Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday, April 30, 1920

This morning we were off on an early train for Windermere, with box lunch enroute. Fine scenery. Left Windermere by charabance for a ride of 24 miles through the mountains. We stopped at a little country church and visited the grave of Wordsworth. Ambleside was a quaint little village. Lake Windermere was of especial interest to us - Remembered some of our early sketches. Keswick was a mecca and the grounds were a dream. The entire lake region of Northern England was especially interesting and bits of verse and sketches of song, were continually coming to mind to remind us of Wordsworth, Southey, Shelley, Ruskin, Hemans George Eliot, Dr. Thos. Arnold , Harriet Martineau and others who made the lake region famous.

A monument stands in Keswick to the memory of Southey who lived here in early married life. We did want to see with our own eyes “How does the water come down from Lodore?” when we found we were within 3 miles of the spot. But that childhood poem is still a memory, for time was too short to wander further.

What a group went out from this section to bless the world with higher thoughts and beautiful word-paintings!

The hotel at Keswick is the finest equipped on we have found so far in our travels. We long for more time to examine the rare paintings and statuary in the drawing room and the display of old china and pewter ware. Two large peacocks were mounted and a 10 1/2 lb. trout in frames. - One room full of mounted posters from Germany - a wonderful conservatory and the grounds - I cannot describe them ! terraced gardens, hedges, miniature lakes and blooming flowers and fountains and graveled walks and shady nooks. We took a long stroll through them by moonlight and were sorry that we must leave it all and seek rest in preparation for another hard day’s travel, for the next day we go into Scotland.

Our driver during the day, in tall hat, told us he had been a soldier and received six-pence only when he entered the war. One of the horses had been a war horse. We wish we had days in this section for study.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 1920

“My Kingdom” - not for a horse, but for some fire. We are in a chronic chill the most of the time. The thermometer in the large entrance hall down the stairs, hanging not far from where a brisk fire is blazing, registers 55 degrees fah! If I were to tell the amount of clothing I am wearing during the day in my effort to keep warm, my veracity would be questioned. We can have no heat in our bed rooms, owing to coal shortage. Part of the time this diary has been written in bed, the only place we were comfortable. Last night we were fortunate above all our fellows. Our maid is deaf and dumb. We asked for hot water to fill our hot water bottles and she interpreted our wants to mean that we wanted more so she brought us two extra bottles made of stone - Young stoves we called them. - So we slept with four hot water bottles and were sorry when it came daylight. We wanted to paraphrase Harry Lauder’s song, and say we “wished it would never come morning.”

But if all over Great Britain and Wales we had such cold rooms, our splendid beds, in a measure, compensated. Never have I seen softer, fleecier, or thicker wool blankets and such downy puffs as has been our portion everywhere. Some of our party have not fared so well, but fortune has smiled on us in this respect. But enough of this!

To-day we had an early start by Charabanc for Llanberis, ‘Twas a beautiful drive through the pass, with Mt. Snowdon in the distance, snow capped and the sun shining over the top. We pass through a snow storm en route and are interested in the Marconi wires and stations. We passed Slate mines and came on to Carnarveron. Stopped 20 minutes and went through the Castle where the present Prince of Wales was investitured, when a representative from all the nations was present.

Rode a long ways beside the Irish Sea - on to Conway and passed another castle. Crossed the Conway river on a beautiful white suspension bridge. It was a beautiful day, the finest since we landed in England. We remembered the poem, learned in childhood (about the little maid of Conway), entitled - “We are Seven.” Reached Llanberis junction at 1 o’clock. The Slate quarries referred to are the largest in the world and employ 3000 men and produce 360 tons a day. The quarries are named Penrhyn. The slate is graded into four classes. Queens, Duchesses, Countesses and Ladies. Each must be of a certain thickness. If a queen is too slender she is cut down and made into a Duchess.

Many of the hotels are called Royal, Queens, King’s Head etc. Reached Chester at 3-30 P.M. after a box lunch on the train with some lemonade and ginger-ale as drink. Went to view the old city wall, King Charles tower, where he watched the defeat of his armies in 1645, also went into the council chamber where he met his generals and watched the progress of the battle on the moor.

Stopped in the stores and looked in windows. Chester is the home of the Cheshire cat said to be always smiling. We saw them for sale, made of china, brass etc., etc. for souvenirs.

Back to Queen’s hotel at 6 P.M., very tired. Had fine fresh salmon from the Dee. When we get home we will read up Charles Kingsley’s “The Sands of Dee” with new interest. We saw a Roman “Tear Bottle” in the Council Chamber of Charles II.

Chester was preparing for their Annual races - they have wonderful race tracks - use the velvety turf instead of clearing off the space as we do in America. Stables are called Mews. Will never forget the elevator at Chester (it scarcely moved) nor the women and girls on their knees scouring and scrubbing steps and sidewalks with a bucket and cloth. In America we would use a hose and the broom and complete such a task in short order.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 1920

Bettws-y-Coed, North Wales is called by many the paradise of Wales. River, cataract, woodland, mountain all comingled. It is about 80 ft. above sea level. There are many artistic houses situated in gardens overlooking the river. The whole landscape looks like fairyland. The window of our room, looks out on a beautiful view of mountain, waterfalls, etc. and all the birds, trees and blossoms are strange. Early in the morning, went to Fairy Glenn. Surely the fairies have visited the spot. Some of the way was boggy, but the gorse, blue bells, broom, heather, the bracken and the wonderful rhododendrons repaid us. We had the four seasons all in one forernoon - had a snow storm in the Glen. Passed through the Kissing gate and over an historic stile. Then we went on to Conway’s Falls which simply repaid for the walk.

In roaming about, the stile is one of the very pleasant objects along country roads, and you are led aside often to gain new joy of English and Welsh scenery. Some of the stiles are in rugged stone walls, rudely graced with tongue ferns and foxglove. When we go by them we lose ourselves on wild mountain sides and in bogged valley, or come suddenly upon the place we want seeing it from some vantage even more picturesque.

Many of the old inns are historic in every sense of the word. We will always remember the “George” at Glastonbury. We can scarcely realize the important part pilgrimages played in the religious and social life of medieval times. To the majority of people they were the one opportunity and inducement to travel and brought people of all classes together from all parts of the country. The band of 30 pilgrims in Canterbury Tales, represents all ranks, from noble to peasant. Piety was the chief but not the only motive of the crowds who thronged the pilgrim ways. The pilgrims scrip and staff were the safe-guards in a lawless age and insured him hospitality wherever he went. At some of the most celebrated shrines, inns were provided by religious orders for pilgrims and this was the origin of George’s Inn.

The Abbey in its time was rich and stately. It was called the George from St. George the Dragon and was founded in 1489. Over the central doorway may still be seen arms of the Abbey and of Edward IV in whose reign the inn was built. We noticed a clock made in 1789 and a sofa made in 1706 beautifully hand-carved, - a fine display of pewter. All teams are driven tandem and the sheep have long tails. Bread is served in chunks or the whole loaf put on the table - They buy it and carry home without wrapping.

We visited such a funny little shop with a quaint little woman in charge - no order - everything apparently had been just dropped down in a heap. Visited the little old church built in the year 1000 and took a piece off a yew tree said to be 1220 years old. Such funny trees called Monkey trees!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 1920

To-day we had a trip into north Wales and we stopped at Birmingham for lunch and went to the stores. We have the usual rain but nobody minds it now. Our ride to-day was fine and the scenery delightful. We will never forget the English hedge-rows. We changed cars at Chester and it was a very sudden change - called “everybody out.” We rambled over the venerable city walls, made a detour to examine the beauties of “God’s Providence House” and enjoyed the “Rows” or covered ways, which are Chester’s pride. There is a long distance from the “now,” to the time when they were fashionably in use. We had many tunnels to-day and no lights in the train as we passed through them. At every depot girls are pushing little tea-wagons filled with tea, cups and cakes and sandwiches. West of Chester it is very low and boggy. We are winding along the river and see lots of coal and smoke. At North Cliff saw a Bungalow that looked like America. We are told steam-ship rates have gone up 1/3 since we sailed. Passed through Rhyl at mouth of Clyde - a sea-side resort. We are following the coast of the Irish sea. Along the Welch coast there are beautiful homes and hotels. Passed a college for girls and the hillsides make a pretty picture. Reached Bettws-y-Coed at 6-30 P.M.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday, April 26, 1920

What a difference in train service! Here there is no noise, no conductors, no one to show you to your train, no hurrying. Fortunately we have a conductor and need have no concern. To-day we left London for Warwick. The country as seen from the train looks like one big park. The fields are corrugated for drainage. The yellow blossoms of the Broom and Gorse brighten the evergreen bushes along the way and the wall flowers (called by Shakespeare Gilly flowers) are most brilliant. To-day we are discussing English customs - May Day, Christmas and birthdays, in our compartment.

Warwick is in the very heart of the Shakespeare country and here we have the finest castle in England, which is only ten minutes walk from our hotel. The city gate was built in 1006, by William the Conqueror. The castle is in excellent repair and the grounds in perfect order. We cannot describe the beds of flowers, festoons of vines, nor the stately trees, and how we did wish for more time to examine the wonderful works of art in the interior. We saw the white pea-cocks and some of the party took snap-shots of them. Who said that when we secured our passports giving us permission to visit the different countries that was all that was necessary? We have found out differently. At every place we stop we are made to tell the color of our skin, our eyes, our hair, our family history and why we left America and ever so much more.

To-day we visited Stratford on Avon. For once the day was fine and the sun bright. Everything about Stratford centers about Shakespeare. The garden about his old home contain all the flowers and old time plants that are named in his writings. Everything looks so old! There are many relics and curios in the old home - chests, pictures, chairs, manuscripts, early editions of his works, deeds and grants of land etc., etc. We passed into the kitchen or living room of his parents and climbed the old stairs to the upper room. Next in interest to the birthplace of Shakespeare is the Anne Hathaway tiny cottage with thatched roof, nestling among beds of old fashioned flowers, rosemary and thyme and we could almost imagine the famous bard sitting on the old seat in the ingle nook, holding the hand of his beloved Anne. For quiet genuine beauty and picturesqueness, we think the scene here is unsurpassed in all England. And we visited Trinity church within the chancel of which the remains of Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway are buried and we found them covered with flowers. We were shown the register containing the entry of his birth and christening in a glass case, carefully watched and guarded and the old bible chained to the rack. Warwickshire is also the home of Marie Correlli. We also went through Bambury Cross, made famous to us by the nursery rhyme. We longed to see one of Shakespeare’s plays at the Memorial Theater, where a company from London were playing, but there was no way to get back to Warwick. As we drive back, a detour of a few miles brings us to beautiful Kenilworth. We strolled through the ruins leisurely, and thought of the days in 1575 - when Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, welcomed Queen Elizabeth and the splendor of the entertainment cost him 1000 pounds a day. “Ruin greenly dwells” in this old castle for English ivy entwines the walls in picturesque confusion. We returned to the charming old English Inn, the Woolpack in Warwick which is certainly the quaintest place yet. Everything scrupulously clean, beautiful china and brass and blooming flowers, and splendid eats. Surely our cup over-flowed for this day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 1920

Went to St. Paul’s Cathedral and heard the Bishop of London preach a temperance sermon as the last of the Convention. We saw the pigeons that are famous like those of St. Mark’s. To have been welcomed by the Lord Bishop of London at St. Paul’s Cathedral and by the Lord Bishop of Crogden at Westminster Abbey indicates an unprecedented advance in public sentiment.

After lunch went back to our hotel and Mr. Cole came to “fetch me” where I was to speak in a primitive Methodist church. First I spoke before the S.S. and there were hundreds of little upturned faces so full of interest. It is always a joy to interest the children. How they did sing! The orchestra did well. Then I was taken into the auditorium to address the service proper. The pastor, the Rev. Mr. Wright, asked them to sing “America” in my honor and they gave me an American cheer. When I asked him what he wanted me to talk about he answered - “Tell us how America went dry.” I had the closest attention, was complimented for my pleasing accent and thanked over and over. I was taken home with the Coles and had tea in their beautiful English home. I enjoyed their garden and shrubbery. After tea we went to Campbell Morgan’s church and heard the Rev. Mr. Ward preach a temperance sermon. Temperance seems to be in the air. He referred to America and the Economic side and asked if, after their young men had given their lives to save Britain from the Huns, if they would allow the Public House to sink their nation. adding, “Can England drunk hope to compete with America sober!” After the services the Coles took me through a section of London slums and we stopped at a Public House. I cannot describe the disgust I felt, or ever forget the sight. The house was crowded to the doors - more women than men - well dressed women in the main. Outside, children ranging in years from 2 to 12, crying, hungry, dirty and unkempt, waiting for the ten o’clock closing hour when their drunken, staggering mothers would come out and take them home. Oh, for some Joan of Arc to lead the people out from the path of old traditions to broader ways! Returned to the hotel where we had a good-bye service, as our party would break up in the morning into smaller groups for travel. We sang “God be with you till we meet again.” Mrs. Armor led in prayer and Miss Gordon repeated a poem ending with “And shall I be afraid?”

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 1920

An early walk to Dicken’s old Curiosity Shop then went to London Tower. Saw the cell of Walter Raleigh, Fox etc. The place of execution of Lady Jane Gray etc. etc., the moat, the crown jewels, all kinds of war trappings etc. Crossed London Bridge, Tower Bridge, saw the home of Cardinal Newman who wrote “Lead Kindly Light” and the Bank of England, which stands in Thread Needle Street.

“The historic Bank of England which has stood in the heart of London since 1788, and is known over the entire world as heart of the world’s financial operations, is to be torn down. The present structure covers four acres of costly land, said to be worth twenty-five millions; it is on some of the most expensive land on earth. This great spread of enclosure is necessary because it is only about two stories high and must house two thousand workers. The odd thing about the building is that it has no outer windows, all light coming in through the court, and has walls of steel and stone twelve feet thick. The walls were designed to withstand the strongest artillery when they were built and at night they are guarded also by a large detachment of soldiers.

When this building has been wrecked, a modern office building will go up to the London limit of height - a hundred feet above the street.”

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday, April 23, 1920

Wrote letters in the morning and then went to the Convention. Election and short speeches from delegates from many countries. We can not attempt, in this, to give any adequate convention report. The Convention is note-worthy for its international fellowship and fine spirit of optimism. In the resolutions they declared positively for prohibition as against state purchase. There is no doubt that this convention will give great impetus to the temperance cause in Great Britain. At four o’clock we went to F.B. Meyers church which was founded by Rowland Hill, who started the S.S. movement. A tablet to him is here. It is called a free church because not under State control and is made up of all denominations. The pulpit was beautiful and made of Alabaster. From there we went to Christ church called Lincoln Spire church, which was built by money raised by Newman Hall in America and has the Stars and Stripes built in with stone. From there to Spurgeon’s church and to Picadilly Circus for dinner. Here our party of ten had the best dinner since we have been in London. We had “Diplomatic Pudding” for sweets. Back to Convention hall for evening.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 1920

Convention in full sway. Very different from America. We do not sit in delegations. The English idea of democracy seems to be to mix everybody up. We never have the same seat twice and often sit next to some one who does not speak English. There is no Sergeant at Arms and no calls for order. The women want to hear and they listen. In the evening there was a big demonstration of the young people representing all the nations. About 500 took part. Rained hard!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 1920

To-day was the opening proper of the great World’s Convention, held in Westminster Hall just across from the Abbey. Representatives were there from all the British dominions, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Denmark, and Japan. Rosalind, Countess of Carlisle, the World’s President presided. At the time of the Y.P.B. report, all workers with young people present, were brought to the platform and introduced to the Countess and to the audience. The Countess made some good wishes for my work when she took my hand. The report from New Zealand brought by Mrs. Don was very interesting. At the roll-call of Nations, when the name of Germany was called, there was silence, then the Countess rose and said she had a note from Fraulein Hoffman, the German Pres., and for financial reasons they would not be represented. The Countess urged all to remember that we were Christian women in a Christian work and we must carry no grouch but must bury all old scores. She says she “likes traditions when they are good.”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 1920

The Americans are the cause of much curiosity on the part of the crowds that fill the lobby of the Imperial Hotel. We are perfectly aware that we are in a country that holds other views than ours regarding the drink habit. Our hotel contains 1000 rooms and is built on the site where Thackery wrote Vanity Fair. We have really seen the sun peep out, so it does shine sometimes, even in London. In England on must wear the kind of smile that won’t “wash off.” To-day we went to Hampton Court, the palace of Henry VIII built by Cardinal Wolsey. We saw the royal furnishings and the beautiful grounds. A small fee, and we were privileged to see the great grape vine that furnished grapes for the whole royal family. We drove through the parks and grounds.

London is extremely easy to find one’s way about. The English “Bobby” is a model of politeness and considers nothing too much trouble, if he can assist you in getting your bearings. We have ridden a good deal on the tops of busses and trams. A ride on the Strand any afternoon is interesting. In the evening we went to Drury Lane and saw Pavlola, and carried a message to Hilda Morena, a young spanish girl, at the request of her mother in New York.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday, April 19, 1920

An early walk to Dicken’s old Curiosity Shop and Bleak House, then a visit to the Houses of Parliament. Saw the House of Lords in session, each wearing a powdered wig. We were shown through by an M.P. and in the library were given souvenirs in the form of writing cards with the crown, coat of arms etc. stamped upon. There is wonderful statuary and paintings. Went down into the crypt, which Cromwell once used as a stable. Saw shattered glass from a German bomb and many things.

Even street cars - or trams I should say - in London get “full.” When the prescribed number get on no more can enter. More than once it was a case of “one being taken, and the others left,” with members of our party. The English seem to have no curiosity. Are solemn and reserved and have an intense calm.

In the afternoon I addressed a Mother’s Meeting at Camden Road, Baptist Church. Had splendid audience. Near by stood the great gray walls of Holloway prison, where we were told as many as 300 women were imprisoned at one time for drunkenness.

In the evening we attended the reception given us by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at the Mansion House. Probably 500 men and women, chiefly the latter, were in attendance. Gorgeous flunkies with powdered hair, gold embroidered coats, knee breeches, white silk stockings and buckled shoes, ushered us out of the wet into a series of magnificent reception rooms, with paneled walls and embossed ceilings of white and gold, chandeliers glittering with crystal pendants, walls hung with tapestries and paintings, richly upholstered chairs, some of which were canopied and set apart for the exclusive use of royalty and seemed a species of small throne. From a palm screened corner an orchestra discoursed sweet music. We felt like the queen of Sheba, as we drank tea or strolled about and chatted.

The master of all this magnificence, by name Sir Edward E. Cooper, and only elected for one year, was a stout plain looking man in evening dress, garnished with a heavy gold collar and pendant. Even more imposing were the Chaplain and Sheriff. The Lady Mayoress wore a dull blue gown, with high neck and full, long though not trained skirt. She seemed a rather domestic type of woman, very pleasant and wrote her autograph for many of us on our invitations. This was followed by another reception at Leon College. We listened to Lady Horsley (wife of Sir Victor Horsley) Lady Howard, Lady Batter-Shea and others. Responses from representatives of several nations and music by a quartet of blinded soldiers. Delicious refreshments were served.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 1920

On our way to church we had a delightful walk along the Thames embankment. Some of us went to hear Dr. Jowett in his own pulpit at Westminster Chapel. It was an inspiring discourse. More than a hundred of our delegates were present, and out of compliment, sang the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” He made reference to Water St. Mission in New York. Dr. Jowett quoted the apologists for drink in England as saying - “Americans can imbibe the radiance of their shining, sparkling skies; but here in England, the wheels move more slowly in this rainy, misty, cloudy weather, unless lubricated by drink.” Perhaps the universal practice of daily hours for drinking tea may have the same object.
In the afternoon, we had our first taste of a real London Fog. At 3 o’clock we attended a special service in Westminster Abbey and went back for the evening service where seats were reserved for us near the Poet’s Corner. The Bishop of Croydon preached what was said to be the first total abstinence sermon ever delivered in the Abbey. He said England would build on America’s shoulders and commended the American Commonwealth for what it had done, and said he believed God had led us on. Afterwards, when we took his hand, he said, he had been working for a Temperance England for fifty years.
We can make no attempt to describe Westminster Abbey, the most treasured possession of the nation. It was the one thing in London we most wanted to see. We understand now, what is meant by the “Gray towers of London.” A report that the great fabric of the Abbey is rotting has caused much excitement among the English and they are asking for $750 000 to save it from decay. King George was one of the earliest subscribers with $5000. and Queen Mary with $2050.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 1920

Our first trip in London, was to the American Express office near Trafalgar Square, to get some checks cashed in English money. Verily, the money question is going to be a problem! We motored about the city seeing the British Museum - Here we were especially impressed with the Roman room and the Ephesis room. Saw a copy of the oldest bible in existence. The Victoria and Albert museum, The Natural History Museum, the Zoo, the fashionable West End with the parks, St. James, Hyde and Kensington and sundry palaces, including the royal residence at Buckingham. St. James Palace built by Henry VIII, and now home of the Prince of Wales. Marlboro house, the home of Queen Alexandra and Kensington Palace, where both Queen Victoria and the present Queen Mary were born. The famous Life Guards in their Scarlet and Gold, the royal arch, never unlocked except for royalty to pass through. Visited British W.C.T.U. Headquarters, then after lunch, attended a reception at Westminster Hall, and met my hostess for Monday afternoon - Mrs. Cole.

So far we have not heard the “hoarse-voiced cabman.” We remember in Dickens they were always hoarse. It seems strange to see riders and vehicles turn to the left when meeting another. It is said that William the Conqueror rode into battle (the battle of Hastings) on a left-handed horse - whatever that may be - and ever since, all England has done likewise.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday, April 16, 1920

We bade good bye to Bristol to-day and took train for Oxford. On the way we kept calling to mind memory bits from “Jon Brown at Oxford” and snatches from the poem “Oxford Town” written during the late war. Only the last verse comes to mind complete

“God rest you happy gentlemen

Who laid your good lives down,

Who took the khaki and the gun

Instead of cap and gown,

God bring you to a fairer place

Than even Oxford Town.”

Oxford lies in a fertile valley between the rivers Cherwell and Isis. It was maddening to get such hurried views of this ancient seat of learning - which dates back to the time of King Alfred - The Bodleian library, Addison’s walk etc. Saw original manuscript of Byron and Shelley. A chair made from the wood of the vessel Sir Francis Drake used in his trip round the world. Met a young man from New Mexico who had won a scholarship here. There are wonderful paintings and we long to linger. Oh, how it rains! Lunch in Oxford and again on train for London which we reach at 4 P.M. in a heavy downfall of rain.

The great Paddington Station is one of the finest R.R. Stations in London and is full of curious people. We are driven to the Imperial Hotel on Russell Square, where we find the lobbies crowded. En route to London we had some fine views of Windsor Castle. The flag was flying, which indicated royalty was at home.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 1920

To-day we spent in Bristol, except for a brief trip to Bath 11 miles away, to visit the remains of the Roman Baths, built 873 years before Christ. St. Mary Redcliffe is a famous church in Bristol. Queen Elizabeth said this was the “fairest, goodliest, and most famous church in all England.” It was built in the 13th. century. In the lobby, we saw a poster of Roosevelt’s, on the evils of divorce. Beautiful chimes sounded as we entered. A beautiful Memorial window is here to the memory of John Cabot and the father of William Penn is buried here. Wonderful carving everywhere and a little box with lock in each seat to hold the books.

Looked with interest at the stone seats around the wall, put there for the aged. Formerly people did not sit in church but stood or knelt, and only elderly people would sit. From this came the saying “the weak have gone to the wall.” The “Leper’s Squint” was an opening where lepers could look through the wall and see the priest, but could not come inside. A bible printed in 1795 was chained to a rack as it used to be on account of high price. Mrs. Boole read some verses from it - selections from the book of Isaiah.

Went down into the prison underneath where Cromwell confined prisoners. Went into the crypt which was damp and “smelly” and filled with memories of past ages. We sat on stools and benches made in the time of Queen Anne in 1710, which they put down the aisles, and the people sat back to back. Handel who died in 1579, used to come here and play the great organ. Fourteen young men from the choir were killed in the recent war.

We went to Bath in the afternoon to view the oldest ruin in western England. - wonderful masonry. Drank of the water at 120 degrees fahrenheit and heard a fine concert. Saw the home of Sir Walter Scott, Wordsworth, and Lord Nelson, when they lived in Bath.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 1920

To-day we had another long drive. Left Bristol at 9 o’clock for Gloucester, distance 36 miles, which we covered in 2 1/2 hours. This is one of the most ancient cities in the Kingdom and on the arrival of the Romans became a military station.

On the way we saw a monument erected to Tyndale, the translator of the Bible. On this trip we passed through Newport situated in the Dickens country and where he wrote many of his books. Saw several English Gypsy camps and the fields were full of magpies and many trees covered with mistletoe. Saw young people walking arm in arm and were told they were engaged, as this is one way of announcement.

The roads are fine and piked but very narrow. Auto steps are built like the rungs of a ladder to give room to pass other vehicles - more than one of us have torn our coats getting in and out.

The Cathedral at Gloucester is a magnificent structure showing different styles of architecture prevailing between the 11th. and 16th. century. Gloucester is well known for its musical festival held triennially, conjointly with Hereford and Worcester. We had lunch at King’s Arms Hotel. Had a fruit dessert of rhubarb, peaches, grapes, plums, and pineapple served with custard. We counted as many as ten magpie nests in one tree. Whole forests have been cut down for ship building and for props in the mines, which very much mars the scenery.

We read strange signs as we pass along. “Stick no bills” - “You can telephone here” - “Shoe wardrobe” - “Noah’s Ark” - “Plough Inn” - “Vine-tree Inn”. The houses have no porches and the little gardens are laid out with mathematical precision.

From Gloucester we go to Tintern Abbey. The great Abbey church was built in the purest style of English architecture, about 1288 and is almost complete, excepting the roof. There is nothing in all England quite like Tintern. And Chepstow Castle! This is as important a memorial of feudal times, as Tintern is of the great eclesiastical system which flourished at the same period. The village of Tintern is very picturesque. Now we are in Wales and the scenery has changed and is quite rugged. We smile at the signs. Now it is - “White Swan Hotel” - “Druid’s Head” - “Queen’s Head” - “Wye Bridge Hotel” - “Parcels received for all parts.” The Wye valley is beautiful. Part of it makes us think of the Palisades of the Hudson. We drank tea at Chepstow - thin slices of bread and butter, fruit cake, mince pie and gooseberry marmalade. A sign near reads, “Wye not tea?” It has rained and rained and it was a long ride back to the hotel.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 1920

We have had our first real English breakfast and we pronounced it satisfactory, with such good bread and butter. A half loaf is put on the table and each guest cuts his own. The butter is in shape of ears of corn and our toast is brought in on a silver rack with handle. Instead of the fresh fruit always a part of the American breakfast we are given, as Irving Cobb says, some “Sticky Marmalade” and ten tablets of saccharin are supposed to be sufficient for a table of three.

A copy of the London Daily Mirror brought smiles to the faces of our party this morning, when our eyes fell upon this startling head line “Surpass Invasion of Pussy-foots from America” - with pictures of our party taken on board the Lapland and at the Southampton dock.

(I don't think this is the same article she mentioned, but this one was in the journal.)

We are to be in Bristol four nights and three days. Two of the days will be spent motoring through rural England. Bristol is rich in historic and architectural interest and ranks next to London in these respects. At one time it was the home of Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge Chatterton and McCauley.

We wonder why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle, and if the grass there could be a brighter green than what we see here. Bristol is a city of 360,000 and is on the Avon - Shakespeare’s Avon - which is crossed here by a magnificent bridge 700 ft. long and 250 ft. above the river. It is also a sea-port and the home of the Cabots, from which port they sailed on their voyages of discovery.

Our Charabanc (big blue sight-seeing cars) ride of ten hours gave us fine views of rural England. The buildings are of stone, excepting some of brick, stone trimmed in cities, with their clustering chimney pots, one for each room, tiny gardens, the trees and shrubbery, the birds, the box hedge-rows, the bright wall flowers growing from every wall and cranny, the long rows of horse-chesnuts etc. The English evidently love privacy, judging from the walled enclosures about their houses. At Burrington Combe we reach the wonderful rock formation which suggested Toplady the writing of Rock of Ages. We stopped our machines and the whole party sang the hymn. Some rocks in Cheddar gorge are 500 ft. high. There are some “cracked pitchers drinking at the well.” One of our party was heard to refer to the Rev. Augustus, as “that woman.”

Cox’s cave at Cheddar, is the great objective here, said to be the finest in the world. The stalagmites and stalagtites are large and the colors brilliant. At one place, what is called the Marble Curtain is marvelously like a piece of embroidered and fringed tapestry, and it seems incredible that it could be formed by the mere accidental dropping of water charged with time.

Postcards from Cheddar

The center of the day’s trip was Glastonbury, a town of great interest to the historian and antiquarian. We had lunch at the George hotel, built in 1473. We were shown one room in which Henry VIII had slept, and were charmed by the quaint, beautifully carved furniture and the old English china etc. This point, was at one time, the seat of learning for all England. We visited the ruins of the Abbey, once a great monastery founded by St. Augustine 1300 years ago. There is a legend that the first church was built here by Joseph of Arimathea and he is supposed to lie within the sacred precincts. So many saints and bishops are buried in the church that some writers speak of it as the “Heavenly Sanctuary on Earth.” We were in the crypt and also listened to the great organ.

Our next stop is Wells, a quaint Cathedral city. The west front of the Cathedral contains nine tiers of sculpture with about 300 figures. It also contains what is said to be the oldest clock in the world. We were here when the famous clock struck four, and saw the horses race and the little men strike the bells. In its prime this Abbey was the peer of all England and the richest and stateliest.

We became closely acquainted with the proverbial English weather on this trip, when it rained so much, nature seemed to be doing and repenting by turns. All of our party except the “foolish Virgins” are wearing heavier clothing than when they were at home any time last winter.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday, April 12, 1920

We were up at four o’clock, ready for breakfast and to embark. The Channel was rough and with the excitement of getting off, we slept but little. It is raining and a strong wind. We are nearing Southampton and we stood on deck and watched the pilot come out to lead us into the harbor filled with many kinds of sea craft - it seems there must be all kinds.

The Isle of Wight and our first glimpse of England was enjoyed. We stood in line waiting to be allowed to land. Being Aliens, we went ashore last and got our first glimpse of an English Custom House. We felt quite like Ellis Islanders.

After inspection and satisfying the officials that we carried nothing contraband (liquor, tobacco, sugar or perfumery) we were loaded into big auto busses and driven to the Southwestern hotel for lunch. The hotel was much like the modern American hotel - waiters in full evening dress etc. The courses were - soup, fish, steak, vegetables and English pudding. We were all hungry and did full justice. Women were smoking in the dining room.

A rest of half an hour and we are on board the toy train for Salisbury and Bristol. The funny little trains are a joke and quite in contrast to the throbbing, rushing ribbons of steel in America. The whistle sounds just like a Merry-Go-Round in America. A compartment seats about ten people and when you get in they lock the door. They stop every place almost, to drink tea. Funny little tea wagons are on the street and on the platforms of stations and even men quit their work to drink tea. We are rather glad not to be hurried. Everything is strange and we all want to see.

The country round about is beautiful. Apple trees and wild mustard in full bloom and the gardens growing beautifully. There are hedge fences everywhere and the quaint houses have thatched roofs. The gardens are laid out very artistically, with borders, and no weeds anywhere. The fields look like green velvet, and we see many new varieties of shrubs. Inquiring the name of one, we were told it was an American Currant but we never saw a currant in America that looked like it.

It is quite a contrast to step from our cold Atlantic coast into the full beauties of English Spring time. We understand now what Browning meant when he wrote about April in England. We have passed through Salisbury and Bath and are at Bristol for the night, stopping at the Royal Hotel. The first thing we notice, is the lack of heat. We discover there are no furnaces in the houses here. An immense drawing room, heated with an open grate containing a mere handful of fire, is all that is offered. Now we are thankful for our winter woolens and the hot water bottle that we brought with us. The air is so damp and cold and it is evident we will have to go to bed to get warm.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11, 1920

This is Sunday again and if all goes well, this will be our last day on board ship. The salt water and air has been so restful. We sleep and sleep and want more sleep. Some of our party took to their state rooms the second day out and have not been in evidence since. We discover there is a psychological side to sea sickness and there is a whole lot in making up your mind not to succumb. We had a beautiful service on board to-day, in the dining room. After the breakfast is cleared away, tapestry covers are spread over the tables and the company gathers there. The Rev. Mr. Wightman of Mass. had charge. The bibles and hymn books used belong to the ship. Part of the Episcopal service was read and the scripture and hymns were all pertaining to the water. I did not realize how many passages were written in connection with the great deep. It made a wonderful impression on me. All in all, the voyage has been very good and we have experienced much less discomfort that we anticipated.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 10, 1920

An officer tells us we will sight land to-morrow at 5P.M. and we begin to look forward to leaving the ship. Sea Gulls are flying behind the ship and we know land is not far away. It is said that during the past war sea gulls were useful in betraying the presence of the dread submarines. Sea birds depend upon ships as providers of food and after a heavy sea battle thousands of gulls gather, undisturbed by the fighting, to feed upon the large number of small fishes, that killed by the concussion, are floating upon the water. Sea gulls are not frightened by the appearance of sea-planes and air-ships, but they are greatly disturbed by the presence of a submarine. Some say it is possible to tell by the behavior of the gulls, when a submarine is passing under the water. They no doubt think them sharks and they will wheel and scream over the spot and fly off suddenly, with every evidence of dismay and not return until the intruder has departed. A pilot of a steamer on arrival at an English port tells how five gulls were the means of saving the steamer from destruction. He noticed them resting upon a dark object which was bobbing up directly in front of the boat. Close examination showed that a sea gull was perched upon each of the five prongs of a floating mine and there was just time to change the vessel’s course and escape a calamity.

Mr. De Kaysor, head of the Chicago opera co., is on board, and we have had some fine music. We stood in line to-day to get our “permits” to land. There is a great deal of red tape these days, both to get on a vessel and to leave. Our “Permits” class us as Aliens going to England.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 9, 1920

It is cold this morning. Passed through a school of fish and saw a French fishing smack that had been out for many weeks. Later we saw a whale spouting, the first sign of animal life since starting. They are having sports on the upper deck, races etc, and the laughter comes floating down. The ship’s log shows 382 miles traveled the last 24 hours. I am getting on fine! I asked our Belgian Stewardess to-day if she was tired and she said “oh no, you people are such a healthy lot.”

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8, 1920

Early to-day a sail boat was sighted and any diversion like that on an ocean voyage soon creates excitement. It looks like a very frail craft to be out. Some of the party told stories of their ancestry that came over in sail boats and were two months in crossing. We thought of Columbus and his voyages of discovery, as we never did before. Some of our party are quite clever in propounding riddles and conundrums.

I am surprising myself with what alacrity I can mount to that upper berth, when I go to our state room to retire. It is a case of not “standing upon the order of our going but to go at once.” We feel the rock of the vessel more in dining room and state room, than above or on deck, but I never feel sick when lying down. The getting up in the morning is a little more formal. First upon awaking, we eat an orange and munch a sea-cracker and lie there and dread to begin the process. We muster courage, hang our little mirror in the port-hole window and arrange our hair. Usually we lie down again and think it over. The second stage is to get on our shoes and stockings - then another rest. The dressing is done in double-quick time and armed with storm coat and steamer rug we make a run for the deck and the air - then we are all right.

I am chairman of the committee for tonight’s entertainment, with Anna George of New York and Mrs. Harry Warner of Chicago as the other members. We have arranged for a solo first by Mrs. Teasdale, wife of the Senator from Wisconsin, to be followed by a talk by Major Lewis on the war. Major Lewis is a Britisher who won great distinction in the Dardanelles and was Knighted by the King. He was wounded and shell shocked. 1228 men were with him at the beginning of the engagement and only 237 came back. Next - is to be the District School with Martin Chuzzlewit (The Rev. Mr. Wightman) as school master. Miles Standish and other noted characters are among the pupils. I am to preside.

This has been a rather uncomfortable day. One of the kind when you are not exactly sick, but feel all “stirred up” like and you want to be real quiet.

My room-mates thought I was heroic because I insisted upon throwing off any imaginary discomfort, dressing fresh for dinner and presiding at the meeting to-night. We had a big crowd and fun was rampant.

Some of our fellow passengers are disgruntled ex-saloon keepers and their families going back to the old country where they can pursue their business unmolested. Others are Belgians and others in sympathy with them. We enter into no arguments but look pleasant and smile, and gradually the ice is melting and they begin to think that we are pleasant people after all.