This handwritten text was sent to me by my godmother, Brin, otherwise Christine Evans, in letter of c1996
I do not remember when I first met B.K.B. (i.e. my mother). I had failed to get the scholarship I had tried for Oxford and, having been told by my old Headmistress there was a great need for domestic science teachers, applied to Gloucester and I arrived a fortnight after term began in 1925. It was probably just kindness that made BKB take me under her wing and pilot me from once class to another.
I was responsible for her getting to know Peg Saville who until then she had disliked. They were extremely kind to me as the only thing I was any good at was cooking, psychology and teaching which really occupied the second year and I fell by the wayside towards the end of the fourth term. – it was a course that demanded a standard of physical stamina I hadn’t got.
BKB got a post near Shrewsbury and used to call in at Hentland on her way, at first on a motor bike and then in her first car called “Timothy” after de la Mare’s poem. She then moved to Reading where I went to stay with her. She flirted outrageously with a young curate in the same digs and in the evenings we went to a club in an old house which they were decorating and making habitable and each night she took a certain young man some five miles to his digs and one night she lent out of the car and kissed him. I reproved her saying he was far too nice a man to hurt unless she was serious. That time she was. She said later I had made her think but I do not imagine it was.
Andy’s mother was dying of cancer and he travelled home to Birmingham each weekend to help his father and her. He said she had shrunk to the size of a child of four and was obviously terribly afraid (??) but he was never one to parade his emotions other than by action.
BKB asked my Father to marry her as they were standing on the terrace at Hentland vicarage and he looked down at her with a twinkle and said he regretted he already had a wife. Both he and Mother were very fond of her and came to love him too.
I stayed with them at their first house whilst they were both working and he spent every evening making the first of innumerable fittings; I have lost count of the number sand of the tiled bathrooms and showers. He did all the plumbing and electrification himself.
The next house was a bungalow at Luton. Here he spent his evenings doing fascinating servicing to my Morris Minor – I’d never seen the innards of a car, and BKB, by this time expecting Andrew, walked up the garden path to ask for some of my attention. It was from here that I drove them to Mill Hill to see the other Aunt (not Aunt Kit). Here I was introduced by the older son to Roget’s Thesaurus and years after they gave me my copy. On the return journey I found the unaccustomed flow of traffic confusing so drew up and he took over.
The next house at Maidstone was a delightful house and I was able to be of use as BKB was very conscious of her bulk and was nearly giving up shopping because the conductors rarely(?) offered to help her. I visited them twice again when Andrew was about six months and when she was going to look for a house in Loughborough and Frank was on the way. In fact the only homes I didn’t visit were Summerdown and Lower Holditch.
(1988: writing worse!)
There is another thing that may interest you. When their old home in Cumbria was sold, your parents much regretted not being able to buy much of the furniture. The dining room chairs were Chippendale. I think cousin (??) bought some things.
?? The Pershore farm was, I believe, that Machnesfield(??) and was the home farm of the big house.
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