Monday, June 8, 2009

A love letter

6th August 1950

Dear Eluned
I do hope you arrived safely and without trouble. I was so sorry to see you going by yourself. My life has been terrible without you. If I had not seen you on Friday I don't know how I would be feeling today. I will stick it this time, but never again, darling.
My train will leave Maesycwmmer at 11:43 arriving at Tal-y-Bont at 1:28 on Tuesday.
I will try now to make the remainder of my letter interesting to you. At 8:45 pm on Saturday, I called for your mother, Mair and Irene [sisters].
9:00 pm we arrived in Caerphilly. I parked the car and walked around the Eisteddfod grounds. We also visited the Pavillion and at 9:30 we returned to the car and drove slowly through Caerphilly up to the mountain top.
NOW, at 10:00 pm, coming back down the mountain, I was stopped by MY mother, her sister and Mrs Meade. So I had the job of introducing the in-laws. After getting over this shock, I continued on my way home with your people. I had now promised to return after taking your people home; so I was back in Caerphilly at 10:45 picking up my own crowd. This, I think, is the end of Act One.
When I got near the Royal Oak, I was stopped by a police officer who was holding two men, one on each arm and standing near a Vauxhall 14 hp saloon. He asked me to go to the police station for help. So mother and the rest had to get out for Sgt Davies and another to return with me to the scene of the trouble. Upon arrival, we found that the driver of the car was drunk, so I had to drive the car up to the police station. It was half past one when I got to bed. I think that I may get a few shillings for my trouble when the case comes off.
That is the end of Act Two.
Well darling, I have not much more to tell you except that Dad has won the first prize in the Arts & Crafts Section at the Eisteddfod and he has to attend on Monday to receive his prize so we will not be going to Aberystwyth and, to tell you the truth, I am not sorry.
I have nothing more to add darling except that I love you. Give a little bit of it to Mr and Mrs Thomas [where she was living] if you like, but for my part, it is all for you.
So goodbye for now dear. Hurry up Tuesday.
Your future husband
Eric xxxxxxx

After she had told him to push off and mind his own business, I know nothing of the progress of their courtship. But evidently, he wasn't put off by her brusque manner and she succumbed to his wooing. How could you not love someone who clearly loves you so much? At the end of July 1950, he proposed. She didn't want an engagement ring and persuaded him to save the money since she was set on having a Welsh gold wedding ring.

Despite having grown up in the same village, their parents had never been introduced so my father was horrified to find that he was forced to do the honours on his own.

She was working away from home and they saw each other every few weeks travelling on the remarkable pre-Beeching railway system. In between, they sent each other many, many letters. When he died, I found the collection of letters in a tin trunk. She could not bear to keep them and they all went. Except, a few years ago, clearing out a cupboard, I found an envelope tucked under a drawer liner at the back. In the envelope was this letter. It is the only one left.

The ring is closed. The rolling dice we cast
So long ago still roll but not so fast.
The colours fade that we nailed to the mast.
We lose the future but we own the past.
We own the past?
From our first kiss, a lifetime to the last.

They married in July 1951. I still wear the ring.


  1. Wow.

    How wonderful to have that letter.


  2. This is when history get's really interesting.

  3. What a lovely letter and story. Glad I popped by for a look. Thanks for your comment on my blog - I smiled when I read the quote - how true.

  4. I've missed your blog! You've had me laughing out loud and ahhing over the breakfast table, three cups of tea later and I've caught up. Thank you for putting me in a great mood as usual, and I'm stil laughing at the hairdressing post! Catherine x

  5. It's nice to have such letters. Is that the only one you have from your parents or are there more? Letters were written properly in those days, not like the shorthand that seems to be used now via email etc.

  6. Thanks for all the lovely comments on this. Sadly, this is the only letter I have. When my father died, I climbed into the loft and found a tin box stuffed with notes, some were literally fag-packets. And she couldn't bear to have any of them around and insisted that I should get rid of them. This one letter slid into my hand as I cleared out a cupboard. But it was the most special of the letters so I suppose it had hidden itself there to be found at the right moment. Strangely, when I opened the envelope to construct this post, I found a cutting from the Western Mail. It was the announcement of my birth. Now, I was sure that wasn't there when I'd last looked. I've put it away again in the "special box" and I wonder what will be in there when I fish it out in another 5 years?


Go on, have a little mumble here. You know you want to.