30 January 1921

19 Boulter Street,

St. Clement’s

Oxford.

30. 1. 21.

                My dearest Mother,

Many thanks for your letter and parcel and the money, which arrived quite safely on Friday, and was waiting for me when I came in from school.

My days are still very strenuous.  Miss Pocock is most awfully nice to work under, and has made Milham Ford quite a different place for me.  She is most efficient – interesting to observe teaching, insists on my preparing my lessons properly, and criticises most helpfully after each one.  So I really feel I am finding my way about the gentle art of teaching.  Still I shall be quite glad when the month is over, and I can get a little time to myself.  I have been frightfully tired until the end of this week, when I began to get out a bit, and so feel and look better.

Yesterday I rowed for the first time this term.  Quite a nice gig, in spite of the wind and an irregular stroke.

The D’Oyley Carte have been here this week.  On Wednesday we went to “Patience” – awfully nice party, including Arthur and little Dr Cooke, your friend, with Doris as chaperone.

Last night we had another jolly party for the “Gondoliers” – queue this time – we three, Arthur and Dr Cooke, the latter’s cousin, and another Queen’s man named Bradbrooke, whom Arthur knew in the R.F.C1.   This morning Joyce, Arthur and I and the said Mr Bradbrooke had a topping byke ride in the rain, and found some primroses.

Last Sunday I went to tea with the Moores, after writing to you.  Miss Moore was at home.  She is an awfully nice woman, and we had a very interesting talk.  She is at present in command of a school for convalescent cripple children in Worcs., run by the Birmingham authorities.  They live in the open air, as they are mainly tuberculosis cases, but the staff have a lovely house, well fitted up and well furnished.  Altogether an interesting evening!  Hugh, by the way, has got married!

My dearest love to Daddie and Max – tell him to buck up with Thucydides and all his works.  We have lately been considering the merits and demerits of a Classical education.  Take care of your dear self,

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

1RFC: Rugby Football Club.

Next letter to be posted on 6 February 2018.

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23 January 1921

19 Boulter Street,

St. Clement’s

Oxford.

23. 1. 21.

                My dearest Mother,

Thank you very much indeed for your letter, and the note, and the parcel.  I am so delighted to hear that Max got a move.  It is distinctly cheering news.  Daddie really ought to go and see Mr Smith about him – just to discuss his chances.  Please give Max my love and congratulations, and tell him I expect great things from him.  I am glad Heather remains behind.

This week has been decidedly hectic.  I feel rather more as if I know what I want now at Milham Ford.  I am not teaching more than one lesson a day, and am observing some Latin and English, just for general method.  One of our old students, Grace Pocock, always referred to in Hall as the perfect S.S., is History specialist at Milham Ford this term.  She is very nice to me, and is an extraordinarily interesting teacher.  Miss Biggs, about whom I think I told you – she is the Cambridge girl who lives in Oxford, is also practising at Milham Ford, so we find it quite interesting to compare notes.

I shall send you off a parcel tomorrow.  I am sorry it didn’t go off yesterday, but I forgot it.  However, I don’t need any of the things in a hurry, so they can wait until next washing-day.

So Aunt Ethel’s parcel has arrived at last!  I like the blouse very much.  It both fits and suits me.  I bought a pair of stockings yesterday at Elliston and Cavell’s sale – grey, 2/11, marked down from 5/11.  They are the same kind as the grey and tan ones I bought at the stores, but are not quite such soft wool.  Could you please put the hot water bottle in your next parcel?

Thursday afternoon was the first breathing space I had, so I went to hear Vaughan Williams’ London Symphony2 at the Town Hall.  It is a wonderful thing.  I must take you to hear it next time it comes on in London.  The British Symphony Orchestra under Adrian Boult opened the concert by playing a Funeral March by Elgar in memory of Gervase Elwes3, who was an Oxford man.

My best love to Daddie and Max, and to Phyllis when you see her,

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

1A move meant going to a more advanced class.

2Vaughan Williams’ London Symphony was only written in 1914 and revised in 1920 – very new music.

3Gervase Elwes – a fine English tenor, 1866 – 1921.

Next letter to be posted on 30 January 2018.

20 January 1921

19 Boulter Street,

St. Clement’s1

Oxford.

20. 1. 21.

                My dearest Mother,

I am so sorry not to have written before, but it got crowded out on Sunday, and I have not had time since, as I am teaching at Milham Ford every morning, have lectures every evening, and no time at all to prepare lessons or read for the essay class.  Odd internal complications, and you can see how busy I have been.

I like my rooms very much.  I have a very comfortable sitting room and a big front bedroom.  The wall paper in both rooms is white, and altogether it is very nice – three towels and tall candlesticks each side of the dressing glass so that one can see to do one’s hair at night.

I hope you and Phyllis, and the boys liked “the Shepherdess without a Heart” 2.  Joyce and Arthur saw it, and Doris saw “the Romantic Age”, so we have all been comparing notes.  Catherine Nesbit, the new Mélisande in Milne’s play is to be Cleopatra for O.U.D.S.

No time for more now.  My best love to Daddie and Max.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

 

1A change of address, but no comment the reason for the change.

2The Shepherdess without a Heart: so playwright not identified, possibly Milne who is the author of The Romantic Age.  He wrote a great number of plays.

Next letter to be posted on 23 January 2018.