Welcome to these Hubbard pages. They're a somewhat disorganised collection of photographs and stories I've published since this website started life in 1998. They've all Grown like Topsy, growing without supervision or prior planning.

That planning has now arrived in the form of hubbardplus.co.uk - my sister Judith's website. She is actively researching our Hubbard family history.

I do not intend to change these pages, as there are so many other websites linking back. Please visit hubbardplus.co.uk

Nick, January 2013

Poor Uncle Jack!

Here's a letter my Uncle Jack received from his sister Frances.

I reproduce it here:  it shows the passion my Aunt Frances had for our family history.

South Farm Road,
BN14 7AE

18th Sept. 1973.

My dear Jack,

Very many thanks for your letter. I was delighted to know that your celebrations went off so well, and that you all enjoyed it all so much.

But this letter is primarily to put you right in your conceptions about Father. Make no mistake he had one of the most brilliant brains of all his brilliant family. With regard to calcium sulphide remember that Father died in 1935, before any of the multitudinous antibiotics, sulphonamides, tranquilizers or even penicillin were ever dreamed of. Penicillin was actually discovered in the Ď20ís but it was set aside and forgotten in a corner of the laboratory till the Ď39 war, when its potentialities began to be discovered. Even when I re-entered Pharmacy in 1952 we were still having to make our own sterile preparations, and a long and complex job it was. So Father had none of these powerful drugs at his disposal, and be did brilliantly with those he had at the time. For another thing he was M.D. You may very probably think that the more impressive MRCS, LRCP, are better than the modest MD. But MRCS, LROP are the lowest qualifications on which a doctor can practice, end the vast majority of doctors manage extremely well for all their practising lives on these. But MD is to these what a General is to a 2nd Lieutenant, and not a great many doctors go on to that height. If one sees MD after a doctorís name, one automatically jumps to attention, so to speak. Father used to be called is as Consultant on difficult cases by such great personages as Sir Lauder Brunton and other giants of his ilk, oven though he was only practicing as a humble G.P. (General Practitioner). Remember I did two years of my statutory training under Mr. Hillman, in his shop, and he had known Father and worked with and for him since you and George were babies, and before I was born. As a pharmacist of the very beet tradition, Mr. Hillman had the very highest opinion of Father and his prescribing, and he told me a great deal about him, from that point of view. Father was streets ahead of his contemporaries with regard to what later became known as Vitamins, though early in this century they had never been isolated, nor their potentialities discovered.

With regard to your asking for Calcium Sulphide tablets: I am sorry to say, and please donít take offence, I should think the pharmacy staff were left gasping with amazement and wonderment as to where on earth you had dug out such a request, Everything is sulphonamides or antibiotics or various preparations of Penicillin these days, and I doubt if the pharmacist had even hoard of it. Incidentally, what on earth is your dentist like? I gather that you had an infected mouth after extractions, or was it a dry socket? I hope for your sake it was not the latter. I had a dry socket once, and if you want to know what pure agony is, you try that. Why on earth didnít your dentist plug the sockets with penicillin Dental Cones? They clear up any infection in a very short time.

Returning to Father and his family - I know you have never liked the Evans side of our family, and always felt more affinity with Motherís side. Her families, the Vizards and Foleys, were of the finest type of county gentlefolk, upright and God-fearing and staunch supporters of the Church, but where brains are concerned they were not in the same street as Fatherís side. I grant you that there were atheists and several first-class rogues in the Evans clan, but for sheer brainpower and brilliance of intellect they couldnít be beaten. Remember I lived, for 4 years with Uncle George, and what I didnít learn from him about the family was not worth knowing.

Take Great Uncle Sir John Evans. He was at one time president of every great intellectual Society in the country, all at the same time. He was also one of the fathers of modern Archaeology. He was President of the Society of Antiquaries, Numismatists, Philatelists - you name it he was it.

Our Grandmother, as you know, was a. marvellous water-colour artist, as well as having one of the finest brains of the family.

Great Uncle Sir John Evans younger brother, Great-Uncle Bassy, was a marvellous artist, and a brilliant poet, not to mention many other things. ďYoung BasĒ he was called. I think you met at Uncle Georgeís on some occasion. I know you didnít like him, and Mother couldnít abide him. He looked like a tramp, was an un-discharged bankrupt, had been a heavy drinker, but I liked and admired him immensely. He was always kind and good to me, and I admired him tremendously for the fact that, having been a heavy drinker, he had, by sheer will-power, trained himself to drink in strict moderation; a far more difficult feat than eschewing alcohol entirely. When he was shaved and smartened up in one of Uncle Georgeís evening suits, en route for some Masonic celebration together (they were both high-up Masons) you would never have known him for the same men.
I grant you his language was a bit blue at the edges at times, but he never talked smut for smut's sake, and his stories were so paralysingly funny that to hear him and Uncle George exchanging stories and reminiscences were an absolute education, and I used to listen for hours.

I also met Willoughby (Lord) Dickinson, and a handsomer pair than Uncle George and Willoughby you couldnít hope to meet. I went out to dinner with them on one occasion. All three of us in full evening dress, to the Ritz or the Carlton or some such place, and as we came into the restaurant every head at all the other tables turned to watch us.
I wasnít so plain myself either, in those days.

I havenít mentioned Arthur Evans. His archaeological feats with regard to Knossos are world famous. Unfortunately I never met him, much to my grief.

Where do you imagine you and I have inherited our not inconsiderable, brainpower from?

Father had always been the favourite throughout the entire families Evans, Dickinsons, Grovers, and the clan never forgave Mother for having, as they thought, dragged him away and buried him in the back of beyond where they could never see him.

Well, I think this is about enough for now, and I only hope I have given you a rather different outlook on Father and all that he was. He and I wore very close to each other, our brains ran on the same lines, far more so than I ever was with Mother, much as I loved her.