Chapter 5 August
1st August Went to Langholm for the day, taking our lunch to eat whilst waiting an hour at Riddings junction.
Walked through the garden of Langholm Lodge belonging to the Duke of Buccleuch, which is lovely. A stream runs through it and there are such lovely trees. The townspeople are allowed to play games on the lawn in front of about five acres, which was being mown by a horse machine. There were some curious split up (sort of) Macrocarpa trees almost forming arbors in their centres.
Afternoon tea we had at the Littles' where the Christys lodged last summer, then to the station where old Mr. Watson accosted us wishing to know whether we had found the lawyer we were looking for and saying his firm sold "Jollie's buildings" years ago for a Mrs. Stephen. We had to wait again at Riddings but were amused in looking at the Otter hounds after their hunt.
2nd & 3rd We have Strawberries for breakfast and lunch. Then Raspberries.
4th Walked through Netherby farm.
7th Went to church. There was a larger congregation. Walked up the river in the Netherby fields after tea.
8th It rained all night and most of today. The river is flooded over the stone path on this side.
9th Dr. Christy went out fishing, but caught nothing. He always comes home at about 5.30, just when others are going out to fish and the fish rising.
10th Dr. Christy went out and caught four fish called Whiting, very nice. They are young sea Trout and their flesh is pink.
Mrs. Christy and I sewed at my brown dress all forenoon and walked along the river bank after tea. It is quite too funny to see the fishers standing solemnly up to their thighs in the water and keeping their eyes fixed on their flies. They seem to stand patiently for hours looking like stalks. We met one going home with a full box, so Mrs. Christy asked him whether he sold fish. He said "No!" rather shortly then said two others did, pointing down the river. Then I told her he was one of the gentlemen fishers greatly to her chagrin.
11th We found the five o'clock train to Carlisle last night was so late that Mrs. Christy decided I had better go into Carlisle by the 10.46 train this morning although the Newcastle train does not get in till 5.20.
I hurriedly packed some things last night, and got up and breakfasted earlier (the only morning I have not had an egg since I came) and finished packing an hour before the time. The weather was threatening, so we decided not to go to Annan first.
We reached Carlisle soon after eleven and went in search of ribbon, the shops closing at 12.30 for a half holiday. Returned to the station about twelve and had lunch in the waiting room. Left my Macintosh and Mrs. Christy's bag there and made for the Flower show at Stammix on the far side of the river. We arrived just after the Mayor came to open it, and the refreshment stall being arranged etc. After some delay the Mayor made a speech, and two or three others who all cheered and flattered each other.
The day was showering, but not disagreeable on the whole. The show was not much to look at though it was amusing to see the rounds of children licking Ha'penny ice creams out of glasses, buying a Penny's worth of sweets etc. We stayed at most an hour then walked round Stammix, then to the castle round the battlements and into the dungeons which were shown us by the usual kind of guide who fixed his eagle eye on me whilst reciting his oft repeated tale of horrors.
Then to the cathedral where we heard part of the evening service. The singing and organ sounded lovely in the old place. Then had afternoon tea at a tuck shop then back to the station where we saw horses being put into the train after being shown. We missed the arrival of the Newcastle train which put Mrs. Christy in a great fuss. However we found Sinclair before the 6.20 train (by which I've left for the north) was due and he took us to Gerne [?]. They dined at Carlisle whilst waiting for the train so that is why we did not see them sooner. We feared missing them because the express train stopped at Old Cumnock for us to get out by special arrangement.
Jinny, Captain Prendergast and I had a first class carriage to ourselves, Sinclair paying my fare, the rest, mainly Sinclair, Arthur Chambers, Mr. Rhodes, Margaret and Brooker, Arthur's man, were elsewhere. We arrived late at Old Cummock as the express stopped at several small stations to let others out. There we found two waggonettes and pairs waiting for us. The question was how to pack all the numerous large and small luggage into them besides ourselves. However Sinclair put his mind to it, but I wondered the springs did not break. We reached Dalblair at about 9.30 had supper and sat up in the smoking room 'till eleven.
Young Mr. Angus met us at the door and thought I was a Miss Kennedy. He is Sinclair's partner in a Mine and seems an amiable young man though not particularly interesting. This house, Dalblair Lodge, belongs to the Marquis of Bute, but Sinclair and Mr. Angus rent it by the year for fishing and shooting. It is prettily situated in the valley close to the river and is well wooded. The Moor is just up the hill at the back.
12th Got up to 8.15 breakfast and poured out tea for the men who were all astir early. Jinny was late thinking I was going to stay in bed for breakfast but the tramping men and barking dogs woke me early so I got up. Felt rather shy being the only lady. Helped cut sandwiches then started with the lunch at 11.30 to meet the men on the Moors.
They started at about 9.15 as soon as old Mr. Angus had arrived. We drove in his dogcart up and over the moor as far as we could, then the man carrying the lunch bag showed us over the hill, boggy and covered with heather half way up to our knees. We had to jump many narrow and wide drains. Finally we saw them some way off shooting towards us and soon met. They had shot twenty brace, but got some more afterwards. I smoked part of a cigarette given me by Mr. Angus and felt rather bad after it. Jinny also tried one.
We drove out at about three o'clock, had afternoon tea then I rested till dinner time. At this no glasses, but Champagne ones, were on the table 'till dessert. Dinner is a long affair. After we sat in the smoking room and Captain Prendergast played his banjo and sang and Mr. James Angus danced to 'Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay'.
13th Stayed in bed to breakfast. Then went fishing. Had lunch, rested then went to meet the men on the moor and both got wet through for our pains. Had a Philippine with Mr. Angus, which he won this morning through Jane calling me to the window when he shouted "Bon jour Phillippine." Spent the evening in the drawing room singing. 38 brace.
14th Stayed in bed to breakfast. Went out driving the morning watching the men fish. No-one caught anything worth fetching home. Went out in the afternoon with Mr. James Angus and Captain Prendergast to meet Jerne[?], Sinclair and Arthur Rhodes. Found them shooting with a rook rifle from the hill at some paper placed on a stone in the river. We all shot in turns without doing much damage. Coming home Captain Prendergast and Mr. Rhodes tried to shoot rabbits, which are numerous here, but without any result. The men complain that Arthur, being shortish and stout, keeps them back out shooting with slow walking, also that Sinclair walks too far. Mr. R. is the funny man of the party, also rather vulgar. He comes from Yorkshire and is great on hunting. Same as usual in evening. No church near so could not go to church, probably shouldn't if there had been. Jane sometimes walks seven miles to the Marquis of Bute's private chapel.
Monday 15th Fished in the morning. Went rabbit shooting with Jinny in the afternoon. We used the rook rifle and bullets. Fished again after tea but didn't even get a bite. Lost another phillipine with Mr. Angus in the same manner. He and Captain Prendergast threw stones at my window, till I got a tin of water, then said they had drawn the badger. Played cards with Arthur and Mr. Rhodes. Mr Angus went home this evening till Wednesday. So far we have been most unlucky with our fishing not having caught anything, and I even bite-less. Dinners are quite elaborate and I shall give last night's menu:
II Salmon Mayonnaise,
III Stewed Kidneys and Peas,
IV Chops and mashed Potatoes,
V Roast Grouse,
VI Stewed Figs and Currants,
VII Sardines on toast,
I always drink one and a half glasses of Champagne and a glass of Claret, beer for lunch. Last night we had two magnums between six of us.
16th Was woken up by Jinny asking whether I had any Laudanum because Captain Prendergast had earache. Sketched the ruins of Kyle castle or keep and part of the moor beyond.
Frank Gowans and Norman came from Newcastle yesterday. We all go to dine with the Angus' at Angar this evening. The men have been shooting there all day so Jinny and I drive this evening taking their dress clothes.
Angar is seven miles away and Mr. Angus owns works there, iron etc. Captain Prendergast leaves for Aberdeen this evening to stay with his uncle Major General Prendergast He told Jinny he had relations in New Zealand Could he be the Chief Justice?* Alf's birthday.
17th Enjoyed ourselves pretty well at Angar last night. The younger daughter, Mary, had to entertain us. She is an handsome girl of about seventeen. A friend about the same age helped her, named Mercy Ormond from Lancashire, who reminded me a little of cousin Chris.
We had a grand dinner, the silver and china and glass being very fine. Different kinds of Champagne, Claret and Sherry were brought out for the men to taste. They had been shooting there all day. Mr. Rhodes complained there were too many wives. The doctor, Lawrence, took me in to dinner, which he appeared to enjoy. There were very fine peaches for dessert, but they were not offered to us.
After the men came in, Mr. Angus, Jinny and the doctor sang Scotch songs to Arthur's emphatic accompaniment. We had whiskey and soda and started for home shortly after eleven, all packed into a carriage because of the rain and got home at 11.50, rather tired.
Today after lunch Jane, the boys and I accompanied Sinclair and Carr fishing up the stream. Tomorrow there is a grouse dinner and she and I go out with the lunch. This is the most beautiful day we have had. Arthur and Mr. Rhodes left this morning. Brooker is left behind to help tomorrow.
18th Rained steadily all the morning so that Jinny and I could not go out to lunch with the shooters, however I heard something said about our going this afternoon if it cleared. Saw them go, Captain Alexander, Mr. Shaw, son of Lord Bute's factor, the Messers Angus, Peter.
The boy beaters came early this morning. Did nothing all day. Jinny persuaded me to go back with her to Newcastle to go to the artillery sports. We were both preparing to go out onto the moor at 3.30 p.m. and had even tucked up our dresses, when Mr. Shaw came down to say that a man had been shot.
I was still upstairs when I heard his step on the gravel and rung at the bell and thought it was to tell us not to come. Jinny got a fright thinking it was either French or Norman as he did not say who it was at once, but was not much relieved to find it was Brooker. He drove straight off for the doctor and Adam came and fetched the Angus' dogcart, pillows, blankets and a mattress. It began to pour again and a long way to fetch him down poor fellow.
He is an old soldier, was married 18 months ago and has been with Arthur over a year. Last night he (being a generally quiet man) annoyed us by talking to the girls very loud in the kitchen. Having heard the news we were all greatly excited and a room was prepared for him. During the two hours wait Mr. Carr gave us a scone and oat cake cooking lesson. At last the doctor came, then the boys from the moor, one of which had just missed being killed by an inch but had a shot wound on his forehead.
Then at last Mr. James Angus came in his shirt sleeves and wet through having taken off their coats to wrap round Brooker. They had carried him three miles across the moor on a gate at stretches of thirty yards and said they couldn't have carried him any further. Last of all the dogcart passed along the road taking him straight to the hospital. He was unconscious all the time, poor fellow. The doctor thought it a bad case as the shot, a[?]nt 40[?] Sinclair told me, had entered his head at a ten yards range. We were glad he was not to stay at Dalblair as all thought there was no hope for him, so they telegraphed to Sheffield for his wife. We did what we could to comfort Mr. Shaw, who with the Angus' stayed to dinner. They were all done up so we got to bed early. Sinclair said his arms ached. Packed up and went to bed.
19th Got up early as we left at 9.30. When the drags came the drivers told us Brooker had died during the night. We met his poor wife at the station, just arrived. A clergyman met her and told her he was gone, and she was very cut up, poor thing. She takes his body back tomorrow.
Old Mr. Angus was there, nice old chap. His son travelled with us to Newcastle and amused himself by teasing me all the way. We saw Durham Castle from the train also Prideaux Castle. We lunched at the hotel at Carlisle.
We met Oswald there on his way to Dalblair with the kitchen maid. Reached here about five o'clock. The brougham met us at Cleadon Lane Station. This is a large well-built and furnished house, Jinny is deservedly proud of it. She says there are at least thirty three rooms in it. My room has blue paper with blue Damask curtains both bed and window, arm chair and sofa, and a fine view of the sea from its two windows.
20th Did nothing all day, but a walk to the beach which was covered with holiday people, being Saturday. We also watched the cricket for a time from the Williamsons' garden.
Harry Rhodes and James Angus came to stay in the evening. Old Mr. W. Williamson an old bachelor dined here and didn't he eat! Then he always sleeps after dinner and the difficulty is to get him to go. Peter soon sends him off though by simply telling him, as Pater would, that it is time to go.
21st Got up in time for 10.30 church. Heard a coloured preach about foreign missions. He spoke well and forcibly extemporaneously. What he said was very true that we ought to send our best and cleverest minds to missionaries instead of all our worst.
The church is a fine old one and the organ good. I waited for the Lord was played as a voluntary and sounded delicious. It was very hot so after church we all went for a walk on the beach. Met old Mr. Williamson and his nephew, who showed us the lifeboat.
Dined at two o'clock. Went to afternoon tea with Mr. Williamson. There met the family namely the heir and his brother, Mrs. Henlunt[?], a sister, Miss Williamson, Mr. Victor Williamson, Mr. or Major Merpey-Thompson who was in W.G.[?] ninth[?] Lord Onslow, a young and an old lady, two little Herberts, etc. The heir is aesthetic and looks a donkey. We had nice griddle cakes, scones, cake, strawberry jam, cake and bread and butter.
Had a talk with Mr. Victor and Mr. Merpey-Thompson about New Zealand and ghosts, enjoyed myself more than I had hoped for. Went to church again in the evening, still pretty hot. Supper at nine to which a Mr. Abbs stayed. Mr. Dawson came to dinner. After evening church we just went in to the Chismiths next door. They have been in Madagascar and Mauritius.
22nd Went to Newcastle shopping with Jinny and Harry Rhodes, returning after lunch at a tuck shop and found Clara and Florrie waiting for us. Mr. Williamson dined here and slept after dinner as usual though we did our utmost to keep him awake, and Mr. Angus dancing "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay". Florrie and Clara came to call.
23rd Walked on the beach this morning with Jinny. Started early after lunch to a garden party at Mrs. Craven's, calling at Undercliff on the way. The garden party was rather fun. We played tennis and croquet and shot at bottles with a rook rifle. Jinny hit two out of three shots. The coffee, sandwiches and cakes were delicious. Some of the dresses very gorgeous. Harry Rhodes went with Mr. Angus to Arundel to stay. Jinny and I have had to put off our visit there 'till Friday as the christening is tomorrow.
Wednesday 24th Sinclair has gone to Allendale for a few days shooting. Jinny and I started for Newcastle soon after lunch to attend Miss Victoria Violet Fraser's christening.
After the ceremony at St. Luke's we went to the house and had Champagne tea and cakes. The room was full and very hot so we were glad to get away. Jinny gave Violet a silver spoon, knife and fork.
Surgeon-Major Fraser is a fine tall man and his wife tall and pretty, lovely eyes. From there to the flower show escorted to the gate by Ben and Paddy. There we spoke to Telomine [?] and Dr. Gowans. Heard the Engineers band play and saw large china Asters, lovely bouquets, pot plants, ferns etc. Got home to find the boys back from Dalblair.
25th Dressed and had lunch at Newcastle, then to the Artillery sports at Sunderland. The carriage met us and drove us up to the barracks where we found a large assemblage including Lizzie and R. Lambert. She looked and seemed very nice.
Mr. Vaux took us into tea, which was nice likewise the cakes and sweets. The officers race was the most amusing, even little Colonel Robinson competing. Miss Robinson seems a very nice girl and was looking after everybody. We drove home along the cliff. It was a lovely calm evening, the sea like glass.
26th Friday Got up earlier than usual to catch the train to Newcastle on our way to Arundel. Were met at Arundel by Mr. Angus and Harry Rhodes in the former's dogcart. Drove to his house about a mile from the station where we had lunch.
Then a pause 'till Harry left to catch his train to Newcastle, then to the Radcliffe pit close by. There we saw the men sifting coal and taking out the steam coal, also larger lumps for house coal. Mr. Angus took me down in a cage. He lent me some of his tan boots and a cap because of the mud. Jinny tried to stop me and Harry was most anxious to stay and see what I would do. The cage moved very smoothly and it was impossible to tell whether we were going up or down. It is 140 yards deep.
At the bottom we watched the small trucks bring down the coal from the workings about one mile away. A horse, used to start the empty ones back, seemed to know his business thoroughly. There are thirty down. Then we stooped along a passage, through two doors to the draught furnace, where the draught was strong. Then to a disused pump. It was rather muddy under foot and wet and black overhead. Jinny seemed relieved to see us up again.
After a wash we walked to the sinking pit a mile from the other. Jinny turned the first sod there a short time ago and now it is pretty deep. I should like to have gone down in the bucket but they said it was too wet. But if I go there again I am to go. One bucket was used for drawing out water besides a pump at work. It was most interesting to see how wonderfully the great engine was used for the purpose.
We returned, had afternoon tea and drove some miles to catch an express at Accrington, which train was over half an hour late. This left us only half an hour to dress, have dinner and get to the theatre beginning at 7.30. We had dressed by 7.25 and finished dinner by 8.15. Mr. Angus treated us to dinner and a bottle and a half of champagne. I could scarcely walk straight out of the dining room.
It rained so we cabbed to the theatre where "Cinder Ellen up to Date" was in full swing. The place was crowded. After the first act Frank (who is more altered than anybody) took me to see Fanny, and I stayed there till the end. We rushed for the train, Jinny caught one, Mr. Angus and I the next, it was raining. We met at the station where we found Peter back from shooting at Allundale. Mr. Abbs got into the carriage with us, and we afterwards drove him home. The Cravens and Allisons were there. We got home at about eleven-thirty, not so tired as expected.
Saturday 27th Played Croquet in the morning, walked on the beach with the boys both morning and afternoon, paddling in the morning. Harry came back from Gosforth.
Mr. Angus, Potter and Joblins came to dinner and for the night. Mr. Williamson came for dinner and did not sleep after dinner as they all played Billiards and J. kept him awake. Mr. P. and J. are bachelors, well off and ordinary.
Sunday 28th Got up in time to be too late for church so wrote to Winny and began one to Miss Smith. Mrs. A. P. and J. played billiards, the piano and danced not knowing I was near. After church we all walked on the beach. Mr. Williamson got ¼ out of the lifeboat box. I walked almost to Rokeby with Mr. Angus Mr. May came to dinner. The men went for a long walk in the afternoon. Mr. Angus left early.
29th Took the boys to the beach in the morning. Rain and Rachel Holden this afternoon. She is very pretty, nice and fascinating. The Allisons, 3, [?], Mme de Palmer came to dinner. Lizzie called.
30th Beach in the morning. R. N. and I paddled. We have intended to bathe every morning but have always had to put it off. Were going to Westoe this afternoon, I to see Florrie, but it rained and thundered.
31st Norman, Harry, Jinny, Rachel and I went to Newcastle by the 12 train, returning at 5. Had lunch at C [?].
Such a typical Curate there, also an old man eating Raspberry tart with tea. Did shopping and afternoon tea at Mrs. Fraser's, she as charming as ever, he sang for us, the baby flourishing.
Captain Bennet, Mr. Dawson and his fine and [?] sister, Mrs. Bind (a Dodo) dined here. Captain Bennet is a veterinary surgeon and a cousin of Dr. Bennet at Bulls. He has been in Egypt and goes again soon. He said if I passed through Cairo on my way to New Zealand I must let him know at Kerr Nil [?] and he would do all he could for me and show me round and "there would be no one to see to us."
At [?] of Jinny and Rachel talking fast I was much amused, but he really seems a kind little man. Sinclair was obliged to leave the table and leave Mr. D. to carve the Grouse, as he had indigestion. B. calls Harry "Spout" because of his nose. Mr. Palmer has invited me to go down his pit. Rachel and Jinny are most persistent in trying to persuade me to give up Alf and stay in England. As if I could. Goodnight darling. It is past 12 o'clock.