22 August 2017

23rd August 1948: Help from the children

Mild, cloudy, the sun nearly came through; still very rough. All the children called, Margaret brought some meat for Tibby. Gwennie called in evening to show me she could ride her birthday-present bicycle – just a bit wobbly. Trimmed the privet hedges in the front garden – plenty of children to help me clear up the leaves.

21 August 2017

22nd August 1948: A day of children

Mild becoming cool: the sun made many attempts to come through the clouds but did not quite succeed: rather rough but no rain. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald came in morning as they were going to Streatham this afternoon. Other children came in afternoon. Went for a walk up the Downs, Ridgway, Canterbury and other roads in evening.

20 August 2017

21st August 1948: Go away!

Mild becoming cooler: very dismal, boisterous; rain commencing by late afternoon. Donald & Laurie eventually had to be told to go away. To butchers bought tin of corned beef for Katie also got her groceries. Bought haddock, plums etc. locally. Saw Wanstead CC score 149 for 4 against Merton I.

19 August 2017

20th August 1948: The first television set!

Mild, cloudy becoming dismal and very cool, only a sprinkling of rain. Got the meat and other rations locally then in afternoon to Morden to buy fish and a violin string. Saw a television set* working in the shop – the first I have seen. Gwennie called in morning the boys and Margaret in afternoon. Katie came back to-night after a weeks holiday at Worthing. The weather was very bad and she is glad to get back. She made me a present of a pair of cuff links.

*A 1948 Bush television, courtesy of  

18 August 2017

19th August 1948: Having a lark

Mild, cool at ends of day: some feeble sunshine. The three called: Gwennie decorated some poppy heads with coloured enamel. She came while I had dinner so gave her a little plate with a small dinner on it which she evidently enjoyed – it really was tasty. Laurie & Donald also came and we had a lark. Got Ciss’ shoes from repairers; also got fish & other things. Short cycle ride in evening.

17 August 2017

18th August 1948: Entertaining the children

Very mild by afternoon – cool at each end of day. Got the groceries and other things locally. Bought 4 lbs of lovely plums @ 6d per lb. All the children again. Gwennie & Laurie made two sets of dominoes out of cardboard also two little model houses with doors and windows. Margaret sat by me while I had dinner; I regaled her with tit bits from my plate: she is a little glutton and would always be eating: she had just had her own dinner. Cut the lawn. Short cycle ride in evening.

16 August 2017

17th August 1948: I do not play very hard...

Mild, rain, dull. All the children called. Gwennie came in afternoon and the rain kept her here which did not concern her in the least as she stayed to tea. I had previously played table tennis with her: she won both games. I do not play very hard of course.

15 August 2017

16th August 1948: Too old?

16 Mon. Very mild, some pleasant sunshine but a stiff breeze. The children called; played Sebastopol with them: Gwennie won. To Morden to buy fish. Took Ciss’ shoes for repair. Saw Arthur Child, Leonard Conley and a friend playing cricket on the playing fields: their friend was a very fast bowler. I bowled a few of my spinners at them but I am too old for cricket. Payed the Slate Club.

14 August 2017

15th August 1948: A happy time

15 Sun. Very mild, dull, cloudy. Ted & Beryl Green came to tea with their two boys Nigel and Terry: had a happy time. Only a short walk.

13 August 2017

14th August 1948: Improvement all round

14 Sat. Very mild after rain, some pleasant sunny periods: a great improvement: almost calm. Gwennie called to-day: she is getting better: she brought me a piece of her birthday cake. Posted the photos to Katie who is at Worthing. Did some shopping locally in afternoon: bought plums and tomatoes. To Wimbledon Common to fly the small spar model with fair results under fine conditions. The duration was not great as I had no-one to hold the model while I stretch-wound the rubber motor: anyway it flew as well as possible with that limitation.

12 August 2017

13th August 1948: A busy day

13 Fri. Cool for August; very dull; rain on and off all day. Got a piece of beef from the butchers, also bought a cake, sweets etc. locally. In afternoon to Wimbledon, bought fish also three plastic pastry cutters at Woolworths: they are in the shapes of cat, dog and rabbit respectively. Ciss will make some biscuits with them. Donald & Laurie called. Went to see Gwennie who is still in bed but is a bit better today: the doctor says she can get up a little while to-morrow. Made three prints of the photo I took of Katie & Franz.

11 August 2017

12th August 1948: No bike today...

12 Thur. Rather cool, very dull, boisterous SW wind. Dear Gwennie is 10 to-day. Unfortunately she is laid up with gastritis but will have a tea party on Sunday if she is better. Gwennie was delighted to hear that Cousin Len’s wife Doris had a baby girl to-day. Gwennie said it was the best present of all: the new baby’s name is Madeleine Joan. Donald, who said he was a Christian, and Laurie called. I decorated some poppy heads with blue and yellow celluloid enamel and Donald took them to Gwennie. Shopping locally and in Morden. Walk up Edge Hill and down the Downs in evening.

10 August 2017

11th August 1948: Liver AND bacon!

11 Wed. Very mild, very dull, rain till well in the afternoon: the sun seems to have forgotten us. Got the groceries & fish locally. Laurie and Donald played draughts. Had liver AND bacon to-day. It is rarely they come together nowadays. Gwennie is in bed with a gastric attack: went to see her. Rather unfortunate as her birthday is tomorrow. Developed successfully a photograph I took of Katie and Franz before they went on holiday to Worthing.

8 August 2017

9th August 1948: An improvement

9 Mon. Very mild, just a few sunny periods after rain, but an improvement to-day. The four children called: Margaret, in spite of being so young is very self-willed and violent: glad when she went home. Some shopping locally and in afternoon walked along rail path to Wimbledon: bought plastic pastry cutters for Gwennie; one was in the shape of a ginger-bread man and the other a dog. Short cycle ride in evening. Re-ground the valve seating of the water tap and put on a new washer: it does not drip now.

7 August 2017

8th August 1948: Stayed in all day...

8 Sun. Very mild, very dull, heavy downpour of rain all day. Stayed in all day and played Beethoven.

6 August 2017

7th August 1948: The four children

7 Sat. Rather warm afternoon; very dull, rain all day after rain all night. Bought a few things locally in afternoon. The four children came and played and quarrelled over the pinboard – especially Margaret. Gwennie brought a cycle tool bag she has just bought to show me: it is another birthday present. Fitted a new rivet to a pair of scissors and sharpened them.

5 August 2017

6th August 1948: A new toy

6 Fri. Very mild becoming cool, dismal, humid rain most of the day. Franz played the organ & piano but he liked pin bagatelle the best and could hardly be made to leave it. Did the shopping locally including buying a cake. Mrs. Conley did the usual Fri afternoon cleaning. As her boys are away Ann being lonely came here, so amused her. Cousin Maud bought an amusing present for Gwennie – a queer looking toy duck which, called Dilly, dips its beak at intervals into a tumbler of water and continues indefinitely: it is worked by some chemical action unknown to me.

4 August 2017

5th August 1948: Mild depression

5 Thur. Very mild, very dismal; rain till evening: very depressing. Did some shopping locally also in Morden. Fitted a new spar to the small spar model. Cousin Maud called, she is going to Cornwall for a holiday. Katie brought her nephew Franz to stay the night: played the organ to him.

3 August 2017

4th August 1948: Fred in charge!

4 Wed. Very mild, very dull and overcast. Got the groceries also for Katie. Bought vegetables and other things. The four children called; the boys were very unruly and had to send them home. Played the moonlight sonata rather better than usual. Posted Uncle Tom’s letter.

2 August 2017

2nd August 1948: Bank Holiday

2 Mon. August Bank Holiday. Rather warm becoming cooler; very dull, cloudy, rain setting in midday. Stayed indoors: no callers. Played the piano rather better than for some time. Wrote a letter to Uncle Tom.

3 Tues. Mild, very dull after rain. Bought fish in afternoon. The four children called and were very noisy: Margaret ate many dates and kept asking for more but I had to enforce the veto! To Mr. Hunt the builder to pay a bill: he was very friendly and showed me over the house to the delight of little Anita and Colin. Also to Harold who told me Aunt Hannah who came out of hospital for the weekend will be discharged on Thur. next and they say she is a cure.

1 August 2017

1 August 1948: Meeting friends

1 Sun. Very warm, fine sunny day without much wind. The three children called prior to Sunday School. Mr. and Mrs. Bradley came to tea. Sat in the garden and had a chat with Mr. Bradley while Mrs Bradley went to Church: Mr. is very shaky on his legs since he was bombed in 1944. Saw them off at the bus stop where we met Mrs. Akroyd, Lily Tyler (as was) and dearest Gladys McCappin. Saw Aunt Liza, Cousin Len was also there. Short cycle ride in evening.

31 July 2017

31st July 1948: The preview

31 Sat. Rather warm, becoming sunnier as the day wore on: a cooling breeze. The three children called at intervals. Gwennie came to show me her bicycle she will have when her birthday comes next month. It has been put back into the garage again after this preview. Wrote and posted letter to Chas. Staden. Saw some good batting by Merton II, Some local shopping. Walk along the rail path in evening: I liked the loco. “Cudworth”. In evening a large lorry packed up with thousands of empty milk bottles had its load overturn by taking the corner at Merton Way too quickly The road was littered with great quantities of broken bottles which were busily swept up by a crowd of people from the neighbouring flats.

30 July 2017

30th July 1948: Good reading!

30 Fri. Very warm, quite a lot of sun but cloudy and distant thunder in afternoon. Did the usual shopping in morning and in afternoon to Morden Food Office to get an emergency ration card for Katie who will be going for a fortnight’s holiday soon. To water Dad and Mum’s grave in evening. Cousin Maud called: gave her some roses. A parcel and a letter from Rev. Chas. Standen: the parcel contained a book on radio by Scott-Taggart*.

*The Manual of Modern Radio, by John Scott-Taggart is quite a classic now, seen second-hand on Amazon.

29 July 2017

29th July 1948: A leisurely day

29 Thur. Very warm fine sunny day with a stiff cooling breeze for which most people would be thankful. Did some shopping locally but had a less tiring day than yesterday but went for a leisurely cycle ride in evening to Old Malden and Tolworth. It was cooler then. Gwennie and Laurie called and were in a larky mood.

28 July 2017

28th July 1948: Two ice creams each!

28 Wed. Hot, glorious sunshine all day: 92 degs in the shade: even the wind came in hot gusts. Got the groceries also fish. Posted a registered parcel for Ciss. Went to Wimbledon Common with Gwennie, Laurie and Donald. Took the spar aero, made a few flights. They liked paddling in the Rushmere best. We dug channels in the sand round the pond and filled them with water, helped by two delightful little girls named Judie and Sally: they were just lovely and friendly. We had two ice creams each… Dug up the shallot crop – a very fine one, the bulbs are very large.

27 July 2017

27th July 1948: Post-war wheatfield

27 Tues. Warm, fine sunny day with an E breeze to freshen things somewhat. To the local fish shop where the twin sisters serve; the one who served me said she would do anything for me: now that was very kind. Cycled to Epsom Common in afternoon and sat by the lake for a short time: the first time I have been there this year. A great part of the common is sown with wheat and it is very fine and now ripe. Planted black currant cuttings and finished picking the fruit. More watering of front and back gardens.

26 July 2017

26th July 1948: Real summer at last

26 Mon. Grand, warm, sunny day: 86 in the shade 120 in the sun – real summer at last. To buy fish and sugar. Cut old wood out of the loganberries and tied up the new. Gwennie and Laurie called but they were soon at loggerheads. Had to water the grave in evening and watered part of the garden; shall have to do the rest tomorrow.

25 July 2017

25th July 1948: A good flying day

25 Sun. Grand, warm sunny day. A steady breeze but it relieved what might have been a hot day. The usual children called. In afternoon cycled to Epsom Downs to see the model aeroplanes, many of which were powered with the tiny diesel engines which are now so popular, there were also some rubber driven models and gliders.

24 July 2017

24th July 1948: Remembering the bomb

24 Sat. Mild, sunny periods after rain but not summer. Bought smoked fillet for ourselves and fish pieces for the cats in morning. Bought Drene shampoo for Ciss among other things in afternoon. Gwennie and Laurie called. Cycle ride to Tolworth in evening. It is four years ago to-day since the flying bomb fell in this road and almost destroyed this house.

23 July 2017

23rd July 1948: More than I want...

23 Fri. Very mild, some nice sunny periods; pleasant but scarcely summer weather. Did all the usual Fri. morning shopping locally. Bought a cake with chocolate icing. Gave Whitbourne a new front mudguard for which I have no use. The three children called and were somewhat riotous. They break up to-day and I expect I shall have more than I want of them. Cleaned thoroughly two bedrooms including washing the floors also washed and polished the hall floor. In evening took a lot of “pops” off the acacia tree to Jeanette and Margaret McAinsh: they were delighted; had a happy evening with them.

22 July 2017

22nd July 1948: Clearing out

22 Thur. Very mild, becoming much cooler. Some sunny periods, but cloudy, showers and a rainbow in evening: less wind. Got Katie’s groceries, also to butchers. Bought cats meat at Merton in afternoon. All four children called; Donald many times: they brought some old music books as they are clearing up to make way for the decorators who are doing up the house. Short ride in evening to see the lovely sunset and rainbow.

21 July 2017

21st July 1948: The Book of Wonders

21 Wed. Very mild, some moderate sunshine but a wind that was SW and very rough indeed: it blew down a branch from the ash tree. Got the groceries in morning and a few other things. Saw the boys and girls sports at Bushy School. Gwennie called; read her a chapter from “The Book of Wonders”. Started watering the garden again, it is getting dry.

20 July 2017

20th July 1948: Errands

20 Tues. Becoming rather warm, sunny afternoon, very stiff SW breeze. Bought fish at Merton, thence took Aunt Hannah’s ration book to Winnie: then to Aunt Liza’s. The three called. Tended the tomatoes and gave a dressing of superphosphate and nitrate of potash.

19 July 2017

19th July 1948: Overdressed?

19 Mon. Becoming rather warm in afternoon; fine sunny day but a stiff SW breeze. Bought sugar, fish in morning also another Surrey ramble book; this one for ourselves. Met Arthur Swift wearing an overcoat. Budded a briar stock with Lady Penzance. Did some work in garden including tying up the tomatoes.

18 July 2017

18th July 1948: A jolly time

18 Sun. Becoming rather warm by afternoon; fine and sunny, pleasant. A crowd of children called as usual including “our Annie”. Cycled to the Pontifexes at Worcester Park in evening and had a jolly time: as I told them there is no depression in their home. They are all so obviously pleased to see me. 

17 July 2017

17th July 1948: Rain stopped play

17 Sat. Mild, very dull and overcast, rain setting in in afternoon; no sunshine. Bought fish locally in afternoon also nitrate of potash and superphosphate of lime for the garden. Bought a book of rambles called “Thames-side Surrey” as a birthday present for Alb. To Wimbledon Common to see Holloway Bros second cricket eleven play but rain soon stopped play for the rest of the day.

16 July 2017

16th July 1948: Death of a friend

16 Fri. Very mild in the afternoon, very cloudy & dull with a threat of rain and the wind tends to veer from NW to SW. To the butchers etc. in morning; to Merton to buy cats meat in afternoon. Cycle ride to Robin Hood Gate in evening. We heard with regret of the death of Mr Conley at 8.30 this morning. He had been a heart sufferer for a great many years. A very serious and conscientious man who knew his condition and made the best of very limited physical powers. Did some house cleaning including scrubbing and polishing floors.

15 July 2017

15th July 1948: Making a phone call

15 Thur. Mild, very dull and overcast all day, slight showers in morning. Went with Katie to the telephone kiosk to get a number for her; she wanted to speak to her sister at Tolworth. She then went to Wimbledon to have attention from the dentist. To butchers in morning. To Wimbledon in afternoon; bought fish, also a memo. book, also a coloured Sorbo bouncing ball for Gwennie; she was delighted and took it to Cannon Hill Common with her mother and the others. Fitted new mudguard to cycle with a nice, long, front extension. Short ride in evening. Stewed some gooseberries: very nice.

14 July 2017

14th July 1948: Aunt Hannah doing well

14 Wed. Mild, some sunshine in morning otherwise cloudy and showers. Got ours and Katie’s groceries at Eyles in morning: bough fish and other things at Wimbledon. To Mrs. Child’s to pinch out the side shoots of the tomatoes. Also to Harold and Winnie’s to inquire after Aunt Hannah who is in hospital and is doing well. Picked some more black currants from the garden. Made some stewed red currants and loganberries and custard for tea. Gwennie & Margaret called.

13 July 2017

13th July 1948: Gwennie and friend

13 Tues. Mild, some sunshine in morning, dull, rain later. Fitted new mudguard to back wheel of bicycle. Bought fish in afternoon, also a paper. Gwennie called bringing the fair-haired girl Sylvia to see the garden. Short cycle ride in evening.

12 July 2017

12th July 1948: Rain all day

12 Mon. Very cool, dismal, rain till evening; less wind but it is still NW. Mr. Hart & his man came to fasten back the vent pipe at back of house as it had pulled away and was dangerous. Bought fish locally. Only a short ride in evening as it rained all day. The three children called on the way home from school to shelter from the rain.

11 July 2017

11th July 1948: Franz visits for 3 months

11 Sun. Mild, very dull all day; some slight drizzly showers. Gwennie, Laurie & Donald called in morning. They called again before Sunday School, also many other children. Just at the same time Mrs. Alderton with her nephew Franz, a boy of 11 who has just come for a 3 months stay here from his native town Vienna called. So all the children saw him. He broke his arm a fortnight ago so it is still in splints. He is a good-looking boy but delicate. He has come here to be built up as the children in former enemy countries are half starved. He cannot speak English but he will go to school here. I showed him my aeroplanes.

10 July 2017

10th July 1948: Rage and roses

10 Sat. Rather cold, very dull and cloudy, cold driving NW wind. Gwennie & Donald called in morning and quarrelled violently until Donald went home in a rage. Bought fish & cats meat at Merton. Laurie called in afternoon and I played with him. Aunt Liza and Cousin Maud called in evening; gave Maud some roses.

9 July 2017

9th July 1948: Encouraging Gwennie

9 Fri. Very cold for July: very dull and cloudy with a very rough N wind. Bought the meat and other things locally also a cake. Bought a new high-tension battery at Merton; fitted it to the set with good results. Gwennie called and we played table tennis; she is improving. She beat me two games to one; of course I let her win to encourage her. Short walk along rail path in evening. The grass on the railway embankment was blazing furiously. While watching it I spoke to a delightful Devonshire man with a lovely, soft musical voice and dialect.

8 July 2017

8th July 1948: Splendid rhubarb

8 Thur. Mild at midday only, cold very rough N wind all day: a few periods of sunshine in morning otherwise very dull. Bought figs, sausage meat, and other things locally. In afternoon bought fish at a new shop near Beverley Bridge, Coombe Lane. Met Miss Dixon and made a few inquiries of her. Picked several pounds of splendid rhubarb in the garden. Attended to the tomato plants.

7 July 2017

7th July 1948: The parcel is posted

7 Wed. A very mild afternoon, but very dull all day with drizzly showers. Got the groceries at Eyles as usual on Wed. Took a food parcel for Austria to food office at Morden and posted it. Katie sends one occasionally to her underfed relatives at home. Gwennie with Margaret brought her dolls’ tea set and we all had a delightful dolls tea party. We drank milk out of diminutive tea cups and had broken pieces of cake on the miniature plates: Margaret took it very seriously.

6 July 2017

6th July 1948: That parcel again...

6 Tues. Mild, some sunny periods, getting cooler and boisterous but the weather is improving. Bought fish in Coombe Lane. Busy helping Katie to prepare a parcel to send to Austria. Did a lot of weeding in the garden. Short cycle ride in evening.

5 July 2017

5th July 1948: A wasted journey

5 Mon. Very cool, cloudy but some weak sunshine, very chilly boisterous wind. To buy fish locally. Took food parcel intended for Vienna for Katie to the food office but she made out the customs declaration incorrectly so brought the parcel back. Did a lot of weeding in the garden. To Harold & Winnie’s to inquire after Aunt Hannah.

4 July 2017

4th July 1948: Bournemouth rock

4 Sun. Very cool, dismal, downpour of rain all day without ceasing; windy. Gave the children a stick of Bournemouth rock brought home by Ciss yesterday. To Church in evening; heard a fine sermon by Rev. John Vivian. Am playing Beethoven again to-day.

3 July 2017

3rd July 1948: I imagined...

3 Sat. Very mild, a few sunny periods still a stiff NW breeze. To butchers in morning and fish shop in afternoon. Picked several pounds of loganberries, red currant and black-currants in garden in afternoon. Ciss made some into jam and saved sufficient for a pie tomorrow. The children called in morning. Cycle ride in evening; saw dear Winnie Bishop’s house at Malden. I imagined she was still there; my musing gave me pleasure: she has lived at Fulbrook, Cambs. for many years.