Letters from Wales

Dad (and Mom) were confirmed letter writers. Every time they were apart, for whatever reason, notes and short letters flew back and forth. They'd rather write than talk on the phone. But then again, you didnt need a second mortage to buy a postage stamp back then.

In 1970, I was 17 and into my first year at work and Mom and Dad were back to taking split holidays (away from each other) because of the shop. Luckily some of the letters they wrote to each other have survived and a reproduced here along with some explanations shown in italics. The grammar and spelling are copied directly from the letters.

15th June 1970, Monday

From Dad to Mom. From Harborne to Sea View Guest House, Friog, Faribourne, Merioneth, North Wales

Just a few lines to let you know I got back O.K.

By the mid 1960's Dad had taken to driving Mom and me to Wales on the Sunday afternoon and returning back to Harborne ready to open the shop on the Monday morning. It was only subsequently that I realised this was a direct result of the Beeching Report and subsequent destruction of the British Railway system by the Labour Governments Lord Beeching – not much changes!

A good trip back, left you at 6.40 and was back home at 9.40, I called at the house first to have a wash before I went to the club.

Although by this time we still had the shop, we actually lived in another part of Harborne. The club was The Harborne Club and Institute located in Serpentine Road.

Bill was off to work at his usual time and when I got home last night he was washing his plate etc, a good start.  Lovely morning again here and I hope it is the same with you, forecast sounds alright for the next few days.

It looks as if it will be a bit quiet in the house for you (the stay at the guest house) but that doesn't matter too much as long as the weather stays good and you are able to get out and enjoy it.

Things are as usual here, so there is no more news, so I will close and once again, have a nice holiday.


18th June 1970, Thursday

From Dad to Mom. From Harborne to Sea View Guest House, Friog, Faribourne, Merioneth, North Wales

Glad to get your letter this morning and to hear you are O.K.

A pity the weather has changed for you, although it is not too bad if it keeps fine during the day.

Tuesday was cold here when I down from the shop. Bill had the fire on and it was wanted.

Yesterday was a bit warmer, we did see the sun once or twice but it started to rain at 7.30 and p.d down. I had to wear a coat when I went to the Club, and it was emptying down at 7 this morning although it is fine now, the sun is out and quite warm.

Dad always walked to his Club until he was well into his late 70's, then it was bus up and a lift from a friend or a cab from a private hire firm down.

When Mrs Marsh came in on Monday she wanted to know where Fairbourne was, as Cyril said it couldn't be in Wales. I told here she should see the Signposts, she would know it was Wales then.

Cyril Marsh was both a friend of my Dad's and a regular customer of the shop , he was the school caretaker at the Blue Coat School in Somerset Road Harborne and he and Mrs Marsh lived in the lodge by the main gateway. Cyril was an excellent gardener and kept honey bees)

I asked her if she would like to come for the trip next Sunday, and she said she would if the folks from Cheltenham don't come over.

Apparently she doesn't hear about that until Fridays but I suppose Jack could find another cup of tea if she does come, as it will be too late to let you know.

Jack Moody an ex-pat Brummie owned Sea View Guest House and provided Dad with a Sunday high tea when he arrived in Wales to either deliver or collect Mom or Mom and me. Although we had, by this time, the phone fitted at home neither Dad nor Mom ever considered using it at that time.

Bill is getting off to work O.K. And cooking the grub, it is all ready when I get down from the shop and he is doing it well.

I had the milk pinched on Monday. Mrs Edwards said it was on the step, but she didn't know you were away or she would have took it in, but she is doing that for me now. Harold Edwards and his family lived next door. Harold and my Dad had known each other for nearly all their lives.

Interested to hear about the house without roof, they must be opportunists if they hope to “flog” that.

The week is going quick and it will soon be Sunday again, I hope to arrive about 5pm, it depends how quick I can get away and if I do bring Mrs Marsh ask Jack if he can lay another tea on.