5 June 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

5.6.21

                My dearest Mother,

Very many thanks for your enormous parcel and all its contents, and also your letter about the jobs recommended by Mr Dixon.  As a matter of fact, we do take the “Times” Educational Supplement, so I did know about them, and had already got the L.C.C. form for the Clapham one.

I have sent you off another parcel of washing.  I do not want back the flannel pyjams, but would like the silk ones.  I put them on a fortnight ago because it was too hot for flannel ones.  I am now wearing my nightgown with a vest, as it is still very warm at night. And should prefer the silk ones to finish out this term, if you don’t mind.  I couldn’t find any dirty combs at all when I made up the parcel.  Indeed I quite thought I had sent them home.  Today I remembered that they were in Jo’s room, because I changed there one day.            Will send them to you in time for next week.  I am at the moment wearing the old pair.

We have had a very quiet week.  I have been working hard at my lesson notes, which have to go in tomorrow.

On Monday we went to tea at Worcester with Kenneth – great fun – the other Kenneth Rhodes, you know.  He was just out of training, and revelling in chocolate and iced cakes.  He is an awfully nice boy.  On Friday we went to tea with Father Danter, who told us really thrilling tales about his work in Woolwich.

Today I am going to tea with Mrs Moore.  I was going last Sunday, but circumstances (internal) occurred to prevent. My exam. is on Monday and Tuesday in Commem. Week. June 20th and 21st.  I shall stay up till the Thursday, as I couldn’t possibly get packed in time to come down on Wed. , and also I might get a ticket for the Encaenia1.

Please give my best love to Phyllis and to Auntie Hilda.  I am glad you are enjoying the city churches with her.  Joyce sends her love.  We are both very worried about Doris, who seems in a frightfull[sic] state of nerves.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

1Encaenia is the ceremony at which the University of Oxford awards honorary degrees to distinguished men and women and commemorates its benefactors. It is held annually on the Wednesday of ninth week during Trinity Term.

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29 May 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

29.5.21

                My dearest Mother,

Very many thanks for your parcel.  The blue dress looked very nice indeed, but of course rain spoilt our tennis party!  However we had a tea party instead!  It has now turned quite cold, which is perhaps just as well, as all my cotton skirts are dirty.  I sent you off an enormous parcel yesterday, but you need not wash them all at once.  I would like the white silk blouse and skirt, the sailor jumper, and one of the white skirts.  The yellow frock is not at all imperative.

We had a topping time at Nuneham last Sunday.  It was a glorious day.  We took the sculler, which now is kept at Iffley, Jo, Doris, Gilbert, Arthur and I.  We arrived at about 20 minutes to 1.0, and spied a sumptuous bathing place, diving board, steps and all complete.  As we intended to bathe and had brought our togs, this made us envious so we sent  G. and A. to ask permission to use the board.  They came back with Lord Harcourt’s compliments, and he’d be delighted!  They ran into a large house party on the terrace at Nuneham Court, including several college blazers, from whom they learned that Ld H. was in the Library.  Gilbert thereupon bearded the lion in his den, and pitched by chance on the right man, who was so surprised that he consented at once.

The weather continued fine till the end of Eights and then broke the day after.  On Wednesday night we went with Arthur to an awfully nice concert at Keble, choir and orchestra.

Yesterday the ‘Varsity Boat Club gave an awfully nice Rag Regatta in aid of the Radcliffe infirmary.  It was great sport.  There were rowing races for Eights from the Varsity Dry-Bob clubs – absolutely killing affairs, as they set out to be funny.  They all rowed their own times, caught crabs, steered for the bank, collided with each other, and ran down every other craft within their reach!  Great fun also were the dongola2 races for College Eights.  There were about 16 at the start of each heat, and about 4 went through to the finals – the rest sank!

Phyllis might try 111 Iffley Road, or this house – Miss Betnay was 19 Boulter St, but has only one bedroom.  Our lady’s name is Mrs  A. Bear.  I will try to think of some more.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

1Varsity Dry-Bob clubs – non-rowing sports clubs who took to the water in an eight for fun.

2Dongola racing originates from Lord Wolseley’s Nile Expedition of 1884–1885 to relieve Charles George Gordon at Khartoum. Lord Wolsey offered £100 to the battalion that covered the 370 miles from Sarras to Debbeh in the fastest time. The route passed through Dongola in the northern Sudan. The Royal Irish Regiment beat the Black Watch in a close finish.  Margot uses the term, dongola, to describe mixed punting and paddling in the same boat but it also can mean a popular regatta event involving usually six people, kneeling in a punt, facing forward and paddling.

 

In the same envelope as the previous letter:

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

29.5.21

                My dearest Daddie,

I enclose the long promised Statement of A/cs.  The Govt. cheque was only £3 because of the £7 I got in the first term.  They mentioned another £5 to come which is the 1/3 increase.

The 10/- for Mrs Brough and the watch needs explanation.  I sent 5/- as the initial sub. to the Assocn. of University Women Teachers, who send me notices of posts.  Miss Talbot said it was not safe to rely only on the Times’ Educational Supplement advertisements, and that I should have to join the Assocn. sometime anyhow, as it is a kind of teachers’ trade union!  The rest of the 10/- went on my watch.

The business of posts is going to be rather exhausting.  On Monday I saw Miss Roberts, H.M. of Bradford Grammar School.  There is just a chance of my being offered the post.  Miss Roberts wants someone with experience and someone from Oxford, as she already has a Cambridge history mistress on her staff.  The only applications she has had from experienced people have been from Cantabrians.  I know I am the only trained Oxford person she has seen here, the rest have not yet taken Schools.  If she is not greatly taken with the Cambridge people, she may possibly offer me the job.  The screw would be £245 for the first year – more if I get my Second recognised as a good degree.  Miss R. says one can live there in a hostel for about £2 per wk.  The post is not a junior one. The two history people divide the work between them equally throughout the school.

Miss Talbot says that if I were to be offered the job it would be madness to refuse, because it is a famous school – some of our dons got their jobs from it, better in reputation than any of the London schools to which I have applied.  Of the latter I have heard nothing at all.  There have been no L.C.C. advertisements since the Fulham one and the Council does not meet about that till the middle of June!  I am now applying for two more London schools, but one says “experience essential” and the other “Church of England”, so I don’t think either are much good.

So you see it may be a case of “a bird in the hand….” so will you please be thinking it over.  I could guarantee to send you a £1 a wk but of course it isn’t nearly the same thing as if I were living at home.  On the other hand it doesn’t seem as if I can be sure of getting a London job.  Could you ask Mr Dixon if, supposing I got left altogether, I could get work in the Continuation Schools?

I will let you know when I hear from Miss Roberts.  She said she could tell me at the end of this week.  Perhaps I could arrange to talk to you on the ‘phone if a crisis arose.  I certainly won’t commit myself without your advice.

By the way the dance absolutely upset my private finances.  I have at the moment absolutely nothing for current expenses.  I find this correspondence business very expensive – I spend quite 1/- per week on stamps.  Could you possibly let me have a donation?  At present I owe Joyce a little.  I am being as careful as I can but we have to do some entertaining!

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

 

Dr. Cr
1921   £.  s.  d. 1921 £.  s.  d.
April.  To Cash in hand   3    –    – By Fees-Educn. Course 7.   7.  –
             “   Cheques 12    7   –         “     Hall 1    –    –
              “ Govt.   3    –    –          “     University –     6    8
              “  Cheque   5    –    –          “      Examn. 2.   10   –
               “ Balance         6    8 “ Watch & Mrs Brough –     10   –
“ House Keeping

1st Wk

2      10   –

2nd    “

2       10   –

3rd     “

2       10   –

4th     “

2        10  –
£23.  13..8 £23..13..8

 

 

 

N.B. Joyce has paid this (the 5th Week’s) bill! So I owe her £2 “ 10 “ 0

Next letter to be posted on 5 June 1921.

22 May 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

22.5.21

                My dearest Mother,

Ever so many thanks for your letter and the cheque on Wednesday, and also for your parcel, letter and the note yesterday.  The white skirt you enclosed fits beautifully, and looks very nice.  I sat down and trimmed my hat there and then, and it looks charming.  Thank you so much for discovering the ribbon and the roses.

We are having a very hectic time this week.  I never enjoyed an Eights Week so much.  On Thursday we had a Hall party on the river in a punt.  On Friday we were entertained by Gilbert on Balliol barge – and were taken by Doris to the Ladies Musical Society’s concert at the Town Hall in the evening – Myra Hess at the piano.  Yesterday we parted company, as Mrs Otway asked me to go on the river with their party, her two sisters, Mr Otway, and a man from Jaggers1.  Mr Otway is a padre doing the Education Course.  He comes immediately from Australia, but was born and bred in England, and did Theol. up here at Teddy Hall.

Today we are going to Newnham Courtney by river with Gilbert and Arthur, Doris being chaperone.  Tonight we go to Balliol Concert at Gilbert’s invitation.

Please tell Daddie I will send him the balance sheet he requests!

Tomorrow I am to be interviewed by a H. Mistress – I think of Bradford Grammar School, but am not sure.  There are plenty of posts in the provinces, but not in London, except one in Westminster for C. of E. only.

They are all eager to be off, so must stop without telling you half the news.

Love to Daddie and Max.

Your loving daughter

Margot.

On the back of the envelope:

Daddie’s letter to follow

Only one stamp!

1Jaggers is Jesus College, and Teddy Hall is St Edmund Hall.

Next letter to be posted on 29 May 1921.

17 May 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

17.5.21

                My dearest Mother,

Ever so many thanks for your letter and parcel, and the money.  I will certainly do as you suggest with the extra 10/-, but at the moment it has gone into my exam. fees, which I had to pay on Saturday.

I am sending off a parcel to-day.  I did not send it on Sat. as I did not quite know when you were coming home.  I am sending the blue linen dress, which is a great success.  Could I have it back, if possible, by Friday week, as I am having a tennis party on that day, and after Eights Week I shall not possess a clean skirt!  I really wanted it for then, but could not get it off on Friday, as I was still wearing it.  I am keeping on my party underclothes this week, and will let you have them at the end, so that they can be clean for the last dance.

Have you any black velvet ribbon, about an inch wide?  I want some to put on my hat.  Also I believe there is on the bottom shelf under my bookshelves, or else in the cupboard in my room, a little box containing some of those wee roses I had on a white straw hat once.  If you do come across them would you enclose one or two in your next parcel?  There is I think some black velvet ribbon in my little drawer.  The Trig. Book is on my bottom bookshelf, I remember now.

Our dance on Saturday was a great success.  Besides our own party, Doris’ cousin Philip was there, and Nora Parker’s brother.  Do you remember I met the latter in Streatham one day?  He recognised me and came up to speak to me.  Otherwise I should not have known him without hat and moustache, which latter has disappeared since we met before.  He is coming to play tennis after Eights.

I saw Gwen on Friday.  She has been rather ill since Christmas.   She had just been staying with Ethel.  Edgar is in West Africa, and if he comes home later than August will find his family increased to three!  Ethel is still lecturing three times a week.

My best love to Daddie and Max.

Yours ever,

Margot.

Next letter to be posted on22 May 2018.

8 May 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

8.5.21

                My dearest Mother,

Very many thanks for the shortbread, which arrived quite safely yesterday morning, and also for your letter and the note.  I have unfortunately failed to send off my parcel of washing.  I have got it ready for tomorrow, but it probably will not arrive until Tuesday morning.  I can manage without any of the contents, I think.  Handkerchiefs are the only thing I shall be short of, but I can manage by using my best ones.

This was really the result of our fête yesterday, in aid of the Building Fund.  The weather has been rotten here this week, and we felt rather apprehensive.  However we only had a few showers, and heaps of people came.  The only thing affected by the weather was the punting – very few parties ventured out.  The whole thing was very well organised.  There were heaps of side shows, two excellent plays, and a variety of dancing and singing in between whiles.

We closed at 7.0 and opened again at 8.30, for two performances of the play and other shows.  The garden looked a dream all lit up with fairy lights and Japanese lanterns.  At 10.30 p.m. we sent off some fire-works to round off the show.  Arthur and Gilbert were commandeered for that purpose.  It was altogether quite a jolly affair.

This morning I went to Radley with Marjorie, who is up for the week end with her sister, Ruth, in their car to fetch the brother who is at Radley.  We had quite a long chat en route.  She is a nice child.

This afternoon Joyce and I went to tea with the B.  She was perfectly charming, and told us a lovely tale about an American of mature years whom she was once asked to coach, who announced that she knew all the sources of English History  The B. remarked that she didn‘t, and suggested she should try elsewhere.  The lady went to bed after their first coaching, and sent for the doctor!

Please give my dearest love to Daddie and Max.  I hope he will have better luck at cricket!

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

P.S.  I am not doing any school practice this term, as Miss Talbot thinks I have enough to do with the diploma work.  But if you would like me to take a job in July, I dare say I could arrange to finish the practice this term.

Next letter to be posted on17 May 2018.

5 May 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

5.5.21

                My dearest Mother,

I am so awfully sorry not to have written to you this week – but it has been a perfectly hectic week.  Evelyn and her friend Brownie were here from Saturday to Wednesday.  The trouble was that we were out all day on Sunday, and so missed the post and my last chance of writing.  While Evelyn was here we could do nothing but arrange picnics.  Then as soon as she had gone my inside claimed all my attention!

In between whiles writing applications has occupied all my spare moments.  I am so tired of copying out testimonials!  Fortunately Miss Biggs has now offered to type them for me, which is very kind of her.

Miss Talbot says I must not rely on taking a job in London, so I am answering some advertisements for the provinces.  Withington High School, Fallowfield, M/c. is one of them.  Do you think Auntie Lucy would like me to live with her?  The Headmistress is a Miss Grant – can she be John Grant’s sister?  This morning I received a notice from Mrs Brough, whose agency Miss Talbot advised me to join, that there is a vacancy for a history lecturer at Bedford College, London.  Miss Talbot says apply, so I shall, but of course it is pure bluff.

I left some notes of mine in Munroe’s Text-Book in the History of Education – do you think they might have preserved them?  Would you mind asking there next time you go?  Could you also send me –

(i).  letter from Miss Talbot in green envelope, probably in a drawer of my writing table.

(ii). Trigonometry Book from among my Inter. Maths books under the wash stand.

(iii).Rousseau’s Contrat Social on my open book case.

Also any loose notes you can find on the bottom shelf of the book-case in the dining-room.

Much love to Daddie and Max – and Phyllis –

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

Next letter to be posted on 8 May 2018.

24 April 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxon.

24.4.21

                My dear Mother,

Very many thanks for your letter this morning, and the club notice.  It was very kind of Mrs Dixon to send in the notice.  I must acquire some long envelopes, and then I will send for another form.  Joyce and I are going to take in the Times Educational Supplement this term.  I think Miss Talbot is going to be helpful in this business.  I am going to see her on Monday.

I am sorry to have run off with Max’s pump, but as I have not brought my own perhaps we might temporarily exchange.  Then I should get that washer mended!  However if he wants his own very badly I will forward it.

I had quite a hectic day yesterday.  The colleckers was quite possible.  I finished Munroe in the Rad – it took me the whole morning and afternoon!  Such a lovely day as it was, too!

We are very pleased with our digs – they are most comfortable and roomy.  The cooking, too, is excellent, and the view beyond words.  It is nearly as good as the view from my room last year, and faces the same way – West – so we get all the sunsets.

Will you please tell Daddie that I shall want £2.10s for the exam. before May 15th?  The said exam. is coming off in Commem. Week2!

Mr Hendy has had a final answer from the Education Office against us, so I am afraid there is no more than the £5 to be hoped for from that source.  It really is a pretty rotten business.  I wish the Non-Collegiate people had held their tongues.

We have got a piano here – very old and rather harsh, but it does for song accompaniments.

Could you please put my thimble in one of your parcels, and also my other needle book?  I find I have left both behind.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

Much love to Daddie and Max.

1Colleckers: slang for ‘collections’, short tests on arrival at the beginning of term.

2Commem Week; Commemoration Week when all the big dances take place just after the end of term.

 

Next letter to be posted on 5 May 2018.