Amy Child – 1920 trip to France - Full diary (PDF, 20.9MB)
Amy Elizabeth Child (1895-1983) was Helen Kegie’s mother. She married Alfred Quinton Barton on 11th November 1920 and this trip to France took place earlier that year. The diary records the events from 14th April to 13th July when she visited her older brother Graham and his wife Dorothy in Marseilles, where Graham was working in a bank.
The topographical views are taken from a book of postcards in the Helen Kegie Collection, presumably brought back by Amy from this trip. They provide a contemporary insight into Marseilles at that time.
The diary itself is the Pocket Diary and Engagement Book for 1920, bound in brown simulated leather, with an inscription recording that it was given to Amy by her twin brother George at Xmas 1919. The pages are very small – measuring only 4.9cm x 6.4cm, leaving very little space for comments, and providing a sharp contrast with the great detail she recorded in her 1959 diary for her trip to America.
[Editorial comments are added in square brackets.]
Wednesday 14th April 1920
Mother’s birthday. Left home 3.30 for Glos [Gloucester] pouring rain. 10 p.m. on board ship. It all looks very nice. Wonder how I shall regard it in the morning.
Thursday 15th April 1920
I wasn’t ill. We came off about 7.30. Had coffee rolls. Took train at 10 a.m. Reached Paris 12.30 had dinner went to Bank & Cooks [travel bureau] taxied across to the station & start again at 6.35.
Friday 16th April 1920
Travelled all night reached Marseilles at 9 a.m. Grahame met us. We drove out to the flat – quite a long way. It is lovely here & the view is perfect. Saw Lloyd George’s boat coming in about midday. Rested in the aftn went a walk along the Corniche road after tea. Bed early.
Saturday 17th April 1920
Had a good long rest & after dinner we all went a circular tour on the tram – took us about one hour. Mr & Mrs Lenkeith came to tea. after supper G.W. & Gower played & sang & I sewed.
Sunday 18th April 1920
Went in to the country at 9 o’clock returned at 3.30. Rained all the rest of the day hard - very much like home.
Monday 19th April 1920
Had two letters from Alfred Mother. Dorothy Gower & I have been to the zoological gardens. A lovely day. Went shopping with Dorothy for daily rations early.
Tuesday 20th April 1920
Hils’ Baby’s birthday [Hilda Child/Taylor was one of Amy’s older sisters and this baby was Barbara Taylor born in 1919]
Went shopping this morning & have all been to town to shops this aftn. Went to Mrs Lenkeith’s to tea. High wind tonight.
Wednesday 21st April 1920
Went shopping as usual & in the afternoon Doth & I went to a sheltered spot & sat on the rocks. Wind very high. Mother Dickson came to supper & left at 10.30
Thursday 22nd April 1920
Shopping for the day. It is very interesting to me. Gower, Dorothy & I have been up to the Notre Dame church. A wonderful view of the town & harbour. A tiring walk with such ……… winds.
Friday 23rd April 1920
Gower left for Nice & after morning shopping we had a lazy day and enjoyed the balcony.
Saturday 24th April 1920
Went & bought some bread and chocolate by myself in French. Wedding reception & out to supper in the evening.
Sunday 25th April 1920
Stayed in morning & afternoon & went out to go to church in the eve. But no service!
Monday 26th April 1920
I have spent all day in bed trying to get my cough better – it is very persistent.
Tuesday 27th April 1920
All day in bed again & I am much better.
Wednesday 28th April 1920
Thursday 29th April 1920
Friday 30th April 1920
Mrs Canniebiere put cups on me! Felt better.
Saturday 1st May 1920
Doctor sounded me. All serene, much better.
Sunday 2nd May 1920
Up today & very glad to be about again.
Monday 3rd May 1920
Gower started for home. In the afternoon we went a walk & sat on the rocks. Took some pictures.
Tuesday 4th May 1920
Mrs & Miss Nicholson came in the morn. Stayed in all day. A very cold wind.
Wednesday 5th May 1920
Went to shop in the morning. The wind was very high & we couldn’t go out again.
Thursday 6th May 1920
Had a hot sea bath in the afternoon.
Friday 7th May 1920
Washed my hair in the morning & went to town in the afternoon.
Saturday 8th May 1920
Went out to an At Home – the American Vice Consul’s house.
Sunday 9th May 1920
Went for a walk in the evening up by Notre Dame. Home thro’ W’brs garden.
Monday 10th May 1920
Have been to call on Mrs Douglas. Stayed to tea there. Sat on the rocks & sewed before we went there.
Tuesday 11th May 1920
Had a walk morning & afternoon.
Wednesday 12th May 1920
Mrs Burnett came to tea.
Thursday 13th May 1920
Saint day & a general holiday. Had our first bathe G & I & it was lovely
Friday 14th May 1920
Dorothy & I had a bathe & stayed out all the morn. Saw a lot of jelly fish. Mrs Bideleur & Doreen came to tea.
Saturday 15th May 1920
Bathed this morn. Went to the Alkeirs to tea. Have had m…… Reading in this evening.
Sunday 16th May 1920
Stayed in all day had a walk in the evening.
Monday 17th May 1920
Had an attack of colic so no bathe! Went to sit in Mrs Alkeir’s garden took our sewing.
Tuesday 18th May 1920
Had a bath in the morning & went to the Vicker’s to tea in the afternoon.
Wednesday 19th May 1920
Had our bathe & took the children from the ground floor. Mrs Trekes Annett Joan & Peggy came to tea. Floated by myself for the first time.
Thursday 20th May 1920
We have had a lovely bathe and sun bath. Spent the rest of the day indoors sewing. The tram strike is over.
Friday 21st May 1920
Went in to town in the aftn. & bought some lace. had tea at Sinclers.
Bathed in the morning.
Saturday 22nd May 1920
Had our bathe in the afternoon & stayed in & sewed the rest of the day.
Sunday 23rd May 1920
Out all day in a motor. Went up thro’ the mountains to St. Baume bob Dickson came to.
Monday 24th May 1920
Bathed this morning with Grahame & this afternoon it is raining hard the first since Apl 18th. Had a long walk with Grahame after tea.
Tuesday 25th May 1920
I accomplished my first swimming & I was very proud. Had two bathes & did some sewing.
Wednesday 26th May 1920
Had my bathe this morn. D & I have been to town this afternoon to purchase cooking utensils.
Thursday 27th May 1920
Bathed & did some sewing & washed my hair.
Mrs Miss & Mr Brown came in in the evening.
Friday 28th May 1920
Bathed this morn. Have been to tea with Mrs McFarlane this afternoon. Had strawberries & cream today.
Saturday 29th May 1920
Sewed this morning & bathed this afternoon. Mr & Mrs Shackle & the two boys came to tea. Had three letters this afternoon – a most enjoyable post.
Sunday 30th May 1920
Left the house at 8 & went into the country with the Browns. Reached home at 1 o’clock.
Monday 31st May 1920
Stayed in bed all the morning & did some sewing after dinner.
Tuesday 1st June 1920
Went & sat on the rocks & took our sewing.
Wednesday 2nd June 1920
Went to town shopping. Bought presents for the home people.
Thursday 3rd June 1920
Went shopping in the morn. & did some sewing. Very high wind again so stayed in.
Friday 4th June 1920
Went to town once more to buy presents.
Saturday 5th June 1920
We three went a long walk to Parc Borely. it was lovely there. the flowers were so fine.
Sunday 6th June 1920
Stayed in all day & went for a walk to Place Gardens in the evening.
Monday 7th June 1920
Bathed in the morning, sewed in the afternoon & went a walk along to Mrs Douglas’ in the evening.
Tuesday 8th June 1920
Bathed in the morning & did some sewing. It rained again & was very cold.
Wednesday 9th June 1920
Bathed this morn. A lovely morn too. Did the shopping alone. Grahame has gone to Paris & we are lonely!
Thursday 10th June 1920
Went to the market in the morn. & bathed in the afternoon. Very rough sea.
Friday 11th June 1920
Bathed in the morning & sewed this aftn. Went up on the roof after tea for the first time. The view is wonderful. Took photos of the flat.
Saturday 12th June 1920
Bathed this morning cold & wet. Had a lovely sun bath on the roof after dinner. Had photos from Hild of Cecil & Baby. [Amy’s sister Hilda with her children Cecil and Barbara]
Sunday 13th June 1920
Went to the French Protestant Church in the morning. And a walk to Phaw Gardens in the evening.
Monday 14th June 1920
Grahame came home today. We bathed this morning & sewed this afternoon & evening.
Tuesday 15th June 1920
Dorothy’s birthday. Made cake in the morn. Saw an admiral saluted & went to Phaw Gdns. Came back & had our bathe.
Wednesday 16th June 1920
Went to bathe this morning & to town this afternoon. Made the bag for Auntie Rose [Rosa Child/Oldrieve (1853-1945), sister to Amy’s father] this evening. Saw them lassoing the dogs today.
Thursday 17th June 1920
Bathed this morning took the little girl from the ground floor with us. Mrs Lenkeith came to tea. I did some sewing. Grahame went to tennis & was late home.
Friday 18th June 1920
Bathed in the morning sewed & after supper went to the Burnetts’ home at 11.30!
Saturday 19th June 1920
Bathed in the morn. & in the aftn. Came by train to Soisset – a most wonderful place.
Sunday 20th June 1920
Went to church. We bathed, sat under the pine trees in the afternoon. Had a lovely walk in the evening.
Monday 21st June 1920
Returned this morning by the 8.30 train. We could see a huge fire at Marseilles. Had another bathe in the evening.
Tuesday 22nd June 1920
Bathed in the morning & went to the Consul General’s in the afternoon. Did some mending in the evening.
Wednesday 23rd June 1920
Bathed this morning & have been to see Mrs Douglas & the Baby this afternoon. Sat on the balcony this eve. A lovely sunset.
Thursday 24th June 1920
Bathed in the morning. Went to Mrs Lenkeith’s to tea. Walked home by the quay side.
Friday 25th June 1920
Bathed in the morning. In the afternoon Mrs Alker & Mrs Ashton came to tea.
Saturday 26th June 1920
Bathed this morn. & have been on trip round the Chateau way this afternoon.
Sunday 27th June 1920
Went to church this morning Lekinann & Joan.
Monday 28th June 1920
Stayed in all day. Altered my sweater & finished the 3rd corner of my cloth.
Tuesday 29th June 1920
Went to Mrs Ashton to tea in the afternoon.
Wednesday 30th June 1920
Went down to Isnandon with D this morn. & have been to Pano Boully with tea. Very cloudy & stormy.
Thursday 1st July 1920
Went to the bathing cove this morn. Took little Marie. & Mrs Srekenhauss to tea in the aftn.
Friday 2nd July 1920
Bathed in the morning & in the aftn. We went to Mrs Alkers’ with Mrs Ashton. Mrs Wakeford was there & Peter too.
Saturday 3rd July 1920
Bathed in the morning, didn’t go out again.
Sunday 4th July 1920
Spent the afternoon at Palais Longchamp. Bob came to lunch.
Monday 5th July 1920
Bathed in the morn. Mrs Lukenann & Joan & Peggy & Auntie Nelly came to tea.
Tuesday 6th July 1920
Bathed in the morning & washed my hair in the afternoon.
Wednesday 7th July 1920
Bathed in the morning & went to town in the afternoon.
Thursday 8th July 1920
Bathed in the morning & was busy the rest of the day.
Friday 9th July 1920
Bathed in the morning. Walked along Endoume to take some photos. Finished packing & did housework this afternoon. Left the house at 5 o’clock. Station at 6.35 – dinner at 8 on the train & travelled all night in a sleeper.
Saturday 10th July 1920
Got off at Laroche this morn for chocolate (hot) roll. Reached Paris at 11.30. Had lunch at Duval. Left at 2.30 in a taxi with a Cook’s man to see Paris & returned at 5 o’clock. Looked at the shops. Had dinner out. Went a walk to some gardens after. Home by Metropolitan.
Sunday 11th July 1920
Walked to the Madeline in the morn. Then left for the Gare du Nord. Left 12 o’ clock. Arrived 4.30. Left on the Maid of Orleans at 5. Arrived Dover 6.30. Left at 7.15. Arrived London 10.
Monday 12th July 1920
Breakfast at 8.30 Hilton Hotel. Went into town. Lunch with George down Stayes at 12 o’clock. G. took me across to Paddington in a taxi. Left at 3 o’clock. Alfred met me at Swindon. ……. at Cham .
Tuesday 13th July 1920
Went to Cinderford with Alfred. Had a lovely day. I am very pleased with it all.