Lennel House staff, Coldstream, Scotland

This undated postcard was addressed by a man named René to a friend, also named René, who was probably working at the Café Monico in London.  The sender is very likely one of the men in the group above.

The postcard was printed by the firm of G. W. Gibson in Coldstream, a town in the Scottish Borders.  The message on the back is in French, and I struggled to make out some of the words, including the first one, which turned out to be Lennel.  (You’ll see a high-resolution scan further down.)

Lennel staff 2

 

Pour moi toujours all right

I turned to a family friend, Stephanie Montgomery, and her daughter Katie for help with reading and understanding the message.

Here’s what we came up with for the left side:

Lennel le 6 Octobre
Mon vieux Spot
Comment vas-tu bien je pense
ainsi que ta femme et les enfants
Pour moi toujours all right
J’ai boulonner dur tous ces
temps derniers mais d’aujourd
hui mes patrons sont partis
pour l’Autriche je pars à
Londres samedi pour une
huitaine et j’espère bien te rou
ler au billard entraine toi
mon lapins-ki. Je t’envoie
la binette d’une partie
de la [???] tu vois si je suis
un peu loc. À partir de samedi
ne m’envoie plus les journaux

A rough translation:

Lennel 6 October
My old Spot
How are you well I think
also your wife and children
I’m still all right
I’ve been working very hard
recently but today
my patrons are leaving
for Austria I leave for
London Saturday for
eight days and I hope to play
you at billiards practice up
my lapins-ki. I’m sending you
the key [?] for a round of
[???] you can see if I’m
a little loc [?]. From Saturday
don’t send me any more newspapers

At upper right he concludes:

À bientôt de te revoir
Mes amitiés à ta femme
cordiale poignée de main
pour toi
René

See you again soon.
My love to your wife
a hearty handshake
for you
René

The address:

Monsieur
René Lebacq
Restaurant Monico
Piccaddily
London

(Piccaddily should be spelled Piccadilly.)

Feel free to examine the photo or the back in high resolution:

 

The dogs look very relaxed.  They were obviously important members of the staff.

Lennel staff 6d

 

The Lennel House and Garden were owned by Maj. Walter Waring and his wife, Lady Clémentine Waring (née Hay).  Beatrix Potter is known to have spent holidays at the estate.  Today the house is used as a Care Home, which I assume is what we’d call a retirement home or nursing home in the USA.  You can see two nice photos of the house, taken from the English side of the River Tweed, on this blog post by a woman who lives in Coldstream.

During the First World War, Lennel House became an Auxiliary Hospital for wounded officers, one of whom was the poet Siegfried Sassoon.  The Australian War Memorial has a photo showing Lady Clémentine on the front steps of the house with a group of British and Australian officers.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Lennel House staff, Coldstream, Scotland

Add yours

  1. How snowy white the attire of the female staff is! And don’t you think the dog on the left is a Pekinese? The staff members all seem fairly happy and at ease, though perhaps not as much as the dogs, so it’s nice to imagine that Lennel House was a pleasant place to work. But what a lot of work you have done decoding and translating the message on the back! Perhaps the name of the restaurant should be “Restaurant Monaco”? I love “Pour moi toujours all right.” It’s my new favorite expression!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Love your comments, Carol! Guess what, I searched for “Restaurant Monico” last night and found it immediately! I really don’t know how I missed it before. I thought I looked for it when I bought the postcard in February (from a dealer in Philadelphia). I’ll update the post today with the new information. And yes, “Pour moi toujours all right” sounds like a mantra to live by.

      Liked by 1 person

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