31 July 2015

31st July 1945: two hours in cats' meat queue

31 Tues. Rather warm, very cloudy and dull, calm. To Cheam, where I waited 2 hours in a queue for cats meat. Gwennie and Laurie spent the afternoon here and I enjoyed amusing them: they in their turn are loth to go home so I suppose they too enjoy my efforts to please them. Aunt Liza called. Letter from Uncle Tom. Small amount of gardening.

30 July 2015

30th July 1945: cigarettes & rhubarb... watch repairs

30 Mon. Very mild to rather warm, dismal, drizzle but clearing up in afternoon and some gentle sunshine in evening: calm. Aunt Nellie called in morning; gave her a pot of jam, some rhubarb and money to buy Uncle Tom some cigarettes. She brought two watches for me to repair. Some shopping locally in morning. Gwennie called. Some work in the garden including cutting the lawn.

29 July 2015

29th July 1945: practising piano

29 Sun. Very mild to rather warm, some nice sunshine midday, otherwise cloudy. Am practising hard at the piano and am regaining some of my lost ability. Ride through Richmond Park in evening, following the westerly road round to Norbiton Gate.

28 July 2015

28th July 1945: oil, accumulators & Merton v. Mitcham cricket

28 Sat. Between very mild and rather warm, much pleasant sunshine. To local greengrocers in morning, To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish etc. Also to local oil-shop and got three accumulators from Whitbourn’s. To the cricket match. It was the first match of a cricket week and I had to pay 6d to enter to see Merton v Mitcham. Merton made 140 all out; Mitcham had made 57 for 4 when I left for tea. It took Mitcham an hour and a quarter to score that number of runs and an hour to score the first 34. A Middlesex man played for Mitcham but made only four in a half-hour! Laurie got knocked down by a bicycle last night and was hurt somewhat but he will be all right in a few days.

27 July 2015

27 July 1945: Mr Repair man... cuckoo clock & teapot

27 Fri. Very cool, very dull and cloudy after some thunder in the night. Got all the usual shopping in the morning also to Merton to buy fish. To Mrs. Jordan’s on Wimbledon Common in afternoon to take a blanket which belongs to her, also brought away a cuckoo clock and a pewter tea-pot for repair.

26 July 2015

26/5/1945 Labour government replaces Tory government & Churchill

Clement Attlee 
26 Thur. Very cool, very dull, showers, nasty E wind. The General Election results are declared to-day and the Churchill Government which won the war against Germany is utterly defeated and the Labour Party will form a Government. And so the people turn against those who have served them so well. It is strange that we fought against the National Socialism of Germany and rescued Europe and the German people from totalitarian domination and yet the stupid British people* voluntarily vote in a totalitarian government themselves.

Note: link to election results on Wikipedia

*I feel the same about the idiots who voted Tory in 2015. - Tony

25 July 2015


25 Wed. Rather warm, very cloudy all day; still; close. I like the absence of wind. Got the groceries in morning; quite a large consignment to-day. We start the new ration books this week. Took a plate back to 34, so Gwennie and Laurie took me round the garden and showed me the flowers. Addie came in to borrow some tacks; she is laying the carpet on the stairs as visitors are coming. To see Merton Wed. play. The visitors batted and I saw them make 92 for 5 against a Merton side whose bowlers were all fast or very fast – unusual.

24 July 2015

24th July 1945: sad memories of bombing... and music

24 Tues. Rather warm, lovely sunshine all day; just a little too much wind. To Cheam, bought some good cats meat there. Spent hours improving the action of the piano and succeeded in making a great improvement in its playing qualities. It is now quite sensitive and is capable of being played quietly. I enjoyed playing it to-day. To water Dear Mother’s grave in evening. It is a year ago to-day since the flying bomb fell only a few gardens away killing Mrs. Dimes, destroying 22 houses, badly damaging this house which still needs a lot of repairs. Thank God we were kept safe, and now all danger from enemy action is over.

23 July 2015

23rd July 1945: Hogsmill again... Fred explores

23 Mon. Rather warm, fine day, rather too much wind however. To Cheam, Worcester Park and finally bought fish at Malden. In afternoon to Rusely. Dismounting my cycle I walked beside the Hogsmill River across the fields towards Ewell. The river winds carelessly with sharp twists and turns running very fast under a bridge: I had never been this way before. Saw a field of teazels at Chessington. Did some repairs to the piano; Uncle Ben called.

22 July 2015

22nd July 1945: Sunday walk beside the Hogsmill

22 Sun. Very mild to rather warm, some nice sunshine midday, temperature up to 76 degs. but very rough wind made it feel chilly. Gwennie and Laurie called; made them a folded paper box which could be spied through to see a picture of a donkey. Walked beside the Hogsmill River in the evening at Malden Manor where I saw a tract of blue tares and meadowsweet. A long time since I have seen the latter and I was pleased and brought a spray home.

Note: if any reader would like to see the connection between the painting by Holman Hunt and the Hogsmill River, EXPLORE THIS LINK where you can see many photos of the seven-mile
river, awash with history. It joins the Thames at Kingston.

A short walk along part of the C21st Hogsmill River

21 July 2015

21st July 1945: sought fish... own good vegies... cat brought mouse

21 Sat. Very mild to rather warm; much moderate sun, fresh breeze. Gwennie & Laurie called morning and afternoon. To Wimbledon, Merton and Morden in search of fish bought at latter place, also shopped locally. Dug up three beetroots in garden; cooked same, they are the best I have grown. Labelled some poppies I have selected for seed. The tomatoes in the garden are making splendid growth and there are many trusses of bloom and fruit, some almost ripe. Tibby Veale brought in a mouse.

20 July 2015

20th July 1945: high life... chocolate, and cleaner came (it's Friday)

20 Fri. Very mild, some sun in morning otherwise cloudy; showers, very rough. Got the usual provisions, also posted letter and a parcel containing a rug to Ron Cooper and his wife. Had a chocolate this morning. To Morden in afternoon to buy fish. Mrs. Conley came in afternoon this week. Repaired my drawer in the dresser, it was damaged in the bombing and cleared out unwanted stuff.

19 July 2015

19th July 1945: playing

19 Thur. Rather warm, some sunny intervals; very boisterous. Laurie came here while Doris* took Gwennie to hospital. She is quite all right and went to school this afternoon. Made Laurie a poppy show with coloured flowers inside. Made a tissue paper balloon and filled it with coal gas in the hope that it would float but it did not. Aunt Liza called in evening.

* Doris Thompson, Gwen's mother. Married Charles W Thompson in 1936. See 'Fred's Friends' list at foot of this blog. Gwen is the oldest of three children.

18 July 2015

18th July 1945: Gwennie knocked down by car

18 Wed. Rather warm: some hazy sunshine but mostly cloudy; strong E wind. Got the groceries, also something at the oil shop. I have missed Mrs Tarry who served there, so I asked the lady assistant about her. She told me Mrs Tarry had been in hospital some months with heart trouble; I am sorry; she lived in this road at one time. Got something at the chemists. Cycled along arterial road to Esher Common, thence to Cobham and a little way beyond; it is grand to traverse an unfamiliar road, and the country does look lovely: the ragwort and rose bay willow herb is in full bloom. Gwennie got knocked down by a car in Kingston Road this afternoon; she was taken to Nelson Hospital but they did not keep her in; they said she was not seriously hurt. Cousin Maud called in evening, she is on her summer vacation but is going to London tomorrow to have a slight operation to her ears. Alan Spooner called with a midget moving coil speaker-microphone.

17 July 2015

17th July 1945: piano, pos, PR and queueing...

17 Tues. Very mild to rather warm, some nice sunshine but still rather windy. To Cheam to buy cats meat; waited in a queue for 1½ hours, but got some eventually. Sent a letter to Rudge-Whitworth’s the makers of my bicycle; it has served me well for 38 years and I am telling them so. Laurie called. Connie Freeman and Georgie Groves came and looked through the window to watch me playing the piano: gave them some pops.

16 July 2015

16th July 1945: windy

16 Mon. Very mild, small amount of sunshine; very windy. To Morden to buy fish. Tied up some marigolds blown down by the wind. Gwennie, Laurie, Anne and Patricia called. Saw Mrs. Wheals grave at Morden Cemetery.

15 July 2015

15th July 1945: passings

15 Sun. Warm, close, the storm continued from yesterday till about 4.0 a.m. Much damage was done in London area. Fine and sunny midday, thunder shower in evening. Alb, Lily and Anthony came to tea and Dad went back to Tolworth with them. They left Dad’s case here: Ciss took it back to them, they missed it when they got home and Alb came here for it to find Ciss had taken it. Mrs. Akroyd to tea. Alf and Lily called in afternoon. Cousin Len and Doris his wife called in evening. Heard with regret the death of Mrs. Feihn, also the death of Mr. Fox, Ida’s father. So the older ones pass on, may the young take their places honourably.

14 July 2015

14th July 1945: much lightning... Sunday School outing

14 Sat. Warm, close; the day opened with a few peals of thunder, then followed a fine warm sunny day. By evening the clouds rolled up and thunder of a sporadic sort followed for hours: some flashes were very bright. Ciss went to the Sunday School treat to Effingham and East Horsley taking many children from this road. I got dinner for Dad and myself. To Wimbledon to buy fish and a fine pair of rubber soled shoes the latter at Barratts price 29 shillings & 10p.

Cousin Ivy from Bolton came to say good-bye she is returning tomorrow. She brought little Malcolm who is by far the most beautiful child I have ever seen: he is also beautiful in his manner, expression and movements: a heavenly child… The storm continued from 5.30 p.m. gradually becoming more severe, the lightning more frequent, at times 40 or 50 flashes per minute, at midnight it was at its worst; a further report will be in tomorrow’s entry

13 July 2015

13th July 1945: butter beans, biscuits & fish... and a funeral

13 Fri. Rather warm, fine, bright sunny day, but a boisterous E wind. Did all the usual shopping in the morning. Mrs. Conley obliged us again by doing some house cleaning. To Wimbledon to buy fish thence to Woolworths to buy biscuits: oh, I bought butter beans at Faulkner’s. Aunt Liza came to tea. Mr Akhurst called to see Dad. Betty Sheppard called to see Ciss. Dear Gwennie brought some fish for Dinky. Dug up the shallots: I planted 36 bulbs and harvested 7½ lbs. Ciss went to the funeral of Mrs Wheals, and so a loved one passes on.

12 July 2015

12th July 1945: many old friends

12 Thur. Rather cool to very mild: some nice sun later. Harold Rogers and his father called to see Dad: Harold had not been here since I gave him violin lessons as a boy: he is 38 now. Bought a few things at local ironmongers; also a lovely picture postcard to send to Anthony. Mrs. Matson came to tea, she later went with Ciss to Tolworth. Did a repair to ball-valve of lavatory cistern. Mr. Ward the builder kindly cut some odd sheets of glass to fit picture frames for us: he would not take anything for doing the job.

11 July 2015

11th July 1945: Two uncles are 'violent cynics'

11 Wed. Very mild, rain till midday, then a fine afternoon and evening. Bought fish at R’Imands; Ivey served me; she is a dear. Uncle Will and Uncle Ben came: two violent cynics. Stained and polished my bedroom table with great improvement. Bought paper in Morden. Heard that Mrs. Wheals died last night. She was always most kind to me and shall remember my visits to her house with pleasure.

10 July 2015

10th July 1945: a kid at heart

10 Tues. Very cool, gloomy, rain all day. To butchers and chemists in morning, also bought glasspaper and green peas. Mrs. Child, Peter and Jennifer came to tea: had a lark with the children.

9 July 2015

9th July 1945: elipse... and the cat came back

9 Mon. Rather warm, mostly cloudy but a little hazy sunshine. The weather did not prevent some observation of the partial eclipse of the sun which I saw through several old photographic negatives. Ann Conley and other children saw it too. A heavy shower in evening. Bought fish at Merton. Was removing dead roses and summer pruning them when to my surprise and delight I saw dear Tibbie Veale who I have missed for a few weeks thinking him dead perhaps, walking up the garden path towards me; I don’t know who was the more pleased, me or the cat. I gave him some fish which he ate with great relish. Mr Holland to tea; he is very wonderful for his eighty-six years. Uncle Tom called to see Dad; gave him some rhubarb and a root of mint.

8 July 2015

8th July 1945: Richmond Park reopen after war

Fred went to see the view, north across the Thames and London. Here's a 2015 Google image with contrails.
8 Sun. Rather warm, lovely day of soft sunshine. Alb, Lily, Anthony and Miss Boyman came to tea. Cousin Ivy from Bolton and little Malcolm came to see us. Malcolm is the most beautiful boy I have seen: his eyes are the largest ever: extraordinary. Chas and Doris and Donald came. The children are all amused with the pop tree. Cycle ride in Richmond Park in evening; it is now open to pedestrians and cyclists. I went out of Richmond Gate to see the famous view: the Park has been closed all throughout the war.
Richmond Park, with Richmond Gate top left

7 July 2015

7th July 1945: repotted blasted aspidistra

7 Sat. Rather warm, lovely sunny day and only a few cloudy periods. To local greengrocers in morning. Cooked a nice roast pork dinner with sage and onions. To Wimbledon to buy fish, butter beans etc. To Morden where I bought turquoise enamel at Woolworths. Just in time to see Merton finish their innings of 149 all out. Re-potted the aspidistra; it was badly damaged by the blast last July and the pot had a large piece knocked out of it but it survived: it should now be all right. Connie Freeman, Peter Owens and Georgie Groves each brought me a posy.

6 July 2015

6th July 1945: repairs and many visitors

6 Fri. Mild dull morning, but by mid-day the sun was shining with great power – 126 in the sun and 83 in the shade, continuing till evening. Got the usual Fri morning shopping locally also screws and a paint brush locally. French polished my bedroom clock and helped Dad repair the gate-legged table damaged by the bomb. Gwennie and Laurie called. Mrs. Jordan, Beryl and her two children Nigel and Terry to tea. Then Dolly Cooper and Roy from Bedford came just in time for tea. Was very pleased to see them; they came to London to see the aeroplane exhibition at the John Lewis site in Oxford St. To Churchyard in evening to water dear Mother’s grave.

5 July 2015

5th July 1945: voted 'National Conservative'

5 Thur. Mild, dull morning, pleasantly warm, sunny afternoon and evening. The General Election. I voted for the National Conservative candidate Hardy-Roberts this morning: I think he will get in* but we shall not know till the 26th. Did some odd jobs about the house including helping Dad to plaster the marble top of my washstand together. To Morden to buy fish. Little Connie Freeman called to give me a posy of rambler roses: how sweet of her.

*Note: Brigadier (later Sir) Geoffrey Paul Hardy-Roberts (ex Eton & Sandhuirst) was the candidate for Wimbledon. The normally safe Conservative seat was won by the Labour Party as they swept to power in an electoral landslide.

4 July 2015

4th July 1945: verses

4 Wed. Very mild, very dull and heavily overcast but little wind. Got the groceries as usual on Wed. Bought two picture postcards for Anthony, one of camels the other of hippopotami; I wrote two verses about the latter which may amuse him: posted same. Dad and Ciss went to Hampton Court. I went to Mitcham to see a cricket match between a West Indian eleven and Mitcham Wed: the latter made 172 for 4.

3 July 2015

3rd July 1945: repairs & gardening

3 Tues. Very mild, a few sunny periods. To local greengrocers and butchers. To Wimbledon to buy fish also to get the lock from Hughes who have fitted a new key to it also a new hammer shaft. To local oil shop to buy liquid ammonia and Bismarck brown stain. Re-fitted lock to book case. Did weeding and tying up in the garden. A superb rose on Norman Lambert bush; tawny orange vermilion on front of petals and pale yellow on the reverse.

2 July 2015

2nd July 1945: Dad gets mending

2 Mon. Rather cold, very dull, cold N wind, rain later, not very nice. To Morden Food Office to get emergency ration cards for Dad. Bought glue and a piece of glass locally. Dad fitted the glass in the brass clock front, it was broken by the bomb blast. Dad repaired wardrobe cabinet in his room. I bought a new brass lock for it in Wimbledon and fitted it, also a length of oak beading and oak polish. I attached the beading to the door of the cabinet and polished same, and now this article of furniture has been repaired. Gwennie and Laurie came to tea and had a lark. Two surveyors called and made a detailed report on the condition of the house.

1 July 2015

1st July 1945: a perfect orgy

1 July. Sun. Very cool, dull, heavy showers, windy. Dad, Alb, Lily and Anthony came to dinner and tea. Dad has come to stay with us for a fortnight. Dorothy Smith, and Margery McAinsh, Jeanette and the new baby called, also Gwennie, Laurie and Donald. All the children had a perfect orgy of popping the pops of the pop tree. Little Dennis next door had some, also the Norris children who had the three Conley children in their garden, all had their share of pops, and still there is plenty left on the tree.