Warning: This Site is Very Much 'Under Construction' ! i.e. BUILDING WORK IN PROGRESS
Charlie Payne was born in September 1883 in Westminster, where his parents lived and worked. His father, Henry Stableforth Payne, was a Tailor; his mother, Emily Bent Payne was the eldest daughter of Detective Chief Inspector George Clarke of Scotland Yard (see my biography "The Chieftain").
Charlie had four brothers (1 younger) and two sisters (both younger). By the time Charlie was 7 years old, the family had moved from central London to accommodation in the South London area of East Dulwich. Charlie received his secondary education at Emanuel School, Wandsworth before gaining employment as a Clerk in the City of London. At various stages of his life Charlie wrote diaries and letters which I have transcribed from his original documents. Though I am presently writing a biography of Charlie (under the working title "Charlie's Hatbox"), I have decided also to make available online my transcripts of his documents in the hope that they may be of interest to social and family historians. The specific documents that I plan to include on this website are:
- Transcripts of Charlie's pocket diaries for 1903 and 1904 while working as a Clerk in the City of London
- Transcript of Charlie's 1907 diary written during a six-month period that he spent working for the American Express Company in Genoa, Italy.
- Transcripts of letters written to his wife, Ida, during the period November 1916 to February 1919 when he served with the British Army in the UK and as part of the British Expeditionary Force in France and Germany.
January 1903Charlie’s diary for January 1903 serves as an introduction to his daily life and to his work schedule, family and friends. The entries suggest that he had trouble getting out of bed in the morning and that he had considerable flexibility with regard to his time of arrival at his City of London office, from which his boss was frequently absent. He used several means of getting to work, including train and (horse-drawn) bus. Food appears to have been an important part of his life, and his relaxed attitude to his arrival time at the office (which included working a half day on Saturday, with Sundays off) contrasts with the precision with which he records the timing of various events in his daily routine. His January evenings were often spent with family members, walking, talking, playing cards and board games, and reading. His diary records the books that he borrowed from the local library. He shows some interest in sporting events, but apparently as a spectator rather than a participant.
Jan 1 Thursday. Bank Holiday in Scotland. Up at 8-45. Good breakfast. 9-47 to the Bridge [London Bridge station]. Office [85 Gracechurch Street] 10-20. Cold & frosty morning. Busy by myself. Mr D. at home, unwell. Lunched at B.T.T. Caught 6-15 train. Home 6-45. Mrs Buckles and Maudie at Home. Tea, dinner etc. Indoors all the evening, various games etc. Supper etc. 9-30, saw Mrs Buckles off at the bus about 10-30. Cleaned boots etc. Bed 11-20. Reading “Peg Woffington” & had a cigarette.
Jan 2 Friday. Wet morning. 10-5 train to the Bridge. Office 10-30. Mr D. still away. Very slack at the office. Lunched at B.T.T. met Slocombe there. Left Office 5-40. 6-5 train. Home 6.30. Steak, tea etc. Aunt Loo came. Racegame with Norman, Dad & Beaty. Reading etc till 10-30, when we had supper. Bed 11 oc. Had a cigarette.
Jan 3 Saturday. Fine morning. High cold wind. Not feeling very well today. 10-25 train to the Bridge. Office 10-50. Mr D. not in again to-day. Thunderstorm passed over London about noon. It lasted about 20 minutes, accompanied by hail etc, afterwards the sun shone brilliantly. 2-5 train. Home 2-30. Saw Football match:- Townley Park (3) v Hampstead (1). Chop etc. with tea at 5-30. Remained indoors all the evening. Reading etc. Cards with Grandma. Supper 10 oc. Bed about 11. Read till 1oc a.m.
Jan 4 Sunday Up & breakfast at 11-15. Helped a little during morning. Geo. out to dinner. Roast pork etc.etc.etc. at 2-30. Washed & dressed during afternoon. Raining. Gert, Nor & Beaty got a bit wet. Tea 5-30. Steeplechasing etc. with Nor. Polly Price called. Supper 10 oc. Read & a smoke. Bed 11-30. talk with Nor.
Jan 5 Monday Wet morning. 9-02 to the Bridge with George. Office 10 oc. Mr D. not in during morning. Lunched at Cambrian Dairy. Had a walk round. Mr D. did not turn up. 6-5 train. Home 6-30. Tea etc. Indoors all the evening. Supper etc. 10 oc. Bed 11. Had a smoke.
Jan 6 Tuesday Fine morning.. Mild. 9-47 to the Bridge. Met Harry. Office 10-15. Mr D. not in during morning. Lunched at the Dairy. Mr D. arrived at 4-30. Busy. Left 5-45. 6-15 train. Home 6-40. Tea etc. Had a walk to Brixton. Rode home. Supper etc. Bed 11 oc. Read & a smoke.
Jan 7 Wednesday Beautiful sunny morning. 9-47 to the Bridge. Office 10-15. Aunt Loo came about 9 oc. Mr D. not in again to-day. Lunched at B.T.T. & do [ditto] for coffee & a smoke from 4 till 4-30. Left office 5-40. 6-15 train. Home 6-40. Tea dinner etc. Read & a smoke. Afterwards Norman & I went for a walk, called in Nye’s. Home 10 oc. Supper etc. Bed 11-10. Read & a smoke.
Jan 8 Thursday Fog. 9-47 to the Bridge. Office 10-20. Rain. Mr D. not in during morning. Lunched at B.T.T. Met Slocombe & Clements. Mr D arrived 4 oc. Left office 6-30, 6-50 train. Home 7-20. Tea etc. Indoors all the evening. Race game with Nor etc. Bed 10-45. Read & a smoke.
Jan 9 Friday Fine sunny morning. Over the hill & bus as usual to City. Lunched at Cambrian Dairy. Walk Cheapside etc. Busy. Left Office 5-30. Home 6-35. Tea etc. Racegame with Nor, Harry & Dad. Walk as far as Library. Met Alf Lloyd. Home 10 oc. Supper etc. Bed 11.oc. Read & a smoke. Finished Christie Johnstone.
Jan 10 Saturday Beautiful morning. Over the hill etc. Mail Day. Busy till 1-50, when I left the City. Home 3 oc. Match (Townley Park II (2) v Goldsmiths (1)). Tea & dinner together at 5oc. Race game with Geo & Harry. Library. “Devil’s Die” Grant Allen. Read & a smoke. Rye Lane, Peckham Road, Camberwell etc. for a walk. Home 10-45. Supper. Bed about 12oc. Had a read & a pipe. Cold night.
Jan 11 Sunday Cold & frosty. Flo came. Indoors all the morning. Roast mutton etc. for dinner at 2.30 oc. Reading, dressing etc. till tea at 5-30. Afterwards, chat with Grandma. Race game with Nor. Remained indoors. Supper 10-30. Mr Mislebrook came. Talking till 12 oc. Bed. Read & a pipe.
Jan 12 Monday Frosty & sunny morning. Over the hill & bus to the City. Busy day. Lunched at B.T.T. Left City 7oc. Home 8oc. Met Geo. at the Station. Mother gone to Mrs Friend’s. Aunt Loo came. Tea, dinner etc. Gert & I went with Aunt Loo to the Station. Home 10-30. Dad came in. Supper etc. Bed 12-15. Ma home 12-30.
Jan 13 Tuesday Snow. Very cold but bright. Over the hill etc. Busy. Lunched at Cambrian Dairy. Left City 5-45. Home 6-45. Met Alf Lloyd. Ma at Aunt Louisa’s. Good dinner, tea etc. Indoors all the evening. Mislebrook called. Ma home 12-30. Supper & bed. Read & a smoke.
Jan 14 Wednesday Bright sunny morning. Very cold. Over the hill & bus as usual to City. Director’s meeting etc. Busy. B.T.T. & Cambrian Dairy for lunch. Left City 5-45. Home 6-45. Tea, dinner etc. Mrs Price at home. Indoors all the evening. Shave & a footbath. Supper etc.. 11-30. Bed before 12oc. Read & a smoke.
Jan 15 Thursday Very cold morning, sunny. Business as usual. Busy. Lunched at the Dairy. Left City 6oc. Home 7oc. Good dinner etc. Reading, talking & smoking all the evening. B & N home 11-15 from H’s party. Bed 12 oc. Read & a smoke. Skating in London commenced today.
Jan 16 Friday Colder still. Up late. Over the hill etc. Office 11 0c. Director’s meeting. Busy. Left City before 6oc. Home 7oc. Tea, dinner etc. Indoors all the evening. ½ hr. stamping. Supper etc. 11oc. Bed 12. Had a cigarette.
Jan 17 Saturday Another very cold morning. Up late. Over the hill & bus as usual to City. Fairly busy. Left City 2-30. Home 3-30. Steak pie etc. for dinner. Tea 5-30oc. Geo & I then left for the Camberwell Music Hall. Saw Tani The Jap Wrestler. Fish supper at the Green. Met Frank Kemp on the hill. Home about 12-30. Rain. Thawing as fast as it could. Bed 1-30.
Jan 18 Sunday Great change in the weather. Thawing hard. Remained in bed till 1oc. Slight breakfast. Roast pork etc.etc.etc. for dinner at 2-30. Shaved, washed, & dressed. Frank Kemp came in to tea. Talking etc. till he left about 7oc. Reading all the rest of the evening. Polly Price looked in. Supper etc 10oc. Read & a smoke. Bed 12oc.
Jan 19 Monday Dull & dreary morning. Business as usual. Lunched at B.T.T. Left City 5-45. Home 6-45. Saw Polly Price. Tea, dinner etc. Read & a smoke. Aunt Loo came. Wet evening. Gert at MacGregors. I saw Aunt Loo off. Supper etc. 10-30. Bed 12oc.
Jan 20 Tuesday Dull dreary morning. Business as usual. Lunched at Cambrian Dairy. Left City 5-45. Home 6-45. Fish for dinner, tea, etc. Saw Mr Mislebrook & Mrs Price! Indoors all the evening. Reading etc. Bed 12 oc. Read & a smoke.
Jan 21 Wednesday Over the hill & bus as usual to City. Fog. Busy. Lunched at Cambrian Dairy. Left City 5-50. Home 7oc. Dinner etc. Uncle Harry, Mrs Whitestone & children & Miss Lloyd came. Reading all the evening. Boots cleaned, shaved etc. Supper 11-30. Bed 12oc. Read & a smoke.
Jan 22 Thursday Weather fair & mild. Over the hill & bus as usual to City. Busy. Lunched at the Dairy. Left City 5-40. Home 6-45. Reading all the evening. Wet night. Supper 11. Bed soon after. Smoke.
Jan 23 Friday Weather fine. Over the hill etc. Very busy at Office. Mr D. absent. Left Office 5-40. Home 6-45. Gert home. Indoors all the evening. Polly Price looked in. ‘This Mortal Coil’ from Library. Bed 11-15.
Jan 24 Saturday Wet morning. Over the hill & bus as usual to City. Mr D. not in the City to-day. Left Office 2-15. Home 3-30. Steak pie etc. for dinner. Afterwards had a rest, read, & a smoke. Tea 6oc. Went to the Baths. Home again 9-15. Cards with Grandma. Supper 11oc. Bed 12oc. Had a talk with Norman. Soon asleep.
Jan 25 Sunday Up & breakfast 11-15. Helped in the kitchen during morning. Washed & shaved. Roast beef etc. etc. for dinner 2-30. Talking etc. all the afternoon. Alice Burgess came about 5oc. Tea 6oc. Dressed. Talking, reading etc. all the evening. Flo came & stayed all night. Supper 10oc. Bed 11-15. Played a game at draughts with Geo. He won.
Jan 26 Monday Dull morning. Over the hill & bus as usual to city. Office 10.05oc. Mr D. not in during morning, but telephoned. Lunched at B.T.T. Mr D. arrived 2-30. Very busy. Left City at 7 oc. Home 8-10. Met Aunt Loo, Mother, Beaty, Harry & Flo on the hill. Tea, dinner etc. Reading etc. all the evening. Supper 11oc. Bed 11-15. Soon asleep. Miss Turner came.
Jan 27 Tuesday Dull morning. Mild. Over the hill & bus as usual to City. Office 10-20. Lunched at Cambrian Dairy. Busy. Left City at 6-30oc. Home 7-40. Dinner, tea etc. Race game with Norman. Read papers etc. Cleaned boots. Supper 10-45. Talk & a smoke. Bed 11-30. Pouring wet night.
Jan 28 Wednesday Up in good time. Kidneys for breakfast. Over the hill & bus as usual to City. Bright & mild morning. Office 10-20. Busy. Lunched at B.T.T. Left City 6-10oc. Home 7-15. Tea, dinner etc. Indoors all the evening. Cleaned boots etc. Bed 11-15. Grandma queer with bronchitis. I have a cold & sore throat.
Jan 29 Thursday Geo. received a long letter from Pernell from Canada. Up in good time. Kidneys for breakfast. Over the hill & bus as usual to City. Office 10-20. Mild & bright. Feeling better to-day. Busy. Lunched at B.T.T .Left City 6-15. Home 7-20. Tea, dinner etc. Race Game with Norman. Cleaned boots etc. Gruel for supper. Bed 10-15.
Jan 30 Friday Another fine morning. Over the hill & bus as usual to City. Office 10-15. Busy. Meeting of Directors. 1hrs chat with Johnnie Rowland. Lunched at the Dairy. Walk. Left Office 6-15oc. Home 7-20. Tea, dinner etc. Race Game with Nor. His 14th birthday. Haricots for supper. Bed 11oc.
Jan 31 Saturday Fine bright morning. Mild. Enjoyable walk over the hill. Bus as usual to City. Office 10-40. Delivered letters etc. Busy. Left City 2-30. Home 3-30. Pork etc. for dinner. Walk etc. through the Park & Village. Home to tea at 5-30. Racegame with Nor. Afterwards a walk with him down Rye Lane etc. Bought 10/9 [ten shillings and nine pence] boots at Manchester’s. Home 10-15. Supper about 11oc. Afterwards a read & a smoke. Bed 11-45. Sweets. Wet night. Geo. & Harry got wet.