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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.