1929 diary Meg

Meg’s Diary 1929


Margaret Taylor, 12 Osborne Rd, Clifton, Bristol
Age 14 years
Begun Friday, July 20th 1929
Finished Saturday, November 25th, 1933

Friday, July 26th, 1929.

This new book was bought for me by Dad, he had said before that he would buy the book if I would write the diary.

There is only one more exam left now – geometry. It will need a lot of revision but I will have all the week-end to do it in.

I have one of the dolls that are given to anybody who will undertake to dress them. They are for the club children. There is lots of time as they need not be given in ’till the beginning of next term.

The third lost their match against The Colts which was truly awful. I made a duck, but retrieved my honour by taking three wickets. I don’t know for how many ’cause Vere King took the books home to work over.


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Saturday, July 27th 1929

There is no time really to write tonight, it has just struck eleven. We have been listening to a revue on the wireless. It was very good – especially Mabel Constanduros, if that is how she spells her name.

I must not spend any more time now, for me have all arranged to go to the baths Kingsdown are open on Sundays, before breakfast tomorrow. Oh dear I wish I hadn’t said I would go, but I expect I will enjoy it when I get there.


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Wednesday, July 31st 1929

We broke up yesterday, so, of course, it has been pelting off and on all day. Jim is not coming back for about a week because he has gone to camp with the O.T.C, at Tidworth where all the other public schools are camping together, there are thousands there. Jim is lucky, he won’t have much hard work to do as he is now a Lance-corporal.

I will buck up and get into bed and then get on.

Now I am ready again. Yesterday Suzanne Oliver came to tea, and we went to watch a tennis tournament in which she was playing the next day (today). We discovered she was playing that day after tea so she dashed home, changed, had tea with me, and was back again in time. She with Cherry Peter beat their opponents, both High School girls 6-2, 6-2 So they will be in the next round. I did quite well in the exams. Mary was by far the best – she had (out of the ten exams) eight firsts (over 70) and two seconds (over 50). I came next with six firsts, and four seconds. There was nobody else near us, I think. So I am quite sure of my remove next term. The form-mistresses are Miss Davidson and Miss Thomas. I don’t know Miss Davidson very well, she does look shapy though. I am longing to go into Miss Thomas’ form, she is really fine, the best mistress in the school.

Examination Results

History Grammar Literature Geography French Latin ScienceII II II II I I IAlgebra & Arith Geometry ScriptureI I I
Exam results

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Monday, August 5th Bank Holiday 1929

I have been waiting until something really happened before I wrote here again, so now here you are! It began, I think, on the day that Ashman (a dreadful prig) came to take Alan for an afternoon on the river at Saltford. When he came back he was full of it, how lovely it was, and we ought to go.

He was so awfully keen on it we said we would go, on Saturday. Well Saturday looked very cloudy and rainy and so we put it off, Alan was mad about it.

After all it turned out quite a decent day, which made him worse. The next day we did set out although it did look cloudy again. Mum and I took our macs, and Pat’s, but Dad and Alan said they did not think it would rain. When we were nearly there, on our bikes, it began to fairly pelt, and we were forced to shelter because the men (if Alan can be included in ‘men’) where without macs. It looked as if it had come to stay, and after waiting, it must have been quite an hour, Dad said he would rummage round and see if anybody would look after our bikes while we bussed home. At last he managed it, some very posh people, with a fine garage, offered help, and Dad promised to call and collect them next day if it were fine. We arrived home very bedraggled and weary, and now Saltford is another name for the baths.

Today was quite fine, and so we decided we would have another go at the river while we were there. So we bagged the best part of the day by packing out tea, and leaving about half-past-eleven.

We collected the cycles on the way, and then went down to the river. It was absolutely fine, and no crowd at all, even though it was a Bank Holiday. We rested by a bank and had lunch, without anyone passing, and we weren’t quick. The scenery was beautiful, and there wasn’t much current. I rowed for most of the time, chiefly one oar, but for a short time with two. It is more than twice as tiring with two than with one.

My wrist is getting so tired I will have to stop, ‘though there is lots more I wanted to say. Never mind, tell it another time.


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Saturday August 10th 1929

I have ever so many things to write about that I had better start right at the beginning of the day and go onwards.

I am afraid there is nothing exciting, but everything is important (to me, now).

Firstly we (Dad, Alan and I) went to the open air baths before breakfast. It was lovely and warm. I stayed in much longer than either of the others.

Secondly I went with Mum (and of course, Pat) down to Bobby’s to see their new winter, or rather autumn, hats. There was not one small enough to fit Mums; not the right colour, so she is leaving it for a few days, as they will be having a lot more. I bought one, red, a lovely one, and I like it more than any other one I have had. Then we came back to Clifton and we bought a pair of nice light brown shoes, strap, for me again.

Thirdly Dad went with me to see The Cricket match, Gloucestershire versus Northants, at the College. They are very even, and I don’t know which will win. They have only just started, this being the first day.

Fourthly (and lastly, I believe) I saw a book of Jefferey Farnol’s* ‘Black Bartlemys Treasure’ in a stationary shop selling for 9d, as a surplus library book. I bought it, and so have realised a dream I have had for a long time, to own one of Jefferey Farnol’s books. He is easily my favourite author and has been for three or four years.

Ian may come next. There is no third.


*John Jeffery Farnol (10 February 1878 – 9 August 1952), was an English author, known for his many romantic novels, some formulaic and set in the English Regency period, and swashbucklers.

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Thursday, August 15th 1929

Dad and Alan came home today. Oh, I don’t think I even told you they went away, I’ll tell you (that’s me) now.

Dad went up to London to demonstrate the game to the buyers of the big stores, Barkers, Gamages, Selfridges, Harrods, and others, and he took Alan, as he is the most proficient, up to demonstrate with him. Harrods and Selfridges are most keen, and say it should go well at Christmas. The Kum-Bak people have offered Dad to manufacture them, and give him so much on each one they sell, and also a minimum so they will not be able to stop selling them. We don’t know whether to accept or refuse, but I should say accept.


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Monday, August 19th 1929

We (children) went to the pictures this evening. We saw the first talkie performed (of rather had) at the Triangle. I had never seen or heard one before, neither had Jim. Alan did when he was in London with Dad. It was ever so good, especially the plot. The talk was rather gramophoney, and not always clear. Alan said the one in London was much better. We all have headaches now through listening to it for so long.

A man (in the talkie) made a bet to speak only the truth for twenty-four hours, and he got in a dreadful mess by the end of it*.

I am awfully tired so-


*Nothing But the Truth (1929) is a sound comedy film starring Richard Dix. The film was remade as Nothing But the Truth (1941) starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard.

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Sunday, September 8th, 1929

We are at the farm now – minus Dad, who had to go to London on business (about the game), a day or two after we arrived, and will only come back on Wednesday evening – we have to go on Friday.

The old car we hired, a Standard, was so hard to drive that Mum could not do it, so Dad took it back to Bristol with him, and is going to return in it to drive us back.

The life here is absolutely different from our life at Bristol, and we will feel quite queer getting back to it, I expect.

Every morning we go for a walk with Pat, and try to make her go to sleep, or else she is crabby later on. Every afternoon we walk down to Seaton beach and take our tea with us. We usually bathe once before tea, and once after.

When we have anything to buy we get it at the store at Seaton, or if we are not able to get it there, we (usually Alan and I) walk to Looe, about 3 or 4 miles, and all hills and valleys.

There are only candles to take to bed. At supper we have an Aladdin lamp, which is very fragile and we have to be very careful with it. Every night she (Mrs Perrys) tells us the the mantle costs eighteen pence, and the burner (as she calls the wick) two shillings; and if we play Dad’s game, or my skittles, she carefully changes the table-cloth to an old holey one.

On wet days, and sometimes fine ones she turns the mats upside down, so we shall not spoil them – that’s what Mrs Perrys is like!

It was my birthday about a week ago, and I had ten shillings from Mum & Dad, and a fine table skittles game from the boys. Everyone remembered me, and that was fine.

We are none of us longing to go home to the old life, and we think this is the nicest holiday we have had, excepting France.

No more time now – my candle is getting low!

Flying officer Waghorn won the Sneider Trophy* for England against Italy for twice in succession. The average speed was 328 m.p.h   HURRAH!


*Flight Lieutenant Richard Dick Waghorn AFC (1904–1931) was an English aviator, a pilot with the Royal Air Force who flew the winning aircraft in the 1929 Schneider Trophy seaplane race

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Poems copied

Hooray! I have now copied all Mum’s poems from the old site (39 of them), and they are now ready to access here.

Mum’s old poem book
Meg poem

The Sapper’s Lament

The Sapper’s Lament

I’m complaining of my head and eyes
  and also of my chest;
I never get a minute’s sleep; I can’t march
   with the rest
Because my feet have flattened out, and
   since my bunions came
(After my wife had turns last year) I’ve
   never been the same.
My mother suffers from her nerves, she
   says she had fits when
She was a kid. My father’s dead – he
   died when I was ten
(Though ’twasn’t that that killed him). I
   left school at Standard III
And mighty glad to leave I was, and ran
   away to sea.
But when I got the chance to quit I took
  a job on land
For sea life is a rough life and there’s
   some jobs I can’t stand.
(I told you of my eyes and feet and
   how I cough at night
Till it feels as if my head’ll bust?) My
   back’s never been right
Since an accident I met with when
   a lorry knocked me down –
They kept me weeks in hospital, and they
   baked my whole back brown
But it made no difference to the pain,
   [and so] I made them pay

Full compensation – I can’t bend or lift
   things to this day.
But when they called me up I came and
   tried to do my share,
Was it my fault about my head and
   chest and feet? It’s not fair
To label me a shirker when I go sick.
   I know you
Would like a little medicine if you
   suffered like I do.
They put me down as A1 when I joined –
   they didn’t care
How much I coughed (though I coughed a lot)
   and if I had been near
To having one foot in the grave ‘twould still
   have been the same,
And now I’m on a draft you know and
   seeing that I’m lame
And my back’s bad and my chest weak
   I thought that you’ld agree
My category needs altering, it should be
   C – or E.

Margaret Taylor

1994 Meg poem


Samaritans  (1994)

Samaritans, Samaritans
Oh rally to the call!
Come early to your sessions please
Ye unsung heroes all.

Fear not that ringing telephone;
Fear not the flashing lights;
Fear not the chiming front door bell;
Don’t dread those long long nights.

You only have listen;
You only have to care;
You only have to share their woes,
Their worries, their despair.

You are a stranger, just a voice,
An unknown entity,
But you are linked to life and death
By your telepathy.

Meg Rugg-Easey May 1978

1978 Meg poem

Little Children

Little Children  (1978)

“Let little children come to me”
Said Jesus, “Let them stay ;
“Heaven is built by such as these
“So turn them not away.”

But mothers with no time for kids;
Short-tempered Mums who yell;
No-nonsense Mums, unsmiling Mums
All make a child’s life hell.

I see them in their private hells
Grow warped beyond repair.
Oh Christ! What waste of love and joy –
And what use that I care.

I long to help them, hold them tight
And share in their despair
I long to help them, but I can’t;
I must not interfere.

Meg Rugg-Easey May 1978

1978 Meg poem

The Walls Reverberate

The Walls Reverberate  (June 1973)

The playroom walls reverberate,
At evenings and weekends,
To the thunder of the latest ‘pops’
When Colin and his friends,
With record-player at full blast
And everybody singing
Go through the pop-charts from the top –
Then back to the beginning.

Susan is working in her room
Preparing for exams.
The little wireless on her desk
Croons to her while she crams.
She says it helps her concentrate,
Perhaps it does, for she
Is doing well. She plans to go
To university.

My husband’s in the sitting room
Playing the organ there;
It helps him to relax, he says,
When he has time to spare.
So ‘Annie Laurie’, ‘Clementine’,
‘Daisy’ and ‘Danny Boy’
Go floating sweetly round his head
In electronic joy.

I’m in the kitchen washing up,
Cooking the supper too.
I do not mind domestic chores,
Whatever job I do.
I’m listening to my wireless set,
Tuned in to Radio Three,
And Handel, Bach and Beethoven
Go everywhere with me.

Meg Rugg-Easey May 1972

1972 Meg poem

The Vortex

The Vortex (May 1972)

The centre of life’s vortex is a place
Of stillness. All around it ceaselessly
The turbulence of swirling water flows.

   Those who are fearful of life’s dangers seek
The shallower waters at the periphery
Buying their safety at their souls’ expense;
Some shelter in secluded pools, removed
From the fast-racing currents; here they live
And of stagnation gradually they die.
Some drown before they even learn to swim
Some are destroyed by forces greater than
Man can oppose. Lucky is he who comes,
After long striving, to the central calm
And there, like a dolphin risen from the depths,
Inhales the life-giving air.

   His goal attained,
Here he can rest, here is his soul content,
And here, having found the way, he may return
Leaving life’s turmoil for a little while,
To renew his strength in quiet and solitude.

Meg Rugg-Easey May 1972

1972 Meg poem

Invisible Houses

Invisible Houses (May 1972)

We carry, each, our house upon our back –
As does the snail – but it’s invisible,
More like an extra skin, an atmosphere,
Perhaps a fragrance. We are recognised
As much by it as by our face and form,
And every day we live we are building it.

Some build a house as fresh and welcoming
As is a summer garden; some a cell
Bare and ascetic as a hermit’s cave;
Others are locked in dungeons dark and foul
Fettered by care, their heavy chains self-made.

We carry, each, our house upon our back
And day by day we build it, brick by brick.

Meg Rugg-Easey May 1972

1972 Meg poem

My Mum Goes Out to Work

My Mum Goes Out to Work (April 1972)

I hate my nice new clothes; I’d rather wear
My old more comfy ones. I hate being told
Not to get dirty. I don’t want to watch
The telly every night. I had more fun
Before my Mum went out to work. I wish
She’d stay at home again, just to be there
To talk to and to touch. I’d like that more
Than all the clothes and tellies in the world.

Meg Rugg-Easey April 1972

1972 Meg poem

A Secret

A Secret (1972)

It really is a blessing –
Though of course it is a sin –
To be able to say one thing
But to think a different thing.

To say “I’m pleased to meet you”
(I dislike you all the same,)
Or “Must you really leave so soon?”
(And please don’t come again.)

When bored at social functions
It’s most comforting I find
Whilst being outwardly polite
To be rude in my mind.

So everyone, thank goodness, can
If they don’t let it show –
Think all the horrid thoughts they want
And no one else will know.

Meg Rugg-Easey Feb. 1972