This letter is from Nell’s father to her brother Jack. And many, many fathers since.
Fielding and Platt
December 3rd 1915
My dear Jack
I rather expected a line from you explaining what had happened to the car. I presume you can hardly have been aware, or you would have mentioned it, [but] when I went out to the station I found that the nearside wings were both so badly knocked about that I have had to order new ones, and the petrol box was missing except for a few fragments. Really, it would have been much better to have missed the train than to have caught it at this expense and risk.
My particular object in writing is to warn you very seriously against the tremendous risks you run when driving a car. The losses and damage to the car are one of the last things to be considered compared with the risk to yourself and passengers. And also the people in the road! One of these days, unless you take much greater care, I am afraid there will be a dreadful trouble. And I am very nervous indeed when I remember that you think of having a car, especially as you might be driving at night on not very suitable roads. I would much rather you didn’t, and I hope you will be satisfied to do with your motor bike and be very cautious even with this. You mustn’t think I am faddy. Remember, that you have had a good many incidents latterly upon which my fears are founded.
I have not heard of any damage being done to the omnibus or the baker’s cart, but inquiries are being made about a grey car, and I believe the petrol box is held by one of the Matson cottagers. I confess, I am not keen about asking for it, and I am making no claim on the insurance company because I don’t think it is a fair risk from their point of view.
What I want to impress upon you is this. That whenever you see other traffic in front, consider it as a danger signal and at once get your car in hand to be able to stop within a yard. Until you do this, you are a danger to the public. The best drivers are the most careful ones and those who will not take risks. I don’t know whether you have a driving licence or not, or whether one is required for a bike, but if anything happened and you haven’t a licence, it would be awkward.
Now to change the subject. Keble[?] writes to say he has a chill and so is prevented from seeing you again. But did you write to him? If not, you had better do so and say you have heard from the office, etc. I hope Louie is enjoying her visit The weather here will not help her much. We had a post card from Marjorie, but I don’t know her next address and it will be no use sending her present one. Mother is much better but has not been out. Nor do I see much prospect in view of the fog and the damp.
How are you situated financially? Let me know. I expect you have had rather an expensive time lately.
Love to Louie and yourself,