1 Thursday Went to the Grammar School speeches in the morning. Had tennis in the evening.
ELM was a member of the Fairfields Tennis Club. I have a photograph of the Club members.
2 Friday Did some shopping in the afternoon.
3 Saturday Did some gardening in the morning. Wet afternoon so painted some clematis on a plaque for Julia Allen. Went out with Mother in the evening.
4 Sunday Went to Church with Mother and Mabel. Harry Clift came over in the afternoon. Frank walked back with him in the evening.
Harry Clift may have been related to Charles Clift [4 May]. He might have been his son, Henry, who is listed at Manor Farm, Sherborne St John, in the 1881 census, aged four. ELM left a number of photographs on which she had written “Harry Clift”. In some of them he seems to be on safari. The 1881 census also lists a Harry Clift [aged twenty-one] at Winchester Barracks. Might he be the distinctly military-looking young man in the photographs?
5 Monday Went for a very long walk with Cannons and bought home some wild flowers. Bristows to tea – music and games in the evening.
6 Tuesday Had some friends in to tea. Played tennis after tea on Cannons’ lawn.
7 Wednesday Went over to spend the day at Sherborne. Had a row in the boat and came back in the tub about seven.
Tub: 4 May.
8 Thursday [To Leighton Buzzard] Card from Miss Layton to say Florence and Norah had passed. Went to Waterloo with Mabel and on to Euston. Got to Leighton about 4.30. Millie met me at the station and drove me home in the trap.
The girls had passed their music examinations [17 July]
9 Friday Drove into Leighton in the afternoon with Mrs Draper and M. Called on Mr Chippendale and saw Agnes Hedges for the first time. Went over Leighton Church.
I think that Agnes Hedges may have been a distant relative from an earlier marriage of ELM’s father. In 1850 James Moody married Amelia Hedges, who died in confinement in 1857. Perhaps Agnes Hedges was related to Amelia Hedges. It sounds from the diary entry as if ELM had heard of her before she saw her.
10 Saturday Dressed at 11 o’clock and drove off with Mrs D., Charlie and Millie to Leighton Station. Met Mrs Chip. and Agnes, then to Berkhamsted by train. Had games till tea-time, tennis, croquet, tea under the verandah, after fortune-telling, dancing band. Came home by the 9.30. Thunder and lightening [sic] fine time. Drove from station in cab.
Charlie’ was Millie’s young brother [9 March].
11 Sunday Went to Grove Church in the afternoon – Mr Tatham preached.
Agnes Hedges played the harmonium. Walked to Linslade in the evening – called in to see Mrs Chip – had cake and lemonade in the summerhouse.
Mr Francis H Tatham was the Vicar of Wing. Interestingly, there was a Rev Thomas Barton Tatham at St Michael’s, Basingstoke, in 1895.
12 Monday Start for a row on the canal with Mr Brooke. Awful storm came on – had to take shelter in the lock-house. Did some sketching in the evening.
13 Tuesday Drove to Ascott in the afternoon. Miss Tatham took us over the grounds. Went back to the vicarage to tea and on to Mannings at Wing. Beautiful drive home about 8 o’clock.
Ascott House and gardens are now a National Trust property. The house was described a few years earlier by Mary Gladstone, the Prime Minister’s daughter, as: “A palace like a cottage, the most luxurious and lovely thing I ever saw”.
14 Wednesday Sketching in the afternoon. Mothers’ Tea in the afternoon in one of Mr Draper’s fields. Great fun on the roundabouts. Had photos taken and came home about 8.
I have a photograph which almost certainly records this event.
15 Thursday Went on the canal in one of Mr Brook’s boats – got back about 12 & drove to Leighton in the afternoon to the Flower Show. Great fun at the fire-works [sic]. M and I sat up on a high wall – walked home afterwards.
16 Friday Drove to Leighton early to fetch a parcel. Again in the afternoon with Mrs Draper, shopping and on to Miss Merry’s to tea. Had a jolly evening – drove home about seven.
17 Saturday Sketched the house in the morning. Had an early tea and Milllie drove me over to Slapton to see Mrs Gurney. Most delightful drive.
My sister has a small watercolour by ELM of the Drapers’ home, which was probably sketched this day.
18 Sunday Went to Grove Church in the afternoon, walked part of the way back with Mrs Chip. Went for a walk through the fields with Mr Draper in the evening.
My sister also has an ELM watercolour of Grove Church, which might date from this time.
19 Monday [To Basingstoke] Started off by the 9.30 to Oxford. Saw all the principal colleges – left there about 7 o’clock – had a very jolly day – arrived at B’stoke 9 o’clock. Mother met us at the station. Frank went to London so just missed him.
ELM brought Millie back with her to Basingstoke [28 August].
20 Tuesday Drove over to Sherborne in the evening and sited a spot for sketching.
21 Wednesday Walked over to Sherborne in boiling heat. Minnie met us half way. Drew the Church, had tea and coloured it in the evening. Walked home about 8 – had a lift on the way.
Minnie Rush: 4 May.
22 Thursday Flower Show, very slow. Warrens came to tea at Cannons in the evening.
Cannons: 31 December 1894.
23 Friday Had early tea & went to Hackwood Park sketching. Music & singing after supper & made poppies.
24 Saturday Went to Winchester by the 9.30 train. Walked out to St Cross and sketched the Beaufort Tower. Went all over the Hospital and walked back by the water meadows. Met A Cannon outside the Cathedral, went all over it & then to the College – came back by the 5.45. Very jolly day.
Annie Cannon: 31 December 1894. The Hospital of St Cross is the oldest almshouse in England. I have an ELM watercolour of the Beaufort Tower, which might have been sketched this day.
25 Sunday Parish Church in the morning. Tea in the garden – walked to Basing Church in the evening – came home with Mr and Mrs Powell – met Ada Allen and Mrs Goldman.
Harry Edmund Powell, a member of a very musical family, ran a music and musical instrument warehouse at 20/22 London Street, on the corner of May Place, almost opposite the Moody shop. The business had been established in 1856 [in Winchester Street] by his father, Henry Mills Powell, who purchased the larger premises in London Street in 1865.
As well as teaching music, Henry Mills Powell supplied musicians for concerts and various events. I have a copy of one of his invoices for supplying musicians for a concert to celebrate the marriage of The Princess Royal, in 1858.
One of his daughters, Blanche Powell, became a professional singer, who, according to a letter in my possession, sang into the first phonograph in England, at the Basingstoke Corn Exchange in about 1878.
At some time towards the end of the nineteenth century, his son, Harry Edmund Powell [this entry in the diary] built “Stalheim”, 26 Cliddesden Road, Basingstoke – until recently The Tudor Lodge Hotel. The name “Stalheim” was given to the house after a holiday taken in Stalheim, Norway, with Arthur Moody [see Introduction].
Harry Edmund Powell taught music as well as running the music business in London Street. When the Belgian Royal family came to Hackwood House, at the invitation of Lord Curzon, he gave music lessons to the young Prince Charles and Princess Marie-Jose.
Harry’s daughter, Marion, was also a musician. On a Basingstoke Choral Society concert programme, dated 10 February 1903, she is listed as a cellist. Her aunt, Blanche, also sang at this concert, which was conducted by her father!
As well as conducting the Basingstoke Choral Society [29 April], Harry Edmund Powell was also organist at St. Mary’s Church, Basing, for about twenty years. He had probably played at Evensong before walking home with his wife, Alice, and ELM, on this summer evening in 1895.
In 1904, his youngest brother, Gerald, [18 January] married ELM’s sister Blanche.
Ada Allen, mentioned in this diary entry, was the sister of Willie Allen [30 January].
26 Monday Painted in the morning – nasturtiums on a plaque for Mrs Draper. Went to see Mrs Joice: saw Miss Joice’s paintings.
Mrs Joice was the mother of Arnold Joice [31 December 1894]. Born on 27 October 1879, Arnold would have been sixteen years old at this time. Miss Joice would have been his sister, Winifred.
27 Tuesday Annie & Butler came home. Met Mabel in the afternoon. Went to Mrs Litchfield’s to tea. Came home about 7.30. Saw the Queen at the station in the evening.
On 27 August 1895 Queen Victoria left her home at Osborne on the Isle of Wight at 5.30pm and, crossing over to Portsmouth, took the Royal Train to Balmoral. In her Journal she mentions that it was “a most lovely evening” but sadly says nothing about the journey.
Although the Queen does not mention stopping at Basingstoke, the train would certainly have made several stops to take on fuel and water and also to allow the Royal party to leave the train and walk around, and so it is perfectly possible that one of these stops was at Basingstoke.
Mr George W Willis, the Basingstoke historian, recalled seeing Queen Victoria once at the station. He and other passengers had been ushered off the platform into the booking office, the door of which was then locked! Looking out of a window he had seen a grey haired old lady reading in one of the carriages of the Royal train. Perhaps this was the day that he remembered.
28 Wednesday Went to the Holy Ghost ruins with Millie in the morning & to Cannons to tea and tennis. Drill Hall in the evening to see “His Excellency”.
Drill Hall: 25 April
29 Thursday Went to finish sketch of the Ruins – met Rosie Taylor there. Basing Flower Show – had an early tea and went down to stay for the fire-works. Nice walk home.
30 Friday Painting in the morning. Called at Lynton and to see Mrs Robinson. Tea and tennis at Stainers from 4.15 to 7. Very jolly. Winnie came to stay the night.
Lynton: 30 January.
31 Saturday Went up to Winchfield by the 12.45. On the canal about 3.30, tea in Odiham Woods with Mr C Stainer, Mr Profit and a cousin, Warren girls, Millie and I. Lost my gold bracelet. Came home by the 10.26. Beautiful moonlight night. Great Scott!