31 December 2017

31st December 1948: Happy Moments

31 Fri. Very cold, some sun in morning, dull, rain later; very rough. Got the week-end joint, took battery, paid for the papers, bought a bun loaf & mince pies. Laurie and Margaret called: Margaret was sweet to-day. Wrote letter to Uncle Tom. The last day of 1948. As regards weather – not a good year for crops, but things in general are a little better: perhaps the New Year will be more kind. We have much to thank God for and the past year has had some happy moments for me. The autograph I got from Miss Munz was a great thrill and an event I can never forget. Also Gwennie and little Margaret have brought sunshine into my life. Also a large number of children in the new flats in this road have become friendly and have given me great pleasure. So, my life this year has been made bright by my many little friends among whom I must mention Josette – a treasure. For these and all God’s Blessings I give him thanks. And so into the New Year with hope and certainty trust in God for he has done some marvellous things.

30 December 2017

30th December 1948: Starting the diesel aero!

30 Thur. Cold: wind of hurricane violence: dull, rain commencing in evening. Laurie, Donald and little Margaret called. They were quite good for them. Gwennie went to Josette so she did not come to-day. Took accumulator, bought fish, also fire lighters. Bought vegetables; the man had not called since last Thursday & we got in enough to last. Washed and polished the dining-room floor also polished the step. Started to carve a 9 ins propeller for the diesel engine.

29 December 2017

29th December 1948: Back to normal

29 Wed. Cold; some sunshine in morning. Got the groceries: we get bacon again this week. Donald & Margaret called in morning. I also bought fish and something for Ciss at the local chemists. Gwennie & Margaret called in afternoon. Played table tennis with Gwennie; she won both games. Mrs Akroyd called.

28 December 2017

28th December 1948: Not so happy family

28 Tues. Cold with some sun in morning but becoming milder as day wore on; rain setting in by evening. Ciss had to-day off from work so she did the washing. I made a nice minced beef dinner: our little joint has thus lasted four days. Donald and Margaret called in afternoon. Donald thought he could play table tennis so I let him “play”? Margaret did not want to go home so she created a scene both here and in the street: her father had finally to come down and carry her in screaming with rage. Went to Mrs. Child’s to see some second hand wireless sets they have for sale: they are very old and obsolete and will not fetch much money. Played pin-board with Ciss in evening.

27 December 2017

27th December 1948: The coldest day

27 Mon. Very severe hoar frost and fog; the coldest day this year but a thaw set in in late afternoon & the fog cleared: calm. Repaired the clothes post. Have been feeding Conley’s cat but they returned this evening. Connected a microphone so that I could speak to Mrs Drake upstairs; played the violin and organ into it; she was much amused. Cut a hemlock blank to make a 9 ins prop for the Diesel engine.

26 December 2017

26th December 1948: Presents off the Xmas tree

26 Sun. Boxing Day. Very severe hoar frost and fog all day: several degrees below freezing. Gwennie, Laurie & Donald called. Mrs Akroyd came to tea: we cut the Christmas cake to-day. Went to Chas & Doris in evening to receive my presents off the Xmas tree. I had a rubber mouse on a red ribbon, a bag of aniseed toffees and a box of menthol and licorice tablets. Josette Wensley was there. She is such a friendly girl and we played Ludo – Josette, Laurie, Gwennie & myself. Chas who has just returned from Scotland brought a kilted dolly for Josette.

25 December 2017

25th December 1948: Christmas Day

25 Christmas Day. Praise the Lord for His Divine Gift of Jesus our Saviour. Severe frost all day. A small amount of sun midday but foggy at night. Cousin Maud, Gwennie, Laurie and Donald called in morning to show me their presents. Donald’s pop-gun would not pop so I repaired it. Gwennie brought Margaret in afternoon; Margaret had two dolls. Len, Emily and Audrey Garrod brought me some after-shave lotion. Alb & Lily gave me a bath towel a face cloth and 5/-. Aunt Liza sent me a tooth-brush – now I shall be able to clean my tooth. We had a first-rate roast beef dinner with really good Xmas pudding afterwards. Ciss and I played cards and dominoes during the evening and I played carols very loudly on the organ and part of a Beethoven sonata on the piano. Mrs. Drake gave us some cold chicken for supper. Mrs. Child sent me two handkerchiefs, Mrs. Drake gave me a fine blue silk tie. I am looking after Mrs. Conley’s cat till Monday.

24 December 2017

24th December 1948: Christmas Eve

24 Christmas Eve. Very cold but fine and sunny: bitter E wind. Another day of rush and spending. However, I shall have a rest till next Tuesday. Among to-days list of goods were a chocolate cake & two mince pies, a Hovis loaf, some chocolates & other sweets, paid for the weeks papers, a piece of beef & a tin of potted meat. Got the accumulator, some cooking apples, some fish pieces for the cat, some smoked cod for ourselves, then to Merton to buy lights for the cats. Anne Conley and a girl named Janet called. Laurie & Gwennie each brought their photos. John Child bought me some handkerchiefs. I decorated the Xmas cake and wrote an inscription in pink icing. Met Chas, Joan and Michael Storey.

23 December 2017

23rd December 1948: The aero is delivered

23 Thur. White frost, very cold, dull day, bitter E wind. Bought Eau de Cologne at Boots. Also a plastic model (comfort?) little Joey. Also bought shoe laces, fish for cats, floor polish, steel wool, a bun loaf, paid 5-5½ for vegetables; had the windows cleaned price 2/-. I took Anthony’s new aero and tested it on the playing fields. It is most promising and am sure with a few minor adjustments it should be one of my best. Bought sausage meat. To Lily’s to get Cousin Ruby’s address. Ciss had her Xmas dinner at the office to-day and brought me home a bit of turkey which was first rate. Ciss iced the Xmas cake: I put two miniature Xmas trees on it also a sugar rose and leaves. Ciss took Anthony’s aero. to Tolworth this evening. I met Laurie, Donald, and little Margaret coming home along Kingston Road: saw them safely home. I had to carry Margaret the rest of the way home as her knickers had come down and I could hardly pull them up in the street: so I carried her.

22 December 2017

22nd December 1948: More shopping

22 Wed. Very cold. Very dull; cruel E wind. Ron Drake came home to-day on leave from the Boys School at Woking. Gwennie, Donald and Margaret called. Got the groceries – cost rather more than usual, of course. Bought more Xmas cards also a writing pad and envelopes. Paid 9/10 for 2 cwt of coal. Bought 4 ins nails to fix the clothes post. Got a large cardboard box from Johnson’s which I made into a box to house Anthony’s aero. Bought more stamps.

21 December 2017

21st December 1948: Fred's treat!

21 Tues. Very cold, very dull, windy, just a few spots of rain. Donald and Margaret called. Bought something for Ciss at the chemists. Thence to Merton to buy cats meat. Then to Normans to buy an E.D. 1 cc diesel motor. Norman ran it on the bench and gave it a short run. It made such a din you could not speak to each other. It revs at 7,000 r.p.m. per minute; it weighs only 2¾ ounces. Its fuel is ether mixed with a lubricant. Price £2-5-2. Then to Woolworths; bought some nice cake decorations, a book each for Gwennie and Laurie, a nightingale warbler for Donald and a card little girl with a dog which barks when pressed. Gave Mrs Drake her torch.

20 December 2017

20th December 1948: More balloons

20 Mon. Very cold, very dull; bitter N wind: the sky looks full of snow. Bought fish in afternoon also two long balloons; Gwennie, Laurie and Donald each have one now. I blew them up with much difficulty but they are now part of their decorations. Bought a Xmas card and sent it to a kind friend. Met Arthur Swift. To Slate Club to get the share out - £1 each: not bad. Bought a nice gold looking torch as a present for Mrs. Drake.

19 December 2017

19th December 1948: A surprise visitor

19 Sun. Very cold very dull, windy. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald came in morning also in afternoon when other Sunday School Children called. A surprise visit from Lily Bates who came to tea. She came from Richmond by herself and she is nearly blind. She used to come here years ago when she was in Ciss class.  She is now looking after her ailing father and as her sister was at home to-day thought she would like a change and came here.

18 December 2017

18th December 1948: Pre-war feast

18 Sat. Cold, becoming colder: very dull. Cooked a nice dinner of luscious tender fried steak; the first I have tasted since before the war. For afters, we have a real, baked rice pudding: also a dish we have not had since before the war. Gwennie called in morning: I love her. Did some shopping locally in afternoon. Met Gwennie, Laurie and Donald; went with them to the public library: they took books back and took two more out. Bought Gwennie a big, pink, sausage balloon: Donald wants one now. Bought a 4¼ volts battery and fitted it to light in Ciss bedroom. Put some holly and silver star decorations up in sitting room. Cut out a 19½ ins circle of green felt for Mrs. Drake to make a table mat of. Wrote and posted a letter of condolence to Mr Akhurst, who has just lost his sister Polly, aged 86.

17 December 2017

17th December 1948: The aero is rigged

17 Fri. Cold, clear sunny morning; dull somewhat milder later. To butchers, bakers; bought 4/1½ worth of sweets including a box of chocolates for Xmas. Also in afternoon bought fish and paraffin. Eileen, Brenda, John, Charles and Laurie called. Washed and polished dining-room floor. Rigged the new aero! and decorated it with blue enamel; with the orange wing and tail it looks very nice. Made up a 5 strand motor for it. So now it is finished & ready for a test: it should be a fine flyer.

16 December 2017

16th December 1948: Light blue aero woodwork

16 Thur. Cold, some bright sunshine in morning; a fine day for Dec. Did a lot of shopping locally also bought cats meat at Merton. Finished under-cart of new aero. Painted all the woodwork light blue. It only needs rigging and two rubber motors made up. Received Xmas card from Katie and one from Capt. Harold Marshall in Germany the latter enclosing a cheque for £1.

15 December 2017

15th December 1948: Christmas preparations

15 Wed. Rather mild, becoming cold: some sun in morning, dull windy later. Got the groceries including blanc-mange and jelly for Xmas. Eileen & dear little Brenda, just recovered from whooping cough called, gave them biscuits with jam on. Also bought fish, reel of cotton and solder. To Mr Akhurst to ask when is the slate-club share out: Monday. Mrs Akhurst told me of the death of Polly Akhurst last Monday age 88. Started fitting under-cart to aero. Placed a lovely holly cross on the grave of dear Mother and Father.

14 December 2017

14th December 1948: A wonderful sunset

14 Tues. Very mild for season: very dull, heavy showers and squalls. At sunset a vivid orange cloud overhead transformed and beautified the landscape in a wonderful way. Posted a cake to Ron Drake. Bought cats meat at Merton. Gwennie, Laurie and Margaret called. Aunt Liza has given Laurie her old mandoline which he brought for me to tune. Polished propeller of new aero and fitted the tail skid.

13 December 2017

13th December 1948: The aero is well on the way

13 Mon. Mild, dismal, rain all day, rather windy however. Bought fish locally in afternoon, also stamped envelopes and two newspapers: one for Mrs Drake who is in bed with a chill. Packed a cake to send to Ron Drake. Fitted free wheel pawl and retainer to propeller gear of new aero: the job is well advanced now but it must be finished for Anthony by Christmas.

12 December 2017

12th December 1948: A gloomy Sunday

12 Sun. Mild, dismal, some drizzle. Gwennie, Laurie & Donald called in morning and also in afternoon as did other children. Short walk in the gloom. Met Gwennie and came home with her.

11 December 2017

11th December 1948: A nice menu

11 Sat. Mild, very dull, rain all day. Made some nice soup in morning also a nice dinner & a sweet course. To Norman’s to buy more materials for aero. at Norman’s. Bought fish locally also posted a calendar and letter to Elsie in Canada. Did some good work to propeller and running gear of aero.

10 December 2017

10th December 1948: Get sweets, have visitors?

10 Fri. Cold, dull, windy, rain setting in at night. Got the meat – brisket in morning, also paid for the papers and got sweets, fish etc. Bought two small twist drills at Smalldon’s in afternoon. Gave Eileen & Kennie Provert sweets & a bun. Gwennie called in a somewhat larky mood. Made small part for propeller gear. Posted calendar letter from Ciss and myself and a photo. to Edie Bennett who is in South Africa.

9 December 2017

9th December 1948: Visiting Uncle Ben

9 Thur. Cold, dull, heavy rain, hail & a peal of thunder at night. Bought fish in Malden. Went to see Uncle Ben there in afternoon; he came out of hospital last Monday. He is very bad with asthma and had an attack while I was there. Went to tell Aunt Liza how he was. Made some more prints of the photo. Alb took in the summer of Ciss, Lily Anthony and myself outside of this house.

8 December 2017

8th December 1948: Dare I?

8 Wed. Rather mild, some pleasant sunshine in morning; dull, heavy rain setting in by evening. Got the groceries in morning. Bought saccharin in Firths the chemists and Joyce who serves there was very lovely this morning: I would love to send her a Xmas card: dare I? Gave a sweet to Eileen and John. Gwennie and Donald in afternoon: showed Gwennie a puzzle which I drew for her on a piece of paper. Finished carving 8½ ins prop. Fitted a new metal bush. Made prop shaft and fitted bearing to spar.

7 December 2017

7th December 1948: Knives and more knives

7 Tues. Rather mild but the stiff breeze made it seem colder. Dull but some sunshine in afternoon; rain later. Ciss had the day off from work and went to Wimbledon to buy some presents; she also bought a half-dozen tea knives and a half-dozen dinner knives – all of stainless steel. To butchers in the morning to buy sausage meat also lights for the cats. Planted a row of wallflowers and a row of crocuses in the front garden. Gwennie, Donald and Margaret called: they were all very good but Gwennie did not want to go home as usual. More work on the new 8½ ins prop.

6 December 2017

6th December 1948: Carving the prop

6 Mon. Rather mild for season, heavy rain morning and night but some sunshine in afternoon. To Morden to buy fish and something at the chemists. Bought fire lighters locally. Posted letter to Uncle Tom. Started carving 8½ ins balsa propeller for Anthony’s aero.

5 December 2017

5th December 1948: Visitors and visiting

5 Sun. Cold, clear, cloudy. I mean of course the atmosphere was clear. Gwennie and Laurie made a stay in morning. Many children called. Len Garrod called as he wanted a violin bridge which I was able to supply. Ciss went to see Uncle Ben who is in hospital but he will be going home to-morrow. Cousin Arthur brought Ciss home in the car, a Standard with a new car radio which was quite good. Alb, Lily and Anthony surprised us by coming to tea.

4 December 2017

4th December 1948: The propeller

4 Sat. Rather mild, becoming colder; very dull; foggy at night. Gwennie called in morning and was lovely. Donald brought meat for cats in afternoon. Bought fish locally. Then to Norman’s at Merton to buy a balsa propeller block; 3/16 in rubber strip, pair of landing wheels and spring steel wire. Doped wing & tail Anthony’s aero: first rate: started work on the 8½ ins propeller.

3 December 2017

3rd December 1048: Cupboard love

3 Fri. Mild, 58 degrees, dull and cloudy but clear: rain later. Got all the week end provisions locally. Got some lights at the butchers for the pussies. Eileen, Jennifer and Jacqueline followed me and had difficulty on sending them back. When I returned from shopping they were waiting for me so I gave them a bun each. They make me happy although it is cupboard love. Bought a new high-tension battery and fitted it with marvellous results to the wireless. Gwennie and Margaret called: they were very lovely. Last night I had the loveliest dream I have ever had of dear Annie Chapman. Covered the tail, fin and rudder of Anthony’s aero. with bright orange tissue.

2 December 2017

2nd December 1948: The orange aeroplane

2 Thur. Cold, cloudy but becoming rather mild with rain later. Eileen called gave her an orange. To Merton in afternoon, bought gaslighter flints and cats’ meat. Covered the wing of Anthony’s aero. with orange tissue.

1 December 2017

1st December 1948: Fog gone like magic

December 1948
1 Dec. Wed. Very cold, very thick fog and frost till midday when very surprisingly the sun came out and the fog disappeared like magic: the sunshine for a short time was lovely. The rest of the day was dull but the fog did not return. Got the groceries and fish and a paper locally. Gwennie, Laurie and Margaret called. Gwennie said they really are going to Scotland to live next Tuesday. Started covering the wing of Anthony’s aero. with orange tissue.

30 November 2017

30th November 1948: Visibility nil

30 Tues. Very cold, dismal, thick fog all day; as thick as Saturday at times. Posted two letters. Bought plaice fillets which I steamed for Mrs Drake who is laid up: served with mashed potatoes which she enjoyed. Bought fish for cats. Phoned Kingston Hospital to tell them about Mrs. Drake: she works there. Rode my bike through a blanket fog to-day. At night the fog was as thick and smoky as a London fog could be – visibility nil.

29 November 2017

29th November 1948: Fog lessens

29 Mon. Very cold, slightly freezing most of the day, dismal, but fog not so thick. Mrs. Drake was too queer to go to work to-day: made her as comfortable as possible. Bought fish and firelighters in morning. Eileen, Jean, Gwennie, Nita, Pat, Laurie and Michael called. Fitted rudder to Anthony’s aero.

28 November 2017

28th November 1948: Did not go out

28 Sun. Very cold, very dismal; thick fog all day. A crowd of children called and went to Sunday School nevertheless. Little to report; did not go out.

27 November 2017

27th November 1948: Thick pea-souper

27 Sat. Very cold, dismal, the thickest pea-soup fog for years – visibility almost nothing. Went out to buy fish in afternoon thence to station but there were no papers. Road traffic was reduced to a crawl. I saw a cyclist walking with a flaming torch followed by a procession of buses. Laurie called, played draughts and cards with him.

26 November 2017

26th November 1948: Shopping...

Fri. Very severe frost which was thawed by the sun at midday. Dull and foggy later. Got all the usual week-end provisions locally in the morning. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish and cork socks, the latter at Woolworths; also posted a parcel to Dolly Cooper. Made rudder for Anthony’s aero.

25 November 2017

25th November 1948: Gwennie a fixture

25 Thur. Severe white frost, very cold sunny day but foggy at night. To butchers in morning. To Merton in afternoon bought cats meat and something at the chemists. Bought an egg crate at Eyles for 6d. Gwennie made a stay: she fixed herself in front of the fire with a carol book. Built up a fin for Anthony’s aero.

24 November 2017

24th November 1948: Pears for Uncle Ben

24 Wed. Very cold, very dismal, foggy. Got the groceries: gave Eileen a biscuit with blackcurrant jam on it. Also bought fish, paraffin and soap powder. Oh, I bought two nice pears which I took to Uncle Ben who is in hospital at Norbiton: I thought he seemed a little better. Went to Aunt Liza to tell her about him. Small amount of work on the tail of Anthony’s aero.

23 November 2017

23rd November 1948: Quarrelsome child!

23 Tues. Very cold, very dismal: yellow fog. Bought fish locally in afternoon. Eileen called gave her a slice of sweet, fruit bread and butter: she loved it: John Prior also called as did Gwennie and Margaret. Gave little Margaret a chocolate biscuit – she wanted butter on it so I put some on. She then argued it was marge which it was not. She then wanted marge on it as she said that was butter – anything to please the child: she is as argumentative as her brother Donald.

22 November 2017

22nd November 1948: Seeing to the kitten

22 Mon. Very cold, very dim, misty yellow light. Lily and Anthony called early bringing the kitten. They wanted me to take it to the P.D.S.A. Wimbledon to have it castrated, which I did. I rode it there and back in a basket on my bike. They went to Merton and to Tooting. Bought fish and firelighters locally. Gwennie called; she is still unwell and had to come home from school again. Laurie called; bought a picture from him in aid of N.C.H.O.

21 November 2017

21st November 1948: Testing the aero

21 Sun. Rather cold some sun in morning, misty later, calm. The children called as usual. Flew the 41 ins spar aero on Wim. Common but was not pleased, of course I always get some good flights. Mrs Akroyd came to tea.

20 November 2017

20th November 1948: A beautiful spectacle

20 Sat. Fine, bright sunny day, but cold with a fresh breeze. In morning to the woodyard to buy a fence paling price 1/7. In afternoon nailed to the fence to fill a gap which Norris’ dog gets through: it won’t get through now. Bought cats meat and fish at Merton. To Aunt Liza who asked me to buy a bunch of black grapes for Uncle Ben who is in hospital. Went to see the captive balloon in Worple Road. At night it was lit up by a searchlight – a beautiful spectacle: it is advertising a recruiting week for T.A. and Aux-R.A.F.

19 November 2017

19th November 1948: The barrage balloon

19 Fri. Rather mild, dull, a little more wind, rain later. Got the usual weekend shopping all locally. Gwennie called in morning and again in afternoon with Margaret. Showed them the barrage balloon which can be seen from the upstairs back windows: it is in a field in Worple Road. Planted a new gooseberry bush on a bed I have made up this week: I raised it from a cutting here.

18 November 2017

18th November 1948: Xmas puddings

18 Thur. Mild; actually 61 degs: dull, calm, slight suggestion of drizzle at times. To butchers. Cooked three Xmas puddings to-day for a duration of 5 hours. To Merton to buy cats meat. Met Doris Bridges, poor soul: I hope I cheered her: she is such a cripple with nerve disease.

17 November 2017

17th November 1948: Uncle Ben

17 Wed. Rather cold, fine sunny day, lovely but misty and drizzle at night. Got the groceries as usual on Wed. Also to Firths the chemists and was served by dear Joyce Ellis which is usual: bless her, she is lovely. Bought fish and also some hot winter gums at Davis served by Daisy which is usual. Eileen and Jean called they were lovely. Gwennie borrowed my ball. Went to Malden to inquire after Uncle Ben but got no reply so went next door. The lady told me he was in Victoria Hospital, Norbiton. Being on my bike I rode there and saw him. A very nice, small but comfortable place, I thought. I got there at tea time. He is in a very poor state with asthma and is very thin and run down. I don’t think much can be done for him, but he is well looked after and the rest should do him good. Told Aunt Liza I had seen him; she was rather worried as she had heard no news of him and did not know he was in hospital. Eileen and her brother Kennie called at dusk begging food; gave them a biscuit each. Drew out plan and started building tail of new spar aero.

16 November 2017

16th November 1948: Quacks-quacks!

16 Tues. Rather mild for season, very dismal, rain most of the day. Eileen and Jean called in morning. Bought fish and a paper locally in afternoon. Laurie and Margaret called in afternoon. Made paper “quack-quacks” for her: she was very good. Finished new 23 ins wing frame – needs covering and doping of course. A letter from Alb and one from Rev. Chas. Staden including a photo of him operating a talking film projector at his Church.

15 November 2017

15th November 1948: A prescription

15 Mon. Very cool, very dull, showers. Eileen called of course, so did Laurie later. Went to Morden in afternoon to buy fish, a paper and something at Boots*. Started digging a hole in the garden but had to stop because of the rain. Letter from Uncle Tom.

* A prescription was folded in the pages of the diary. Can anyone decipher it? If that is Phenobarbital, it might explain why Fred stayed at home with what might be some gentle piece work with accumulators and radio parts, rather than working in a factory. It is evident from all Fred’s shopping and errands, that ideally one person in a household would be based at home in the 1940s.
Also tucked in this week's pages, a newspaper cutting of a loco trial.

14 November 2017

14th November 1948: Royal event

14 Sun. Very mild for season, very dull and hazy and calm. A crowd of children called before Sunday School. Went to see Len and Emily Garrod in Lambton Road. They have sold the house and bought one between Stoneleigh and Ewell. They are all ready to move and will go shortly. Wrote letter to Uncle Tom. A baby boy was born to Princess Elizabeth this evening.

13 November 2017

13th November 1948: A full day

13 Sat. Mild for Nov. 52 degs. Hazy but some sun before noon. Gwennie called before dinner and being by herself she was charming: she had her crimson-lake skirt on of which I am very fond. In afternoon bought aspirin, a paper, writing pad and envelopes, ammonia and cats fish. Cycled to Uncle Ben’s at Malden to see how he is getting on but got no reply: he is either ill in bed or has gone into hospital. Went into Beverleigh Park and watched football also a boy was flying a control-line diesel aero: spoke to him. Started making wing attachment and stanchions for Anthony’s aero. Mrs Drake gave us some chrysanthemums some bronze and some large white ones which were beautifully scented which I thought unusual.