The Diaries of Russell Markland (poet RM Ingersley)

Extracts from The Diaries of Russell Markland (poet RM Ingersley) Jan 1919

His days at his beloved Club - The Royal Lytham and St Anne’s Golf Club. his literary colleagues, his garden, his family, his humour, his card playing, his horse racing, his bridge and snooker.

Russell Markland “Ingersley”, Links Gate, St Annes-on-Sea,Lancs

1 Jan 1919 Wednesday
‘Peace year’ The last day of the old year my cousin Osborn Groves ( Capt R A F) who had been a prisoner of war in Germany for 3 years 9 days turned up. He let in the New Year in the absence of Tuxford Silveira, whose custom it is to do this. We welcomed the new year with hot punch.

As usual a teeming wet day. We talked for the greater part of the morning, played a few records on the gramaphone, Capt Percy Hargreaves & young Frank Duxbury called to wish us a happy new year, & then we went to the Club.

Dr Poole turned up late for mid-day dinner(goose) - very glad he was able to be with us as usual. Osborn & I went to the club about 3.00 & played bridge with Jones & Duxbury, & later a man named Leach. I was square but stood tea. We left about 6.00 & had a talk with the Dr before supper. Dr Poole left about 8.30 & we played bridge until bed-time - my father, mother, Osborn & self. I lost 3/- to Osborn! Bed 11.45

Among papers brought by Dr Poole was Dent’s re-written sketch of Alfred Moss for ‘ Staffs Poets’

Received letters from; - F R Fellows(re John Comfield) Miss Hammond(Staffs Poets) Uncle Willie, sending Chambers Journal with Cecil Tiseley’s poem in, Allen Clarke, sending his tobacco poem, Leonard Smith’s “Notes & Queries” came containing my Staffs Poets query.

2 January Thursday
My mother in bed for breakfast, Went to the station to see Osborn off to town on the 9.57 train - Capt Reed in same carriage.

Called round at our old national service office 6a Park rd, found all papers covered up & and preparations made for decorators. Took what papers I required, bills etc. Called at the bank & paid in cheque from Uncle Willie £10 and brought back my passbook. Returned home about 11.0. Mrs Silveira & Joyce called to wish us a happy new year.

After lunch I settled down to literary work, but ( not to neglect details in this diary, though goodness only knows how long it will last!) I pulled my automatic petrol lighters to bits & mended them, when Percy turned up & scattered my good intentions re work! I first of all fed the poultry for TWM & then went across to the Club where I played snooker(volunteer) - Mr Alfred Brown & I versus Percy & Frank Duxbury; lost by 72, won by 61, played Frank 50 up, gave him 10 each way, made a break of 21 & lost by 6 !

“Rhymes of the Red Triangle” came by post; read it & sent it on to Leonard Smith & wrote to him.

In the evening read ‘N & Q’ & played 4 handed patience - TWM & I versus mother & Miss Coleby 1 down. Read in bed - ‘When a man’s Single’ by J M Barrie. Letter from ; Joseph Whittaker, returning Clark’s ‘life’ of him for “Staffs Poets” rabbit calendar - referring to a long anecdote! Times Literary Supplement came.

3 January Friday
Mother in bed for breakfast. Nasty day, sleet and wet at times. I helped TWM to look after the poultry etc outside for the first time for some days. Wrote to TR Fellows re John Comfield for “Staffs. Looked in to the Club for a few minutes before lunch.

I had a good afternoon’s work on Staffs etc with a break for tea. Wrote to 1. Joseph Whittaker, sending him Staffs card etc

2. Miss Emily Hamond, fixing up for sketch

3. Mrs Burleigh Walker asking for her books

4. Cecil Tildesley re his poem Cannock Chase & sketch

5, P.C, to Dr Poole

6. P.C. to Allen Clarke acknowledging “Raleigh” poem etc

In the evening played a few records on gramaphone. Afterwards played 4 handed patience; 2 up (my last deal)

Letter from Mrs Burleigh Walker, Wolverhampton re Staffs

4 Jan Saturday
The anniversary of my brother Willie’s death, 1905

Snowing when the blinds were drawn back - steadily but lying rather slushily on the ground. Mother down for breakfast. This is the first snow here this winter.

Did a little typing - Cecil Tildesley’s poem Cannock Chase; Dr Poole’s article on Bishop Hurd for Staffs.

It stopped snowing about 3.0 Spent the afternoon & until supper looking up Staffs notes and wrote a sonnet ‘The Old Windmill, Lytham, (burnt on the night of Jan 1/2) I can remember the old mill as long as I can remember anything. It stood on the green at Lytham, near the sea - the only one so placed according to Allen Clarke in his book ‘ Windmill Land’ In the evening we played patience -2 up (TWM last deal). Went to bed.

5 Jan Sunday
TWM stayed in bed for a rest, so I spent most of the morning attending to the hens. There were 2 eggs, proving that the hens are coming on again after a winter’s rest, Typed some selection of verses of Frank Parks Fellows.

6 Jan Monday
Letter from George Milton Whitehouse. Settled down to my paper on English

Author’s note; from here on the diaries are in snippet form, for I fear that my typing is too slow for me to complete my task.

From 7 Jan 1919 onwards, George Milton Whitehouse of Cannock, English poetical centennials of 1918, Dr leon, Societe International de philogie, My poem in Poetry Vol 11 no 1, ‘ the shadows and the bird’ and letter re Rex Freston, letter from Herbert Thring - Author’s Society being sued for libel by Erskine MacDonald - “a clever but unprincipled man”, who settled with Russell Markland over his case re The Glory of Belgium.

Poetry Review - really excellent - “what a pity that such a scamp as McD should be so closely connected to it” Letter from auntie Jeannie Rea, Cecil Tiddesley, F R Fellows, F R Bartlett, very nice letter from my uncle Willie Groves about my Windmill sonnet.

“We talked until midnight. Chatterton arguing with Mrs Silveira, full of brilliant and sound theories on life and social problems and politics (although his bridge is not sound, yet good) and interesting things about his work in slums - a curious character, yet does occasional things he must know to be bad form”

Chatterton read me his lecture notes on Tariff Reform v Free Trade, Freedom of the seas, League of Nations etc

Mrs Burleigh Walker wrote and sent for me to read, a play (Phyllis the Flapper) and a drama,(Arabella Stuart)

Dipped into m/s drama ‘Arabella Stuart’ - better than I expected.

Mrs Dodge came - she was Grandma Groves’ companion, backed Stephen the Great and Tangiers in the 2000 Guineas - The Panther won and we lost

Drove up to the Gatehouse, Eskdale with auntie Jeannie Rea to stay from 13 May to 2 June - hunting, shooting and fishing.

June Had a flutter on the Royal Hunt Cup - backed the winner ’Irish Elegance’

6 June Ultimate Light published

28 June Peace signed

July 1 to 12 July arrived London, Rea’s City offices, the shows, the stores,

12 July to Rea’s estate,Bignor Park, 21 July to Bradshaigh until 26 July

3 Sept back to the gatehouse and Banklands until 2 Oct

28 Oct my cousin Osborn Groves does flying stunts over Manchester airport.

1 Jan 1922
Auntie Jeannie Rea staying with us in Lytham. Letter from Mrs Russell Rea, letter from Mr Freston father of Rex Freston, my cousin Noel Hodgkinson getting married in London

“this was an idle day but devoted to friends and friendly intercourses”

13 Jan “poetry over a pint better than Society meetings

16 Jan Tuckie off to Brazil

26 Jan his defence of Shakespeare’s contemporaries

29 Jan Dr Poole, far from well, prepares to move his house to rooms

7 Feb Dr Poole’s new rooms

13 March
Invite to Philip Russell Rea’s wedding

29 April, Callender called round with a beautiful AC racing car

24 August, invests in Frank Burn-Callander’s new motor cycle scheme - “The Matador Motor Cycle Co Ltd”

15 Sep, up to Gatehouse, the Countess of Carlisle came to tea

23 Sep Up to Boot to see uncle Jim’s grave

27 Sep to tea at Lady Carlisle’s with Mrs L’Estrange, Lady Ankeret,and Lady Elizabeth Howard.

31 Oct, Tuckie’s son, my godson, born

3 Dec, a wonderful day, Bunn , formerly of Exeter College, Oxford came

There follows a list of the contemporaries or their descendents who feature in these diaries, interviewed and corresponded with by Russell Markland as he and Dr Poole compiled ‘Poets of the Shires - Staffordshire’

Walter Colman, Robert Wolseley, William Mountfort, Isaac Hawkins Browne, George Butt, Stephen Chatterton, William Fernyhough, William Vernon, Thomas Cotterill, Henry Salt, Charles Bowker Ash, Isaac Keeling, Ricard Badnall, John Davenport, Frederick Price, Rowland Muckelston, James Richard Alsop, George Wakefield, William Challenor, Frank Perks Fellows, Richard Thursfield, Charles Simon Coldwell, George Heath, Thomas F Bissell, Francis Grenville Cholmondely, Condelant Price, Cecil Tildesley, G Philip R Alsop, Eric Roland Day, Mary Knowles, Priscilla Pointon, Rosa Ayscoughe Hayden, Harriet Nokes, Julia Barrington, Marjorie Crosbie, Emily Eldridge, Margery Lawrence