Letter – from Becky Ross, Droop Street, Paddington, London
Lucy Sinclair, Constant Spring Hotel, Jamaica
It was lovely to receive your last letter. Martha was very interested with your remarks about Jamaican women and how fashion conscious they are. Maybe there is an opportunity for her skills over there, although at the moment she’s got a “gentleman friend”, a private in the army and they certainly do see a lot of each other.
I’m working as a governess in Kensington for a very nice young couple who have two children, Emily and Robert, but it’s only a temporary position because they have an elderly governess who has been with the family for ages (handed down from generation to generation I think) but took a leave of absence and will be returning to her position in about two months. That suits me well, because when I finish I want to enrol in a housekeeping and basic cookery course with Marshall’s Cookery School in Marylebone Road.
I think the more things I can turn my hand too the less chance I’ll be pressured by Pa into marrying a man of his choice. Would you believe it, Lucy, in the past few weeks he has brought home three police constables to dinner with the express purpose of them looking me over to see if I am suitable marriage material. I’ve no intention of being press ganged into marrying someone I don’t love even if it means I do end up a spinster of the parish.
It’s wonderful to hear about your life over there. I read your letters over and over again, usually on the way home from work, freezing cold and trudging through London smog, snow or rain, Jamaica seems magical, like a fairy land.
Ma and Pa send their love to you and ask if you are going to mass on Sunday. I assured them that we were all too scared of the hell and damnation that would befall us were we not to.
Your loving sister (Signed Becky)
Letter from Lucy Sinclair, “Mon Repose”, Jamaica
Becky and Martha Ross, Droop Street, London.
Dearest Becky and Martha
It is barely a year ago that we arrived here; such a lot has happened in a short space of time. John has found a small estate for sale, about 1,050 acres, and it is within our budget so, we have bought it and named our first home “Mon Repose”.
It’s in the parish of St Andrews which is a few miles from Kingston and John says it is in a good position as it is on fairly level land and has a stream running through it. There are stables and a large barn which house some 50 or so cattle, 3 horses, 3 mules, a wagon cart and some other equipment that came with the land. The horses and mules will be useful but John is undecided about whether he wants to raise cattle. He is keen to grow more crops and make use of what he has learnt with Bertie Pollock.
The land is divided by wire fences, most of which need repairing and has considerable cultivation in bananas, coffee, pimentos, over 150 bearing coconut trees and other bits and bobs.
The house is quite large though it does need an awful lot of renovation because it has been empty for years, but its structure is sound. It has a drawing room, dining room and four bedrooms and is quite well furnished. That takes care of one immediate problem, having to furnish it. There is a kitchen and outside a water closet as well as an outhouse for bathing.
Oh it’s perfect Becky. You and Martha must come and visit very soon. There is plenty of room in the house, lots to see, and so much I want to show you. Are you and Martha working on persuading Pa and Ma to let you come for a holiday?
Your loving sister (Signed Lucy)
Telegram from Martha and Becky Ross, London
Lucy Sinclair, Jamaica
Success at last!. Martha and I leaving Avonmouth at 4.45 pm on 16th July for Kingston on “S. S. Port Morant”. All being well should arrive on 28th . Very excited. Longing to see you. Love Becky.
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