22 March 2010

Friday, 22nd March 1940 (Good Friday)

Mild, cloudy, some drizzle. Jean Child called having been sent away since outbreak of war: she is on holiday: lent her a music book. Alan Spooner brought me some new elastic for my aero. Started making a new nose-block for his machine. Miss Watts who was in hospital with Ciss called and brought a pink hyacinth in a pot.

Fred's large model aircraft were made of balsa wood covered by a thin, light, doped paper. They were powered by very long, strong, multi-strand elastic 'ropes' which extended (inside) the length of the fuselage. The ropes were bound at the end with leather, which also formed a loop. Prior to hand-launching the models, the elastic motor was wound using a hand-drill with a hook to put through the leather loop.

On this day Russian forces occupied Hanko (Swedish: Hangö) a port on the south coast of Finland.


  1. "elastic": rubber?
    I suppose rubber rationing came later. But rubber from the Far East would be getting hard to come by pretty soon, with the Japanese already on the move.

  2. Thanks for comment - 'elastic band' (for instance) is British usage (says OED), but 'rubber band' is used just as often. Fred certainly used 'elastic' in his diary. And yes, The Phoney War was just coming to and end, so I guess supplies still in shops... but where exactly he would buy the elastic/rubber for these 18-20" long 'motors' I don't know. I wouldn't know where to go to buy similar now. The nearest I can think of are very broad rubber 'straps'which are fitted to the base of some settees - ah or even sofas!