28th – 29th March 1961

March 28th – 29th 1961

Tues – Wed


Darling Alan,

I’m being a good girl (no kidding) and turning over a new leaf.  I am actually going to bed earlier lately.  So I thought the only way I can write a decent sized letter is to spread it over two evenings.

I went to see Swiss Family Robinson last night.  It was ever so good.  I can’t begin to describe it to you because it was one of the few films I’ve seen that was a complete flowing story.  Y’know what I mean?  That James Mac Arthur sure is something?  When I got home last night I kept trying to tell Mum and Dad about it.  (They weren’t very pleased cos they were trying to watch television.)  Something must have persuaded dad that it was a good film cos he turned to mum and said ‘coming to the pictures tomorrow?’  I was surprised but mum nearly fell off her chair.  It’s the first time he’s said that for years and years.  I know mum wanted to go cos she’d mentioned it Sunday but of course, as per usual she comes out with a long list of reasons why she couldn’t.  The main one being that Jennifer couldn’t stay up that late.  When she’d finished the subject was dropped.

She and Jennifer decided during the day that Jennifer would go with her friend on Thursday so as soon as dad got in tonight he was pounced on and dragged out again.  The outcome of that page filler-upper story is that I’ve had the pleasure of Jen’s company tonight.  At the moment she is in bed thinking about what a kind and generous sister she’s got.  I had strict instructions to get her to bed by 9 o’clock.  What pleased her was that I told her she could have the light on and read until they came in.  She doesn’t seem to realise my motive.  There was a pile of washing up in the bowl when I told her.  It wasn’t there when she went to bed.

Only one and a half days at work before I can have four days rest.  We get paid Thursday.  The first payday since our rise and annual increase in salary.  Trouble is I’ve spent it already.  I’m going dancing with Jane Saturday night and as usual I’ve decided days before what dress I’m going to wear.  It only dawned on me this afternoon that I need to wear white shoes with it and I dyed my only white ones black a coupla weeks ago.  So, Saturday I’m going shopping for shoes.  Mind you, I say I’m going dancing with Jane.  I haven’t seen Jane for weeks.  This has all been arranged by messages passed on by Carol, and knowing Carol, it’s probably Saturday week.

Carol has been asking me for suggestions on how she can let her boyfriend know she wears specs. She says she’ll have to wear them on holiday (in 7 weeks time) and she wouldn’t like to shock him enough to send him home.  I’ve given her some brilliant ideas, from leaving the specs lying around to telling him outright.

But she still hasn’t told him.  I suppose it’s too early yet.  After all she has only known him for 2 years!

Jean saw Stan Sunday night and said that Graham seems to be under the impression that we are going out in a foursome every other week.  I panicked at that and almost pleaded with her to drop some gentle hints to get me out of it.  But she refused.  She said I can’t tell him I don’t want to go til I get a definite invitation.  So I’ve got to wait and see what happens.  Trouble is there is a 21st birthday party on 22nd April that they are all going to and to which I am dying to go.  But the only way I can fiddle an invitation is by seeing Graham sometime before then.

I suppose everything should work out eventually. Jean is never any good to go to for help or advice out of a sticky situation.  All she ever says is ‘you got yourself in it, you’ll have to get yourself out.’

There was an accident outside the Bank this afternoon.  When we came out of work there were two cars in an awful mess, sitting almost on top of each other.  And the road was absolutely swarming with coppers.  To add to the scenery the reporters and photographers were dodging around the place.  One even had his tripod fixed up.

Another lucky bod left today to get married.  You can tell when anyone comes prepared for something special cos they have all got their faces on before they get to work. While the rest of us fix our make-up when we get there.  If we have time of course.  In my case I usually have to wait til coffee or lunch time.

A girl from another office was getting married last Saturday.  We saw her with her friends on the station platform Friday evening. She had cardboard notices pinned to her coat and was covered with streamers and balloons.  She even had tin cans trailing behind her.  I didn’t think it was very funny though.  She was just making a stupid spectacle of herself.

Talking about spectacles, you are a clot.  I usually leave my sister to break mine.  She’s got a marvellous technique which she perfected last summer.  My glasses were on the lawn and the clever whatsit jumped on them.  And I know just what you are thinking…what were they doing on the lawn in the first place?  Well, it so happens that I was sitting next to them in a deckchair.  I was in the deckchair, believe it or not.

I’ve hardly done any work at all today.  I’ve just been sitting around half asleep.  I went to bed early last night as well.  Well, at least it was before midnight which is pretty good I think.  So, you see, late nights must agree with me.

Stan is taking Jean to Epsom Easter Monday.  I’m jealous.  I’d love to go there.  She hasn’t got over the shock yet.  When he asked her where she wanted to go she said ‘Oh, the races of course.’ Ever so sarcastic like (one of my comrades) so, he is taking her.  Just think of me stuck here all the time. Ugh!

My mother!  Honestly!  It’s a good thing you write things that I can talk about.  Everytime I get a letter she says, what does he say, anything interesting?  So I have to think of some of the incidents you’ve told me about, to pass on.  She thought that bit about you walking around with a lump of wire was funny.  So did I, I can just imagine it.  She said dad used to spend days just walking around with things.

I’ve just had a thought.  I won’t be able to get my usual letter next Monday. No post!

For a long time now every Easter dad had tried to talk me out of wanting an Easter egg.  But he still hasn’t done it, I’m afraid.  That’s one part of childhood I’m not giving up without a fight.  I love Easter eggs especially the ones filled with chocolates.  He’s bought me a nice big one this year.  He showed it to me but he won’t let me have it.  He even bought mum one as well.  Something must have gone to his head.

It’s Wednesday now and there isn’t much more to add to last night’s writing session.  I went to the Ideal Home Exhibition with Pat this afternoon.  It was alright I suppose but I didn’t feel very much like walking around.  As a matter of fact we spent most of the time looking at and discussing engagement rings.  I’ve seen a beauty for £120 it was the only one there I liked.  Still, I liked all the wedding rings and that’s the one that counts.

It’s lucky I haven’t got much more to write because I’ve only got two pages left in the pad.  As I went tearing out this morning I yelled out to mum to get me some airmail paper.  I got home tonight and she told me she had got the air letter for me.  Anyone want to buy a 6d air letter?

So much for my being a good girl and turning over a new leaf.  I was twenty minutes late for work this morning.  The train before ours broke down and we were hanging around for ages, so I had a good excuse.  I just sort of forget to mention that I probably would have been late anyway as I was on a later train in the first place.

We can see the train coming through a gap in the shops * and nearly every morning Jennifer and I do a sprint from about half way up the hill to the platform.  I’ll be having my early morning run by myself for a couple of weeks.  Jen starts her Easter holidays tomorrow.  It’s awful getting up in the mornings and seeing her turn over again.  Think I’ll go back to school, longer holidays.

  • No dear, we see them through the gap.

It’s dad’s birthday tomorrow and I still haven’t bought him a present.  I haven’t got the faintest idea what to get.  You men are damned awkward.  I have got him a miniature bottle of Cherry Brandy, just to keep him quiet until I lay my hands on some dollar lolly.   Dollar Lolly Day being tomorrow.

Think that’s about it for this time.   It’s 150 days to go ‘til……….


Always yours


Letters from Maureen Week 13: 27th March - 1st April 1961

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