History of the House / 1930 to 1945 - Sir John Lumsden / Grand-daughter Margery Stratton - 1935-6 / 6. Trips and days out

Previous / Next: 5. Earlscliffe Garden in 1935

Remembrances of a young American Girl

Part 6 - Trips and days out

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.

A memorable side trip while Dad was still there was to Wicklow to meet the family of friends of our family, The Robinsons, in Arklow. Little did I know that one day my widowed mother, Dorothy Lumsden would marry their cousin Guy Robinson whose father had lived in that house as a boy.

It gave us a chance to see the countryside and I remember stopping at a private home for “tea” which was called to our attention by a sign by the road. There were many roadside homes in Ireland with a sign that said TEA – One shilling.

Ireland's Eye from Howth Harbour
Ireland's Eye from Howth Harbour. Image copyright Pilgab [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Another evening a man from Howth named Paddy Connor who had a large dory which took people to Ireland’s Eye for outings, took the entire family with a large picnic basket for supper on that deserted island.

The seabirds were plentiful and interesting to see.

The feast we had included Sausage eggs – Hardboiled eggs wrapped in ground sausage and baked were served cold and so delicious as was everything else; Barley water with lemonade was our main beverage (probably for “the child.”)

On the way home Grandpa pointed out the Kittiwakes and said that pirates would torture their captives by casting them in the water with a placard or board around their necks and the kittiwakes would fly down and finish them off (I still shudder at the thought!)

Summer’s end meant that Dad would be returning to the U. S. and I would be going to school. While Dad was there he bit down on something and his front tooth broke off. As a child a ‘pivot’ tooth that had been installed to replace a knocked-out front tooth playing hockey or rugby. He had been treated by the family dentist, Dr. Billy Stuart, and since Dr. Stuart was still in practice he replaced it again. At least twenty years had passed since the first situation. It caused a big laugh at the time.

Ruggles of Red Gap
"Ruggles of Red Gap", a 1935 comedy film with Charles Laughton.

I remember the night Dad left; we took him to Dublin for the train to Cobh for his return to the States on the Cunard Liner, Brittanic; we went to dinner and to a movie (to take my mind off his departure I think!). I remember the movie was RUGGLES OF RED GAP, the story of an English butler (actor Charles Laughton) who had been won in a poker game by a wealthy rancher from the wild west and knew more American history than any of the local residents. [1]

It was always a treat to attend the movies in Dublin and Granny loved to go into Dublin to see the latest “flick”(many of which I had seen as they were often a year old by the time they arrived in Ireland) If Granny asked me if I had seen a certain movie I would tell the truth but if she didn’t ask I didn’t offer to say I had already seen it at home. It was usually a night when Grandpa had a dinner engagement in Dublin and the two of us would have dinner at the Woman’s Exchange before the movie.

Before or between the showings an organ would play old or new songs with the words on a screen and the audience would enjoy them. I learned many of the Irish songs that way.

When I returned home Dad was so pleased that I had learned some of his favorites – like “Phil the Fluter’s Ball”! 

• 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 • 


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