27 November 2012

26th to 28th Nov 1942: bomb cracked lavatory

"Buster" Lloyd-Jones was a famous vet
and author who worked at the animal
 dispensary in Wimbledon during WWII.
Illustration by Stella Mackies Cox.
See details of Buster's life and work 
26 Thur. Cold, very dull, windy, damp. Small shopping excursion in afternoon, returning along little rail path. Dinky (the cat) has hurt a front leg but he will not let me have a look at it.

27 Fri. Cold, dismal, dirty brown light, misty, drizzle. Did the usual Friday morning shopping. Saw Lily Bickerstaff; nice girl. Alan Spooner called. He took Wimsley's wireless set away for repair, also he took my re-built M.C.* speaker for test. (*moving-coil)

28 Sat. Cold but a little brighter. Mr Ward put in a new lavatory pan and trap. as the old had been cracked since the bombing. Got the groceries and then to Morden to the cats' meat shop. Cycled to Wimbledon to get the times of opening of the cats' dispensary as I shall have to take Dinky.

24 November 2012

22nd to 25th Nov 1942: medically exempt?

22 Sun. Severe white frost all day. Dull & misty. Did not go out. Mrs.Akroyd came to tea.

23 Mon. Thick white frost... walked to Morden to buy something for Dinky. Mrs Mrs. Child & Jenefer.* To Dorset Hall to see if I can get exemption on medical grounds from fire-watching, at least during the winter.

*Note: I am being faithful to Fred's diary. He does spell her name 'Jenefer'.

24 Tues. Very cold, very dull and foggy, damp air. To Merton Road Labour Exchange to get form for exemption from fire-watching. Also bought lights at the Merton cats' meat shop.

25 Wed. Cold, dull, damp. To take groceries order in morning. Alan Spooner* called in afternoon.

*Note: many entries about Alan Spooner. Just try searching in the box, top left!

20 November 2012

19th to 21st Nov 1942: too ill for fire-watching

19 Thurs. Cold, very dismal, dead calm. Very depressing. Cut up some more ash branches for firewood. Bought sash cord and replaced broken end of airer in scullery.

20 Fri. Rather mild for season. Calm, some gentle sunshine... Met Ethel then Mrs Child and Jenefer. Bough new H.T. battery, inner tube for cycle also grid-bias battery at Whitbourn's in afternoon. Also bought scouring powder at Smaldon's.

21 Sat. Very cold, very dull, chilly N. wind. To buy a few things locally in morning. Got groceries etc in afternoon. Met Mr. Woodley with his little girl. He did fire-watching with me at Duff's. Got a notice from Fire Watching HQ telling me I was posted for duty at Merton Park Garage. I don't think I can do it in winter time; am not well enough. Fitted new inner tube to front wheel of cycle. Need new covers now.

17 November 2012

17th & 18th Nov 1942: mosaic vandalism

17 Tues. Very cold, cloudy but clear air. Re-laid the mosaic tiles of front path dug up by children on Saturday. While I was doing this cousin Gladys came by on her way to Aunt Liza's: she had her little boy Geoffrey with her. Walked to the Morden cats' meat shop.

18 Wed. Very cold, some feeble sunshine. To take order to grocers also bought sausages. To see Mrs. Hippel in afternoon; she seemed very depressed but left her a little brighter. Her wireless was in order. A few days ago I cut four rose buds and put them in water in the warm room. They have opened and are quite lovely; the last till next June. Oh, what a long time to wait. 

13th to 16th Nov 1942: funeral & surprise gift

13 Fri. Rather cold, dull. Did all the Friday morning shopping including getting the meat. Along rail path to buy fish in Wimbledon. Saw a ballast train with men shovelling ballast onto the track; the engine was an ex S.E. 4.4.0 No 1734: interesting. Uncle Joe called: he is staying the night in Dupont Rd with Uncle Alf as he is going to the funeral tomorrow. Cleaned most of the windows.

14 Sat. Very cold, white frost., thick fog but thinning a little by the afternoon. Uncle Henry was laid to rest in Morden Cemetery. Rev. Dr. Panton(?) Milum read the services first at the church & then at the graveside. I went by cycle to the cemetery in the fog, visibility being lkess than 10 yards in places. Ethel bore up well but was deeply affected. And so comes to an end another life - one who I have always known and who has never lived very far away.

15 Sun. Cold, dismal, misty. Had to repair end fence of garden as someone had pulled it down. Stayed in and an advantage to do so.

"Mrs Akroyd really is a gem"

16 Mon. Cold, windy but a little brighter. Walked to Morden to buy fish also cement at Smaldon's.  Mrs. Akroyd called in evening and brought us a new accumulator as a present. We were surprised at so generous a gift we were in need of one and this is one more proof of her unselfish nature; she really is a gem.

11 November 2012

9th to 12th Nov 1942: victory bells

9 Mon. White morning frost & mist, but cold, bright, sunny afternoon.  Cycled to Morden to buy fish also other shopping in Raynes Park, also to West Barnes for a ride. Alf's Lily & Ethel called to tell us about the funeral arrangements. Mrs.Child called.

10 Tues. Rather cold but fine with some sunshine that could be felt in the afternoon. Cycled to Morden cat' meat shop. To florists in Coombe Lane to order a wreath for Uncle Henry's funeral. Returned along the little rail path where I saw a Pacific loco. Madge & Margaret called in evening.

"I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire" - Winston Churchill, at Mansion House, London, 10 November 1942.

11 Wed. Very cold, thick fog all day. Armistice Day: bought a poppy. To buy something for dnner also to grocers and the post office: took accumulator. Hitler orders his troops to occupy the whole of France in contravention of his terms with France. Mr.Churchill orders church bells to be rung on Sunday to celebrate our victory in North Afrtica.

12 Thur. Very cold, dull, misty. To take letter to Mrs.Child; Mrs Snudden was there. Took a book for Gladys but no one at home - put it through letter-box. To Morden cats' meat shop.  

10 November 2012

5th to 8th Nov 1942: a death in the family

5 Thur. Less cold, but dismal & torrents of rain all day. Out to buy something for dinner at the nearest shops, needless to say. News of a surprise advance in Nth.Africa: first good news for a long time. Hear some anti-aircraft fire in afternoon; learned later that a German bomber had been shot down: good, our guns are getting better.

6 Fri. Cold, north wind, but fine sunshine all day. Did all the usual Friday morning shopping locally then along line until lunch. Saw Drummond Greyhound 704* now fitted with a six-wheeled tender**  in place of the eight-wheeled*** one; wonder what this engine was doing hereabouts it is such a stranger. Walked to Morden in afternoon to buy cats' meat.

Notes: *built in 1899, withdrawn Oct 1951; ** fitted in 1928 i.e. switching back to six; *** fitted in 1903, switched to eight.

7 Sat. Very mild for time of year, 54 degs. Rain all morning, pleasant sunny afternoon. Got the groceries as usual, then to Morden to buy a few things. Met Aunt Ethel in the road on my return, she told me Uncle Henry's condition is serious. Mr Akhurst called late at night to say Uncle Henry was dying, so I went to tell Cousin Alf also Aunt Liza.

8 Sun. Rather cold, cloudy and dull. Cousin Alf called to say that his father passed away at twenty minutes past ten this morning. Ciss and Mrs Akroyd went to Tolworth to tell the sad news to Dad & the others. Uncle Henry was the first to initiate me into the secrets of photographic developing and this is one of my earliest recollections of him: may he rest in peace. He married Aunt Ethel on 30th May this year. I am sorry for her: she is only 39.

3 November 2012

1st to 4th Nov 1942: fish scarce

1 Nov. Sun. Cold, half-dark, rain all day. Stayed in and glad to do so. Jack Bradley paid a surprise visit at night. Drew him a wireless circuit which he asked for. He has been at work on  aircraft building. Warning from 12.40 to 1.30 a.m. two machines destroyed over S.E. coast.

2 Mon. Cold; wintry sunshine all day. Walked to Morden to buy something for Dinky. Mrs Akroyd called in evening.

3 Tues. Rather cold, rather dull. To Merton churchyard to take geraniums off Mother's grave with a view to planting it with daffoldils and forget-me-nots. Mr Ward cleared the gutter of a blockage which caused the rain to come through the roof.

4 Wed. Rather cold, very dull & misty. Did shopping locally but had to cycle to Morden to buy fish which is very scarce. Dr Milum called to see Ciss but she was not yet home from work. Potted up four geraniums taken off Dear Mother's grave.