British Heritage: December 1997/January 1998 Letters | HistoryNet MENU

British Heritage: December 1997/January 1998 Letters

9/23/1997 • British Heritage Archives


Without hesitation you gave your love, compassion, and empathy to so many people, to each human being you encountered, old or young, poor or hungry, disabled and despairing, lonely and discarded–every person the world would gladly throw away.

I wish I could have met you. In my world of severe disability and unremitting physical pain you always reached out to each needy person by giving of yourself with warmth and caring and never an ounce of pity but only understanding, heartfelt concern, and unconditional acceptance and love.

From your clear blue eyes I learned that I was still a little bit valuable, one of the people worthy of your open-handed love and care. May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand. I pray that your fine sons will be as bright, warm, and as intuitive as you.

Ann Brass
Falls Church, Virginia



I have been a subscriber to British Heritage for a long time. Imagine my delight when I read Ann Stanton’s piece about the American Cemetery and Memorial (June/July, page 59). My husband was stationed at G23 on Milton Road Cambridge in 1946-47, he was with the Graves Registration Command. I was born and raised in Cambridge, England and am a war bride. I have lived in the United States 49 years, but I still get homesick for the old country. I go home every year or so, and hope to make a return visit in the near future.

Olive V. Taylor
Rogers, Arizona


As a founding subscriber, allow me to commend British Heritage for its many enjoyable and rewarding articles and its willingness to ‘open new doors,’ especially for film and stage notables, past and present. Joy Melville’s ‘Ellen Terry’ (August/September, page 34) is a perfect example.

Might I venture a brief addendum? Sir John Gielgud, C.H. (the first actor to receive this rare distinction), is Dame Ellen’s great-nephew. As his autobiography, Early Stages, recounts, she had an enormous influence on his career, from his debut (at age 17), in 1921. It is not too much to reckon that this motivation has, 76 years later, made Sir John (with Olivier and Richardson–the ‘Three Knights’), such a durable and beloved presence. His recent performance in Shine is ample proof of this.

Al Covaia
Producer/Host of KKHI FM/AM

San Francisco, California

Editor’s note: We are pleased to hear that readers enjoy our profiles of British stage and screen personalities. Fans of another stage notable, Patrick Stewart, should look for our interview with him, to be published in the near future.


It is regrettable that your August/September crossword puzzle author may have discouraged many people from visiting Stonehenge with the claim that ‘many are disappointed at their first sight of this circle near Salisbury.’ To miss the uniqueness of this monument for any reason is to miss a lasting experience.

My first visit to Stonehenge was in 1965, and during succeeding years I visited it many times, especially in 1971 when I was living in Devon and going past it often on trips to other parts of Britain. About 10 or 15 years ago somebody expressed disappointment that high fences made views of the stones impossible, so I stopped my visits. Then in April, with a friend who had not been in Britain before, I returned to Stonehenge. It conveys its power still. And there are no fences to obscure the views–only ropes about 18 inches off the ground to define the circular path which restricts the flow of traffic from among the stones themselves. So I shall continue my Stonehenge visits and urge others not to miss this experience

Louis Miles
Asheville, North Carolina


I was very interested to read your article ‘Postbus to Manorhead’ (August/September, page 40). My grandmother, born in County Durham, came from the Veitch family, and some years ago a lady in England sent me an account of the early Veitches in Scotland. As I read your article, I realized that this was the same story.

According to the account I received, the Veitch of that day, ‘The Devil of Dawyck’ was said to be a crony–no doubt, for nefarious purposes!–of the ‘Hoolet of Barns.’ I was even given the title of a book, John Burnet of Barns, which is said to mention real members of these famlies, including the Veitches–though I have not so far come across a copy.

I have traced my Veitch ancestors back to Kirknewton, Northumberland, around the beginning of the 19th century. This is only a mile or two from the border, and not far from from Peebles. However, another line of enquiry suggests that they may have come from Dumfries and Galloway. I wonder if any of your readers have any knowledge of a link between the Northumberland Veitches and the Peebles area? If so, I would be most interested to know of it.

Lilian Pickering
Richmond, British Columbia

Editor’s note: Although we can’t help with your search for the Veitches, we can tell you that John Burnet of Barns, by John Buchan, was published by Pelican in 1982. Although it is now out of print, copies can be located through out-of-print specialists such as McTeer Books, tel: 800-373-4943.


I read the letter about fried bread (August/September, page 6) with interest. This is truly a British tradition. A native of South Wales, I am in charge of preparing the fried bread for breakfast. All you have to do is take a slice of bread and fry it in bacon fat until both sides have a nice golden brown appearance. Then, fry your eggs and put it on the slice, or if you cook tomatoes put them on it. Mushrooms are also tasty cooked in the bacon fat. My husband and I enjoy this meal at least twice a week. I hope you will enjoy it, too.

Beryl Witt
Pleasant City, Ohio



In ‘Toiletry Boxes’ (August/September, page 60), we neglected to give proper credit to Sallea Antiques, which supplied the photographs that illustrated the article. Sallea Antiques sells many high-quality toiletry boxes, writing boxes, and other English antiques. Readers may contact the shop by writing to: Sallea Antiques, 66 Elm St., New Canaan, CT 06840. Tel: 203-972-1050.The British telephone numbers provided in British Heritage include an initial zero, which callers from North America do not need to dial when placing a call to Britain. North American callers should dial 011-44 in place of the initial zero. When travelling in Britain, dial the telephone numbers exactly as printed. Please note that all prices quoted in editorial material are correct to the best of our knowledge. We suggest readers call ahead before visiting stately homes, etc., to ensure they have up-to-date details.

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