Mr. and Mrs. Rook and Mr. Harper left on Thursday night. They go straight through to Plymouth and stay there with Elsie for a short time to do shopping for their new home and then on to Penzance…Mr. Murray is still all right – has been three weeks at a signalling course in France and has now re-joined his battalion… Stornoway, 4th March. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 4 March 1917

In Mrs Gibson’s letter this week, she sends words of encouragement to Jean concerning her upcoming exams, she confirms that some of the teachers from the Nicolson have been called up to serve, and she also reports on a local family’s big move from Stornoway to Penzance in Cornwall. Additionally, poor Mrs Gibson is yet again waiting for the plumber. 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 She-ann,

We got your letter yesterday and quite understood why you had to make it a short one. It is a dreadfully busy time as you say but all the same don’t be overdoing it. Whatever you do don’t sit up at night. Take nothing off your sleeping time, else you will leave yourself in such poor condition that you will not be able to make the most of yourself and that would be a pity. You will soon get it over now and you will enjoy your holiday after all the more.

Things here just as usual. The teachers have been called up again and some of them will have to go serve(?) this time. Papa hopes to retain at least Mr. Maciver and Mr. Ewen. Mr. Maciver came in with us after church today and had a smoke by the kitchen fire.

Yesterday there was a E.I.S. [Educational Institute of Scotland] meeting. Mr. Clark came in and took dinner with us before going to golf. He has decided to allow Bessie home at Easter so that will be nice. He thinks he will have her back to lodgings in Glasgow after then as the travelling takes so much time. Mr. and Mrs. Rook and Mr. Harper left on Thursday night. They go straight through to Plymouth and stay there with Elsie for a short time to do shopping for their new home and then on to Penzance. Elsie will join them as soon as they are settled into a house. Mr. Murray is still all right – has been three weeks at a signalling course in France and has now re-joined his battalion.

I was again not at the sewing meeting this week. I stayed in for the plumber who as usual did not come.

Mr. Jenkins did not get the church he was preaching for. The man who did is 6ft 4in. If it was a case of body versus spirit the body had it. It shows what poor judges the people were.

Mrs. Carnegie of the Imperial wrote the Millses to see if they would let her the manse. They agreed to let certain rooms for £7 a month but before the Carnegies went in the session intervened and the bargain was off. I suppose they had something of the feeling that the Wee Frees had about their manse or at least they felt it wouldn’t do to have the trade in it. I rather agree although it seems a waste to have it shut up in these times.

Before you come home please buy me 2 prs. felt slippers (dark colour) size 5. Shall I send you Papa’s bag for your things? It is only this week that I have realized that the holidays are so near and it is very nice to have you coming so soon. Don’t worry about your exams but just do your best. Now haven’t I given you lots of good advice. Love from Papa and me to our poor lil’ over-worked Sheann.

Your loving Ma.

Ref: 1992.50.64i/L36

Trancribed by Ceitidh Chalmers, Museum Visitor Assistant

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