On Friday evening there was a meeting of allotment holders to get a lecture from the Agriculture College instructor, on the growing of potatoes. There was a good turnout and quite an interesting discussion. I have put down my name for a plot. I want the boys to grow some to give to some widows who can’t grow any for themselves… Stornoway, 3rd February. 1918

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 3rd February 1918

In this week’s letter, Mr Gibson reports on various meetings held throughout the week, including an interesting reference to an allotment holder’s meeting. It has been a big herring week in Stornoway too, the scale of which Mr Gibson also reports on in his letter. 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

Jean dear,

Another Sunday evening & we are once more in the study.  The wind is rising outside as if a storm were brewing.  We have had dry dull weather for the last two or three days.  We would like to have a little sun.  It is curious that the only spell of good weather since the beginning of Sept. was the fortnight of your New Year vacation.

Now for the doings of the second half of the week.  Mamma told you about Dr. Murray’s lecture on Wednesday evening.  On Thursday evening the boys’ drill time was taken up with a lesson and practice on morse signalling under Mr. Pryde’s direction.  On Friday evening there was a meeting of allotment holders to get a lecture from the Agriculture College instructor, on the growing of potatoes.  There was a good turnout and quite an interesting discussion.  I have put down my name for a plot.  I want the boys to grow some to give to some widows who can’t grow any for themselves.

On Saturday we had the usual chores, with our visit in the evening to the reading room.  Miss Maclean was in for a while to discuss the arrangements about the children getting the use of the Infant Hall for their meetings as they are losing the U.P. church; also her arrangements for Mrs. Jarley’s waxwork in connection with the Literary, which is to come off on Wednesday.

To-day we were at church in the morning and Mr. Menzies preached, Mr. Jenkins being at the Parish Church to make his good-by [sic].  He leaves next week.  Mrs. Menzies is better now.

We see you continue busy.  When is Prof. Burnett’s address to be given to the Classical?  If you can, be present at it.  He is a man of some weight in the Classical and educational world and I want to hear how he strikes you.  We hope you will enjoy your Tuesday night’s social.  Glad to know the study circle has been proving so interesting and so successful.  I shall get a reading afterwards of your notes of Dr. Fulton’s lectures on the Fisheries.  They shd prove interesting.  I am glad they are being included in your course.  Will you also have some of Dr. Rennie’s lectures on Parasitology?  Does your “Zoo” continue after Easter?  We envy you Prof. Thomson’s lecture on “Man’s place in the web of life”; I am sure it wd be very good.  The University is very fortunate in having a man like Thomson on its teaching staff.

We are looking forward to the coming of the “Alma” to see Muriel’s poem.  When are you going to contribute another one yourself?  A nice Lewis one, it’s to be!  [“No,” Mamma says].

I am beginning to get requests from the T.C. girls for testimonials.  It comes as a surprise that they are about finished already.  I was glad to learn that Cathaday and Maggie Bella were giving a good account of themselves.

Mamma has finished the reading G. K. Chesterton’s “Dickens” and has now started on to the two volumes of Morley’s Life of Gladstone.”  She reads me tit-bits as she goes along.  I have been reading one of the Home University Library on “Old Testament Literature.”  The chapter on “Job”, which was the one I was best qualified to form a judgement on, was quite well done.  The author is an American Professor.

It was to-day you were to visit Mr. Taylor.  We hope you found him well; also Miss Cheyne.  I wrote him two or three nights ago a long-due letter.

Mrs. Clark and Ellis were in seeing Mamma yesterday on their way down to see Mrs. Menzies.  This is the first time this year Mamma has seen Mrs. Clark.  E. has been at school only three days since we reopened.  She has been ill with swollen glands.  Not much news from Bessie, except of being at the dentist and getting teeth out.

The dear old Barrie is down flat on the carpet and is making the most of the peat fire.  The hens still bully him – especially Lulu, who is a terror to the whole household.

Herring are being got now and are being sent off fresh at once in Government boats.  In the dark last night we counted a queue of 36 lorries waiting their turn to get on to the wharf to put their barrels on to the carrying steamer.

Best love from us both.


Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L27

Transcribed by Dawn MacDonald, Museum Visitor Assistant

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