My dear Kathleen
I will write today instead of Sunday and reply to the suggestions in your letter. Many thanks for your invitation to come up in January. I should very much like to do so and shall be very glad to help you with the settee and chair covers. Aunt Lottie did once suggest my going down there for a few days in January, but that was for a bridge party which may not come off now, however if she does still want me to go I might run down there either before or after.
Ethel and I had a reply to our request to old Tommy Byrd that he would lend his house in Badsey (the old telephone office) for Belgians, and much to our surprise he is willing to lend it provided they are respectable and clean people and that the house is left in good condition afterwards. So now we shall have to see whether enough can be raised in weekly subs to keep a family, we think we had better have a meeting to discuss it. Meanwhile I think it will be best to apply at once to headquarters in London to ask whether they have a suitable family to send. After Anna’s experience of having to wait some time after she applied it would be as well to apply in good time. I wonder whether Jack would mind calling at the headquarters in Aldwych and asking if they have any just now they want to place out or if we should have to wait till more are sent over from Holland. A family of 4 to 6 in number is what we want, and they must not be of the lowest class as the house is lent on condition that the occupants are respectable and clean, and it has recently been done up. A man who could do some work, either on the land or carpentering or something of that sort would do, or a woman with children who could do some needlework or laundry work, but I think it would be best to have a man because as the spring advances there ought to be work about here on the land, and of course it would be a good thing for all concerned if they could do something to help keep themselves. People of good class would be quite comfortable there as it is quite a decent little house and has lately been done up as I said. We think we ought easily to get the necessary furniture etc lent either in Badsey or from one or two people in other villages as well, and we think of trying to raise about £1 a week for their maintenance, by small subscriptions ranging from 2d upwards. These would of course need collecting and for this we should have to have a small committee of helpers. That is our plan, of course it must be talked over when we have a meeting. I don’t ask you to make enquiries as I know you are busy, but if Jack wouldn’t mind going it would be best to know whether there is a prospect of our getting any refugees sent, and if so how soon, before we proceed far in making provision for them.
Mela writes that she can get four days leave at Xmas 23rd-26th, so it will be very nice having her. If only Cyril could come too it would be splendid, I suppose there is a chance. Mela had had more news of Cecil which she said she would tell us more about next time she writes, she only sent a line to tell about coming for Xmas. Norah is coming on 22nd, so we shall not be such a small party after all. Mother has made a good number of puddings and is sending one to Arthur and Mary by post this evening.
It was so wet at midday today that I went and had lunch with Marjory and waited to ride home when it was raining less hard. The same thing happened last Friday. This month is decidedly the wettest in the year according to my experience. I started writing a few reports while waiting, so did not waste time. We are having our usual school party on Saturday 19th. Miss Perkins is going to show her magic lantern which will be a great help. There are a good number of old pupils who will have to be asked, and one or two prospective ones – younger brothers or sisters, and altogether with grown-ups we shall be not less than 50.
I hope Judy’s play will go off well, you will be interested to see whether her acting has improved. You will have a full week next week, I do hope your foot is better, you must rest it and rub it well in the holidays if it is still swollen.
Isn’t the news of the naval success good? I am afraid the German loss of life must have been great, but ours fortunately was slight.
Aunt Lottie has sent a cheque for £1 with instructions to get presents, she thought she wouldn’t trouble you this time with your bad foot, also I have had my present in the shape of a new trunk for birthday and Xmas combined, so shan’t be under the necessity of getting my own!
With much love to you and Jack.
Your loving sister