Wednesday, 26 March 2014

26th March 1934 - Mary to Terrick

Dunally Lodge

Monday 1934

Very, very many happy returns of the day.  I can't think of anything to say that sounds adequate - but it would make a tremendous difference to me if you didn't have any more happy ones !!!

I'm at home today because of another rotten boil I've got over one eye - I spent this morning in bed, but it's much better now and I've been dragged out on the river by Flip - hence appalling writing!

We're quite mad - it's about 6.30pm - and dusky - but I suppose it's doing Flip good.

- I shall see you tomorrow & give you your birthday present then.  I won't come inside but will wait on the pavement (shades of mother!) I don't seem to have talked to you for years - such a lot has happened since last time I saw you.

- Heaven bless us next weekend - about the weather I mean!

- the best of everything for always

Love Mary   xxx

Thursday, 20 March 2014

20th March 1934 - Terrick to Mary



Thanks for your letters.  I hope you can come to Wensley.  Surely your mother will see enough of you in a month!

I discovered that Sadler's Wells is not open on Mondays, so Rosemary and I shall be coming on Thursday, it being the only day we can both manage.  Shall we meet outside the theatre?  What seats were you thinking of taking?

I don't see anything funny in Rosemary suggesting you should come too.  She has heard all about you from me.  She and I are like you and Verney - as much friends as cousins.

I had a scream of a time last night.  I saw an advertisement in the Daily Worker, the communist paper, of the inaugural meeting of "The West-London Workers' Arts Club" at 8 p.m. in Hammersmith.  So I went down to see if there was any likelihood of my finding a market for some of the kind of stuff I enjoy writing.  I got to the place at a quarter to eight.  It was a private house of a most respectable kind in a most respectable road, but though many of the houses were lit up, No 34, the one in question, was as black as the grave.  There was only one light coming from the back-door in the area-basement.  I thought this odd and decided to wait and see other people going in.  But nobody did.

At three minutes to eight when, in spite of the fact that I had checked the name and number of the road most carefully, I came I came to the conclusion that this must be the wrong house, a fellow came up wheeling a bicycle and said: "Is this Hazlitt Rd?"  I said "Yes" and he looked up to the dark fanlight over the front door and said: "This is number 34".

"Have you come to a meeting?" I asked.  He said he had and I told him that we appeared to be the only people who had.  He had an educated voice, but was very poorly dressed with a sweater instead of collar and tie, and was as ugly as sin.  About my own age.

He said that he would wait with me and that if nobody had come by 8 o'clock he would slip round to the offices of the local Communist Party and verify the place and time.

Eventually we waited till nearly five past eight and then decided to go and ask at the back-door.  He chained up his bike to the area railings and down we went.

                         A girl in a red jumper answered the door.
                         "Have you come for Sloane?" she asked.
                         "Well we've come to a meeting".
                         "Yes, Sloane is waiting for you".
And in we went.

Have you ever read the Modern Arabian nights? (I think that is the name) by R.L. Stevenson? The situation exactly reminded me of it.

The girl showed us into a kitchen, complete with stove and dresser with flowered china plates and hard kitchen chairs.  The only unkitcheny thing about it was that the table was covered with a dark red cloth.  By the stove another woman sat knitting.  She was about 35 and dressed in a flowered-overall.  "Come in" she said "Sloane's not here yet.  he's always late. When he gets married his bride will wait at the church all night ofr him.  He hasn't had anything to eat since breakfast.  Sit down.  You won't grow good.  You're past that, aren't you."

We took off our coats and sat down.  Then the woman said: "Well, we'll leave you now", and she and the girl in the red jumper went out.

The ugly fellow and I sat one on each side of the stove and talked, till after five minutes or so we heard voices and footsteps upstairs on the ground floor.  The woman was calling out: "Down the stairs! Now to your left!  The second door". Several people seemed to be coming downstairs and walking up and down the passage in a hesitant sort of way, so I called out: "Here we are!" There was a knock a the door.  I said, "Come in", and a man's face appeared round the side of the door.  It was decorated with spectacles one glass of which was black!

I repeated "come in" and the man came round the door holding a bowler hat nervously in front of him.  A woman and a girl came in after him.

                  "Is this the meeting?" asked the man.
                  "We don't know", I said as cryptically as possibly
                  "Who's the host?"
                  "He hasn't arrived"

A minute or two later, after the same calling from upstairs a man of about 28 with a most charming smile and attractive brown eyes came in.  He beamed at us and I thought that this must be the mysterious Sloane.  However, his first words were:

                  "Which is the host?"
                  "He hasn't arrived": I said
                  "Who is he?"
                  "Sloane", said I as if that explained everything.
                  "But Sloane's in Moscow! I was talking to him there only a fortnight ago."

It was only after he had spoken a bit that one could tell that this fellow was a foreigner.  His name I found later was Osakiavski.

More people trickled in.  One looked like the pictures of Maxim Gorki, another was the kind of woman who runs the G.F.S. and a third was the typical headmistress of an aristocratic girl's school.  It was most incongruous to hear her say later in her high-falutin' accent: "It is essential that it should be revolutionary in it's tendency".

When there were nine of us, Sloane suddenly burst in.  He was a rather handsome young Jew.

"I'm awfully sorry to be late.  Have you been waiting long?" ("No", said somebody) "Do you mind waiting now while I get some grub?" (No, said somebody again) and out he went, leaving us to talk for about quarter of an hour till he came back.

And this is where things should reach a climax, and also where they don't.  The tone of the evening switches from being intriguing to being amusing.  The meeting was a gem but quite different from the incidents leading up to it.  If you feel inventive you can supply a good exciting end to the above and send it to the magazines.  It is all exactly true, for while it was happening I kept thinking "Oh, wouldn't Mary love this! I must tell her all about it" and I noted all the interesting bits most carefully.

Here is a selection of books that I should like for my birthday:

                           1) The Face of London                              7/6
                           2) The Psalms for Modern Life               6/6
                           3) The Philosophy of Communism           ?
First Edition of 4) Three Plays by Bernard Shaw            7/6    (On the Rocks, Too True to    )
                           5) Words & Places (Everyman Edition)  2/-    (be Good, The Village Wooing)
                           6) The Study of Words (   "             "    )  2/-
                           7) Anglo-Saxon Poetry (   "             "    )  2/-
                           8) Thesaraus of English Words & Phrase 4/- (Everyman Ed. 2 vols)

5 & 6 will be useful for "Robin Hood", 7 will be useful for Edwy, I want a real Anglo-Saxon song to take the place of my uninspired verse in Act II, 8 will be useful for every kind of writing, 1 is to increase my pleasure in my trips about London, 2 is for the fine wood-cuts that bring the psalms to life again, 4 is for pleasure and also for examples of dramatic technique, 3 is of course political.  You can take your pick.

How did you like "the Wind and the Rain"?  have pity on poor Andrew Pairs.  You seem to have started again leading him up the garden.  Hit someone your own size.

I must stop now and get down to work at Edwy.

This time last year I was doing midnight bathes at Mentone! Ugh! This morning the fog at Hampstead was so dense that we had to have breakfast by electric light.  But I wouldn't swop for a hundred pounds.

Goodbye, dear, till tomorrow evening.

I love you.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

19th March 1934 - Mary to Terrick


Monday 7-15

Dearest old thing - thank you ever so much for the too letters which both arrived at breakfast this morning.  I have only just had time to finish reading the second one.  The "play" rush gets more frantic as the hours leap on.  I shall possibly enter as Sir Christopher Hatton in my best petticoat - not having had time to make my doublet & hose.

Thank you for the over-poweringly unexpected invitation for Easter.  I can't think of anything I'd like to do better in one way - but there are a tremendous lot of "againsts" too - don't you think so? - Perhaps the greatest is that my family couldn't spare me.  I don't think - at least I fondly imagine Mummy would prefer Easter with me at home.  I haven't asked her yet - but I will and see what effect the suggestion has on her!  Anyway - it gives me a gigantically gratified feeling to think I've been asked - I hope you didn't have to "season" the suggestion too much when broaching it to Wensley!  Gosh - I should love it - fancy going all that way with just you - but I'm afraid I shall have to wait until another opportunity crops up - (unless it doesn't!)

But, look here, if your family want you at home for Easter - you'll go - won't you?  I should naturally forgive your contract with us if it was to go home - & we shall have lots more week-ends - shan't we?

Yesterday I shocked both Miss X & Grannie on the subject of religion.  They're both intending to do something about it before it's too late - so, who knows, but that I am bound for the gates of Heaven once more.  I shouldn't mind if I could really be persuaded to believe - i.e. find someone to answer all my questions - because I know such a large number of people I should like to convert!

I'm afraid I shall have to relinquish my ambition to attend the Drama League Easter School - 
(1) I'm not sure about my 10/- a week - and anyway it'll all be spent on Latin coaching
(2) Mummy would hate me going up to town every day for 10 days when I seem to spend so little time at home now.

You see it would cost me about £4 altogether - and after all it only boils down to flattering a lately developed side of my vanity! - So cross out your engagement with me on April 14th & find something else to write over the mess!

I went to interview my Latin coach this evening - the dearest old man - frightfully squashing & disillusioning.  Apparently I know no Latin at all - worth knowing and have to spend the whole of the next fortnight learning elementary grammar!  I ask you!

It's awful to feel myself wavering at the first obstacle!

- Am going to see 'The wind & the Rain' with A. Pears this evening - I hope it's good.

Do you still want "The face of London"? - Anyway I shan't get it until next Monday - so let me know if you think of something nicer.

- It seems years & years ago since I spent half an hour choosing your hankies in Southampton Row - I remember asking Mummy if she thought it would be "proper" for me to send you a birthday present!!

- Gosh how funny! But I sent them with quite a different feeling from what i shall this time.

- You're practically an "old flame" now - ain't you?

I hope you enjoy "Love for Love" - write & tell me what you think of it - I wish I was going with you - it seems such waste of a good ticket when I go with someone else.  I wonder why Rosemary suggested my coming too - very nice of her.

I'm sorry about your not being able to send up your coupons yet - I suppose that because of me last Thursday.  Anyway you'll be free of your "gold-digger" this week won't you? - & let's sit on a seat on the Embankment next Thursday - or go for a tram-ride.

I'm afraid I shan't be shepherding children on Wednesday owing to other people thinking they can do it better! - But I'll come round straight away afterwards.  Ask Jill to point out Greig to you.

- It'll be so much nicer behind knowing you're there.


xxx               Mary Pleasant

Please forgive the pencil

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

18th March 1934 - Mary to Terrick



Just before post goes

Frightful rush - but this is in the hopes that I'm crossing one to me in the post! - Anyway - if I'm not - do write please - It makes such a tremendous difference to the whole day.

Have sat in the lounge solidly since church this morning sewing, sewing, sewing - I shall tack on gold braid in my sleep.

Spent all yesterday morning at the Hall arranging rehearsal times and scenery  - and all the afternoon painting the "garden hedge" - its in two pieces and each half is entirely different and neither look anything like a garden hedge.

Went to "youth Campaign" meeting on Friday - we have 80 people down from Oxford billeted on the town for 2 weeks to try and revive "personal religion" in people form 16 - 35 years old.  very interesting - it was held in the most wonderful old house - just the kind I'd like to live in one day.

The family & Grannie & Auntie Nell are coming on Wednesday - & Miss Cross is making a speech from the platform in the middle so do come.

I long terrifically for Easter weekend - you won't suddenly decide to go somewhere else will you?

- Thank you ever & ever so much for last Thursday - you are a dear - I'm so unbelievably silly.

- You're such a boon to me in being something else to think about besides "school".


Mary P.    xxx

Monday, 17 March 2014

17th March 1934 - Terrick to Mary again


17th March 1934


I resisted an invitation from Paul to go to Carshalton and do a long walk, in order to finish my swotting of dramatic technique for Edwy.  My library book was due back in the Drama League Library on Thursday so I had to get down to it.

I worked all this afternoon by the dining-room window with the sun shining, and finished at quarter to seven.  I have made fifty-six exercise-book pages of notes.  Tomorrow I'll start testing Edwy by the principles I have written down.

The woman who sits at the table next to mine is a great handicap.  She will insist on talking to me while I am reading or writing.  I now answer her very shortly without looking up.
I have got out of the library now "the Passion Play of Oberammagau" and three plays by Lunachanski, the Russian Minister for Education.

The proprietor of 186 has suddenly put daffodils on all the dining-room tables!! Daffodils in a boarding-house are like a child in a work-house.  Mrs White must have gone out and come all over spring-like.

Paul and I are contemplating another push with the Mutual Marketing co., but first revising it.  If the present proposed revision goes through I believe that you will get 2/6 commission immediately, as the idea is to pay commission on the 2nd sale onwards, instead of only on the 4th sale.  I believe you sold two, didn't you?  Another improvement will be a better value article.  It will mean less profit per article for us, but we hope for a bigger turn-over.  When I say "less profit", don't laugh.  Now that I am in England I can do my share of pushing the scheme.

I have finished collecting my coupons for the short story volumes, but I am too broke to send them in yet.

If we do go to Wensley for Easter I shall take some books back with me that I don't want here.  Soon I shall have to buy a bookshelf.  Already I have to keep my five short story volumes piled up on end.

Have you got your beefeater hat yet?  I am longing to see you showing your girls into their seats 0 shepherding them I meant to say.  I can only just - with an effort - picture you as a school ma'am. Miss Cross I am curious to see too - and Miss Gregg (Greig?).

I'll look round and see if I can find something out of the ordinary to do on Tuesday week.

People started talking all round, and I have to keep giving German words to explain to a Danish girl what the others mean.  so I'll pack up.  Goodnight old thing and



Terrick    xxx

17th March 1934 - Terrick to Mary

17th March 1934


Darling Mary,

It is exactly a year and a half to-day since we met, at eight o'clock in the evening.

Still, I have some[thing] more vital to write about than the past.  Would you like, instead of having me to stay with you, to come to Wensley and stay with us?  I have an invitation for you.  We should get there late on Saturday afternoon and leave on Tuesday afternoon, if you think it worth it.  It isn't nearly so far as Penzance.  Of course it wouldn't be so jolly.

I thought it would be a good idea to invite you now as the Hunt Ball scheme can't come off this year.  I heard from my mother to-day saying O.K.

I'm going to Rosemary to "Love for Love" probably on Monday.  She asked if you would like to come too, but I said that you had already engaged to go with somebody.

Yesterday was a very spring-like day.  I felt - It's no good, I can't describe anything unmaterial.  I am writing this in the office and am constantly interrupted by the Chief Conductor, as Hawken, our boss, is away.

As a letter this is no good, but there is matter in it at any rate.  The invitation will give you something to write about in your letter, which I hope will be a nice one.

I'll write you a better letter this evening.


Terrick   xxx

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Early March - Terrick to Mary

Dearest Mary

Here is your ticket.  The time is 7.15.  If you arrive at about 6.45 you will have plenty of time to find the box.  I enclose a plan of the hall but Box 18 is not mentioned.  Perhaps though it will help you later in the evening to find your way about.

A client sent five shillings as a tip to someone who, she thought, had done her a service but who, in fact, did not exist.  So this evening the Administration Dept, that is Hawken, the staff manager; Digby, the Chief Conductor, and I went out and had some beers on it.  We drank for 5.50 to 8.5 p.m. and just remained sober - , but only just.  when the 5/- was finished the S.M. stood the drinks.  I had to have dinner at Lyons.

I heard from the S.M., while expansive after much beer, that I could have Easter free from midday on Saturday till Wednesday morning.  So I shall start saving up for something enterprising.  Have you any ideas?

In the box at the Albert Hall there will be: Peter Corbould, his sister, my cousin Rosemary and Capt Adshead (husband of same) probably, two strange friends of Paul's Not Brenda (who has a bad throat), probably Alex Smith & Pat Smith whom you have met and possibly Oswald Hollmann, another prep. school friend of mine.  I shall come round as much as possible.

I have had no reply from Bernard Newman.  One was hardly necessary; perhaps he is thinking up something rude to say about my acting in retaliation.

I hope you enjoyed yourself this evening.

Tomorrow morning I have to go and meet the General Manager of the Swiss Federal Railways in London prior to our both meeting the yodellers in the afternoon.  Our managing director Commander Studd, is also going to be there, so I'll put on my best overcoat.

The yodellers will probably leave the Albert Hall before 10 p.m so I hope to have time to dump them and come back to dance.  Unfortunately they are staying at a hotel in Bloomsbury.  There are fifteen of them and one woman.

Goodbye, dear, till Saturday.

Love from 

Terrick   xxx

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Early March 1934 - Terrick to Mary

Me Old Companion, 

To make up for two empty envelopes: -
When I got home last night I found the first five volumes of the Daily Sketch "1,000 short stories" waiting for me.  I have been reading some in my lunch hour which I spent in the city.  I had to go to Bishopsgate about flags, pennants and bunting (!!) to decorate the ballroom at Fort William and I had lunch at Dirty Dick's: sausages & mash, beer, bread and butter and cream cheese (the butter & cheese not spread but sloshed on in lumps nice and thick and satisfying)

Paul and I are trying to get a box for our friends at hte Albert Hall.  The big ones hold ten so we shall have you, Renny, five foreigners, Brenda, Peter Corbould (2nd brother) and his sister (I can't remember her name).

I feel quite bored about to-night's performance; that (except for the danger of it making me yawn on the stage) will probably make me act a lot better than when I was all keyed up at knowing that you were smiling your chubby smile of amusement at my efforts.

Bung ho, old thing!!

and Love  Terrick  XXX