The following are documents and letters kept by my grandfather Charles Hurst.
Letter announcing sent by his father to announce his birth.
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Thomas Ockerby Hurst letters
Transcribed letter from Thomas Ockerby Hurst to Charles and Clarice Hurst sent 1948.
Feb 25, 1948
Dear C & C
The time seems to pass so quickly that I forgot how long it is since I wrote you, but I’ll take refuge in reminding you to consider ‘no good news as good news’ taking it on the whole anyway. At the same time we’ve had our own little ‘ups & downs.’
The hot weather seemed to afflict us all with “summer colds” which affected the whole family, perhaps Web & myself most severely. I had just decided to act on Dr Bruce advice to eat as much as possible of everything I liked – including sugar if desired – I take a little extra insulin, but found myself with no appetite at all & feeling generally miserable: however, we got a cool spell, especially nights, & I found myself almost unexpectedly sitting down with a real desire to eat. So once again it is ‘cheerio’.
Thanks Boy for the letter from Mary: she seems to have taken a liking to our discovered Scarboro relatives. No, I never heard of James Hurst before. Apparently he must have later taken Uncle John’s Eastgate Shop at No. 89 so carried on the old name; we seemed to keep more in touch with Aunt Lizzie’s people, the Lorne’s – Mr W Lourne had a shop 2 or 3 doors lower down down Eastgate dealing with all marine tackle (not bottles!) and old Mrs lorne, the mother, was a fine old dame who conceded to my father, Charles, & I think a sailor son I didn’t know, the privilege of smoking in the house: my father was an incorrigible joker, & could win almost any one. My Aunt Lizzie was most of the time somewhat ‘consumptive’ invalid (my Ockerby used to rather contemptuously to say she took a long time to ‘die’), but her youngest sister – a nurse came home dying of cancer & Aunt Lizzie rallied & tended her most devotedly for a couple of years, after which she relapsed & Uncle John sold out & they went into private life, but she didn’t live very long. I went up to the funeral soon after I was ordained, when Uncle was very pressing in introducing me to a Bank Manager cousin of his (Eehoarch Hurst, I think) then at Middlesborough but living I think at Robin Hood’s Bay. There was one other, Easter, my father’s eldest sister (born on Easter Day) married to a dear simple old soul called Bill Gillett: they lived at I think No. 32 Long Westgate in a rambling old house which I fancy got ‘blitzed’ in World War I; mother stayed there once & it was at that house my Aunt Sarah came to see us bringing with her my cousin Maggie then aged 17, from Hull. Besides Maggie, with whom I nearly fell in love was an elder daughter Emily (now Silveslee), who if still alive, must be over 90, and a son David, who being absolutely spoiled, turned out badly & I don’t know what became of him. I believe I gave you their address before. The old fish shop was in New George St, Hull, & their later address No. 1 Percy Street.
I don’t think there is much more for me to tell you of the family. You may look for a notice of the arrival of a new nephew or niece about the end of July – Sheila has been lucky enough to book in at the old hospital (St Ives), so won’t be far away. We have a very nice sleeping place for the children on the front verandah, which Web has enclosed & I have fitted with louvre windows. I just now got the City Council.people cementing and gravelling a proper entrance & haven’t I just blackguarded them over it, so when you come again you may be able to get your car in better. I haven’t yet found ‘Harold’ but still have hopes. ‘Tommy’ is a great conversationalist, I will carry on quite a serious talk with you apparently believing you understand it all! He is very like your mother. He stands just as high as the kitchen table & has a reach for yards!
Well, I was wondering how I’d finish when I realized it was about 1 o’clock & lunchtime so I decided I’d add another page or two especially as far as I haven’t asked about either of the children or any of the rest of you. Web was on duty last night so hasn’t been home since Tuesday morning. The City Council men haven’t made an appearance at all today, so I suppose they’re on the causal ‘Goot Stroke’ or is it ‘strike’? That’s the sort of question I ask them over the phone. I fear I am turning into a very belligerent parson in my old age. Well now, Tommy’s as Leep & Teddy & Fanny Hewford are counting one another through the fence in somewhat untranslatable language.
How did Millicent enjoy her stay in Perth & did she come all right and better? And how does young Richard get on? May I retain Mary’s letter to you for a little while, I want to assimilate its information rather better.
Which reminds me I didn’t quite finish the story I was telling you about my father and Aunt Lizzie. She was upstairs one morning, probably in bed when he called out to her ‘Lizzie, I’ve got your coffee kettle on the fire and it’s getting as black as smoke’ & that brought her down in no time, to find he was only joking.
By the way, did I send you your Certificate of Birth? I remember seeing it somewhere handy but I can’t find it now : perhaps I gave it to you when you were here?
I broke off above there & went out to the butchers to collect some meat – it hadn’t come in before lunch – & since then got 3 ice-creams for S (not forgetting Tommy), Ted & Self. I think Tommy gets most of Sheila’s!
Trust you are doing well out of your wool at the present unusual prices. Was interested to listen to the Corriedale Scholarship Carols over the radio the other day.
Love to all of you from us.
Thomas Ockerby Hurst
Digital copy of original letter sent 1948:
Transcribed letter from Thomas Ockerby Hurst to Charles Hurst sent Sept, 1950.
- I’m wondering if the mystery illness he mentions in this letter is polio?
20th Sept 1950
My dear boy
Just a few lines to ask how you all are, & if Richie has recovered from his operation all right? Here we have all been on the sick list, & except for the youngsters are still rather rocky – perhaps I’m the best?
Web came home on sick leave last week with some peculiar disease that seemed to puzzle their doctors; his boss (lieutenant) had a similar attack, which they could not properly diagnose: it seemed to cause a sort of paralysis, & they giving him some pills looking like tiny bombs which made him sleepy – & he was to take them every few hours & his hands went numb & discolored. He is nearly recovered & now about right; he had to report on Monday, & will not be home until late tonight if at all. I’m inclined to think the trouble was caused by some business in connection with the submarine cable between Fremantle & Rottnest.
I’ve just come to the conclusion that it’s time I got a new suit, I’m going to give Thorogood only half my usual contributions this next two months (the balance is only about £270 now) & put the money towards the suit – I’ll go see Peter, who I know will give me a good material & fit – we are quite old friends.
I’m feeling better for the warm weather, which suits me, don’t have any trouble with reactions. Am just going to write to Auntie Maud & Mary. We had a birthday party for the youngsters last Sunday. By the way have you read the book Honeysuckle Rogue?
Love from us all to you all.
Thomas Ockerby Hurst
Digital copy of original letter sent Sept, 1950:
Transcribed letter from Thomas Ockerby Hurst to Charles and Clarice Hurst sent Dec, 1950.
15 Dec 1950
Dear C & C
Many thanks for Clarice’s letter received today & the promise of a book I may choose. At present I seem to have a special flair for Lloyd Douglas, which run from 10/6 to 14/9: most of them, by the way, are in stock at the local bookseller here – or at Miss Hutchinson’s. Like yourself Boy, I am still very interested in The Big Fisherman & quite often refer to it. Sheila is trying to read it now, but doesn’t get much change, what with our own 3 scamps, Scouts, Guides & Cub Activities. Both she & Web are out at some Xmas party given by the local Association tonight & I’ve had to see the two boys to bed – Mary was first to bed before they went out & has given no more trouble. But I had a bother with the boys, as it is still daylight. However, I called them in at last & they left Clive from next door, Brooke riding Teddy’s. When I looked out again it was gone, so I told Teddy & he said Clive was riding it down the street & I called him to bring it in – I don’t trust that boy.
Well I got my new suit – I paid cash for it ( £16/10/_): it is to be finished on Wednesday – & I’m not quite broke yet. Of course I got an increased pension with £2/10 retrospective addition – & it is now £5 instead of £4/5/ per fortnight. I expect also a payment of £6/10/ (my church allowance) any day., as they generally pay early in Dec, so as to give the Clergy a chance of Christmas purchases. My new suit is the same material I had for my last. I also have a Doctor’s order as a diabetic for a free supply of Insulin, so I am getting quite finanical in my old age! I think I’m better on the whole – I still get Insulin injections (only 16&12 units) but have had no reactions for months – I always get a barley sugar sweet as I get to bed & sometimes I wake up between 12-3 have another. We have a splendid butcher here & I get tender meat from him. Teddy is still somewhat of an avalanche, but has got a fair report from school. He is somewhat of a musical genius, but Tommy has not much ear. Mary is a little witch, very like her Grandmother Hurst, & also recognizes the tunes but all their voices are as soft as their father’s!
Web had about 3 weeks leave lately & started kalsoming the kitchen ceiling & walls, & we still have half the furniture in the passage – he really is amazed. One of his scouts, who is a bricklayer, came over one night & filled in that broken place over the door leading to the verandah & put the bricks upright instead of horizontally., & now you can’t distinguish the place. I spent the morning in Perth. I got home about 1 o’clock. I haven’t been able to get any of the Halliwell Sutcliffe books for MM – my friend can’t get any but hs promised to write me if he does. I think that is the end of my budget, so I’ll close with love & good wishes for Christmas & the New Year from all of us.
Your Affectionate Father
Thomas Ockerby Hurst
Digital copy of original letter sent Dec, 1950:
Hurst Family Tree
Ockerby Family Tree