Introduction to the diary

Diaries used to contain scores of general information preceding the calendar. My mother says she used to carefully choose her diary for the year based on what the initial pages provided. As you can see in the photos, Peggy had a wealth of knowledge at her fingertips in her 1936 school-girls diary.

Peggy filled in some of the Personal Information section, notably updating her height in pen to document an extra half an inch! One piece of information missing from the diary is her birth year, which was 1920, making her 15 years old at the beginning of 1936. Had she not passed away in Spring 2016 she would have been 100 this year.

In the ‘Memoranda’ section Peggy wrote a list of birthday presents she intended on buying her friends, including playing cards,a pad for telephone messages and flapjack. The ‘For Presents’ list appears to be presents she would like to receive. ‘A gold ring with E.N.’ would make sense, as her first name was Elizabeth – she called herself Peggy as a shortening for her middle name, Margaret.

After what looks like some doodling or puzzle-solving, there are some blank spaces that appear to have previously had photographs stuck to them. The first caption says: “King Edward VIII (then Prince of Wales) January 1936 (taken April 1935).” Peggy was rather obsessed with the King, referring to him throughout her diary as ‘David’, a name that he was known as within his family. His full name was Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David. Her obsession may explain the caption for the missing photo on the next page, which has been crossed out: “Sweetheart let’s grow old together”.

Published by derynjames

British author and voiceover.

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