I have now got my “grosseries” unpacked and stored away. I am greatly fortunate in having got ½ cwt. [hundredweight*] sugar. I can’t think how Uncle J. managed it… Stornoway, 14th October. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 14 Oct 1917

This week, Mrs Gibson writes to Jean regarding the latest plumbing incident, the few visitors she has seen this week, and there is also an interesting mention of her rather large sugar ration. 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 Tuesday night letter with your news up to that point.  We hardly expected a letter yesterday but did look for one today when lil Lizzie brought up the mail, but there was none.

Did Papa tell you that we have the plumbers here again.  The noise in the water system was too alarming and the flow was less and less.  So Murdo – the deaf one – put on the force pump and blew a hole in the top of the hot water tank.  The water squirted out flooded the press (cupboard) and its contents so you can fancy the mess.  A new tank has been ordered.  Meantime Murdo has patched the old one but it continues to leak and I have to catch the drips in a vessel.

I began cleaning out Maggie’s room.  On Friday I washed the whole of the walls and ceiling and on Saturday Rudland  in sea-boots etc. came and sprayed it Murdo being called off his plumbing to work the pump.   The room was simply flowing with disinfectant and the smell is almost too sanitary.

I have now got my “grosseries” unpacked and stored away.  I am greatly fortunate in having got ½ cwt. sugar (hundredweight*).  I can’t think how Uncle J. managed it.

Today Papa and I were not at church in the morning.  D. was rather late and it was wet and stormy.  So we go tonight instead.

I haven’t been out at all since you went away except to see poor Mr. Crichton & Mary which Papa told you about.  No, I am forgetting that we went down late last night to the Reading Room to see the pictures.

Mr. Jenkins dropped in to see us on Friday night and was enquiring kindly for you.  He stayed to supper and then sat talking till nearly twelve o’clock.

The last time Papa was talking to W.J. Clarke he said Bessie was a good deal better.  She had had a good sleep the previous night.  He had had no answer from the friends in Aberdeen to whom he had written and now Bessie does not want to go.

Jean Mackenzie was in one evening returning books and discussing them “Cash and Credit” for example.  She is taking honours economics I think, and I noticed that she had a very keen interest in the price of the loaf in Sy.  She is wonderful and I am sure will do well.  I am not thinking so much of in college as ultimately in real life as it were.

Love to She-ann from her Pa and Ma.

*A hundredweight was 8 stone or 112 pounds. So she had received 4 stone (56 lbs) of sugar.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L2

Transcribed by Barry Shelby, Museum Visitor Assistant

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