Sunday, 27 December 2015

27th December 1935 - Mary to Terrick



Dearest Ticky,

I thought perhaps you'd be disappointed if you didn't have one letter while you were away, so I hope you get this in time.

Thank you ever & ever so much for all the presents - I love everything - and "the Heart of London" and the scarf.  Is the scarf really for me? - or did you just use it to wrap up the parcel safely? - I hope it is mine because it looks very nice with my new hat & coat & skirt.  I haven't started the books yet because I think I'd better finish "Evelina" - "Mother India" and "David Copperfield" before I start a fourth and fifth.  I'm a hopeless person to give a library subscription to.

Have you had a good Christmas?  - & has everything gone satisfactorily? You are lucky having snow - does everybody go tobogganing? - I'm fed up with eating and being polite to relations - 7 to dinner here on Christmas day - over to Dorking for lunch of 14 & on to Auntie Bob's party of 10 on Boxing day - 12 to lunch & tea here today.  But it was quite nice yesterday as Grannie sent us all to the pictures in Dorking to see Walls, Lynn, Hare & Arnaud in "Stormy Weather" which was most renewing.

I find I only have to mention engagements, weddings, babies, divorces, burials, underclothes or you, to get asked in a furtive aside whether I'm thinking of "making my trousseau yet" - and I mustn't forget to let them know "directly it happens" - all with secret smiles of encouragement that make me sick to see how easy they think it all is - because they neither have no need, or have forgotten, what a terrific lot of things have to be thought of before one can consider the entertainment of one's relations. - Oh, darling, I'm longing for you to come home and put everything proper again - when people go out of their way to show me how much more sensible you could be; and how foolish I am to put all my eggs in one basket so wholeheartedly - it puts my back up to myself - but it makes me want to find out if it's all true from you too - and when you're not here to put it right - it just depresses me, and I think it's no good being engaged for months & months & months, because there'll still be the everlasting question "When are you going to be married?" - and how do I know Terrick will ever be able to earn more money, because he's been trying with all his might for nearly a year now.

But I don't think like this often - only when you're away long enough for my family to show me what they call "sense".

27th December 1935 - Terrick to Mary

Wensley Rectory

27th December 1935

My Darling,

Your presents were wonderful; thank you very, very much for them:  I include the gloves.  But, darling, you are far to generous!

The pullover has been well approved.  It looks very nice with my O.A. tie.  I wore them all Christmas day and have worn the tie ever since, though it is too warm for the pullover now that the snow is all gone.

It is very nice being here, but I couldn't stand it for long.  On Christmas Day sitting down to meals in the dining-room with family portraits on the wall, silver forks that the family have used since George III, and an air of spaciousness, I felt: here is peace & dignity; this is how life should be lived; but listening to the parents talking repels me; and I realise that either their outlook is the result of this peace & dignity or vice versa.  I much prefer the mental spaciousness of my little room to the physical spaciousness of Wensley Rectory.  A peaceful life is a bad thing, and comfort a vice.  At any rate the resulting stagnation here is pitiable.

Tonight I am going to a Conservative (!) Ball at Ripon as Penelope Cook-Yarborough's partner.  Several people from round here are going so it ought to be good fun.

In market at Leyburn this morning I met a lot of old friends including Ruby and her husband & Betty Topham, the girl who was married up here the same day as Eileen.  She has a son now.

Tomorrow we shall probably go into Darlington to see "Anna Karenina", & to look for a Between-maid.  We have been stuck without one over Xmas.

My father managed to drive the car into Leyburn this morning, but he has his arm in plaster of Paris and can't do much with it.  Renny held the plate of wafers for him at the Communion services on Sunday.

Several times I have tried to remember a piece of poetry that I wanted to say to you, but could never manage it.  I have found it now; here it is:

Last night my cheek was wetted with warm tears, 
Each worth a world. They fell from eyes divine 
Last night a loving lip was pressed to mine, 
And at its touch fled all the barren years; 
And softly couched upon a bosom white, 
Which came and went beneath me like a sea, 
An emperor I lay in empire bright, 
Lord of the beating heart, while tenderly 
Love-words were glutting my love-greedy ears 
Kind Love, I thank thee for that happy night! 
Richer this cheek with those warm tears of thine 
Than the vast midnight with its gleaming spheres. 
Leander toiling through the midnight brine, 
Kingdomless Antony, were scarce my peers.

It is by Alexander Smith.  I am very fond of it, particularly now, because it reminds me of you.

I have thought of you all the time this Christmas & wished you were here.  I do hope you are having a jolly time among your turbulent family.

Renny and I leave Harrogate at 6.10p.m. and arrive at King's Cross at 10.45 on Sunday evening, so I'm afraid it will be too late for you to come up.  I'll ring you up on Monday night.

Goodbye, Sweetheart, for the present.  It seems ages since I have seen you, but we'll soon make up for it.  You'll come to dinner at 35 on the 31st, won't you.

Mummy and Renny have both queried the spelling of "appalling" at the same moment, though they are each writing separate "thanking" letters.

They want me to write to Aunt Aggie before the post goes, so I'll have to stop now.

All my heart, darling;




Wednesday, 23 December 2015

23rd December 1935 - Mary to Terrick

Dearest Ticky - I can't write you a very nice Christmas letter because the rush and turmoil of the day is putting everything nice out of my head - If  you don't want a tie like this they said they'd change it for you.  But I took your pullover with me to find a blue one to match it, & couldn't find anything - & couldn't find anything - & I thought this went quite well.

- I wish I was up at Wensley with you - it seems funny to think I shall have spent 4 Christmas days which haven't been half as nice as the first 17 of my life.  I miss you so much more on a special occasion.

- Give Ren-ren my love  and think of me as much as I shall think of you - it will be so nice when it's next Sunday.

All my love


Mary Pleasant  xxx

I see your new case is quite as big as your old one which was a bit silly of me - but I was obsessed with the idea that you must have room to lay a suit flat in it - & anyway - it's a bit more respectable.

23rd December 1935 - Terrick to Mary


A Merry Christmas!

I hope you will like these things.  If you have read "The Heart of London" I will change it; I haven't written in it.  At the time of writing I haven't managed to get the white grease paint.  If I can I'll put it in.  I'll phone you tonight (if you are opening this on Xmas day!) and, at the longest, I'll see you on Thursday.  Come to dinner with me first as we only have to be at Onslow Gardens at 9.0 p.m.

All my heart, dear



Thursday, 17 December 2015

17th December 1935 - Mary to Terrick


Dearest Heart - I love you very much - but unfortunately have no time in which to impress this fact upon you - as a thousand and two things are rapping upon my conscience waiting to be done.

Thank you for your letter - and Bodil's address etc. I should still like greasepaints for Christmas - because I wanted them really for all time - & hadn't connected them with the pantomime.

- I bought your Xmas present home today & will send it off on Friday - Whoopee!

- Am taking elocution mistress up to Chelsea Palace Nativity Play tomorrow afternoon - so shall be round about your district at I suppose 5.30ish.  If I see the slightest possibility of dropping in I will - but it's rather doubtful.

- If I don't, darling, will you ring up sometime about 10.0?

- I must see or hear you before Thursday.

All my love - sorry about scrawl -


P.S.  I see lots of flatlet houses in today's Telegraph - arn't any any good?

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

16th December 1935 - Terrick to Mary

16th Dec 1935

My Darling Mary Pleasant, 

Please excuse the pencil. I have only just enough ink left in my pen to address the envelope.  This evening I got part of your present.  I have not yet got the grease-paints because it has struck me that if you are not going in for the pantomime and may not be doing a show for some time perhaps there is something you would prefer.  Write and let me know, dear, and also the make of bathe cubes for your mother.

Wednesday is all right, darling, so will you come if you can get away?  Be here at any time.  I shall be back at about quarter to six.  Tomorrow evening Renny & I are going to dinner with Aunt Mildred.  

A letter has just arrived from Eileen in which she says: "Please thank Mary for her nice letter and tell her I'll write before long, & tell her that Bodil's address for Xmas is: 


She & Herbert are going way for Xmas to escape a host of in-laws whom Ma K├╝hne has invited.  They are going to the Harz Mountains and will probably do some winter sports.  Isn't it terrible how everybody seems to be going to winter sports.

Even Renny, a dyed-in-the-wool, die-hard, true-blue Tory is shocked by the Governments "Peace Plan".

I have given off the film to be developed & reloaded.

Phyllis Bodker is going to ask a friend of hers who is high up in her business to give me an interview; but I think she will get the sack before she gets a chance to do so.  Apparently she is always late.

If you do come on Wednesday, dear, we shall finish improving the Schwaneberg film for Wensley.  It won't take us very long but it will be better than having nothing whatever to do.  At the present moment our sub attraction for each other is much the strongest, and we must find something to do in common.  I'll hear you your Eager Heart part; but it is much better for us to start doing something that will take us some time to do  Preparing the order of the shots of our other big film will be a good thing, and thinking out the sub-titles for it; but we might do something else too.  Otherwise when we are married you will be sitting in your chair doing one thing & I'll be in another chair doing something totally different.  I know, of course, that we can't do thing together all the time, & that most other couples are separate except in the necessities of life & their evening's amusements; but those things are just the "human" things.  It is the quiet hobbies & interests of the idle mind that are the "super" things.  Perhaps we shall find these when we have every evening to do so, but it would be better to start now.  I'd like to join the Bedford Park A.D. because acting is your great interest and it is a mild one of mine that could be developed if you would show me how to act properly.  I think though, I'll so that after we are married.  At the moment my time & money is all going towards getting married to you.

I must stop now and catch the post.

Goodnight my love.



Wednesday, 9 December 2015

9th December 1935 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place

9th December 1935

My Darling Mary,

Uncle Bill's letter arrived this morning.  The first paragraph ends: "I have studied your business proposition an I am  willing to provide the £300 required"  you could have knocked me down with a feather if I hadn't been in bed.  He went on to make queries for two whole pages and ended up: "Anyhow if after consultation with your lawyer [I told him I should put the case in a lawyer's hands] you are still convinced it is a good business you may rely on me to produce the £300.  Isn't he a sport!

But, here comes the anti-climax, dear.  I am not going on with it, because I have discovered the snag.  Though the advertisement and the agents leaflet talks about "Purchase price £900" - there is a rent of £275 per annul in addition.  I had to get the agent to explain it several times over the phone before I understood this apparent contradiction in terms, and he could have put it quite plainly the fist time if he had wanted to, because it is quite simple. £900 is the price of the flatlet business. £275 per annum is the rent of the building.  So that's off.  The net profits at their maximum only come to £320 per annum plus £60 for my living rent & fare free.  I should never be able to pay off Uncle Bill & the mortgage and do repairs at that rate.

The only way to do it is either to buy a leasehold flatlet business on a long lease or free-hold, or just buy a house and start the flatlet business in it.

I have gained a lot of useful knowledge about house buying since this time last Monday night when I saw the advert, and, better still, I have found out that Uncle Bill will put up several hundreds for a reasonable proposition.

I am sorry, my pen has run out.

I am afraid I shan't be able to let you know for some time about doing the door on Friday week would this Friday be time enough.

After dinner I went round to Renny to tell him the latest news and found that Nancy was there.  They were playing "L'Attaque"!

If you hear of any good spec going, don't forget to let me know.  My old difficulty of no capital doesn't exist any more.  The job of having to prove the enterprise sound first in order to get the capital is just the brake needed.

Tomorrow fortnight I shall go to bed in my room at Wensley.  it is so lovely waking up in the country.  Especially at Wensley where the view out of the window is so peaceful and sedative.  It is a year since I have been there.  Next time we shall be engaged and go together.  Probably for my next holiday.

The post goes in quarter of an hour so I must stop.  I have only half concocted my letter to Uncle Bill.  I am not telling him the exact reason for my not thinking the business worth going on with.  It sounds too much the kind of thing I ought to have seen at once.  Live and learn.  I am glad I did not find out before writing to him.  It comes of being form lucky.

Goodbye, my darling, till Wednesday at 5 o'clock.