22 May 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

22.5.21

                My dearest Mother,

Ever so many thanks for your letter and the cheque on Wednesday, and also for your parcel, letter and the note yesterday.  The white skirt you enclosed fits beautifully, and looks very nice.  I sat down and trimmed my hat there and then, and it looks charming.  Thank you so much for discovering the ribbon and the roses.

We are having a very hectic time this week.  I never enjoyed an Eights Week so much.  On Thursday we had a Hall party on the river in a punt.  On Friday we were entertained by Gilbert on Balliol barge – and were taken by Doris to the Ladies Musical Society’s concert at the Town Hall in the evening – Myra Hess at the piano.  Yesterday we parted company, as Mrs Otway asked me to go on the river with their party, her two sisters, Mr Otway, and a man from Jaggers1.  Mr Otway is a padre doing the Education Course.  He comes immediately from Australia, but was born and bred in England, and did Theol. up here at Teddy Hall.

Today we are going to Newnham Courtney by river with Gilbert and Arthur, Doris being chaperone.  Tonight we go to Balliol Concert at Gilbert’s invitation.

Please tell Daddie I will send him the balance sheet he requests!

Tomorrow I am to be interviewed by a H. Mistress – I think of Bradford Grammar School, but am not sure.  There are plenty of posts in the provinces, but not in London, except one in Westminster for C. of E. only.

They are all eager to be off, so must stop without telling you half the news.

Love to Daddie and Max.

Your loving daughter

Margot.

On the back of the envelope:

Daddie’s letter to follow

Only one stamp!

1Jaggers is Jesus College, and Teddy Hall is St Edmund Hall.

Next letter to be posted on 29 May 1921.

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17 May 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

17.5.21

                My dearest Mother,

Ever so many thanks for your letter and parcel, and the money.  I will certainly do as you suggest with the extra 10/-, but at the moment it has gone into my exam. fees, which I had to pay on Saturday.

I am sending off a parcel to-day.  I did not send it on Sat. as I did not quite know when you were coming home.  I am sending the blue linen dress, which is a great success.  Could I have it back, if possible, by Friday week, as I am having a tennis party on that day, and after Eights Week I shall not possess a clean skirt!  I really wanted it for then, but could not get it off on Friday, as I was still wearing it.  I am keeping on my party underclothes this week, and will let you have them at the end, so that they can be clean for the last dance.

Have you any black velvet ribbon, about an inch wide?  I want some to put on my hat.  Also I believe there is on the bottom shelf under my bookshelves, or else in the cupboard in my room, a little box containing some of those wee roses I had on a white straw hat once.  If you do come across them would you enclose one or two in your next parcel?  There is I think some black velvet ribbon in my little drawer.  The Trig. Book is on my bottom bookshelf, I remember now.

Our dance on Saturday was a great success.  Besides our own party, Doris’ cousin Philip was there, and Nora Parker’s brother.  Do you remember I met the latter in Streatham one day?  He recognised me and came up to speak to me.  Otherwise I should not have known him without hat and moustache, which latter has disappeared since we met before.  He is coming to play tennis after Eights.

I saw Gwen on Friday.  She has been rather ill since Christmas.   She had just been staying with Ethel.  Edgar is in West Africa, and if he comes home later than August will find his family increased to three!  Ethel is still lecturing three times a week.

My best love to Daddie and Max.

Yours ever,

Margot.

Next letter to be posted on22 May 2018.

8 May 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

8.5.21

                My dearest Mother,

Very many thanks for the shortbread, which arrived quite safely yesterday morning, and also for your letter and the note.  I have unfortunately failed to send off my parcel of washing.  I have got it ready for tomorrow, but it probably will not arrive until Tuesday morning.  I can manage without any of the contents, I think.  Handkerchiefs are the only thing I shall be short of, but I can manage by using my best ones.

This was really the result of our fête yesterday, in aid of the Building Fund.  The weather has been rotten here this week, and we felt rather apprehensive.  However we only had a few showers, and heaps of people came.  The only thing affected by the weather was the punting – very few parties ventured out.  The whole thing was very well organised.  There were heaps of side shows, two excellent plays, and a variety of dancing and singing in between whiles.

We closed at 7.0 and opened again at 8.30, for two performances of the play and other shows.  The garden looked a dream all lit up with fairy lights and Japanese lanterns.  At 10.30 p.m. we sent off some fire-works to round off the show.  Arthur and Gilbert were commandeered for that purpose.  It was altogether quite a jolly affair.

This morning I went to Radley with Marjorie, who is up for the week end with her sister, Ruth, in their car to fetch the brother who is at Radley.  We had quite a long chat en route.  She is a nice child.

This afternoon Joyce and I went to tea with the B.  She was perfectly charming, and told us a lovely tale about an American of mature years whom she was once asked to coach, who announced that she knew all the sources of English History  The B. remarked that she didn‘t, and suggested she should try elsewhere.  The lady went to bed after their first coaching, and sent for the doctor!

Please give my dearest love to Daddie and Max.  I hope he will have better luck at cricket!

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

P.S.  I am not doing any school practice this term, as Miss Talbot thinks I have enough to do with the diploma work.  But if you would like me to take a job in July, I dare say I could arrange to finish the practice this term.

Next letter to be posted on17 May 2018.

5 May 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxford.

5.5.21

                My dearest Mother,

I am so awfully sorry not to have written to you this week – but it has been a perfectly hectic week.  Evelyn and her friend Brownie were here from Saturday to Wednesday.  The trouble was that we were out all day on Sunday, and so missed the post and my last chance of writing.  While Evelyn was here we could do nothing but arrange picnics.  Then as soon as she had gone my inside claimed all my attention!

In between whiles writing applications has occupied all my spare moments.  I am so tired of copying out testimonials!  Fortunately Miss Biggs has now offered to type them for me, which is very kind of her.

Miss Talbot says I must not rely on taking a job in London, so I am answering some advertisements for the provinces.  Withington High School, Fallowfield, M/c. is one of them.  Do you think Auntie Lucy would like me to live with her?  The Headmistress is a Miss Grant – can she be John Grant’s sister?  This morning I received a notice from Mrs Brough, whose agency Miss Talbot advised me to join, that there is a vacancy for a history lecturer at Bedford College, London.  Miss Talbot says apply, so I shall, but of course it is pure bluff.

I left some notes of mine in Munroe’s Text-Book in the History of Education – do you think they might have preserved them?  Would you mind asking there next time you go?  Could you also send me –

(i).  letter from Miss Talbot in green envelope, probably in a drawer of my writing table.

(ii). Trigonometry Book from among my Inter. Maths books under the wash stand.

(iii).Rousseau’s Contrat Social on my open book case.

Also any loose notes you can find on the bottom shelf of the book-case in the dining-room.

Much love to Daddie and Max – and Phyllis –

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

Next letter to be posted on 8 May 2018.

24 April 1921

145 Iffley Road

Oxon.

24.4.21

                My dear Mother,

Very many thanks for your letter this morning, and the club notice.  It was very kind of Mrs Dixon to send in the notice.  I must acquire some long envelopes, and then I will send for another form.  Joyce and I are going to take in the Times Educational Supplement this term.  I think Miss Talbot is going to be helpful in this business.  I am going to see her on Monday.

I am sorry to have run off with Max’s pump, but as I have not brought my own perhaps we might temporarily exchange.  Then I should get that washer mended!  However if he wants his own very badly I will forward it.

I had quite a hectic day yesterday.  The colleckers was quite possible.  I finished Munroe in the Rad – it took me the whole morning and afternoon!  Such a lovely day as it was, too!

We are very pleased with our digs – they are most comfortable and roomy.  The cooking, too, is excellent, and the view beyond words.  It is nearly as good as the view from my room last year, and faces the same way – West – so we get all the sunsets.

Will you please tell Daddie that I shall want £2.10s for the exam. before May 15th?  The said exam. is coming off in Commem. Week2!

Mr Hendy has had a final answer from the Education Office against us, so I am afraid there is no more than the £5 to be hoped for from that source.  It really is a pretty rotten business.  I wish the Non-Collegiate people had held their tongues.

We have got a piano here – very old and rather harsh, but it does for song accompaniments.

Could you please put my thimble in one of your parcels, and also my other needle book?  I find I have left both behind.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

Much love to Daddie and Max.

1Colleckers: slang for ‘collections’, short tests on arrival at the beginning of term.

2Commem Week; Commemoration Week when all the big dances take place just after the end of term.

 

Next letter to be posted on 5 May 2018.

20 April 1921

Tel. Buxted 27.                                                                                            Upways                                                                                    Buxted                                                                                                                                                                                Sussex.

20.4.21

                My dear Mother,

Doris thanks you for your post-card, which came this morning.  I am sorry the boys felt tired after their ride, but I am not surprised, as it is a long one.

I am perfectly enchanted with this place.  The house is adorable, and Mr and Mrs Coleman1 are most kind.  Yesterday we cycled into Eastbourne, and had a look at the sea.  It was a lovely ride – up and down hill all the way.  We had the sea almost entirely to ourselves, for it began to sleet when we got there.  We ate our lunch in a shelter, looking towards Beachy Head.  Today we are going to Lewes, for a ramble on the downs.

When we got home last night some people came in, and we danced to the gramophone and the piano.  While we were in Eastbourne yesterday we acquired a new record of some numbers out of the Beggars’ Opera, which are jolly good.

Much love to Daddie and Max.  Please tell Max I shall come straight along the road by which we came until I meet him, if I get to East Grinstead first, so he mustn’t deviate.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

1Mr and Mrs Coleman – parents of Margot’s friend, Doris.

Next letter to be posted on24 April 1921.

6 March 1921

P.S. the black silkstockings in theparcel belong toPhyllis.

19 Boulter Street,

St. Clement’s

Oxford.

6. 3. 21.

 

 

My dearest Mother,

Very many thanks for the cake, your letter, and the note.  The cake is delicious.  I have sent you off a parcel of washing.  I would like the stockings back, please, but the blouses and undies I shall only want for school next Monday, 14th.

I shall come down on Saturday, probably by an afternoon train, and hope to go to S.H.H.S.1 on Monday.  I have written to Miss Roseveare, and Miss Talbot to the Head, but we have not yet received an answer.  However, I expect it will be all right.

I think Phyllis enjoyed her week-end.  We did not do anything very exciting, and it was too cold for the river, but it was nice to have her.

Joyce and I have got rooms for next term on the Iffley Road – very nice ones, though I have got to have a bedroom out again, which can’t very well be helped.  What is more to the point, the rooms have been passed by the Delegacy.

I have done quite a lot of rowing this week – stroked a four on Wednesday, gig pair on Friday, eight on Sat.  The eight was awfully good – the best oars we had.  The boat was made for giants.  Every slide had been lengthened by half as much again, and I was the only one who could get the whole of the soles of my feet firmly planted on the stretcher.  Everyone else could only just reach their stretchers with their toes, and had to have wood blocks to press against.

We sang the Beethoven Mass this afternoon.  It really is a topping thing.  I quite see why Allen called it the biggest piece of music ever written.

My best love to Daddie and Max.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

1Streatham Hill High School, Margot’s old school where Miss Roseveare was on the staff.

Next letter to be posted on 20 April 2018.