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Horn Lane, Acton

The Goodlet diaries: Week 38

Week 38 is punctuated by several trips to Horn Lane in Acton (pictured) and news of the trial of a man who tried to shoot the king. Our serialisation of Alexander Goodlet’s Ealing diaries from 80 years ago is running in parallel time with the present day – you can read previous weeks in the history section of this website, and an introduction.

September 1936

Saturday, 12.9.36

Felt more tired out and one up this morning than I ever remember and dozed off again over a cup of tea the Mater brought me. After lunch was busy until tea time, after which I went down to the Library where, incidentally, I ran across Joan.

Meant to have got the routine work over early after dinner, but this awful feeling of ‘used-upness’ caused me to prolong the job until 12.15. The old lady in the flat above has had a serious stroke tonight and the Mater was up there for over two hours helping Miss Clarke and DR Chambers, who came in and had a spot of coffee with us while awaiting the nurse.

Today a large consignment of troops left S’hampton for Palestine in the Dorsetshire, troopship, while the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Arthur Wauchope met in conference the members of the Arab Committee. Let us hope some peaceful solution comes of it all.

The British Ashes Test team also sailed today for Australia.

Sunday, 13.9.36

The Mater gave me breakfast in bed and I rose at 12.30 very unwillingly. At one arrived Ine and the Doc with Margaret and Rosemary. This is the first day I’ve seen my newest niece, and she is a beauty. An intensely solemn face, with an immense amount of character in it for so young a being.

The Aunts arrived after lunch and Kidd and his family soon after that, so it was a very large and merry reunion. They all departed about six; I’m sorry to say that Aunty Mary seemed not to be too well. The Pater and Doc. had a talk over the Merchant Taylor business, and I believe the Pater has decided to see Mr Birley.

Stanley came to supper and we had a merry evening with his music and the wireless. Walked to Horn Lane.

I was sitting in the drawing room tonight, about 2.30 am, when I heard an appalling crash and later on found that one of the big Spanish plates hanging on the dining room wall has fallen and smashed itself to bits. This is a great pity as I believe it was a valuable one.

Monday, 14.9.36

Rose again with that dreadful feeling of utter exhaustion and indeed fell asleep in the bathroom while preparing to shave. After tea went to the Library and on to the Aunts’, where I was glad to find AM feeling better. After dinner typed the Pater’s letter to the Head of Merchant Taylors and went to Acton to post it. Quiet evening since.

Today began and ended the trial of McMahon, the man who attempted to shoot at the King. He gave some sensational evidence, which, if true, is sheer drama, about being bribed by one of the foreign embassies, presumably German or Italian, to do the deed. He has received a sentence of twelve months’ hard labour.

The Palestine Arab Committee have been unable to agree to call off their terrorist campaign, damn them, but are to have another meeting in Thursday. Let us hope some good comes of it.

Tuesday, 15.9.36

The Mater brought me breakfast in bed, after which I slept peacefully until 3pm, when I awoke feeling much better than I have done for days. Found a letter from Daniel without much news in it.

After tea went shopping in Ealing for the Mater and saw an accident on the main road on the way home. Dinner was early and after it I wrote a letter to the RNWAR to see if I could get in there, and a letter to Daniel. Went out to post these and called on Kidd and Joan for half an hour.

Not a great deal of news. The two American flyers who set off to recross the Atlantic east to west got over all right but crashed in Newfoundland through petrol shortage, same as Mrs Markham. Their names are Merrill and Richman; they are safe.

There has been a terrible avalanche disaster in Norway. Two old ladies, twins, Dowager Lady Loch and Lady Lytton, have had twin great nieces born on their 95th birthday.

Wednesday, 16.9.36

Again had breakfast in bed and rose fairly late, but much refreshed. I have for the last two days had a return of that confounded pain I get at times and which I believe to be appendix. Damn it. I wish it would go.

Joan and the little girls were here to tea, after which I went to the Aunts’ and the Library. Amused myself after dinner by making a hot water bottle out of a tin can and it is most successful.

Not much news anywhere. I see the British authorities gave forbidden the Arab Committee to assemble all together for their great policy conference tomorrow. Can’t quite think why.

I hear that Jeanette has called on Ine at Brighton. It will be interesting to hear details later on.

The Pater seems to have got the Boys’ fees paid, but God knows how the bank account stands. This perpetual skating along a cliff edge of disaster is driving me mental I think. How the Mater stands up to it in the way she does I don’t know.

Thursday, 17.9.36

Made quite a good start and was at the bank immediately after lunch. Home to find that LH had been wanting to take me out in his car. After a cup of tea I went over to Harrow and procured the Boys’ tickets. Mr Stanley came to dinner and afterwards the Hodges, JD and Kidd came in and we sailed two desperate matches, which I was fortunate enough to win. To Horn Lane as usual.

This evening, just after dinner, Miss Clarke came down and told us that her mother had died.

There is no news as to the decision of the Arab Committees. Mews comes today of the tragic loss of the famous French Arctic exploring barque Pourqoi Pas?

Today there was a very courteous but not very definite letter from Mr Birley asking the Pater to see him. The Pater has replied, quite politely, but rather finally, I’m afraid refusing.

Still that damned pain hanging about.

Friday, 18.9.36

Slept very late today I’m afraid, but felt all the better for it, although that infernal pain is still hanging about.

After tea went to Woolworths and the Library and then on to the Aunts, whom I found well.

Just as I was finishing the after dinner routine the post brought me a letter from the Admiralty giving me an appointment for Monday. Cheers, this at least is something and not just a blank negation, as so many things seem to turn out.

Went over to see Kidd and Joan and found old Kidd was seriously considering the ER side of the RN.

Today the Boys returned to School. I half hoped that old Buzz would be made a Prompter but there seems no word of same.

Today old Lady Lytton, whose 95th birthday I noted on Tuesday, died from a fall. What a tragic sequel.

The Alcazar was blown up today.

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