[Date estimated between 1886 and 1888]
Acock’s Green, Wednesday Dec 15
My dear Fred,
Your very acceptable and thoughtful Xmas box came quite safely and has been conferted and gone to reduce our most pressing obligations affording us gratification and relief and fixing a thankfulness to you for such assistance –
We hope the weather at least helps to prepare you for a cheerful time shortly which will have passed and become history by the time this reaches you. It certainly doesn’t smile here for today a dark dirty fog envelopes everything around and is accompanied by falling snow and sleet which makes everything cold damp dreary and desolate. We hope this description of climate is now prevailing with you and from your several allusions to the climactic conditions on your side we are consoling ourselves that there are some members of our family who are at least better off as regards weather which is always competent to reuse a lower one to cheers depress and makes the
Existence corresponding by pleasant or intolerable. We had a fairly indulged autumn up to the last week or two so we suppose the inferior and faulty specimens which appear to have been reserved for a contrast we have to be home, if with a grin
You will have by this time my letter to you respecting spicer’s overture as to you acing for them in Victoria + distric on salary and com + shall be f which will come to get you news in answer to is which will come I dare say in comm
Say when you next write after receiving this whether you would recommend a despatch of “asbestos fire proof” paint to you. The Asbestos co have divided themselves into two sections latetly, the asbestos will in the future receive district attention from the paint department and the latter will be under the managing directors control, Mountford of Clement S Birm the same who sent out some paint some time since but which didn’t
Reach you. In the paint department many improvements have been effected and it is now made in all colours the form of paint still provides for out door rough work and the improved is prepared for indoors dados friezes and decorative purposes whilst it is claimed for it great resisting power as to fire or water. It can be met over other paint if necessary. For warehouses churches, hospitals, offices, repositories of art + shipbuilding as a safeguard against fire at sea it is of great value.
Mr Cutler who has been in costly litigation with the Mayor +c of Windsor as to the value of the waterworks at Eton which has been take over by that body (council) subject to arbitration as to compensation for same has last week in the House of Lords lost his compensation and has been saddled with the heavy costs. We are sorry it is so.
We are all pretty well some [illegible] your mother is I am happy to say better she was very unwell a fortnight since from overwork and chill and kept her bed for a few days which rest with
Good nursing mainly no doubt helped her very much. Ask Ernest to attend to the small charge on the Cyanite freight as Mr Evans of the CPR 88 command wishes it promptly paid + I have not paid it because Ernest told me not to do so and I have informed Mr Evans that my sons with to carry the preliminaries themselves so as to form a precedent for our future – a big future I trust.
We rejoice you write hopefully and quite think more + more that you are all better off and likely to be more so than if you had remained in England. The Commercial features here are atrociously bad, lifeless
We have in store the plum pudding boiled yesterday and they gave me a taste last evening for tea + my word they are toothsome. In 10 daysnow (Dr) we shall all be keeping Xmas and the mental telegrams to + fro will be doubtless frequent + festive in memory as in days gone by.
Your mother has had a nice long letter from Mrs Ernest with which she is much pleased and will write back in a few days.
Hoping you are all well + happy together.
Your Affectionate father.
Mrs Ernest – wife of Ernest Paulin, Emma Jane Jennings – already in Victoria
Mr Cutler is Mary Cutler Paulin’s brother William Henry Cutler, who inherited the Windsor and Eton Waterworks from their father John Cutler in 1843. The waterworks were taken over by the city of Windsor, and the letter talks about the fight for compensation which reached the House of Lords