Capt. Arthur David LINKLATER

Captain Arthur David LINKLATER 1879 - 1955

The Years of Hardship

By this still hearth, among these barren crags, matched with an aged wife.

There was help at hand. Bearing in mind that Dum's yearly income had shrunk from some £500 a year at Dhunjibhoy's death to £306.16.0 by 1941, declining further to £293.11.8 by 1943 before finally settling on the O.A.P. ‘bed rock’ of £25.0.0 a year! then any money at all must have seemed like manna from heaven, especially bearing in mind that the candle was burning at both ends - diminishing income combined with rampant inflation. One must suppose therefore that the gift of £2 in December 1947 from the Mercantile Marine Service Association was received in the spirit in which it was given. There is also enclosed a small gift (£2) which I trust will be acceptable to you, and will, perhaps, enable you to obtain one or two little extras to make things more cheerful during the Festive Season. It is a small tangible recognition of your services with the Society in the years that have gone. This may seem like a pittance, but it was four times his weekly old age pension, or a month's income. What Dum's view of such largesse was I do not know as by 1948 he had ceased to keep any sort of diary. The Mercantile Marine Service Association also granted Dum a pension of £48 per annum, news of which was communicated to Dum in a letter dated 19 April 1948. I assume this was in addition to the ten bob1 a week O.A.P. he was already getting, in which case it more or less tripled his income at a stroke to over £70 per year, a heady 15% of what he had last been earning from Dhunjibhoy.

alicia-flint.jpg Another unexpected source of bounty that hove in sight in 1949 was his late great, great aunt on his maternal side, Alicia Flint born 1828, died 1912 and I believe that is she, be-crinolined at right. She had set up a Trust, but for what purpose I have no idea. In a letter from solicitors acting for the trustees dated 27 September 1948 Dum was informed that the Trustees have instructed the division of the sum of £160.0.0 in the above [Alicia Flint] Trust. Of this sum £80 falls to be divided among the members of the Linklater family, of which your share is one quarter. We, therefore, enclose herewith a cheque for £20.0.0. An Income Tax Statement dated 31 March 1954 clarifies that Dum was in fact entitled to a one-eighth share of the whole Trust; the quarter referred to above was his entitlement of the Linklater share, which latter was one half of the whole Trust. In a letter dated 13 April 1954 the Trust made another payment that supports this; The Trustees of the above Trust have decided to divide the sum of £40, being the amount of surplus rents for the past year from the Trust properties after setting aside sufficient to meet repairs and maintenance. Your share of this division of rents amounts to £5 and we enclose herewith a cheque in your favour for this amount. What ultimately became of this Trust I do not know; perhaps I'm rich? Dum was richer.

It will be recalled [!] that Christmas 1944 was spent At 19 Webster Avenue, Wallasey. Our own things with us...The most pleasant for several years. To be clear of these miserable lodgings is great. They had got clear of their "miserable lodgings" on that most auspicious of days, 17th November.2 This property was also something to do with the Mercantile Marine Service Association who, according to their letter heading "controlled" The Liverpool Homes for Aged Mariners. In his reply to the letter from Dum dated 7 January 1948 quoted below Mr Alfred Wilson, General Secretary M.M.S.A. Liverpool, refers to the property as a "Villa" It was very good of you to write in such fulsome and appreciative terms regarding the improvements introduced into the Villas by way of electric cookers, etc. Which is not quite as I remember 19 Webster Avenue and in due course photographic evidence will be produced; but the place must have been a right shack when they moved in if these were the necessary improvements that moved Dum to use such "fulsome and appreciative terms."

Dear Mr Wilson,

I am impelled, to address this unsolicited appreciation from my wife and myself for the very considerable benefits you have recently introduced to the amenities of this house.
The installation of an electric cooker in substitution for the gas cooker is a very great improvement, and it is most efficient, clean, simple to manipulate, and with the movable oven is easy to clean.
The electric kettle supplied with the equipment is most efficient and gives boiling water in three to four minutes.
The electric boiler for clothes is undoubtedly an improvement on the previous gas boiler, but so far we have not put this to use.
The introduction and installation of the power points is a considerable benefit, as is also the increased voltage, and the subsequent introduction of an immersion heater will be a very great convenience.
And lastly, your sending round to have the water pipes in the roof lagged is most helpful.
In all, we have to thank you and the Committee very much for making things so easy and comfortable for us.
Yours sincerely.

And he was sincere. I sense that Dum was almost overwhelmed by his good fortune and by such generosity.

  1. For those recently arrived from Planet Zog, a bob was a shilling; ten bob was therefore ten shillings or half a quid i.e. 50p.
  2. Auspicious because Sally's birthday.

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