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31 December 2015

6th-8th April 1946: walking stick with pen, pencil, microscope & inkpot

The Big Wheel, Earl's Court Exhibition, taken about 1900
6 Sat. Very cool, some sunshine, chilly E wind. Took a note to Mrs. Child and met her later with Jennifer at Merton. Bought fish there and some scouring powder at Morden. Dug up, divided and re-planted a large Michaelmas daisy. Saw dear Mother’s grave, the daffodils are superb.

7 Sun. Rather mild but a stiff sou’wester made it seem chilly: bright sunshine all day. Cycled to Richmond Park and found to my disappointment that both the Pen Ponds had been drained and were overgrown with tall grass and reeds. Ciss went to Tolworth and found Dad a little better: Uncle Dick was just coming away when Ciss arrived. Drew a picture of roses to make a birthday card for Gwennie to give to her mother. Gwennie is going to paint it.


Extract from article on the Big Wheel


8 Mon. Mild, dull, rather cool wind. Gwennie and Donald called: showed them the walking stick which Miss Gardner gave me when I was a boy. It has a concealed inkpot and combined pen and pencil and a microscope which when looked through shows a picture of the Big Wheel at Earl’s Court Exhibition where the stick was bought. Farley’s brought the new dressing table in medium oak with a large plate glass mirror. They also took away the organ, armchair, music cabinet and other pieces of furniture for repair and repolishing. To Morden to buy fish.












30 December 2015

4th-5th April 1946: playing shops

4 Thur. Warm, hazy, sultry, but a lot of sun through overhead here. To Farley’s to give them the order to repair the furniture. Thence to butchers and to buy cats meat at Merton. Saw dear Mother’s grave: the daffodils (Carlton) are superb: the scillas make a fine contrast of colour with their deep blue. Dug up and divided a large clump of Michaelmas daisy. All three children called and played shops in the front garden. They came again with two sorts of birthday cake it is their father’s birthday to-day.


5 Fri. Very cool, very dull, rain all day. Did the usual shopping locally, got a nice piece of fillet of beef, some brisket (cooked) and some corned beef at the butchers. Bought a jar of Brand’s Essence for Ciss to take to Dad. She went to see him this evening and he is about the same. Gwennie and the others called: read a chapter out of a children’s book to her which she seemed to enjoy. Her cough – poor dear is still very bad.

29 December 2015

1st-3rd April1946: Dad ill... best weather for 90 years

1 April. Mon. Very mild, much sunshine, but spoilt by a stiff E wind. Wrote letter to Uncle Tom. Bought fish in Wimbledon in morning. To Tolworth in afternoon to see Dad. He seems to have taken a turn for the better but the doctor speaks with some reserve: he will see Dad tomorrow and may be he will pass an opinion then. Aunt Hannah called.

2 Tues. Rather warm in afternoon, the sunshine was lovely and warm, but the easterly breeze still blows so that you get a hot-cold effect. Gwennie and Donald brought meat for the cats. To Wimbledon in afternoon bought a dish cloth, fish paste, Maplemeat, a naphtha garden lime. Applied the latter to bed where I intend to grow beans. Ciss went to Tolworth to see Dad: he had a bad night but was better this evening.


3 Wed. Warm: glorious sunny day; even the morning and evening was warm. The grandest day for the time of year since records were taken 90 years ago. Got the groceries locally also fish at Morden and an order form from Morden fuel office. Pruned Aunt Hannah’s roses in afternoon.

26 December 2015

30th-31st March 1946: first boat race since war

30 Sat. Mild, some nice sunshine but a fresh E wind. Cycled to Cheam to buy a pound of cats meat in morning. Gave Laurie a root of hypericum which his father planted. Aunt Liza called. Listened to broadcast commentary on the boat race which Oxford won by three lengths in 10 mins 54 secs – the first race since before the war. To Merton to buy fish. Dug up overgrown Michaelmas daisy, divided and re-planted: a heavy job. Farley’s man came to see the damaged furniture – he will submit an estimate.


31 Sun. Mild, fine sunny day but spoilt by a stiff cold E breeze. Short cycle ride nearly to Worcester Park. Ciss went to Tolworth to find Alb and Lily a little better than they were but Dad was in bed: he has had the ’flu but his heart is causing some concern.

25 December 2015

Happy Christmas, folks!

A hand-painted Christmas postcard
 postmarked Kennington (London), 24 Dec 1907 
to Mr & Mrs F French, 69 Chestnut Road, Raynes Park. 
Was the 69 in error? Others in family at No 66.

28-29th March 1946: churchyard blooms


Photos: Sean Galvin
28 Thur. Mild, fine sunny day: the nicest day this year, so far. Bought a few things locally in morning also to Merton. Saw dear Mother’s grave: the blue scillas are lovely but the daffodils are not out yet. The lesser celandine made a bright show in the churchyard and I picked a few blooms to show Gwennie when she called with Donald in afternoon. Sowed Webbs Wonderful lettuce in garden, also applied naphtha lime and replanted a golden rod.


29 Fri. Very mild, lovely sunny day. Got the usual provisions including a nice piece of veal. To Merton to buy cod cutlets, two pieces for 1/8. Gwennie and Donald called wearing boat race favours Gwennie Cambridge and Donald Oxford. Dug up, divided and replanted an ox-eye daisy and a golden rod root.

24 December 2015

26-27th March 1946: garden paths... & lemon curd tart+cream

26 Tues. Morning frost and fog, but a clear, mild, sunny day following: the nicest day since October. In morning to get accumulators and cellophane jam pot covers. The three children called: gave them a lemon curd tart each and some chocolate cream; very much appreciated. Did some weeding in the garden and made up another side path.


27 Wed. Cold, morning and night; rather mild day of misty sunshine. Got the groceries locally also envelopes and postal order and stamps. Bought fish & split peas at Morden. Re-made centre path of garden and trimmed the edges; looks good. Pruned the sweet briar. Gave Addie Veale some roots of bordering campanula.

23 December 2015

24th-25th March 1946: Gwennie loves Uncle Fred

24 Sun. Cool, dismal, calm. Clifford and Laurie were amused with the magnets. Walked to Holland Gardens in afternoon. Aunt Hannah to tea also Mrs. Akroyd.


25 Mon. Cold, foggy morning, but when the sun came through it became fine and clear with some warmth in the sun. To Morden to buy cats meat also something locally. Bought a 10 ft ash pole at Smaldons which I later put into the ground as a pillar for Pauls Scarlet Climbing rose. The three children called: Gwennie said “I love Uncle Fred” which touched me deeply.

22 December 2015

22nd-23rd March 1946: pork, sweets, fish, haricot beans, dried peas

22 Fri. Cool, very dull; rain all day. Got a nice piece of pork this morning. Did other shopping locally including buying 1/2 lb of sweets. Short walk along Coombe Lane in afternoon. Fitted improved centring device to R & A loud-speaker with good results.


23 Sat. Rather mild, fine, bright sunny day, but stiff N breeze. Gwennie & Laurie called, gave her the card with flower that changes its colour. Went to see Cousin Len and his wife’s baby boy Joseph, Peter: a dear little chap with very large dark grey blue eyes. Bought fish at Merton and Wimbledon: bought haricot beans and dried green peas at Merton. Started cleaning the windows yesterday and finished them to-day.

21 December 2015

20th-21st March 1946: flower disc card for Gwennie

20 Wed. Mild fine with some hazy sunshine but a stiff, fresh breeze. Got the groceries locally also soap, pilchards & meat paste at Smaldon’s. Bought fish at Morden. Made a pretty card for Gwennie. It has a flower on it and underneath is a revolving disc of many colours. When the disc is revolved the flower changes colour with a description of the shade in a panel above. More work preparing the onion bed.


21 Thur. Rather mild, some sun early, but dull, rain later; stiff fresh breeze. Did some shopping locally, also bought fish in Wimbledon. Sowed two rows of “James/Keeping” onion seed.

20 December 2015

18th-19th March 1946: dried blood & lime

18 Mon. Rather mild, dull, fresh wind. To Morden cats meat shop. Did some work in garden including re-laying a side path. Paid the Club. Fitted new high-tension to Mrs. Akroyd’s wireless.


19 Tues. Cold, becoming mild, some hazy sunshine which was most welcome. Bought garden lime, dried blood and a packet of crimson globe beet. Applied lime and blood to proposed onion bed. Sprayed the fruit bushes with derris liquid. Gwennie and Donald came. Mrs Collis brought a present for Ciss who is 60 today. Mrs Collis liked a newly decorated living room.

19 December 2015

16th-17th March 1946: swapped papers

16 Sat. Black frost, even colder than yesterday but less wind; very dull. Connie Freeman brought her new baby sister Phyllis for me to see. A lovely baby with large dark green-grey eyes, and a most bewitching smile: I was charmed. To Merton to buy cats meat. Made and fitted new centralising device for R & A loudspeaker, not quite satisfactory.


17 Sun. Black morning frost, but less cold later; very dull. The children called and were interested in two powerful magnets I showed them. Peter Child came and brought a Wimbledon Boro News in exchange for a Methodist Recorder.

18 December 2015

14th -15th March 1946: oil 1/6d a gallon; pail of coal as gift

14 Thur. Very cold, dismal, bitter E wind. To Merton to buy something at Boots, thence to Wimbledon to buy cats meat. To local butchers. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald called presumably to have a lark with me: they do enjoy coming here although I can scarcely afford the time to amuse them. Went out to buy paraffin but met Pamela also out to buy oil. She told me the only shop selling oil was the garage round the corner so we went together and got some at 1/6 a gallon.


15 Fri. Bitterly cold, dismal, cutting NE wind. Got the usual Friday shopping locally including a nice piece of brisket. Went along rail path in afternoon. Took a pail of coal to Chas and Doris as they are very short of coal and we have sufficient.

17 December 2015

12th-13th March 1946: Russia invades Persia

12 Tues. Very cold to rather mild, dull, gentle wind from the S. All three children made a stay this afternoon and Gwennie is becoming quite boisterous – a sure sign she is getting better.


13 Wed. Very cold, dismal; howling, bitter E wind. Got the groceries locally. To Morden in a raging wind on my bike to buy fish and fish paste. Got a letter from Capt. Marshall who is in Germany. Did a very neat-fingered repair to speech-coil connections of R & A loudspeaker… The international position is very strained and Russia has invaded Persia in some strength.

16 December 2015

11th March 1946: this was banana day! And utility furniture.

11 Mon. Black frost but less severe. Hazy, calm, with a suspicion of sunshine midday. To Merton thence to Morden to buy cats meat. Also got a form* for obtaining utility* furniture. Bought derris liquid for spraying the gooseberry bushes. Took accumulator, bought liquid glue, and saccharin. Saw Gwennie and Laurie coming back from the World’s Stores with a bag containing 3/4 worth of bananas. Too heavy for them to carry really, so I slung the bag from the handle-bar of my bike and wheeled it home. They later brought a banana each for me and Ciss. They were followed by a crowd of children who had never seen a banana before. I showed them how to skin them. Told Mrs. Conley where they could be obtained and Len Conley went and got some which they had for tea and liked them very much: Ann was excited. It’s been a great day for them to-day.
Applying for a
'Household Buying Permit'
for Utility Furniture

*Note:
Utility furniture refers to furniture produced in the United Kingdom during and just after World War II, under a Government scheme which was designed to cope with shortages of raw materials and rationing of consumption. Introduced in 1942, the Utility Furniture Scheme continued into post-war austerity and lasted until 1952. (Photo and text: Wikipedia - utility furniture photos & details


15 December 2015

9th-10th March 1946: hundreds queue for BANANAS

9 Sat. Severe black frost, clear air but dull. To Merton in afternoon to buy fish. Also bought clear dope** at Norman’s. He has now been discharged from the Air Force and I had not seen him since the beginning of the war. A shop at Merton had bananas for sale: there was a queue of people 100 yards long and three or four abreast. Took out the R & A speaker from the radio-gram and replaced it with the Magnavose as the other needs some attention.

**The liquid which is like varnish and which Fred applied to the tissue he put over the wings of model aircraft.

10 Sun. Severe white frost. Very cold day, hazy calm. Ciss went to Hornsea to see Cousin Will, his wife and two daughters. Ciss could not therefore take the children to Sunday School. Jean Child was to have taken them but she is unwell. I started down the road with about a dozen children but Audrey Child, John and Jennifer then came up so I left them to go along together. Short cycle ride in afternoon along Grand Drive and Hillcross Avenue.

Note the Comment on this post... below

14 December 2015

7th-8th March 1946: children not seen bananas... yet

7 Thur. Very cold, just above freezing, dismal, cruel NE wind. To the butchers, also did other shopping locally, both morning and afternoon. Wrote a letter of wireless information to Chas. Staden.


8 Fri. Very hard black frost, very cold, dull day, wind still NE. Got all the usual provisions locally including two 4 ozs of different sorts of chocolates. To Wimbledon along rail path in afternoon to buy something: saw one of the big ugly goods engines on an up express. Gwennie went out to-day and I met her in the road: she had been on a fruitless journey to the greengrocers to buy bananas: they told her there will be some tomorrow. Bananas were stopped at the beginning of the war and children do not know what they are like and are very excited of having something they have neither seen or tasted before. Maybe, many will not like them at least, to begin with.

13 December 2015

5th-6th March 1946: firewood and vitimins for delicate child

5 Tues. Very cold, half-dark, rain all day and the last of the snow disappeared by midday. Did not go shopping today. Doris called to get some firewood as we still have a lot of bomb-debris in stock and she has no wood and very little coal: Gwennie must have a fire in her bedroom as she is still in delicate health. Letter from Chas. Staden.


6 Wed. Very cold. Half-dark, rain, sleet or snow all day; howling N wind. Got the groceries locally. Bought a jar of Vimaltol a very delectable malt, orange halibut oil with vitamins and minerals body-building and nerve-tonic food for little Gwennie, a present from me as she is unwell and hope it will do her good. Took it to her and she tasted it; it is very attractive for children: she did not seem very well. Repaired my bedroom clock as it kept stopping.

12 December 2015

3rd-4th March 1946: winter weather

3 Sun. Very cold; quite a heavy fall of snow greeted us this morning, dull day becoming very gloomy and calm: a slight thaw midday lessened the quantity of snow. An uneventful day save for the children calling on their way to Sunday School. A little auburn-haired girl named Margaret who stays week-ends at Mr Morris’s next door came to-day.

4 Mon. Morning frost, half-dark all day. Snow till afternoon then it turned to rain with a slight thaw. In morning splashed my way on my bike through thick slushy snow to take something to Mrs. Collis and to buy something locally. In afternoon to Merton cats meat shop – a dreadful journey in foul weather

11 December 2015

2nd March 1946: 'residents' candidate gets my vote

2 Sat. very cold, dismal, snowing all day: just about freezing point, bitter, driving N wind. Leonard, Victor and Ann Conley brought a football which leaked; I patched the puncture and blew it up hard with my bike pump. Bought a new 120V. high-tension battery and grid-bias battery and fitted same with good results. I voted in afternoon for the residents candidate Le Gros Clark in the local Council election. Bought fish locally.

10 December 2015

1st March 1946: sun a dull red ball

1 Fri. Only 3 degrees of frost to-day with a slight thaw in afternoon bringing down an avalanche of snow from the roof, but freezing again later. Dull, misty, with the sun a dull red ball in the sky; N wind. Got a piece of pork this week; did the usual shopping locally also got some nice cats meat at Merton.

9 December 2015

28th Feb 1946: queues of 100 at fish shops

28 Thur. Ten degrees below freezing, very dismal, inclined to be foggy but calm. Bought a few things locally in morning and spent the afternoon touring the district to buy something for dinner and the cats but failed. Only two fish shops for miles had anything to sell but in both cases the queue was far too long, about a hundred people in each: I could not stand all that time in several degrees of frost. Things don’t get much better.

8 December 2015

26th-27th Feb 1946: snow.....ing

26 Tues. Very cold, becoming frosty at night. Very dismal; day commencing with a downpour of rain which gradually changed to sleet then to snow which continued all day and at night there was 1½ ins. with snow still falling. To the local butchers and fish shop. Doris called to say Gwennie was in bed and had a cough.


27 Wed. Very cold: two inches of frozen crunchy snow. The day was clear & some sunshine which caused a partial thaw but freezing hard again at night. Got the groceries locally and some fish at Morden. Went to see Gwennie who was up for a short while and helped her paint some texts in a book while she amused herself before the fire.

7 December 2015

24th-25th Feb 1946: six cats + one dog

24 Sun. Very cold, some bright periods, less wind. Walked a little way down Coombe Lane in afternoon. Mrs Akroyd came to tea: Mrs. Child also paid a fleeting visit.


25 Mon. Very cold, very dull, drizzle, calm. To Merton to buy something; also to Morden to buy cats meat. Got Ciss’ shoes from repair at Easam’s. Re-made side path in garden. Was visited to-day by seven cats and a dog: six cats all at once – lovely, but I don’t like dogs.

6 December 2015

22nd-23rd Feb 1946: ghosts

22 Fri. Hard, black frost, cold, cloudy day; bitter N wind. Got the usual Fri. shopping, all locally. Had a house full of noisy children playing “ghosts”. Gwennie, Laurie, Donald, Ann and Victor. Lily and Anthony called in afternoon; she like the re-decorated living room. Anthony brought some fine railway books.


23 Sat. Very cold, a deluge to begin the day, some sunny periods later; terrific NW wind. To the local greengrocers in morning. To Merton in afternoon to buy fish. Got blown and buffeted to a standstill on my bike coming back. Am watching hopefully two rose buds developing on the climbing rose at front door. Repaired hat-rack in the hall. Made & fitted new spring to hook on door of cupboard under the stairs.

5 December 2015

20th-21st Feb 1946: tinned treacle pud for 1/- and 4 ration points

20 Wed. Cold, fitful, cloudy but with some brilliant periods of sunshine; very rough N wind, gales of frozen snow. Got the groceries including a tinned treacle pudding for 1/- and four points. Cousin Maud came to stay the night. She has come up from Preston to have an interview at a school at Putney with a view to a position on the teaching staff there.


21 Thur. Very cold, some sunny periods after a light fall of snow in the night, driving bitter N wind. Posted a parcel to Rev. Chas. Staden. To Wimbledon to buy fish. Gwennie and Laurie called and told them about the coltsfoot flowers now coming out. Laurie has had a fall and somewhat spoilt the look of his nose and mouth. Cousin Maud called to say she has got the post of music mistress at a Putney school. She has held a similar post at Preston for a great many years.

4 December 2015

18th-19th Feb 1946: meat queue

18 Mon. Rather cold, dismal, damp, calm. To Morden to buy fish. Planted the shallots and started clearing grass from a side path. Started playing the Waldstein Sonata: it will take serious study. Started writing a technical letter to Rev. Chas. Staden.


19 Tues. Rather mild, some sunny periods, but a very stiff NW wind. To N Cheam to buy cats meat and got some good meat after standing in a very long queue for 1½ hours. Gwennie brought some pieces for Dinky; she is very bright and charming. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy something at the Health Food stores.

1 December 2015

16th-17th Feb 1946: meat shortage... magic lantern... Life Brigade

16 Sat. Rather mild, dismal, drizzle most of the day. Cycled to Cheam but meat shop closed. To Morden where I bought sprats, thence to Merton but meat shop to have meat at one o’clock so came home. To Merton again in afternoon and got some meat. Did a few more painting jobs including some picture frames.


17 Sun. Rather cold, clear, much sunshine of the pale wintry sort. Connie Bradley is 46 to-day: God bless her. Cycled to Wimbledon Common as it was fine this afternoon: saw a few model planes there but they did not fly as their owners were unskilled. Went to see the magic lantern show at Chas and Doris. Gwennie is resplendent to-day in her new Girls Life Brigade uniform. She is very proud of it and has worn it all day with the hat on as well indoors. Wrote letter to Uncle Tom.

30 November 2015

14-15 Feb 1946: chocolate brown

14 Thur. Rather mild, dismal, calm, misty. To Morden to buy fish, also to find Grasmere Avenue as Ciss wants to visit someone there. Gwennie and Donald called; she tells me they may be going to Scotland to live. Only a small amount of painting as I have run out of paint and shall need some more.

Chestnut Road to Grasmere Avenue (Google Maps)
15 Fri. Rather mild, dismal, calm. Got all the usual Fri. morning shopping locally. Thence to Morden to buy another tin of chocolate brown paint, returning along Epsom Rd. and Grand Drive. Did some more painting which is nearly finished and looks fine.

29 November 2015

13th Feb 1946: childhood memories

13 Wed. Rather mild, dismal, calm, drizzle. Got all the Wed. groceries locally. Met Mrs. Emery who was most cordial. Did a lot more painting in living room and only a small amount remains to be done. The room looks very well indeed! The colour scheme being particularly attractive. Heard with regret that Uncle Joe, Dad’s brother died on Sunday last: he was 77. He was a good man – a Salvationist, and used to play in the brass band. I shall always remember him with pleasure and his interest in me when I was a boy showed him to be a most kind man. He made model boats in his younger days also was an enthusiastic angler: I once went with him and Uncle Ben to fish in the Thames at Canbury Gardens. I have never know him in other than a good and kindly humour.

From YouTube: Canbury Gardens is situated between the River Thames and Lower Ham Road and is within easy walking distance from Kingston town centre. Canbury Gardens covers an area of 14.5 acres and contains the Boaters Inn public house plus the Kingston Rowing Club and the Sigi Cornish Tennis Club, both of which are privately run. There are also some hard surface tennis courts which are privately leased but open to the public. A qualified LTA coach runs the courts and lessons are available. YouTube video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-F_fuA-HZ4

28 November 2015

10-12th Feb 1946: errands and painting

10 Sun. Rather cold, becoming rather mild; clear, sunny day: calm. Mr Norris cut back the ash tree at the bottom of the garden.


11 Mon. Rather cold, rather windy: in places sheltered from the wind the sun had some warmth in it. Bought fish and saccharin at Morden. Bought a paint brush locally. Got Ciss’ shoes from Essam’s. Took Alan McAinsh’s watch back after it had been repaired at Tolworth: saw Jeanette’s large dolls house her father made. Started painting in living room: did panels of door and cupboard and the wall beneath the chain rail a nice shade of golden brown.

12 Tues. Very cool, very dull, humid, calm. To Merton to buy fish pieces for cats. Posted letter to Betty Shepherd who is ill. Gwennie and Donald brought some meat for Dinky. Finished all the light brown paintwork and started doing outer panels of cupboard door and surround in a chocolate colour.

27 November 2015

9th Feb 1946: the cat came back

9 Sat. Very cold, bitter NW wind; clear, much bright sunshine. Finished putting lining paper on walls of living room. Cycled to Wimbledon in the bitter wind to buy sprats; also did some shopping locally. The Calvers who lived at No. 70 at the time the flying bomb fell and almost destroyed their house have recently returned, their house being completely rebuilt. I had the great pleasure of seeing ‘Tin-tin’, their large black cat who came back with them and came to me when I called him and showed unmistakeable signs of pleasure: he seemed to remember me and was not at all afraid. Cats are wonderful: I hope to enjoy his company and to improve his acquaintance.

26 November 2015

7-8th Feb 1946: 'a cheerful Christian'

7 Thur. Mild, 54 degrees, dull, stiff SW breeze. More work preparing painted surfaces in living room. Bought cats meat at Merton.


8 Fri. Mild, very dull, rain, wind still raging. Did all the usual Fri. morning shopping without going out of the district. Met Arthur Swift; he had just been to the funeral service for the late Mr Holland who will be missed: he was a cheerful Christian. Started to paste lining paper on living room walls below the chain-rail: it will subsequently be painted.

25 November 2015

6th Feb 1946: Amen

6 Wed. Rather mild, dull, less wind. Got the groceries as usual, also hunted the district and finally bought fish at Merton. Met Miss Wilson (Wiseman?) who told me Mr Holland was dead: aged 87 he was a grand old man and a cheerful Christian whose Amen and Praise the Lord will be missed from the congregation of the Church. He came to tea here when Dad came for a short stay last summer. Dear Gwennie called after her illness which has been quite serious. However, she was in brilliant spirits and seemed glad to get out again for a short while: I do love her.

24 November 2015

4-5th Feb 1946: windy

4 Mon. Rather cold, fitful weather with rain squalls of violence with a few short periods of bright sunshine. Cycled to Morden, Merton, Haydons Rd Wimbledon and came back empty-handed but bought some fish cuttings at a shop just round the corner. Paid the club in evening.


5 Tues. Rather cold; wind of great violence, dull. To Wimbledon to buy cats meat. To Morden to buy gloss paint in two shades of brown to do the paint-work in the living room. Repaired the cupboard door in the living room it was broken in the bombing and never repaired.

23 November 2015

1st-3rd Feb 1946: brolley repaired... cycle puncture... Gwennie ill

1 Feb. Fri. Rather cold becoming less so: dull, very rough. Did some more house-cleaning, washed the living-room floor. Got the usual Fri. morning provisions, also to Morden to buy a few things. To Wimbledon in afternoon to get Ciss’ umbrella from Trotts who have repaired it. Punctured back tyre on my way there and had to walk cycle back; did so along rail path. Put up the remainder of the pictures in living room.

2 Sat. Rather mild for season but the strong wind made it feel cold. Fitful clouds and heavy showers & a little intermittent sunshine. To Wimbledon along rail path: bought sprats also ammonia liquid. Dorothy Longhurst came to tea and stayed to supper. She is just demobilised from the ATS. She has not been here for some time and she seemed to enjoy herself.

3 Sun. 54 degrees but the gales made it feel cold; dull, rain all day. Quite a crowd of children called to-day. Little Gwennie has been very ill and although she is better to-day will have to go into hospital.

22 November 2015

30th-31st Jan 1946: first liver for months

30 Wed. rather cold day after a wild night; very dull, rain. Got the groceries locally, also more ceiling-white. Finished whitewashing the living room ceiling and distempered the walls sunshine yellow. It looks very well indeed. Spent the evening clearing up and putting the furniture back.


31 Thur. rather cold becoming milder at night: very dull, rain most of day. To Wimbledon in morning bought a wall border for the living room and some lining paper. To butchers and bought some liver – first time they have had any for months; very nice too. To Morden to buy sprats. Put up the border in living room which looks very nice now: the paintwork still requires to be done.

21 November 2015

28th-29th Jan 1946: getting plastered

28 Mon. Rather cold. Fine sunny day but chilly wind. To Morden cats meat shop in morning. Post letter to Capt Marshall who is in Germany. Got accumulators. More work plastering holes and cracks in living room walls. There are so many it is taking a long while to prepare the walls for the distemper but it is nearly done now.


29 Tues. rather cold, dull, very windy, rain. To Merton to buy fish pieces for Dinky. Bought a jar of delicious smoked roe fish paste and a few other things at the grocers. White-washed the living room ceiling in afternoon: it looks really splendid and far better than the ceiling of the sitting room, the new plaster being of far better quality.

20 November 2015

25th-27th Jan 1946: recycling for refugees

25 Fri. Cold, becoming less cold, dull, calm, drizzle. To the butchers, bakers and other shops locally also bought fish at Merton. Took a parcel of left off clothing to the Church where a collection is being made for the United Nations Relief of Refugees in Europe. Met Arthur Swift in Coombe Lane; he had been on a fruitless pilgrimage of all the fish shops for miles around to get some cod.

26 Sat. Rather cold, dull, rain later. To Merton to buy cat’s meat. Spoke to Mr. Wheeler the greengrocer whose wife has just died. She used to call here to deliver vegetables before he did the round. Chas brought the distemper brush so now I can decorate the living room.

27 Sun. Frost morning and night, foggy except for some hazy sunshine in afternoon. Gave a chocolate each to Laurie, Anne & Victor. Wrote letter to Capt. Marshall who is now in Germany.


19 November 2015

24th Jan 1946: queues... chocolate... earache

24 Thur. Morning frost, cold, dull day. To local butchers also to Merton & Morden but got nothing. In afternoon to Merton again but no good, but got some sprats in Wimbledon after waiting in a long queue in the cold. Had a letter from Capt. Harold Marshall who is now in Germany. Bought chocolate cake locally. Gwennie & Donald called. Gwennie has the earache so did not go to school, so she came here and had a lark instead.

18 November 2015

21st-23rd Jan 1946: sprats

21 Mon. Six degrees of frost, very dismal, misty, yellow light. Cycled to buy cats meat at Morden, also to get accumulator.

22 Tues. Frost less severe but thick fog till midday when there was a slight thaw and most of the snow and ice have gone. Cycled to Wimbledon to buy sprats, also got paraffin at local garage, among other local purchases.


23 Wed. Very cold, very dull but little wind. Got the Wed. groceries also bought glass paper. Two cwts of coal cost us 8/-. Received a belated Xmas parcel – delayed in the post, from dear Cousin Elsie in Canada. It contained rich cake, biscuits, sweets and two sorts of nuts. Most people in her position would have forgotten by now her old relatives in England, but she is most loyal and still interested in us. God Bless Her.

17 November 2015

18-20th Jan 1946: snow... plastering is an art

18 Fri. Severe frost all day. 6 degs below freezing. Some bright sunshine but no thaw; half inch of snow at night. Did all the shopping locally including buying some more plaster. Put some more plaster on living room wall but it is slow work without proper tools, beside, plastering is an art in itself, but I shall manage it eventually. All three children called.

19 Sat. Frost continues as severe as ever, fog at night: calm. Cycled to Merton & Morden bought fish at the latter. Finished plastering of living room and filling up nail holes and minor cracks.


20 Sun. 9 degrees of frost just outside where the thermometer is kept, 13 degs below in the open: dismal, misty, calm. Walked along rail-path as far as Elm Rd bridge – best indoors. Ciss went to Tolworth by bus; I don’t know how she can do it. A baby boy was born to Cousin Len and his wife yesterday – Joseph John.

16 November 2015

17th Jan 1946: love Addie's touch

17 Thur. Severe frost all day, fairly clear, driving E wind. Did some shopping locally including buying a coconut cake mixture and a 7lb bag of plaster, oh, and some buns. Replaced a broken-off piece of the organ and made a good glued joint. Cut away some plaster above where the dresser used to be and started re-plastering so as to level the surface down to that of the plaster-board put up by the workmen. Mrs. Calver called with the key of the rebuilt No. 70 she is moving in again as soon as electric light is installed. Addie Veale has papered and painted her dining room admirably and I admired her work when I went in this evening.

15 November 2015

15-16th Jan 1946: singing children, Fred on piano

15 Tues. Black frost, remaining all day, less clear, SE wind. More stripping of paper in living room. Walk along little rail path in afternoon to station to buy a paper. Gwennie, Donald (2 Thompson) and Anne Conley called with meat for Dinky. Gwennie and Ann sang “Once in royal David’s city” while I played the piano.


16 Wed. Severe white frost, very cold, dull day, fierce N wind. Got the groceries locally. Thence to Morden to buy cats meat. Took away the dresser shelves from the living room; it makes the room much more open and seem longer: removed the remainder of the paper from the walls.

14 November 2015

14th Jan 1946: naughtie Donald (Thompson?)

14 Monday. Hard black frost; giving only slightly in the afternoon sun: clear: E wind. To Morden in morning to buy cats meat and something from Boots. Got accumulators locally. Stripped more paper from living room wall. Had to carry Donald home screaming as Gwennie could not get him to go home. He defied her, knocked here as bold as brass while Gwennie followed crying. They had been playing in the road, as Donald refused to take orders but I got him home struggling: you have to laugh.

12 November 2015

Apologies to readers - missing entries!

Hullo Readers from your 2015 blogger-editor. I managed to miss Fred's entries for 17-23 Dec 1945. My apologies. I have just added them to this earlier entry (the addresss is a clickable link), so they appear in sequence: 
http://myunclefred.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/24th-december-1945-japanese-flag-war.html

11-13 Jan 1946: more kids

11 Fri. Very mild 57 degrees, but the wind was very rough which made it seem cold: dismal, rain all day. Did the usual shopping locally in morning. Connie Freeman says she has a new baby sister named Rosemary. To Merton in afternoon to buy cats meat.

12 Sat. Cold, very clear, bright sunshine most of the day, bitter N wind. To Wimbledon in afternoon, bought fish etc. My cycle brakes hold splendidly now. Gwennie called in afternoon.

13 Sun. Very cold, some sun midday, N wind. The usual children called with one new-comer from next door – Terry Norris who is nearly 5 and goes to school now. Walk along Warple Rd in afternoon.


9-10 Jan '46: took brolley for repair

9 Wed. Very mild for season 52 degs, very dull, heavy rain from midday on; very rough indeed. Got the usual groceries but there is no margarine in the shop. To Morden to buy cats meat. Arthur Swift called in afternoon. Gave Gwennie and Laurie some picture books from Anthony*.


10 Thur. Again 52 degs, but the raging wind made it seem cold: dull, rain most of the day. To Wimbledon along rail path, saw a newly painted Pacific loco. Took umbrella of Ciss’ to Trott’s for repair. Bought maplemeat. Also shopping locally in afternoon; met Dear Gladys in afternoon who said that Joan recently back from a record hot summer in Australia is finding our climate hard to endure and has had gastric flu twice. Did more towards stripping wall paper from living room.


*I did? Well, someone on my behalf, given my infant age! - Tony.

11 November 2015

6-8 Jan '46: music, cycling, aircraft and girls

6 Sun. Mild for Jan, 50 degs, dull. A crowd of children called to-day. Ciss went to Tolworth. Played Beethoven Sonatas. Did not go out.

7 Mon. Rather cold, becoming milder, fine sunny afternoon; calm, pleasant. Fitted new brake cable in handle bar of cycle; it will need the slack taken up after a little use. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish also bought solder at Woolworths. Paid the Slate Club.

8 Tues. Rather cold, becoming milder, dull, rain most of the day. To Smith’s Merton to buy more cycle brake cable. Listened to a gramophone record in the shop, it was a musical switch, one having to guess the pieces which I did accurately, the answers being given on the reverse of the record. A lovely auburn-haired girl served me and she pleased me very much. Fitted the remaining piece of cable to operate the back brake so that all the wires are now new and I feel safe. To Morden to buy fish. Saw a Junkers transport fly over; a captured German plane seemingly.

10 November 2015

11-13 Jan '46: life goes on

11 Fri. Very mild 57 degrees, but the wind was very rough which made it seem cold: dismal, rain all day. Did the usual shopping locally in morning. Connie Freeman says she has a new baby sister named Rosemary. To Merton in afternoon to buy cats meat.

12 Sat. Cold, very clear, bright sunshine most of the day, bitter N wind. To Wimbledon in afternoon, bought fish etc. My cycle brakes hold splendidly now. Gwennie called in afternoon.


13 Sun. Very cold, some sun midday, N wind. The usual children called with one new-comer from next door – Terry Norris who is nearly 5 and goes to school now. Walk along Warple Rd in afternoon.

3-5 Jan '46: freezing

3 Thur. Very severe frost, eight degrees below: clear bright day but less wind. Did shopping locally also got two accumulators. To Merton, Morden and Wimbledon by cycle in the bitter weather but all the cats meat shops were shut: bought fish in Wimbledon.

4 Fri. Six degrees below freezing but a thaw occurred in afternoon and temperature rose six degrees above. Fairly bright day; not much wind. Got a nice piece of beef this week. Also to bakers and other shops locally. Bought butter beans at Merton and cats meat at Morden. Gwennie & Laurie called in morning: had a happy time with them.

5 Sat. The cold spell ends; up to 48 degrees: dull; light SW wind. Alf called in morning to enquire the date of the first bombing as he had his greenhouse damaged then and is making a claim.

To Merton in afternoon to buys cats meat and a paper. Started repairs to cycle brakes but made little headway, must try again. Gwennie & Laurie called. A letter from Cousin Elsie in Canada.

7 November 2015

1st-2nd Jan 1946: wheat flakes are back! But no pepper.

1 Jan. Tues. Very severe white frost which never really thawed all day; fairly bright and clean; bitter E wind. The three children called and saw me scraping more paper from the living room wall. To Merton in afternoon to buy fish. Letter from Rev. Chas. Staden who has now a Church at Barrow-in-Furness.


2 Wed. Severe black frost, the hoar frost seems to have evaporated. Clear, fairly bright; cruel E wind. To Eyle’s the local grocers: wheat flakes are back on the market after a long absence. Pepper is still non-obtainable. Then to R’Imand’s in Martin Way to buy fish pieces for cats. Mended a puncture in cycle tyre. Stripped more paper from the living room wall.

6 November 2015

31st Dec 1945: look back in wonder

We here at home during these war years
have had to endure  many privations and dangers
 as my wartime diaries will tell...


31 Mon. White frost, thick fog which lessened a little at night: dismal. Small amount of shopping locally in morning. Started stripping the paper from the walls of living room with a view to re-decoration.


And so ends 1945. A year which started ominously with the onslaught of the V2 rockets. Then came a return of the flying-bombs launched from aircraft. The invasion of France by Allied troops and their victorious march across France. Then the crossing of the Rhine and the ultimate defeat of Germany. The Allies advancing on Berlin from East and West. And the year that started with Germany in almost entire possession of Europe in a comparatively few months we were commemorating Victory, for which God be praised. The surrender of Japan came in August and we were at peace with the whole world. We here at home during these war years have had to endure many privations and dangers as my wartime diaries will tell, but now we are secure and this Christmas we enjoyed with none to make us afraid. Our house is yet a long way from what it was when the war began having been bombed twice but we have a roof over our heads and all the windows and walls repaired. It needs decorating badly but here we are safely at the beginning of 1946 and we look forward to happier times with brighter prospects of enduring peace. Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow!

5 November 2015

27th-30th Dec 1945: those days after Christmas

27 Thur. Mild for season 52 degs: some gentle sunshine, calm: like spring. Got the groceries. To Wimbledon along rail path: bought cats meat – very high and woofly. The three children called but did not stop long as they have a lot of presents at home and the novelty has not worn off yet. Alan Spooner bought some fine records in the evening for me to play on the radio-gram: grand.

28 Fri. Cold, half dark till midday, rain till afternoon when it cleared up somewhat: cold wind. Did all the usual Fri. morning shopping locally also to Wimbledon to buy fish. The three children called with two chicken carcases for the cats to pick.

29 Sat. Cold dismal, damp. To Wimbledon along rail path to buy fish: met Alf and Mrs. Child. Am playing the radio-gram again after a long silence. It is repaired after being bombed but it is not yet first rate.


30 Sun. Severe white frost, very cold day; thick fog at night. Played the gramophone to the children. Mrs. Akroyd came to tea.

4 November 2015

Boxing Day 1945: Fred the organ player

26 Wed. Boxing Day. Mild for Christmas; fine bright spring-like day with some warmth in the sun, rain commencing in the evening. Dad, Alb, Lily and Anthony had breakfast here then returned to Tolworth. Dad wanted me to play the organ which he seemed to enjoy. Cousin Maud called: I played two carols on the organ for her. Alan Spooner is on leave and called. He asked me to play the setting known as Iris to the hymn ‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’. He enjoyed it immensely and said “it was terrific”. I played many more carols for him. Ciss went to Tolworth and brought back some of Lily’s Xmas cake, and a leg of chicken with stuffing: it was splendid. All the foodstuffs this Xmas were splendid and most enjoyable. Finished repairing the output transformer and tested it in the radio-gram with good results so far.

3 November 2015

Christmas Day: first peacetime Xmas for 6 years

25 Tues. Christmas Day. Rather cold, clear but showers. Dad, Alb, Lily & Anthony came to dinner and stayed the night. The dinner was a great success, roast pork and onion sauce and three vegetables. The Christmas pudding was excellent; mince pie and custard. The cake was also very good considering the difficulty of getting ingredients. Anthony brought a lot of his presents but he could not bring his tricycle which is a real one this time. Dorothy Smith came with Jeanette and baby Margaret. The first peacetime Christmas for 6 years and my feeling was one of thankfulness.

2 November 2015

17-24th December 1945: Japanese flag war trophy

24 Mon. Christmas Eve. Rather cold, dull, windy; rain on and off all day. To the butchers to get a piece of pork & some sausage meat. Also to get two loaves of bread. To Whitbourn’s to get two accumulators and to buy a torch for a present for Dad. In afternoon to Morden but meat shop and fish shops shut. Thence to Merton but no luck. Then to Wimbledon but cats meat shop shut and every fish shop shut but one where I bought some whiting. Mrs Akroyd brought some presents for Ciss. Margaret brought a present for Ciss. Jean Child brought some presents for Ciss and a shaving stick for me. I took Dennis’ chaco in to his mother; he was in bed. Chas. Hockney, his wife and younger son were there. His elder son is a paratrooper in Java and Mr. Hockney showed me a silk Japanese flag which his son took down from the top of a skyscraper cinema in Singapore.

Note: I managed to miss the 17th-23rd Dec - so I am adding Fred's entries here. - Tony.


17 Mon. 51 degs: dismal, rain. Repaired our enamelled pudding basin. Re-covered the table top of mangle with floor-cloth; it looks well. To Merton in a deluge to buy fish. To Slate Club to get the annual share-out: 18/-. To Len Garrod to enquire about Emily who has been unwell. Posted an Xmas parcel to Uncle Tom and Aunt Nellie.

18 Tues. Rather mild, dull, showers, boisterous. To Merton in wind & rain to buy cats meat and had to hang about for ¾ hour for the meat to come in. Gwennie, Laurie & Donald called. Then Lily & Anthony came to swell the number. Cleaned some of the windows.

19 Wed. Mild, some bright sun with some warmth in it in morning; dismal, rain later. Got the groceries including extra rations of sugar, butter and margarine. Also bought sundry other things locally. Cleaned some more windows. Wrote letter to Rev. Chas. Staden.

20 Thur. Severe white morning frost which gave to a burst of sunshine midday: the fences steamed: dull later. Did a lot of Xmas shipping locally in morning. To Wimbledon later to buy fish. Cooked a large Xmas pudding. Started decorating the parlour with brilliant silver and silver and green paper – very showy.

21 Fri. Cold, dull, fairly calm. Did a lot more Xmas shopping locally in the morning including getting the additional sweet ration 1½ lbs. which cost us 3/4d. To Wimbledon along rail path in afternoon to buy fish for dinner. The three children called and were delighted at the Xmas decorations. Started to make a toy chaco for Anthony to wear. It will please Dad as he wore one in the old volunteers.

22 Sat. Rather mild, becoming cold; dull rain later. Only a small amount of local shopping. Put a holly wreath on dear Mother’s grave. To Merton & Wimbledon in afternoon; bought fish and corned beef. Cousin Maud called in evening. Started to make a chaco* for little Dennis next door; went in to measure his head.

*Note: Fred should have spelled this shako - a conical military hat with a plume or pom-pom.

23 Sun. Rather cold morning, white mist: bright, sunny and milder later. Gwennie, Laurie, Clifford and Connie called before going to Sunday School. Covered the cardboard shape of Dennis Veale’s Chaco with brilliant green and silver foil and put a large red and yellow star on the front to make it look gorgeous! 





1 November 2015

15th-16th Dec 1945: saw Victorian locomotive

15 Sat. Rather mild for season; dismal, rain most of day. Gwennie, Laurie & Donald called. To Wimbledon along rail path in afternoon: saw Adams 0.4.2. Jubilee engine No. 630 built at time of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee – 1897: there are not many of them left now. Met Alf & Lily.


16 Sun. Mild for season 54 degs: very dull and damp. Laurie called so did Anne who was very sweet and sat on my lap. Mrs Akroyd came to tea. Wrote letter to Uncle Tom.

31 October 2015

14th Dec 1945: radio perfect

14 Fri. Slight morning frost, cold, misty day; foggy at night. Did all the usual Fri. morning shopping locally. Met Mr. Dimes. Thence to Merton to buy fish for dinner & cats meat. In evening took a No. 35 coil to plug into Mrs. Figg’s wireless set as with the one in use the tuning would not go down low enough to receive the European and Light Programmes. The new coil did the trick and the set works perfectly.

30 October 2015

13th Dec 1945: carols from band in Chesnut Road

13 Thur. Less cold: no frost but keen wind. Clear & a little brighter. Did some small amount of shopping locally both morning and afternoon. Letter, a pictorial calendar and a pound note from Capt. Marshall. He is very good. Wrote letter in acknowledgement. At night a fine Salvation Army band played carols in this road.

29 October 2015

12th Dec 1945: transformed...

12 Wed. Sharp white frost, very cold day: slight sunshine midday otherwise dull. Got the groceries locally; thence to Morden to buy fish. Assembled rewound transformer but had to take it down again to file the iron core to make way for the secondary: must try again.

28 October 2015

11th Dec 1945: maplemeat

11 Tues. Only slight frost, dismal, except a fugitive gleam midday. To Wimbledon along rail path in morning; bought “Maplemeat” at health food stores. Took note to Mrs. Child in afternoon. Met Mr. Willmot in this road he was going to see poor Mrs. Baden-Powell. Sent 2/6 to the fund for her in her great loss.

27 October 2015

10th Dec 1945: ten degrees (F) of frost

10 Mon. 10 degrees of frost during the night. Dismal, misty day, becoming less cold with drizzle at night. Heard with regret that Mr. Baden-Powell of Warwick House in this road died on Sat. He leaves a young wife & three children – Evelyn has been here. Did shopping locally also to Merton where I bought ginger wine essence among other things.

23 October 2015

7th-9th Dec 1945: Holloway construction company's Victory Ball

7 Fri Severe white frost lasting till midday; dull, misty. Got the usual Fri. morning provisions. Bought cats meat at Merton. Took Addie’s gram. motor to Merton for repair but Smith’s would not undertake it. Ciss went to her firm’s Victory Ball* at Wimbledon.

8 Sat. Very cold, dismal, piercing N wind, freezing by early evening. The children brought back the “kissing bee” joke. The Conley children took it to “frighten” their mother. Along rail path in afternoon to buy fish and a paper in Wimbledon.


9 Sun. Severe black frost all day; dismal. The usual children called including Connie Freeman with a bracelet on each wrist and a massive “gold” chain with a crystal heart pendant.

*Hopefully no-one was stabbed to death, as in Agatha Christie's 'Victory Ball'.

22 October 2015

5th-6th Dec 1945: cooked Xmas puddings

5 Wed. Cold: glorious sunrise with horizontal strata of crimson, scarlet and orange with green bands between until it merged into blue above. Some wintry sunshine, keen N wind. Got the groceries in morning also to Merton for cats meat. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald called. Returned Conley’s clock after repair. Ciss mixed the Xmas puddings. Did small amount of gardening.


6 Thur. Very cold, clear bright, sunny; bitter N wind. To butchers, bakers & chemists – locally in morning. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish & a paper. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald called; showed them the "Kissing bee” joke: Gwennie was rather frightened even when she saw it was only a trick. Cooked the Xmas puddings; they smell very exciting.

21 October 2015

3rd-4th Dec 1945: clock repairs

3 Mon. Cold, clear, some bright sunshine; bitter NW wind. Bought soup powders & bread locally also got the batteries. Bought fish in Wimbledon. Paid the landlord. Repaired hour hand of Victor Conley’s clock. Am regulating it which takes time.


4 Tues. Severe white frost: my bedroom window was patterned with ice but it gave midday and rained the rest of the day: gloomy. Filed to shape more laminations of the R & A output transformer*; there are 54 of them to be done. To Merton in the afternoon in a downpour to buy fish and a paper. Mrs Akroyd bought some currants; Addie returned the cake tin.

*Did Fred mean AR or A&R?

20 October 2015

1st-2nd Dec 1945: fun and games

1 Dec. Sat. Rather cold, less dull than of late. Posted pictorial calendar to Cousin Elsie in Canada. Cleaned some windows. Showed the children how to make a coin stick on the wall: also made a pinch nail truck and a “kissing bee” that jumps out of its packet: just a phew (sic) jokes. Made a new pendulum for Victor Conley’s clock.


2 Sun. Mild for time of year; a small amount of sunshine in afternoon. The usual children called: showed them some tricks. Margery McAinsh, Dorothy, with Jeanette and baby Margaret brought a watch & a clock to be repaired by the Tolworth man: gave Jeanette two sweets. Walked past Annie’s house in Amity Grove in even.

19 October 2015

30th Nov 1945: fall on escalator

30 Fri. Cold, cloudy; a little fairer. To the butchers, bakers and newsagents & confectioners; bought a nice calendar for cousin Elsie in Canada. Also bought tinned fish. To Merton & Morden in afternoon bought cats meat. To Mrs. Akroyd in evening to see how she is; she fell down an escalator on the tube railway: she is getting better. Put her wireless in order.

18 October 2015

28th-29th Nov 1945: huge baby!

28 Wed. Severe white morning frost, very cold, dull day. Got the groceries locally among other things, thence to Morden to buy cats meat. Heard Yehudi Menuhin play two violin concertos on the wireless: wonderful.

29 Thur. Very cold, dismal. Did shopping locally in morning including buying a set of purple blocks for a Xmas present for Anthony. Met Harold Rogers & his wife & new baby Susan – a huge baby. Rode to Southfields in afternoon, saw where a flying bomb fell in Stuarts Road.


17 October 2015

26th-27th Nov 1945: new springs in cycle saddle

26 Mon. Cold, less dull but fitful skies; windy. Finished writing and posted letter to Uncle Tom. To Wimbledon & Merton in afternoon; bought fish. Fitted the other pair of pedal rubbers. Bought a cycle spanner in S. Wimbledon.


27 Tues. White morning frost, cold, cloudy day. To Morden in morning; bought dates @ 9d per lb and soya flour @ 5d also a local purchase. Removed the two coil springs from back of new saddle and replaced with a pair with easier compression. Gwennie, Laurie & Donald called; they brought some magnesium ribbon which I burned, to their delight.

16 October 2015

25th Nov 1945: Mostyn Gardens ex brickfields

25 Sun. Rather cold, dull, calm. I ought to have said yesterday that Mr and Mrs Bradley called and brought me a fine water-colour drawing of the brickfields Merton painted by Mr. Bradley. I value it very much. The lake is now levelled and is now a recreation ground – Mostyn Gardens. Short cycle ride in afternoon: the new saddle is a great improvement.

15 October 2015

23rd-24th Nove 1945: magic

23 Fri. Rather cold, very dull. Got a piece of beef this week and did other shopping locally; also bought fish in Morden in afternoon. Gwennie, Laurie & Donald came; gave them a magic book which I had made. A letter from Uncle Tom saying how delighted he is with the crystal set I made for him.


24 Sat. Rather cold, dull, misty, calm. To Morden in morning to buy a new 3 coil spring cycle saddle, made by Mansfield price 13/6: very good: also bought a set of pedal rubbers: at night fitted one pair; they were price 1/6. To Wimbledon & Merton in afternoon to buy cats meat & fish. The new saddle rides very comfortably but the springs are a trifle hard.

14 October 2015

21st - 22nd Nov 1945: a long wire for the wireless!

21 Wed. Rather mild, dismal, misty, damp, becoming foggy. Got the groceries locally as usual: also to the butchers. Bought cats meat at Morden. Cleaned some more organ reeds, making a noticeable improvement.


22 Thur. Rather mild, dismal, damp, misty, calm. Did some shopping locally in morning. Bought new cycle lamp battery in afternoon & got accumulator. To Mr. and Mrs. Figg to see how their wireless is going. Very weak by my standard, but they are very satisfied. Their aerial is so bad. I just took a wire up the stairs & along the passage as a temporary aerial with results 4 times as loud: they were surprised & will put up a better one. A new moving coil loud speaker would be another surprise to them.

13 October 2015

19 - 20th Nov 1945: Fred the organ cleaner

19 Mon. Cold, very dull. Repaired the lamp stands* of the organ. To Merton to buy cats’ meat, thence to Morden where I bought a paper.


20 Tues. Cold, dismal, calm, misty. Spent many hours cleaning the flute and viola reeds of the organ. They got a black deposit at the tip which flattens their pitch; when removed the reeds are found to be in tune. The few reeds I did showed a great improvement. It is a very delicate job cleaning the deposit from the smallest reeds. Gwennie & Donald brought some meat for Dinky but Michael Winsley’s dog stole it from them.

* Note: I vaguely recall a flat, circular wooden platter on a small post at each side of the tall, carved wood (with mirrors) organ. My own organ-playing was confined to holding down the bass notes to imitate the sound of approaching bombers - Tony.

12 October 2015

17 - 18 Nov 1945: moo, baa, woof, yap, meow

17 Sat. Very cold, dull, bitter E wind. Laurie and Donald called. Donald although only two can give a wonderfully realistic imitation of a pig grunting; he amused Ciss by doing a moo cow, a sheep, a big dog and a puppy dog and a cat also: he was rewarded with a sweet. To Wimbledon in afternoon along line: bought fish and dried green peas. Made a good repair of the Celeste stop on the organ. Ciss went to Anthony’s 4th birthday party.

18 Sun. Very cold, dismal, bitter wind. Stayed in all day. The usual children called. Played the organ: the Celeste is now perfect. Audrey Child brought a piece of Anthony’s birthday cake.


11 October 2015

16 Nov 1945: bought two eggs from milkman

16 Fri. Very cold, clear, bright, windy, sunny day. Got the usual Fri. shopping, got a nice piece of pork this week. Two eggs from the milkman. Bought herrings locally also cake and sweets. Gwennie, Laurie, Victor and Ann Conley & Nita Hart called, gave them a sweet each.

10 October 2015

14 - 15 Nov 1945: music from Woolworths

This wasn't necessarily the book Fred bought
 but it's the same vintage
14 Wed. Cold, very dull, damp in the air. Got a lot of provisions locally. Bought a lovely coloured picture book called “A Day on the Farm”, for a birthday present for Anthony. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald called. To Mr. and Mrs. Figg in Amity Grove in evening to attend to their wireless set, got it going well but aerial & earth system is very poor: put in one new valve.


15 Thur. Cold, dismal, S wind. To Wimbledon along rail path in afternoon. Bought piano arrangement of 1st movement of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor for 6d at Woolworth’s. Met Alf’s Lily. To local butcher’s.

9 October 2015

12 - 13 Nov 1945: talking opf roses

12 Mon. Cold, dismal, damp; little wind. To Merton and Morden and bought only a jar of fish paste.


13 Tues. Very cold, heavy clouds looking like snow, E wind. Cycled to Cheam to buy some nice cats meat. In afternoon to Merton Churchyard to plant daffodils and scillas on dear Mother’s grave. Met Jessie Hodge there and had a talk about roses: a lovely Lady Hillingdon rose was in bloom close by.

8 October 2015

10th - 11th Nov 1945: egg & spoon race

10 Sat. Cold, dull, nasty N wind, heavy showers. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald called and played egg and spoon race. To Wimbledon to buy fish, got drenched: bought my poppy. Thence to Merton to buy something at Boots. A note on the organ stuck down but I put it right without much trouble.


11 Sun. Cold, bright, clear, sunny; N wind. A lot of children called. Mr. and Mrs. Bradley came to tea and seemed to enjoy their visit, we were certainly delighted; I shall never forget dear Connie who brought so much happiness into my grey life. I have not seen her for a great many years but it was a privilege to have her father and mother with us; they went to the Church in evening.

7 October 2015

8th - 9th Nov 1945: pulled out the stops

8 Thur. Rather cold, dull. Did some shopping locally in morning. To Wimbledon along rail-path in afternoon. Made two templates for new bevelled glass mirrors for the organ. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald brought some pieces for Dinky. Made the Celeste stop on the organ work again.


9 Fri. Cold, dull; N wind. Got the meat, cakes, sweets, paid for the papers. Got a birthday card for Anthony also stamps – all locally. Bought daffodil and scilla bulbs at Woolworths, Wimbledon also the andante from Schumann’s piano concerto. A melodic reed on the organ would not play; cleaned it with good results.

6 October 2015

5th to 7th Nov 1945: dates, figs, salmon, pilchard

5 Mon. Rather mild, dismal all day; calm. Did some repairs to the organ. Fitted two vanes to the Vox Humana fan, also repaired the control valve. Fitted new spring to the safety valve. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald brought some scraps of food for Dinky. Paid the Slate Club; met Harold there.

6 Tues. Rather cold, dull, calm. Did some shopping locally in morning. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish. Have seen many of the new Southern Railway coaches which are as high and wide as the loading gauge permits.


7 Wed. Rather cold, dull, calm. Got the groceries: got some dates and figs. Also salmon and tinned pilchards at another shop. To Wimbledon Common extension and took another briar cutting out of the hedge and budded it with Mme. E. Herriot experimentally before planting it: if it succeeds it should save time and get a plant earlier.

5 October 2015

2nd-4th Nov 1945: sunny cycling

2 Fri. Rather cold. Misty, dull all day. To butchers etc in morning. Met Cousin Maud, Gwen, Laurie & Donald, they were coming home from school.

3 Sat. Rather mild for season: cloudy. To Cheam in morning to buy cats meat also bought vegetables locally. Short ride in afternoon.


4 Sun. Mild for season, 60 degrees: dull. Was cycling along Robin Hood Way when I met Willie Wilmot also mounted, so we went for a ride in Richmond Park together.

4 October 2015

31st Oct-1st Nov 1945: flowers & music

31 Wed. Rather mild, lovely bright sunshine most of the day; calm. Got the groceries as usual. To dear Mother’s grave, took off the geraniums and antirrhinums and planted forget-me-nots. Walked beside Beverleigh Brook in afternoon and brought back two briar cuttings which I planted in garden. Gwennie & Laurie called.


1 Nov. Thur. Rather cold; fog night and morning but a little sunshine midday. To Wimbledon along rail path: met Willie Wilmot. Bought fish. Bought Xmas cards at Woolworth’s. Bought maple-meat at health food stores. Also Valse les Fleurs – Tchaikovsky for the piano at Woolworth’s. Heard Beethoven’s Pastoral.

3 October 2015

29th-30th Oct 1945: pinboard

29 Mon. Mild, showers in morning but some very bright sunshine in afternoon. To Merton to buy something at the chemists and to the catsmeat shop there. Cousin Maud called in evening and played on the pinboard.*


30 Tues. Very mild, perfectly lovely, calm sunny day. Walked along the rail path in lovely sunshine to Wimbledon to buy fish among other things. One of the large ugly goods engines C22 was in Wimbledon yard and went off with a load of trucks: the ugliest engine in the world. Gwennie and Donald called in afternoon.

*Pinboard. Fred's was a 2ft 6in (approx) board, laid almost flat on a table, with a curved far end slightly raised on a block. The circles of pins, surrounded shallow metal trays, with score values beside them, into which you aimed to get your bright silver-coloured metal ball, propelled by a beautifully-shaped handheld stick, which you pushed up an alley (formed by a low wooden wall) on the right. The far end of the board had an arched top, so the ball followed this around, the distance depending on the strength of your push. You could risk aiming for the gaps in the circles of pins, to reach high scrores, or bounce off other pins (actually thin nails firmly set in the wood). The balls could be annoying attracted to the gaps in the pins, and just collect in the low-value circles, and miss the trays! For storage, there was a sliding wooded cover over an alley at the foot of the board - this is where the balls were scored. Fred records some pinboard scores inside his diaries front and back covers - his and Ciss's highest scores for the year. It was a well-used board.

2 October 2015

26th-28th October 1945: shop, shops, lawn and music

26. Rather cold, a few periods of sunshine, still very rough. Got all the usual Fri. morning shopping locally. Mrs. Conley came as usual to do some cleaning and brought Victor who has just had his foot taken out of plaster following and injury; Anne came later.

27 Sat. Rather cool, but brilliant sunny morning becoming dull later. Cycled to Cheam and got some meat with only a short queue. Also shopping locally. Gwennie and Laurie called, so did Mrs McAinsh, Jeanette and the baby. Cut the lawn, it had grown quite long.


28 Sun. Rather mild, very dull; rain on and off all day. Did not go out, nothing to record. Played Beethoven that is all.

1 October 2015

24th-25 October 1945: dismal days!

24 Wed. Very cool after rain; a few sunny intervals: very rough. Got the groceries as usual on Wed. Took a counterpane cover to Robins to be cleaned. The transformer bobbin is now ready to take the secondary winding.


25 Thur. Rather cold, dismal, severe rain storms; gales of wind. Wound the secondary on the output transformer: the laminations will have to be altered to fit it. To butchers in afternoon, thence to Merton to buy fish, returning by Merton Church yard to see dear Mother’s grave. Got as far back as Chase Station when I was overwhelmed in the most violent rain squall I have been in: got soaked through and had to change.

30 September 2015

22nd-23 October 1945: rough going

22 Mon. Mild for season but very rough wind. Alternate bright sunshine & showers. Took counterpane cover to cleaners but they could not take it. To Morden in afternoon to buy fish.

23 Tues. Rather cool, alternate sunshine and heavy showers; very rough. More playing of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Along rail path to buy fish in Wimbledon.

29 September 2015

20th-21st October 1945: hard work breaking up matress

20. Mild fine sunny morning, cloudy afternoon. Cycled to Cheam but no meat so bought fish, also bought a cake there. Gwennie, Laurie and Aunt Liza called. Finished breaking up the old spring mattress.


21 Sun. Very mild, 65 degs: very dull rain. Dad, Alb, Lily and Anthony came to dinner and tea. Laurie called and went with Anthony to Sunday School. Mrs Akroyd also to tea.

28 September 2015

18th-19th October 1945: "I am 57 today and feel 107"

18 Thur. Cool, dull, slight rain. I am 57 to-day and feel 107. Anthony sent me a birthday card. Did a little shopping locally in morning. Made another effort to scrap the old spring mattress – heavy going. Gwennie and Laurie called. Gave Laurie 1s 6d as his birthday was last week but he was at Oxford then.


19 Fri. Cold at each end of day but fine and bright throughout; the sun temperature rising to 91 degs. in afternoon. Got the week-end joint and all the usual Fri. morning shopping locally: bought a large cabbage for Aunt Liza. To Morden in afternoon to buy fish. A letter from Alan Spooner who is in the army at Maidstone.

27 September 2015

15th - 17th Oct 1945: Italian PoWs farming

15 Mon. Mild, pleasant sunny afternoon. To Morden, thence to Wimbledon to buy fish, returning along rail-path. Gwennie and Laurie called with some percussion caps to let off. A very charming little girl who said she was Sheila called selling picture of children for one penny; the proceeds going to the National Children’s Home and Orphanage. Paid the Slate Club. Aunt Nellie called bringing me a birthday cake and card and a tie.

16 Tues. Cold and foggy night and morning but a mild, pleasant, sunny afternoon even though hazy. Walked beside the Beveleigh* Brook from Coombe Bridge to the bridge on Common extension. Took another briar cutting. Saw Italian prisoners of war lifting potatoes and putting them into clamps.


17 Wed. Cool, cloudy all day; more wind than of late. Got the groceries as usual and then bought fish at Martin Way. Re-fitted the oil-cloth on the little room floor and re-erected the bedstead.


*Spelt Beverley, in the C21st

26 September 2015

12th-14th Oct 1945: 1,000s of turns on homemade radio transformer

12 Fri. Very mild, a nice soft sunny afternoon. Got the meat, cakes and other provisions; oh, and the sweet ration – all locally. Finished winding the primary of output transformer. It is in six sections and has thousands of turns of very fine wire.

13 Sat. Rather mild, some hazy sunshine; misty later. To Wimbledon along rail path to buy fish. Bought birthday card for Edie Bennett. Took message to Jean Child.


14 Sun. Cool, dull, hazy becoming rather foggy. Gwennie and Laurie called after being away three weeks. Played some more Beethoven Sonatas.

25 September 2015

10th - 11th October 1945: the adopted cat... more post-bomb work

10 Wed. Mild, lovely sunny day for time of year; could hardly be better. Got the groceries in morning. Scraped blobs of plaster from the walls and woodwork of little room and swept the walls and floor. Then started to lay oil-cloth, some we had left over from the sitting room, it is sufficient for the little room. Mr. Bradley called; I had not seen him for a long time. He was slightly injured when one of the first flying bombs damaged his house at Worcester Park. He saw Dinky who was his cat at 72 Chestnut before we adopted him.


11 Thur. Rather warm; lovely day of genial sunshine. Did some shopping locally in morning. Walked to Wimbledon along rail path in afternoon: bought fish. Finished laying the oil-cloth in the little bedroom. Wound a few hundred turns of wire on primary of output transformer – a lot more to go on yet.

24 September 2015

8th-9th October 1945: wire, fish & cotton

8 Mon. Cool, cloudy morning, some hazy sun in afternoon becoming misty, calm. Started winding primary of output transformer it requires a great many turns of very fine wire and will take a long time. Along rail path in afternoon bought a .05 mfd fixed condenser in Wimbledon.


9 Tues. Cold to begin with becoming milder with much hazy sunshine; more wind to-day. Wrote to Uncle Tom. Did some shopping locally including buying paraffin for Aunt Liza. In afternoon bought fish in Morden, thence to Merton branch of Boots. Bought blue cotton and blue webbing locally. Met Arthur Swift.

23 September 2015

6th-7th October 1945: new shirts & braces

6 Sat. Cold, dull, misty morning, milder and some hazy sunshine later. To Cheam to buy cats meat. Also bought something locally. To Wimbledon along rail path in afternoon. Bought two shirts 7/11 ea. and a pair of braces 2/3 at Fosters. Also bought dried green peas and two dish cloths. Aunt Liza called; she is very unwell. Put the clocks back one hour; they are now G.M.T.


7 Sun. Rather cold, dull, misty morning; milder with some hazy sun in afternoon; becoming cold and foggy. Did a heavy morning’s work preparing dinner for ourselves, Dad, Alb, Lily and Anthony who came to dinner and tea: they came back from fortnight’s holiday at Herne Bay yesterday. Short walk in afternoon.

22 September 2015

3rd-5th October 1945: the cost of coal

3 Wed. Cool, dismal all day, misty calm. Got the groceries, also paraffin and buns. Laugh. Took three accumulators. Received two cwt. Of coal @ 4/- per cwt. Took a shilling to Jennifer Child who is six; her birthday was yesterday but the party is today. She had a wonderful tea and a lot of little guests. There was a cake with six candles on it.

4 Thur. Rather cold, very dismal, misty becoming foggy: calm. Played Beethoven piano sonatas in morning and made encouraging progress with this difficult music. Did shopping locally. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish, returning along rail path; did not see a single steam train.


5 Fri. Rather cold morning becoming milder and pleasantly sunny in afternoon. Did all the usual Fri. morning shopping locally. There was such a large ice-cream queue at the paper shop that I called three times during the morning before I could get in to pay for the week’s papers and buy the sweet ration. To Malden and Coombe in afternoon. Walked beside Beverleigh (sic) Brook in soft sunshine which was pleasant. Took a briar cutting from the hedge and planted it in the garden.

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Beverley Brook Walk

Beverley Brook Walk pictureA walk of 6.5 miles, closely following the Beverley Brook through Wimbledon Common, Richmond Park and Barnes Common to the River Thames upstream of Putney.
The walk goes through some of South London's most varied and beautiful countryside, and takes about 3 hours at a gentle pace.
For details of the walk, please download the Beverley Brook Walk leaflet (1.6MB)