Letter Ilma to Daughter Phyllis

Sunday, 7 November 2010 11:10 PM GMT

Contributed by: Jerry Green

Lambourn Woodlands

 November 21st (1937)

My dearest Phyll & Tony.

We were so very sorry to hear the sad news. Poor Mrs Benitz! Please give her my sincere sympathy. I am sure it has been a very sad time for you all. I am glad you were there Phyll, it is a nice thought that you spent his last evening there & I am sure you will always have very sweet memories of him. Mrs B was thankful for Tony’s help too I guess. How are the babies & is Diana jealous of baby John? Yes, I am sure you have your hands full, two tiny mites are a great responsibility – I hope there will be no more!! For Phyll’s sake Tony, eh?
Well, by now you have heard from Billo – the only regret she has for not returning is you Phyll. Of course we are all very pleased about it, but I do hope they are doing the right thing, farming is very risky and it means laying out a lot of money & working hard to get any returns. Nothing is settled yet, but they hope hope to take a farm about 15miles from Joan. Arthur has been up several times &last week took Bo & Bubble to see the house. Bo says it is quite nice, but like all farm houses it has so much kitchen room, you know, front & back kitchen, dairy etc., but a nice bathroom and water laid on.
Well my dears this must be my Xmas letter, time is getting on- we will wish you a very Happy Xmas soon. The children will want a merry one. I so wish you could all be here with us. The J’s are not coming this year, I expect you know a baby is expected there in Jan: a boy, of course, they want. I think Greet & Cecil and Rick will come but only for one night as Cecil’s people are going there. I am alone today everyone has gone to Bradfield – went about 11.30 & will be home soon after tea so I have made the Xmas cake & hope to do the puddings during the week. Arthur is going to town tomorrow – will stay with Greeta the night & home next day – he is taking the car back and has bought another, a smaller one. Mrs. Huzzey was buried on Friday – poor thing laid unconscious for more than a week. Mr Huzzey is a great trial – quite dotty at times and so unkind to the children – I feel so sorry for Amy and Ida. Mrs Hughes has gone to Inkpen to live with a sister-in-law. Mrs Holland is still at Manchester’s they wish she would go back to her own house & keep hinting that the place needs fires – but you know Kate, she will sponge on anyone & is as mean and miserable as ever.
Pop and Pete have grown very much – Pop says quite a lot of things and is very friendly with everyone. Peter is huge, sits up in the pram, loves a bone & eats a crust & sometimes a piece of fried bread at breakfast. We like Arthur very much and he gets on well with the boys. If they take the farm they hope to have the house in Jan: as presently it is let to some hunting people. We are having very cold weather & dreadful fogs. On Thursday Arthur took Dad & I to Newbury, the fog was awful all day & very difficult to drive. I was glad to get home. Now that Bo is not going back I shall only be able to send you a small present. We hoped to have packed a nice large parcel for you, but Arthur’s brother may be over here in the New Year, if so we will try & send by him. I wonder if you are back in your own home now – I am sure you prefer it – but it is very nice of Mrs B to want you there. Write & tell us all about baby John, we often wonder if Diana is doing much the same as Pop. Nancy Rathburn came last week and she has grown a very nice smart girl. Kenneth motored to Reading and met her, then took her back on Sunday night. She is at Selfridges. The boys went to a dance at Kintbury on Friday and the week before to one in Reading. They can’t get Arthur to go with them & Bo says her dancing days are over. Bubble went with them to one at Chieveley. We had a letter from Rob the other day – he also writes to Granny. I am glad they have had rain at last. I went up to Joan’s for the day last week. Arthur took Dad and Bunt to see the farm, left me at Joan’s, then they all came back there for lunch & tea. Josephine is much bigger than Pop – she is a good little mite & Joan has quite a useful young servant. I have promised to go up and keep house when the baby arrives.
Now I must finish, it is getting quite dark already although it is only 4.15pm & put Peter’s food in to warm, thin groats and milk for Pop, then it will be ready when they come, Our best of love to you both, extra nice big kisses for Diana & John & every good for Xmas from us all. We shall think lots about you & wonder what you are doing.
Write soon Phyll dear, I love your letters.
Ta ta my darling
Your loving Mother

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