Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bradford Feb 1947: Post-War Penpals, pt 8

This is a transcript of a letter sent to my mother from Yorkshire in England, postmarked February 15, 1947. The letter is dated February 18 and it may be that both letters the writer speaks of were received but mom later mixed up the envelopes. There is no way to confirm this. The cancellation stamp reads: British Industries Fair May 5th-16th 1947 London & Birmingham. 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. This letter is the last one known to exist from the collection.

[street omitted]
18. 2. 47

Dear Eleanor,

I wrote to you just over a week ago & left the letter to be posted by my sister. When she was running for the bus in the morning she dropped the letter & did not find out until she got to the post-box. I am hoping someone found the letter & posted it for me. Anyway this is in case they did not.

I wrote to you before Christmas, didn’t you receive that letter? Have you received my calendar yet?

We had a really big fall of snow about a fortnight ago & it is still here. There is no sign, as yet, of the thaw. I do wish it would hurry as I am tired of the snow now. I cannot ever remember it staying so long before.

I suppose you have heard about our acute coal shortage. We only have a small fire of wood & a little coal, although we have received our coal ration for this month. Our electricity is cut off every day for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. We all thought that the coal shortage & the electricity cuts would prevent us attending school, but it hasn’t, worst luck! We were short of coal at school, but when the Headmistress contemplated sending us home, some coal turned up. Weren’t we mad!

My rubber boots are now worn out at the heel & snow gets in & wets my shoes & stockings through. I did have some of those boots that you don’t have to wear shoes with but I let mum have them as her feet are always so cold. My sister wears Wellington boots, but these are also finishing & can’t be replaced. We shall just have to go on wearing them until they drop to bits.

This is what I wear (extra) now: shoes, rubber overshoes, 2 pairs of stockings, 2 blouses, a lumber jacket, a coat, 2 scarves & a pixie hood. I look like a barrel when I get dressed up.

You asked me what I got for Christmas. These are they:
2 powder cases
A box of handkerchiefs
A powder puff in a handkerchief
A writing case of leather
A wallet (for all my imaginary Pound notes)
A writing pad and envelopes
Lots of money (most important)
A long evening dress (old rose in colour)

Mum made me the dress. She is awfully clever, it is lovely. I had a nice Christmas, but very quiet.

Next week, Monday & Tuesday we are having holiday. It is half term. Have you holiday? When we return to school, we have examination. Isn’t it a nice prospect?

Last Saturday, my friend & I went to our Odeon Cinema to see “Blue Skies.” Have you seen it? I thought Bing, Fred, & Joan Caulfield were marvelous. I think Joan Caulfield is the prettiest woman on the films. Do you think so?

In case you don’t get my other letter, I will thank you for your photograph. It is lovely. Is it your house in the background, it looks grand whatever it is.

Dad has just been to the door & has told me that all the lights are turned out on the road. It’s just like war-time, the blackout.

Anyhow, I will close now, hoping that you receive my other letter.

Lots of love,

Audrey x x x x

PS. Do you have St. Valentine’s Day in America? We do; if a boy is sweet on a girl, he sends her a Valentine card, putting no name on it. Girls also send them to boys. Of course girls send them to girls for a bit of fun. I am sending one & hope to receive one.

Bradford in Yorkshire - BBC website
Blue Skies - imdb website
1947: The year winter brought Britain to a standstill - Blog post by Neil Clark

Googling British Industries Fair 1947 will return a wide variety of sites hosted by different industries.
Odeon Cinemas still exist but the one in Bradford seems to have closed recently.

Links to other posts in the series:
Personal History: Post-War Penpals, pt 1
Dec 1945: Post-War Penpals, pt 6

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1 comment:

Shelby said...

I LOVE the valentine's day p.s. thing...