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30 June 2013

30th June 1943: Sunday School's 50th

30 Wed. Rather cool, very cloudy morning but fine sunny after-/

Note: this year's diary is split between two notebooks; the first is full at this point, the last page and inside cover being taken up with an excruciating rhyme called 'Faithful' - wondering 'if Christ had a little black dog'. The next notebook begins with Fred's name and address and then, in his exact words:

30 June continued.
- noon. To Morden to buy lights for Dinky, also shopping locally. Cycled to Mitcham and saw a nice bit of cricket but could stay only a quarter of an hour. Went to the 50th Anniversary of the Sunday School at Cottenham Park. A fine meeting at which a number of old friends were present. Was particularly pleased to meet Mr. Latimer after a great many years. A birthday cake with 50 candles was lit by Mr. Akhurst; it was afterwards cut and distributed to the scholars.

29th June 1943: sad meeting

29 Tues. Rather cool to rather warm later; sunny afternoon. Uncle Tom called in morning; he brought some sugar. Watered Dear Mother's grave. Spoke to a Mr. & Mrs. Hurst in the Churchyard; they lost their daughter aged 18 in an air raid.

29 June 2013

28th June 1943: Just a Song at Twilight

28 Mon. Cool morning, improving to a fine warm, sunny afternoon. The workmen finished putting the glass windows in and painted the sashes. Albert's organ arrived which I duly fitted up. Lily does not want it but I think it a fine piece of furniture and a lovely instrument and shall delight in playing it. Went to Len Garrod's in evening for some music: Emily sang "Just a Song at Twilight" - very sweetly too.

Note: the link above & here is to a 1943 broadcast of Eleanor Steber singing 'Just a Song at Twilight'.

28 June 2013

27th June 1943: Sunday visitors

27 Sun. Between very mild and rather warm; mostly cloudy. Dad, Alb, Lilly and little Anthony came to dinner and tea. They went to the Sunday School Anniversary in afternoon. Nice walk along Arterial Road in evening, returning along Coombe Lane. Warning from 10.15 to 10.25 p.m.: no incident.

26th June 1943: picnic on Wimbledon Common

26 Sat. Warm alternate sun and heavy cloud. To Wimbledon & Merton in morning; bought fish. The man put in two more glass windows in the front and painted two sashes. Ciss went with the children to their picnic on Wimbledon Common. Little Connie Freeman called too late so I had the pleasure of wheeling her on my cycle to the Common where we found the rest of the party. She is a sweet little girl and I was charmed and indeed greatly honoured to have such a privilege. Enjoyed a cycle tide in evening to Ewell; the scent of the lime trees round the Parish Church was delightful.

25 June 2013

25th June 1943: window glass not delivered

25 Fri. Warm, some sunny periods but quite a lot of cloud. Warning from 1.10 to 1.30 a.m.: no incident. The workmen could not make much headway to-day as their glass supply had not arrived. Took a bunch of roses to Mrs. Hippel. Did the usual Friday shopping. Visited Miss Dickson & her brother. Alan Spooner called.

24th June 1943: glass in windows...

24 Thur. Lovely warm, sunny day. Two workmen callked and started to put glass windows in where they were covered either in white linen or black card: but it is unpolished glass but it will be a great improvement. Fitted new condenser to Chas. Stadens wireless set also gave it a general overhaul. Nice cycle ride in evening. Slight display of the Aurora just before midnight.

23 June 2013

23rd June 1943: cricketing firemen

23 Wed. Rather warm, some nice sunshine but rather boisterous. To Morden to buy fish also shopping locally; met Mrs. Conrade. To Mitcham Green; saw Mitcham bowl out National Fire Service eleven for 50 runs. Did gardening in evening. Warning from 3.15 to 3.50 a.m. One machine to southward; no gunfire.

22nd June 1943: terrific explosion

22 Tues. Rather warm, fine sunny day. Warning at 1.20 a.m. One machine from W to N.W. not fired at but a few shots very distant at another machine in S.E.: all clear 1.47 a.m. A few distant shots after all clear. At 2.40 a terrific explosion was heard which lasted some seconds; it must have been a few miles away but extremely heavy; have heard it was at Norwood but no details to hand. A further warning at 2.50 a.m. Three machines went over from S. to N. one of them had three shots at it when it was well to northward; all clear 3.35 a.m. Repaired draining board attached to the sink in scullery. Watered Mother's grave and visited Alf.

21st June 1943: Moonlight Adagio

21 Mon. Rather warm, fine sunny day. Cycled to Morden and Merton but the cats' meat shops were shut. Did quite a ot of shopping locally. To Len Garrod's in evening for some music. Played over my transcription of Moonlight Adagio of Beethoven arranged for cello and piano. Payed the club.

20th June 1943: antidote to Church

20 Sun. Rather warm, some pleasant sunshine. To Church in evening but found the service very depressing and the sermon almost morbid; sorry I went. Went for a walk along Cottenham Park Road as an antidote.

19th June 1943: anti-gas eye shields

19 Sat. Very mild to rather warm, some pleasant sunshine but very boisterous. Did shopping local also bought fish at Morden. Then rode to Ruxley to see if I could see the bomb damage caused early last Monday morning. Heard some glass houses were hit but none were that I could see but there was a large crater in a field of potatoes. Collected my anti-gas eye shields. Delivered manuscript music & card at Len Garrod's.

21 June 2013

18th June 1943: Moonlight sonata

18 Fri. Very mild, very dull and cloudy; rain all day. Did the usual Friday morning shopping; got another piece of pork from the butchers; there seems more pork than beef or mutton. Also bought Dinky's meat at Morden. Bought some Harry's lime in afternoon and used some on the garden to keep snails off the marrow plants and brussells sprouts. Finished transcribing a cello part fort Len Garrod from the adagio of Beethoven's Moonlight sonata; shall be interested to hear how it sounds.

17th June 1943: geraniums on grave

17 Thur. Very mild, cloudy, but a few periods of moderate sunshine. Shopping locally in morning. Also to Wimbledon in afternoon to buy a .01 mfd. condenser for Chas. Staden's set. While in Wimbledon went to see South Prk. gardens: met Mr. Bonham. Bought two scarlet cruise geraniums with variegated leaves; planted them on Dear Mother's grave in evening.

20 June 2013

16th June 1943: wireless repair man

16 Wed. Very mild, heavy showers, slight thunder. To meet Mrs. Staden also Rev. Chas. Staden as they arrive in Alexandra Road Wimbledon by bus. They come from Spalding by rail and from Kings X by bus to Wimbledon to visit Mrs. Staden's brother. I met them as Chas. brought a wireless set for me to repair. Was delighted as they brought little David, Chas. 4 years old son. Had not seen David before, and when I said to him, "You don't know me, do you?" he replied at once, "Oh, yes I do." Wasn't that lovely. Examined the set and found a coupling condenser broken down. The plane that circled to westward on Mon. night dropped a bomb on some glass houses centrally placed between Tolworth & Ewell, Ruxley and Chessington: no one hurt.

15th June 1943: enemy aircraft unmolested

15 Tues. Very mild, fine morning, deteriorating. Very heavy showers of rain, hail and thunder later. Shopping locally in morning and afternoon also to Morden and Merton in search of cat food. Warning from 12.30 to 1.0 a.m. One machine prowling around unmolested, then it made off Londonwards where it met slight gunfire and dropped a stick of bombs. Also from 1.45 to 2.15 a.m. Two machines hovering about for a long time, one started dive-bombing and dropped bombs somewhere to N.W. have been told near Barnes. The second machine made of N. with searchlights after it. The all clear sounded when this machine was under fire; the guns continuing after the all clear had finished. The feature of all these recent raids is that enemy aircraft come and remain as long as they like, sometimes as long as ten minutes and not a shot fired during that time. I am puzzled: they are left alone to do as they like: I suppose there must be an explanation.

14th June 1943: glasshouses bombed

14 Mon. Bank Holiday. Very mild; heavy showers alternating with sunshine. Short cycle ride in afternoon; saw nice house where Winifred Bishop used to live at Malden. Did some gardening, sowing aquilegia seeds. Warning from 12.45 to 1.15 a.m. One machine circled round from W. then S. and finally went off S.E.: one shot* was fired at it.

*Fred has added a note in the diary about the 'shot':
The shot referred to was actually the bomb that fell on glass houses at Ruxley - there was no firing whatever.

18 June 2013

13th June 1943: anti-personnel bombs?

13 Whit Sunday. Rather warm, some sunny periods, otherwise cloudy and showers. Madge called also Jean Child and the children. Walk along line in evening returning through Dundonald; peoples' gardens look nice. Warning from 1.5 to 1.20 a.m.; no incident. Also at 2.45 a.m. A few planes to eastward - over London; very slight and a very dispersed gunfire; all clear at 3.10 a.m. About an hour after the all-clear numbers of reports were heard as if the enemy had dropped many small bombs with a short delayed action - known as anti-personnel bombs.

12th June 1943: new blackout blind

12 Sat. Warm, fine, sunny day. Rather a stiff breeze but not unacceptable, the sun being quite powerful at times: cool, calm evening. Got the groceries in the morning as Ciss had the morning off* and got the dinner which relieved me of the job. To Wimbledon along rail path in afternoon to buy a few things including a new black-out blind.

*Does this imply her office work usually included Sat a.m.?

11th June 1943: red fire at night

11 Fri. Warm, fine sunny day but overhead haze. Did all shopping in morning including going to Merton Food Office at Morden to get new ration book and identity cards. Cycled to Tolworth in afternoon and stayed till evening; played with Anthony. Alb gave me some marrow plants which I planted as soon as I got home. A great red glare in the sky just before midnight as of a large fire lit up the landscape but it quickly died down.

10 June 2013

10th June 1943: peaceful aero-modelling

10 Thur. Warm, some subdued sunshine, pleasant. To Colins, Merton Road, bought balsa cement, white tissue and 1/32in. balsa. Watered Mother's grave in evening. Some gardening.

9 June 2013

9th June 1943: alyssum & poppy

9 Wed. Warm, some fine sunny periods - lovely. Did shopping locally also to Morden meat shop in morning. Planted white alyssum on Dear Mother's grave. Did gardening in evening, sowing some more experimental poppy seeds.

8th June 1943: long lost love revealed...

8 Tues. Rather close and heavy. Overcast drizzle all day. Along line to Wimbledon bought 2 doz. allysum roots at Alexander's. Saw loco Remembrance. Had letter from Rev. Chas Stadden - replied. Took Crimson Glory rose for Len Garrod to see. Did some gardening including another sowing of lettuce. Heard regretfully that Gladys Lusk died six weeks ago; a friend of early days at Cottenham Park. She was contemporary with Dear Mary Preston whose name has never figured in this diary but who is worthy of mention. Mary charmed me as a youth and young man: have not seen her for a great many years but should like to very much.

8 June 2013

7th June 1943: music together & a rose

7 Mon. Very mild, some pleasant sunny periods, rain at night. Cycled to Morden in morning to buy fish. To Wimbledon in afternoon along rail path to buy a number of things. Went to Len Garrod's in evening to have some music together: he gave me a Talisman rose.

6th June 1943: Sunday in Holland Gardens

6 Sun. Very mild, dull but pleasant, calm, sunny evening.Walk in evening; met Len & Emily Garrod, Cousin Alf & Lily and Walter & Mrs. Beeson in Holland Gardens.

5 June 2013

5th June 1943: lovely wild roses, lethal bombs

5 Sat. Very mild, some weak sun at each end of the day, otherwise cloudy; fresh  breeze. Cycled to Wimbledon & Merton in search of food for Dinky. Did usual Sat. afternoon shopping. Lengthened 22 1/2 ins. fuselage to 25 ins.; then re-covered it with black tissue. Cycled as far as Tolworth Rise & back; saw some pink and some white wild roses flowering by the wayside - lovely. Warning at 1.55 a.m. One enemy plane approached from S.E. moderate amount of distant gunfire. It dropped its bombs at Beckenham where it demolished some houses & caused some casualties including some people killed: all clear at 2.25 a.m.

4 June 2013

4th June 1943: our week-end meat ration

4 Fri. Very mild, some pleasant sunshine in morning, cloudy, rain later, fresh wind. Did all the usual shopping locally including getting our week-end meat ration. Also cycled to Merton and Morden on errands. Took bulbs off Mother's grave and planted two geraniums I kept from last summer. To Aunt Liza; saw Doris' new baby. Mr. Bonham called.

3 June 2013

3rd June 1943: coppersmith dies

Very mild, cloudy, feeble sun came through in evening. Shopping locally.  In evening went to fit new H.T. and G.B. batteries to Mrs. Child's wireless: on my way there was passing Bennett's house when Edie came out, dressed in black, she told me her father died suddenly last week. He was 70 and leaves a coppersmith's business which Edie is going to manage with Will Bennett's help.

2nd June 1943: biked in gale & rain for cat

2 Wed. Very mild, very boisterous, heavy showers and a few short sunny periods. Cycled to Morden in gale of wind and rain to buy fish for Dinky, also shopping locally. Determined to have a nice model to replace the one I lost Saturday so will make a new wing and other parts, using the 23 ins fuselage to make a new machine: made a start.

2 June 2013

1st June 1943: many killed in local bombing

1 June. Tues. Very mild, fitful clouds, showers, rainbow; very boisterous cool wind. Warning at 1.40 a.m. One machine came from N. and circled round for 1/4 of an hour before making off southward and dropping bombs which I heard whistling down and then the explosion. It received a few shots but mostly it was left alone; the local guns did not fire. All clear at 2.14 a.m. Have heard since the bombs fell at Parchmore Rd. & Virginia Road, Thornton Heath where two rows of houses were demolished and many killed, 7 in one road. Short cycle ride in afternoon.  To look at Mrs Child's wireless in evening; need new H.T. and G.B. batteries.

Note from 'The Croydon Database' re Parchmore Road:
Twelve maisonettes in three blocks of four were built on the south side and at the end. The life of the first block was very short as it was hit by an HE bomb on 31st May 1943 and Nos. 5 and 6 of the second block were also destroyed. New replacements were erected at the end of the war.   
(Note: the buildings had only received planning permission in 1939.)

1 June 2013

31st May 1943: trainspotting & piano playing

Stroudley 0-6-0 'Freshwater' at Kingscote,
 Bluebell  Railway, Sussex.
 (Photo: Bluebellnutter via Wikipedia)
31 Mon. Rather warm, some pleasant sunshine, cloudy later. To Wimbledon along rail path, saw a Stroudley 0-6-0 goods tender engine also an Adams 0.4.2 mixed traffic tender loco: many years since I have sen their like; I thought they were all scrapped. To Len Garrods in evening, to accompany him on the piano while he played his 'cello.