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A Day in London to see Jack Hulbert - December 7, 1938 - by Hugh Flemming
An extraordinary collection of photographs
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Paddington - Bristol Night Train from London to Bristol
Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. Baker, Margaret, & I in the Restaurant Car on the Night Express.
Watercolor by Hugh Flemming, December 1938
Wednesday December 7th 1938
Our Day in London
Mrs. Hayes & Margaret came with me to London to see Jack Hulbert’s new play for one day on Wednesday. Father took me in the car to the railway station in the morning. We arrived at the station at Weston. I waited for the Bristol train about ten minute until 10.20.
The train started off to Bristol. I arrived at Temple Meads about eleven oclock it had stopped at three stations.
I waited for Margaret & her mother about 40 minutes. I found Margaret & her mother who came to meet me at Temple Meads station from the bus about quarter past eleven.
We waited for the London train about 11.45.
We saw the London train shunt backwards to nine platform & it was called “Paddington & Bristol”. We sat in the train & there were no other people in the carriage only Margaret & her Mother & I. (hurrah!!)
The locomotive was drawing with thirteen coaches & it was called “Prince John” 4045 (Star Class).
I know the loco called Prince John very well as I have been on the train with Prince John non stop to Bristol everyday in the morning.
Suddenly we saw “The Bristolian” which came to Temple Meads before quarter to twelve.
“The Bristolian” arrived early at Temple Meads because it had been very fast train from London about one hour & three quarter & 117 miles.
We saw a newly married couple going
off to their honeymoon to London by first class.
We started off to London & it was rather late about quarter to twelve.
Our train went very fast through Filton aerodrome & we saw a big R.A.F. bomber flying over our train.
We went through a long tunnel & looked at my stop watch. We travelled through long tunnel about two minute.
We started off to have lunch in the Restaurant Car.
We sat on the dining car & it went very fast & swinging to London. We had a very good lunch on the dining car.
Our train went very fast through Swindon workshops where they are building locomotives & carriages about one oclock.
We had finished lunch & I paid the lunch. We went back to the passenger Car.
I was surprised that Margaret pret-
ended to play with the Communication Cord & I said to her “be careful do not touch the communication Cord”. (if you pull the Communication Cord & you will have to pay £5!!!!!!!!).
We passed Reading about quarter past one.
Margaret was surprised & she saw “Big Cruising Liner” standing on the filed for people to see the ship “Cruising Liner” for the holiday & I have seen it before.
Our train went very slowly nearer Paddington very carefully because the Signal Box was on fire last Friday week all the signals were stopped & the train did not go to Paddington because the Signal Box was on fire & so people & my father went by underground to London in the night. Our train stopped three times because the flagman put up his
Hand and flag so we went through the points very slowly to Paddington.
We arrived Paddington before half past one.
We had a very good journey on the train to London from Bristol about 106 ¼ miles in two hours.
We got in the taxe off to the Palace Theatere.
But we saw awful Signal box broken up it looked so black smoke on the wall outside Paddington Station.
We drove to the Palace Theatre from Paddington it was very busy & crowded in the streets in London. The weather was a little misty. We arrived at the Palace Theatre about two oclock.
Mrs. Hayes I & Margaret sat altogether upstairs in the Palace Theatre. We had a very good view of the stage & it was a very big Theatre, & we saw “Under your hat”.
At half past two the lights went out & the curtain went up & we were waiting to see Jack Hulbert & Cicely Courtneidge. The first Scene “Hat Ballet”. Behind the chorus was a huge hat & a bag. Then came a film Studio.
The second Scene “Jack & Kay’s home” Jack Hulbert & Cicely Courtneidge came in the middle of the stage & we clapped very hard & we saw Jack & Cicely very well.
“Together Again” (Cocktail Party) with Jack & Cicely playing with some cock tail in Restaurant room it was very funny of Jack & Cicely always took some people away from the room because they have been playing with some Cocktail!!!!!!!!!!!
We laughed a lot about Jack Hulbert who was very funny dancing because they have been drinking too much.
All the evening dress people came to the restaurant room to watch Jack Hulbert & Courtney Courtneidge dancing round the room & I heard Jack & Cicely popped & tapping dancing & we laughed a lot again.
“The Crossing the Channel”. There were very beautiful Carol’s Suite in the South of France & “La Poole Restaurant & Jack Hulbert tap dancing..
The scenes closed for five minute & we had some tea on the chairs & talked together & I paid for tea at the Palace Theatre. It was very hot I could feel the fresh air behind me about four oclock.
The curtain went up again. We were surprised there was a very big “Aerodrome Station” & huge modeling statue on the middle of the room. Jack & Cicely and a Colonel and Mrs Sheepshanks talking about the book Cicely was hiding the
Book back to the Bookstall French policeman was very cross about the book.
Jack Hulbert was tap dancing alone at the Air station.
“Boris Villa” very large (drawing room) Jack Hulbert and Leonard Corbell talking together & Cicely was a maid it was very funny play & we laughed & laughed & I could not breathe because I laughed all the time about Jack & Cicely who were very funny in the play.
“A Country Road in France”. There were three men talking together & they changed three hats & laughed again.
“A girl School in France”. All the girls dancing in the playground & Cicely blew the whistles to stop dancing about twice. Colonel & Mrs. Sheephanks by Jack & Cicely who were dressed up as talked a lot about new girl came new school & Mr. Sheep-
hanks was very clever played with an umbrella.
“The Airplane Cabin” Jack & Cicely wearing engineers getup for the aeroplane & they went off to fly in the aeroplane.
Inside the aeroplane cabin room in the flight.
The pilot of the aeroplane was lost & it ws burst & the pilot was dead.
Jack & Cicely tried to drive the aeroplane but it would not move & poor Cicely talked a lot on the wireless telephone.
“The Film Studio”
There were very huge Ballroom & evening dress Jack & Cicely came forward to the middle of the stage. Everyone in the theatre were clapping very hard all the time because Jack & Cicely were wonderful.
The curtain went down & up about four times at last Jack Hulbert came forward to the bottom of the stage & talked to the people about the play. He went backward to his wife bowed to the people & the curtain went down for the last time about 5.30 oclock.
We hurried to get a taxie for the train. We started off to Paddington Margaret & Mrs. Hayes told me “It was marvelous”. The taxie kept stopping all the time because there was so much traffic.
We thought it was too late for the train about half past six.
We drove through the street. There are beautiful lights at night in London & I had not seen it for a long time.
We arrived at Paddington about quarter past six & it was early for the train & we had quite safely caught the train.
The train shunted backwards to the first platform. It was the same train “Paddington & Bristol”.
Mrs. Hayes found a friend a Mrs. Baker to met us at Paddington. Mrs. Baker remembers me she was at St. Mary Hospital when I my adenoids out a long time ago.
There were only four people in the carriage Mrs. Hayes, Margaret & I & Mrs. Baker without other people again.
We started off to Bristol about half past six & we went back to the Dining Car for the dinner.
We sat all the journey on the dining car to Bristol but we stopped three times but I don’t know what was the name of the locomotive to Bristol & it was too dark at night.
We talked a lot on the dining car & very good meal & I paid for the dinner & it was a wonderful long journey in the Restaurant Car & I enjoyed it very much. It was a very fast train swinging all the time.
We went back to the Passenger car again & read, talked & laughed.
We stopped at Bath Station & started off to Bristol.
We passed Swindon five to eight.
We arrived Temple Meads station again about quarter to nine. Margaret took me to the next train for Weston from “Paddington & Bristol”.
Mrs. Hayes & Margaret told me to thank Mother very much for London holiday in one day & it was perfect & I was very proud to take Margaret & her mother to London & it was a wonderful time in London & I have never been up & down for a play, but I have for a wedding. Harrah!! I went in the Weston train & said goodbye to Mrs. Hayes & Margaret & they went home. I left for Weston but I saw it was a King Class locomotive drawn from our “Paddington & Bristol” train it was called “King James, 6008” powerful locomotive. My Weston train was non-stop to Weston & I was tired & arrived in Weston 9.25.
I met father & went home by Taxie because the car is being decarbonized.
I arrived home about ten & saw mother who was very pleased to see me again, & we
Talked & laughed all about London. Harrah!! & then I went off to bed.The end of a perfect day.
The End of The 1938
Thursday December 8th 1938.
Inside the aeroplane cabin room for "The Airplane Cabin"
Watercolor by Hugh Flemming showing one of the sets he saw.