31 May 2015

31st May 1945: liver a luxury; furniture for bomb victim

31 Thur. Very mild, some pleasant sunshine, light showers. Got 6 ozs of liver at butchers to-day – very rare luxury. Gave Addie Veale a nice bunch of roses and philadelphus. Beat and brushed stair carpet. Made new spring for lock of back door. Cleaned my coat with Thawpit. Mrs. Collis called in evening. Carter Patterson called to take the couch away; Ciss is sending it to a bombed out lady at Dalston.

30 May 2015

Chesnut Road, Raynes Park

No 66 has the red door. There were more trees in 1945 and no cars!
The newer houses in the centre presumably replaced bombed homes.
(Google Street View, 2014)

30th May 1945: fish queue

30 Wed. Mild to very mild, some pleasant sunny periods. Got a long list of groceries in morning also waited in a long queue at Merton to buy fish. Fitted new volume control to radio-gram and gave it a trial; only the loud-speaker needs repair now.

29 May 2015

29th May 1945: sounds good

29 Tues. Very cool; small amount of weak sun in afternoon. Bought tinned foodstuffs locally. Gwennie and Laurie called in afternoon. Bought paper in Morden. Alan Spooner called in evening to show me an all mains amplifier he has made: a good piece of work in a metal case. He brought two volume controls for me to try as a control on the gramophone. Fitted Harold Marshall’s new high-tension battery to my set with grand power and quality.

28 May 2015

28th May 1945: in tune

28 Mon. Very cool, very dull, rain afternoon. Did a lot of shopping locally, also to Wimbledon to buy fish. Joan Storey and Alec called in evening and brought some eggs and a high tension battery from Harold. Mr. Lane tuned the piano which is in much better trim than for some time. To pay Slate Club.

27 May 2015

27th May 1945: making a noise

27 Sun. Very cool to very mild; dull, fairer later. Most of the Norris family came in to make a noise on the instruments. Helped Addie Veale to lift two of the heavy corrugated steel arches out of her Anderson shelter: four more to come out. Gentle cycle ride round the new roads of Worcester Prk and Motspur Prk to see the gorgeous display of roses in the front gardens: they are magnificent.

26 May 2015

26th May 1945: Victory tea, dancing in the streets

26 Sat. Very cool, rain till 4 p.m. then a little finer for a short while. Cycled to N. Cheam to buy fish. Also bought vegetables locally. In afternoon to Morden to buy haricot beans and dried peas. Tried vainly to buy a cake. Got accumulators and bought prepared canvas to repair cycle tyre. The Chestnut Rd. Victory children’s tea to-day. Tea was served in the Salvation Army Hall and children’s races held in the road. At night the road was gay with coloured lights and bright lights hung above the road while people danced to a piano and an accordion. I did not go to see, but a platform was erected as if a concert was going to be held.

25 May 2015

25th May 1945: a new cleaner?

25 Fri. Slight morning frost, cool morning, very mild afternoon with some pleasant sunshine. Got the meat, beef, this week, also some buns, sweets, some herrings etc. Thinned out the seedlings. A woman came in this afternoon to do some cleaning to the house. Connie Freeman and Ann Cole came in to amuse themselves on the piano and organ.

24 May 2015

24th May 1945: paper birds for the girls

24 Thur. Rather cold, very dull, but a little fairer and milder in evening. Put back outer cover of cycle on front wheel and vice versa as the back cover has worn somewhat. Gwennie and Laurie called. Made paper birds beaks for Evelyn Baden-Powell and Nita Hart. Little Ann Cole who lives in Bronson Rd fell over in this road and cut her knee badly so I carried her through the house and put her over the fence at the back to her mother: poor little dear. Aunt Liza called. Mrs. Jordan called; she had not previously seen this road since the doodle-bug fell. Alan McAinsh called to say his wife had a baby girl to-day. He played the piano; a far better player than I. Gave him some flowers for Marjorie his wife.

23 May 2015

23rd May 1945: fish cakes and roses

23 Wed. Very mild becoming very cool. Rain nearly all day; some thunder in afternoon. Got the groceries in morning, also to Morden to buy cats’ meat. Made some nice fish cakes. Helped Addie Veale to take a bit more of her shelter down. Posted letter, birthday card and Postal Order to Uncle Tom. Cousin Maud called in evening; gave her some roses.

22 May 2015

22nd May 1945: taken to the cleaners

22 Tues. Mild to very mild; some pleasant sunny periods. Took suit to Eastman’s to be cleaned and pressed. To take and get an accumulator. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish and a paper. Gwennie and Laurie called. Maud in home for a short holiday.

21 May 2015

21st May 1945: ...not much like a holiday

21 Whit Monday. Rather cold, showers, slight thunder; heavy rain eventually setting in. Made new ebonite panel for mounting series condenser of radiogram, fitted same: this was a bomb damage repair. To Morden in afternoon to buy a paper. No callers; not much like a holiday

20 May 2015

20th May 1945: train-spotting

20 Sun. Rather cool, very dull, rain till evening. Gwennie and Laurie called on their way to Sunday School. Mrs. Akroyd to tea. Walk along rail-path in evening. Met Collins and others. He told me the S.R. was building a new class of Pacific locos.

19 May 2015

Your fellow readers...

Here are the statistics for the page views of Fred's diary over the past month.

19th May 1945: the clock comes back

19 Sat. rather cool, cloudy, boisterous. To Cheam: bought two pounds of meat for Dinky. Also to greengrocers in morning. Cycled for miles in search of a cake in afternoon, but bakers shops were either empty or shut. Ciss went to Tolworth and brought back the sitting-room clock which has been repaired. She also brought back Alb’s camera for my use. Boy Norris next door let off some fireworks at night. The roses are gorgeous everywhere – save my garden, but mine are always late.

18 May 2015

18th May 1945: settlement for war damage

18 Fri. Very mild, some nice sunshine in afternoon, but a chilly wind later. Did all the usual Fri. morning shopping. Letter from Uncle Tom. He says he is unwell and has not been out of the house for five weeks. Sowed beans and lettuce seed in afternoon. Gwennie and Laurie called. Helped Addie in her efforts to get her shelter down. Ciss went to see about the settlement of the war damage claim and an amount has been awarded. Little Dennis Veale piped “Peep-bo angel” through the fence to me.

17 May 2015

17th May 1945: roses gorgeous; Mr Hopkins buried

17 Thur. rather warm, lovely sunny day, enlivened with a gentle breeze. To Cheam to buy fish. To butcher’s locally. The roses everywhere are gorgeous: in places there are great banks of them all full out. The new Russell lupins are very popular with their unusual colourings. I saw some with blooms of indigo and white: I have one in the garden with pink and yellow flowers. In afternoon to the little Churchyard behind St Phillip’s Church Worcester Prk. to be present at the interment of Mr. Hopkins an old friend of Cottenham Park who died while sitting in a deck chair in his garden at Stoneleigh: he was 70 years of age. Mrs. Hopkins, Edie, Maggie and her husband were there, an ATS girl I did not know and Martha Read. I shall always remember Mr. Hopkins for his illuminating addresses at the Bible Class years ago.

16 May 2015

16th May 1945: post-war... repairs

16 Wed. Very mild to rather warm. Lovely sunny day, enlivened with a freshening breeze. Wrote letter to Uncle Tom. Got the groceries also bought sausage meat and something for Dinky. Gwennie and Laurie called. Gwennie was a bit troublesome in a charming way and wanted me to take her on my bike when I went to Morden to buy a paper. Aunt Liza called. Fred Lea took the strings of pennants down for Mrs. Veale; I took them in to her and had a look at the damaged gramophone: the diaphragm of sound box is buckled with blast. Mr. Lane called to see the piano and organ; he will do them.

The Japanese cruiser Haguro on 2 Nov 1943
 under attack at Rabaul, damaged but surviving the battle of
Empress Agusta Bay
On this day: let's not forget that the war with Japan continues - there are slow and costly advances being made by US forces in Okinawa. A Japanese cruiser Haguro tries to get through to reinforce islands in the Indian Ocean. In the Malacca Straits, in the last surface action of the war involving major warships, the Haguro is sunk by destroyers' torpedoes. 

15 May 2015

15th May 1945: farewell Anderson, hullo thermometer

15 Tues. Very mild, some pleasant sunshine and a fresh breeze. Gwennie and Laurie called. Weeded the onion seedlings. Planted three more tomato plants. Helped Addie Veale to make a start on getting her Anderson shelter down: a heavy job. Mrs Akroyd called. Went back with her and put her wireless right and brought back a case full of china, glass and other effects salvaged from the bombing which she has been minding. Among the articles was the missing thermometer so I shall be able to make more accurate weather reports.

14 May 2015

14th May 1945: sevenpence-halfpenny 'Money' tomato plants

14 Mon. Rather cool, very boisterous and mostly cloudy. Bought fish at Merton. Bought seven tomato plants @ 7½d ea. locally: the variety is “Moneymaker”. Planted four of them. Gwennie and Laurie called. Made one of the blank notes of the organ to play: there are several others to put right.

13 May 2015

13th May 1945: roses open

13 Sun. Warm, glorious sunny morning; dull, cool, boisterous later. Went to Church in evening. Alf came in home for a short while afterwards. First roses to open in back garden are Hugh Dickson, Hon. Violet Douglas-Pennant, Paul’s Scarlet and Lady Penzance.

12 May 2015

12th May 1945: Victory celebrations continue

12 Sat. Warm; glorious sunny day: perfect. Cycled to Cheam and got some meat; the queue was quite short. Bought vegetables locally. Finished putting down oilcloth in the passage. Capt Harold Marshall called and gave us some tea and eggs. Had a long chat with him. The Victory celebrations continue. There was dancing to a loud-speaker in Bronson Road, and sound of revelry and fireworks from other directions. Houses are displaying coloured lights and the night is gay indeed.

11 May 2015

11th May: Gwennie likes to visit

11 Fri. Rather warm; glorious sunny afternoon; the sun was quite powerful to-day. Got the week-end joint and other provisions locally in morning. Bought fish at Merton. Started to lay floor cloth taken up from my bedroom, on the passage floor; the new that I laid there little more than a year ago was ruined by the bombing. Gwennie called; she seems to like coming and is unwilling to go home.

10 May 2015

10th May 1945: lack of cat food... German subs surrender

10 Thur. Very mild to rather warm: some hazy sunshine. Got the groceries and also to the butchers. Cycled to Merton, Wimbledon and Morden but could not buy food for Dinky: had to open a tin of pilchards. Further tuning to the piano. Sowed seeds of aquilegia. German submarines are surrendering and are being taken to British ports. First roses out on the climbing Mme. Edouard Herriot rose at the front door. Several fire-engines went ringing their way towards a huge red glow in the night sky which seemed to be somewhere at the end of Grand Drive.

9 May 2015

9th May 1945: the merry party continues

9 Wed. Mild, cloudy, slight showers but a little weak sun. Short cycle ride in afternoon. Passing Coombe woods heard the blackbird, thrush, cuckoo, nightingale, chaffinch, pheasant among other birds. Ah, the swallows are here! The Victory celebrations continue. A large bonfire was lit at night at the Kingston Rd. end of Chestnut Rd. A piano was brought out and dance music played while people including Chas. and Doris danced and sang: a merry party. A few fireworks were let off. Another magnificent searchlight display. Hundreds of searchlights swirled and waved their long arms about the sky in a bewildering manner, at other times forming up into a huge concentration. The effect was marvellous and a dance band in Bushey Rd. played and seemed to form a jolly accompaniment to the lights.

8 May 2015

8th May 1945: Victory Day - singing & dancing in the streets

8 Tues. Rather warm after a storm in the night. Some hazy sunshine, but altogether a fine day for such an occasion. VICTORY DAY. The surrender of Nazi Germany was ratified to-day in Berlin. There is still some sporadic fighting where Nazis have ignored the command to cease fire. The actual time when the cease fire order is officially declared is one minute after midnight to-night. Heard Mr. Churchill’s broadcast at 3.0 p.m. today. To Church in evening to give thanks to God for our great deliverance. A loudspeaker in the Church broadcast the King’s message to His people. There were bonfires in this (Chestnut) road at night and Hitler was burned in effigy. There were fireworks elsewhere and people were singing and dancing in the streets accompanied by pianos wheeled out of houses. A magnificent searchlight display late at night rounded off a memorable day. Kathy Kingham had a baby boy to-day – a victory baby indeed: Rodney, Victor.

7 May 2015

7th May 1945: Germany has surrendered

7 Mon. Very mild; lovely, warm, sunny afternoon. To Morden to buy fish. Tidied up the lawn and sowed everlasting flower seeds. Germany has surrendered to Britain, U.S.A. and Russia and tomorrow will be Victory Day. Helped Mrs. Veale with Fred Lee’s help to put up two streamers of flags across the road. And so, after more than five years and eight months Nazi Germany has been defeated and occupied by the three great powers. At one time they had almost conquered the whole of Europe and the plight of Britain seemed hopeless. But as the result of unbelievable mistakes by Germany and the sacrifices and prodigious efforts of the fighting men of the democracies and with the help of Almighty God, the forces of evil and brutality have been utterly and finally vanquished. So Hitler and his dream of world domination by the “lordly folk” as he called the German people will go down in history as the vilest men who ever lived, and from whose tyranny the world has been spared. May the Nations of the Earth now, by brotherly love and mutual help build a new and better world where man may dwell in security and happiness! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise Him above the heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

6 May 2015

6th May 1945: pictures... piano... stroll... Victory?

6 Sun. Becoming rather mild, cloudy, but a promise of fine weather soon. Put up the very few pictures left undamaged and framed a nice landscape to make a new picture. Gwennie, Laurie and Connie Freeman called. Had a good play at the piano today. Short walk along the Bushey Rd in evening. Victory day may be before next Thursday.

5 May 2015

5th May 1945: Holland and Denmark are now free.

5 Sat. Still rather cold, dismal, rain all day. To local greengrocers in morning. Bought fish at Merton, also to grocers in afternoon and collected two coats for Ciss from Eastman’s the dry-cleaners. Made a second attempt to tune the piano; much more playable now. Oh. I met Alf’s Lily and went home with her as Alf has Saturday mornings off, so we had a chat together. Holland and Denmark are now free.

4 May 2015

4th May 1945: BBC in Hamburg

4 Fri. rather cold, less wind, a little fairer with some hazy sunshine. Got the week-end joint, some cakes etc; paid newsagent and bought some sweets. Gwennie and Laurie called; amused them with paper boats and bellows. Further clearing of sitting room; begins to look more like its old self apart from the broken furniture. The Germans in the N and NW of Europe surrendered to-day. There are still many isolated places and Norway yet to be occupied, but the end may be within a few days. The B.B.C. are** now using the Hamburg radio station.

**Note from Ed: sorry about the terrible grammar. Fred 'are' usually so accurate! Interesting, too, that he has full stops in BBC - Tony

3 May 2015

3rd May 1945: domestic & European

3 Thur. No frost but a cold, dismal day: as the wind dropped the rain commenced at 3.0 p.m. and continued throughout the day. Bought fish and buns in Morden. Laurie called; gave him a bun. Dear Addie came in, she had neuralgia very bad and asked if we had a Daisy Powder; unfortunately we did not; poor girl. Berlin is now fully occupied by the Russians. Hitler and Goebbels are now said to have committed suicide. British troops occupy Hamburg and link up with the Russians on the Baltic. 

2 May 2015

2nd May 1945: 'The war may end any moment.'

2 Wed. White morning frost, rather cold, cloudy day, becoming finer; wind lessening and veering to westward. Got the groceries as usual, also bought cod fillets in Martin Way and a few things in Morden. Repaired controlling device in R&A speaker. The whole of the German forces in N Italy and W Hungary surrendered to-day. Over 900,000 men were taken prisoner: the whole of Italy is free. British troops have driven right across the base of the Schleswig Peninsula and reached the Baltic: Hamburg and Kiel are cut off. The German radio announces that Hitler was killed in Berlin saying he fought to the death: other reports say he died of a stroke some while ago: reports so far do not ring true: Admiral Doenitz replaces him. The war may end any moment now. When the all clear sounded at 7.58 a.m. on Wed 28th March last, I said to Ciss, “that is the last time you will hear the syrens”. I spoke prophetically. We have not had a warning since, and, today it is announced that the warning syrens have been discontinued.

1 May 2015

1st May 1945: HORRIBLE weather

1 May. Tues. Severe white frost with ice on puddles, bitter N wind, fitful skies; a horrible day. To Merton in morning to buy cats meat. Bought leeks locally. Gwennie and Laurie called. Arranged with Robbins to have sitting room carpet taken away and cleaned.