Yesterday evening I was up at a men’s party at the Castle. The most interesting thing was a discussion between Admiral Boyle, Lord Leverhulme & Sheriff Dunbar, on Free Trade… Leverhulme’s illustrations drawn from various businesses were very interesting …Lord L. has just published a volume of addresses, of which he has kindly sent me a copy. It was just as well, as the price is 12/6… Stornway 27th Nov. 1918

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 27th November 1918

Mr Gibson has dined at the Castle with Lord Leverhulme, where free trade was debated; he has also discussed equality of opportunity with cousin George’s friend Mr Macaulay. Mr and Mrs Gibson have fond memories of George’s visit.  The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Jean dear,

Your card to hand this morning. That looks a somewhat busy programme you indicate. George left Stornoway last night, which reminds me that he forgot his ration book which I now enclose to you, so that by passing it on to him you may save him from being starved in a land of plenty.

His visit gave Mamma and me much pleasure. We hope he will enjoy his visit to Aberdeen and to the other towns in Scotland he means to stop at. One wd like him to take away with him a good impression of Scotland.

He and his friend Mr. Macaulay and I walked down on Monday evening to the shell beach. It looked quite as you know it, with its miles of beautifully smoothed brown sand and the up-curling breakers and white smother of foam. It is a very fine spot. On our walk back we had an interesting talk on inequality of opportunity.

Yesterday evening I was up at a men’s party at the Castle. The most interesting thing was a discussion between Admiral Boyle, Lord Leverhulme & Sheriff Dunbar, on Free Trade. The Admiral is not much of a debater. I rather think he wd have been the better of one of your study circles. Leverhulme’s illustrations drawn from various businesses were very interesting. I was back home shortly after ten o’clock.

Lord L. has just published a volume of addresses, of which he has kindly sent me a copy. It was just as well, as the price is 12/6.

A quiet day to-day.  Fraser Rose called in the morning on his way home from hospital where he has been for a long time – one leg lame owing to sciatica or something of that kind. He is about to get his discharge and is likely to go in for medicine. I am to try to get his Leaving Certif. from the Dept.

Then John Mackenzie and I went down to the Manse and dug up my carrots and parsnips & some potatoes. Then home with a bucketful; shower on the way. We have had a very quiet evening reading – quite missing George and our game of dummy whist. Barrie spent a long time on the arm of Mamma’s chair. He is now curled up on the hearthrug.

[There was a hat that you, with Maud’s assistance, were to select and send to Mamma. I am thinking you have forgotten it. Perhaps Saturday would serve.]

Lawrence Bain is home just now; he’s coming to tea on Friday evening. Ellis coming in to-morrow (Thanksgiving Day). Hope the prompting will get on well. Our remembrances to George.

With best love.

Papa

Ref: 1992.50.64iii/L14

Transcribed by Dawn MacDonald, Archives Assistant

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Yesterday evening I was up at a men’s party at the Castle. The most interesting thing was a discussion between Admiral Boyle, Lord Leverhulme & Sheriff Dunbar, on Free Trade… Leverhulme’s illustrations drawn from various businesses were very interesting …Lord L. has just published a volume of addresses, of which he has kindly sent me a copy. It was just as well, as the price is 12/6… Stornway 27th Nov. 1918

We were entertained by the salutations from “the gods” to the dress circle. We asked George what “the gods” were known as in the West. He gave us a variety of synonyms. The one we liked best was the “peanut heaven” because the occupants are so high up and find a good part of their entertainment in consuming peanuts. Can you adopt it?… Stornoway 24th Nov. 1918

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 24th November 1918

Mr Gibson is taken with Canadian theatrical slang, and tells of having received a dinner invitation from Lord Leverhulme; meanwhile, Barrie the cat is taking advantage of cousin George. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Jean dear,

Got your letter this morning by going to the post-office. Found it short, but interesting.

Moral essay – 1st.  Well done! Good old Plato and the Clarion. Was that the combination? I begin to think you are going to have a deal to live up to this session – with a Mor. Phil. essay first, a Chemi. exam. with 100%, and your English.

As regards the English essay, cannot you take the fairies. Your study of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” wd save you from having much reading to do on the Shakespeare side, and the Pope part of it cd be soon done. It seems to me immensely more attractive than the Dryden theme.

We were entertained by the salutations from “the gods” to the dress circle. We asked George what “the gods” were known as in the West. He gave us a variety of synonyms. The one we liked best was the “peanut heaven” because the occupants are so high up and find a good part of their entertainment in consuming peanuts. Can you adopt it?

He and Mamma are at church to-night and Barrie and I are in possession of the study. The Funnells go south to-night. Mrs. Funnell was in saying goodbye last night and I saw Mr. Funnell in the street in the evening.

Yesterday afternoon when George and I were down at the quay he came across a lad who was at college with him in Alberta. He is called Macaulay, and turns out to be an Old Nicolsonian of the time immediately prior to my coming to Stornoway. We had him up to tea with us in the evening and he took dummy’s place in our whist game. He seems a nice lad.

Lord Leverhulme came last night. An invitation has come asking me to dinner on Tuesday evening. I have not yet made up my mind whether I am going. Mamma wants me to. It seems to be a men’s gathering.

Another parliamentary candidate, a Mr. Cotes [sic; should be Cotts] from Liverpool, I think, has appeared on the scene. We’ll soon have enough.

George will not travel before Tuesday night; his warrant has not come. One of the persons he specially wants to see is Mr. Murray, Torry. He’ll be able to visit him on one of his forenoons when you are at your classes. His best way will be to give you word, by telegram or special messenger, on the first morning he is in Aberdeen and then to call out at the Residence at 2 o’clock after your lunch.  You’ll then be able to let him see over King’s first. But he’ll give you word himself in good time.

Mamma and he have just come in. Barrie has quite adopted him and is at present spread out on the knee of his beautiful riding breeches.

Mamma has been too busy to write you.

Our best love.

Papa

Ref: 1992.50.64.iii/L13

Transcribed by Dawn MacDonald, Archives Assistant

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on We were entertained by the salutations from “the gods” to the dress circle. We asked George what “the gods” were known as in the West. He gave us a variety of synonyms. The one we liked best was the “peanut heaven” because the occupants are so high up and find a good part of their entertainment in consuming peanuts. Can you adopt it?… Stornoway 24th Nov. 1918

We have been out to Laxdale for the evening and I have left Mamma and George there while I came home to write you … We have found him very interesting and have been much pleased to have the chance of getting to know him … Stornoway 22nd Nov. 1918

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 22nd November 1918

Mr Gibson and the Library Committee have appointed a new librarian; Mr and Mrs Gibson have been enjoying spending time with Jean’s Canadian cousin George, and Mr Gibson passes on a feline kiss from Barrie the cat. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Jean dear,

We have been out to Laxdale for the evening and I have left Mamma and George there while I came home to write you. Barrie is sitting upon the table to help me as he used to help you with your lessons. He has just given me a nice little lick which I don’t doubt is meant for you.

George will leave either on Sunday night or on Tuesday night, depending on when his warrant reaches him. He will communicate with you, either by telegram or otherwise, on the forenoon of the day following his arrival in Aberdeen.

You can be thinking out what you can show him in Aberdeen. Will there be any chance of your being able to let him meet Mr. Taylor? We have told him of a hotel to go to when his train arrives. He will not, I expect, be able to spend more than two days, as he proposes to see also Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Greenock, and has only a week in which to do it all. We have found him very interesting and have been much pleased to have the chance of getting to know him.

We were amused at the half-dozen turn out at the Chemi. class after the armistice holiday. We heard from the newspaper of the bogus intimation that had been made that the classes would not meet. I am glad that you were not one of those to be “taken in.”

We have been spending the days in the same way – Mamma hard at work, myself spending the forenoons at school and taking a stroll with George in the afternoon, then the three of us playing dummy whist in the evening. On Thursday evening I had a meeting of the Library Committee and we appointed a Librarian a Mr. Berry of Edinburgh. I hope he’ll be able to come. I have not been able to find time this week to dig any potatoes.  I must try to make up next week. Nor any reading! And that is a more remarkable circumstance!

They say Lord Leverhulme comes to-morrow night. So there will be a subject for conversation again.

I have not heard anything about “Alma Mater” yet. Has it begun its activities? If you are able to take a share the experience will be very valuable. You didn’t learn the proof-correcting yet, but we can do that at the Xmas vacation.

The days have been dry this week, but grey and windy. George was wanting to get snapshots to take away with him, but the light has not been suitable. Perhaps he may get some yet.

Now, good night, and best love.

Papa

Ref: 1992.50.64iii/L12

Transcribed by Dawn MacDonald, Archives Assistant

Posted in Gibson letters | Comments Off on We have been out to Laxdale for the evening and I have left Mamma and George there while I came home to write you … We have found him very interesting and have been much pleased to have the chance of getting to know him … Stornoway 22nd Nov. 1918

On Monday shortly after 11 o’clock the sirens and hooters began to blow, proclaiming the armistice. Tuesday was intimated as a Town holiday, so after the Bible lesson on Tues. morning we were off for the day. On the Monday evening there was a tea for the naval men at the hut. Mamma and I were down. Mr. Murray got me to say a few words on the occasion to the men. Then there was a sing-song and I believe they enjoyed themselves till eleven… Stornoway 14th Nov. 1918

Mr Gibson relays accounts of the historic armistice, in both Stornoway, and as experienced in London by Jean’s cousin George. In sadder news, the Nicolson Institute has been closed in response to increasing influenza deaths. In lighter mood, Mr Gibson has a new and terrible “Dad” joke, and misquotes Milton’s Lycidas in a fond reference to Barrie the cat. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson, 14th November 1918

Jean dear,

Behold!  George has come; arrived on Tuesday night.  I found him at the gangway and recognised him by his likeness to Joe and his father.  He had had a good crossing.  Was in London when the armistice was declared and got close to the balcony at Buckingham Palace when the King and Queen appeared.  Was greatly impressed by the sight of London off its head with news.

He has been in hospital for quite a time and is still not quite well.  He is getting three weeks’ leave.  We have been telling him that when he goes south again, he must go by Aberdeen and see you.  You will find him quite an interesting addition to your very short list of known cousins.

By-the-way, he met in London a Mrs. Smith, niece of the Principal.  Do you know about her?  Her husband is some kind of Governor, or something, abroad.

Major Alfred L. Robertson is home on leave.  He was in seeing us to-night and was telling us something about the liberated regions of Belgium.  The influenza has reached Story now.  It has been pretty bad in the country for some time now, and there have been a number of deaths.  The first death in Story was that of Jo Maclennan, of which I think I told you on Sunday.  To-day Dr. Murray has closed the School (including the Secondary Dept.) for three weeks.

On Monday shortly after 11 o’clock the sirens and hooters began to blow, proclaiming the armistice.  Tuesday was intimated as a Town holiday, so after the Bible lesson on Tues. morning we were off for the day.  On the Monday evening there was a tea for the naval men at the hut.  Mamma and I were down.  Mr. Murray got me to say a few words on the occasion to the men.  Then there was a sing-song and I believe they enjoyed themselves till eleven.  Mamma and I came off about nine.

Four mice caught in the scullery on Sunday evening!  They were duly consigned to the mousoleum.

We heard with regret of the sad way in which the Abd. students had – some of them – celebrated the close of the fighting.  What a pity that we should still be at that stage, spite of all our national effort and sacrifice.  What can be done to put it right?  And they are the educated part of the community!   What a pity it all is!

We got a gift of pictures – reproductions in colour of some of the great pictures – from Lord Leverhulme, some sixteen, for school decoration.  They are quite good, and will prove an acquisition.

We are sitting in the parlour.  George is writing home, Mamma reading the newspaper, Barrie lying on the hearthrug, to whom I have just told that I am sending his love to you, and “touched his trembling ears.”  He looked up, so you see he agrees.

Best love.

Papa

Ref: 1992.50.64iii/L11

Transcribed by Dawn MacDonald, Archives Collection Assistant

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on On Monday shortly after 11 o’clock the sirens and hooters began to blow, proclaiming the armistice. Tuesday was intimated as a Town holiday, so after the Bible lesson on Tues. morning we were off for the day. On the Monday evening there was a tea for the naval men at the hut. Mamma and I were down. Mr. Murray got me to say a few words on the occasion to the men. Then there was a sing-song and I believe they enjoyed themselves till eleven… Stornoway 14th Nov. 1918

During the week we have had a very bad storm, which does not seem even yet to have quite blown itself out. Thursday night’s “Sheila” lay outside the lighthouse all night and only got in to the wharf at breakfast-time … The waves tore up a bit of the roadway opposite the Caledonian Hotel and seaweed is significantly strewed over the front every here and there. Our heating chamber at the Springfield Building has been flooded… Stornoway 10th Nov. 1918

Mr Gibson tells of declining an appointment as a Justice of the Peace, and of a sudden and sad young death from influenza; there is still no word of Jean’s Canadian cousin George, and Barrie the cat is avoiding a storm by sleeping on the hearthrug. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk



Jean dear,

During the week we have had a very bad storm, which does not seem even yet to have quite blown itself out. Thursday night’s “Sheila” lay outside the lighthouse all night and only got in to the wharf at breakfast-time. Two trawlers in the harbour went ashore but were got off again. The waves tore up a bit of the roadway opposite the Caledonian Hotel and seaweed is significantly strewed over the front every here and there. Our heating chamber at the Springfield Building has been flooded.

We are glad to know that Maud is having life a little easier now. I think it was time. Remember us to her.

I had a p.c. from Mr. Taylor congratulating me on my “J.P.” He doesn’t know yet that I declined the honour.

We had a letter from Mrs. J.P. Anderson. He has been very ill – two operations – the lymphatics on one side. She expects it will be quite a while before he is well again.

There is no more word from George yet. We don’t know what has come of him.

Mr. Kenneth Maclennan has had a very sudden and sad death in his family – the youngest daughter. She was only two days ill – said to be influenza and pneumonia.

Barrie is as usual asleep on the hearthrug. Roddie Fraser was up having tea with us, but left in time to go to church. Poor laddie, it seems a pity to see him with his crutches, but he talks quite cheerfully.

Our best love,

Papa.

Ref: 1992.50.64iii/L10

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on During the week we have had a very bad storm, which does not seem even yet to have quite blown itself out. Thursday night’s “Sheila” lay outside the lighthouse all night and only got in to the wharf at breakfast-time … The waves tore up a bit of the roadway opposite the Caledonian Hotel and seaweed is significantly strewed over the front every here and there. Our heating chamber at the Springfield Building has been flooded… Stornoway 10th Nov. 1918

This has been a whole day’s rain and the house has almost a moat at present I should say. – The storm here in dining room is fearsome tonight … Barrie would not go out in such a storm. Poor lil small! … Stornoway 7th Nov. 1918

Excerpt from letter to Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 7th November 1918

Mrs Gibson gives a heartbreaking account of a widow whom she believes has died of grief; Mr Gibson has given a talk on “Sea travel” to the Literary Society, and Barrie the cat is unlikely to venture out into the storm. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Dear Sheann,

We got your very short letter yesterday and see by it that you were indoors over the week-end but you do not tell me how you are. It has left us both feeling a bit anxious about you, as you have never said your cold was better. However we hope your next letter may say it is. I saw that Maud had been out to tea with you on Sunday so I went up to Portland V. to see if Mrs. M. had any news of you but she was out at the sewing meeting Mr. M. opened the door. He says he still has attacks of pain and of a suffocating feeling. He was looking fairly well however which is good. I haven’t seen Mrs. M. since you went away.

On Monday afternoon I was out at Danny Maciver’s paying the pew rents and then at shop after shop looking for boot-polish which I finally secured a box of at Holy Alick’s. The mother of the little girl who was going to Goathill for the milk died on Monday morning. She had had a baby a week before and I think died just of grief and neglect. Her husband was torpedoed and drowned last June. She has left six children the oldest a girl of fourteen. They have all been taken off to the country by the mother’s brother, also the poor dead mother for burial.

A happier fate has befallen poor Katie Morrison. She has a little son and is getting on well. I hope he may live to grow up and make up to her a little for the loss of his father.

Rudland says all the German U. boats should be made to come into Portsmouth flying the white flag in token of surrender. I think so too.

The Funnells are leaving Sy. almost at once as Mr. F. has been transferred to Sandgate, Kent (2 miles from Folkestone. Their goods are to be sold tomorrow. I am very sorry such a nice family is leaving the town. It will be the poorer.

I had a workman in the house two days this week building in the grate in our bed-room. He made less mess than usual and I think has made a good job of it. The chimney is built in solid behind the grate so it will not now be necessary to lug the grate out when the sweep comes.

Yesterday I called on Mrs. Small to ask news of Mr. J.P. Anderson. He has had a very serious operation – glands in the neck and shoulder and is recovering very slowly. He is now waiting to be sent to a convalescent home. Mrs. Mills was in Mrs. Small’s. She laughed and said that the last time she was in Mrs. S’s I was there (and that was before Shoras was born!). She is coming to see me some day soon.

Mr. Menzies went south on Tuesday I think. I was asking the little servant who brings the milk who was sleeping in the Manse at night – if she did! She says an old woman from Newton has now got a room in the Manse so she didn’t need to stay at night. I have no idea who this may be.

Papa has arranged that any of the teachers in lodgings who care to may use the school laundry at the week ends to do up their blouses or other things. Isn’t that a good tip?

Papa was out last night starting the new session of the school Literary Socy . He gave them a talk on “Sea travel”. Mr. Wilson came in later for his milk and sat talking for an hour. He was getting the dates of the Christmas holidays with a view to arranging his marriage then. He seems a nice honest simple lad but does not look strong. I hope she may prove a “browser” to help to make up.

This has been a whole day’s rain and the house has almost a moat at present I should say. – The storm here in dining room is fearsome tonight. We ought by rights to be in the parlour a night like this but the grate there is patched with fireclay and still soft.

Sm__y M’ s (?) galore today. Barrie would not go out in such a storm. Poor lil small!

Much love from us both to Sheann.

Your loving Ma.

Ref: 1992.50 64iii /L9

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on This has been a whole day’s rain and the house has almost a moat at present I should say. – The storm here in dining room is fearsome tonight … Barrie would not go out in such a storm. Poor lil small! … Stornoway 7th Nov. 1918

Johanna and another school cleaner have been hard at work putting in our peats. They are very wet indeed. Poor J. was nearly in tears several times with the stack falling down. She could not get it to stand. However they did manage to get the peats all round to the back and cleared the playground so that is good… Stornoway 30th Oct. 1918

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 30th October 1918

Mrs Gibson sympathises with the school cleaners’ battles with a peat stack; she expresses cautious hopes for peace, and is about to rescue Barrie the cat who is out in a storm. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Dear Sheann,

We were so sorry to see from your letter this morning that you were in bed with a cold, but we were glad to see you were keeping cheerful and making the best of it. You must take plenty of time and give yourself a chance to get rid of it. With so much influenza about one must treat colds with the greatest respect. It was too bad that you had to miss the functions that you had had so much work arranging for but it was good that you had been able to help. Glad Lina and Hilda are better and hope Joan is also. I have been knitting new woollies for you and posted them this afternoon. Perhaps you will be the better of them.

Johanna and another school cleaner have been hard at work putting in our peats. They are very wet indeed. Poor J. was nearly in tears several times with the stack falling down. She could not get it to stand. However they did manage to get the peats all round to the back and cleared the playground so that is good.

We have a gale again tonight. Papa is going out shortly to a library meeting. Did you know that Dora Murray had been taking Stevens’ place for the last few weeks. She has resigned now as she couldn’t stand it. Mrs. Mackay, Lottie’s mother has now applied and they will consider her application tonight. She is a poor soul!

When I was going down to the P.O. this afternoon Ellis over took me. She had been sent home early as she had such a very bad cold. She would not have been out but for the “quarterlies” being in. On my way up I called at Capt. Morrison’s to see Katie. Poor Katie is expecting a baby quite soon now and we all hope it may help a little to ease her sore heart.

Mr. Wilson has taken Joey Macleod’s house furnished (where Mrs. Small (?) used to live) and he moved in this week. He is to pay 30/- a week for it. He has a girl going in to clean up and make his dinner. Breakfast and tea he is to get for himself. This is to last till Christmas when he hope [sic] to be married. We had him and Bella and Angie Macallum and Murdina Mackenzie here for the evening on Monday. They came straight from school and did not leave again till ten. Some Ceilidh!

The inft. sch. [infant school] is closed for three weeks for the measles. Miss Reid went home last night.

The Gaelic choir is being resusitated [sic] and meets for its practices in – The Cottage! Jessie Pope told me today that the Sopranos at last meeting were Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Aeneas, and Dora. They hope to have a concert to celebrate the peace – if and when as Mrs. Asquith would say.

100% in Chemi. and it not to count against you! Too bad.

Papa and I send you our love and hope this finds you much much better. Write soon and let us know.

Your loving Ma.

The ‘lil small’ is out in the storm and I go to seek him!

Ref: 1992.50 64iii/L6

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Johanna and another school cleaner have been hard at work putting in our peats. They are very wet indeed. Poor J. was nearly in tears several times with the stack falling down. She could not get it to stand. However they did manage to get the peats all round to the back and cleared the playground so that is good… Stornoway 30th Oct. 1918

The lectures on painting – very good indeed. Make the most of them by supplementing by visits to the Gallery. Frequent visits to one good picture by a particular artist is better than general looking over a number of pictures. I remember a Turner of my youth I used to visit in the Glasgow gallery. Last time I saw it the colours had faded badly – that was one of Turner’s weaknesses I understand, his carelessness of permanency – but my picture was still vivid as of old… Stornoway 27th Oct. 1918

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson, 27th October 1918

Mr Gibson gives Jean advice on art appreciation; he has also been digging his allotment, and communing with Barrie the cat. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Jean dear,

Outside the wind is rising and I’m afraid a storm is brewing, but then there is the comfort that your trip across the Minch is overpast.  We got your card yesterday morning, so this morning I got up and went down and got your letter, and found it a nice long one, which we took with our breakfast.  We were impressed with your busyness, and experience of business, and skill in making ends meet for your fifty Reunionists.  So you find Profs. quite human when you visit them to make requests – well, even that is a widening of one’s horizon and to be valued accordingly.  I was tickled at your little band interviewing Prof. Niven with regard to your results.  The Profs. of my day were not thus accessible.  Our congratulations on your having got through!  We were wondering that we were so long of hearing about the results. 

The lectures on painting – very good indeed.  Make the most of them by supplementing by visits to the Gallery.  Frequent visits to one good picture by a particular artist is better than general looking over a number of pictures.  I remember a Turner of my youth I used to visit in the Glasgow gallery.  Last time I saw it the colours had faded badly – that was one of Turner’s weaknesses I understand, his carelessness of permanency – but my picture was still vivid as of old.  We were pleased to hear of Miss Angus’s visit, and to know that she is still taking an interest in things.  Enjoyed Soddy’s grim humour.  I am glad you are liking his class.  How about the Mor. Phil.?  By-the-way, you did not take my copy of “The Republic” as I meant you to.  Shall I send it, or did you get one?  Let us hear more about your English.  When will you get your reading done, to catch up on Mr. Sutherland’s vacation start?

We have had quite a busy week-end.  On Friday after school we had tea in No. 1 Room for Mrs. Mackenzie (née MacCallum) and presented her with the usual family teapot.  Mamma and Mrs. C.J. and Mrs. Ewen were present.  After tea we sat round the fire in the gloaming in a big circle and had one or two songs and some choruses, then a ten-minute meeting to discuss our further steps with Major Bain, and we finished up by singing “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” and nobody denied it.

Later in the evening there was a Committee meeting of the Y.M.C.A. which I attended, thus missing a political meeting which Mr. Anderson had in the school.  During the day Mr. Polson, the schoolmaster from Nigg, along with two men from Edinburgh, officials of the Smallholders Organisation Society, visited the school and I showed them round.  They expressed themselves as surprised at what they saw!  Saturday forenoon Mr. Ewen and I were on the allotment, helped by four boys and three girls of the Fourth.  There’s still a lot to dig.  Middle of the day – lunch in Lewis Hotel with the Smallholders’ Org’n. Soc’y; then meeting of the Society in the school, then home just in time to see Mamma depart for the hut.

At church this morning; letter read from Mr. Mills – not interesting; walk round quays; home.  Met Mrs. (Dr.) Mackenzie; Edward with her – home unexpectedly on leave, looking quite well, but thinner.

I gave your love to Barrie in the morning, presented it to him on my finger-tip, at which he smelled in a friendly fashion; so you will take it as returned.  He is down in the kitchen just now, so I can’t put the matter to him.

You were saying you were spending a lot of money – that’s all right.  In fact, we are in funds just now; Mamma put £10 in War Bonds this last week – so there!  And I have £2 or £3 saved to put into my famous bank-book – so again there!

Send us your Students’ Handbook when available.  When does “Alma” get under weigh? [sic]  I would like you to get the experience of helping a little with it, if it can be managed.

I don’t know whether I have exhausted all the news or not, but anything missed will serve for Mamma on Thursday evening.

With best love from both.

Papa.

Ref: 1992.50.64iii/L5

Transcribed by Barry Shelby, Museum Visitor Assistant

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The lectures on painting – very good indeed. Make the most of them by supplementing by visits to the Gallery. Frequent visits to one good picture by a particular artist is better than general looking over a number of pictures. I remember a Turner of my youth I used to visit in the Glasgow gallery. Last time I saw it the colours had faded badly – that was one of Turner’s weaknesses I understand, his carelessness of permanency – but my picture was still vivid as of old… Stornoway 27th Oct. 1918

Katie Pope … was telling me that at Mrs. Hector Ross’ sale yesterday the furniture etc made £170. Miss Maggie Robertson paid 27/6 for a pair of old jugs! and there were other fancy prices. Poor old Mrs. Ross! it is a pity she didn’t leave her possessions to those who had been good to her. Her nephew pocketed the proceeds and withdrew. It was quite a nice little wind-fall for him. He even took all her little bits of jewelry away with him… Stornoway 24th Oct. 1918

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson, 24th October 1918

Mrs Gibson has had difficulties with a ration book. She also raises an eyebrow at an undeserving inheritor, and gives Jean advice about how to avoid the flu. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Dear Sheann,

We got your nice long letter yesterday and were duly impressed with your exceeding busy-ness.  That secretaryship will take up a lot of time I can see but perhaps it may be quite all right if it helps to teach you how to make the most of what remains. Your self denying ordinance for the evenings is good and will help.  Do you ever have a reel like what Bessie spoke of.  It wouldn’t be a bad idea in the absence of coal.

Speaking of Bessie I had a letter from her this morning which I will enclose.  She doesn’t think Katie is through her 2nd.  Evidently some misunderstanding some where.

I have now got your new ration book which I also enclose.  Inside it you will find the counterfoils the getting of which gave me some trouble.  Poor Mary in Jas. Mackenzie’s had to find the butter and sugar ones out of bundles of 800 in each.

Had a letter from Greenock yesterday. Aunt Dean says she will write you soon.  They are both well and Uncle J. busy with Corporation business.

I met Katie Pope when I was out for bread this afternoon.  She was telling me that at Mrs. Hector Ross’ sale yesterday the furniture etc made £170.  Miss Maggie Robertson paid 27/6 for a pair of old jugs!  and there were other fancy prices.  Poor old Mrs. Ross! it is a pity she didn’t leave her possessions to those who had been good to her.  Her nephew pocketed the proceeds and withdrew.  It was quite a nice little wind-fall for him.  He even took all her little bits of jewelry away with him.

We had a few good days lately and I was much disappointed this morning to find it raining.  Our first loads of peats came this evening and Joanna has been at work with another woman putting them in.  Poor J. was very wet when she went home and I do hope she won’t be the worse of it.

Papa brought Angus Smith in to see me the other day.  He is a real marvel and isn’t a bit disfigured either.  They are hoping he may get his discharge.  John is to go or has gone to the Mediterranean in a Scout boat.

Papa and I went down to the Manse on Monday evening for the milk and found Mr. & Mrs. Clark there at supper.  We did not want to go in but they would take no denial so we too had supper and we all came away together.

Papa has still no fires in school – no fire wood!  There are a good many cases of measles and some of mumps.  So far I haven’t heard of any flu. I see the Med. Officer in Glasgow says the infection is likeliest by the nose.  So keep your nose well blown and frequently.  Avoid meetings & tram cars all of you and take plenty of open air.  Really I should have gone in for “meydecine”.

Much love your Ma.

Ref: 1992.50.64iii/L4

Transcribed by Barry Shelby, Visitor Assistant

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Katie Pope … was telling me that at Mrs. Hector Ross’ sale yesterday the furniture etc made £170. Miss Maggie Robertson paid 27/6 for a pair of old jugs! and there were other fancy prices. Poor old Mrs. Ross! it is a pity she didn’t leave her possessions to those who had been good to her. Her nephew pocketed the proceeds and withdrew. It was quite a nice little wind-fall for him. He even took all her little bits of jewelry away with him… Stornoway 24th Oct. 1918

We got your telegram this morning and were glad to know that you had arrived safely. We took it that your “white elephant” meant your luggage, though it is difficult to regard a trunk as being an elephant (groans!)… Stornoway 10th Oct. 1918

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 10th October 1918

Mr Gibson tells Jean a terrible “Dad” joke; Barrie the cat has gone out for a little walk so has not sent a message.  Lack of news from the War Office about an acquaintance is causing concern. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Jean dear,

We got your telegram this morning and were glad to know that you had arrived safely.  We took it that your “white elephant” meant your luggage, though it is difficult to regard a trunk as being an elephant (groans!).  So you had a not altogether pleasant crossing.  I thought there might be something of a roll on, but hoped it would be subsiding.  Yesterday and to-day have been stormy so you were fortunate to get over the time you did.

How do you find everybody at the Residence and at the University?  Long letters, remember, with plenty of detail.  I failed to pass on to you Dr. McKim’s kind enquiries.  He was greatly pleased to know you had been first in English.  The new house seems quite a success; it is larger than the last and has a little greenhouse.  He got 90 lb. of apples off one of his trees.  I saw the Wilsons along with him on Sunday evening.  The Dr. was wishing you and Mamma and I wd. spend the New Year holidays with him.  But I said it was not possible.

The enclosed p.c. came from Mr. Taylor this morning.  You will notice that he hopes to see you soon.  You need not return the card. 

One of the books I picked up when away was Thomson’s “Heredity”—quite a nice little addition to my library.  You will feel quite strange this year not to be taking any of Prof. T’s classes.

How is Maud after her exam’s.?  None the worse, we hope.

The Mackenzies have had no word yet about Teddy.  The War Office said they had no information of any recent casualty.  The suspense is very hard on them.

Lord L. sent a cheque for £30 to meet his contribution of shillings to the Children’s War Savings Fund.  We have now taken up our first collection — £20 from the Elementary School – exclusive of Lord L’s contribution.  Not a bad beginning!

This should reach you before you start out for your Nat. Phil. examn.  We hope you will get on well.  Give us word at once when you hear the result.

We expect to be able to send you money to-morrow.  I suppose this will be in time.  Will also send you your P.O. bank book.  I recommend for the coming session a weekly posting of accounts.  We’ll see how you get on with it this time.

Mamma is making the bread and milk.  Mrs. Menzies’ maid brought the needful.  Mamma says you are to be sure to get your milk this session, so see you arrange accordingly.  Barrie has just gone out “for a little walk,” so is unable to send any message, but you know how friendly he feels.

With love from us both and our good wishes for the new session.  Hope you are not feeling lonesome.

Papa.

Ref: 1992.50.64iii/L1

Transcribed by Barry Shelby, Visitor Assistant

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on We got your telegram this morning and were glad to know that you had arrived safely. We took it that your “white elephant” meant your luggage, though it is difficult to regard a trunk as being an elephant (groans!)… Stornoway 10th Oct. 1918