22 February 1920

St Hilda’s Hall,



                My dear Mother,

Many thanks for your letter and parcel, and the note.  The cake is delicious.  I grieve to say we have made it look very silly during the last three days!  I will get the spoon with the note.  I presume the increase was meant for that.  I did write to Ethel last Sunday – I hope she has got my letter.

We have just polished off the “Requiem” at the Back Choir Concert today.  We had a complete orchestra, with only six outsiders to make up.  We ended up with our Swanwick hymn – Vaughan Williams’ setting of “For all the saints” 1, in which the audience took part.


I am so sorry not to have got this off yesterday, but just where I broke off the Chapel gong went, and after that I had absolutely no peace right up to bed-time.  Now I am in Joyce’s Study Circle, and have to take a prominent part in all the proceedings.  I sent off the parcel today.  It simply would not get posted last week.  I am just now waiting for Daddie, – having sent word to him that I shall be in, and be pleased to give him cocoa.

Torpids2 began on Thursday.  So far House has been triumphant all along the line.  Magdalen is nowhere.  Magd. I has never come anywhere near House I, which is Head of the River, and which yesterday gained three lengths on its own place.  House II has today bumped Magd. II, much to everyone’s delight.  It has done a bump every day except the first.  House III is notorious for its bumps.  It doesn’t mind what it bumps.  If it can’t find a boat it bumps a tree, or the bank or any old thing!  On Saturday it held up the river by not removing itself after doing its bump, and there was a nasty mush of four eights in the Gut.  They counted 2 bumps too, which was rather hard on the one behind Ch. Ch. II.  We know someone in House III – at least Evelyn does – so we follow its fortunes with interest.

We had an eight of our own last Wednesday, but it was a wash-out, as one of our people fell out, at the last moment, and we had to put in an O.S.  She practically insisted on stroking but was quite unequal to the job, and collapsed every ten minutes!  Evidently, she was quite out of training.

We had a very nice little dance on Tuesday – quite among ourselves.  I asked Doris, and much enjoyed dancing with her.  Little Marsden was quite right, she would make a stick dance!

I am glad Max’s arm is now unbandaged.  Please give him my love.  I must not write any more now, or shall miss the post.

Your loving daughter,


1 ‘For all the saints’ – presumably the tune by Vaughan Williams called ‘Sine Nomine’.  Amazing that they had breath for that after the Brahms Requiem:  it’s a huge sing and the choir is on its feet for hours.

2Torpids are bumping rowing races in Hilary Term.

The next 2 letters will be posted on 28 February 2017.