This transcript reproduces Eileen Younghusband's writing as accurately as possible, including errors of spelling and punctuation. When personal and place names are misspelt, we have attempted to include the correct versions of the names in square brackets [ ] after the misspelling.
The language and opinions found in the diaries reflect the ideas, attitudes and events of the period. Some of the terminology and language used at that time may cause offence today but the content has been made available unedited. We hope that the context of the material will be taken into account and apologise for any offence caused.
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Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 17, Dec 1924-Jun 1925; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J17)
Images of the original diaryLink opens in a new window are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
January 1st 1925.
Boxing Day 1924. I did puzzles a good deal of the morning and Uncle Claude, Aunt Di, Mummy and I went to call on Miss Denshire who wasn't at home so we walked back by the big house. The Park has been sold and is to be a school for the children of Freemen of the City of London, it is rather nice to think it really will be some use to people.
Dec: 27th. Saturday. It poured all day and the water supply in the house suddenly gave out owing to a burst pipe which couldn't be discovered. I wanted to wash my hair so I went for a walk in the rain without a hat on, it was the most wonderful & delicious feeling of wind and rain on one's head.
Sunday Dec: 28th. Aunt Di, Daddie and I went to Church & they had rather good carol singing Uncle Claude & Mummy went for a long motor drive arriving back very late for luncheon.
Mr Harold SpeedLink opens in a new window the artist suddenly appeared to look at Aunt Di's portraitLink opens in a new window by Shannon which she is lending to an exhibition. He was an amusing person & knew Daddie.
I painted garden water cans and enjoyed it hugely.
Mr & Mrs Egerton Grey came over for tea. He talked most interestingly but I wasn't sitting near him so found it difficult to hear what he said.
Aunt Di called Daddie & me "the children" because we were both so youthful & foolish & she insisted on kissing Daddie good night every evening when we went up to bed.
Poor little Timmy died in the autumn & they miss him terribly.
Monday Dec: 29th. Daddie & I left by the 10.13 and caught the 11.17 for Westerham at London Bridge. Daddie arrived here at 12.40 & left again at 1 o'c! I found a very nice little pile of parcels waiting for me so I spent most of the afternoon writing to thank people. I went to the library after tea & nothing much happened; when I got back I found a letter from Kathleen from Marseilles, she seems to be having a good time on the boat but most of the other passengers sound extremely dull.
Tuesday Dec: 30th. I read most of the day and was in a horrid cantankerous mood.
The Miss Liddells had lent Hosey Rigge to Aunt Mabel & Uncle Eric for Christmas & Mummy & I went to tea with them; they were all there with the exception of Maurice. We played Mah Jongg & then went to see Edith. Miss Deane was in bed feeling rotten & Edith had a cold so altogether they were a cheerful couple
Wednesday Dec: 31st. Anna came over for the day from FalconhurstLink opens in a new window on the 12.2 bus. I showed her my shingled head, and Christmas presents, and we both read out our letters from Kathleen and felt very depressed about her having gone, and I read her bits of the American part of my diary. She says they are all very bored at Falconhurst – only old people staying there & nothing to do. Very nice to see her again. She left at 5.12.
Thursday Jan: 1st. I felt rather desperately overcome with old age at the thought of being 23.
Daddie gave me a little umbrella with a black & white handle; Mummy is giving me a cheque Shortie & Mrs Idie gave me a bowl of hyacinths & a bowl of tulips; Lil & Daisy four very pretty feather hat mounts; Lady Barrington "Studies in Literature"Link opens in a new window and "The Art of Writing"Link opens in a new window by Sir A. Quiller Couch and Maurice Julian & Bridget "Triple Fugue" by Osbert Sitwell.
Aunt Mabel, Uncle Eric & Bridget came to luncheon & tea. Aunt Mabel & I had a great duel on South Africa & America. We pulled crackers at tea & after tea did crossword puzzles.
Thursday Jan: 8th.
Friday Jan: 2nd. I went to London to spend the night with Anne and go to "Fata Morgana". It was pouring with rain and blowing such a gale that one couldn't hold up an umbrella. I went to Frazer and Haws to see about having a diamond clasp which Mummy had given me incorporated with my pearl necklace. Then I paddled gloomily along Regents Street and Oxford Street looking at the shops and got a birthday present for Lil at Selfridge. Then I went to the Bevans and found Anne only just up after a late dance the night before and feeling miserable with a sick headache. She & I and Mrs Bevan played Mah Jongg after luncheon. Mrs Bevan was at the top of her form and frightfully amusing. Anne & I were alone for tea and we discussed her engagement and what had gone wrong; we dined early and went to "Fata Morgana"Link opens in a new window the play which has retrieved the fallen fortunes and started the career of Peggy's young American friend Tom Douglas.Link opens in a new window He was very good indeed and in fact the whole thing was beautifully acted but it was not such a good play or as harrowing & improper as we had expected so we were disappointed.
Saturday Jan: 3rd. Anne and I started out shopping after breakfast. We went to the General Trading & Equipment Co to get them to sell a wedding present of Anne's on Commission and then we went to Fortnum & Mason to look at hats & from there to Harvey Nichols where I changed Cousin Nell's Christmas present & bought a birthday present for Bridget. I met Aunt Bobs & Joan and Tony shopping there. Anne & I parted & I went to luncheon with poor Mrs Corry who broke down at the sight of me, however, she cheered up later and we talked about Kathleen. She gave me a letter file box of K's and a pot of photo mountant and an old sketch which I remembered Kathleen doing at Wimbledon about 1917. I set out to catch the 3.30 but found on arrival at Charing Cross that it didn't run on Saturdays so I had to wait for the 4.6, however in the interval I found a small bookstall and bought a first edition of Galsworthy's "White Monkey"Link opens in a new window which I hope will be valuable some day.
Sunday Jan: 4th I went to Church at 10 o'c. We all went up to Hosey Rigge for luncheon & tea. Bridget, Julian and I spent the whole afternoon playing Mah Jongg and got so wound up by tea time that we pungedLink opens in a new window the muffins and had concealed Kongs of sugar in our tea. I went over to the Cottage to return a book & found Edith still here (she had been going home at the end of the week but stayed on account of having a sore throat). Miss Colville was there & we sat & talked for some time and then Miss Deane came in then Mummy & Daddie, then Mrs Stretfeild [ Streatfeild ] and there were desperate complications about putting different people in different rooms to keep Mrs Stretfeild's chow and Miss Colville's aberdeen away from each other. I dashed into Hosey Rigge to say good bye on the way down.
Saturday Jan: 10th 1925.
Monday Jan: 5th. We went to the Station to see the Liddells off & then I went to the library to help Mrs Bask. After luncheon I went up to the Cottage to go for a walk with Edith but found her in bed with a sore throat and cold so I sat with her & we did cross word puzzles. I got back here with five minutes for tea before I was due at the library & found Mrs Farnworth here so I was 1/4 of an hour late; we were short handed and masses of people came so we had a desperate rush.
Tuesday Jan: 6th. Anna, Joan & Dick came over from Falconhurst for the day. It was nice having them but a little difficult to know what to do with all three of them at once. I dragged them for a walk in the afternoon. We had one or two discussions on various things but conversation was never quite happy. They left by the 5.12 bus.
Wednesday Jan: 7th Mummy, Daddie Shortie & Mrs Idie all went to London so I was left entirely alone. I spent a very happy morning painting the doors in my sitting room cream colour with lines of deep blue & eau de nil. I rang up Edith who came & had luncheon with me which was nice. We went for a walk on Farley Common and looked at Miss Swan's new house & a new Stretfeild [ Streatfeild ] house which are being built there opposite the Bevell & Townshend Liveonsities.
I wrote letters & read for the rest of the day.
Thursday Jan: 8th. Mummy went to London to spend a couple of nights with Miss Gerry. I gardened & read & wrote letters & did a bit more painting. Daddie & I went to tea at the Cottage to meet Miss Deane's brother & Rosalie Mackenzie's brother who was staying with him & seemed very nice.
Friday Jan: 9th. I did more painting in the morning and made the cheering discovery that the second mixture of paint was a different colour from the first & so one door is quite a different colour to the other & the first is much the best - cuss!
I got a letter from Kathleen from Port Said: She seemed to be having a very good time on the voyage & was going straight to Delhi with Sir Edwin LutyensLink opens in a new window when she landed instead of to stay with a strange woman at Lucknow.
I went for a walk on Farley Common & then to tea with Mrs Farnworth. She was feeling very depressed poor thing because her son's leave was up that day. Mrs Durkin came in looking more harassed than ever.
Saturday Jan: 10th. I spent a very strenous & happy morning building a rock wall along the bit of border where the "carriage sweep" sweeps & where there has hitherto been nothing but some very seedy (in the metaphorical sense) looking grass.
Miss Deane, Mr Deane & Mr Mackenzie came to tea. He is a very nice boy & less dominating than Rosalie. Edith has gone home to Suffolk for several weeks.
Mummy got back in the afternoon having had a very good time & bringing me a box of Charbonel [ Charbonnel ] and Walker chocolates from Miss Gerry.
I had a very nice letter from Miss Nicholls at Philip's House Boston.
Sunday Jan: 18th.
Sunday Jan: 11th. I built rock wall most of the morning & afternoon intersperced with attempts to do a cross word puzzle. I was so tired by the evening that I couldn't move.
Monday Jan: 12th. I went to help Mrs Bask get the library ready and gave her a mass of children's books. I did more rock wall building and then went to the library after tea.
Tuesday Jan: 13th I had a brutish cold and so stayed in all day till the evening when we went to dine with the Bonham Carters; a nice brother of her's just back from India was there and also the Rufus Smiths, I thought her very nice & she asked me to go and see her. In a moment of vagueness I put sugar on my fish during dinner! The brother said "I've been in India 20 years, went there first in 1905 " So I said "Ah I beat you there, I went first in 1902!" We did cross word puzzles after dinner and altogether it was a very nice evening.
Wednesday Jan: 14th. We went up to London and I took Mummy to look at Princess Club Jamaica RoadLink opens in a new window Bermondsey. Edith Ramsey has gone to work there and she asked for me to come too and be there for the inside of the week which I was very keen to do. It is only a penny bus drive from London Bridge Station & a charming old house. We saw the wardeness Miss Brodigan who is a Grey LadyLink opens in a new window and she took us over; there is a big modern part which was built as a hospital during the war & there they have class rooms & a hostel. It was all very light and airy & nicely done up and fearfully respectable, signed photographs of, and water colour sketches by, Royalties everywhere. It was started by Princess Marie Louise.Link opens in a new window I went from there to the Stores & then dashed on to York Terrace to luncheon. They were in a turmoil of sorting as they have sold York Terrace to Sir John Salmond the air man & are moving to a house at Reigate in March. After luncheon Anne & I went to the Everest film. Daddie met us there & put us in the Royal Box. He was having a fearful time because there was to have been a reception for the Lama at the India Office that afternoon; Sir Arthur Hirtzel (the permanent head), Lord Winterton (parliamentary secretary) and several under secretaries were to have been there. But a telegram came from India that morning saying there were doubts as to whether the Lama was all he said he wasLink opens in a new window & whether he hadn't come away from his monastry without permission. They left it to Daddie to decide whether or not the reception should be held under those circumstances & he finally decided not. Anne enjoyed the film very much. It really is wonderful. I had a ghastly & complicated rush for the 5.40 but did manage to catch it.
Thursday Jan: 15th. I went to London by the 9.42 & travelled up with Miss Deane who was going to see the Everest film and was very full of schemes for going to Interlaken in June.
I went first to Miss Buxton's & left my luggage as I was staying the night there for a dance. Then I walked up Sloane Street & Knightsbridge looking at the shops, the sales seem to be very poor this year. I went to Figaro to have my hair trimmed & waved and then went back to Sloane Street for luncheon. Miss Buxton was very kind indeed and horrified by my wet feet. I went to the A & NLink opens in a new window after luncheon to try & get a stair carpet & the salesman talked me into buying grey hair carpet at 9 bob a yard, however he swore it would wear for ever which I suppose is an advantage. Then I went to Debenham & found nothing, then to Rangell the cretonne shop where I saw lovely cretonnes and got a remnent of what I think is a really lovely design 5 3/4 yards for 5/9 & it was 4/11 a yard; it is in several pieces but there will be quite enough to cover the arm chair in my bedroom. I went to tea with Peggy & found her very tired & full of worries but so nice. She loves my shingle (it was looking it's best just cut & waved, its unbelievable at its worst) and advised me to do Bermondsey. Julian picked me up at Miss Buxton's at 10 to 8 & we went to dine with the Bevans. The other members of the party were Juliet ManselLink opens in a new window who is quite delightful & on the stage, Edward des Graz who is always so refreshingly pleased to see one, Mr Allhusen & a Mr Taylor. The dance was in Green Street. Margaret Adam was there and Betty Boyd, Eylsia Trollope, Herminie Eckstein and Joyce Newman. I was introduced to a good many people and we all behaved frightfully badly & screamed with laughter & were very silly & I enjoyed it quite tremendously. We ate a huge supper & then bacon & eggs & didn't get home till 3.45. Julian was a great success; he has an engaging habit of calling everyone by their Christian names as soon as he is introduced to them!
Friday Jan: 16th. I left Miss Buxton about 11 o'c & set out to find a coat & skirt that would do for both Country & London. I walked down the Kings Road, then took a bus to Bond St & walked down Piccadilly, the Haymarket, Shaftesbury Avenue, Regents Street & Oxford Street to Marshall where I met Anne & took her to look at a coat & skirt in Shaftesbury Avenue, however she was very sniffy over it & said it wouldn't last five minutes so we went on a bus to Knightsbridge, walked down Sloane Street & along Brompton Road; at Robert in B.R we saw a very nice brown coat & skirt just what I wanted at 7 1/2 gns reduced from 15 gns. I tried it on & it wanted a good many alterations but they said they would do those for 10/6. I left saying I would think it over & let them know after luncheon.
I left Anne at Harrods & went to luncheon with the Liddells. They were all there except Bridget. Maurice's stunt at moment is Communism strongly flavoured with an appreciation of literature & art in consequence of which he wears brown suede shoes & a light fawn hat with a very wide brim. I decided to have the coat & skirt & Julian & Maurice went with me while I had it tried on. It is very well cut & will, I hope, wear for ever with-out losing it's shape. I picked up my luggage at Sloane Street & caught the 5.4 train & went to bed very soon after dinner being desperately sleepy.
Saturday Jan: 17th. It was decided I should go to the Club which I am very glad of. I think it will be interesting & a new experience; also they are giving me board & lodging which solves the question of either having to find somewhere to stay in London or come back here every night.
Daddie & I had a desperate time going over to Cowden - or rather Markbeech - for a play the Talbots had got up. We left here on the 2.12 bus, it was timed to miss the train by 2 minutes, however we changed the train being late & it was so we caught it but it was also 10 minutes late at Cowden & didn't arrive till 3 o'c which was the time the show started & we found it was uphill to Markbeech Village Hall, so we were very late but I don't think they began very punctually. It was a melodrama written by them with the help of one or two other people. Joan, Dick, Eva & Mr Talbot were in it and one or two others. I thought Joan, Dick & Mr Talbot the best. Joan was the villainess and it was all raging melodrama with the theft of a pearl necklaces and electric torches in the dark, & pistols whipped out and virtue rewarded & all the correct things. It was frightfully funny & really awfully good, very well acted & produced. It was over at 4.30 & our train didn't go till 5.17 so we bought biscuits at the village shop & ate them on the station platform. The train was late & so we missed the bus at Oxted & had an hour to wait so we had pretty well had enough of it by the time we got back.
We all went to a concert at the W.I in the evening. It was given by the same society that gave one last year but they weren't all the same people & it wasn't nearly as good as the time before.
Sunday Jan: 18th. I went to Church at 10 o'c. Miss Wolff came down for luncheon & was very interested in seeing my newly painted doors & the rock wall, and my shingled head which she didn't much like.
I broke it to Shortie & she was quite consoled when she remembered she'd had a cousin who lived in Jamaica Road & she was godmother to the child at St James's Church a few yards off where I'm going to be. I start there to-morrow & am feeling the inevitable fright & wish that I wasn't going after having been very keen on it.
I have had a long letter from Sir Ernest WiltonLink opens in a new window who says China is in a very unsettled state & he is coming home for good in December of this year.
Sunday Jan: 25th.
Monday Jan: 19th. I went up by the 9.42 with cold shivers of fright chasing each other up and down my spine. There was a fog so the train was late. I had a taxi from London Bridge to the Club because of my luggage. Edith Ramsey met me in the hall & took me up to my bedroom and we howled with laughter. Edith & I were set on to do dinners with a Mrs Beattie who is doing the housekeeping, she is a nice woman though profoundly uninteresting. 26 girls came in the course of 1 1/2 hours so we had practically nothing to do. The dinners are 7d each, that is for meat and pudding and what is left over we have for our luncheon at 2 o'c. After luncheon Edith and I walked all round Bermondsey leaving notices of a committee meeting for officers of the Club. After tea 40 wild and yelling children between the ages of 3 & 7 known as Peter Rabbits swarmed into the big hall and were put into different coloured overalls with little rabbits on the side and given masses of beautiful toys to play with. Edith, a nice girl student & I looked after ten for an hour & a half and anything more ineffectual than our attempts to keep order or get them to play games I have never seen, we caught each other's eye occasionally & went into fits of laughter. There was a tragedy at the end when one small girl dropped a chair on the toe of another small girl who, naturally, howled most dismally but then the one who had done it suddenly started to howl far more dismally and refused to be comforted.
After supper which was at 7 o'c I was given the key of the library and instructed to have it open in the evenings on Mondays and Wednesdays. I have never seen anything in such a mess, first of all it is in an inside room which is half passage and half box room and a landing for a flight of stairs, it is filthy dirty, all the paint has come off the walls and the electric light is quite inadequate to illumine the books on the shelves. There has been no one to run it for two months and the books haven't been dusted during that time and in Bermondsey where things get dirty in one day that means that they are an inch deep in grime. The card index of the girl's names was in complete disorder and I've never seen such a queer system as they did things on. When a girl wanted a book you had to find the card index card for the book, take it out and put it in a little envelope, then write on another card the girl's name & address, and stamp the date on a third card & put those also into the envelope, then put the envelope unindexed in with a mass of others, so that when a girl returned a book you had to go all through the envelopes till you found the one you wanted. Very few girls came because they didn't know the library had reopened. Most of them say "oh find me a nice book with plenty of love in it, please Miss".
I went to bed very early and Edith brought me up a cup of coffee
Tuesday Jan: 20th. I talked to Miss Brodigan about the library card index system during breakfast. She was rather pig headed & said she didn't know anything about it but that the head of the public library had shown the lady who was running the library how to do it & she was sure he wouldn't have a bad system & I'd better go & see him which I said I'd be only too glad to do.
We rang up Anne & persuaded her to come to luncheon. Mummy came during the morning & said Mrs Leigh had rung up the night before & asked me to go there for the night and dine at Lord Leigh's & go to Mrs Williams dance. Mummy had brought up my evening things on the chance of my being able to go, and Miss Brodigan said there was nothing for me to do that evening and I could certainly go so we rang up Mrs Leigh and accepted.
Edith, Mrs Beattie and I did dinners; a few more people came in but there wasn't really very much to do. Anne came about 1 o'c and we deserted the dinners & went to a disused private sitting-room where we sat and talked. Anne was very amused at seeing me at the Club & I told her I didn't like it much so far and Edith said she didn't know how she could have born it if I hadn't been there which seemed to amuse her still more. We grew quite intelligent at luncheon over L.C.C elections which was a relief after the usual dribble of conversation about nothing in particular. I went with Anne to the bus & then walked to the public library where unfortunately I found that the people who could have explained things to me were out. I went back & did some things in the library & went up to see Mrs Beattie about various things and after tea set out for Upper Berkeley Street. When I arrived I found Peggy was resting in bed with a fearful cold. We talked for a bit and then dressed and went to Grosvenor Square for dinner. The party consisted of Lord & Lady Leigh (I had never seen her before, she is an excellent hostess), Mrs Leigh, Patricia Annersley, Rowland, a nice Swiss boy called Ferrier, Charles GravesLink opens in a new window (who Peggy is thinking of marrying some time in the future), and Eddie Fitzclarence who is very tiresome and conceited. We had a splendid dinner (rather a change from my luncheon the same day!) and went on to the dance which was in Great Stanhope Street. It was a very good dance, just the right number of people, a good floor & band & plenty of sitting out room. We were given the most wonderful quantity of presents, powder bowls & puffs, flowers, match boxes & candlesticks with coloured candles besides paper banners of various sorts & headresses. Peggy left after the first dance or two on account of her cold and Mrs Leigh & I got home about 2 o'c. I enjoyed it very much.
Wednesday Jan: 21st. Peggy's cold was so bad that she decided to spend the day in bed. I left about 10.15 and went to Bermondsey Public Library on my way back to the Club; they were charming and explained all their card index systems. The lady at the Club library had distorted their system hopelessly, they have a cardboard envelope for each member, cut low in front & with the member's name & address on the back; in each book is a pocket with a card with particulars of the book, this card is put into the members envelope when the book is taken out & the date stamped in the book. I returned to the Club full of enthusiasm for card indexes & libraries. Miss Dickenson [ Dickinson ] & I did the dinners & I got the money all wrong. Edith was away for luncheon & Miss Brodigan was most unsympathetic about card indexes. She did nothing but say that one Miss Dixon who wasn't at all intelligent had found it very easy to work, I longed to say she must have been very unintelligent to try to work it at all. I spent most of the afternoon & evening trying to clean books & feeling desperately gloomy.
Miss Brodigan came through & I showed her how things worked & she finally realised that it was impossibly inefficient.
Edith's father came to tea; he is a Presbyterian minister & very nice. The library was open in the evening, the girls are awfully nice & very cheerful & good natured.
Thursday Jan: 22nd. I felt very happy at the thought of going home for the weekend.
Edith & I were put on to clean the chapel after breakfast. Edith thinks it was too holy a job for charwomen.
I got a telegram from Betty asking me to go there for the week-end but I decided not to. I left about 11.30 treading on air, took a bus to London Bridge & then a train to Charing X [ Cross ] and walked out of the station into the London I know simply grinning from ear to ear with joy. It was a beautiful day and I caught buses & found what I wanted in shops in the most miraculous way. I went into Hamptons & looked at their things, then walked up Regents St to Burnet where I looked at cretonnes, they had a remnant of a lovely blue one but there were only 2 yards, however I bought it as they thought they could get more, and it looks so nice in my sitting room. I walked along Oxford Street & bought one or two things for the library at Ryman, then I took a bus to Knightsbridge. I passed Hyde Park Corner at 1.25 & at 1.30 I re-passed it in a bus going towards Charing X having in the interval been to Harvey Nichols & bought a hat! The hat is one of those little felt turned up in front ones dull crimson, beautiful soft felt only 18/11. I caught the 1.58 & got more & more excited as I got out into the country & saw the green fields and the sky & glorious shapes of clouds and brown woods and all the beauty which is so distressingly absent from Bermondsey.
Mummy was at home but Daddie was in London. I found several letters, and a parcel from Sir Ernest Wilson containing some lovely apricot - creamy - yellowy silk from Shanghi [ Shanghai ]. I went to bed early.
Friday Jan: 23rd. Another glorious day. Daddie & I went to look for primroses and got quite a big bunch with long stalks from the Valley in Valence. Oh goodness it was lovely there! and the smell of the primroses like a whiff from Paradise.
I did some more painting in the afternoon. I've enammelled my mantlepiece apple green, dark underneath & lighter on top so that it looks mottled – much prettier than it sounds!
Mrs Fox came to tea.
Saturday Jan: 24th. I finished the rock wall in the morning & felt tremendously well & happy working in the sunshine. Mr Blackwood from the nursery came to advise us about sowing the patch where the sunk garden was. We went to tea with the Tenisons.
Sunday Jan: 25th. A foggy rather nasty day. I've been indoors all the time writing letters & diary, doing card indexing & writing out rules for the library, painting & doing a mass of other things.
These few days have simply flown.
Saturday Jan: 31st.
Monday Jan: 26th. I went up by the 8.40 & went to the Garrick St branch of Burnet where I managed to get four yards more of the blue cretonne. Then I went back to the Club and did card indexing for a short time till the dinners came on. Edith & I did the dinners together & had an hilarious time over it. I did card indexing most of the afternoon trying to get an index of the books made on the system we use here. Edith had got me 300 cards from the L.C.C. The Peter Rabbits came on after tea, we started by playing games & kept the boys till later; they were all dreadfully bored & stood about disconsolately whining for toys.
Two Club girls Florrie Page & Lizzie Burke came to help me with the library. The former is nice but I don't care much for the latter, she did nothing but criticize everybody & everything in a loud voice.
Tuesday Jan: 27th. I told Edith I could bear it no more if I was stuck in the Club all day so she took me off to Albion Street school to make school enquiries & do care committee work which was much more amusing.
In the afternoon I was sent down to Surrey DocksLink opens in a new window to look up the references of a girl who wants to live in the hostel. The docks are delightful - masses of shipping, and wharves,Link opens in a new window and little Canals with bridges that go up in the middle like Tower Bridge.
Peggy came to tea & was very nice indeed & I told her how bored I was with the Club & she said one always does hate work in the beginning. I had my painting class in the evening, seven girls came; they were very noisy at first & threw about books & pencils & did nothing but in the end they settled down to doing a pot of tulips and were awfully nice and really got on quite well. There was chapel afterwards and a dreadfully silly talk on temperance by a nice, muddle-headed little woman.
Wednesday Jan: 28th. I had a frightful cold & felt a perfect worm. Barbara came down in the morning. Such a delight to see her come toddling in oozing unresponsibility & flippancy. She wanted me to write to Peggy to ask her if she could give Juliet Mansel an introduction to someone on the stage who might get her a job. I promised I would. I did dinners with Miss North, the permenant housekeeper who has now returned. She has a heart of gold & is profoundly uninteresting. I card indexed all the afternoon & most of the evening. A charming friend of Edith's, a Miss Mason, came to supper. There were very few girls at the library and I went to bed directly after I had shut it up.
Thursday Jan: 29th. Edith & I cleaned the chapel and I did some telephoning for someone & some for myself & then left. I went to see Margaret at St Martin's Club & found her just going to Hampton to look at cretonnes so I went with her & told her about my Club & how I wished she & some of her methods were there.
I went to luncheon with Aunt Bobs who was charming & sent me in a taxi to the station because my cold was so bad. I got down here at 4.30 & went to bed before dinner to try & get my cold better.
Saturday Feb: 7th.
Friday Jan: 30th. I stayed in bed most of the morning and my cold was a great deal better by the time I got up. In the afternoon I went to the first of the upholstery classes at the W.I. We learnt for two solid hours how to stuff and spring chairs. I went to bed before dinner with a sick headache.
Saturday Jan: 31st. I spent the morning trying to catch up with all the things that had been neglected the previous day. Barbara arrived for the week-end in time for luncheon. We did cross word puzzles all the afternoon and then went up to Hosey Rigge for tea to see Julian who was there for a night and spent the whole time trying to finish off a cross word puzzle. In the evening we went to the movies here. The cinema was so full we had to stand most of the time, the atmosphere was the thickest I've ever seen & the film rotten.
Sunday Feb: 1st. Barbara came down for breakfast at 11.20 which personally I was glad of because I was able to get a few very necessary letters written. We went for a walk on Hosey and after luncheon went over to Sevenoaks on the bus and wandered about Knole ParkLink opens in a new window for nearly two hours. We did cross word puzzles all the evening, they are the greatest blessing for visitors.
Monday Feb: 2nd. A beautiful day, I got up reluctantly & very gloomy at the thought of leaving the country & returning to Bermondsey. Barbara & I went up by the 9.42 & parted at London Bridge.
I found Edith very gloomy & depressed with the Club and the work and we gloomed together. We both helped with the dinners and in the afternoon I went visiting. We gave the Peter Rabbits their toys straight off and they behaved like perfect little angels in consequence. Lizzie Burke & Florrie Page came to help with the library, two friends came and joined them and they were all very nice.
Tuesday Feb: 3rd. Edith had a frightful cold & I had a sick headache & we both felt perfectly miserable. We tried weakly to prepare Edith's Sunday School lessons & read the "New Statesman" all the morning. In the afternoon we went to Albion Street School & made a few school enquiries then we frankly gave up the unequal struggle & went to the movies in the 4 d seats & sat knee deep in orange peel watching very old perfectly pointless films. We got back, ate a very hearty tea & grew steadily worse. The painting class appeared at 7.30 clamouring to paint, they were terribly noisy and boisterous poor dears but marvellously good natured & enthusiastic. Bye the time they were turned out of the Club by man force at 9.30. I had an absolutely raging headache.
Wednesday Feb: 4th. Edith was better & I was completely recovered. I did a few visits in the morning and interviewed a charming Welsh woman called Wooldridge on the subject of sending her step daughter to an open air school.Link opens in a new window I had to hurry back for dinners, Edith & I had dreadful giggles at luncheon because Princess Marie Louise's secretary was there & I'm always teasing Edith about being mentioned by the Princess. I did more visits in the afternoon, about 50% of the people were out which was tiresome. A nice little student from Avery HillLink opens in a new window came to tea & we showed her over. She is going to teach the Red Squirrels country dancing. I had no sooner opened the library than all the most rowdy element in Edith's singing class, who are also the large part of my painting class, came in and demanded that I should go with them to the singing class so in the hope of being able to instil a little order & also for the fun of seeing Edith conducting a class I gave over the card index to Cissie Rump one of my assistants & went. Edith threatened & scolded but still the rowdy element continued to be rowdy & most of them ended by being turned out. I left the room just in the nick of time before I became the most noisy & uncontrollable of the lot. I went into chapel with Florrie Page & Lizzie Burke and afterwards there was dancing. Lizzie & Florrie and about six of their friends suddenly developed a great scheme for trying to take a cottage for Easter in the country and asked me to join them. I was telling the rowdy ones that a friend of mine (Betty) was coming to teach the singing class & that they must stay & behave well & they said "oh do she speak broad like you Miss?" Edith & I agreed it was much the best day we'd had.
Thursday Feb: 5th. I pottered about with card indexing & library. Barbara came to do card indexing for Edith & was very amusing. I had to stay on for dinner but left directly after and hurried off to Tilney Street where I saw Uncle Oswald & Aunt Bobs, and Anne who has got water on the knee again poor dear! Aunt Bobs took me in the car to Upper Berkeley Street. Peggy has the sweetest fox terrier puppy 10 weeks old. I came down by the 6.34 very glad to get home.
Friday Feb: 6th. I had a post-card from Edith to say she was back but ill in bed so I went up to the Cottage to enquire, she has flue and a temperature of 102. I spent all the afternoon at the upholstery class trying to get a loose cover planned out. Mrs Farnworth was there and came back to tea here. There was a political meeting at St Mary's HallLink opens in a new window in the evening got up by the Liberal Association with Sir John SimonLink opens in a new window as the chief speaker. I arranged to go with Miss Deane which was most lucky because the hall was packed and she had tickets. Mrs Stretfeild [ Streatfeild ] & Miss Colville also sat with us. Sir John Simon was quite excellent, he pointed out some of the achievements of Liberalism in the past, dwelt on the weak points of Conservatism & Socialism & said what his party would like to do in the future. There were very few interruptions, unfortunately various people on the platform spoke for so long at the end that there were no questions.
Saturday Feb: 7th. It was a wonderful day, I walked along the Pilgrim's Way in the morning looking for violets & found none. In the afternoon I went up Hosey & down into Valence & got some primroses and various leaves & catkins for my painting class. Julian was down for the week-end and came to tea. I turned him on to the fearful serial competition cross word puzzle I'm in for and after tea we went to Mrs Bask's house and hunted through her dictionaries and found a good many of the words.
Colonel NortonLink opens in a new window of the Mount Everest Expedition came down for the night. He is a delightful person, very interesting and of the very best type of the Army Officer.
Sunday Feb: 8th. I went to the post office this morning before breakfast to send a day letter cable to Kathleen so that it should reach her on her wedding day which is next Tuesday.
Colonel Norton left by the 1.57 from Sevenoaks & we motored in with him & saw him off. I was dropped at the bottom of Hosey hill on the way back & went up to Hosey Rigge & with the aid of Miss Liddell's dictionary finished off the cross word puzzle.
Aunt Mabel came to see us after tea.
Saturday Feb: 14th.
Monday Feb: 9th. I went back to Bermondsey by the 9.42. Edith was out when I got there but Barbara arrived to do card indexing, more irresponsible than ever, popping paper bags under people's noses in the worst rush of the dinners & talking very loudly in Cockney everywhere. I did oddments all the afternoon. Some members of the Committee & several students came to tea simultaneously so Edith & I and the students had tea in peace in the dining room. The Peter Rabbits behaved like little angels while they were being admired by the Committee but no sooner did the door close on the last member than I upset a whole elephant load of children and there were fearful howls and screams.
The library was about as empty as usual. Lizzie & I discussed their Easter holiday scheme. There was an extra singing class practice & we sang all sorts of different songs.
Tuesday Feb: 10th. Kathleen's wedding day. She was married at Lucknow at 9.30 English time. I can't realize she really is married & it is dreadful not to have been there.
I did card indexing and various other things all the morning. In the afternoon Edith, Miss Dickinson & I went to an After Care Committee at Albion Street School. A very nice & amusing Miss Tennant who is the organizer for Bermondsey was there, also two men one from the Labour Exchange & the other from a boys' club & of course the headmaster. Edith said it was appalingly badly organized. We saw 22 boys & one is never supposed to see more than 10. All the same it was very interesting & at times amusing. I dashed back to the Club when it was over, had some tea & went off to spend the night with Aunt Mabel for Miss Corry's theatre party to celebrate Kathleen's Wedding. Anne had promised to come & take the painting class but rang up the day before to say she'd mistaken the date & couldn't so we telephoned wildly to everyone we could think of but none of them could come so Miss Brodigan very kindly said it didn't matter & the class needn't take place that evening.
We dined at 7 o'c - Mrs Corry, Anna, Edred [ Eadred ] Lutyens, Arthur Montgomery a friend of Bendy Lutyens from Lucknow & me. Mrs Corry had had masses of flowers sent her & was quite cheerful but very worried making all the arrangements without Kathleen to help her. We went to the "Ware Case"Link opens in a new window which I'd already seen in the summer but it was well worth seeing again & Sir Hubert Ware was wonderfully acted by du Maurier.Link opens in a new window We all went back to Sloane Gardens afterwards and I nearly found myself saying "Shh don't wake Mrs Corry". Poor Mrs Corry was dreadfully worried because the parlour maid being a prudent woman had gone to bed with the key of the pantry so we found practically nothing to eat, however there was whiskey & soda & cigarettes & we drank Kathleen's health & were all perfectly happy. One missed Kathleen at every turn but it was a very pleasant evening all the same and awfully nice to see Anne again. I've never seen her look so well, she had on a black dress & black scarf with a white camellia on the shoulder & her shingle was perfectly set.
Sunday Feb: 15th.
Wednesday Feb: 12th. Betty met me at Culford Gardens soon after 10 o'c & we set out for Princess Club. I'm glad to say she is coming down there every Wednesday for the day. Edith was so pleased to see someone from the outside world that she just sat and stared at her. We dusted the books then helped with dinners. After luncheon we wrote some letters for Miss Brodigan, then went visiting. Several students came to tea & after tea we had Peter Rabbits (they are going to be twice a week now). I said to one child at the end "now we take off our overall & fold it up nicely" so the child said "no we don't" which was so obvious and unanswerable.
The members of my painting class appeared in the evening threatening to skin me for having deserted them. I saw Betty started off on the singing class which she is going to teach and then went to do the library. There was dancing after Chapel, Betty & I danced and then I went to discuss the Easter holiday with the eight who want a cottage in the country. Betty left about 10 o'c having been the most tearing success. Miss Brodigan said she'd never seen any body take to it so like a duck to water & everyone was tremendously enthusiastic about her. Edith & I started talking after the others had gone to bed & went on till 12.15! We discussed cynicism, the purpose of life, immortality, a sense of humour, space & time, religion, poetry & several other things. She has a lovely character.
Thursday Feb: 12th. I left early & went to see Lil & Daisy who were very well & just the same as ever. We walked along Knightsbridge & I had my shingle trimmed in Sloane Street then we parted & I went to luncheon with Aunt Lil, Mummy & Mrs Denham-Parker were there too. I came down here by the 3.34 feeling desperately sleepy.
Friday Feb: 13th. I went up to the Cottage to enquire after Edith & found she wasn't yet down though her temperature was normal & was going away the next day. I went to the upholstery class in the afternoon & got on very well with my loose cover. Mrs Farnworth came back to tea.
Saturday Feb: 14th. I went to see Miss Bartlett to ask her advice about a Cottage for the Club girls. She didn't know of any to let & thought it would be unlikely that I should get one but said it would be very easy to find them lodgings. I went to see Mrs Wood to ask her if she would let her cottage but she said she wouldn't. It rained most of the afternoon. I did some gardening and started to re-cover the writing stool in my sitting room. Also of course more letters.
Sunday Feb: 15th. I went to Church at 10 o'c & then went primrosing. I met Miss Colville going up the hill & walked up with her. By trespassing I got quite a good many primroses & leaves & moss of various sorts.
Friday Feb: 20th.
Monday Feb: 16th. It was a glorious day when I went back to London which was annoying as it had rained & been dull all the week-end. Barbara was at the Club doing card indexing when I arrived. She wanted to murder Miss North because of her voice & laugh & I told her I thought she might. I got a ghastly blow in the news that Edith was in bed at home with flue & wouldn't be back till the next day, it was depressing to think of being at the Club without her but luckily there was too much to do to think. I helped with dinners & wrote a very ribald letter to Edith while doing so. In the afternoon I did some writing, went to see about one of my shoes that was being repaired and left a book for Ethel Ailing [ Ayling ]. There was only one student to help with the Peter Rabbits so we didn't attempt to do more than keep order while they played. Mercifully Mrs Beatty came up & took the roll call.
There was a perfectly excellent pantomime in the evening done by the Lend-A-Hand Club. Lizzie & Florrie couldn't come to help with the library so I sat & read till Suey Ward & Edie Fitzpatrick came to talk to me; they were really very interesting about their work and people who had been at the Club. We had to take downstairs all the chairs that had been used for the pantomime & Edie & Suey stayed helping till after 10.30.
Tuesday Feb: 17th. I was cleaning the Chapel after breakfast when Edith came whooping in and I almost screamed for joy that she was back. I went on with the library and indexing, Edith, Miss Dickinson & I had luncheon early in the big room. I spent all the afternoon visiting, very glad to get some exercise, & ended up for tea at Miss Dickinson's charming little flat in Park Buildings. Miss Dickinson (who by the way is far the most attractive person at the Club) had to go at 5.30. Edith & I stayed on lying back in big arm chairs by the gas fire glorying in our laziness. We had a marvellous talk on her brotherLink opens in a new window who was killed in the war & who must have been a very wonderful person, religion, poetry, how prayer works, war and the hope of prepetual peace, politics, the horror of sentimentality, and many other things. Edith is quite perfect to talk to, you turn on the tap & she flows on very interestingly on almost any subject. We suddenly turned on the light & saw with horror that it was nearly 7 o'c, we dashed back to the Club full of guilt & heard the dinner bell ringing as we went along the road.
The whole of my painting class was taking part in an extra rehearsal of a play so I had an unusually slack evening. Carrie (one of the younger ones) came in very down on her luck & required a considerable amount of cheering and egging on to take her part in the play. She & a friend of hers, Ada, & Iris Mann came at 9 o'c clamouring to paint so we got the things out and painted till 10 o'c as there was no chapel that evening.
Wednesday Feb: 18th. I got up in time for the Communion Service they have in the Chapel at 8 o'c every Wednesday morning. It was a beautiful, quiet service.
Edith & I dashed off for a medical inspection (my first) at Albion Street School at 9.30. There was a woman doctor, a blessed breathe of kindness & efficiency. She inspected the children, wrote the results on the yellow following up card, passed it over to me and I copied her notes onto the school care committee's card index & interviewed the parents if it was a question of treatment. It was very interesting and lasted for 2 1/2 hours. I tore back to the Club to find Betty dutifully doing ruling & Edith helping with dinners; we turned out Edith & took on the dinners. We did some desultory card indexing during the afternoon & then gave up & made Edith tell us her experience sleeping in a Salvation Army Shelter in Whitechapel and about all the awful tradegy of the people who live in shelters. Betty's eyes nearly fell out with interest & thrills. We decided later on that we really must have some exercise so we went down to the river and walked along the beach threading our way between the barges and getting lovely views of the water & shipping in the evening light.
Two students came to help us with the Peter Rabbits, one was perfectly wonderful and made them play all sorts of games; it was quite the most successful evening we have had with them. One small girl aged 6 came up to me grinning from ear to ear & said "my grannys in the hospital & shes so ill that we don't know whether shes alive or dead at this moment". Carrie came in again extremely depressed & refused to go into the singing class for a long time and when I did finally get her in she told me proudly at the end that she hadn't sung a word! There was a packed Chapel & an excellently given address from Miss Brodigan. Betty left soon after 10 o'c it really is very good of her to come & stay so long.
Edith & I talked again till after midnight thinking it was about 11 o'c. We discussed mainly what she should do in the future.
Thursday Feb: 19th. I left soon after 11 o'c; went to Burberry where I met Betty & bought an extremely good brown check Burberry £15.15.6 was £9.9. We parted in Piccadilly & I went to Days Library & I bought a 2nd hand copy of "These Things Considered" by Margaret PollockLink opens in a new window which is about the best short statement I have come across of the case for Labour.
I came down by the 1.58 & found poor Mummy in bed with lumbago.
Shortie & I went to a Conservative meeting in the evening to hear a Mrs Boyce who they all said was wonderful. I've never heard a more poisonous & un-Christian speech, packed with lies and playing down to people's lowest passions.
Friday Feb: 20th. I went for a long walk up into Squerryes & picked primroses. There was the upholstery class in the afternoon & I got on very slowly with my loose cover. I talked to Mrs Bowles who got up Sir John Simon's meeting & is very keen on advanced politics; she entirely agreed with me about the meeting of the night before.
Daddie has gone to Nottingham for the night to speak at the University there & also to broadcast. I am going to-morrow to stay the week-end with the Bevans.
Friday Feb: 27th.
Saturday Feb: 21st. I went to London by the 9.42 & made a beeline for York Terrace. The Bevans were at their very best. Anne & I did some oddments of shopping in the morning and talked all the afternoon. Anne & Christina had a bath together before dinner & I went & watched them & scrubbed their backs & tried to push them down under the water.
Edward des Graz & Captain Thom came at 7.15 & we went & picked up Alhusen and all went to dine at the 50 50 ClubLink opens in a new window in Wardour Street. We all got very lively during dinner which was quite the wrong thing to do in a night club where the correct attitude is one of complete blaséness & boredom. Barbara, Juliet Mansel, a youth called Ronnie Tufnell & a young American actor joined us after dinner & we danced till the place closed at 2 o'c. A good many of the people were in day dress and there was no one particularly thrilling.
Thom is in love with Anne & was in a very gloomy mood, told me he hated women & was going to clear out of this country as soon as possible and hoped he'd never see it again. Anne, Christina & I talked for ages after we got home.
Sunday Feb: 22nd. We stayed in all the morning and read & wrote & I had a political arguement with Anne. We three were alone for luncheon and Christina & I got into a thrilling discussion on morality and the characteristics of the present generation.
I went to see poor Cecil who was in the Empire Nursing home in Vincent Square recovering from an operation for appendicitis. She was just as cheerful as ever but looked ill and rather pathetic. She was leaving that afternoon & going to stay with some friends in St John's Wood so I went part of the way with her.
Edith came to tea and Thom came in later & Anne & I took him off to St Martin's. He was in very good spirits, most cheerful and behaved beautifully in Church. It was a joy to go to St Martin's again. Edith had gone when we got back; she told me afterwards that they had discussed me inside out & upside down & Christina had been so surprised to discover I could talk sense. We laughed & joked a great deal in the evening.
Monday Feb: 23rd. I left York Terrace soon after breakfast & got to the Club in time to do dinners. Miss North was ill in bed so Edith & I did dinners alone, we had a very good time and ran short before the end. A charming girl who was in a bottle factory and is now at the Working Women's College at Beckenham came to luncheon.
I did visits all the afternoon & when I got back discovered I'd completely forgotten a Care Committee I ought to have been at. We only had one brand new student to help with the Peter Rabbits & they got naughtier and naughtier as time went on.
I had masses of girls to talk to me in the library and discovered that Lizzie Burke is quite wonderful at telling people's character from their writing.
Tuesday Feb: 24th. Shortie came soon after breakfast on her way to fetch Simpson from Guys where she was having a small operation. I went to leave a message for a girl who wants to go into service, then careered off to the school & did visits.
Christina came to luncheon & was very charming and amusing. We went and had coffee and cigarettes with Miss Dickinson in her flat & then we all parted. I went & did visits and got soaked.
After tea I did masses of Care Committee indexing. There was another extra dramatic rehearsal so I couldn't have the painting class. A new dramatic teacher came & I introduced her to the girls & stayed to help her.
Wednesday Feb: 25th. As it was Ash Wednesday there was a Communion Service in the Chapel at 7 o'c so that the girls might come to it. They had breakfast afterwards of bread & butter & tea. Betty came about 11 o'c & I took her visiting & then sent her dashing back to help with dinners. I went out without an umbrella & got soaked to the skin. It is desperately depressing the amount of children one comes across who are suffering from nerves, and there is nothing to be done for it except try & get them away to an open air school if they are very bad. I got back in time to help with the last part of the dinners.
Edith, Betty & I went to tea with one of the Club girls, Lily Slout in New Church St. She was a very breezy on-the-spot person & gave us a beautiful tea. No students turned up at all so Betty & I did the Peter Rabbits by ourselves while Edith took the Brown Hares entirely alone. We helped Miss Brodigan get the lantern ready for a lecture and then had supper. My club girl in Hoxton Addie Widdowsen who I have written to for ages came down to see me & brought me a beautiful bunch of carnations and violets. She is such a nice girl & I should think most practical and capable. I left Cissie to manage the library because Miss Dickinson was away so I had to look after the big room where they were dancing and playing games. Edie, Suey & Lizzie came in and we all talked and they & Addie seemed to get on very well. The lecture was by a Mrs Morshead on the life of Christ. She entirely failed to hold the girls & they were very noisy at times. Lizzie and I worked the lantern.Link opens in a new window Addie stayed till nearly 11 o'c & everyone liked her very much.
One of the most delightful people I have ever seen, Miss Hyslop a friend of Edith's came to spend the night. She is very pretty and tremendously attractive. She & Edith have had great experiences together sleeping in shelters & exploring lodging houses.
Thursday Feb: 26th. I went to see Miss Wolff in the morning, she looked ill but was very nice.
I went to luncheon with the Talbots. Dick was there, up for the day to see the dentist. Great fun to see them all. Anne & I talked most of the afternoon discussing war & pacifism. Joan came in & we all went to Peter Jones, she is a delightful person. I had tea with Peggy who was of course as nice as ever.
Everyone was away when I got back (Mummy is staying with Cousin Nell) so I went to bed & read in bed.
Friday Feb: 27th. I got up late & read & wrote all the morning. Daddie went to London by the 1 o'c train. I struggled rather unsuccessfully with my loose cover at the upholstery class.
Saturday March 7th.
Saturday Feb: 28th. Daddie & I were to go up by the 1.40, join Mummy and go to spend the week-end with Miss Heathcote at Chingford in Essex. Daddie's watch was the only thing in the house anywhere near the right time so I went by him but when we got to the station it all looked very empty and there was no sign of a train, then it turned out Daddie had thought 1.40 was 10 minutes to 2 o'c! We returned thoroughly happy, after finding there wasn't another train till 3.55 and I did a good deal of gardening before we left. We finally arrived at Friday Hill, Miss Heathcote's house about 6 o'c. It was a large ugly comfortable, depressing mid-Victorian house and the whole atmosphere very much that of Bradfield, only half alive and everything having stopped 40 years ago. Miss Heathcote is very nice & a most pathetic figure. I felt very violently the evil of one quite unproductive person having all those riches and three big houses after coming from all the awful poverty and overcrowding of the East End.
Sunday March 1st. We went to Church at Chingford Holy Communion whats known as "fully choral" a beautiful service & a very good sermon.
In the afternoon we drove in Epping Forest which is lovely even in winter. A nice Mrs Drummond with rather a silly son came to tea. We heard the Arch Druid and a very fine Welsh choir on the wireless after dinner.
Monday March 2nd. I left about 11 o'c very glad at the thought of getting back to work & reality again. Edith and I fell into each others arms and danced about and shrieked rather to the horror of Mrs Beatty & Miss North. We went to the school when dinners were over and I interviewed the girls who are leaving school & who are to be seen at an After Care Conference next week; then I went visiting and got back in time for tea and Peter Rabbits. The P.Rs behaved very badly and became most noisy towards the end. Lizzie Burke came in at the end and we talked till supper time about jealousy, temper and other nice characteristics of humanity.
There was a temperance concert in the evening at Llewelyn Hall, New Church Street, an awful gloomy hole. Betty came down and sang and the dramatic class did a short play. I was supposed to help dress people and got myself heartily disliked because I wasn't there when I was wanted. Lizzie, Florrie, Cissie & Ethel came to meet us and we all walked back arm in arm in long rows down the middle of the street making a fearful noise.
Edith & I were just discussing most intelligently whether the present generation were more subjective or objective when Miss Brodigan came and pushed us off to bed which was wise but tiresome.
Tuesday March 3rd. I rushed off at 9.15 to a medical inspection in the infants department. The nice woman doctor was there and again it lasted till nearly 12 o'c. I did some visits when it was over then rushed back to the Club, bolted some luncheon and went off to do a visit for Miss Hyslop which could only be done in the dinner hour. I also went to the Public Library to get a book for Miss Brodigan. I did Care Committee indexing when I got back and then took a little time off and read a book. After tea I went and did another visit for Miss Hyslop which could only be done fairly late in the evening as the mother was working all day.
The dramatic class is always to be on Tuesdays now so I can only have about half an hour of painting class when that is over, the girls are annoyed about it and it was altogether unsatisfactory.
Edith and I had a very good talk till well past midnight. I can't imagine what the dullness and narrowness of the Club would be without her and only with what Barbara calls "those unhuman women".
Wednesday March 4th. I went out in the morning to do visits in connection with boys who had been recommended a months holiday at Bushey, a good many of the people were out and in one case I was given the wrong address so a good deal of time was wasted. I got back in time to do dinners and found Betty had arrived so I shot her off to do more visiting. We three had luncheon together in the midst of a pile of case papers and then Betty & I started off together visiting. We went to some delightful people called Chandler in Neptune Street and sat with them for hours talking. They made both of us squirm inwardly because we were talking about overcrowding & the shortage of houses and they said how awful it was that there was one person in that street who had a four roomed house all to herself. I thought with guilt of all the Miss Heathcotes of the world. We went on to the school and I saw James Taylor. I had heard from the lady who places boys on farms in Devonshire that she could place him and been to see his parents who consented to her terms. I told James to ask his father to go & see the C.O.S secretary who thinks he will be able to arrange to have James's fare paid & part of his outfit provided so I hope James is going to be got away from the ugliness and squalor of London into the beauty of Devonshire.
Betty & I parted, I did some more Bushey visits which all entail case papers as the full charge is 10/- week which none of them can afford to pay. I came across a charming Mrs Clark & her even more charming son Joe aged 12, she said "he never complains at all except when hes feeling ill" Joe said, grinning from ear to ear "no, and I don't complain very much even then"! There was an awful moment before the Peter Rabbits when I discovered I'd lost the key to the toy cupboard. We had them without any toys and thanks to the wonderful student who comes to help on Wednesdays they played games and behaved like little angels.
Betty & I went up to the hostel after supper (conversation at supper was even more deadly than usual in spite of Edith's, Betty's & my efforts) to take a card index of the girls.
A fair amount of people came to the library and Lizzie helped with the card index. There was a very good lecture on India by a Grey Lady. Miss Hyslop came to spend the night again and was quite delightful.
Thursday March 5th. Edith, Miss Hyslop & I were alone for breakfast. They were both on tenterhooks because they were going that morning to talk to a Committee at the Ministry of Education on the conditions in shelters.
I left about 10.30 and went to an H.M.U.H [ Home Mission Union Helpers ] Committee; we talked interminabley and it was hard to keep one's attention fixed.
I had luncheon with Margaret Adam who was very nice and told me a lot about her experiences with the I.C.A.A [ Invalid Children's Aid Association ] in North Kensington. From there I went to Tilney St & Aunt Bobs & I went to fetch the children from school & went for a drive and they dropped me at Peggy's. Peggy had forgotten I was coming and had David TennantLink opens in a new window to tea would-be tête à tête so it was an inauspicious visit & I left early.
Friday March 6th. I wrote, read, gardened and went to the upholstery class.
Saturday March 7th. Daddie & I went primrosing in the morning and found masses & masses in Valence valley. I gardened all the afternoon planting the new rock wall I have made.
We had ghastly complications and telegraphings all day long with the Sayres.
Sunday March 8th. I went for a walk along the Pilgrim's Way & picked a big bunch of primroses in Westerham Woods on my way back.
Wolfie came down & was very nice and quite cheerful & lively. I had a long letter from Kathleen last mail written just before her wedding; Bendy was ill in bed, honeymoon plans were unsettled in consequence, she had been wildly busy all day, had a bad cold & was dog tired, and Joan Thornton (her great friend who is in India) had telegraphed to say she was ill & couldn't come to be bridesmaid, altogether she sounded very depressed. I do hope things worked out all right in the end, it sounded rather lonely doing everything by herself without anyone she knew really well to back her up and help her.
Sunday March 15th.
Monday March 9th. I went up by the 8.40 and went first to the Church ArmyLink opens in a new window headquarters in Bryanston Street to see if they would find a place in service for Violet Martin who is working 10 hours a day in a toy shop for 8/- a week. They said they were sure they could get her a job but must see her first. I got back to the Club in time to do dinners; Edith came tearing in from a medical inspection & told me what an awful week-end she had had with Miss North in fits of depression and Mrs Beatty thinking herself very ill.
I went round to most of the Bushey people in the afternoon getting them to sign the consent forms. Mrs Chandler told me she had heard Shylock Holmes on the wireless; it turned out to have been the trial scene from "The Merchant of Venice"!
I tore off after tea to spend the night with Miss Buxton and dine and go to a theatre with the Sayres. We dined at Hatchetts,Link opens in a new window the Sayres, the Siamese Minister & me. The Sayres were more charming than ever and very interested in seeing London again because they hadn't been here since 1913. We went to see "Grounds for Divorce" an amusing play with Madge Titheridge [ Titheradge ]Link opens in a new window and Owen NaresLink opens in a new window in the two chief parts. It was so nice to hear the Sayre's American accents and I found myself automatically dropping back into American expressions and the American point of view thinking I was back there. I'm sorry to say Mrs Sayres went back to Paris on Thursday & she will only be over here spasmodically.
Tuesday March 10th. Sybil had an appointment with her chiropodist at 9.30 which I was glad of because it enabled me to get back to the Club early without appearing to rush away. Edith & I cleared out the Chapel & then I went off visiting and got a good many done before I came back for luncheon.
Edith saw a boy in the school playground who she thought looked very ill & ought to go to Bushey; the boy (John Edwards) heard her say that & rushed after her in the street to say he'd been recommended for Bushey. I went to see his mother & discovered she has had 17 children (9 are living) and has 57/- a week with which to pay the rent, feed & clothe every one. We are hoping to stuff him in for Bushey as a practically free case (that is paying 6d week).
Edith and I were suddenly smitten with a wonderful idea. The Club is very badly in need of young people who will come & live & work there but it wants them to pay for board & lodging which is manifestly quite absurd unless it means to train them which it certainly would not do as things are at present. So we suddenly decided we'd get out a training scheme and make a great effort to get four students to start the thing off before Edith leaves in July. The clergyman came after supper to interview four girls who are going to be confirmed. They came and eat in my bed-room waiting for the interview and shaking with fright. The painting class were naughtier than usual and Carrie and Maisie where quite dreadfully naughty & untruthful.
Edith and I went up to Miss Bulley's sitting room as soon as possible and drew up a rough outline of our training scheme and with much thought and effort wrote a letter to the papers appealing for students. When we finally got it finished and went to bed we discovered it was 1.30!
Wednesday March 11th. Edith, Miss Dickinson & I had a conference with Miss Brodigan on the subject of the scheme and she was most enthusiastic about it and gave us her blessing. We went off to Time & Talents settlementLink opens in a new window in Bermondsey St to see Miss Swaine the warden who is quite one of the most attractive people I have ever seen. She gave us a great deal of good advice as to what to do with the students and what were the most likely channels through which to get them. She was like a breath of fresh air and we left greatly invigorated. We went on to the D.O's office in Old Kent Road and saw Miss Tennant and then returned to the Club to find poor Betty lagubriously struggling with dinners. Betty, Edith, Miss Brodigan & I went to an After Care Conference in the girls department of the school. Nothing particularly interesting happened & it only lasted an hour. Betty & I did some school enquiries & then went back to the Club & Edith & I explained the great scheme to Betty. We played games the whole time with the Peter Rabbits & they behaved quite beautifully.
Margaret Magniac came to supper & of course had the new scheme explained to her. She sat with me in the library afterwards, shoals of girls came in and she was greatly impressed by the Club.
Edith & I decided it was necessary to get our letters appealing to individual clergyman, and societies written, so we sat up doing it and were so sleepy that she fell right asleep once we howled with laughter & got weaker and weaker. However we got them both written by 1 o'c.
Monday March 23rd.
Thursday March 12th. Edith and I retired up to Miss Bulley's sitting-room and struggled with the syllabus of the training scheme. We got the bare outline done and she reduced it to order during the week-end.
I went to luncheon with the Kleinworts, felt very tired and rather impatient of their great luxury. However, they were very nice although Papa nearly fainted at the terrible cough I produced at intervals during luncheon.
I went to see Anne & had tea with her. She looked horribly ill and tired and overstrained. Christina & I had a most interesting talk on Anna whom she had met the other day; she says Anna has one of the most morbid mentalities she has ever come across. We discussed what could be done about it. I can imagine no one better for Anna that Christina would be with her great charm & brilliant brain combined with great stability & moral beauty.
I went to spend the night with Sybil Buxton to meet Miss Drummond a friend of her's who is running a girl's Club in Kennington. We exchanged notes & discussed girls and clubs and their running. She has a sisterLink opens in a new window who is the only woman engineer in the merchant service.
Friday March 13th. I woke with a most spectacular sort of cough. Sybil spoke to my family on the telephone and said she didn't think I ought to go to the Speaker's Party that evening. The family immediately decided I was at death's door and sent me off to see Sir John Broadbent,Link opens in a new window he was most sensible, said there was nothing wrong with me besides a cold but that it would not be wise to go out in the evening. He was very pleased to hear I was working in London, said it was an excellent thing, he was sure I was bored at Westerham and it was thoroughly bad for people to be bored. I went back and had luncheon with Sybil and came down here by the 3.34.
Saturday March 14th. Anna came down for the day arriving at 11.11. We sat on a gate and smoked & ate oranges & then went for a walk and talked a good deal about Christina whom Anna thought quite charming. We did cross word puzzles most of the afternoon and read diaries & played guessing games after tea. She left at 7.45. A very nice day.
Sunday March 15th. I went to Church at 10.15. And then wrote and read till luncheon.
In the afternoon I went up to the Cottage. I hadn't seen Edith for months owing to her having been ill and away. We went an immense walk along the Edenbridge Road to the Oswald Smith's house on Crockham Hill and then across Crockham Hill and down through Squerryes. She came back to tea & was charming. Arthur Liddell who was at Hosey Rigge came down as she was leaving and stayed for a short time.
Monday March 16th. I travelled up with Bee & Arthur by the 8.40. Went straight from London Bridge to Albion St School where an M.I was going on. We got John Edward recommended for Bushey all right. I walked back to the Club with Miss Dickinson discussing Betty's coming for a fortnight and whether or no she could pay for board and lodging. I helped with dinners and did a good deal of visiting in the afternoon. We had an immense quantity of Peter Rabbits and succeeded in getting quite a good many of them to play games.
Lizzie & Florrie found a big box of theatrical costumes in the library and started dressing up in them. We all howled with laughter over it. Lizzie talked to Edith & me about the conditions under which most of them live & how her father used to beat her mother & she would not leave him because of the children. It was a terrible conversation & left us soaked in depression. Poor Lizzie! Shes had her eyes opened too wide by partial education. We discussed it for some time after she'd gone and also made out a list of clergymen to send our letter of appeal for workers to.
Tuesday March 17th. Betty came down this day instead of Wednesday. We went out visiting and met at the Club for luncheon. Edith came in about 2.30 having been interviewing various people "up west" including the secretary of the Theosophical Society!Link opens in a new window Betty did some card indexing, while I'm ashamed to say I read a book. Betty & I went to have tea with Ethel Ayling's sister in Marden Road to meet Ethel & Beatrice. There was a dear little girl there & they were all very nice. We tore back and soon after 5 o'c Edith, Betty & I set out for Whitechapel to have supper there in Edith's room in College Buildings.Link opens in a new window We went first to the Catholic Free Shelter at the top of Duval Street. It was the place that Miss Hyslop had described sleeping in so well. We went first into a long room with trestle tables along each side and women and children sitting at them, some eating or sewing or talking and some just sitting looking miserable. The dormitory was upstairs, another long room with 140 beds. A terrible place, the people herded together far more thickly than one would herd animals. The beds went like this:-
each of those divisions is a bed about 2 feet wide with nothing between it and the next bed but a ½ inch board dividing the two and nothing between the head of the person on one side and the head of the person on the other but the board running along the backs of the beds; there was a double row like this all down the middle of the room and single rows along the walls. There were mattresses covered with American oil cloth & no bed clothes but a peice of leather. Everything was very clean which was its one redeeming point. A great Crucifix at the end of the room looked down on it all and at intervals on the walls there were incriptions saying "pray for the soul of so and so who gave this bed" unconscious of the terrible irony of asking anyone to pray for someone who out of their own comforts had helped to make anything so awful as that shelter. The washing places, baths and lavatories were down two flights of stairs and along a long passage from the dormitory. We saw the men's rest room and they looked far more defeated and miserable than the women. We went back to the women's room. I talked to a woman with a most tragic face, she said her husband was a painter and had had good work but now he'd been out of work for a year & they'd sunk down & down till now they literally had nothing, there were two small children with her, one crying miserably. She said in explanation "you see they've always had a home of their own before and they're not used to this". Betty sang, everyone sat absolutely motionless listening and there was a thunder of clapping at the end. The contrast of the whole thing and all it meant was one of the most terrible things I have ever experienced. The worst part of all was the utter complacancy & inefficientcy of the people who run it. There were texts like "I was an hungred and ye gave me meat, naked & ye clothed me" all round the walls whereas as a matter of fact they are doing nothing to really look after & help those people.
We went on from there to see the Franklins in Duval Street;Link opens in a new window they are the people Edith took me to see when I first went to see her at Osborn Place. They (the father, mother and little boy) live in one very small room at the top of dark rickety stairs, all water has to be carried up from a yard outside and they almost literally have not got room to turn round in this hole for which they pay 7/- week rent. We went on to College Buildings and Edith was greeted with shrieks of joy by everyone we met. She had a very nice little room there and we fried sausages and tomatoes for our supper and had bread & butter, apples and oranges and tea besides. A dear little girl called Elsie came & talked to us all through supper and told us how excited they were that they were going to move to Ilford where they would have three rooms instead of two. A delightful person called Solly also came in wonderfully scrubbed and brushed and Brilliantined for the occasion. He is a Carter Paterson van boy and adores horses. His face was one huge and apparently irremovable grin. On the way back we went to see some other very friendly and charming people in a terrible place called Crown Court, the walls & the ceiling of the room we saw were full of holes and there were several steps missing from the staircase so that they had to jump the space between. We got back to the Club at about 8.15 having had a wonderful and unforgetable time.
Betty had a short sing practise at 9.30 and I made ineffectual attempts to conduct for her. Edith and I talked till very late about shelters and tragedy and misery in general.
Thursday March 26th.
Wednesday March 18th. I had a dental inspection at the school in the morning. It was great fun, there was the dentist, a nice girl from the D.T.O's office and me representing the Care Committee. There were a certain amount of mothers there and we issued vouchers to them straight away if their children required treatment. A form had to be filled up for every child whose mother was not there & who required treatment to take home to its mother saying treatment was necessary. We did 114 children in 1 1/2 hours. I did a few visits and then got back to the Club in time for dinners. Miss North sent me careering up to Strakers beyond London Bridge to buy paper cake cases in the afternoon. Edith and I went to tea with Lily Schoult who is a most amusing downright person. On our way back we went to enquire after Edie Fitzpatrick who had got tonsilitis. She was looking desperately ill and white and her mother was very worried about her.
The Peter Rabbits were very good and played games most enthusiastically. Edie & Suey appeared later on to talk about coming down to Westerham for Easter. A good many people came to the library.
There was a very good address in the Chapel by the Bishop of KingstonLink opens in a new window & we talked to him afterwards about our training scheme and got him to sign several letters.
Thursday March 19th. I went off to Victoria directly after breakfast to see Daddie off to Egypt. He has gone to Cairo as Chief British Delegate on an International Geographical Conference. He was tremendously happy & went off in great luxury in a Pullman car. Mummy was there too to see him off of course. I wish I had been going too; he was going first to Avignon and Arles, then sailing from Marseilles for Alexandria, then going to Cairo and home by Rome; the Italian lakes and Switzerland.
I went back to the Club because it was the day of our Musical Tea. I helped with dinners and then cut sandwiches and moved chairs and did all sorts of odd jobs. Miss North who was both ill and flustered grew shorter and shorter in the temper. People went on arriving from 3.30 onwards and the room grew fuller and fuller and the chairs fewer & fewer so that we spent most of our time rushing about wildly carrying up more chairs. Princess Marie Louise came about 4.15 and Mummy was put at her table for tea. Some of Plunkett-Greene'sLink opens in a new window pupils sang rather indifferently (their training was good but their voices in some cases non-existant). Sybil ThorndikeLink opens in a new window recited quite beautifully, she did first Hans Anderson's "Patuchio" [ Petruchio ] then "Roundabouts and swings"Link opens in a new window by Patrick Chalmers, and last and best of all "Courtesy" by Hilaire Belloc. Edith & I were sent for to go & talk to the Princess & explain our training scheme. I was convulsed by unholy giggles because we have had so many jokes about her and Edith at one moment said it went against her democratic principles to bob to her; however she bobbed profoundly when it came to the point. The Princess was very nice and extremely interested in and enthusiastic about the scheme. I talked hard & forgot to call her Mam even once, Edith said I was very hail fellow well met. Baroness de Lynden appeared & turned out to be on some committee of the Club & was rather indignant when I said genially "what on earth are you doing here?" She and Mummy left together.
Mrs Taylor (to whom I had given a ticket) drew me aside as she was leaving to tell me James had been had up for stealing or rather for being with some other boys who were caught stealing, because I do not believe he really knew what was happening. Mrs Taylor was naturally very upset poor thing, especially as she had to appear at Tower Hill police court next morning.
Lizzie Burke & Florrie Page came in & we sat for a long time in front of the fire talking - or rather Florrie slept while Lizzie talked telling me about the ghosts she has seen and things she said were going to happen which came off. She certainly has a most uncanny power of knowing things by intuition.
Edith & I went to see Miss Dickinson in Park Buildings after supper and had coffee & cigarettes. I left a note for Mrs Taylor on the way back telling her what was likely to happen at the police court. Edith and & I walked slowly back feeling to the full the fascination of the streets at night which so irresistably attracts the youth of the East End. We had a wonderful talk till long past midnight altogether a very good evening & the first one I've been at the Club with no work to do because it is always shut on Thursdays.
Saturday March 28th.
Friday March 20th. Edith & I were sitting in the dining room after breakfast discussing Lizzie Burke & what could be done for & with her when Miss North blew in like a whirlwind and was very rude to Edith. However she wasn't feeling well & next day she was sent away for a month's holiday much to everyone's relief. I came down here by the 11.10 train rather sad at leaving the Club because during the time Daddie is away I am only going up one night a week. Its funny when I think how in the beginning I counted up the days & weeks to this day when I could escape and now it has come and I am sorry! All the placards were covered with the news of Lord Curzon'sLink opens in a new window death as I came down.
I went to the upholstery class in the afternoon. Mummy was in London and didn't get back till the evening.
Saturday March 21st. I went up to the Cottage in the afternoon & sat talking to Edith for some time and brought her back to tea here & she stayed till 7 o'c.
Sunday March 22nd. I went to Church in the morning and had meant to go primrosing in the afternoon but it snowed so hard that I couldn't. Mrs Bullough came to tea.
Monday March 23rd. I went to help get the library ready. "Busky" was very excited at having me back and her voice grew shriller and shriller.
I primrosed in Valence in the afternoon but got disappointingly few.
After tea I went to the library & found I was quite fumbling & slow with the card index. They have got quite a few good new books.
Tuesday March 24th. I went to London by the 10.40 feeling like a worm with a bad cold and sore throat. I tore off to York Terrace to dig up some plants in the garden to be sent down to their new house at Reigate. Miss Bevan was there and the whole place was completely dismantled. It seems very sad that I shall never go there again after all it has been.
I went to luncheon with the Broadbents Phyllis is a nice girl and is doing social science at Bedford College.Link opens in a new window From there I went off to Dockhead to meet Edith, Betty, Miss Brodigan and Miss Macey at Southwell's factory. We were taken all over it and saw sweets and jams and chrystalized fruits being made. We saw Florrie Page bottle washing and sopping wet, she said bitterly that they don't care how wet you get. It is a very old factory and there are underground passages where Bill Sykes is supposed to have hidden. They are supposed not to treat their work people any too well. We ate sweets as we went along and dipped our fingers in the delicious syrups that chrystalized fruits were soaking in.
I went straight on to see Mrs Taylor and found James had been remanded and sent to a home at Pentonville for a week and put on probation for a year. They were to appear at the police court again on Friday. I went on to see Edie Fitzpatrick and take her some primroses; she looked very ill but was most cheerful and very excited about a new frock her mother had given her. I telephoned to Miss Tennant (the District organizer) as soon as I got back to the Club to give a report on James's home.
I had a long talk to Miss Brodigan about Lizzie Burke & heard all her past history & then went up into the hostel where Edith was in charge while Miss Curtis was out. We started talking about Sybil Thorndike & they asked all about her & said how much they wished they'd seen her at the Musical Tea. So we then & there made a plan for as many of us as could to go & see "St Joan" on the 4th & Edith went up after supper and read the play to them.
I had my painting class from 8 to 9 as Miss Grouse was away with the seniors at a dramatic competition. They behaved very well.
I went and talked to Betty for sometime before going to bed. I'm afraid she was feeling rather depressed poor dear. Edith came & sat on my bed & we discussed the non-forth comingness of students amongst other things.
Sunday March 29th 1925.
Wednesday March 25th. Betty went off to a dental inspection. Edith & I cleaned the Chapel & then she gave a most interesting lecture on the work of Care Committees to Miss Brodigan, Mrs Beattie & me. I went out and left a mass of vouchers at the school and did some visits and got back for dinners.
In the afternoon Betty, Edith, Miss Curtis, Miss Burstin ( who comes to do C.C visiting) & I went over Peak [ Peek ] Frean'sLink opens in a new window factory. It was most tremendously interesting. The building itself is all white inside and beautifully clean and white. There are 3500 employees and they have a concert hall and canteen and all sorts of societies and clubs. It was great fun seeing the biscuits made & they were very good when they came out hot from the oven. They use 40 tons of flour a day and in one room we went into ½ million biscuits are made daily. There is a laundry where they wash the white overalls worn by all the workers and work rooms where they make them. And great furnaces for the central heating where they burn 90 tons of coals a week. They have their own staff of electricians, engineers, builders and painters prepetually employed in repairing and improving the building. There was a great difference in the general appearance & obvious happiness of the work people compared with those at Southwell's. We were given a huge tea with every imaginable kind of biscuit, and as we left each one of us was given a parcel containing a slab of chocolate, a tin of assorted fancy biscuits and a booklet about the factory. The man who took us over said they practically never realize the existance of Trades Unions because they always pay more than the Union rate of wages, give a week's holiday with wages in the year and pay wages on all bank holidays. All employees can be treated free by the dentist and doctor and are given expert advice on any subject free of charge. If any employee is dismissed as the others think unfairly they can call a Committee to decide the question and have power to reinstate the discharged worker.
We got back just in time to do Peter Rabbits; they were very good playing their games.
I came down by the 7.10.
Thursday March 26th. I stayed indoors all day with a bad cold and headache, and although I had plenty to do & read, felt very pent up & bored by the end of the day.
Friday March 27th. I stayed in bed in the morning & managed to get my cold better. In the afternoon I went to the upholstery class & in the evening Shortie & I went to a Labour meeting. A Mr Coke of the National Federation of Building Trades Operatives spoke most interestingly on housing & urged us all to get houses built by direct labour. There was a very interesting discussion between him & Major Stretfeild [ Streatfeild ] afterwards.
Saturday March 28th. I went for a walk with Edith in the afternoon. She couldn't come back for tea because Miss Deane had bad neuritis & could scarcely move.
Sunday March 29th. We went to Church in the morning. I walked part of the way up the hill with Edith afterwards & then we went to luncheon with Mrs Busk whose conversation flowed on uninterruptedly through everything.
I have just discovered a glorious chorus of Swinburne's from "Atalanta in Calydon".Link opens in a new window
Saturday April 4th.
Monday March 30th. Mr Harvey & I got the library ready in the morning. I went primrosing in Valence directly after luncheon and found masses. I called for Edith on my way back & she came to tea here. We arrived at the library thoroughly late; it opens at 5 o'c which is an impossible hour.
Tuesday March 31st. I went to London by the 9.42 and went straight to St Martin's Club where I found Margaret frantically busy but made her stop everything to copy out an April Fool letter to Edith from an elderly Theosophist saying she would like to come and do the training scheme at the Club. Miss Simpson was there just as nice as ever and very full of her American experiences.
I went on to meet Anne at the A & N and we sat in the lounge and talked & then went up to the restaurant and ordered one glass of mineral water & talked & then went to the cloak room & talked & then went to Miss Waldegrave's Ex service Men's Hostel in Duke St, Manchester Square where Anne is staying, and talked. Anne was most cheerful and amusing quite at her best. She is very full of a scheme to save up enough money to go & stay with Philip's sister in Australia.
Mummy & I had luncheon with a new friend of her's - Sir Howard D'EgvilleLink opens in a new window at the Pall Mall Restaurant. He is some kind of permanent official at the House of Commons, knows most of the Labour people intimately & is most interesting, also very broad minded. He says Ramsay Macdonald keeps very much aloof and is out of touch with his party.
I went back to the Club & found Betty in so we went to do some visits. I spent some time with the Taylors; James was back home again most cheerful & more delightful than ever!
Edith came back very depressed having just been to see the mother of a girl in the hostel aged 15 who is going to have a baby. The father is 18 & they are going to be married on Easter Saturday. Edith said the mother was rather awful, didn't seem to mind in the least so long as they were married & was very pleased because she'd been out & bought the girl a pair of long elbow gloves to be married in. All rather ghastly.
We went up to the hostel to give the girls their tea and made a frightful hash of everything, cut up all the girls private bread & used their butter & I made an egg flip for a girl who was ill & spilt it on the floor & broke the glass. They were awfully nice & most cheerful.
The painting class was from 8 to 9 & went off well. Four new members joined which meant we ran wildly short of materials. Betty came & helped which was a great comfort & relief. There was Chapel and then Betty & I sat for a long time talking to Cissie, Ethel, Florrie & Lizzie. Betty was a great deal more cheerful (I think as a result of talking to Edith) & seemed to be quite enjoying herself.
Miss Dickinson is acting as warden because Miss Brodigan went to Rome on Monday. She asked me if I could possibly remain on for Wednesday night as they are very short handed so I said I would. Edith came & talked to me after I was in bed. She has suddenly decided she loves the Club & in particular Miss Brodigan.
Wednesday April 1st. My letter arrived all right but alas! Edith was too full of the thought of April Fool's Day & saw through it. Betty & I did ruling & indexing & then went out & left vouchers. She & I also did the dinners by ourselves & managed to make the number of people & the amount of food coincide most successfully.
We dusted the library & went to see Lily Blackman who was ill in the hostel. Then I went to see Ethel Ayling who looked quite dreadfully ill, & then we were both lazy till tea time.
No students came to help us with the Peter Rabbits who were very naughty but quite dreadfully attractive.
I did the library in the evening and about 1/2 dozen girls came & talked to me there.
There was a very silly address in Chapel by a Grey Lady on "Thoughts & Temperance" she said every drop of alcoholical drink one took between the ages of 12 & 20 went straight to the brain & had a deliberate effect in character - this was the latest scientific discovery! She also said the girls must often be tempted to go & have a glass of Guiness [ Guinness ] whereupon there was one huge roar of laughter because that is a standing joke in the Club & they are always asking me in fun to have a glass of Guiness. I'm sorry to say I was reduced to helpless giggles; Florrie Page said afterwards "I bent my back to shield you when Miss Dickinson looked round & Mrs Baderley wouldn't never have known you were a lady"! Betty sang beautifully for some time, the girls were absolutely silent & simply adored it. Singing seems to have an effect on them which nothing else does.
I had a long talk to Florrie about her friendship with Lizzie she absolutely adores Lizzie & looks on her as a kind of superior being & says Lizzie doesn't care for her at all, I don't think that is true but I'm afraid she isn't as nice to her very often as she might be and if only she knew it Florrie is worth several of her. She has had a wonderful effect on Florrie who used often to get drunk & was altogether extremely wild before she knew her. It is very sad, they quite often have fearful fights & Florrie is perfectly miserable when Lizzie won't speak to her. They are an oddly assorted couple, Florrie tremendously downright & direct with great physical strength & Lizzie tortuous & uncertain & very weak & delicate.
Monday April 6th.
Thursday April 2nd. I did some indexing of the library in the morning. Betty came & saw me off at the bus & I came down to Westerham by the 11.10 train. I spent the afternoon trying to machine my loose cover but the machine couldn't be made to work so it didn't get finished.
Friday April 3rd. I worked on the loose cover for a good part of the morning & went to the last of the upholstery classes in the afternoon & got it all finished except for the machining. I left early because it was a beautiful afternoon & went for a walk along the Pilgrims Way & found masses of white violets.
Saturday April 4th. Mummy went to Remenham for the week end. I went up to the Club by the 1 o'c train to go with Edith & some of the girls to see "St Joan". Carrie, Ada Edie and Suey came in during the afternoon. Some of the hostel girls had been going but they all backed out & in the end only Lizzie, Florrie & the hostel sister, Miss Curtis, came. We started soon after 5.30 & got to the Regent Theatre (eating peanuts all the way) about 6.15. There wasn't much of a queue when we arrived & in fact we needn't have got there nearly so early. We got very good seats in the front row & saw everything perfectly. It was quite wonderful one of the most wonderful things I have ever seen. I didn't altogether like Sybil Thorndike in the first scene but she got more and more perfect as it went on and her beautiful voice made such a great difference to the whole part, one felt she was St JoanLink opens in a new window herself. The girls were very much awe struck & impressed & I think it gave them a thoroughly uncomfortable feeling of being quite beyond them. Lizzie wept all through the Trial scene which was most tiresome and made one want to giggle. The performance quite wiped out the bad effect of that mediocre performance in Boston, and I wish I could see it an unlimited number of times. We got back to the Club at midnight and Edith & I discussed St Joan till about 1 o'c.
Sunday April 5th. I went to St James's Church at 8 o'c having previously gone in to Edith & lain in her bed so long that I had to dress in five minutes. I helped her get the room ready for the Sunday School and then went off to Whitechapel to go meet Anne & hear a wonderful Presbyterian minister who Edith is always talking about. The Church was in Oxford Street off Jubilee St & Anne got there just as I was giving her up in despair. The preacher – Dr Little - was wonderful, tremendously emphatic about the need for the reorganization of society. I believe he is a very fine person & much loved by the people there.
Anne came back to luncheon at the Club & she & I & Edith talked after luncheon. Florrie Page came in & told us stories of all the things she had done at the Club in her wild days. Anne was most cheerful & full of stories. I went with her to Duke Street and then went on to see Peggy who was charming, we had a long talk about all the mess & misery caused by overcrowding and a discussion on shelters and their evil effects. I came down by the 6 o'c train.
Sunday April 12th Easter Sunday.
Monday April 6th. Mrs Busk & Mr Harvey were both away so Edith & Mrs Busk's sister came & helped me to get the library ready. I walked up to Hosey with Edith afterwards & then went to Mrs Jarrett in the Paddock to make the final arrangements for Edith & Suey to come down here for Easter. Mrs Farnworth came to tea & we went to the library after tea.
Mummy got back in the evening.
Tuesday April 14th.
Tuesday April 7th. I went to London by the 9.42 & made a bee line for the Club. Miss Dickinson helped me with the first half of dinners & Sister with the second half. We were very short handed with only Miss Dickinson & Edith at the Club. I visited all the afternoon. I had got 50 books for the library from a sale of books & spent the time after tea card indexing them. The painting class behaved tolerably well. Edith gave a very good address in the Chapel.
Wednesday April 8th. I went to Church at 8 o'c at St Mary's Rotherhithe High Church & I've never heard such an inaudible clergyman.
I did some indexing of the Care Committee card index & also the library books and then helped with dinners; they had two short services in the Chapel during the course of dinner.
I went off at 1.30 to take four small boys whose mother was ill to have their teeth seen at the Bermondsey Treatment Centre in Farncombe Street. That took an hour & two boys had teeth extracted. I rushed off from there & did visits & got caught in downpours of rain.
I forgot to say that in the morning we had up seven of the boys who are going to Bushey, and their mothers to see what clothes were need & were able to supply them with a good many things from a splendid mass of clothes sent by Betty's Aunt Mrs Parker. We also got tape & marking ink and wrote out tags with their name to be sewn in their clothes. They were all very radiant & excited.
Miss Tennant came to tea & we were in fits of laughter & had great jokes the whole time. She told us a story of a Sunday School class which was told to write down what God was like & one child wrote "He is the Father of the Fatherless & the Widow of the Widowless"!
We had very few Peter Rabbits & managed to keep them amused fairly easily.
There was no dancing in the Club in the evening but we gave the girls tea & hot X buns & a friend of Edith's came to sing, they said "oo she don't sing like Miss Waldegrave" and refused to listen to her which was very disconcerting. I spent a wild ¾ of an hour trying to keep up an unending flow of funny stories (with very obvious points) and riddles. We had a very prolonged Chapel with a great many hymns & solos from Edith's friend and a really very beautiful address from Miss Dickinson but the girls were in a hopeless mood and refused to listen. I tidied up the sitting room & all the Care Committee things & then went to assist Miss Dickinson & Edith in struggling with accounts. Edith & I did registers after I was in bed & then talked till 1 o'c.
Thursday April 9th. I went into Edith to ask the time because my watch had stopped & breakfast was early, found it was 6.30 & remained in her very uncomfortable bed till it was time to get up.
We tore about wildly after breakfast tidying & doing accounts & dashing out to buy oddments. The Club was closing for a fortnight & Miss Dickinson & Edith were going to the Cottage at Wrotham for Easter to look after a party of the girls. We got through all our things much more quickly than we expected and were sitting about rather aimlessly till suddenly Miss Dickinson discovered that the train went at 11.3 from St Pauls instead of 11.29 from the Elephant; there was great pandemonium, we telephoned for a taxi to come at once & I said I would go with them as far as Otford for the fun of the thing & chance getting across to Westerham. We got into continual blocks on the way to the station & only got there 3 minutes before the train went. We had to change at Herne Hill & the next train came in packed & we ran about the platform so much that finally Miss Dickinson went 1st class and Edith & I got into the last carriage, she standing and I sitting jammed against an immense flower womanLink opens in a new window laden with baskets of flowers. We had our arms full of parcels & suit cases & bundles of books and the string came off a parcel I was carrying & the whole thing fell on the floor. I laughed so much that I sat down on someone's lap & couldn't get up again. I had great luck at Otford because there was a train just leaving for Sevenoaks & at Sevenoaks I didn't have to wait many minutes for the bus so I got home not much more than ½ an hour later than I should have done if I'd come straight down by the 11.15.
I went to tea with Mrs Farnworth and Edith was there too (the other Edith of course!)
Good Friday 1925. Edie Fitzpatrick & Suey Ward arrived down for Easter by 9.31, I took them along to Miss Jarrett in the Paddock & left them to get unpacked. They came up here later & I took them all through the village and onto Farley Common, then I brought them back here & settled them in chairs in the garden & went to the Three Hours Service. It was done by a stranger & Edith & I agreed afterwards that he was just bearable but the power of that service is almost impossible for anyone but a Mr Sheppard.Link opens in a new window I came out about 2.15 & went along later to fetch Edie & Suey & took them for a walk along the Pilgrim's Way. We found a few primroses but Edie thought they didn't smell as good as the ones you get in London. They came up after tea & sat in my sitting room & talked for a bit & I lent them a pack of cards to keep them amused in the evening.
Wednesday April 15th.
Saturday April 11th. It was a glorious day & very warm. I took Edie and Suey up the Kent Hatch Road to Crockham Hill and we laid in the sun & they went to sleep & then we walked back through Squerryes
When I got home I found Miss Deane had telephoned to ask us all to go for a picnic with them to the Trust Ground in the afternoon. So after luncheon off we started again feeling very weary and tramped to the Trust Ground, Edie jumping out of her skin every time a motor came along. It was also very hot & we collapsed in limp heaps when we got there. We were joined by Edith, Miss Deane, Frances Mackenzie (Rosalie's sister who is staying with them for Easter) and Mary Smith who really is a most attractive person. We all sat tightly squeezed onto a bench and had tea & great jokes and then all walked back together split up into groups. Frances Mackenzie walked with the girls most of the way & I had a very good talk with Edith. We went into the Cottage & Miss Deane, Mary, Frances Mackenzie & I discussed the "Constant Nymph"Link opens in a new window & going abroad while Edith showed Edie & Suey her doves. The girls were greatly impressed by everyone & said they weren't 'alf nice. We were all completely dead by the time we got home but they said they'd had a lovely day.
Easter Sunday. I went along to the girls to tell them to come & sit in the garden and then went to Church at 10 o'c and stayed on for the morning service. The Church was very full but the singing appaling.
Wolfie came down in time for luncheon bringing me two very nice pairs of silk stockings as an Easter egg. Edie & Suey came here after luncheon and we went up to Miss Renny Taylour [ Tailyour ] and had tea with her and then she took us for a walk in Valence. The primroses were perfectly wonderful; we picked one or two good bunches but Mrs Blackburn is most dog in the mangerish & doesn't like them picked. Miss Wolff was still here when I got back & she left by the 8 o'c train.
Monday April 13th. I took Edie & Suey primrosing in Clacketts Woods in the morning. It was very what they called "mucky" and they fell about in it poor dears & got covered with it and scratched all over with brambles and hung up on fences but all the same we found masses of primroses.
Edie was very anxious to go & see the Printers Convalescent Home which Mr Jarrett told her was by the schools on Limpsfield Common so in spite of the sad fact that the weather had given way at last & it was raining quite fast they & I & Mrs Farnworth set out on the 2.12 bus. When we got to the Common we found the Home was on Limpsfield Chart a good two miles away. It was too far to walk in the rain so we just went into Limpsfield & waited for the bus & came straight back. We played whist till tea time and Happy Families, Old Maid & Animal Grab after tea. Mrs Farnworth was splendid in entertaining them and she said afterwards what beautiful manners they had & what a lot they could teach Violet Hurry & other girls here. They left about a quarter to 8 to go & have their supper & get packed up, as they were going Edie offered Mrs Farnworth an orange saying "I expect you'd like somthing to suck on your way home"!
Mrs Farnworth stayed for dinner & I walked along a little way with her after and then went to see Edie & Suey off by the 9.35. They were very sad & on the verge of tears & I felt miserable at the thought of their going back to Bermondsey & drudgery after having seen the loveliness of the Country and also I was very sorry to lose them, they were a delightful couple & so easy to entertain.
Tuesday April 14th. I did oddments in the house in the morning & planted out viola cuttings in the afternoon.
Miss Renny Talyour [ Tailyour ] came to tea and took me for a drive in her motor after tea, past the Trust Ground, down Crockham Hill & nearly to Edenbridge.
Thursday April 16th.
Wednesday April 15th. I wrote diary in the morning & shortened a couple of evening dresses in preparation for going to stay with the Whiteheads from Thursday to Monday for the Wilton Hunt Ball (dithering with fright at the prospect!)
In the afternoon I went up to the Cottage & Edith & I went for a long walk past Chartwell as far as Miss Tupper's Cottage. It had been raining hard & then cleared & there was a lovely sheeny light over everything "that unearthly clear shining after rain".
Miss Deane & Frances Mackenzie were out for tea so Edith & I had tea alone & discussed how Rosalie Mackenzie will get on when she comes back to England in May.
I went after dinner to a preliminary meeting of the League of Young Liberals there wasn't a soul I knew there with the exception of Fred Webb elder brother of one of the Brownies but I was unanimously elected a member of the committee!
Tuesday April 21st.
Thursday April 16th. I went to London by the 10.35 & having put my luggage in the cloak room at Waterloo dashed off to get my shingle trimmed; I got back to the station & was walking along the platform when Frances Whitehead came along. We moved our things into the same carriage & went along to the restaurant car & had luncheon as soon as the train started. She told me a lot about a crêche in Hackney Wick where she has been working for some months. We got to Lymington about 4.30 and found everyone at tea when we arrived at Efford. The party consisted of innumerable male Whiteheads - George, St John, Edgar, Hugh & Arthur, the married daughter Cecily Boas & her husband, a young Mr Ponsonby at Cambridge and a rather nice Mr Gilkes. I was dreadfully disappointed to find a letter from Edith saying she couldn't come back with me to stay on Monday because there was illness in the family.
Dinner was at 7.45 & we started off for Somerley Park where the hunt ball was to be almost directly after because it was 20 miles away in the direction of Ringwood. It was quite fun but no one I knew except Joycy Smith because they were mainly local people. We left about 2.30 and had a glorious drive home through the Forest in starlight with the moon just coming up, luckily Lady Whitehead & Mr Boas who were in the same car with me both went to sleep so there was no effort at keeping up conversation. Frances came & talked to me for some time after we got in.
Friday April 17th. We had breakfast at 10 o'c and at 12 o'c set out to go to luncheon with some people called Gatty on the way to Bournmouth [ Bournemouth ] races. There was a charming Lady Gatty & two girls & two boys. The races were great fun. It was the first race meeting I'd ever been to in England and I found it very amusing listening to the bookies & watching the crowd & thrilling seeing the finish of the race. It was the opening day of the race course, it stood on high ground and the grass was brilliantly green & the sky blue with flat white & grey clouds. We took ages getting away because of the mass of cars. We had tea in Christchurch & tried to see the Priory but it was shut.
After dinner some of them played Bridge & some played a form of billiards.
Frances came to my room & we talked about her work & the East End generally & various kindred matters till well past midnight.
Saturday April 18th. Cecily, Hugh Mr Gilkes & I went to a meet at an inn on the edge of the Forest called the Rising Sun. Frances, George & St John were hunting & I longed to be riding too. In the afternoon we went over to Christchurch again & saw the PrioryLink opens in a new window which is quite beautiful except that at some fairly recent date they have put up a thick stone screen in the middle cutting it in two. We went on to see Highcliffe CastleLink opens in a new window which is huge and Victorian Gothic and perfectly hideous. After tea Cecily, Mr Gilkes & I spent a good deal of time routling in rhododandrum bushes for birds nests & only found one. After dinner we played Dumb Crambo & various guessing games.
Sunday April 19th. We all went to Church & after luncheon a Sunday afternoon walk was firmly suggested in spite of pouring rain. Frances got me off going & she & I wrote letters intermittantly and talked about Socialism, & she said she had practically nothing in common with any member of her family. After tea there was a cinematograph performance & in the evening we played a guessing game & word making & word taking.
Frances, St John & George went to London in the evening. I like Frances very much, she is much the best of them & really nice.
Thursday April 23rd.
Monday April 20th. Mr Boas, Gilkes & Ponsonby & I all left together arriving in London at 12.50. I went to luncheon with Peggy. Rowly was there and Aunt Aggie just back from Spain. Rowly said to her, "well Aunt Aggie have you come back full of bull fights and smelling of garlic?" Peggy & I discussed the devil & the deep sea position she is in with regard to Charles Graves and the family. She went off to the dentist & I came down here by the 3.34; found Mummy was in London, bolted some tea and tore off to the library where I found they had more than enough helpers which made me rather annoyed because Peggy had wanted me to stay & have tea with her, however it was a lovely evening so Edith and I went for a walk.
Tuesday April 21st. I was out of doors all day long doing a good deal of gardening & sitting in the sun reading & writing.
Wednesday April 22nd. We had a telegram from Daddie saying he would be home on Monday.
I walked through Squerryes onto Crockham Hill picking primroses on the way & was overcome by a sudden longing to have Kathleen with me, no one else fits so well into that sort of weather and country as she does.
Mummy went to London for Mr Maguire's memorial service. I laid on the lawn reading & writing all the afternoon and did some gardening after tea.
Tuesday April 28th.
Thursday April 23rd. Lady SclaterLink opens in a new window came to luncheon and as soon as she'd gone I went up to the Cottage. Edith & I went for a walk & I went back to tea with her.
Friday April 24th. I went to London by the 10.35, went to Heads & got some wool for Kathleen and then walked through the Park to have luncheon with Hazel Goldman who was just as attractive as ever, her brother John, a charming person, was there too and Mrs Golman [ Goldman ] came in late.
I went down to the Knoll for the week-end by a 2.48 train. All the family was there including John, also Lord Radstock & a nice boy a friend of John's called Dermot Bingham. We played deck tennis till nearly dinner time; it was great fun & we got very hot and excited. We listened in on the wireless most of the evening.
Saturday April 25th. We sat about & worked most of the morning. In the afternoon Betty, John, Dermot Bingham & I went to the cinema in Sunninghill & saw several really very good films. When we got back Baron Von PlessenLink opens in a new window had arrived for the week-end; he is at the German Embassy. I had met him several times before and like him very much. We all played deck tennis after tea and were bitten to death by gnats. After dinner we danced on the lawn to the gramaphone, it was delicious dancing in the open air. When it got too cold we came in and danced to the wireless till midnight.
Sunday April 26th. Esther & I went to Church at South Ascot while the others went to Sunninghill. After luncheon we went for a long walk in the direction of Swinley golf course. After tea we played deck tennis again three aside. John was very funny & made all go into fits of laughter so that we could scarcely play. Baron von Plessen left after dinner. We listened in and then Betty sang very well for some time.
Friday May 1st.
Monday April 27th. I left about 11.30, got to London at 12.30 and went to luncheon with Peggy who for perfectly adequate reasons was feeling very depressed with life. I met Anne at the Stores and she told me all about the queer experiences she had had at the Conservative training college in Northamptonshire. We walked along to Victoria where I was meeting Daddie at 4.30. Anne left when the train came in and I went in search of Daddie but there was no sign of him, I waited till practically everyone had left and then discovered the next boat train wasn't expected till 6.20 so I came down here by the 5.40. Daddie got here at 8.19 having had two breakdowns one on the train between Paris and Calais and the other between Dover and London. He was very full of all he'd been doing & had enjoyed himself thoroughly. He had a very good time at the conference in Cairo, was presented to the King of Egypt and saw the Allenbys several times; he was very much taken with the Hotel Semiramies [ Semiramis ] in Cairo and said it was the best hotel he'd ever been in. He stopped at Rome and Milan on his way to Switzerland and also went to Como, Maggiore & Lugano. An American called Montannier took him for a weeks motoring tour in Switzerland & they went over 600 miles. He spent three nights in Geneva, two in Paris, & so home.
Sunday May 3rd.
Tuesday April 28th. I gardened in the morning and in the afternoon went up to the Cottage and had tea with Edith; Miss Deane was with her father down in Gloucestershire.
Daddie went up to London to retrieve a box he hadn't had time to get through the customs on Monday. It had in it all the post cards and other oddments he'd brought back & he showed them all to us after dinner.
I had a letter from Edith which made my blood run cold & reduced me to a state of abject misery, she said she had left the Club having got another job & her place had been taken by a Miss Simpson.
Wednesday April 29th. I went up by the 8.40 & dashed off to a Medical Inspection at Albion St. When I got into the room there was Edith & the whole thing had been a leg pull! My relief was completely unbounded. She left & I stayed on & finished the medical, the headmaster was maddening, he had got nothing ready in the boys department and was very rude to the doctor who bore it beautifully. I helped with dinners as soon as I got back, Miss North was there very much better for her holiday & quite bearable poor thing! Edith & I cleaned the Chapel with much gusto applauded by Sister, then I dashed out & did seven visits in 3/4 of an hour. Dr Little the wonderful Presbyterian preacher came & had tea with Sister & Edith & me in the hostel, he is charming but very shy. The Peter Rabbits were as nice as ever. Carrie came to help & Lizzie Burke came in later & she & I talked afterwards till supper time mostly about the question of sex, she is very self centred but then so are most of us. Edie & Suey came in to see me at the library & were awfully nice & said they'd never enjoyed a week-end so much. I had the painting class after Chapel, it only consisted of Carrie, Ada & Iris but that was all to the good from my point of view. Edith came & talked to me when I was in bed.
Thursday April 30th. Edith came to see me on her way to the bath but as we found it was quite impossible to get a bath she remained & we laughed & joked. I sorted out the fearful mass of visits we have got to get through and then went out visiting, amongst other things I went to eight of the mothers whose boys are at Bushey to tell them the time of starting of a party Edith was getting up to go down there on Saturday. Mrs Phipps said to me that her husband was going & he must be sure to take his card of omission! I met poor Mrs Taylor coming along the road looking very ill & worried. She told me Violet is to go to a convalescent home for three months which should do her good. I helped with dinners & then did indexing of visits and of books & tried to get my room straightened out & came down here by the 3.34.
Friday May 1st. A horrid day very cold & pelting at intervals. Uncle Claude & Aunt Di came over for luncheon & were very nice indeed but wished I wouldn't "bury" myself in Bermondsey - which Aunt Di would call Brixton! I went up to go for a walk with Edith after tea but found she'd forgotten all about & gone out to tea so I went for a walk on the Chart but met a boy with a gun shooting birds & retired rather hastily thinking he might mistake me for a bird.
Saturday May 2nd. I had had Peggy coming down on her motor bicycle for the day but she telephoned the night before to say she had got an abscess on her neck & so of course couldn't come on the motorbike. It was a lovely morning & I felt very bored at the thought of a blank day. I walked up onto the Trust Ground & found it carpeted with bluebells & the beech leaves just coming out - too lovely. I picked a big bunch of bluebells & on the way down met Miss Deane who told me to go & see Edith who was very repentant about the day before & asked me to go for a walk that afternoon which I did. We went into the woods & sat on a log. She is very depressed about her mother who has got a wasting disease & her mind has gone & shes barely alive and very miserable. It does seem sad.
Shortie, Mrs Idie & I went to see "Lord Richard in the Pantry"Link opens in a new window the latest play produced by the W.A.D.S. It was very funny in parts but a rotten play really. Betty Nissen was excellent in the leading lady's part.
Sunday May 3rd. Hazel was coming for the day but she had to go away for the week-end & so couldn't.
I went to Church at 10 o'c & stayed on for the next service and went for a walk with Edith afterwards.
Daddie & I went along the Pilgrim's Way in the afternoon & found masses of dog violets but no white ones.
I'm very excited because Mummy has given me her old Empire typewriter so I'm busily learning to type.
Friday May 8th.
Monday May 4th. I went up to the Club by the 8.40. Very glad to go back. I did lists of holidays for Miss Brodigan, Edith & I helped with dinners then I went visiting and got back in time for tea & Peter Rabbits. Quite a lot of people came to the library. Lizzie & Florrie had a bust up which luckily they settled before they left.
Tuesday May 5th. Edith & I made an awful discovery that half the Peter Rabbits overalls had been stolen by the unemployed. We spent the whole morning washing the remainder & had great fun over it. We did dinners alone together as Miss North had gone away for the day. Edith went off directly after & Sister & I spent a very profitable time sewing up her night gown & filling her bed with rice & peanut husks. Then Sister went with me while I did visits & I must say it was rather nice to have someone going with one. I had a hurried tea & then went off to see Anne who was staying at Cadogan Street with Lady Helen Acland-Hood; Lady Helen was away but said Anne could stay on if she didn't have any meals in the house so I went out & bought buns & most revolltingly nasty meat patés & we had a wonderful meal. Anne was in great spirits & very amusing. I helped her pack & dressed up in her mackintosh & boudoir cap and we had a great many jokes.
I got back to the Club about 9.30 and had a long talk with Nelly Berry & several other of the Club girls; Nelly is a charming person very quiet & refined & quite unlike any of the other girls.
Edith spent a disturbed night on the peanut husks!
Wednesday May 6th. I visited both morning & afternoon. Miss Tennant came to tea & was most amusing, the Peter Rabbits behaved like angels for the first half hour & devils for the second half. I did library & then painting class; Maisie & Carrie got completely out of hand and when they went to take the painting materials up to my bed-room leant out of the window and shouted to me "Hurry" in the street belowing. Miss North appeared later on in the sitting room with bulging eyes & said "did Miss Younghusband know there had been girls in her bed-room shouting from the window?" & Miss Younghusband had to confess she'd been quite unable to keep order!
Edith & I begun to plan out our novel we've talked about for so long.
Thursday May 7th. I went to an H.M.U.H Committee meeting which was more or less dull. I went back with Margaret Adam afterwards because I was lunching with the Hylton's who also live in Manchester Square. Betty is a very nice girl, young & enthusiastic & full of life. I went across to Margaret after luncheon & we walked in the Park & then I went to Paddington Green HospitalLink opens in a new window to meet Peggy, I ran bang into a departing committee meeting & they thought I was a rich stall holder going to help at their bazaar. Peggy was in the Out Patients department being very efficient; it was very funny to see her in a strange atmosphere in which she was very much at home. We got back to find Charles Graves who'd been interviewing the family. He left directly after tea & Peggy & I had a good talk.
Colonel & Mrs Bonham-Carter came to dinner.
Friday May 8th. It poured most of the day. I typed a mass of letters & got quite fast at it. Edith rang up & I went up there for tea; it suddenly became the most wonderful evening & we walked to the Trust Ground & sat on a bench looking over the world bathed in a golden haze, and discussed immortality & people's chances in life & kindred subjects.
Saturday May 9th. Daddie & I went to London by the 8.40 to go to the opening of Wembley.Link opens in a new window He went to his Club & changed into full dress uniform & I met him there & we went down to Wembley. We had very good seats in the stadium & saw perfectly. It was all the usual things, massed bands, mass choirs, the King & Queen & other members of the Royal Family in state carriages; boy scouts; girl guides; Land of Hope & Glory; parades of nurses, & postmen, sailors, marines & soldiers. We had a very good luncheon at Buszards [ Buzzards ] restaurant & then went & saw some of the Exhibition. It is very good, much like last year. I love Wembley. We came back to London & I caught a 4.40 train down to Ashtead. Aunt Di has got the sweetest little pekinese puppy three months old.
Sunday May 10th. Aunt Di & I went to Church in the morning & in the afternoon we did a good deal of painting outdoors.
Monday May 11th. Uncle Claude & I went up by the 10.13. I went to the Club & helped with dinner & then ladled out visits to two students from Avery Hill & went visiting myself. Peter Rabbits passed off uneventfully.
Edie, Suey, Carrie, Nellie Berry, Lizzie & I went to Shoreditch Town Hall to see the Devil's Diciple [ Disciple ]Link opens in a new window by Bernard Shaw acted by amateurs & produced by Miss Growse our dramatic mistress. It was quite excellent, very well done & a first rate play, unfortunately we had to leave before the end because we were afraid of missing the last bus. The girls enjoyed it very much. Edith & I talked till after midnight but didn't get the novel started.
Sunday May 17th.
Tuesday May 12th. We went to Lewisham in the morning to get some cheap casement cloth to make new Peter Rabbit overalls & also some spades & buckets for them to play with. Lewisham turned out to be miles & miles away. We went on top of a bus & looked at the shops & enjoyed ourselves enormously. I had been feeling thoroughly fed up with the "Club Ladies" but my temper was restored by getting right away for a bit.
In the afternoon, I went to the Infirmary to see Florrie Page who is in there with somthing internal wrong with her. I spent a most happy hour talking to her, she really is a delightful person. From there I went visiting & didn't get back to the Club till 5.30.
Edith & I bolted our suppers & tore off to the Rotherhithe swimming baths where we met Lizzie Burke, Carrie, Lizzie Hastings, Ivy & several other girls and had a very good swim. Most of the girls can swim a great deal better than I can & Edith nearly drowned me demonstrating how one did life saving. I had nothing to do in the Club for the rest of the evening. We actually got the novel started after we went to bed but we were both so desperately sleepy that we found it difficult to keep awake at all much less write properly.
Wednesday May 13th. I visited till it was time for the dinners. Miss Hyslop tore in for a few minutes at dinner time. I went to the Infirmary again in the afternoon to take some books to Annie Ruddell the sister of one of the Albion St School children who is in there with consumption & looks desperately ill. It was visiting day & there were seething masses of people everywhere. Florrie had crowds of people to see her & was up & dressed. She said she'd been put on to take round the collecting box to get money to buy flowers so I said "how did you get on?" & she answered "oh I just said now come on hand out your mouldies"!
Betty came down at tea time to spend the evening. We took the Peter Rabbits into Southwark ParkLink opens in a new window to play in the sandpit there. They enjoyed it tremendously & were as good as gold. Betty went to the Infirmary & saw Florrie. I did library in the evening & Betty did singing class & then I had the painting class. Edith & I did a little novel but we were more sleepy than the night before.
Thursday May 14th. Edith & I spent the whole morning sitting on the roof in the sunshine writing the novel our brains were naturally much clearer & we really did accomplish somthing & got to the end of the first chapter.
I went to luncheon with the Waldegraves who have taken a house in Egerton Gardens. From there I went to call on Mrs Corry who wasn't at home & then I went to tea with Peggy & came down here by the 6.34.
Friday May 15th. Rosalie Mackenzie was back from America & staying at the Cottage. I went up there in the morning & walked with her to the Trust Ground. She is in wild spirits at being in her beloved England again after 5 years and was bursting with enthusiasm & crammed with theories and altogether most amusing & refreshing.
I went back to luncheon at the Cottage; Miss Deane was there very nice but Edith had gone off on a long motor drive with Major Streatfeild. It took Rosalie, Miss Deane & I one hour to pack the former's things for the week-end & I saw her off to her sister at Colchester by the 3.55
There was a most interesting meeting at the W.I in the evening at which Major Streatfeild & General Currie explained the local District Council's housing scheme & also what it is proposed to do in Westerham & then asked for the women's views as to where the houses should be built & how they should be planned.
Saturday May 16th. I went over to the Bevans at Reigate for the day to see their new house. It took two hours to get there by 'bus but it was a very pretty drive & a glorious boiling hot day (there is a heat wave on just at present). They have got the most attractive long low red brick house on the side of a semi circular hill with woods all round & a view right away over line upon line of hills to the sea. The name of it is Wray Lane House; it is pretty both inside & out & I could find no disadvantage to it at all. Mrs Bevan, Christina & Anne were there & we spent most of the morning going round the garden & discussing what plants should be moved & what should be done to it generally. We had luncheon in the garden all making a great many jokes then Anne & I did some weeding in the rock garden which runs up the side of the hill into a wood & then we laid in the sun & talked. After tea we all transported plants & then the cat got lost & there was a fearful & distraught search & finally I found him behind a bush pensively listening to Christina partically calling him. I stayed for dinner and finally reached home a little after 10 o'c having had a most amusing day.
Sunday May 17th. I went to Church at 10 o'c. Mrs Lucas came down for luncheon & tea. After tea I went up to the Cottage, Edith had missed the bus back from Oxted so I sat & talked to Miss Deane for some time and as I was leaving Edith came in & walked part of the way back with me.
Monday May 18th. Mummy, Mrs Idie & I went to London to stay with Miss Heathcote. I went up by the 8.40 and dashed off to a Medical at Albion St; then went to the Club and collected one or two things and Edith went with me in the bus as far as London Bridge. I arrived at Hereford Gardens in time for luncheon & after luncheon Mummy & I went out together & called on Baroness Schroëder & Mrs Goldman who were both away. I left Mummy at the Guards Club and went to Frazer & Haws to leave my necklace to be restrung; then I called on Miss Wolff who was out so I went to a shop in Victoria St & had my hair cut, the girl cut it so close that she made me look like a convict behind & a vampire in front. I went on to Peggy, she was out I waited sometime & just as I had left I met her and went back with her.
Tuesday May 19th. I went out soon after breakfast & went to Tilney Street & found Aunt Bobs was in London. I sat with her while she had breakfast & then we went to the Chelsea Flower Show which was just open. The exhibits in the tents were quite lovely this year but the rock gardens were not so good as usual. There were several very fine new rhododandruns & especially two named Purple Splendour & Mother O' Pearl.
I just got back in time for luncheon & in the afternoon Mummy, Miss Heathcote & I went back to the show; it wasn't nearly so amusing going with them because they took no interest in the individual flowers. We went to an At Home at the Royal Hospital on the way out. I escaped after 20 minutes & met Cousin Vie Bond outside the gates. We walked together as far as Sloane Square where I got a bus & went to tea with Peggy & stayed a long time talking to her.
Wednesday May 20th. I dashed up to High St Kensington after breakfast to look at the shops there but didn't buy anything. I met Anne at the Times Book Club at 11.30 & we went to a shop called Galien & Pole in Marylebone High St where she bought a good many oddments & I got a very pretty blue straw hat with hideous trimming on it for 12/11. We walked down Baker St & looked at silk high necked jumpers in a little shop at the far end but they hadn't got the colour I wanted.
I went back for luncheon and after luncheon tore the trimming off my hat & re-trimmed it with blue velvet ribbon. I went to a tea party at the Waldegraves arriving early to see them & Anne who was staying there, before the other people came. There was no one particularly amusing at the party excepting Mable Mitchell whom we used to think not quite all there at Miss Wolff's & who appeared tremendously smart & very much on the spot.
I went to see Hazel & Mrs Goldman for a few minutes on the way back. Miss Heathcote, Mummy & I went to see "Lightnin'" an amusing American play with one excellent man in the part of the old hotel keeper.
Thursday May 21st. I shopped in the morning and as it was Ascension Day went to a service at St Martin's, very good singing & a lot of people. I went back to Hereford Gardens, changed and went to luncheon with Marlie Raphael in Connaught Place. She had six girls to luncheon & was most amusing & just the same. One of the girls took me in her car to Sloane Avenue. I saw Anne, Joan & Mrs Talbot for a few minutes and then went back to Hereford Gardens for an At Home that was going on there. It was pretty deadly but there were one or two bright spots including Miss Slade who is charming. Daddie came in for a short time.
I dined with Peggy & we went to see "Sun Up"Link opens in a new window a play about the people who live in the hills of West Carolina. It was most wonderfully acted by an American company; their Southern accents were so strong that it took one almost the whole of the 1st act to understand what they were saying. The woman who took the part of the motherLink opens in a new window was a marvellous actress, she was clapped at the end till she had to come & make a speech & Peggy said the same thing happens every night.
Friday May 22nd. I met Edith at Marble Arch at 8 o'c & we went to Hyde Park where we ate sandwiches & fruit & tried to write the novel, we didn't accomplish very much but it was delicious in the Park in the early morning sunshine. We parted at Hyde Park Corner about 11 o'c & I went to Egerton Gardens to see Anne, we started out together but we were going in different directions so we parted at Sloane St. I went to Selfridge & bought a very pretty scarf; then went to luncheon with Anna, directly after luncheon we set out on top of a bus for Hackney Wick which is simply miles & miles away & took us 1 ½ hours to reach. Anna goes there once a fortnight to the Eton Mission Infant Welfare Centre.Link opens in a new window We spent our time in the doctor's waiting room showing people in to the doctor & giving them cups of tea & biscuits for a penny. It wasn't the least interesting but doubtless very useful. We had tea with two most amusing women who live at the settlement house & did nothing but tease Anna & tell her she was going to become a social worker. They are quite desperately short of people & funds there & were very envious when they heard of all we have.
I went back to dinner with Anna. Mr & Mrs Talbot, Joan & Evan were there. Mrs Talbot very cheerful & we had fearful jokes all through dinner. After dinner we went to Wembley & saw "London Defended" which was most wonderfully done; they had a house on fire & fire engines teaming up & rescuing people & turning on hoses; & massed bands marching & playing by the light of torches; & Metropolitan mounted police doing fancy riding with very strong search lights which produced the most wonderful effects of light & shade turned on them; and a reproduction of the Fire of London; & air raids with anti aircraft guns popping & maroons going off. Afterwards Anna, Joan, Evan & I went on the Giant Racer.Link opens in a new window I've never felt quite so awful in all my life & had to keep my eyes shut most of the time, almost the whole while one is going up a hill like this / only to stay poised for a moment at the top with all Wembley spread out below before one plunges down a thing like this \ . One's inside just turns over & over & electric shocks go through all one's limbs. Wembley at night is perfectly thrilling, millions & millions of lights everywhere & a great feeling of romance & unreality like one of Well's [ Wells' ] dreams of the future.
Saturday May 23rd. I came down here by the 11.10. Rosalie came to luncheon & afterwards we walked up to the cottage by Squerryes & she & I had tea & a good many jokes, then curled up on the sofa & discussed everything under the sun, then Mary Smith came in looking for Miss Deane, just when we'd been discussing her too, then Miss Deane & Edith came in & finally about 7.15 I left. Edith came part of the way back with me; we sat on a tree stump, smoking cigarettes & were joined by Rosalie & Miss Renny Talyour [ Tailyour ].
Sunday May 24th. Daddie gave a most extraordinarily good Empire Day address in the Church. Mummy came down for it at 11.25 & they both left by the 12.47 to go to the Empire Day service at Wembley. I went to see Mrs Busk & listened in to Wembley & had tea with her. In the evening I went up to the Cottage in pouring rain & arrived soaked. Mary Smith was there also soaked & also Miss Colville. Rosalie & I sat in the kitchen & talked, & then teased Edith; the former walked down the hill with me.
Friday May 29th.
Monday May 25th. I went to the Club in the morning and did various oddments for most of the morning. In the afternoon I went to see Cissie Rump who is in the Infirmary having had an operation for appendicitis. I also took books to three other girls in various wards & then went visiting.
Edith went off for the night to see a cousin whose brother had been killed in a flying smash. Sister, Mary Roberts, Lily Ridley and another Lily & I went to the swimming baths in the evening, none of them could swim but we had a very good time. I did the library when I got back & went to bed as early as I could.
Tuesday May 26th. I spent some time at the school in the morning doing school enquiries & then went back for luncheon, after luncheon I did more visits. Edith & I sat on the roof from after tea till supper time doing the novel we got on fairly well but very slowly.
I had nothing to do in the Club for the first part of the evening so I wrote to Kathleen & I read. I had the painting class after chapel.
Wednesday May 27th. It was a pouring day and we had miraculously cleared up all our Care Committee visits except one so we did the novel most of the morning. Miss North said she didn't want me to help her with dinners so I went with Edith to Whitechapel and heard her give a dinner hour address on Father DamianLink opens in a new window in a tailoring workshop. When we got back to Bermondsey I went & did the one visit and then we met at the Club & steadily wrote more novel till tea time in spite of all this energy we only accomplished seven pages but of course it is much slower when two people are writing - or rather composing - a thing.
I left after tea & went to stay the night with Miss Heathcote to go with Mummy & Daddie to Lord & Lady Derby's Derby Night party. The Queen was there & Princess Mary & the Duke & Duchess of York & Haig,Link opens in a new window Jellicoe,Link opens in a new window Beatty,Link opens in a new window Lord Hugh Cecil, Sir George Lloyd and masses of Ambassadors & other foreigners. The dresses & the jewels were quite wonderful & it is a beautiful house but we didn't know enough people & from a purely personal point of view I didn't enjoy it much although it was a fine sight. We got home about 1.45.
Thursday May 28th. I went back to Bermondsey directly after breakfast & joined Edith at a medical inspection. We visited afterwards & then went back to the Club for luncheon & I came down here by the 2.5 and went to tea with Barbara Liddell (the Liddells have taken the Bushell's house for the summer).
Friday May 29th. I gardened nearly all the morning. Rosalie came to luncheon & we went for a long walk in Squerryes in the afternoon talking hard all the time. I went back with her to the Cottage for tea & found Edith there we all laughed so much during tea that we could scarcely speak.
Saturday June 6th.
Saturday May 30th. Betty & I were going with 9 of the girls to Miss Bulley's Cottage at Wrotham for Whitsuntide. I left here by the 8.40 & met Betty, Florrie Page, Florrie Miller, Edie, Emmy Hodgekinson & Maggie Fordham at Otford they were all in wild spirits and very anxious to tell Betty & me all about the Cottage & show it to us as soon as it came in sight. A motor met us at the station & took us up; the Cottage was on the very top of a ridge of downs with a glorious view for miles over the Weald & away to the South Downs. Miss Bulley met us there, she has worked at the Club for years but has been away for some months with rheumatoid arthritis & can only just hobble about on two sticks. She was very nice to us both & showed us everything. We just laid about in the garden & unpacked for most of the morning. After dinner we all went down to the station about two miles away & met Lizzie, Suey, Florrie Ward & Annie Cabrow. Miss Bulley came to tea with us & after tea some of us walked to a lovely place on the downs called Golden Knob full of thyme & deep blue milkwort, it was a perfect golden evening & altogether perfect. In the evening they cleared the sitting room & danced.
Sunday May 31st. I went to Church early, a lovely walk in the fresh morning. We all went to Church at 11 o'c & some came out before the rest. On the way back I discovered Florrie Page, Maggie & Emmy lying in a field with some boys, so I said they could stay as long as they were back by dinner time. At dinner I said we were all going for a walk together in the afternoon & after dinner I told Maggie & Emmy to go & tell some of the others who were upstairs to hurry up. Lizzie, Edie, Suey, Florrie Miller, Betty & I waited for ages in the sitting-room & finally went upstairs only to find they had sneaked off & when we looked out of the window we could see them away down in the field below. I was perfectly furious & Betty & I were just starting in persuit (a most unwise thing to do) when they started off towards the village so it was no good. Meanwhile Lizzie got palpitations of the heart & so I gave her sal volatile & made her lie down on her bed & Edie stayed to look after her while Suey, Florrie Miller, Betty & I went a lovely walk to a little village called Stanstead.
Miss Bulley came to tea, after tea I had to ask Florrie Page somthing about Lizzie & I found her & Maggie & Emmy together so I just laid in & told them what I thought of them going off like that; Florrie became very rude while the others were silent & glum. Lizzie was having shivering fits so Miss Bulley sent for her brother in law who had once nearly trained as a doctor, he sent her to bed & said she was to be kept quiet & she was all right by the evening. Florrie P sulked violently.
We had a good deal of singing after supper, Miss Bulley's brother-in-law Mr Bruce sang & then Betty & then we all sang together. We went to bed about 11 o'c. I went to say good night to Betty when she was in bed & I'd finished my bath, it was a most lovely moonlight night & so we put on coats over our nightgowns, opened the back door very softly, stole out doubled up with laughter & went for a walk. Next morning Annie said she had been frightened by men walking round the house!
Monday June 1st. Florrie P, Maggie & Emmy disappeared soon after breakfast. Edie, Suey, Florrie, Annie & I went for a walk along the Pilgrim's Way & laid in the sun on some downs. In The afternoon some of us went to Golden Knob. We all went to tea with Miss Bulley who has a very pretty house and who played the piano most beautifully for us.
We left by a 7.24 train; it was pretty full but Betty, Lizzie, Edie, Suey & I managed to get into one carriage & the rest into another. We had a most amusing journey & the rest of the carriage was in fits of surpressed laughter. We got out at the Elephant where Betty left us. Edie, Suey, Lizzie & I rushed into the Club full of hilarity. Edith & I had a long talk afterwards.
Tuesday June 2nd. We did a little mild visiting in the morning and wrote the novel most of the afternoon, after tea we went to see the St James's Church worker about some children & then returned & did more novel.
We went to the swimming baths in the evening & had great fun there with about ½ dozen girls.
I went with Lizzie to see Toc H but there was no one there to show us over so we went for a long walk along by the River & Lizzie talked extraordinarily well. I must say she talks as well as anyone I know.
Edith & I did some more to the novel when we went up to bed.
Sunday June 7th.
Wednesday June 3rd. Edith & I finished up our few remaining visits in the morning. I had an immensely long talk with the toothless old lady who is Mrs Ruddell's landlady & who hates her like poison.
Edith Hanmer came to luncheon & directly after Edith R took us to Pell Place, Pell Street Whitechapel to see a large family living in a bad slum; then Edith H and I went on to Wass, Prichard [ Pritchard ] & Co in Fenchurch Street, a big printing works where Edie Fitzpatrick works and were taken all over it, we saw lithographic printing, which Edie does, and the three colour process, and it was most interesting; they were already doing millions of Christmas cards mostly for Raphael Tuck.Link opens in a new window Edie's own machine wasn't working because they'd just got through the lot that were being done on it & were cleaning the rollers but we saw Edie & she was very cheerful.
Edith came back to tea after the Club and then I saw her off to catch the 5.4 train.
We took the Peter Rabbits to Southwark Park and they enjoyed themselves tremendously playing in the sand.
I did library in the evening & then had a most rowdy but very amusing painting class.
There was a letter from Miss Bulley in the morning to Miss Brodigan telling her all the stories that were going about Wrotham about the behaviour of Florrie P, Maggie & Emmy so they had a heart to heart talk with Miss Brodigan as a result of which Florrie P came & apologized to me & was very nice.
Lizzie, Edie & Suey spent ages in making effigies of Edith & me dressed in our own clothes & lying in a drunken embrace on my bed with a bottle clasped between us; they were very well made and most life like, there were huge jokes about it & everyone was taken up in turn to see them.
Edith & I talked till 12.30 but were too muddle headed to think of writing the novel.
Thursday June 4th. We did some novel directly after breakfast; then Edith went to Albion St & I went to East Lane School to get some After Care Conference papers from the head mistress.
Barbara came to see us later in the morning & was most amusing talking in front of Mrs Beattie about how her grandmother took to drink & then hung herself and trying to get pennies out of a missionary collecting box. We left the Club together and I went to luncheon with Mrs Corry who seemed well & has a very nice flat in Hans Mansions. I went to see Esther & Betty for a few minutes & then came down here by the 3.34.
Miss Anthony who is over in England came down to stay by the 6.8. She is just as amusing and delightful as ever & keeps Daddie in fits of laughter.
Mr & Mrs Trefusis & Colonel & Mrs Kirkpatrick came over from Forest Row for tea.
Friday June 5th. We started out in a motor about 12 o'c taking our luncheon & took Miss Anthony to see ChiddingstoneLink opens in a new window a lovely village about 6 miles from here, then we went on a bit further & had luncheon in a field & then went on to Penshurt [ Penshurst ]Link opens in a new window which really is beautiful. I think more beautiful than Knole. We went over it & then came back by Toys Hill, the country was all looking perfectly lovely & Miss Anthony was most excited about it. They dropped me at the Cottage where I met Rosalie & Frances, Barbara & Bee & Miss Renny-Talyour [ Tailyour ] & we went for a picnic in the pine woods & had endless jokes & a very good time. I went in to see Edith on the way down & she & I & Rosalie & Frances all came down the hill together.
Saturday June 6th. I went up to the Cottage & sat with Edith in Mrs Stretfeild's [ Streatfeild's ] garden all the morning. The others went off on an expedition to Ightham MoteLink opens in a new window & the Cazalets but I stayed behind because Peggy said she was coming down on her motor bike directly after luncheon; at 4.30 Castle rung up & said they'd got to Lewisham & then somthing or other which I couldn't hear had happened & they'd gone home again. I was very cross at having given up the other & then her not coming.
Saturday June 20th.
Sunday June 7th. I went to Church in the morning. A boy called Hall-Walker who is a friend of Cecil's & is doing a naval course at Greenwich came to luncheon. In the afternoon we went to Squerryes & Lady Sybil was charming and showed Miss Anthony over the house. We went on to the Plenders & found the Miss Liddells & various other people there and had tea and saw their wonderful rock garden. We came back by Chevening and the Pilgrim's Way. Miss Anthony enjoyed all these expeditions tremendously and loved seeing people and their houses.
Monday June 8th. I went up by the 9.42 and dashed off to a medical inspection where I found Edith & took over from her. We had luncheon early & went off to see a very charming girl called Millie Edwards at the Working Women's College at Beckenham - a very amusing hour's drive on the top of a bus. The College takes 18 girls from all over England and mostly from factories; they stay there for a year & do courses in pschology, comparative religion, history, literature, biology etc: and then the College tries to find jobs for them mostly in some form of social service. Millie Edwards was a bottle washer in a factory in Whitechapel & was sent to the College by Edith, she has a most attractive face & is a very interesting & fine person with any amount of common sense and almost the greatest thirst for books & learning that I have ever seen in anyone. The sad thing is that her mother is ill & so when she leaves the College at the end of the term she feels she must go back to a job in a factory or shop so as to live at home. We asked her whether she would rather not have had this year as she will have to go back to monotonous work & drab surroundings again but she said no, she would far rather have had it and that psychology was an enormous help to her & made her understand people & all their peculiarities so much better.
We got back at tea time. Only two students were able to come so I remained downstairs with the one who was doing Miss Dickinson's class (Miss Dickinson is in Italy). We went swimming in the evening and then I got back & did the library. We wrote a bit of novel after we'd gone to tea.
Tuesday June 9th. I went visiting in the morning and Edith & I did a little visiting together in the afternoon & after tea wrote novel. We went swimming in the evening and Addie and a very nice friend of hers came over to the Club for the evening & got on splendidly with everyone.
Wednesday June 10th. I went visiting and got back in time for dinners. There was an After Care Conference at the school in the girls department that afternoon which was interesting. We had Peter Rabbits after tea. I did library & painting class in the evening. Edith & I wrote novel till after midnight.
Thursday June 11th. Edith & I went out together to do somthing or other in the morning and when we got back found Barbara waiting for us; she was most amusing and delightful & quite at her best. She & I both went to a luncheon party at Margaret Adam's, there were about six other girls there & we behaved atrociously talking & making frightful jokes all the time, I walked with her to the Queen's Hall where we parted & I came down here by the 3.34 I went up to the Cottage after tea & Rosalie came back to dinner with me & was awfully nice; we said good bye because she was going away before I should be back.
Sunday June 21st.
Friday June 12th. I went over to Reigate by the 10.12 bus. When I arrived I found poor Anne completely protrate upstairs with hay fever. Gus was there in splendid form & most amusing. I sat upstairs with Anne most of the afternoon & talked to her. We hid Gus's coat & had a great fight with him with wet sponges.
Gus, Anne & I set out for London about 7.15 the wretched Gus carrying a rather large suitcase of Anne's. We went up all the way in 59 bus eating sandwiches, drinking ginger beer out of the bottles & trying to upset it over one another, talking & laughing a great deal & altogether behaving very badly.
I went to the Club for the night because I was going away for the week-end and it was so much easier than going back to Westerham & then back up to London the next morning. Miss Brodigan came up to my room in a great state to tell me that Edith had just had a telephone message from her home to say her father's heart was very bad & the specialist who had just seen him said he must stay in bed in complete quiet for six weeks and gave up his work for an indefinite period. Edith was up in the mixed club so I went up & tried to persuade her to give it up & go to bed but of course she wouldn't. I'd never seen the mixed club before; it really was very amusing; they have a jazz band & refreshments & the girls bring their "chaps" in. Edith came & talked to me about her father when I was in bed. She was dreadfully upset & depressed about it and it was extraordinarily hard to think of anything in the least consoling to say about someone who had always been full of life & energy being suddenly forced to stop doing anything.
Saturday June 13th. I did oddments of writing & indexing & then went to meet Mummy & Daddie at Waterloo and we went down to Eton to spend the week-end with Dolly Vaughan (who was Dolly Waller) and her husband who was an ex-master of Eton. They have a very attractive house called the Marches & dear Dolly was just as delightful and kind & talking as much as ever. Mr Vaughan is also charming. Daddie & I went to watch cricket in the afternoon. An old Mrs Chapman came to stay & her nephew Alan Guest who turned out to be Evan Guest's brother came to tea & he & another boy rowed Daddie & me down the River after tea to watch the Eights practising. It was quite delicious on the River.
Sunday June 14th We went to Chapel in the morning & the singing was beautiful & rather an impressive sight all those hundreds of boys in a mass. I met Mr & Mrs Talbot after Chapel & she said she'd recognised me half way across by my cough! Mr Vaughan took us to see the Memorial Chapel which has one quite beautiful window with all the names engraved in tiny letters on the glass; the other window I was not so sure about, it has a square red cross with groups of figures in it and the words from Dante
"God's soldiers one with Christ
In the red cross of light"
We also saw the concert hall & library & the picture gallery with some excellent pictures by the boys and an exhibition of Turner water colours.