Spinach recipes in the newspapers, 1929

5 November 2019

Post #3 about the 639 mentions of spinach in the newspapers in 1929: Recipes.

It is used as a food dye – for instance, in making sugar eggs for Easter (icing sugar and egg white), or dying hard-boiled eggs. “This vegetable extract is now obtainable among the range of culinary colourings stocked by the high-class grocer, and many uses will be found for it by the enterprising housewife.” (Yorkshire Evening Post, 27th March.)

Spinach is recommended as part of a nursery menu. The same article suggests preparing cabbage for children: chop raw cabbage finely, pass it through a sieve, add some raw minced beef, salt and tomato ketchup. “Give it a pretty name, such as “Fairy Cabbage,” and it will be a “goer”.” (Britannia and Eve, 1st February.) Another article mentions “the small person who will dissolve in tears at the prospect of spinach” (Derby Daily Telegraph, 5th September).

Recipes That Are Different: “Spinach balls are appetising and can be made with little trouble. Cook three pounds of spinach in very little water, drain well, and chop up. Add 2 oz. butter, 2 oz. grated cheese, 2 oz. grated onion, a teacupful of breadcrumbs and a beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper and leave for a few minutes. Then form into balls, roll up in egg and breadcrumbs, and fry in deep fat. Drain well and serve with roast beef or grilled steak.” (Aberdeen Press and Journal, 20th September)

Bean cutlets are suggested for a meatless meal (served with spinach); the article notes that “a piece of uncooked macaroni can be pushed in one end to resemble the bone” (Daily Herald, 12th March).

The Liverpool Echo, after giving an unexceptional recipe for spinach soup, then gives one for onion sandwiches. You fry the onions, dip stale bread in milk and fry the bread, then make hot sandwiches, “a cheap and savoury dish”. (18th May)

Spinach soup is sometimes served “with a half-egg in each plate” (Aberdeen Press and Journal, 25th June.)

The Taunton Courier has a recipe for Spring Salad: cook spinach, add butter, lemon juice, onion juice, salt and paprika. Press it into moulds and leave until cool. Turn out and serve on lettuce leaves, with tomatoes, a hard-boiled egg, some sweet mixed pickles and French dressing. (12 June)

“Spinach Ices are made by mixing some spinach puree (spinach cooked till tender and passed through a sieve) with a plain custard, adding some whipped cream and a little green colouring matter and freezing in a block. Cut into slices and serve garnished with lettuce or watercress.” (Dundee Evening Telegraph, 8th August)

Miscellaneous information about spinach in newspapers in 1929

4 November 2019

This is post #2 of a set of 3 about spinach in 1929 – looking at the 639 references to spinach in the newspapers.

It is referred to as “the most health-giving vegetable” and “the tonic vegetable”. “It has been called the broom of the stomach.” (Northern Whig, 6th March, repeated elsewhere.) “Full of iron, makes rich new blood, and puts colour into pale faces.” (Aberdeen Journal, 22nd March.) “Carrots and spinach are rich in iron, and these two vegetables should be taken freely if the hair is lacking in vitality.” (Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, “Rejuvenating Faded Hair”, 25th May.) The Western Mail calls it “that valuable but somewhat neglected vegetable spinach … in its preserved form it is the richest food in Vitamin A” (27th June). It “has a wonderfully purifying effect on the whole system, and any girl suffering from a bad complexion can clear it if by magic by eating lot of spinach” (Daily Herald, 20th July.)

Much information about growing it. There are apparently two types, true spinach and perpetual spinach or spinach-beet. Also, “How rarely does one see the New Zealand spinach, a delicious summer vegetable.” (Surrey Mirror, 3rd May, and repeated elsewhere, in “Vegetables You May Not Know” – there are only three, the others being maize or sugar corn and the bush marrow.) There are also references to “the round-seeded spinach” (Cheltenham Chronicle, 29th June). The Daily Herald believes that this year’s spinach tastes too strong, perhaps because of the dry weather, and should be cooked with more water than usual (20th July).

In June, the Western Mail reported “Spinach also has been dear, costing as much as 9d. and 9d. a pound during the worst time a few weeks ago. Now it is down to its usual price.” (8th June.) Other papers report it as 6d a pound (Birmingham Daily Gazette, 13th June), 4d (Nottingham Evening Post, 14th June) and in one case 2s a pound (Biggleswade Chronicle, 14th June).

There are some references to spinach being donated to institutions. The list of donations in kind to Bristol General Hospital includes spinach and cabbages from Mrs. Ruding Davey. Miss Maylove gives tinfoil, and Lady Mary Miles, “two very large iced cakes for the Sisters”. (Western Daily Press, 25th May)

“Cabbage and spinach, which should be prolific and good at this time of the year, are prohibitive in price, and in many districts unobtainable” (The Scotsman, 23th September).

The Gloucestershire Echo remembers an old “popular test” for a sense of humour. “If you laughed at the story of the young man who put spinach on his head at dinner, and who apologised by saying “I thought it was salad,” you had a sense of humour.” (30th September )

The School of Art and Technology in Dover held its annual ball with the theme of Nursery Rhymes: food included “curds and whey, tarts, pies, gammon and spinach, and such like nursery victuals”. The prize for Most Original Costume went to the Misses Prescott, who went as Three Wise Men of Gotham. (Dover Express, 11th January.)

There is a humorous anecdote about an actor who asked his landlady in South Shields to prepare a special meal for his friends. He provided the vegetables, but “spinach, as it afterwards appeared, was not in the landlady’s “repertory”. She put it in vases to garnish the festive board!” (Hastings and St Leonards Observer, 16th February.) The Penrith Observer has a story about a maid who complained about “a place where she had had to do all sorts of fancy cooking. and when asked what she considered fancy cooking, she gave spinach as an example”. (16th July)

Spinach is listed as one of the most popular Canned Foods. (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 2nd March.)

The Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette says that we owe spinach to Flemish immigrants in the 17thc. (10th August) The poem I quoted yesterday disagrees.

Spinach is included in a list of “Problems for Prof. Einstein”: “What became of balloon trousers? Why do people run up escalators? What is the idea of spinach?” (Sporting Times, 27th April)

The Hull Daily Mail reports that during May 79 packets of spinach brought into the port were found to be unfit. (11th July)

Poems about spinach in the newspapers, 1929

3 November 2019

I searched in the online British Newspaper Archive for mentions of spinach in 1929.

Excluding advertisements and duplicates – there is a lot of copying between local papers – and also excluding reports of vegetable prices (farming prices), I make it 639 mentions of spinach. This is post #1 about spinach in 1929.

In April, Tomfool’s column in the Daily Herald has a poem called “The Golden Market”, about a “West Country Market Town / Beyond the Malvern Hills”. It says that the people coming to market brought daffodils, so that

The darker and the paler green
Of spinach and savoy
Lay with gold bunches set between
Their ranks, of April’s joy.

(Daily Herald, 10 April)

There is another poem in the Liverpool Echo:

Some talk of new potatoes,
And some of early peas,
Of spinach and tomatoes,
And suchlike veg. as these.
But of all the garden produce,
The best that one can buy
Is the Cornish broc-broc-broc-broc,
The Cornish broccoli.
“An Evening Standard correspondent’s effort, to be sung to the tune of The British Grenadiers.” (17th May.)

As it is called The Baldwin Brocoleers, I suspect there is a political joke I am not getting. The Essex Newsman (18th May) has the same verse, and mentions that “Mr. Baldwin seems to enjoy the broccoli joke as much as anyone”.

The Homes of our Vegetables

Potatoes came from far Virginia:
Parsley was sent us from Sardinia;
French beans, low growing on the earth,
To distant India trace their birth;
But scarlet runners, gay and tall,
That climb upon your garden wall
A cheerful sight to all around —
In South America were found.
The onion travelled here from Spain;
The leek from Switzerland we gain,
Garlic from Sicily obtain.
Spinach in far Syria grows:
Two hundred years or more
Brazil the artichoke sent o’er.
And Southern Europe’s seacoast shore
Beetroot on us bestows.
When ‘Lizabeth was reigning here,
Peas came from Holland and were dear.
The South of Europe lays its claim
To beans, but some from Egypt came.
The radishes, both thin and stout,
Natives of China are, no doubt;
But turnips, carrots, and sea kale,
With celery, so crisp and pale,
Are products of oar own fair land,
And cabbages, a godly tribe,
Which abler pens might well describe.
Are also ours, I understand.

(Brechin Advertiser, 3rd September)

What school governors are doing, 2nd July 1929

2 July 2019

Dundee school

Picture from The Dundee Evening Telegraph.

Not a huge amount, it would seem.

The Northampton Chronicle and Echo reports that the Education Committee has recommended the re-appointment of five aldermen, five councillors and three plain “Mr”s to the Bpard of Governors of the Old Grammar School and the Northampton Town and County School. One of the councillors complained that there ought to be more Labour members on the Board. Labour makes up a third of councillors but only has one person on the Board. This was voted on but the motion was not carried.

The Sheffield Daily Telegraph reports that the Board of Governors of Rotherham Grammar have met and appointed a new assistant master.

The Londonderry Sentinel reports on the Foyle College sports’ day, with tribute being paid to the chair of the Board of Governors. His wife gave a speech and was presented with a book, The Friendly Road. This was a 1913 travel-and-homespun-wisdom book by David Grayson:

Mr. Grayson sets out to earn his way on a three-weeks’ spring tramp along country roads. His eyes are open to the beauties of nature and he welcomes heartily every chance to know and serve whomever he meets in a homely, friendly way, thereby coming into many delightful and unexpected experiences, which he relates with his own cheerful philosophy.

Sounds terrible. I also found this description, which makes it sound slightly more readable:

Written in first person, pseudo autobiographical style, the “author” of The Friendly Road, David Grayson, is a writer, living on a farm with cows to milk, and ducks and pigs to feed, and fields in need of plowing. One day he just slings a few belongings in a pack and walks off, leaving the cows unmilked and his sister Harriet standing in the doorway. “My sober friend”, Grayson writes, “have you ever tried to do anything that the world at large considers not quite sensible, not quite sane? Try it!” The rest of the book is an odd mixture of nostalgia for a gentler, kinder age; adventures, as Grayson relies on the charity of strangers to get by; with a bit of progressive politics thrown in. After bumming for several days, Grayson arrives in the “City,” where a strike is in progress. He sympathizes with the workers, but he is appalled by “the ill-smelling streets and dirty sidewalks and swarming human beings . . . the evidences of poverty, dirt, and ignorance.” And guess what? He returns home to his farm, and Harriet bakes him a rhubarb pie.

The Liverpool Echo reports on the 81st birthday of Edward Griffith, JP and for many years a member of a school board and various education committees: “A North Wales Worthy”.

The Mid Sussex Times reports on the annual conference of the Association of Education Committees, held in Blackpool. The Vicar of Blackpool gave a speech saying that in 1927/28 there were 5,664,618 children in elementary schools and only 377,540 children in grant-funded secondary schools. In small schools, especially rural ones, children over eleven are taught all together, which is not good for them. He recommends that education authorities remove children over 11 from small schools and educate them together. He knows that parochialism means that schools want to retain children, instead of acting in children’s best interest. He says also that the curriculum should be decided by individual schools, as they know what works for their children. Talking about religion in schools, the vicar said “We are all tired of shams – shams in religion, shams in education, shams in politics. We want reality”. The Conference expressed its rejection of sectarian religious teaching in local authority schools.

The school in the picture was Logie Secondary School. It became redundant as a school, partly I think due to slum clearance, was damaged by fire in 2001 and demolished for safety reasons, although it was a listed building. Here is the local authority’s account of it:

In 1923 it was decided to build a new school and Logie Central School opened in 1929, designed by Charles Soutar, of McLaren, Soutar and Salmond. It was hexagonal in plan, 3 storeys high, and with a central hall dividing the inner courtyard into two enclosed playgrounds. Its frontage was of regular large 24-pane windows, with cement rendered brick in between. The main entrance and other features were clad in artificial stone, whilst stone from the poorhouse was reused elsewhere. The focal point was a copper clad clocktower with a pagoda roof. The school was surrounded by playgrounds, which were separated by railings and retaining walls. It operated as Logie School until 1976, then continued as an Annexe to Harris Academy until 1998. It was destroyed by fire on 13 March 2001 and demolished in May 2001.

There is a picture of the surviving bronze plaques from the entrance to the school here. There are now two primary schools and a nursery school on the site.

I found this account of Logie Central School, by then called Logie Secondary School, in 1974:

my own experiences as Head Teacher at Logie Secondary School in Dundee, commonly known as the Pen or the Penitentiary (or Colditz) brought home to me in stark terms the cancer at the heart of Scottish education that Mackenzie wanted to expose and eradicate – the senseless drilling and regimentation of children, the exposure to flagrant and excessive use of the belt and verbal castigation, the curbing of their spirit, the stunting of their imagination, the stigmatising of their personalities – being seen in most teachers’ eyes as “no-hopers” and “no-gooders”- and the subjection of the vast majority of the pupils to the rituals of a system thrilled to certification by exams – Logie, the school I became Head Teacher of in late 1971, dramatically encapsulated all that Mackenzie fought tooth and nail during his professional life to bring an end to.

17th June 1929

18 June 2019

17th June

The Daily Herald.

The ad above is for Godfrey Phillips Plus Two cigarettes, and assumes that smokers consume twenty packets of 12 cigarettes a week – 34 a day.

The prime minister has met the American General Dawes, the ambassador to this country, and they have issued a joint statement about their intention to work towards naval disarmament. It seems rather vague at present. (This is General Dawes who, when asked as chair of the general purchasing board for the American Expeditionary Forces to justify expenditure in the First World War, said “Hell and Maria, we weren’t trying to keep a set of books over there, we were trying to win a war” – so was known as Hell and Maria Dawes. Though he said what he actually said was “Helen Maria”.) General Dawes was, as he got on a train, seen carrying a copy of All Quiet on the Western Front.

General Bramwell Booth of the Salvation Army has died, on bad terms with the army (which his father founded). The High Council of the army met for the first time earlier this year to kick him out of his role as leader, because of his ill-health. He got an injunction in place to stop this, but when it expired they did it again and appointed someone else. His sister, Eva Booth, who is the leader of the army in America, was one of the council who ousted him – she tried to see him during his last illness, but was turned away.

In Deauville the authorities have clarified that, when the law states that a bathing dress must be worn, this means a one-piece suit, and not twelve pieces of cloth held together by gold thread, as was recently seen there.

Three French aviators have just made an Atlantic crossing, finding during the trip that they had a stowaway. “All three French airmen admitted that on his emergence from the tail of the machine, where he had concealed himself, their indignation equalled their astonishment, and at first he was in some danger of assault. The airman Lotti added, however, not without generosity, that since Schreiber [Arthur Schreiber, the stowaway] had shared their perils, and was, in a sense, a member of the expedition, they would help him to realise his dream of seeing Paris and afterwards would pay his return passage to New York.”

The Sultan of Zanzibar has visited Preston; he told workers at a mill that the robe he was wearing was made in Preston.

Arthur Greenwood, the minister for Health, has spoken of his desire to improve hospitals. He wants to bring the public health service and voluntary hospitals together into one organisation. He says that half of the hospitals outside London have a deficit. (It will be he, in 1940, who is referred to in “Speak for England, Arthur!”)

The Daily Herald says that the government is “More Acceptable to the Nation than Election Figures Show”.

Arthur Millar, of Comiston Terrace in Edinburgh, is on trial for attempting to kill a leading authority on the Rent Acts – this appears to be something to do with Millar having asked for legal advice following having received a notice of eviction.

Mr LW Driffield, an Australian cartoonist, and Miss ND Clifford boarded a liner in Sydney as strangers and arrived in Southampton having been married (by a clerical type who was also on board).

British posters are “Ahead of the Foreign in Design and Printing”. “Lord Riddell, opening an exhibition of foreign advertising material at the Annual Advertising Convention in Newcastle on Saturday night, said he had looked closely at the exhibition, and must say he preferred British posters. In design and execution he thought Britain stood easily first.” I love this – he’s opening an exhibition of foreign advertising but takes the opportunity to point out its inferiority.

Work on the R100 airship is held up because the management of the company will not recognise a union, and workers are on strike.

The paper notes that one hears many languages and sees many races in London, but that the only thing that surprises Londoners is a sailor carrying an umbrella. (I think this may be a dig at the French – it was a French sailor, with a red pompom on his cap, who was carrying the umbrella.)

Sir Landon Ronald is firmly of the opinion that the sale of songs and music generally would greatly beneft by more extensive advertisement. If his opinion is backed by the music publishers we may look for some novel “puffs”.
“Are you feeling Depressed and Tired of Life? WHy not try a little song? Mozart will make you Merry. Swallow some Schubert and Shuffle off Your Hump. Buy Beethoven for the Blues. Go on the Bust with Bela Bartok. Sing Wagner to Your Wife. Brahms is Blissful in the Bath”, and so on.
Is that the stuff, Sir Landon, to give them?

(Sir Landon is a composer, conductor and professor of music; he is also the music advisor to EMI and the HMV label.)

An advertisement recommends Wallasey as the New Brighton.

The Lady Mayoress of Birmingham, speaking at the Annual Conference of the Association of Teachers of Domestic Science, says that Birmingham men do not tell their wives what they earn, and she thinks that boys should be taught at school that their earnings are for the family.

Alderman Brow Dickenson, speaking at the national convention of boot and shoe students, says that women stopped wearing heavy boots when skirts became shorter, and he hopes that long skirts do not come into fashion again.

Constable Sankey has been awarded the RSPCA silver medal for rescuing a cat from a burning house.

Two stories in the paper sound much like stories from girls’ books. A nine-year-old, eight years ago, saved the life of a man whose horse had run away with him; he has just died and left her £2,300. In another news story, schoolgirls at Slough Secondary School apprehended a would-be burglar.

The National Federation of Retail Newsagents, Booksellers, and Stationers, with 16,000 members, is to take steps to secure itself an MP of its own.

Durham County Mental Hospital is advertising for a cook, 48-hour weeks, 14 days of annual leave, pay 26s 11d per week with what looks like a “fluctuating bonus” of 10s a week; board and lodging charged at 17s 10d a week. It is also advertising for a qualified Dispenser and clerk, £4 a week, no information about hours and leave.

Tool Setters, Sheet Metal Workers, Fitters, Turners, Capstan Hands and Millers are wanted for Aircraft work.

The paper applauds the Daily Telegraph‘s campaign against badger-baiting.

A cat belonging to a Huntly cattleman is mothering a chicken as well as her three kittens. Last year the same cat was foster-mother to young rabbits she adopted after her kittens died.

Miss Ishbel MacDonald is quoted as not wanting to leave her “Wendy house” in the garden of the Hillocks, Lossiemouth, the MacDonalds’ family home, to move to 10 Downing Street. She also says that she wants to be elected to the Housing Committee of the LCC (already being a member of the LCC).

Portsmouth Evening News, 8th June 1929

12 June 2019

8th June

Botleigh Grange is going to be sold, with all its fixtures and fittings, including ornamental roof vases. I cannot find a description or a very good image, but something like the ones in this stock photograph perhaps? Makes me think of the murder weapon in Death of the Late Pig.

Anna Emma Charman has been accused of trying to murder her sister by shooting her. Mrs Charman and her husband have been married for 20 years and have 13 children (with 4 pairs of twins), 9 living. When her brother-in-law, Mr Brown, died, Mr Charman started paying attention to Mrs Brown, Mrs Charman’s sister. He moved in with Mrs Brown.

Mrs Charman said that she had fired at the ground, intending to frighten her sister. She had written (though apparently not sent) letters to her husband, including one saying

I hope you will look after your children and bring them up. May they never be treated as I have been. I cannot stand jeers. With the best of luck for the rest of your life.

The police reported that Mrs Charman is a very good mother who has done her best in adverse circumstances. The jury found her guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm, and strongly recommended mercy. Her sentence was to be bound over, rather than imprisoned. I do hope things improve for her.

Christopher Morley’s play East of Eden has been banned by the Lord Chancellor.

Mrs F Kingdom Ward, the wife of the botanist Captain F Kingdom Ward, is the first woman to fly on the Air Mail Service to India. She has done so to get to her husband, who is ill in Muong, China.

The LNER has started a luxury rail service from Liverpool Street to Cromer and Yarmouth. Iced water will be served, all the warning notices have been removed, there is Wilton carpet, velvet moquette, dark brown leather and fawn reppe. “Oscillation has been reduced to such an extent that writing can be done in comfort”.

A child aged 12 has been convicted of stealing a duckling and a gosling from Fareham Market. His father was ordered to pay 10s costs.

The isle of Wight Musical Festival has taken place, with “no abatement in the interest and enthusiasm”. There was much folk and country dancing.

I think of buying a business, “ladies’ opportunity”, wools, silks, fancy needlework, splendid stock, turnover £1,500 a year – cost is £500. It may be in Southsea, as it is being sold through a Southsea auctioneer.

600 Navy Cholera Belts are available for 2s 6d each. One can also buy three large pictures (subject and style unspecified) for 12s.

8th June 2

Some of the second-hand cars have high mileage. There is an Austin Seven Tourer, 1928, “fitted with every conceivable extra”, mileage 6,000. That is a long way in eighteen months.

Whole-day excursions to Ryde from Portsmouth are 2s First Class and 1/6 Third.

The Criterion in Gosport is showing The Latest from Paris, with Norma Shearer, George Sidney and Ralph Forbes. There are some stills from it here. The Hippodrome has a musical comedy revue called Maytime, with Queenie May, “the English Girl from America”, Harry Angers (whose daughter, Avril Angers, was a comedian and actor who didn’t die until 2005), Fred Spreadbury and his Six Coney Islanders (picture of them here), and Zigfield’s Wonder Girls. The latter, the paper says, “provide a novel spectacle in the form of a human cross-word puzzle”. The Theatre Royal is showing Sherlock Holmes, with HA Saintsbury as Holmes and GB Fearow as Watson. Many films sound a bit racy: If I Were Single at the Scala, Lonesome Ladies at Cosham Picture House and Man, Woman and Sin at the Prince’s. There are a lot of cinemas – 15 in Portsmouth itself. The paper notes that next week’s films include the first British motor-racing film, Smashing Through: the plot involves “a British motor company’s effort to beat foreign competitors in the face of difficulties and misfortunes, and interwoven with this is an intriguing romance”. There is also a job ad for a “Jazz Drummer, used to kinema work; own instruments”.

There has been a fundraising meeting for the extension of Portsmouth Royal Hospital. The Bishop said “it was a terrible responsibility for a city such as Portsmouth to have a hospital which everybody agreed was inadequate”.

Chapman’s Laundry will be closed next Saturday for the Annual Staff Outing.

There is advice to old women on what to wear: “a little rummaging among prints of mediaeval fashions, of ecclesiastical garb, of Oriental and peasant costumes, would yield dozens of ideas. The fundamental note always should be dignity”. “Cheerfulness is so important to beauty.”

Milton and East Southsea Ratepayers’ Association is to have a lecture on “The New Secondary Schools: Are They Too Expensive?”

In the death announcements, Elsie Elizabeth Brandell, nee Knight, has died aged 31, after a long illness. “Gone to meet her Freddie.”

The airman Sir Alan Cobham crashed his “big blue airliner the Youth of Britain”, though only from 50 feet so no-one was hurt, although the ‘plane is damaged.

This exchange does not seem kind: “Elderly man at Bow County Court: I am not strong enough to hold a hammer to do upholstery work. I suffer from bronchial catarrh and deafness. Solictor: Which prevents you holding the hammer, the catarrh or the deafness?”

Miss Margaret Bondfield has been appointed as Minister for Labour, the first woman Cabinet Minister.

A lion has been recaptured in Cologne after escaping from the circus and swimming around in the Moselle.

The War Reparations are still being agreed. The current proposal is that Germany pays £99,400,000 a year for 59 years. The paper also writes about the descendants of the Hapsburgs, who it says are living in poverty.

In the letters page, “A Portmuthian” writes about his experience of emigrating to New Zealand. “A Country Dweller” appeals for free ‘buses to take Portsmouth children into the country.

Mrs Nellie Prothero, the widow of a vice-admiral, has died in Brighton hospital after being found on the cliffs in a state of collapse; she had been receiving outdoor relief since her husband’s death until about three weeks ago, when she was offered admittance to the workhouse, but did not want to go.

Winchester City Council is considering what action to take about sewerage, given the offensive smell from Winchester College.

A local JP is to give a talk at Waterlooville on The Colour Problem.

In the Situations Wanted, a Naval Officer’s daughter is looking for a post as a daily or morning Nursery Governess. She lives in Richmond Lodge, Netley Road, has been to high school and speaks several languages.

In the Personal ads, a widow would like to meet a Naval Pensioner for companionship. Another ad asks “Will widow, 30, re St Jude’s, white flower, and June Flowers, Fareham, please write at once Box 7192”. And a “kind person” is wanted to adopt a month-old baby girl, for “love only”.

4th June 1929

4 June 2019

“DOWNCAST. Lord Cushendum wore a gloomy look whilst waiting for admittance to the Cabinet meeting last evening.”

The Tories have lost 146 seats so far. There are 7 results still to be declared.

Mr Baldwin has resigned. Apparently he has to surender his seals of office to the King. I would like to know what they look like.

Ramsay MacDonald had a quiet day; in the morning he went to Christie’s to see some pictures.

The Labour National Executive and Parliamentary Labour Party will meet tomorrow to decide on immediate actions:

How truly representative of the community generally is Labour’s Council of 31 may be gathered from the fact that General Workers, Railwaymen, Iron and Steel Trades, Boot and Shoe Operatives, Typographical Workers, Miners, Transport Workers, Railway Clerks, Distributive Workers, Emgineers and Vehicle Workers will all have their direct representative present.

Women will be represented by Mrs Jennie Adamson, the wife of WM Adamson, Dr Ethel Bentham, Miss Ellen Wilkinson, and Miss Susan Lawrence, the vice-chairman of the Labour Party Executive.

The paper notes that there is a husband and wife in Parliament, plus one father and two sons; each of the party leaders has a son in Parliament and one also has a daughter.

M Alain Gerbault, the French lawn tennis player, who is sailing alone around the world, is overdue to arive at Le Havre, and is being searched for.

“Thousands of ruptured men and women will rejoice to know that Capt. Collings, who was helpless and bed-ridden for years with double rupture, will send free to all the full plan by which he cured himself at home.”

Daisy Woodhead is being tried for killing her husband. She told the police “We were having a row over the size of the winkles. He said ‘You don’t call them winkles,’ and punched me on the side of the face'”. She threw a plate and a knife at him and he died from a cut in the neck.

The British Labour Movement opposes forced labour of “primitive or partially developed peoples” in the Colonies for private employers, but would allow it for public works.

The British Trawlers’ Federation advertises for people to eat more fish; to fry it, the fat should “give off a BLUE SMOKE. This is most important”.

There is a whole page of the results of local Labour Party and Trade Union draws.

The paper notes a trend for elderly bishops to marry their much younger secretaries.

There is an ad for Daily Herald song-sheets, which will get you out of trouble at meetings if the speaker doesn’t turn up.

One should burn paper in one’s bin once a week, to keep it clean.

31st May 1929

3 June 2019


News of Labour gains came thick and fast soon after midnight last night. Among the dozen victories were three at Salford, including that of Mr. Ben Tillett, Mr. Derwent Hall Caine, at Everton, Mr. Charles Dukes, at Warrington, Mr. Tom Snowdon, at Accrington, and Mr. McElwee, at Hulme. …

Where Labour seats have been retained there have been some Gargantuan majorities, notably at Rotherham [16k], Barnsley [9k], and Farnworth [11k]. …

The young women electors in London, who had been considered difficult to move, not only turned up in large numbers at the polling booths, but turned up early. In many of the outer suburbs at 10 o’clock they were queued up at the polling booths as if there were a bargain sale.

(Derwent Hall Caine is the son of the novelist)

There have been three deaths of people at polling stations.

The King has a cold, following his return to Windsor from Bognor, “a stay at the seaside of 13½ weeks”. I cannot tell if this is a dig.

There is a coroner called Ingleby Oddie (see here).

Two people in Clapham were in court accused of running an unlicensed home for lunatics. One doctor said that the five residents of the nursing home were lunatics. Three other doctors said that they were not. “Mr. Dodson asked if one of the patients was suffering from the delusion that she was dead, but Dr. Herbert said she had never mentioned it to him.” The couple were found not guilty.

There is an ad for 16 days in Corsica with the Workers’ Travel Association. (See here – I like its logo.)

The £500 reward in the case of the missing banker is to be paid to Frederick Arnold, who found the body.

There is an article calling for “Death to the house flies – vigorously, relentlessly, always!”.

Sir Bernard Spilsbury is likely to be asked to examine the death of Hector Rose Nelson, who was found shot both through the head and through the heart. He had a revolver in his hand, and on his bicycle was fixed a holster for it.

It is predicted by the Controller of the London Telephone Service, Mr W A Valentine, that in two years London telephone subscribers will be able to telephone any part of the world. There are currently 635,000 telephone instruments in London.

A twenty-year-old factory girl has been sentenced to 8 months for causing the death of her newly-born baby. The judge said “the law now recognised that the balance of a woman’s mind might be upset at such a time, and judges could take a more merciful view”.

A rabbit with ears 26 inches long and 7 inches wide has won the lop-ear category at the Royal Counties’ Agricultural Show at Southampton.

Annie Besant is to speak on the Problem of India and World Peace, which I would like to hear.

The paper comments on the poor treatment of ice-cream men, who work long hours and whose employers deduct money for spoiled ice-cream. They would like to join trade unions.

Five novels are reviewed: The Boroughmonger, by RH Mottram. It “moves at an even pace and without hesitation to its – one must admit – rather inadequate conclusion”. Where the Heart Lies, by Ruth Brockington, “provides the reader with an hour or two of pleasant diversion”. Roon, by Herbert Asquith (son of the former PM), “is more ambitious, but less competent”. The other two novels, The Riven Pall, by Ronald Gurner, and Yet a More Excellent Way, by Mary Scharlieb, are dismissed together as “both novels with a message. The first is concerned with smoke abatement, and the second with the conversion of the Hindus to Christianity. As literature neither of them posesses much merit.” I would be interested in reading a novel about smoke abatement.

A woman has been found by the coroner to have killed herself as a result of excessive cigarette smoking, 30-40 a day. Her husband said she had been depressed.

There is an appeal for Esperantists to transcribe books into Braille.

Post from 1929

31 May 2019


Miss J Richmond
The ?Wakes
Middleton Road


Hotel ?Münchnenhof
Vienna VI

It is rotten luck you getting mumps. Cheer up! I do hope you haven’t them too badly. We are having a wonderful time. Each place seems as good as the last. Vienna really is a lovely town – very ?huge. The shops are very nice – we seem to spend our mornings shopping. It is a long business when you can’t talk. This National history museum is rather a fine building. We spend all our evenings at the opera and it is too marvellous. We are doing a tremendous lot!

Love Stella.


(Opinion from my father:

Stella is, quite frankly, an idiot. Instead of the detailed report on the growth of Fascism that we expected, the silly person is buying hats to wear to the opera!

I hope she felt foolish about her lost chance to prevent World War Two!)

No news update today except to say that the election results are out and the Daily Herald says it is a Labour landslide. Details to follow.

30th May 1929

30 May 2019


It’s election day! “Vote against slums today!”

“As the polling booths each add their quota to the dramatic story, telephones, telegraphic and broadcasting instruments, printing presses, all kinds of rapid duplicating machines, illuminated screens, and electric signs from all over the country will be set in operation from moment to fateful moment.” (The Daily Herald)

Ramsay MacDonald says “I am not a Communist. I never have been. I do not believe in them.”

Baldwin’s “eve-of-the-poll broadcast was the effort of a dispirited and defeated man. About it there was an air of complete weariness”.

The DH thinks that Churchill is in trouble in his constituency in Epping. “His ways with hecklers have given offence”.

“Mr. Herbert Morrison, who has an unrivalled knowledge of the position in London, broke into verse:
Whether it’s wet or whether it’s fine,
Vote for Labour well up to time.

There is an obit of JR Green’s wife, Alice Stopford Green – I did not know that she collaborated on A Short History of the English People with him. She was also an active Irish Nationalist – Wikipedia says she was involved in gun-running, as well being an elected member of the Senate of the Irish Free State.

“Examination of stains on the walls of the villa of Miss Branson, the murdered Englishwoman of Les Baux, near Marseilles, have led Dr Beroud, chief of the Police Technical Laboratory, to report to the police that the stains are not those of human blood, as previously thought”.

Ramsey MacDonald has spoken about the relationship between Britain and France. He thinks that the French do not understand the burden that the post-war loans to France have made on Britain, and “we are a little hurt to see that our sacrifices and burdens are not appreciated at their full value”.

There is a pome with apologies to “Sunny Boy”:

Stanley Boy

Though trade’s depressing,
You are so refreshing,
Broccoli will grow, Stanley Boy.
Miners are starving,
Let them go on starving,
You’ll pull us through, Stanley Boy.
You made a statement,
We know its worth.
There’s no abatement
Of poverty on earth.
And though the slums are appalling,
Let them still keep calling,
Your Safety First, Stanley Boy.

The Catering section of the small ads is headed Beanfeasts, etc.

A badger turned up at Southend railway station and was chased around before being captured. It was put in a police cell for an hour and then removed to a menagerie.

An American aviator, Miss Marvel Crossen, has set a record for women flyers of 24,000 feet.

The body of the missing banker has been found in a wood! He appears to have shot himself.

An ad says that babies should be fed evaporated milk.

“The smartest and latest bathing suits for this season will all have some black in them, mostly black knickers with brightly coloured tops. … A delicate shade of Nile green will probably be popular. A pretty suit in this colour worn by one of the millgirl mannequins had the green bodice shaped like a waistcoat coming down to a point over the black knickers.”

There is an ad for a 3-shilling B&B in Battersea, “homely Labour people”.