Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Mary Watts

Letter No.: 
March 10 [1948]

The White Gates

Dear Miss Watts1
Your parcel of soaps arrived on March 7 all safely packed - it is very very kind of you and your present is very welcome for the sun shines and turns our thoughts to spring cleaning - everything is so perfectly chosen -
You and Mr Sheppard ask many questions. It is difficult to suggest anything better than what you have already chosen. We have a feeling that we must share "austerity" to some extent with others and Dorking is a much easier place to live in than London - We have been here more than 18 years and have acertain amount of garden & can grow potatoes to help us a great part of the year. Fish is plentiful, & there is always bread, cakes & oatmeal. Of course all the world is short of FATS - and Milk - but apart from having to think more about food & plan so far we do not suffer - and my husband can even find braces in the town that though they are not entirely elastic but will last some time - You have your father in London & I feel sure he must be glad of your shopping because I have a sister in London and I compare her life with ours
But now as you ask please send anything that is easy for you.
Have you rice? it would be nice to have a small quantity - and for jam have you quince or Cape Gooseberry? I remember both these in old days coming from S. Africa.
As to materials we mend and patch & so far, we are all right, for I have a faithful maid who helps me. I am rather an infirm person and am looked after to an extent that makes me ashamed -
My husband is full of energy - I wonder if you will hear a broadcast of his "Partita" for double string orchestra - (3rd programme March 20th & 21st Adrian Boult). He has just been conducting Bach's Matthew Passion - This he does every year when he can & this year he has been able to have it in Dorking Halls - at last free.2
I hope you are happy in South Africa - we are pleased that Mr Sheppard has a good post.
Our best wishes to you both
Yours gratefully
Adeline Vaughan Williams

1. Mary Watts was a well-wisher who with her husband Victor Sheppard sent many food parcels from South Africa to the VWs during the war.
2. The Dorking Halls had been requisitioned during the war, but were now apparently returned to civilian use.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1737, ff.11-14