As I promised at the end of last week, here is another happy outcome from The Art of Letter Writing project.
When the residents of Fulleylove Court retirement housing complex in Bolsover visited the record office I was delighted to get talking with Yvonne who mentioned that she had letters from her grandfather dating from 1901. For years she had been wondering what to do with these letters and, seeing the work the record office can do with such material, she kindly donated them to us.
The letters are a glimpse into the lives of Yvonne’s grandfather, George Henry Mason, his wife Sarah Ann and their small daughter Midgie (also Sarah Ann).
George was a butcher from Bolsover and the family lived next door to their shop which was situated in the Market Place, now The Pump Tea Rooms. George was writing home from Buxton where it appears he was receiving treatment for sore legs and ankles. In his letters he makes reference to taking baths and receiving water treatments.
From these letters we can tell how much he cared for his family and how keen he was to return to the business, which was being looked after by his father-in-law while George was away. He gives his opinion on Buxton which he finds very expensive “Buxton is the dearest place that ever I was in my life…”
Within one letter I found a small scrap of paper with a most amusing note of romantic advice for Richard, who may have been a relative or friend of George and Sarah Ann:
“Tell Richard there is a young widow at Buxton (Butcher) grand Front[?] shop, doing plenty of business, I have seen her in the shop once.
Good Looking tell him
plenty of Money”
Sadly, we don’t know if Richard ever pursued this wealthy widow!
A huge thank you to Yvonne for donating these letters to the record office.