24th January 1961

January 24th 1961


Darling Alan,

Please let me keep the photograph!!! It’s not that it is just a photo.  It means more than that.  It’s special because you gave it to me on a special day, you know what I mean.  I won’t show it to anyone else if you hate it so much.  I just want to keep it.

It was funny on the train Monday morning.  I met Carol and after I had triumphantly announced that I had got another letter from you, we got to talking about you – she seems to be taking quite a motherly interest in us, y’know.  The train was really jammed tight and we were propping one another up.  Suddenly Carol yells out ‘I bet you think of him every time you put on your dressing gown, don’t you?’  I could absolutely feel the deathly hush and the eyes turning to my face which rapidly changed from a pale ‘just got up’ white to a delicate shade of pink and then a brilliant red.  When she had realised what she had said Carol thought it was killingly funny.  She hasn’t let me forget it since.

There’s this funny chap at the Bank called G.. B……..   He must be about 40 and has been divorced twice.  He tells everyone that he always spends his summer holidays at a nudist camp.  No one quite knows whether to believe him or not but knowing him it seems pretty likely.  He keeps us in fits of laughter (and blushes) when he talks to us.  You know the type.  He’s got a very crude sort of dry humour.  Anyway, Monday he came into the office wearing sunglasses.  All the girls remarked on it of course which pleased him.  He only does things to draw attention to himself.  His story was that he had taken the job of bellboy at an hotel over the weekend.  ‘it gets very draughty looking through keyholes!  That was alright but when he starts telling us what he saw! Well!

I gather you must have written the last letter before you heard about me chucking in evening classes altogether.  When I read your letter I did wonder for a minute whether I ought to finish the year out.  But I talked myself out of it in no time.  I can think of some marvellous arguments to talk myself out of doing something I don’t want to do.

There is an awful flap in the family at the moment.  Y’know that Sunday you came round and I was out visiting my Nan in hospital?  Did I tell you she was in there for 8 weeks after breaking her hip?  As soon as they could they had her out of bed and she was helped to walk by 2 orderlies there.  She was alright so they let her come home yesterday.  The ambulance men helped her upstairs and she went straight to bed.  My mother went to see her this afternoon (she lives with my aunt) and mum said, Nan was still in the bedroom.  She wouldn’t move as she insists she cannot walk.  After a lot of persuasion mum and my 2 aunts helped her downstairs and into a chair.  But she is terrified even to stand up by herself.  It’s awful.  No one knew what to do about it.  She is quite capable of walking with a stick but she’s got no confidence to try.  Mum was getting pretty upset about it when she was telling us.

You couldn’t have timed your letters better Alan.  I get one on Monday mornings, which brightens up a horrible day, then before I know it it’s Wednesday and another letter.  I don’t mind Thursdays and Fridays anyway because the weekend is so near.

Then it’s Monday and we start all over again.  It’ll be no time ‘til August at the speed the days seem to be passing recently.

You must have forgotten the perils of the London Underground ‘if you start reading at Dagenham you should finish by East Ham.’  At the speed the District Line travels I would have finished by Upney.  No offence to your volume of course.  I love getting long letters because I can always remember what comes next when I read short ones over and over.

Jennifer came home from school tonight wanting to beg, borrow or steal 5/-.  She’d been fooling around during her science lesson and had broken a thermometer.  She said the teacher only made her pay for it because he was in a bad mood.  With her to teach, I’m not surprised

This is my second week at the new job I’m doing at the Bank.  It’s smashing fun at the moment cos I’m still being qualified and the girl I am with is a laugh.  We talk all the time and if any of the seniors say anything she just tells them she is explaining something to me.  I will be with her for 3 weeks in all, then I am on my own.  That is when the Bank records might start to go wrong.  Did I tell you what I’m doing now is to do with deaths and executors etc.  We have to write messages over everything in red ink.  I like using red ink.  Makes me feel important.

My dad has finally got hold of a copy of Lady Chatterly. They are in great demand after the court case last year. He said he’s surprised that I haven’t asked to borrow it yet.  He was even more surprised when I told him it wasn’t worth reading and gave him the numbers of the ‘best’ pages.

There is a court case in London at the moment which reminds me of the little bit of excitement in my life.  It happened about 3 years ago (when I was 14, pure and innocent!)  There were 4 of us who used to walk to school down Brentwood Road.  We had to pass this empty shop.  One morning one of my friends just gave a yelp, went white and tried to tell us she had seen a naked man standing in the doorway at the back of the shop.  As you can imagine we didn’t believe a word of it, but nevertheless the next morning we crossed over nearer the shop.  Boy!  did we get a shock!!

This went on every morning for weeks.  Then, one morning one of us was called to the headmistress’ study.  Another girl, two years younger than us, had had the same ‘experience’ and had reported it.  Bubbles (her name was Miss Bubbers) the headmistress, had wanted confirmation and the girl had given my friend’s name.  There was quite a fuss.  A policewoman was called to the school and my friend had to answer some pretty embarrassing questions and was present while the other younger girls were interviewed.  A couple of weeks later there was a tiny paragraph in the Romford Times.   ‘so and so’ was fined … for exposing himself to some Romford school girls’.  Our crowd was quite the centre of attention for some while.

I hope you (have) enjoy(ed) yourself skiing.  Special message from your future mother-in-law (though she doesn’t know it yet) don’t come back with a broken neck!  Seconded by me, I might add.

Love and kisses as always

From your Maureen


I’m thinking of you all the time!  So, behave yourself!

Oh yes.  There is just one little thing I don’t think I have mentioned to you before!  I didn’t ever tell you I love you, did I?  No?  What a shame. It must have slipped my memory.

D’you remember when we were at your house that Friday, I said I thought you were just marvellous?  I don’t really know why I’ve mentioned it now but I’ve just been thinking back over those few days.  I knew then that I liked you a lot but it seemed a bit daft telling you during the first evening we really spent together.  But after being with you Saturday, and then how I felt Sunday night when you didn’t come round!! I can’t tell you how pleased I was on the Monday to know that you were waiting for me.

I’ll never forget how awful it was as the hours went by Monday evening knowing that I wouldn’t see you for such a long time.  I was really a mixed up kid then.  Tremendously happy because I knew I had found someone I had been waiting for for years but depressed because I was in a sense losing you so soon.

I feel as if I have been writing about a couple of years ago.  It is hard to believe it’s only about 4 weeks.  Wont it be marvellous when you come home?  All that time we can have together.  I love you so much I could burst!

Letters from Maureen Week 3: 21st -30th January 1961

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