July 18 1936

She kept the letters and the boot-lace!

67 Brook Rd., 

Cricklewood N.W.2


Dear Cynthia,

I seem fated to commence each of my letters with apologies.  “I AM VERY SORRY” is the theme of every first paragraph so far. Unfortunately this letter is no exception. Well I’ll get it over. (always the little hero!)  I am very sorry I did not send you the promised P.C.  There! It’s out now.

As a matter of fact (or fiction) I wished to try your devotion. I am happy to announce that you have passed the test with flying colours. I have decided to promote you from 3rd best girl, to 2nd best. Now that’s a thrill for you???!!!

You daringly asked me in your letter how things were going in this God-forsaken hole called London. Well at the moment it’s raining as tho’ its’ heart would break & a Sat. night too.

{Pardon my writing on both sides of paper, but I have no option due to lack of said paper.}

I haven’t seen “The Bengal Lancers” one yet D.G., but I’ve seen several other more or less good shows. (a) Charlie Chaplin in “Modern Times” miles better than “City Lights” (unquestionably recommended) (b) Ann Harding in “The Witness Chair” & Margaret Sullivan in “Next time we Live”. (so so).  After seeing the latter I went to a low-down dive called the “Brasserie” where tough looking apaches sloped around. But like ‘Popeye’ after my spinach, I felt I was more than a match for any of them even the waspish House Detective. The band was composed of (presumably) gentlemen wearing red jackets and green pantaloons- a most effective combination. They all had extremely long side-boards and looked “a thoroughly shady lot.” I wished I had taken a couple of knuckle-dusters & a blackjack with me.

Anyway after we left there we felt we were more or less safe, although some bright individual had bunged up one of the House-‘tec’s eyes.

Ah! While I think on’t the Silver Link was marvellous (2 or 1 ‘l’ ?). Terribly fast, yet smooth as a duck-pond. 

I suppose you will of heard of the little incident concerning the Service Rifle. Near escape wasn’t it?

One night I went to Highgate to see some relatives & unfortunately missed the last tube, so I had to go back & knock them up. Were they pleased!!!! xx!  I arrived back at my digs at 8:50 A.M. the following morning.  I had about two minutes to explain my absence to my landlady, and I’m sure I wasn’t convincing.  She thinks I’m a regular profligate, rake or roué. I haven’t  asked her which.

Last Sat. I met Ken B & E and lunched with them. Then we went to see W.C. Fields in ‘Poppy’ at the Plaza. Shall I ever forget Ken E’s laugh?- it brought the house down. Also Harry Roy & Princess Pearl in “Everything is Rhythm” a jolly good show. Then I saw the two Ks off at King’s X.  A twinge of jealousy then; it soon passed away, however.

On Sunday I went to Lady Watson’s, and had a jolly nice time. They’ve got a beautiful house and car. Nancy is awfully nice. (‘Nice’ twice in one sentence. Repetition! lose 1 mark)

On Thursday I went to Wembley Speedway to see Wembley vs Belle Vue. After the match there was a terrific rush for buses & I got involved in a free fight. One fellow was trying to pull me off the bus, while his wife was swiping me with a hand bag. In the ensuing melée I lost a button, but suffered no other casualty. (my spelling is atrocious!)  You would’ve howled had you seen it. I felt like an aristo in the French Revolution surrounded by a howling mob. A hot 60 secs in fact. 

In your letter you say you might pop over from Ilfracombe to see us at Ilkley. Well my geography’s a bit rocky- where on earth is Ilfracombe? Anyway if you could it would be rather fun, especially if you came for dinner and dance one night. It has just occurred to me that Ilf. is somewhere down South.  Therefore you suggest visiting us when you arrive home, or on the way back.  Light at last!

Anyway I hope you’ll have a hot time at Ilf. (that word’s too long) and mind if you start any of the “china-cow” business watch your step.  Of course you won’t enjoy yourself as much as you did at Easter, due to the lack of those people who have such an “energetisizing” effect on you.

Well I’m afraid I’ve “explored all avenues” and “left not a stone unturned”, but I can’t think of anything else.  Ah! Yes!!  Please convey my congrats to Mr. Kirby on poss [position? post?] & £4 per week. He’ll be able to stand drinks all around on that. Ken never told me about it.

I’m afraid that’s all, so I can only conclude with the usual. Very Best love, from Bobby XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


P.S.  I meant to read this letter over to punctuate & otherwise correct it, but I don’t feel in the mood to wade thro’ such a whack of concentrated drivel.  I will therefore leave it to your tender mercies “in toto”


Enclosed one boot-lace with which to tie all my letters to be kept in lavender for 50 years at least.

Well, 84 years and counting. I doubt Bobby expected that!

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