Miss Annie Miller is sending in her resignation at once as she is to be married very soon lest Mr. Harriman be called up. He and she are coming to tea on Wednesday. So as we can get to know him… I asked Annie about Johnnie Smith but she seemed to know nothing about him except he was still working in Sheffield… Stornoway, 20th May. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson, 20 May 1917

In her letter this week, Mrs Gibson brings Jean right up to speed on the comings and goings of the local folk she has seen during the past couple of days. There is mention of a marriage, a teacher’s farewell tea, and a vivid description of a dinner Mr Gibson attended at the manse at Garrabost. 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 disappointed not to get your letter yesterday and even more disappointed when Papa went down this morning and got none.  It has made us feel quite uneasy, and now there can be no letter till Tuesday.  However we must just hope that you are all right and there is some simple reason for not writing.

I washed your blouses and dispatched them on Thursday along with your scarf.  Miss Annie Miller is sending in her resignation at once as she is to be married very soon lest Mr. Harriman be called up.  He and she are coming to tea on Wednesday. So as we can get to know him.  When Papa said Miss Miller was resigning I at once thought it was Miss Maggie – but there seems no prospect yet of her marriage.  I asked Annie about Johnnie Smith but she seemed to know nothing about him except he was still working in Sheffield.

Maggie Ann Macleod has come back to stay in Sy. accompanied by her mother.  She is taking some private tuition to help her on the way to going to a college for secretarial training.

At Miss Harper’s farewell tea on Wednesday it was strange to see Mrs. Menzies and Ella Mackenzie there.  Ella had helped by baking a cake etc.

We have had rain today after many days of east wind and sunshine.  This evening the sun is out again and things are looking very fresh and green.  Papa and I have been for a walk, out by the target hill, through Upper Sandwick and back past Mrs. Menzies’ Manse.  We were joined on the way back by Mrs. D. J. Macleod, a study in black and white.  She was as gay as usual.

Nellie and Agnes Mackenzie have just started out for a walk down Sandwick Rd, Agnes in a cerise hat and Nellie in very smart shoes.  I have not seen Mrs. Aeneas since she came home.

Yesterday Papa, Mr. Ewen & Max Murray were down at Garrabost Geologising.  Max brought the car so they did not need to cycle as they had intended.  When they were on the shore a lady came to the top of the cliffs waving to them.  She turned out to be Dorothy Macleod inviting them in to dinner.  Wasn’t that nice?  The dinner was de luxe, soup fowls with white sauce, unlimited potatoes, tapioca pudding, with cream and then tea and new oven scones!!  There were two dogs to admire (very amusing) and a nice black cat.  As you may imagine they quite enjoyed the hospitality of the manse and left greatly refreshed.

The people down there still keep to the old time but Mr. Macleod has got them to having the evening service an hour earlier so they and he are equally satisfied.  Isn’t it funny?

I was speaking to Marion Clarke coming from church this morning.  She is looking very nice and lady-like and not so very serious as sometimes.

Bessie was sick at home.  I don’t think Maud’s mother was in church.  I haven’t seen her since we were at the manse together.   I saw Mr. Clark’s (Laxdale) tall spare form up at the front but I couldn’t see who were with him.  Mr. Maciver, Tong, was hurrying the singing too much.  Lottie Russell was at the organ and played very nicely I thought.

Papa joins with me in sending love to our Sheann.

Your loving Ma.

Ref: 1992.50.64i/L48

Transcribed by Vivienne Parish, Museum Visitor Assistant

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