Writing letters home

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

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Katharine
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Writing letters home

Post by Katharine » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:50 pm

Today’s news that stamps are going up in price brought back a memory of life at Hertford. We all had to write home every Sunday, this was almost always in the afternoon. The letters were then collected up and posted on Monday morning.

On at least one occasion when I was at CH the price of the stamps went up on the Monday, possibly from 2 1/2 d to 3d. The whole school Sunday was changed and we all wrote home in the morning so the letters could be posted that afternoon, saving us the cost of the increase.

Did you at Horsham have to write home every week? Was there a set time to do it?
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia!

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Re: Writing letters home

Post by sejintenej » Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:52 pm

Katharine wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:50 pm
Today’s news that stamps are going up in price brought back a memory of life at Hertford. We all had to write home every Sunday, this was almost always in the afternoon. The letters were then collected up and posted on Monday morning.

Did you at Horsham have to write home every week? Was there a set time to do it?
Yes, Katharine. Letter writing was compulsory, on Sunday afternoon and as far as I remember from 4.30 until 5pm

My wife has seen the first two letters I wrote :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: (I was nine at the time and totally lost!)
I called the police about a murder on the lawn
but they said they couldn't do anything about crows so stop calling

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Re: Writing letters home

Post by LongGone » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:26 am

My memory is that it was after morning chapel, but this may have varied by house. I have none of my letters (a great loss to my biographers) but suspect they were all simply variations on “I am alive, please send food”. I can’t say the repetition paid off, I don’t think I wrote once a term at university and after, emigrating to Canada, even less.
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Re: Writing letters home

Post by Mid A 15 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:20 am

I agree with LongGone that letter writing took place on a Sunday morning after Chapel, probably a Maine A thing.

I came across some of my old letters when helping to sort through my late mother's possessions. It was a strange feeling reading them after all this time. I've hung onto them but I've no idea why as there is nothing of interest to anybody else.
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

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Re: Writing letters home

Post by J.R. » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:10 pm

I can vividly remember letter writing home in Prep B, though cannot remember doing so in Coleridge B, though I'm sure we must have.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Writing letters home

Post by jhopgood » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:47 pm

I seem to remember being chucked out of the house from 2.30 to about 4.00pm on a Sunday afternoon and then doing letter writing until going up to Dining Hall for tea. Sunday morning would have been out because we had Band practice from after morning chapel until just before 1.00pm.
On a related matter, I have just seen an advertisement for courses to learn graphology. I would have thought it is of limited use these days.
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

Alex
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Re: Writing letters home

Post by Alex » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:25 am

Yes, I clearly remember the weekly letter writing in the 50s. For my house it was done after morning chapel on Sundays. There was no compulsion however and most of course complied. If one finished early one read. Sometimes the housemaster came in with blank envelopes which had to be addressed to the parent/guardian and then they were used to send some official circular. But he always hand addressed the termly report.

Letters were collected and posted in the box at the entrance of the Masters’ Common Room. I suppose we were lucky to have a pillar box in the main quad into which, unlike for the girls, we could post anything at any time.

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Re: Writing letters home

Post by Otter » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:16 am

Alex wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:25 am
Letters were collected and posted in the box at the entrance of the Masters’ Common Room. I suppose we were lucky to have a pillar box in the main quad into which, unlike for the girls, we could post anything at any time.
This reminds me of a rumour/anecdote from when I was at CH, according to which a boy wrote a letter to a girl he liked, and posted it in that postbox. Apparently he regretted sending the letter and waited for hours for the postman to come so that he could reclaim it, but by law the postman could not give it back to him, alas the letter was sent.

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Re: Writing letters home

Post by Katharine » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:01 am

Alex wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:25 am
Letters were collected and posted in the box at the entrance of the Masters’ Common Room. I suppose we were lucky to have a pillar box in the main quad into which, unlike for the girls, we could post anything at any time.
The thought of a post box in the school grounds makes me go weak at the knees!!! As juniors we even had to leave our letters open for the housemistress to screen and post.

I’ve posted the story before that in my first term my OB aunt, a missionary nurse in Zululand, sent a crate of South African grapes to me. I was in her old Ward (house) and she was thrilled at that. I shared the grapes around the house, including giving the housemistress a whole bunch, and asked that someone buy me an airletter form. I duly wrote thanking her, apologising for the delay in writing as it had taken some time for anyone to buy the airletter. I was shouted at for that, how dare I, the youngest and newest in the house dare to criticise etc etc. As far as I remember the offending letter was sent, but had it been an ordinary piece of paper I’m sure it would have been torn up in front of me!
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia!

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