20 June 1920

St Hilda’s Hall

Oxford.

20.6.20

                My dear Mother,

Many thanks for your letter and the cheque.  I am now endeavouring to clear up my belongings and my bills.

I arrive at Paddington at 3.50 p.m. on Monday, and should be charmed if Daddie can meet me.

My Viva is not until 9.30 a.m. on July 14th, so I am arranging to come up the day before.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

The next letter to be posted on 23 July 2017.

13 June 1920

                                St Hilda’s Hall

Oxford.

13.6.20

My dearest Mother,

Very many thanks for your letters and parcel.  The frock travelled beautifully and looks thoroughly nice.  It has been invaluable this term.  I forget whether I told you that the hat was a great success.

I missed the parcel post on Saturday because it was raining so hard after I got home from the Schools at 5.0. p.m. that I decided not to get drenched, but I will send you a parcel of washing sometime during the week in order to relieve my luggage.

Evelyn and I had a topping time at Ascott, thoroughly quiet and lazy.  The weather was glorious.  Mrs Ashby and her daughter were most kind.  They fed us scrumptiously – real butter all the time – asparagus two days running for dinner, and potatoes mashed with butter.  We did a little walking.  The Cotswolds make glorious walking country, and although we were above the wooded region, the lanes and meadows were very pretty.  We also borrowed a boat from the Mill, which was our nearest neighbour, and paddled about on the Evenlode, in which we bathed one afternoon.

So far our papers have been boring in the extreme, though quite fair and possible1.  I do not feel as though I have done a single a question!  Of course I felt very fuddle-headed on the morning of the Pol. Sci. Paper –  Saturday and a Thunder Storm in the afternoon did not improve matters.  However, I have spent most of today in bed, and am glad to be alright for the foreign and special papers this week.

We have been very carefully looked after.  Doris took us to tea on the river on Thursday, Joyce gave us tea with strawberries and cream, the former from Evelyn’s own garden, on Friday, and on Saturday Evelyn gave me tea as she had no afternoon paper.

My Viva does not begin until July 7, so I shall come down on Monday, June 21st, as usual, probably by an afternoon train, if that will suit you.  I shall have to come up again for a night for my Viva.

We have settled up with the lady in William Street for the room opposite Doris – 25/- per week for the rooms.  I have to find a bedroom out, as we decided we would rather sleep separately.  Doris has done all the negotiation for us.

My dearest love to Daddie and Max.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

1An enviable sang-froid about the exams!

The next letter will be posted on 20 June 2017.

5 June 1920

C/o Mrs Ashby,

Coldstones Farm,

Ascott under Wychwood,

Oxon.

5.6.20

                My dear Mother,

Very many thanks for the parcel.  The shortbread is delicious, and I was very grateful for the washing, likewise for the money.  By the way, I don’t know whether I ought to have the latter, as Daddie left me £1.  I will hold it over for the following week if you like.

I sent you off a parcel of washing just before we left Oxford, including my yellow and white frock which has got very dirty, as I have worn it a lot this term.  Could you let me have it back as soon as possible, as I may want it next week-end. May I also have back the silk pyjamas, as I don’t think the nightgown which I am wearing at present will last more than one week.

I enjoyed having Daddie in Oxford immensely, and I think he liked the sunset from my window, which he saw every evening.

5.6.20The crew and cox, Margot far left.5.6.20The crew and cox, Margot far left.

5.6.20The crew and cox, Margot far left.

We had a very nice eight this morning – the real eight.  Even Best was pleased with us!  We met the Kingston steamer on our way up, and it rather spoilt our time, but we came up from Iffley in 12 min. 45 sec.  Evelyn and I also had a very nice swim this morning.

I think we have got rooms for next year, just opposite Doris.  In fact it was Doris who got them for us.  We shall have either to share a bedroom or have one out.  There is quite a nice little sitting room.  We come to a final decision on Tuesday.

We had quite a jolly tennis party yesterday with our two friends from Worcester.  We were not outshone this time, in fact we played distinctly better than our partners, for Mr Ady is having to learn to play left handed, owing to a wound in his right elbow, while Mr Brand is really a rowing man.

This is a very quiet little village.  The farm house is old and rambling, with quaint old fire places.  Our bedroom has oak beams and latched doors, and the room where we have our meals has a round open hearth and two  chimney seats, all of which was accidently [sic] unearthed from behind a comparatively modern grate.

Mrs Ashby is well known to Miss Levett and Miss Coate.  She seems to have educated her children well, for one is an authority on agriculture at the school of rural Economy in Oxford, one daughter is teaching, and another was at Milham Ford School.

Gwen came to tea with us on Thursday.  She is only in Oxford for a week.  She looked very  well.

Much love to Daddie and Max.  I am glad we are fixed up all right for Buxton, but hope it will not prove a tiring holiday for you.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

The next letter to be posted on 13 June 2017.

2 June 1920

St. Hilda’s Hall

Oxon.

2.6.20

                My dear Mother,

I am so sorry not to have written to you before this week.  I sent off a parcel of washing.  Very many thanks for your letters and the note.

Our address this weekend will be1

C/o Mrs Ashby

Coldstones Farm

Ascot under Wychwood

Oxon.

Last week was not very thrilling, but very hot and stuffy.  Eights occupied the first three days.  On the Thursday we had a very nice tea party, a friend of Evelyn’s from the House, do. of Joyce’s from Keble, and Gilbert.

On Saturday Evelyn and I went to tea with the B.  They have a wee little furnished house in a street behind the Wilberforce.  She and Mrs B. were most kind, and told us all about their travels.  They both looked much better than when we saw them first.

On Monday Joyce and I had a first-rate game of tennis with May Kingsley’s two brothers.  They were awfully hot stuff and we played very badly, but I do like playing with men!  You simply have got to play well!

We have been doing lots of swimming lately – as Joyce is entering for the Varsity race against Cambridge.  We have four of our people in and as one is in two races we fill five out of nine places for Oxon.  Not bad for the smallest College!

Much love to Max

Your loving daughter

Margot.

1The tradition was that you took a break just before your final exams, a ‘Schools Weekend’.

The next letter to be posted on 5 June 2017.