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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011, 22:40 
Gosh - this is all so interesting ... I'm interested (sorry - can't think of another word) to hear that Elinor was motherly. I can see that it can be hard to be on the receiving end when someone 'smothers' rather than 'mothers' though. I always thought of Elinor being terribly matter-of-fact and bracing, not motherly at all, so I'm adjusting my ideas a lot, reading your account, Tuttsclump.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011, 23:15 
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I think Elinor was rather “Matter of Fact”, but because Elinor knew of my circumstances and the reason I was living with Phyllis and Sidney as a member of the “Family” she wanted to show affection, which I couldn’t accept, so unfortunately resented the “Motherly Attention”.
I have a phobia off people getting to close, and Elinor would always call me Ducky whilst leaning over the back my chair.
I never resented Elinor personally, because the house in Woodlands Road which the Matthewman’s and Elinor bought together was bought to accommodate me as part of the family, but giving me a room of my own, which allowed me independence, to lead my own life.
I can picture Elinor even now, wearing a blue floral dress, white cardigan her rather thick brown stockings, brogue shoes and wearing a white straw hat on her silver hair (when she went out)
I used to have meals with Phyllis and Sidney, in the downstairs dining room, and would sometimes go down to their sitting room having coffee, and chatting


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011, 09:40 
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So delighted you found the board and introduced yourself, Tuttsclump. I'm absolutely fascinated by the detail of Elinor's life with the Matthewmans.
What, do you suppose, would they have thought about this website and the fact that we discuss the books (and Elinor's life) with such great interest (some might say obsession :lol: )?


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011, 10:15 
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I would think that Elinor would be highly delighted that she still has a following with an obsession of her life and books. Elinor had a manual type writer, and would be amazed with this new fangled “Website”, computers, and electric type writers
On reading my post I realise that I have made a few mistakes over dates, which I hope to correct, once I have had the time to research the facts.
It has been quite a revelation, discussing not only Elinor, Phyllis and Sidney, but my own life from so long ago. I think I lived with the trio for about fifteen years, but need to research more of my life, to be more factual


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011, 11:02 
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Thanks for sharing so much, it's been absolutely fascinating. I am glad to hear, you think EBD would be flattered or pleased with all of the interest in her books. Do you think she would have minded the fill in books or drabbles?

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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011, 11:22 
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There are just so many things that I'd love to ask you, such as whether Elinor preferred coffee or tea (and how she took it!) and whether she and the Matthewmans ever discussed her books and characters and how the writing was coming on - and whether she still enjoyed writing towards the end of her life. I loved the detail in one of your earlier posts about her straw hat and rather thick stockings!

Thanks again for taking the time to talk to us :)


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011, 12:19 
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You are taxing an old man’s memory now but I will try to answer as truly as possible
I am almost sure that Both the Matthewman’s and Elinor’s beverage was percolated coffee.
Elinor dressed as an old respected School “ma'm” would dress, even down to the pink petticoat, that always seemed longer than the dress
In the evenings when Elinor joined the Matthewman’s they would have a small glass of sherry or whiskey, and smoke


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011, 12:23 
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Thank you so much for sharing all this with us, Bryan.

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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011, 13:56 
Tuttsclump wrote:
Elinor dressed as an old respected School “ma'm” would dress, even down to the pink petticoat, that always seemed longer than the dress


I'm adoring this detail, which entirely fits my idea of EBD, and sits very amusingly with her absolute insistence, in her books, on daintiness, neatness and total propriety in dress at all times! :D I'm also highly tickled she addressed people as 'ducky'.

I don't think you should feel hurt, Bryan, that your veracity was initially questioned. Anyone who has spent time on online fan fora of any kind is all too familiar with the phenomenon of the poster who claims to have insider knowledge and often turns out to be a liar or fantasist. No one could doubt the detailed and enormously interesting account of life with the Matthewmans and EBD you've subsequently given, but I do understand where Rubygates' initial scepticism came from. There are a lot of people on the net making completely unverifiable claims. I can understand it may have been hurtful, but you shouldn't take it personally.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011, 14:32 
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Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful details with us, Bryan. It's wonderful to hear from someone who really knew Elinor.

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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011, 15:10 
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Cosimo's Jackal, thank you so much for explaining things so well and understanding why I was sceptical at first. Bryan, it really wasn't meant personally so please don't be hurt. Thank you for providing so much fascinating detail and insider info. Please let us know anything else you remember, every little scrap is interesting to us :).


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011, 15:19 
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I do understand Rubygates' initial scepticism, over my postings, and can see how easy it is to gain rudiment facts from the internet, which I have done so myself, only to corroborate, my dates, from 50 years ago.
The picture of Elinor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elinor_Brent-Dyer was of a much younger Elinor, as she had a pronounced drop in her jaw, when I met her for the first time, I believe due to dental work carried out.
Remember when I first met Elinor she was in her late sixties- early seventies
Elinor also suffered from aches and pains associated with advanced years and walked with the aid of a walking stick


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 10 Jun 2011, 09:21 
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Another question (if you don't mind digging back :) ). What sorts of things were on the menu at Albury Edge? I think you said in an earlier post that Elinor would cook her evening meal herself, but did you all eat together sometimes?


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 10 Jun 2011, 09:54 
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At Albury Edge, both Elinor and I was more “Guest”, so Phyllis prepared the evening meals mostly on her own. The Kitchen was very small and wouldn’t accommodate two persons bustling around, although I think Sidney did help to cook the Sunday Roast. We would all eat our meals together round the dining table
Again in Oxford Road Redhill this was a temporary arrangement but I believe Elinor did prepare some of her meals separately, as this also had a small kitchen.
It is only when we moved to Woodlands Road that the Matthewman’s and Elinor led separate lives together.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 10 Jun 2011, 10:08 
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Sidney and Phyllis run the Merstham Drama Club which put on plays in the Merstham Village Hall which was a five minute walk from Gervase Cottage. I became involved as the clubs electrician and sound “engineer”. The plays used to be topical like Terrance Rattigan’s “Separate Tables” (which comes to mind)
Each year the club would hold a pantomime which was held at the Redhill Market Hall.The Pantomimes were scripted by Sydney and Phyllis between them, produced by Phyllis, with Sidney as the musical director


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 10 Jun 2011, 10:21 
And what was Elinor's social life like,Tuttsclump? Did she go out and meet friends? Who were her best friends?


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 10 Jun 2011, 10:53 
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When Elinor moved away from Hereford she lost contact with many (If any) friends, so never had any close friends in Surrey. The friends that I know of were friends of Phyllis. Elinor did not drive, so most visiting’s were a joint venture with the Matthewman’s. Elinor made friends within the Drama Club community, which used to meet at Albury Edge West. When Phyllis went to visit her sister in Redhill, Elinor would go with her


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 10 Jun 2011, 11:12 
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I've just had to pinch myself to check I was awake reading all of this. How absolutely amazing, fascinating and really quite emotional. I can only echo the thanks of everyone else. I've been trying to piece together my picture of Elinor M. ever since a piano teacher at school told me she knew her and had kept a school in Hereford.

Tuttsclump, how did you hear about this board? Also do you know what TV programmes Elinor watched.

I bet you didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition :D


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 10 Jun 2011, 11:46 
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I'm loving hearing that Elinor kept her interest in drama throughout her life.

And the chain smoking and dress sense, which echo the comments made by the Cottam (?) girls to whom she was governess in the 1930s. They talk of her always having a cigarette in hand and wearing garments she knitted herself without a pattern.


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 Post subject: Re: Girls Own: Phyllis Matthewman
PostPosted: 10 Jun 2011, 12:05 
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I ‘m having to pinch myself, over all the interest I have discovered since doodling away on Google, typing Elinor Brent-Dyer, and coming across this board. I knew Elinor had a following in the past but didn’t realise it was still very active today. I was trying to form a diary of my own movements over the years, and tried Google putting my old houses and school (Albury Manor School Merstham), which led to a lady mentioning Miss Cecile Hummel, who lived in Merstham, who produced the Reigate Centenary Pageant 1963. Miss Hummel knew of Phyllis and Sydney, living a short walk away, and it has escalated from this.
Miss Hummel was the Head Mistress of the Merstham Grange School
Elinor was quite conservative of her TV watching basically News, and current affairs, the Proms, and “High Brow” programmes.
Next time, I’m on Google, I’ll type in the Spanish Inquisition


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