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31 December 2012

31st Dec 1942: snow, fire & Thanks be to God!

31 Thur. Very cold, 3/4ins of snow but the afternoon sun melted it in places: freezing later. Walked to cats' meat shop at Merton but the place is shut having been damaged by fire. Chas was on the job of putting this fire out as he is a fireman and told me about it, but he said it was not badly damaged and expected it would be open the next day, but it seems boarded up for good. So I walked to the Morden shop and got some lights for Dinky there. Jean Child called in evening. The last day of the year. A far better and quieter year than we had any right to expect, and the recent victories in North Africa and Russia seem to indicate that the tide of war is turning against the Nazis and the New Year dawns with a hope that victory may be achieved before the end of 1943, at least a victory over Germany and Italy; it may take a little longer to defeat Japan, but the year closes with a feeling of relief and of thankfulness to Almighty God for having saved us when things seemed hopeless and of the promise of peace and better times ahead. So Thanks be to God.

The end of 1942.

Note: Click image to enlarge it. Fred very neatly finishes the final entry for 1942 with only one spare side left in the 4 1/2 x 7-inch notebook. His highest pin board score, recorded inside the front cover, was 5,875, and the highest scored by Ciss was 5,425. His cyclometer at the beginning of 1942 read 2,284.8 miles.


30 December 2012

30th Dec 1942: a quiet day

30 Wed. Hard frost, giving midday, clear fine air. Did shopping in morning but did not go out of the immediate neighbourhood. Maud called in evening for a little chat.

29 December 2012

29th Dec 1942: fire duties skipped

Bitterly cold, driving N. wind; clear, some weak sunshine. Shopping locally in afternoon along rail path a little way to see the Pacific loco: they appear to be very energetic engines. Learned by looking at Firewatching Rota I was on duty from Sunday evening to Monday morning but did not know it as I was told my duties would not begin until the new year.However, there are no warnings now so no-one goes on duty, so no-one will know I did not stay up so as to be ready. I was paired with Mr. Conley* opposite.

*...whose house appears at the top right of this blog - Ed.

28 December 2012

Fred's friend

One of Fred's correspondent friends was Rev C T Staden who lived in the house on the left of this photo, in Henrietta Street, Spalding. (Google, Street View)

27th & 28th Dec 1942: yellow weather

27 Sun. Very cold, half-dark, dirty yellow mist; calm. A number of children called prior to going to Sunday School - all very charming. All very full of Christmas and their presents. Jean and Audrey Child called. Did not go out.

28 Mon. Very cold, very dull, drizzle later. Cycled to Morden to buy a few things. Polished the lenses and reflectors of two electric torches: I like to keep them bright and properely focussed. Chopped firewood. Did not do much else except cook the dinner which I always do on weekdays.

26 December 2012

Boxing Day, 1942: konked-out said knocker

26 Sat. Boxing Day. Very cold, dismal, misty, yellow light. Cycled to Morden to buy cats' meat; very good of the lady assistants to serve on Boxing Day. Saw Mr. Waldon again. In afternoon cycled to Tolworth; succeeded in amusing Anthony (Uncle Fred, you're still amusing me - Editor), he has a lot of toys: stayed to tea and rode home in the dusk. Mrs Veale next door knocked just after I got back, she said their accumulator had konked-out, could I lend her one, yes, of course; she is a dear girl. Have cycled 512 miles this year! Good for me.

"Have cycled 512 miles this year! Good for me."

24 December 2012

Christmas Day, 1942: family meals & presents

25 Fri. Christmas day. White morning frost, cold cloudy day. Dad, Alb, Lily & little Anthony to dinner and tea. When Ciss got up she found the new torch in her room and was pleased with it. Anthony gave me a bar of chocolate & 2/6. Anthony was pleased with the toy elephant & cart given him by little Jenefer Child. Audrey Child called also Chas Thompson and Gwennie and Laurance.

23 December 2012

21st to 24th Dec 1942: Christmas shopping

21 Mon. ...dull, drizzle all day. Cycled to Morden to buy fish. Also to post office to buy postal orders and stamps. Then to Ethel's in Amity Grove to fit new H.T. battery but could not get it going; shall have to try again. Only need to cycle another 8 miles to complete 500 miles this year.

22 Tues. Mild, 55 degrees, calm, sunny afternoon: remarkable. To the grocers to take order, also other shopping locally. Then to Wimbledon along rail-path; bought a few things at Woolworth's. Saw a large new-type goods engine - a weird looking thing.

"blue sky all day...70 degrees...bought holly wreath & cats meat."

23 Wed. Sharp white morning frost then fog, which was quickly dispelled by the sun which shone from a blue sky all day with such power that I put out the thermometer in early afternoon and was surprised to see it reading 70 degrees - amazing.Cycled to Morden in morning, bought holly wreath & cats meat. To Wimbledon in afternoon along rail-path, bought violin strings, socks for myself, sweets and a large size torch for a present for Ciss. A few purchases locally as well. A busy day finished off by going to Ethel's in Amity Grove and got her wireless going first rate. Also fitted a large condenser lens in place of the frosted glass disc in Ciss's new torch - a great improvement.

"bought violin strings, socks for myself, sweets and a large size torch for a present for Ciss."


24 Thurs. Christmas Eve. Lovely calm day; 48 in the shade, 78 in the sun, almost unbelievable but true; blue sky all day. Cycled to Morden Churchyard to put wreath on dear Mother's grave. Met Alan Sopooner & Mr. Waldon; with dog. Bought Dad a jig saw puzzle.

22 December 2012

16th to 20th Dec 1942: blackout & ginger wine

16 Wed. Very cool, rough and rainy. A very rough journey on  my bike to Morden where I bought a few things including a Vidoi(?) electric cycle lamp I had set my heart on. It has a large parabolic brightly plated reflector and I succeeded focussing it into an intensely powerful beam: am very pleased with it. Put up the rest of the blackout to the front windows. Tested it at night by putting the lights on and found it satisfactory. Heard the great Eroica symphony on the wireless: more impressed than ever by the greatness of the master musician Beethoven Warning from 2.0 to 2.35 p.m. distant heavy rumble.

17 Thurs. ...took note to Mrs. Child using my cycle. The Christmas cards are beginning to arrive. Started repairs to marble top wash-stand. Posted long letter and card to Rev Chas Staden. Started writing letter to Uncle Tom & Aunt Nellie.

18 Fri. ...to Merton to buy some chocolate in afternoon. Repaired the marble top of wash-stand which has been broken since the bombing. Paid visit the Aunt Liza. (sic) Finished letter to Uncle Tom & Aunt Nellie.

19 Sat. Very cool, dull, cloudy, rain all day. Got the groceries locally as usual, then a walk in the rain to Morden to buy a few things. Thence more shopping locally including buying ginger wine essence for Christmas. Mrs Henry French called at night to ask me to fit a high-tension battery for her.

20 Sun. Very cool, dull, cloudy. Short walk and to get Uncle Dick's new address from Cousin Alf. Addressed some Xmas cards. Ciss* went to Tolworth.

*Fred's sister (Theresa, known as Ciss) went to tea with her brother Albert and his family at Tolworth - 98 Largewood Avenue - on a Sunday, for many years.

15 December 2012

15th Dec 1942: Woolworths black out blind

15 Tues. Rather mild, clear, pure air. Put rear wheel back in cycle. Along line to Wimbledon; saw Pacific loco. Bought black out blinds at Woolworth's, also gum. Put up one black out blind in parlour, repaired another. Mrs. Child called; she aske me to fit a new H.T. battery to her wireless which I did.

14 December 2012

11th to 14th Dec 1942: Slate cash & a helmet

11 Fri. Very mild for season but powerful wind; intervals of sunshine and showers to complete the illusion of a fitful spring day; the air was pure and clear. Did the usual shopping including getting the meat. Also to Morden to get cats' meat. Gave the windows a final polish; they are now crystal bright.

12 Sat. Rather mild, blue sky, brilliant sunshine. Wallked to Morden to buy cats' meat, then back to Raynes park to do shopping, also to Church to get the annual Slate Club share out which amounts to 18/6. Received my card of authority and am now a member of the street fire fighting party: Mr Cox brought me a steel helmet: I shall look well wearing this and my gas mask.

13 Sun. Rather cool, very cloudy, fresh wind. Short walk in afternoon. Met Archie Adams with his little boy and girl: did not know he had a family. Mrs Akroyd called; her sister is in hospital.

14 Mon. Rather cool, dull. Cycled to Morden to buy fish. Saw some splendid electric cycle lamps in a shop there: shall I buy one? Thence to Whitbourn's to see if he has got an outer cover that will fit my bike. Mine are beaded edge tyres and they are not made now. A wired edge cover would not stay on the rim: he will see what can be done. Bought 1/2 doz. nice Xmas cards at Woolworth's at Morden . Uncle Ben called in evening.

8th to 10th Dec 1942: water divining

8 Tues. Very mild for season, 54 degrees Fah; very dull and cloudy. To Merton Churchyard to plant bulbs of Emperor daffodils & Cheerfulness narcissus on dear Mother's grave. Did some more wood-chopping. Cut out old wood of the Pauls scarlet rambler & tied up new shoots in their place, Ciss baked a Christmas cake.

9 Wed. Cool, dull chilly wind but clear air. Did shopping locally in morning also to take the order to grocers. Mended puncture in cycle tyre. To Winsleys to remove pilot lamp from their wireless set in order to economise in accumulator current.

 10 Thurs. Rather mild for season, dull, cloudy, windy. Did shopping in afternoon. Met Mr. Akhurst & had a talk to him about water divining; he is an exponent of the art. Cleaned all the windows.

On this day: "The Almighty in his infinite wisdom did not see fit to create Frenchmen in the image of Englishmen." - Winston Churchill, in the House of Commons, 10 Dec 1942.

11 December 2012

4th to 7th Dec 1942: wartime lobster paste

4 Fri. Rather cold but clear and bright, the sun shining with some warmth; remarkable for the season. Did shopping in morning also to Morden where I caught a glimpse of Agnes Williams. More shopping in afternoon. Dinky is walking on all fours, but is still a little lame.

5 Sat. Rather cold, windy, but some wintry sunshine midday. To get groceries at the shop round the corner. Later along rail path to Wimbledon; saw Pacific loco. Bought narcissus bulbs also fish.

"Exceptionally good for wartime..."
6 Sun. ...Flew 34 ins model on Common with fair results in spite of a broken longeron and adverse conditions. Jones and others were there.

7 Mon. Very mild for season, 53 degs... Walked to Morden to buy cats' meat. Walked along rail path to buy Empire daffodil bulbs at Luffs, for Mother's grave. Uncle Tom & Aunt Nellie came in afternoon and gave them money to buy a pot of Crosse & Blackwell's lobster paste which is exceptionally good for a wartime product; they gave me a book.

2 December 2012

29th Nov to 3rd Dec 1942: cat bitten

29 Sun. Less cold, cloudy, fresh wind. To Wimbledon Common; saw Jones & others I knew with their aeros. A Kings College boy whom I have seen before had a splendid, large glider which eventually got treed. Alan Spooner brought back my moving-coil speaker.

30 Mon. Rather cold, dull, but a feeble attempt by the sun midday. To the Morden cats meat shop in afternoon. Bought gas mantle at Smaldon's.

1 Dec. Tues. Rather mild for season, small amount of weak sunshine. Took Dinky to animal's dispensary at Wimbledon. The vet said his leg was badly bitten by another cat & it had festered. Gave me some powders & to bathe his wounds with salt water; he is a bit better. Alan Spooner brought back Mrs. Winsley's set.

2 Wed. Rather cold, dull. Shopping locally also to Morden on cycle. Brought in Winsley's set as battery wires needed lengthening. It is going well. It is a Beethoven set - should be good. A man waiting by the public telephone kiosk asked me to get a number for him which I did. Warning from 9.0 to 9.25 p.m.

3 Thurs. Morning frost, cold, dismal day, fog & rain later. To Wimbledon along line in afternoon to do some shopping. Finished Winsley's wireless set & took it back.