5th July 1961

July 5th 1961


Darling Alan,

Decided to make this a diary type letter because I only wrote Monday evening and it is too soon to send another letter.  I just feel in the mood to write to you.

I’m absolutely dead tired but I daren’t risk going to bed yet.  Time is precisely – she turns her head and consults clock – 11.27 pm and about 10.30 yours truly decided she felt a bit peckish and cooked herself her special spaghetti dish.  Boy, am I regretting it now.  My stomach thinks it’s enjoying a trip on the scenic railway.  Or maybe ‘enjoying’ isn’t the right word.

Thanks for the letter it was the nicest one I’ve had for ages.  You must have been in a good mood when you wrote it.  You had me in fits all the way through and that’s just about what I need now.

I brought the girls at work up to date on the saga of Mick and the Canadian girl.  They were all very interested, ‘specially when I read out what you had written about his wife.  Makes you want to commit suicide when you think our glorious country is being defended by you lot.  Present company excluded of course….darling.

My stomach is still going over and over, it’s most uncanny.

Do you mind me reading out your letters to the girls at work?  I don’t read it all (I couldn’t, just the funny bits.)  I often think I must be getting to be one of those horrible girls who talk of nothing but their boyfriends all day long but when I think back someone always asks me if I’ve had a letter from you and what you said.

One of them said, after hearing parts of yesterday’s hilarious effort – and it was a masterpiece too – that she’d like to have someone to write to, just for the fun of it.

I’ve told you I have been working in another office for three weeks, haven’t I?  We have a marvellous time there.  We hardly do any work just sit and gas all day long.  it’s much better than my usual office.  I’ve got to go back there Monday, Bloomin’ nuisance.

The girl who is sitting next to me does nothing but talk about the outside toilet that her father finished building last week.  No matter what we are talking about this outside toilet crops up.  It’s marvellous the way she does it.  I’m at the stage where I just sit there and wait for it to be mentioned.


We had to work until 5.30 Monday cos we are so behind with this work that has to be finished by September 1st.  It’s to do with the drawing of Victory Bonds.  It was 5.30 again this evening and we were informed it will be 6 o’clock tomorrow. It was so funny when the chap in charge came in to tell us.  He just said, ‘6 o’clock tomorrow, alright?’  and one of the girls turned straight back and said, ‘Fine. Any time you say.’  Just as if she was accepting a date.  We nearly died laughing.  He stood there for a moment and we thought he would blow his top but he thought it was funny as well and laughed as much as we did.  Good job.

It’s such a waste of time working until 5.30 cos we don’t get much extra work done.  Anytime after 4.30 we get free tea tickets (worth 6d) and we nip down to tea for half hour, well – let’s say – it should be half an hour.  Then we have ten minutes wash time on top of that plus the 5 mins before 5.30 when we start packing up, so, in all there is about 10 mins extra work done.  Just plain daft.

Did I tell you I have gone mad on dress-making?  Not through pleasure, through necessity.  I’ve had the fabric for two pairs of pyjamas since my birthday.  I actually started working on them Monday.  I mentioned in a letter to Lena that if we were the same size she could wear some of my clothes.  She says from my photo we look about the same size but she thinks she’s a bit taller than me.  I’ve invited a giant to stay with me – let alone marrying one!

Suppose I had better pack up til tomorrow. My eyes are getting harder and harder to keep open.  I’m dead bored.  I’ve got the prospect of seven weekends in, in front of me.  Ugh!  Horrible.

Did I mention that Lena is flying back to Sweden on 29th August (Tues) and I will be back at work.  D’you think you could be a dear and find your way to escorting her to Gatwick?  Dad’s in the process of persuading my uncle that he would like a drive down there on August 4th to meet her, so I doubt very much Lena will have much idea of the way back.  Especially after driving up here.

I’ve bought a new record that’s just absolutely perfect for when you come home.  It’s gorgeously slow and dreamy and the words will fit the occasion just right.  I’m not going to let you hear it til we’re all alone in your front room again.  Boy, what an atmosphere this record could create, as if anything is needed to create an atmosphere with the Air Force around.

I know what I meant to ask.  Anyone you know been sent to Kuwait?  I keep hearing Cyprus mentioned in connection with it.  People make me sick.  Now Nassar is trying to get his little word in.  He is getting as bad as Kruschov.






Friday 7th

Here we go again, sitting here waiting for inspiration.  I told you I was dead tired when I was writing on Wednesday night.  Well, it seems I was tireder than I thought cos I couldn’t get up yesterday morning and I missed my train and I was late for work.  Still, that’s nothing unusual.

I got a letter from my dear friend Marjorie this morning, containing some pretty surprising news.  Or is it?  She starts off by telling me about the house they are moving into today.  It’s in Oval Road North in Dagenham but I haven’t found out where that is yet and added at the end of the letter that Jean and I would be aunties in the new year.  So, at 19 she’ll be saddled with a kid.  My god, I don’t envy her at all.

Come to think of it she did say, barring mistakes, they would start a family in two years time.  Mum seemed to be (not) very enthusiastic about it. her first words being, oh, what a shame.

I haven’t done one stroke of work all day today.  It was my last day in this office and it just didn’t seem worth doing any work.  We were all in a terribly giggly mood and have been cracking unfunny jokes all around the place.

Have I mentioned the Big Boss, who we only see now and then? Three of us were going back today and he came and thanked us for our help, which was quite surprising as he’s a miserable ….thing.  Being ever so polite we told him it had been a pleasant change.  I’m glad we did cos 15 mins later he sent up a message that the three girls who were going back could go home at 4 o’clock tonight.

At work there’s this girl is called Margaret, but everyone calls her Mog for some reason, who is absolutely mad.  She is always losing things.  Things like her glasses, umbrellas, gloves etc but what we thought was a bit funny was her losing her locker.  Our lockers are in long rows in a big room and soon after she came to the Bank this girl lost the key to hers.  She couldn’t remember the number of her locker to go and get another key for it and she hadn’t got the key to get the number from.  She said she had to share a locker with her friend for three years, that is, until they started rearranging these locker rooms.  Then it turned out that her locker had been two away from her friend’s.  She said it was so embarrassing trying to explain to the people concerned that she hadn’t seen it for three years.

We’ve had a mad craze on jelly babies this past week.  We’ve been taking turns to buy a bag of jelly babies each day and spend the afternoon eating them.  I don’t want to go back to my own office.  They seem to be breaking me in gently.  I’m in tomorrow morning but found out tonight that Carol is in as well.  So that’s not so bad.  We can catch up on all the scandal.  I haven’t seen her for ages.

Mum’s just bawled down the stairs I should be in bed, it’s 12.15.   Poor thing must be sleep walking again, it’s only 11.15.


We had quite a time at work yesterday afternoon what with the Test Match and Wimbledon Women’s Semi-Finals in one afternoon.  Some chaps down the other end of the office had a portable radio on and the messengers also had one in their room.  So all in all we were kept pretty well up to date with the scores.  Every time the messengers came past they told us and every now and then someone from the other end would come down and tell us.  They said it was murder up there trying to keep up with both tennis and cricket they had to keep whizzing from one programme to the other.  At one point this David came down and yelled out 154 for 2 and started to walk away again.  The messenger behind him gave him the most filthy look, said ‘do you mind?‘ Turned to us and said, ‘154 for 2.’  Boy, did we laugh.  We certainly had the men running around for us yesterday.

Whenever there is anything special happening the Bank is absolutely swarming with portable radios, what with the Duke of Kent’s wedding, Test Match and Wimbledon they’ve been around quite a lot lately.

What do you reckon on the all British final then?  Not bad eh?  I hope Angela Mortimer wins.  Christine Truman seems to have patches of brilliance it seems to me she only concentrates now and again.  Angela Mortimer’s been knocking around for years and I reckon she deserves to win something big.  Still, by the time you get this it’ll all be over.

Have you made any plans for 26th August yet?  The Saturday after you come back?  I think I probably mentioned it before, haven’t?  But I’d love to have a coming and going party.  The opportunity is too good to miss, you coming home and Lena going two days after.  There’s still one hell of a long bridge to cross though, two certain things called parents.  Suppose I ought to start laying the ground, the 26th is only seven weeks tomorrow.  It really doesn’t seem possible.  It hardly seems any time at all since it was seven months.  The next step is seven days.  Still, there is only forty-one days til then.

I know what I had to ask you, have you any idea what time you’ll be leaving Gloucester? Cos some hair appointments are going to need re-arranging.

There is a bit about Michael’s accident in the local rag this week.  They’ve even spelt his name right.  Wonders!

Information:  L.K. O’Brien’s Christian names are Leslie Kenneth.  And if you don’t know who L.K.O’Brien is (dad didn’t) you don’t read your money very carefully.

Your Maureen is absolutely fed-up this evening, I keep thinking of having to stay in tomorrow night.  What a state of affairs.





We had another barney here last night concerning Jennifer and her friends.  Jen had a day off from school today and she wanted to spend it round her friend Gillian’s house.  Gillian’s mother goes to work and the house is empty all day.  Gillian is not a very savoury character.  Her mother has been here before now at 10 pm trying to find the girl, (she’s12) we know from Jen that on the pretext of taking the dog for a walk she goes to the park to meet her boyfriends.  What started the Barney Thursday was Jennifer asking to go to Gillian’s for the day and in the same breath telling us about her sister.  This sister is fifteen.  Wednesday evening she went out at midnight her mother began to get worried and called the police.  You can never get any details straight from Jennifer I don’t know whether she came home of her own accord or whether the police brought her home.  Nevertheless it was 4 am when her parents saw her again.  It seems she was at a party or at least that is what they told Gillian.

Poor Jen didn’t know where she was when she called on me to back her up as I usually do in matters like this.  All I said was, if you were my kid I wouldn’t let you go.  Well, I mean we don’t want her to turn out like me, do we?

It is 12.15 now so I suppose I’d better make a move.  I’ve been going to go round to Jean’s for ages now but I haven’t got there yet.  Still, I’ve got some jolly good scandal now, tell her she’s going to be an auntie.  I’m dying to know what Marjorie thinks of this motherhood lark.  Wonder if she is pleased or not.  It’s a bit late for second thoughts now, isn’t it?

When my uncle and aunt came over a fortnight ago they sorta mentioned that they hardly get out nowadays and I offered that anytime they felt like going out to baby-sit for them.  They’ve taken me up on it.  Just think of me Monday evening getting in practice by playing ‘mother’ to a seven year old girl and a four year old boy.  My God!  They never do what I tell them at the best of times!

I don’t know if I have told you before but the parents spoil the boy and he won’t take any notice of anyone not even his parents.  In my opinion Barbara has been ignored too much so I always make a point of pampering her when I see her, and she jolly well knows she can get her own way with me – like someone else I could name.

I can see myself struggling to get the kids to bed when their parents come home at 11.  I’m not looking forward to it one bit.  Pure hell!

At the risk of repeating myself, mother’s on the move again.  My cue to go to bed I think?

Lots and lots and lots of love

From your Maureen

Letters from Maureen Week 26: 3rd - 7th July 1961

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