Aunt Thomas Goes on Holiday

I have finaly finished reading the wonderful family history book about several families in Bratton, wiltshire, ‘sheep Bell & Ploughshare’ by Marjorie Reeves. This is a journal written by John whitaker when the family went with the 69 year old Aunt Thomas to the Isle of wight, August 1859.

Monday august 22nd afer much consideration resolved to go to carisbrooke and hte Needles and back in the day. Started at 1/2 past 8 in a Carriage for Carisbrooke… (sightseeing on the way)… Went on to Newport and ordered another carriage to meet us at Carisbrooke – went to Carisbrooke Castle – much to my horror aunt T. walked all round the top of the wals – I remained below in great fear for the result of this presumptiuous conduct.. went to the Red Lion at C. where we had a good lunch and some extremely good porter (N.B. aunt T. and Mary will vouch for this last fact) – Went on in a fresh carriage to the Needles Hotel… walked from thence down to alum Bay – stayed there about 2 hours… back to the Needles Hotel – a very god tea dinner – returned to Newport, a veyr beautiful ride – saw Tennyson’s place near Freshwater – stopped at Newport were aunt T. and Mary much refreshed themselves with – and came on in our shanklin carriage home – aunt T. and Mary very talkative – on the way the drag broke but no damage ensued – got home about 10.
Tuesday 23rd. Rather disposed to be quiet today – the weather very hot I worked at law papers til dinner time – aunt T. and Mary more quiet than when comng from Newport – got better when they had some dinner only gentle strolls today.
Wednesday 24th. Calcutta heat – went down very lazily to the beach not intending to do anything – tide out – strolled on and on till we got to Luccombe chine – nothing then would do but aunt must go up the cliff – went to work and at last got up – sun baking hot – no beer to be had anywhere for love or money – aunt T. and Mary lost theselves in a wood – thought we should all have had brain fever – but at last coled ourselves on the top and walked home…
Thursday 25thCalcutta Hole Heat – but no keeping aunt in or still – so off along the cliff to sandown – reached there about noon in a deluge of heat – rested a little while and am sorry to say their Newport fit came upon aunt T. and mary again and that they culd not be induced to leave Sandown without some refreshment of the liquid sort – walked them home briskly by the beach dnd got them into tolerably decent trim by the time we reached home…
Friday 26th (Charles and Ellen Roach arrived)
Aunt T, bought a Crab of the iniquitous rascal Tolan the Lapidary – for a wonder good and cheap – had a capital supper – all very merry…
Saturday 27th a beautiful day – started for Blackgang at 9 with Daish’s best carriage and a capital horse – very hot – broke the drag at Luccombe Hill – mended and broke again at Banchurch Hill – ladies alarmed but the Driver a very good fellow who managed all nicely – stopped at Banchurch and had the drag repaired… (at Blackgang) went off to the Fisherman’s Cottage – aunt T
very brave on the descent – sent the Fisherman’s crazy daughter and her little sister with a Pitcher and jar up to the Hotel for Newport ale – laid out our dinner consisting of a couple of fine wiltshire Fowls and a tongue – after a long time the crazy child and her sister returned with the liquid – things looking better – got well refreshed – went down the remaining portion of the Chine – aunt T. asissted (with his usual gallantry) by charles got down capitally – walked sometime on the beach – aunt T., Mary and Charle sthen climbed up what they thought a shorter path… cousin ellen and I returned by the regular route.. (they all met for tea and started home).. horse going in grand style – all well save a little troubled by CR’s peuliar and somewhat suspicious attention to dear Mary – made a note to note that heard M. say ‘speak to me ony with thine eyes’ – she might have been merely talking aobut the song of that name but still i sounded strange felt inclined by way of reproof to por Mary to play off the same game with cousin E. myself – tried it a little – aunt T. greatly pleased with this very delightful day’s excoursion…
Sunday 28th… to Church – heard the ugliest and most extraordinarily stupid man preach I ever saw… (went in the evening hopng for another preacher)… but alas Caliban gt into the pulpit again and preached the most atrocious nonsense about Ahab and Jzebel, matrimonial connections and chemical experiements till it wsa dark and every one tired… catching C.R.’s eye once just as Ellen had been nudging him, I burst but I hope and believe concealed it by a cough and sneeze was sorry aunt t. did not go wiht me as we had proposed to the Bible christians Meeting House instead – note I always have remarked that when one takes a dissenting friend or relative to church some most undesirable person generally happens to preach.
Monday 29th very beautiful sea – the roughest since we cane – I, Walter and charles bathed – charles very frisky in the water… C and M. much alone when opportunity served and very singular and evidently well-understood signals passing between them… must talk seriously to por M. but feel sure it is only a temporary delusion to which alas we are allsubject at times.
Tuesday 30th… caught Aunt T. and Mrs Roach in the Bar!! – retired til they had left – then returned with Charles and had a long chat and parting glass with Mr Daish (the hotel-keeper).
Wednesday 31st Up at 1/2 past 6. Walter, Charles and myself went down and bathed – water very cold.. took an affectionate leave of the Bathing machine man and head of the Bible Christians- a very good fellow and indeed a man one envies… a most amusng ride to Ryde in the Caravan Bus… much amused with the Driver who had been at the Bombardment of Sebastopol and afterwards at Canton… to Portsmouth – strong wind and heavy sea – por M. veyr ill directly we got on board – aunt T. not the last upset and greatly pleased. C. not at al attentive to M. in her distress – so it is always with these heartless flirtations – so different from true love… landed and went to the Fountain where we had lunch – aunt T much enjoyed some good porter again – left poor M. on the sofa and went off with aunt T., CE and Walter in a smal boat all up the Harbour to the queen’s Yacht – very rough… after a long pull against the wind and tide got to the victoria and Albert went al over the Queen’s apartmens which ere left just as when she used them last – a very beautiful sight … returned to our boat – hard pressed for time but put up a sail and ran back very quickly to the victory – went on board and all over – Aunt t. veyr active in running up the ladders and most delighted with the many sighst – back on shore up to the Hotel – more porter as aunt T. could not get on without – up to the station and to Salisbury by train

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