Waverley Temperance Hotel
172 Sauchiehall Street
October 1st 1914
My dear Eva, Jack, Lynn, Brian & all,
You will see by this that we are in Scotland.
We left Wales last Friday & journeyed across to York, stopping on the way
at Chester for two hours. We had lunch there & then a look around. It is a very quaint
old place with a fine Cathedral and parts of the old city walls still standing. They are
made so that people can promenade along the top. The shops are very old indeed, many of
them being in two tiers - one lot of shops on top of the others.
We reached York about six after passing through Manchester & other
manufacturing towns. The country was not at all pretty in this part. We saw some of the
Pennine Ranges. At York we were greatly interested in the York Minster, which covers 2 ½
ac. There are also many other historical places. Several hundreds of German prisoners are
in York Castle & also in a camp some way out of the city. We also saw an immense
collection of Roman articles dug up in the neighbourhood & saw the ruins of the old
We left about 1.42 Sat for Edinburgh arriving there about six. This part of the
country was much prettier than the part we had passed through the previous day. The
railway keeps along the east coast for a good part of the way, and so I had my first
glimpse of the North Sea. As we got into Scotland, we could see the mountains in the
distance. We passed through Newcastle a fine large town on the way.
We stayed at Cranstons Old Waverley Temperance Hotel in Princes St (the
principal street & also said to be one of the finest streets in the world). By putting
our heads out of the window we could see Edinburgh Castle on its tremendous foundation of
rocks & just opposite the hotel was the famous statue of Sir Walter Scott. All along
the one side of the street for a great distance is a beautifully kept park-like enclosure,
gay with flowers. Scotts monument is railed off in this. Further along is the Art
Gallery. Sunday we went to the Presbyterian Cathedral of St Giles. It is a very fine
historical building & was John Knoxs church. In the afternoon we went for a walk
& in the evening to the Methodist Mission. It is held in a very fine hall & was
absolutely packed with people. It was harvest thanksgiving.
Monday we visited Holyrood Palace, Greyfriars churchyard & the Castle in
the morning, finishing up with the Camera Obscura. Holyrood was intensely interesting. In
the castle they have some German prisoners who are wounded so we could not see that part,
but what we did see was very interesting. The view from the Castle is very fine. In the
afternoon we went a tram ride along the coast passing through Prestonpans.
Tuesday was a glorious morning so we decided to take the trip to the Trossachs
(the beautifully wooded part which Sir Walter Scott wrote of in The Lady of the
Lake). We went by train through Stirling & Bannockburn, Bridge Allan, Dunblane
to a lovely little mountainous town called Callander. From there to Loch Katrine is a
coach drive through delightful country. The Autumn tints are very beautiful in the trees,
many of which are one mass of golden leaves. On the barren looking peaks, numerous patches
of dark yellow bracken (fern) and dark brown heather make a beautiful picture for these
too are now turning colour. We passed Ben Venue, Lochs Venachar and Achray both
very beautiful lakes, while great gaunt peaks added immensely to the view.
We lunched at a hotel & then continued our drive to Loch Katrine where we
found a steamer waiting to convey us to the other end. We passed a charming little island,
one side of which was especially pretty with drooping trees down to the waters edge.
This was Ellens Isle. From Loch Katrine we went in another coach to Loch Lomond
passing another beautiful lake on the way. This latter has been dammed at one end in order
to raise the waters level 25 ft. It is to be carried through a tunnel in L. Katrine
& is then to provide a water supply for Glasgow.
The trees and berries along the road are wonderfully beautiful. Every now &
then we would come upon trees of mountain ash covered with the most lovely scarlet berries
which hang in clusters. Although I have seen so many of these ash or rowan trees &
have been seeing them very frequently ever since I was at Aunt Claras staying, I
never hardly fail to be struck afresh with their beauty. The berries such a bright scarlet
& the feathery green leaves are beautiful beyond description. I have never seen any I
think in N.Z. though I am told that they grow in Chch & Nelson.
Alongside the road leading to L. Lomond we could see many feet below us a
rushing mountain stream gleaming white through the bushes. It seemed to be tumbling over
rocks and stones all the way along, while as it neared the lake it formed quite a series
of waterfalls. I can imagine that in the winter it must be a regular torrent. Loch Lomond
is a very large lake & though we did not traverse the full length of it we saw enough
to fill us with admiration. Several mountain peaks including Ben Ledi & Ben Vorlich
add to the grandeur of the scenery about this part. As our steamer (a large paddle boat)
bore us along we frequently exclaimed at the wonderful beauty of the scenery at the head
of the lake. The mountains around it made it look very like our N.Z. Sound & Cold Lake
scenery. Presently Ben Lomonds lofty head appeared in view, towering above the other
mountains like a great rugged barren cone. It was now about sunset and the delicate pink,
grey & blue tints of the sky in the east were reflected in the waters of the lake
while the more brilliant colouring in the west made up altogether a picture of wonderful
We congratulated ourselves again & again on having had such a perfect day
for the trip. We had also been extremely fortunate in our company. Mr John Astley of Mount
Albert & his son were staying at the same place as we were in Edinburgh & were
with us a good deal during the day. They introduced a Mr Rayner of Auckland to us &
three Sydney people who were extremely nice were also very good company. On the first
coach there were 11 people & only two were British 5 Auckland & 4 Sydney.
Then other parties joined at other places & on the L. Lomond boat a Mr Thomson,
surveyor of Hamilton,. was talking to Mr Astley. I expect he would be the one from
Ponsonby Terrace who married Miss Edmiston. We did the last part of the journey by train
to Glasgow & here we still are. We had sent our luggage on.
We had heard from Mrs. McEldowney that they would be here this week & they
arrives not long before we did. Such a meeting as there was I can assure you our
tongues could hardly go fast enough. Their room is near ours.
Yesterday we all went down the Clyde past Greenock to Rothesay Bay, Is of Bute.
The first part is very interesting as there are so many men of was & large steamers
being built. The smell of the river however for some distance is vile. Nearer Rothesay the
scenery is very fine, a splendid background of hills lending enchantment to the view.
Rothesay Bay of song fame is very pretty. We was the castle & went by tram to Ettrick
Bay, from whence we obtained a splendid view of the mountains of the western islands.
Today we visited the splendid Art Gallery & Cathedral & trammed into
the suburbs. The buildings are in many instances very fine, but we do not care for Glasgow
as it has been very dull & misty some of the time. We have had rain also today. We are
told that there is very little sunshine here.
Tomorrow Mrs & Iva MC. leave for Dublin. They are to meet Misses Gibb &
Bradshaw there & go to Killarney. They are disappointed of their trip to the continent
so are seeing as much as they can of the British Isles. Their berths were booked long ago
for Jan. It has been so nice seeing them again.
Well I have written down a good many details in this letter so I want you to be
sure & keep it as it may be useful sometime. I thought of Auntie Eva when we were in
the Trossacks where the scene of The Lady of the Lake is laid.
Well so far we have not heard that our boats have been commandeered by
Government, so we hope to really make a start for home Sat. week. If all goes well we may
be with you soon after this arrives.
Love to aunt when you see her, also to all at Vernon, and Ponsonby. Best of
love to everybody from
Your loving mother and sister
Rose G. Court
Yesterday morning I am sure that Miss Butters (that I used to know but who is
married now) was at breakfast here with I suppose her husband & I think her sister.
You remember we heard that she is in consumption. She is pale and thinner. I was anxious
to speak to her but had not a good chance & I think that they left that day.