S. Hilda’s Hall,
My dear Mother,
Many thanks for sending on the watch – it arrived quite safely this morning – as we did yesterday afternoon. We collected Jacynth out of the carriage next door at Reading, so there were four of us after that. We portered most of our own luggage at Oxford, there were such a crowd, but finally a man came to our aid with the big boxes, and we arrived at the Hall about 3.30 p.m. My box had already arrived quite safe and sound, but have not yet seen the bill. I managed to get everything unpacked before 10.0 p.m. in spite of various interruptions, and several excursions into town.
I find I have not got the key of my bag with me at all. I have some faint recollection of handing it over to you to keep, so will you see if you have it? I am sure it is not among my possessions at home. I have not got my diary, so I expect it is lying about somewhere in the dining room.
It was absolutely stifling yesterday when we arrived. Today is much cooler and showery. The river has been out during the vac. And only went down a few days ago. I hope it will be all right for May morning. Joyce and I are to go in the First Year Sculler. They are arranging for everyone to go on, but we shall have the best of it, as the rest of our year will have to go either in canoes – most uncomfortable – or with Todd1 or Hughie2. We shall be an entirely First Year crowd. Todd always takes the non-swimmers which is really rather decent of her.
I haven’t yet had time to go to the Golden Cross3, but will go on Monday and will write to you again immediately. I hear from the Levett and Miss Coate4 that Tommy5 is coming up this Whitsun for three weeks! Miss Coate met her in town this vac., and had to answer no end of questions about me, so she says. The whole of Miss Coate’s and Tommy’s year are coming up for Whitsun, and are going to hire two punts from Saturday morning till Monday night.
We have got Mrs B.6 quartered on us in the new wing – in Muriel’s room. There are awful rumours that the B. will succeed Mrs. B when the latter goes, so no more midnight rapsodies [sic]! Muriel has got Anker’s room, a much bigger one in the oldest part of the building. Everyone loathes the change, particularly Muriel, although she was a party to the arrangement. Joyce is in a blue funk already, for she usually manages to attract all the noise to her room.
I am probably to coach with Dr Carlyle for Economics. By myself! We, Jerry and I, are also to have two coachings on Rousseau and I am to go to some lectures the Levett is giving on English History from 1660. I understand I am to finish up English History up to 1901 in the Long Vac.!
I did not tell you about the Library Books –
Histoire de France – Lavisse – 2 Vols) Dr Williams Library.7
Joseph II )
Mill – Political Economy )
History of Germany – Henderson ) Streatham Library
Lectures on Modern History – Acton )
“ “ the Reformation – Beard )
The Economic Outlook – Canman – )
Compromise – Morley – ) belong to Ethel.
Richard Teverel )
Ethel said she would call for her books, so will you give her those three when she does? Did I tell you I met Miss Young in Streatham on Friday morning? She had not yet gone away, because the weather was so uncertain. She promised to come and see me when she came to Berkshire.
Much love to you, Daddie, and Maxted,
Your loving daughter
1Louisa Todd was the English Tutor.
2‘Hughie’ is Helen Campbell Hughes (1914-18). Her 1944 obituary refers to her as ‘Hugh’ with many references to her skills on the river.
3The Golden Cross is a local hotel where she is arranging for her mother to stay.
4Miss Coate is Tutor in History .
5Tommy – Miss Coates’ contemporary at St Hilda’s and the author of the first document in this collection, Miss Dorothea Thompson, Margot’s former history teacher.
6Mrs B is the Principal’s mother who preceded her as Principal.
7Dr Williams Library, established by the leading nonconformist minister of his day, Dr Daniel Williams who died in 1715, and greatly added to over the years. In 1890, it took over the building in Gordon St, London, which it had shared with Manchester College until the college’s removal to Oxford.
Next letter to be posted on 29 April 1918