Mr Steven and I, aided by several of the boys of the Fourth, were busy for an hour and half in the Free English Hall after school to-day separating out the Library books from other things salved. We got over 400 vols. It was disappointing to find much of it useless stuff, while the good material had been lost… Stornoway, 6th March. 1918

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 6th March 1918

In Mr Gibson’s letter to Jean this week, he discusses the ongoing issues surrounding the Stornoway fire, including the loss of a lot of Library material. He also mentions having had a visit from a local lad who has been away serving in the war. 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,

Just a small note to let you see we are remembering you. We got your letter this morning with its enclosures, the which seemed to have come from very nice kind lassies to whom we felt grateful. We sympathised with the two poor young men who had girded themselves for the English fray and at the moment of combat found themselves deprived of their opponent. Did you send Prof. Jack an excuse for not being present at the examn? Mamma was looking up the medical book and it admits patients may have mumps a second time. She also notes that after about five days the swelling begins to go down. We wonder if “the mump” is still single, or has taken to itself a neighbour and opposite.

Last night I had a meeting of the Library Committee to consider what we should do about trying to carry on the reading-room and the lending library. We met in the Board Room in the Infant School and decided to ask the Deacons’ Court of the Free English to give us the use of a part of their hall. If we get this we hope to get under weigh [sic] at once. Mr Steven and I, aided by several of the boys of the Fourth, were busy for an hour and half in the Free English Hall after school to-day separating out the Library books from other things salved. We got over 400 vols. It was disappointing to find much of it useless stuff, while the good material had been lost. It is, however, something to go on with.

I visited the ruins afterwards with Mr Steven. Among the wreckage in the shell of the townhall I found a cup unbroken and two saucers fused together, one of them unbroken. But strangely enough we cd  not find the bell which weighs 3 1/2 cwt. and is about as big, Mr. S. says, as a herring-barrel.

L.C. exams begin in a fortnight. Before that time, if you progress fast, we hope to have you home with us. Miss Lillias A. Morison has just been in to say good-by. She is to be married in Leeds in about three weeks. Now, old She-ann, make haste to get well, and keep cheery.

Our best love.

Papa.

P.S. Wm. B. MacDonald is home. I saw him this evening and have arranged for him to come up to school to-morrow till we arrange about his college course. His leg still troubles him.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L38

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant

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