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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

In which Bell discusses travel plans and describes a trip with Molly and Elsa during which they attempted to travel to Egton. She notes that her Father has arrived and that her sisters are having tea with Dorothy Gervais.
Reference code
Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope, paper

54.5974636, -1.0779515

Red Barns Coatham, Redcar. Dearest Mother. Your plans sound very good - only the 1st is a very long way off! If Papa does not come up for the N.A. I certainly will if I may.
The little girls and I had an absurd expedition yesterday; we started at 10.21 to go to Egton - when we got to Eaglescliff we found that there was an engine off the line at Yarm and we could not pass. So we waited and waited and the day got cloudier and cloudier. At last they took us to the outside of the tunnel near Yarm and there we all got out walked past the engine and found a train waiting for us. By that time it was pouring. We looked about us blankly; a porter came up and asked where we wanted to go - we didn't know, if it was going to rain we wanted to go back to Redcar (there were trains running about in all directions regardless of Bradshaw) Oh, said the porter, deceitfully, it wasn't going to be much. So we got into a train and went on to Picton. Here we were not surprised at being greeted by the cry which had met us at every station "All change here" We hopped out; it was pouring in torrents with thick grey clouds blotting out all the country. I know the home train passed through about 12 o'clock so we resolved to go back. After a long wait a train, not the real one - it was turned back and went back to Whitby - arrived and we got into it and went as far as Eaglescliff. They told us that another train would be sent from Middlesbrough to take us home. At last it came and we got in joyfully. But our joy was premature - it waited and waited and waited, finally going out of the station and standing in a siding. Then it was 1.12 - we had a brilliant idea; we would lunch! So we produced our basket and had an enormous picnic which the little girls enjoyed wildly. Luckily we had a carriage to ourselves. Finally we got home at 2.15 about with[?] no further adventures, but we felt that if we had been called upon to chose [sic] a place to lunch in, we should not have fixed on a third class carriage in a siding outside Eaglescliff!

Papa was very tired when he arrived, but revived in the evening and played picquet.

The little girls are having tea with Dorothy Gervais. Tomorrow, alas! the dragon returns at which they pretend to be exceedingly unhappy. Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude.

IIIF Manifest