April 20 1956

20th April. 1956.

Dearest Mummy,
I got your letter of the 15th today & thank you so much for it. I was wondering how you were getting on all by yourself and knew that it would seem very odd to begin with, but it is amazing how soon you get into a new routine & you are so busy with your May Fair that I expect the first strangeness will soon pass. It will be nice if you & A. Trix get out to Mrs. E’s house – it will be a change & you will get some bathing. A. Trix is a boss of course, but she is lively & will keep you on the hop!
Now for news – yes, Big News from Dottie! She is engaged & going to be married very soon & is terribly thrilled & lyrical about life! Isn’t it wonderful? I am so delighted & happy for her. She met him when she was down in Birmingham staying with Grace Spellar, & he is a widower, with 2 boys & is 44 & tall dark & handsome, so it all sounds eminently suitable, doesn’t it? His name is Ken – isn’t that fate! Apart from these details I didn’t gather with much more as Dottie’s letter was short & sweet, so of course I am yearning to ask 100 questions. Oh – and I forgot – Marjorie is engaged too! They are both such marriageable girls that it isn’t any wonder, but it is so nice, isn’t it! I feel really pleased about it all.
I heard the news on Tuesday & told Margie, Lu & Willa at our Ladies Outing! We went to the French Buffet (where we went with Phyl & her mother) & ate & ate & then went to a Honey Dew & sat over a cup of coffee & talked & talked! I had on my stripey skirt & jacket & hat & all the girls were most complimentary & I felt so tickled. Didn’t cost me a penny, m’ dear!! Did I tell you Cec & Pete went to Montreal last weekend for the Radar Officer’s Reunion? They left at 8.0 on Sat. morning so the children and I drove Cec down to the station and saw the train! They came back at 3:45 on Sun. afternoon after having had a good time, so it wasn’t a very long stay! I had to take Charlie to Sunday School of course, but he wasn’t too bad although stuck to me like a leech of course! However he liked it apparently as he says he’s coming every Sunday now!
On Mon. I cut out & began a dress for myself – some yellowy-greeny nylon orlon shantung I got a while ago. I’ve just finished it to wear tomorrow night when we’re having Fanni & Teddy, Lu & Pete & Santiago for a buffet supper. I want Lu & Fanni to meet & as Fanni & the boys leave for Switzerland at the beginning of next month there’s not much time. The Blachuts were having an unexpected visit from an English girl friend of Teddy’s brother, so we asked Santiago to even the numbers & now they get a telegram the girl isn’t coming till Sun.!! Will tell you about my dress in my next – can’t decide whether I really like it!
Will be thinking of you on Sun. Lots & lots of love from us all – hugs from the children- Love from Cyn.
P.S. Lindy has been a little devil this week – hope it’s a phase!

Leaving the question of my behaviour aside- I was actually very sweet- I thought I would remind readers about Cyn’s close friend Dottie Burton, whom she hadn’t seen since she left England in 1950. Dottie and Cyn had met at their domestic science college and had spent the years becoming great friends as well as learning to teach. Dottie knew Cyn’s Newcastle friends too, so they shared social events, and Dottie may have been the first one of their circle to marry- one of the men they played tennis with! But the war intervened. Dottie’s husband died in 1944, leaving her with their son Peter. Now in her early 40s, Dottie has met and is marrying Ken Wilyman, and creating a blended family which was more unusual in those days than it is now. Cyn is delighted at her happiness and that of her sister (?) Marjorie. Dottie was my godmother, was lovely to visit whenever we turned up in England, and supported the idea of this publishing project. I’m only sorry I didn’t start it while she was still alive- she died in 2014 in her hundredth year.

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