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Reginald de Mornay Davies Diaries

1903 - Extracts

Friday 9th January

"To Macs. La well but has been very bad. Janie to see Johnston this afternoon. Hugo to Archer St to get 1/ stamp for me, he was late at office tonight." …"No breakfast, have found two very large pimples on my face and one on my neck" No tea at office. Mother and Eveline came back from Bexhill. "

Wednesday 14th January

"To Macs in evening and wrote something on a picture postcard to La in Gaelic "Patience overcomes trouble"

Thursday 22nd January

"To Macs at 9 and called on Rippson(?) on the way and told him this was Hutchy’s wedding day at which he was flabberghasted and in return for my bit of news told me what H. had told him sometime ago that he was going to keep 3 servants and a motor car – got two letters from him."

Tuesday 3rd February

"To Lyric with Hugo and saw Johnston act magnificently in "Othello" stood all the time and sat at intervals. Johnston brought back 3 times at last act."

Thursday 19th February

"To West Theatre R.A.H with Mrs Bardon Winifred and a Miss Taylor and saw School for Scandal which was very good."

Saturday 21st February, Sunday 22nd February

Felt beastly at office just before I left went to bed as soon as I got home.

Sunday 22nd February

Eveline to meet Dr Chamberlain and to say night at St Pancras Hotel.

In bed with flue wrote Frank putting him off Tuesday’s meeting as I was ill with flue. Wrote H.K.R and Richards as to letter to P. Percivall.

Monday 23rd February

Still in bed with flue. Doctor came but did not see him.

Wednesday 25th February

Got up today and my dearest Eveline left for Brighton with Miss Withers who is paying for her exes?. Dear Girl she deserves a holiday and I only wish my dearest Mother and Doll could go too.

Tuesday 3rd March

"Fellow with a good face smiled & laughed a me this morning in Tube – have seen him before"

Wednesday 4th March

"Put the photograph (printed) of Johnston in a frame with my Dear Dolls assistance & from whom I got the frame"

Thursday 5th March 5th

"Tea at office. Tubed home with Richards & he walked with me to corner (having no bike) & then back again after a maiden who we did not speak to but only looked at. Dodged old Collins and waited for him at Bank but he had the laugh of us he went straight home."

Friday 6th March

"Poor mother attacked with one of her pains"

Tuesday 9th March

Went inside St Botolph’s, Aldersgate & was very much taken with it’s interior"

Thursday 12th March

"Had a cold bath, coaled for kitchen & drawing room. Walked around City from 2 to 3 to Paternoster Row & down Ludgate Hill & up Farringdon Street & up steps to Holborn where I saw a girl I fancied so followed her through to Smithfield where I left her. Lovely day. Letter from Frank to say he could not come tonight." …. "Lovely moonlight night. Posted letter to Girlie after sealing it at office."

Friday 13th March

Cold bath this morning. I went to Bishopsgate & down Fish Street Hill and then upstairs and crossed over London Bridge now being altered and saw the River glittering in the sun. Went into St Saviours Southwark where is a lovely electric organ with 4 manuals blown by hydraulic and having vox humaine stop. Heard it played as it was being mended and it is a fine organ. Tubed home with Richard.

Monday 16th March

Letter from Girlie at last answering my last and asking me to meet her at 8.15 at corner of Hereford Road (Westbourne Gr). Met her near Leinster Sq. on left hand side (towards Sth Gardens?) and went down Ossington Street to Palace Gardens and back and arranged to meet on Saturday at 8 at NE Corner of Leinster Square. She is staying at No. 8 and has been in Town on and off for a year.

Wednesday 18th March

Going down Kensington Park Road this morning, Richards whistled but I did not turn till he called or hailed and I turned and found him running after me and he had sighted me turning corner. He walked down from W. Kilburn having left bike at H.P Station. To St Botolph’s with Read and enjoyed music. Rev W.F.D officiating saw him after and shook hands. Set the office chimney on fire and put it out after collecting a crowd and a bobby to the roof left 7.30 and it still smouldered. Tubed home with Richards to Holland Park and he got bike.

Thursday 20th March

"Letter from Girlie asking me to meet her at 8.30pm but as I got home at 10.45 she was disappointed. Wrote her explaining and to say how sorry I was." … "Mother has got me some boots but I was very nasty about them, am going into Grove tomorrow morning to get some."

Monday 30th March

My dearest Eveline finished making a lovely shirt for me to wear on the 1st. (Boat Race Day)

Friday 10th April

My left eye bad with a cold or something of the kind. Spent a charmingly miserable morning and went to bed in Mother’s room after lunch and slept from about 2.45 to 5.45 or later. I got up at 6.15 and got some lotion at Stephenson’s (chemist in Elgin Crescent) which did it good, also bought an eye bath. Singing in the evening.

Monday 13th April

.."went out today and took Saffers for a walk to Kensington Square and into Gardens and came back via Bayswater Hill."

Wednesday 15th April

"To Adelphi Theatre to see "The Worst Woman in London" !!!! and enjoyed it immensely and laughed a good deal at it when we (ie Hugo and I) ought not to have done."

Thursday 14th April

…"Laughed at two girls when I got out of Tube tonight and wish I had smiled before and waved my hand when off train and they waved in reply"

Saturday 18th April

"At office till 4.45 doing plan etc. Took parcel to Miss Hayward 20 Blomfield Road by bus to Paddington Stn and then to New Theatre and got there at 7.15 and stood till 8 and then stood all evening watching "David Garrick" (Wyndham). Walked home because I had to and came past Lyric to-night being last night of "The Light that Failed" there as it goes to New Theatre on Monday. Eveline and Doll with Do to M. Beaucaire at the Comedy. Hugo called while I was out to say he was going to Weston with Dr Ginns so would not come tonight."

Saturday 2nd May

"To the Castles for supper as Miss Castle wrote us asking us for 6pm and we got there at 6.30 having tubed to T.C.R and bussed from there to Parliament Hill or near it. Castles sang all the evening and I sang "You ask me why I love" and I think Miss Castle wanted me to sing again by the way she pleaded I must say I like her very much. A young chap and a tall one asked me the way to Knightsbridge and I told him and then caught him up and took him to Ken.H.S. He was of the 2nd Lifeguards.

Friday 8th May

My dearest Doll’s birthday she is 19 today. Played a four hundred game of Pills at a saloon for the game with Clarke, Collins and Richard, the latter being my partner we gave them 85 and lost. Tubed home with Richards to H.P. Lucy in with a proposal for me as to a job at 75p.a and so wrote Cecil E Wyatt. I would be at 792 Salibury House at 10.30 tomorrow.

Saturday 9th May

"Lifeboat Saturday attended at 792 Salisbury House and spoke to Mr Wyatt who have me letter of introduction to a Mr E Anderson at Messrs Lazenby Bros and Paine of 5 Throgmorton Avenue EC. Called there at one o’clock but he was not there. Richards got out of the front car of the train just as I came out of the other this morning he stood me a drink to success of my venture – stood me another later on. I stood him one and had patty (meat) and piece of cake. E then stood me another and later on Re’s stood me a lemonade. Tubed with R. shook hands with Gertie. Walked to New Theatre but did not see Johnson as I passed straight on to Bedford Square but did (see) not him at all. Saw the poor little girl I am sorry for and about 12.15 this morning I passed through Mortimer Street and stood on the corner and I saw her coming alone and I spoke to her and she asked me to walk a bit of the way down Regent St, wh. I did and stood on a corner chatting and she told me some of her troubles poor kiddie.

Wednesday 13th May

Reed took photograph of me in Mr Hugh’s room and afterwards too two of a group of J.D Vallamore?, Collins, Clarke, Dean and myself. In J.D’s room. Stood Richards a drink in Ship shook Gertie by the hand.

Wednesday 20th May

"Willie Laugher and Doll and Sergeant, Katty and Miss Wakely and Frank came to spend evening with us (Frank had been to opening of Kew Bridge by the King as Sir Wolfe Barry was designer)"…"I took a fancy to Miss W. tonight and thought she looked very pretty. I said goodbye to K (who is going away tomorrow) and Miss W at 69 Torrington Sq. W.C. then we four got last tube from B.M to N.

H.G. and I said goodbye to them at corner of Archer St."

Thursday 21st May

Forbes Robertson presides at the Royal Theatrical Fund dinner tonight at the Whitehall Rooms, Hotel Metropole at 7.30. I drank his health in good old English ale. Reed took Richards, Collins and I in a group (I was in the middle sitting on a P.O. London Directory for 1900 on a chair).

Saturday 30th May

…."Went for walk I evening and after to the town and got provisions etc for tomorrows outing on the River as Claude asked me to stay tonight with him. Sang in afternoon "Sally in our Alley".

Sunday 31st May

With Castles to Paddington and cab from there to Slough where I met a Mr Brickwell (Host) and a Mr Kenyon and to his house and got a loan of a pair of flannels from Castle who took bus from Slough to Windsor, where we took two punts and went downstream and lunched near second lock from Windsor and had tea opposite Dachet. The down again and up again where Horace Kenyon waited for the others then we had tough struggle upstream. …..from Windsor to Slough changed into a last mainline train and got into Paddington about 10.30 went back with Castles to Hampstead and stayed the night.

Tuesday 2nd June

My dearest mother left for Bexhill on Sea by 3.20 train.

Thursday 11th June

Cathy’s birthday God Bless the Dear Girl and preserve her through this year especially but I know he will.

Sunday 13th June

My dearest Mother came home: she wired us to meet her. Dolly to theatre with Dow, Frank and Laugher and Sergeant. Met them on the steps though they had sent wire to say Doll would not be home. My dearest Mother’s ill again.

Tuesday 7th July

Got permission from Mrs Hugh and went to British Museum Stn (Tube) and met Willie there (so I need not have gone) waited for Doll who turned up at 11.20 (I got there at 11.10) Tubed home by myself. My dearest Mother better.

Friday 10th July

To Cathy in evening. No office as in bed with a bilious attack. Had a cold bath this evening. Mother getting better. Richards very kindly brought up my screw. Got there about 7.50pm. Sat with Cathy on their sofa and took two kisses as I got upto go to Post Office for her. Tried again when she had her hair down outside her door but no use. Arranged to got to the theatre tomorrow evening.

(Transcribed these notes 28-10-1906) (Originally pencilled in shorthand)

Saturday 18th July

To New Theatre at 11pm after walking to Bedford Square and seeing lights only in the basement. New Theatre only out at 11.25 (second Mrs Tanqueray) Saw Mrs Patrick Campbell about 11.48 and did not think much of here – was accompanied by two gentlemen in evening dress to Hansom in Charing X Rd. She went alone.

Friday 24th July

…"Had a Worthington with R and one with Clerk in Ship"

Wednesday 5th August (on separate sheet)

Met Dora outside 20 L. St exactly at 8 and went into Park with her. After sitting for hour on one seat went to other side of Serpentine and got seat looking on to the water. Had a coffe and biscuits and jam at Lyons in Old Broad St and had a coffee and 3 chocolate wafers for lunch at Lyons in Crown Court as I took sandwiches to office. Walked through Bedford Square at 7.40pm. Bus to Museum Street. Got pursued by a man of a rotten description. Bus from Chapel St home.

Saturday 15th August

Castle telephoned me at about 1.0 that he was going home to Norwood in a few minutes but told hi I should not be ready to go yet and he said he would come round. I told him to comeupstaris to Room 2 which he did shortly after and introduced him to Richards and then he sat down at Collins side of the table and drew a plan for my direction when I got to Norwood. Went to Charles Hart; Bootmaker for tennis shoes then to Lyons. Found Sammy and Gillham (poor woman fainted at London Bridge Station twice). Train 2.37 to Norwood Junction got to Crofton Lodge all right – changed and had a ripping game of tennis with Claude and after tea played 7 sets till 18.5 when it was quite dark. Sat up till 1.0am (Sunday morning). I stayed night with Castles.

Read up to August 25th 1903

Monday 30th November

"Had a touch of toothache at office this morning but it had completely gone by lunch time."

…."Miss Wakeley and Auntie Doolie to tea."

Wednesday 23rd December

Brought home 1902 – 1903 London National Telephone Directory – see the Marquis of Londonderry – Earl of Rosebury and the Duke of Devonshire are on the "Phone". Lunch with Sammy, J.O.C and Gilham and played Matador. Saw Shepherd at N.H.G and went down in lift and had a bit of a tiff with him over the window like the fool I was – felt rather irritable though. Saw a girl with another as I went to Young’s. I spoke to some months ago now – looked for and found her in Church Street and saw her go into Duke’s Lane. Went after her and she looked round and I went across and she recognised me, she introduced me to her friend (Miss Murphy) who left us then I put my arm around her waist and a nice kiss and stood on the corner and arranged a meeting for Monday at 7.30 Young Street or Tuesday if raining – Good good very good. La was very enthusiastic about my dear old Mother’s singing and when Mother came downafter all others had gone to bed I was not enthusiastic enough myself and did not express enough how I liked it.