The three young women met in the bicycle sheds. Sheila was waiting for them, Daphne and Monica arriving together having rendezvoused at the top of Trumpington Road. They knew their friend would be early, keen to hear about their adventures at the Rex Ballroom the previous evening. It was beginning to spit with rain, and they hadn’t time to stand and gossip, and really, Monica wanted to think about things and talk it over with Daphne before being quizzed by Sheila.
They hurried into the lab buildings, and once inside pulled off their head scarves. Sheila had only managed to ask if they’d had a good evening, was the band any good, did they dance all night, were there any other friends there – and Daphne to reply, yes they’d had a smashing time, the band was from Newmarket and had been better than the previous week’s performance from Eric Brandthwaite and His Orchestra, and Monica to give more details of the music from the Glen Thompson Newmarket Combo.
“You can’t keep me in suspense any longer, Mon! Did you dance with young blue eyes?” Sheila asked as they rushed up the wide curving staircase.
“I wouldn’t exactly say dance,” Monica replied and although she tried to look indifferent her brown eyes were smiling and there was a little dimple in her cheek.
Sheila stopped. “Oh my goodness he didn’t try to…”
“Don’t be silly Sheila, of course there was nothing like that! Come on we’ll be late and Miss Spindle won’t half give us what for!” and Monica virtually ran up the remaining steps.
“You’ve got to tell me, Daph! it’s not fair, I can’t come out at the moment because Johnny is studying and can’t look after the children, otherwise I would be there like a shot!”
Daphne stopped outside their office. “It was such a jolly evening! My John wasn’t with us so I danced with Snick – “
“Snick? Young blue eyes? His name is Snick?”
“Yes, it is – but I danced with his cousin, also called John, a lovely boy, but not a patch on my John!” Daphne hurried into the office, unbuttoning her gaberdine and Sheila had to follow.
There was no time to say more as Dr Adair came bustling in, beaming and friendly. His white hair was a fluffy halo, his finger marked glasses sparkled, and he handed them a bundle of papers he needed typing urgently which he had unfortunately dropped on the way up from his lab.
“My dear young ladies, if you could possibly sort out this muddle and then type it all up I would be exceedingly grateful!” the dear old man asked them. He was well-known as eccentric, equally well-known as something of a genius, and loved by all as a kindly and generous old soul. “Ah! Elsden! Flowers I see! A button-hole for me? No? Well, which of these charming young ladies is to be the recipient?”
Snick, wearing his usual cheeky grin, greeted Daddy Adair.
“It’s by way of being an apology to Miss Matthews for repeatedly treading on her toes!”
This time the violets were not tossed from the doorway but given to Monica who received them graciously and tried not to blush.
At that moment Miss Spindle arrived and the two men departed.
“Was he really a terrible dancer, Mon?” Sheila whispered the moment they were alone.
“He only dances backwards and with his eyes shut!” but Monica was smiling
“Are you seeing him again?”
Later, when Monica took Daddy Adair his collated and typed up papers, Daph confided to Sheila that she had overheard Snick talking to his handsome young cousin, John. She had wanted to keep it secret, but she was just bursting to tell someone. “He told him that Mon is the girl he’s going to marry!!”
“And Mon? Does she like him?”
But before Daphne could reply, Miss Spindle returned.
“You girls have very trivial expressions on your faces, settle down now!!”
Trivial expressions, the two young women contained their amusement and excitement, and once more the office was full of the clatter and dings of typing.
…and February 9th, 1948, attended by Daphne their bridesmaid, Snick and Mon did indeed marry. To read part (i) – https://wordpress.com/post/loiselsden.com/42547