From Gruel to Gourmet: The Story of Fegan's Homes for Boys in Stony Stratford

St. Paul's School - a letter from 1880
The History of the Building
The Life and Times of Mr. Fegan
Daily life at Fegan's Homes
Christmas for Fegan's Boys
Life on the training farm, Goudhurst
Moving On - life for the boys after Fegan's
Fegan's Boys - where are they now?
Contacting Fegan's Homes
Useful Links
The text of Herbert Charles Mayer's letter to his friend in Woburn Sands.
St Paul’s College
Stony Stratford

March 7th 1880

My dear Harry

I received your letter quite safely on the 3rd at 7.00 AM. I did not expect a letter soon because I know you have much to do. Please never put yourself out to write to me. 2358 must be a decidedly nice engine. I hope I shall see it some days, but I suppose it will only be used for Main line traffic. From your account the new station master must be a nice man. I hope he will still continue to be liked by all the Station people. Your paper seems to be a nice sort of one, the instructions for the bill, if like those of the Telegraph, will be of great service. I am getting on pretty well with the “Lecons”, but they are extremely, however it is only til Midsummer. or rather end of July.

Mother has told Mr. Shat that I am going to leave then, it is a rule to give at least a term’s notice. I think I can read a letter in French, it will practise us both and will be very nice. I will write one to you (if I can) if you like. I think I can put some composition together that may be just legible. I should like very much to Bletchley loco shed with you on some day or other about Easter, I think we do not come home until the week after Easter or so. I have not been doing anything much here except trying to work all day long. Next time I go to Brighton all going well i must try to see Mr. Stardley, the loco Superintendant of the works. He might tell me what to do as to make me better acquainted with what is to be done when I leave. I think a good deal about it now. My school days will soon be finished now I am glad to say. I hope Mr. and Mrs. Pikesley and family are all well. How is Mr. Pikesley’s leg now?

I have no news of any description to tell you so I hope you will excuse this stupid letter. I will reply to your letter as soon as I can when I get it in French. There is not much in English Mechanic just now about Empires, in this week’s I saw a little about the sheds. Perhaps they will put some more in soon. The Master that takes us oftenest is a most disagreeable man, He despatched me to old Mr. Shat with a note saying I was not working and did not try (which was a lie on his part) to work. I read his note to see if there were any lies in it. The old man (ie Mr. Shat jawed at me for about 30 minutes, during which I answered him back and got in a rage. I have not quite cooled down yet. I should like to see his head between the buffers of two loaded coal trucks brought together with a good squash; or under a steam hammer. I must now conclude so with best love to you

I remain ever your most affectionate friend

Herbert Charles Mayer

Please remember me to Mr. Mabley and the 2 e’s and Sarah when you see them; Mr. & Mrs. Pikesley of course.

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