Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine



Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine


Writes of relation who has gone missing at sea. Mentions she is doing to help interned woman acquaintance who will be coming to stay with her and catches up with family news. Says she will be lady of leisure with gardener, home help and internee although she will have to pay latter a minimum of 15 shillings a week. Continues with news of her activities and the baby.



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Spatial Coverage



Six page handwritten letter


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Lido, 30th
Darling Johnnie I only had time to write you a Postcard this morning just to catch the midday post, however the main items of news for the day were on it. Apparently this cousin of mine, Pearse Cliff, who is reported missing, was on his way to Trinidad to do “coaching in aeroplane flying” Auntie Con says, so presumably he was lost at sea. His wife Lucy had a son in June & I have just written to her, it does seem so terrible but there is nothing that an outsider can do about it.
Mrs Stenzal's letter also arrived this morning & I have written off to the officer of the Internment Camp
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saying I am prepared to have her here, & I hope she will be let out soon. Barbara goes on holiday in a fortnight so it would be nice if she could be here then. It looks as tho' I am going to be a lady of leisure after all, what with chars 3 days a week, a gardener & now Mrs Stenzel as well. I'm afraid that if she is to stay with me permanently (until she can go to U.S.) I shall have to pay her 15/- a week, I believe that's the minimum by law, to prevent undercutting of English domestic servants. That's rather a lot with the maid as well, but on the other hand it would be nice not to be alone when Barbara is on duty, I don't enjoy it raid or no raid, & of course
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Mrs Stenzel would help with the work & gardening. She says in her letter, may she come just while she looks round for a job, but I think it would be a good idea from my point of view, as well as probably preferable from hers, if I kept her. What do you say? And what will happen now if your father wants to stay here in August
I have written up to the National Savings Group Committee to get the Tenterden Grove Group affiliated. We have 19 or 20 members who have promised 37/6 a week, so that's another bit towards it. Ba & I have been continuing with spring cleaning & washing. I've turned out & demothed all your cupboards now, & shall proceed to the suitcases in the loft next.
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I've written to Mrs Howie this evening. My ration books still haven't come, but I've written to the Ayr Food Office direct. You remember the 3 lemons I bought from Monkton? I've just been making them into marmalade with 3 lbs of our old carrots & 3 lbs of mother's stored sugar. It tastes rather good, so that's an investment. I got 10 lbs of marmalade from 3 lemons! The coal came today, 5 cwt for 15/3 its gone up in price again. It's been pouring with rain again today, we've had an awful lot of wet since you left. Let me know if the feeding continues to be so miserable as your first supper, & I'll supplement it. Also do you have time for reading? I'm enjoying the book we got to read on the train & would send it on to you., Sorry your course is now 2 months, still as you say it does put off the evil hour for a bit longer.
Frances weighed 14lbs 11 ½ oz yesterday, I forgot to mention it. She seems to grow longer every day, I'm getting quite apprehensive!
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I also had a letter from Mrs Howie. She went to Ayr Food Office again for me & as my books are still not ready she got me an Emergency card & sent with her letter. Wasn't it typically sweet of her!
I simply must go down to town now. Please remember me to Norman. I hope you have luck with your billets again tho' I suppose you can't hope for anything like the Howies. With all my love darling, & the usual adorable grin from Frances – Ursula (The woman, Mrs Somerville, came today & seems very decent & a good worker. Let's hope she stays)
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PS July 31st. Thanks ever so for your letter of the 28th. I'm sorry to hear you haven't yet received any of mine. I hope you get the parcel safely anyway, there's some tobacco in it. I will try to get you cigarettes here. I can generally get 5 a day from Finlays so will send these periodically. I had a letter from Jean Serpell today, her baby is called Anne Virginia & weighed 8 lb 3 0z. Christopher is still at home & working on the times & is apparently not be to allowed to leave. Lucky dogs!!




Ursula Valentine, “Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 25, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19583.

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