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Thursday, January 29, 2015

1941 Letter To Kate

                                                                                                     No. 2 Memorial Cottages
                                                                                                      Tolpuddle near Dorchester
                                                                                                      October 6, 1941
Dear Sister and all
Just a few lines while I am able to write. I am geting a bit stronger now but it is very slow work when you are old and weak. I was very sorry to read of your falling from the car. You were lucky not get any broken bones. I had only been out of bed two days when I fell down and broke my arm and hurt my wrist. The doctor said I must be tough.
I am so glad you have two girls that think so much of you and I hope they will stay with you as long as you are alive. Once they marry the man comes first.
Before coming here we went to Wynford Eagle twice and seen Harry Goff. He said that Hannah was a widow. Hubby left her with an iron monger's shop and has the daughter and husband to live with her and carry on the shop and they turned her out of it. Charles who was a cowboy or roughrider is dead. You will think my letter is all bad news this time. We have not seen your Leslie yet. I hope all will be well with him.
Allie's boy came to see me. He is tall. I hope Tom will be able to keep Sandy home. It was he who was going to look after Alf. I suppose he forgets that now. Lottie and F been to see Allie yesterday and said they well. Allie went to Wimborne last Thursday. All well. Linda is to be married it is planned on the 18th of October. If all is well will be living with his father. The mother is dead. They've been here once.
Will write again soon. Tell the boys to be sure and come to see me. Must close now as my hand is aching.
Your loving sister         S. Bishop
P.S. Jack, Annie, and Charlotte are gone.

Kate and Karl Hobetzeder

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Coast to Coast

This late night radio show is usually pretty entertaining although there are some strange stories some nights. Last night's was just annoying. More mis-information about GMO crops. This guy loses all credibility with me when he comes out with some clearly wrong information, News flash: we have been spraying our crops with 2-4D herbicide (not a monsanto product) for at least 60 years to control weeds. Long before the term "GMO" was even heard of. And that whole terminator gene story has been around for so long that I thought everybody knew it was false. Monsanto is not the great evil. It is a company out to make money by selling their crop engineering technology to us, I don't think they want to take over the world or control your thoughts. We grow their crops because up to this point it has made sense economically.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Another Look At The Merc

I took this photo of the 52 Merc's interior this evening. Yes, those are rust holes in the floor but aside from that, and the trashed seat and headliner, it is not too bad. I was in there taking a few pics of things for another Mercury collector in the U.S. Its always interesting to compare the differences between U.S. and Canadian built vehicles.
I have not yet tried to start the engine but if this weather gets much milder I might just be inspired to try it. With a 6 volt tractor battery, most of the valves operating, and a temporary plastic fuel tank rigged up there is really no reason why it should not run but ...
Over the years I have had a repetitive dream of driving this car and I guess the only way to stop it is to make it happen. Not saying its going to become a valuable custom collector car or even a road worthy daily driver at this point. Just need to hear that old flathead run and move under it's own power. Old four door sedans are never going to be worth as much as the cost of restoring them.
Here is a photo showing how the dash looked when new on a typical 52 Merc. It had a real space age/aircraft type look to the controls.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

From Alice At Wimborne 1942

                                                                                                                      1 West Row Wimborne
                                                                                                                       Dorset, England
                                                                                                                       March 8, 1942
Dear Grace and Ivy
I daresay you think it very mean of me not to have answered any of your nice letters. I enjoyed reading them but I am very long winded writing back.
Well my dears I have seen your cousin Leslie. He is a nice young man and I am sure you are both proud of him as a cousin. I expect he will be coming to Irene's again. I think they enjoyed themselves only it was so bitterly cold. I don't know if Irene has written to you. She said the other week I must write to Canada.
We have no room here but if Irene could not have had them we would have managed somehow.
I am so sorry you have lost your Uncle Alf. I hope your mother is not fretting herself ill. It is a thing that comes to us all. I hope he did not suffer much. I expect he worked very hard. Your Aunt Sarah has worried a lot about him this last year or so. She wished he had married and had someone at home to look out to him. I have heard how you and mother did all you could for him. You have that consolation. You must try and cheer your mother all you can.
Cheerio. God bless you all. Your loving Aunt Alice.

Les Goff at left. Seen here at Bognor Regis in 1942

Thursday, January 22, 2015

On Alf's Passing

                                                                         1 West Row Wimborne
                                                                          Dorset, England
                                                                          April 14, 1942
My Dear Sister and All
I expect you received my last letter about the time I got yours. I hope by this time you are all feeling better and getting over the shock. Poor boy, it sems hard he worked so hard and never got much pleasure out of life but I suppose he was happy enough in his own way.
I have just written to Tom and told him I quite agree to all you and he suggested. I don't think Leslie would be willing to quit the army while things are as they are at present even if he had the chance.
I told Tom if he has not made a will he ought to and Leslie the same if he takes over the land. Especially if he should get married. There is no doubt that Les will be back home as soon as he is at liberty although of course he is more used to our climate by now. We are having real spring weather now. Lovely trees and bushes budding and flowers coming up. If only this ghastly thing was over.
Dear Kate, I've not been able to go to Tolpuddle. Weather very rough and damp until the last five days and the rheumatism in my leg and foot. I've not felt safe getting in and out of the bus but I shall try and go now in a few days to give Lottie a break and a change for Sallie. Then I shall get her to sign a paper with two witnesses and do the same myself and I will post it on to you or Tom, perhaps both.
I think Lottie has written to you. I received tea a few days ago, the 9th I believe. It was kind of you to think of us. Lottie told me in her letter that Allie had got in another house. Whatcombe if you know where that is.
We were expecting Leslie here in a few days time but he wrote last week saying they did not know if they would be having their leave. Irene has written to him today telling him to come straight on if he gets it so we are hoping to see him. I know you must all miss him very much. We are all getting on. I can see you look very fagged out by the photo I just looked at and a good idea putting boxes for you to sit on. Also the red hat.
I hope you will both have good crops and luck with everything. I think it will be wanted. The last time I saw Sallie she was looking much better than I expected. I do hope I never have a long illness so don't ever grieve for me if you hear I am gone. As you say, life never turns out as we expect it to, or very seldom.
I am glad Irene and Eric are both settled in their own homes. I don't suppose Grace or Ivy want a different home but someday I suppose they will. They must have heaps of work to do. Still, Charles is there and it wants a man .
How is Sandy getting on?  You must take great care not to over-tax your strength. I daresay the shock and the worry has taken it out of you. I have sent to Nell 2 or 3 times, no answer. I wrote to her twelve months or more ago asking her to let me have a line to know if all was well. If only a post card but no reply so I shall not write again.
I would like to have sent on the things I have promised but they say the shipping room is badly wanted so the frock I was going to send for Gladys, I gave to Eric's child. Still I hope that things will soon be better. God will always be above the devil.
Will write from Tolpuddle, hope all are well. Your loving sister:       Alice Kuster.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

                                 Martyr's Memorial Cottages
                Tolpuddle near Dorchester
                                                 May 1938
Dear Sister and all:
Thank you so much for your welcome kind letter . I hope this will find you all better
I think this last winter has been very trying. It has been so hot and dry but we have
some rain lately and more to come they say.  I have not been outside but once since
February but I am a little stronger now. Frank planted the allotment and garden before
he away. Spuds just up so they tell me.
Lottie said she is coming for a night in about another fortnight's time.. She wants to be
home as they have some fruit coming  and she wants her black currants. They don't plant
many spuds, only green stuff. But there will be enough for Lottie.
Allie has got to change house again in August. They were to have some ground on the farmj
where the boy is working but it wasn't ploughed up last week. Allie and the two little ones
came here last Saturday. The children are looking well and Mrs. Mc------- that lives next door
thought Allie was looking better. Had put on flesh since she saw her last. She has a lot of worry but now Linda is out of hospital and had three weeks in Dorchester with her father's cousin, she and her husband.  He would go to see Linda sometimes in the hospital and she did the washing for Linda. She and Linda came out here one day. She is at Westham, Weymouth now for a few weeks and then coming here as she is not fit fow work yet. I shall be glad to have her here for company. It is very lonely here although the people are very kind to look in . One woman comes in to sleep with me until someone comes here.  But you don't want to worry about me, I can manage well as things are. Will you tell the others not to worry about me.  If I can I shall write to Tom and Mary in a day or two. I wish Alf had married to have had someone for company and he might have had children to help him now. One of Tom's boys, a white haired one, when he was a toddler said he was going to look after Uncle Alf and help him. I hope he do.
Has Alf had what he thought was oil tested yet? If it is any good he might sell it and have enough to live without any more work for the rest of his life.
Lottie posted his books before she went away. C/O Mrs. T. Goff. Hope he got them alright. And a bunch of newspapers. I will send you some but I have to depend on someone to post for me now. Will write again soon. Love to all . Hope you will all have better crops.
Your loving sister    S. Bishop

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Letter From Kate to Canada

Something different this time. A letter written by Kate Goff to her brother Alf in Saskatchewan in March of 1910. Alf had been in Canada since 1903. Kate was employed at Solent House at the time.
Things must have progressed quickly as family history indicates Kate came to Canada later that year with "the Austrian", Karl Hobetzeder who she married that same year.

                                                                      Solent House
                                                                      Southsea, Portsmouth
                                                                      March 30, 1910
My Dear Alf, Tom, Jack:
I now take the pleasure in answering your kind and welcome letter. So glad to hear that
you have had a good crop. I hope you will have another good one this year. Then we shall
soon see you back again. Will the others come as well? Perhaps I might come back. I shall
not promise to.
I am glad to say Alice is better but there will be no more family there now. Rather disappointing
for her husband as he is fond of children. Nell got a son last Sunday week. Both doing well.
And George's wife at Bournemouth has got a son.
How are all of you getting on? It must have been a blow for poor Jack. I feel sorry for him.
Levi, I think, is past work. He told me he had a hard job to get about. They still think a
lot of Nell. They, or he, often go down to see her.
No doubt it will come in handy to him if you can afford it. If it is to be made payable to a
bank then it would be Sherborne. But if to Post Office then Newton, Milborne Port, Somerset.
Alice is shifted, if it is to bank, Bournemouth. If to Post Office make it Pokesdown. Their
address is Erme Villa, Burleigh Road, West Southborne, Bournemouth.
I think they have had a rough time of it. I lent them 2:15 in November. They have not had a
chance to pull round yet. He ask me not to tell Sally. I think they at Clenston are staying on
there. Allie is home. She says Mother's time is all taken up with the pig and chicks. They
had a  hen set for 3 weeks on 13 eggs, then left them. Bet Lot was for stretching his neck
and putting him in the pot.
Lot was very rough before Xmas. Did not know what to make of him. Sally was not much better.
They went up to Bourne for five days. It rained nearly all the time. He saw his brother up
there. They stayed at Alice's house while she was looking after theirs at Clenston. But I am
glad to say they are all alright again now.
I am sending on one of my latest photos. I am not married yet. This is an Austrian. Other one
is gone to China for 2 years.
I am having letter registered in case you would not get photo. Do I begin to look old?
So now I think I have told you all the news at present so must now draw this to close with
fondest love to you and all I remain your loving sister, K. M. Goff. Write soon. XXX

                                                     The photo referred to in the letter.
Karl Hobetzeder and Kate Goff

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What A Difference A Week Makes

Just in case the past few blog posts of family history and boring old letters is getting to be too much for some, here is a bit of an update on life on the farm.
When I shot this video last week it was in the -20F range with raging winds blowing the snow around. The wind chill factor was way up there  and I really appreciated my oasis of trees here that sheltered me, most of the time, from the worst of it while riding the open Massey tractor carrying a hay bale. The cattle were, as usual, appreciative :-)
This week the above normal temperatures are a real improvement. Time to get out and catch up on some of the jobs I had put off due to the extreme cold. Like putting 150 bushels of oats through the antique IH hammer mill. It gives me and the antique Cockshutt 50 tractor a good hour and a half of exercise, not including the preparation time. This is the only work that tractor does nowadays and considering how much oil goes through it I guess it is enough. I thought it had improved but after working a while I noticed the snow under the engine had a black spot where oil was dripping. I checked the bolts on the timing gear cover where the leak seems to originate and was able to tighten one a few turns. It improved but did not eliminate the leak.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

1941 Letter from Alice to Kate

                                                                            Nov. 20, 1941
                                                                             1 West Row
                                                                             Wimborne, Dorset
My Dear Kate and All

Just to thank you for your lovely present. It is very kind of you all but don't
worry. We are getting plenty to eat . True sometimes I would like a bit of something
 different,  little more bacon or cheese. I never eat much meat but thank God we get
The poor people in the occupied countries, my heart aches for them. I wish I was forty
years younger. I would have gone in for something.
We are looking forward to seeing Tom's boy, Leslie. Sallie is very anxious to see him.
She is very ill. I doubt if she will see Xmas. Or she may linger on for months but I
don't think she will ever get the use of her leg again. I think it was a stroke. The
right side. She does not make much improvement but she is 77 or 78. I don't know if
Lottie has written. She does not get much time or rest.
Will write more next time. Am sending a few lines to others, This is the last day for
Xmas mail to Canada. Hope you get the papers from Daily Mail.
Love to all, hope all are well.
Your loving sister, Alice Kuster.
Kate Hobetzeder feeding the chickens and turkeys in the 1930s.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Alf's Birthday

January 19, 1938
                                                                                                   1 West Row
                                                                                                   Wimborne, Dorset

My Dear Alf
I must send you a line to wish you a very Happy Birthday. I am sorry it is only a card
but just to let you know that I think of you if I don't often write. Kate must wonder why
I have not written. I have had to have a rest. Poor Sallie had a bad attack of bronchitis
just before Xmas and the first of January Billy Warren was taken to Dorchester Hospital at
4:00 pm and died Sunday morning at 6:00. Meningitis. There is no cure for that and if they
do get over it, it goes to the brain. So they are better off when they pass along.
Allie was hysterical. The Doctor said she was not to be left there so they took her to Tolpuddle
and Irene had some of the children. They are all back to their home now.
Poor Lot has been very shaky and feeble this past year but he went to Allie's home with Lottie
and Frank. It was too much for him. Lottie said in her letter her father had a slight stroke but
was much better. Sallie told me when I was there last that he had one before so he must have had
the second one.
Lot is so helpless, poor Sallie never seems to get five minutes peace.
I heard from George a few days after Christmas.
I am afraid I have just missed the mail. I must write to Kate and George and send some papers. I
may go to see Sallie in a week or so.
How are you keeping? And Tom, Mary and family?. I hope they are all well. I must now say cheerio
with much love. I remain your loving sister.
Alice Kuster
A Happy New Year to all.
Not very bright so far.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Letter From Jack

This is the only written correspondence I have by Jack (John) Goff
Date I am guessing at 1941 or 42. Written to his niece.

My Dear Niece
I received your welcome letter yesterday and did as you asked me and I guess the boy is home by this time as dad was down this morning before I was up.
I have not heard from Leslie for a long time but Sandy told me a long time ago that they expect him home for harvest but have not heard any more about him.
No dear, I did not hear any more about Sandy going up any trees but I see him very often in town. He has left Mr. Van and is home now.
Say you must have a snap herding just a couple sheep. Wish I was close enough to come and give you a hand with them but I would not give you a hand painting. I do not like that job a little bit.

When you come home let me know and I will meet you at the bus if I can and if I am not there, come on down. You know where I live. So I guess that's about all.
                                                                                                        Your loving Uncle
                                                                                                          J. Goff

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1919 Letter to Alf Goff

A letter written to Alf Goff in Saskatchewan by his sister, Sarah Ann Bishop in Dorset England.
                                         Higher Clenston
                                         Blandford, Dorset

July 11, 1919

My Dear Brother
Just a few lines hoping it will find you all well as thank God we
are all fairly well here but nearly roasted with the hot weather.
We want some rain very bad again now. The only thing that look well
in the garden now is the spuds. We have not dug up any yet as we
have not any early ones. It has been such dry weather for much to
grow here this year.
We are glad the war is over but everyone thinks this will be a harder
winter this year.
Glad to say that Alice is getting on but it is slow work. We had her
here for a fortnight. Would have stayed longer only the people Irene
was living with gave up their shop so Irene had to leave and couldn't
live at home alone and Alice won't want her til she can walk about on
one crutch. I hope Kuster will be able to come back for Alice's sake
and take that boy in hand. He is a worry and he was much worse after
Alice came here. Lot said he wouldn't mind Alice staying all the summer
but he couldn't put up with that boy for after Alice came he would sit
at the table and rest his knees on the edge of the table at meal times.
Catch and hold my little chickens with one leg up above his head.
My dear brother will you please get this order changed and give the
money to Kate. The one pound is what was left of her money and I owe
her on the sewing machine but when you write back don't say anything
about Kate's money as I am sending it unknown to Lot. I have saved it
out of my egg money. Should like to know if you get this letter alright.
I suppose you got Kate's parcel by this time. I got the order a fortnight
ago but we have been busy.
Allie got a daughter, all doing well.
Remember me to all.
Your loving sister, S Bishop
Alf Goff in chair beside Kate with daughters Ivy and Grace. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Letter For Kate

This letter was written to Kate Hobetzeder in 1940 from her sister Alice in Dorset, U.K.
1 West Row Wimborne
June 24, 1940

My Dear sister and all

I was so glad to hear from you. It worried me as I had written 2 letters
to you and one to Alf and I thought it funny if you had not had one of them.
 I went to Tolpuddle just a week after Charles went away. He is not interned
but he had to clear out of Dorset . He is working as far as I know.I heard
from him last Saturday week and there was a registered letter for me today
but I was not here so I shall get it tomorrow morning.
I stayed at Sallie's nearly 3 weeks, came back last Thursday and went to
Eric's for the weekend. I am afraid Sallie does not seem to get any stronger.
She can't get across the room without a stick. . She has scarcely any strength
in her legs or her body. It is pitiful to see her. If only she would make up
her mind to come with me for a few weeks it might do her good. But she keeps
on saying she wants to get stronger on her legs first. I feel sometimes if
she waits for that she will never come. I often listen to hear is she is
still breathing when I am sleeping with her. Lottie said that her father lost
the use of his legs just the same way. Sometimes when I looked at her and
thought of the trouble and turmoil of the world I have thought it would be
a happy release for her. Don't think me unkind for saying this but she is so
utterly helpless and one never knows what is going to happen.
I don't know yet if Leslie (Warren) will have to go. Not before December when
he will be 20. Eric is 29. He registered last Saturday. Reg is in the observation
post. Irene is alright. So is everybody here. I never hear from Nell so I don't
know if her boys are called up. I have not seen Allie lately but everything is
alright. Lottie went there twice when I was with Sallie.
Linda and Eunice are both earning their own living and I think Allie is alright.
We had a lively night last night from 12 until 3:00 am. Also last Wednesday.
I'm glad you've got the wireless as you get some of the news quicker. Will send
you a few papers soon.
Love to all from loving sister Alice.

Sarah Ann (Sallie) Bishop and her sister Alice Kuster at the Martyr's Memorial Cottages at Tolpuddle.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A New Year

And I suppose I should post some new content here as readers likely get tired of tuning in only to find the same week or two old postings and pictures. Fact is there is not much happening on the farm this time of year. Comparing notes and bragging rights to who has the coldest temperatures on the ag forums takes up some of the day. I usually get the dubious distinction of having the coldest weather with the exception of the occasional Alberta or Manitoba entry.
-32F temps are bearable but not something I want to spend a lot of time in. Nearly froze my nose riding the open tractor carrying a hay bale for the cattle the other day. Seriously though, sunshine and no wind makes even -20F not a bad day although my feet do eventually get down near the freezing point.
I have some more fascinating and scenic video of tractors carrying hay bales around in the great white north but can't upload it to youtube for another couple of days. Sask tel's "fair use policy" has throttled my internet back until my new billing cycle begins. That means uploading video becomes literally as slow as molasses in January (to use one of my dad's old favourite expressions).
Judging by the size of the woodpile in this late 1940s photo, my grandfather was prepared for a long cold winter.