St Hilda’s Hall,
My dear Mother,
Many thanks for your letter this morning, and for the parcel, which arrived on Friday. I found the money in the pocket all right. The cake is delicious, and much appreciated. Thank you very much for sending on Ethel’s parcel – it was quite right to enclose the pieces. I would like those two library books, please, if you would not mind sending them along.
I am glad the elusive Peggy has turned up at last, but am sorry she is in such an uncertain position. Please give her my love. I am also glad that Tom has got as good a job as the B. of E.
Gwen is up here for quite a fortnight, staying with Dolly while Llewellyn alternates between Keble and All Souls. She looks very well, and seems quite cheery, but is rather weary of Chatham, though she says they have a lovely house.
At last the vexed question of the chapel register has been settled, 1 and it has become a purely secular “roller”, signable without going to chapel. More common-sense on the part of the Principal!
We went to a meeting at Somerville on Friday night to hear Dr Sheavyn2 speak about the Women’s Union. She is an old Somerville woman, at present a Dr of Literature at Manchester University where she has had experience of a Women’s Union.
We had a ripping four on Friday – all Eight people. We came up from the Gut to the New Cut practically in silence i.e. Best had no criticism to make! We are going to have an eight in term this term! I am down to stroke a fixed seat tub in the 7th week! Some four that will be!
The weather has been rotten this week, so we haven’t done very much. To-day was really fine and sunny for the first time this term, so our spirits visibly brightened during the day. I went to Headington on my way to Mansfield this morning, and so had a nice long walk in the sun.
Please give my love to Daddie and Max, and also to Mrs Katsch. Why not take Peggy to see “Mr Pym” by way of a diversion?
Your loving daughter,
P.S. I think I can get you some note-paper at 2/- per packet and 2/- per 100 envelopes. Quite nice paper. Would you like any?
1Chapel attendance was compulsory until 1919, making problems for anyone not C of E, though it does not seem to have bothered Margot, who as a Congregationalist was non-conformist but went to the college chapel quite happily. As the gong for Chapel sounded at 8am, before breakfast, this helped to ensure that students had slept in Hall. It became the habit of some to get their friends to check them in, and so a responsible person had to be appointed to stand at the door.
From the House rules in the early ‘20s: 8. Students are expected to attend Chapel morning and evening, unless they have conscientious objections, and it is hoped that they will attend Divine Service on Sundays.
2Dr Phoebe Sheavyn, 1865–1968, university teacher and feminist.
The next letter will be posted on 1 February 2017.