Here’s a little background before you read this letter. The letter was written October 12, 1934. It was sent from London, United Kingdom by a man named Saul and addressed to a Miss G. M. Hitchcock at The Wyndham, 42 West 58th Street, New York, U.S.A. It is a typed letter and written on a business letterhead.
Please take note that I try to copy the letters down exactly how they are written. I do not make grammar or spelling corrections. I will make space or type corrections, so that the letter is legible. I want the letters to be authentic and how the author wrote them. In my commentary, I’ve also added a little bit of History in regards to a couple places mentioned in the letter that I was able to research.
12th October 1934
My Darling Pet,
I wrote a letter to you on Friday, and put it amongst my papers as I had missed the post and wanted to finish it the next day, but I am d. . . if I know where it had got to. However, first of all, please excuse me typing this but it goes infinitely quicker and secondly, I wanted you to have our new letter heading, from which you will see that the name of McKerrow is “OFF.”
Well, to start with I posted my last letter to you myself when Fred sailed from Southampton and it was d . . cold down there and the ship sailed 3 hours late. Poor boy must have, from all reports had a terrible crossing and I have been dreadfully worried as I never got news of his arrival till yesterday p.m., although the ship had been there 2 days. It was a tremendous rush before he left and on the top of that I was feeling like death warmed up, and felt the same the whole of the next week, but am glad to say that this week I have been feeling much better, perhaps because Miss Billings is back and takes a lot off my hands.
I had Alex and Family down for the week-end and not having had enough worries & troubles since my return, I had some more over the week-end. The worry was my house parlor maid Kathleen. I told you that I had to lock all the drinks up as it was continually missing, well during the week I had a fellow in for dinner and forgot to put the decanters away again. The consequence was that next morning half a bottle of whiskey was missing. Then I filled a little whiskey barrel which Jean had just given me and this was finished the next day. On the following day, last Saturday when Alex and family were down, I had bought a bottle of whiskey and just had a drop with Jean just before we all went out to dinner, when coming home I noticed, at least Jean did, that half the bottle was empty. The next morning, Eve informs me that Kathleen was in the hospital with concussion caused through falling off her bike. Of course I wanted to know why she had gone out against my instructions and so fourth and as I could not get any satisfaction, Jean went off to the hospital and police and discovered that Kathleen had been picked out of a ditch dead drunk through whiskey, and this happened exactly 5 minutes after she had left the house. I was furious, more so as I had the house full and we all had to give a hand. I did the beds, looked after the animals whilst Alex and Jean did all kinds of other things. Anyway, her ladyship has now been dispensed with, and the next job I have is to get another one. I am sorry if I have bored you with all this darling, but I have been furious ever since.
Last week I was usually in the office till 8.30 p. m. and up here at 9.15 as we had a very busy, but I am glad to say, a very successful week, although I have had practically the same hours this week, we have had rather a rotten one. This d . . exchange jumping about is hampering our business tremendously, but I am still hoping to get some business through this week, otherwise I shall be very annoyed.
Apart from all the other trouble I have been up to my eyes getting the “PERGA” film made of the machinery, you know the cardboard boxes and what with the Film Company & Kodaks messing me about, I nearly missed the boat to-day. It is all d . . annoying & the only way I seem to have got things going is by cursing the people up hill & down dale.
I hope this news is not boring you too much darling, but you wanted me to tell you everything, so I am doing it. I have usually got home about 9 and later and then had some food and been in bed by 10 and earlier, because I was fagged out. That Girl I was telling you about that cottoned on to Fred turned out a beauty, and I think Fred was glad to get away from her for a time. Anyway, I ticked her off like nobody’s business and told her some home truths. D. . good job that we found her and her Father out. You remember you met her step-mother in Toronto with Arthur and me, and she was some “female.”
I have to go up to Liverpool on Tuesday as I have some trouble on up there and also going to tick our Manager off as he seems to be slacking. This is very annoying as Alex is giving a big party that night which should be very good fun, but “business before Pleasure” my dear, and I am trying to get the appointment altered.
The kiddies were sweet last week-end and of course I left the photos which I intended sending you of them, at home, so I shall have to forward them next week. The boy, Richard, is a marvelous kid and Rosemary is a bundle of mischief and when she is down with me, her greatest joy is to go round with me feeding all the animals.
Now darling, I have not had a ghost of a chance of attending to the ring business because I want to choose one carefully. I do hope you will understand and not have any doubts about it. I was very interested in all your letters and you seem to have quite a lot of outings, one way or another, more than I have, as I usually go straight to bed after dinner. However, it is a bit of a rush at present, but next month I have several engagements such as the British Legion Dinner, County Police Ball (Which is rather a cheery and lively show) and the Regimental dinner.
It has been dreadfully muggy the last few days but one can’t rely on the weather & it may freeze any minute, such is our climate. I wonder how you’ll like it, probably freeze all the time, also in the summer. Anyway, it is not so bad and better than all these stuffy overheated places you have out in the States and Canada. Cold air is much healthier for everyone. (What did you say?????).
Well sweetheart I don’t want to miss another ship and it is 5.50 and the mail closes in ten minutes, so I will at least get this little bit off. By the way, will you in future address your letters to the office because I always get them a day later down at Crawley. All my love darling, and continue giving me all your news and love me as much as I love you.
Ever your own
Oh how I love this letter! It could be a script for a movie with just a little more information. Poor parlor maid Kathleen, she just could not stay away from the bottle. It was hard to find good help in those days.
What about this Saul? He has such annoying tasks to tend to in his life, when really I think he would have rather been partying with Alex. He seems genuinely in love with Miss G.M. . Yes, Miss G.M. Hitchcock is her name and who is this mystery lady who lives in one of best parts of NYC and has an unending schedule of outings? I wonder. I think they are both a bit of the upper class of their time and it’s really interesting to take this little peek into their lives.
I am assuming that there is an engagement or some kind of love commitment in place because of all that talk about a ring and I have to wonder if it all worked out. I also wonder if she made the move to England and if she liked it there, cold weather and all.
There was so much to ponder in this letter that I may return to it with discussion questions on my Facebook page. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did.
Following is a little history and links to places and I researched. Please comment or Facebook me with any questions or research suggestions you may have regarding this incredible letter.
Always and Sincerely,
Here is a current google street maps link to 42 West 58th Street, NYC : https://www.google.com/maps/place/42+W+58th+St,+New+York,+NYfirstname.lastname@example.org,-73.9755268,3a,75y,203.9h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sUTjVnxtHD4SQwf6H43eV7g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c258f09896c2c3:0x670d6218da4e1956!8m2!3d40.7643256!4d-73.9755962!6m1!1e1
Here is a link to 110 Cannon Street, London E.C. 4,United Kingdom: http://www.maris-interiors.co.uk/office-space/110-cannon-street/
Here is a link to 15 Stanley Street, Liverpool, United Kingdom: https://email@example.com,-2.93359,3a,75y,102.88h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1smvUJW2ky07ZUL9Idz7f8_A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
I looked up Focke & Company, Limited and many similar named companies come up but I don’t see any direct links to this letterhead.
I looked up ship and Passenger lists for ships sailing from Southampton, UK to NYC and found that one left on October 6th 1934. I might be the one Fred was on but without a last name there’s no way to tell. Here is the link: http://www.gjenvick.com/PassengerLists/Holland-AmericaLine/Westbound/1934-10-06-PassengerList-Statendam.html#axzz4i90dDfGX
A couple last tidbits, I looked up the expression “I was fagged out,” And it basically means “I was exhausted.” I also looked up the expression “Cottoned on to someone” and it mean “To attach yourself to someone.”