Letters Frank Findlay to Canada from Britain 1907

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Letters from Frank Findlay, son of Robert Findlay and grandson of Thomas Findlay and Elizabeth MacDonald, to his parents on the occasion of his visit from Canada to Britain, and to his Uncle John Alexander Findlay in Edinburgh, in 1907.

 

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SS. Lakonia

environ 75 miles W. Ireland

Sat. Aug 17th.

Dear Pa & Ma,

There will be an opportunity to post letters @ Greenock so I am taking it to let you know what a fine time I am having. I think the great ocean with all its many moods to be a thing worth while living to see, I can’t tell you how glorious the sea is this morning for the sun is bright and the sky is blue and the sea is blue only with snow white patches of foam far as the eye can see. We expect to make Old Ireland this evening and the Clyde Sunday in time to catch the afternoon tide. I forgot to say that I think the sea just as beautiful when at its worst as when at its best. I wish I had brought “The Crisis” along as well as “Richard Carvel” which I consider to be a masterpiece. I have not yet decided whether to return on “Lakonia” or “Cass’a” as Captain Gillies says I will be perfectly safe in booking my passage 2 weeks before I wish to sail if necessary. How do you like this style of writing ? It is done with a freehand without moving the fingers in the least but as yet I am not

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practised at it. Will submit another example on request. Was thinking of copying out my log to send to you but decided the task would be too arduous. I hope you people will be out off town by the time this reaches you for if anyone needed a trip across t’ brine it was not me. Captain Gillies (Norman) is a fine man and as jolly as they make them. Every man on the ship is Scotch, except the lamp man who is half French, & I am more proud of my co-patriots than I ever was, you remember my telling you how Mr. Torrey said the Scotch were the finest people on earth. Our table is excellent, the Cap., us 4 deadheads & the mate & Chief Engineer all eat together & we have a royal time; Cap. is playing quoits now & I just heard him say in his Scotch accent, “What a darn fluke” because, I suppose, Mr. Fuller, whom he calls a “Bluenose”, has made a good shot. Mr. Fuller is from Nova Scotia, & the Cap. is forever quizzing him about his province but as Fuller knows how to give it all back we have a lively time of it. (Sunday 18th). Seeing it is Sunday Uncle Jack may be at Glasgow to meet me & that will be fine for we get in very late, about 8-10 P.M.

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The scenery is great and I will draw this letter to a close so I wont miss any of it. We have passed Cantyre & Ireland about 8.20 A.M. & are now between Arran and Ailsa or Paddy’s mile stone. I am sorry this scribble is not longer but you will now I have arrived O.K. I will gain nothing by posting from Greenock & may not post till I get to Edinburgh for Cap. Gillies says mails dont leave for Canada till Tuesday,

Your thankful & Dutiful Son,

Frank R. Findlay


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Telegraphic Address “DARLING’S HOTEL, EDINBURGH”

Telephone No. 02928

DARLING’S REGENT HOTEL

20, Waterloo Place.

EDINBURGH

Wed. Aug. 21/07

Dear Mother & Father,

As you see by the heading I have arrived in Scotland’s capital and am staying at the above house where Uncle jack made arrangements for me. Uncle now has a daughter and is out in the country leaving him to batch

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it. He only sleeps at Corstorphine taking all his meals in town. I suggested my sleeping out there with him but he would not hear of it. This hotel is a great favorite and Uncle, knowing Miss Darling, says he gets a special rate. If I dont get this letter posted before 9.30 A.M. I will miss the N. Y. mail so dont be surprised if it looks hasty. When I reached the dock at Glasgow there was no one there to meet me so Captain Gillies took me home with him which was

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very kind of him. Mrs. Gillies was very nice they live at Florida Hill, a “hubub” of Glasgow. I left Glasgow by Central Station at 11 arriving here at 12.5 the train went very fast sometimes, the fastest I have ever been. The ship building on the Clyde was great. Scotch scenery is simply fine, I think I will stay here for a couple of years. Well, Mother, Edinburgh is all you said it would be and more by far. I have been down to Leith, to the castle, St. Giles, Court House, Scot monu-

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ment and to-day go to the Museum & Forth Bridge. To-morrow or Friday I will take a day trip into the Trossachs. Aunt Lalla has invited me to go see her at Glenfarg for the week-end so I am going to go. Will visit Pages to-day & perhaps Mrs. Ellis & Mrs. Lawson. I have been invited to Manchester so will take a day or two there. Scotland and its people are certainly bonnie. Princes St. is fine with its gardens, stores etc. Well you must save up for a trip across next year both of you.

Your Affect. Son,

Frank R. F.

Blue bells are from Uncle Jack picked at the Pentlands where we were playing golf yesterday. F.R.F.


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Telegraphic Address “DARLING’S HOTEL, EDINBURGH”

Telephone No. 02928

DARLING’S REGENT HOTEL

20, Waterloo Place.

EDINBURGH

Fri. Aug. 23

Dear F & M, Had intended to got out to Roslin Chapel this A.M. but it was raining so did not go, getting some writing done instead. Have just written to Donaldsons booking my passage to home on Lakonia sailing 28th Sept.. Yesterday I went through the Trossachs by sail, coach, and boat,

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I was delighted with all I saw although the day was cloudy & gave us a little rain. The route I took was the one described in the Chase of Scot's "Lady of the lake". Am enclosing some bell heather I picked at (where was missed of letter by Frank himself!) Was travelling from 7.5 A.M. to 6.22 P.M. the fare being 19/6 & my dinner at Inversnaid cost me 3/- enjoyed the day immensely and was with 4 other young men I talked to when I first got on the coach at Callander three of them were from Glasgow & the other was a quiet fellow an Engineer from S. England. One of the Glasgow fellows had been over the

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route before so he was able to tell us quite a bit as we went along. I received your letter of the 11th this morning & was glad to hear from home. I am sorry you are in town for the hot weather you should have gone away long ago. I am glad to hear that Art had such a swell time. I gained 5 pounds coming across, that is if 9 stone 2 lbs = 128 lbs. I weighed 123 when I left. I never saw so much dull weather. This afternoon Uncle & I are going to the Forth Bridge. To-morrow morning I go to visit Aunt Lalla & will stay till Monday or Tuesday from Glenfarg where she is I will go on to Blairgowrie to see your Aunt. That will bring me back to town Wed. or Thursday when I will probably go South. I am getting on fine. Dont worry! - Smile! Been to Holyrood, the castle, Museum, Art Gallery, but I am taking it fairly easy. Uncle insisted on taking me to the Lyceum to see the comedy "What the Butler Saw" it was very comical indeed. Love to all from your well & happy

Frank


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Telegraphic Address “DARLING’S HOTEL, EDINBURGH”

Telephone No. 02928

DARLING’S REGENT HOTEL

20, Waterloo Place.

EDINBURGH

Sept. 3/07 P.M.

Dear Mother, I arrived here this A.M. after a week of continual pleasure at the Page's you have no idea of the jolly time I had at Elie and I hated to leave it, however, I dragged myself away this

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A.M. and as Uncle Jack's family is still away I came to this hotel again. On my arrival Miss Darling gave me a letter saying that there was no room on the "Lakonia" so I am forced to return by "Cassandra" sailing Sept. 21. I am very sorry about this as I lose 7 days. On account of my long stay at Elie I am unable to visit Manchester & have notified Mrs. Heald to that effect. You might also tell Bram about it if you see him & explain

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I have booked for London by 10 A.M. Waverley to-morrow via East Coast line & arrive 6.30 P.M. I wired Uncle Robert this afternoon about going to-morrow so that there will be someone at Kings Cross to meet me. Aunt Maggie is staying with Beth at present & I expect to see her in London. Any letters had better be sent to Uncle Jack as usual. I met Mr. & Mrs. Lawson also a Mr. Gibson and Mr. Page's Mother and sister whom you probably

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know. I got on fine with the Page boys, Percy especially is a perfect clip. Bought powder at Inman's this after. & had tea at Macvities & Guests. Just missed James Allan, Rotherfords friend, this afternoon by a couple of mins. but saw Mr. William A. Am almost through $50, it has gone like smoke. Weight leaving Montreal 123 lbs. Weight leaving Elie 137 lbs. Am feeling as fit as a new auto. No trouble at all from the neck. remember now I sail by "Cassandra" Sept 21st. Will let you have further news soon. Don't you think I am doing fine? Am glad Art had such a fine trip. My love to all, also remember me to Aunt ????? & Bram? & Rod? if possible.

Note: - Only the top half of the last line of the original letter appears on my photocopy, so its exact wording is a bit of a guess. Also although no valediction or signature are appended I would suspect the letter finished at this point.


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7 Manor Rd. Buckinham

Tue. Sept. 10th '07

Dear Father,

Important news. The Donaldson people sent me my ticket for Sept 21st marked 2nd Class cabin so I sent it back and added in my letter that I would still prefer "Lakonia" to "Cassandra". This morning I have just received a letter from them explaining that 2nd cabin sailing from Glasgow is really 1st class and they enclosed another ticket for "Lakonia", I having returned the "Cassandra" ticket they sent me. So now I will sail by

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"Lakonia" on 28th September all being well. Beth Jezzard has written twice inviting me cordially to E. Molesey. I am going to see what I can get to Paris for and if the fare is reasonable I will go. Well Dad I must also tell Uncle Jack right off also. Am enjoying it very much here. St. Pauls, Tower, Guildhall, & Hippodrome yesterday with Uncle. Am I still spending too much? Love to all at home, Hope you are keeping strong and Well. Remember me to ???? ?????

Note: - Only a bit of the top half of the last line of this page of the original letter appears on my photocopy, and there is not enough of the last two words to guess at.

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Your Affectionate Son,

Frank


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E. Molesey

Sept. 19/1907

Dear Mother,

As I have written from almost all the places I have stayed at I might as well keep it up. Molesey, as you may know, is really Hampton Court and is very pretty. Ever since I came south we have had beautiful summer weather. I wonder if my arrival had anything to do with it? I have your welcome letter of Sept. 6th before me

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now. Glad you enjoyed yourselves at Cap a L'Aigle, it would not do to stay at home all summer. I hope Edythe has got into Trafalgar it would be fine for her indeed. I will see what I can do about Art's walking stick but dont you think I will have a lot of stuff to get through Customs? I think I will manage about another chair. On reading your letter a little further I don't think I will get a stick for Art. I will get something for Flora at Glasgow (if I

Note: - The last line of this page of the original letter appears is missing on my photocopy.

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Sorry the house is getting on so slowly I thought it would be finished when I got home. Daniel is very kind indeed he does one good. A gentleman took some fine photographs of Uncle Robert's children. I will try to get copies. Cousin Beth & Dick (Mr. Gillett) are fine. Dick delights in styling himself as a "poor fishmonger. I have been to Richmond and Kew gardens & spent a lovely day at those places. I have also canoed on the Thames, it was fine. Went through Hampton Court & part of gardens yesterday & hope to finish them this afternoon. Beth is fixed fine. "Lyndhurst" is small but very cosy & well furnished. Eddie sent a beautiful set of Chinese china as a wedding present. Beth thinks I am very like Eddie in many ways. She & I are going to Sandwich to-morrow (Friday) you see I am leaving Paris till next time; you see it would have to be a rush & I cant appreciate Architecture enough yet. Love to you all & believe me

your Affectionate Son Frank


Letter to Frank Findlay in Montreal from his father Robert, who was holidaying in Britain with his wife, Jane, and his daughters, Audrey and Edythe.

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Address Telegrams

Darling's Hotel, Edinburgh

Telephone No.

2928 Central

Darling's Regent Hotel   

21 Waterloo Place   

Edinburgh.   

 

                                                                                                                                   

1st Aug. 13

My Dear Frank,

You see we are all back in "Auld Reekie" again. Arrived here last night from Kirkcaldy where we had been spending a few days with Lalla McKay. Had a nice time with them & the 3 girls enjoyed their stay there muchly. All the McKays wish to be remembered to you. Called on Jack today and got our mail. We were all delighted with the varied mail received there. Tomorrow a.m. we leave here again for Melrose, where we will stay at the Hydropathic for the weekend returning on Monday night to Edinburgh. We will make this our headquarters for 8 or 9 days

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Taking short trips from here. The weather is ideal & we hope to enjoy our stay while here. I met Dean Walton today at the Waverley Station. Also one of our fellow passengers on the Grampian. He is in a bank here & he treated us all right royally. We have to visit him at his home next week. We had a very nice time in Inverness, lovely weather while there & the only mistake we made was not resting there longer. It is a beautiful place & the finest atmosphere in all Scotland. The first day we landed there from Sandwich, when looking into a store window & on turning round & do the next who should be looking in but Tom. He was down there from Glasgow with Mary on holidays. Imagine our surprise. We walked over the old ground our wee feet had trod in days of yore, had berries out nof our old garden, chatted with

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With a few of the old folks left, alas but few. Davie Brown, the architect's father-in-law. Robb the city of Montreal's City Clerk stayed at the same hotel with his daughter, also Mr. Jordan W. Leslie's partner. Strange how we should all meet there. I stayed up at Inverness 4 days longer than mother & the girls, enjoying the search for old school mates etc.. Saw many of them & had a good time in there company. I am afraid that I have been of little help to you so far, but I do not seem to get time for anything. We are just like birds flying about & when tired of the flight we get down to earth to rest for a while, then off again

You will observe by the date of this that it should have been posted a few days earlier, but your letter went missing & I really forgot all about your questions.

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I am very sorry indeed to hear of poor Mr. Brown's death & I am glad you showed our respect for the good old soul in sending the wreath of flowers. I have been unable while in Glasgow to look up his brother.

As to Macaulay's outer vestibule I made a sketch for it showing a treatment of the walls & floor in marble but did not get time to get a price on it & lay it before him before leaving. There is very little wall surface & if marble is used it should go right up to the cornice. A plaster ceiling & cornice is all that is required, cornice to be simple. I hope all the rest of his work is going ahead with all due speed. Glad to hear that McLennan's job is so far advanced. Remember me to him. Have you had any word from Couper?

Audrey & Edythe leave here Thursday p.m. for Elie to visit the pages for a weekend. Mother has not seen any of her relatives yet. Up till now she has only seen those on my side and lots of them.