Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bradford: Dec 1945: Post-War Penpals, pt 6

This is a transcript of a letter sent to my aunt from Bradford in Yorkshire, postmarked December 24, 1945. The original letter is in my possession. In the interest of security, should the author be living, this transcript may have certain details, particularly surnames, omitted. If you were the author or were involved in pen friends from this area please comment or email.

Dec. 21st

[street omitted]
Lidget Green

Dear ‘Bobbie,’

At the present moment, I am in bed with ‘flu,’ and have been for several days. That must be my excuse for not replying to your letter at once.

Thank you very much for the lovely card you sent me. Unfortunately I had to spend my birthday in bed.

You speak, in your letter, of a boy who is a ‘sophomore.’ I have no idea what that is & I wish you could explain it to me please.

Your Bob [name omitted] sounds charming, but what’s the good of no one “knowing” but you? Tut Tut!! You will never get to know him at that rate.

I used to write to a boy in college in Dumfries, but when I visited his home for a week and learned all about him I did not like him a bit. So you can’t really form an opinion of anyone you don’t really know. [If you have any more problems, send them along to the “[name omitted] ADVICE BUREAU” with a stamp & we will try to answer them for you (?????)!!!!!!!!]

I have given your sister’s address to a girl in my form called Audrey [name omitted], so she should be hearing from her.

We had our school Xmas Party last week and that is what has given me ‘flu’ as I wore a thin dress. The party was a real success and everyone enjoyed it. I was in charge of the catering, which is not an enviable job in these days.

Tell me, are you rationed for sweets and chocolate? We get 3ozs of sweets or choc. a week, but we have had 1 oz. per week increase for Xmas. We sent all our sweet coupons down to my sister in London and she has brought ‘tons’ of sweets home with her. (she came for 14 days on Wed.) They have a much better selection down south than up here. So you see I have been gorging all day.

Pauline has been telling us of all her experiences in London. Her college has been very badly damaged, and for 3 years, has provided a home for Refugees from Gibralter(sic). They have done a great deal of damage, too. She had to go on teaching practice for a fortnight, & the school she was sent to had no windows in & most of the school materials had been destroyed. She said the children were really backward, having missed a good deal of schooling.

Saturday 22nd.

I am awfully sorry, but I had to stop writing yesterday, I suddenly began to be dizzy. I feel awful this morning, what a life! I had hoped to get up today but mother won’t let me.

I received your Xmas card this morning & I think it is really lovely. American cards are always unusual I think.

Mother tells me I was talking about pine trees called cloud, last night. I also said cabbages had a great artistic beauty, or words to that effect!!! So you see what a state I’m in!

We finished the term at school yesterday and we have 18 days holiday. We usually have three weeks, but we had a week at half term, instead of the usual 2 days, our Xmas hols.(sic) are shortened.

Well, I had better close now and I will write a longer letter next time.
Please write very soon.

Lots of love & a merry Xmas

Links to items mentioned in the letter:
The Blitz (Private History site)
Rationing (Private History site)
Refugees from Gibraltar (Cadiz News)
London 1945 (BBC)

Links to other posts in the series:

Personal History: Post-War Penpals, pt 1
Dumbarton July 1945: Post-War Penpals, pt 2
Sept. 1945: Post-War Penpals, pt 3
Dumbarton October 1945: Post-War Penpals, pt 4
Dumbarton Nov 1945: Post-Was Penpals, pt 5

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