19 December 2016

5th-8th Dec 1947: Doris's washing on fire! Dad very ill

5 Fri. Rather mild, but wind of hurricane force made it seem very cold; very dull, rain most of the day. Did all the usual shopping locally; got veal at the butchers this week. To Merton to buy cats meat in afternoon. The three children called: cut some more paper stencils for Gwennie. Cousin Doris was drying her washing in front of the fire when it caught fire and most of it was destroyed. Dad at Tolworth fell when going to bed to-night. The doctor was sent for who diagnosed pneumonia. Albert who is now on the phone rang up Mrs Crawford opposite and Ciss went over and spoke to Alb who told her the news.

6 Sat. Rather cold, dismal, rain most of the day. Ciss went to Tolworth in morning: she saw dad. He is very bad with pneumonia and the doctor has put him on M&B*. Gwennie called; we had no sooner began to play dominoes when her father called to take her to the library much to her chagrin: she cried. Small amount of shopping locally.

7 Sun. Rather cold, very dismal thick fog at night. Ciss to Tolworth again. Dad’s temperature is now down to normal but his heart causes some anxiety. Alb phones for us to get some more brandy so I went once again to the Leather Bottel and bought three ozs. in a medicine bottle which cost 10/-.

8 Mon. Cold, dull, raw cold wind. To Uncle Ben at Malden to tell him about dad. Uncle Ben himself is very unwell. Dad is still very bad and his heart is causing grave anxiety. Ciss went to see him in evening. Bought more Xmas cards at Woolworth’s in Malden also a present for Anthony. Cleaned the dining room window inside and out and put up blue winter’s curtain

Note: "Albert who is now on the phone rang up Mrs Crawford opposite..." Ah! Technology enters the lifetime of your blog editor. The telephone number was Elmbridge 8414. One of those numbers I remember better than my PIN... and no, I don't use that!

Question: What was M&B? A brew by Mitchells & Butlers, the brewing business? See this Wiki page.   Answer: nope - see the comment below!


  1. I'm pretty sure that M&B would be May & Baker who had developed a pharmaceutical treatment for pneumonia. There's a Wikipedia page about them.