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Train at Acton Main Line station

The Goodlet diaries: Week 32

Week 32 is dominated by an enjoyable sojourn to the south coast, including  numerous walking expeditions and trains. Goodlet does, however, still keep an eye on the developments abroad as Spain’s civil war continued to rage, fuelled by other nations. If you are catching up and want to start from the beginning, read week one.

August 1936

Saturday, 1.8.36

Got to bed at 5.10 am and was up again at nine, and a ghastly wrench it was. Old Buzz very decently went round to the School to collect my ticket for me (by the way it constitutes a rather ticklish problem, as I don’t know whether to offer Grundy the fare or not). Down to the bank at 11.30 and so on to Waterloo, where I most happily met the Grundys, despite the dense crowds, and duly got good seats in the train. We had on a bulbous-cylindered LSWR 4-6-0, No. 743 I think, and made a fairly good run to Southampton Central, but were late through signal checks. Changed there and then on to Romsey here where we arrived at 3.45. It’s quite a pleasant country town, strangely reminiscent of Wantage, but a little spoiled by slum development in the 70s and 80s. The Norman cathedral church is magnificent. The cottage here is a real (15th) century one and beautifully fitted out.

We have strolled through the place and made various shopping expeditions and …so to bed.

Sunday, 2.8.36

Slept splendidly until 12.30, when Grundy awakened me with a cup of tea. After lunch he and I went out on an exploratory walk round the northern environs of the town. We found them to be distinctly grubby, dilapidated and unpleasing, the streets full of mean houses and the fields and pathways to be ill kept and weed strewn. Very disappointing.

After tea went to the station to meet Miss Colbourne. I had the great good luck to see Adams 4-4-0 (No.) 587 on her train. After dinner Mr Grundy and I again went exploring and found such better roads and fields to the west of the town, so all is well.

Home to tea again and a theological discussion, after which I have sat up reading bits of Motley’s Dutch Republic.

Have not heard much news of the outside world these last two days. Wrote the Mater this afternoon.

Monday, 3.8.36

Did not awake until 12.30, but felt marvellously rested. Lunch was in a happy mood owing to a definite improvement in the weather. In the afternoon friend Grundy and I went for an hour’s walk along the Southampton Road and much enjoyed the prospect. After tea the four of us took a long and somewhat muddy ramble over the adjacent fields and hills. Home at 8.50 and enjoyed a long and jolly supper, after which we played darts for an hour, a pastime at which the ladies completely triumphed.

I wrote the Mater again this afternoon but of course have not yet heard from her. Hope they’ve all had a really good Bank Holiday. Curious, but somehow there has not been the feeling of a bank holiday in this quiet country place.

I see that Endeavour II lost her mast again today, for the second time this season. Louis Bleriot died in Paris yesterday. Heavens, I remember the excitement in the dining room at Wandle House the morning he flew the Channel in 1909.

Dunluce Castle at Suez August 1st.

Tuesday, 4.8.36

Another very pleasant day. Friend Grundy brought me a cup of tea at 12, after which I had a leisurely bath and a shave. After lunch G and I went for a long walk and found some extremely pleasant country. After tea went exploring, first visiting the station, where I had the good luck to photograph two locos., one a Jubilee. Our second ramble took us for several miles over pathways in fields and woods and was a great success. We got in very late and found ourselves just ahead of Miss Grundy and Miss Colbourne, who had been to the New Forest.

Very welcome and jolly supper, followed by darts, in which tonight we completely vanquished the ladies. Grundy and I have sat for three hours arguing philosophic ideals.

Had a letter this morning from the Mater, who says all is well at home.

In Spain the Government seems to be coming out on top, and a damn good job too. A tremendous sensation here is the dismissal by the Prime Minister of Sir Christopher Bullock, Permanent Secretary for Air.

Wednesday, 5.8.36

Made a rather late rise, unfortunately, but so did Grundy, with the result that we did not start our expedition until 2.30 pm. We walked through Broadlands Park, Nursling and Redbridge, Toton and Millbrook to Southampton Royal Pier, where we had tea and watched some of the shipping, including the poor old Majestic and the Twickenham Ferry; also saw the funnels and upperworks of the Berengaria alongside the Ocean Dock. Also saw SR 0-4-0 tank Normandy with Drummond chimney. Saw too a GWR Duke and many others.

Setting off homewards we walked out past the charming common and after a long pull up to Bassett we passed along the crest of a long hill; a beautiful road, serving some of the most beautiful and charming houses I have seen for ages. A truly delightful district. We pressed on going very well and after passing through the beastly village of Baddesley (well named) we were home at 9.45, having covered 21 moles in all. Jolly good going.

The ladies, who had been to Cowes, had supper ready when we arrived and we have just finished a long and exciting game of darts.

Had letters from the Mater and Fuzz today and wrote the latter. Not much news anywhere.

Thursday, 6.8.36

Slept the sleep of the unjust, which is very soundly, until 12.40. Rose to find that Miss Colbourne had departed and that the weather was awful.

Had a letter from the Mater and one from Kidd. The latter is home once more and is to take the Boys to Chatham tomorrow, so solving that problem and allowing me to continue down here.

Wrote long letters to the Mater and Kidd and after tea we went over to the station to meet D. Briegel. He came in with a Jubilee. Bought some darts, which we have played all night.

The Spanish situation is worsened by the fact that by the aid of German and Italian aeroplanes containing the Spanish fleet, General Franco has at last succeeded in getting two ships with 5000 veteran Moroccan troops across to Spain. I fear this will have a bad effect.

Friday, 7.8.36

Rose very late, I fear, to find that Grundy had gone into Southampton to a Rotary lunch and Briegel with him. So Miss Grundy and I lunched and tea’d very leisurely here and then went off to S’hampton on the 5.40 train. It was interesting passing alongside the route G and I took the other day. It was a magnificent evening, sunny and warm, and we walked down the High Street from the station past the Bargate and so to the Town Quay. Took the ferry over to Hythe and spent half an hour in that pleasant and quaint little spot. It has all the flavour of 1913 yet about it. Ando so back on the ferry, passing under the very stern of Lord Runciman’s Sunbeam II which was just sailing, a lovely craft. The Empress of Britain, Bremen and Britannic were all in port today, in addition to those seen on Wednesday.

We then went along to the Channel Boat Quay to meet Miss Grundy’s sister, who was due on a train to leave for St. Malo. By a happy chance we ran into Grundy and Briegel in the street outside and all four were just in time to greet the voyager and wish her bon voyage before we had to dash to the Central Station in a taxi to get our last train back here. This train, like the one on which we went, was composed of GWR stock. I am glad that the SR socks the blighters sometimes.

A late supper and a game of darts, after which the family has departed to bed while I stay up to write this; also a letter to the Pater and one to the Aunts. I wrote the Mater this afternoon. I had a splendid parcel from her of shirts, collar etc. this morning, also a long letter and 10s which is no end decent of her.

The world’s news is very bad in all quarters, it seems to me. Germany is especially is getting into a very ugly humour over the Spanish position and Italy, of course, is stirring the trouble. Then, a military dictatorship has been imposed in Greece, with trouble sufficiently serious for us to send the Barham there in case of a flare up.

Then, we have had a terrible colliery disaster at Barnsley, where 57 men have been killed, and it is feared that 27 more have no hope of getting out.

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