Wednesday, 26 December 2012

26th December 1932 - Mary to Terrick

Postcard – posted 27.12.32

Dear Fitz

- Please excuse pencil but its boxing day & I’m so full that I can’t get up to get my pen.

- about Thursday – could you both manage to arrive dressed? 

- I know it’ll be a bit early for you to change to be at Hammersmith by 6.15 – but we’ve been talking it over & have come to the conclusion that 10 of us all wanting to use the bathroom between 6.30 & 7.30 would be too dreadful - & also John & Mr Hodson would all have to scrum in with you - & I know none of you would get your ties tied straight in a crush! – So what do you think? 

- you see, we’ll bring you here – plonk you in the drawing-room with the days paper etc – then we’ll dress - & all eat sandwiches, coffee etc before hieing ourselves hence.

- would that be O.K.? – Let me know if not.

- We’ve had a very nice Christmas – but relations get more trying as they grow older & its very wearing.


Mary P

Friday, 21 December 2012

21st December 1932 - Mary to Terrick

P. Ormiston & Sons, Ltd.
79 Clerkenwell road


Dear Fitz.

- Frightfully bucked you can both come on the 29th – at least that was the message I had delivered so I hope it’s correct – (Mitchell is not one of the best on the phone!) - & can Paul stay the night at our place too? – (or wouldn’t he like to?) – Because its such a beat of a way over to Carshalton at that hour of the morn: that we’re putting the girl up too - & you & he can have the boys room between you – while Jack & Mr Hodson esconce themselves in the drawing room !! – It would be great fun – so do persuade him to – you’ll change at our place, too, won’t you? – I’ll take the car up to town in the morning & pick you both up at 6. & we’ll all go home together – if you think that’s O.K.? – phone me one dinner hour – (1-1-20) before the 29th – or write & let me know. – of course if you can think of anything better its all the same to us. – Oh, I’m most frightfully excited 

– I wish I could jump over Christmas – except for presents! - & also as a matter of fact I’m simply fed to the teeth with this hum-drum existance! (I’d forgotten that for the moment!) – Everybody here complains about everything – with never a cheering word for anybody – sometimes I want to sit down & weep - & long to fly to somewhere nice & sunny & quiet – with trees & rivers & grass – all by itself - & just go to sleep for ever – oh! I am an ass – but haven’t you ever felt like that? – Living is such a thankless task – specially when one is not original enough to make something out of it all.

- tons of love, old thing, (pretend you’ve known me for a long time – will you ?)

- all the best etc for Christmas

- Simply living for Thursday week.


Mary Pleasant xxx

P.S Norah would have 40 fits if she saw this – so would lots of people – in fact perhaps you will too – but it just comes – specially when I’m empty!!

21st December 1932 - Terrick to Mary

21st December 1932

Dear Mary Pleasant

I could not ring up on Monday evening as I was sent down to Bournemouth on business and didn’t get back to Hampstead till after midnight.  Last night, however I left a message to say that I should be able to come on the 29th and also would find something for the 31st .  Paul can also come on both days.

Now the snag about the 31st will be getting home.  We live such miles apart.  For this reason I am getting Paul to find out what is on at the Locarno, Streatham.  He says it is not bad there.  That would be nearer your home and I shall be able to see you safely there and reach Hampstead before the end of January.

Sometimes cross country journeys turn out to be longer than one direct from London, so I shall investigate the possibilities of the Empress Rooms, Kensington, where the dancing is generally pretty good.  Anyhow, I’ll find something.  Renny, my brother, may also be able to come that night.

Well, bung-ho! And remember me to all your family.  I am sending you a Christmas card this evening if I can find one nice enough for you.

Love from 


Sunday, 16 December 2012

16th December 1932 - Mary to Terrick



- Thanks tons for lovely long letter. - & for trying for scarf. – heavens only knows what I shall get her now! – am frightfully bucked about Sunday – be at Hampstead tube station at 3.0. p.m. will you? – I don’t know for certain whether N. can come yet – but if not I will – but I hope to goodness she can! – will discuss everything then – I’ve got masses to talk about – Please take my family with a pinch of salt – I expect they’re sick of your name already! - & its not as bad as all that with N & Gray (christian name!) – she’d slay me if she thought you knew who he was - & I’m not jealous – only anxious – but mums the word! – well heaps of love till Sunday – longing to see you.

- love M. Pleasant

Monday, 10 December 2012

10th December 1932 - Mary to Terrick

Christchurch Road
East Sheen

Saturday Evening 

9.30 pm  

Dear Fitz, (I like “Terrick” much better – but it would take such a lot of getting used to - & sounds too good!) – Thank you very much for both nice letters.  Norah was here the morning the first arrived & we nearly fell out of bed when we saw the address! – you seemed such frantically miles away – but – oh! You lucky lucky dog! – those gorgeous sprightly mornings & those lochs & mountains - & me dragging into buses & out of tubes to sit in the fuggiest office heated with all oil stove!  In fact, practically the whole of Thursday I thought about you & longed to be up there too, ploughing through that lapping water in the ferry boat & seeing porpoises & things.  – oh – it makes me ache with wanting to think of it.

- we are all frightfully bucked you can come on the 29th & 5th – we’ll put you up here & as it happens a school friend of mine has to get back to Carshalton somehow, so Paul can be found some sort of conveyance with her if he doesn’t mind - & perhaps he wouldn’t mind having her as a partner (merely nominally speaking!) because she’s quite decent & can’t get hold of anybody.

It’s frightfully nice of you to try & come on the 18th – but if your family want you for heaven’s sake don’t worry about putting us off at all – because there’ll be lots of other days & they’re such miles away when you’re in London.  But, anyway, we should love to see you - & Norah hopes to come over too – but she’ll have to bring Gray with her as they generally spend Sundays together (they’re rather fond of each other at the moment! But he’s only 19 which is rather annoying - & I have to spend all the time I’m with them stifling the most dreadful “she’s mine” feeling – but I’m getting better & please don’t breathe a word to her – but I thought perhaps you’d understand just what I feel like – do you?)  Let me know if you’re coming & they’ll pick you up in Gray’s car at Hampstead & bring you over – if that’s O.K. with you.

*    *    *    *    *

- you asked me to write you a nice long letter – so this is going to be it.  I didn’t mean to start until tomorrow, but having had a most strenuous game of hockey, as well as run up & down stairs all the morning with orders – I was just dozing in an armchair before a glowing fire, to sentimental dance music on the wireless when Mummy suggested that I should do something or I should never sleep tonight - & this was the first interesting thing I thought of.

Of course the whole of the family immediately wanted to know who I was writing to & on my beaming reply they thought it was miles too soon for me to be writing to you again – only I said you had asked me to – so they had to be content with that! – aren’t families the most damping influence you know? – Well, Jack’s yawning in the opposite chair & keeps on saying “oh hurry up for heavens sake” – so I’ll finish this tomorrow – its simply amazing the large amount I still want to say – so I hope, for your sake, you’re not tired of it already – because I enjoy every moment of it.

- so good-night, old thing – I wonder what you’re doing now.

*    *    *    *    *

after dinner – Sunday

- once more we’re all sitting round the fire again reading – all with the usual contentedly smug faces which tell of the Sunday joint of beef etc. over for the week once more.  I took Flip to a rotten service this morning – the sermon wasn’t bad, but I hate the eceteras (sic). 

On Friday we went to the Waifs & Stray ball at Covent Garden Opera House – we went in a party of about 20 – but they didn’t introduce you to anybody – so I only danced about 6 dances – frightful washout – but I’m awfully glad to have been – next year I shall go, but jolly well choose who I go with !  I always have such a frightful dearth of dances minus family – which are always so very much more enjoyable!

- I’m trying to find one for New Year’s Eve too – but it’s a bit early yet I suppose.

- for the last week I’ve been simply wracking my brains for Norah’s Christmas present & the only thing I want to give her is a scarf exactly like yours – would you mind? – but we both liked it so frightfully much & couldn’t afford it when we were there – so do you think you could get me another? – but it must be exactly the same – green stripe & everything – or else she wouldn’t appreciate it to its full extent I’m afraid!! – anyway (providing, of course, you don’t mind!) I enclose 7/6 & if its any more let me know – won’t you? But I think they were only that - & if they haven’t got another don’t bother – thanks very much.  - & next time we come up to F.W with you, you’ll have to lend me yours just to take off from Norah’s swelled head!!!

- Well – Mummy says I am the limit & you’ll never wade through all this – but it wouldn’t make much difference to you if you didn’t .

How’s the book going? – I always considered the plot much more important!

- Well – I’ll actually stop now & go out & try & get rid of a few dance tickets.

My family send their love & think you’re mad to have got this far.

- love

Mary Pleasant

P.S.  are you sure that plan for the accumulation of Vast Millions is really O.K? – because it worries me a bit – I should hate to have to visit you behind wire netting with 3 days growth of beard on your chin!

P.P.S. – Don’t you like this:-
“a quiet primrose sky, patterned with the flight of homing birds” – I’ve just found it in my library book.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

8th December 1932 - Terrick to Mary

The Highland Hotel
Fort William
8th December 1932

Dear Mary Pleasant

Our letters crossed.  I can manage the 29th all right, but should be glad if you would put me up as I have a dance, also at Hayes, the night after and two nights out of bed will be a bit wearing especially as the night after that is New Year’s Eve when there is sure to be whoopee somewhere.

All right, I don’t mind being No. 5.  I’m not proud.

I don’t know about Paul on that date.  He has to get back to Carshalton.

As Yet I cannot let you know about the 18th.  If I get back to town that morning I will certainly come, but there is some idea of my stopping Saturday night at home.  I will let you know.  In any case the 11th is N.G. I think the 18th will be all right.

As far as I know the 5th is O.K. but I believe I am to come up here again after Xmas as the Howes have to take the third week of holiday owed to them.

You know perfectly well that I do not try to find excuses when I get an invite from you.  I think we get on very well together.  I know I enjoyed our last evening enormously.  I will even go so far as to say that I think you are rather fun.  However, you were probably fishing for this sort of thing, so I will come to an abrupt end.

Love from 


Call me Fitz if you like, but the Christian name is as above if  you like the sound of it.

T.V.H. FH.

Scribbled across top left corner:

I never fish for complements – it’s not worth trying!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

5th December 1932 - Mary to Terrick

Christchurch Road
East Sheen

Dec: 5th

Dear Fitz,

- Don’t say “oh curse these tenacious & importunious females with their everlasting epistles” just as you were going to – because this time I’ve really got a reason for wasting a few of your valuable (?) moments! – the date of our dance has had to be changed – no one could come on the 6th – so its now Thursday Dec. 29th – can you come? – I’am filled with the terrible trepredation (?)  that you’ll be amongst the vales & hills still - & if so I shall perforce have to don mourning on the night – but if not you’ve simply got to come – I’ve only got 4 partners already & I simply can’t manage without 5!! - & you needn’t worry a bit about getting back because you can easily put up here if you like & go up with us in the morning – or we can get you a lift back to Hampstead- & did you say Paul would have to get back to Hayes? – Because we’ll easily deliver him too! – do please say you’ll come – you could both come down here with Jack & I and dress here after town if you liked – to save you going back to Hampstead – then Mums will have some fodder ready for us all, (she suggested all this so its quite O.K.!) - & she also says shes hostess at another invitation dance on Jan 5th – so will you keep that date open as well?

- and lastly – (don’t breathe a sigh of relief because I can feel it coming !) – will you (if you can’t make up some flawless excuse on the spur of the moment ) come over to tea on Sunday Dec 18th? - & I’ll try & get Norah over too so that we can all go out in my car together somewhere – will you? – or if you’re already booked up then – could you come next Sunday the 11th? – Only I’d rather the 18th because I’m afraid they won’t let Norah come next Sunday & it won’t be half as much fun without her – in fact I should be stricken with embarassment ! (perhaps) – anyway let me know when you’re coming &  I’ll arrange to meet you & guide you to our suburban mansion.

- well – being the third page you must be simply bored to tears (is that a split infinitive? I’m sorry) 

- Norah would send her love if she were here – but unfortunately (for both of us), she’s not -

Please write & let me know all about everything as soon as you get a moment - & don’t think I’m the limit, will you? Because you can easily refuse everything!

- love

Mary Pleasant

P.S. How go the L.S.D?

Thursday, 29 November 2012

29th November 1932 - Mary to Terrick

79 Clerkenwell Road
E.C. 1

Tuesday (29.11.32)

Dear Fitz

- Am sitting in office waiting for them to bring down lunch.  Jack & I always have ours in here with the two managing directors – (being offsprings of the firm as it were) some customer is blocking the doorway to my library book so you’re the first interesting person I could think of to scribble this to.  Please excuse dreadful paper – but the firm is rather sparing with its headings.

Thank you ever so much for taking us out last Wednesday – I should have written before, but you’re just the same.  When you haven’t got to be nice & polite to people.

Norah spent last weekend with me – we had a lovely time – as always – only it would have been nice if you could have come on Sunday – but it was just bad luck you couldn’t come.  – But you simply must one day,  & I could invite you any one, only Norah won’t be allowed to come again for ages – it wouldn’t be any fun without her – so perhaps we could fix up another evening or something?

I looked out for you on the train last Thursday morning – I was at Belsize Park at 8.53 – but no luck - & whenever you go home at about 6.45 on Thursdays you might just keep a look out for me on Tottenham Court Rd platform, because I go to exercises at Hampstead every Thursday & so manage to get off early – it would be rather fun to be able to say “Whopee – theres Fitz” wouldn’t it?  But fate’s never kind enough when she deals with tube trains!

- Well – here comes lunch – must stop.

- When I find a good day I’ll ask you to come over - & we’ll go out in my car! – Don’t forget Jan 6th - & remember me to Paul!

Much love

Mary Pleasant

Thursday, 22 November 2012

22nd November 1932 - Mary to Terrick

from P Ormiston & Sons. Ltd
       79, Clerkenwell Road, EC1


- Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.  Carlton, Haymarket 6.0 – I thought I’d just send this to remind you in case you’d forgotten.  Doesn’t matter the slightest what hat you wear as long as you still think it’s a great life !!

- Mary Pleasant.

Monday, 22 October 2012

22nd October 1932 - Terrick to Mary

Wensley Rectory,

22nd October 1932

Dear Mary Pleasant, 

Of course I shall thank you for the snaps you so kindly let me have.

I admit I do get very bored at answering all the old spinsters who write to me, but I fairly revel in writing to a nice young spinster like you.

I am glad you don’t think I write an abominable letter.  Encouraged by this tribute I think I shall try and outdo H.V. Morton on Scotland.  I shall start off by putting my photo and his side by side in the frontispiece, then everybody will start off prejudiced in my favour.  This is not conceit.  He is a perfect little toad.

Last winter in Killarney I wrote three chapters of a thriller.  I have just read it through and my hair fairly stood on end – Unfortunately I have left the sketch of the rest of the plot in an exercise book somewhere at Fort William so the mystery of the beautiful latin lady with Irish eyes will never be solved.

The twitches show a marked improvement, thank you.

I shall certainly not forget to make that date with you for the pictures.  I shall be here for a fortnight and then with friends in Hunstanton for a week, and then to London.  I hate London, but am looking forward to seeing you two cheery souls.

You certainly can’t be described as ordinary, and if you are dressed anything after the style in which you left Fort William I shall be fearfully proud to be seen with you.  I only hope people won’t take me for a poor relation.

If your family are anything like you they must be screams.

I hope your school-girl complexion is not fading in the foggy air of London.  I am thriving as never before and getting quite fat.

Remember me to Norah.

Love from 

Terrick (Fitz)

On blank page is written – I could fill this but the post is going.

Monday, 15 October 2012

15th October 1932 - Mary to Terrick

Posted 15.10.1932

Christchurch Road
East Sheen

Dear Fitz

Herewith two requested photographs.  Thank you for returning others, plus my dreadful hankie – it would have been much more sensible of me to have dropped one of my posh linen ones!  Your letter was a topping one & caused me quite a sigh of relief.  I’m sure only one man in ten writes a readable epistle, and it does so spoil it to have to think “Hes a dear – but he does write an abominable letter”!

Every Wednesday evening Norah & I do something special together & yesterday we saw the new George Culiss film – hes glorious – so beautifully ugly! - & on the way home she perused your letter & agreed with me that it was a jolly nice one- & shes most envious, so don’t forget to answer hers nicely, will you?

I wish Ramsay & H.V. Morton had come when we were there – or don’t you think either of them would have appreciated Chewcud & Daisy Bell? – you should jolly well read “In Search of Scotland “ – I did in the far off days when I was at school & loved it – he puts historical bits so beautifully humanly – I’m sorry you didn’t appreciate my quotation that night on the way to the flicks – when I said Aberdeen fish market sounded just like thousands of bare babies being smacked. – that’s H.V. Morton.  But I bet most authors are uninteresting on acquaintance – the book I’m always intending to write won’t be a bit like me – it’ll be dignified, pompous & flowery – sprinkled here & there with epigrams & whimsical humour! – oh – how too terrible it sounds! – but it won’t be really! 

- I am talking a lot of rubbish – I’m sorry – but I’ve just got back from town & am yawning over this round the drawing –room fire!  Last night I didn’t get to bed till twelve because I went on a motor treasure –hunt – gorgeous!

- I suppose you’ll be going home soon now to stop all that twitching of the nerves!! – well – you deserve it!  But please please don’t forget to let us know when you come to London – we’ll be awfully good – honestly – so don’t be afraid we change into two mugs when not at F.W!! – because the thing that hurts us both most is to be thought ordinary! - & we’re not really very plebian (sic) either – so if you feel you could put up with us one evening you won’t forget will you?

- Well – I must stop - & rush along with the dog to post this – I nearly learnt to drive a car last Saturday – scrummy!

I wish you knew my family – they are a funny lot.

Much love


Mary Pleasant

P.S. There’s no need to answer this just to thank me for the snaps because I’ve probably enjoyed writing it far more than you will reading it - & it must be rather embarassing (sic) to have such a tenacious lot of female correspondents!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

6th October 1932 - Terrick to Mary

Highland Hotel
Fort William

6th October 1932

Dear Mary

Thank you very much for lending me the snaps.  Most of them are jolly good, especially the ones with people in.  I should very much like a print of me on the stone and me & Norah on the mountain peak.  The ones of you two together do not do you justice, but I have a good one of you both in the print that Miss Olifant has just sent me.

I jolly well hope you do come where I am next year.  It will be a great relief when I am surrounded by old maids in their dotage to have you two young maids of no age at all.

I have not taken anyone to the pictures since you left.  I went alone the night before last to see William Powell in “High Pressure”.

The (?) is in full swing.  Compton Mackenzie has been staying in the hotel and last night there was a big party here with both Ramsay MacDonald and H V Morton present.  The latter phoned from the office to the “Daily Herald.” They are both the most ordinary-looking men you can imagine.  Morton is a very Londonish type and I absolutely refuse to believe that he can appreciate the highlands and islands properly.  When I saw him I decided not to bother to read “In Search of Scotland” at all, but I think I will, out of curiosity.

Everybody in the place is in a kilt and every night is made more or less hideous by Gaelic song until the early hours.  In the first half of the week we had about a hundred and fifty choir children who used to murder one another outside my bedroom door at 6 o’clock every morning, to an accompaniment of shrieks and groans; till I put my head outside the sheets and yelled: “Shut up!”

We are desperately busy.  Tomorrow night we are not going to bed at all.

I should love to come to the pictures with you some time.  It will be great fun to see you both again.  Here is your dainty handkerchief which you dropped under the train.  I hope you had enough to last you out the journey.

I am very sorry that you should have had such rotten seats on the coach; and I think the company does not sound at all suitable for two young girls fresh from school, with the schoolgirl complexions still on and all unused to blushing.

Give my love to Norah.  By the way, I climbed up Faith in Glencoe last time I went there.  I started with three other men and only one of them got to the top with me.  Going up was much more difficult than the one we did, but coming down round the side was a lot easier.  I have also been wading through the River Nevis with nothing on but a pullover belonging to Mr Ashe; but that is a long story and I will tell you about it when I see you at the pictures.

Love to yourself



Sunday, 30 September 2012

Dear Representative - 30th September 1932 - Mary to Terrick

Posted 30.09.1932                                                                                          


Christchurch Road
East Sheen
Dear Representative

You really are most excellent at reserving seats on motor-coaches for the fortunate persons who travel Poly.  Norah & I – thoroughly annoyed with everybody and everything on a rainy Saturday evening in Glasgow, (both longing to be back at Fort William) found ourselves dumped somewhere in the middle of the coach – no room for our feet- an eleven months old baby chewing bananas furiously behind – and eight stalwart Glasgow inhabitants to our right who, regardless of everyone else in the vehicle, brought out a mouth organ and from Hamilton to Gretna sang every song from Annie Laurie to “There was a young lady from ealing…” in the most powerful voices I have ever heard!! – oh – how we both blessed you!! – not of course that you could have altered our company – but I expect just because we were both so fed up with leaving and Glasgow at its worst that we had to vent our feelings on somebody. - & we jolly well did too – in fact you nearly received hectic post-cards from us at each of the six stops!  Anyway we arrived at Victoria in better frames of minds (the plural sounds a bit silly) & haven’t ceased telling people how wonderful you were ever since – so now I’ll start properly:-

Dear Fitz

Enclosed you may find (if I don’t forget them) the photographs – which appear better on perusal the second time.  A few of them didn’t come out because the light was too bad.  Don’t you love the one of you on the rock - & you & Norah at the top of the mountain!!  I spent last night with Norah specially to go through them – we had a glorious time remembering every little bit of things we did - & of course most of it was always “& Fitz this” “& Fitz that” – you really did give us a topping time - & we can never thank you enough for it!  At the moment of course we’ve both sworn to find out where they’ll put you next year, but I expect we shall have forgotten all about it when the time comes!  Anyway, we’re always travelling Poly now!

Please return the snaps when you’ve finished with them, & if you want any prints I’ll get them done for you.  I hope you know where they all are.  I do, most of them.  The best views are two on the hill we climbed opposite F.W & the ones of Loch Duich & Skye.

Well I must stop rambling on – I’m dreadful in letters.  How is the ankle & how many other children have you escorted to the pictures this week? – When you’re in London again will you go with Norah & I  me one day – if it wouldn’t bore you too much? We’d love it.  School is going nicely thank-you – but I wish, so badly, it was this time last week!

-         Norah sends her love

Yours with much love too
Mary Pleasant Ormiston