History of the House / 1930 to 1945 - Sir John Lumsden / Grand-daughter Margery Stratton - 1935-6 / 3. Journey from New York to Cobh, Ireland

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Remembrances of a young American Girl

Part 3 - Journey from New York to Cobh, Ireland

Margery L. Stratton

The following was written by Margery L. Stratton.

Margery, grand daughter of Sir John Lumsden, was born and brought up in a small town in Pennsylvania in the United States, and spent a memorable year at Earlscliffe in 1935/6. This is her story.

The Cunard Liner, the M. V. Georgic

Family friends, Vald and Myrtle Silvester from Princeton drove us, including Mother, to the New York pier on the East River early in the morning of July 13, 1935. Friends and family of passengers were invited to go on board to see the ship, Cunard Liner, the M. V. Georgic. [1]

Shortly before noon the whistle blew and the announcement came across the loud speaker, “All ashore that’s going ashore.” And we watched them all waving to us as we slid away from the pier. I don’t remember feeling any sadness at our “goodbyes’ because it was so much fun! Passing the Statue of Liberty and the skyscrapers of Manhattan we were off to the Emerald Isle.

Many families were on board so I had instant new friends and Dad made friends quickly too. There wasn’t a moment of homesickness though there was a bit of seasickness which was a bout of nausea for an hour or so. The swimming pool was a lot of fun for us children, plus the wonderful food, bouillon at 11AM, a fine luncheon at 1:30, afternoon tea on deck on a sunny day, dressing for dinner and horse-racing games and movies every night. In between all the fancy meals we swam in the pool, played shuffleboard, explored the ship, and stood at the bow of the boat or aft to watch the wake of the ship. I remember meeting a 14-year old boy, named Kenny Alerup from Chicago and thought he was pretty sharp! He gave me a kiss on the cheek and I didn’t want to wash it off!!

Artist Paul Henry painted many images that were used to promote Ireland in the 1930s
Artist Paul Henry painted many images that were used to promote Ireland in the 1930s [2]

Time flew by and our arrival at Cobh, (Queenstown) was in the early morning (around 5 A.M. on Saturday, July 20th) where we were met by the tender as the harbor is too shallow for a large liner.

My first reaction to the landscape was the beautiful green hills of Ireland and the sea birds calling, the sun was just coming up and it was lovely to see. Even more memorable was the look of joy on Dad’s face when he spotted his mother on the dock waving to us. Her son-in-law, Douglas Latta, had driven the car from Earlscliff on the Hill of Howth to Cobh.

As we traveled north we stopped by the roadside and enjoyed a picnic lunch and I remember Granny saying: “We must look for a bush.” I wondered, why did she want to look for a bush? And then I found that since there were no Service stations with bathroom accommodations a gorse bush gave great privacy. Very little traffic on the Irish roads at that time.


• 1. Remembrances of a young American Girl •
• 2. Invitation to Howth, Ireland •
• 3. Journey from New York to Cobh, Ireland •
• 4. Arrival at Earlscliffe •
• 5. Earlscliffe Garden in 1935 •
• 6. Trips and days out • 


  • [1] Built at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, and launched in 1931, the RMS Georgic was the last ship built for the White Star Line. See "RMS Georgic (1932)" wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Georgic_(1932)
  • [2] "Cloudy Day, Connemara" Paul Henry

This page was last updated on 27-Jul-2023 .