Archive for January 2012

From the Archive: An extract from a letter from Emma Baumgartner to her brother Charles, Godmanchester January 1850

January 9, 2012

My Dearest Charlie,

I think I wrote to you last before the winter began. Oh isn’t it cold! How I did wish for you – when the river froze over – I rejoice to hear of your skating renown. As you know, they say they have had very good skating on the Ouse down as far as Hartford. Anne Sperling and I walked from Wyton all the way to Huntingdon on the ice – except one little bit near Hartford, which was not safe. There was about half an inch of snow on the ice, which made it pleasant for walking, but which must have impeded the skaters somewhat I should think.

I suppose Mama told you that your brothers skated here from Milton. Percy got one or two falls from cat ice and was sent spinning along the ice forever such a way. He felt rather stiff and bruised after it. The next day he and Edward went half way to Bedford and in coming back near the railway bridge, Edward got in up to his waist; however he scrambled out and didn’t seem to care, until after he had proceeded some way further, he discovered that he had only got the stem of his pipe in his mouth. It was a little Meerschum he brought with him from Paris, when he was there last autumn. I dare say you can sympathise in his distress at loosing it.

The frost lasted just 6 weeks and a man – a gardener, who writes in one of the journals, fore told it exactly. We saw his prediction at the beginning of the frost, but I hoped then it wouldn’t be true. They say we are to have 7 years of hard such winters. Our old sledge has come out again, but Mrs. John Thornhill of Diddington has got it this time – it seems to go round of the county. I supposed Mr Veasey did not want it as his wife, who rejoices in another little boy, couldn’t go out this winter. I suppose the frost has now gone for good.

I think you have had your full share of skating this winter though – so I don’t compassionate you. It made an attempt to freeze the night before last – but it was useless. Of course it snowed all Saturday afternoon as Sam went to our farm that day, he met Arthur Veasey and Plumer Rooper in Huntingdon. They are both going to the bachelor’s ball tomorrow were very anxious to induce us to go, offered us tickets etc. Plummer was rejoicing in the thaw, he has taken his degree and now longs for hunting. Farewell my dearest Charlie, pray give my best love to Sam and believe me ever your most loving sister, Emma.

P.s They say that a man at Peterborough skated a mile in 2 minutes and a half and everyone seems to think that tremendous! Is it so unheard of a feat?


BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: Desert Island Discs broadcast from the Island

January 9, 2012

On 29th January 2012, BBC Radio 4 celebrates the 70th anniversary of a broadcasting institution – Desert Island Discs. To mark the occasion, at midday on the 29th, all BBC Local Radio and the stations in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland will simultaneously broadcast their own, very special, editions of Your Desert Island Discs – the programme where the listeners are the castaways. Tune in to catch BBC Radio Cambridge broadcasting from the Island at Island Hall