Letters Back Home

Bradwell, Netherside, Derbyshire  July 5, 1949

Dear Dorothy:

We saw the North West cost of Ireland on Thursday morning about 7 o’clock, very misty then but cleared later, came down the Irish sea with a beautiful view of Ireland all very green and a distant view of Scotland on our left.  We later passed the Isle of Mann along the Irish coast and there turned toward the coast of England and later stopped to take on the pilot and arrived at the mouth of the Mersey and stayed there till morning.

July 1st saw a good view of Birkenhead across the river as we were at the landing stage at Liverpool, the tide was out and that was the reason the boat could not come in till next morning, we had breakfast on board and then passed customs and emigration inspections, we also bought our rail tickets to Hope Station on the boat and then disembarked.  Went to the baggage bldg., got all our luggage then a taxi with our baggage and transferred to another station and was off in a few minutes to Manchester.  Changed trains there and off again to Hope.  Arrived there at 3pm.  70 miles from boat, bus waiting at Hope station, put everything in (illeg) about mile and a half dropped off at house and everything well taken care of.  Well met here and a wonderful trip all the way.  Herb

Dear Dorothy,

We really had a very lovely trip, only one slightly rough day and we were not sick, did not miss a meal.  Our reception here was very warm.  Aunt Delia is 77 and smart as a cricket, very tall and straight.  Mollie small and very neat.  Just now we are in the living room with grate and all the things that go with it looking through a window that over looks the hills.  They are wonderful.  Yesterday we went to Bakewell by bus.  It was market day.  It all was very quaint in the afternoon.  Went through Haddon Hall – you remember the story of Dorothy Vernon, we came down the stairs which she used the night she eloped.  It dates back to 1620.  This house dates back to 1720.  Your grandfather was born in it, just down the street is the house where your father was born.  Guess I had better quiet, dinner about ready.  I miss you all but am having a lovely time and we are both well.  Love to all, Mom.

Well here I am back on the job of telling you some more of our doings.  You would not know there is such wonderful scenery everywhere.  Lots of hills and dales, rivers and valleys, green fields and stone walls and houses.  We go somewhere everyday.  Yesterday the 4th to Bakewell 10 miles and two miles further to Haddon Hall and back to Bakewell and the market there, quite a place, we took some pictures and would take more if films were not so scarce.

It is a nice place with a welcome and good room.  We are going to walk to NetherWater Farm, as soon as I get this finished to catch the mail.  It is cooler walking and we want to catch up on our program so that we can be ready to move in a few days.  If you find any mail open it and if necessary send it on for the next 10 days.  Hope you are all well and having a good time as we are.  Affectionately yours, Mom and Dad.


#31 Hemsorth Road, Sheffield, England, July 23, 1949


We are having a very nice time here, the weather has been somewhat cooler and a few wet days yesterday (Friday) was better around 7 and fine today.  We went for a good trip Dorothy, Ma and I last evening on a two-decker sight seeing buss all around the city over two hours.  This town is hills all around, the stations and buss terminals in the valley and shopping district all on the grades which makes it somewhat tiring.  We went through and saw a factory last Monday and a large steel works on Thursday and a visit though a silver plate industry next Wednesday all arranged by Dorothy S.  We will be leaving in a few days back to Bradwell  - 15 miles – to get the rest of our luggage and then go back to Sheffield get month return tickets to London, leaving Sheffield at 12 noon and arriving about 4 pm and going direct to 14 Fortesque Rd, Edgeware Middlesex c/o Thos. Hull.

We would like you to send a box with 5 lb gran. Sugar, 2 lb tin butter, tea or cheese to make 10 lb, and **my cigars in the cupboard under the drainboard and put them in a baking powder tin with the lid or something similar but fill it and if not enough please get some more ** Daily Double or Crump, we cannot buy them here and I am almost out.  But do not itemize them on the sticker.  Am looking forward to the ride to London 175 Miles.  The scenery they say is really good and historic.  The street cars and busses are all double deck and quite a few women conductors.  The fares are very reasonable from 3 cts to 7 cts according to distance the service is very good and fast.  They sure know how to drive here, the cars are nearly all Austins, other small makes and plenty of motorcycles and trains, busses and trams go faster than we do in Canada.  We are on top of the world here, we can go to the edge of the park opposite the house and see the town down in the valley.  Ma wants to write something, so love to all.  Dad.

** They came in individual sealed aluminum tubes. Threaded cap with a sort of tamper-proof postage stamp around the cap.  I sometimes got the empty tubes to play with - Fox Grandson.

*** Lotto tickets

Dear Dorothy, thanks for letter.  Had one from Mrs. Walker.  So sorry to hear about Mrs. F.  I wrote her a note.  Will you make up the box to ten lbs that dad mentioned, cheese or tea or anything to fill in.  We both have been feeling well and hope you are the same.  All our money is going out in travelling expenses.  Oh, I had to buy a new pair of shoes – size 5 width 4. 

We are looking forward to our trip to London, excuse scribble, you know how I like writing.    Love, Mom.



14 Fortesque Road, Middlesex England, August 6th, 1949

Dear Dorothy,

Just a line to say Happy Birthday to you.  You seem to be a very busy person these days.  It is too hot to work so hard.  We are enjoying a stay here and have seen quite a few things such as Westminster Abbey, Canada House, 10 Downing St., Buckingham Palace and many others.  Maria is wonderful and was very glad to see us.  We are going to a picnic on Hamstead Heath now so are in a hurry.  Must let Dad write a few lines.  All my love and best wishes, Mom.

Received your letter Friday morning.  The weather is nice, it takes 30 minutes each way on the underground with stairs, escalators, elevators according to how far down they go to beat the band with stations every 2 – 3 – 4 miles apart.  Double deck street cars, Trolley busses and gasoline busses all doubledeck and so thick almost touching each other.  Taxis by the thousands.  We were in Trafalgar square, the Strand, Pall Mall, Piccadilly, Regent St.  We also went to the Cunard White Star and checked on our return passage and found it on file here and OK.  We maybe able to get home 2 weeks earlier on the Franconia but will let you know.  We go to Bristol tomorrow Sunday.  Am signing out now.  Love to all – Dad


Burnt Oak, Edgeward, August 17, 1949

Dear Dorothy,

We received our box or is it parcel, it came yesterday Tues. morning in fine shape and thank you very much for your promptness.  We went to Woking on Tues. to the cemetery where Lloyd is laid, it is about 24 miles and we went first by underground to Golders Green and by bus to Woking and then another bus to Brookwood 5 miles further and it is a nice place, well laid out in sections American, British, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian the far section.  We had no trouble in locating the place, we took a picture of it, also a sketch of its exact location, it may be useful or it may not, however we were pleased to do what little we could.  We then bought RR tickets to Windsor. Interesting to see the castle, we were not advised or expected to change on the way and before we knew it we were back in Waterloo Station.  We were nothing out financially, only the time as it will bust up a day to do that part over again.  The trouble is there are no conductors on the train.  You get in a compartment and let her go and hand the tickets to a gateman as you go out.

Last Saturday we went on a nice trip to St. Albans about 15 miles, swell day.  The market all over the main streets selling everything:  yard goods, oilcloth, crockery, jewellery, books, socks, stockings, paintings, stationary, tools, wood mouldings, garden stuff and what not.  We went to a park and to old roman ruins, the remains of a colosseum, a big circle where the seats had been, the stage and columns which had been buried for hundreds of years.  We also saw and was all through the St. Albans Cathedral 550 ft long, the second longest in the world and contained three complete chapels, one behind the other and open at different times during the week.  On Monday night the 15th, we went to the Hippodrome of Golders Green 7 miles on the Underground, 5 of us – it was a dandy show.  On the way home we went to the underground and we got to the platform.  Someone said there is the train now, so we made a rush for it, the doors were still open and people getting in, Ma was the first to go in when the doors suddenly closed – she was in and the rest of us were not in when off it started with her alone.  We got a big laugh out of that wondering if she would get off at our station.  We of course followed on the next train 6 minutes later but there she was waiting for us looking disgusted at us for being so slow.  Dad

Well, I’ll take over here.  You can tell from this what a busy time we are having, we’ll tell you all about it when we get home.  We are both keeping extra well and sleeping good every night.  Hope you are all keeping well and not minding the heat too much. We have read the Spec.  up to July 29th at Canada House.  We leave here next Monday for Sheffield, then to Bradwell.  Would like to see you all.  With much love, Mom.


Burnt Oak, Edgeware, Middlesex England, August 21, 1949

Dear Dorothy,

For the third Sat. in a row, we have been out of London either by tube, bus or both on a little family picnic out in the country at different places.  It was really swell and so was the weather.  Have had some pictures printed just to see how they were turning out because the light values here are not the same as at home, they are so far 100% good on three rolls, so now I will bring the rest 8 rolls home to be developed and expect to have a nice lot to show you when we arrive.  You have been exceedingly attentive to us in sending the boxes, but that is not all.  We wish if you could spare the effort to send us another box to Mrs. Delia Bancroft at Bradwell, you have her full address as we are going there on Wed for a few days and they have been so good to us.  We were out to Brookwood cemetery to see where Lloyd is.  It is a nice place all laid out in order and for separate countries, a large plot for each.  Australians, New Zealand, Africa, United States, England, Canada.  We spent quite a while there while we had the opportunity and likely will not have it again.  You know, it was hard to realise how he could be so far from home and we were privileged t be able to see where he is.  Dad.

Well Dorothy, I will take over from here.  In sending the box dad mentioned sugar, butter and tea are good, also will you send one of those pork squares if it is fat it will not matter – they like their bacon fat.  Jelly powder s are also good, so are currants.  So you will be able to make up the weight with what you like (put in a couple of cigars for me – you know).

The ball pen is rather heavy on this paper so I have just filled the fountain pen.  It has been very interesting while here and we have seen many good things, also a couple of shows.  It is late and Dad wants to write some more so I will say good-bye now.  Love to you all, Mom.

While in Bradwell will take a run over to Manchester and take a picture of where we use to live, also the school and the church and also relax from the London hustle and bustle.  We are going out to Enfield again to the relatives of Mr. and Mrs. Melville – they are very nice and have a wonderful place and one of the best gardens, large lawn, greenhouse, unusual trees.  There are three – two sisters and their brother all retired and living in a refined for of way and good people to know.  Well space is running out.  Hoping this finds you all well.  Best wishes to all.  Dad


Mrs. C Bancroft. Netherside, Bradwell, Sheffield, England, Sept. 9, 1949

Dear Dorothy .  The box you sent August 27th arrived this morning thanks for the same, it took a long time to come.  Received a letter from Mrs. Sidebottom’s sister in Ellesmere Port this morning.  We are going there the day before we sail.  We leave here next Monday for Liverpool.  Your father wants to see around Liverpool, so do not expect any mail from home, but hope to see you soon.  The weather is still lovely and we are getting all rested up here.  I hope you are all keeping well.  Am getting a little nervous about the trip back but maybe it will be a pleasant surprise like the trip over.  We heard about the dreadful accident at Toronto.  Will let Dad finish.  All my love, Mom.

Dear Dorothy,

We went to a nice supper and entertainment last Friday by the Bradwell Women’s Veterans Legion.  It was for all Bradwell people over 65 so they were kind enough to include us, Aunt Delia.  Ma and I went – it commenced at 5:30 pm with the supper in their hall which is also the movie house with two programmes a week.  The show was put on by a troupe of professionals, the master of ceremonies was the tops and a dandy comedian to boot, but every number was good and variety to please everyone.  The show closed by community singing our popular songs – ending with Auld lang syne and National anthems by 10:30.

Cousin Dorothy came over from Sheffield Sat. afternoon – we had a very nice time and took two picture groups, first the 5 of us and then Mollie, Dorothy and I – three cousins which should be fine souvenirs of our trip over here.  We have taken a lot of pictures over here but will not have them finished till we arrive home.  Some of Bradwell views are so ancient they look like Jerusalem and ought to be very interesting.  We expect to go over to where the villages of Derwent and Ashopton used to be but have recently been demolished.  Churches, Post offices, Bridges, hotels, all houses and then cleaned out and graded.  Immense cement dams costing millions of pounds across between the fills and then filled with a water supply for communities across this part of Derbyshire.  Everyone is working around here, there is plenty of money.  The people may change but the town and building never as they may be 1000 years old.

Best regards to you all, Dad.

Bradwell, Oct. 5, 1958

Dear Dorothy,

Very glad to hear from you.  The weather has not been kind so far and not improving.  We had a very pleasant week at Blackpool in every way, we both enjoyed it very much, a lot of rain has fallen since we returned.

I expect to be home about 16 October.  I will let you know as soon as I arrive.  So please do not arrange for a reception.  I have been informed the house is in fair shape.

I hope all is well with you and to see you soon.  Am enclosing a couple of picture cards.  Thanks for your very fine letters.

Love, Dad.