Lake District, Manchester & elsewhere - Skemp (Hettie, of Sunny side, Worsley, Manchester.) Diary


Lake District, Manchester & elsewhere - Skemp (Hettie, of Sunny side, Worsley, Manchester.) Diary

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Skemp (Hettie, of Sunny side, Worsley, Manchester, & later 31 Hopwood Avenue, Eccles, married William K. Dawson). Recollections and diary, autograph manuscript. 4to, 119p, excluding blanks, slightly browned, original half morocco, slightly rubbed, 26th January 1891 - 23rd February 1896.

Lake District 4th May, 1891. "Here I am at the 'Swan Hotel' Newby Bridge, staying here with Uncle William ... . We got a conveyance to Lak[e]side, where we got a steamer from one end to the other of the Lake ... I went in the cabin part of the time. We had a 1/4 of an hour at Ambleside where we had a cup of tea. We went back by steamer as far as the ferry. We went for a lovely drive, we passed Esthwaite Water, & Blelham Tarn & had a peep at Ambleside, besides a lovely mountain view. In the morn we went to the 'Bowder Stone', in ther aft ... went to see 'Lodore' we afterwards went on, into see a wood & saw another little waterfall, a very peculiar one, as it sinks into the earth and gets lost: Uncle calls it 'The Lost Chord'." 13th May, 1891. "We went by the first train to Keswick Station ... & went to Bassenthwaite ... got into a boat, & were pulled for two miles on the lake. We arrived at Keswick, & got into the conveyance ... & then had a lovely drive, right round the other side of Derwentwater." 14th June 1893. "... I went up Helvellyn, it was a hard climb but we did enjoy it; the view from the top was lovely. We had a lot of boating & I learnt to row with two oars. In the morning, Will & I got up before 6.0 and were on the lake at 6.40 ..."

A lively account of the life of Hettie Skemp, written in the 1890s, but starting in 1873 and ending with the beginning of her married life in 1896. Skemp recors living on the outskirts of Manchester and incorporates holidays in the Lake District, Cheltenham, Colwyn Bay and the Mumbles. Much of the diary concerns her family (including an uncle sent to prison for three months for embezzlement, and another uncle, Asaph, who was declared insane and sent to an asylum), and hr fights with her stepmother, "she told me, 'I was a bad naughty girl & a constant source of trouble & annoyance. Also, that the sooner I left home the better, she for one, would be very glad". Much of the diary also concerns Hettie's courtship from her teenage years by her boyfriend and subsequent husband, William K. Dawson. She records married life at the age of twenty-three, settling into her own house, buying a piano and a puppy and becoming pregnant.

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