My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NOTTINGHAM, England—We arrived on time in Glasgow and there we found the rain that had been predicted all along, but it seemed to deter no one from appearing both at the railroad station, where a sweet little girl presented me with flowers, and later at a press conference.

We had a little free time and then attended a businessman's lunch. Presiding at this meal and again in the evening was Sir Morris Block, who told me that Scotch whiskey cannot be made outside of Scotland because it requires the blend of water from several Highland streams. He once had been a distiller.

This genial and pleasant gentleman did his job remarkably well. Sir James, the keeper of the records in Edinburgh, and Lady Ferguson were the luncheon hosts.

He told me his wife and eldest son have to run the family country home. He only goes home weekend, he said, to tell them what they are doing wrong! But he described his son as a born farmer and obviously was proud of his wife, so I don't think he ever found much fault.

The luncheon was successful, both from the point of view of increasing pledges to Youth Aliyah and to the Save the Children Fund.

After lunch we had several hours in which I could work uninterruptedly and take a long nap. There was no temptation for me to go out-of-doors, since the rain continued to pour down.

I had been in Glasgow before, but some of our party went off to a factory where plaids are made, returning laden with gifts which, in spite of my laziness, they shared with me. I came to the conclusion that the Scotch reputation was not being lived up to, for the people we were with could not have been more generous, both regarding ourselves and Youth Aliyah.

The evening dinner was quite formal and well attended, and we got through just in time to catch our train to Birmingham. On the whole, the trains here are very comfortable, for when I was awakened at 6:45 a.m. I felt that I hadn't been sleeping an entire night.

We got off the train at Birmingham around 7:30 a.m. and our host, Denis Grensmith, arrived shortly afterward from Nottingham. Mr. Grensmith, poor man, had to get up at 5:30 and drive 55 miles to meet us.

We had breakfast in the station hotel and then drove through the lovely English countryside, passing through some charming villages.

Local elections were going on in Nottingham, as they were all over the country, but there seemed to be little real excitement in them anywhere.

At Mr. Grensmith's home we met his wife, his mother, and three of his children, two little boys and a six-weeks-old baby girl. He had invited all of the Nottingham Roosevelt Scholars, past and present, to meet us, and it was a great pleasure to see many of them again.

We went from there to the Lord Mayor's chambers, where he received us most kindly and drove us to the local businessmen's association luncheon. He commented on the election apathy and was troubled that there would be only a 35 percent vote, explaining that the right to vote had been won with difficulty and should be used.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Nottingham (England) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 13, 1957

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.