Rectory Road in 1919

A postcard from Robert Nichols' Hadleigh Postcard Memories

By David Hurrell

This card, postmarked HADLEIGH 7pm Tuesday 23 December 1919, is from the wonderfully evocative book HADLEIGH POSTCARD MEMORIES by Robert Nichols, published by H&TCA and available from all good bookshops for just £9.99.

Photo:George V postage stamp

George V postage stamp

The card was posted 95 years ago, a few weeks after Lady Nancy Astor was sworn-in as the first female member of British Parliament. There are still a few folk around the town who can remember when Rectory Road looked like this. Hadleigh Hall can be seen in the distance and there is a clear view (before the Bypass was built) of St James the Less Church. The Hadleigh Men’s Institute is on the left, where Choice store now stands, but the two weatherboard cottages on the right are, miraculously, still there (enjoying a very arbitary protection on the Council’s meaningless list of Locally Noteable Buildings).

Photo:Rectory Road, Hadleigh (looking south) in or before 1919

Rectory Road, Hadleigh (looking south) in or before 1919

The Robert Nichols Collection

If you click on the picture it will open larger, allowing you to spot the Hadleigh Fourpennies in the distance and, in the foreground, the horse-poo in the road. The card was penned hastily to catch the last post – by a certain "Dorrie" – to her friend, Miss Queenie Schooling, in Sidney Cottages, Church Road. She makes her arrangements for Boxing Day, for a good old fashioned singalong around the piano. She says, don't send your "motah" [sic.] round for me – but, as this was only the year when car-manufacturer Bentley was inaugurated, she probably meant it ironically – and she signs off, "g-g-good byee!" (Perhaps in anticipation of singing the then currently popular Weston and Lee song? See bottom of page...)

Quite obviously, but surprisingly to us, Dorrie expected the card to be delivered the following day – Christmas Eve – and it was worth a penny to her, to save the walk on a dark, wintery night with no street lamps.

Photo:Dear Queenie...

Dear Queenie...

The Robert Nichols Collection

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Good-bye-ee, performed by Courtland & Jeffries in 1918

Weston & Lee's big hit from 1915

Transcript for 'Good-bye-ee, performed by Courtland & Jeffries in 1918':

Reproduced below are the lyrics to the popular wartime song, Good-bye-ee, composed by R. P. Weston and Bert Lee in 1915.

Brother Bertie went away
To do his bit the other day
With a smile on his lips
and his Lieutenant's pips
upon his shoulder bright and gay
As the train moved out he said, ‘Remember me to all the birds.’
Then he wagged his paw
and went away to war
Shouting out these pathetic words:

Goodbye-ee, goodbye-ee,
Wipe the tear, baby dear,
from your eye-ee,
Tho' it's hard to part I know,
I'll be tickled to death to go.
Don't cry-ee, dont sigh-ee,
there's a silver lining in the sky-ee,
Bonsoir, old thing, cheer-i-o, chin,
chin, Nah-poo, toodle-oo,
Goodbye-ee.

At the hospital at Kew,
The convalescents, dressed in blue,
Had to hear Lady Lee,
who had turned 83,
Sing all the old, old songs she knew.
Then she made a speech and said,
"I look on you boys with pride,
And to thank you all
I'm going to kiss each one",
Then they all grabbed a stick and cried,

Goodbye-ee, goodbye-ee,
Wipe the tear, baby dear, from your eye-ee,
Tho' it's hard to part I know,
I'll be tickled to death to go.
Don't cry-ee, dont sigh-ee,
there's a silver lining in the sky-ee,
Bonsoir, old thing,
cheer-i-o, chin, chin,
Nah-poo, toodle-oo,
Goodbye-ee.

This page was added by David Hurrell on 22/05/2014.