WEEK 4: THE FETE & CARABINEERS’ GYMKHANA
Monday 20 to Sunday 26 July 1914
In the early twentieth century, in the absence of radio and television, middle and upper class entertainment was heavily centred on social gatherings. At home, people played parlour games and got together for afternoon tea or small dinner parties, which often culminated in a sing-song around a piano, or an impromptu dance aided by a gramophone. In good weather, tennis and croquet were popular outdoor pastimes. Concerts and theatre performances drew large crowds as did sports events such as cricket and racing. Sporting events involving horses often had a military flair, with regiments going head-to-head in a game of polo or demonstrating their skills in horsemanship in regimental gymkhanas. In the summer months, garden fetes organized by schools, communities or large country estates provided diverse amusements for all age groups. In the evenings, dinner dances at hotels or community halls were an ever popular form of entertainment, allowing young men and women to mingle in a socially acceptable setting. Such entertainments were high on the agenda in Folkestone during the third week of July, when Captain Armstrong arrived from Moyaliffe to visit his wife and daughters.
Monday 20 July
Did the flowers, then worked in the garden all morning, & took up all the bulbs for the winter. Mr Wright came for a few minutes to say he would put up notices about Muz’s bracelet. After lunch, Ione went & played tennis with the MacGregors, & Muz went with her. I read for a bit, & then wrote letters. Wrote a long one to Algie.
Tuesday 21 July
Did the flowers, then worked in the garden all morning. After lunch Ione went & played tennis with the Collinses & Muz & I took Miss Thurburn up to the Gunner’s sports. The Fusiliers had a mounted football match against the Warwicks, & won. Then they had a mounted tug of war, & were beaten! After the sports the Fusiliers had a game of polo against the gunners on troop horses, & beat them. It was very funny. We didn’t get back till nearly seven. Then we went & called for Ione, & brought her & Miss Marshall back.
Wednesday 22 July
S. of the Thames sports. Did the flowers, then worked in the garden. We had lunch early, & motored over to Wye to see Harry play in a cricket match against Wye College. It rained nearly the whole time. After we got there, Harry made 7 runs. They only played off & on, when it wasn’t raining. We got back here at about 7-30, it pelted the whole way home.
Thursday 23 July
S. of the Thames sports. Did the flowers, then went down the town. The Plumptres asked us to go over to Goodnestone1 to lunch, but we didn’t go. We went over to Nackington for the Fete & Carabineers’ gymkhana, & met them there. It was awfully cold the whole time. We walked about & looked at everything, & then sat & watched the gymkhana, which was rather funny. We got back here at about eight. Muz drove some of the way back.
Friday 24 July
Did the flowers, & then did some tidying, & sorted some things to pack. Went out on the front with Tom after lunch, & we got some flowers. Ione went & played tennis with the Thurburns. Muz lay down with a headach [sic]. Heppie, Tom & I went up to the station to meet Poppy by the four train, but he had come a bit early, & we found him outside when we got back. After tea he, Muz Tom & I went out on the front. Then Muz came in, & we went down to the Hotel. Captain MacGregor was here when we got back. Poppy went at about 9-30.
Saturday 25 July
Poppy, Tom & Ione went out, I did the flowers, & then Muz Heppie & I went in the car to Lyminge to look at horses. We picked some rambler roses. Harry was here when we came back. After lunch I settled the roses, & then Harry went home. Ione played tennis with Miss O’Neill, Mr Davison & Capt. MacGregor. I did some tidying. Muz Tom & Poppy went up to see the wee boy’s [sic] match against the fathers. The others came back for tea, & Mr Penrose & Mr Tueley [?] came too. At about six they went off to play tennis, & the others went. I went down & watched the tennis, & then Poppy came down, & later Muz & Tom came. Roger came & dined with us, & then we went out to the band. Ione came out later, as she was writing to Harry. After the band, we went up to the dance. Captain MacGregor came up with us. We talked in the hall for a bit first, & then I went in with Roger & danced. Ione wasn’t changed so she didn’t dance. I danced four with Roger & three with Mr Penrose. He had sent down a message with Roger, to ask me to keep dances for him, but he never gave me the message. The dance was the greatest fun. Mr Brockman [?] walked back with us. The Fusiliers wanted us to go back in their taxi but we didn’t.
C. B. Hornby, Assate Barracks, Tidworth, to Pat Armstrong
Many thanks for sending over ‘Silver Wing’ & giving me a game on her. I like her to play but don’t think she has the face for a £200 pony. Think I can find a buyer here for her, if she is sound, at £150. If that is any good to you you might let me know. What sort of price do you want for Tempe.
C. B. Hornby.
Sunday 26 July
Muz, Ione & I went to church. Poppy went & bathed. The others went out on the front, & I did the flowers. After lunch we all went up to Moore barracks to see them playing their polo & mounted football! It was awfully funny. We had to get back for tea, Major & Mrs Clinch, Sir Arthur & Miss Marshall, & a girl & Capt MacGregor came for tea. Mr Davison came in later, & Mrs Hondt did cards. Then Mrs Blake, Nicola & Colonel Pitman came in. Mr Davison stayed for supper, but went at about 10-30.
- Goodnestone Park in Dover, Kent, was the seat of the Plumptre family.⇑