The waxworks are to be repeated tomorrow night and Mrs. Clark and I are going. Last night 250 were present and 100 were turned away. To prevent the same crowd coming again Papa has issued tickets… Stornoway, 7th February. 1918

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 7th February 1918

Mrs Gibson writes to Jean this week with news of a very popular wax work exhibition she has attended at the school, a mention of a local lad who has been home on leave, as well as a great deal of local news regarding the wellbeing of their friends and acquaintances. 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:

Dear Sheann,

Thanks for your p.c., (which was very thoughtful of you) and for your nice letter.  You seem to have a very busy time with one thing and another and we quite feel as if we got a little share in it by hearing about it.

Poor Maud!  It is too bad to have so much to do.  Not even her Sundays free!  Mrs. Morison was telling me about it too.  She came in to see me on Tuesday afternoon and stayed for a long ceilidh.  Then again on Wednesday she came and we went round the Target Hill.  She is not at all well just now and is talking of going to Aberdeen for a rest if she can persuade Mr. M. to go to Mr. Forbes.  Her idea is to go through in time to be at Lily Morison’s wedding at Dingwall and then go on to Aberdeen for a few weeks.  I don’t know if she has spoken of it yet to Maud so please don’t do so either.  She is much pleased with her new servant but is afraid she may not stay long.

This week I have at length got the dining room finished.  It is very difficult to find time to do anything in the way of cleaning these short days.  I must use it soon so as to get fires in it again.  It looks terribly clean and austere.  If only I could put a spell on it now to keep it clean!

Last night Mrs. Jarley’s wax works were on exhibition in school.  I went for a little but had to leave before eight as I had promised to speak to Miss Smith’s girls.  After that she and I went round to call on Miss Macfarquhar.  Her father is very ill and there is hardly any hope of his recovery.  We remained with her til about 11.  Jeanie Matheson was coming to sit up during the night so as to let Annie get a little sleep.  She is utterly worn out and on the verge of breakdown herself. Zandra seems very unhelpful.  Flora was telling me that Annie is engaged to a Mr. Abbott, a wireless man here from Brighton on war service and a thoroughly nice fellow.  F. says that May and Bella were down in Brighton staying with his people who were exceedingly nice.  I hope he is good enough for Annie.  He is at St. Kilda just now for a month.

Mrs. Ewen came in this evening after tea with a string bag full of potatoes for us as she had heard we had none and she knew there were none in town.  Wasn’t that kind of her?

The hens are again taking heart of pace and laying an odd egg but nothing short of a miracle could produce a ham for Easter in these lean times.  We are keeping strictly to our sugar ration now, and feeling less lawless in consequence.

Did I tell you that May Maclean has got an appointment as assist. Secy. to Lord Furness.  He is a shipbuilding lord so will be a great business man I suppose.  The old ex provost kept on writing to Pitman’s asking them to get her a very specially good thing so you see they did.

The waxworks are to be repeated tomorrow night and Mrs. Clark and I are going.  Last night 250 were present and 100 were turned away.  To prevent the same crowd coming again Papa has issued tickets.

I was nearly forgetting to tell you that Papa, Mr. and Mrs. Clark and I went together to a meeting in our hall on Monday evening at which a presentation of money (£73) was made to Mr. Jenkins.  They made speeches at him for nearly two hours.  Think of the poor little man coming through that after his illness.  He came in to see us on Tuesday evening and stayed smoking and talking for an hour or so.  He left that night, a stormy one and with south wind too.  I do hope his health picks up and that he will soon get a kirk.

Nobody knows anything about when Mr. Mills will be back.

Mrs. Menzies I hear is still improving but I don’t think she has been to town yet.

Frank Maciver is coming in tonight to say good bye.  He hasn’t been well since coming home.  He has grown and looks much older.  He was at Cambrai.

We remembered about your shine on Tuesday night and hoped you were having a happy time.

Papa and the Lil Small send their love with mine to that Sheann.

Your loving Ma

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L28

Transcribed by Dawn MacDonald, Museum Visitor Assistant

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