Friday, 26 February 2016

26th February 1936 - Terrick to Mary

Earl's Court

26th February 1936

Sweetest Patootie!

Just home after a long day with supper out - at the Poly Institute.

Re the dances, I should like to go to the Old Girl's one again, if Grannie can put me up.  I can't go to Mrs Cook's as we, some of the staff, have just got up an Unlucky Party for Friday 13th March, to celebrate the beginning of the season.

Paul has asked us to dinner on Saturday 14th; will that be all right for you?

You never sent me your mother's address.  Will you phone me tomorrow a the office about Friday and let me know it then?  Not between 12.30 and 1.30.

Joan is very doubtful whether she can get a partner for 19th March.  Will you get onto Bodil?  She must be back now and might like to come.

She what has happened in Japan! Because the Liberals won the election and the Socialist party gained more seats than they had ever had before, the reactionaries take to violence.  A prompt illustration of all I was telling you.  The Socialists have no choice whether they will come into power as a result of violence or not; violence will be used upon them.

If Miss Cross talks about two wrongs not making a right as regards fighting, she is a pacifist; and must think that every man who fought for British Imperialist interests in the war was wrong to do so.  Granted it is the orthodox Christian attitude.

Whereas Miss Cross (supposing she is not a pacifist) drops her Christian principles when they conflict with patriotism, we drop them (if we can say that, since we don't hold them) when they conflict with the interests of the oppressed classes.  Patriotism is a narrow, selfish, barbarous sentiment, but solidarity with the underdogs, the so-called "lower classes", has its justification as long as the oppressive power continues to oppress.

This Government's scheme to spend £300,000,000 in developing industry for war purposes shows decisively that they intend to go to war.  Perhaps you don't see the reasoning.  Economic crises - such as the one we have just been going through - are caused by over-production.  That is to say, the productive forces of industry expand at a quicker rate than the necessary corresponding expansion of the market can keep up with; resulting in a glut increase in unemployment.  Now the war industries are to be developed in record time to the extent of three hundred million pounds.  Either the market for war materials does not expand at a corresponding rate, in which case we get a crisis - a tremendous one; or it does, i.e. we go to war.

What about Miss Fogerty at the Albert Hall?  That would be nearer still for you, wouldn't it?  Miss Cross is very decent.  It would be nice to keep up a bit with the Old Vic(arage), wouldn't it?

I think your idea for the 8th (Sunday) is jolly good; do  you think you can manage it?

Sometimes I try to visualise you in as great detail as possible, not doing anything particular, just standing talking to me; but I never succeed in making you half as charming as you are when you are really with me.  Directly I meet you, every time, the difference strikes me.

Your two cushions make my divan look most oriental in its luxuriousness.  The mid arranges the four cushions most artistically.

I haven't heard from Lord Wharton yet.  Perhaps he has been reading the advertisements in "the Times".

Next week my lunch hours will be spent in jewellers' shops.

I must stop now.  This room seems empty without you.  On Sunday week we'll sit on the cushions and you shall read The Bedside Book to me.  Even more Oriental, only unfortunately it can't go on for a thousand and one nights.

Goodnight, sweetheart

All my love


A very jerky letter.  I must be more tired than I thought.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

25th February 1936 - Mary to Terrick



My Very Own Dearest of Dears - I love you so much that you wouldn't believe me if I told you how much it was - and as the only way, apparently of getting over these incessant attacks out of my system is "to live with you, and be your love" I can see myself living on the top peak of emotion for some time to come - but so will you - so we shall at least be able to sympathize with each other!!

The reason why I wanted to die so badly on Earls Court platform last Sunday evening - was all explained (most prosaically) on my arrival home - as you most cleverly observed - it had changed its date from the 25th to the 23rd. 

There seems a lot to tell you - but it doesn't seem important enough to write.  I broached the subject of elocution to Miss X, and on consideration she thought it quite sensible - but was disappointed I wasn't going to live in Richmond, as she would probably have kept me on!  Only she said it wasn't far from Hampstead - and anyway perhaps I could come over two days a wee to do secretarial work (not too profitable - but possibly helpful) so I thin I shall make an appointment fro London Academy of Music for Friday at 5.30 to find out a bit more about it (or I had considered Guildhall School - only it's further from you) - then could I come and see you on Friday at about 6.30? Because as Miss X is going away, Matron & I find to our horror that she will be on duty with Mrs X all the time - and therefore I shall be on duty with the children all Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Heaven preserve me on Monday evening!).  So Friday will be about our only chance unless you could come to Richmond one evening.  I have been sent two tickets for the Old Girls dance at Kew Pavilion for this Friday (3/- each) and feel a bit mean to refuse - but you don't want to go - do you?  Grannie would probably put you up = but I don't think it would be worth it.  What about Mrs Cook's dance at Putney on March 13th? - I'd rather like to go to that (5/-) - but of course I don't suppose we could manage it as well as our "Ball" - could we?

We've been very hot on Communism & Social Credit once again - but naturally don't get far.  I'm soon floored!  I've remembered one or two knotty points however, which I'll put to you one day in the cool of the even (But you must remember I'm but a weakling - and my nerves are not what they used to be!)

I washed my hair last night & dried it in Miss Olsson's room - and she brought up two glasses of "Bournvita" - so we made merry and I waded into my "Bedside Book" and read aloud to her in bed for about an hour.  I've found some lovely bits to read to you next time!  Think of us tomorrow evening singing madrigals amongst the elite!  I've also invited myself to Joyce Eastman's for the afternoon to see her baby, which weighs eleven pounds!!  She's very pleased as Mrs E. is staying with Norah - so she's rather alone.

Wouldn't it be rather fun if I asked Helen Dick if I could borrow a bed with her on March 7th after the Re-union? - and then come and spend Sunday with you afterwards?  But perhaps it doesn't sound quite such a good idea to you! - only you needn't be snotty about it!

- My darling - I must run to the post and tuck the children up - or else I would go on for hours like this (so it's a good job!)

- All my love is yours - all my heart is yours - all my body is yours - and, because I wasn't to give you everything so badly - I find I hate to call my soul my own - but, owing to the magnificent manner in which you're bringing me up, perhaps I'd better keep it - it's wonderful to think that to have known a love like this is something nobody can take away from me!

- My very best kiss - 


Mary Pleasant

Sunday, 21 February 2016

21st February 1936 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place

21st February 1936

Darling Girl,

Work at the Office is very strenuous at the moment.  This evening it was quarter to seven before I left.  Partly because I had to go all the way to Chiswick to see a complaining client; which is an Administration job.  I have protested against being given any more of them till after the next three Reunions.

Last night I went round to Renny's place, and there wrote to Eileen.  his girl brought up tea for both of us, but she left it outside so I didn't see her.  Renny is a scream.  He wants you to ring him up on Sunday afternoon and pretend to invite him to a dance.  I'll tell you on Sunday all you have got to say! It is to make Enid jealous.

Renny rang me up yesterday from the office to say that he had accepted a lunch invitation for us both to Aunt Mildred's on Sunday; so will you get here at about three.  I can't ring her up and put her off because I'm always refusing her invitations because I am going to Dunally.  Uncle Bill has bought, or is buying, a big house near Oxford with 20 acres of grounds, a swimming pool and a quaint old barn that is used as a ballroom.  When we are engaged we'll probably be asked there.

I don't know what sort of seats I shall be able to get for you at the Albert Hall.  We have already sold 355 more tickets than on the same date last year and are increasing the number every day.  Anyhow I'll get you one somewhere.  In the ordinary way I would just buy you a stall but it wouldn't be any fun by yourself.  We must have a party; so I'll have to wait till I know what complimentaries will be available.

My curtains are back.  They are much lighter and feel quite different, smooth instead of rough.

Well, we are arming and accommodating our factories to turn out armaments.  And all because we have bagged the lion's share of the world and beggared populous countries like Germany and Italy.

You see if I'm not right, it will be a war of the Haves allied to keep down the Have-nots.  In other words Gt. Britain, France, Belgium and U.S.S.R. against Germany, Japan, Poland and probably Italy.

That was what the last war was about.  Austria-Hungary wanted control over Surbia, and both she and Germany wanted the colonies of France & Belgium.  British Imperialism couldn't afford to have Germany right across Central Africa and in Algeria, hence the alliance with France and our treaty with Belgium: and therefore our entry into the war.  Anyone who thinks fighting for "gallant Little Belgium" was a chivalrous act doesn't distinguish propaganda from fact.  How anyone can be stupid enough still to think that they would fight "For King and Country", when the words only mean "Monopoly investments in colonial countries", passes my comprehension.  The King would certainly benefit, but only 10% of the population of the Country get anything out of such a war.

Such blatant hoodwinking and such arrant imbecility make me sad; I don't know which is worse.  The world is rather like a lunatic asylum, with harmless idiots for inmates and criminal lunatics for keepers.

Today I went and got an application form for joining a Trades Union, "The National Amalgamated Union of Shop Assistants, Warehousemen and Clerks".  I'm going to join and get as many people in the Poly to do so as soon as I can.  It is only by being organised and united that the have-nots can defeat the power of the haves.

Oh my darling, the frenzy grows on me to put things right.  it is a "mighty purpose", worth living for, and dying for.  it is something greater than I, that I can serve, something that gives my life here a significance.  What is a long life that one should wish for it!  Like a book it is the quality not the length that counts.  When the quality stops the (book) life had better end.  But how terrible if the quality never begins!

Do you see what I mean, Mary Pleasant?  Do you never feel like that?  "This is the true joy in life, the being used by a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.  That was the "joy in life" of Jesus of Nazareth, of Socrates, of all the people who could not feel themselves alive unless they were fighting for the truth that swelled in their souls.

Did you ever feel like that?

I must stop, dearest.  I'll see you on Sunday at 3pm.

I love you.

Terrick  XXX

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

16th February 1936 - Terrick to Mary

Wensley Rectory

16th February 1936

My Dearest One,

How are you? What a perfect weekend it would be to be with you.  The sun is shining here and the sky is bright blue from horizon to horizon.

My train gets to King's Cross tomorrow at 9.25pm.  If I miss that I catch the one arriving at 9.55.  I'll just expect you if I see you, because it will be rather late for you I expect.

The two Reunions went off well especially the Bradford one which was about the best provincial one we have had yet.  After seeing all the others off to London by train I took a bus from Bradford to Harrogate and arrived at Boots, by the war memorial, at quarter to one to find the car waiting there.  We three had a slap-up lunch at the Majestic just opposite Southlands, and then went to see "The Passing of the Third Floor Back", which was very interesting.

I shall post this letter when we go to church; there is a Sunday collection now.

It is very nice to be home - but you know how I feel.  It is just the same: restful "dignified"(!) etc, but the parents will talk what they imagine to be politics - because it deals with royalties.

How did your mother go off?  Did she write from the boat before it left?

Did you get the Valentine telegram, and was it in a gold envelope, on a decorated form as they said?  I bet the post office people when they read it thought I must be suffering from shell-shock.  Was it brought to you in the middle of class?

We must go to church now, so I must stop.  As I have been writing I have been carrying on a conversation with Mummy, or this would have been twice as long.

Goodbye dear, I love you very, very much.

Terrick  XXX

Monday, 15 February 2016

15th February 1936 - Mary to Terrick

In Bed


Saturday Feb: 15th

My Darling Own One - the days go on and on with no particular significance because you're such a long way away.  They're not dull - because there's always something interesting at school - but they're just a bit pointless.  It's so magnificent to feel that there's someone there all the time - within calling distance.  When you're away I'm a little anxious - not because - but because not.

- But enough of this idle complaining!

Than you, very dearest dear, for my wonderful valentine - it arrived just at the right time when I was going up to change to go out to tea.  it took me nearly 15 minutes to solve it - I'm ashamed to say - & it wasn't until I had read it aloud to Matron & Hasty P. That it suddenly dawned on me!

How did the Re-unions go?  I thought of you working frenziedly with furrowed brow - & sticing your head forward every few minutes!

Hasty P & I went out to tea with Mrs Heale & her new baby on Friday.  It was lovely (the tea, the baby and the house).  It's one of those houses in Lyndhurst Rd off Haverstock Hill - wonderfully big rooms & windows - beautifully furnished (very modern)  I wished so much I could have shown it to you.  We'll furnish like it one day.

Grannie invited me to go to some amateur play at Chiswick on Wednesday but I said we'd arranged to see each other that evening (I trust I was speaking truthfully) & she said, Oh well, of course my first duty lay with you !!! (so now I know!)  I was meant to take the children to a Lax. match this afternoon.  But as it was too foggy to play they went to the pictures instead, and Miss Cross invited me to tea and gave me my first Domestic Science lesson on how to make bread!  I hope you like home-made bread because it might be all you'll get!  We talked about you a lot as Miss X insisted on accompanying me to choose the new cushions I promised you for your room when you had your curtains washed!  I think they'll look quite nice - and cushions are always useful - so I didn't really feel I was only buying them for you as an extravagance - because ultimately they'll come in so nicely for "us".  (It's a great thrill buying an "us" present already!)

Mrs Cooke has given Jill 12 tickets for her "League of Pity" dance at Putney on March 13th - 5/- - we went to it before, you remember, and won a spot dance.

It is very strange here this weekend with Mummy's room empty.  It seems ages since we all saw her off at Paddington.  There seemed to be some quite nice people going down in the train with her!  It was very sad to see her off all by herself.  Never in 22 years has she really been separated from us all at once!  We're longing to hear from her.

Grannie wants to know how she can get marks to Germany without losing on the exchange.   Is it possible? - or do you know of anybody who might be able to take them some time?

How is Wensley - & the family? - I hope they're giving you enough to eat!  How is the tooth?

- I must finish this tomorrow as my eyes are falling asleep - but I do want it to get to you on Monday.

- I'm thinking of last Wednesday now - and coming to say good-night to you - oh darling I do love you in your woolly pyjamas!

- But then, I love you any how!

- Goodnight, dearest dear, 

Mary Pleasant


Up fairly early because Jill is in a feverish whirl of getting the house tidied up! - she's started on the washing already.

I forgot to tell you I couldn't get out of an invitation to Mrs Sprague's on Friday evening "to play cards" - and lost 3/18!! - and was damn lucky not to lose everything I'd got - as one man made 15/6 on his first bank! (and you can't get up & go home in the middle!)  But never again for me!  I don't mind when I'm rich - but when I'm poor!!

I'm writing this between grapefruit & kipper as Jack is going to post it at Putney.

- I'm longing for you to be home again - let me know as soon as you are.

- My best love always.