Quick update from MORL …

Friday 13th March 2020
Today the team initially unpacked and set up the garden furniture which had spent the winter in the Wedding Shelter. We then helped the garden volunteers replace the netting on the fruit cage. Then it was time to have some fun……..!
thumbnailWe unpacked our newly restored “Cook’s” elevator and started the slightly reluctant engine. Tony Hogg is seen oiling the sliding surfaces that the slats run on.
thumbnail (1)
We awoke the combine from its slumbers but did not drive it out. It started very quickly and ran well. You may have noticed that I have started applying the “Massey Harris” decals, one of which is visible in the attached picture. I am painting the last section of it now which is the driver’s platform and control levers etc.
Best wishes,
Ashley

Feb 2020 – BSA folding Airborne WW2 Bicycle

IMG_1372DK dismantling our bicycle as he starts to reinstate it to its original appearance. Approx 60-70,000 were made in the war and many were sold very cheaply after the war and upgraded by their new owners. We are attempting to reverse this process! We hope. then to display it in the barn.
Ashley

Victorian Valentines

 

vintage-ephemera-4090031_1920In February 1931 an article in the Lincolnshire Echo  welcomed the revival of the Valentine during the previous three or four years. The writer then reflected

“ How different , however, are these lovely sentimental messengers from the crude and rather repulsive caricatures which did duty in early Victorian days and which died a deserved death!”

 

Valentine 1877Valentine

In 1882 The Lincolnshire Chronicle reported : [in Alford]“St Valentines day, with the postal officials, was this year, as usual a busy one. Judging by the bulky mail bags and messengers bags, swollen out to enormous dimensions, the votive offerings, indicative, let us hope , of requited tender passion, were exceedingly numerous.”

Greeting_Card_Valentine_1899

The above adverts for Valentines in Victorian Alford made me wonder what they looked like. The first things that come to mind are the traditional chocolate box victorian card with a loving verse.

Personally the Comic Valentine promised in the second advert seems a much more interesting option.

 

The cards below are from 1875 , they are sometimes known as “Vinegar Valentines” , it is easy to see why.

Valentine's Card
Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & HoveRoyal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

 

Valentine's Card
Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & HoveRoyal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

My favourite find for the satirical Victorian Valentine verse was in the 1875 publication:

Love Lyrics and Valentine Verses for Young and Old 

Cod eyed Valentine

To a Cod-eyed Spinster

The very last that I should take

To Village church or minster,

For purposes connubial,

Would be a cod-eyed spinster.

**********

I’m fond of cod for dinner,’tis

With me a favourite dish,

But I shouldn’t like to own a wife

With eyes just like a fish.

**********

Time’s hourglass now is running low,

So be no longer jealous,

Make way for younger girls and cease

To hunt up us smart fellows.

**********

I’d sooner marry a giraffe,

Hedgehog, or porcupine,

Than from the female sex select

A cod-eyed Valentine.

**********

Happy Valentines Day

 

Valentine's Card
Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & HoveRoyal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

 

I am having a ripping time here Paris is as full as it can be …

This is Dorothy’s last letter home following her war service, it is really just a short note from Paris where she was having a ball. After her 4 years of service in WW1 Dorothy returned to Alford but, by then a very independent young woman, she quickly headed to London. In July 1919 the Joint Women’s VAD Committee granted her a scholarship for training in X Ray work and , in 1920, she sat her examinations in Radiography and Medical Electricity at Guy’s Hospital.  She frequently stayed at the VAD Ladies Club in London . Dorothy worked as a Radiographer at the Royal Free Hospital where she met radiologist Dr Dulcie Staveley. The two colleagues shared a flat in Gloucester Place for many years before retiring to live at Ivy House in Alford together.

July 1919 VAD procession
A procession of Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses and personnel marches past a crowd of onlookers along the Mall in London. British Army personnel are also present and there are numerous flags flying from flagpoles and stone plinths along the road.                                             Â© IWM (Art.IWM ART 4037)

25th April 1919                                                                             28 Rue de Pontlieu, Paris VIII

My dearest Father

Never mind about the money it can’t be helped. I have borrowed £15 from Colonel Robinson so will you please send him a cheque for that amount.

I am having a ripping time here Paris is as full as it can be. I am going to see Tommy Sandall this afternoon and we may go out on the binge to-night. Yesterday morning I shopped and yesterday afternoon we went to the Louvre and the Pantheon. The former is in a terrible muddle as the treasures have only been brought back since armistice and nothing is where it was before. Last night we dined with the Robinsons: they had a party.

Best Love to you all

Your loving D

I have got two Belgian nurses in the service and I am teaching them as fast as I can …

VAD camp rouen 1919
 A Voluntary Aid Detachment camp Rouen 1919                     © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2886)

16th April 1919    HMB

My dearest Father

I don’t seem to have had any news of any of you for ages but I dare say you might say the same thing of me. I have been up to the eyes in work. I have got two Belgian nurses in the service and I am teaching them as fast as I can and doing a lot of clearing up, and making lists to simplify their work, and it is somewhat fatiguing.

 

However in a weeks time all will be over. I am terribly sad at leaving and wish I had been able to go on to Brussels with them, but they still don’t know when they will move: it may be next month or it may be June or July. As they once declared we should be there by the middle of February it’s a case of: I shall believe they are there when the train arrives at Brussels. However it no longer effects me as my hospital career ceases next Wednesday: I shall have just completed my four years foreign service. I have no word from you when or if the Indian family are coming home, or if you are servantless or if the others have recovered from”flu”.

I leave here on Wednesday morning and go to Paris to join Fraser where we shall stay until Sunday when we go to Boulogne and cross. Then we have to stay a day or two in town for BRCS formalities and I must get a rag or two of “civvies”  and I hope to be home about the 4th May. Did you send me some money by the way , and how much, as it hasn’t reached the bank yet? If you want to write to me after the 23rd my address is c/o Lieut-Colonel Robinson. 28 Rue de Ponthieu. Paris VIII till the 27th.

The weather is very variable, lots of rain at intervals and very windy.

I really must dry up now. I am knee –deep in packing and so forth.

Best love to you all

Your loving daughter

Dorothy.

We often get a car or ambulance lent us to follow in which is ripping fun …

VAD ambulance drivers rouen 1919 large_000000
41st Auxiliary Ambulance Car Company, General Service V.A.D. Motor Convoy. Rouen 1919           © IWM (Q 8118)

29th March 1919                HMB

My dearest Mother

I hope by the time this reaches you the invalids will all be convalescent. You have indeed had a visitation. It is very bad luck on you all especially with your domestic troubles as well. I hope your cold and cough are better too.

You may expect me home about the beginning of May I think. I will wire you the precise date when I know it.  We are all leaving by driblets through the month of April. We have already got seven Belgian nurses here and more are coming. I have got one in the Electricity and am teaching her as hard as I can.

Will you ask Father to send my allowance out as usual please and may I have some money for travelling expenses, parting presents etc. please. I am perhaps going to Paris for three or four days on my way home, but I am not sure yet. It depends whether Fraser’s uncle and aunt who live there can do with her. If she goes I shall go, but if not I shall return to England direct. The men are full of grief at our departure and openly confess a great preference for English nurses, as also the doctors!!

When do Robin and Molly expect to go back to Canada. I hope I shall see them before they go. Have you any news of the Indian travellers and their movements? I’m so glad you liked the lace: I thought it might do to put on a dress or something like that, and I ‘m glad M was pleased with the brooch.

I have been out several times on Sundays to see the paper chase ( a species of the BEF hunt) all the men ride and there is a meet at some spot and then 4 “foxes” men with paper in bags, lay a trail and are given a certain start. One is the Master with a horn and other are hounds and they track the foxes by the paper scent and have a good cross country run and every hunter about 1 and half hours riding. There is always a large following and we often get a car or ambulance lent us to follow in which is ripping fun. Then we have tea at some mess, Remount, Cavalry Indian Gunners or some old place and then come home.

I must dry up now

Best love to you all

Ever your loving Dorothy.