Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine



Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine


Writes she is sorry he has not heard from her and details letters and parcel she has sent. Asks that he gives his opinion on the way forward with gardener. Relates her daily activities, shopping trips and baby preparations. Provides detailed list of purchases and prices. Comments on how she is feeling with impending birth and hopes he has everything arranged with the maternity home. Intends to stay with him as long as possible but realises he will be very busy.



Temporal Coverage



Eight page handwritten letter


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Lido Thursday 16th Jan
My own Johnnie, I am most awfully sorry that you have been left for so long without news from me. One long letter I sent in your parcel of socks, cigarettes, tea-cloth, rubber, which was perhaps foolish as parcels always take a bit longer. I posted another this morning in the NS&N (written in pencil I'm afraid) full of questions about the garden, which, as I said over the phone, I should like to have your opinion on by next Tuesday if poss. when the gardener comes again.
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I hope the earlier letters will turn up, I can't remember them individually but I know I haven't omitted to write for as long as a week ever (nor ever will!).
Tuesday started off badly, first Miss Kerr phoned to say she couldn't come over with my Spencer in the morning, so I had to arrange to get back from town early to suit her this afternoon. Then Mrs Neal phoned to say Bridget said she couldn't come & work here either today or tomorrow but might oblige on Saturday. I'm getting fed up!
However, we went up to town as arranged, first to Grindlay's to fix up about their paying for the pram for Mother, & for them to pay our allowances into Ba's & my banking accounts.
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That seems to me the simplest plan, since I have already arranged to be able to draw out of my account at Aberystwyth up to £5 a day. Then we went to Liberty's who are having a sale & I got a lovely piece of linen to make into a smock for mornings, a spare to the green shantung one I have just finished. I hope to get this cut out & prepared & will bring it with me to sew up at Aber. (I'm going to have plenty to do up there!) Of course Mrs O'Donovan's promised smocks never turned up, & for mornings I have at present only the one I have made & one borrowed from Ba. Then we had lunch & proceeded to Restcots
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to get the pram, chose a simple but very elegant one, an Osnath if that conveys anything to you, in navy, cream inside with an extension to take a child up to 3 years lying full length. It is a very nice one, but no means the most expensive but still without purchase tax. It was £10.15.0 & the mattress to fit brings it up to £11.8.6, so it is a very great help indeed if Mother presents us with that. I'm sure she would approve of it. I also got several other things, to wit: a really good quality rug for the pram, blue check one side & camel-hair the other, reduce in sale to 10/6. an eiderdown for the cot,
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also reduced, for 10/-. It is pink at present & later on I shall doubtless want to recover it to match the nursery, but the main thing is to get a real down quilt while they are still going, & I think 10/- is cheap.
I also got a brush & comb & soap box & powder box, all for 3/6 (they have mickey mouse on them, who is, I suppose, now considered out of date, but I didn't think that mattered awfully much). Then I also got 3 face towels & 2 bath towels, made of very fine gauzy materials, such as a baby is supposed to have.[the purchases above are here reproduced in table form]
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Then I dashed back home for Miss Kerr who duly appeared with my corset into which I am now severely strapped, & it certainly is a great relief & comfort, & supports me beautifully. I don't think I shall get nearly so tired now, as the weight , instead of coming on the small of the back, is spread about & mostly supported on the hip-bones. All very scientific, but very comforting anyway. That set me back £4, which I paid out of sundries a/c thus taking the whole of January's allocation. However, I have managed to buy all these other oddments for the baby out of housekeeping & my birthday present, so we're not doing too badly.
I'm particularly sorry you haven't had my letter as this means you
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haven't been able to get any further as regards digs. As I said over the phone, I can if necessary dispose of Jane for 5/- a week down in Gloucestershire to Miss Clift, so she need not be an insuperable difficulty. In a way, it might be the most sensible thing to do, tho' an added expense & of course I should miss her company. I do hope you have booked up at the Maternity Home , or will now do so without more delay. I'm terrified lest they can't take me after all. That would put the lid on everything!
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I'm quite determined to come up & be with you for as long as possible, I simply must have you to love me & make a fuss of me, so do try to get it all taped as soon as poss. I do realise how difficult it is for you when your time is so fully booked up, but of course I can't help there; things aren't too easy for either of us just now. I'm longing to be able to relax & do nothing but work for the baby & enjoy myself with you. I wonder if I could mug up enough morse to be able to tap it out for you to read – of course it's much more difficult to read so it might be some help. Do tell me what the Maternity Home is like. Is it modern or old, cheerful? Apparently well run? Sunny?
Lots of love to you , darling, Ursula.



Ursula Valentine, “Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 7, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19546.

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