Letter Ilma to Daughter Phyllis

Sunday, 7 November 2010 11:20 PM GMT

Contributed by: Jerry Green

Woodlands St Mary
Newbury
July 19th - 39

My dearest Phyll
Many thanks for your letter – it was good to hear from you – Well my dear – things certainly sound very nice. Mrs B is very keen to have you near – I do hope things turn out well for you. What a pity we are not near – I could help you in the house, between us we would manage any amount of P.G’s, eh? There is money to be made in that way I’m sure – especially when there are no vegs, fruit, milk etc to buy. I am glad the climate is good. I guess Diane & John will love it all.
We are having awful weather for the hay – nothing but rain – Billo writes saying they have 30 acres still about – fortunately we have finished – except a meadow above the station which Dad hopes to cut when weather is settled. Beryl & Ismee very badly want to go to Scotland – they suggest hiring a car for a week or two & want Ken to drive them. I think the original plan was for Francis to go with them but as he is not going back to the Argentine Aunt O. thinks he must be doing something – he has applied for the RAF which means he has to study for an exam & pass before he gets in. So they have asked Ken to go – but he can’t get away until the hay is carried. Billo says in her letter today she has written & asked Beryl to wait until the second week in Aug then Ken hopes to go with them, but I believe the Rawlins family sail on 24th Aug. Stephen has properly had the wind up about war – sent two air letters in one week for Freda to return at once. I don’t know what her latest arrangements are – but a week ago she could not get a passage – all boats full. Things in general seem a bit better now. Perhaps she will wait & return with the others. Anyhow, we are expecting her and Michael here next week. Greeta & family come on Friday – Cecil goes to camp on Saturday & we arranged for Michael to be here with Rickie. The Rawlins are at Barry now. Freda and the boy were there last week. Beryl & Ismee kept house with Bubble while I went to London with Renie, we met Aunts Olive & Freda then we all stayed at the Regent Palace from Wed till the Sat: had a lovely time. We all did lots of shopping & I carried the parcels!! Then Renie came back here & stayed the week – it was nice to have them all here – the girls & Bubble got on very well together. Then there was a great turnout – the Rawlins went to Fairford & then to Devizes & the next day Bubble went to Ruislip – she is staying with Doreen. I expect Billo has told you Jack is in China & Doreen is very nervous living alone – she could not get anyone to stay there so & asked Bubble & offered her 10/- a week. She has been there a fortnight & seems very happy – they go about quite a lot. Doreen drives a posh car & they are not far from Greets. So I have been alone. I miss them all very much. Shall have plenty of chatter next week – G & the boys are staying a fortnight. St James’ day next week – suppose we shall soon have the usual invitation to tea on the Vicarage lawn. A letter from Rob today he envies you going to the hills – he was pleased to hear from you. Bubi is full of mischief & baby Ilma getting on well. Uncle Stan wrote Renie a few weeks ago saying he was going to stay with Walter Glass & would look up Rob. I hope he has been & am anxious to hear what he has to say about them all at “La Maria”. Rob will be pleased to see him I guess. Bubble would very much like the frocks you have for her. Beryl has got very fat & has passed on to Bub several things she cannot get into. I am going to Newbury presently.. Dulcie is calling for me about 1oc. With their little car, then I am going to tea with Aunt Lil. She is staying with Jack & Mary at Eat Garston. Dad will be there & Jack will bring us home. Montague House & farm is not sold yet. No one will buy until times are more settled. There is Middle Farm House still for sale. A builder bought it a year or more ago – has made a lovely place & built on more rooms. Then the Old Vicarage (where Ashaws used to live) has been done up nicely & that is for sale. We have the farm until Sept next year. (they cannot get us out who-ever buys) & Dad wants Bunt to carry on there & we are looking out for a small place to keep poultry & perhaps wean calves. There is rather a nice place near Ramsbury – we have been twice & are meeting the agent next week to see what repairs they will do in the house. It is a farm house – nice large rooms with the usual big back places (wash room I call it) but it is more than a mile from the main road. Alright if we had a donkey & cart!! & very lonely. But I should not mind that. Bunt thinks we ought to get north of Eastbury & nearer Billo & Joan. He thinks we shall be very cut off from everyone if we go near Ramsbury. I have written asking Jack to look out for us but I think Dad is very keen on thisd place – he will miss his chats with various people more than I shall. Will tell you more next time – perhaps it will be settled one way or the other next week. I have been busy making Jam for renie to take back – she has bought a doz large screw top jars & I am filling them with rhubarb and ginger jam – black currant & gooseberry. Billo says she has made a lot of different jam & wants a receipt for crab apple jelly. Yesterday I made some salad dressing from your receipt – jolly good it is. I usually give Mrs Manchester some when I make. Bunt & Dulcie often come up for the week and baby Mary was a year old on the 6th – she can say quite a lot of words & can nearly walk – last Sunday she went a few steps alone. They (Bunt) were invited to Bradfield for tennis Sunday afternoon but too wet. The Sunday the Rawlins were here Greeta, Cecil & the boys turned up – quite a nice little crowd – fortunately we had enough for dinner – then in the eve Freda, Olive &Francis came. There is something about Francis I don’t like – he’s a Cole right enough – very self important. Now I’ll be off & be ready when Dulcie comes. It is pouring with rain as usual but I must go. I want several things in the food line & the Goldings come tomorrow. Give Diana & John a nice kiss from Grandpa & nana – our love to Tony – all the very best to your dear self – hope you all are well write soon. I love your letters. Kind regards to Mrs B. Bye bye my dear – take care of yourself. Your loving Mother.

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