Monday, 26 December 2016

25th December 1936 - Terrick to Mary

Wensley Rectory

Christmas Night 1936


It is ten to twelve; I am sitting in my room writing to you because I want to communicate with you in some way this Christmas Day to tell you, to express to you somehow the inexpressible amount of love I bear you.

Everything today from present-giving to the dinner has been without savour from your not being part of it.  Without you all happiness is like a violin with a string missing; the simplest melody is broken.  I shall never come up here for Christmas again without you, whether we are married next Christmas or not - and we shall be.

To know something one must experience both the presence and absence of that thing.  That is why we cannot properly understand time, space and a fifth dimension; we have never been without the first two, or - knowingly, in the last one.  And so it is for me with you.  When I do not see you I learn something more about you and how much you mean to me.  One symptom of it is that I feel quite afraid to think of you and how much you mean to me.  One symptom of it is that I feel quite afraid to think or you as going about in a world where there is motor traffic and other dangers.  I almost pray to somebody to keep you safe for me.

I have only just remembered to thank you for your lovely presents.  My love, or rather our love, was all I could think of, and anyhow includes anything we can give each other.  All the three things you gave me are perfect.  The gloves are a perfect fit and marvellously warm with their wool lining.  I wore them to church this morning. The washing bag was what I both wanted and needed.  I have already discarded my old bag and transferred my washing things to yours.  I can now stay away with no fears for the appearances of my toilet articles.  And as for the despatch case, how did you know?  when you got it so quickly I was rather afraid that you might have got one in light leather, which I didn't want, and with leather handles.  A dark one with a zip fastener was exactly what I wanted, and my initials on it was that little something extra that exceeded even the picture I had formed in my mind of what I wanted.  Thank you ever so much again and again.  I like the presents better than the books, nice as they would have been.

Mummy got your card today just as we were going to church.  I showed her my new pullover and she said: "How beautifully she knits".  She thinks that you must have ruined yourself over my presents.  So do I, they must have cost a tremendous lot.  And you protest when I told you to pick out something that was almost a guinea!  You are a dear!


Boxing Day

There is no post out either today or tomorrow so it doesn't look as though you will get this before Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

I had a talk with my father today about getting married.  He wants me to tell you that he is all for it and hopes we go ahead with it as soon as we can.  he also said that he will give me an allowance of about 10/6 a week when Renny has finished his exams - because he is at present paying that amount to pay for his course.  But that promise was made in a rash moment, I shall have to keep him up to it.  So that is a good bit of news.

I must stop now and write and thank various aunts.  I'll ring you up when I get to town, probably before you get this letter.

This, darling, must be our last Christmas apart.

Love and kisses

Terrick  xxx

Sunday, 25 December 2016

25th December 1936 - Mary to Terrick

Christmas Day 1936

My darling Ticky - I wish this Christmas business was all over and you were back again - It has seemed so long already and only a quarter of the time is gone.  I suppose it seems so much longer because everybody is enjoying himself so much - and they all ask me where you are and when we're going to be married.  If they only knew how much harder it is not to miss you when they keep on reminding me!

I love my Christmas presents.  The lamb is lovely - but I must keep him in my "bottom drawer" and only look at him on special occasions - in case he gets smashed - before I can use him properly in our house.  The gloves fit me perfectly & I wore them today with my new coat.  I'm terrified of losing one - because I'm so dreadful with gloves.  The book looks lovely - and I'm going to start it tonight.  It goes into my shelf quite nicely.  Thank you ever so much for everything - in fact all my presents have been extra nice this year.  Jill gave me 3 pairs of scissors in a case! - not very big ones - but a most expensive set & they'll be frightfully useful.  Jack gave me a pair of very fine silk stockings (which I shall wear on New Year's Eve) - and is going to order a magazine for me for the year.  Renny chocolates, Norah an evening bag (which fills me with remorse, having sent her nothing), Auntie Maggie a most dainty nightdress (which you shall see anon in all its glory), Patricia Olsson a fountain pen (for when I lose this) - and Father Christmas a jolly nice toothbrush, darning set and tennis socks.

I'm writing on Aunt Mildred's present at the moment, but I shall always feel it was a slight desecration to use such a lovely piece of material for a writing pad.

Today has been really quite passable - as Christmas Days go - we went to the 8 a.m. service (which lasted an hour and a quarter!) - & after breakfast set off for a car drive to call on the Goddards at Radlett, as it was such a lovely morning.  We got there to find a whoopie party in swing - presents & £5 notes flying here & there (though not for us!) - we drank champagne ad:lib: & were invited to lunch.  So we phoned up home & stayed on - with cocktails and port - & brandy in our mince pies!  We left at 4 to go to tea with Auntie Bob where we spent the evening playing 'Monopoly'.  It was a great success - so much so that we've had to leave it behind for them to play tomorrow (as long as they return it for the weekend!)  I was very lucky tonight & made a profit of nearly £10,000 - I owned the Mayfair site - Strand etc. - Piccadilly etc. - Bow St. etc. - & Whitechapel etc. - all with 3 or 4 houses or hotels! - I couldn't move anywhere when I didn't land on my own property - & noone else could move without going bankrupt paying my rent!

We have just got home.  The children are at the Binghams - Mummy's in bed & asleep & I'm sitting in front of my gas fire in my dressing gown.

Auntie Maggie at Radlett wants Mummy & myself to spend the day there on Monday, Jan 4th & has invited you down to dinner in the evening.  If you can't the 5.37 from St Pancras, I'll meet you a the station at 6.5.  Can you manage it - or are you booked? 

It's the last family you've got to be shown to - and the most difficult, but we must get it over sometime - & they ought to give us a jolly good wedding present!

I've had awful things done to my hair since you've not been here to look after me (this is just to warn you).  I very badly wanted to try curls that rolled back from my forehead - so I had bits cut off here and there.  It doesn't look too frightful - but not as nice as I hoped it would - so now I shall have to grow the bits again.  My eyebrows don't look any different - but I'm going to have them done a bit more.

I have bought my £9.15 worth of saving certificates & have had to have a new book - that's £31 all together.  It seems a mighty sum.  If we could manage to make our joint saving do for all furnishing - we ought to get £100 in cheques which would do for the first year instead of your rise!  But I suppose it wouldn't do.

I read right through the marriage service in church this morning - and I thought my heart would go pop with excitedness the words were so thrilling.

I'm looking forward tremendously to New Year's Eve - how many times do you think you'll dance with Brenda?

The worst thing to me is to watch other people in love who've got each other when we haven't - but I do realise I'm really very lucky to have you as much as I do.

I love you so so much my darling boy - everywhere is so empty without you to call to - or ask things - or have a bath and clean nightie for.  It's the little things which seem to count much more than if you'd been sent to Australia for 5 years.

Grannies tomorrow - and more kind, thoughtful people asking where you are - & "when are you getting married?"

Goodnight, my dearest dear - and thank you so much for all my presents - and the lovely time you gave me on Wednesday (it seems weeks ago!) - and for everything you've done for me by making my whole act of living a wonderful thing.

All my heart is yours for always


Monday, 19 December 2016

Also undated (written on telegram paper) - Mary to Terrick

I've hunted the whole of Richmond for a nice card to put in this - bot none of them are worthy! The best of Christmas and all my love

Mary xx

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Undated (written on telegram paper) - Mary to Terrick

Darling - I'm sure you gave me 6d too much with that 2/- yesterday - you had given me 2 separate shillings before.
- anyway I hope this is all I owe you - I had to send it now in case I didn't get my present.


Thursday, 15 December 2016

15th December 1936 - Mary to Terrick

Tuesday 7.45

My dearest, dearest dear - I have just caught sight of my ancient writing pad lying dusty and disused on top of the cupboard & it reminded me of what a very long time it is since I last wrote to you - I'm afraid your average receipt of letters from me this year will be down on last - but I suppose there won't be such a drop as there will be next year.  There are two books I want to give you very badly for Christmas - but I'm not quite sure of one - & it would be such a waste if you didn't like it.  I shall post all your presents separately to make it more exciting.

I love you very much this evening or else I shouldn't be being so silly as to put all the most pressing work on one side and write all about nothing to you.

I feel frightfully worn out this evening - Heaven knows why, as I haven't done much today.  But I'm a bit fed up with the term - especially when I think what a tremendous lot has to be done in the next four days.  Monday will be frightful with 2 parties on top of each other - Miss Paterson & myself organising the first - and Miss Olsson & me organising the second.  I wish I could catch flu.  They say your bathing wrap will be much to gaudy - but I don't agree - I'm going to wear it over Jack's blue pyjama trousers too - if the pictures you've got show trousers & tunics.  Don't forget to show them to me tomorrow - will you?

- When will you know about your Christmas bonus? - Christmas eve, I suppose.  I wish Miss Cross would deal out a few too.

Hoch told me I was good at rehearsal last night  about the first word of praise anybody's had since we started.  Kathleen says they're going to start casting for "Twelfth Night" in January - & Mrs Eriksen says K. stands a good chance for Viola - but there are such a lot of new magnificent women in the society, that I'm afraid there won't be much hope for me - I'd love to play Olivia - but I might not have time for rehearsals.

- I love you with all my heart - & more & more each day - Thank goodness I'm seeing you tomorrow.


Mary   xxx

Sunday, 11 December 2016

11th December 1936 - Terrick to Mary

Office    11.12.36


As you are not coming to town on Wednesday I am taking my afternoon for shopping today, because my Reunion circulars have all gone off to the printers and there is a lull in the work till I get the proofs on Monday.

I shall probably get a week's holiday straight on from Christmas but I shall probably spend it in London going to the British Museum every day.

The chapters I am now coming to, in the guide book, are the most difficult as they have to be properly composed  A week's solid work at the History, Sports and Folklore of the Highlands would probably put them right though, or at any rate break the back of them.

I want to listen tonight to what the King has got to say, but I don't quite know whose set I am going to listen to.

I'll catch the 5.59 train on Saturday.  Can you meet me?

This letter is very "human" but I am in the office and the atmosphere is very business-like and cool.

I must stop now and get on with my work.

All my love

Terrick  XXX

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

1st November 1936 - Terrick to Mary

33 Nevern Place

1st November 1936

My Darling, 

Are you frozen to death?  I feel a bit anxious for you because I'm sure the cottage can't be warm in such weather as this.  I'd much rather you were within thick walls.  Still it is fine today, whereas yesterday, in town, was appalling.

I was at the Museum from 10am till 6pm writing hard with about 40 minutes off for lunch.  In the evening I sat & talked to Renny who came up to see me.  This morning he and I went to the Junior Constitutional Club which Renny is thinking of joining.  We got particulars & then the man asked us if we should like to see over the club.  We said 'yes' and he sent a boy to find the manager.  When he came he turned out to be Mr Churchman, the late owner of the Hotel Bellevue at Mentone, whom of course I knew well.  It is a very large place, dignified but dull.  The place is full of statues of Disraeli.

This afternoon & evening until supper time I wrote all the time.  After supper I started again but Renny asked me to come and sit in his room (hence the address at the top of this letter), so as I wanted to write to you and home I brought my writing things and did so.

Just after I started this letter Mrs Griffiths came to say that there was a Mr Muir to see me.  He is a fellow who was in the Poly this season, but who wanted to go into the Church.  When I got to the hall of No 35 I was astonished to see him in black cassock with cape and prayer book & two white tails at his throat.  He is at an Anglican theo. collage.  We sat in my room and talked for about an hour.  As we went down Mrs Nutt, the ever-curious, opened her door and asked me to post a letter for her.  I handed it to Muir and when she saw him her eyes nearly popped out of her head.

Can I come to your rehearsal on Tuesday?  That would be much better than asking for an afternoon off, and I shouldn't have to wait so long.  Let me know when you ring me up on Monday after you get home.

I have missed you!  It is absolutely necessary to me to see you at least twice a week, preferably though every day.  You are to me like insulin to a diabetic, unless I see you regularly and often I get restless and unconcentrating from thinking of you.  let me know where to meet you on Tuesday.

Goodnight, dear.  I do hope you get this letter before your leave the cottage tomorrow.  Don't catch cold.

All I have


Monday, 31 October 2016

31st October 1936 - Mary to Terrick

(Milton, Moat Lane, Prestwood, Buckinghamshire)


Dearest Ticky - Thank you very much for finding time to write to me yesterday evening - It was the most lovely surprise when we were all engaged in speculation as to whether the sausages were really cooking on the electric stove, to hear a ring at the front door bell - and Miss X saying - "well, I don't know what we can do now, because the door won't open" - and then to see my letter all by itself lying face upwards on the mat.  I really didn't deserve it either - because I was so cross with you when you said you couldn't come.  You see, Terrick, it never has, and never will make any difference telling me the reason you can't come where I want you to (although of course, in my saner moments, I always realise how unreasonable I am & how right you are) - but I live in a state now which I feel is just like being married to you - spiritually, but not materially - I have felt it grow gradually month by month - when it is almost unbearable for me to go a week without seeing you.  

It's like being cut off from half the means of one's existence - and I'm not exaggerating in the slightest.  Ever since last holidays I have found myself living more and more just for you - from Wednesday to the weekend - from the weekend to Wednesday - and & on it goes - & every time I have to say goodbye to you the ache inside me gets more & more.  I know it's wrong for anybody just to live for one person - & I've always lived half of me for school up till now - but it's getting so very difficult, my dearest dear - it's an overwhelming obsession growing inside me, to see you every day - I feel if I could do that I could go on waiting to be really married to you for any length of time (so you see my "want" is quite different from yours) - and when anything comes in the way of my weekends or Wednesdays with you, something goes snap inside me and I lose all logic, reason or common sense.

It has been an awful day today - raining all the time, but we spent the morning cooking & then the oven was so hot it burnt everything!  I took the two boarders to Amersham to the pictures this afternoon which were quite nice - Miss X went to sleep & had a bath.  We got in at 5.30 & I had a bath too - & we're now all sitting round a lovely fire reading.  I'm enjoying it very much - & I don't know whether you would have liked it very much.  I hope the weather cheers up tomorrow.  We expect to get back to Richmond on Monday between 6 and 7 - Miss X suggested she dropped me at the station to come up and see you.  Can I? I'll phone you from the station to say when I'm coming - in case you're not in.

- I really don't think, darling, I shall be able to come next Friday - besides I'd much rather go to a staff dance where I don't know anybody else - I don't mind Paul & Renny - but not my family.

I thought of you in the British Museum this morning - did you look up F.W. all the time? - or wasn't the temptation a bit too great to go back to Pitt's letter?

I must go & get the supper - I'll finish this sometime tomorrow

*          *          *          *

In a great hurry to go out for a walk. - Sunday afternoon.  We went for a wonderful one yesterday evening - full moon through our larch path - you would have loved it.

Church this morning - wonderful day - 

Hope I see you tomorrow.

All my love


Sunday, 30 October 2016

30th October 1936 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place 

30th October 1936

My dear little girl,

How are you enjoying yourself with your girls? I am sitting at my desk waiting until it is time to go to Aunt Mildred's and trying to pretend that writing to you is as good as seeing  you.

I can't ask for Wednesday afternoon off until after the weekend as if I did it before the S.M. might say I could take it instead of Saturday morning which would defeat the whole object of my not coming to see you tomorrow.

I was out of the office practically all day - in the morning I went to see a French woman journalist about a French military band.  I was given the wrong address & so had a long search before I could find her.  Then she wasn't in so I made an appointment for 4 p.m. At 2.30 I had to be at London Bridge Station to do some detective work about one of our reps, and I was kept there until it was time to go to the journalist again.  It was beastly hot and I got a bit disagreeable with myself.

The first Poly dance has not had the response we hoped, unless people are going to buy tickets at the door, and so the staff are being encouraged to come & bring their friends free.  It is really only an "evening dress" optional dance but if I get a large enough party together I am going to get them to come in full evening dress.  With Jack's friends, and Paul's and Renny & his partner I hope to have about twenty.  It won't hurt you to miss a class.  You can always learn how to cook the thing you missed at home.


After dinner

Aunt Mildred & Uncle George send you their love & say that you must come another evening.  Aunt Mildred said that when Mummy went to lunch there she (Aunt M) asked her if she mentioned the engagement while she was at Shepperton, & when she said no, told her she jolly well ought to have.

Uncle George has given me an old carriage clock of his which I have put on the mantelpiece.  We shall now have an extra reminder of when it is 11 p.m.

Remember me to Miss Cross and when you get grumpy because I am not with you remember that I am scribbling away like steam to the end that we may be together for always.  No other inducement could have kept me from you.

Goodnight, petootie.  Think of me, and love me, as I love you.  The day will come when we shall not have to wait to see each other.

All my thoughts and hopes are in your keeping.



Tomorrow night is Hallowe'en.  Dream of me.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

27th October 1936 - Mary to Terrick

My darling - it is very wrong of me to write this - but I've come to the end of things to do in the office and I've been thinking.

It's Matron's wedding day - she was being married at 12 o'clock & the reception is at an hotel in Earl's Court - I do so wish I could have gone.  I seem to take such a melancholy delight in weddings!! It was funny seeing her yesterday - and thinking she would belong to another family by tomorrow - and that when she talked about "going home" she would be going to another place - and that if she cut her finger or was sick on the carpet there wouldn't be anybody "grown-upper" than herself to clear it up or look after her.

If you ever got a pain suddenly and went as white as a sheet - what should I do?  I think perhaps if it wasn't you I should know at once & put you them to bed & send for a doctor - but with you - I think I should have a pain myself and go as white as a sheet too! - and that wouldn't be much good.

Animals leave their mothers when they're still babies and learn to fend for themselves while they're young, but we go on and on letting our mothers bind up our fingers and hold our heads over basins and buy us cough lozenges, until we want suddenly to break away to look after somebody else.  I think I must take some courses in everything - so that by the time you marry me I'm a hard-headed experienced middle aged woman fit for the responsibilities that go with looking after a man like you.

Miss Cross liked your letter very much - she has since been saying every few minutes what a pity we can't live in the cottage rent free!!! Quite mad, but dearly so.

The rehearsal went well last night, Mr Eriksen came in to listen & buttonholed Hoch afterwards.  I heard him telling her that as sure as we were here now Russia would be at war with the rest of the continent soon and he didn't think England could keep out of it for long.  I hate people who state facts like that as if they knew!  He also told us of the best crit he'd read on Anthony & Cleopatra - which had said now was the time to decide whether Bacon or Shakespeare wrote the plays by  paying a visit to the tomb of each & finding out which was the most disturbed!!

Kathleen says only 4 were at Cookery on Friday - so I must go this week - (the mistress asked K where her "attractive" friend was!!!)

*          *          *          *

Miss X has just come in with all news about Matron.  She looked very nice & everything went well - she couldn't wear anything under her dress it fitted her so well! Miss X dressed her to go away afterwards & everybody made a horrible mess with confetti.  The smallest boarder here was a bridesmaid.  They drive to Bournemouth tonight & on to Torquay tomorrow.

Grannie isn't very well - so I don't know whether I shall be able to go to tea with her tomorrow - anyway I shall knit wherever I am! - & I shall be at the office at 5.45.

- All my love till then, my dearest dear - I'm afraid I'm a bit of a coward sometimes.


Thursday, 20 October 2016

20th October 1936 - Postcard from Mary to Terrick


I have just thought that it might be a gesture if you wrote a note to thank Miss Cross for Saturday.  I have told her all we did & said "thank you very much" two or three times - but it doesn't seem quite adequate for Two of us - & she specially asked how you liked it.

Love  Mary

Monday, 17 October 2016

17th October 1936 - Mary to Terrick

Saturday O.V.S.

My darling - Thank you a million times for writing me the nicest letter I shall ever have from anyone in this life again - especially as I never dreampt you'd write as well as 'phone.  It was lovely to hear your voice - & I was so excited after it that Patricia let me play "God Save the King" on her cello before I went to bed!  After I had read the letter this morning I said to myself "that really is the most beautiful one I've had" - and then I thought a bit more and added "I can just see him scanning it through with satisfaction and folding it punctiliously as if he felt he had evolved a masterpiece"!!

I can't make this a very long letter as it is just before lunch - & I have just typed 10 letters! - but I wanted to say that I think it would be better if I didn't try to get to King's Cross on Monday as it would muck up the rehearsal - but I'll be at Earl's Court between 9.45 & 10 just so that I can see you for an hour.

Don't worry if your train's in late - because I can wait until 11.  If you're  not in by then I'm afraid I shall have to go back!

- Oh, darling I'm longing with all of myself for the first time I kiss you again & the first time you put your arms right round me again. There's no feeling on earth to compare with either.

Goodbye, my very own dearest dear - until Monday.


17th October 1936 - Postcard from Terrick to Mary

We are in Harrogate changing library books.  The weather is very "variable".  This afternoon I go beagling if it keeps fine.  If not I shall try & finish "Albert the Good".  Looking forward to seeing you on Monday.


Friday, 14 October 2016

14th October 1936 - Terrick to Mary

Wesley Rectory

14th October 1936

My Darling Girl, it is 9.30 p.m.  My mother and I are sitting in the drawing room, she telling her fortune and I writing to you, while my father is at a parish whist drive to raise money for a seat at the village bus stop.

I need you so much now that I don't know what it will be like when I have to go away for reunions after we are married.  We must have a telephone so that I can ring you up - if you aren't out rehearsing or reading plays, or still learning to cook.  I wasn't going to ring you up till the weekend because I thought you were out every evening, but now I know what time you are going to be in.

I think I am spoilt.  It isn't always easy for me to realise how much you mean to me.  It is like a ship that has been long at anchor forgets what the wind and waves can do to it. I can't imagine my life without you, which is very wrong because I don't deserve you and so ought to be always on the watch that I don't lose you.

You wouldn't like the look of me now if you could see me because my hair is plastered down with anti-scurf mixture.  What do you look like? And how are you doing your hair now? Still in a plait that will fall off every time I kiss you?

This afternoon we all three went to tea with the Croke-Yarboroughs.  On Saturday afternoon I am going beagling with them if it is fine.  I wish you could come too.  It would do you good to pad behind me over the fields and loose-stone walls.

Yesterday we went to Harrogate.  My father went to "Mutiny on the Bounty" which he loved - it is just the kind of film he likes best - and Mummy & I went to "We Three" [These Three].  What marvellous actresses these two girls are.  They make a great song of Bonita Granville, but I think the other girl was just as good.  I wish I had seen who the director was, he must have been very clever and very patient.  The sill aunt was good too.  You have seen it, haven't you?

Tomorrow we all go to tea with Rosemary at the Camp.

I should think that you would learn a lot from the contrast between the methods of Hoch & Smith.  I should say that was decidedly your line.  You would possible be even better at producing than at acting, because you like bossing.  I should love to come to some rehearsals.

My father was very thrilled to hear about Mrs Pearse.  if her name was Carrie Lucas he was a great friend of hers apparently he caused a scandal at a dance by picking her up when they were walking out in the garden and carrying her to an arbour, not realising that dozens of people could see.

Here is a handkerchief that you lent me.  Mummy says I had better enclose it in this letter as I am sure to forget to give it you otherwise.  They often talk about you; and they haven't said a single word about thinking it silly to get engaged, much to my surprise.  My mother thinks that you have a lovely complexion.

We must go to sales this winter.  Are they ever held on Saturdays?  I don't want you to choose everything alone, besides I can't see you nodding your head or lifting your eyes in the right place.

I shall know today what time I shall be arriving at King's Cross on Monday.  Probably you will be too busy rehearsing to come, & if so when is the very soonest I can see you?  I could run a mile to meet you.  Just to be able to walk up to you seems too easy.  All the best fairy tale princesses had hedges of thorns, or rings of fire or walls of ice around them, so that for any ordinary girl inside no one would have gone to the bother of breaking through; and also no ordinary prince or swine-heard would have had the guts to take it on even though the princess (or goose girl) inside was beautiful.  It was a way of ensuring that only the brave won the fair.  And I do feel that every time I come to see you I should have to swim the Thames, push the O.V. gate off its hinges and climb up to the window of your room, just as an outward & visible sign of how wonderful you are to me and how brave for your sake I am prepared to be.

Goodbye, my darling.  I expect you are too busy to think of me as much as I think of you.  I wish I could put all I think about you into words, but most of it is dreams for the future: what we shall do when - which is rather a waste of time, and also it is much better to surprise you than to let you know years in advance.

All myself, body & soul


Thursday, 13 October 2016

13th October 1936 - Mary to Terrick


Darling - This, I'm sure you will agree, is not only touching - but demonstrates the great feeling & esteem in which I hold you - (as well as a slight softening of the brain).  I can't help writing to you, any more than I can help phoning you sometimes on the most weak excuses.  It's just the nearest I can get to you for half an hour once a day.  I have put off writing until fairly late because I thought a letter might come by this evening's post - but it hasn't.  (I think perhaps you have forgotten me after all.)

I most rashly invested in a 2/- recipe book today to write my apple-pie & Yorkshire pudding in - the Staff are afraid I'm taking "this marriage business" too seriously!

We had an awful rehearsal last night - (in comparison with Sunday) Smith is so soft with everybody - & only about 6 turned up.  His ideas are so old-fashioned - & you must have personality to produce properly - which he certainly hasn't.  Every time Lorenzo had something romantic to say to Jessica, Smith says "turn your toes out so, and rest one hand on her shoulder"!!  It's all I can do to hold my suggestions in as it is.  But I did jokingly tell him at the end that the only way you  could get their love over to the audience was to have them facing each other squarely!!  They haven't got a Bassanio yet yet at all - and I doubt (even with my acting ability!) if I can get enough love into Portia's lines with him, if they decide on just anybody.

I have just phoned Ren. but he wasn't in - so I left the message asking him down next weekend.

Every time the 'phone goes I think it may be a long distance from Wensley - you in expansive mood - & today is the last evening I shall be in after 7 this week - except Friday when I get in at 9.40 after cooking.

We have got to queue for the Old Vic. tomorrow - every seat is booked - think of us eating our oranges in the "gods" for 6d.

Of course, I should really be getting on with your jumper now instead of simply wasting yours & my time in filling space because I don't want to let you go. - Oh, my dearest one this is most awful - the days are dragging interminably.  Life without being able to see and talk to you is the most dreary thing I can imagine.  My heart aches already and there's another whole week to go yet.  Four weeks ago this week was Fort William - four weeks ago tomorrow night was the most wonderful night of my life - oh, why, why, why can't I live with you now for always? - everything seems so insignificant compared with having each other.

- Oh my darling I love you until I hurt myself with the immenseness of it - I'm swallowed up in the tide of it - I'm losing my reason with the very unreasonableness of it - and if you ever find it in your heart to leave me for more than 7 days again, I shall come with you.

- Please want me so much that you can't live without me.


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

12th October 1936 - Mary to Terrick

Oct 12th 

My very dearest One, why I'm writing to you again today is beyond me - but I've been looking forward to doing it all this afternoon.  You see Monday is usually the first day I start looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday - so I'm doing this instead.  Wensleydale gets about a hundred miles further away every 24 hours - and every 20 miles you grow more and more perfect!  Today has been as if it just ran straight on after Friday.  The only time in my life now when I have a real holiday or rest, is when I'm with you.  All the other times I fill in feverishly with something else to stop me missing you.

We had an amazing day yesterday.  We all cycled to Shepperton station to catch the 2.42 & saw the train moving out as we came round the corner (Jack saying I looked like a monk on a donkey!) So we sat on the platform being thoroughly ridiculous for half an hour.  The twins getting into carriages & pulling all the blinds down & making Graham cycle backwards & forwards to Dunally to get newspapers & books & wool & apples.  We eventually got to Belgrave Court, Chiswick, Freda & George & a few others were there too.  I did so wish you had been with me because it was so interesting.  It's a very nice flat taken by itself - but I think it's horrid having to look out on hundreds of back windows just like your own & prambulators etc. - & all the drain pipes going up outside.  I've come to the conclusion I'd almost rather live in a large converted house with big rooms looking out on a small garden.  They have a bedroom about the size of Jack's, very nicely done in lovely walnut - 2 single beds pushed together - h& c - but not much room to walk in; a kitchen the size of our scullery - complact but cramped; a small lounge with the only fireplace (all very nicely centrally heated - no expense) & book case, spare bedroom - & dining room furnished with most lovely birchwood refectory table & side-board - all very Norweigan - with chairs copied from a 16th century one they saw somewhere.

I wasn't a bit envious - it's not really what I want at all - although very nice in its way.

Heavens - your family will think you're about to introduce a mad woman into the family, who can write 4 pages on two consecutive days.  I feel a bit surprised myself.

I must go now and change for dinner - I've been taking prep. all this time.

I love you very very much - & it's all I can do these days to think of waiting for you till next Spring - let alone next Autumn - it would spoil the wedding a bit if they had to fetch me from an Institution for Broken Spirits, wouldn't it?

A week today & you'll be getting nearer & nearer.  I shall manage to live till then - but in what manner is a matter for anxious conjecture.

My dearest - I send you my heart - 

your Mary Pleasant

12th October 1936 - Terrick to Mary

Wensley Rectory

12th October 1936

My Darling

This time last month we were at Fort William.

We have just come back from a drive to Blackpool & Lytham St. Annes.  Blackpool seems to be quite a pleasant place, but probably only because it is the off season.  There is a marvellous Amusement Park there, with roundabouts, chairoplanes, switchbackts etc, which you would revel in.

I have just read the Telegraph crit of "Charles the King".  It seems to be marvellous.  We shall miss "As You Like It" because it comes off on Wednesday to make room for something else.

On Saturday we went into Harrogate & I got a book of the official account of "The Mutiny on the 'Bounty'".  It can't help being interesting but it is the worst written book I have ever read.  I'll bring it down with me.  My father has "Albert the Good" here which I shall start tomorrow.  It has the most quaint illustrations.

I have done a little of Sydney & Co, not much.  Up here I am at my worst.  I potter mentally among a lot of different interesting but useless things.  I have, however, written out practically all the plot of my novel.  What makes me lazy is the fact that I am always stuffed so full of food that I lie back half asleep most of the time.

Rosemary was here yesterday, full of beans now that she's not under the depressing influence of her pompous husband.  We are all going to tea with her at the Camp on Thursday.

Let's go & see "Charles the King" next week.

Pa & Ma like your photograph very much.  I keep it by my bed a& try & make it do.  Rosemary asked after you.

I am dying to hear how you got on with the German producer, do write soon about it.

It is just half past six so I must stop if I am to catch the post.  I'll write you another letter very soon.

I love you more than ever.




Monday, 10 October 2016

10th October 1936 - Mary to Terrick


Oct 10th '36

My very own dear love - I am missing you more just at the moment than I have done since Tuesday.  I am sitting propped up in my hard bed after a bath, with my bottle between my legs, my hair in two stiff "berubberbanded" plats - & my ring opulently displayed on my finger because you aren't here.  I have been knitting all the evening while the family drifted in and chased out in ones and twos. The Lingwood boys, Flip & Graham suddenly shot off to the pictures - Jack, Jill, Lottie & Paget to a posh 21st at Cookham - and Mummy & Mr Lingwood have been playing patience ever since.  But it has really been a lovely day because it began with a letter from you this morning.  It was so nice to be given a picture of you sitting round the fire with your father & mother - eating lots for tea - & going off in the car with your father - and wearing your plus fours all day, and doing nothing.  When the emptiness beside me and in me grows unproportionately large, it always helps me on for a little while to think of the good it's doing you.

I had another lovely cooking lesson on Friday.  I had to go shopping in the lunch hour to buy my flour and margarine - the man in the shop asked if I was going to "try my hand a cooking"! - I suppose because I had to ask for "that kind of white sugar that isn't lump"! I also bought a pie dish for it - so I feel it's your turn next time to buy a hammer or ash tray.  I also had to go to the fruit shop to ask for enough damsons "to fill this pie dish". But I feel all this experience is invaluable to me.  My pie was quite successful, & we had it for lunch at school today.

I came home by bus with Grannie & Hell this afternoon.  Helen, apparently, is going to Breslau, although the Consul warned Uncle Edmund that the family doesn't even go to the theatre or employ a maid! - So I shouldn't think Helen's in for too good a time!  Also Cecil Wiscon (the short man at the sherry party) has had his engagement with the German girl broken off & doesn't seem to care a bit (Grannie says!) - He's got about £200 of hers to send back.

Miss X was exceptionally nice to me this morning & asked whether I'd rather go to the theatre or have a present for my bottom-drawer, because I'd been so good this term!  Something must have weakened her brain - because she has already told me I bluster, am too officious, and have lost my usual cheerfulness this term!

Next Wednesday (to fill my blankness) Patricia & I are going to "The Country Wife" at the Vic & I had thought of seeing "A Tale of Two Cities" at the Richmond - but perhaps that would be a bit extravagant.  Will you come to Richmond one evening the week you get back and see "Mr. Deeds goes to Town"?  Also Charles I sounds rather good, doesn't it?

I have got on to the 3rd story in the new Arabian Nights - but the plots  seem to dwindle off in them all - & Prince Florizel give me the pip - with his "Alas!" every two minutes.  I suppose Stevenson is old-fashioned too - but I'd never thought of him as being so before.

My new brown dress is fairly nice - but I think it makes me look a bit pompous.

Tomorrow evening after tea at Ken's new flat, I meet Kathleen Hayes to go to Kilburn to interview this marvellous Stratford producer who's going to put on scenes from Lear for the Drama League Festival.  I hope he doesn't take us all off to the White Slave Traffic!

*         *         *          *

This is Sunday morning just before lunch.  Mummy has had a dreadful cold all the week and had an awful attack of asthma during the night.  She called me for aged until I woke up - & then I never know what to do.  I think it's one of the worst feelings you can have to watch someone suffer & not know how to help them.  However, she's better this morning, although she still has a rotten cold.  I have made another exquisite apple pie and some dumplings.

We've got to leave here soon, so I must get this finished in time to post it when we go.

I'm sorry it's all in pencil, but I've lost my pen somewhere at school.

We're going to ask Ren down next weekend - it's going to seem an awful long time before then though.

Write to me soon, my dearest dear, - I think of you and long for you a hundred times a day.

Yours, with all my heart for always.

Mary Pleasant

Sunday, 9 October 2016

9th October 1936 - Terrick to Mary

Wensley Rectory

9th October 1936

My Darling Girl,

I hope you were thinking of me at all the times I was thinking of you yesterday - and to-day.

The journey was very good.  I had a middle seat as I had to reserve in advance - I always find myself a corner - but it had arms on each side and was very comfortable.  The whole train is silvered and very well upholstered inside. We averaged 71.65 m.p.h. to Darlington which was the only stop.  In the compartment we had one non-descript man, a sailor, two drunk Seaforth Highlanders and a quiet pompous-looking businessman reading business papers.  The two Scotsmen went to sleep before the train left King's X and one of them sank gently onto the businessman's shoulder.  His expression of disdain and disgust was a scream.  He kept jolting the soldier who at last rocked over onto his friend.

We got to Darlington at 8.45, three minutes ahead of time.  I had to wait ¾ hour as my father was preaching at the Harvest Thanksgiving at Bedale.  We got home just after half past ten, had supper, talked & went to bed.

I have just had my porridge-and-cream breakfast.  My mother is fattening me up so I have also had two herrings, an egg and two rolls.

It is Fair Day at Leyburn to-day so I'll post this letter there.  The Wensley morning post has been made earlier.

Already I have had a political argument as a result of the Daily Mail's attitude to the Spanish War.  I forgot that it is a waste of time.  I'll just sit an listen for the rest of the holiday.

How much nicer everything would be if you were here!  I have got your photo beside my bed, but it is not as satisfactory as the original.

This letter is to be instead of me for this week-end.  I reach out my heart to you and kiss you, my darling friend.

Oh Mary, I do look forward to the time when I shall not go off by myself but with you there to make life double.

All my love

Your Terrick


Sunday, 2 October 2016

2nd October 1936 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place

2nd October 1936

Pettootie Darling,

I have just rung up to arrange about tomorrow, hoping that you would be back from your class; but as you aren't I have left a message for you to ring me in the morning so that you will be put off the scent of expecting this letter.

Your letter this morning was enough to make any man leap out of bed with a glad cry.  You certainly are the nicest of girls otherwise you couldn't write such nice letters.

How have you got on at your class?  I picture you toiling up the hill with rabbit pie under one arm, [Interval to speak to you on the phone] a nice pudding under the other and a beef olive in your handbag.

Now our conversation has spoilt this letter. When we are talking on the phone I much prefer listening to you talking to saying things myself, and am, I know known to start off into a monologue.

This morning I had a fitting of my new suit.  The fitter seems to be a very good man  I think it is going to be a good job.  Then to be absolutely the perfect businessman (west end version) I had to wear a hard collar with long points and a black homburg hat bound all round.

Digby goes off to Paris tomorrow to see his mother.  He is a funny fellow, very unlucky in his relatives.

When I go north I shall go by the Silver Jubilee to Darlington as the only alternative is a Pullman to Harrogate which takes three quarters of an hour longer to do a journey fifty miles shorter.  I shall get to Darlington at quarter to nine and home at about half past.  I like walking into the hall with the rather dim light & putting down my bag and then going into the drawing room where it is all light and quiet and exactly the same as the last time I was there.

Prager wants me to go to dinner with him on either Monday or Tuesday so let me know which day will suit you best to come up.  

Goodnight darling.  Sleep well, dream of me, and come down to breakfast to find this on your plate.

I am glad you have a roof to your mouth.  It would be very difficult phoning to you if you hadn't.

Your future lord & master



Saturday, 1 October 2016

1st October 1936 - Mary to Terrick


Oct 1st 1936

My very own dearest one- I have just got 20 minutes before the gong goes for dinner - & after that I go off to Shakespeare - so it is now or never that I must write this letter to you today.  It isn't really to say anything important because I can't imagine what I'm going to put next.  I only know that every empty minute, every blank moment of my days are filled with the wary thought that I shall have to go without seeing you for 12 days.  Dearest dear, I'm such a helpless fool - you would laugh and be just a bit cross with yourself for loving me, if you could only understand what a tremendous capacity I have for "missing" you.  I am so frightfully lucky to see you as much as I do - perhaps that's why I so often feel that we have really been married for a long time.  But I have grown to rely on seeing you so much, that it makes my heart rumble away inside me to think of your going such a long way away without me.  Perhaps it will be better when you have really gone, & when I can think of all the good your porridge & cream are doing you - and of how much you are enjoying it - but just now it seams like immeasurable distance until I wait on Kings X platform to meet your train in.

I loved yesterday evening & walking back through the park with you.  I was thinking today that the better you got to know a person the less you talked to each other - which seems such a pity - do you think when we're married we shall only remark on everyday things? - and what time we're going out or coming in etc?  Because I used to discuss this & that with you far more than I do now (to keep up your interest!)

- It is nearly time for me to go - & I haven't really told you anything in this letter yet - but it makes me feel a bit better even to think of your getting this in the morning.  Do you think you could just send me something, to show you had thought of me, nearly every day, when you're at Wensley?

- My darling heart - you mean so much to me - not only as a lover - but as the most perfect friend a woman could ever have.  To think that one day we shall spend our whole lives together, makes all these times of separation seem shorter - I love you and want you by me for always so very, very much - 


Mary Pleasant

Friday, 23 September 2016

23rd September 1936 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place

23rd September 1936

My dearest girl,

This evening I waited till after the post came before starting this letter, in case there was one from you - and there is.  Unfortunately just as I got it Renny came in and stayed and talked.

Mummy is coming on Sunday to lunch, but not to tea because she is doing something with Aunt Aggie.  Renny said you wrote her a very nice letter.  So, if I may, I'll come home with you after Joan's dinner and then come up with you to the Regent Palace on Sunday.  I've told Renny he is expected, but he knows because Mummy had told him.

On Friday I believe my appointment with the woman at Ealing is not till 8p.m. so it will probably be too late to go to the cinema, but we can sit & have coffee & biscuits somewhere on the hill.

On Monday, darling, I could not work at all.  I felt like Mary Rose the first time she went away, as if I had been to fairy-land and could not get used to humdrum mortal ways again.  i kept thinking of the islands and the seals and the white breakers on the reefs - "perilous seas in fairy lands forlorn" - and "the grassy-green translucent wave" under the boat at Iona and our secret bay at Morar.

That has just reminded me to look up that poem that I said was Wordsworth and you thought not.  I have just got out the Oxford Book of English Verse and it has opened right at Wordsworth and only one page from the poem: "The Solitary Reaper". It goes - but I must start on a new page so as not to break it up:


A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In spring time from the cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:


I think it is sometimes called "The Solitary Highland Lass".

We have been there, dear, and whatever happens no one can take that time from us.  The memories of it are crowding in on me now, and instead of waiting I think of you with your bare feet wading around the rocky points, and of you calling out at the sight of Loch Leven and Glencoe from the ridge of the Mamore Forest.

Mr May wants you and me to come with him to an evening given by the Highland Club in London where they dance reels in full costume and a relation of Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser sings the Songs of the Hebrides.  I said we should love to.  It will be sometime next month.  We may get about 48 of them to do eightsome reels in the arena at the Albert Hall.

I am having dinner with Mummy tomorrow, and then she and Renny are going to see "The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse".

Talking about "Mary Rose" have you ever read the poem Kilmeny by James Hogg the Scottish poet.  The idea is the same, the girl disappears for months:

"Bonnie Kilmeny gaed up the glen.


When many a day had come and fled,  
When grief grew calm, and hope was dead,   
When mess for Kilmeny's soul had been sung,  
When the bedesman had pray'd and the dead bell rung,  
Late, late in gloamin' when all was still,  
When the fringe was red on the westlin hill,  
The wood was sere, the moon i' the wane,   
The reek o' the cot hung over the plain,  
Like a little wee cloud in the world its lane;  
When the ingle low'd wi' an eiry leme,  
Late, late in the gloamin' Kilmeny came hame!"

It goes on to a long account of the land she had been to and what had happened to her.  I can't help it I must quote: 

"She saw a sun on a summer sky,  
And clouds of amber sailing bye; 
A lovely land beneath her lay,  
And that land had glens and mountains gray;

---"  etc etc!  in fact it was Morar and the isles and the Mamore Forest where we have been together.  You must read it.

To talk sense:- I had lunch with Paul yesterday & told him about the time we had; everybody at the office says how browner I am - which gratifies me after the efforts I made  The girl from the short story class was in Fisher's yesterday waiting for her mother, so I had lunch with her there today.  She is going to S. Africa.

Did I tell you that all the firm's salaries are to be considered in October?  There may be a rise in it somewhere.  The thought of a rise brings me to sense again:- the practical job of making dreams become - I won't say true, they are, we know that - but permanent.

Goodbye my dearest.  I am just getting used to not having you at my shoulder to show things to and smile to, but I am looking forward to Friday.  I'll ring you up from Ealing & let you know when I'll be at the Richmond.

All my love and myself.

Terrick  xxx

Thursday, 22 September 2016

22nd September 1936 - Mary to Terrick

In bed   O.V.S.


My very own dearest heart - it is 10.45pm and my eyes can hardly hold themselves up and my legs feel as if they had just been up & down our Glen Nevis Mountain.  There is always a tremendous lot to do in this place, but there's ten times as much ton the last few days of the holidays.  So as this seemed likely to be the only time I have to call my own for the rest of this week - it was imperative that I wrote to you in it.

I am afraid I have many more moments of "pang" to go through until this week is over - every vacant minute I think of last week and all we did - Today it was Morar - and the sand and rocks and clear pea and fairy islands in the distance.  Lonely bays - and winding road and tea at Ausay and lying in the heather waiting for the train - Oh no, it wasn't, that was really Monday   - Tuesday was the Mamore Forest - and finding our path - down to Loch Leven - and the Rock - and tea by the Ferry.  I have been humming "The Road to the Isles" & wishing I had the words & then I remembered, of course, I've got them on the back of a sheet of note paper you once started a letter to me on by mistake - I must find it over the weekend.

I have just done 2 rows of your pull-over - but I shall seize every opportunity to get it finished as soon as I can.  It makes such a difference to make something for you.

It seems that not being enrolled for the cookery class was all for the best it will save me fares in Richmond as well.  But thank you very much for trying for me.

I posted the invitation to your mother this morning.  I do hope she'll come - although the house will just be half-way done up.  What shall we do about getting home after Joan's dinner party? - I don't know whether they'll let us have the car - but they may do.  I thought you were going to the theatre with your mother then?  Tell Ren we're expecting him to come down too on Sunday, won't you?

If you come to Ealing on Friday - it would be lovely to meet you in Richmond afterwards - you get on a 65 Bus at Ealing Broadway Station and get off at the Richmond - just to make it a bit nearer to seeing you again. I am afraid last week spoilt me out of all recognition - your picture beside me doesn't seem to help at all now - (please will you have a big one taken for my Christmas present?).

All the dear things about you that I love, I miss more than I can say - the curl outside your beret - your knobbly knees and hairy legs - the way you polish your glasses and tie your shoelaces - your solemn look when you're thinking out your story - oh, everything makes my heart ache to hold you tight to me in your pyjamas - and feel how hard and stalwart you are.

- My darling heart I love and want you so - and I can't keep my eyes open any longer - so I'm going to shut them tight & pretend it all over again.

- All my love for always your 

Mary Pleasant

P.S. Couldn't we see that Irish film here on Friday if you could get to Richmond before 8?

P.PS. When exactly do you  go for your holiday again? - Because I find the 14th is a Wednesday - not a Sat.