Isobel Addison’s diary June 1929

Saturday, 1st June, 1929

I got up early and did most of my packing and went along to Mrs. Beck’s to see Kate and Isobel who slept there last night.   Isobel left to catch the 9 train  and “ Comrade” Hastings very kindly came along and escorted her to the station.  I went back to Milton Road for breakfast with Pop.  Michael and Kate joined us there.  After various minor settlings up we started about 10 to 1 in the car for home, leaving  Kate in the charge of the  “Comrade” who promised to see her off for London.   It was a very nice day, rather grey and a nasty  crude  sort of wind.  We stopped at Frome about 1 and had some lunch and at Glastonbury about 5.30 for a cup of tea and got home about 9.30.  Wilfred and Mr. and Mrs. MacIntyre and Stella were all at the gate to greet us and the dogs nearly ate us.  Mr. MacIntyre stayed long enough to tell us some incidents of the election in the  village – one hardly knows whether to call them amusing or disgusting.

Sunday, 2nd June, 1929

I didn’t wake till nearly 8.30.  Got up and took breakfast upstairs for the three of us   and left Pop and Michael to clear it up while I went to church at 11.  A marked coldness in some of the denizens of the village.  They appear to think you can’t even acknowledge a good morning from your political opponents – Ignorant fools – .  Mr. Green effectively stopped me speaking to any of my friends by coming up to congratulate me “on personal grounds”   and introduced me to Major Harvey.  I’m afraid I didn’t congratulate him on keeping Totnes.  I felt inclined to say  neither on personal nor any other grounds  can I – he looks an utter nincompoop.  After dinner Mike went out with Marie Hooper and we wrote a few letters and went up to Colway to see how things were getting on.  Chris and Brigit turned up there and we all came down to tea and spent a lazy evening.

Monday, 4th June, 1929

Isobel went up to Oxford for her exam.

Tuesday, 5th June, 1929

Pop and I went to town by the 12.20.  Kate met us and we went to the flat and had tea.  Pop went over to the Labour Club to pick up any news he could and Kate and I did some shopping for her in Finchley Road.  She went out in the evening.  Pop and I had some supper in the flat and spent a lazy evening.  Mrs. Hooper and Nurse restarted Infant Welfare at Bishopsteignton today and had 10 mothers.

Wednesday, 5th June, 1929

Kate and I shopped at Barnes’s and got me some clothes.

Thursday, 6th June, 129

Dr. Macphail came to dinner with us and Isobel returned from Oxford.

Friday 7th June, 1929

Pop, Isobel and I came home by the 3.30 from Paddington.

Saturday, 8th June, 1929

We drove over to Moreton to see Chris and Brigit in the new flat.  It is awfully nice. While there Pop had a wire from Ramsey Macdonald asking him to ring him up so we returned home and Pop went to the telephone.  It is a question of taking the Parliamentary Secretaryship at the Ministry of Agriculture.  Decided to go to town tomorrow to see Ramsey Macdonald.

Sunday, 9th June, 1929

I went to church at 8 with Michael and Isobel then Pop and I left Newton at 10.55 for Paddington.  Had a most pleasant journey – carriage to ourselves.  It was a lovely day and the train seemed to go along in a nice leisurely fashion. We went and had tea at Kate’s flat. Matthew Thomas was there.  Then Kate and I went with pop to the door of Macdonald’s house and then strolled up in the churchyard and down to Finchley Road and home in a taxi.  We sat in our window watching for Pop’s return and he got back about 7.30 or so.  We then proceeded to discuss matters and composed letters.  Then went to Paddington and had some dinner with Kay and then left by the 9.55 for home.  Arrived about 3.45 a.m.  Bel came down and we drank tea and ate sandwiches and talked and at last I went to bed.

Monday, 10th June, 1929

Got up at 7 and got Mike’s breakfast and saw him off.  Isobel decided not to go until the 12.20 and Pop took her to the station for that.  Had Ramsey MacDonald’s telegram confirming  Pop’s appointment as Parl. Secretary to Agriculture.  Nurse brought her weekly report.

Tuesday, 11th June, 1929

Went to H… school prize giving tonight.  After it was over we talked to the new Head.  He is quite a pleasant gentleman but an absolute nonentity.  How could they appoint him to succeed a man like Mr. Snowball heaven only knows.  Went and had some tea with the Griffs.  Got home about 10.30.  The MacIntyres came in to tell us they had been dining with Lady Cable and had heard Pop’s appointment on the wireless.

Wednesday, 12th June, 1929

The same people came to look over the house again.  They want the refusal of it for a week.

Thursday, 13th June, 1929

I got quite a lot of letters written today and also sent off the hamper with clean laundry to the girls.

Friday, 14th June, 1929

Michael had a whole holiday today so we were not very early with breakfast.  It was a beastly wet day and he spent the morning building with his bricks in his room.  In the evening the County Council tree expert came to examine our trees which seem to be slowly dying  and found them packed with poison and filled up with wooden plugs.  We had suspected some foul play but nothing  so foul as we found.  On his advice we are getting  the analyst from Seale Hayne to come tomorrow.  Meanwhile we’ve put it in the hands of the police.  Pop took Marie and Michael to the pictures at  Teignmouth.  I stayed to write my letters and got a long one to Mrs. Coates nearly done.  Stella and a friend turned up and the others got in about 10.30.  We had some supper and came to bed

Saturday, 15th June, 1929

Michael went off to school once more.  After lunch the analyst from Seale Hayne College came to see the trees.  All the village constables and the sergeant from Dawlish.  They, with Pop, collected the plugs etc., from the trees and the soil etc., from the roots and found very extensive damage at the roots.  We were all once more boiling  at the whole despicable show.  Mr, Blenkinsop, the analyst,  took away a lot of the stuff to have it thoroughly analysed.

Sunday, 16th June, 1929

Michael and I went to church at 11.   He was serving.  It was Mrs. G’s  “Jew” Sunday!    Marie Hooper came round after dinner.  Pop and I wrote  letters.  I wrote to Mrs. Mason.  Pop and I went to church in the evening – we felt that the  Jew mission man made a very good case, so I had to borrow two bob from Pop  for the collection as I had bought only a 3d bit!  Chris and Brigit were here when we go home and after supper Mr. McIntyre came in.

Monday, 17th June, 1929

Spent most of the morning darning.  Nurse came in after lunch for her weekly report.  Wrote to girls and gave them latest reports re trees and suggested birthday presents for Pop.  Stella came in about 10 p.m. with her friend having been round the village collecting names of people to join a branch of the Labour Party.

Tuesday, 18th June, 1929

Altered black coat and frock.  After lunch went up to Infant Welfare.  Mrs. Hooper couldn’t come unfortunately. We had about 7 mothers and 9 children.  When I came in I got ready to go to Teignmouth and went down when Wilfred went to meet Mike.  Got Pop’s birthday presents and also a driving  coat and cap for Wilfred.  Pop had got tea ready and while we were having it Mr. Blenkinsop of Seale Hayne turned up with the report of his analysis.  It is simply horrible, the whole thing is nauseating.  Pop went to a school managers’ meeting at 6.  He has been addressing and packing up   envelopes with letters of thanks  to all the helpers at Swindon.  Marie Hooper and Mike did a lot of the stamping and sticking up this evening and he went up with her to play cards and to have supper.  Mr MacIntyre came to see us and we had a very pleasant chat.  He viewed the spoliation of the trees and felt as we do – that it is as though the very essence of evil had been about.  It gives one a horrible feeling of revulsion.

Wednesday, 19th June, 1929

Michael had a holiday today.  The postman woke me at 7 so unfortunately one’s sleep was no longer than usual!  I brought  the tea etc., upstairs and we all had it and Pop’s birthday presents in Michael’s room.  Dressed afterwards.  Frost came up with the Lyons and an offer for the house.  They offered £1650 and we said we could take £1750.  We feel it would be a comfort to get it off our hands.  After that Pop and Mike and I went up to Colway with our lunch and tea and had a jolly time. We weeded the wall by the gate.  Came down here about 6 and soon after Chris and Brigit came and we had supper.  They left about 11.  Pop went to meet the girls who were arriving at 11.45 but only Bel came.  She and I jawed till 2 a.m. and it is now 2.15 and I am going to get into bed.

Thursday, 20th June, 1929

Mike and I had breakfast together and when he had gone to school I took Isobel and Pop’s upstairs to them.  A builder man came on behalf of Mr. Lyons to look at the house.  After dinner Pop and Bel drove with me to Newton where I went to the meeting of the Women’s Section of the Labour party.  They then went to Colway and spent the afternoon weeding and erecting sheds.  Wilfred fetched me home.  I much enjoyed seeing all those nice folk again at Newton.  When I got home we all had tea on the verandah and they went up to Colway to decide what furniture would go into the cottage.  Coming home we met our vis-a-vis neighbour  carrying a brown paper parcel  and we all jumped to the conclusion that he was doing away with some of the evidence of his late nefarious practise.  So Bel and Michael got out of the car and stalked him to M’s cottage  and saw him return without the parcel. Unfortunately for our sleuth hound imagination, Mr. Crocker  suggested that he was carrying a bowl up for cream to be sent in the morning. We reluctantly agreed, but it seemed a very natural solution of the problem.

Friday, 21st June 1929

Got up before 7 and took tea all round in the hopes that everyone would get up early!  They weren’t so bad as they might have been.  Spent most of the morning darning stockings.   Mr. Lyon called about the house.  After lunch began to collect things for the cottage.  Sam Taylor came with the bus after tea and we sent up two loads.  Mr and Miss Helps came and sat for a bit.  He looks better but not at all well yet.

Saturday, 22nd June, 1929

We got another load of goods up to the cottage early this morning and put things straight.  Took a lot up in the car too and were here for lunch.  Bel and Michael went to bathe in the afternoon and brought home cream from  Maidencoombe and strawberries from Mrs. Hooper’s garden.  Chris and Brigit came to tea and afterwards with his car and ours we brought up most of our belongings.  Chris was most accommodating and brought 3 “jerries” in a clothes basket and also a slop pail amongst the other items  in the overland!  They left about 10.45 and we came to bed.  I had a hot bath and found the copper worked very satisfactorily.  The great drawback is the light but we can bear that for these summer days and we’ll  presumably soon have electric light.

Sunday, 23rd June, 1929

Pop woke first and brought us all up tea and biscuits about a quarter to 8.  Most splendid of him and a great treat to me!  I then dressed and got breakfast and we all tidied up and Pop did a few carpentering jobs and then went d own to Wican Croft to collect his things for London.  Isobel went with him and Michael followed and they brought back a few books.  We had lunch and Stella came and Isobel and she drove Pop to Newton to catch the 3.20 to town.  Stella stayed to tea and took Mike down in her car to church as he was serving this evening.

Monday, 24th June, 1929

Got Michael off by 8 o’clock and did some tidying up and went down to Wicancroft and collected some more goods and also some lovely roses.  Mr. and Miss Helps came up to see us here and greatly admired our cottage.  I believe they quite envied us!  Wilfred started putting up shelves etc., in the kitchen.  I wrote several letters.  Michael got home about 5.30 and after tea he did his homework and went out to see the Hoopers. We all came to bed in good time.

Tuesday, 25th June, 1929

Wilfred finished the various shelves in the kitchen today and I have got things all arranged satisfactorily.  Isobel went to bathe at Maidencombe this morning   and got home about 1 when we lunched on potatoes, cabbage, carrots and cheese.  Rather a lazy afternoon, wrote to Pop and sent off his coat.  Did some sewing in the evening.  Isobel and Michael and Marie Hooper went for a good walk.

Wednesday, 26th June, 1929

Isobel and I went down to collect books and pictures again and finished the sitting room very much to our satisfaction.  I cooked a very nice dinner which Michael came home for.  After dinner it rained heavily which prevented them going to bathe.  Marie Hooper came and they all went for a walk instead.  In the evening about 9 p.m. Isobel took me for a walk round Mr. C’s big field and into the Happy Valley and we got into a regular jungle of nettles and brambles but managed to get home with only a few stings and scratches!

Thursday, 27th June, 1929

Wilfred took the car to Moreton today for Chris to see to the brake lining.  He left after  breakfast and got back about 7.  Isobel and I walked down to Wican Croft to collect some goods and flowers then on to the post office and to see the C’s and finally down to the vicarage.  Saw Mr. and Mrs. MacIntyre and had a vision  of a certain trait in the latter’s character!  We walked by Cockhaven Lane up the fields to Wican Croft, collected our goods and walked up to Colway  again.  By the time we got  here, about 2 o’clock, my face was purple and rivers of moisture were streaming from  it  so I ought by rights to be thinner in the face anyway.   We fed the dogs and cats and had a snack of lunch ourselves, having already fed on doughnuts during our walk.  I then made preparation for our evening by making coffee etc.,  Mikey got home for tea as usual.  Mr. Jones wired that he had to go to London so couldn’t come  to start off our Labour Party branch.  It was too late to put people off but fortunately only a few came  –  Mr. and Mrs. Howard, Mrs. Henley, Gladys, Wilfed and Stella.  We had a very pleasant evening.  Chatted and drank coffee and they all left about 10.

Friday, 28th June, 1929

Pop came home this evening just after 9. Chris and Brigit came and we had a good old jaw and gossip.  Rather late to bed.

Saturday, 29th June, 1929

Took everybody early tea.  Michael went off to school.  Pop had his breakfast in bed.  Busy morning cooking.  After dinner Isobel,  Michael and Marie all went to Moreton and went out walking and bathing with Brigit  and got home about 8.30.  Pop and I had a very pleasant and quiet afternoon.  Strolled over to the huts etc.,  Mr. MacIntyre came about 8.30 and had some supper with us in our kitchen!

Sunday, 30th June, 1929

Go up at  6.30 and all were ready for church.  Unfortunately the car wouldn’t start and wasn’t ready to leave until 5 past 8.  The others went and took Gladys Quantick, but I didn’t go as I hate being late for communion.  They got back soon after 8.30 and we had breakfast.  Isobel and I had a very nice walk among the lanes. It had rained all night and was quite chilly.  We cooked potatoes when we got home and lit a fire.  Pop had been at Wican Croft collecting plants to move.  After lunch I was thoroughly lazy and slept and the others got tea.  Pop and Isobel went to Wican Croft after tea and we got everything ready over night for an early start tomorrow morning.  Michael and Isobel and I all had good hot baths.