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3 April 2010

Wednesday, 3rd April 1940

Rather mild but coldish North wind: some rain mostly dull. Finished pruning the roses. Miss Read called. With Alan Spooner to fly aeros on Joseph Hoods with good results. I flew my model with the lifting fuselage. More work on nose-block and propeller gear for Alan.

One week's shopping in 1940
In a separate notebook which Fred headed Housekeeping a/c, he has about thirty weekly household accounts - all in pencil, unlike the neat ink of the diaries. This is for Week Ending April 6 laid out as far as possible as he wrote it. The amounts are in shillings, pence, halfpennies and farthings.


Cats food 2 Cheese 5 Meat Paste 3½ ........................10½
Cornflour 3  Scourine(?) 3 Sardines 5½......................11½
G Syrup 8 Marmite 6 Dates 5½.................................1-7½
Gas 1/- Oil 6½ Beef 2/10 Chops 8.............................5-0½
Cats food 2 Sausages 7½ Potatoes and Onion 3.........1-0½
Accumulator 6 Gas 1/- Rent 13/- Bread 1/11½........16-5½
Milk 2/4 Butter 9½ Eggs 3/7½ Insurance 1/-............7-9
Flour 7½ Sugar 11 ¼ Bacon 6
Milk 9¼ Margerine 7 Cooking Fat 3½
Starch 5 Blue1 Soap 5 Blue Bell polish 7¼
Soap Pds 4.................................................................5-7
Carrots 2½ Cats food 3 Vegetables 2/4......................2-9½
Gas 1/- Carrots 3 Sweets 2½ Lentils 6.........................1-11½
Greens 3 Bones 1 Liver 9 Chop 4 Steak 7.....................2-0
Window cleaning 6 Cats food 3........................................9
Gas 1/- Cats food 5 Gas 1/-..........................................2-5
Potatoes 6 Bacon 4 Suet 2 Fish 6..................................1-6
Papers 7.........................................................................7
Gas refund 8............................................................less 8

So, that's  £2-11s-4d for the week, with rent for the house the largest single item by far. Most weeks saw a bill about this sum.

 P.S. What is Scourine? What is Blue? Answers on a postcard... or as a Comment, please!

3 comments:

  1. This is fascinating stuff! I shared it with my youngest child - she's home educated and laps all this stuff up. Blue is a bag of blue dye, used to 'whiten' laundry which goes cream with age: my Nan always had a blue bag hanging over the sink she did her washing in. It was methylene blue, used as an antiseptic as well. Modern washing powders have blue bits in for the same reason.

    I don't know about scourine, but I bet it's like Ajax powder or Vim, that bleaching scouring powder people used to do sinks and loos with.

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  2. I agree with Rebecca on both counts. In the US, at least, "blue" is called "bluing".

    This is the one that gets me:
    "Greens 3 Bones 1 Liver 9 Chop 4 Steak 7"
    I assume the bones must be soup bones (Fred has a cat, but I haven't seen mention yet of a dog). But liver cost that much more than either a steak or chop? - unless Fred bought an awful lot of liver. And the chop would be lamb? Nowadays lamb chop prices are through the roof.

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  3. OK, I saw the entries for cat food (what might that be?), but later I find that Dinkey was also fed liver, so that explains the large amount. Maybe you could post some more of the household expenses.

    BTW, I notice you're being inconsistent recently in italicizing your "On this Day" interpolations--it helps to distinguish from diary entries. But your putting Fred's daily activities in the context of world events is always very useful and interesting.

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