(if you haven’t read Part One, please read first for context of Terrific Thursday)
Although I left the Royal Courts of Justice needing something stronger than a black coffee, I decided to continue my research trip without a visit to a local hostelry along the way. The trip to Farringdon was actually much swifter than I first thought – though it took ages for a Circle Line train to actually appear – and I found myself at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) by 3pm. Microfilms in hand, I had a fruitless search through Uxbridge records though at least I managed to work out what borough Uxbridge was in and the parish reference on Ancestry, so not entirely a waste of time. Then my main mission: locate Master X in the North Surrey Industrial School.
Having only received the request on my journey into London, I was not hopeful of success as I had not ‘done my homework’ prior to departure for the LMA. Searching the NSSD catalogue in the research room, the pages had been removed and not reprinted by the archivist. Not a great start but it started the discussion with someone way more knowledge than a shelf catalogue. Forty minutes later (after a false start which – for a change – I won’t bore you with), I was able to rifle through the only two relevant North Surrey School District (NSSD) documents archived at the LMA: NSSD/169 – the Index to Admission and Discharge Registers – and NSSD/190 – the Register of Apprentices and Servants. Bingo! Reference to Master X in both and also his siblings and grandmother in the former….
To meet Ma & Pa FWL, I decided to test out an alternative method of transport using the Oyster card on Transport for London – on the bus. And it wasn’t such a bad experience either…. To Tottenham Court Road ahead of time, a sumptuous repast in Cafe Rouge and even one of the actors, performing in White Christmas, was eating (pre-performance) in the same establishment. Pa FWL tried to ‘eye-ball’ him on his way out and converse but sadly Graham Cole OBE (aka Tony Stamp from The Bill) was having none of it.
Super seats in the Dominion Theatre and an awesome performance, to the point that even this mini-Scroogette felt a wee-bit festive – amazing what some glitz, sparkle, dancing and jazz hands will do. Even then troggette across London to catch the last train home was bearable, though eventful as train journeys out of London at half 11 often are! Home again, home again, jiggity-jig. And raring to go for an early start tomorrow…. (zzzzzz…..)