In the morning we hurried off from Charing Cross by underground (steam and smoke and very dirty in those days) to our little house in New Cross close to our Mission Church and directly opposite a pawn-shop. We were surrounded by railways and railwaymen and very poor people and I used to sit at my window and watch the people on Saturday nights going in and out of pawn shop. I have seen free fighting in the street, once two women. It was an awful sight.The family moved to Tulse Hill.
We arrived much too soon and could not even get into our house - no key. So, being very weary - nearly time for my baby - I sat on the doorstep till a kind woman brought a chair, and Willie went off to find the keys. The churchwarden then came, [and] the furniture, and we started work. I brought my maid with me, I must have been strong for I did things that most women would fear to do in my condition. I must have looked funny - no lovely dresses, like girls now; just a large cape.
So we settle in very quickly, put up pretty lace curtains and everything looked very nice. The curtains were black in less than a month. The silver all bright on the sideboard turned yellow.
The birth of Victor, 22 May 1897
And now it was May, and all the walking I could do was round the house and five minutes to the little church. I had a silly old nurse from Birmingham. My doctor was a young man and clever. So arrived May 21st 10 p.m. when I began to wonder. I walked about all night (no nurse arrived till next day). No friend near. All was strange, but nothing mattered. I had my husband.
At 7 o'clock on May 22nd my first darling baby was put into my arms. I am now 68, but I can still remember the thrill of joy - and Willie came in and kissed me and of course I cried. All was well.
The baby thrived, and I quickly got well in one month, but such a hot May we had. Baby Victor got diarrhea and was very ill. No food suited. We struggled on till August, when we were able to go for a holiday. We could not afford to go away alone, so went to Richard's Castle, my old home. My father and mother were very glad to have us; from that time baby improved and soon became a very beautiful, happy baby. We called him Victor George. His godparents were Miss Horton and George Watton.
Our holiday over, we returned to Hatcham. Victor grew fast. He had long fair curls, could walk at 13 months, and at 16 months he would drive about with our doctor.
Torrey Alexander Mission 1904. How well I remember when Victor was 7. We lived on Brixton Hill and went many times to Brixton Hall where a great Mission was held. One afternoon it was for children and young people. My darling Victor only listened with great attention, and sang the hymns, especially that one :-Farewell to Upper Tulse Hill 1905
"Oh that will be glory for me"
Mr Alexander had a lovely voice; he always sang and conducted. A most sincere and holy man. The Mission was a great help to many. Once he and his wife came and had tea with us. We lived in Upper Tulse Hill at that time.