31 March 2013

31st March 1943: forget-me-nots

Forget-me-nots - Myosotis arvensis
31 Wed. Very mild, dull, rain threatening; wind very rough making it seem colder than it is. Did shopping in morning. To Mother's grave to plant forget-me-nots on it.

30 March 2013

30th March 1943: married 60 years

30 Tues. Very mild, sunny morning, cloudy later - chilly, rough sou'wester. Started pruning the roses. To Merton; bought postal order to send to Uncle Tom and Aunt Nellie as they have been married 60 years on Thursday: bought fish and then to Colin to buy length of balsa and rubber lubricant.

29th March 1943: new spokes and tyres

29 Mon. Mild, sunny morning, cloudy, drizzle later. My cycle wheels came back by carrier. They were equipped with new spokes, rims and Dunlop wired-edge tyres. Fitted them in to my machine and did shopping on it in afternoon doing 4.8 miles. Sent post-card to Dad saying they had arrived: he got them re-built at Tolworth.

28 March 2013

28th March 1943: air raid, grave & a sweet

28 Sun. Mild, cloudy. Only John Child called. Monica came to the door however and gave her a sweet. To see Dear Mothers grave - the daffodils are not yet out. Took some more plants to Mrs. Child. On fire duty to-night. The R.A.F. bombed Berlin heavily last night so a reprisal raid is expected.

27 March 2013

25 to 27 Mar 1943: 6d for rotten lights for cats

25 Thur. Mild, some spring sunshine and showers. Walked along line to Wimbledon; saw a Pacific, bought fish. Also to chemists at Morden. Made new nose-block for 37 ins model. Am expecting my re-built cycle wheels back any day now; they are coming by Carter Paterson.

26 Fri. Mild, mostly cloudy. Did shopping locally also to Morden cats meat shop where I bought some rotten lights for sixpence. It is not easy to feed pets in wartime. To Uncle Alf's in afternoon; saw his garden.

27 Sat. Mild, some drizzle, mostly cloudy. To Wimbledon to buy cats' lights at the Hartfield Road shop. Got the groceries in afternoon. Divided up and re-planted ox-eye daisies, delphiniums and golden rod and removed arabis which had spread around the roots of some roses and removed a mat of tansy roots also. First buds on Climbing Heriot rose.

24 March 2013

23 & 24 March 1943: buys firewood

23 Tues. Rather mild, pleasant sunny afternoon. To Morden, bought some logs for chopping up for firewood. Doped tail of 34 ins model - perfect! Took a letter to Mrs. Child. Aunt Liza brought some meat for Dinky.
24 Wed. Mild, dull, slight rain at night. Did shopping in morning. Doped 34 ins wing; very fine indeed: made up nine-strand motor skein so shall now be able to test it. Alan Spooner called.

22 March 2013

22nd March 1943: white model

22 Mon. Very cool but bright sunny afternoon. To Morden to buy fish. Covered aero tail with white tissue then machine will be ready for test.

21st March 1943: cold spring

21 Sun. Spring arrives. Rather cold, very dull, chilly E. wind. To Merton Churchyard to see Dear Mother's grave; the daffodils are not yet out. Met Aunt Liza & Chas, Gwen & Laurance. Mrs. Akroyd called in evening; wrote letter to Chas Staden.

"There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies." - Winston Churchill , broadcast on 21 March 1943.

20 March 2013

20th March 1943: spring by the railway

20 Sat. Very cool, very dull. Bought some vegetables in the morning. Got groceries etc locally in afternoon thence along line to Wimbledon to buy a few things. Saw 423  my holiday loco. I wonder why the yellow coltsfoot thrives so well on railway embankments. The magnolias are almost in bloom. Many trees are budding and the thorn hedge along the rail path is covered with a myriad growing points.

19th March 1943: chocolate for birthday

19 Fri.  Very cool, very dull, chilly N. wind. Ciss is 57 to-day; gave her a bar of chocolate. Took Ciss' coat to Eastman's in Coombe Lane for cleaning at just after 9.0 a.m. in order to get it taken in: they refuse orders after they have taken ten such: - rationing in severity! Also to butchers and to other shops locally and to Morden to buy cats meat. Prepared a bed for runner beans in garden. More work on tail of 34 ins. model. 

18 March 2013

18th March 1943: a birthday tomorrow...

18 Thur. Some white frost and fog which cleared eventually to a rather mild day but a N. wind made it chilly; too hazy for much sun. Shopping in afternoon. Met Mr. Akhurst who told me his sister had recovered after a serious accident. Warning from 12.35 to 12.45 p.m. no incident.

17 March 2013

17th March 1943: dirty brown mist

17 Wed. Rather cool but no frost. Dismal, dirty brown mist, calm. Being early closing did shopping in morning. Did some gardening in afternoon and more work re-building tail of 34 ins model. Letter from Rev. Chas Staden saying he is visiting London soon and will come to see me.

Note: withing ten years, the Great Smog of 1952 occurred - a fog so thick and polluted it left thousands dead and wreaked havoc on London. The smoke-like pollution was so toxic it was even reported to have choked cows to death in the fields. It was so thick it brought road, air and rail transport to a virtual standstill. This was certainly an event to remember, but not the first smog of its kind to hit the capital. -Source and fuller story at The Met Office.

14-16 Mar 1943: stripped elegant 34in model

14 Sun. Mild... quite pleasant. Walked along Grand Drive, Heath Drive, Elm Walk, Cannon Hill Lane and home across Cannon Hill Common. John and Peter Child called. Warnings from 12.25 to 12.45 also from 12.50 to 1.17 a.m: No incident.

15 Mon. Sharp white frost, yellow mist which took till late afternoon  for the sun to disperse... To Morden to buy fish. Also other shopping locally. Covered re-built 34 ins wing with white tissue and made a really neat job of it and is now ready for doping.

16 Tues. Thick white morning frost but the sun soon made it go. Cloudless all day, the sun being quite warm in afternoon. To Wimbledon along the line. Saw a Pacific & a Lord Nelson loco. Bought braces at Hewitts price 4/9 no coupons. Also bought clear dope & 1/4 rubber at Colins. Am on fire duty tonight. Stripped and started re-building tail of 34 ins span model. When finished the lines of the complete model will be most elegant.

15 March 2013

13 March 1943: bright yellow 66 on front door

13 Sat. Very cool, stiff E. breeze but quite bright. Bought greens in morning, having run short. Cooked midday dinner as usual. Got groceries as usual, also accumulator etc. Bought chocolate for Rosie Kingham who is in hospital. Polished the knives. Divided up some big perennials and re-planted in the garden. Re-pained the figure 66 on the front door in bright yellow colour. Aunt Liza called to say that Uncle Ben's cousin Ivy has a baby boy - Malcolm Peter. Started covering re-built wing with white tissue: cannot get the usual yellow tissue which formerly came from Japan.

11 to 12 March 1943: Mrs Akroyd's acrobatics

11 Thur. Rather mild, very dull, fine rain in afternoon. Bought butter, beans and haricot beans at Faulkners, Merton.

12 Fri. Morning frost, cool, clear, bright day, sunny afternoon. Did usual shopping in morning, including going to the Morden cats meat shop. Dug up some perennials, dividing and taking some to Mrs Child; John also calling for some more later. Took letter to Mrs Akroyd in evening. When I got there she was sitting out on the upstairs window sill cleaning the front windows.I cleaned our own front windows downstairs. Warning from 7.30 to 7.50 a.m. Nothing locally, the raid being on East Anglia but a few machines penetrated to N. London.

10 March 2013

10th Mar 1943: 'Champion' onions

10 Wed. Severe white morniung frost, bright sunny afternoon, the sun temperature going up to 76 deg Fah. To butchers and grocers in morning. Planted Caldecot Champion onion seeds in afternoon on a carefully prepared site.

9 March 2013

9th Mar 1943: dug for onions

9 Tues. Cool, but some pleasant sunshine in afternoon. Dug deeply to make preparation for an onion bed in garden. Buried some rotted garden refuse underneath. To Merton meat shop in afternoon. While out a warning from 2.55 to 3.15 p.m. No incident. Aunt Liza called.

8th Mar 1943: aircraft down, bought herrings

Dornier 217 used for reconnaissance and
as a night fighter and bomber. (Wikipedia)
8 Mon. Rather cold, bright, clear sunny day; chilly wind. Warning at 12.30 a.m. Enemy aircraft came from S.W. continued northwards where it came under slight dispersed shell fire, turned south over here, local guns fired many rounds, then steered towards centre of London but ran into a storm of shells which made it made it turn back and make off S.E. for home, but it was hit and came down in flames at Addiscombe. It was a Dornier 217. All clear at 1.17 a.m. To Morden to buy herrings also other shopping locally.

7th Mar 1943: whooping cough, kid's yacht

7 Sun. Rather cold, the clouds are high; not so dull. No children called to-day; many have the whooping cough - Gwennie and Laurance have it; there is an epidemic. In afternoon walked up Arterberry Road and down the Downs. Met Audrey and John Child with two other children going up the Downs, they were going to sail a model yacht on Rushmere.

Note: Arterberry and Lower Downs are long north-south roads between Fred's Chestnut Road home, once he'd crossed the railway, and Wimbledon Common - where Rushmere is a small lake.

6 March 2013

6th March 1943: all very domestic

6 Sat. Rather cold, very dull, N.wind. Got groceries and curtain rod holders locally. To Wimbledon, bought garden lime, toxt(?)** cards etc. Met Mrs. Child and some of her many children, her brother-in-law was with them. Took Alf's binoculars back. Fitted curtain rod holders to window of Ciss' room.

**Or are these 'text cards' - i.e. pre-printed greetings cards. See some of Fred's collection of older greeting cards on my poetry website - Tony.

5 March 2013

5th March 1943: 178 die in shelter crush

"methods of trickery in order to take life"

5 Fri. Sharp white morning frost, becoming less cold; calm and some hazy sunshine in afternoon. To butchers, ham & beef shop, bakers & newsagents in morning. Also to Morden; bought sprats. In afternoon to Morden again, bought biscuits at Woolworth's and lights for Dinky. Albert called to take my cycle wheels to have new wired-edge rims and outer covers fitted bat a cycle shop in Tolworth; Dad enquired there o they have got the job. My rims are for beaded edge wire covers which are now obsolete. Have learnt that during this weeks raid a row of houses was destroyed at Putney, bombs also fell on open ground at Palmer's Green, Putney Vale and the norther boundary of Wimbledon Common. The strange noises during the raid early Thursday morning were made by the dropping of great numbers of 4 lbs in tin cases - hence the tin can sound. They do not explode on impact with the ground but only when moved. I heard many lots come down but none fell locally; they are painted either gun-grey or bright yellow. It seems the Germans are in difficulties and are resorting to methods of trickery in order to take life. During this raid an East End shelter was stampeded and a block of mangled humanity obstructed a staircase. No bombs fell there but the rush cost the lives of 178 people.

"a block of mangled humanity"

There is an account of this disaster here  - a website created by a follower of this blog. It points to an accident rather than any 'stampede' or 'rush'. 

4 March 2013

4th March 1943: guns don't try very hard?

Anti-aircraft guns (QF 3.7in) in Hyde Park,
 London, during WWII (via Wikipedia)
Very cool, very dull, calm. Warning from 4.30 to 5.40 a.m. A few machines came and some more incenndiaries were dropped in an E. and S.E. direction. I also heard some noises which I could not recognize - might have been bombs. Only slight A.A. fire. I watched a cone of searchlights trying to pick up an enemy bomber and the local guns fired a few salvoes but they were about a minute late in firing and the shells burst about 3 miles to the rear of the plane. I don't think they try very hard.

3 March 2013

1st to 3rd March 1943: fire-bombs, shrapnel

1 March. Mon. Rather mild, lovely sunny day. Uncle Tom & Aunt Nellie called in morning; gave them a packet of tea. Went to Morden to buy herrings. Saw the comet through Alf's binoculars. It appears as an oval, misty patch of light with a somewhat brighter nucleus to one side of the oval.

2 Tues. Rather mild, dull but calm which made quite a pleasant day.To Morden to buy cats meat. The nice young lady in the shop was very sweet. Planted started bulbs in the garden. Dug up some plants to make more room for vegetables. Gave some plants to John Child to take to his mother.Started re-building 34 ins wing.

3 Wed. Rather cold, very dull, very rough N. wind. To shops in morning; bought something for dinner. Small amount of work re-building 34 ins wing. Was at work on  the wing when sirens sounded at 8.20 p.m. Gunfire was heard almost at once and a machine came over which got a lot of gunfire, the local guns letting off several salvoes. Shrapnel came down and broke some glass - Mr. Wiggin's greenhouse, I believe. About six machines came under fire and some fire-bombs were dropped judging by the light in the sky, but nothing fell locally. All clear at 9.50 p.m.

2 March 2013

26th to 28th Feb 1943: distributing shoes?

The development of a prunus from winter to midsummer (Wiki)
26 Fri. Sharp white morning frost; cold clear day, sunny afternoon. To do the usual Friday morning shopping. Then to Morden to buy cats meat.
27 Sat. Sharp white morning frost, cold, clear day: sunny afternoon. Got groceries also other goods without going out of the district. Dug over rhubarb bed and divided up and took three roots to Mrs Child who put them in with my help and of the children. Came back with Audrey as she was taking shoes home to various addresses round about.
28 Sun. Very cool, calm, dull, not unpleasant for time of year. Only Monica called to-day; gave her some chocolate. Wallked to Wimbledon Common. A surprising number of modellists were there including Jones, Double & Jenever: some nice flying. The pink flowering prunus is lovely just now. Alf & Lily called in evening; he lent me his field glasses to see the comet.