Papa had a letter today from Mr. Montgomerie at Galashiels. He is a lieutenant in the Scottish Rifles and is about to leave for Egypt… Mr. Dodd is on a hospital ship sailing between Southampton and a French port and has had many narrow escapes, having been torpedoed in the Mediterranean on his last boat and another time caught in submarine nets…Stornoway, 28th October. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 28th October 1917

In this week’s letter, Mrs Gibson writes to Jean with news from two local men away at war, a brief explanation of the ‘new’ idea of guilds as opposed to trade unions, as well as the latest from her local friends and acquaintances and their families. 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 were glad to know that you have now got rid of your cold and that you are getting into your stride as it were in regard to your classes. From what you say they promise to be very interesting. Keep us posted in regard to them from time to time.

This is Sunday evening and Papa and Barrie and I are sitting by the dining room fire. The rain has been coming in so badly over the study fire that we thought it wouldn’t be nice to sit up there. We were at church this morning and after coming out we went round the Target Hill with Mr. C. J. Maciver in a sunny blink but with great black hail clouds fast driving up. However we got back before they over took us which was well.

Yesterday the E.I.S. had a meeting to arrange about the Allocation of the new grant for Salaries.  After the meeting Mr. Clarke, Colin and Mr. Ewen came to dinner and stayed talking till nearly five o’clock. It was one of the wildest and worst days I have ever seen in Lewis and I think they enjoyed being cosy by the fire. Mr. Ewen has given the Robbins a month’s notice as he is getting Mrs. Ewan to come back. The final appeal for Colin and him comes up in Nov. 7th..

By the way did you happen to see or hear that Mrs. Firth Maciver is married again at Edinburgh to a Capt. of Engineers named Brewin of Dover. It was in the ‘Scotsman’. It seems a bit soon.

Papa had a letter today from Mr. Montgomerie at Galashiels. He is a lieutenant in the Scottish Rifles and is about to leave for Egypt. He sent his good wishes for you. Mr. Dodd is on a hospital ship sailing between Southampton and a French port and has had many narrow escapes, having been torpedoed in the Mediterranean on his last boat and another time caught in submarine nets.

I haven’t heard anything further from the painters but am gradually making my preparations for them. It is very gradual as every day seems so full that it takes a long time to get anything extra overtaken. Then I have the unattractive prospect of having the plumbers again when the new tank comes from the south.

For the last ten days I have been reading A. C. Benson’s “Upton Letters”.  They are very good and tender and wise. I always enjoy his writing.

Speaking of the “New Age” it seems they have been scoring recently. What they have so long and ardently advocated – trade guilds, teachers’ guilds, guilds of all sorts so that those engaged in any calling will form a guild and manage the whole thing, not a mere trade union which is merely a combination of labour for its own protection against capital but a guild which would include masters as well as men, – well this seems to be the line of post war development. If the teachers were a guild they would lay down the regulations for training, issue their own certif.’s, settle the rates of payment and superannuation, settle on a code of professional etiquette to be observed by all, and every  thing in short that affected teachers would be decided by the guild. I haven’t read much about it but that is the kind of thing.

I was over seeing Mrs. Macleod and Annie one afternoon. They were pretty well just now, Annie up every day which is good. The apples haven’t come yet! Miss Eva Macleod (Mrs. Jones) hasn’t come back with her husband. She is in Leeds with his mother it seems and Sy. thinks it very strange.

Have you heard from Bessie? Ellis says she likes the hostel but it isn’t nearly finished yet. There are 26 girls. I gather from Mr. Clarke that Bessie isn’t taking the Zoo and chemi. classes over again but as you know I find it sometimes difficult to make out just what he means to convey.

Love from us both to She-ann,

Your loving

Ma

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L6

Transcribed by Margaret Smith, Museum Visitor Assistant

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