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Olave's diary for Jan to June 1925          Index

For July to December 1925, click here

Our grateful thanks to Derek Elwell for the transcription.

This was the second "year" transcribed, so is an example - for other years, please click on "Index" at top right of this page.

The text is entirey her words, except for anything in [square brackets], and the footnotes.

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Olave Baden-Powell’s Diary for 1925

Notes from 1924:

Counties visited on “Guide business”

Essex, Wales, Glos, Cumberland



Jan 1925 Nice Xmas holiday with children at Pax.

              Peter at Dane Court School.

Feb 1925         With R. on holiday trip to Pyrenees.

March 1925     Ditto by road to Scotland.

              Received my Guide Standard from Commissioners of G.B.

April 1925       Llandrindod Wells Conference

              Saw Severn Bore

May 1925        Presented Bridget Hill at Court[1]

              Swanwick Gardens Conference

June 1925        Guide tour in Cumberland

              H.R.H. Mary visits Foxlease

April 23rd 1925            A comic incident happened in Romsey Abbey. Going in I wrote in the visitors’ book “O. Baden-Powell” & party of 4.

                   Coming out, the woman in charge of the book came up to me and pointing to a complete strange young man standing near looking at the monument whispered: “Your children will be interested to know that that is General Baden-Powell over there”!

                   I gazed blankly at her & then explained the little slip!



Thu 1 Jan 1925
  Children went riding with Robin. A hired pony “Kit” comes from Gardiner the horse dealer. Take Yvonne and Betty to children’s party at old Mrs Knight — at Hale. Quite jolly with Xmas tree. Ganny[2] took the other children to the Chandler party at the rectory at Bentley got up for their niece Sylvia Hulme.

Fri 2 Jan 1925
Arrange the house for our children’s party. It begins at 4.0 & was tremendous success. Tea first, then games and dancing and magic lantern — plus lots of trumpets and balloons! About 50 children and their attendant “adults”. Ainsworth’s (sic), Chichesters, Gadban(?), Harrap, Jones, Leney, Knight, Heywood, Needham, Joy, Phillips, Robertsons, Ruttledges, Steele, Swan, James Wade & MacMullens. All great fun.

Sat 3 Jan 1925
Went on a bike & took four children[3] on four ponies for lovely ride round by Barley Pound[4] & back by Crondall school & the Harraps.  Robin took four eldest children with Ganny to a play at Memorial Hall by Noel Storr (son of Canon Storr who was parson here before).

Sun 4 Jan 1925 Betty & Yvonne in bed with a cold. Took other 4 children for walk ride up to Barley Pound & back by Isnage [Farm].

Gladys Ainsworth & niece & Carters to tea. Children — and they — acted charades in the Barn. Most amusing.

Mon 5 Jan 1925          
Robin rode “Kit” & took the children riding. Drove Mother over in Jimmajor to Ashwell to stay with brother Arthur. Lunched there, & then left Mother and came home with Clare. Pickie comes to stay at Pax. Such a dear thing. Betty and Yvonne still in bed, but better.

Tue 6 Jan 1925           
Robin took Christian & Clare and Heather riding. Afternoon took Yvonne to Dr Hussey, and he took the splint off her arm, which has mended well. Also shopped and Heather & Christian did too.

Wed 7 Jan 1925          
Pickie left after lunch. Robin took children riding. I took Heather & Yvonne on Barrel for small walk ride to call and enquire for Miss Sarah Eggar who is ill at Green Farm.

Miss Marjory Shanks[5] to stay. She is going out shortly for a year to New South Wales to do Guide work there for us at their request. A very nice girl of the right type.

Thu 8 Jan 1925  
Robin takes Peter and goes off pike fishing again in the pond at Wisley. Brief walk with ponies & children early, & then talk shop hard with Miss Shanks. Dame Margaret Davidson ([wife of] former governor in New South Wales) comes over from Winchester to lunch, & talk things over. Brings young boy, Alexander Gordon, with her. Miss Shanks left. Betty still running temperature.

Fri 9 Jan 1925
Betty in bed, but better.

Took the other children all to Mrs Eggar’s party in the Bentley Memorial Hall. Huge party and great fun

Sat 10 Jan 1925              
Took four eldest children on four ponies to the H.H.[6] meet at the Harraps. Very pretty & then saw quite a good little run & the children were able to be in it too!

Hilda B-P[7] to stay. Dick Harrap[8] came to dine & I took him and Christian to the Lushington’s “flapper dance” at Rowledge. C. danced all the time & I chaperoned hard. Got home about midnight.

Sun 11 Jan 1925 
Some old friends who I knew in 1910-12,  Capt. Cecil & May Watson came over to lunch from Portsmouth with their boy Stewart — now at Cheltenham. Nice seeing them again! Dense fog again.

Mrs Carter came to tea and to see the children act the Merchant of Venice.

Robin made them up for the parts & they borrowed all sort of clothes & it was too comic! They learned their parts well but can’t act a bit tho’ they love it !!

Mon 12 Jan 1925
Ride with children.

Hilda leaves.

Sylvia Hulme, & her friend Phylis & Peggy Williams from Alton come to tea. Mrs Williams came too. Foggy again.

Tue 13 Jan 1925  
To London by 8.19. Shop & go to chiropodist at the Stores. H.Q. Committee. Dame Helen quite excellent as Chair. Long meeting. Lunch with Lettice at Gorringes[9]. See Mrs Gem re Notts Guides with Olivia B. & Miss Harcourt Vernon[10]. Guide tea party at Mrs Chapins — so nice. Lady Bridges (Australia), Lady Anderson (India), Mrs C Jones (New Zealand), Miss Pearce (Ceylon), etc. Home to Pax by 6.34.

Wed 14 Jan 1925 
Poured with rain. Miss Du Bochet (head of St Mary’s Hill school) came to stay night. Mr and Mrs Eggar came to tea to attend the children’s performance of “The Merchant of Venice”. Priceless & they did a charade too in costume & all the household attended & loved it.

Thu 15 Jan 1925 
Usual day for Guide H.Q. Committee meeting, but day now altered to suit Dame Helen Gwynne Vaughan who now acts as our Chair. Ride walk with Robin & four children round by Isington & station. Peter to Wolf Cubs. He is now a Sixer. Attend annual meeting of Bentley Women’s Institute members. So quaint!

Fri 16 Jan 1925 
Robin to London for Mercers meeting. Children ride and I bike & take Spider to be shod at Froyle. 6 babies to party at Phillips at Waldham with Ganny.

Sat 17 Jan 1925 
Off early to London with Christian & Clare and Peter & Heather. Go to Sandersons to choose wall papers. Thence to Gamages for the kids to buy toys. Take Heather and C.’s[11] to lunch with Mother at her flat.

Afternoon join R. and we all see “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” most beautifully done at Drury Lane. Quite delightful; lovely dancing & extremely funny. C’s go to Mother to stay. Tea at Waterloo & home.

Sun 18 Jan 1925 
Robin took Peter and Heather riding. Glorious warm sunny day for once. Col. and Mrs Tunst(?) (Col of the 13th & the bride of 3 ths standing) came over from Aldershot to tea.

Mon 19 Jan 1925 
The hireling “Spider” a bit lame, so he is fetched away by his owner. Children ride walk with R.

Brother Arthur and Hopie[12] Soames & their two daughters[13] (aged 10 & 7 respectively) to lunch; also the Ray’s (sic) and dear “Aunt” Helen Storrow & Rosie Kerr who motor to Foxlease & pause en route. Aunt Helen is only over from America for one week!! Dear thing. Mrs Summers to tea. Betty & Yvonne to Williams’ fancy dress party in Alton.

Tue 20 Jan 1925 
Robin goes to see fish farm.

Took Heather, & Betty & Yvonne for ride walk round by Harraps. Directly after lunch I whisk darling Heather off back to school. Shop in Woking & then leave her rather tearfully at St Mary’s Hill. See Mother in the road in passing as she brings the C’s there from London. Shop in Farnham on way home.

Wed 21 Jan 1925 
Ganny to London for the day. Dr Lucas & Mr Wilson[14] and Don Potter[15] come to lunch, motoring over from Gilwell, mainly to see the fireplace in the Barn which they want to copy there.

R takes children for short ride walk. They have tea with us. Pack our things for our jaunt to France.

Thu 22 Jan 1925                                             A holiday !
Leave home comfily in the car and run down to Southampton. Go out in a tender to the biggish liner “America” and have food and loaf on deck in jolly sunshine as we steam down the Solent. Very jolly little voyage and arrive at Cherbourg at about 7.30. Go ashore by tender again and stay at quite comfy Hotel du Casino.

Fri 23 Jan 1925 
Strolled about Cherbourg, the usual filthy smelly French town. At 10.0 “en-trained” for Paris,  & had a nice leisurely journey through pretty country.

in pencil – Peter returns to school ]    

Arrived Gare de St Lazare about 5.0. Met there by a useful Thomas Cook’s man who looked after our luggage & got a sleeper etc. whilst we dined at a restaurant near La Madeleine & walked about & saw a cinema film!! About 10.0 got into our sleeper at Quai d’Orsay & set off again.

Sat 24 Jan 1925 
Arrive early at Bordeaux and scramble out of the sleeper into an ordinary carriage. No breakfast available, but we snatch a ham sandwich and an apple further down the line. Pass Dax Junction and arrive Puyro[16] at about 11.0. Met there by a car and drive over to Salies de Béarn and find the “Chateau Hotel” quite comfy if humble! Go for an exploring walk about the place, quaint old picturesque village & quite English surrounding country except for the vineyards.

Sun 25 Jan 1925 
Had café au lait in bed and both got up late! So jolly and lazy. Went for a nice walk up the hill where the reservoir is & lay on the grass & basked and looked at the Pyrenees in the blue distance. Hired a wee car & drove to look at the river from Castagnède up through St Martin to Sauveterre. Charming old ruined castle here high up over the river. R. sketched, but river too low for good fishing at the moment.

Mon 26 Jan 1925 
Woke to find it raining and hailed it with delight and hope for the fishing. After showers we strolled again in the picturesque but horribly smelly village. Priceless old houses here & there. Motored down to the river at Oraas and Robin fished happily but with no result but no matter. This is a lovely holiday.

Tue 27 Jan 1925 
Hired a car & motored through Narpe [should perhaps be Narp?] to Géronce (St Goin) & lunched at a hotel there owned & run by an Irishman Verschoyle. Nervy wife. Nice old chateau, but no good for us to stay here as the river is 2 miles away & no fish yet. Went back through rather dull country via interesting very old church of St Blaise and town of Mauléon. Jolly run & then it rained again on our return.

Wed 28 Jan 1925 
Showery with sun in between. The hotel car took us with our nose bag to the river (Oloron) at the ferry at Oraas and Robin fished all day & I sat and read Thomas Hardy’s Woodlanders. Mr Verschoyle came there too & caught a smelt [?] which he put back again.

Thu 29 Jan 1925  
Did an expedition by train to Pau. Arrived there in sunshine but clouds all over the mountains. Walked about the place & then lunched & heavy shower came on. Caught 1.0 train to Lourdes. Arrived there we explored all the church and the Holy Grotto with all the crutches left there. All most interesting & how marvellous that people can have such minds! All rather gaudy inside the churches, but it is better than one would expect & not too garish. Nice surroundings. Back by train to Salies again.

Fri 30 Jan 1925 
Left the Chateau Hotel at Salies & motor the few miles to Puyro[17]. Train thence to Bayonne. Dump our luggage at hotel at the station and go off by a wee train to Biarritz. Robin was here as a child 56 years ago[18] and remembered little bits of it. Walked about the jolly rocks & saw the new ultra modern town. Wouldn’t stay here for anything. Trammed back through suburbs to Bayonne. Dined there & saw the cathedral etc & then trained up to St Jean Pied de Port & stayed at the Hotel Central.

Sat 31 Jan 1925 
Went for a ripping walk up the St Palais Road to call on M Rocque, the sec. of the fishing association of the River Nive.

Glorious views of the mountains & this is much jollier country than that around Salies. Took a car and drove down the valley, to see the river at Ixtassou(sic)[19] & Bidarray. Charmed with the latter & decide to go and stay there. Prowl about the picturesque but smelly town of St Jean. Mr & Mrs Clark & Mr & Mrs Parish (English people) staying here.




Sun 1 Feb 1925                                                          St Jean Pied de Port
Saw a most priceless Basque dancing procession, playing and cavorting through the village streets headed by three men riding in red coats & white embroidered breeches. The men dance beautifully and had quaint costumes of red and yellow satin strips etc. Motored away from St Jean Pied de Port and fixed ourselves up at the Hotel du Pont des Enfers at Bidarray. R. fished.

Mon 2 Feb 1925         
This is a quaint little place and just right for us. Quite primitive little inn but being right on the river makes it ideal, & M & Mme Etcheverry (host & hostess) most friendly & nice. Walk up the river and R. fishes the whole day in this lovely bouncing rocky river as I sit & watch him & read. To bed at 8:00 ! & sleep almost the clock round!

Tue 3 Feb 1925                              Biddaray, France
Walked off again early with our nosebag & rods down the river. R. fished & I sat & read & then we lunched & Robin slept in the sunshine. Oh this is a jolly restful time-less and carefree holiday. We are revelling in it so & R. is so much better now, eating & sleeping so well.

Wed 4 Feb 1925 
Walked off again early with just the trout rod, up the smaller river Jouri [? — unable to trace this one], that runs into the Nive just below this priceless pub. Exquisite rambly path winding up the valley all to ourselves. Sat and basked by the river on a sheltered gravel beach and had quite the jolliest of picnics. Lovely mountains at every turn to look at and the gurgling river is quite lovely too & perfect paradise of a spot.

Thu 5 Feb 1925 
Walked to the Post Office and sent off letters and wires re our return home.

Trained up after déjeuner to Ossès (6 kilometres). Changed there and trundled on to St Etienne. Got a car there and went the most glorious drive up through the mountain pass to the Col d’Epergny [should be Col d’Ispéguy] — the Spanish frontier. Exquisite view of snow capped peaks miles away. Tea at St Etienne & looked at the quaint old church & then trained back to Bidarray.

Fri 6 Feb 1925 
The Montagu Kirkwoods turned up to call on us, having heard at St Jean Pied de Port that we were here. Lovely hot sunny day, & we strolled up the river again, and picnicked at the bend about 3 kilometres up. Refreshed — but no fish forthcoming as it is too early and the water is too low. Very cold at night here.

Sat 7 Feb 1925                                      Pyrenees  
Showering. Take our lunch out though and walk up the Jouri again & find jolly little shelter of an old barn with dry bracken to sit on & spend another idle holiday drifting happily through the hours.

Sun 8 Feb 1925 
Quite rainy. But it really doesn’t matter and we go off between the worst gusts up the Jouri to our little barn hut shelter place and sit there and have our lunch and read all day more or less, returning by the winding mountain path round by the quaint little old church on the hill.

Mon 9 Feb 1925                    Bayonne
Went for a last lovely ramble up the River Nive and Robin again fished and I sat & basked in the sun. Picnic lunch & then returned to the inn. Our luggage went to the station in an ox cart ! Trained down the jolly valley to Bayonne. We stayed at comfy but noisy hotel near the station there. After dinner, having nothing to do we ran out by tram to see the waves by moonlight at Biarritz. Delightful.

Tue 10 Feb 1925 
Went off early in a hired car & drove past Biarritz to St Jean de Luz. Looked at the old palace & then on across the Spanish frontier at Hendaye. Through Irun and on to San Sebastian. Lunched at swagger big hotel looking onto the jolly little bay, & so enjoyed it all. Drove round the cliff & then back to Bayonne via Fonterabbia [should be Fontarrabie]. Lovely old world fortress town & most picturesque. Glorious views of mountains.

Wed 11 Feb 1925                                Poitiers
Left Bayonne at 8.0 & travelled all up through vine country to Poitiers, arriving there about 4.0. Stayed at quite comfy Hotel du Palais. Explored the old town of many churches & also went all over the wonderful old hall & sort of “municipal buildings” where Joan of Arc was tried — all stuffed with historical interest.

Thu 12 Feb 1925 
Go for jolly ramble & explore & see inside the Church of Notre Dame & the cathedral & the church of St Rannigonde [should be Ste Radegonde]. All very old and interesting, especially the latter where they pretend to have a foot print made by Christ!! Climb the hill & get fine view of the old town. Catch train to Paris, arriving there 8.40. A Cook’s man takes our luggage, & we go to dine & another cinema near La Madeleine & later catch night train for Cherbourg.

Fri 13 Feb 1925                                           Cherbourg
Rather a restless night, but might have been worse! Arrived Cherbourg about 5.0 & got up & went to Casino Hotel at 6.0. Bath and breakfast & then walked about Cherbourg & explored back streets & marine barracks in an old fort. Packed and went off in the Cunard tender at 10.30 & climbed into the giant “Berengaria” & sailed for Southampton. Glorious ship. Anchored off Cowes & some people landed late, but we slept on board.

Sat 14 Feb 1925 
Woke to find ourselves alongside the dock. Breakfasted sumptuously and then at 9.0 the two babies arrived with Ganny in the car. Showed them all over the ship which they loved, & then motored home.

Settled in again and unpacked. Afternoon ran into Alton & saw the Guide World conf film etc and gave a long talk to the assembled audience.

Sun 15 Feb 1925 
Did letters and puddled contentedly about this darling house. Took babies riding round by Isington. The Fair’s motored by, by chance & stopped for a chat. Put the babies to bed. They are pets.

Mon 16 Feb 1925 
Robin played with his trout breeding arrangements in the river at Isington. Took babies for a walk ride & had the two ponies shod with new shoes at Froyle.

Tue 17 Feb 1925 
To London. Guide H.Q. Committee. Dame Helen chaired. Good but small and very long meeting. Miss Arnoldi (from Canada) lunched with me at Gorringes. Did office letters. To chiropodist at the Stores & then to stay with Mother at her flat. She is very sweet & likes having me like this.

Wed 18 Feb 1925 
Went to Stuarts agency in Fulham Rd to try & find elusive housemaids. Then to Guide Office & had long talk with dear old Ba. Did letters with Lettice. Lunch at flat. Go to see the eye man, Mr Clark. Says the eyes are much stronger & alters glasses. Then to see new dentist that Mother goes to called Harvey (7 Stratford Place). Good & nice & stopped two teeth quite painlessly. Bridget Hill to tea at the flat.

Thu 19 Feb 1925 
Went to interview housemaids at various agencies, all rather unsatisfactory and it really is an awful business haggling over this pursuit of a housemaid so long. Lunched at the Fullers, & went to Guide office. Home by the 3.0 train & R. met me, having taken the babies to the dancing class at the Bourne.

Fri 20 Feb 1925                                         Woolwich
Robin to London for the Mercers & also saw his doctor Niall who thinks him much improved & orders another 6 months’ rest. Ride walk with babies taking Audrey Jones also on Barrel. Such a nice wee kid of 4. Mrs Baldwin called. She is shortly leaving Willey & offers me her pony & her housemaid!!

Sat 21 Feb 1925 
Leave Pax early to go to Greater London Rally at Woolwich. Horrible crowded train journey with Rosie Kerr to Blackheath & lunch there with Hughling[Hughbry?] Jackson (the O.C.). Rally took place in the Town Hall, & the Guides sang well & gave good little displays. Rosie talked & then I talked & all went off well. Rosie & I had an extra high tea together at Waterloo. Miss Joan Arnoldi (Canada) travelled down with me to Pax

Sun 22 Feb 1925 
Our birthday again. Lots of kind greetings, & flowers & presents from Ganny & maids. Drove Miss Arnoldi (and Annie for a treat) down to Foxlease for lunch. Nice Brown Owls there doing a “week” & they were nice. Ran on & saw the Haut Commissioners also having a conference at the Balmer Lawn Hotel[20]. Home in time for tea. The Rays came for tea. Miss Arnoldi left by 5.44.

Mon 23 Feb 1925 
Took the children for a walk round by Isington as it was too cold to ride. Fixed up with temporary housemaid at last!

Tue 24 Feb 1925 
Run off in the car after lunch. Call & see a housemaid of Mrs Baldwin’s who will come in April. Took Yvonne to see dentist, Mr Barton, at Woking & he stopped some of her teeth. Fetched out Peter and Christian & Clare and Heather from school & ran out to Chertsey & had a huge tea there in a restaurant by the river. They were jolly! Dropped them all again at their schools & got home late.

Wed 25 Feb 1925 
Poured literally all day & the garden is a swamp. Winifred Hale (a temporary housemaid) came.

Thu 26 Feb 1925 
Robin went with Mr Ray to Odiham to see about the fish for the river. Babies to the dancing class. By the 4.1 to London & to stay with Mother at the flat. R. and I to “Hamlet” at the Haymarket. John Barrymore, the American, was really very fine and good, but Fay Compton very poor as Ophelia. What wonderful language it all is, and it was a good presentation of it.

Fri 27 Feb 1925 
To Guide office. Then to see Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan at Birkbeck College (where she is professor of Botany etc.) to chat about Guide things. To Hamblin re glasses. Lunch with Rosie Kerr at the club. Run back to the flat & take Mother out — to see dresses at “Celia”, to tea at Delray in Brompton Rd and then to a service with a charming address by the Preb. Gough at Brompton Church.

Sat 28 Feb 1925 
Robin goes home to Pax. Run up “to London” early for the flat & go to

in pencil, by someone else] Rally at Chelmsford.

Travel down there with Rosie and Lady Agnes Peel, who has just taken sister in law Agnes B-P’s place as C.C.

Lunch at Mrs Hanbury’s house, near Chelmsford, in her absence with several Essex D.C’s. Meeting of Guides and grown ups in the Corn Exchange. I introduced Lady Agnes, and talked to Guides & everybody made speeches. No displays which was bad. Home to Pax again.

March 1925

Sun 1 Mar 1925 
Robin’s niece Maud[21] & her husband Harvey Moore and his three tiny daughters came down from London for lunch. Poured with rain so they had to play about indoors. Gen & Mrs Smithson (an old ex 13th who served with Robin) came over to tea from Hascombe with her niece Miss Mordaunt!

Mon 2 Mar 1925 
Trout came over from Odiham and we all go down to the river bridge (towards station) & see them turned out of the cans into the river. Walk ride with children to Isington. Miss Smith joins me on the road with James. Pack for our trip in the car to Scotland.

Tue 3 Mar 1925                               Yorkshire
Start off at 8.30 in “Jimmajor” with bag and baggage stowed inside. Go via Reading to Oxford. Call & see Lady Burrows for a brief chat & then go to Brasenose & see nephew Bobbie B-P[22].

Then run on to Aylesbury & lunch at St John’s Lodge[23] with dear old Aunt Connie Smyth[24] & Hilda B-P[25]. Bundle on after to Newport Pagnell & call at Gayhurst[?] but the Carliles were away. Had tea at Northampton & run on to Kettering and sleep there at the Royal Hotel.

Wed 4 Mar 1925                      On the road North.
Started off again & ran to Stamford on the Great North Rd. Thence to Grantham. Called to see old ex-butler Hardy there, but he was away. Ran on via Newark to Tuxford. Lunched at delightful clean inn (Newcastle Arms) there, & explored old church. Then on to Retford and Doncaster, thinking to stop at Wetherby. Nasty looking place so pushed quietly on to Boroughbridge. Stayed at excellent Three Greyhounds hotel & explore old village of Aldboro’ [Aldborough, Yorks.] where they have wonderful old Roman remains. Also saw very interesting 3 old big Stonehenge-y sort of stones near.

Thu 5 Mar 1925 
Started off again North. Stopped at Richmond where R lived in 1907 & explored the castle. Then ran on over ugly mine country rather via Princebridge, Tow Law, etc. Very up & down and bad road. Picnic lunch near Riding Mill. Right on to Haxby to see Abel Chapman’s animal museum. He was away. Back to tea at Chesters with Mrs Clayton, & saw wonderful Roman remains there. Stayed at Abbey Hotel at Hexham.

Fri 6 Mar 1925 
Amused ourselves by going to an excellent cinema last night! Walked round abbey restored very ugly-ly. Off again past Chesters & ran along the old Roman Wall road. Gorgeous views each side. Went up to Borcovicus [Housesteads] and saw splendid old Roman camp unearthed there & the Wall well preserved. Picnic lunch on hill near Bank. On past ruined old Lanercost Priory, Bampton, Longtown, Gretna Green, Ecclefechan, Lockerbie to Moffat. Stopped at “Moffat House” hotel for tea & then decide to stop the night there, comfy ex-private house.

Sat 7 Mar 1925                                    Perthshire 
Off again and do a glorious 20 mile run through wild hills and uninhabited country past St Mary’s Lake to Inverleithen, Peebles and thence to Edinburgh. Through the town to Queensferry and there we lunch in the car in front of the Forth Bridge. Wait an hour for the ferry & then bundle across the Forth. Drive then through hideous mining town of Cowdenbeath to Kinross, Milnathort & arrive at Bridge of Earn to stay with Aubyn Wilson.

Sunday 8 Mar 1925 
They have got Moncrieffe House, very comfy, & jolly hills round about. Walk into Bridge of Earn to see their village sign (like an open book like ours at Bentley). Wash the car, in biting wind! Ian Wilson (Aubyn’s younger brother) & his wife Molly came over from St Andrew’s for afternoon and tea. Loaf about. Aubyn’s three kids nice. Vyvian, Jonne(?) and small boy as well.

Monday 9 Mar 1925 
Snowing. Run into Perth early and R. and Aubyn go to fish for salmon on the Tay & I trundle down by train to London. Nice journey, with lovely views of the Lake District & then also able to settle down to read for several hours. Arrive London 7.30 & go to sleep at Mother’s flat. She likes my popping in like this now and again.

Tuesday 10 Mar 1925 
Leave flat and call at Guide H.Q. and do letters there. Home to Pax in time for lunch. Take babies for ride walk round by Isnage and the “up and down lane”. Delicious being home again and Robin will be very happy having his precious fishing in Scotland for a week or two.

Wednesday 11 Mar 1925 
To performance at the village hall, got up by Mrs Eggar. Helen Whittaker & Ann Kindersley did a sort of play of Ann’s called “Colour”. Mrs Eggar did “Mrs Jarley to waxworks”[26] all funny & up to date and very well done by her & Miss Archer, Eileen Harrap etc. and Helen did charming play called Kitty Clive[27] too. Tea with the nice Ray’s. Katherine Furse to stay at Pax.

Thursday 12 Mar 1925 
Katherine left. She is a very wonderful person, and we talked for long hours last night. Drove the babies in to the dancing class at the Bourne. Wire from Robin saying he has caught a fish!

Friday 13 Mar 1925 
Motored up to Woking in Jimmi & left him in a garage there, & train on to London. To Guide office & see Monty & on to Mother’s flat to lunch. Her old friend Miss Adelaide de Fontblanc to lunch. Take Mother to see dresses at Machinka[28], Then to fill time we go to see a film at the “Capitol”. Tea at De Brys & to Brompton church service with good sermon by Gough. Mrs Carl Lazel to dinner.

Saturday 14 Mar 1925 
Shop and call at Guide office. See “Peki” dress maker about a dress for a Court this spring. Train to Woking & run in Jimmi to fetch Peter from school & then fetch Christian, Clare & Heather too. Lunch then at the Huts Hotel at Wisley. Played in the woods and then the Surrey drag hounds met there. Children very thrilled! Dump them back at their schools & bundle home. Tea with Mrs Baldwin en route. Olivia Burges & her man Stuart Rawlins and Herchard Mounsey-Heysham[29] to stay at Pax.

Sunday 15 Mar 1925 
Olivia very happy being engaged to S. Rawlins & he seems very nice. Ride walk & send O. & her man off on Toppy & Dido for a bit! They left after lunch. Herchard helps me wash Esy[?] the spaniel & leaves after nursery tea to go back to Aldershot. He is nephew to dear old friend Ba, & in Scots Guards. A most unusual boy. Talked to Ganny about his probably leaving in the autumn.

Monday 16 Mar 1925 
To London early. Shop. See Mrs Dixon at H.Q. with Katherine Furse & Rosie Kerr re horrid trouble in Dublin over Guide matters. All lunch together at the ex-service women’s club. H.Q. Executive meeting. Dame Helen G.V. as usual excellent & so sound in the Chair. Home to Pax. Happy letters from Robin in Scotland enjoying his fishing so much.

Tuesday 17 Mar 1925                                             My Standard !
Did letters etc. To London by 11.20 train. Rush to the office. Mrs Hughes (Nigeria) & Mrs Harrison Crawford (D.C.C. Scotland) lunch at Gorringes with me. H.Q. Council meeting at 2.30. Over well & quickly. All adjourn to see the Guide World camp film at picture theatre near. Then the H.Q. Council has a nice tea party at the Rubens[30] for itself & all County Comms who like. Lots there & all very easy & happy. And then they gave me my Standard. It is lovely & touching & sweet. Home — & so happy.

Wednesday 18 Mar 1925 
Wrote letters to some of the dear kind Guide people who have made the glorious present for me. It has taken two years to make & has been subscribed for by all the County Commissioners and some overseas people; and given in recognition of what I have done! As if I didn’t love it all! But it really is too sweet there(sic) giving it to me & the Standard itself is quite beautiful. Miss Martin to stay a night.

Thursday 19 Mar 1925 
At the presentation to me of the Standard on Tuesday the ceremony was: Jenny Crewton acted as spokesman on behalf of the C.Cs. Rachel May Shuttleworth carried it with Duchess of Abercorn (Ulster) & Miss Mara (Canada) as colour party. I took it and handed it to Fflorence Roch (D.C.C. Wales) to hold for me & she had as colour party Rosie Kerr & Mrs Hartson Cranford (D.C.C’s). Take babies to their dancing class and shop in Farnham.

Friday 20 Mar 1925 
Ganny went off for holiday. Motored to Reading in Jimmi & dumped him there. To London. Katherine F & Mrs D’Avigdor met me there and took me to the London Guiders’ School. My Standard paraded with me there for the first time! Talked on overseas guiding for an hour to these fresh Guiders. Lunch with Monty at Gorringes. Catch 3.15 from Paddington to Gloucester. Olive Burges met me with her car & together we go to stay with Mrs Gwynne Holford at Hartpury[?] House.

Saturday 21 Mar 1925                                                      Glos
Such a quaint Hostess! But I enjoyed her and her unusual-ness & language! The daughter is D.C. for Gloucester. Strolled in jolly garden & talked shop with Miss Bruce, the C.C. To Cheltenham for excellent Glos County Rally, about 1800 Guides and all cheery & good & well run show in large Town Hall. Lots of Commissioners & people I knew & all delightfully friendly & nice. Caught 5.50 train from Gloster(sic) to Reading & drive home from there in the dark 23 miles in 1½ hours in Jimmi.

Sunday 22 Mar 1925 
It is jolly getting back to my own dear home always after these outings! Do all my “following up” letters of thanks comfortably. Take the two babies[31] for a nice walk & they have tea downstairs with me for a treat. Robin very happy in Scotland all this time catching health, but no fish!

Monday 23 Mar 1925 
Mrs Eggar comes to lunch, to have a good old chat. Take children for ride walk by Faulkener’s to Duncans. My old former governess Frida to stay. Miss Fflorens Roch and Mrs Fairweather come together by road from London for the night in Fflorens’ car. Ruth and Gladys Ainsworth to dinner. Quite a gay little hen party!

Tuesday 24 Mar 1925 
Fllorence & Mrs Fairweather left. Frida & I motored off in Jimmi & picnicked near Pyrford. Called on Peter, & showed Frida his school. Then picked up Heather & Christian and Clare at St Mary’s Hill and took to the Woking Guides sale of work. Bought things, inspected the Guiders & helped to open it, though I only went unofficially — in uniform fortunately! Tea with Miss Rayner at her [on to next page] house, Brantwood, near to the Guides Hut there. Called on “Jonah” Strode too & then home. Dear old Frida enjoys this all very much.

Wednesday 25 Mar 1925
Wrote letters and “did about”. Called on Annie, & took babies for briefest of ride walks. Ganny returned from her holiday.

Thursday 26 Mar 1925 
Betty was a bit sick last night, and is left in bed. Took Frida & dropped Yvonne at dancing class. Had my hair washed, & shopped in Farnham & home to tea. Dear good Monty (the Guides General Secretary) came for the night & we talked shop hard!

Friday 27 Mar 1925                      Cumberland
Left Pax early for London & catch excellent 11.45 from St Pancras. Read and have comfy meals on the train and arrive Carlisle 6.22. Darling Robin meets me there with the car, having run down from Kelso in time. Bundle out together to dear ugly old Castletown to stay with Ba Heysham & young Herchard who is home on a week’s leave to celebrate his coming of age.

Saturday 28 Mar 1925 
Go off in both cars to Warwick Hall & Robin & Herchard fish vigorously all day and catch nothing. Ba and I call on her sister in law (Baroness Inez Boeselager who is now in the Benedictine convent here. Too awful to contemplate people burying themselves like that. She talked with us from behind a grille. Picnic lunch by the river & then Ba and I went to Langholm to tea with Mrs Milne Home (C.C. for Dumfries). Had chance to stay at Castletown.

Sunday 29 Mar 1925                                               Morecambe
It is delightful being here and with Ba and takes me back in mind to the years — 1900 & onwards when we used to come so often and I was a mere child then — was so devoted to her.

Left Castletown in the car & drove to Penrith. Then turned off through glorious mountains, past Ullswater, over the steep Kirkstone Pass to Ambleside. Called at the [?] of Education there & discussed a possible governess for us in autumn. Called on nice Dr Henderson & Mr Sladen (Scout men) at Windermere. Thence via Kendal & a picnic tea at Sizergh Castle to Morecambe & stayed night at comfy Grand Hotel facing the sands.

Monday 30 Mar 1925                                         Bridgnorth
Left Morecambe and ran through Lancaster, Preston, Wigan and Warrington. Oh the ghastliness of these black ugly lands! And how wonderful that the people should look as well and happy as they do! Picnic lunch near Lymm in the car and then to Altrincham to call on the Behrens. Found all of them very seedy & sad. Called also on the Gaddums(?) (Scout man) & they were so pleased to see us. Run on thence via Northwich, Tarporley & Whitchurch & Wellington to stay at good Crown Hotel, Bridgnorth.

Tuesday 31 Mar 1925                                                Woodstock
Walked about the quaint little old town perched on the side of the hill. Motored off again to Worcester & went over the cathedral. Picnic lunched on a side road on the way thence to Pershore. Called at Pershore on Ganny’s dull parents. Ran on to Broadway & had tea & long talk with nice Rita Sandford (née Flower) & daughter Honora, who is R’s god-daughter[32] & Guider. Also called & saw Rita’s mother, old Mrs Edgar Flower aged 92! Quite bright & delighted to see Robin. Her husband [runs on to next page] Edgar Flower was brother to Sir William Flower who married Robin’s mother’s sister — funny old Aunt Rosie. Ran on from there via Chipping Norton to Woodstock & slept there at very comfy old Bear Hotel.


April 1925

Wednesday 1 Apr 1925           
Walked about Blenheim Park, & felt bad & very socialistic at the wrongness of a “wrong ’un” having this huge place as a gift from the nation. He ought to give it back!! Ran back to Oxford & via Wallingford to Pangbourne. There we trespassed into Purley Hall grounds, & picnic lunched on the hill looking down on the house where we lived from Dec. 1901 to May 1904. Such fun, & met the gardener who had also gardened near my other old home Bradfield, Laurie. Coincidences do happen. Lovely getting back to Pax again in afternoon. Peter home & in bed with small chill.

Thu 2 Apr 1925 
[Much of Wed y written on this page, with date scratched out and no apparent entry for Thur itself.]

Friday 3 Apr 1925 
Lettice Hill came down for the day to do letters. Robin to London for the Mercers. Peter in bed again but nothing bad. Betty & Yvonne also have slight colds. To Farnham to shop & am photographed with my old violin, Diana, which Ba Heysham bought from me & gave to the Guides Assoc.

Saturday 4 Apr 1925                                                            Wales
To London early. See Mrs Rogers Watts at H.Q. about her lecturing on “poise” overseas on her tour. From Euston by 12.0 train to Llandrindod Wells for Conference there of Guiders and Comms. Such a jolly nice fresh lot of people & gave me a great welcome. About 140 present. Talked to them about overseas guiding & had my Standard there proudly to be shown!

Sunday 5 Apr 1925                                                              Wales
Did letters & went for a small walk in morning & chatted on with these nice friendly Welsh Guiders. Miss Matheson spoke awfully well on “Adolescence” and Miss Chilton Thomas on Brownies. Had small special session for Commissioners only. Miss Noel spoke in evening extremely badly on the Ideal Guide. Otherwise an excellent Conference.

Monday 6 Apr 1925                                              London
Left Llandrindod Wells 8.53 — seen off by dear nice enthusiastic Guide people & travel to London with Monty, Miss Ewing Matheson (clever woman) & Dorothy Drage. To H.Q. office & see Mrs Whittaker Maitland re Guides in Jersey. Change clothes & go to stay with Mother at her flat. See “Penny” Charles, former governess to Christian & Clare in case she might come to us this autumn.

Tuesday 7 Apr 1925 
Leave flat early. Call at “Petra” re dress for Court in May. To Guide H.Q. & see Mrs Ashwright (D.C. for Croydon) re a Guide who has earned the loan of my fiddle which Ba has given to the Movement. Leave Waterloo& Carpenter joins train at Surbiton. Pick up Christian and Heather at Woking & get home to Pax for lunch. Carpenter leaves in afternoon. Eustice Penberthy to stay the night. Robin went to the Mercers.

Wednesday 8 Apr 1925 
Eustice left. Really lovely summer day. Wrote all morning. Took children out riding. They are so happy being home again. Pichie and Lord Hampton came to stay the night. Robin rather seedy. Old Chase Clayton[33] (82 year old Mercer) called here for tea yesterday on his way to Bournemouth.

Thursday 9 Apr 1925 
Lord Hampton and Pickie left. Take Peter, Christian and Heather into Farnham to shop for Easter. Gardened in the rose garden. P. to Wolf Cubs.

Friday 10 Apr 1925                                                              Glos
Off early in Jimmajor — R. & me & Peter & Heather — & go to Hungerford via Newbury. Explore the Trout Hatchery there. On to Ramsbury & call on Shuttleworths for five minutes. Picnic lunch by a stream beyond Aldbourne. On through Swindon to Cirencester & see old church there. Tea picnic near Birdlip & arrive at 6.0 at Hartpury House to stay with Mrs Georgina Holford & daughter. Kids very shy naturally being amongst strangers in so large a house!! Mrs Hanbury Tracey & her kids (Buffy 16 & Tiger 12) also staying here & young Jack Money a sailor.

Saturday 11 Apr 1925                                                              Severn Bore
All off early in two car loads to see the Severn Bore near Elmore below Gloster [sic]. Most interesting. The wave itself not so big as I expected but most thrilling seeing it rush up & the river turn & run the wrong way! Olivia & co saw us there for a wee talk. Motor over to see lovely old “Owlpen” House. Picnic tea on a hill near Hartpury & the children rode blissfully on donkey & pony. Mr & Mrs Spender and Miss Harford also came to stay. Nice house party!

Sunday 12 Apr 1925 
Left directly after breakfast & stopped & saw the Bore again by the bridge near Gloucester. Most attractive thing! Up Crickley Hill & via Fairford to Lechlade. Picnic lunch by river & Robin fished for an hour. On via Farringdon & Wantage & Newbury & picnic tea on the heather near “Essert[?]” there. Home — after a lovely beautiful run.

Monday 13 Apr 1925 
Such plans materialising for our change for the babies this autumn. Ganny has come to the end of her tether now & finds these five too much for her, so she leaves probably in July. Yvonne will go to St Mary’s Hill school in Sept. & we shall have our own darling Heather Penny here to lessons with a new gov. here instead. I don’t regret her time at school but home is best!!

Tuesday 14 Apr 1925 
Showery. Took the children for ride walk & gardened. This family of our own & other people’s children is a handful! & they are all so different & very difficult to deal with properly.

Wednesday 15 Apr 1925 
Robin & I take Peter & Christian to shop in Farnham. Buy tennis equipment for them all to start learning the game. Miss Parsons (of the Girl Scouts of America) comes for afternoon & tea with her niece & companion, Miss Robertson, en route for Foxlease.

Thursday 16 Apr 1925 
Betty’s birthday. She feels “very big” now she is eight! Easter Egg party in afternoon. Five particularly nice Carver children, Harraps, Robertsons, Shepherd Cross children, Jones, James Wade & Knights came & played games in the music room. Rose Holland, new permanent housemaid came.

Friday 17 Apr 1925                                                    London
Miss Pennicuick Clarke, former governess to Clare & Christian came to lunch & talked over the idea of coming to us later in the year. Robin and I to stay with Mother at the flat & went & “did host & hostess” for the Charterhouse Ball. About 450 people & the most hideous dresses — tight short & fashionable! Got away before supper as it was tiring for R. Miss Bliss, the Hon Sec. managed it well.

Saturday 18 Apr 1925 
Buy some clothes at Celia’s & Gorringe’s. Lunched at the flat with Mother & R, & we went together to see the sketches at the annual show of the London Sketch Club that R. belongs to. Pichie joined us there. Thence to see the film (“R.N.R.I.”)[sic][34] of the life & death of Christ at the Philharmonic Hall. Extremely bad & stupid when it might have been so good. Home to Pax.

Sunday 19 Apr 1925 
Herchard Maunsey-Heysham came over from Aldershot for the night yesterday & played about with the kids & us all today. Played tennis with them. Such fun whacking the ball again! Haven’t played since the old old days at Gray Rigg in the summer of 1912 before we married! & as nice now playing again with my own kids.

Monday 20 Apr 1925 
Walk ride round by Isington.

Tuesday 21 Apr 1925 
Struan Robertson comes over for the day to play with the others. Robin to London just for the Mercers’ Dinner & home at midnight. His “home-coming” is always delicious as he arrives looking so lovely in evening dress & all his medals & “orders”, and then he sits and has “Ovaltine” & tells me all about his guests & speeches.

Wednesday 22 Apr 1925 
All went down to the river to see some big trout put in from Hungerford Fish Farm. Robin took Peter over to Reading & did some fishing near there with a man called Chapman. Nell Gwynne Holford came in her car to stay the night. Christian, Heather & Betty to tea with the Ainsworths.

Thursday 23 Apr 1925 
Nell Gwynne Holford left. Took Christian & Heather & Peter in Jimmajor to Foxlease, where the “Dip week” is going on. Lunched with them & children picnicked alone in the Barn. Talked to the Dips in afternoon. Such a nice lot, & Carpenter “acting” as Commandant. Went over Romsey Abbey & picnicked near Winchester on the way home.

Friday 24 Apr 1925 
Robin to London for the Mercers. Took babies to shop in Farnham & then all to tea with the Carvers at Shortheath. She is nice (D.C. in Alexandria) & her five children are charming. Helen Whittaker came to lunch at Pax too with her boy, Mark, & Ann Kindersley.

Saturday 25 Apr 1925 
Wrote letters, gardened etc. Children to party with Mrs Richards in Farnham & I bundled off to London. Had tea with Aunt Ger who has moved into a nice flat in Abingdon Court. To Mother at her flat to stay the night. To the Q.M.A.A.C. officers’ dinner at the Forum Club as guest of Dame Helen. Returned thanks for the guests & Dame Maud Macarthy[35]  spoke too. She was Matron in Chief during the war in France.

Sunday 26 Apr 1925 
Went home to Pax again. Struan Robertson came to play with the kids in afternoon, and all the nice Carvers came to tea too. Robin had lumbago in his poor back, & felt seedy too. He is certainly NOT taking the 6 months complete rest Dr Niall ordered! the darling slave that he is to his task.

Monday 27 Apr 1925 
Robin better & went to see Dr Hussey. Then decided to go off alone with Peter in the car for a jaunt & got to Southam & stayed the night there. The nice Ray’s & their friend Mrs Hughes, the Shepherd [36]Cross girls & boys, Col. & Mrs Trevor Wright from Emshott came to tea & played tennis between showers.

Tuesday 28 Apr 1925 
Took Christian to London, & left her to finish holidays with Mother. Try on my Court train at “Celia”’s; & also get new day dress at Gorringe’s. Lunch with Mother at the flat. H.Q. Committee in afternoon. Dame Helen chaired & all very nice. Home to Pax taking dear Alice Behrens too for the night.

Wednesday 29 Apr 1925 
Alice leaves. Take Betty & Yvonne to be fitted by Miss Shenfield for some summer & school things. Heather also to Bentall to be measured for new riding things. “Ride walk” on my bike up to Barley Pound & lose my tiger bone brooch, on the far steep hill. Bike again in evening to find it safely by the side of the road.

Thursday 30 Apr 1925 
Take children for another “pony-bicycle-walk-ride” up by Barley Pound. Robin returns home with Peter, having had a jolly run round the Isle of Wight. Peter to Wolf Cubs.



MAY 1925


May 1925


Friday 1 May 1925:

Robin to London early for the Mercers. Take James Wade with Eileen to have his hair cut in Farnham — ditto Heather & Peter. Then run on to drop P’s luggage at school. Picnic lunch between Byfleet & Cobham. Pick up R. at Esher Station. See some houses near Esher for Mother as she wants to live there! All had tea with Helen Talbot at Glenhurst, Esher & then drop Peter at school on the way home.


Saturday 2 May 1925:

Babies all go out for a lunch picnic. Violet Parrett, the little between maid for the holidays, left. Gardened. The nice Rays & Mrs Hughes to tea. The latter is Australian but lives in Ceylon.


Sunday 3 May 1925:

Garden. Two boys from Sandhurst, Critchley & Loftus who want to go into Robin’s 13th/18th Hussars came to lunch, for him to vet them as Hon. Col! Walked over the hill in the rain with R. & kids rode.


Monday 4 May 1925:

This page appears blank, but with a lot of print-through from following pages, so trust nothing missed here …

Tuesday 5 May 1925:

Robin takes the babies to the river for a ride walk. After dinner when “snugging” Heather in for the night I tell her the secret plan about Yvonne going to school in September & her coming home for good. She was so thrilled & is such a darling & though she tries not to cry she hates going away — & I hate it too!


Wednesday 6 May 1925:

Off early in Jimmajor with Heather etc. Drop Betty & Yvonne at Farnham to do clothes wih GAnny. Drop Heather’s luggage at St Mary’s Hill. Call on Peter at Dane Court & give him his bat, prayer book & ball of string! Meet Mother in her car at Esher with the C’s a & picnic there. Take Mother to look at nice “Moore Place Hotel” with a view to going there sometime. Also call & see Helen Talbot at Glenhurst where Mother used to stay 40 years ago! Mother takes Heather on to school with the others & I go home!


Thursday 7 May 1925:

R. to lunch with 13th Hussars at Aldershot.


Friday 8 May 1925:

Robin to London for Mercers. Poured with rain. Prepared my speech for Swanwick. Ganny to London about a job. Nursie bundled off in the car to nursing home at Woking & has baby daughter born at 1.0 in the night. Picked R. up in the car at Farnham, called on the De Courcy Shorts & then to tea with the Trevor Wrights at Heath House. Several people there. Returned via Crondall. Monty to stay the night.


Saturday 9 May 1925:

[Blank page.]


Sunday 10 May 1925:

Mrs Eggar calls very “Sunday-fied” to find me gardening in my “scrub kit”.



Monday 11 May 1925:

Eileen up to do R’s work & does some letters for me too. Run Ganny & children into Farnham to shop & have hair cut etc.


Tuesday 12 May 1925:

[Blank page.]


Wednesday 13 May 1925:

Swanwick Conference begins.


Thursday 14 May 1925:

Miss. Fetch Violet Parrett.


Sat 15 May 1925

[left blank.]


Sun 16 May 1925

[left blank.]


Sunday 17 May 1925:

Most of us to church & “the Preb” Gough preaches very well. Miss Niven spoke on “The need of the World” & Dr Henderson (Chief Scouts Commissioner) quite beautifully on guiding generally. Very jolly camp fire after dinner & we all sang and then “summed up” thanked everybody & talked a bit. All very nice.


Monday 18 May 1925:

Hurry & bustle early & we all begin to go as the “noiseless Swanwick” ends. It has been a nice conference. To London. Do office work & shop. To overseas guide tea party at Eve Fisher Rowe house in Thurlowe (sic should be Thurloe) Square. Very nice. To stay with Aunt Ger at her flat. Join Robin at Princes & attend the Mafeking dinner on the 25th anniversary. See R off to Scotland in his sleeper.


Tuesday 19 May 1925:

Very nice being with Aunt Ger & having the car here too. To Guide H.Q. Committee. Lunch at Gorrinjes. Fit new guide uniform. Call on Mrs Rawnsley (C.C. Lincs) in a nursing home in Park Lane. Tea with Alice Behrens at her aunt’s flat near Mother’s where she lives with our old friend Mrs Moffat. Run down to Woking & see Nursie & her wee baby & also call & see Jonah Strode. Then home in time for dinner.


Wednesday 20 May 1925:

Alice had a lesson from Court on how to drive a car! & then left for Manchester. I rode dear “Sweetie” the new pony we have bought from Mrs Georgina Holford. She carried me well & great fun going all together — Betty on Dido & Yvonne on Toppy.


Thursday 21 May 1925:

Off in Jimmajor at midday & lunch at St Mary’s Hill with Heather etc. Drop maids at Nursie’s nursing home & on to London & stay at Mother’s flat though she was away. Take cousin Bridget Hill to her first Court. Great fun & felt & looked nice in a new pink dress!! Very wonderful night though I don’t like the display of jewels worth millions!!



Friday 22 May 1925:

Car takes Aunt Ger for a jaunt to Kew. I shop & do work in the office. Lunch with Aunt Ger & Bridget & then run home, calling in on Heather & Nursie again on the way at Woking. Happy letters from Robin enjoying himself in Scotland.


Saturday 23 May 1925:

Car fetches Angela Shuttleworth & her daughter Nancy from Lasham for lunch & tea. Mrs Duthy calls & has tea too. Olive Nicholl & Miss Mara (guide Comm. For B.C. Canada) come to stay. Drive Angela back to Lasham in evening. Gladys Ainsworth to dinner, as she is going off to nurse a sick sister in Canada next week & wanted to meet Miss Mara.


Sunday 24 May 1925:

Miss Mara left. Herchard Mounsey-Heysham came over from Aldershot for tea & dinner & rode with the children on Sweetie & played his bagpipes to us.


Monday 25 May 1925:

Olive Nicholl went off back to London in her car. Ride walk to Froyle. Took the two babies to tea with Mrs Robertson. An eight lb. salmon came from Robin in Scotland.



Tuesday 26 May 1925:

Mrs Rose Price, Guide Commissioner in Mandalay came to lunch en route from Foxlease. Erica Bradbourne (cousin — niece also of Aunt Gertrude Hill) & her child Mary aged 6. came to stay. We hadn’t really met & talked together since she came as a child with her mother to stay at Bradfield in 1906.


Wednesday 27 May 1925:

Poured without stopping the whole day. Derby Day. Stuck photos & scraps in Ganny’s book & my own. Helen Whittaker & Ann Kindersley called for a chat about the Guide doings in Belgium & Dublin.


Thursday 28 May 1925:

R. returns to London from Scotland for 13th/18th dinner. Trout arrived from him, caught in Loch Dupplin.


Friday 29 May 1925:

Took the babies & rode Sweetie — who is now re-christened Dandie — & had her shod at Froyle. R. came home from London, looking much better. Eileen Wade to dinner.


Saturday 30 May 1925:

Went off directly after lunch & picked up Peter & Christian & Heather & Clare & took them off to tea at the Wheatsheaf Hotel at Virginia Water. They loved it & were like a lot of puppies let loose! Played in the woods & then back via Staines, dropping them at their respective schools again.


Sunday 31 May 1925:

Old friend of Robin’s Tom Elliott & his wife came to stay, coming in their car like Jimmajor from their home near Kelso, N.B.


June 1925

Tuesday 2 June 1925:

Elliotts left in their car. Ganny out for the day. Children picnicked with Miss Dyke and Mark. Col. Twist and blank came over to see Robin & had tea.

Wednesday 3 June 1925:

Gardened & did letters. By night train to Carlisle & most convenient gaining a day at home! Robin went to fish at Hungerford.

Thursday 4 June 1925:

Arrive Carlisle 6.30 & dear Ba meets me at Carlisle station & we run out to Castletown. Breakfast & a lovely wander on the Marsh (March?) with dogs. Lunch at Swanbank, Longtown, with Murray’s & see Dorothy’s Brownies there. Attend reception & talk to Local Association members in Carlisle. Early in evening in a huge hall & Guides acted & sang a nice pageant. I talked but the whole thing too long. Inspected 800 after it at ten(?) p.m!! Slept Castletown.

Friday 5 June 1925:

Cumberland. To Holm Hill Guiders party.

Saturday 6 June 1925:

Motor over to Cockermouth picnicking on the way. Rally of all Cumberland Guides there in a jolly field under the ruined walls of Cockermouth Castle. Nice lot of about 800. Inspected & talked to them. Tea with Commissioners & then drove off through lovely scenery to Keswick. Spoke there to small conference of school teachers. Quite good. Back to dine at Holm Hill. Roamed about bird nesting & talking till midnight & then ran in with mine host — nice Carleton Salkeld — to catch train at Carlisle. Dear old Ba turned up at the station to see me off too.

Sunday 7 June 1925:

Arrive Euston all snug & comfy. Breakfast at Euston Hotel & catch 8.45 from Waterloo to beloved Pax. Peaceful day in the garden with Robin & the babies.

Monday 8 June 1925:

Lady Cullen to stay — arr 4.31. Helen Talbot to stay.

Tuesday 9 June 1925:

Motor down. H.R.H. Princess Mary to Foxlease. Call on Dame M. Davidson on the way. Babies to Mrs Carver fetched & carried by her at 3.45.

Wednesday 10 June 1925:

Aldershot Review

Thursday 11 June 1925:

Off early in car with Betty & pick up Heather at school. On to London, buy them socks & visit Natural History Museum. Lunch with Eve Fisher Rowe in Thurloe Square and change into their mauve & pink bridesmaid dresses. Call at Rembrandt Hotel & see dear Olivia ready as a bride. The wedding in Brompton Parish Church & Heather & Betty looked perfect & behaved like angels. Jolly reception after it with heaps of guide people. Aunt Ger there too. Home to Pax. Piping hot!

Friday 12 June 1925:

A lovely grilling day. Ripping having Heather for a bit like this in school term. Robin to London for Mercers. Took babies out riding and it is a picture to see Heather riding dear smart little Dandie — they fit and match exactly!

Saturday 13 June 1925:

To Farnham to shop & have babies hair cut, and Heather tried on new riding things at Bentalls. Mrs Hanbury Tracey to stay. Mrs Carver and Penelope to lunch. Bentley District Brownie Revels in wood behind Marsh House. Very hot but very delightful & quite a momentous day having Heather and Betty there together as Brownies with me for the first time.

Sunday 14 June 1925:

Robin motored home pausing en route to attend unveiling at Aldershot of the 5th Dragoon Guards memorial & lunched with Bookers. Herchard M-H. came to lunch at Pax.

Motored off with picnic tea & babies & picnicked in woods near Dane Court. Dumped Heather at St Mary’s Hill & saw the C’s there, then dropped Peter & then trundled home.

Monday 15 June 1925:

Mrs Hanbury Tracey left. Quite nice, but not my sort quite, though of course one ought to like all types & be “tolerant”! Mrs Leigh White, Guide Commissioner in London to stay to talk over about Guide work in Ireland. Robin to London for the 18th Hussars dinner & stayed the night.

Tuesday 16 June 1925:

Robin returned. Mrs Leigh White left in the afternoon. Nice woman & does guides well.

Wednesday 17 June 1925:

To London early. H.Q. Committee in morning. Good meeting. Katherine brought up religious question. Katherine, Christine Pilkington to lunch at Gorringes with me and a Mrs Edmondson who we want to do Guides in Oxfordshire. Try on new Guide kit. See Miss McSwiney re South Africa. See Lady Hirtzel about her niece who wants to do guides overseas. See Miss Harris re Guides in Egypt & home to Pax.

Thursday 18 June 1925:

Made hay & get the stack all done this week without any rain for a wonder. Babies to tea with Robertsons. Toppy had her shoes taken off for a few weeks as the children will be away.

Friday 19 June 1925:

Robin to London for the day. Did letters at home and lunch then trained to London. Shopped and did office work. Katherine Furse tea’d with me at Gorringe’s and also the guide Irene Richards who has Diana — the Guide violin! A nice shy little thing of 14. Guide Violin Committee at H.Q. & the child played to us & we did business. Darling Ba came to it & then we dined together at Euston Hotel & went to splendid well acted play called “Rain”. We both revelled in it. Night train to Manchester.


Saturday 20 June 1925:

Change trains at 6.0 & arrive Rose Grove & trundle up to Shuttleworth’s lovely old home Gawthorpe Hall for breakfast. Ripping old place.

Make a speech to public & open a large fete for raising Guide funds. March past by Guides & Scouts, displays, competitions, side shows and an excellent pageant in the garden all done by guides. Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth good County Commissioner. Back to London by night train.

Sunday 21 June 1925:

Arrive Euston — very sleepy. Night journeys do save time splendidly but are not restful! Breakfast Euston Hotel & then home to Pax, & got through all “follow up” letters on the way. Herchard motors Ba down from London in time for lunch. He goes back late & Ba stays.

Monday 22 June 1925:

Robin took Ba fishing. Peaceful afternoon sewing names on children’s clothes for school. Mrs Fair — friend of Ba’s who lives near Basingstoke came to tea. Mr & Mrs Eggar and her sister & Captain Eggar came up with 9 Scouts & 5 Guides & they rehearsed the country dancing which they will do at our party on July 1st & we had photos taken of it.

Tuesday 23 June 1925:

Ba went fishing with R. all morning. She is a precious dear! Ran her over to Fleet Station & just caught her train to Sherborne. Took Eileen Wade & James to Farnham. Shopped. Tea with the Andersons at Waverley Abbey. Large tennis party & I didn’t stay long! I can’t cope with best clothes!

Wednesday 24 June 1925:

Mrs Howison Cranfurd(?) (D.C.C. for Guides in Scotland) & her husband & Mrs Carver came to tea. Took babies for a ride walk through the hop field.

Thursday 25 June 1925:

Ganny leaves for good. She really has looked after the babies very well for the last four years and has fitted in friendly & been very willing & helpful. Her new job is with a Lady Thompson — should be nice & she will be in Egypt half the year which will be nice for her. R. went fishing etc.

Friday 26 June 1925:

Mr & Mrs Booker to tea. Nice couple. R. to London for Mercers etc and Charterhouse Dinner.

Saturday 27 June 1925:

Robin returns & then spends afternoon at Charterhouse. Motor off to Oxford early for Oxford County Rally. Call first on young Donald & Muriel B-P, just returned from going round the world. Lunch with Lady Burrows. Excellent guide fete & Rally on Wadham College grounds. Good displays, competitions, & I talked of course! Got away at 7.0 & got home to Pax at 9.0.

Sunday 28 June 1925:

Gardened & packed babies clothes for school. Off after lunch with them & luggage. Dropped them & R. near Peter’s school. Then fetched the C’s & Heather from St Mary’s Hill. Jolly picnic in pine woods near Pyrford with all six children & Peter’s friend Hugh Thomas. Deposited Betty & Yvonne happily at St Mary’s Hill with the others & they were quite pleased!

Monday 29 June 1925:

Martin comes to take ponies’ shoes off for them to have few weeks holiday till the children return. Cecily Wroughton calls with Mrs Belt.

Tuesday 30 June 1925:

R. to London for a Scout dinner, returning at midnight. Prepared for party tomorrow.



For July to December 1925, click here


[1] Bridget  Auriol Murray Hill (7 September 1901 - 17 December 1991), the only daughter of Olave’s mother’s brother George  Murray Hill.

[2] “Ganny” is NOT a corruption of “Granny”, for Olave refers to her mother, Katharine Mary nee Hill, as “Mother”.  She may be a Governess.  The 1921 Census might disclose.

[3] Olave had her own three children, Peter 11, Heather 9, Betty 7, but also had her deceased sister Auriol’s three girls, Christian 11, Clare, 10 and Yvonne 6.  Auriol had died in April 1919.

[4] https://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/English%20sites/1261.html

[5] Possibly Margery Shanks, b. Newcastle Q2 1883

[6] Hampshire Hunt foxhounds

[7] Cicely Hilda nee Farmer (1871–1955), the widow of Olave’s brother-in-law Warington B-P (1847–1921).

[8] Possibly Richard Thresher G. Harrap, b. Merthyr T., Q3, 1906

[9] Item 5 at https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2021/01/british-department-stores-come-gone-part-iii-high-street-heritage/

[10] Possibly Dorothy https://www.thepeerage.com/p59980.htm#i599797

[11] Sisters Christian and Clare, daughters of Olave’s sister Auriol

[12] Hope Mary nee Woodbine-Parish

[13] Sancha and Diana

[14] Possibly “Belge” Wilson

[15] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Potter

[16] Puyréaux ?

[17] Puyréaux ?

[18] 1925 - 56 = 1869 when he was 12.

[19]  Should be Itxassou

[20] https://www.balmerlawnhotel.com/

[21] Daughter of his eldest brother Sir George B-P

[22] The only child of B-P’s elder brother Frank B-P; https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/G72M-WGR

[23] The home earlier of B-P’s mother’s parents, Admiral W.H.Smyth and Annarella.

[24] Helen Constance nee Greaves (22 Jan 1845 - 24 Jan 1932), the childless widow of B-P’s mother’s younger brother.

[25] The widow of B-P’s oldest brother Warington B-P

[26] Jarley was a character from Dicken's "Old Curiosity Shop", who was a proprietor of travelling Wax Works show

[27] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Kitty-Clive

[28] https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/349591989812283778/

[29] https://shissem.com/Hissem_Mounsey-Heysham_Line.html

[30] The Rubens Hotel is in Buckingham Palace Road opposite the Royal Mews, close to Guide HQ.

[31] Betty 7 and Yvonne 6 – the elder four were at boarding schools.

[32] B-P was Honora's mother's father's brother's wife's sister's son.

[33] The Master in 1899 was William Lane-Claypon, then 49

[34] Probably “I.N.R.I.”, a German film from 1923.

[35] McCarthy.

[36] Empshott



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