Letters from the MBA Archives

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Letter 1: From Jonathan Couch to Matthew Dunn (MBA Archives, MB7), 30 July 1867

Letter 2: From Jonathan Couch to Matthew Dunn (MBA Archives, MB7), 21 July 1868

Letter 3: From Frank Buckland to Matthew Dunn (MBA Archives, MB7), 4 September 1880

Letter 4: From R. L. Antrobus to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB1.2), 26 March 1884

Letter 5: From R. C. Hope (MBA Archives, MB1.2), 1 April 1884

Letter 6: From William E. Sackville West to the Committee of the MBA (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 17 June 1884

Letter 7: From the Comptroller and Treasurer of the Princes of Wales' Household to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB1.2), 30 June 1884

Letter 8: From R. N. Howard to T. H. Huxley (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 30 June 1884

Letter 9: From Mr Walsingham to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 11 August 1884

Letter 10: From M. Foster to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 1 November 1884

Letter 11: From B. Carpenter to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 20 November 1884

Letter 12: From C. Spence Bate to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 20 November 1884

Letter 13: From the War Office to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 13 February 1885

Letter 14: From the Duke of Argyll (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 2 October 1885

Letter 15: From the Secretary of the Fishery Board for Scotland to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 9 October 1885

Letter 16: From Thomas T. Boyd to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 4 November 1885

Letter 17: From Anton Dohrn to Mr Cunningham (MBA Archives, MB7), 25 November 1885

Letter 18: To James C. Juglis (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 4 June 1886

Letter 19: From Mr St Leger Bunnett to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 12 July 1886

Letter 20: From Edward Chapman to E. Ray Lankester, 6 December 1886

Letter 21: From E. Ray Lankester to potential MBA donors (MBA Archives, MB2.1), c.1887

Letter 22: From O. T. Olsen to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2), 18 February 1888

Letter 23: From Walter Wilson to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 21 April 1888

Letter 24: From W. B. Towse (MBA Archives, MB2.3), June 1888

Letter 25: From Mr St Leger Bunnett to potential MBA donors (MBA Archives, MB2.1), c.1888

Letter 26: From Richard Helland to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 30 January 1889

Letter 27: From Richard Helland to Plymouth Town Clerk and E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 30 January 1889

Letter 28: From A. Alcock to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MB7), 18 April 1915

Letter 29: From C. Tate Regan to Mr Vallentin (MBA Archives, MB7), 12 April 1917

Letter 30: From Edward T. Browne to Joseph T. Cunningham (MBA Archives, MB7), 12 January 1921

Letter 31: From Reginald Beddington to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MB7), 18 November 1938

Letter 32: From 'Alan' to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 28 March 1941

Letter 33: From D. M. Reid to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 31 March 1941

Letter 34: From R. Purdey to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 31 March 1941

Letter 35: From R. V. Clark to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 31 March 1941

Letter 36: From A. Gordon to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 4 April 1941

Letter 37: From Alec Sand to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 4 April 1941

Letter 38: From 'A. C.' to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 4 April 1941

Letter 39: From E. L. Goodman to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 9 April 1941

Letter 40: From Anne Kane (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 10 April 1941

Letter 41: From T. A. Stapleman to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 15 April 1941

Letter 42: From W. Rae Sherriffs to Stanley Wells Kemp (MD4.31), 25 April 1941

Letter 43: From R. J. Winpenny to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 28 April 1941

Letter 44: From I. N. Camarthen to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 4 June 1941

Letter 45: From E. R. Worthington to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 1941

Letter 46: From Agnes Kemp to the MBA (MBA Archives, MQ1.2), 27 October 1946

Letter 47: From J. and H. M. Kingcome to Frederick Stratten Russell (MBA Archives, MQ1.2), 30 October 1946

Letter 48: From E. G. Catchpole to Frederick Stratten Russell (MBA Archives, MQ1.2), 1 November 1946

Letter 49: From the Lady Mayoress and Deputy Lord Mayor of Plymouth (MBA Archives, MQ1.2), 1 November 1946

Letter 50: From T. Carson to Frederick Stratten Russell (MBA Archives, MQ1.2), 2 November 1946


Letter 1: From Jonathan Couch to Matthew Dunn (MBA Archives, MB7), 30 July 1867

Couch has not received the Nautilus Dunn sent him, therefore he complains about postal disruption in Cornwall. Encloses a paper for Dunn to display on his public library table. 

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Letter 2: From Jonathan Couch to Matthew Dunn (MBA Archives, MB7), 21 July 1868

Couch writes about 'the Whale tribes'. He discusses the physical attributes of the Porpoise, Dolphin and the 'Blower'. Closes by observing the limited number of Pilchards caught owing to the water being too clear and the nets being 'very black'.

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Letter 3: From Frank Buckland to Matthew Dunn (MBA Archives, MB7), 4 September 1880

Buckland encloses the Salmon Fishery Report and thanks Dunn for sending him news of the 'interesting Sea Fishery matters'. Buckland closes by informing Dunn that he is ill and is having an operation. 

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Letter 4: From R. L. Antrobus to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB1.2), 26 March 1884

Antrobus writes on behalf of Lord Derley to acknowledge Lankester's letter of 25 March 1884 inviting Derley to attend the Royal Society meeting on 31 March 1884. Derley is unable to attend due to 'the calls upon his time'.

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Letter 5: From R. C. Hope (MBA Archives, MB1.2), 1 April 1884

Having read about the establishment of the MBA, Hope requests to become a member.

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Letter 6: From William E. Sackville West to the Committee of the MBA (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 17 June 1884

Sackville West writes on behalf of the council of University College of North Wales to express their desire that the MBA laboratory be built 'in the neighbourhood of the Menai Straits.' The University would be able to provide the MBA access to its facilities. 

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Letter 7: From the Comptroller and Treasurer of the Princes of Wales' Household to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB1.2), 30 June 1884

The writer informs Lankester that it would give His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales 'great pleasure' in becoming patron of the MBA. 

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Letter 8: From R. N. Howard to T. H. Huxley (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 30 June 1884

Howard, who is the mayor of Weymouth, suggests his town as the location of the planned MBA laboratory. He asks 'whether it would have anything to do with the choice if we locally aided you in any way either by setting up a subscription or by taking upon ourselves a portion of the yearly expenditure.' 

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Letter 9: From Mr Walsingham to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 11 August 1884

Walsingham is glad Lankester is 'getting on so well with the subscription list' for the MBA. 

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Letter 10: From M. Foster to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 1 November 1884

Foster informs Lankester that the Royal Society are going to donate £250 toward the establishment of the MBA.

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Letter 11: From B. Carpenter to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 20 November 1884

Carpenter refers to the list of donations and subscriptions for the building of the Citadel Hill Laboratory. He intends personally to donate £20 'towards the building & fittings' of the Laboratory, as well as a yearly subscription of two guineas for the ongoing maintenance of the building. 

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Letter 12: From C. Spence Bate to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 20 November 1884

Bate advises Lankester that Plymouth Town Council have voted Citadel Hill as the approved site for the MBA laboratory. He suggests that the MBA council should apply to the War Office 'without delay' for 'a grant of the land'.  

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Letter 13: From the War Office to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 13 February 1885

The writer refers to Lankester's letter dated 2 January 1885 which had enclosed a plan depicting the proposed site for the Citadel Hill Laboratory. However, the War Office are against this proposition. Lankester is therefore advised to consult with the Corporation of Plymouth and the Commanding Royal Engineer of the Western District to come up with an agreeable solution. 

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Letter 14: From the Duke of Argyll (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 2 October 1885

Argyll, who is Vice President of the MBA, draws the attention of the recipient to the plans to build the Citadel Hill Laboratory. He explains the purposes of the MBA and asks for a donation.

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Letter 15: From the Secretary of the Fishery Board for Scotland to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 9 October 1885

The secretary refers to the subject of a grant being awarded to the MBA. The Fishery Board for Scotland will discuss the matter at a meeting on 19 October 1885.

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Letter 16: From Thomas T. Boyd to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 4 November 1885

Boyd refers to Lankester's letter regarding the request for money from the Fishery Board for Scotland (FBS). He does not think it would be a good idea for the FBS to have a representative on the MBA council. Instead he agrees with T. H. Huxley that the FBS and MBA '"had much better be left each to take their own way."' 

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Letter 17: From Anton Dohrn to Mr Cunningham (MBA Archives, MB7), 25 November 1885

Dohrn asks Cunningham 'to fight our battle' at the next meeting of the British Association. Dohrn also criticises the work of others including Mr Beard's research on '"branchial sense-organs"'.  

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Letter 18: To James C. Juglis (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 4 June 1886

The writer advises Juglis that the Secretary of State for War has no objection to the proposed increase in the size of the Citadel Hill Laboratory's windows.

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Letter 19: From Mr St Leger Bunnett to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.1), 12 July 1886

Bunnett sends Lankester copies of the letter and appeal that he is going to send to potential MBA donors.

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Letter 20: From Edward Chapman to E. Ray Lankester, 6 December 1886

Chapman writes to inform Lankester that Oxford University are in the process of nominating their one member of the MBA Council.

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Letter 21: From E. Ray Lankester to potential MBA donors (MBA Archives, MB2.1), c.1887

Lankester explains why the MBA has been established and that 'the sum of £10000 will be expended' in building a laboratory. 'A sum exceeding £5000 has already been raised by the Association'. The remaining £5000 is to be raised through donations. Donors of £500 become life governors of the MBA and permanent members of the MBA council. Donors of £100 become life members of the MBA and are registered as MBA founders.  

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Letter 22: From O. T. Olsen to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2), 18 February 1888

Olsen advises Lankester of the establishment of the Marine Fisheries Society (MFS) at Grimsby and their plans to build a hatchery and a museum at Cleethorpes. He also asks whether the council of the MFS can seek advice from the council of the MBA and assures Lankester that the MFS has no desire to encroach on the work of the MBA.  

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Letter 23: From Walter Wilson to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 21 April 1888

Wilson, who is Plymouth Town Clerk, writes in reference to the Corporation of Plymouth's desire to build a promenade in front of the Citadel Hill Laboratory. He reminds Lankester of the good will the Corporation of Plymouth have displayed in their dealings with the MBA and hopes that their desire can be met.

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Letter 24: From W. B. Towse (MBA Archives, MB2.3), June 1888

Towse acknowledges the acceptance of the recipient to attend the opening of the Citadel Hill Laboratory. Asks whether the recipient will be attending the celebratory lunch at The Grand Hotel afterward. 

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Letter 25: From Mr St Leger Bunnett to potential MBA donors (MBA Archives, MB2.1), c.1888

St Leger Bunnett explains why the MBA was established and requests money to finance this endeavour. Encloses a circular 'giving some details of the constitution and objects of the Association, also plans of the Laboratory and a sketch of the harbour and town of Plymouth showing the site of our building'.  

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Letter 26: From Richard Helland to E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 30 January 1889

Helland is directed by Colonel Kingscote to advise Lankester that the foreshore and bed of the sea located in front of the Citadel Hill Laboratory belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. The MBA should therefore contact the office of the Duchy of Cornwall in pursuance of its request for rights over this land.

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Letter 27: From Richard Helland to Plymouth Town Clerk and E. Ray Lankester (MBA Archives, MB2.3), 30 January 1889

Helland is directed by Colonel Kingscote to advise the recipients that the War Department has no objections with the proposed plans for the Citadel Hill Laboratory. Namely, that the MBA may sublet to the Corporation of Plymouth a portion of land belonging to the Crown, that the Corporation of Plymouth may likewise sublet to the MBA a portion of land belonging to the Crown, and that an easement may be granted to the MBA for the laying of pipes to carry seawater via a tunnel under the road to the Laboratory.

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Letter 28: From A. Alcock to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MB7), 18 April 1915

Alcock refers to the letter he received from Kemp about the marine life around the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. He talks about his current position of employment and requests that Kemp writes to him more about the Andamans.  

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Letter 29: From C. Tate Regan to Mr Vallentin (MBA Archives, MB7), 12 April 1917

Regan is writing a report about the economic possibilities of fishing off the coast of the Falkland Islands. Asks Vallentin for his opinion about fishing there.

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Letter 30: From Edward T. Browne to Joseph T. Cunningham (MBA Archives, MB7), 12 January 1921

Browne notes that it has been many years since he and Cunningham had last met. He invites Cunningham to dine with him in London at 7pm on Thursday 20 January 1921. Browne would invite Cunningham to his home, however, he is presently in a 'servantless condition'.

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Letter 31: From Reginald Beddington to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MB7), 18 November 1938

Beddington has in his possession some original drawings by Jonathan Couch, author of 'Fishes of the British Isles'. He wants to know whether Kemp would like to have them at the Citadel Hill Laboratory. 

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Letter 32: From 'Alan' to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 28 March 1941

Alan and his wife are very distressed to learn about the bombing of the Citadel Hill Laboratory. He notes that it is fortunate the library has been saved and that no one has suffered serious injury. Expresses his wife's desire to become a member of the MBA and joins Kemp in cursing the 'Nazi airmen'.

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Letter 33: From D. M. Reid to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 31 March 1941

Reid expresses his sorrow having learnt that the Citadel Hill Laboratory has been bombed by the Germans. He offers Kemp's family his place in Sutherland for some peace and quiet.

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Letter 34: From R. Purdey to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 31 March 1941

Purdey expresses his sorrow in relation to the recent air raids but is glad that Kemp, his family, and Laboratory staff are all safe.

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Letter 35: From R. V. Clark to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 31 March 1941

Clark is glad that there were no serious personal injuries and the library remains in tact following the German air raid on Plymouth. He worries that 'Gas seems to be the only thing left for these lunatics to use'. Clark then proceeds to raise the possiblity of visiting Kemp.  

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Letter 36: From A. Gordon to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 4 April 1941

Gordon, having just returned from sick leave in Scotland, has learnt that the Citadel Hill Laboratory has been bombed. He hopes that the damage wasn't serious and that there were no casualties. 

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Letter 37: From Alec Sand to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 4 April 1941

Sand writes in relation to the Plymouth blitz and the bombing of the Citadel Hill Laboratory. He questions whether the '"trivial injuries" were indeed trivial' and asks where Kemp and his wife Agnes will live. He also asks whether Kemp would like the use of his car. Sand would offer Kemp his furniture, however, it was stored in Spooner's Depository which also suffered severe bomb damage. 

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Letter 38: From 'A. C.' to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 4 April 1941

The writer expresses their sorrow having heard about the bombing of the Citadel Hill Laboratory. They express their relief that 'most of the vital equipment of the lab, the library and most of the documents have come through.' 

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Letter 39: From E. L. Goodman to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 9 April 1941

Goodman expresses his sorrow about the bombing of the Citadel Hill Laboratory and looks forward to 'happier times'.

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Letter 40: From Anne Kane (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 10 April 1941

Kane has learnt 'from this weeks "Nature"' of the blitz damage caused to the Citadel Hill Laboratory. As a former student of the Easter classes, she wishes to express her sorrow.

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Letter 41: From T. A. Stapleman to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 15 April 1941

Stapleman and his colleagues have only just read about the German bombing of the Citadel Hill Laboratory in the 5 April edition of 'Nature'. He notes that 'many zoologists are deeply grieved' by what has happened. 

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Letter 42: From W. Rae Sherriffs to Stanley Wells Kemp (MD4.31), 25 April 1941

Sherriffs with 'deep regret' has heard about the German bombing of the Citadel Hill Laboratory. He hopes that work there can continue and that Kemp is safe.

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Letter 43: From R. J. Winpenny to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 28 April 1941

Winpenny is shocked to learn that Kemp has lost his house at Plymouth as a result of German bombing. He hopes Kemp and his household 'suffered no personal hurt'.

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Letter 44: From I. N. Camarthen to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 4 June 1941

Camarthen, having read the MBA report, writes to express his sorrow that Kemp's 'beautiful house & home' has been damaged in the Plymouth blitz. 

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Letter 45: From E. R. Worthington to Stanley Wells Kemp (MBA Archives, MD4.31), 1941

Worthington sends the best wishes of the Freshwater Biological Association in response to the 'fearful tragedy' of the bombing of the Citadel Hill Laboratory.

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Letter 46: From Agnes Kemp to the MBA (MBA Archives, MQ1.2), 27 October 1946

Kemp accepts the invitation to be present at the re-opening of the Aquarium of the MBA on 5 November 1946.

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Letter 47: From J. and H. M. Kingcome to Frederick Stratten Russell (MBA Archives, MQ1.2), 30 October 1946

The Kingcome's, who manage Yealm Oyster Fisheries Ltd, accept their invitation to attend the re-opening of the Aquarium of the MBA on 5 November 1946. 

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Letter 48: From E. G. Catchpole to Frederick Stratten Russell (MBA Archives, MQ1.2), 1 November 1946

Catchpole informs Russell that he will not be able to attend the re-opening of the Aquarium of the MBA on 5 November 1946. However, his wife and daughter will be able to attend.

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Letter 49: From the Lady Mayoress and Deputy Lord Mayor of Plymouth (MBA Archives, MQ1.2), 1 November 1946

The Lady Mayoress and Deputy Lord Mayor accept their invitation to attend the re-opening of the Aquarium of the MBA on 5 November 1946.

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Letter 50: From T. Carson to Frederick Stratten Russell (MBA Archives, MQ1.2), 2 November 1946

Carson will be away in London and so cannot accept his invitation to attend the re-opening of the Aquarium of the MBA on 5 November 1946. His second-in-command, Colonel Bolt, will attend in his place. 

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