Letters and post cards give us a small glimpse into the life and thoughts of our ancestors. They may tells us something about their characters but it would be too easy to make conclusions from these sources. For example what could we deduce from Grandad Beck’s start of his letter Hello you folks! and ending All the love yours APB to his daughter and son-in-law. The letter (well it is actually added on to his wife’s letter) shows a practical side, a sense of humour, a casual way of writing and yet ends with his initials APB.
I don’t have many letters but I have chosen a couple both written in 1926. Grandad Beck and his wife Rebecca had recently moved to Peel House, Bridport. There newly married daughter and son-in-law lived at Wytherston Farm, Powerstock about 6 miles away. May and Fred were married on 7th May 1925 and this post celebrates the birth of their first child, my Uncle, Frederick Osborne who was born on 17 March 1926.
Post Card 15 January 1926
Sometimes it is odd which correspondence survive, for example why did the card below from Grandad Beck to his father Eli survive but not the card/letter that was being answered.
Post card to Eli Beck (108 Garland Road, Longfleet, Poole, Dorset) from his son, Grandad Beck Dated 15 January 1926
Birth of Osborne 17th March 1926
From the large number of photographs of Osborne I think we can be sure that he had two very proud grandparents. Rebecca wasn’t to met May’s other two children and was likely to have been unwell at this time. I wrote about her death two years after Osborne’s birth here.
The letter was written in October and I have transcribed it below, the original letter is on this page. Rebecca wrote the first one and a half pages and Grandad Beck added his bit on the second page. Interestingly he managed to write more on half a page. I am not sure who the Mr House was, probably Tom House, Fred’s father who lived at Powerstock or possibly one of Fred’s brothers, Charles or Donald who may have been living at the farm in 1926. I wonder who had the Rolls Royce or is that Grandad Beck making a joke about Fred’s car? From the sound of the requests, Grandad Beck had been doing some jobs around the house for May. I would love to know who the person who had a half-Eton crop was.
Letter October 17th 1926
My dear May & Fred
We arrived home safely after a very enjoyable afternoon, we are all feeling well today. I went to Church this morning, for a walk with Dad this afternoon, now writing to you and going to hear service on the wireless. Please excuse writing my glasses are broken can’t see very well hope you are all feeling well, I forgot to bring on the Gray Stockings should like to try them, have no interesting news to tell you. If I go down town will try & get baby’s shoes. Many thanks for the nice pleasant afternoon you gave us. I will write again soon our fondest love & best wishes to all had a nice fire with Blacks this afternoon shall be pleased to see you at anytime.
Your ever loving Mum & Dad
Grandad Beck wrote:
Hello you folks! How goes it? Are you “broshing” this week Fred? Weather forecast to night “fair”. Please don’t give away all the cider. Much obliged for the jar full we left behind yesterday. Mum says “no Cider dad we forgot to bring any”. She has been skipping about today. It did her good yesterday to come over and see you all. Will Mr House kindly bring me in my glass cutter when he comes. Also Mr Waldrons flat, white, enamel brush, the big one I put in water & hung up. Have courts on Monday & Tuesday. Shall we be seeing the Rolls Royce on market day? Our bobbed haired sheep’s head is clearing out tomorrow. Goo May, don’t get frightened if you should come in before she goes. She had it cut yesterday, sort of “half Eaton” and I assure you it is some “head” now, almost as round as her ___. Bye Bye. All the love Yours APB.
Keep the photos dry if you want them for Christmas
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