1 Sunday Millie went to Church with the Lichfields and came round to us after dinner – tea in the garden – to the Parish Church in the evening. M and I could not manoeuvre a walk together.
2 Monday Had our pic-nic [sic] on the canal – some of us went by train & some drove – horse shied going over a bridge at Odiham. Nice walk home in the evening across Hook Common.
3 Tuesday Packed Millie’s things in the morning – saw my ‘Sweetie’ off by the 3.4 train. Drove over to Sherborne to tea and walked home.
4 Wednesday A few lines from Millie. Ada Allen and Mr Goldman came in the evening. Had a new game in the evening on the lawn with croquet balls.
Ada Allen: January 30.
5 Thursday Mabel & I went to a nutting pic-nic in Winslade Woods. Drove down and walked home through the Park about 7 o’clock.
A nutting picnic was a combined picnic and nut-gathering outing. The nuts were usually hazelnuts from the hedgerows. My Uncle Geoffrey remembers nutting picnics when he was a small boy in Basingstoke.
6 Friday A long letter from ‘Sweetie’.
7 Saturday Annie and Butler went back to the north. Blanche was not well so decided not to go until Monday. Jessie, Mother and I went for a walk across the fields in the evening.
It looks as if Blanche Moody might have planned to go north with Annie and Jim: she was certainly in Rochdale for the wedding [4 November]. Jessie may have been Jessie Brady, whose photograph I have: her name is written on it by ELM. I am not sure where Jessie came from but the photographer’s address is in Chester.
8 Sunday Blanche, Jessie & I went to Parish Church in the morning – tea in the garden – all went to Basing in the evening.
Probably to Evensong at St Mary’s [25 August].
9 Monday Went to station to see Blanche and Jessie off. Saw Aunt Mary for a few minutes on her way to Southampton.
10 Tuesday Painted in the morning.
11 Wednesday Went to Basing ruins in the afternoon with Cannons & their cousins – did a little sketch of the ruins.
12 Thursday Mabel & I went to Cannons to tea – played tennis afternoon & evening.
13 Friday Cannons and Bristows to tea – played croquet until dark – music
& cards after supper.
14 Saturday Mabel & I called on Miss Graysmark and Mrs Lichfield in the afternoon. Went to Lynton to tea – had some tennis, bagatelle & music – came home about ten o’clock.
Lynton: 30 January.
15 Sunday Oh dear my last Sunday at home. Mother & I went to Church. Rosie Taylor came to tea – had tea in the garden. Went to Church in the evening. Vicar preached.
16 Monday Busy all the morning with packing – went to cricket match on the Folly with Cannons in the afternoon. Called to see Miss Joyce in the evening. Letter from ‘Sweetie’
The Folly was the name of the area at the end of Fairfields Road, which was purchased by John May [25 April] for use as a cricket ground. The old name was probably in use for some time after the purchase. An 1894 map of the town gives the cricket ground its present name – May’s Bounty.
17 Tuesday [To London] Came up by the 1 minute to 1 train – very hot day – arrived at
Rivercourt Rd about 3. Win and I went to the Exhibition – went on the “Wheel” and had great fun on the “Switchback”.
The ‘Empire of India Exhibition’ at Earl’s Court, which opened in May 1895, included the Big Wheel, which was inaugurated in July. This massive structure was 300 foot high and could carry 1,600 people. It was in operation for eleven years and apparently there was only one serious breakdown, when the unfortunate passengers were trapped from 7.40 pm one evening until noon the following day.
The Guards’ Band, which was playing at the Exhibition, stayed late to entertain the captive audience. Each passenger received £5 compensation for enforced imprisonment on release – a considerable amount of money in those days. It is reported that eleven thousand people queued to go on the wheel the next day in the hope of another failure!
The episode even gave rise to a music-hall song: “I’ve got the five pound note” and apparently it became something of a joke for husbands late home to plead failure of the Big Wheel. I do not think ELM was involved in that incident, otherwise I am sure she would have mentioned it!
The Earl’s Court wheel’s successor in London, the British Airways London Eye, while higher at 450 feet, only holds 800 people.
18 Wednesday Win and I did some shopping at the stores – had a nice ride up on the bus. Cousin Ada came to spend the day. Frank & Win walked back to school with me in the evening.
Cousin Ada was the daughter of ELM’s Aunt, Jane Knight [née Paice], who had married Basingstoke magistrate, Richard Knight.
Ada married F Bird and became a Court Milliner with a shop in Knightsbridge. Winnie’s son, Geoffrey [14 Jan] remembered going there with his mother.
19 Thursday First day at school – Miss V came back after all. About 14 new girls altogether. Win came round to tell me Aunt Mary’s house had been robbed.
The burglary might have taken place while Mary Corbishley was out of town [9 September].
20 Friday Breakfast at 8. Walked afterwards. School as usual. Oh how wretched I do feel.
21 Saturday Walked to Kensington Park in the afternoon and back to tea at 6. Had a fit of the blues very badly.
22 Sunday On duty. Irish girl – Annie Loughman arrived at 8 o’clock before we were up. Parish Church in the morning. Wrote to Mother and Millie in afternoon. Went to Turnham Green Church in the evening.
23 Monday Letter from Mrs Miles asking me to go and see her. Got up at 6.30 as usual – did some painting – wild roses on satin string for Minnie.
24 Tuesday Painted. Breakfast at 8. Post card from Win. Had my singing lesson from Barth – said I had improved. Called at 9 – all just off to Exhibition.
Exhibition: 17 September.
25 Wednesday Miss V & I took all the girls to Kensington – did shopping nearly all the afternoon at Barkers. Post card from Mother & invitation from A.C. to her 21st.
26 Thursday 6.30 Painted. Walk at 8.40. School as usual. The heat was something terrible – 84 in the shade.
27 Friday A long letter from Millie, also from Mrs Draper & Blanche with news – the wedding is fixed for 7 November.
Annie Brierley and James Butler Moody’s wedding.
28 Saturday Miss V went home so I had the felicity of taking all the girls for a walk. Went to Mill Park – the residence of Baron Rothschild. Came back to a late tea at 6. Girls’ bathing night.
29 Sunday Parish Church in the morning. Went to Acton Green Church in the
evening – Harvest Thanksgiving & Mr Manby’s farewell sermon. Devonshire cream for tea.
30 Monday Letter from Mabel.