Letters from London Normal School: Evening Ride on the Intercity Bus

In this letter, we get a taste of a bus ride in 1939. I tried to find a picture of a bus from the period, and found the slideshow called “London, Ontario Through the Years.” These buses were photographed 6 years after this letter was written, but are probably quite similar to the one my great aunt was riding. There was also a picture of some soldiers – which helps us imagine the ones she was talking to on her bus ride.

Buses - 1945 Courtesy of London, Ontario through the years

Buses – 1945 Courtesy of the slideshow,  London, Ontario through the years

23 McKenzie Ave.,

Nov. 15, 1939.Nov 15 envelope

Dear Folks, —

Well I arrived back in the city all O.K. Sunday night. It was about 9:50 when we got here. The army kept me company on the way back. There were only two empty seats on the bus when I got on – in the rear end. There were 3 soldiers there & they kept the conversation going. The one that got on there at Thamesville was from Ridgetown but I didn’t know him. They all seemed to be sane and sober. The one was Irish, I think and he was kind of funny. The man sitting beside me was some kind of foreigner. He was going to Kitchener. They have three or four seats they set up in the aisle & one or two in front. They picked up about the usual load & before we got anywhere near London, every seat was full & ten people were standing up. Every inch nearly was full. The solders stood up and gave some ladies their seats.


World War II soldiers in London, Ontario. Photo courtesy of slideshow: London, Ontario Through the Years


There was a letter from Toronto waiting for me so I’m going to go shopping when I get time. I’ve got the money now but so far haven’t had time. I can’t sleep all day this Sat. They had their first fall flower show here last Sat. & Sun. There were over 100,000 blooms there. Mostly roses & chrysanthemums. I’m sorry to have missed it but you can’t be in two places at the same time. By the way, I was looking in the phone book last night and I see that there is an Airway branch in London on Richmond and I will look it up on Sat. & get the fillers if I can.

There hasn’t been anything very startling going on this week – I’ve been bad & skipped Red Cross & Glee Club. I seemed to have other more important things to do.

Well I taught my lesson to-day & my friend McEachran came in to hear it. You know I like him so well. I wasn’t even teaching a lesson on one of his subjects but he had his say anyway. He wasn’t too hard on me though. They say he has been picking on some of them terribly – Miss Vrooman, my first teacher, told me I was too formal & needed more personality. Well McEachran told me to-day that I had a very pleasing, clear voice and had plenty of personality and so he says I don’t have that handicap to work under. I do like small pupils best though. I have no difficulty in speaking loudly and I feel like kicking some of these weak-voiced individuals – it’s really pitiful sometimes. Miss McWilliams, the teacher told me afterwards that both she & Mr. McEachran would grade me well above a pass so I needn’t worry about that. They don’t usually tell you.

Next week I have Grade VIII at Empress School. We are having this Comp. test on Friday & I have a lot to learn to-night and to-morrow night so will have to go to work.

I’m afraid I don’t know much news – I’ll go out and post this now. Wasn’t to-day a lovely day.

Mr. Howard’s cousin died & he has been away to the funeral to-day. He has just come in. He was buried at Ripley about 100 miles north of here. It is north of Exeter somewhere.

Well, I’ve got to go to work,



…previous letter…

Nov 15 page 1 Nov 15 page 2 and 3 Nov 15 page 4

One thought on “Letters from London Normal School: Evening Ride on the Intercity Bus

  1. Pingback: Letters home from Normal School – November 17, 1939 | The Farmhouse Chronicles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s