October 1949

Throughout their final term in England, Cyn and Cec were planning and preparing for their move to the University of Michigan.  This included lots of paperwork, booking passage across the Atlantic for themselves, packing and arranging for the transport of their belongings, and, in Cyn’s case, saying goodbye to her life in England and her family and friends there.  I think it must have been during her half-term holiday that they are planning in this letter to go north to Newcastle to say goodbye to her father and her friends, with their husbands, wives, and new babies!  Business was also necessary: as Carol Ewing was also leaving England, Cyn was going to see her lawyer, Mr Kirby, and sort out her money for the future.  And she was taking up what seems to be a wedding present for her friend Joan.  Included in the envelope was a note that accompanied the parcel of clothes Carol had left behind and Cyn has found and sent to her on the next day.

37, de Freville Ave.



Dearest Mummy,

I was going to get this written last night, but I went & had my bath & washed my hair first, then who should arrive but Frank & Al! I think every man I’ve ever met has seen me with my hair wet! So I didn’t get anything done at all.

Thank you so much for both your letters – I will begin & answer them first, then tell you our doings. I was silly not to think of paying the cheque straight into your account, but maybe you would have to endorse it anyway. I will put it in, & ask about that. I will keep all the questions you want me to ask Kirby & will go and see him on Mon. or Tues, morning- anytime between 10.30 & 12.0. Will you write & make the appointment for me? We will go up to N/C overnight on Friday (28th Oct) & will try & get sleepers, so as not to be too worn out on Sat. Then I have suggested to Dottie & Irene that we spend Sat. & Sun. with Dottie & Mon & Tue. with Irene. We will be travelling back Tues. but we won’t have to leave till the afternoon. I had meant to stay this time with Dottie & maybe later with Irene, but she seems so keen to have us, & Cec is very doubtful whether he will have time to go up later on, so I thought we had better split our visit & make sure this time. We are going to have a party at Tilleys when we are up! We have written to Tilley’s & booked a table for Sat. evening, & I have asked Dottie to invite herself, Nan & Dick, Irene & Bill, Joan, Pam & Sam. We thought it would be fun, & a good way of seeing everyone while we were there. I will drop a line to Denis and Dorothy & try to see them Sun. evening. I wrote to Joan Turnbull & I have got her two little maps (like my little ones) of Durham & Westmoreland, & am getting them framed & will take them up when I go.

About seeing my Father, I think I will wait & ring up when I get there & ask again. Do you think I should write to him & ask him if he wants to see me? I could tell him if he doesn’t want to write to tell Dr. Murphy to let me know when I phone. It may be that he has told the Drs he doesn’t want to see us again, & if so I will leave it. It is a pity that Bar is coming so close to when we go up to N/C because it would be nice for you to come through for the day, but if we get sleepers we will go to N/C via London & will maybe have time for you to have dinner with us. Cec is thinking of going up earlier in the day & I will come straight from school, so we could all meet. Anyway, you can come & see us after we get back.

Cec & I were talking about Christmas the other day & we have all sorts of plans! First of all, we want you to come here – say on Wednesday 21st or 22nd. I finish on 16th, so have a nice long time beforehand & we plan to have a Christmas party- probably on 21st, so it would be nice if you could come for that! Then we have asked Frank & Al to come for Christmas dinner, as they both think they will be in Cambridge. On 27th, we thought we would come to London & if Miss Lefroy wouldn’t mind having us, then we would love to stay with you. We would stay until the Thurs. or Fri. & plan to book seats for us all to go to the Ice Show (let me know if AGL & Chris will be there & would like to go) & to take you to the Ballet “Sleeping Beauty”! Then we will come back to Cambridge for New Year! After that, will start a round of goodbye parties, because not only us but Al & Frank & maybe George are all going, but we reckon our Christmas party will be our contribution! Then packing of course!

I’m glad you & Ruth had a nice tea together. I had a letter from her & one from Amy, but of course haven’t got anywhere near answering them yet! I am glad that you enjoyed “Hamlet” again, but can just imagine how Chris and AGL would discuss it, and I can imagine that they would find it tiring. I am enclosing 2 W. Present Lists- I haven’t sent anyone except Cec’s mother, but thought I might take one to N/C if Irene or Nan wanted to see. I laughed & laughed about Irene’s remarks re. Sandy! I gathered from her letter to me that she didn’t think he was anything much! I will have to give you my opinion!

I haven’t excavated the things out of the trunk yet, but will do so tomorrow & send the dress & skirt to you. I laughed at your suddenly remembering your dress, but I haven’t the faintest idea of what it looks like! Far from not buying any more clothes, Cec is encouraging me to buy more! He says clothes (woollen particularly) in US & Canada, are so dear that we had better get them here, & also we will probably be hard up in Ann Arbor! So I have got some grey & pink woollen material for Beryl to make me a dress & some cheap silk jersey too! I think I might get a tweed suit too before I go!!

Thank you for Bella’s money. I have written to A. Moo & to A. Mil as well & thanked them for the nighties. I was sorry about poor Aunt Ettie. I have finished my Thank You Letters!  Cec told me not to breathe a word to you & see if you asked again!

We had quite a quiet week last week until Friday when I had a nice day. Sheila & I took 60 kids to a Food Hygiene Exhibition at the Guildhall (very boring!) had lunch in town, went back to school for 1 hour, & then to a D.S. course which turned out to be a flower arranging demonstration!

On Sat. I had coffee with Rosemary & lunch with Cec, then home. Anne had been absent from school for two days, so I was going to see her, & had a card from Len cancelling our date for that evening as Connie wasn’t well, so I visited both. They both seemed to have the same type of thing- livery, gastric flu type. Anne was still in bed, but is at school today, but Connie was up & feeling much better & decided she could go out all night. So we all met at the Union at 7.0 o’clock & had dinner & then went & played bridge at Connie’s. Sunday was a horrid day, & Cec had been kept awake with Connie’s coffee so I let him sleep & I got up & fed Spiv & did some chores & went back to bed again! We had a cup of coffee at about 12 o’clock & breakfast about 1.0! Then we cycled into town in the rain as Cec had to go & leave a message about Canada Club with Dr. Grace, then we went on to Bob & Veronica’s & invited them to tea next Sunday. Then we had a cup of tea when we got home & our dinner at 6:30! (Veal stuffed!) (With trifle with sherry in!)

Next weekend we have a proper do! Rosemary and “her” John come to dinner on Sat. & Bar to stay on Monday. I have invited George & your friend Charlie to dinner while Bar is here, so that she can help me cook & they can entertain her! Cec said the boys were very pleased- he was having tea with them at the time- & George was just going to have another cake when he drew back his hand & said “No- I’m going to start saving up right now!”

I must stop- I finished this at school dinnertime (Tues) & the girls will be here in a min.      

Lots & lots of love



Dearest Mummy,

Here is your parcel of Ole Clo’se! I was most disappointed to find it was that blue dress – I thought it was a new one I’d forgotten about! The skirt wasn’t in the trunk- it was in an old box in Cec’s room & I had quite a search for it – I also found the blouse etc. & I am enclosing them. There are 1 or 2 old aprons & bed jackets & your fur coat still here – and your feather hat of course! I am enclosing a piece of wool from Cec’s sweater if you could get it matched for me (4 ozs). Also I have been meaning to ask you- would you like me to send you on any of McCalls? It seems a pity that you shouldn’t see them.

Must stop now & go to bed – I made tea for 60 for one of Howlett’s do’s & am fair wore out!

Lots & lots of love



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