MB: living and writing the early days of parks canada

MB Williams to (her family at) "334," Sep 1933

Transcription / Additional Information

[Canadian Pacific Steamship Lines letterhead]
Sept. 33
R.M.S. Empress of Britain.
Wednesday afternoon.

Dear 334,

            Here we are only a few hours now from land and everyone lacking baggage labels & trains as they always do on the last day. This is a wonderful way to come. It seems as if we had hardly got unpacked and settled down when we have to get ready to get off. No time to get bored. We think we will never come any other way. Both stood the voyage splendidly except


that Mrs. H. took a heavy cold on leaving so thought it wise to stay in bed - the place she likes best on board ship anyway. But we had a lovely stewardess who has brought us the best food the ship afforded & we’ve never failed to do justice to it. Sea was a bit rolly most of the time. Last night there was a concert in the big first class lounge by the Scots Guards & I thought I would dissipate & view the evening gowns. The night was quite a bit rough & in the middle things began to slide. First a music stand slid across the platform then the big Oriental rug in the centre of


the room on which a great many were sitting on small chairs began to do a sidestep & the first thing we knew the whole thing went & every body piled up in a big heap at the other side. The pipers were in the middle of a Strathspey but one of them did a sudden reel instead. There was great laughing when people realized what was the matter & as no one was hurt & only a couple of chairs broken, things


went on as before.

            But it was funny to see the puir kilties trying to do a dance. When they would put down one leg the floor was too near, like climbing up hill, & when they put down the other it wasn’t there at all.

Thurs. noon

            Just crossing now from Cherbourg to Southampton on the last round. Saw land at 2 this morning. I happened to wake & when I looked out of the porthole there was the 1st lighthouse on The Bishops, winking at me in a very friendly way. We have dropped all our parlez-


vous passengers & are now headed for the little island. Trunks & bags are labelled & gone, passports & landing cards stamped & all we have to do is walk off the ship into the arms of the Customs Officers. We have nothing contraband except some whiskey which is labelled “lactopepsin” & which Mrs. H. will carry in her private bag. Tell mother the mustards only came into play once


& did the trick so well that we sat up & enjoyed lunch soon after. Had only one excuse for a glass of beer - but took it. Ernies roses lasted all the way & were lovely.

            Met a nice young woman who is on the Secretariat of the League of Nations, a Toronto graduate who had a card of introduction to us. Also a dear pair of newlyweds from N.S.

            Very strong smell of fish! Think it must be the Channel [smell …… from London]

[Last line cut off by scanner.]






M.B. Williams, “MB Williams to (her family at) "334," Sep 1933,” MB: Living and Writing the Early Years of Parks Canada, accessed April 24, 2018, http://mbwilliams.academic-news.org/items/show/26.


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