Got up late. At chapel late with Father in the morning. Went with Ernie at night and sat in Tulips’pew. Called at Grandmother’s in the afternoon and saw her, Aunt Esther and Uncle Jack. Spoke to a few chapel friends. Ernie and Hilda and Moira to dinner and tea and we had two chickens and pork for dinner. Played piano a bit. Sent postcard to Betty.
Ernie’s finger better, Father’s not much. I got out a spelk1. Shook hands with Father.
“Spelk” is/was a dialect word meaning “splinter”. Spelks were a common hazard for timber workers – ALL said his father normally left them in until they festered, when the spelk could be got out more easily; he said this did no harm, because he had “good blood” – but maybe not this time. ↩
On fatigue with Ted† Copeland in the morning. Left off the job at 11 o’clock and got dressed. Got 12.8 train from Alnwick and arrived home shortly before 3 o’clock. Went down for Ernie at the shop1 with Joe. Called at Wiseman’s and then went over to Ernie’s nice house and saw Hilda and had tea. Called for Ernie at night again. Had walk out with Father, Joe and Ernie last thing. Went to bed late.
Slept in. Went out about 9.30. Walked along pier and afterwards along the sands to the River Eden. In the afternoon went with Ernie down the subterranean tunnel and the bottle dungeon1 and up St Rule’s† Tower2. A girl spoke to us on the tower. Had a walk at night by myself while Hilda went to the pictures and Ernie minded Moira. Fine day again.
St Rule’s tower: The shorthand is indistinct, but the context confirms the only possible interpretation. St Rule’s tower (B) is located in the grounds of St Andrews Cathedral but predates it. The tower was originally ascended using ladders between wooden floors, but a stone spiral staircase was inserted in the 18th century.
Got up about 6 o’clock and went down to bathe. I went in but Ernie didn’t. Turned out a wild wet day. Read “Sky Pilot”1, had a short walk in the morning, afternoon and at night with Hilda and Moira. Read a bit of Gardiner’s Prophets, Priests & Kings2. Went to pictures at night with Ernie and saw Charlie Chaplin amongst other pictures.
“Sky Pilot”: probably the frontier adventure novel, The Sky Pilot, publ. 1899, by Ralph Connor, nom de plume of Rev. Dr. Charles William Gordon, 1860 – 1937, leader in Presbyterian then United Churches in Canada. ’Sky pilot’ was also Forces slang for ‘padre.’ See also Arthur Linfoot’s Library. ↩
Got up early before 6 o’clock and went for bathe in the sea baths with Ernie. We were first in and I swam pretty well. Had walk along North Sands in the morning and spent afternoon on the sea front reading. Read Barry Pain’s1“De Omnibus”2. Grand day. Posted little Navy book to Uncle George. Walked round with Hilda at night and she bought a bathing costume for me. Had walk with Ernie later to the south side of the harbour. Had chips3 for supper.
De Omnibus has long been out of print but may be found at various on-line locations including at archive.org; a digitised (by Google) copy from New York Public Library. See also Arthur Linfoot’s Library. ↩
For the benefit of American readers, “chips” does not mean the food more usually known as “crisps” in the UK. However, contrary to popular belief, it is not correct to consider British chips analogous to French fries either. Wikipedia has an explanation of sorts on its French fries page. ↩
Got up about 8 o’clock. Walked round town and sea front. Read a bit of Omar Khayyam1. Walked round The Braes2 in the afternoon. Had walk with Hilda and Ernie at night. Saw Ernie’s shop and got a few things there. Spent a pleasant day. Had walk with Ernie at night.
Omar Khayyám (1048-1131 A.D.) was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy and music. It is not clear from this diary entry which of his writings had engaged ALL’s interest, but it may have been his most famous work, The Rubáiyát. See also Arthur Linfoot’s Library. ↩
“The Braes”: Kinkell Braes, near the site of a castle which was a noted venue for conventicles in the period following the restoration of the House of Stuart. The Braes are now occupied by modern structures including a caravan park and camp site (position of map marker).
ALL evidently visited the Braes on several further occasions during his 1915 visit to St. Andrews.
Got up about 7 o’clock. Drew pound at the bank and wired to tell Ernie I was coming. Got the 10.30 train. Uncle George travelled with me as far as Newcastle. Edinburgh express late and I missed the connection at Edinburgh. Walked round centre of the town. Had a cup of tea. Went up Scott Memorial1. Fell in with a little chap who invited me to have a drink. Arrived at St Andrew’s2, at 6.20 and Hilda met me at the station. Had walk at night with Ernie. Very nice clean town.
Went to St Andrew’s.
The Scott Memorial (B) is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott which stands in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, near to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station where ALL would have arrived from Sunderland (A) and caught his train to St. Andrews. ↩
St. Andrews (C): a town on the east coast of Fife in Scotland, famous for its University, and for golf.
At work as usual. Directors’ meeting. No dictated letters off Mr Lawson. Busy all day. The army open again for clerks. I thought about joining. Decided to put advert in the Echo for Father. Hilda & baby went away in the morning. Finished reading “The Manxman”.