THE KING'S CANDLESTICKS: Family Trees
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Dr Thomas Harrold FENN M.R.C.S. [1]
(1815-1870)
Maria ALSTON [2]
(1815-1871)
Dr Frederick Gilder JULIUS MD FRCS [50]
(1811-1886)
Ellen Hannah SMITH [49]
(1813-1869)
Dr Edward Liveing FENN M.D. [3]
(1843-1907)
Katharine Pauline JULIUS [10]
(1850-1886)

Rev Ernest Vanderzee FENN M A [37]
(1880-1956)

 

Family Links

Rev Ernest Vanderzee FENN M A [37]

  • Born: 20 Feb 1880, Richmond SRY
  • Baptised: 31 Mar 1880
  • Died: 22 Jan 1956, Timaru N.Z. at age 75
  • Buried: 1956, Timaru N.Z.

bullet   Cause of his death was a road accident.

picture

bullet  General Notes:


Van was baptised 31 Mar 1880, a Godfather F J Proctor gave the infant a bible to commemorate the occasion, now in the possession of the writer, ELF 2008. Van was educated at Temple Grove East Sheen, and Blundell's School, Tiverton, confirmed 15 Mar 1895, Noted for Distinction Blundell's Speech Day 1898 for "Blundell's Exhibition at Sydney Sussex College Cambridge" graduated M.A. Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, then Wells Theological College. Ordained Truro Cathedral 7 June 1903,
(29 May 1904?), Curate St Minver Cornwall 1903. Curate at Cuckfield W Sussex for 8 years from c1907, Vicar of Kirkby Liverpool for 12 years from 1915, Vicar of Lois Weedon Northhampton for 24 years from 1927.

Fenn Ernest Vanderzee: Late Exhib. SS Coll. Camb. BA (2nd class CL Trip.) 1901. MA 1906, Wells Th Coll 1902, d 1903, p 1904 Truro, C of St Minver Cornw. 1903-07, Cuckfiels 1907-15; Chap Cuckfield U. 1912-15; V of Kirkby 1915-27; Lois Weedon (w Plumpton from 1928), Dio. Pet. from 1927, (LP, KC, Cam. and Jesus Coll. Ox.; GL Val. L.7;Eccles. Comm. L.386; Fees L.2; c.o. L3; gross inc. L412, nett L399 and HO; Pop. 375. Lois Weedon Vicarage Towcester.
Crockford 1934.

Ernest Vanderzee Fenn. College: SIDNEY Entered: Michs. 1898 Born: 20 Feb 1880 More Information: Adm. pens. at SIDNEY, Oct. 1, 1898. S. of Edward Liveing, M.D., of Colchester. B. Feb. 20, 1880, at Richmond, Surrey. School, Blundell's, Tiverton (Mr Francis). Matric. Michs. 1898; Exhibitioner; B.A. 1901; M.A. 1906. Ord. deacon (Truro) 1903; priest, 1904; C. of St Minver, Cornwall, 1903-7. C. of Cuckfield, Sussex, 1907-15. Chaplain, Cuckfield Union, 1912-15. V. of Kirkby, Liverpool, 1915-27. V. of Lois-Weedon (with Plumpton from 1928), Northants., 1927-1950. (Crockford; Blundell's Sch. Reg.)
Alumni Cantabrigienses. Ancestry.

Van as a child suffered poliomyelites which left him with a withered left hand. His life was one of dedicated commitment, upon completing his education at Cambridge, his father, in a congratulatory letter, observed how hard Van had worked to achieve his results. He went on to a lifetime of service as a parish minister with the following quotes a sample of how he was regarded:
"Nobody could have served Cuckfield more faithfully and better than Mr Fenn had done"
"Parting with the Rev E.V. Fenn has caused very real sorrow throughout the parish. His earnest and devoted service endeared him to one and all, and many will remember his unselfish example and faithful ministry with appreciation and gratitude. The high esteem and affection which he won by his unfailing kindness to everyone, add warmth and sincerity to heartfelt good wishes for his future well-being".
"This parish has been enriched by the presence and quiet influence of the late E.V. Fenn . . . . . for his many helpful sermons . . . . . his quiet example of humble and sincere Christian faith, his complete unselfishness and his thoughtfulness for others".
"The news of the death of the Rev E.V. Fenn was received in the villages of Lois Weedon and Weston, with very profound sorrow"
Van's sermons were both scholarly and spiritual, he was a well-regarded preacher.

Ormskirk Advertiser
12 October 1915
The New Vicar of Kirkby.
Institution by the Lord Bishop of Liverpool.
A large number of the parishioners, in spite of the unfavourable weather, attended St Chad's Parish Church Kirkby to witness the institution of the new vicar, the Rev Ernest Vanderzee Fenn M.A., by the Lord Bishop of Liverpool, and his induction, by the Venerable Archdeacon Spooner, to the benefice. The Rev E Vanderzee Fenn has for the past 8 years been Curate of Cuckfield, Sussex and now succeeds the Rev R Lloyd Crawley Boevey who has resigned owing to failing health. The service was conducted by the Venerable Archdeacon Spooner, and opened with hymn "Our blessed Redeemer" . . . . .
After the institution ceremony, Archdeacon Spooner received at the hands of the Bishop the Mandate of Induction, and in company with the new incumbent and the churchwardens (Messrs G Glover and James Merser) proceeded to the main door of the church, where the Rev E Vanderzee Fenn was inducted "into the real, actual, and corporeal possession of the Church and Benefice of the New Parish of St Chad, Kirkby, in the Diocese of Liverpool, with all its fruits, members and appurtenances"
the closing him was "Through the night of doubt and sorrow" and whilst this was being sung a collection on behalf of the Diocesan ordination candidates exhibition fund was taken.

Van retired to live with his brother H L Fenn in N Z in 1951. His addition to the household helped considerably with financial matters, for, while not wealthy, Van enabled his brother to purchase newer cars, motor mowers to help with the big garden, etc. In 1955 he fell from his bicycle and died as a result of his injuries. Van did not marry, he was a very gentle, reserved, and scholarly man, who won great respect for his accepting and compassionate manner. Ref: Scrap Book 1 E L Fenn 1998.

Julius Jottings Jan 1902 No 6.
CAMBRIDGE LETTER.
Dear Mr. Editor,
I have known a man write a splendid article for a certain magazine, which he started on in happy ignorance of any subject, and though I cannot treat the Julius Jottings to any such brilliant performance, I feel my self in much the same position at the outset, not knowing whether to inform its readers of the doings of our branch of the family or describe my experiences in this University wherein I have the honour to reside.
As to the former, however, I have despaired of finding any beginning or ending (especially any beginning), so I must needs confine myself to Cambridge-worthy of a far better pen than mine - hoping there are some among the readers of the Jottings not intimately acquainted therewith.
I am writing this letter at the opening of the May term, the shortest but by far the most enjoyable of them all. I say short because men who want to "keep" a full term are only obliged to "keep "49 nights." Keeping "a night," by the way, means being in college between 12 midnight and 6 in the morning. On one occasion, a man decided to ride home on his bicycle; as it was summertime, he wanted to start very early, and so he left off at 4 o'clock; on arriving home, he found a telegram awaiting him, which requested his return to college, as he had not "kept" his full term by two hours.
I said just above that this was the most enjoyable term ; these joys, however, I should mention, are by no means experienced by the third year " honours " men, whose tripos is fast approaching (though I am sure they make up for it after it's all over). They will have been " up " some time before most men arrive, putting in some extra work, for the time is now short before the "dies nefasti." "Tripos," by the way, is said to be derived from the word "tripod" or three-legged stool, on which the examiner sat facing the unfortunate candidates. This was in the days of " viva voce " exams., happily no longer now in existence.
The "Trips," as they are called, all come off this term, but in good time to leave things clear for May Week. Much ignorance exists, I believe, amongst most people with regard to the, term "May," as used at the Varsity. It is indeed, in itself, very misleading, for I may say at once that none of the things coupled with the word "May" have anything to do with the month alluded to at all. College " Mays," for instance, are exams. held at the end of terms either in December, March, or June : "May week" itself is in the early part of June, and likewise also the May races, and so on. May week begins on June 5th this year, and lasts about 10 days ("week," then, is another misnomer).
The first 4 days are devoted to the boat races, the most important events. Cambridge is crowded with visitors, and everyone almost goes down to the races; heaps of parties row up from the boathouses and line the bank with their boats, while others throng the "paddock" at Ditton, which is situated about half-way down the course, where the "gallery" bumps take place. It is said that some of the spectators care as little for the actual racing as the lady- who remarked that Henley would be really delightful if it wasn't for those tiresome races. However that may be, everyone seems very interested when the eights pass, though I admit the most exciting time is the return journey for those on the river.
The Cam, not being widely celebrated for any capacious breadth, is soon crowded from side to side. Rowing is out of the question very often; boats are incessantly running you down, and if you don't keep a good look-out your rudder will be unhooked and your boat will go anywhere but the right way then - this is a very old joke. There is, however, seldom an "upset" in spite of all the "mush." I have only seen two canoes upside down with their former occupants in the water, but canoes are a bit risky on occasions like this. Well, the rest of May week is given up to college balls and concerts, etc., and then we come to more serious things.
Visitors begin to disappear, and the examiners get their turn : tripos lists are now appearing, which had almost been forgotten in the past week. Men very seldom go to hear their own list read out, but send deputies, who return to congratulate or condole as the case may be. "Degree" day follows closely, and the rather tedious performance is for a few minutes relieved by the presentation of the famous wooden spoon to the last man in the mathematical tripos. When this happy man advances to receive his degree, a huge wooden shovel (bearing no resemblance to a spoon) is dangled in front of him from the gallery; as soon as he can manage to get hold of it he cuts it off and bears it away in triumph as a B.A. On one occasion a certain Vice Chancellor tried to abolish this ceremony, and every man who went up to the galleries was searched by the proctors. When the time came, however, there was the "spoon" again as usual dangling in front of the Vice-Chancellor himself.
So this brings us to the end of the term, and is perhaps a fitting end to this attempt at a description of something of what one experiences at Cambridge.
E. V. FENN.

C.W.
Nov. 1908.
SOLE CHARGE or curacy desired after January by Priest, Grad., young, single, experienced. Comradeship with vicar essential. Not "appendage" to Vicar's wife. Gladly specialise in visiting and preaching. O.K. 436, Church Times Office.

NEW KIRKBY VICAR:
The Earl of Sefton, patron of the living of the parish of St. Chad, Kirkby, near Liverpool, has appointed the Rev. E. Vanderzee Fenn to succeed the present vicar, the Rev. R. Lloyd Crawley-Boevey, who will retire in August next.
The Rev. E. Vanderzee Fenn has for the past eight years been curate at Cuckfield, Haywards Heath, Sussex, where he has done excellent work. He is M.A. of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and was ordained in 1903 by the Bishop of Truro, when he was licenced to St. Minver, Cornwall.
Lord Sefton has presented the Rev. E. Fenn, curate ''of Cuckfield, to the vicarage of Kirkby, near Liverpool which is worth about L300 a year, with house.
The handsome church at Kirkby was rebuilt by the late Lord Sefton at a cost of L18,000. It contains a remarkable Roman font, highly decorated.
Our readers will be much interested to hear that the Rev. E. V. Fenn will be inducted to the living of Kirkby on October 12th, at 7 p.m. (1915)

1939 Register
Vicarage , Towcester R.D., Northamptonshire, England
Ernest V Fenn20 Feb 1880 single Clerk In Holy Orders
Mary Legg 07 Nov 1863 Housekeeper Widow

In 1951 Van travelled out to New Zealand on the Dominion Monarch to visit his brother and family, the following are extracts from the diary he kept off the voyage.
Friday, January 12: At Waterloo I meet G Burne who comes to bid me farewell, though he cannot stay to see the trains start. We leave about 2.30 . . . . . I have a babe in the carriage who requires a good deal of attention . . . . . its dark and wet when we reach Southampton and I joined the long line at the Custom Sheds. I am only asked one or two questions before my suitcases are chalked and I can proceed on board. I soon find my cabin 183, very nice and comfortable and after a cup of tea I unpacked and arrange things. . . . . . We leave eventually at 6.30, I receive six telegrams and some farewell letters before we start. At 7.30 a vast menu is put before me in the dining salon, but I can only manage some soup and a little fish. I spend the evening in the smoking room and go to bed early.
Saturday, January 13: Rather a sleepless night. The wind and noises on board and the motion of the vessel keeps me awake. When I got up about seven I feel very bad with the rolling of the ship. I attempt some breakfast, but I must confess I was grievously sick afterwards and feel very shaky all morning though I do get on the games deck for a walk and a blow about 11 o'clock. It is still blowing hard and we roll over way through the bay. I missed lunch and tea and spent most of the afternoon in my cabin lying down, but by evening I do feel sufficiently well to have some soup and fish for dinner. I have a pipe in the smoking room and get into conversation with an Australian from Queensland. To bed 9 p.m.
Sunday, January 14 I have a much better night . . . . . 7.45 to the smoking room where the other C of E person on board takes a celebration . . . . . seven present only one lady. It is not quite so rough today and I manage to eat some breakfast and keep it down . . . . . At 10:31 of the officers takes matins in the lounge it is well filled . . . . . today temp 59F distance 454 total distance 829 miles.
Monday 15 January: It is warm today and I enjoy sitting in the sun on deck . . . . . the swimming pool is filled this afternoon . . . . . I have written to Adria and . . . . . At night attended the cinema . . . . . not very interesting . . . . . temp 60F distance 479 total 1208.
Tuesday 16 January: Wake about 5:30 lights in my porthole . . . . . Las Palma is prettily situated among the hills . . . . . volcanic in appearance. We are at once bordered by a number of main selling elaborate tablecloths, dolls, jewellery etc . . . . . I'd go ashore and join a couple of young people in a taxi and we drive of to the town. . . . . come to the Cathedral taken to the top of the tower in a lift there is a good view of the town. The cathedral itself is not very impressive and the glass is poor. . . . . in the main shopping centre and port the roads are lined with palm trees and bright flowers and some lovely villas . . . . . sailed after lunch. . . . . temp 66F distance 311 total 1519
Wednesday 17 January: A brilliant cloudless day. . . . . I have quiet day with reading and sitting out on deck . . . . . kindly couple sitting at my table. . . . . temp 70F distance 443 total 1962.
Thursday 18 January:. . . . . cloudless sky . . . . . Mrs S at my table has influenza . . . . . many such cases on board . . . . . tonight is very hot . . . . . temp 73F distance 475 total 2437.
Friday 19 January: . . . . . passing the Doldrums . . . . . sea smooth . . . . . many flying fish . . . . . get into conversation with a Presbyterian minister . . . . . an interesting man . . . . . has done excavation work in Palestine and Egypt. . . . . I hear there was a death on board Sir H. Harley . . . . . at 3 p.m. the ship's slows down and the burial takes place. . . . . sports take place. . . . . cinema show North Island of New Zealand. . . . . temp 83F distance 471 total 2908
Saturday 20 January: . . . . . 6:22 the swimming pool where I enjoyed a nice bathe. . . . . crossed the line today Neptune's Court come aboard. . . . . men are shaved . . . . . women's haircut with immense wooden scissors . . . . . temp 79F distance 480 (a record) total 3388
Friday 26 January:. . . . . I look out of my porthole and see Table Mountain and the houses and lights of Cape Town. . . . . went ashore some shopping sent of postcards three of us take a car and have a drive round the coast . . . . . visit the Botanical Gardens, Rhodes Memorial, . . . . . lunch a fruit meal at the "Waldorf" . . . . . visit St George's Cathedral where a black verger is going round with a mop . . . . . leave for Freemantle temp 65F distance 335 total 5992.
Saturday 27 January: It is a stormy day but decks are wet with flying spray . . . . . by the evening I am sea sick again to bed early. Temp 59F distance 290 total 6290
Monday 29 January: Less stormy today and tho far from being quite fit I can take my meals and set on deck . . . . . it is rather chilly temp 56F distance 447 total 7182
Monday 5 February: Fine and warm got to my trunk in the baggage room and took out some clothing . . . . . assemble in the lounge to get the landing card and to pass the doctor . . . . . visited the kitchens. Temp 67F distance 471 total 10424
Tuesday 6 February: Fine and warm . . . . . 6:30 to the lounge for medical inspection before the ship can enter harbour . . . . . took a bus from Freemantle . . . . . into Perth to see something of the town . . . . . 1 p.m. to sea again . . . . . rough temp 71F distance 332 total 10756
Wednesday 7 February: Ash Wednesday . . . . . celebration at 7:45 (Communion) Allerton is rather absent-minded and leaves out the creed . . . . . ship rolling . . . . . temp 61F dist 417 total 11173
Saturday 10 February: . . . . . in Melbourne . . . . . Mary and Joan kindly come to meet the boat . . . . . take me around the city . . . . . we lunch together. . . . . they then come on board and see over the ship.

New Zealand Post Office telegram
9 July 1955
Reverent E. Fenn
Hospital Timaru.
Very sorry indeed to hear of your accident may you soon be more comfortable thinking of you.
Alwyn
Christchurch.

Rev E. V. Fenn
Served Church Over 50 Years
The Rev. E. V. Fenn, who died in Timaru yesterday, was a minister of the Anglican Church in England for many years before retiring and coming to live in Timaru. A few years ago he celebrated 50 years of ordination, and received many congratulatory messages from the parishioners he served so well at Home.
Mr Fenn, who was a bachelor, lived with his brother, Mr H. L. Fenn, at Gleniti. He was well known for his work at St. John's Church, Highfield, where he was ever ready to assist at services and for a period relieved as vicar.
In his quiet and efficient way Mr Fenn served the church faithfully and well for more than 50 years His work at St. John's will long be remembered.
Timaru Herald - Jan 1956.

Tributes Paid at Funeral of Rev E. V. Fenn
A tribute to a "great friend and a great priest of the church" was paid by the Rev. R. P. Andrews at the funeral of the Rev. E. V. Fenn held in St John's, Highfield, .yesterday. There was a large attendance of parishioners and friends of the late Mr Fenn.
"Mr Fenn was a man of real humility and sincerity," said Mr Andrews.
He mentioned that in the Sanctuary at St John's was a prie dieu which Mr Fenn had given the church to commemorate his 50 years in the ministry.
Mr Andrews also spoke of the great help given St John's by Mr Fenn during the last five years, particularly at the time the ministry was vacant, and when he, Mr Andrews, was without the services of an assistant curate.
During the service at the church the choir sang Psalm 23 and the hymn "Now Thank We All Our God."
Assisting Mr Andrews at the services at the church and at the graveside was the Rev. B. A. W. Beckett, and the clergy was represented by the Rev. Canon H. S. Hamilton, Waihao Downs, the Rev. L. E. Cartridge, of Waimate, and the Rev. G. S. Lamont, of St Mary's, Timaru. Two members of the clergy, the Rev. J. Thomas, of St Peter's, Kensington, and the Rev. A. A. Purchas, of Fairlie, were pallbearers.
Timaru Herald - Jan 1956

Memorial Service
To Rev. E. V. Fenn
Held at St. John's (Timaru NZ)
"Seek those things that are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God"
How true these words are of Ernest Vanderzee Fenn," said the vicar, the Rev. R. P. Andrews, at the memorial service to the Rev. E. V. Fenn held in St John's, Highfield, last night.
"When a man is ordained to the ministry he is called upon to make his main interest the things of God, the teaching and spiritual welfare of God's children; and to make his main study the Word of God. After 50 years, even when he had retired from active ministry, Mr Fenn never failed each day to read his Bible and to study it in the original texts of Greek and Latin; and also to say the daily offices of Matins and Evensong.
"His mind was indeed set upon the things above, and yet this interest in the Scriptures and in prayer went hand-in-hand with a lively interest in people and, especially, a desire to help whenever possible. Mr Fenn, who was a nephew of our late Archbishop Julius, took his M.A. degree at, Cambridge University and studied at Wells Theological College. After serving two curacies, he was vicar of Kirkby for 12 years and of Lois Weedon for 24 years.
"It was a happy day for this parish when, on his retirement, Mr Fenn came to visit the home of his brother at Gleniti and a happier day still when he found such a warm and happy welcome that he decided to stay. We have often had reason to be grateful for his ready and able assistance in this parish. For two months before I came to St. John's Mr Fenn conducted all the services; and during my first year, when we had no assistant curate, he gave invaluable help, enabling us to increase the services in the other centre's.
"I know that you appreciated, as I did, his sincere desire to be of assistance; and his helpful sermons which, while giving evidence of his careful Bible study, always contained a message to take away. But it is not only in this parish that Mr Fenn gave such willing and able help. In almost every parish in South Canterbury he took services, sometimes for several weeks at a time"
"But I think the two things for which most of us will remember Van Fenn are his simple and sincere humility and his thoughtfulness for others. His humility was rooted in his love of God and his consciousness of God's blessings. When he had completed 50 years in the ministry his first thought was, How can I in some tangible way express my thanks to God and we are proud to have in our, church his beautiful gift for this purpose"
"His thoughtfulness for others, often when he might so well have been thinking of himself, has been an example to all of us. We shall long remember his many acts of unselfish kindness, and remembering will help us to do the same.
"Here was a man who, at the call of God, set his affections on things above, and who found the love of God and the work of the ministry thrilling and satisfying.
"And so as we offer our sympathy to those from whose family circle, he will be sadly missed, we thank God for the wonderful example of his life and ministry; and also for the joyful knowledge that our loved ones do not die, but pass as it were through a doorway to a larger and brighter room.
"Of Ernest Vanderzee Fenn it, may well be said:
Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours' And for ourselves, this promise of St. Paul is true; if we will set our affections upon things above, then Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall we appear with Him in Glory".
Assisting Mr Andrews at the services at the church and at the graveside were the Rev B.A.W. Beckett, and the clergy was represented by the Rev Canon H. S. Hamilton, Waihao Downs, the Rev L. E. Cartridge of Waimate, and the Rev G. S. Lamont of St Mary's, Timaru. Two members of the clergy, the Rev Jim Thomas of St Peter's, Kensington, and the Rev A. A. Purchas, of Fairlie, were pallbearers, also Edward Elworthy, Hamilton Sinclair-Thomson, Dr Melville Brookfield, & Edward Fenn.
Timaru Herald - 1956

Catalogue of (Fenn) Family Memorabilia, Ref S/49 has a collection of three of Van's sermon notes.

bullet  Research Notes:


Later date of ordination from his diary and confirmed in a postcard to Van from his Aunt Isabella Cotes dated 17 Mar 1904.

From a collection of letters, from parishioners, kept by Van.
Dear Sir just a line to ask you kindly if you could posoble marry me and George next Wensday as he had the bands put up here as well and he cannot get the paper or else we're going to have the weeding Wensday next half past 9 but he say he cant get the paper Sir mother is so worried about it and we have written to our relations to come as he told us two and do not know what two do if you cannot do it Sir could you kindly have the bands called to Morrow Sunday both of this parish as he always here Sir mother is so worried Sir about me it hard for her to keep me at home so long A is now I've been at home And it so hard for her to bear Sir we should take a lot of her mind if you could marry us next Wensday he is coming to see you this morning Sir or could you come to see mother of this morning Sir she be home morning but out after dinner
From your truly E. Rowland

From a school friend.
Mortlake
Temple Grove
East Sheen
Friday. (1893)
My Dear Fenn,
I hope you like Tiverton. I know one of the chaps at home, his name is Spring. I hope you like him. We had our holidays the first month at a place near Midhurst. Everybody here misses you dreadfully, and the spirit has quite gone out of Bateman.
We went to Portsmouth and all went over the Royal Sovereign. There are lots of new chaps, another, Clarke, Drake, Gibbs and loads of others.
I'm afraid I must stop now.
Ever you're affectionately
R.S.

St John's School,
Leatherhead,
Surrey.
February 20th 07.
My dear Mr Fenn,
thank you very much for your kind letter, I hope you will settle down at Kuckfield soon and that you will eventually like the place. It was kind of you to say that you would never get a kinder vicar than father, and I quite believe it: we, on our part will never get a nicer curate, or anybody more unselfish than you. I hope you won't mind me saying this - and really every one of our family like you extremely and all felt like weeping when we heard you had to go - and I bet 2d Mary did.
St Minver is all very nice in its way but too quiet in the winter pour moi. I have given up smoking for Lent and a few other things too - I really don't smoke much. I bewail the fact that I am leaving this place at the end of term - I get a ripping time here and like no end. Father doesn't care for the church teaching here and another thing can't afford L.60 a year when he might be paying half that amount at Kings. Father doesn't think I do well here, because I have never brought back a prize - I might have perhaps if I was allowed to go in for sports. Any rate I shall try my hand at that next term at Kings - I shan't be stopped there. I expect you think me the black sheep of the family - and there you're right - Jack and Paul are much better and "gooder" than I ditto Mary. Jack and Paul are jolly good sorts and Mary too - although I often have rows with them. Well I will stop here.
With Love to you I am Yrs.
Affectionately Marc Antony B

bullet  Medical Notes:


Van contracted polio as a young man and suffered a withered left hand as a result. He called this paralysed hand "icy".

picture

bullet  Other Records

1. Census: England, 3 Apr 1881, 1 Portland Tce The Green Richmond SRY. Van is recorded as a son, aged 1yr, born Richmond SRY.

2. Census: England, 5 Apr 1891, 1 Portland Tce The Green Richmond SRY. Van is recorded as a son aged 11 born Richmond SRY

3. Census: England, 31 Mar 1901, Wentworth Hse The Green Richmond SRY. Van is described as a visitor single aged 21 an undergraduate stu born Richmond SRY



4. Van as Young Man: Images of Van, note his withered hand from polio, and his Cambridge Study, Youth, Richmond SRY, Colchester ESS, Cambridge CAM.



5. Van's Childhood Letters: With undated letter from his Nanny, c1885, 27 Feb 1889. Dear Harry
I wish you many happy returns of the day we went to the boat race Oxford won I wish you were Cambridge I will keep your present till Easter which is not far off.
From your loving brother
Vandy Fenn turn over
PS Nanny Baa all send their love and Baa sends 1000 kisses excuse the writing I am in a hurry.
c1885
Small notepaper has a cat's head on it.

Feb 27, 1889
Dear Harry
I thank you very much for the nice letter you sent me. I liked it very much. I had about six presents. Auntie Polly gave me a very large box of bricks, Miss Quirke, a game of snap, I went to William Whiteley's on Thursday with Auntie Polly I went to tea with Aunt Isabella on Friday. Mrs Duncan gave us a very nice mail cart Cyril can pull me. Cyril and King Baa and Nanny Goat send their love and 10 kisses.
From your loving brother
Vandy Fenn

The following is a letter to Van at school from his Nanny :
Dear Vandy
I am sending your flannel shirts you will find them so nice and warm when the cold weather comes. I am so glad dear to hear that you like your school, dear Baa and I are often talk of you we shall be pleased to to see you when you come home is not the time passing quickly. I had such a nice letter from Hawa* on Monday he told me he was writing to you, Baa does lessons with me every day he has begun to make letters he does a 7 b, he is so pleased he can make b's. He sends you his love and a big kiss.
With love to you
From
Nanny Goat
*Harold Fenn his brother




6. Van's Schoolboy Letters, 23 Feb 1890, 4 May 1890, 27 Mar 1891. February 23, 1890
Dear Harry,
Thank you very much for the letter you sent me. On my birthday father gave me a little clock like yours. One night Tip ran away from Nelly and came back at two in the morning. I had lots of presents Nanny gave me a purse auntie Polly a very nice game called Halma, Cyril a railway game and Dolly plant. In the afternoon we went to the Covent Garden Circus it was very nice there was a lion on a horse. There was some very funny clown's there.
With love from all especially the Emperor Baa.
From your loving brother
Vandy Fenn
PS I am sorry for plotting paper broke. Turn over
The back page has a childish sketch named Nanny.

Temple Grove
May 4, 1890
Dear Aunt Polly
I am removed to the fifth class the work is not hard did Harry and Charlie go off alright. Shall I write to you next week or shall I write to Nanny Goat I hope Cyril will like his school he will just be able to hear my letter I have not much to say we have begun cricket it is very nice Carpenter is the name of Mrs Oven's boy he lives next door but one he is rather nice there are a lot of new boyes this term will you ask father if he knows a boy called Wade he is at Wedderlie. I have no more to say and give my love to father Cyril Baa and Nanny. From your loving boy
E. V. Fenn
PS I hope Tip is quite well and thank Cyril for his letter.

March 27th 1891
Dear Harry
I wish you many happy returns of the day. I am sorry I have not written to you this term. I came home on Tuesday for the holidays and go back on the 22nd of April. Father is better today he has a nurse who sits up at night and goes to bed in the day. We went to tea with Miss Quirke on Tuesday evening. Cyril and me are getting up and act for you and Charlie called "Scenes from Ivanhoe". I cannot give you a present now but I will in the holidays. Cyril breaks up on the 26th and has 10 days holiday. On my birthday Father gave me a stamp album aunt Isabella a book of Ivanhoe Miss Quirke a birthday book. From your loving brother.
Ernest V Fenn



7. Van Education At Blundell's School, 1893 1898, Tiverton DEV.



8. Blundells School Calendar: Christmas Term, 1893.



9. Van the Poet: To His New Sister Adria, Death of Their Dog Tip, 1895. Ode To the New Baby And the Fenn Family.
1. It was an autumn evening,
And the sun had sunk to rest
When the event took place, which I
Will tell at thy behest
2. At Colchester a famous town
Near England's eastern shore
There dwelt a family of Fenns
Famous in time of yore
3. The father was a doctor grand
He'd six sons (one a baby)
But now instead of any boys
He wanted a young lady
4. Well on this night the story goes
The wish was brought to pass
A little baby girl was born
A fat and charming lass
5. And soon the joyful news was spread
Through England high and low
To Stubbington and Tiverton
To London and Veytaux
6. For of these Fenn's the eldest was
A student up in town
Who worked all day and slept all night
And wore a cap and gown
7. The second son was far away
In Switzerland's fair land
He had a tutor and was trained
For engineering grand
8. The third and fourth in distant parts
Were being taught at school
The fifth son still remained at home
Under a lady's rule
9. The sixth was not yet two years old
And could not speak one word
The seventh was the baby
Of whom you all have heard
10. Yes we seven now in all
As happy as can be
Six manly boys and now at last
A gentle little she
E. V. F.
c1895

Ode To Sir Thomas Tiptree Esq
of Grey Friars Colchester
by Ernest V. Fenn Esq
of Blundell's School Tiverton.
Ode To What Dog
Why Tipy! our Tipy!
1. Who is lying in the playroom
With his nose upon his paw
Staring straight into the fire
Wishing now for nothing more
2. Why t'is Tip that dog of beauty
Who is lying on the rug
He's a slender made for service
Not a fat and ugly Pug
3. When his master standing near him
Throws a pebble or a stick
With a bark and with a scamper
He is off and running quick
4. He has now six noble masters
And a little mistress fair
Yes the Echo answers gently
She was only born the year
5. Yes his master's love him dearly
And they give him names so rum
As Chameleon oh how leafley
Comey, Yoney, Will he hum
6. When the holidays are over
And the cab is at the door
How he cries and moans unhappy
Gently lifting up one paw
7. But the day that brings his master's
Home to see his face again
Makes him happy makes him joyful
Takes away his grief and pain
8. Now I send my ode to Tiptree
Please except it read it see
Whether it is written worthy
Of a person like to me.
E. V. F.
November 1895.
(In verse 2 last line the editor sends his apologies to Miss Haddon)

In Memory
of
Sir Thomas Tiptree
"The Well Welly One"
June 1889 - November 15th 1901.

Epitaph
Die canis ossa iacent nobis constantis amici
Dog bones lie our steadfast friend?
Duem longe comitem nos themi hisse iuvet
?
Here lyeth one, who to the end
Was ever true and constant friend
He lived to good old age, and we
Take pleasure in his memory
EVF



10. Van's Sundry Papers: Baptism/Confirmation, School Reports and Ordination details. Blundell's School,
Tiverton
November 26 (97?)
Mr Ernest Vanderzee Fenn has been a pupil at the school for the last four years. During this time he has been a very good character.
A L. Francis M. A.
Headmaster



11. Van Sundry Papers: Post Cards and Play on Names of Dicken's Books. E. J. Fenn Esq.
School House
Woodbridge
Suffolk
Oxford May 19, (1900)
Here am I in Oxford for a two days holiday. Enjoying things immensely. Return to college tonight in time to see the Cambridge "rag" tonight in honour of the Relief of Mafeking.
E. V. F.
Postcard embossed Oxford Union Society.

The Works of Charles Dickens
undated.
Oliver Twist who had seen some very Hard Times in The Battle of Life had been saved from The Wreck of the Golden Mary by Our Mutual Friend. Nicholas Nickleby had just finished reading A Tale of Two Cities to Martin Chuzzlewit while The Cricket on the Hearth was chirping merrily. The Chimes from the adjacent church were distinctly heard, when Seven Poor Travellers commenced singing A Christmas Carol. Barnaby Rudge then arrived from The Old Curiosity Shop with some Pictures from Italy and Sketches by Boz to show Little Dorrit who was busy sorting The Pickwick Papers. David Copperfield who had been taking American Notes then entered and informed the company that The Great Expectations of Dombey and Son respecting Mrs Lirriper's Legacy had not been realised. He also told them that he had been watching Boots at The Holly Tree inn taking Somebody's Luggage from Mugly Junction to Mrs Lirriper's Lodgings in a street that has No Thoroughfare opposite Bleak House where The Haunted Man had given one of Dr Marigold's Prescriptions to aid The Commercial Traveller who was brooding over The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Postcard addressed
Harold L. Fenn
Holme Station
Pareora
Timaru
New Zealand
Dated November 14 07
This parcel comes I fear too late for Christmas: but it will do for a New Year's gift. I suppose you still smoke, and so after wondering what to buy I decided on a pipe. Tell me some time whether you can get nice tobacco etc. I am hoping to see Bertha and Ada one day soon, but the date of their arrival at Brighton is not yet settled. They are now a Nayland.
EVF
Cuckfield
Thursday the 14th of November 1907.



12. Van's Letters: To His Brother Harry in NZ, 27 Mar 1906, 6 Nov 1906, 6 Nov 1907, St Minver Cornwall. (Begun) 27th March 1906
St Minver Wadebridge.
My dear Harry
I have just had a letter from Father telling me of your departure and how Charlie, Cyril and Edgar were down at Tilbury with you. I had intended to send you a wire, but did not find out the time of your departure etc, so I hastily wrote a note and send it to Streatham via Charlie - I hope you got it. Then on studying the papers I see that the Tongariro spent half a day at Plymouth. Would that I had known it beforehand for I should certainly have come up to see you. However it is too late and it is no use crying over lost opportunities. Then, Henry my boy I ought to have sent you a birthday and a parting present, but I put it off till too late: and parcels cost a lot, I suppose, to NZ. Never mind I must make you a present of all I say. Well, by the time you get this I suppose you will be in the Episcopal residence, for I want to send this off by this week's mail. I am thinking about you now in this bitter weather, he with such strong E winds and am wondering what sort of a passage you are having through the famous Bay of Biscay, and what sort of a travelling companion Mr Morris turns out to be. I hope you are going through the voyage without seasickness. Several people have spoken about you here; indeed your visit caused quite a little excitement in the parish. Here I must bring the first instalment of my letter to an end. I still grieve over the fact that I let you go away without sending you a farewell gift. I am sorry brother.
March 28th
Many happy returns of the day. Your birthday here is a brilliant sun shining day, but it still blows hard and cold from the NE I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of your bicycle, I dare say it will arrive before the end of the week, otherwise I shall write and hurry Paull up a little. We had an exciting incident at one of the farms last week. A young fellow went off his head suddenly and attacked his aunt, sister and brother: they tried to keep him in a room while the aunt ran to help, but he smashed the door and pursued the old lady knocking her down with an axe: but his brother and sister then tackled him and managed to hold him, in spite of bites and kicks, until help came. We are all very thankful it was not much worse for he might have killed all three had it happened at night. The old aunt is recovering fast. By the way the Sunday you were at St Minver vicarage you met her sister, Miss Tummon, (pronounced Tumon) after service, when she had come in for her magazines.
March 30th
Here there is a delay of two days, and certainly this letter will not go till next week's mail now. We have got a beautiful day today reminding me of the weather we had while you were staying with me. It really was providential having such grand weather those few days. I am sure we have not had anything like it since, nor for many weeks before you came. I shall long remember our trip to Trevose lighthouse, and to Pentire etc, and our Sunday together. I had a letter from Dolly the other day urging me to offer for a curacy in Richmond as Mr Binny is still advertising for another priest: but I am sure Richmond would not suit me. I know too many people! I suppose you managed to pay all your farewell visits, but you must have had a rush at the last. We are getting near Easter now and our practising our anthem, Wesley's "Blessed be God". I hope choir and organist do not break down. We hope to have the "choral" concert on April 25 when we perform our "oratorio" and we only have one or two more practises left for that. I went over to St Kew last week to preach on a Wednesday evening. It was a somewhat gloomy service, and the organ blower added to the strangeness of the proceedings by letting the wind out and producing that weird noises which Edgar used to call a goat's noise? or something of that kind, when you had your All Saints recitals. In my sermon I suddenly perceived the book rest in the pulpit vanishing below and could do nothing to arrest its downward progress. However it did not put me out at all and I let it go down as far as it liked. It's getting on for 2.30 so I must be off to do some visiting and continue this epistle another time.
April 2nd
Another two days interval. Yesterday being Sunday I had no time for writing nor yet on Saturday. Your bicycle has arrived quite safely and in good condition. It came out by the bus on Friday and I unpacked it at once and rode up to Churchtown that evening for choir practice on my new treasure. It is nice after my old fixed wheel and chain cracking bike. I feel that you did not make me give you enough for it. Thank you muchly for letting me have it. I was wondering yesterday what sort of a Sunday you had, whether there was any clergyman on board or any attempt made to have a Sunday service. The weather has improved a little now, and we had a beautiful evening yesterday. I was preaching at St Minver evensong and had a nice congregation to talk to. This morning I had a long letter from Aunt Isabella, with an account of Harold Hand's death. I had heard nothing of it, save a bare mention of the fact from a letter of Dolly's, so I was glad to hear about it. Aunt Annie seems dreadfully upset; altogether it was so sudden and unexpected. Edgar paid Aunt I a visit, he was stopping with Charlie apparently, for the sports. Cambridge had an easy beating, seven events to three and probably will be defeated in the boat race also this year. I shall miss your telegram, which for two years has brought the news to St Minver so speedily, but if Edgar goes up I must make him wire. It seems odd to think that when you get this letter, the race will have been over for about six weeks! I wonder if news such as the Oxford Cambridge race gets out speedily to NZ. I have not heard anything of Polly Julius (as she was) though I suppose she must be in England now. You must give my love to all at Bishops Court Uncle Churchill, Aunt Alice, Ada and Bertha, but I do not think I have ever set eyes on Ada and certainly I have not seen Bertha (so tall!). Here comes dinner I must go on another time.
April 4th
I am going to finish off this epistle today so that you may get it by the time you reach NZ or soon after. I had Paull's bill today, very moderate charges considering all he did in the way of cleaning, overhauling etc: also a letter from old Mrs Smith of Richmond. She had heard from Father of your departure and wished me when I wrote to you to tell you that she sends every good wish for your future prosperity. She went back to reminiscences of Fonnnereau House??, etc. I always connect Mrs S. with invitations to drink tea with her, to meet Rosy, and to sit in her pew!. Edgar has sent me a long account of the Varsity sports. A Keble man won the 3 miles much to Edgar's satisfaction. I shall never forget the sports day when Dolly was with us, and we fought for a cup of tea afterwards and were charged ruinous prices. The betting on the Varsity Boat Race has veered round to Cambridge now but they are fully trained and in danger of overtraining. However we are looking forward to a good struggle on Saturday. When you are in Christchurch seek out a good worthy man by name Rogers incumbent St Albans Church, I fancy; Uncle Churchill will know him. He comes from these parts; knows Mrs Hereford and would be very interested to see you and hear about your visit to St Minver and your meeting with Mrs H. I am hoping this letter will not be more than 21/2oz for I am sending it for a penny and don't want to begin by overcharging you. Whenever you get a spare moment to write, your letters will now be exceedingly welcome. You had better right general epistles home which Father can send round the family.
Goodbye, and please give my love to everybody at Bishops Court. This is a very disjointed letter, I am afraid, and full of nothing in particular. Edgar said, by the way, that he never saw Charlie give you any note from me so I am afraid you'd never got my farewell message. I am sorry. Here I must end up wishing you speed his success in picking up a job and every happiness in your abode the other side of the globe.
I remain
Ever your affectionate brother
E. Vanderzee Fenn.

St Minver
Wadebridge
November 6, 1906
My dear Harry
After a careful study of the calendar I conclude that a letter dispatched this week will reach you just before the 25th of next month: so I am now writing to wish you a very happy Christmas, and this letter is my Christmas card! I suppose you will hardly be dining off roast turkey and hot plum pudding or mince pies, in the middle of summer, but that your Christmas fare will correspond to the season of the year; perhaps including ices amoungst other cold collations. Anyhow I do hope you will enjoy your Christmas Day, though I suppose there will be no hope of your getting to Timaru for a celebration or an ordinary service with the good old Christmas hymns. I had hoped to secure a short holiday at that time between my departure from St Minver and my settling down to work in my new parish so as to have one more Christmas Day at home, a function I have missed now for three years, but I decided to stay on here and help my vicar through the day as at present he has not succeeded in getting anyone to fill my place. I shall probably be leaving here on or about January 2nd or by the following Sunday, the Epiphany Festival, I shall be starting work at Cuckfield. That is the name of the parish to which, according to present arrangements, I am going next year. Perhaps Father in his fortnightly epistles has given you some account of my recent doings, however at the risk of a repetition I will tell you something of Cuckfield and my visit there last month. First let me tell you before I went up to Cuckfield I had visits from Cyril and Edgar. Cyril only for a few days; but Edgar stayed a fortnight he came just in time for our harvest festival, which I think he much enjoyed with the red coat band and the big tea and the bright services - wopee. Evensong when the vicar's brother, organist of All Saints Clifton and a Mus.Bac. of Oxford played the organ.
I told Edgar to be sure and come in time for this Wednesday, for there was to be a Mus Bac playing the organ, "whose head stuck out fearfully". He also gave a recital in the afternoon. Edgar told me about Arthur Hansell's and Polly's visit to Alston Court and how he used to try and enliven the conversation of an evening by introducing some tit bits gleaned from the columns of the East Anglian. "The King's Arrival at Dover", "Brutal Murder at Diss", etc etc but his remarks usually fell rather flat. The last expression "Brutal Murder at Diss" has now become quite a proverb in the family, at least amongst ourselves. But I am wandering - Edgar also enjoyed some good walks with me. I took him over to Padstow etc: and a Mr Campbell of Rock gave him a sail in his yacht one afternoon. Edgar proved to be an excellent sailor. At other times he seemed to amuse himself chiefly with an old Cambridge calendar in my room and before he left me he had compiled a marvellous collection of statistics e.g. the number of Trinity men who gained a first classes in mathematics since the first Tripos lists were printed. I used to see him running his eye and his pencil down the pages and counting with evident keenness and joy. Soon after Edgar left me I went up to Cuckfield to pay the vicar at visit and decide about going there. I travelled up by night, and arrived at Paddington adds 6.40 on a Tuesday morning. Following your example, on an historic occasion. I then went down to Wentworth House for breakfast: just met Gerald, as he was crossing the Little Green and also saw Grace, Algernon, and Mabel: the others were away from home. I had several hours to spend in Richmond but unfortunately Dolly and Aunt I were staying at Norwood: however I visit the parish church and saw the new chancel for the first time, and I also saw old Mrs Smith (who enquired affectionately after Harry), Mrs Knott and the Quirks! I fear I missed the Bridge House family, but Linnie talked so long that I had no time left in the afternoon. I went on to Clapham Junction about 4 p.m. and from there to Haywards Heath (L.B. & S.C.R.) in Sussex, which is the station for Cuckfield, 2 miles distant. It is an old-fashioned country town with a population of some 3000 (rather less) and very nice church holding about 600 people: there are also two mission churches. The vicar, Canon Cooper, received me at the vicarage as his guest, for two nights. I attended two or three services on the Wednesday and Thursday morning and Smith the present Assistant Curate showed me a good part of the parish and also The Clergy House, where he and I are to live together. Eight comfortable abode with a bedroom and sitting room apiece, and a common dining room with a good library in it, also a bathroom, and a nice little oratory. On the Thursday morning I departed and made my way to Streatham Hill Station and thence to what we call "The Streatham Hotel" (5A Streatham Place)! I arrived by lunchtime, and subsequently Charlie and I by means of tram and the Bakerloo Tube made our way to Regents Park and spent a pleasant and profitable time in the zoo. We saw as much as we could in an hour and a half, for they close the place at sunset and we did not get there till nearly 4. I was lucky to catch Charlie for the full day he had arranged to go down to Nayland for the remaining week of his month's holiday. So next morning we went out to the city together and he saw me off at Waterloo, before going on to Liverpool St himself. So I am back here again for two months more before the sad day of bidding farewell to St Minver.
I see that the big exhibition at Christchurch is just open; and I hope you may have an opportunity of going to see it. Sorry to hear that Ada has been so poorly, trust all is well with her again now. Also I hope you are not having any more asthma NZ or not to give it to you with its grand climate. I suppose you can gaze across the noble peak of Mount Oteaka to the south, or the grand range of Hunters Hills! You see I have studied your surroundings on the map. It was strange you should have come across Mr Rogers at Christchurch. I will tell Mrs Hereford when next I see her, she has been away for some months but is expected today, I say is expected but it is now 11:15 p.m. so I hope she has arrived.
I am hastening on with this epistle lest I should not have time to finish off tomorrow. For Wednesday is a busy day with me, as I have an address to prepare for a midweek service. Tomorrow evening the ringers have a supper at the vicarage and I hope to be up there in time to join in the sing song afterwards. It is a bit of a function as one is expected to sing a song with no accompaniment. I sang "Hearts of Oak" last year. They want something with a chorus. We have started out Choral Society practises for the season. We are learning Ebenezer Prouts cantata "Alfred" somewhat difficult but good music. Last night (5th) we had a good time with bonfire and fireworks: for St Minver still keeps up the old Festival. The fireworks were meagre certainly, and somewhat remind me of a marvellous Greyfriars displays. Do you recollect the rocket that actually went up over the evergreen oak! And the Catherine wheels would not spin.
Well Henry, I must bid you farewell, and depart to bed. Again a Merry Christmas to you and a happy and prosperous New Year, and many of'em.
My love to Ella and any of our folk you may see from time to time.
With love and many good wishes.
I remain
Your affectionate brother
E. Vanderzee Fenn.

The Clergy House
Cuckfield Sussex
November 6, 1907.
My dear Harry,
Herewith to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. I hope I this time boils, blains and blisters are at an end and that you are quite well. I was down in Brighton yesterday to see Aunt Ada and Uncle Henry who are back once again in Devonshire Place for the winter. Uncle H. seems much better, we all had a walk along the front and plea and a chat and then I had to catch a train to get back by 7.00. I hope to go again in a fortnight's time when Ada and Bertha will be spending a few days with them. I shall be glad of an opportunity of seeing the two Julius cousins before they return to NZ next January. Charlie met them in London when they were nursing at St Bart's: and heartily sick of this work did they get there for the three months were out. I believe they are now down at Nayland. I am glad to hear that Father is fairly well now and will therefore be able to enjoy their visit better. He seems to have improved rather since the attack he had at the beginning of August when I was home. If only he could feel quite sure of not having any more of these kind of fits I think he would wish to be doing a good deal more than he now attempts.
I am hoping that this letter will reach you in good time for Christmas. Aunt A. said yesterday that the mail this week would be soon enough for NZ letters. I suppose you still approve of the Weekly Daily Mail etc I arranged to send last November: this year Charlie tells me he wishes to make you a Christmas present of another year's issue of this paper. I hope it gets to you in good time, please write and complain if it is forgotten or irregular or if there be any faults to find.
It is getting chilly now and we are glad of fires all day: just when you are beginning to revel in summer weather. I have just had an afternoon visiting, having to go to a distant cottage to baptise a poor three weeks old infant bad with whooping cough, amoungst other visits. I find your bicycle still a good friend and most useful here.
(Later) I had to stop here for Evensong and then I have had a singing lesson with the organist and now it is getting late but I must write a bit more, for this letter must be posted midday tomorrow. I have just started a course of lessons with a Attewell our organist. He teaches very nicely and I hope to develop my voice a bit under his tuition, of course this will be most useful to me as I have to a good bit of singing. I have joined the Cuckfield Musical Society this season and we have begun to learn the Messiah!. Last night we were doing the Amen Chorus and Worthy is the Lamb. It is grand music, but I find it difficult to read at first and I listen a good deal to the other basses.
I am sorry to say that Smith, my fellow curate is leaving the parish next Saturday. So far this place is not filled and I am fearing that I shall have to live alone for a time. Not a pleasant outlook. We have got on well together. Meantime I have taken over the housekeeping work so as to get used to it. The vicar as you know perhaps is getting an old man (he is now 76) so it will be hard to be alone in the parish with him. Well I must stop now as it is nearly 11.00 and finish tomorrow. Thursday is my school day. I take to standards of boys at 9.00 and 2 of girls at 11.30. I am getting to like teaching in school although it is difficult and the classes are big, I have had nearly 50 at the time.
November 7th
I have finished my schoolwork and since 12.00 have been up at the Drill Hall watching the boys shooting at the miniature range. A sergeant comes up every Monday and Thursday and trains them in shooting, some are doing very well. They are chiefly small boys of ages ranging from 10 to 15 or so: and it is a great thing for them to learn to shoot early.
I suppose you have heard that Dick has gone out to Canada. I had from Lucy and a few weeks ago and she told me he had arrived at the end of his sea voyage, but I have not yet heard whether he has happily settled to his new work. I am told that he is to act as tutor to two small boys whose father owns a ranch in the wilds of British Columbia.
You remember my friend Hobday I expect. He has again been laid up and is coming down tomorrow from his London parish to spend a few days with us here, to see if country a will set him up again. I have heard rumours about Cyril being on leave lately but have not written to him for some time. However I learned from Father that Miss Dorothy Denham (the great "Dosy" of whom you have doubtless heard much) has been staying with the Dudgeons's. She very often managers to get her Nayland visits arranged to suit Cyril's "leaves" curiously enough. When I have been at home with Cyril and Dosy is staying in the village, I find that hardly a day passes but what Cyril is dining or having tea or calling at "Stourbank" or else he goes for a walk along that particular road in hopes of meeting her! In fact he is much smitten. Personally I do not think any of us are struck with this fair lady. When Charlie was acting last summer in Nayland she had to fall into his arms etc Cyril was not at home then.
Well Henrico, I hope you will have a nice Christmas and plenty of good cheer one way or another Aunt A wanted me to partake of a Christmas dinner in Brighton, but it will (be) such a busy day for me that I should be unable to get away.
I hope you are well now - no boils, no asthma.
With my love and all good wishes
Your affectionate brother
E. Vanderzee Fenn
Perchance a later mail may bring somewhat. . . . .



13. Van's Letters: To Edward G P Fenn 1918, Margot Fenn in NZ, and from Bishop of Oxford, 26 Aug 1918, 4 Feb 1940, 17 Aug 1942. Kirkby Vicarage
August 26, 1918.
My dear Robert,
It has occurred to me that I shall be very late in sending you my good wishes for your birthday next Monday (2 Sept), as I fear these lines of greeting will not reach you until long after the happy event is celebrated. However late though it be I send a hearty message of all good wishes. You will be spending your birthday under very different conditions from those of 1917 when you were honouring me with your company, and giving me a very pleasant weekend. No one of the family has since been able to get so far as Kirkby, Edgar doubted whether he would get a holiday at all, but since his rector, Cohen, has been away, perhaps he will feel it duty-bound to give his . . . . . curate a brief period of leisure.
We have just had a week of glorious weather (August 18 - 24) but yesterday, Sunday, it poured with rain and harvesting has been hindered today. The crops are excellent and if good weather can be relied upon the yield should be well above the average and make is still more independent of the boat ravages.
The Germans are getting it hot just now, and by the time you get this I hope they will be back to the old Hindenburg line - or even further towards the Rhine. Can you get books in Egypt? If not I should like to send you a book called "The Loom of Youth" written by a youth of 17 it is said, one Alec Waugh and purporting to be a true and genuine account of public school life at Sherborne. Though the school is, by way of camouflage, spoken of as being in Derbyshire. However the ball is journey to and from Waterloo! which no one in Derbyshire would be capable of doing. When you next write tell me if you have read it and if so is it a base libel on Sherborne and its masters? The language is not camouflaged.
I had a visit from my old college tutor G. M. Edwards of Sidney, at the beginning of August. He is staying in Chester and came over for a few hours. It was nice to have a chat of old Cambridge days.
Well my brother I trust you are "in the pink" as it leaves me a present.
All good wishes
Your affectionate brother
E. Vanderzee Fenn.
PS I will send you the Loom of Youth if you like to have it. It is not a book to be recommended for the drawingroom.
Robert was killed in Palestine on the 18th Sept 1918

Lois Weedon Vicarage
Towcester
4 February 1940
My dear Margot
I must send you a message of my good wishes, now that I hear that you have become my sister-in-law. I had just written to Harry last week when a letter date November 14! arrived from him telling me about the wedding. It took 11 weeks to reach me, so I do not know when you will get this message from me for some I am glad to hear that you had such a kindly welcome, when you got home to Grange Hill: and I hope you will find some hospitable and friendly neighbours. I often think how fortunate it was that I happened to be on holiday and staying at Richmond that night when you came to supper at Queens Road. I did get an opportunity of meeting new before your return, and the wedding. Edgar is the only unfortunate member of the family, for he never had a chance of seeing you.
I have just finished my Sunday duties and as we have afternoon service during the blackout rules, I get more time in the evening for letter writing. We shall get back to summertime on the 25th Feb and soon after that Sunday, we shall be able to start on evening services again. The weather today has kept many from church, as it did last Sunday, when the snow fall was so heavy: but today it has been thawing and the roads have become deep in water and slush. All the downpipes at the church were frozen up and we have had water coming from the roof as the snow melted making a horrid mess in the church. It has been so bitterly cold that we are glad to have a higher temperature again, and a warmer wind. I hope that you are getting some nice summer weather. You went back to NZ at the right time so as to have two summers together. You will probably have the family news from Charlie. I had a letter from Adria recently, only to say that they were all well at Queens Road. Meantime my love to Harry and yourself and my good wishes to you both.
Yours affectionately
E. Vanderzee Fenn.

From the Bishop of Oxford
88 St Aldate's
Oxford (Tel 47319)
17 viii . 42
My dear Mr Fenn
I must send you a few words to tell you how distressed I am at your brother's death, and how deeply I sympathise with you. In 1936 I took duty for Mr Taylor at Hanslope during the summer and saw a great deal of your brother. His quiet, gentle charm and genuine devotion to our Lord shone out in everything that he said and did, and it was easy to to be the great hold which he had upon the people of Castlethorpe. It will be long before his frequent memory is forgotten; and I shall always think of him as one of the most faithful of our Lord's disciples whom I have met. Your loss must be a very great one, but I venture once more to assure you of my most genuine sympathy.
Sincerely yours
Kenneth Oxon.
Please do not trouble to answer this.




14. Van's Letters: War Time Letters to Harry & Margot in NZ, 26 Jul 1942, 9 Dec 1942, 3 Jan 1943, Lois Weedon NTH. Lois Weedon
Towcester
26 July 1942.
My dear Harry
I was in Northampton yesterday to meet Adria who came over from Cheltenham for tonight's so as to see something of Edgar. She has just had a letter from Margot, and I was interested to hear news of you all, and to see another photograph of my godson, and note how he is growing up into a fine little chap. Edgar is still in Northampton, but he is moved on now to the Dallington Convalescent Home, and he is making such progress, that he can walk by himself with the aid of one crutch. The matron thinks he will be discharged this week. As his accident happened on April 17 he will be glad to get out of hospital after 15 weeks. He may come here to me for a time but we have settled nothing yet. Adria seemed well, and likes her office work. She could only come for two nights, and she put up at a Northampton hotel and will be returning today. I had a brief holiday last month, staying at Cumberland House Hotel in Earls Court Square from a Monday to Thursday. I was in Richmond each day. On Tuesday, I had tea and dinner with Mabel and Adria, and that they talked to me about Grace's last days. She did not have a long illness and died very peacefully. Enid came to stay and to help them out, and Stacey, the solicitor, was at the funeral and helped in other ways. I also called on the Bateman's who had not long before lost Jessie, the first of the six sisters to die. Dolly is the great invalid now, and Lucy the eldest looks well and young for her years. One evening I went to Lawn Crescent Kew and had an evening with Nancy. She got home early that evening but the night before she had been working in the hayfield till nearly 11 p.m. and had to rush home on her bicycle through Richmond, as she had no lamp, and only just managed to get home before lighting up time. She has a bed sitting room on the ground floor, with a window opening into the garden, and she goes out that way in the early hours of the morning, when she goes to work. There was a harp in the room, and she can still keep up her music when occasion offers. But I think she spends much of her spare time with Mrs Shuttleworth. I had one morning at Hampton Court. The galleries were deprived of all the best pictures, and the tapestry had also been removed to a place of safety, but the gardens where as beautiful as war time permits, and I enjoyed and alfresco lunch by the pond. As I was leaving I heard some merry laughter from the maze, which still attracts and amuses as it did when we were boys. I was interested to see in Adria's letter from Margot, that a letter of mine took some six months to reach you, and sent by air mail too! However it did arrive eventually. I think I shall send by ordinary mail in future. I heard of Dolly recently through a letter to Edgar, she is living in Bournemouth again, as Cheltenham gives her rheumatism and, at the time of writing, was going on a visit to Muriel Julius who has a house at Petersham. So she may see something of Nancy who bicycles through P every day to and from her work. Our flower show this year is September 5 C. H. Middleton will be with us as show superintendent, but I do not suppose we shall have the privilege of a show broadcast. The BBC will probably seek a different part of the country this year, if they again broadcast a "Victory Show". There is more chance now of a good show, since we have had some rain. It was really dry all through June, and gardens and allotments were parched. July has been rainy, and on Monday morning (27th) I measured .75 in of rain, the highest fall of the year.
Well my dear Harry, I hope the winter has not proved very trying for your work, and that the arthritis has been less troublesome. My love to Margot and yourself and to dear Edward.
Your affectionate brother
E. Vanderzee Fenn


Lois Weedon
Towcester
Northants
9 December 1942.
My dear Harry
The post has brought the NZ parcel of good things, which you and Margot had so kindly sent me. It is very good of you and I did not expect any present in these war days. The food gifts are very welcome and the cheese will provide many a meal. I wrote about a month ago and since then I have had a letter from you in which you mention are Daily Mirror. I have not renewed to subscription, and as you think it has rather deteriorated I will try to find some other paper for my annual present. Last month Mrs Legg had one of her bronchial attacks but on this occasion she developed bronchial pneumonia and after a brief illness she died of heart failure. It was just after her 79th birthday. I miss her very much, for she had been with me since Cuckfield day's, 35 years ago, and she knew all my ways and looked after me faithfully so long as she could. I was alone for a week or two with daily help, and then I engaged a houseman, who so far is doing admirably. He can cook me a nice dinner and can do the household meaning and he always seems to be at work. I hope he will stop on and not find this out of the way spot to quiet. If he is an extreme High churchmen and was at one time connected with a religious community: his name William Hunt.
You will have heard no doubt, that Charlie has left Alston Court for the winter months, and gone to Sandy Lane Petersham and that Nancy is back on her farm at Ham. Charlie feels the cold very much and with shortage of fuel supply it was difficult to keep Alston Court reasonably warm. They could get no help for housework, and the blackout was a problem. The Powalls had sold or taken away their curtains and it is not possible to get any quantity of blackout material now, not sufficient to cover the windows of the hall for example. I hope they will be comfortable and warm in their little villa. If possible I shall try to go and see them after Christmas.
I miss Edgar very much, we used to enjoy our Northampton meetings, when we could exchange letters and discuss affairs. Now I have two spend my afternoons in town alone. I should like after Christmas, to see about a memorial stone for his grave and I shall go over to Castlethorpe to see to things and have a night at the Cooks. I am sorry that your arthritis gets worse. It would be a relief if you could get rid of the farm had a reasonable price and have a rest. It is evidently too much of a strain on you now. I am glad to get good news of my godson and shall look forward to seeing a photo when he is next taken. Give him my love and a kiss from me.
Much love to you and Margot and so many thanks for your very kind and useful present.
Your affectionate brother
E. Vanderzee Fenn

Lois Weedon Vicarage
Towcester
3 January 1943
My dear Margot
I have just had two letters from you. The first (dated 16 October) came on New Year's Day with a photograph of my godson, which I was very pleased to have. How the little chap is growing, and what a fine boy he is! The second letter came the next day, it had a quicker journey for it was dated November 10. You were writing them about the news of Edgar's death. Thank you for your message and for all you have written. I miss Edgar very much as we were always able to meet in Northampton, and it was so nice to have him near at hand. We used to exchange letters, and discuss parish matters and generally help one another. Each year also we changed over for a weekend and took each other's Sunday duties.
When I last wrote I was thanking you for the Christmas parcels and for your kindness in sending us such useful presents. The one sent to Edgar was bordered to be, and I have divided the contents between Charlie Adria and myself. Letters also have arrived for Edgar and a photograph of Edward. Since my last letter I have lost my faithful old housekeeper Mrs Legg (Harry met her several times at Kirkby and Lois Weedon) she had bronchitis each winter and this last attack was too much for her heart. She had been with me for 35 years, with her elder sister, who died eight years ago, and she was very loyal and devoted. I have now engaged a manservant, William Hunt by name, and we are getting on well together. He is very diligent, cooks a good meal, and can mend my clothes. So he is handymen generally and I hope he will stay on. We had a quiet Christmas, rather austere from the children's point, as toys are unobtainable, or can only be had at a vast price. It is also difficult to give children fetes, tea parties and so on. I went over to my neighbour at Helmdon Rectory at 1.30 when my services were finished and had a Christmas dinner with the family. He is a man called Ball, who began work in an Australian parish and married an Australian wife. They are good friends to me and make me welcome at their house at any time. Harry once met the former Rector and had tea at Helmdon Rectory, when he was here in 1938. Adrian writes that she is still busy at Rotols Ltd, but she got a day or two at Christmas, and she again joined Colonel and Mrs Birt for the evening of Christmas day. I am hoping to go to London on Monday week 18 and just being two nights with Charlie and Ella in their temporary home in Sandy Lane Petersham. I went to see Charlie about Edgar's affairs. The solicitor who is dealing with the will is Mr John Rand's of Northampton (Harry will know him) and he has been asking me several questions likely which I can better discuss by seeing Charlie than by letter writing. I shall also have a couple of days with Ella and Nancy whom I have not seen since last February. We are getting wintry weather with some snow but no severe frost at present.
The enclosed is an excellent snapshot taken by some friends of his win he was staying away from Castlethorpe a year or two ago.
I was glad to hear news of you all of you will and send you my love and a special kiss to my godson. All good wishes for 1943
Yours affectionately
E. Vanderzee Fenn



15. Van's Priesthood: Van was Curate at St Minver then Vicar at Kirkby and Lois Weedon, 1904 To 1956, Kirby LAN, Lois Weedon NTH. L to R St Chads Kirby, the Kirby Football Team, Kirby Parishioners Illuminated Tribute to Van at his departure in 1927. Lois Weedon Church and Vicarage.



16. Van's Letters: War Time Letters to New Zealand, 9 Oct 1941-17 Mar 1942, Lois Weedon NTH. Lois Weedon
Towcester
9 October 1941
My dear Henry
It is time that I was sending off a message to you all if it is to reach you by Christmas. So herewith my best wishes for a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I have recently had some more photos to see they came to Edgar and he sent them round the family. I have got for my own the photo of my godson standing alone on the table, and looking a fine little chap. He might have heard the voice of his godfather about 19 September when a broadcast was relayed to the Empire. It was called "A Victory Flower Show in the Midlands" and it was our flower show held at Weston Hall. Mr C. H. Middleton is living here (during the war) with his people and he arranged for the show to be broadcast and acted as compere. I had just a few words to say during the quarter hour for which it lasted. We had a fine show and now that the balance sheet is published we find that there is a profit of some L170. I am enclosing a cutting from a local paper. The broadcast was recorded, and so it could be repeated during the week. I heard it the following Thursday and I am told it was relayed on the Empire Programme the next day, or rather very late at night (or very early in the morning). It would then have been heard in NZ. After a very wet August, September proved to be a fine month, and we had five weeks with hardly any rain, and the farmers were able to get in their corn, or most of it, in a fairly good condition. Owing to the ploughing of many acres of pasture, there was far more corn than is usual in our part of the country. We had our Harvest Thanksgiving a week ago, a wet Sunday unfortunately, part of the day anyhow, but the usual large numbers at church. Now the days are getting short, we are obliged to go back to an afternoon service on Sundays owing to the early blackout. We have had a long period of freedom from bombing. Hitler has been too busy in Russia, but a night or two ago there was a fairly heavy attack in the North (Manchester etc). I do not look forward to the winter and the long nights. Charlie as you probably know, is now back in Queens Road, and Nancy has a new job on the Earl Dysart Estate at Ham, so she is near home. I hope that Richmond will not have a repetition of last autumn's raids. I think Charlie could not face a very primitive conditions of the cottage in Dorset at another winter, with no water except from an outdoor pump and other inconveniences. It was quite right too that Nancy should get a job where she was paid a proper wage. She did a year's work at Caundle for the Foots without being paid anything, working for her "keep" only. I saw Edgar a day or two ago and we made final arrangements for our annual exchange next weekend when I shall be going to Castlethorpe. It is nice sometimes to see a fresh set of folk under the pulpit. It is a difficult job going on preaching twice a Sunday to the same people. So I look forward to this change over. If I hope to have tea on Sunday with your friend Mrs Cooke she will probably have seen photographs of Edward Liveing, but I will take mine with me, in case she has not seen Edgar's copies. Adria wrote from Cheltenham recently to say that Dolly had left and gone back to Bournemouth. She thought the town did not suit her, as she suffered from rheumatism. Ailwyne Gwgnn wants Adria to move to Woking or that neighbourhood, and share a flat or house. It would be good for Adria to have company, and she and Ailwyne are both RC's. Ailwyne lived for some years in Austria and became a convert to the Roman Church for that reason. I am sending this by air mail so I hope that it will reach you in good time for Christmas. My Christmas present will be the usual subscription to the Daily Mirror
Overseas Edition which I dare say you would like me to continue. I wish I could send a Christmas toy to Edward Liveing but I hope it will be possible later on to send gifts to NZ more easily; meantime I remember the little chap every day, and trust he may go on well as he has began. I hope that Margot is keeping well, you will be glad that summer is approaching.
Much love to you both to the babe and to every good wish to you all the Christmas.
Your affectionate brother
Vanderzee.

Lois Weedon Vicarage
Towcester
17 March 1942
My dear Margot
Much to my delight I received recently a photograph of my godson, and a very charming photograph it is too. Thank you so much for sending me a copy. I shall prize it very much. Since you last heard from me the war has taken a serious turn and be all much concerned at the rapid advance of the Japanese and their barbarous methods of warfare. I feel confident however that America is doing its utmost for the defence of Australia and NZ and that troops and planes etc are powering in to the country. What we do long to hear, is that the war is being carried into Japan, and that we are attacking and not merely acting on the defensive all the time. Harry will be sorry to hear that Aunt Ada is failing rapidly. Charlie wrote to me yesterday about her. He says she may go on for some weeks, but at her age, 92, she may die suddenly. She is a much beloved aunt of ours, and took a special interest in us boys, especially after our mother died. I have not seen her since last November when I was in Richmond for the day. On my recent visit in February to Charlie, I found that she had gone away temporarily to a nursing home, as the landlady at her lodge was ill, and she needed attention. Charlie tells me that he and Ella will be moving from Richmond after Easter, when they are able to make arrangements; but moving is a difficult business just now and there are several restrictions. I hope that the venture will prove successful, and that they will be able to keep the old home going and meet their expenses. They want Edgar and me to go there in the summer, if travelling is possible at the time. Nayland will be glad to have a Fenn in residence again. The village is without a vicar at present. Canon Cliff resigned and retired in January and an appointment has not yet been made. There is a large and rather inconvenient vicarage without electric light and rather far out of the village and from the church. Adria recently sent me a copy of a Parish Magazine, in which Colonel Rundle the churchwarden had written some notes. He said that only one possible vicar had paid a visit to the parish (and no more was heard of him apparently). There are a good number of clergy with the force is just now and it is not easy to fill the vacant livings. When I was last at Dallington (Northampton) I had a message for Harry from cousin Margaret (Rands). She sent her love, and good wishes to the new little cousin, whose photograph she had tried to see, but her blindness makes it difficult to distinguish anything. We have lost a good many of our evacuees, children and adults who have been drifting back to town as the bombing has (temporarily) slowed down. I hope that they will not come in for another outbreak of the Luftwaffe's fury. They do not like the country, especially such an out of the way place as Lois Weedon. And the weather too has been very trying this winter, with such heavy falls of snow, and icebound roads. It is a least a little more like spring, and my garden is bright with aconites and snowdrops, though the daffodils are backward, and I fear we shall have few flowers for the Easter decorations. I think I last wrote when I was acknowledging your kind Christmas gift. I opened a tin of cheese recently and I have been enjoying its contents. It is difficult to get cheese so the gift was very welcome. I hope this letter will escape submarine attacks and come safely through to Grange Hills.
Many thanks once more for Edward's photograph, and much love and a kiss to him and with love to you and Harry.
Yours affectionately
E. V. Fenn



17. Van's Letters: War Time Letters to Harry & Margot Fenn in NZ, 11 Mar 1943-27 Apr 1943, Lois Weedon NTH. Lois Weedon
Towcester
11 March 1943
My dear Margot
I have received this morning the paper which you have so kindly sent me, describing Dunedin and its surroundings. It makes me realise more than ever what a beautiful country New Zealand is. Thank you so much for sending the book. Since I last wrote to you to thank you for the photographs of Edward; I have stayed two days with Charlie and Ella. They have found a very comfortable little home in Petersham for the winter months, as you probably know, and it was easier for me to get there for a brief visit then to go to Nayland. Travelling in England just now is not pleasant. There are very few trains for ordinary passengers, so they are always crowded and one is lucky to get a seat and not have to stand in the corridors. I saw something of Nancy, who looked very flourishing just then. She was quite close to her farm, when she had her temporary home at 7 Sandy Lane and she will be sorry when C & E return to Nayland. Ella tells me that after a long search may have found her some nice lodgings, so I hope she will be more comfortable than she was at Kew last summer. Charlie seemed fairly well, and gets along all right if he takes his time and goes slow was it has also been a wonderful winter without any severe weather, and that has helped Charlie to keep fit as the cold is particularly bad for him. We had it very wet all through January but lately it has been fine day after day and everything is very much advanced in the gardens. Everything is early except Easter, which comes as its latest possible date, when I am afraid all the daffodils and primroses will have long been over and we shall be short of flowers for church decorating was the last week I went over to Castlethorpe to see how Edgar's grave was being looked after, and to see if I could make some arrangements with a stonemason for a memorial stone. I found that friend is working airing to the grave and there was a holly wreath still surviving from Christmastime, which the Sunday School had given. The children were very fond of Edgar. I stayed the night with a churchwarden and his wife Mr and Mrs Cook, at the house where Harry spent a week on the occasion of his visit to Castlethorpe in 38 so he knows the Cooks well. Whenever I see them they always enquire tenderly after Harry and I gave them what news I had when I was there last week. They have two evacuee boys who come from Leyton and have been a Castlethorpe for three years. The children, who have remained evacuee in country villages all the war, will find it strange when they return to home life in town's again. Many of them have already gone back and I am afraid if Hitler starts bombing again, as he may very likely do, when he gets desperate, there will be a great loss of child life. My houseman William and I are getting on well together. He has done a lot of cleaning up the vicarage. Mrs Legg used to lament over its state when she got past doing much work, and when anyone came in "to oblige" it was chiefly to see to my meals and if Mrs Legg was poorly, so the cleaning got shelved. William is a great churchman and gets up especially early on a Sunday morning so as to have time to get to the services.
I missed Edgar when my birthday came round, for on or about that date we used to meet in Northampton, have a special lunch together and perhaps go to the cinema to celebrate the occasion. I do not care to go to a cinema alone, so I seldom go now, unless there is some very good film, and I happen to be with Charlie. Harry's birthday is near and will be long past when this reaches you, but I send my belated good wishes that he may keep up his health and strength, for the strenuous farm work. I am glad to hear of my godson and he is doings always are of great interest to me. I remember the little chap every day and I have a gift to send him - when the war is over and ships are not likely to go to the bottom. Meantime my loving kiss to him and with love to both.
Affectionately yours.
E. Vanderzee Fenn.
P. S. Harry once wrote in a letter that Edward was like the "Bubbles" in Millais picture. I came across the enclosed cutting in the Telegraph recently and I thought of you in NZ and Edward in particular when I read it.
EVF

Lois Weedon
Towcester
27 April (1943?)
My dear Henry
My last letter was to Margot, so I am writing to you this week. We have had a nice Easter, the sun shone and it was really warm, though the wind was very strong, damaging the fruit blossom I fear. The people came in good numbers to church. I wonder whether you had a service that day. It was in Margot's last letter. I think that she told me you had gone to church and she was at home looking after Edward; so I suppose you do get occasional services in the neighbourhood and I seem to remember you telling me of a place near you called ? Te Munga or something of that sort of sound. Are you churchwarden? I have not much family news. Adria wrote from Cheltenham last week she told me they had voted for the date of their summer holiday at Rotols (her place of business) and much to her annoyance the majority chose the week before the bank holiday in August, when she will find travelling at its worst, and when it is almost impossible to get accommodation, scratch that. I suppose she told you that last year she went to Barmouth and actually stayed in Porkington Terrace though not in the identical house, I think where we all spent such a lovely holiday in 89. She wanted me to go with her, but I cannot get away for a Sunday in wartime and I do not care to go such a long journey for the inside of a week, travelling is so very trying at these times and one may have to stand in the corridor for the whole journey, and the trains are late, and run very infrequently. In fact the companies do all they can to stop the public from travelling, and when you go to a Railway station you are faced with a great notice "Is Your Journey Really Necessary?" and conscience often has to reply No. We were roused up early Sunday morning (of course the Germans must choose Easter Day! by two bombs exploding in our next village. I think a plane was being pursued and cast the bombs overboard to lighten the weight, however it did not get away. The bombs fell on a farm and demolished all the farm buildings and killed a pedigree bull and other cattle and damaged a house, though the occupants escaped. Although they fell nearly 2 miles from L W vicarage than lawyers, in the middle of the night, seemed to reflect. Though they were actually some happy folk who have never heard anything. People who, as Charlie would say, sink into a "hoggish slumber", who would sleep through a thunderstorm or anything. My man, William, at the vicarage is one such person: and when I asked him next morning what he thought of the bombs, replied "what bombs". William is getting on all right and getting used to my ways by this time, he has been with me five months. He is not such a cook as Mrs Legg, and I do not let him make pastry now, after some disastrous experiments but that is a trifle, especially in war times. I have not heard from Charlie lately, but I suppose he is at Nayland again now. He was to give up his tenancy of the Petersham house at the end of March, and Nancy was going into rooms again. I am afraid Charlie will never settle at Nayland. The house is too big for them in these days of no domestic help, and too cold, when such economy of coal must be practised. Besides I think Ella is fond of suburban life, and likes to be in touch with London. So I wonder what will happen to Alston Court after the war. Income-tax to makes a big hole in a fixed income.
28 April.
I began this letter yesterday when I was in Northampton, waiting for Mrs Doyne, who kindly gave me a lift home at night. Most of the shops were shut apart from grocers and restaurants and a few others, but I did all the shopping I wanted. It was an extension of the Easter holiday. Some shops were to close all week. They have not much to sell or they cannot deal with any more orders so they close their shutters. I missed Edgar this week, for we always used to meet in Easter week for a holiday afternoon together and generally go to a cinema. I never care to go to one alone now. This is a poor paper, like blotting paper but it gets awful now in quality and in price! I hope that you are keeping well or as well as you can be with this horrid leg trouble, and that the farm work goes on all right. My garden is in rather a ruinous state as I have no regular garden one, can't be had! One man comes along of a evening and does the vegetable garden. The rest I do what I can with myself and get a boy to help me with the mowing.
My love and a kiss to Edward and with much love to Margot and to yourself.
Your affectionate brother
E. Vanderzee Fenn



18. Van's Letters: War Time Letters to Harry & Margot Fenn in NZ, 16 Jun 1943-4 Jul 1943, Lois Weedon NTH. Lois Weedon Vicarage
Towcester
16 June 1943
My dear Margot
you're welcome letter reached me this morning (postmark 2 April). It was nice to have your news and I am glad that all goes well. I have been expecting to hear from Charlie as he is proposing to come to me for a week. This time he is going to dispose of his car which I have been housing for him for a long time. He does not think that he will drive any more. Last week I had a line from Ella saying that he was not over well, suffering from neuralgia, and he would write when he felt more able to make the journey to L W . He is still in difficulties over the great Nayland house, as Ella cannot obtain help and is finding the work too much for her.
Friday. I began this letter in Northampton, when I was waiting at the Church House for someone who was taking me home by car. Since then you're very kind, and very acceptable, present has reached me. Many thanks indeed to you and Harry for the parcel of good things. It has come at a good moment too, for I have just heard from Charlie that he is proposing to come here next week. While he is with he is hoping to sell his car which stands inactive in my coach house. He does not think he will drive a car again, and it will be as well to get rid of it now. So I have put an advertisement in the local paper for him, and I hope to have some enquiries before he comes next Wednesday. He has not been to see me since last August, when we were returning from our sad visit to Castlethorpe. The name Castlethorpe reminds me that I met a man from that parish recently, and he told me they have not yet succeeded in finding a successor to Edgar; Alleyne to the number of clergy on active service and for other reasons. One man came for a few weeks, but did not prove success, and soon departed. The vicar of Hanslope has to manage as best he can with help from a lay reader's. I am hoping to go over to the parish soon to see about the memorial stone in the churchyard. It is not a time for holidaymaking but I want to get a few days off during the summer, and Charlie has asked me to spend them at Nayland. I have not been there for four years. Charlie, I am afraid finds the house rather a burden than a blessing. It seems to be impossible to get domestic help and it is too big a place to keep tidy and clean without a lot of work of which Ella feels she is not capable. I think they would both like a small house near London, which could be managed more easily, and prove warmer in the winter months than the great house at Nayland. The solicitor, St John Rand of Northampton, is taking a long time to settle the affairs connected with Edgars will. It will soon be a year since he died, and at this time last year I was going backwards and forwards to the hospital, as he lay there during those long 14 weeks. Rand's is short of help in his office, and there is always much delay in legal matters, and more than ever in wartime. From Lois Weedon and there is nothing of great interest to report. We had a Field Day on Whit Monday for the Home Guard and Civil Defence Forces with all sorts of races and competitions in shooting etc. Unhappily it was a wet afternoon, and though there were some 1500 people present we did not take as much money for the Red Cross as we had hoped. As treasurer I could only bank L205 gross takings and the expenses, band and so on were heavy. Our local MP was there and C H Middleton and fighter pilot spoke (by means of a microphone) of some of his experiences in the Mediterranean. We have just started our Wings for Victory week, and the small Towcester district is aiming at L80,000. I hope the target will be reached. Here in our small school we are aiming at L250 worth of savings during the week. We are having rather a poor summer. It has been wet and rather cold most of this month, and now we are well past the middle of June and have had but little summer weather. Some haymaking has begun and I hope the weather will improve. My love and a kiss to my godson. I shall be pleased to have copy of his latest photograph (taken at Wellington) some day. I have quite a collection now, which I keep together to watch the progress he makes. How quickly he is growing out of his baby days.
With many thanks indeed to you both for your most kind gift and much love.
Affectionately yours
E. Vanderzee Fenn

Lois Weedon Vicarage
Towcester
4 July 1943
My dear Henry
Since writing to Margot towards the end of last month to thank you both for the welcome parcel of good things, I have had a letter from you with a photo of the family dated 30 April. What a big chap Edward is getting! I have a collection of his photos from one taken in December 40 (aged 10 weeks) down to the present day photo. Most of our old books disappeared either when we left Grey Friars, or at the big turnout after Mater's death; and I am afraid the nursery rhymes all went on these occasions. At the present time it is almost impossible to buy books for little children, which are worth having. I should like to send out some of our old favourites for Edwards use. Charlie has just been staying a week with me. One reason for his visit was that he might sell his car, which I have been housing for a long time. He does not think that he will drive again after the war and it is no use keeping on the car. There were several answers to his advertisement but the car has not gone yet. Charlie was pretty well, except for his permanent heart trouble, and he enjoyed a quiet time reading books and going for very long walks by himself. He preferred to go alone as he could make his own pace. On Sunday he read the lessons for me. When he left me he went on to Hampstead to stay two nights with Mrs Shuttleworth. Ella were was with Nancy at Ham, and she and Charlie were to meet next day and view a possible house at Kew, where they would like to live, if Alston Court can be let again. Next Monday I am hoping to get a few days holiday (Monday to Friday) in these times it is not possible to get a Sunday off, but I shall be glad even of a few days. I am going to Nayland, and it will be 41/2 years since I last went to Alston Court. Last year C & E could not manage any visitor owing to difficulties with the heating arrangements etc. I shall be glad to see the old place again. If it is let, I may not go to Nayland any more. During the time that the house was empty the garden was of course much neglected, and it has never recovered. In wartime it is most difficult to get jobbing or other gardens, though Charlie has a man in to work of an evening. I heard from Adria a day or two ago. She tells me that Mabel has had a slight stroke, and has to stay quiet with a nurse in charge. Poor Adria feels very much on her hands now. They have no resident maid, and only morning help. So much in the old days was done by Grace, that she is missed very much. Adria is hoping to have 10 days holiday or so from the office at the end of the month, and I am arranging to meet her in London one day and to spend a few hours with her, as we shall have no opportunity of seeing one another otherwise this year.A is going to spend her holiday with Ailwyne, a congenial spirit, also of the RC persuasion now as perhaps you know. Since beginning of this letter I have had another offer for the car which I passed on to Chas: who sent me a wire accepting it. Yesterday I said farewell to the old car which has spent so many months in my coach house, and the "ARK222" was driven off by a neighbouring bus proprietor from Helmdon. I thought that he got the best of the bargain, but of all the would-be purchasers not one could refrain from calling it an old car, its date was 35, though the engine was in good running order and the saloon car equal to new in general appearance. My man William still continues here. He is a bit nervy, owing to being in the Liverpool air raids, and so he has his "moods" but he carries on the work pretty well, though I miss Miss Legg very much in many ways. We have not had much summer weather yet. It is cold for July, and rather unsettled at present which is bad for those who have not got their hay in yet. The crops are generally looking well, and given some fine weather there should be a bumper harvest. There has never been so much corn grown in our parish in living memory. The farmers are being asked to plough even more ground in the coming autumn. I have a book or two which might please Edward, and I will make enquiries when I get back at the end of the week and when I am next in Northampton, as to how to send books to NZ.
Well my dear Henry, I hope that the old leg will cease to bother you so much. Many thanks for letter and photograph as for the parcel also, for which I have sent thanks as well in my last letter to Margot.
My love and a kiss to my godson and would love to you both.
Your affectionate brother
Vanderzee.
P. S. Tuesday 13 July Nayland
I brought the letter with me to finish it off at Nayland, where I am staying two or three days with Chas: an Ella, in case there was any special news. There is indeed some news for Chas has heard from Alston Fenn yesterday morning that he will buy Alston Court, which C had offered him recently. So C will be relieved of the burden of its upkeep, and he could not live here in the winter months either and the old home will still remain in the family and not go to strangers. It is sad to think however that it will no longer be a sort of home to us.
I found Charlie and Ella very well, and last night the new Nayland vicar, Canon Wright call and I had a chance of meeting him.
E. V. F.
Love from us all.



19. Van's Letters: War Time Letters to Harry & Margot Fenn in NZ, 7 Aug 1943, 10 Aug 1943, 2 Sep 1943, Lois Weedon NTH. Lois Weedon
7 August 1943
My dear Margot
A few days ago I wrote to Harry and mentioned some children's books, which had been given me. Here are two of them with my love to Edward. It is most difficult now to get suitable books for children, and it may be the same with you, so I hope these will give him some pleasure. I will send on some more later on, and if they come in different packets, some at any rate should get through. This is a brief note to supplement my letter.
With much love to Edward and to you both.
Yours affectionately
E. Vanderzee Fenn.
My dear Edward
Here are some pictures for you to look at and some songs for you to sing: and I hope you will like them.
I have several pictures of you, and I can see how big a boy you are growing.
I send you my love and a steamer has to bring it to you all the way across the seas. I hope it will reach you safely.
Goodbye
Your loving uncle
Van

As from
Lois Weedon
10 August (1943)
My dear Henry
I am writing to you from Castlethorpe. It is just the anniversary of Edgar's death, last Saturday August 7th, and I came here yesterday, Monday, to see about the grave and to visit some old friends. I am staying with the Cooks who make me very comfortable and are so kind and hospitable. I had tea with the Clarkes when I arrived last evening. They have not been able to fill Edgar's place here and now a year has gone by. One man came for a few weeks, but he proved quite unsuitable, and soon had to leave. Mr Taylor the vicar, is having rather a difficult time, and he is well over 70 now. I am arranging for a memorial stone for Edgar's grave. The stonemasons are very busy with more orders than they can get through, and my order will not be finished for some time I'm afraid. A month or so ago I paid a brief visit to Nayland, I had not been there since 1938 (for the funeral), and possibly this may be my last visit! You may have heard from Charlie that he has sold the house to Alston Fenn. He found that he could not live there in the winter, and the place is far too big for Ella and himself alone, so he sounded Alston, who came over and had a look round and after a week or two wrote and said he would take it over. So he an Ella will be leaving in the autumn. They were fortunate in finding a small house in a road of Kew Green, houses are not easily obtained in these days, and here I hope they will find a comfortable home, and, as Charlie said, not have to move in a more. They have had so many homes, since he resigned his practice. My brief visit was very nice. We lived chiefly in the Still Room, which is more convenient for the pantry and the kitchen than the School Room. The garden is in fair order again, after much neglect, while the house was shut up, and Spooner comes in most evenings for some hours work. I met the new vicar Canon Wright. He called one evening (and stayed a long time! reminding me of the old Vicar at Great Bentley, who would not go that evening we were there) and talked over the proposed arrangements for a fete in the garden (which was held I believe at the end of July). He seems a nice cheery man, quite different from Cliff, who was so gloomy, and he does a lot in the parish. I also had a day in Colchester and visited some old haunts. I thought that I was going to miss seeing Adria this year, but we arranged a fortnight ago to meet in London, when she was on holiday and is staying at Paxford (?) with Ailwyn. We met at the Academy and spent our morning there. After lunch we visited St Paul's, and climbed to the stone gallery to view the scene round the cathedral. It is marvellous to think how the Germans, save for one bomb through the choir roof, failed to destroy the whole building in 1941, when the scene of desolation around showed how terrible the raids must have been. Adrian had a week's holiday and enjoyed fine and warm weather all the time. She was expecting to be back at work on August 3rd. When you last write you mentioning (sic) that Edward had none of the old books of nursery rhymes that we enjoyed the I am sorry that one cannot buy such books now, in fact in these war times it is difficult to get any suitable books for children, so I am sending some books to Edward which the grandchildren of Mrs Doge (?) of Lois Weedon House have given me. I hope they will be suitable. I have also got the "Cruise of the Walnut Shell" one of our old favourites and I will send this also. I have not made enquiries at the post office about the sending of books, but I will do so next time I am in Northampton.
Lois Weedon
Wednesday 12 August
I did not finish this at Castlethorpe. So I must get it off today. I returned last night after a very pleasant two days with the Cooks. On my way back through Northampton I called on cousin Margaret Rands at Dallington and had some tea with her. She always likes to hear news of the family, especially of Edward Liveing. By the way I took the last photograph to Castlethorpe to show your noble son there to the Cooks. They have seen earlier photographs that Edgar had.
Much love to Edward, I will write when I send the books, and with love to Margot and yourself.
Your affectionate brother
E. Vanderzee Fenn

Lois Weedon Vicarage
Towcester
2 September 1943
My dear Margot
I am sending on two or three more books which I have bought for Edward. I sent the last lot about three weeks ago, and I hope that they will all get through safely. They will not, I'm afraid reach him in time for the 20th, but I send my belated good wishes for many happy returns of the day. This month I am actually getting a free Sunday, I have not been away since July of 39 for a Sunday, but I have managed to get someone to come in here on 26th of September and Adria has got rooms for me in Cheltenham, so I shall spend a week there. It may be the week for the Flower Show, which is always a very good one. Adria is only working in her office for part time, so we shall be able to have some walks together in the afternoons. This is a busy time in the harvesting work. There is such a large acreage of corn, and such a lack of helpers that those who are at work had to put in long days. Up to the middle of August it was a very dry summer, but we have had a good deal of rain lately. Fortunately it was fine yesterday, when we held our annual Flower Show. About 1000 people paid for admission and enjoyed the many attractions besides the quantities of fruit, vegetables etc in the marquee. Mr C. St Middleton came for a week, and helped to complete the arrangements. He also presented us with a Silver challenge cup. Mrs Sitwell in whose grounds the show was held, got one of her friends to come and entertain us, Miss Hermione Baddely. I did not know much about her myself, but she is a great favourite on the stage and with the BBC. She gave one or two sketches which were much enjoyed. The show was not "broadcast" this year, as on the last two occasions.
You may have heard from Charlie recently. If not here is the latest news I have heard. He will be leaving Alston Court for good at the end of the month, and Alston Fenn and Dorothy will then be taking over the old home. It is sad to sever our connection with the house after all these years, but Charlie feels he is doing the right thing, and it will still remain in the family. Charlie is leaving the pastels, which naturally go with the house. It is so difficult just that the present to get houses, that he and Ella are very lucky to have hit upon just what they want. The little house at Kew is of a suitable size and is the district where they wanted to settle. I hope to go and see them in the winter.
Here I must end up. I will write again soon. The enclosed view appeared recently in The Time's and shows a part of the river side below the Terrace Gardens which the Town Council have bought in recent years. Harry will know it.
I hope you are all well. Much love to you all.
Affectionately yours
E. V. Fenn



20. Van's Letters: War Time Letters to Harry & Margot Fenn in NZ, Nov 1943-29 Feb 1944, Lois Weedon NTH. Lois Weedon
Towcester
November 1943
My dear Margot
I am sending on a book for Edward, though I am afraid it will not reach him in time for Christmas. I hope that you have not already got me. At various times I have forwarded books new and old, which I hope will get through safely to NZ. We are still enjoying immunity from bombing, but London is often being attacked in his nuisance raids, when bombs are dropped anywhere. I have not heard from Charlie lately, so I do not yet know whether Kew has suffered. Adria writes happily from Cheltenham she tells me that Alston has been in residence at the Nayland home but I think he will not be able to settle there permanently until after the war. I last wrote on October 12 (as I see from my diary) so I have not much family news to add a present. Things are going on as usual here. The winter activities begin, the boys club is opened and a new movement called "The Youth Service Group", which has a branch here is starting its meetings again. Now that we are allowed to ring the church bells again, our Ringers Guild is coming to life once more, and we are to have a meeting of the Towcester Branch of which I am secretary, on Saturday. We have a short service, a wartime tea, and ringing on and off during the afternoon. The meeting is in Towcester some 7 miles from here. I hope to bicycle over if the weather is fit, but there is a Saturday bus which one can use. On Sunday we had our local Home Guard on parade for the Remembrance Sunday service and they turned up well.
I hope you are keeping well and that the warmer weather relieves Harry's rheumatism somewhat.
My love to you all and good wishes for 1944.
Affectionately yours
E. Vanderzee Fenn.
P. S. I think I did mention it before, but I add a P. S. to say how much I like those little snapshots of Edward which you sent to Adria. They came in strips and she cut me off my share when I was in Cheltenham in September.

Lois Weedon
29 February (1944)
My dear Henry
When I got back from a visit to Kew recently I've found 2 NZ letters awaiting me, one from Margot and one from you. Many for the latter and for your news, also for some interesting papers. I noted the church which Margot attended in the days of her training. I had been on visit to Charlie's new home in Priory Road Kew; but and I found them fairly comfortably settled in though workmen were still busy with outside painting. The position suits Charlie very well. He is close to the church on Kew Green and to the main entrance to Kew Gardens with no hills to climb! and there is a convenient bus stop at Kew Bridge. The first day I went to Isleworth hoping to see my old friend Hobday, who was vicar of All Saints Isleworth, the church down by the river. I found however that his health had broken down and that he had leafed. Sad to say the old church also was in ruins, only the tower and four walls are left. I went on to Richmond and after some lunch visited the cemetery, and went to the Bateman's. Again drew a blank, for no one was at home. On the following day Nancy took her day off (instead of the usual Saturday) and we went up to town together to see a film at the Leicester Square Cinema "His Butler's Sister" with Deane Durbin. Afterwards we went to tea with Aunt Alison at Kensington, and heard news of Alston and Olive. Aunt A lives alone with a faithful maid, Marg, who has long been with her. She is a last surviving aunt and she told me that she was 86. There has been a lot of bombing around that district, but she takes things very calmly and does not want to leave London. I thought Charlie was better than he has been lately. He has to take things very quietly and cannot stand any exertion. Occasionally he goes up to mamma-in-law at Hampstead and then stays the night (or nights) instead of attempting the journey in one day. He is much more comfortable in this small villa than he could ever have in in the big house at Nayland. The mentioned of Nayland reminds me, that it has been reported in the papers that an American airman making a forced landing with his plane recently managed just to avoid a descent on the main street in Nayland, but at the cost of his life. The Nayland people sent a message of gratitude and sympathy to his parents in America. Had he come down on the village it might have meant the destruction of the old house. This news came from Charlie in a letter of this morning. He also tells me that Aunt Alison has after all left her Kensington flat and has gone to Northampton! Marg, the faithful maid has a sister living there, and Aunt A we'll have some rooms in her house and still have Marg to look after her. I must go and see her tomorrow, when I shall be in Northampton. A short time ago Bishop of Peterborough summoned all the clergy to Synod. It was rather inconsiderate, as travelling is difficult now, and Peterborough at the far end of the diocese, is nearly 60 miles from here. I had given up the idea of being able to get their, when a Mrs Nesbitt, wife of the Rector of Barnack offered me hospitality, and so I went the day before, and spent a night at Barnack Rectory. This village is 10 miles from Peterborough and I got in by bus. Some 200 clergy attended and we got through our business by 3.30 so that I could manage to get home the same day. Now that the days are much longer we have started an evening service again on Sunday. Our church is not "blacked out" so we have to put evensong to three o'clock in the winter. It has been nice to get through another winter without any very severe weather especially as we are short of coal and have to make up with wood if we can get it. The county badly needs rain, we have had two dry years with rainfall much below average. You're beautiful cake has kept well and I am reserving it for special occasions. People who have come to tea and shared some of it are astonished to see such a fine fruitcake on my table. I have just been arranging for an inscription on Edgar's memorial stone, and I hope it will be put up in C Churchyard for Easter. It has taken a long time to get the mason to deal with my order; he had so many in hand and had lost his assistant.
Many thanks to Margot for her very nice letter. I will write next to her. Much love to dear Edward and with love to you both.
Your affectionate brother
E. Vanderzee Fenn
PS The Mirror comes to an end this month and I am arranging for another paper to take its place as you would like.

At Castlethorpe
9 January (1945)
My dear Margot
Letters have recently come from both you and Harry. Many thanks for your good wishes for the New Year and for all the news you send me. It is nice to hear that you are all well and settling down happily in your new home. I am having four days holiday Monday to Thursday, and I have come to my friends, the Cooks, at Castlethorpe. They are hospitable folk and always make my brief holidays enjoyable. It is very cold, and there is sprinkling of snow, with more to come evidently, while we have this bitter north wind. We have had two mild winters, and we cannot expect another; and after such a long spell of wet weather, I thought the frost would come after Christmas. On Christmas Day I had a busy time as I was helping at a neighbouring church without a vicar, as well as getting through my own duties. It was a foggy day and the car which took me to Moreton Pinkney was late in coming as the driver had trouble with the fog freezing on his windscreen and obscuring his view so I kept the congregation waiting but it could not be helped. At 12:45 I. bicycled over to Helmdon and had a Christmas dinner at the Rectory with a family party, and we made merry with a Christmas tree, which delighted the children. Mine share was a very warm Jaegar scarf which I am wearing during this cold spell. I had one or two people to tea recently and bought out the NZ cake which arrived before Christmas. The guests where astonished at such a prewar cake, the like of which we do not see. It is most kind of you to send it, a second one too, and it is certainly appreciated, thank you both very much. I had intended to go to Kew after Christmas but I am putting off my visit until the spring. Charlie will, I hope, be stronger and better then and also there may be fewer "alerts" and less worry from rocket and other bombs, which are still troublesome. It is good that Nancy has been released from her farm work to help at home. Ella found it was getting too much for her especially when Charlie had to stay in bed and Mrs Shuttleworth is ill, and she had to go to Hampstead frequently, and give home attention to her mother. Harry's letter, postmark 23 November, reached me on January 5 and yours of some days before took about the same time to travel. Evidently the mail is speeding up. I suppose the convoys travelled more quickly now, or there is a more frequent service of ships. Harry waxed quite eloquent in his letter as he described to me the scene around your house. It must be a lovely piece of country. Edward too will enjoy some companionship, and have some schooling when the time comes. We are just changing our headmistress at the local school. Our present mistress who has been with us barely 2 years is not a success. Fortunately she sent in her resignation in November and we have appointed a Mrs Haigh from Lincoln, who takes over the school in February. She is more of the type of a country school mists two young children, and rather an invalid husband, who can at any rate look after the house, while his wife teaches. So altogether we are looking forward to happier times at the school and more efficient management. I go to see Aunt Alison in Northampton most weeks and she gives me the news from Nayland. The vicar Canon Wright, had a midnight service on Christmas Eve in the hall at Alston Court. It is not possible to use the church at night and it was also a bit warmer for the congregation. They also had a party for the Girl Guides one evening. Alston when he is on leave reads the lessons in church. They seem very happy at home and love the old house, though they have complained of the cold this winter. There has been skating on the flooded meadows and the frost some nights at Christmas time was very severe. The cold is rather trying when we are so short of coal. I have a good deal of wood however to help things out, and enough coke to keep a hall stove going. Mr and Mrs Cook are very interested to hear any news of Harry and I have brought his letter with me to give them the latest account of your doings.
Wednesday 10th. I must finish off my letter this morning it is colder today and there has been more snow in the night, so
Last page missing.



21. Van's Letters: War Time Letters to Harry & Margot Fenn in NZ, 9 Jan 1945-15 Mar 1945, Lois Weedon NTH. At Castlethorpe
9 January (1945)
My dear Margot
Letters have recently come from both you and Harry. Many thanks for your good wishes for the New Year and for all the news you send me. It is nice to hear that you are all well and settling down happily in your new home. I am having four days holiday Monday to Thursday, and I have come to my friends, the Cooks, at Castlethorpe. They are hospitable folk and always make my brief holidays enjoyable. It is very cold, and there is sprinkling of snow, with more to come evidently, while we have this bitter north wind. We have had two mild winters, and we cannot expect another; and after such a long spell of wet weather, I thought the frost would come after Christmas. On Christmas Day I had a busy time as I was helping at a neighbouring church without a vicar, as well as getting through my own duties. It was a foggy day and the car which took me to Moreton Pinkney was late in coming as the driver had trouble with the fog freezing on his windscreen and obscuring his view so I kept the congregation waiting but it could not be helped. At 12:45 I. bicycled over to Helmdon and had a Christmas dinner at the Rectory with a family party, and we made merry with a Christmas tree, which delighted the children. Mine share was a very warm Jaegar scarf which I am wearing during this cold spell. I had one or two people to tea recently and bought out the NZ cake which arrived before Christmas. The guests where astonished at such a prewar cake, the like of which we do not see. It is most kind of you to send it, a second one too, and it is certainly appreciated, thank you both very much. I had intended to go to Kew after Christmas but I am putting off my visit until the spring. Charlie will, I hope, be stronger and better then and also there may be fewer "alerts" and less worry from rocket and other bombs, which are still troublesome. It is good that Nancy has been released from her farm work to help at home. Ella found it was getting too much for her especially when Charlie had to stay in bed and Mrs Shuttleworth is ill, and she had to go to Hampstead frequently, and give home attention to her mother. Harry's letter, postmark 23 November, reached me on January 5 and yours of some days before took about the same time to travel. Evidently the mail is speeding up. I suppose the convoys travelled more quickly now, or there is a more frequent service of ships. Harry waxed quite eloquent in his letter as he described to me the scene around your house. It must be a lovely piece of country. Edward too will enjoy some companionship, and have some schooling when the time comes. We are just changing our headmistress at the local school. Our present mistress who has been with us barely 2 years is not a success. Fortunately she sent in her resignation in November and we have appointed a Mrs Haigh from Lincoln, who takes over the school in February. She is more of the type of a country school mists two young children, and rather an invalid husband, who can at any rate look after the house, while his wife teaches. So altogether we are looking forward to happier times at the school and more efficient management. I go to see Aunt Alison in Northampton most weeks and she gives me the news from Nayland. The vicar Canon Wright, had a midnight service on Christmas Eve in the hall at Alston Court. It is not possible to use the church at night and it was also a bit warmer for the congregation. They also had a party for the Girl Guides one evening. Alston when he is on leave reads the lessons in church. They seem very happy at home and love the old house, though they have complained of the cold this winter. There has been skating on the flooded meadows and the frost some nights at Christmas time was very severe. The cold is rather trying when we are so short of coal. I have a good deal of wood however to help things out, and enough coke to keep a hall stove going. Mr and Mrs Cook are very interested to hear any news of Harry and I have brought his letter with me to give them the latest account of your doings.
Wednesday 10th. I must finish off my letter this morning it is colder today and there has been more snow in the night, so
Last page missing.

Lois Weedon Vicarage
Towcester
15 March (1945)
Mrs H. L. Fenn
Park St
Gleniti
Timaru
New Zealand
My dear Margot
Your interesting letter arrived this morning, and I was glad to know that my Christmas letter etc, had arrived in time. The last news I heard of you was from Charlie (or Adria) to the effect that Edward had met with a nasty accident and a bad cut on the face, though happily away from his eye. I hope that the wound has healed satisfactorily and that he will not have a scar on his face. I was especially pleased to hear of the possible arrival in the near future of a sister for Edward. Your spelling of mother's name is quite correct, she was Katharine Pauline. It is generally spelt with an e when it is written Catherine so I understand. Mother was always Katie to her friends and Aunt Katie to her many nephews and nieces. I have not had much family news lately, save a brief letter from Adria. I dare say you know that she has bought No. 2 St Lukes Villas and she hopes now to get her furniture out of store, and to feel that she is in her own home again, after all these years lodging in other people's houses. Charlie is still weak and much the invalid, though he is better than he was some weeks ago. I am hoping to go to Kew after Easter for the inside of a week probably on the 23rd. The V bombs are still rather unpleasant in London and the South East generally but I hope they are beginning to become less frequent. The Germans are sure to make themselves as unpleasant as possible before the end comes, and may have some new horrors in store for us! My doors rattled one night about 12.0 recently and I was told there were some piloted planes about again, and that bombs had dropped on Banbury. It is a long time since we had any in the Midlands. I go to see Aunt Alison (Fenn) most weeks, in Northampton. She is getting very tired of Cedar Road, and her lonely existence. She has been there just a year. She still hopes to get to a hotel or a flat again soon, but they are asking exorbitant prices and there are few vacancies. I wish she would go to Alston Court to her daughter-in-law, but I think they are not over affectionate to one another, to put it mildly! There are a good many mothers-in-law who think their beloved son's "might have done better". Tuesday is usually my day off when I make the expedition to Northampton (and William goes by bus on a Wednesday) I make use of my bicycle and the train, and I find Northampton is less crowded on a Tuesday and it is possible to get a table for some lunch. Wednesday is a market day and the town is full of buses from all the neighbouring villages. In previous years when Edgar and I met we used to go to the cinema when there was a film worth seeing, but since he died I have not been to a cinema at all in Northampton. My only visits are made when I am staying with Charlie and Nancy and I go to something in town. I heard recently (through our cousin Dolly Cotes) that one of the Giles family (also cousins) had died a week or two ago. This was Valentine G who had lately been living in Bexhill. There is only one brother left now, Lionel, who is in the British Museum. Harry would probably have seen the Giles family last when I was at Cambridge, where their father was Professor of Chinese, after he left the Consular service.
We aren't getting nice spring weather, after a cold winter, and I hope it will last over Easter. It is good weather for the farmers. The very wet autumn made them behind hand with ploughing and sowing, but now they have generally got their work well in hand.
You ask after *William. He has not left me, in fact I think he finds himself very comfortable and does not feel that a change would be to his advantage! We get along; but he is very trying at times. I shall not try the experiment of a man housekeeper again. Last month we lost our old parish clerk, William Hinton. He had held office for more than 40 years and was a loyal and faithful helper at the church, I shall miss him very much and his place will be hard to fill. The old-fashioned type of parish clerk is not to be found nowadays. I am glad that The Times gives you both some interesting reading. I have this morning, on receiving a reminder from the Office renewed my subscription. So there will be no break in its regular arrival, I hope.
I will write when I have been to Kew, all while I am there on holiday and give you any news of the family. My love to Edward and a kiss, I shall look forward to one of his drawings one-day.
With much love to you both,
Affectionately yours
E. Vanderzee Fenn
PS what do the letters after Gleniti (in the address you wrote on your letter) mean?
Two page letter in its envelope addressed as above.
*In a letter from Adria Fenn July 28 1946, William, is reputed to have been somewhat less than satisfactory.




22. Van's Letters: War Time Letters to Harry & Margot Fenn in NZ, 6 May 1945-2 Aug 1945, Lois Weedon NTH. Towcester
Northants
6 May 1945
My dear Henry
My last letter was to Margot so I must send this to you. I have, a few days ago, been on a visit to Kew. I stayed from a Monday to the following Friday. I had not seen Charlie since last August and he has had a bad winter, so I was anxious to go to Kew and see him again. I thought that he was looking better, at any rate later than I had expected from Ella's reports. He had been to the gardens on the Monday I arrived and was on his way home when I got off the bus on Kew Bridge, so we walked back together. He moves very slowly, and he's to take things quietly. He does not get up until 11 or 12 o'clock. Nancy is still at home and I was glad of it for she could come out with me. We went up to town next day and spent some time at the Studio One a cinema in Oxford Street. One of the films there is always a French one and we saw "Derrivre la Facade" a sort of detective story. The second film was "A Hundred Men And a Girl" with Deanne Durbin. I believe it is quite an old film but I had not seen it before. DD sings some find arias in it including Mozart's Alleluia Chorus. We both enjoyed it. After some tea we walked to the Marble Arch and then across to Hyde Park and through Kensington Gardens to High-Street Kensington where we got a bus for Kew. Wednesday I spent in Richmond by myself after a walk in K Gardens in the morning with Nancy. The gardens were lovely that week with masses of bluebells, and with the azaleas and some of the rhododendrons in bloom. I've visited the cemetery and found mother's grave still tidily kept. Then I had a walk up by the river and along Cholmondley Walk, and so to Wentworth House where I had tea with Mabel and Adria. Mabel is better and gets up every day, only her speech is rather mumbled and she is a bit deaf. Adria was a wonder, she does all the house management now, with the help of an evacuee woman, and a nurse who comes daily to look after Mabel. She took me around the house to see the damage caused either last V. Bomb, or rather where the repairs had been carried out. I understand that not a pane of glass was unbroken and some of the frames were blown in as well. The front and back doors were also blown in and several ceilings came down. A bomb fell on the old stables where in the old days our horses and carriages were kept. They were of course completely demolished and the Carter Paterson stables also. From Wentworth House I went on to the Bateman's and found Lucy and Ida at home. Dolly is quite an invalid but Lucy, who is much older (79 this year) seemed wonderfully well, and does not look anything like her years. Jack B still goes on with his medical work in Devonshire or Dorset I forget the exact place. The next day Nancy and I went to Hampton Court. It is an easy journey, for a trolley bus from the Brentford side of Kew Bridge takes one right to the Bushy Park entrance. We had an alfresco lunch but it came on wet and we had to keep to the galleries and stay under cover till our return: so we missed the chestnuts in Bushy Park. Next day I returned to Lois Weedon. Now we are daily awaiting the announcement of V. Day or V.E. Day, which means, I suppose, Victory in Europe.
(Later) the announcement has just been made that tomorrow May 8th is to be Victory Day. The end has come more quickly than was expected, and I certainly never thought the German resistance would collapse in this way. I had intended to go to Northampton tomorrow to see Aunt Alison, but as it is to be a general holiday, I shall probably stay at home after all. We shall also be having a Thanksgiving Service in the evening and on the following Sunday as well. Mrs Cook still keeps me up in the Castlethorpe news and when I get her letters, there is always an invitation for me to go and pay them a visit. I am afraid they do not see much of a vicar of Hanslope; I suppose he pays more attention to the people at his end, and Castlethorpe folk are left out, but it does make them miss Edgar.
May 8. I must finish off this letter today. This morning the village is adorned with flags and the church bells have been ringing. One can only wish that it was the end of the whole thing, but I am afraid there is still much fighting in prospect in Japan and its neighbourhood. However we are thankful to have done with Germany and to feel that the horror of Nazi domination exists no more.
I hope all is well with the family.
Much love to Edward and to you both.
Your affectionate Brother
Vanderzee
P. S. this is rather "runny" paper. I hope you can make out what I have written.

Lois Weedon
Towcester
2 August (1945)
My dear Henry
Written a few days I have had letters from Margot and you. I am writing my first answer and I must send Margot a letter next. Your letter was dated June 6, when you were still waiting for a sale of the farm. I am glad that you have got a nice home to retire to in these days, when houses are so scarce. There is the same problem in England, but made it rather worse for us because of the numbers of bombed houses. There was a respite for a time from the air raids, until the Germans began sending their wretched "doodlebugs". I had intended to go to Kew for a brief holiday, but I put off my visit, as I did not want to spend my time in going to shelters and dodging the blast. And now I am expecting Charlie for a fortnight's visit. Ella and Nancy propose to go to Sherborne for the week's holiday due to Nancy from the farm, but Charlie does not care for long journeys now especially in holiday times when the trains are so packed that it often means standing all way, and travelling is no pleasure. Last weekend they had to close some of the big London stations which had become congested, and many people never got away at all. Today I have come in to Northampton where Charlie will arrive about 6 p.m., and we shall go out to L W by bus. I hope he will get a seat in the train and have a comfortable journey. He is very shaky now, and can only crawl along at a snail's pace. When he comes to me he spends his time with a book and an armchair, or a seat in the garden if the weather permits, and an occasional turn round the village. I must get him, while he is with me to send you a full account of your financial position under Edgar's will, and make things clear to you. As far as I can understand matters there was about L1600 apiece for the four of us. The only legacys were L25 to the Waifs and Strays Society, and the proceeds from the sale of his gold watch, his piano etc for Castlethorpe Parish. I believe that after the War they intend to use this money for some oak panelling in the chancel as a memorial to E J F. I am hoping to go to Castlethorpe for a day or two at the end of the month, possibly from a Saturday to a Wednesday and to stay with the Cooks. It will mean three services on the Sunday, rather a busmen's holiday! but it is a change to go to another parish and to see fresh faces from the pulpit. Edgar and I always used to make an exchange every autumn and do one another's work. Then the Cooks make me very welcome and give me a real rest (with a nine o'clock breakfast!). There is as you probably know, still no successor to Edgar, and probably never will be. The vicar of Hanslope, Wingate by name, has to run both parishes as best he can, so he will be glad if I can relieve him by taking all the services at Castlethorpe one Sunday as I hoping to do this month. Here I must close the first part of my letter and finish off later.
Later (very much so)
After finishing above I went up to Cedar Road and called on Aunt Alison. As perhaps you know she has fled the raid menace in London and come temporally to Northampton where her faithful maid, Marg has a sister and a house. They have taken Aunt A in and she is fairly comfortable, but rather lonely. I am her only visitor, save for one brief visit that Alston paid last weekend. He is on a war work in Denley and got a short leave in order to see his mother. When he gets a week later on he hopes to go to Alston Court, we're Dorothy and one of the daughters are now living and trying to manage to keep things going at the old house. I went to meet Charlie's train about six o'clock, when he duly arrived. He is very shaky on his legs, but I think his heart is rather better, and he seems pretty well in himself. He has a quiet time time (sic) here reading in the study or garden all day long save for an occasional stroll to the village. He prefers to go out by himself and to set his own place in walking. He crawls along, as he says, at half a mile an hour. Ella and Nancy were to leave this (Friday) morning for Sherborne. I hope they got away safely from Waterloo, and escaped flying bombs. Nancy only gets a week and is due back home on 12 August. I hope to keep Charles here until 16th. If possible we shall go to Northampton on the Wednesday bus day and he will be able to see Aunt Alison during the afternoon, and possibly Cousin Margaret (Rand's). She and Aunt A are both about 85. I have just been up to the school to bid the children farewell before their summer holiday. It is nice and fine now and harvesting is beginning, but we have had a poor summer, with chilly days and not much sunshine. Adria, by the way, is on holiday at Lytham St Anne's, where she is staying a fortnight with friends. I do not expect to see her this year. It is nice to hear news of my little godson and to know that he is such a fine little chap. I wish I could see you all again. (Excuse these odd bits of paper!) Love to "EbroFenn" and thank him for his lovely drawing of Martian warriors.
Love to you and Margot and many thanks to Margot for her letter which shall be answered next. Charlie joins me in greetings. He is at the present moment writing to his beloved Ella.
Fare thee well my brother.
Your affectionate brother
E Vanderzee Fenn.



23. Van's Letters: War Time Letters to Harry & Margot Fenn in NZ, 5 Sep 1945, 24 Sep 1945, 24 Apr 1946, Lois Weedon NTH. Lois Weedon
September 5, (1945)
Mrs Fenn
Taiko Rural Mail Delivery
Gleniti
Timaru NZ
My dear Margot
It was a great pleasure to get your letter dated 22nd of July and to hear of the arrival of Katherine Julius and to know that all is well. I had your letter at the end of last week, that I have waited till I could get an airmail letter form in Northampton, so that I might get an answer through to you more quickly. Your letter reached me on 1 September, and brought the news fairly quickly for these times. I can imagine how delighted Edward is to have a baby sister. My letter will not arrive in Timaru to bring him a birthday greeting, but the small sum of money (as my last letter told you) is a gift for him on his fifth birthday, and I am glad to know from your July letter that it has come through - more quickly than I expected. The banks may have a speedier means of communication. We are having a dull and rainy spell. It is disheartening for the farmers who still have a lot of corn in the fields, and long for a little sunshine. It feels quite like autumn already. William has gone off to Northampton so I am on my own head cook and bottle washer. Next week he is going to a friend in London for tonight's, so I shall have still longer to look after myself.
Adria writes to me from Nayland where she is enjoying a brief holiday, and seeing many old friends after an absence of six years. I have not heard from Kew since August 18 Charlie was then keeping pretty well. Ella was the invalid for the time being and Nancy has her hands full. It is a good thing that she is able to be at home and help to run the house. By the time you receive this the christening will be over, I expect. You will be able to have it in a church this time. I think you had a sort of private christening for Edward.
So I send my good wishes for little Katherine, and my hearty congratulations.
With much love to you all.
Yours affectionately
E. Vanderzee Fenn.
Air Letter.

Lois Weedon
Towcester
24 September (1945?)
My dear Margot
Your letter dated 30 July has just reached me. I had posted a letter the previous day to Harry and sent off a small book for Edward. By the time this reaches you, I expect the move will be completed, and you will be living at Gleniti. Many thanks for the new address. What a quaint name Gleniti! Is it a village near Timaru or just a district in the town itself? We have come once more on to the Harvest Thanksgiving season and our festival is next Sunday October 1st. On the whole it has been a good harvest in this part of the country, though there was a long spell of wet weather during the harvesting, and some corn will not be of a very good quality. I cannot get a "strange" preacher on a Sunday unless I make an exchange, and as I do not like being away from my own church at a Harvest Festival, it means that I take my place in my own pulpit and preach to my own folk. The following Sunday we shall have Harvest services at the other church at Plumpton. There is not such an abundance of flowers as they used to be at this time, and very few chrysanthemums, where there are greenhouses they are full of tomatoes, and flower gardens often look sadly neglected. Lawns are unmowen, and beds are full of vegetables. It will take some time after the war for things to recover. We had one of our Ringers meetings recently in Brackley. I have been secretary of our (Towcester) Branch of the Guild for some years. We could not do much when there was a ban on ringing, but we have been able to start our meetings again. We have a service and a (picnic) tea in these times, with a business meeting and then ring their various methods during the afternoon and evening. The number of ringers has decreased off late years of course, and we have to make up our band with young boys. I have come to Northampton today and bought my letter to finish off at the Church House while I wait for my bus. I stopped at Towcester this morning on my way in, and when I was at the Post Office, the postmaster said there was a parcel for me from NZ and would I take it. I could not carry it around all day, so it will be delivered at L W tomorrow. The reason why the postmaster mentioned its arrival was, I found out, that he wanted the stamps for his little girl "and could I oblige him". I told him to take them off by any means. It is of course, the cake which has travelled through safely. Thank you so much for your kindness in sending it. I am sure it will be very nice and that I shall much enjoy it. I have just come from Cedar Road where I have been a visiting our Aunt Alison also she feels rather lonely at this isolated district of Northampton, where she sees nobody between my visits. I am hoping she will get away before winter. She has the offer of a room at Alston Court, but I fancy she dreads the cold in that great draughty house and does not feel the . . . . . winter there (she is 85 now). Olive the daughter is coming up from Eastbourne next week to see what arrangements she can make. I am keeping the Mirror as I thought you might like the pictures, and have The Times for reading matter.
I do hope you are all well. Much love to dear Edward and with love and many thanks to Harry and yourself.
Yours affectionately
E. Vanderzee Fenn

Lois Weedon
Towcester
24 April (1946)
My dear Henry
Your letter dated February 24 has reached me this morning. Many thanks for your letter and news. I was interested to hear of the bathing party and of Katharine's introduction to seaside life. I hope that in time Edward will enjoy swimming as much as his father and uncle's. You will probably have heard from Charlie, before this reaches you, of his sad loss. I did not know until recently that her trouble was cancer. In the end it developed with great rapidity and she was not kept to her bed many weeks. Nancy was splendid, nursing her mother and looking after her father and managing the household all through this trying time. I went up to Kew and stayed a night at Priory Road and took the funeral service, first at Kew Church and then at the cemetery Adria came up from Cheltenham for the day and Alston and Dick also managed to be present Charlie went through the ordeal very well. The hearse and cars were driven to within a few yards of the grave so he had not much walking to do and was spared getting up the hill on that side of the cemetery. He has, as you probably know, quite an invalid now and very shaky on his legs. He never thought for a moment that he was going to outlive Ella. It is good to know that he has so devoted a daughter as Nancy's to look after him. I hope to go and see them again next month. Adrian Todd, by the way came to the funeral service. She seemed very well but I only had a moment to speak to her. Dick told me that he was doing very well at his new school near Chichester. He spent most of the war years with a few boys at a hotel on Bodmin Moor a very lonely part of Cornwall. When the evacuation period ended he bought (or rented perhaps) quite an estate near his old school site in Sussex. The venture was risky, but it has proved successful, and he has now some 60 boys and no vacancies for a year or two. Alston has quite become the squire of Nayland. He is churchwarden and reads the lesson on Sunday. He is also bellringer! He spends most of his time gardening, and hopes to make the garden profitable. I have just been an hour with Aunt Alison. She is still in Northampton, though Alston has tried hard to get her to come to live with him and Dorothy at Alston Court. She thinks that Nayland would not suit her in the winter time. She was very interested to hear news of you and the children and Margot. Your letter had just come in time for me to tell her about you all. When I was at Kew Charlie showed me George Julius's remarkable family tree. I only had time to examine the tree in part, but it is an immense work and taken a lot of time and trouble to compile. I think that Mrs Stevens original researches were incorporated in "Julius Jottings" which Frank Brewin (I think) edited some 46 years ago. It is most kind of you and Margot to talk of sending a parcel. I wish that the food situation in England would improve, we expected much when the warring that but instead it seems rather worse than it was even in war days; chiefly because of our starving neighbours on the continent. If you do send again, when Christmas comes round, perhaps, you must send what you can best obtain. Personally I prefer honey for one thing, though it does not travel very well! It is my hope one day to get to NZ but for some time it will be difficult to book a passage. Things may improve in a year or two.
With much love to my godson and to Katharine and with love to you and Margot.
Your affectionate brother
Vanderzee
PS I have just been renewing my subscription to The Times weekly edition. I hope it will still give pleasure. Let me know if you would like any other paper or magazine.



24. Van's Letters: Post War Letters to Harry & Margot Fenn in NZ, 15 May 1946 ,30 Jul 1946, 7 Aug 1946, Lois Weedon NTH. Lois Weedon
May 15, (1946)
Mrs Fenn
Taiko Rural Mail Delivery
Gleniti
Timaru NZ
My dear Margot
I have just received your very kind gift. The parcel was full of good things, and William has made me a nice suet pudding already. Many thanks indeed to you and Harry for so kindly sending it. Today I am writing in Northampton at the Church House, while I wait for the time of my returning bus. I have been to see aunt Alison at Cedar Road, and after tea she came out in a taxi for a drive with me. She is very much confined to the house, and she therefore enjoyed the rear opportunity of a drive round in the evening, when I could go with her to help her in and out. We've visited the old Round Church, one of the four in England, which she was anxious to see. The weather is not very summerlike yet, in fact we're having colder weather than we had in March and April, with some night frosts. I wrote to Harry a fortnight or so ago after I had been to Kew for the funeral. You will have heard from Charlie or Nancy, I expect, telling you the sad news. Adria wrote this week to say that she had been at Wentworth House for a night or two. She went to Colchester one day to fetch some things from the bank. Now that she has her own house she can get her furniture and other goods out of store. She wants me to go to Cheltenham and I am hoping to get their in July. We are not feeling much interested in the so-called Victory Day (June 8). There is no settled peace to celebrate and the food shortage makes it difficult to get up festivities in which eating and drinking play a part. In our own parish we are confining the celebration to a children's day with sports and a tea of some sort. Some places are not doing anything at all. After a lapse of seven years County Cricket has started again and Northants have raised a team. At first I thought I would not join the club again. Edgar and I were both members for years and I enjoyed going to see a match with him. However I have joined after all and I shall go sometimes on my own, though it will never be quite the same again. I hope in any case to see Indian cricketers who will be visiting Northampton on June 26th. I am sending this brief letter by Air Mail to let you know of the arrival of the parcel and to send my most grateful thanks. I must write at more length next time.
Much love to Edward and Katherine and with many thanks to you both and my love
Affectionately yours
E. Vanderzee Fenn
Air Letter

From Castlethorpe.
30th July 1946
My dear Henry
The address we all show that I am having a few days holiday. On the 22nd I went to Cheltenham and stayed with Adria. This is the first time she has had an opportunity of putting me up and I was unable to stay at St Luke's villas. She has now got her furniture and pictures out of storage and has her own things round her and it seems more like home. Mrs Rowden is unfortunately quite the invalid and this gives Adria a lot to do. There is taking up breakfast in the morning, for Mrs R does not get up till late, the shopping, and most household duties. However we had the afternoons free and made several expeditions together. One day we had a motorcoach drive to Stroud, Malmesbury (where there is a fine old abbey) and Cirencester. On two other afternoons we took a tea and picnicked on the hills. Each morning I went to the concert at the Town Hall. On the Friday afternoon I came on to Castlethorpe, where I am staying with the Cooks. I helped the vicar on Sunday by taking two services at C Church. Cook is the morning organist and halfway through the service the blowing apparatus went wrong and we had to sing unaccompanied. Afterwards Cook and others took off its front boards and discovered the cause of the mishap, so that at Evensong everything was in order. Miss Gregory is still playing the organ of an evening. You probably remember the old lady, who is very deaf. Cook does not do so much work now, and he has been at liberty to go about with me of an afternoon. I saw Joe Whiting yesterday, but I did not come across Bevidge, who will remember your visit and speaks of you when we met. The weather is not very good, but the farmers have started on their harvesting and the oats are being cut in many places. We are hoping for a good harvest this year and an early in two bread rationing. We shall have to do without cakes for the present if there are any spare coupons, they are wanted for a bag of flour. There is a rumour that potatoes will be rationed this year, but fortunately I always grow enough for our wants, and never have to buy any myself. I am expecting to be back at Lois Weedon tomorrow (Wed) night. We shall be busy preparing for our Church Fete on August Monday. This year there will be no tea provided and we cannot get bread or cakes for such functions, and people must be content with cups of tea, and ices and soft drinks. We are expected to send L160 a year from our small parish to the Bishop's Reconstruction Fund and the Fete is necessary for the purpose of raising this amount, which is a heavy demand upon us. I have heard several times recently from Alston, who wants me to marry Alison on September 14. She is engaged to a Captain (or Major) Redman of Alston's old regiment, the Sherwood Foresters; but I doubt if I can manage to get away as the wedding is on a Saturday, and I find it difficult to be away on a Sunday, and I have not been away for more than one Sunday in the year since 1939. Alston says that this will be the first wedding from Alston Court since our grandmother was married in 1840. Angela, Alston's other girl is at Wykeham Park, a school near Banbury, where she has a job. I am hoping to get her over to Lois Weedon one afternoon after the summer holidays. I go to see Aunt Alison, who is still in Northampton, each week, but I think
Further pages missing.


Lois Weedon
August 7, (1946)
Mrs Fenn
Taiko RMD
Gleniti
Timaru NZ
My dear Margot
I had just written to Harry when you're very kind gift arrived. It is good of you to send these parcels, which are so welcome. I fear it must become a heavy item in your expenses and I want to take a share of this. So I am today in sending out a sum of money to go towards the parcels and postage and perhaps you will like to take a portion for a birthday gift to Edward or to put to his savings in the bank. I returned from Castlethorpe last week after an enjoyable holiday. The people still speak with affection and regret of Edgar. His grave is tended and flowers are constantly placed there. He is messed up all the more because the present vicar, who lives at Hanslope, only comes to Castlethorpe on a Sunday, for the one service, and they see nothing more of him. Edgar was one of the clergy who believe (rightly I think) in the duty of visiting, and he was amongst the people week in and week out. The younger clergy of today go in for much in the way of organisations and youth work, but the old-fashioned visiting has gone to a large extent. I have come in to Northampton today with some boys and we have been to their County Match in which Northamptonshire are faring badly against Middlesex. I left the boys on the ground when I came away at six o'clock and the score was 480 for 4. The Northants bowling was being severely treated and the scoring rapid. I am now awaiting the car for my bus, and taking the opportunity of beginning of this letter which I must finish off tomorrow.
On Aug Mon we had our church fete, it was quite a small affair with some jumble and stalls and amusements in a field, but we made some L60. This is chiefly for the Bishops reconstruction fund, he is asking the diocese for L160,000, and we are asked to reach a target of L60 a year for seven years, rather a large amount for our small community. We are not getting very nice weather for the harvest, and this year especially there is need of all the wheat and in good condition so that we may soon see the end of bread rationing. I heard from Adria this morning and she tells me that Mabel Todd has had another stroke and is not so well as she has been - her aunt Adria is rather worried, but fortunately just now she has plenty of help in the house. Nayland is getting very interested in the coming wedding from Alston Court, when our cousin Alison Fenn is to marry a Major Redman (Sept 14). It will be the first wedding from Alston Court since our grandmother was married from there in 1840.
The photographs of Katherine were much appreciated and I have given one to Adria and one to Charlie and Nancy. Adria will let Dolly see her copy. I hope you are all well.
Once again so many thanks for the kind gift, the beef dripping is a real treat.
Much love to Edward and Katherine and to you both
Yours affectionately
E. Vanderzee Fenn.
Air Letter



25. Van's Letters: Letters to Harry & Margot Fenn, News of Charlie Fenn's Death, 13 Mar 1947, 25 Mar 1947, 6 May 1947, Lois Weedon NTH. Lois Weedon Vicarage
Towcester
13 March (1947)
Master Edward Fenn
Taiko RMD
Gleniti
Timaru.
My dear Edward
It was so nice to have your letter in your own handwriting, envelope and all. What a long time it has taken to get here! I see that you sent it off on December 3rd and it was about three months before it reached me. The ship mass to have met some stormy weather, or perhaps it was a very slow ship, which had to stop at many places on its way to England. However it has come at last, and you have been able to tell a little about yourself and Katherine. So you are going to have a bicycle! I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did when I got my first bicycle. They were not so common in those days and I was much older than you are before I got my first one, though I often used to hire a bicycle for a day or an afternoon's outing. Your father and I had many a holiday ride together when he was working in Colchester and I came home from school for a week or two.
I hear that you are beginning to learn to swim and that you go to baths in Timaru. With our bitterly cold winter we have not thought much about bathing and summer delights, but it is warmer at last and the snow is disappearing quickly.
Thank you my dear Edward for your nice letter
With much love to you all,
Your affectionate uncle
Vanderzee.
Air Letter

Lois Weedon Vicarage
25 March (1947)
Mrs Fenn
Taiko RMD
Gleniti
Timaru NZ
My dear Margot
the parcel of grand things which you and Harry have most kindly sent me arrived safely and I write this acknowledgement with many thanks for your kindness. I was at Kew last week spending two or three days with Charlie and Nancy. I found Charlie fairly well though he has to spend more time resting in bed, and does not get up now until the afternoon. He was writing to Harry while I was there and explaining about the delay in arrival of some cash for him about which Harry had asked in his last letter to make some enquiries. I hope it has now come through safely. Nancy was very well, and very busy with the household duties and an invalid to care for. We had some hours in town the second day I was there and went to see the film Nicholas Nickleby, which it is a good British production. The other day I went to Richmond to see the Todds, Mabel is not so well and her articulation is bad so that I found it hard to understand what she was saying. Adria is very much tied to the house and sick room and seldom can leave her sister. She was telling me that they have a new Vicar at Richmond, and he has abandoned the old familiar vicarage on the Green, and occupies a smaller and more convenient house near the parish church. With many a vicar the old houses have become a burden from size and general inconvenience in these days when domestic help is so very difficult to obtain, and living expenses have risen so high. I daresay that Charlie has told you in his letter last week that he is letting the top floor of his house to a couple, one of whom is doing work as a district nurse. Nancy will be glad to have someone in the house with her. On two occasions during the winter Charlie has had some bad attacks and she has had to go for assistance. Having a nurse as a tenant will be very convenient. What a winter we have had! more snow than I can remember in previous years, and weeks of cold winds and frost. I hope we shall have a warm spring and summer. Everything is behindhand in the gardens and farms. It is still too wet after the melting of the snow to get any digging or ploughing done, and the spring sowing is much delayed. To crown all we had a disastrous gale on the night of Sunday 16th which did much damage. Two of the pinnacles of our church tower were blown off and one fell on the chancel roof and made a big hole and a mess in the church. But the snow caused most inconvenience, and at one time we were quite cut off on all roads, and had no post for three days, nor could the tradesmen get through with our provisions, until the roads had been cleared by an army of diggers. After the thaw of last week there has followed this extensive flooding, especially in the low lying fen district.
I was so pleased to have a letter from Edward written entirely by himself address and all. I wrote him a reply last week. Also so many thanks to Harry and yourself for two letters recently received. I am glad to have news of you and to know that all is going well. Many thanks also for some very interesting NZ papers you have sent me. We do not see such vast papers in England! I see a match at Christchurch has been abandoned as a drawn game; but NZ made a splendid show in the first innings. I am afraid the English team this year has not been up to much.
My love to Edward and Katherine
And with love and so many thanks to you both
Yours affectionately
E. Vanderzee Fenn.
Air Letter.

8 Priory Road
Kew
May 6, 1947
Mr H L Fenn
Taiko RMD
Gleniti
Timaru NZ
My dear Henry,
I have come to Kew on a sad occasion. Charlie passed away rather suddenly on April 30th just a year after Ella's death. He had not been very well all day on the Wednesday but he thought he would get about a little in the evening, so he got up and sat in his chair, but he collapsed with one of his fainting attacks, and though they got him back to bed he died within a few minutes very peacefully. Happily Nancy has these "lodgers" on the top floor so she was not alone in the house that evening, and she had all the assistance she needed. The funeral was that Kew church on Monday, yesterday, and I took the service. Adria came up from Cheltenham for the day, Alston was there from Nayland and Dick Fenn, Lucy and Jack Bateman, Adria Todd, and many other friends and neighbours. We afterwards drove to Richmond Cemetery where Charlie was laid to rest with Ella. Nancy had been having a holiday in the Isle of Wight a short time ago, as Charlie was so much better, and he was in the care of Jenny and Emily (Mrs Shuttleworth's faithful maid's). She came home about 23rd so she had a week with him before this happened. On the Saturday she took him in his chair into Kew Gardens to see the lovely spring blossoms and he enjoyed the outing. I never thought he would take to a wheeled chair, but he gave in when he became so feeble and shaky - but really he was wonderful in the way he got about the house and did odd jobs, and he was never bedridden or "a burden to others" - a fate he dreaded. So his passing so suddenly and peacefully is what he would have wished.
Nancy will write later on. She is rather overwhelmed with so much to attend to just now. I am staying here a few days to keep her company and to help in any way I can. We are just going off this morning to see the lawyer and get some of the business done. Charlie has of course left everything to Nancy and has wisely appointed her sole executrix of his will - which will save endless delays which occur when there are two or three trustees. She has been "a guardian angel" (so Charlie said) to her father during these past years and devoted herself to his comfort, and they have been very happy together. Charlie had failed very rapidly during the last 12 months and I think the loss of Ella told greatly on him.
Nancy showed me a "snap" of the family at Caroline Bay, what a dear little thing Katherine looks as she dips her hand into the bucket.
Much love to you my dear Henry, and to all the family
Your affectionate brother
Vanderzee.
Air Letter



26. Van's Letters: Post War Letters to Harry & Margot Fenn in NZ, 24 Jul 1947, 30 Jul 1947, 8 Dec 1948, Lois Weedon NTH. Lois Weedon
July 24 47
Mr H L Fenn
Taiko RMD
Gleniti
Timaru NZ
My dear Henry
I have been away for a 10 days holiday and on my return I found that another parcel had arrived from you and Margot with many good things including a magnificent cake, and the suet! most welcome. It is good of you both to take all this trouble. Many thanks indeed. Also for some illustrated papers which have arrived safely. You mention in a letter received this morning (dated July 13) that you have just posted some more reading matter. I must acknowledge this later on. I went to Cheltenham on July 7. and spent a few days with Adria and Mrs Rowden. This year I travelled by motorcoach from Northampton and had a very nice journey getting their at 1.30. The weather was not good rather chilly and wet, as we could not take our tea and go for a picnic on the hills as we usually do. This year instead we had some motorcoach drives. One afternoon we went to Cirencester, and we had a whole day's tour in the Wye Valley and visited Chepstow and Tintern Abbey. It was new country to me and I much enjoyed the drive. I used to go to the Town Hall concerts most mornings, where an excellent quartet of instruments made good hearing. At the end of the week I went on to Castlethorpe and stayed the Sunday and a few days afterwards with the Cooks. I had a busmen's holiday by taking two services on Sunday, but I could not sit in a pew and let Wingate (the vicar) take services at Hanslope and Castlethorpe without offering to help. On the Monday I thought Mrs Cook would like to be free for household duties, so I went off to London for the day. I had hoped to arrange a meeting with Nancy but she was going off with a friend to Jersey and she was busy that week. I left the Cook's on Thursday and returned to LW. I remember you writing long ago that you hoped to send Mrs Cook a parcel. I did not say anything to them as I thought it might not happen, and certainly they have never said a word to me about receiving anything. There are several Cooks in Castlethorpe and high wonder whether the parcel went astray. I must ask them next time I stay there if they did ever receive anything from you. Probably you will have heard of the death of Jack Bateman. I saw him at Charlie's funeral on May 5 and he only survived a few weeks. Lucy wrote that he contracted some illness from a patient which made him stone deaf and he had to give up his practice and come home. He was a handy chap and occupied his time in painting and mending and all sorts of jobs in the house. Then he suddenly began to fail and died in Richmond Hospital on June 27. I could not get to the funeral, but I should like to have gone. He and Charles were such great friends especially in early days. I hear that Aunt Alison has had an operation in Colchester Hospital and has come through very well. It was an ordeal at her great age (87) is. She is the only aunt left now. William went off for a holiday on Monday. He said he would only be away 2 nights, but so far I have heard no more of him and it is now Thursday afternoon. I daresay he will wander in tonight and say he has walked out from Towcester after missing all sorts of trains and buses! It is nice to hear good news of the children and of Katherine's attempts at conversation. I am glad they are flourishing. Much love to them both
And with my love and so many thanks to you and Margot for your kindness
Your affectionate brother
Vanderzee
Air Letter

Lois Weedon
30 July (1947)
Mrs Fenn
Taiko RMD
Gleniti
Timaru.
My dear Margot
Last week I wrote to Harry to thank you both for the splendid parcel of good things, which arrived during my holiday. Now I write to say that a banker's order for a small sum should be reaching you soon. Will you kindly the deduct a sum to repay you for the expenses which you have incurred - it must be very heavy - and then give the balance to Edward for a birthday present partly and for his savings account. He might like to have 5/- in his pocket and a L1 or so to save up for a rainy day. But do just as you think fit. You have been so kind in sending so many parcels, I feel this is but a small return.
We are really getting some nice summer weather, long may it last, the farmers talk of starting to get some corn cut on Monday. This is fairly early for the Midlands and it should be an early harvest this year if it continues warm and fine. Today I have come to Northampton to do my shopping and jobs at the Education Office etc. There is no match at the County Ground, so I shall truly have a business visit to the town today. Last week I saw a bit of the Middlesex match, and part of the Edrich - Compton partnership which yielded such an immense number of runs for the third wicket. Poor Northants remain at the bottom of the table, and do not appear likely to win a match! I have an invitation to visit a Scout camp, from a neighbouring parish, at Stratford on Avon, early in August. I should like to go if I can. I might get in a matinee at the Shakespeare Theatre as well. The season lasts till September. William was away on holiday last week, and I had the vicarage to myself for a few days, and was head cook and bottle washer. I did not do much cooking beyond boiling an egg occasionally, or poaching. Adria gave me a patent contrivance for egg poaching, which I find very useful. I am glad to know that you are all well, I hear that Katherine is making good progress in talking.
Much love to Edward and Katherine and with my love to Harry and yourself and so many thanks.
Yours affectionately
E. Vanderzee Fenn
Air Letter

Lois Weedon
December 8, (1948)
Mrs H L Fenn
Taiko RMD
Gleniti
Timaru NZ
My dear Margot
The NZ parcel reached me safely at the end of a week, and a splendid parcel it is. Thank you and Harry so much for your trouble and kindness. It was nice to see some fat and suet for Christmas and some tinned meat. Thank you also for the lovely present of wool and for sending the stamps for the boys. It was so nice to have the latest photographs of the children. I was surprised to see such a change in Katherine, no longer the baby but looking quite a big girl now. I have also to thank you for several illustrated papers, and the church papers. One of the latter had an interesting article on reading the service. Edward sent me a letter all on his own recently in which he mentioned the Railway Book. I am afraid that apart from the pictures, this will be of little interest to him until he gets older. I did not know that it was quite that kind of book until I looked into it, I ordered it from reading the title of the book in some paper. This Christmas I shall miss my friend's at Helmdon Rectory, where I have been invited to join the family for the last seven or eight years. They are leaving in a few days, and going back to Australia, where they are going to a parish some 90 miles north of Melbourne. They have asked me to go and see them, when I go out to NZ!. I heard from Nancy a fortnight or so ago. She wrote to tell me that the memorial stone on Charlie and Ella's grave is now in place. I hope to go and see in January. Nancy has gone back to morning work on the farm and started her early hours again. She seems to find it more convenient to have the latter part of the day for her other occupations. Adria wrote to tell me of the death of Jones at Nayland. For many years he assisted in the grocer's shop, and then the Mater in ploy to him as gardener for a long time though I don't think he knew much about gardening. Recently I spent three days at Castlethorpe. The Cooks always enquire after Harry and like to hear the NZ news. I was there just before the spell of foggy weather which lasted such a long time in November. When this letter reaches you you will be preparing for your summer holiday. I hope that you will have nice weather, and find some old friends at Christchurch. It is Audrey Julius still living there? I have heard nothing of him for a long time. I am glad you are all well many thanks once more to you and Harry for the parcel and photographs etc.
I will send along an order presently to cover the expenses.
My love to the children and with much love to you both.
Yours affectionately
E. Vanderzee Fenn
Air Letter



27. Van in New Zealand: Van retired to Timaru in the South Island of New Zealand in 1950, 1950's, Timaru NZ.



28. Van's Sermons: Selection, Undated.



29. Van's Sermon, Undated.


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