30 June 2015

30th June 1945: gave away old Telsen 3 valve wireless & loudspeaker

30 Sat. Very cool, becoming cold, very dull, cloudy and windy; not a nice day. Ron Cooper is getting married at Wilstead to-day so I sent a telegram of good wishes and congratulation to him and his bride whom we have never met however. Bought vegetable locally. Bought fish in Wimbledon and got the accumulators, the latter locally. Gave an old Telsen 3 valve set and Celestion loud-speaker to Leonard Bensch, Mrs. Wheeler’s grandson.

29 June 2015

29th June 1945: smoked fillet of cod for dinner

29 Fri. Very cool, becoming mild; very dull and cloudy; showers later. To butchers and all the usual Fri. morning shopping. To Morden in afternoon to buy smoked fillet of cod for dinner and something for Dinky. To Joseph Hoods Ground in evening to see young men from the Church play cricket: Alan and Fred Spooner were there.

28 June 2015

28th june 1945: General election canvasser

28 Thur. Very cool, very dull and cloudy; fine rain most of the day. Bought a few things locally in morning; nothing worth mentioning happened and no callers save the baker, greengrocer and a lady canvassing votes for one of the socialist candidates in the forthcoming general election*. There is a conservative candidate, a liberal and two socialists for one seat.

*The election will be on 5th July, with some voting delayed due to 'wakes weeks' until 12th and 19th July. The result were counted and declared on 26th July; it took a tiume to transport votes from those serving overseas.

27 June 2015

27th June 1945: cricket, lightning and cleaning

27 Wed. Rather cool for season, showers and two severe flashes of lightning in afternoon; the thunder was very loud and long; a few sunny periods. Got a long list of groceries in the morning, also to butchers. To Mitcham to see some cricket in afternoon; the inning opened with two wickets for no runs, then they improved later. Gwennie and Laurie called and played with the “pop tree”. Cleaned front bedroom windows and overmantel.

26 June 2015

26th June 1945:

26 Tues. Very mild, very cloudy and overcast. To Cheam where I got some meat this time. Saw Mrs. Hopkins in the queue and spoke to her. To the butchers. Took batteries to be charged and got a paper. Laurie called; there are now some pops on the tree and he popped them

Note: back in 1943 I asked:
Can anyone identify the "pop tree"? I recall it had light green seed pods perhaps a couple of inches long which went "pop" and burst if you squeezed them - no doubt a means of seed dispersal.

Note 2: Wisteria has been suggested, and sweet peas...

25 June 2015

25th June 1945: watering

25 Mon. Warm, some fine sunny periods but quite a lot of cloud; little wind. Bought mustard seed: sowed some. In afternoon bought fish in Wimbledon, returning along the rail-path. Did a lot of weeding and watering in the garden, also sowed two sorts of lettuce seed: cut and watered the lawn.

24 June 2015

24th June 1945: dig that preacher man

24 Sun. Warm, fine sunny day and not much wind to spoil it. To Church in evening, Rev. John Vivian preached: a man with a fine bass voice and an impressive personality.

23 June 2015

23rd June 1945: Veggies cost one shilling and sixpence

23 Sat. Warm, fine sunny day after heavy rain in the night. Made a mistake and got up an hour too soon. Started out for the Cheam meat shop at 8.30 a.m. but it was shut – no meat. Bought some asters at Cheam Woolworths’, rode straight back and planted them on dear Mother’s grave**. Bought vegetable locally – 2 lbs potatoes, 1 lb greens, 1 lb carrots, price 1/6d. In afternoon bought fish in Wimbledon & Vim scouring powder. Came back along rail-path; saw many good locos including an old Drummond tank No. 132. with its smoke-box wings removed – much smarter. Cricket. Saw Merton score 216 for 6. Took cuckoo clock back to Mrs. Child.

"Dear Mother's grave" with fallen cross,
neglected, seventy years later 

22 June 2015

22nd June 1945: still no soap flakes - raspberry cake instead

22 Fri. Warm, lovely sunny day. Mrs. Conley did the cleaning. Did all the usual shopping locally but bought a raspberry cake in Morden: could not buy soap flakes anywhere. Bought medicaments in Malden and Worcester Park. Sowed cress seed.

21 June 2015

21st June 1945: cuckoo

21 Thur. Rather warm, some nice sunny periods; lovely steady warm showers. To butchers in morning. Ely’s men came to take away Mrs. Jordan’s settee and arm chairs: we did not keep them long. Took a parcel of waste paper to a shop at Merton. Mrs. Child’s cuckoo clock has attracted nearly all the children in the road. Gwennie saw it to-day and Ann Conley who played (?) table tennis with me. Mrs. Conley is coming to do some cleaning tomorrow.

20 June 2015

20th June 1945: can't get soap flakes "when softness matters"!

20 Wed. Warm: up to 79 deg. in the morning, cooler later. Sunny morning, cloudy later. Got the groceries in the morning including the luxury of some dates. Stood in a long queue at Merton for fish. Tried everywhere to buy soap flakes but failed. Repaired Mrs. Child’s cuckoo clock and got it going. Addie brought Dennis in to see and to hear it.

19 June 2015

19th June 1945: tea and rhubarb

19 Tues. Rather warm, sunshine all day but very gusty and rough. To post-office to buy postal orders. Uncle Tom called: he looked better than I have seen him; gave him some cigarettes, packet of tea, some rhubarb and he was particularly pleased with some mint. Mrs. Jordan called also a man from Ely’s to see her settee & armchairs which we are minding for her; he bought them off her for £27.

18 June 2015

18th June 1945: herring for cats... politics for us

18 Mon. Rather warm, lovely sunny day. Cleaned all the windows inside and out except those of the front bedroom. To Wimbledon to buy fish. Addie and her Mother came back to-day, gave her two herrings for the cats. Paid Slate Club. To Church Anniversary; splendid address by Rev. Hodgson of Putney. Coming home heard an open-air political meeting in support of Brigadier Hardy-Roberts, National Conservative Candidate for the coming General Election.

17 June 2015

17th June 1945: Sundays, Sundays...

17 Sun. Rather warm, much pleasant sunshine. Am looking after Mrs. Veale’s two cats. Many children called; showed them Mrs. Child’s cuckoo clock. To Church Anniversary in evening; then to Holland Gardens to see the roses.

Holland Garden is a secluded open space in the west of Wimbledon, accessible from Cambridge Road, Pepys Road and Cottenham Park Road (this last being the road with Fred's Methodist church). It was a gift to the people of Merton from Lady Holland in 1928, in memory of her husband Sir Arthur Holland, who founded Wimbledon and Mitcham Library and was President of Wimbledon Football Club. The Holland family house, Holmhurst (now demolished), was located at the top of the hill near Westside Tennis Club.

16 June 2015

16th June 1945: cats' fish and sports

16 Sat. Very mild, cloudy, less wind. To Cheam but no meat or fish there. Back to Morden where I bought fish for Dinky. Bought vegetable in morning. In afternoon to Wimbledon to buy fish for Tibby and Mickey Veale. I am looking after them till Monday as Addie, her Mother and Dennis are going away for the week-end. Bought sponge cake in Merton. Saw some cricket; Merton 227 for 9: saw three sixes hit. Thence to see the Youth Clubs of the District Sports. Our Club was second. Saw Mrs. Child and Jennifer there; also Betty Sheppard. Eileen McCappin won three races, I think. Last year, three flying bombs went thundering over the ground during the sports to explode a little to northwards, but this year there was no such interference.

15 June 2015

15th June 1945: gardening

15 Fri. Very cool becoming very mild. Cloudy but fairer towards evening, still very windy. Did the usual Fri. morning shopping without going far afield. Put in some more runner beans – they get eaten off as soon as they show through the ground. Weeded a rose bed and dug it over.

14 June 2015

14th June 1946: those leaded glass bookcase doors

14 Thur. Mild, some nice sunny periods; less wind. To Merton to buy fish. Bought pair of pump clips and fitted them to bicycle: have not carried a pump for years but have never been held up by a puncture but am not now taking risks. The leaded glass bookcase doors I took for repair were finished to-day but were delivered by mistake to 66 Sydney Rd. Mr. Wheeler the greengrocer told me they were there so I went and collected them. Fitted them to the bookcase which looks almost like new. In evening to pay Mr. Baker for the repair; he was surprised when I told him it was delivered to 66 Sydney Rd. Thence to see Uncle Ben at Malden; he gave me a young loganberry which I put in.

13 June 2015

13th June 1945: always on a Wednesday

13 Wed. Very mild; much sunshine, still windy but quite pleasant. Got the groceries as I always do on Wednesday. Also to the butchers and post office. Bought more runner bean seeds; planted some of them. Sowed more double poppy seed. To Mother’s** grave to fill the gaps left vacant with calendula and antirrhinums: there is still room for a few small plants.

Note: a reminder that a few family facts and figures can be found lower right of this blog, vital parts of the information having been added as a result of readers' research.

12 June 2015

12th June 1945: three hours in cats' food queues

12 Tues. Mild, small amount of pale sunshine, heavy clouds, sudden showers, very rough. Spent two hours in the cats meat queue at Cheam, and just as I got near the door of the shop supplies gave out. Back to Morden, Merton and finally got some fish in Wimbledon after waiting nearly an hour in another queue. Letter from Capt. Marshall. Mended a kettle for Mrs. Jordan.

11 June 2015

11th June 1945: the big clean

11 Mon. Very mild, some nice sun in morning, dull, cool later, light showers. To Eastman’s to get a suit that they have cleaned. Cut the lawn; begins to look better, also did some weeding. A settee and two armchairs arrived by van from Mrs. Jordan, we are storing them for her. The sitting room carpet which has been cleaned by Wimbledon Laundry came back to-day. Uncle Ben called; he recently came back after a long stay at Bolton.

10 June 2015

10th June 1945: fragrance

10 Sun. Very cool for season; dismal, showers. Only a short walk in evening. Have a bunch of linden* blossom and roses on the table as I write; the fragrance is delightful. Aunt Hannah called.

* Note: shortly before this, towards the end of the war in Europe, the last of the linden trees along Berlin's famous street  Unter den Linden (Under the Linden) were cut down for firewood - most had already been cut down during the building of the S-Bahn in the thirties. The present, replacement trees were planted in the 1950s.
(Illustration: LindenAllee, Berlin, 1691) 

9 June 2015

9th June 1945: a perfect dream of a dinner

9 Sat. Mild, actually very cool for season. Cloudy, heavy showers; less wind. Cycled to Cheam but no meat or fish; came back to Morden and got some fish. Got vegetable locally. Cooked a perfect dream of a dinner, shoulder of lamb, baked potatoes, haricot beans, cabbage and mint sauce. Planted antirrhinums and calendulas on dear Mother’s grave. Got accumulator & a paper in afternoon. Did a lot of weeding in garden. Mrs. Jordan called – wants me to mend a kettle – yes!

8 June 2015

8th June 1945: wet work

8 Fri. Very mild, heavy showers, very boisterous but periods of pleasant sunshine. Did the Fri. morning shopping locally. Met Harold; he is going to-day to Ilfracombe for a holiday; Winnie and Sylvia are already there. Dorothy the cleaner woman did not come to-day. To Morden to buy something at the chemists. To Farley’s to enquire about a new double bedstead. Took the damaged leaded glass doors of the bookcase to Baker’s, Motspur Prk. for repair. They are heavy but I carried them under one arm and wheeled my bike with the other. Had not got far when it rained very heavily but I got there – very wet howbeit. Cycled back quickly. Mrs. Baker said she knew the Pontifexes: they lived next door here until the first bombing.

7 June 2015

7th June 1945: applying for Utility furniture

Marcelle Lestrange looks at her permit for Utility furniture
 which she has just received from Chelsea Borough Council in March 1943
7 Thur. Very mild, some nice sunny periods especially late in the day; very rough SW wind. To Morden to buy sultanas etc also got a Utility furniture form at the fuel office – this sounds funny but that is where you get the paper. Got fish at Merton also bought a pound of figs there @ 9d lb. and six point coupons: a rare treat! Addie called to borrow a screwdriver; gave her a Marchioness of Linlithgow rose – nearly black.

Note: Utility furniture was a UK government scheme from 1942-1952 to cope with shortage of raw materials and organise rationing.

An oak dressing table designed by the Utility Design Panel
 about 1943. Made by 
Heal & Son, 1947.

6 June 2015

6th June 1945: no food for cat, but superb liver & bacon for us!

6 Wed. Very mild, very dull, rain almost all day. Wrote letter to Harold Marshall. Got the groceries. Got liver at butchers and having got the bacon ration this morning we had the luxury of liver and bacon for dinner: it was superb. Spent 1¾ hours cycling about in the rain to find some food for Dinky and failed. Heard a fine rendering of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony over the wireless.

5 June 2015

5th June 1945: new ration cards from library

5 Tues. Very mild to rather warm, very dull and cloudy, slight showers; windy. Trimmed lilac bush, evergreen hedge and bushes in front garden, helped by numbers of children. It had not been done since the bombing and a lot of leaves and twigs had to be cleared away. To Aston Rd. Library to get new Ration Cards. Did some weeding in the garden.

4 June 2015

4th June 1945: more repairs

4 Mon. Very mild to rather warm, some nice sunshine, stiff SW breeze. To Merton to buy fish. Gwennie and Laurie called. To Mr. Evans** at Motspur Prk. on business. Also to see Mr Baker of the same district about having the leaded glass front of the bookcase repaired; he undertook to do it: the glass was smashed in the bombing. On my way back called in at the Anniversary Concert; came back with a party giving Gwennie and Clifford rides on my bike.

Note. **The landlord who owns 66 Chestnut Road. Bought in March 1944, the previous landlord having owned the house for 33 years.

3 June 2015

3rd June 1945: factory fire in Morden; timid little church

3 Sun. Very mild to rather warm, some sunny periods, cloudy and showers and a rainbow just before sunset. Two fire engines rang their way along Bushey Rd. in afternoon. Looked out and saw a great column of smoke rising up in SW. Later went to see what had happened. A factory was completely burned out in Genin*** Rd. Lower Morden. To Sunday School Anniversary Service in evening – rather depressing: Cottenham Park is a timid little affair to what it was in Mr. Bond’s day.

**Not clear in Fred's handwriting. Can any reader help?

2 June 2015

2nd June 1945: feeding cat no joke... carpet on stairs

2 Sat. Very cool to very mild, sunny periods, showers, boisterous. Cycled to Cheam, back to Morden, Merton, Mitcham in search of fish or cats meat and finally got some whiting in Wimbledon. It’s no joke feeding a cat these days. Polished brass stair rods fitted the “eyes” to the stair treads and laid the carpet on the stairs; the first time the stairs have been covered since the bombing last July.

1 June 2015

1st June 1945: shop, shop, shop...?

1 June. Fri. Rather cool, stiff fresh breeze, bright sunny periods; thundery showers. Did the usual Fri. morning shopping. To Morden to buy fish. To Wimbledon, but came back empty handed save for a newspaper. Dorothy came to do some house-cleaning. Did some weeding in the garden.