fire. To work at 3.45 p.m. not very busy until 6.30 p.m. Very cold snow trying to fall. John came at 10.30 p.m. Had late supper at 11.00 p.m. Talked till 11.30 p.m. Girl there by the name of Chris obviously a bad type. Bed at 11.45 p.m.