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21 December 2014

21st Dec 1944: making marzipan... presents... fixing radio

An R&A Challenger loudspeaker - these were manufactured
by Reproducers & Amplifiers Ltd, Wolverhampton
21 Thur. Very cold, very dismal; misty, damp: everywhere running with water. Ugh! Got the groceries as usual. Got some ginger nut biscuits to-day and some soya bean flour from the latter makes almond marzipan for covering the Xmas cake. To post-office and other shops. In afternoon to buy a tie for Dad also bought sprats at Merton. Addie Veale called in evening: I like her company. Put up a little longer indoor aerial as I could not tune in properly; I can now, and the wireless is performing well, the reproduction being nearly perfect. The Magnavox speaker unit has some slight core (cone?) resonance and is hardly as good as the R & A.

20 Dec 1944: ceiling+window+gas light+loudspeaker=comfort

20 Wed. Very cold, dismal; a wet fog all day. The men came to cover seams in plaster-board ceilings with paper strips. The joiners put in two more windows upstairs which completes the upstairs front windows. The gas man fitted four lights for us which were damaged by the bomb: so now we are well on the way to comfort again. To buy tin of salmon locally in morning. Aunt Hannah called with invitation to go there Sunday afternoon. Took ginger wine essence to Mrs. Child in afternoon and brought away wireless set I lent to her some while back. Fitted it up temporarily in evening and got it going. First time we have had a loudspeaker set since the bombing in July. Gave the younger Child children a shilling each for Xmas and sixpence to Victor Conley as it is his birthday. Boiled the Xmas puddings today.

19th Dec 1944: ginger wine... & Welsh influence on evacuee

19 Tues. Raw cold, dull; misty later. The men finished boarding passage ceiling and walls. As they are not allowed to give a finishing coat of plaster, their work is done until the ban on finishing is lifted. Gas man called: says he will do our job tomorrow. On foot to Merton to buy Dinky’s meat; also bought ginger wine essence and tapers.

Put the clothes airer up again in scullery having had to take it down while the new ceiling was put up. Ann Conley came back from N. Wales to-day where she has been since the flying bombs began. I saw her: she has grown taller and speaks like a little Welsh girl – most charming. Bought a new book for writing my 1945 diary.
Fred's 1944 diary ended with a few spare pages. Inside the back cover he has diagrams
of his rhubarb bed and his methodical pattern of replanting. Also, on the left,
 is next door's young widow's address while she was away after the bombing.
At the top of the right hand page (inside back cover) is the telephone number of
Holloway Bros - the major construction company - where his lifelong sister and
companion worked - Theresa, always known as 'Ciss',

20 December 2014

18th Dec 1944: Slate Club Xmas share-out: 17 shillings

18 Mon. Rather cold but fine bright sunny day with a clear blue sky. Warning at 4.0 a.m. Saw 11 clusters of searchlights following the courses of flying bombs. The sky was very clear and I saw one with its tail of flame but they were all a great way off. I saw the flashes as they went off but did not hear the bang except in one case to N. All clear 4.50 a.m. Further warning at 5.50 a.m. One very distant E, one very distant S: all clear 6.20 a.m. The men stripped the plaster from walls and ceiling of passage, then covered in with plaster board. They erected a staging in the passage and getting in and out was awkward and messy, the place being heaped up with chunks of plaster. When Mrs. Veale saw it she called it crazy paving. Did a lot of shopping locally morning and afternoon, buying among other things Xmas cards and also posting some. Got the Slate Club share-out in evening – 17/-. Visited Mrs. Child.

17th Dec 1944: good workmanship in scullery

17 Sun. Milder than for a long time; never bright: some slight rain. The men took down damaged ceiling and walls of scullery and repaired same with good workmanship: I was pleased. Dear Connie Freeman in a new rig out with which she was obviously pleased also Clifford Gover called previous to going to Sunday School. Started work on a clothes post for Mrs Veale.

16th Dec 1944: £1 present from Captain - & light at last!

* This might have been the
photo sent to Fred
16 Sat. Less cold than of late; a little fairer. The workmen are repairing the walls of the scullery. Cycled to Cheam to buy cats’ meat also some for Mrs. Veale’s animals. Difficult job cooking dinner with workmen about. Posted letter and a novel in French to Roy Cooper in R.A.F. in Belgium. Posted picture book and letter to Anthony. Various shopping locally. Letter, card and a £1 note from Harold Marshall, now promoted Staff Captain: something like a friend. Letter from Alb enclosing Anthony’s photo*. Little Dennis Veale came in; he is charming – so is his mother. Took gas bracket from front bedroom and put it up in sitting room in place of bombed one, so we have a light at last.