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.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

17th August 1936 - Mary to Terrick


Aug 17th ' 36

Darling - my conscience has smitten me most horribly all today to think of you trying to keep your eyes open over all the Monday complaints - while I have been sunbathing and doing nothing.  I have thought of you nearly all the time - & wishing I could come & help you.  I don't think I'm as lazy as i used to be, because this having nothing particular to do day after day is much more wearing than tearing about all day at school.

I had a nice letter from Miss Cross this morning - saying she is bathing 3 times a day at Ringstead - and asking how you were.  I have written to Eileen (getting all the news in before you!) saying you would send her a photograph of Hamels - and I've also written to the Shakespeare society saying it has been necessary for me to book up at a hotel for my mother & myself for Sept 11th! I expect I shall have a letter back sometime this week.

Mummy says it will be quite all right for you to come next week - & I may teach you to drive in the car!  So you'd better get your licence before the weekend.  I expect you'll have to go to the L.C.C. building the other side of Westminster Bridge.

I hear that next Wednesday Mummy wants me to take her up to Auntie Bee's for the day - & as there's nowhere she can go in town for the evening I must take her back & shan't be able to see you.  What about Thursday? - or if not, tomorrow (Tuesday)

- Oh I do hope you're not absolutely worn out this evening - and that you go to bed nice and early - I wish I was there to tuck you up - but it's a good job I'm not.

Thank you over & over again for the perfect weekend - I can't thank you nearly as much as I want to - but would you please let me know how much  still owe you, besides about 1/10 for the film - because I know I was a continual drain on the resources - and if perhaps you could wait a bit for it, as I am rather poor, it would be very kind of you.

I don't, even now, know how I can wait until Thursday - but I always was a bit fond & foolish -

Every bit of my love, my dearest heart,

Mary Pleasant xxx

P.S. Mummy wants to know if you can suggest a way of getting an advertisement into a New York paper.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

13th August 1936 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place 

13th August 1936

Dear Heart, 

I have put some life into my pen by dipping it in the red ink that I have.  After the read wears off the moisture seems to produce old ink off the sides of the pen.

I am sitting in a pub having a drink, and surprising you.

While I was in Ostend last week I got a News Chronicle & read an article that I kept for you, & forgot on Wednesday.  Every Saturday an article is appearing supposed to be by a girl who has just got engaged reporting the progress of her engagement.  last week was getting to know his relations.  The cartoon a the top showed the fiance looking rather like me.  Get the News Chronicle this Saturday for the 3rd article.

The bell has just gone for us to clear out.

Paul goes to the Lake District for his holiday this Saturday.  I should like to go to Fort William.  My heart leaps up inside me when I see pictures of the highlands.  It is a queer feeling.  A cottage in the highlands to retire to for rest and quiet with you, overlooking the Bay of Morar and the islands of Muck & Rum.  I have never known a place to affect me in such a way before or since.

Alas that we must die!  Shall I ever grow resigned to the idea.  I am so happy and have so much to look forward to.

Just got back & seen your message, have asked for your number.

Your roses are now perfectly lovely; they are opening wider every minute.

Ha ha! so all is fixed! Cheers! I am so bucked.

If the post is too heavy in the morning for me to go to Belgium, I'll ring you in the lunch hour.

All my love Terrick

Thursday, 11 August 2016

11th August 1936 - Mary to Terrick


Aug 11th

After Tea

Dearest old thing - this is just because I haven't anything much to do  & I thought I'd better tell you about tomorrow.  If you really don't think you'll be home before 8.  I rather thought I would go & see the Informer at Sloane Square.  I'm starting off with ?? after lunch & going to help her buy a coat in Kensington- then she's going foo to meed Dearlove & I thought I'd leave the care outside 35. and catch a train to Sl. Sq from E's Ct. in time for the film which starts at 4.25. - & the programme should be over by 7.45, so I should be back with you by 8.  But if you have the slightest feeling you may get off earlier, do ring me up before lunch - because I'd far rather wait & spend the extra time with you.

- It was so nice to hear your voice again yesterday - Did you remember to write to your rep at Innsbruck about Helen? because as her mother drove off on Friday she said how kind it was of you - it had taken a great load off her mind!

I spoke to Norah over the phone on Saturday - I've never heard anyone sound so well & full of energy.  The get to the shop at & serve customers until as late as 10.30 at night - (getting off orders I suppose).  They took £123 on Bank Holiday Monday & £113 last Saturday - altogether they took about £430 in the week!!  They want £2000 more capital from somewhere, so they're selling shares at 6%.  (I bet it's all Norah's money making instincts!)

I should simply love - love - to go to Belgium with you next weekend, but I'm really so poor that I'm afraid it would be rather hair-brained - specially as I probably shouldn't be able to bathe!  Are you absolutely sure you'll have to go?

I can't think of anything more to say so I shall have to stop.

I'm longing for tomorrow so much that I don't think it will ever come.

All my love

"Mary Pleasant Ormiston
"Christchurch Road,
"East Sheen  S.W. 14.

Monday, 8 August 2016

8th August 1936 - Mary to Terrick

August 1936
35 Nevern Place
SW 5
Saturday 1.00 PM

Hello darling -thank goodness your passport was here - all the way up I've been planning what I ought to do if it wasn't.  Thank you very much for your letter - I hope it wasn't absolutely dragged out if you by necessity (but there -you knew I'd think that!)

It feels very strange to be writing to you on your own desk - specially as it was almost exactly a week ago that I came & rummaged around here last time.

The children are going to the "Raj" Regatta at Haliford Bend this afternoon - so luckily no one wanted the car - and the only difference it makes to me, is that I'm missing my lunch.

Joyce Eastman might (it's not very likely) offer to take me down to see Norah with her on Monday - if so I shouldn't be able to meet you - otherwise, if you let me know what train, I expect I could.  So if I'm not there you'll know I've gone to Clacton for the day - & perhaps you could ring up late & arrange what day I can come up.

- Darling I miss you most terribly - it's a permanent "not-being-all there" feeling, which makes me slightly unsociable, very selfish - and want to go to bed early.  You've no idea how wonderful getting your letter was this morning.  

Longing for you to be home again - 


Mary X

Sunday, 7 August 2016

7th August 1936 - Terrick to Mary

On the 14.50 Train
Victoria to Dover

7th August 1936

Darling Heart,

This is the first opportunity I have had of sitting down and writing to you.  On Wednesday I met my mother at the station.  She was very weak but much better than I had expected.  In the evening I was working late but I went round to her club afterwards for coffee & liqueurs.  She went to bed at about ten.  Yesterday I had dinner with her & she was already much perkier. She had booked seats for "Love From a Stranger".  If I had known she was going to be as well as that I would have had you up to meet her again.

I have got sixty odd very Polyish Poly clients to take over to various parts of Belgium.  After dropping off most of the party at Ostend I go on with the next to Bruges & then come back to Ostend for the night.

And that  reminds me; will you  do me a great favour? Or if you can't manage it yourself will you ring J.C. Eno's during the morning and ask Paul to do it?

This morning I put my passport into the pocket of my tweed overcoat when it was lying on the bed, but now, on the train, I find it is not there, so it must have gone right through - you know the kind of pocket it is.  If so the passport will be in my room.  I will wangle myself into Belgium but it will save a dickens of a lot of trouble if the passport can be brought out to me, so will you take an envelope to Earl's Court on Saturday, put the passport in it and address it to me c/o The Polytechnic Representative, Hotel Royal Astor, Ostend, and take it to Victoria Station, continental departing platform and hand it to one of our men for the conductor of the 14.30 train (2.30pm) to bring over to me.  Don't of course say that it is a passport.  if you can't do this will you ring Paul & ask him to do it when he gets out of business at 1pm?  It will be a great help if you can and I shall be most grateful.  If Renny were here he could do it easily.

Excuse this writing; it is the train.  I am in a 1st class compartment at the tail end & it is swaying a lot.

Thank you very much for your wonderful letter.  It was the nicest I have ever had.  I do wish you were with me.

I must stop! We are just passing Folkestone race course & it is not far from there to Dover.  I'll post this at Dover.

I am awfully sorry to be a nuisance about the passport, but it is easier to wangle out of the country than into it.

Goodbye dear.  I'll write to you again from Belgium.

your own 


Friday, 5 August 2016

5th August 1936 - Mary to Terrick

Dunally Lodge

Aug 5th '36

My very own dearest dear - I can't enclose your photographs because it was early-closing day, but I'll get them done when I go to Richmond next.  I thought this important point wanted explaining thoroughly - so I had better write you a letter - don't you think so too?

This morning when I left you at the station I felt as if you were going a long way away - & that I wasn't going to see you for months - it was all I could do to bear up until I got to school.  Miss X had slept badly, and was a bit grumpy, but we worked like navvies until 1-15, when I felt ready to drop with emptiness - so I went to Grannie's for a boiled egg (and thought of you!) I forgot to tell you that we talked about you v. Philip Wilson Dixon at lunch yesterday with Grannie & Miss X.  Grannie saying how very much she liked you - you had all the push and will to get on that Philip would never have!!! 

I went to sleep this afternoon and have been writing letters for the last two hours.  I have sent Hamels the photographs, with my letter.  I did enjoy it all so much.  Of course (although it sounds a bit Ethel M. Well) I should love even the most awful place as long as we were together - because I think the double haze over everything of loving and being loved hides such a lot of things that would worry one to distraction without it.  But to love and bee loved in perfect places is the ideal - and (as you notice) is almost too much for anyone!

- I long for the time I shall see you next - I long for the week when you come home here every evening - I long for Penzance and having you to myself all day long - and I long with the passionate desire which is either two trite words or a hundred overwhelming emotions, for the time when I shall live beside you in mind every day, and sleep beside you in body every night.

and even with all these longings for the future (trademarks of my animal existence!) I am supremely content (another trademark) to think how wonderful life and you are to me - and it's a slight relief to think that there's more than a 50/50 chance that our offspring will be definitely above "animal" level.  Anyhow if they show any leanings that way they won't be allowed to lean long.

I put my £10 in the National Savings today - that's £30 now. If I left it in 10 years it would be £40 - so do you think perhaps we'd better wait?

Have they worked you off your feet today?  Poor old thing, I expect you're still slogging away as I write this.  Did you meet your Mother? - and how is she?  Perhaps you could find time just to ring me up sometime tomorrow or Friday before you go.  And don't forget to let me know what time you get back, because I might be able to come & meet the train in.  If you have a spare minute to find out the cost of Penzance - or I shall have spent it all.

All my heart & a long long kiss comes with this - your Mary Pleasant  x

Saturday, 23 July 2016

23rd July 1936 - Mary to Terrick

Dearest Dear - Am invigilating exams - & forgot to bring my pad.  I enclose invitation for Monday - Miss Hewling is bringing a male friend who apparently reels magnificently - so we're going to ask him to give us all a lesson!  Do come - because you needn't dance all the time & we're going to have beer & sausages.

Miss X is looking forward to seeing us all on Saturday - she was telling the rest of the staff at Break that she was having 3 generations of "Ormiston" to tea! - then she said it was a pity I couldn't manufacture a baby before then to make it 4 generations!! - But she thought perhaps bringing you was the next best thing!!

- Next Tuesday the Art Society hope to go to the Open Air Theatre - so if it's fine enough I'm afraid I shan't be able to come up to you.

This weather is the limit - my cold is still annoying.

My love for you grows more & more every day- 

Mary Pleasant  xxx

Sunday, 17 July 2016

17th July 1936 - Mary to Terrick

My very dearest dearest dear - My pad is downstairs & I don't want to see a soul again until supper time so I've torn a page out of my German book.  It has been a frightful day - but very typical of the last school day before Speech Day.  Miss Cross trying to squash in a hundred meetings - talks to the school - competitions for prizes & tidyings of the house!  "God's Gift to Women" is upon me (and I've worked it out & find I shall start on Sept. 13th! - so I've cursed that all day too!)

Have just been across to Grannies & seen Mummy & Jill (both looking spruce & clean) & felt just like a jaded school-mistress!  They said I looked a fright!

I can't go up to As You Like It - Miss X wants to do prize list after supper - and I'd rather see something with you tomorrow if I can - so I shall have to miss it.  I see "Give us This Night" is at the Stoll too - but the Forum is nearer. 

Patricia's friend has lent her her car for a week in the hols - so we're going to plan somewhere for the three of us to go camping! Me driving! - (I wish I dared ask her if we could borrow it for Penzance - or even hire it - but we shall have to see how our camping goes!)

Must stop & change - I love you more than words can tell - & if it hadn't been for Wed. I should be desperate - Your Mary P

(I'm sorry I'm so selfish about letter writing but I don't seem to be able to put myself in your place - & I long so much just to see your envelope on my plate!)

Sunday, 3 July 2016

3rd July 1936 - Mary to Terrick


Dear Ticky,

Mummy phoned up just after you had rung off to say I was to wait at school until Mr Lingwood could pick me up some time between 2 & 4 o'clock tomorrow! - as she wanted me to do some shopping for her in Kingston because Jack & Jill would be at Henley all day & I was to come home to help her with tea - she has Mrs Leslie & her son there.  She was a bit cross about Sunday as she had understood you were definitely coming to Brighton on Sunday & had accepted the invitation to lunch for you.  But I said it was my fault as I only told you about it yesterday (so she's disagreeable about us both now) - specially as we were coming back to the party on Sunday at 5. & she was looking forward to the drive with both of us.  However - she says now she will never fix up anything for you again & all her plans for the weekend have been upset.

I think perhaps it would have been better if we'd given her to understand you couldn't come last weekend - & then changed it if you had decided you would come.  I suppose something that happened at your meetings in the week made you feel you couldn't.

Anyway - I simply can't wait till Wednesday - whatever you can - & I'm just slightly and unreasonably cross, because I feel when I've got safely to Friday, my weekend's all right - & you could easily have decided against on Wednesday when we were saying how nice the bathe in the sea would be.

- Forget all this - I shan't care a bit tomorrow - & I'm a bit annoyed Mummy cares so much - because I told her I didn't.

- I expect it will be Wednesday in the end.

How did the speech go?


3rd July 1936 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place
3rd July 1936

My Darling Girl,

Just back from making my debut as a political public speaker.  The speech went down all right and interested an ex-bus driver in the audience who spoke up and endorsed what I said.  The chief thing is that now I am not a bit nervous of speaking.  Next week my subject is "The United Front".

I should like to come to Brighton on Sunday, but I should be letting the Party down if I did.  My trades union's Metropolitan District Council have actually decided to support the Demonstration of Welcome and they want every man behind the banner in order to show the whole union that there is a strong feeling for the United Front.

Actually too it is going to be very interesting.  A lot of very famous people in the movement will be speaking from all parts of the world.

I do hope you will be able to come to Redhill with me tomorrow.  we can spend the afternoon in the country all by ourselves.  How did Patricia & Hasty P. like "The Seagull"? And what, if you know, did the Shakespeare Society think of Henry VIII?

I can hardly remember when I last saw you.  It seems so long ago.  But somehow dear, since Wednesday, I love you more.  I don't mean gradually more, but a sudden jump more.  I feel more strongly that we are one: Youandme.  You know what I mean.

Goodbye.  I must catch the post.


Sunday, 26 June 2016

26th June 1936 - Mary to Terrick


My Very Own Dearest Dear - I am afraid my late nights are beginning to tell - I have had to stifle yawns all today.  Thank you so much for your dear letter - I'm not sure it didn't make me blush - and I'm quite certain it made my heart beat faster!  but I felt a bit selfish all the same keeping you out of bed just to say nice things to me! - & I suppose you've only had a bath bun for lunch today because of the stamp.  So it's really my fault you're so bony!  But I'll make it up to you one day.

It went very well again last night.  Perhaps not quite as well as Wednesday - but the family enjoyed it & we all went in to Grannie's for tea afterwards, which was mice - Miss X too.  The weather looks as if it would do for us tonight - if we do play I shall probably catch double pneumonia on the grass all that time!

Ralph asked if you couldn't join the bathing party from 5-7 tomorrow - but I said I thought it would be too much of a rush for you.  Mummy says Jack is taking the car to a party & will pick us up at 11.p.m. I bet he's late.  I think Andy is coming tonight.

It's very nice of you to cut the meeting on Sunday for me.  Are you sure it's principally correct?   But I suppose it's really only because you simply must go next weekend?

Mummy told me she was going to Aunt M's on Tuesday.

I must stop now & take the children to Rounders.  Thank goodness it's Friday.  Miss X says I must have breakfast in bed tomorrow! Whoopee! Several people have said ours has more life in it that the O.U.D.S. production.  I'm longing to see the paper tomorrow.

All my love, darling - it seems years since I kissed you properly.


Mary Pleasant xxx

Saturday, 25 June 2016

25th June 1936 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place

25th June 1936

My Darling Mary,

This will be a short letter because I can hardly keep awake, but I have been trying to find time all day to tell you how lovely you looked last night, and how proud I felt to think that at any rate some people in the audience knew that I was the lucky man.

Also I fell in love with you over again, just as I did when I got your photograph. You looked so much more like some ideal creature from a Forest of Arden in the Never-Never Land than Miss Ormiston, Junior School Mistress of the O.V.S., or even than my own darling Mary Pleasant, that I fell in love with you again at first sight.

I really ought to be in town on Sunday for the last day of the District Party Congress and the rally in Hyde Park, but I shall cut for you - next week I really must be in town - so I'll see you at 11pm on Saturday and we'll have an idyllic weekend.

All the love you see in my eyes and all I feel in my heart.


Thursday, 23 June 2016

23rd June 1936 - Mary to Terrick


Darling - Thank you so much for your nice surprise letter - It was a lovely one.  How funny that it should come out at Aunt Mildred's just as we were talking about it at home.  But I do feel (seeing as how we haven't had anything to do with it) that it might prove a blessing.  I didn't know Mummy had brought up the subject of my insurance as well (poor old thing! I did let you in for it on Sunday, didn't I?) The way I look at it is as upon a "saving" that Mummy is kindly saving for me instead of having to do it myself (because my Prudential's the same) - and also I think of all Mummy did with her insurance money when she was 50. - It made a tremendous difference for her (for a year or two!)  I know I should have enough to live on if you died - with your policy money and other things later when either of our parents die - but when I'm getting narrow and middle aged and uninteresting - it will be marvellous to be able suddenly to do one of the things I've wanted to all my life - travel somewhere - set up a new house - take the children somewhere they couldn't have gone without it - just to wake myself up to the goodness of life once more, (where money can help one so tremendously when the excitement of living is dying down!) - And don't you ever let Mummy think you think it a waste of money (just because you'd rather see I had all the money I needed) - because she has to expend the feelings she has for us all some way or other - and if she can lie in bed at night and think "well, whatever happens, Mary Love is quite happy and will be well looked after - and I've done all I wanted to for her" - then it's worth accepting - isn't it? Some of the nicest gifts are the unnecessary ones.

The dress rehearsal last night was a great success - we started at 7.30 and didn't finish till.  11.30!  The lighting effects alter the whole production - & add a tremendous glamour to everything.  I wish A. Mildred would come one evening. No. 8 in row C. will be rather a mouldy seat.  But you must use your wits & slip into an empty one more until if you can.  They all told me I looked nicest in my country girl costume - I'm longing for you to see me!!  We had a few general photographs taken - & the beastly News Chronicle man made us join in a row & link arms! - & took Kathleen & I powdering our noses!!!  I took some with my camera on an s.s. Kodak - & tried an exposure by stage lighting, but I don't suppose it'll come out.  It's all great fun & I'm very thrilled - but a bit tired already - and I have to go to bed with such dirty feet every night!! I wish I went home instead.

I should have loved to have seen you talking to your woman - it must have been very funny.  I could talk to you for hours myself - but then I always could!

All my love always.


Mary Pleasant   xxx

P.S. On pain of death don't go home without seeing me tomorrow - come along to the dressing rooms along the path to the "ladies & gents" - on the right going out of the chair space.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

22nd June 1936 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place

22nd April 1936

Petootie Darling, 

Our hand is being forced.  Renny came round to-day and tells me that when he went to supper with Aunt Mildred they talked about us and it came out the parents hadn't written to your mother, & she told him she was going to write.  Thinking it over I am not sure that I want her to.  It is rather going behind M & D's backs. I haven't been able to phone them today but will tomorrow about the show on Sunday.  I'll tell them then what I have decided.  It is very sweet of her.  She also talked of inviting your mother up.

This evening I went to see my queer client.  Although she arranged to see me just after six she wasn't in herself till nearly seven, & then she talked & talked & talked the most queer stuff.  The poor woman is absolutely an object of pity.  She admitted that she went to Blankenberge to recover from a nervous breakdown.  It was like listening to a Dostoevsky character raving quietly. Her talk was so mixed that it was almost unintelligible.  She has two obsessions: that people don't want her, and that men are always trying to seduce her.  She would still be talking but I got up in the middle of a sentence and said I would report all she had told me to our head office.  I started by explaining matters to her but she couldn't understand anything just branched away onto something different, so after listening to her for half an hour I said I would report her remarks to H.O. & came home to a half cold supper.

It was a lovely week-end.  I hope you haven't caught flu from going near Jill.

I can't see the point of your mother's insurance idea.  Of course I won't draw out any of my bonuses because if I die first you will suffer financial loss & will want the insurance money - the only reason I got insured; but if you died first it wouldn't mean any financial loss (the only kind of loss and insurance can put right) to me.  Unless our children were just at the age when they still needed a woman to look after them it would be sheer profit.  So why should I get any insurance money.  Certainly you should draw out all the bonuses to which you were entitled, if you needed them.  I can't see the point of insuring you at all.  It is just waste of money.  If she settled the premium amount on you, it would be some independent pin money for you, so that you could buy clothes I didn't like.

I must stop now It is twenty past eleven.  Sleep well, or rather, by the time you get this letter, work hard.

Lots of Love & lots of kisses


Saturday, 18 June 2016

18th June 1936 - Mary to Terrick



Most dearest of dears - let's hope you never understand what a fat mug of a wife you've let yourself in for.  Darling - you'd never believe me if I could tell you how sick I've worried myself for the last 10 days.  Today is like waking up from a nightmare in which you're just being hanged for killing somebody, & finding it's not true.  I couldn 't tell you, because you laughed at me & made me think you didn't really know anything at all about it.  Anyway, in all my life before, I've never had a proper tummy-ache that lasted for 1- days on end - and it isn't much better now - and I've felt so sick all the time too.  But I expect it's because I've always been so fiendishly healthy that something must have upset me inside and I can't explain it.

- I'm sorry, old thing, to bring this all up again like this, but it's so marvellous not to have to worry any more & there's noone else I can explain it to - oh - my dearest dear - aren't I a fool?

Thank you so much for your letter, over which I duly dried my eyes, and determined on a new & better life, for your sake!! Saturday sounds lovely - but listen, if you have me to supper & we go to the New Victoria - I'll buy your film - because it's not fair, your having to pay up every weekend.  So if you buy it I'll refund you the cost on Saturday.  Shall I meet you at Earls Court Station at 2.30?  Gosh it will be nice seeing you again - your photograph is the stoniest thing I've ever met.

Ralph Linley is getting married in September - the cad.  Still, they've got pots of money.

I should have simply loved July 11th - but we've booked up "As You Like It" to do at the Twickenham county School that afternoon so I'm afraid it's imposs.  Isn't it always the way? - When you suggest something all off your own bat and thrill me to the marrow - I can't come.

- Best luck for tomorrow - I shall be in all the evening if you have a moment to phone me.

All my love always.

Your  Mary Pleasant  xxx

Friday, 17 June 2016

17th June 1936 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place
S.W. 5
17th June 1936

My Darling Mary,

I think an equally useful and less difficult problem than that of rejuvenation for prolonging life would be an invention to do away with the necessity for sleep.  It maddens me to think that I waste seven or eight hours every day doing nothing when I have such a lot to do.  I don't remember ever having read of any attempt to discover such a thing.

Nowadays I am really living for the first time.  Life must have been a stagnant affair before you loved me and I joined the Communist Party.  I am about as happy, I suppose, as it is possible for anyone to be, but at the same time I am too occupied to think whether I am enjoying myself or not.

If only I could be rid of the Poly & free from the necessity of wasting my time earning my living!  You see I am never content: saying one minute that I am perfectly happy, and the next minute wishing for something far off. But it is part of the happiness.  We should be miserable without wishes.  To get married is another.

I do wish 22nd June activities didn't clash.  I should like you to come to our dance, and I should like to see your final performance.

I rang up Renny about Saturday but he was not in.  I have asked him to ring me.  I don't think I can afford it because I want to take advantage of not being able to go to Dunally this week-end to buy a film and start my housing picture.  Could you come up in the afternoon and help me, have supper here & then come to the New Victoria with me?

By the way, do you know that your mother is ill?  I have written to her.  What do you think she would like, I should like to send her something.  She has the same thing as Jack apparently.  He told me about it.

This morning I got a letter form Vera congratulating me on my engagement - She says that you look lovely by your photo in the Morning Post! (Evidently it is being passed round.) I personally don't think one can get the slightest idea from it what you look like.

Vera has been "writing frantically these last few months", and has sold three stories and a sketch and has requests for more, so she is going off to Jamaica on the proceeds.  She is going by a different line from Mrs Ormo, from Liverpool.

Renny has just rung up.  He is not very keen on going to Dulwich either.  Apparently he had a very good time at this dinner and dance at which he deputised for me, by getting off with the new secretary of the English-Speaking Union and with another girl who didn't belong to their party.  She rang him up today, but he has "thought better of it" and instructs the office to say he is out!

He and I have just been asked to a sherry party by the same people at Wimbledon but can't get out there in time.

I hope you feel better now.  I can assure you it is your imagination.

From Monday onwards I am to deal direct with Ashe over my complaints - He says he prefers to work with me because I am quicker than anyone else in the firm at picking things up and don't have to take long notes!!  Needless to say he didn't say this to me.  Stonelake passed it on to me.  It will now be up to me to shine. I get on well with Ashe although I dislike him.

On Saturday 11th July Dean & Dawson are having an outing to Maidenhead & have asked the Poly to join them, so a few of us are going.  I have booked two seats for us.  Let me know if there is any snag so that I can let them know.  Once we get to Maidenhead I believe we can do what we like.

Goodbye, my love.  Write & let me know what time to expect you on Saturday.

Terrick  XXX

Thursday, 16 June 2016

16th June 1936 - Mary to Terrick



Dearest of Dears - in about ten minutes I must start for Twickenham to try on costumes & thence on to Brentford to try out to cast Rosalind - if I don't like her I'm going to kick up as much of a shindy as I dare - She can't expect to perform in public after only 2 rehearsals.  This may be my last moment this week so I thought you'd forgive a short one.  I've received my booklet from Kodak's & shall buy an s.s. film to take some of the dress rehearsal.

Car & General Interviewing me at 2.30 tomorrow re Jill running down woman last November!  They spent 1 1/2 hrs. giving her 3rd degree today for evidence in case they bring it to court! Whoopee!

- Let me know definitely about Sat: what time & where etc: - But I have come to the conclusion the only thing I have fit to wear at all - is exactly what I wore to Grannie's birthday party - plus eye veil & fluffy blouse.  Don't you think that ought to do? - I could keep in the background.  Or would Renny be horrified?

- Talked to Grannie a bit on communism yesterday - heaven knows what you would have thought!

Have just spent an hour dancing an eightsome reel - or trying to - & feel fit to bust.

- Hope this crosses a letter from you - When can I see you next? - Did you say Friday was no good? - Oh yes, it's your speech.  never mind - Saturday will have to do.

- All my very bestest love


Mary P.

P.S. I still have a tummy-ache, but I expect it's all imagination !!! - anyway I shall know by next week!!!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

11th June 1936 - Terrick to Mary

The Office


Dearest One

The furniture shop is at the bottom of Radcliffe Gardens, so I'll meet you at Earl's Court Station at the time you mentioned for being at the Dominion (I forget what it was; your letter is at home).

I have got some booklets on the Rhine-land for Helen but nothing on Youth Hostels.  She will have to get that from the German Railways Information Bureau.  Let me have her address.

I have just heard that I am only to have tomorrow morning off now.

Which book on birth control did you mean?  How much is it?

My dreams of struggle and strife needn't worry you.  They weren't practical & the struggle & strife wasn't local in my case.  Just dreams of exciting times that will happen one day perhaps not in our time.

I must stop now.

All my love


Friday, 10 June 2016

10th June 1936 - Mary to Terrick

Old Vicarage School

June 10th 1936

Darling - Thank you very much for the effort it must have cost you to remember to write to me when you'd only seen me the day before!  actually, it's the best time of the week to send me a letter - because I can answer it on my free afternoon now.

At first thought I was a bit disappointed about your dance on the 27th - but I rather hope the cast will arrange a bit of a party after the last performance - so perhaps we could both meet after everything's over & go home.  Do you mean it'll be a political struggle and strife in the future?  Because it makes me feel a bit apprehentious, when I think about it - and also makes me quite certain that we oughtn't to live in Richmond - we should have a most miserable time - or rather I would - unless I could ever make myself feel strongly enough to overcome outside criticism.

I looked in Miss X's Richmond and Twickenham to see if there were any flats advertised in those roads we looked at - but only one is mentioned.  There were one of two others that sounded nice up in the same direction and they all ranged from 22/- to 27/6 & 30/- - so it ought to be fairly easy when we want one.  The most expensive ones were 35/- but they sounded too large for us anyway.  It puts me off a bit when they say "newly decorated" - because it would be so extravagant to put our beautiful white & peach paint over the top!

I should love to see your famous chairs that I slightly turned up my nose at.  Weren't they somewhere down Tottenham Court Rd?  if so, I'll meet you outside the Dominion Cinema at about 5.30 - 5.45.  Would that do?  I should also like to find the picture shop called "Challenge ??" somewhere near Russell Square

It seems rather hard on you, having to come all the way down to Richmond afterwards - what about seeing "The Dream" on Saturday afternoon - or are you booked up that day?  It looks as if it's going to be awful for me these weekends - here all Sunday mornings and back on Sundays after tea - Grannie's away.  Find out, if you can, the weekend which will be most booked up for you in the next 3 - because I think I shall ask Auntie Bee if she'll have me - although Sunday rehearsal is a drawback.  Helen Dick offered me half her bed this Saturday - but if you're busy there's not much aim - is there? Flip is a curse! - Also, one day I'd very much like to try and get a copy of the entry in Lambeth Parish Church of James Ormiston's marriage in 1798.  Couldn't you help me?

Thank you so much for taking my camera to Kodak.  Did you point out how stiff it was to close, too?

Today we are making fudge to sell to the children, to get money to buy Folk Dance records.  Patricia has just got a wonderful book of Scottish dances and reels - & we're going to start learning an "eightsome" next week - & when we're fairly good, we're going to invite the London Representative to come down and help us!!!  - I think she's a plan "Miss Law" - but we were very tempted to invite Lady Mackintosh of Mackintosh - or even Mrs Magregor of Magregor!  We're going to invite you & P. Wilson-Dixon & Helen over one evening to join the staff in one!

This evening we've got a lecture on architecture for which we're charging 1/- entrance to send to Sydney Carroll for the Open Air Theatre.

What a life!!

- Oh darling, I'm longing to see you again - I haven't forgotten my strawberries & cream yet!

- I am now going upstairs to write our decorating scheme in my book.

All my love always - in spite of the "struggle & strife".

Mary  xxx

P.S. At the beginning of the summer hols - when I've got a lot of money - I'm going to buy that book on Birth Control - if you'll go into the shop for me and ask for it?

Thursday, 9 June 2016

9th June 1936 - Postcard from Eileen to Terrick

The "Hindenberg" has just flown by.

I've just been driving along the Poppelsdorfer Allee and thought of you!  We came here from Koln this afternoon and had tea at the Petersberger Hotel on the top of one of the "Siebengebirge".  Do you know it?  This view of the Drachenfels is taken from it.  This afternoon we were in Alberts Old Corps house & this evening he had a practise bout at fencing.  It was not interesting.  he hadn't done any since he was here last 7 years ago.  His fencing master is coming to dinner with us today.  We are touring a part of the Moselle tomorrow, Tuer, Koblenz & Waldesch.



Will send Rennie a card from Heidleberg

Saturday, 4 June 2016

4th June 1936 - Mary to Terrick

Thursday 3.55

Dear Terrick - having an odd moment between my children's departure and the tea gong (Miss X being out) I thought I'd write you a letter.  I may not have time to finish it - but that won't matter - one of the nicest things about a letter, to me, is the look of it's envelope.  You know you often say "I'm sorry I didn't write to you, but I didn't have time" - & I do, too, sometimes - well, I've been thinking to myself just lately it isn't time you need to write the kind of thing that would make the whole day seem like it does when I'm going to see you in the evening - but just "kindness".  I don't suppose you quite understand yet.  But if, say, when you hadn't seen me for 24 hours you just wrote either 
(a) "I still love you"
or (b) "Have just seen marvellous bedroom suite for 6¾ d
or (c) "Party last night great success"
on the back of a bus ticket & posted it to me - it would quite equal half going to the pictures with you or ⅓ going to the "Continental" with you.  So you see, two of them (provided they were on two successive dates) would save you the price of a whole evening's outing - and three of them (provided they were on three successive dates) would save you a whole evening's entertaining!  But I feel you never think it's worth writing unless you've got an hour to spend concocting a super letter - whereas it's worth 40 times more than you can possibly imagine - just because I know it's written when you hadn't got time - but made it specially for me - any more weeks with you in the distance all the time will be almost unbearable- it seems so much worse now I'm really and properly engaged to you - & weekends come all in one lump - so it seems a frightfully unbalanced existence!

I love you so very much - and Tuesday evening was magnificent.  Thank you ever so much for taking me.  Have you heard how your mother is?

Mummy wants to know the cheapest return fare to Norway for Ken's wedding Aug 6th.  Can you find out? - & I think they said you went to Oslo.  We say J. Eastman's baby yesterday - He's lovely now - frightfully big & brown with lovely blue eyes.

- I must stop because I've got a frightful lot to do - Patricia says I don'[t plan my life well enough (because I said I hadn't time to play tennis with her this evening!) - but I'm afraid she's quite right.

- All my love, my very dearest dear, I long terribly for Saturday - could we lunch together at 2 1.45, or is that too early? I suppose you don't want to look round any rooms now - do you?

Yours always

Mary P  xxx

P.S. I hope the social goes off well tomorrow - remember my better points when you gaze upon your communist women!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

22nd May 1936 - Mary to Terrick

Thursday evening

My dearest dear - these days drag by in a flash.  Half of me is too rushed to do anything I want to properly - and the other half misses just the look and sound of you so badly that, if I think, I can feel my heart inside me get tighter and tighter with aching and it presses against the back of my eyes - until I have to think my hardest about something else, in case I cry (and it doesn't even help to say there's nothing to cry for) I'm afraid I'm a bit of a weakling - but it's something to explain it to you - because more and more I come to realize that men's and women's feelings in love are very very different - so one of the safest things to do first is to find out and understand what the other person feels, so that you can fit in.

It's strange what a vivid picture I have of how we'll treat each other when we're married.  It's much more me coming to live in your life than you mine - but they're very separate lives, all the same.  I hope, in some ways, they won't be quite as separate as I picture them, but I'm quite convinced the most ideal kind of friendship between two people is one that doesn't make too many demands on the other - and yet has a limitless fund of interest in the other.

Darling - it would be one of the most wonderful things if you had a room in Richmond (and, from the look of the advertisements in the local paper, it ought to be easy to get one) - but Fulham and the Finance Committee worry me a bit.  Not because (and this will always worry me more) I can make myself care very much bout people being unfairly turned out of their homes in Chelsea - but because I have got so used to thinking of you as encased in a layer of magnificent ambition for the good of mankind; that if it was through me that it got broken, it would break my heart too.  So, if there's the slightest chance of your coming to Richmond and spoiling one of the tings I love best in you - I'd much rather you stayed where you are - and if ever afterwards an occasion ever arises when you want with all your heart to do something for me - and yet it means leaving one of the best parts of yourself behind - please, please, just explain to me and don't do it.  Because I'm such a selfish person sometimes, and I'm always sorry for it afterwards.

I loved going to Aunt Mildred's - and would have liked to have written & thanked her (specially as it was their last bottle of champagne!) - but I thought perhaps it might have looked a bit silly.

Miss Cross took us for a lovely picnic yesterday - But she drives so badly she gave me the willies all the way.  We saw her cottage and she's rented it for 3 years at £45 a year.  It's in most wonderful repair and much nicer inside than out.  It's not really at all picturesque but really very nice.  She bought a Dalton's weekly which I looked at - it simply makes your mouth water - cottages & flats by the million - a flat in Elleker Gardens, Richmond for 17/- a week!

I have had "The Bride's Book" sent me by the Evening Standard - it's really quite nice with heaps of nice useful hints as to how to get stains off furniture and clean carpets and blank pages to put in your own hints and recipes etc: I'll show it to you on Saturday.

We come back to school next term on Sept 22nd - so if you could wangle yours on the 14th - we could go to Wensley (if they ask me) - on Friday Sept 11th for a week - which would be lovely  - or anywhere else with you would be wonderful.

I haven't had time to clip much into my "English in Love" - but I'm frightfully thrilled with it.  Than you so much.

It's Walton Regatta on Saturday - I was thinking we might buy the Richmond & Twickenham Times & meet for lunch at 1.30 - & look at rooms for fun in the afternoon.  But I suppose it would be nicer to go down to watch the racing in the Dinghy (if it's warm)

- Oh - my very own dearest dearest dear you seem such a long long way away - and I don't seem to be able to see nearly enough of you - I suppose you'll be too busy tomorrow evening to ring me up? - that would help Saturday to come a bit nearer. - If not, Saturday morning before 9 is best.

I love you so very very much.

- If I could see you for 10 minutes it would be all right - but I suppose I can wait.

Mary Pleasant   xxx

Monday, 9 May 2016

9th May 1936 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place

9th May 1936

My Darling, 

How hot it is!  I have just come back from a Socials Committee and made up my accounts.  We have done well, and are getting up a dance for Saturday 27th.  That means that I shall come and see "As You Like It" sometime during the week.

A funny thing happened today.  I sat all day in the Conference Room & just knocked at the door of the Administration next door and put my head in whenever I wanted something.  Stonelake mentioned to Ashe that I knocked on the door but did not dare say that I put my head into the room.  Ashe said "Good Lord, he mustn't go into the passage at all.  He must thump on the wall between the rooms when he wants anything".  So I did all day, but I told Stonelake that at about 6p.m. long after Ashe would have departed I wanted to come into the administration to get some papers for tomorrow that no one else knew how to collect.  Stonelake said O.K. in any case if I saw Ashe in the corridor as I came out of the conference room I could go back but he always leaves the office before 5.  So I did it.  I was in Administration collecting my things when the door opened and who should come in but Ashe.  Stonelake went scarlet and I felt I did too.  I haven't felt like it since I was caught wandering about one of my prep schools in the dead of night.  Ashe only said: "Well how is the pariah?" and asked Drew a question and went out again, but I bet there will be trouble tomorrow for Stonelake.  He is going to get in his say first.  Isn't it foolish!

Darling, in that second-hand shop I was telling you about I have just seen some wonderful chairs, table and sideboard in natural oak.  Also the chairs I was telling you about have got arms - like this

only it leans back not forward as I have drawn it.  I wish you could see them; couldn't you come up before the shop shuts on Friday?  And then we could go back to Richmond together to "Midsummer Night's Dream".  They are also selling off a manufacturers stock of carpet at 40% his price.

I took your camera to Kodak, after haggling a bit and saying it was our fault the assistant at length took the camera behind the scenes to an expert, and then said they would keep it till Saturday and see to it.

I have just heard form the Poly Friendly Society that they will pay all my dentist's bill & 15/- of the 18/6 of my optician's.  Wonderful, isn't it!

Let me know how soon you can come up on Friday.  I'll probably spend the early afternoon at the Museum or the Records Office.

It was wonderful hearing from you yesterday evening.  I wish you were here now.

I have all sorts of dreams of us two in the future when I am travelling in the bus.  Probably not at all the type of future you would like - too much struggle and strife (not between us) attached to it.

I must stop now and write to a man about a dance band for a dance.s

All my heart and the love in it.