This is a picture of The Half Moon Inn, 80, Trumpington Street, Cambridge (corner of Little St Mary's Lane) Rumby John Flack 1830-47, father of Emma Flack - my great great grandmother -lived here. There is a Church in place of this inn now and the Half Moon eventually moved down Little St Mary's Lane, where you can still see a half moon sign hanging outside one of the houses. We have many family tales of The Half Moon at various stages throughout its history. (Picture Courtesy of Cambs Collection.)
These letters belong to my aunt Joan Punter ( nee Toller ) and were given to me to copy onto this site. These contain interesting home front information and political views of the war. They were written by my Great Aunt Marie to her husband George Cruden. ( both now deceased. )
In several of these letter Marie refers to George as Peter Precious- as she was a Catholic from Ireland and didn't want to introduce him to her family as George ( the English kings name) she called him Peter.
Thursday, the 24th. 1941.
My Own Dearest Peter Precious.x.x.x.
Was most pleased to get your letter this morning, and to know that you arrived at the old spot safely, and carrying on with the mess work. Was the M.O trying to be funny, regarding your promotion, and also if you want to carry on with the mess job to have a medical? Darned funny they were glad to let you go to Hatfield without a medical, wasn't it. I do hope your promotion gets through, it seems to silly to advise you that you've got it and then take it away. Cant your officer help you? Perhaps you might all get drafted away en bloc ( The Hatfield crowd I mean ) to another little place on the pioneer stunt. It would be nice now the better weather is coming wouldn't it. I have sent some socks on to you to-day and also a letter but I think I have forgotten "officers mess" on it, so if there is a delay you will know the reason. I also enclosed in the socks the bottle of Lavander oil. Be on the lookout for some more of it - In London according to rumour, there seem to be most things about to be had. Nottingham is without cigarettes again - although I personally have plenty just now, but one of the girls here, whose husband is on war work, says they cant gat one anywhere. Of course they are rationed just now, and if you're not there just when they're about, you're unlucky for the rest of the time.
I got your parcel which you sent from 95 alright, and I take it that you are sending another. Thanks awfully boy, and I'm risking a five bob postal order in the hope that it reaches you so as not to spin you out with the different postages., plus the cost of the parcel.
We are having a "gas attack" tonight, so hope we'll get through it alright. It's been a lovely day, although this morning, it was a real north-east wind. I'm sorry that you still have the long days work to do, but still if you like it, and find things not so much of a rush, no doubt it helps the day through.
I did some digging for Mrs. Wilde the other evening. A nice square bit at the end of the garden where for the whole of the winter there have been the remains of some tall popular trees, which Mrs.W thought she would have cut down a bit. Everybody wanted them for beansticks, and they were ideal for that purpose, but no one wanted to take them until they wanted to put the beans in. Therefore she decided that she would get rid of the whole lot, and not put up with the untidiness. So she told her son-in-law, and the girls next door, and they soon put a move on and got their share. John burnt the rest on Sunday afternoon, when he called, and then on the Monday I had a 'go' at digging. Moved four hugh paving stones which were part of a 'crazy gang' business, and made some steeping stones with them to the air-raid shelter. We may be glad to get in there soon, if things go on as they are. However, it has been too cold to continue, and we have found ourselves during the past three nights hugging the fire again.
The holiday list is now out and this weekend commences the first week. April 28th to May 12th. I was wondering if I should go on May 12th- just to make sure of getting a holiday, but really I am undecided as to wether to go to Devon. I'd love too, of course, but things are so very very indefinate, and I wouldn't like to be caught out down there if ther was an invasion. What do you think, dear. Guy is going the first two weeks in July. Her people have been very nearly bombed again, so they are leaving the house on the 30th of this month, and moving lock stock and barrel to Little- hampton.
There is no alternative to my going to Devon but Cambridge of course, as I couldn't bear to see London so badly knocked about, and I'm really scared stiff of being killed up there with the perpetual raids going on.
Anyway love, perhaps you could offer some suggestion of what you think I ought to do. Thought perhaps ( if it wouldn't cost too much of hopping up to see Marie Wilson in Blackpool. It would be some seaside air, anyway.
Well, now darling, there is some more work, to get on with, so to make sure of this going off, I'm closing now, but hope you will keep well, and don't go westwards or Citywards, in case there is a raid. Cheerio darling, write whenever you can, all my love kisses, hugs, and everything else,
Always your own
Toller Family Tree notes by Joan Punter [nee Toller] (my aunt – transcribed by Michelle Bullivant Dec 2010)
John (1727-1807) probably born at Everton, grew up and married Elizabeth. They moved to Upper Caldecote around 1759, to Temesford in 1779, died and was buried in Temesford in 1807.
James (1762- 1826) born in Upper Caldecote, married Mary Swanell in 1786, took over the farm at U.C., moved to Kings Ripton in 1788, and farmed Rectory Fram. Moved to Sailhill, farmed Old Rowney 1803-26, and was buried there.
John (1791-1872) born at Kings Ripton, married Anna Maria Swanell in 1811, farmed Recotory Farm for his father , until 1813, moved to Sapley (Sapley Park Farm) in 1831, farmed at Fenstanton in 1851 at Tollers Farm in Hemingford Grey, at Anstey Hall Farm in Trumpington in 1842, also Moor Barns farm in Madingley, later bought s…Farm at Streatley, also land at Dunstable.
In 1871 John came back to Anstey Hall, and is buried in Trumpington Church. He seems to have been the most successful and rich farmer.
Frederick Swanell – born in 1813 at Sapley Park Farm – farmed his fathers land at Fenstanton in 1840. He married the ‘house-keeper’, Betsy Brown, an Irish woman, in 1852. They farmed at Hemingford Grey until the lease expired, when his father refused to sign it so that he lost his livelihood. Cut off by his father he worked as a bailiff in Hardwick until 1860. Then moved to Cambridge (67, Newmarket Road) where 5 of their seven children died in overcrowded, unsanitary housing, so different to the healthy life in the country they were used to. Frederick died of TB in 1874. Betsy moved to Harston and married Josiah Pestell, who ran a bootmakers shop.
Richard 1864-1937, born in Newmarket Road, and moved with his mother to Harston at 10 years old. He came back to Cambridge (1892) where he met his second wife, Florence Clifton, married and lived at 29 Perowne Street, Mill Road. He died there in 1936. He spent his later life as a painter and decorator.
Alexander Edmund (Ed, Eddie) 1915-1987 born at Perowne Street, his only sibling, sister Peggy , died of pheumonia aged 5. Eddie worked at Cambridge University Press in Trumpington Street from the age of 15. He married Constance Beatric Broom in 1934, they had four children and he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps 1939-45, fought in France, retired at 65. They lived at 110 Oxford Road until 1954, when they moved to 59 Netherhall Way. Eddie died of cancer of pancreas aged 69.
Elsie Joan born 1940, during World War II at Oxford Road. Attended Richmond Road Infants School, then Park Street Primary School. Went to Cambs High School for Girls in 1951, left in 1956 and went to work at University of Cambridge Exams Syndicate, Mill Lane (opposite C.U.P., where her father worked). Joan married Michael Euyene Brown in 1959, and lived at 10 Church Street Chesterton. She had Christopher david, then moved to 116 Fishers Lane Cherry Hinton, where she had Jacqueline Susan. They moved to 57 Glebe Road, and she had Andrew Paul. In 1976 they moved to 15 Shaftesbury Road near the University Press buildings. After the break-up of her marriage Joan married Richard Douglas Punter and they lived at 7 Drayton Road [Cherry Hinton] where she had Mia Jane in 1979 and Eleanor Claire in 1983.
About Michelle's Archives
This is a blog page for the archives in Michelle's own collection. It includes many of Michelle's personal family archives, tales and scrapbook items to all kinds of general archive items mainly from around Cambridge and East Anglia but some even more further afield. Search for items or subjects of interest under the categories below, by date or keyword, name or place etc. Any problems finding something or if you've any questions or comments please do get in touch by using the 'Contact' page on this website.