Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife



Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife


He writes of his car, colleagues and finding accommodation.




Temporal Coverage



Nine handwritten sheets


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You can’t tell how cheering it was to get the mail [deleted] [indecipherable letter] [/deleted] this morning. I got three letters from you all at once, and as there seems to be a lot to answer, I’m beginning this after tea, and shall finish it when I come back from Wigsley this evening.
I’m not quite sure about whether we can make the story public without asking Mrs. Linnell’s permission. I don’t see why not, really, but I suppose it would be an act of courtesy to ask her. Anyway, we can wait for that until we get near the publishing stage.
It’s quite easy to spend £2 a night when you consider that
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he probably gets into a group of six or seven, who are drinking shorts, and one round costs him at least 10/-. He almost invariably came home by taxi, which cost between 3/- and 15/-, according to the number of passengers.
I’ve got some distilled water for the car battery today, but my next job is to take the front offside wheel off and get the M.T. section either to mend it or pump it up, as it has a slow puncture. I also have to get my new tyre put on the spare wheel, & perhaps shall be able to get the M.T. to do that for me. At the moment I’m not really in a happy position, as my spare wheel is u/s and one tyre has a slow puncture.
It wasn’t at all difficult
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to fix up the car insurance; it only took me the time needed to fill in the form.
Wigsley village is smaller than Ossington, so it’s no wonder you can’t find it on your map. The aerodrome is about 4 miles due south of Saxilby.
I haven’t got a replacement for my fountain pen nib yet, although it is wearing out fairly rapidly. One of the snags of this place is that we don’t officially get any days off, so that it is very difficult to do any shopping from here.
I agree with you about the poor types – at least one, anyway – who take girls out when they’ve got wives & children.
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What particularly annoyed me in this case was that he said an impassioned goodbye on Wednesday, intending never to see her again, & then came in on the Saturday & started the whole thing a second time!
You certainly seem to have done a good deal of spring cleaning, don’t you? It must have been a lot of work, but it should be worth while [sic]. It’s good news about the nail file, as it appears impossible to get one nowadays. There’s no need to send it on, though. It will do when we meet.
I’m rather surprised to find you short of anthracite. I thought you’d never get through that amount & there seemed to be no difficulty about replacing it, did there?
No cracks please, about my short story writing! I think
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I know my weaknesses fairly well, & I certainly think you over-praise my effort by saying it is brilliantly funny in parts. I agree that Derek is “very youthful (or babyish),” but that doesn’t necessarily invalidate his literary criticism (what about Keats & Chatterton?)
I very much doubt whether we shall do our ops from France. The organisation of a bomber station is such a terrific business, & the shipping needed would be so great that I don’t think the powers that be would consider it worth while [sic], because a couple of hundred miles flying doesn’t mean much to a Lancaster.
I’ll write & ask Alice if the shoes will be any good for Mary, & let you know accordingly. She should have returned to Wyke a week last Thursday, but was delayed because Jennifer caught the croup. I think the baby will be O.K. now, though.
I had no trouble in getting my 1/2 gallon petrol coupon for the journey here (apart from filling up several forms), & haven’t converted it into petrol yet. Apart from that, however, I am not yet entitled to any ration. When I start living out I shall be entitled to petrol for the journey to the aerodrome and back.
You are not looking forward to riding in our car as much as I am looking
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forward to taking you out in it. All the time I’ve known you I’ve had to take you on buses or had to make you walk, and it has gone very much against the grain, I can tell you. You can’t imagine what a thrill it will be to take you to the pictures or anywhere in a car.
I think that it would be better for you to come up on the 20th or 21st – that’s if I can organise those digs I mentioned. So far I’ve had singularly little luck, but I’ll ask tonight, and let you know the result at the end of this letter. I’ll also make some enquiries about laundry there, & if I have no luck, shall be regretfully compelled to ask
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you to do some for me.
As for the trains, I don’t know how they are, but I believe they are fairly respectable north of the Thames. I should imagine, however, that it might pay you to go via Birmingham unless you bring a lot of luggage with you. Lincoln is the nearest big town, but I should be able to meet you at either Newark or Lincoln, whichever is more convenient (That’s a change, isn’t it, for me to talk of meeting you with a car!). I think you’d better ask Mr. Lloyd at the junction about the state of the railways.
All my love, darling. It seems a long time to wait till next Tuesday or Wednesday, doesn’t it?
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Tuesday 7.30 a.m.
I was too tired last night – and fed up – to finish this letter. I had no luck at all in searching for digs. I think we’d better provisionally arrange for you to come on the 20th, & if it’s late before I find a place I’ll ring up & let you know.
All my love,



Harold Gorton, “Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 19, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/9251.

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