Chapter 6 September
September 1st Pater's 67th birthday.
Hum, the two boys, Rachel, Jinny and I all walked to Rokeby against the wind and a shower. There Lady Londonderry was placing a block weighing over forty tons on the pier. Everything in gala attire. Her carriage drawn by four horses and two outriders on horses all the same colour. Great excitement.
I took the tram on to Sunderland where Lizzie* had invited me to lunch. She has four boys, Willie, Frank, Arthur and Charles, all like her and like each other. Had an unquiet dinner what with the telephone continually ringing up Dr. Lambert, the children, the girl and boy in-[?] skirmishing around. His assistant is a young very Scotch man, Walker by name. Dr. Lambert had just returned from Norway, having distinguished himself on board the ship eating.
* Elizabeth's cousin Elizabeth (Haggie) Lambert (1847-1922)
Afternoon we drove to Rokeby where we had tea at a Mrs. Bucks, then walked to the end of the pier and back. There a band played to the crowd and I saw Mr. de Pledge waiting in the rain for Rachel who had promised to meet him there.
Back to Lizzie's where the Whitham carriage was waiting for me, so I couldn't stay for five o'clock tea and left a box of cakes Dr. Lambert had bought for me when we had ices at Margaret's. He told me I had lovely eyes! Picked up J. and R. and drove straight to Cleadon Lane to meet Lizzie. A spring broke on the way home so James and I walked part of the way. Played billiards after dinner. Packed up.
2nd Friday Harry left early. I left by the 10 o'clock train accompanied by the two boys and Margaret. At Newcastle Sinclair met me with a telegram from Jane telling me to wait as Rachel had to go home and was coming to N. by the next train. By the time they came my train and luggage were gone so I returned to Whitham till tomorrow.
After 3 o'clock we dressed S in a black dress of Jinny's, and drove to the station for Newcastle to see D'Oyley Carte's company act The Vicar of Bray. Mrs. Allison, Harold A. and Mrs. Davidson, a cousin of Mrs. Angus, dined with us at the hotel and went to the theatre.
Mrs. Davidson is a cousin of Harry Wilson in New Zealand and is rather deaf. Lizzie tells me Mr. Pinkney has failed. The Vicar of Bray was rather fun and the plot founded on Landford and Minton. The skirt dancing was pretty. The theatre was hot. We drove Mrs. Angus home and had Whiskey and Soda, then home ourselves. Jinny has asked me to go with her to Ayr for races and balls, so I am having a pongee silk skirt made to go with my bodice by a dressmaker here. She wanted me to wear a huge gold chain of hers round my neck tonight.
3rd Nearly missed my train this morning, had about three minutes to drive the three miles. That horse had to hurry. Saw S. at Gateshead. Had a very pretty journey to Melrose via Hexham, Ricranton and Harrick where I changed.
Saw ruined Prudhoe castle near Hexham and Houghton castle near Chollenford. Mrs. Christy met me and we drove out here in a show cab. It is three miles round by round, but only one by the swing bridge. The Tweed is a fine river and the country extremely pretty. Just before she started Lady B. fell on the stairs and cut her lip and bruised it badly. She is as pretty as ever and kinder if possible. Carrie is away up north.
Sunday 4th Went to church beginning at 11.30. Lady B. went to the Presbyterian. Heard "Father" Kemp preach. Flatulated windbag. The choir sits in a gallery. The church was full, a great many strangers. To reach it we cross the Tweed just below the river on the swing bridge. Such lovely views both up and down the river! Dined at 1.30. Miss Simpson, Katie and Alfred Dunn came in the afternoon. The last are Sir David's great-grandchildren. Two of their brothers are at Pennam. Walked by the river after afternoon tea.
5th Drove through Danwick to the Dunns to practice my guitar with Katie's banjo. She wishes me to play it on Wednesday with her and Miss S's guitar. Drove to Abbotsford after lunch. Saw Charlie Heeton's name in the visitors' book, the one before the last. Must have just missed him. Saw over the house, which I should prefer exploring by myself. Bought a walking stick, should like to have got a cup with the Scott arms, but feared expense. Five others went round with me,. Mrs. Christy waited in the entrance.
6th Were going to Dryburgh, but it was too wet. Walked to Melrose in the afternoon and saw the abbey. A fine old ruin, rather shut in by houses.
7th Picked Currants, which Mrs. Christy and I do every morning after breakfast. Drove to Melrose after lunch. Fetched over Katie's banjo and Miss Simpson. Mrs. Dunn, Katie, and Miss Mackenzie came to tea then Mrs. Davidson played the piano whilst Katie and Miss S. played their instruments. I could not keep up with them, so gave up. After they left, I walked up the road and through the Erskines' fields to the river, home by the swing bridge.
8th Drove to Dryburgh with Katie and enjoyed it all immensely. Saw "Dry House Grange", which was lately burned. The abbey is situated amongst trees and well kept lawns and seems larger than Melrose and has vaults and not so much ruined. One tree is a thousand years old.
9th Lunched at the Dunn's. Then climbed up one of the Eildons with Katie, but only onto the saddle. It was a steep walk so I rested frequently. Took Gooseberries and biscuits to eat. The Eildons are 1,500 feet high.
Got a note from Jinny in the evening saying I am to meet her at Carlisle on Monday. This arrangement bursting on the old ladies seems to have rather upset them. I have really walked a great deal today, first to Melrose, then up the Eildons, then back to Allenby again. On a fine day there is a view over seven counties from the top of the Eildons. It was cloudy and rather windy but we saw the Cheviots in the distance.
10th Sewed my white silk bodice and went on with my opera cloak in the morning. In the afternoon was driven round the Eildons with Mrs. Christy, which occupied from 2 to 4 o'clock.
Passed Admiral Fairfax's house and Eildon Hall, the Duke of Buccleugh's hunting lodge on the slope of the hills. He has planted the slopes with trees which add to the beauty of the home sides and precipices. A good deal of foxhunting is done on the Eildons, though their sides are so steep. A Miss Philip was calling on our return who tells character from handwriting, so I think I shall send her mine and Alf's at 1/- each.
11th Sunday Went to church with Mrs. Christy and Lady B. Fairfaxes, Buccleughs, Hays, Kidds, and Enstories were there. A Mr Hawdon or Haughton, late as Navy Chaplin preached. Father Kemp read fearfully slowly. We had litany and commandments. We were in church 1¾ hours.
A joke Sir D. made to the Duke of Edinburgh about his putting his hands in mauve dye at Dr. Playfen [?]. That would be a mauvey (mauvais) deed! Lord P. is Lady B.'s executor. Lady B. tells stories most amusingly, namely about a mad Mrs. Campbell, etc.
12th Packed up, sewed my white ball bodice, got Margaret to help with my opera cloak which she finished for me. The cab ordered to take us to the station did not come, greatly to our discomfiture. Luckily I thought in time of walking over the swing bridge to catch the train minus luggage as I was obliged to meet Jinny in Carlisle not knowing in which hotel she was to stay at Ayr. It was fortunate I did as the train was late about half an hour.
Katie Dunn came to the station to see me off, but could not stay as there was an afternoon tea on. Met Jinny, Sinclair and Kathleen Kennedy after some refreshment, at Carlisle, and travelled by the 6.10 train (it was about an hour late) to Old Cumnock, then drove to Dalblair in a brougham, rather a tight fit.
The night was dark, and the drive seemed interminable. I felt nicely independent without luggage. I was obliged to do my hair with my side combs.
13th Got up pretty early to have a walk before breakfast. When just dressed and about to sally forth my breakfast was brought up, and whilst I ate it rain fell, then all the men came for shooting or rather driving. The drivers arrived pretty early, singing in parts which sounded very pretty.
Mr. Collier, Captain Alexander, Messrs. Angus, Hamilton and Campbell (the last two cousins) went out driving, not returning before seven o'clock, when the last three stayed for dinner. During the day Jinny, Kathleen and I walked all over the place and to the shepherd's cottage beyond Kylemoor. After tea they fished, but I knew better. After dinner I told their fortunes, which served to amuse them. Tomorrow we go to Ayr early in the morning.
14th Got up at 7.05, breakfasted at 7.45, started for Old Cumnock at 8.35 and did the seven miles in little more than half an hour, the funeral horses stepped out. We had such an absurdly long brake to hold 5 of us!
Had our fortunes told by a 1d in the slot business whilst waiting for the train. The station was crowded. Kathleen was to give up drinking spirits, I was not to worry. Mr. Angus joined us and tried to make us pronounce the fearful Scotch names of the various stations.
Arrived at Ayr at about eleven. Got my luggage at the left luggage office, where it was sent free of charge. Then to our lodgings in Fort St. in the house of the Misses Mackay, dressmakers.
I got one of them to let down my pongee silk skirt, which came from Whitham yesterday and was three inches too short. Then we sallied forth and walked by the sea, along the pier and back through the fair, but had not time to stop.
Back to our lodgings to tidy, then we drove to the racecourse, where we changed old Mr. Angus' passes for tickets to the private members' part of the stand. There we sat most of the day (after lunching downstairs) with jaunts occasionally to the saddling paddock, past jostling bookmakers, etc., escorted by Mr. Angus.
The bookmakers hunted in couples, each couple dressed in a striking costume. Some had grey tall hats, dust coloured coats with light blue cuffs and collars and a diamond in blue between their shoulders. Others were in red and straw hats, others had broad belts over their shoulders covered with half crowns. Others in white silk hats, some in blazers, etc. and how they shouted! What struck me mostly was the way many of the ladies were painted. One noticed it so plainly and they seemed shameless.
Some dresses were pretty, some striking especially one in blue serge and canary sleeves and tie. After four o'clock the tea room was open for ladies, free of charge. The tea was nice, cakes so-so. After reaching home after the races, Messrs. Kennedy, Shaw and Angus called to take us to the fair.
First we each had two or three shots at a shooting gallery. Further down we found a superior merry-go-round on which we all rode except Jinny. I objected at first but was overruled though I was afraid of being seasick. It was the funniest thing out. We rode on small wooden horses (side saddle) which moved up and down like a switchback, as well as back and forwards so that first I was in front then Miss Kennedy and Mr. Angus riding alongside. I thought it would never stop and automatic band made such a noise we could not hear each other speak.
Mr. Hamilton was broader than his horse and looked so comical in front of me. Sinclair came up whilst we were on and asked Jinny where we all were not recognizing us. Then we threw balls into holes, or rather tried to, at a Penny a shot for prizes but none of us got them in. Then we tried to get photographed in a group, we three ladies on a box, the three men behind. Two were taken but they were no good as it was too dark. The men had all struck attitudes in each others hats.
After that it was time to go to the hotel for dinner as the ball we thought began at ten. On arrival we found the 6 o'clock table d'hôte over, the next not till eight o'clock, an hour to wait. Jinny and I were in despair as we had to dine and dress before 9.45. We drove home to dress, minus pudding at 9.5.
I was dressed first and had more than half hour to wait, as Mr. Angus and Shaw told us it did not begin till 10.30. By that time I felt more like bed. The two Miss Mackay made me put on my dress in their sitting room whilst they stood and admired.
The Ball was in the Court House, which is a splendid place for the purpose. One large room was for the programme, another was for waltzing, generally less crowded than the other.
Mr. Angus devoted himself to us, me especially, we had many dances and refreshments together. Oysters at 4½d each, nice refreshments, supper and champagne. Women painted as at the races, but middlingly well dressed. Hot velvet sleeves and frills seemed all the fashion. The men I danced with danced so quickly that I couldn't well keep up with them.
A Mr. Hamilton from near Mount Peel was introduced to me, but was not highly exciting to talk to. He told me he is a cousin of Captain Montgomery. We got home just before four, not as tired as I thought I should be. We walked there and back, a very short distance.
15th Thursday Got up at 8.45. Waited for Katie for breakfast at about 10 o'clock. Then we three women sallied into the town, which was crowded with people. Jinny and I had our photographs taken four for a shilling at the fair. Very amusing. Then to the station hotel for lunch, before taking train back to Old Cumnock.
Met Mr. Angus outside just arrived and lunched. As we were waiting for our lunch to be brought, Mr. Angus came up and said his mother asked either Miss Kennedy or me to go with her to the races and drive back to Angar after. Miss Kennedy did not care about it, so I was only too glad and went off at once, lunching at the stand. Same sort of thing as yesterday, but people more quietly dressed.
I noticed the man I saw looking at me yesterday again today. He is tall, goodlooking and like a soldier, very brown. I kept catching his eye fixed on me time after time as though he had seen me before. Perhaps he knows Frank and finds me like him. Mrs. Angus even noticed his behaviour.
After the last race drove back to tea at the hotel, then the carriage came and we started at about 5.30 on our thirteen mile drive. Adam, the coachman, drove the carriage in yesterday so the horses were quite fresh, in fact very much so. Mr. Angus drove, whilst Mrs. Angus, Nettie and I and some luggage sat inside the large waggonnette. We drove out in just two hours, which is considered fast, but the horses are splendid. I slept the night at Angar, in the bosom of the Angus family consisting of six girls and two boys. Mr. Angus was away in Spain. Mr. Davidson arrived soon after I did. He is a brother of the one I met at Newcastle.
16th Nettie and Mary drove me out to Dalblair after breakfast in bed, in the tub drawn by a fat old grey pony. It threatened to rain so they would not stay and accompany us to lunch at a farm one amd a half miles away, with the men who were Partridge shooting.
We lunched in a gully by a burn just below where they were shooting, the party was Jinny, Miss Kennedy, Messrs. Haggie, Huppel, Warrington (a distant relation of those in New Zealand), Angus and Davidson.
They had shot some rabbits, hares, snipe, partridges and a blackcock whose tail Mr. Angus promised me, but Carr said it was too young. The men incited Miss Kennedy to jump the burn, which she cleared with a run and jump. "Now! Bessie?" said Sinclair, and I jumped without a run and stood above my shoes in the water, greatly to the party's amusement. Then we thought it time to walk home to Dalblair.
Messrs. Warrington and Huppel arrived at Dalblair, the night before when I was in Angar. When they came home from shooting we fired at a target in turns with the Rook rifle. After dinner we all sat in the smoking room and sang.
17th Soon after breakfast the Angus' waggonnette arrived with the shooting party. The drivers arrived earlier. Directly after they left for the Moor, we three women left to catch the train for the south.
Mr. Angus had asked us all to lunch tomorrow, but Jinny was obliged to get back to Whitham on account of a drawing room meeting on Tuesday. I left them at Carlisle and came back to Longtown, where Mrs. Christy met me and Martha welcomed me heartily. My feet are so swollen after so much walking lately that Mrs. Christy says I am to stay in bed for breakfast tomorrow.
18th Sunday Too threatening to go to church, so Mrs. Christy goes to a chapel round the corner. I walked to the bridge after tea, but it was windy and wet and the river high.
19th Walked along the Langholm road, back by the river before lunch.
22nd Thursday Went with Mrs. Christy to Penton to see the Lynns, a great picnic resort and very beautiful. The Liddle tears through curiously shaped rocks, hemmed in by wooded hills. The rocks slope in layers and jut out into the stream in ridges. Got back a little after eight o'clock and had tea in the kitchen. Both rather tired.
Saturday Went to market at Carlisle. Both cross.
Sunday 25th Another stormy day. Stayed at home all day.
Monday 26th Mrs. Kidd asked us to afternoon tea tomorrow.
Tuesday 27th The afternoon tea round the corner was amusing though trying, as it is difficult to talk French to her and shout at him. He says he is unusually deaf today because of the damp. He is very particular about climates on that account and was obliged to leave the Navy seven years ago for that reason.
She is very pretty and young but does not speak English. They know nobody here, as neither the Rector or Curate call on strangers and the doctor's wives don't talk French. It is a pity and dull for her. They go about a good deal for fishing. He has been in Canada, Spain and the British Isles and now half thinks of New Zealand, though she thinks it too far from Paree.
28th Mr. Kidd came this morning to ask us to go with them to where he was going to fish. After some delay on the part of Mrs. Christy (she thinking it would tire me for Edinburgh) I was allowed to go and went with them by train to Scotch Dyke at 12.30 after an early lunch. Thence we walked along the road some way, through fields and over two fences till we reached the Cauldron and Willow reaches, just below where the Esk and Liddle join.
There we met or saw eight other fishers and I saw two Salmon caught on the opposite side of the river, but the fish would not look at Mr. Kidd's fly though he continued casting for some time after we had started to catch the 6.13 train home.
29th After being waked at 6.30 I fell asleep again immediately and was again waked by Mr.Christy to say it was raining hard so we had better put off going today to Edinburgh. We were to have gone this morning, stayed the night in Edinburgh and gone the next evening to Allenby 'till the following afternoon.
30th Got up at 6.30, Martha making sure I was awake. Whilst having breakfast Mrs. Christy told me she was only going to Edinborough to take me to a Dr. Simpson. Her deceit in not telling me before rather disgusted me.
Went to Carlisle by the 8.5 train, left Carlisle by the 9.10 express, our return tickets only costing 5/-!! Carrie Brewster met us at Melrose. She is not so handsome as her photographs say.
Passed Borthwick Castle on our Left, then Holyrood and arrived at 12.20, two hours late. Left our bags at the station, took a cab to Dr. Simpson in Queen's Street, but he was out.
Went to see a bit of the town, Prince's Street., etc. Did some shopping. It seems a very fine town. There are castles on hills on either side of the valley, which look so out of place on their precipices in the middle of the town. The bridges across the valley are very fine, also is Scott's monument. Had some lunch, then back to the Doctor's. Waited about an hour, he examined me but did not say if anything was wrong, but said neither my heart or lungs were diseased. I might have told him, I knew that before!
Leaving there we took a train to Leith meaning to go by steamer to see the Forth Bridge. Arrived there (by the wrong train), we found the steamers were laid up for the winter. Back by train, got our bags and drove to the castle up a steep hill, only to find the regalia display was closed at four and it was now half past.
Walked back and searched for a Temperance hotel that Mrs. Christy knew of. Had afternoon coffee, found our hotel, the Old Waverley, got our room, and rested in the ladies' room till tea at 7.30. Went to bed very early, but there was so much noise in the streets that we could not get to sleep till late. Races were on which perhaps accounts for the noise.