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January 28th 1912 - Letter from May Sladden to her sister, Kathleen Sladden

28th January 1912
Correspondence From
May Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Correspondence To
Kathleen Sladden
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter


Jan 28th 1912

My dear Kathleen,

Many thanks for your letter of last Sunday.  I am afraid the family health record has not improved this last week, Mother has had quite a bad cold, it came on very suddenly on Tuesday, we nursed her up at once & she only came down stairs to tea on Wed. & Thursday, but I think on Thurs. she must have got a little fresh cold, she had seemed better, but that evening she was quite feverish & she had a bad night, so all Friday & Sat. we left her up in her room, she just sat up in her arm-chair near the fire for a little while in the evening.  Today she has come down to tea, we had tea in the dining-room so that she should not move from one room to the other, & she is now on the sofa near the fire.  She is pretty weak & feels shaky, but she is decidedly better, her appetite has much improved, for a day or two she had to force down what she ate.  She will want feeding up now & of course must be very careful not to catch fresh cold.  She coughs a good deal as she always does with a cold, but it is not such a hard cough as she sometimes gets, & it does not trouble her so much at night.  

I was out on Thurs. afternoon – at a bridge party at the Lindsells - & I don’t know what she did to make herself worse that evening – she had three G.F.S. girls, but Ethel helped with them, & she kept in warm rooms all the time, she was quite poorly when I got back about 6.30, & quite down about herself, however she has been much brighter these last two days.  Now I think I have told you all about her & you can be sure that we are looking after her well, Father is very good & careful about her.  Ethel still does not seem very grand, she varies a good deal, but at times is very heavy-eyed & languid.  I believe she has rheumatism a good deal about her, she complains of her legs aching & yesterday a pain in her shoulder made it difficult for her to move her head.  I rubbed her with Eliman & it is better today.  I suggested her stopping in bed to breakfast this morning, but she did not want to, “Ma Hands” has suggested coming to do our lamps for us, having heard that both Mother & Ethel were not very well, & I think Ethel was afraid that if she didn’t appear at Sunday school & church she really could turn up to do them!  The old woman really did ask Father after Church this morning if she couldn’t come & do the lamps, he thought at first she meant the Church lamps – which would have been a kind & sensible offer – but no, that was not her wish at all.  Father assured her that one of our maids could quite well do our lamps if necessary.  As a matter of fact Ethel is doing things much as usual, only we try not to let her get about in the cold, Brailsford usually does the fowls - & she rests more in the evenings than is her usual custom.  She goes to bed nobly at 10.45 punctually every evening, without any urging.  How much this may be due to the attraction of a little time by Mother’s fire before Father comes up I wouldn’t like to say.

I am afraid my suggestion of Ethel staying with the Gepps was not very feasible, I had not realised they would not be in their own house till March, Mother thought of writing to ask May Cafou if she could have for a week or ten days a little later on when the weather gets a little better.  I think it is quite a good idea, Colwall would be bracing I should think & I don’t suppose May would mind being asked.

Arthur suggested Ethel & me going over to B’ham one day before he leaves, it would be rather jolly, & we must try to arrange a Saturday afternoon if he is free.  Mother wrote & asked Mary Williams to come here during Arthur’s short holiday which he hopes to get before he goes to Bart’s, however Mary writes that as she is leaving the Dysons at Easter & has lately had a good deal of time off she does not like to ask again.  When she is at home she will be more free to get away whenever it suits Arthur & we may perhaps see more of her.

Judy wrote a day or two after she got back to school, she had managed to get a fresh cold she said, I do hope she will soon shake off these ailments &  be able to give her full energies to school work & play.  If she does not seem to get right perhaps you could go & see her fairly early in the term.

I hope you are all right & are not catching colds in this some what bitter weather.  Our thermometer registered 15° of frost last night & we have had to think of keeping frost from pipes. 

I had some rather bad journeys to school early in the week, one morning I had to go by train.  School has gone pretty well this first week, except that several of my children were absent, through illness or bad weather.  We were actually able to receive a small “dividend” the other day, not before we were both feeling “strong”.  

Many thanks for your loan to me which I am happy to repay, you will give the 1/6 to Jack won’t you?

I wore my new coat & skirt & hat the other day at the Lindsells & today, Mother is very much pleased with them & seems quite glad to see me looking “smart” once more.  As she says I did want some new clothes very badly.

I have not yet begun “Social Evolution” but hope to before long. I have had as you may imagine little time for reading, I am trying to read up a little history & that has taken all the time I have.  I think I noticed “How to Look at Pictures” in the college library – a useful book I should think for us novices in the knowledge of art – perhaps I should say postulants – Frances Bell would have!  I wonder if you could get me any book out of the Teachers’ Guild library that would be useful to me in giving my Babies History Class, they have just done the stone age & I want to give them next some of the best stories from early British History.  There are some very good ones in Our Island Story, & I rather think Britain Long Ago would contain the sort of thing I want, but I don’t know whether the T.G. Library contains books that are really meant for children.  If you know of anything else they have that might do could you get it for me when you have time.  

I must go to bed now, will write to George tomorrow.  Very much love from


Father says will you send on the Evesham Standard to Judy when you are writing.

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference