1 Monday Rows, rows, nothing but rows. Girls thought they would have a joke and make me an April fool. Carried it a bit too far, consequently sent them to bed.
2 Tuesday Exams began. Correcting all evening. New girl came as weekly boarder. Christine Reed.
3 Wednesday Stayed in to hear the boys’ returned lessons. Corrected exam papers in the evening.
4 Thursday Breakfast very late so consequently could not go for morning walk.
5 Friday Morning walk down the town.
6 Saturday Stayed in. Girls had to turn out drawers and bring down all things that wanted mending. Most awful row, nearly gave notice on the spot; did not look after the clothes properly. Oh bother school life, how I hate it!
7 Sunday Went to Confirmation at South Acton Church in the evening. Florence and Flora were confirmed. Very nice service.
11 Thursday Went to tea with Winnie – did some shopping in the evening. Played Whist.
12 Friday Uncle bought a new boat at Richmond; went for a row in it. Went to the Albert Hall in the evening – heard Albani in the “Messiah’.
Uncle George, probably. Dame Emma Albani was a famous French-Canadian soprano.
13 Saturday [To Brighton] Started off to Brighton 9.44. Went for a drive in the afternoon to Devil’s Dyke. Came back by train because of the wind. Went to a military concert at the skating rink in the evening.
An Easter weekend at the seaside with Uncle George and Winnie. Devil’s Dyke, a beauty spot outside Brighton, was very popular with the Victorians. It is recorded that on one Whit Monday at the end of the 19th Century it had over 30,000 visitors. The train ELM used to return to Brighton, ran on a branch line to Devil’s Dyke which was opened in 1887. It was taken up in the First World War and used in France.
14 Sunday Went for a walk in the morning – on the pier in the afternoon. Uncle had a fit at dinner in the evening. I was frightened nearly out of my wits. Win and I sat up part of the night with him.
15 Monday [To London] Returned to Rivercourt Rd in the afternoon. Edith Pearce came in the evening.
Edith Pearce, another of ELM’s cousins, was one of Winnie’s two sisters – the other was Julia [30 January]. Born Edith Sophia Paice, she had married Dr Arthur Pearce, MRCSE. I am not sure where she was living in 1895. She died in 1956.
16 Tuesday Went back to school. Minnie Marsh walked with me.
18 Thursday Packed my girls and wrote out reports all the evening.
19 Friday [To Basingstoke] Home for the holidays – hurrah! Started by the 9.9 to Ravenscourt Pk. Went on to Waterloo by the 1.23 – got home at half past 3.
20 Saturday First day at home – delightful. Went to tennis at Allens in the evening.
Allens: 30 January
21 Sunday Went to Church in the morning; for a walk with Ada Bristow in the afternoon.
22 Monday Went primrosing to Pamber with the Bristows. Had tea with them. Annie C came home from Farnham.
23 Tuesday Went to tea at Cannons. Private theatricals in the evening.
“Dummling or the Magic Grove”.
24 Wednesday Had friends to tea.
25 Thursday Went to the Messiah at the Drill Hall. Very good, but hardly did after hearing Albani at the Albert Hall on Good Friday.
The drill hall of K Company, 1st Hampshire Rifle Volunteers. This had been built on Sarum Hill, at his own expense, by John May, whose family had a long association with Basingstoke [16 Sept]. The drill hall became the Pavilion Cinema in 1925 and the Plaza Cinema in 1931.
26 Friday Went to Miss Joyce’s to tea. Played tiddlediwinks [sic] all the evening, which was most amusing.
This might have been Miss Mary Joyce, an art teacher, who was living at 47 Church Street in 1895.
28 Sunday Went to Church – sat with Annie. Went for a walk with her.
Annie Cannon, probably.
29 Monday Met Edith Stubbs and went with her to tea and Mrs Liddle’s – sang in the choruses of “John Gilpin” at the Church Cottage in the evening.
A Basingstoke Choral Society programme for a performance of Haydn’s The Creation, on 22nd April 1890 at the Drill Hall [25 April] lists “Miss Moody” among the Choir members. There were two musical societies in Basingstoke devoted to performing choral works. Besides the Basingstoke Choral Society, conducted by Harry Edmund Powell [25 August] there was the Harmonic Society, whose conductor was William Henry Liddle.
Mrs Liddle in this diary entry was probably Mrs Rachel Liddle, the wife of W H Liddle, who was also the organist and choirmaster at St. Michael’s Parish Church, Basingstoke. In 1895 he and his family were living at 9 Fairfields Road. ELM had been a music student of W H Liddle for some years.
I have a pen and ink sketch of W H Liddle in cap and gown [almost certainly drawn by ELM] as well as a glowing reference from him, dated 8 November 1894, extolling her musical talents.
As well as stating on the reference his own position at St Michael’s, he describes himself as: ”Late Organist to H.R.H. Prince Christian”. This seems to be a reference to Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, who married Queen Victoria’s third daughter, Princess Helena, in 1866. The Prince was born in 1867 at Windsor Castle and he lived with his wife at Frogmore House, in the Castle grounds.
In an advertisement for music pupils, which Mr Liddle placed in the Hants & Berks Gazette on 9 May 1908, he describes himself as: “late organist of the Chapel Royal, All Saints’, Windsor,” which would explain the royal connection.
30 Tuesday Went to Fleet with Liddles, Stainers, Portsmouths etc, had great
fun. Sang in the choruses of “Horsa” in the evening. Came home
The Liddles would have been Mr William H Liddle and family [29 April]. As for ELM’s other companions this day, a William Stainer, Accountant and Collector of Taxes, was living in the Winchester Road in 1895. Also in the same road, at Down Grange, was Mrs Elizabeth Portsmouth and there was a farmer, Henry Portsmouth, at Norn Hill.