The Kings Candlesticks - Family Trees
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Dr Thomas Harrold FENN M.R.C.S. [1]
(1815-1870)
Maria ALSTON [2]
(1815-1871)
Charles John TODD [536]
(1818-1908)
Elizabeth Anne [8221]
(Abt 1827-)
Dr Edward Liveing FENN M.D. [3]
(1843-1907)
Edith TODD [14]
(Abt 1858-1938)

Adria Margaret "Chick" FENN [490]
(1895-1982)

 

Family Links

Adria Margaret "Chick" FENN [490]

  • Born: 8 Oct 1895
  • Died: 1982 aged 87
picture

bullet  General Notes:


Adria (Refered to as Chick in her early years) lived a constrained life caring for her mother at Alston Court, until her mothers death. She then moved to London then to various address's in Cheltenham. She appears to have bought 17 College Rd before selling and moving to Amberley Court c1963, then to Faithful House Suffolk Sq Cheltenham where she ended her days. She loved to write short stories and poems, and was a devout Christian. She was attracted to the Roman tradition and converted to Catholicism, to the suprise of some of her family!
Adria writes a spirited letter and was an intelligent woman, demonstraited by her clever castigation of her brother in the letter dated 24 June 1940 below.

The War time letters below are an interesting peep into provincial city life at that time.

Alston Court
Nayland
Feb 18th 1905.
My dear Van
Mang (sic) happy returns of your birthday I hope you will like the Cigarettes. I have been to two Concerts and at one i saw Daddy act. I have been for a ride in a motorcar, Aunt Mabel sent me a puzzle and as I guessed it she sent me a box of sweets for a prize. I have also had a certificate for a chalked picture in Hearth and Home. Sam and all the animals are quite well.
With love from
Adria
On notepaper with a floral heading

Alston Court Railway Station: Colchester.
Nayland
Oct 21st 1906
My dear Harry
Thank you very much for your nice photo and letter I had 14 presents. Daddy gave me a silver shoehorn, Charlie and Cyril sweets. I also had six books, a box of notepaper, a little silver box, a game, a tin of toffee and your photo. The Nayland Fair was here lately and I had 10 rides on the merry-go-round. Timaru was marked in the map after all for we looked it out. In the holidays I spent a week in Richmond. I went to Earls Court one day and went down the water chute with Aunt Grace I spent a day in London with Miss Johnson who took me to St Paul's, the National Gallery and the Monument. You ought to have called Gladys Brownie to match Darkie. Brownie is still alive she is at least six or seven. We are learning the hornpipe at the Dancing Class now and the gavotte. Charlie was here for last weekend and Edgar went on Friday week. It has been a jolly good year for blackberries and mushrooms and we have found plenty. I hope you will get a nice bike as the roads near you are so good. It must be lovely to be so near the sea I suppose when you get your bike you will often rundown to the seashore. Jessie Wonk is quite well, and so are Ralph and Roger, but Molly (the horse) has a cold, so have Johnnie and myself. In the holidays we played a good deal of cricket. Edgar is rather a good wicket keep. We went to see a good many matches too at Horkesley Park.
With love from
Adria
PS Miss Johnson sends kind remembrances

Alston Court
Nayland
Sept 22nd 1918
Dear Van
We have just had a wire to say that dear Bob has been killed in action, from the War Office, report from Alexandria.
We wired to Uncle Gerald to find out if really official and he wired back that the War Office confirmed report.
There are no details known but I am sure now that it must be true.
Poor, poor mother.
With love
Your loving sister
Adria

1939 Register
Wentworth House The Green , Richmond M.B., Surrey
Adria M Fenn 08 Oct 1895 Single Private Means

4 Queensberry Place S.W.7
24th June 1940
My dear Harry
we are just waiting for the war to take place on English soil! The French have signed the armistice and what will happen next is in the Lap of the Gods. I have been living in a room in S. Kensington for about seven weeks and enjoying the independence. A gear of bed and brek for 30/- a week and I cook all other meals on a gas ring or go to a shop. But I am getting the wind up a bit now invasion seems likely, and feel it is better not to be alone in London. Ailwyne asked me to stay at Eastbourne with her but the Government are advising people to keep away from the Sussex coast - so I am going to Cirencester in Glos: to be with a friend (a Mrs Toby) to pay 25/- a week for board and lodging and help her with her six evacuated children. She and her husband have a huge country house but their staff is small and I can help her cook for the children.
Van has been up here last week staying with me. We had a very nice time, theatres, Academy and Kew Gardens, and lunch with Charlie, a supper with the Wentworth House Aunts.
The lawyers say they can't get on with the business now because they haven't your power of attorney! I can't think why they didn't ask for it long ago. I hope we shall get the use of the income before Hitler collars the lot! In a recent letter to Charlie you said you hoped I hadn't got the contents of the Silver Cupboard from Alston Court as you didn't want it to swell the coffers of the R.C. Church! My dear boy, I am not a nun, and have no intention of becoming one. I am as likely to leave the silver to my Church as you are likely to leave your sheep to swell the coffers of the Ch; of England! However all the silver is buried deep in the Vaults of Barclays Bank at present and will remain there until the Germans are beaten, or Colchester in the hands of the enemy. I had a nice long letter from Margot recently, telling me of the scarcity of fine wool for babies garments. I'll try and send some out if I can do so without any fear of duty taxation. Nancy has just got work on a farm near Sherborne. Charlie is bothered over Alston Court, as the tenants have got the jitters very badly and deserted it. Dolly has been in Bournemouth all the summer but last week went to Cheltenham near one of her aunts.
The family are all keeping very well. Edgar and Van have given up holidays this year, except for the 3 nights Van had in London with me. It is very sporting of Margot to run the house single-handed but I expect she manages better than Mrs Fisher can. Does she have to rise about four o'clock on the days you go mustering?! I pondered whether I'd offer to travel with the evacuated children to New Zealand. You get free passage there and back but I imagine the discomfort is awful, thousands of children on board and heaps of them sea-sick and probably every cabin packed like sardines. They only allow the Helpers to spend three nights in NZ and then I imagine they go back on a troopship - so I shouldn't see much of you.
Well, my dear, I must end, we are all very thrilled over the news of the advent of Edward Liveing. I picture a plump smiling infant with chestnut coloured hair and his father's nose! See if I am not right.
Love to you both
Adria

1 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
January 10th 41
My dear Harry
I see from the enclosed cutting in today's paper that posts to NZ are getting lost. I hope all our congratulations were not amongst them! For we were all so thrilled and delighted over the birth of little Edward. Do send me a photo of him soon Aunts always want photos of nephews! I got Margot's Xmas letter all right. It arrived on New Years Day or about them. Please give her my love and thanks. We have only had one bad raid in Cheltenham so far. They had a small one last night, and time bombs were dropped in a street the other side of College Road. We all got up and sat in the basement with our suitcases ready to dash out if any time bombs fell in our house. I am still in the same digs I long for a home of my own but it doesn't seem a good time to start one, with night raids, and evacuated people from London slums likely to be billeted on you at any moment. I have a very nice landlady, Dolly is quite near in little flat, so I shan't move out for a little while unless I must. My furniture is all handy too in Cheltenham. I hope the Sheep are behaving, and that you are raking in the shekels now. Rees Hopkins died recently, rather suddenly in Cornwall. I helped at the YMCA at Xmas and Boxing nights, real rowdy evenings, hundreds of very merry soldiers!
The Richmond Aunts are still all right in their rather dangerous quarters. Nayland has so far been very lucky, surrounding villages have had occasional bombs but Nayland has been passed over. The lawyers still dilly-dally. I try and hurry them up but they only get annoyed! I shall be thankful when they cease to tie up half my income in an executor's account, and let me have their final bill. I think it is disgraceful to let things run over two years. I wish you could sell me eggs! I can only get one a week in Cheltenham and not always that. They are very scarce indeed. We get enough to eat all right but shopping is difficult and one often sees a row of 50 people outside a butcher's shop waiting to secure pork or sausages. Dolly is well except for rheumatism. I don't think the clay soil here suits her. I see her practically every day. I am so sorry your leg seems to be getting worse. Directly the War ends you and Margot had better come to England and bring little Edward up to be an Englishman and educate him at Sherborne like the two other Edward Fenn's! But I expect the 8/6 in the pound income tax would daunt you, and it will be more by then probably. It does seem an age since you were in Nayland, and Margot came to spend the day! I remember entering the schoolroom afraid I should interrupt sentimental conversation and found you busy discussing ecclesiastical architecture with her!
Interruption here! My landlady comes in and asks me to loosen all the window sashes as the time bomb may go off soon in next street and the blast may shatter the glass! Hope it won't, as we have just had snow and it would be cold to have no glass in window tonight.
What a nuisance Hitler is!
With much love my dear - and kiss to E.L.F.
from Adria.
Van and Edgar were well last time I heard.

1 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
Oct 4th 1942
My dear Margot
Thank you very much for your letter is. The last one was dated July 25th and only took about two months to arrive. I am so glad you are all flourishing except for Harry's arthritis, which is evidently a very painful thing. It has been a sad year in some ways with the death of Aunt Grace and Edgar. The death of the latter was so sudden it is difficult sometimes to realise, but he would have been in great suffering if he had lived the doctor said. We shall all miss him very very much but it falls hardest on Van who saw him so constantly. I was glad to see Edgar at the Nursing Home, about a week before he died at Castlethorpe. He was in good spirits then. He was adored by all the village people at Castlethorpe, they will miss him very much. I am still slogging away at Rotols Airscrews filing invoices. I have been there since Easter. Van stayed a few days at Cheltenham recently and we had some nice walks on the Cotswolds between work hours. I went to Barmouth for my holiday this summer. Ella is in domestic difficulties at Alston Court and could not have Van or me to stay this summer. I stayed at a house in Porkington Terrace Barmouth Nth Wales, and afterwards Van told me all the family stayed there before I was born! And Charlie, Harry and Dolly climbed Cader Idris. It was lovely there, with the many coloured Welsh mountains and the sea. I bought back a nice branch of purple heather from the hills. I am so glad you were not bothered with the earthquake you mentioned in your letter but am sorry your relations were less lucky. There is a mock invasion with tear gas going on in Cheltenham today, so we are asked to keep indoors. It is a Sunday. I have no idea when to write to you for Xmas but will write again, but in case letters get delayed, Love and best wishes to you Harry and little Edward from Adria.

1 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
May 23rd 43
My dear Harry
I came across this p.c. (postcard?) lately and send it for your amusement! None of the men look very aristocratic and the little girl and the women next to you look rather seasick!! I hope your arthritis is no worse I am afraid it must give you fearful pain. The last letter I had from Grange Hill was dated Oct 16th but Van sent me the letter Margot wrote after dear old Edgar's death, to him. Van seems very flourishing and likes his manservant, William. Charlie and Ella are at Alston Court now, and Nancy at her farm in Ham. Dolly is still in Bournemouth. I have been over a year working for Rotol Airscrews now and am still filing invoices, advice and release notes, statements and correspondence. We have had the auditors lately, always a hectic time as they require so many papers. Aunt Mabel and Aunt Adria keep pretty well, though bothered with servant difficulties. I saw them just before Easter when I spent a weekend in town. Edgars successor at Castlethorpe was a failure and the vicar had to ask him to resign. Do you hear all Winston Churchill's speeches on the wireless? He seems to think the War will go on for years.
Are you going to sell the farm? I expect it is rather a good time for farmers now with food so badly wanted everywhere and Government subsidies. It is in England. We get plenty to eat here in spite of the War, though more jam and butter out would be welcome by everyone full stop I am saving up sugar ration to make some jam. We can't get oranges for marmalade.
How is Edward? I expect full of beans. I do wish we could see him.
With love to you and Margot
Your loving "sizzer"
Adria.

1 St Luke's Villas,
College Road,
Cheltenham.
17th Nov 43.
My dear Alston,
Thank you for your letter it is all right about the cat picture! I told Charlie I did not want it but put it down on the list and he did not tell me what he had done with it.
I am so glad you have been meeting Nayland people already. They are a nice crowd if you have Suffolk ancestry behind you and are not too much of a "foreigner". If ever you meet a cottage woman named Alice Prestney, do take notice of her, she nursed mother in her last illness and I have a lifelong debt of gratitude to her for all she did. Also Mrs Toms, next door to Mrs Kerridge, though she is difficult if she doesn't like you, is very devoted to the family and she wrote to me the other day to say she was longing to see your daughters!
As regards the trees. The 2 tallest poplars in the moat are named George and Annie after the Hands, and the next 2 together Aunt Margaret was almost sure were Herbert and Kate for the Giles, the trees being planted for their respective weddings. The 3 big chestnuts in the 2nd Meadow were planted by Ann Alston, mother of Uncle Sam. The spice pippin tree by the little winding path in the main garden was my effort at the age of two or a year and . . . . . When you see the size of it it shows how ancient I must be. The Cox's Orange Pippin by the other winding path was my brother Edwards, planted at the same time.
You'll be sure to like Col Rusdell, nicknamed Ratty, he is a very good sort. And I liked the Sykes though his language is certainly picturesque.
Well I must take me to the British Restaurant to get my Cash and Carry dinner before work.
I never thank you for the "Gents Agreement" which was remiss of me! A triumph of legal wording.
Your affectionate cousin,
Adria.

1 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
England
Dec 27th 43
My dear Harry & Margot
Thank you so much for the enormous cake. We had it on the table for Xmas Day at tea, and it was wonderful to see a rich iced cake again.
I am so glad you got the books safely. I will send Edward some more, I have some early childish books at my storage and the old books are generally the best. We had a nice chicken for Xmas (my friend next door and myself) half a Xmas pudding, dates and a tangerine from Africa, so we did well. I loved Edwards last photo, he is getting a big boy. I am expecting to hear from Wentworth House daily, so have not any very recent news to give you. Dolly is still in Bournemouth & Charlie & Ella like being in Kew. Van is well but not keen on his manservant who is a nervy creature. I am still at Rotol, will have been there two years next April.
Much love & all good wishes for 1944
Adria.

1 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
Midsummer Day.
My dear Harry
Thank you Margot and Edward muchly for the wonderful parcel I got on June 21st. It was most welcome, cheese, butter, and honey! It was marvellous to see so much about again and I am very fond of honey, and the cheese will be useful. The butter was beautifully fresh on arrival. I am sending Edward a picture book it is about time he had a personal gift from me but distance forbids most things.
The family are all flourishing so far as I know. I get a week's holiday from Rotol per year, and hope to this end it this year in Surrey with Ailwyne, when I hope to meet Van in town and see the two aunts at Richmond.
Dolly had her windows smashed in a recent raid at her seaside house but she escaped unhurt, unlike many people in the same part of the town. I wish she'd go inland. People are queueing up for strawberries and cherries here now, they are scarce as the government is taking a lot of fruit over for jam, but I have sampled both, so am the lucky.
Everyone sounds too greedy for words now in England, they are always discussing food, though no one goes short of essentials.
I saw Monty Cristo on the films one evening lately. I've got a very good friend next door to me, who has me in to meals at her house, and does mending for me, which she says I do shockingly, and I help her in her garden a lot, a Mrs Rowden. Nancy gets her holiday after the harvest I believe. It looks like a bumper harvest down here. We have rain every day lately and now want sun. At Suffolk they have drought I hear. I heard from Edgars lawyer today. He is arranging for transfer of 109 War Savings Certificates to each of us. I am still at the same work at Rotol Airscrews, filing invoices, statements, advice and release notes, goods forwarded it notes, correspondence etc and the work grows ever.
I suppose the war will last another 2 or 3 years but we are getting on fine in Italy at the moment!
Hope your leg is no worse?
Much love to all three of you,
Adria.
Pencil note Recd. 17/8/43.

2 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
Jan 4th 45
My dear Harry and Margot
Thank you so much for letters and the magnificent Xmas cake. The latter was a great surprise as I thought the one which arrived in Oct was an early Xmas present. I kept it until Xmas and it was as fresh as if made it yesterday. So I haven't begun the new cake yet. It is clever of you (Margot) to make them. I had a letter from you yesterday. I am so glad Edward is so tall and big and likes the new home. It will be a great relief to both of you to be no longer farm folk! I have left my job at Rotol after 21/2 years there. Mrs Rowden, the friend I live with was dangerously ill and I was needed here. She is better now but could not cope with shopping and cooking etc alone, so I've got my release. I am sorry in some ways to leave, it has been an experience anyway.
Nancy got her release from farm work soon afterwards to help at home too, as Charlie is so invalidish nowadays.
I heard from the Aunt's today, Aunt Mabel wrote for the first time since her illness with her right hand. She can walk a few steps too now.
I went to midnight Mass on Xmas Day. Such a throng, the big church was full, people standing thick at the back and in double rows down the aisles. Two women near me, who had to stand fainted!
The Aunt's say they've had bombs over three times in one night. We get no raids (at present) at Cheltenham. They have only had two or three here during the whole war I believe.
I made plum puddings and mincemeat for Xmas. We couldn't get currents but there were plenty of sultanas about. We are having very cold weather but no snow as yet, no fog and hoar frost.
I am sending Edward some books soon.
With love to you both and all the best.
Adria.

2 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
England
Sept 4th 1945
My dear Margot,
Congratulations re the birth of the little daughter. How delighted you and Harry must be! And little Edward to. We are all delighted too, it is lovely to have another niece. How glad you must be to have all the trying waiting time over now. I have been away for a week, five days in Nayland, and two in Richmond, whilst I was in Richmond Nancy showed me your letter to her with the great news, and your letter was waiting me on my return. It was nice seeing crowds of old friends at Nayland. Alston and his wife adore the old place and are clearly the best owners it could have in these difficult times. Charlie was very cheerful but has of course aged very considerably. The Richmond Aunts were well but Aunt Adria is terribly tired and overworked. We did so enjoy your cake, it was so rich and well made, and the nice jellies to. Well I must end with best love to all four this time, Katharine having completed the foursome.
From Adria.
Air Letter
Mrs H. L. Fenn
Glenite (sic)
Timaru NZ

2 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
May 21st 46.
Dear Harry and Margot,
Thank you very very much for the huge parcel of groceries which I received on May 11th, everything travelled well and will be invaluable.
It is most generous and kind of you. I've found it on my return from 2 nights stay at Richmond. I found the Aunts will, it was so nice seeing them again. I saw Charlie and Nancy too. They are very plucky in their troubles. Ella's death was a very grievous loss to them, she was so beloved by them both. I went to the funeral, Charlie is very aged and very feeble nowadays, but Nancy takes great care of him and is a very good daughter. Dolly is staying with us now for 2 or 3 weeks at Cheltenham. She is in pretty good health and as pretty as ever, a real evergreen. I went to Colchester to get some jewellery and silver out of the bank, whilst I was in Richmond. I have not forgotten I said I would send you some silver some time, (by the way it is nearly all silver plate not solid). If any Elworthy is coming over some time, perhaps he'd take you something out? I hope Van will come here for a few days in July, when he gets a Sunday holiday. He never takes a proper holiday.
By the way he told me once when aeroplane travel gets easier and cheaper he'd like to pay you a visit. If it ever does get easier you ought to get him on a short trip to see the godson!!
Well, my dears thank you again a thousand times for your kind thought and useful present.
With love to the 4 of you
from Adria.

2 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
Jun 4th 46
My dear Margot.
England seems to be crowding in everything together this week or two! Tomorrow is Derby Day, and next weekend Whitsun holiday time and the Victory celebrations. The latter does not seem very popular with most of the ratepayers, a lot of flag wigging and gaiety just when money and food are scarce. However the London procession and the Royal journey by barge up the river ought to be very impressive, and I am looking forward to seeing it in a coloured film at the picture house later on. We are having a wet early summer but it is generally better for the crops later on than having it hot. Dolly is staying here and now and we are enjoying her visit. She took us a lovely drive through the Cotswold Hills and woods yesterday in a hired car. Her own car is at Bournemouth.
In your last letter you asked if there was anything I'd like in the food line! Well I enclose 10 shillings with very many thanks for the kind of our and if it is possible and not on your ration could you send some dried apricots? Fruit is very scarce. Rice is unobtainable here but I expect it is the same with you as the rice is being sent to China and India where it is so desperately needed.
How are Edward and Katharine? I expect Edward knows quite a lot now in a school book line. Does he like lessons? I hope you are both keeping well. There is no family news I think my cousin Enid Routh may be going to N.Z. some time with her friend, I believe. At present they are aiming for Bermuda.
With much love to you and Harry and the children.
From Adria.
P.T.O. The P.O. won't let me in enclose the money order. They are sending it under separate cover. Don't bother to send any fruit, if there is any difficulty. We can get sultanas and raisins and currents all right on our points so are not needing them.

2 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
July 28th 46
Dear Harry and Margot
It was so generous of you to send me another huge parcel of groceries; such good useful things. The suet will make us many a pudding, and marmalade is so acceptable, in fact all the things extremely welcome and much appreciated. Today's paper tells us the unwelcome news of bread rations, 9 ounces per day for the normal adult not doing heavy manual work, and the 9 ounces must include flour and cakes as well as bread. However the dieticians have worked it out as sufficient, so perhaps we will all be the better for reducing starch!! I only hope "William" will play fair and give Van his proper share but haven't much faith in his doing so.
Enid Routh (Enid M G Routh nee Todd a published author of the 20thC) left England rather rapidly at the end. If I had known when she was starting I have sent out some bits of jewellery for Katharine. There are was a nice little pearl cross of mummies I want her to have, but fear it would be difficult to send in these days of duties and taxes. She went to Sweden back to England then New York and Bermuda finally N.Z.
Dolly has been staying with us. She seemed particulately well and active I thought. I haven't seen Charlie since May but I hear he is keeping fairly well for him. Houses are still an awful price in England. I was lucky to get my my villa L1,275. The house next door to us which isn't nearly so nice and much smaller rooms is on sale now for three thousand pounds! An ordinary little red brick villa standing in a row of houses! My garden is looking nice now, roses, sweet Williams, delphiniums, catmint, snap-dragons campanula etc etc.
What do you grow in your garden?
I hope Edward and Katharine are flourishing.
With again very many thanks for the lovely parcel and much love to you all.
From Adria.
Mrs Rowden wishes we were not confined for materials as she would have embroidered a frock for Katharine. She embroiders most beautifully.

2 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
Aug. 24th 46
My dear Margot,
I received your letter of Aug 12th today quick work! I have also to thank you for a lovely "food" package 4 tins of tongue and 2 of dripping. They are invaluable it is generous of you and I do thank you both so much. I am glad Edward is getting on so well at school. Schools nowadays are nice places, the children have such interesting books, and handicrafts not just dull routine. The bread rationing hasn't been irksome yet, the allowance is quite sufficient for ordinary people, and it is easier to get cakes now they are on points, not so many people queueing for them, but they will always be a source of annoyance to the bakers.
I hope to go to the Alston Court winning, (Alston's eldest girl) on Sept 14th. They are having a special buse to fetch the people of the London train at Colchester. It is the first wedding at Alston Court since our grandmother's in 1840. Poor Aunt Mabel has been ill again another bad turn but she has got over the worst and is getting better but it has affected her power of concentration and memory a bit. Aunt Adria is wonderful in looking after her, and Dolly and Ailwyne were staying there when she was taken ill. Charlie seems much the same, he keeps cheerful in spite of his bad health, and is very good in pottering around and looking after himself when Nancy is out. Nancy has been very busy of late, as there was a lot to be seen to in Hampstead after her grandmother's death.
It was nice having Van here for a few days of his holiday. I wish he had some better servant than "William" though, to look after him. Between ourselves he sometimes gets no supper ready for Van, says he has no time to prepare it, and in the winter sometimes burns all the coal ration in the kitchen, and Van has to sit in an overcoat without a fire! I do think it is dreadful, I did not think van was looking to well, though cheerful and uncomplaining as usual. I expect Katharine gets sweeter every day, and Edward must be proud of his little sister.
With much love to you all four.
From Adria.
I'll send you a silver spoon out by V if he ever goes to N.Z! If he doesn't perhaps Nancy may go a travelling one day?
Thank you so much for promising to send fruit when available. Prunes we can get on points but dried peaches or apricots would be fine.

2 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
Nov 19th 46
My dear Harry and Margot
I have do thank you for another huge parcel, everything travelled splendidly, including the honey. How good of you to send dried peaches when they are such a rarity! You ought to have had them yourselves. We shall save all the sugar we can and make jam with some of them.
I hear Aunt Alison has at last consented to live with the Alston and her daughter-in-law at Alston Court. She will have a flat in the new wing and ought to be comfortable, as those rooms are dry and sunny.
I'm groaning over the Government taking over the railways, has a large part of my income is in rails and the Government are not likely to give more than 21/2 Treasury Stock in exchange. However we shall all be in the same boat, except perhaps the wage earners, who are getting colossal wages. I have been busy planting roses, stocks, wallflowers, and pinks in the garden. I hope that children are flourishing, likewise yourselves. Thank you again very very much for your generous parcel.
With love to all Adria
Airletter to:
Mrs H. L. Fenn
Taiko R.D.
Timaru

2 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
July 24th 47
My dear Margot and Harry
Thank you so very much for the huge parcel of food I received on the 22nd. Everything was beautifully packed including the honey, which is always a joy. We haven't undone the cake yet but knowing your cakes we have a treat in store. Thank you both again very much indeed Lilian is very pleased too. We have had Van here for a few days. He was looking better I thought than when I last saw him. We win a lovely drive to Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey along the Wye Valley. We have also just had Ailwyne Gwynn here and she is coming back again in August, for a few days. I have just been cutting the grass of our lawn, it is growing very fast, we ought to have a good show of chrysanthemums this year. I got a route of Rosemary from Father's and mummies grave when I went to Nayland this summer and it is growing well in the garden here. Aunt Mabel and Aunt Adria seem to be going on all right. I hope to send Katharine some trinkets this week. I hope she and Edward are flourishing.
With love and very many thanks
Adria
Airletter to:
Mrs H. L. Fenn
Taiko R.D.
Timaru

2 St Lukes Villas
College Rd
Cheltenham
Sept 19th 47
My dear Margot
Thank you so much for your letter. I am so pleased Katharine's beads etc arrived safely and Edwards pencil. We did so in jour any the huge cake you sent, and found it a god-send for our visitors too. We had a friend of Lilian's and her little girl of 5 staying here a week, and afterwards my cousin Ailwyne. But this must really be the last parcel from you and Harry until national crises (?) blow over. You N.Z. people are having to help England so much these days and it must be a toll on your own taxes. I am sure you and Harry have to stint and toil to provide for the children's future. I wonder if you have Community Centres in N.Z.? They have British Restaurants here where you can bike down with 2 basins in your cycle basket and bring back a helping of roast beef and 2 vegs: nine pence, and a threepenny plate of pudding! We'd generally patronise it once a week, more better class people than poor people go there, a sign of the times! I have just had a week's holiday at Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset, staying at a nice hotel right close to the sea. I visited Wells whilst there and saw on the famous clock in the Cathedral. I also saw the swans in the Cathedral moat but they did not ring the bell for food whilst I was there, which it is their star turn. I also spent a day at Clevedon. The garden is enjoying the rain this week after all the drought we have had.
We have lots of golden rod out and Michaelmas daisies. The chrysanthemums (don't know how to spell them!) Will be out next month and ought to be good this year.
We have had the finest summer weather for years, a wonderful a wonderful July, August and September. We have done a good deal of bottling of fruit. Nancy has been staying in this part of the world but unfortunately the key week I was away in Burnham, so I missed seeing her. The Richmond Aunts seem just about the same, Dolly Cotes stayed there recently. I am so glad you had a week's holiday in the country. A change is good for everyone sometimes. Van writes pretty frequently and keeps well in spite of "William!" I hope Katharine's death are no longer paining her. I was surprised when you wrote she was like Harry, and Edward liked your side of the family. I had imagined just the opposite from the family group you sent. However I expect they both inherit something from either side of the family.
With love to you all four
Yours ever
Adria.
All the Old Age Pensioners had tea recently at Alston Court. 75 were invited and 50 turned up. Mrs Rowden sends you embraces.

17 College Rd
Cheltenham
May 7th 1950
My dear Alston
I am afraid I can't remember why or how the diploma got into our branch of the family. I have always known it over the solar mantelpiece, so I conclude it was found in the house. The articles in the frame have no particular history I think, just odds and ends found in the house. The oval shaped bag is a tobacco pouch I have always been told! A young man, Rowland Alston (now dead) who claimed, and I believe rightly, to be the head of all the Alston family, was very envious of the diploma when he saw it. I wonder if an old lady named Miss Thompson who lived at St Hughs Cottage in Stoke is still alive. She could read almost anything no matter how difficult to decipher, Latin or English I believe. I remember Mr Partridge, if he is the man who used to write to the East Anglian under the name of Silly Suffolk. He must be getting on in years now. Once, when he was at Alston Court he looked around the library which mother kept in neat orderly fashion and said to me "but you didn't want to go out and break a window sometimes?!" It is so kind of you to ask me to stay later on and it will be lovely if we can fit it in, if you are still alive after five weeks of two infants and a German nanny!
I hope the German nanny while had set her cap at Albert Sexton!
Love to you both
Adria
To:
Col. Alston Fenn D.S.O.
Alston Court
Nayland.

17 College Rd
Cheltenham
Jan 24th 1955
My dear Van
Many thanks for your last letter. Did you discover Uncle Theodore's grave in the end? We have been having snow, cold wind, and ice but no burst pipes. Today is actually sunny though. Alston wrote last week, very worried about his wife. She was to have a second operation at St Thomas on the 26th but was in such bad pain that they had to take her up by car and ambulance a week earlier. I hope she will get on all right. Her old mother who lived with them in Nayland has gone to live with another daughter (or son) in Cornwall. Angela is expecting another babe in the summer. I heard from Nancy recently. She had been to see Aunt Adria and found her very well. We are having another Trollope for our Sunday serial on the wireless it is from a book called "The Prime Minister" but the BBC has ordered the title to "Ferdinand Lopez". It is quite good. Mrs Dale's Diary has taken on a new lease of life, at one time they considered stopping it. They have a very good quiz on Saturday nights. Three people are asked general knowledge questions and get marks, and a story on a special subject is told and an expert on the subject has to spot the mistakes. Ailwyne is coming to lunch here on Friday. She is still uncertain as to future plans, except she is playing in some posh concerts in March in Surrey. I heard from Ray Cliff at Xmas. She is still the unmarried member of the family. Vivienne and Diana are in South Africa. V has 2 children and D three. Joan is in Australia, and has a baby boy. Ray has been both to Australia and Africa staying with them, but likes Africa are best. It is seven years since she left England. But Simpson's at Stoke are giving two bells to Stoke church in memory of their mother. It will make it up to 8 bells, but it will mean all the present 6 bells being rehung. Neyland Church is doing well in its appeal for L800 for the fabric.
No room for more love to all AMF
Airletter to:
Rev E.V. Fenn
Hadlow R.M.D.
Timaru.


17 College Road
Cheltenham
Aug 11th 55
My dear Van,
Dolly sent me this book asking me to send it to you and to say she is very sorry about your accident.
Dunno why she didn't send it direct however I was interested to see it, written by your mother. I believe these Punch pocket books have a certain value to antique collectors. They are certainly quaint. I have been buying 4 tennis balls for Edward's birthday. The shop thinks he won't be bothered by custom duty and the Post Office thought the same.
I do hope you are feeling better. Have you got all you want in the way of rubber air cushions? An old woman I go and see at the hospital Here who had a similar accident is perfectly sore from lying in one position in bed. I could send one out if you haven't one, for a present of course. I go to London on the 27th Elenore Gray has asked me to lunch at her club one day. She is always very friendly. Yesterday I went on a coach trip. They went to Prinknash Abbey and the monks showed their pottery works, and vestments they had weaved from silk of their own silkworms.
They are going forward with building the new Abbey as they have discovered a quarry of stone in their own grounds. When it is finished it will be as large as Gloucester Cathedral. Strange to make it so large in such an out of the way spot, but maybe houses will follow. The cost will be four million so it won't be built in my lifetime I should think!
I must leave off to go to an appointment at the hairdressers.
Best love
AMF
P.S. Dolly is leaving Devon in September: Will go to Boscombe but no address fixed as yet. Lilian sends love.

17 College Rd
Cheltenham
Jun 31st 1956
My dear Margot and Harry
I got your letter containing the sad news this morning. We all share the sorrow of losing him but I am glad to hear how peaceful and happy were his last days. I am sure these last five years in N.Z. next to his boyhood in Colchester, were by far the happiest of his life, because he became part of a happy home circle.
Thank you for arranging for flowers to be sent from Lilian and myself. She thanks you two. Let me know soon my debt to you. Also when the time comes to put up a stone over the grave I'd like to send my share as I did for Cyril and Edgar.
I have written to Alston & Nancy as you ask me, and also have written to Ailwyne and Dolly, and to Wentworth House.
I won't write any more now.
Thank you for your very kind letters and for letting me know so soon.
Best Love
Adria
Airletter to:
Mrs E.L. Fenn
Hadlow R.M.D.
Timaru.

17 College Rd
Cheltenham
Dec 7th 1962
My dear Harry
I hope this won't reach on Christmas morning as it is to tell you of the death of Dolly, at the Chiswick Convent. She had pneumonia for about 10 days. She had a night nurse all the time, and was well looked after, but knew no one, so it was useless to go up there. Nancy saw her just before her illness. She is to be buried in a beautiful but very remote little village Llanteglas in Cornwall where Aunt Isabella and Jack Cotes are buried. Alston is bronchial and can't go down. I said I'd go but can't after all. I was relying on Ailwyne to look after Mrs Rowden but she's finally would not go as she was afraid of leaving her house in the freezing weather because of burst pipes. It looks as if no one will go which is very sad indeed. I have tried hard to get someone in but failed, Mrs Rowden is well but so rocky on her feet it isn't really safe for her to move across a room alone. We are having ghastly weather, fog and freeze. If I could have gone I'd have had to stop a night en route.
Your Christmas presents arrived on Thursday. I will write to my letter of thanks nearer the time.
Best Love to you all Adria
Dear old Dolly, it is nice to think she is no longer hold or suffering anyway.
Airletter to:
Mr H.L. Fenn
Hadlow R.M.D.
Timaru.

17 College Rd
Cheltenham
Dec 30th 1962
My dear Harry, Margot, Edward and Katharine,
Thank you are all very much for the lovely handkerchiefs which you sent me for Christmas and Lilian sends you many thanks for the nice calendar.
We are suffering snow, ice, and frost very severely at the moment. I did not enjoy my early-morning walk to church about three quarters of a mile in deep snow with sleet falling!
We had a nice Xmas with the usual heap of presents and cards, and hot chicken and plum pudding, and holly over the pictures. A friend Mary Legge came to dinner midday but Ailwyne was too scared to leave her house in the frost. She has a bother about turning off her water pipes at the main. She has to drain the water somehow through a hose into the churchyard - sounds very awkward. We have tons of birds in the garden wanting to be fed in this cold weather, but I can't think what has happened to the mice! I haven't set eyes on one for about a year. After writing this they will probably come in hoards now!
The Queen's Speech was very excellent on the television, one of her best.
I hope Nancy has sent you a specimen of her singing voice on the tape recorder. She seems very keen on singing, though seldom sings to her guests I believe. I have just been listening to a R.C. priest, an Anglican vicar, and a Chapel man on the television giving their views on what progress has been made in the world during 1962. They all seemed to approve space exploration for peaceful purposes.
Well again many thanks, and best love and every good wish for 1963 from
Adria
Airletter to:
Mrs E.L. Fenn
Hadlow R.M.D.
Timaru.

July 28, 1963
Amberley Court
Clarence Square
My dear Katharine
Many happy returns of the day. I enclose a pound for you to choose yourself a birthday gift, you will miss Edward at the birthday feast. He was touring in Scotland the last time I heard of him. We are at last getting nice weather, fresh and sunny. I have had an offer for my house for rather less than the agent hoped but I told them I'd accept. However I hear they are still negotiating (I rather come to grief over the spelling of that word!). But I'd rather have a bird in the hand than 2 in the bush and hope something will be settled very soon. I am going to the sea (Minehead) for a fortnight in August I believe it is a lovely part of the country. I hope you still like your job? Do you prefer it to nursing, a less hectic life I expect? Nursing must be gruelling, though more rewarding in character.
I do hope your father is keeping well and that you are having a mild winter.
Best love to you all
Aunt Adria

Amberley Court
Clarence Square
Cheltenham. Glos. England
Aug 9th 70
My dear Joan
Just line to congratulate you and Edward for becoming an uncle and aunt. I am so glad all went well in the end. The poor child seems to have had a tough time entering the world that seems quite bonny now.
And poor Kay must have had a difficult time too, I wonder what they will call him? Possibly, Harold Harry? I wonder.
I hope Hamish is flourishing and Jane and that the latter enjoys her school still.
I had a nice visit to Dudley and Nancy earlier in the summer. We went to the Gainsborough Exhibition in Buckingham Palace, to son et lumiere at Hampton Court, and to a Dickens Exhibition, all very interesting. The rose garden at Hampton Court was in perfection then, a blaze of colour.
I hope Diane is happily settled on her new life. I wrote her a line but I don't expect she remembers me, as I only saw her at the dock when she left England.
I am afraid Kay feels very sad that her mother will never see the new grandson. I suppose she never saw Hamish either? Dear Margot, she was a lovely character, everyone was fond of her.
Our election was a surprise to everyone (except Mr Heath) who never doubted he would win. I am glad the Conservatives got an a no Government can do much with all these endless strikes.
I am glad I don't live in Belfast! I could not side against the Catholics being one myself, I could not side against the Protestants being a supporter of our Royal family and the Union Jack. I think perhaps I'd side with the police! I like policeman and they generally get a raw deal and are so helpless being unarmed against the mob throwing things at them. However the question does not arise!!
Best love to you and Edward and the children
from Aunt Adria
Airletter to:
Mrs E.L. Fenn
P O Box 55
Suva
FIJI

Faithful House
Suffolk Square
Cheltenham
Nov 15th 1978
My dear Edward
How very kind of you to send me the dear little book for my birthday
(Oct 8th) it is delightful. I am always glad to get a letter from you too. I am so glad Hamish and Jane are doing so well at school.
My chief news is that Alston Court has been sold lately, the owner has just inherited family property and had to leave. The new owners are all village people, 3 families who once lived in Nayland, farmers and a baker's daughter. Dossie was scared that they would divide the house and garden into 3 but they haven't done so thank goodness. It would have ruined the old Hall. They are all going to live there but won't split the rooms into three parts. They are all nice people.
Life here goes on as usual. Our big annual Bazaar takes place next week. Last year they took over L600 at it. I heard from Angela Wilson today she is very well and tremendously busy with entertaining people.
Your letter arrived here two days ago, thank you again for it and the book.
Your affectionate Aunt
Adria
I wonder if you could possibly have a Xmas meal with Joan and family just that one time for Peace and Goodwill.
Airletter to:
E.L. Fenn
P O Box 2330 (Incorrect P O altered to 2950)
Auckland

Room 100
Faithful House
Suffolk Square
Cheltenham
Dec 29th 1978
My dear Edward
Thank use so much for the dear little book you sent me for Christmas which I shall value. Also for the card from you and the children.
We have had a merry Xmas here, carol singers coming in to sing to us, huge festive meals, decorations in all the downstairs rooms. A friend motored me to Mass on Xmas Day in the morning. Just as well I did not go to the midnight service it was crammed I am told people sitting on window sills and the pulpit steps etc. I heard from Nancy today she was enjoying life as usual and very busy. We have had mixed weather this season but very little snow anywhere in England.
You will enjoy having a boat this year, I loved my little can do a Nayland. I suppose it was a bit risky really as I can't swim and the river was thick with weeds but I never had a spill.
Well, I hope things will go well with you in 1979
Best love
Aunt Adria
My friend, Mary Legge and I are having lunch with Angela today at Sudeley.

Adria had for many years, a much loved dog called Nonnie.

A highlight in her life was a trip to NZ in 1964 to see her brother Harry this was encouraged by a visit at that time from her nephew Edward L Fenn from NZ.

Adria never married.

IS IT A DREAM ?
In future days will all the Churches join
In Christian Fellowship for mutual aid,
Though Unbelief and Evil stalk without
And creeping Darkness covers all the World?
Is it a dream, unpractical and vain?
Should Jew and Gentile worship side by side,
The Church of England with the Mormon meet
And Lutheran Faith with Russian Orthodox,
Jehovah's Witness kneel at Catholic Mass,
Salvation Army Band with Quaker quiet?
Is it a dream, unpractical and vain?
Could Unity find root in such a soil?

But in the Book, Isaiah the Prophet wrote,
The Wolf resides in friendship with the Lamb,
The Leopard lies at rest beside the Kid,
The Cow and Bear together take their feed,
Young Children play with Basilisk and Asp,
In all God's Holy Mountain none take harm.
The knowledge of their Lord spreads far and wide
As many waters lap the Eternal Shore.
Is it a dream, unpractical and vain?
Shall War and Hatred triumph down the years -
Or will the Prophet's utterance be fulfilled
A little Child shall lead them' back to God?
ADRIA M. FENN.
Published in PAX a Benedictine Review No 318,
Spring/Summer 1967.

At her death Adria left the bulk of her estate to provide for a new organ at her church the Priory Church of St Gregory Cheltenham.
At the Organ's dedication on the 22 Nov 1986 Adria was particularly remembered in the service as follows "We remember particularly at this time the late Adria Fenn whose generous bequest to the Church helped in large measure to make the whole project (replacing the organ) possible, Please pray for the rep St Luke's fillers St Luke'sose of her sou,l"

bullet  Research Notes:


Ailwynne T Gwynn was a professional violinist, her father was Rev Andrew Gwynn Rector of Compton Surrey. She had a sister Gwethlyn.

Adrias employer, Rotol Airscrews, of Gloucester, was formed in 1937 by Rolls-Royce Royce Limited and Bristol Engines to take over both companies war time propeller development and production.
Ref: http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1939/1939%20-%200834.html

picture

bullet  Other Records

1. Census: England, 31 Mar 1901, 81 High St Colchester ESS. Adria is recorded a a daughter aged 5 born Colchester ESS

2. Census: England, 2 Apr 1911, Alston Court Nayland SFK. Adria is recorded as a daughter aged 15 a student born Colchester ESS


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