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Trolleybus in action

The Goodlet diaries: Week 15

Political machinations in the British Parliament, ‘vulgar and bellicose blustering’ by Mussolini…and a new trolleybus service in Acton. Week 15 of our serialisation of the 1936 diary of Alexander Goodlet touches on all kinds of subjects. If you missed it, read the introduction to the series here.

Monday 6.4.36

Again 5.30 pm when I got to bed. Up for breakfast at 11 and then to bed again and slept until tea time.

After tea I was on my way to the Aunts’ when I met Eddie Baden and he invited me into his house for a drink. Result, spent a pleasant hour with him and his wife and was late for dinner.

Busy on correspondence after dinner and then down to Ealing to post it.

Next, on to the Aunts’, with whom I had a cup of tea. Sorry to hear A.M. had been sick again this morning.

Had a letter from JD today and it appears he is now in Newcastle. Wrote him.

This morning I had from Ine a most beautiful note case, complete with a 10/- note inside. It is most decent of them. Also, a letter from Margaret.

There appear to be somewhat more hopeful prospects in the business world today.

All the news seems to confirm that the Italian are mercilessly hammering the Abyssinians.

Tuesday 7.4.36

Again another 6 am to bed, and did not rise until 3pm. Thereafter put in two hard hours on the map and then went to Acton for the Mater.

Incidentally, saw there the new trolleybus service in operation.

Home again and before and after dinner was busy on typing letters for the Pater. The youngsters very decently took them down for me to the air mail, as Mr Stanley had come in to spend the night with us. He very decently made me a gift of 50 cigarettes, which I much appreciate. Walked to Horn Lane with him.

…I am interested to see in cold print a suggestion that I made some time ago, that Baldwin will be forced to resign, N. Chamberlain taking his place, with A. Chamberlain as Foreign Secretary and Winston as Minister of Defence; but the Pater thinks that the majority of the Conservative Party would rally to Baldwin’s support simply through their detestation of that little beast Beaverbrook’s odious newspaper campaign against him.

Wednesday 8.4.36

Woke late and very stiff with a pain which I’ve had across my back for some days. Damn it. Had to go to the bank and decided to take the youngsters up for an afternoon in Town.

After calling at the bank we had eta in the Coventry Street Lyons and then went to Bonds, where we had a good scrounge around. Then to Euston, which is as cold and dark as ever. We had the good luck to see the Royal Scot train arrive, hauled by 4-65-2- Princess Victoria. Looked in at St. Pancras and at King’s Cross, where we saw 4-6-2 Trigo and one of the old small Atlantics. Had a look at AB.L.s and then home by a ‘bus , a ¾ hour’s drive.

After dinner called on Kidd and then went on to the Aunts to see how A.M. was, as she has had another bad gastric attack. Fortunately found her much better.

The interesting McElroy enticement case has resulted in damages of £3,500 for Mrs McElroy.

Mussolini is rapidly disgusting everyone with his vulgar and bellicose blusterings.

Thursday 9.4.36

Again to bed at 6 am and felt simply dreadful when I had to turn out at 11.30 to see Stanley off. Met him at East Acton and duly went with him to Euston where he departed, hauled by 4-6-2 Duchess of Kent. Then home again, when I accompanied the Mater down to Victoria and saw her off on the 4 pm with the Pater to Brighton. Dense crowds at both stations.

Back to Ealing and called on Joan who gave me tea. Home to supper with the Boys, who very decently washed up and gave me a lot of help in preparations for the Club evening. Unfortunately only Kidd and EH turned up, but with Buzz’s help we sailed two races. Unfortunately I won the shield, which is a pity, as the other tow do far more to deserve it by turning out night after night. A very jolly evening.

Letters from Jeanette and Daniel.

Friday 10.4.36

To bed at daylight again and so of course, in spite of the youngsters calling me every hour and going me breakfast in bed, it was four pm before I rose, thereby losing a whole day, damn it.

Was very busy on the map until 10pm, when I went over to the Hodges for a couple of hours.

Since returning at 12 have put in 4 hours hard work on the map and have half of it finished, and the worse half at that.

The youngsters have put in some very good housework and all goes very smoothly.

The rheumatism I have been suffering from for the last two or three days seems to be getting worse; it is agonising at times.

Saturday 11.4.36

To bed again at 6.10 , but nevertheless was up having breakfast with the boys in the drawing room at 10.20. Fairly busy during the morning on one thing and another and after lunch went to Ealing.

Busy on modelmaking for Buzz until 7.30, when I left to go over to Kidd’s for dinner. Had a very pleasant evening with them and got back here at 12.30. Incidentally I told Kidd that on re-examination of the figures I found he has won the shield, and for the third time. He was generously offered it to the Club for perpetual competition.

The Aunts arrived at tea time and are spending the weekend with us. Had a cheery letter from the Mater tonight. They are having a restful time.

Today’s sensation is the sudden death from heart failure of the German ambassador, Herr von Hoesch.

Sunday 12.4.36

Up reasonably early, but then returned to bed and so was only up and dressed after lunch.

Wrote the Mater and then Kidd, Joan and family came to tea, also Howard. They left about 5.15, and it was only then that I started on the Rocket. Buzz, who is much interested, insisted on co-operating and was of tremendous help. We have worked until 3 am and got all the boiler and firebox parts made; but will have to leave the assembly until tomorrow. Even the parts look rather fascinating, but I fear any fond hopes of finishing the job over the Easter holiday are indeed fond.

The Aunts have, I think, enjoyed the day and the party has really been a very peaceful and happy one.

The Mater rang up tonight and says they are both well, but very tired; the reaction, I expect, after getting out of the routine of this place. The Pater has no word of any money coming in. What a cliff edge we are always on. Ye gods.

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