London in the Blitz. Fred French, 66 Chestnut Road, Raynes Park, Wimbledon, London SW20 kept this diary, blogged 70 years later, during WWII and peacetime. He loves music, model aircraft, radios, railways, roses. His sister Theresa (Ciss) goes out to work - Fred does the shopping, etc.
'On this day' and other notes by Tony French.
By the same editor Poems Please Me
7 Fri. Rather warm, fine sunny day but dull & cloudy later:
the wind has dropped. Tomorrow being Victory Day I spent the morning doing
shopping as the shops will then be closed. I stood in queues at the bakers,
butchers, fishmongers at the cats meat shop. Accidentally broke the corrugated
glass in the scrubbing board so had to buy a piece costing 3/- at Rayner Davis,
Merton. Also to grocers, chemists etc etc. A busy and tiring morning. Cousin
Maud called in evening: Alan Spooner, on leave, came while she was here. Joy
Winsley brought a fuse-bulb for me to test.
Official programme for the Victory Celebrations, 8th June 1946
8 Sat. Rather mild, very dull & cloudy, rain setting in
midday. Victory Celebration Day. Heard the broadcast of the wonderful Victory
Procession. Saw the aeroplane fly-past which came this way. Two types of
jet-propelled planes took part as well as Spitfires, Hurricanes, Halifaxes,
Lancasters, Tempests and Hornets. Anne Conley called in morning and made me
very happy. Put top camber on new wing – starboard side. Drew out design for
the port-side wing and started to build.
5 Wed. Rather cool, very rough, chilly wind, some weak sun late in
the day. Got the groceries also to Morden to buy fish. The three children
called also Anne & Leonard Conley: showed them how to make folded paper
birds beaks. Fitted several bits to new 39 ins aero wing. We received to-day
the cheque for covering the war damage done to our home and the matter is
settled save for buying the required articles, some replacements and repairs
are already done.
6 Thur. Very mild, some sunny periods, the wind
is still rough and chilly. Bought fish at Merton. Bought asters in Wimbledon
and planted them on dear Mother’s grave. Also to butchers. More work on wing of
39 ins aero. The three children called.
3 Mon. Mild, cloudy, very rough cool wind, a few gleams of
sunshine. To Morden to buy fish. Bought strips of balsa wood also sheet balsa
& cement at Normans, oh, and white tissue. Made a start at building a new
model aeroplane wing, having drawn it out in the morning. Gwennie & Laurie
called, dear Gwennie is so charming.
4 Tues. Rather cool, dull, cloudy, showers, rain setting in later;
very rough chilly wind. Bought fish locally, also drawing pins: took
accumulator. Sowed lettuce seed. The crimson paeony has 19 gorgeous blooms on
it. Mr. Evans the landlord & a decorators estimator saw the house with a
view to having it done.
1 June Sat. Rather mild, cloudy, heavy showers, cool
rough SW wind. To Wimbledon to buy fish, got caught in a heavy shower. Aunt
Liza called. Would like to make a new model aeroplane: had a look at what balsa
wood I had in stock – very little.
2 Sun. Rather mild, very cloudy and rough but a few glimpses of
the sun. Gave Laurie a 12 ins. propeller mounted on a shaft and handle: he ran
all the way home with it revolving merrily in the wind. Alb called in evening.
Lily and Anthony having gone to Basingstoke he took the opportunity of coming.
Mrs. Akroyd came to tea.
30 Thur. Very mild to rather warm; the wind is
now SW: some pleasant sunshine. To butchers. Bought a dozen zinnias at Merton
and planted them on Dear Mother’s grave. Gwennie & Laurie called when we
were having dinner. I gave Gwennie a piece of my sausage meat – she liked it:
children love to have a piece from off a grown-up’s plate.
31 Fri. Rather cool, cloudy, rain till late afternoon: stiff cool
breeze. To butchers, bakers etc. all local shops: bought nice piece of smoked
cod fillet 1/10. Played the two Beethoven Sonatas also made another rather
better attempt at the Waldstein.
28 Tues. Cool, dull, rainy morning: mild sunny
afternoon. Bought mustard seed. Bought fish in Wimbledon. Gave Laurie a book of
29 Wed. Becoming very mild; drizzle till late afternoon when the
weather cleared up a little. Got the groceries including a 2 lb. tin of melon
and ginger jam: sounds attractive. The three children called: Gwennie got a
promise out of me that I would give her some roses to take to her teacher when
I have got more in bloom: that is a pleasure any way. The rose at the front
door looks nice to-day.