Lord Sunlight soap has been driving all over the island and has been all over the Castle with Mr. Orrock and so on. So now we shall see. It would be funny. I was telling Papa that no more boys would be going to the university – but all would go to boil soap!… Stornoway, 21st October. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 21 October 1917

In her letter to Jean this week, Mrs Gibson discusses beekeeping on a Sunday, and the hot topic of Lord Leverhulme’s visit to the island continues. Mrs Gibson refers to Lord Leverhulme as “Lord Sunlight soap” which is a reference to his soap brand ‘Sunlight Soap’. He established this brand under his manufacturing company Lever Brothers, which later went on to become the present multi-national company Unilever. 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 & beloved little She-ann,

We were very glad to get your letter yesterday as we were feeling very anxious about you after Mrs. Morison’s enquiries.  It is too bad to have had such a very bad cold at the beginning of your session but you must just take good care of yourself and so get rid of it as soon as possible.  About the emulsion it is better to take a little at a time and take it often than to take much at once. Isn’t it horrid to lose one’s voice?  I know so well how that feels, but it is something new for you.  However we hope that ere now you are able to converse freely again.  Sorry that Maud is finding the work so hard.  I didn’t like to hear of those faintings, and hope they may not recur.

Papa and I have not been to church today but are going now.  We expected Mr. John Anderson in this afternoon but instead we had a long visit from Mr. John Smith.  He is looking much younger having shaved off his beard and seem quite smart and affable.  I was thinking he must have come to ask for Maggie, treating Papa as “in loco parentis.”  If so, he didn’t.  He leaves tonight for the south again.

Mr. Anderson leaves tonight also.  Except for one evening he was here to tea we have seen nothing of him.  Today I was shocked to see him and Mr. Ewen with the hives open and smoker going just as if it weren’t Sunday!!

You will be sorry to hear that the London specialist has pronounced Mr. Tolmie’s case to be cancer.  He has come home meantime as the man they wish to undertake the operation is ill but he is to go back when the surgeon is better.  Papa says poor Isabella is feeling it all very much.

Lord Sunlight soap has been driving all over the island and has been all over the Castle with Mr. Orrock and so on.  So now we shall see.  It would be funny.  I was telling Papa that no more boys would be going to the university – but all would go to boil soap!

Papa saw Mr. W.J. Clarke since he came back.  He was telling him how delighted he was to find Marion so much brightened and improved even already.  We hope Bessie may soon be herself again.  He said the three of them had been dining with Sheriff and Mrs. Laing.  Wasn’t that nice of the Laings? They are delightful people.

Papa says he has Nichols comp. but is using it with the 6th and he has neither of the other two.  You should buy copies.  They will cost about 1/3 each.

Love to Sheann from her Pa and Ma also.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L4

Transcribed by Barry Shelby, Museum Visitor Assistant

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