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Horn Lane, Acton

The Goodlet diaries: Week two

This is week two of the diary entries of Alexander Goodlet of Ealing, 80 years ago. This week, he writes about war in Africa, and the premature announcement of the death of a famous author – who then promptly falls seriously ill. Have you read the introduction?

January 1936

Wednesday 8.3.36

Slept practically all day and was still tired when I rose at 5pm.

Finished a sketch of a R.R. loco. For Daniel and sent it off to him; and have just put in four hours’ very difficult work laying out the map I’m to make for the pater. It is going to be a swine all right.

The pater has not returned and there is no word of him.

Thursday, 9.1.36

Rose late again and had a rush to get to the bank in time. Walked up to Piccadilly and so home by Tube. Took Joan and the youngster home and got absolutely drenched in the process.

Mr Stanley to dinner and, just in time for it, the Pater also arrived from Paris.

Afterwards Kidd, J.D. and E.H. had two most spectacular wins and I distinguished myself by getting aground and stuck for half a race. Did not go to Horn Lane to-night.

Very little news of interest but it is gratifying to see that things are beginning (to be) rather difficult in Italy. I note too that half a dozen Italians have been expelled from Malta.

Had a letter (typewritten) from B.F. acknowledging Wuzz’s licence money. Courteous though.

Friday 10.1.36

Slightly better start and was up and dressed by 2.30. The Boys were out, so the mater and I had teas together and then I went down to Turnham Green to buy a fountain pen for Aunt Mary, as today is her birthday.

Then to Woolworths and the Library and so on to a second tea at the Aunts’. Found them very well and A.M. seemed to have a good day.

After dinner posted J.M.’s and W.T. and called on Kidd and Joan, with whom I spent a pleasant hour. Kidd lent me his home made proportional dividers, and they are a very good job.

It is incredible, but Beau did not turn up today. Really, the position is crazy, but I understand that the Board have, not unnaturally, decided to take no further heed of him. Though, what’s to be done I know not.

Tonight I saw E.E. Jennings going into the “Walpole” Cinema, so he is evidently still in Ealing.

The gale has broken out afresh, with much damage.

Walpole Cinema in Ealing
Walpole Cinema in Ealing
Saturday, 11.1.36

Again slept until lunch time, and afterwards pottered about until nearly six. At 7.30 went off to the dance at Lancaster House given by the old boys’ and girls’ associations. Jolly good, happy and very well run show, with a very good crowd. Felix de Wolfe was M.C. and did the job very well. He is incredibly like Basil Fehr. The Hodge brothers were there and after it was all over the Grundys most charmingly invited us three to partake of tea with them. Home at 1.15 am.

The pater is away for the night at Brighton, which is rather a pity, as there have been all sorts of frantic telegrams for him from Burgos, where poor Arena seems to be getting agitated.

Little other news. That cub Randy Churchill seems to be tub thumping in great style in the Ross and Cromarty Division, whither he has gone.

The Abyssinians are reported really to have inflicted a severe reverse on the Italians and it seems to be true.

Looks as if the Naval Conference were going to fail.

Sunday, 12.1.36

Slept until lunch time, though I have vague recollections of hearing Kidd and Joan, who were in during the morning.

Pottered about until after tea, when I went over to the Aunts’ with a message. Dad and Stanley were both here when I got back.

Dinner and the evening passed off every pleasantly; we listened to a broadcast of (the events of) 1935, which was very well done. Walked to Horn Lane [pictured] as usual.

Have not had a chance of a talk on affairs with the pater, so do not know how they stand.

Wrote Daniel and sent a cheque to the Inland Revenue.

Monday 13.1.36

Slept at last after difficulty in getting off, and felt ghastly when I rose for lunch. Sat a long time over it discussing with the mater the cabal between the Aunts and the Allans. There must have been something passed between the two parties in 1926 to have led to that extraordinary situation.

Took Joan and Thomasina home at 5.30 and went on to the Aunts to collect a pair of trousers for Buzz. He and Fuzz were at Lancaster (House) Old Boys’ Association’s dinner tonight, a very good affair, I’m told. Fuzz was elected a member and so becomes an “Old Boy”. How life rolls on.

To-morrow the fresh term starts at M.T. and by the mercy of Heaven everything is ready for them, fees, season tickets, certificates etc.

A most curious thing has happened. Last week the Senate of Brazil passed a resolution regretting the death of Mr Rudyard Kipling; kind but incorrect. Now comes the weird sequel. Last night Kipling was rushed to hospital for a most dangerous operation.

Tuesday 14.1.36

Somehow or other was up all night, and so up to wish the Boys Good luck when they departed this morning for school.

Afraid I then went to bed and slept like a log until 12 (noon). After lunch, to the bank and then home via Chiswick, where I purchased a despatch case for Fuzz. Next, sent off a money order to J.M., which took about half an hour and involved the signing of God knows how many papers.

Home to find Mrs Graham and Miss Crichton having tea with the Mater. The Boys came in soon after, old Fuzz quite pleased with himself as an M.T.

Wrote J.M. and went to Ealing to air-mail it.

The pater seems fairly satisfied with business prospects today. I am afraid the mater is rather tired again, and no wonder, with all there is to do.

It looks as if Mr Kipling will have a hard fight for his life. I fear he is very ill.

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