30 November 2016

18th-22nd Sept 1947: cricket, a marriage and a glider

18 Thur. Mild, very dull day after a night of deluge and some thunder. Only a small amount of shopping locally. Had an easy day after the exertions of yesterday. Walk along rail path in evening.

19 Fri. rather mild, dull, some rain and thunder at night. Got the usual provisions in morning. Ciss came home from Bedford.

20 Sat. Very mild, very dull and cloudy, showery humid. Did a lot of shopping locally also to Wimbledon; finished the shopping before dinner. Took Gwennie, Laurie and Donald to the cricket match on Merton’s ground between a Wimbledon and District side and Fishlock’s County side: the county men were all famous players including some Test Match men. The local side were all out for 133 and the County team were 167 for 4 wickets, Fishlock being 103 not out. Second cousin Alan was married to Vera at Skegness to-day: sent them a telegram of congratulations and best wishes: Skegness is the bride’s home but they will live with Cousin Alf and Lily at Raynes Park.

21 Sun. Mild, dull, windy. The usual children called. Short walk in evening; met John Child. Laurie brought a small model racing car for me to fix a wheel which will not stay on.

22 Mon. Mild, dull, windy; a small amount of weak sunshine. The tortoise which has been missing for some weeks turned up to-day looking very sleepy. He did not eat much but yawned – so very tired. I dug a hole and put him in it. He burrowed into the soil and seemed to have decided to turn in for the winter. I shall fill the hole with leaves and cover it with carpet. Laurie brought a new balsa glider for me to see he later brought it for me to repair. Gwennie & Donald also called. Started cleaning a cuckoo clock movement which Mrs. Jordan had lubricated with cod-liver oil and malt extract – very tasty but not good for a clock. Cleaned all the windows inside also overmantels and looking glasses. 

29 November 2016

15th-17th Sept 1947: Cheam, Banstead, Belmont, Burgh, Heath, Walton on Hill... Box Hill

15 Mon. Rather warm, some pleasant sunshine – a nice day for so late in the season. Did some shopping locally. To see Uncle Ben at Malden in afternoon: admired his aquarium with many fish in it and some graceful water plants. Gwennie & Laurie called. Did some work on the propeller gear of new spar type aeroplane.

16 Tues. rather warm, nice sunny morning but dull later; very boisterous. Did shopping locally of course. Did more work on propeller gear of spar model. Gwennie sang to my piano accompaniment. Short walk in evening.

17 Wed. Very mild: some nice sunshine, calm: a lovely day for the time of year. Got the groceries etc locally in morning. Had an early dinner so as to make an early start on a bike ride to Box hill. This time I went via Cheam, Banstead, Belmont, Burgh, Heath, Walton on Hill, which leads right out to the top of Box Hill. The day was very clear and the view was wonderful. Chanctonbury Ring in Sussex 20 miles away was clearly visible. It is possible to see the sea through Shoreham Gap but that is a rare occurrence. A nice ride which whetted my appetite for further exploration. A letter from Rev. Chas. Staden.

28 November 2016

10th-14th Sept 1947: young scientists?

10 Wed. Rather warm, some pleasant sunshine: a nice day. Got the groceries locally. The
children called. Gwennie brought a little glass bulb with a jet, the whole being mounted on a
copper wire frame. Water in the bulb is boiled over a candle and a jet of steam issuing from a
thin glass tube causes it to rotate at a good speed. Her father made it – a clever little
appliance. A short walk in the evening. Oh, in the morning I put up a rustic arch in the garden
for the loganberries to climb over.

11 Thur. Rather warm, glorious sunny day with a blue sky and only the slightest of white
clouds. Did shopping locally morning and afternoon; got some liver at the butchers. Had
Gwennie and Donald almost all day except when Gwennie went to the clinic to have two
teeth removed. She was soon back again although she had gas. Put the carpet back on the
stairs – looks better. Short cycle ride in evening.

12 Fri. Very mild, very dull, some very fine rain in morning. Did the usual Fri. morning
shopping. The sweet ration was double to-day: one pound. Donald was here all day and
Laurie came later. Made them a compressed air turbine – on a miniature scale of course,
made out of a cocoa tin which is pumped up be a bike pump and turns a small rotary fan.
Small amount of work on new spar model. A parcel of dried fruits and some sweets arrived
from Edie Bennett who is in Johannesburg.

13 Sat. Very mild, dull, cloudy, slight rain. Ciss had the morning off from work. Did
shopping locally in afternoon also to Wimbledon. Gwennie and Donald called. Gwennie was
especially charming and lovable. Laurie brought the compressed air engine I made him and
worked it. Mrs Matson and Mrs Brown came to tea.

14 Sun. Very mild, very dull. The usual crowd of children called. Went to church in evening,
the Rev L Hooper took the service. Called in at 34 as cousin Len, Doris and little Joseph was

27 November 2016

5th-9th Sept 1947: model boats and planes... excited children

5 Fri. becoming rather warm by afternoon. Mostly overcast but very pleasant and calm. Did the usual shopping in morning also buying a new high-tension battery at Whitbourn’s. The wireless is giving fine quality reproduction and I enjoyed the Beethoven Emperor Piano Concerto played by Dame Myra Hess. Picked seven pounds of ripe tomatoes. They are very successful this year and there is a glut.

6 Sat. Rather warm, fine with soft sunshine, calm. Posted two letters in afternoon also a small amount of shopping. Made up a new elastic motor for my aeroplane. Took Gwennie, Laurie and Donald to Wimbledon Common. Made a few short flights at this end of the Common. They paddled in the Rushmere and were very excited at the model speed boats – hydroplanes that were roved round a stake driven in the bed of the pond and attached to it by a line. Also saw Jeanette McAinsh and her Uncle up there. Am sure they enjoyed themselves – I did very much!

7 Sun. Rather warm, some sunshine early but dull and cloudy later; still calm. A crowd of
children called and were disappointed that the tortoise has gone elsewhere. Aunt Hannah and
Mrs Akroyd came to tea. To Church in evening and heard an inspiring sermon by Rev John
Vivian: a helpful service altogether.

8 Mon. Very mild, some pleasant sunny periods. Did more repairs to the tiled front path:
looks quite respectable now. To Merton to buy fish in afternoon. Also bought some balsa and
other model aero supplies at Normans. Saw his baby son Brian – 12 months old and just like
his father. The three children called. “Harvested” the onion crop 4½ lbs not a large amount
but useful.

9 Tues. Very mild, cloudy but a little hazy sunshine, rather rough. Shopping locally also
bought fish at Merton. The children called.

26 November 2016

1st-4th Sept 1947: first day at school

1 Sept Mon. Very cool morning & evening but very mild midday with some nice sunshine but rather rough. The children came morning and afternoon, played games with them: they go back to school tomorrow. Bought fish locally. Packed the remainder of the special poppy seeds.

2 Tues. Very cool morning & night, becoming very mild by afternoon: some nice sunny intervals but some heavy clouds. Shopping locally in afternoon also to Morden. Gwennie & Donald called. The children went back to school after their holidays to-day. Dennis Veale & Kenny Norris went to school for the first time to-day. Gave Gwennie a music lesson.

3 Wed. Very mild, mostly dull & overcast but some sunshine; calm. Got the groceries also bought fish at Morden. To Tolworth principally to see Dad. Made some plasticine models for Anthony. Found my front brake cable frayed and broken, the original cable lasted 38 years. I put a new one in 17 months ago & it has broken: very poor materials available now. Started to put another one in.

4 Thur. rather warm, overcast. Calm, lovely and quiet: I like a windless day; they are so rare. Bought fish and cement locally. Fitted new cable to front brake of cycle. Watered dear Mother’s grave in evening. Cleaned up the shallots and selected a number for seed for next year.

25 November 2016

28th-31st August 1947: this is summer... sun and sands

"'...impressed by the giant dahlia"
28 Thur. Rather warm, lovely sunny day: the sun shone with scarcely a cloud in the sky. Ann Conley came home yesterday after a month’s holiday & came to see me; she is very friendly. Small amount of shopping locally. The three children called morning and evening. Ciss gave them a clay pipe and Gwennie & Donald blew bubbles with it.

29 Fri. Fairly warm, lovely sunny day. Did the usual shopping in morning. Cousin Doris had to go to the Nelson Hospital to have a slight operation on her eye, so I took Gwennie, Laurie and Donald to Holland Gardens. We played cricket – Gwennie was top scorer. We had a look at the lovely show of dahlias and looked at their names: Gwennie was very impressed by the giant dahlia like a flaming red sun called Prince of Persia. Watered dear Mother’s grave.

30 Sat. Very mild, a fair amount of happy sunshine: pleasant. Victor & Ann Conley came to see the tortoise. Bought fish locally also took Ciss’ shoes for repair. In afternoon cycled to Epsom Common and picked a pound of really large ripe blackberries.

31 Sun. Very mild, much bright sunshine but very windy. The children came – many of them and the tortoise was on view for them. Gwennie brought a glass tube of coloured sands send by Cousin Maud from Sandown. Went to Church in evening. Dear Cousin Maud called looking very sunburnt after her holiday in the Isle of Wight.

24 November 2016

25th-27th Aug 1947: children, magic and poppies

25 Mon. Becoming fairly warm with much pleasant sunshine: less wind. The children called in morning with some peas to give to the tortoise which relished them. Played with the children on Cannon Hill Common. They came again in afternoon: I showed them a trick with the dominoes. To water dear Mother’s grave in evening.

26 Tues. Becoming fairly warm with some pleasant sunny periods. The three children called. Gwennie brought the loaf in evening – and didn’t want to go home. Told her about a bottle trick. She told her father and he is going to make one. Cleaned all the windows. Am gradually harvesting the poppy seeds and doing them up in named plackets. The tomatoes are ripening and we shall have a plenty-ful (sic) supply for some time now.

27 Wed. Rather warm; fine sunny day but a very strong breeze. Got the groceries as usual. Also fish and other things locally. The children called. Later, they came with the “bottle imps”, two of them in bottles of water: their father made them to-day. Aunt Liza called. To Epsom Common: picked 2¼ lbs of blackberries which Ciss promptly made into blackberry and apple jelly.

23 November 2016

22nd-24th Aug 1947: happy pussies & happy Fred

22 Fri. Fairly warm, the sunshine was intermittent and not very powerful but another fine day, very rough however. Did all the usual shopping and was surprised to get some liver at the butcher’s and more surprised still when he said I could have some lights: the pussies were pleased. The children called and had a lively afternoon. Played dominoes. I played table tennis with Gwennie: I let her win a game. Read to her about a nightingale.

23 Sat. Fairly warm, some gentle intermittent sunshine with a short thunder shower in evening. Saw Chas, Doris and the children go past in a car; they are going to the seaside again to-day. Did some shopping locally. To Epsom in afternoon; watched a working men’s cricket match at Stamford Green, then sat beside the lake on Epsom Common. Cycled home in a thunderstorm and got soaked through and I did enjoy it!!! Really I did.

24 Sun. Cool, dull morning becoming rather warm later with much bright sunshine. The children called, gave them some beetroot salad. Gwennie brought a quill pen made from a gull’s feather by her father; the feather was found at the seaside where they went yesterday. To Church in evening: the sermon was preached by Mr A Wade. Walked in Holland Gardens: the flowers were lovely, especially the dahlias. 

22 November 2016

19th-21 Aug 1947: penny telescope in Richmond Park

19 Tues. Not quite so warm as yesterday but very fine and sunny with a boisterous wind. Bought a new battery for my rear light. Bought fish, a birthday card and saccharin locally. Went with Leonard Conley through Richmond Park: showed him the famous view and examined the scenery through the telescope on the promenade. By putting a penny in a slot the telescope becomes operative. To water dear Mother’s grave in evening. Gwennie & Laurie called looking very dirty: they had been to Oxshott with their father & mother and are going to Littlehampton tomorrow.

20 Wed. Rather warm, the sunshine was gentle as it shone through haze or light cloud, but a lovely day. Got the groceries locally also fish. In afternoon, once again to Epsom Common, made a very fast run back.

21 Thur. Only moderately warm as the boisterous wind blew coolly: only a little hazy sunshine. A little shopping locally. The three children called but as soon as they got here the two boys started quarrelling and fighting so I sent them screaming home. Gwennie was charming. She also called in evening and was lovely. They went to the children’s boating pool at Ravensbury Gardens* and she told me all about it.

Path through Nature Reserve area of Ravensbury Park

 From Wikipedia: Ravensbury Park is a public park in Mitcham in the London Borough of Merton. An area of 7 hectares is designated a Local Nature Reserve.[1][2] The River Wandle runs along the southern boundary of the park, which is also part of the Upper Wandle River Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation.[3][4]

The park was part of the medieval Ravensbury Manor, which dated back to the thirteenth century. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the site was the location of a calico mill and pleasure gardens. In 1929 MitchamMerton and Morden Councils purchased part of the former gardens and opened the site as Ravensbury Park on 10 May 1930. Some of the trees date back two hundred years.[5] Part of the park was later converted to a nature reserve, including a riverside walk along the Wandle. It has a range of wetland birds, extensive woodland and a mixture of wildlife habitats.[1]
There is access from Morden Road, Bishopsford Road and Wandle Road.[1]

21 November 2016

16th-18th Aug 1947: running repairs.. graves... and holy stuff

16 Sat. Very warm, up to 86 in the shade; glorious sunny day but rather boisterous. Did some shopping locally. In afternoon with Leonard Conley to Epsom Common and thence to Oxshott: by cycle of course. He punctured at Hook and as neither of us had mending equipment, bought a repair outfit at a garage. Mended the puncture at the roadside and proceeded on our way. To water Dear Mother’s grave in late evening.

17 Sun. Very warm – 86 in the shade; lovely sunny day. Gwennie called in her lovely new white silk dress. She cut a nice bunch of sweet peas. Went to Church in evening; also stayed to partake of Holy Communion.

18 Mon. Very warm, lovely sunny day. Bought fish at Merton also a cycle lamp battery. Called to see Willie Willmot but he was out. Bought tea locally. Cycled through Richmond Park to see the lovely Richmond Hill view. The garden is dried up. I watered liberally but the plants all look in a bad way.

20 November 2016

13th-15th Aug 1947: friends & family

13 Wed. Rather warm, fine and sunny but with a fresh wind. Got the groceries including a jar of delicious chocolate and malt spread: also to fish shop. Expecting Fred Fraine to call as he has promised to come but he did not. Spent the afternoon playing with Laurie. To Merton Churchyard to water dear Mother’s grave: met Mrs. Child.

14 Thur. Cool, dull morning, very warm, bright sunny afternoon. Did shopping locally in morning including buying a birthday card for Dad and posting it. To Wimbledon in afternoon, bought two beautiful passe partout spring landscapes as a present for Dad. Also a pepper pot and a pair of brake blocks at Woolworth’s: met Mr Akhurst there. Ciss took the pictures to Tolworth and Dad was pleased with them: they will be hung on the walls of his bedroom.

15 Fri. Very warm: glorious sunny day. To butchers etc: all the usual Fri. shopping. Rode along Robin Hood Way in afternoon. To see the Pontifexes at Worcester Park in evening, also to enquire about Alf Snudden who had a serious operation last Tuesday: his condition is satisfactory.

19 November 2016

10th-12th Aug 1947: "Jesu priceless treasure"... & proud of radio!

10 Sun. Rather warm, dull morning, fine later. Went to Church in evening; the preacher was the new minister from Stoneleigh. I loved the singing of “Jesu priceless treasure” to a 15th century tune.

11 Mon. Rather warm, overcast morning, sunny later. The three children called and saw the tortoise which is in the garden again. It ate green peas with obvious enjoyment much to the amusement of the children. Gwennie brought Margaret later. Cycled to pay the club in company with Leonard Conley.

12 Tues. Rather warm, dull, overcast morning, sunny afternoon. The three children called; gave Gwennie her birthday card, she is nine to-day. Alan Spooner called bringing a 5 valve super-het wireless set, which he tried here with good results, but certainly not the equal of my straight three set. Bought fish locally. Planted daisy roots raised from seed in this garden. Put some on the rockery and some in a border.

18 November 2016

7th-9th Aug 1947: broke my propeller

The inside cover and opposite page of of Fred's
new diary - a 4in x 6.5in 'Feint Ruled MEMORANDUM'
as it says in faded gold on the stiff red cover.
7 Thur. Rather cool, some sun in afternoon; very gusty. To butchers and fishmongers in morning. Laurie and Maurice called. In afternoon took them to Wimbledon Common to see my model fly, but the wind was so rough and gusty as to be impossible. I made a few short flights just to show them but knew a crash was inevitable – every landing was heavy: at last the new propeller broke much to my annoyance. Maurice goes back home on Sat. and to-day was the last chance of showing him I shall have, so I took the risk.

8 Fri. Very cool, heavy dew to commence the day but becoming rather warm and fine by afternoon. Got the usual provisions in morning. Bought a second-hand Rudge Whitworth chain wheel and crank with a view to fitting it to cycle. To Wimbledon in afternoon. Bought this book* at Woolworth’s also a pair of brake shoes and blocks which I fitted to cycle. Cis went to see the Pontifixes at Worcester Park in evening.

9 Sat. Rather warm, some happy sunshine, windy. Did some shopping locally: bought a birthday card and a jigsaw puzzle for Gwennie who is 9 on Tuesday. She came back from Oxford to-day having been there for three weeks holiday. She came to see us and gave us two walnuts: they are 3/- per lb. Cycled via Epson, Ashtead, Leatherhead, Mickleham, Box Hill, Deepdene to Dorking and back. A good ride for me: the scenery in parts is lovely or even grand. Double summer time ends to-night, put the clocks back one hour.

17 November 2016

4th - 6th Aug 1947: bank holiday on Oxshott Heath

4 August Bank Holiday. Becoming rather warm; dull morning, fine sunny afternoon. Cycled along Arterial Road through Tolworth, Hinchley Wood, Esher, thence through Esher Common – very pretty to Oxshott. Rested a short while on Oxshott Heath which was crowded with holiday makers then returned along Fairoak Lane to Hook. Thence home through Chessington, Old Malden, Worcester Park. A very enjoyable ride which took me less than 3 hours. Uncle Joe & Aunt Liza came to tea. Rode along Robin Hood Way to Richmond Park gates and back in evening. Dad went home to Tolworth by car in evening.

5 Tues. Cool, dull, showers, windy. To grocers in morning; other shopping in afternoon: little to report.

6 Wed. Very mild, dull, cloudy, windy. Got the groceries in morning, also fish for myself and some for the cats. Maurice, Laurie and Donald came: Maurice and Laurie played draughts. Mrs. Collis called in evening. To Dear Mother’s grave in evening: watered it, it was very dry in spite of light showers and the plants were flagging. Sowed mustard and cress.

16 November 2016

1st - 3rd Aug 1947: Dad is eighty

Fri. 1. Becoming rather warm, fair, sunny morning, dull later; slight showers. Did usual shopping in morning locally. To Wimbledon in afternoon to get Albert’s umbrella from Trotts where it has been recovered and repaired.

2 Sat. Very mild, dull, strong E wind, showers. Did some shopping locally. Dad, Alb, Lily, Anthony and Mr. Stopford* came in afternoon and had tea. Dad will stay till Monday.

3 Sun. Rather warm, dull morning, fine sunny later. Walked along Arterial Road in evening as far as Shannon’s corner. Mr. Waldron called to see Dad: he is 80. He wears very well. He asked after Uncle Dick but had not heard he was dead. Cousin Len, Doris and their little boy Joseph called with Aunt Liza. Little Joseph is a lovely boy with very large blue eyes.

*Note: the name Kenneth Stopford comes to mind, a lodger with Fred's brother and sister-in-law.

15 November 2016

28th-31st July 1947: new shirt & clean trilby... and a tortoise

28 Mon. Very warm, sunny morning, dull, close, showers later. Bought fish and tinned foods locally. To Wimbledon to buy another shirt like the one I bought on Saturday. Cycled to Ruxley in afternoon but had to come back as it was raining – lightly, but I thought it wise to return.

29 Tues. Very warm, glorious sunny day. Did some shopping locally in morning. Cycled to Epsom Common and enjoyed myself very much: came back burnt up with the sunshine. Put fertilizer on tomato plants; they are growing rampantly and are full of fruit; some will be ripe soon.

30 Wed. Rather warm, dull, cloudy, windy. Got the groceries as usual also other things locally. Cleaned my fawn trilby hat with ammonia. Dug up the shallot crop. Played Beethoven.

31 Thur. Rather cool, dull morning, rather warm, sunny afternoon. Not much shopping to-day. Weeded part of the garden. In afternoon and evening went to dear Mother’s grave; planted daisies and asters. Picked the last of the loganberries and stewed them. There has been a tortoise in the garden for two days. It sometimes gets into 68’s garden where it interests Dennis and puzzles him.

14 November 2016

25th-27th July 1947: beautiful miniature

25 Fri. Warm, fine, sunny day. The sun was hazy, if the sky had been clear it would have been a scorcher. Got all the usual week-end provisions locally. Bought tomato fertilizer at Boots. Bought aeroplane rubber at Norman’s: he showed me a beautiful miniature diesel motor for powering light model aircraft it weighs only four and a half ozs, revs at 7.000 per minute and costs £5.0.0 Cleaned all the windows on the inside. To dear Mother’s grave: the geraniums are lovely.

26 Sat. Warm, glorious sunny day. Bought cats fish locally. Thence to Wimbledon: bought haricot beans and dried green peas. Also a green shirt with attached collar. Dorothy Longhurst came to tea and supper. We played dominoes and showed her some card tricks. She obviously enjoyed her visit and I am sure I did. Went to the Chase bus stop with her and saw her aboard. A happy day.

27 Sun. Warm. First half of day dull and close, second half of day, brilliant; hot sunshine but a boisterous wind. Walked along Arterial Road in evening and along Beverley Way as far as the railway viaduct, watching the trains pass underneath.