5 October 2016

A short break...

We are taking a short break, but please do stand by. Fred's diary will resume in a couple of weeks or so. Thanks!

1 October 2016

25th-26th July 1947: glorious, happy days

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.

30 September 2016

24th July 1947: the beautiful Beferithi... 'Beverleigh'... Beverley Brook

Beverley Brook walk (Merton Council)
24 Thur. Rather warm, the sun peeping out from hazy clouds, a slight breeze: very pleasant. Got liver from the butchers – a rare treat these days. Also bought fish, split peas, glass paper etc. locally. Glass papered the new propeller to a very smooth surface & French polished it – looks like glass. Walked beside the Beverleigh Brook in afternoon: it is a lovely walk and I have never seen such a grand display of rose-bay willow herb. Mrs. McAinsh, Jeanette and Margaret called in evening and had a happy time with the “pops”. They are two charming and intelligent little girls.

 It is three years ago to-day when a “doodle-bug” almost demolished this house. It is only quite recently that the house and furniture etc. has been restored to a reasonable state of repair.

Notes on Beverley Brook
The spelling, nowadays at least, is Beverley, not Fred's 'Beverleigh Brook'. Here are some links to web pages about the 8.9-mile stream as it flows northwards to join the River Thames above Putney Embankment at Barnes Elmes - having flowed through a culvert under a major road, across wasteland, and as pleasant stream through Richmond Park alongside grazing deer. 

Definitely worth clicking this link for the collection of fascinating photos:  This site reports that in the year AD693 the brook was known as Beferithi... and that Beverley means beaver's ley (the home of beavers).

29 September 2016

22nd -23rd July 1944: boiled beetroot... and 'women playing serious cricket'

22 Tues. Rather warm, fine and sunny for the most part: pleasant. Bought potted meat and fish locally. Short cycle ride in afternoon. Maurice & Laurie called. Put in some hard work levelling the ground where the shelter came out and digging a straight path through where it used to go round the shelter. Dug up three nice beetroots, the first this year and boiled them, had some for tea – lovely with some home grown lettuce.

23 Wed. Rather warm, much warm sunshine but a rather rough wind. Got the groceries etc. all locally. To Mitcham in afternoon: saw Surrey Women’s cricket team play a match against a representative team. Surrey scored 122 for 9 when I had to leave. Most interesting to see women playing real cricket. They bowled over arm – one slow left arm bowler and two slow-medium. The fielding was excellent. The batting was good and no sitting on the splice. There were no batswomen who poked about; they all made long sweeping strokes; some of the boundary hits were first class. Most unusual to see women playing serious cricket, the play being of such a high standard too.

28 September 2016

21st July 1947: the Aderson shelter which was our home

'I had given up hope of living'

21 Mon. Rather warm, close, some hazy sunshine otherwise overcast: slight showers. More work on the new propeller. Donald, Maurice who is staying with Cousin Doris and Laurie called. A man – Irish - came and took out the Anderson shelter. It has been in the garden over seven years, and saved us from possible injury at least twice. How many nights and days we have spent in it during raids I cannot say. It served its purpose well. During the flying bomb attacks we slept in it from June to December in 1944. And so it has gone after occupying considerable space in the garden. Many a time when we were inside it when bombs were whining down and flying bombs were roaring over I had given up hope of living. It withstood the awful blast of the flying bomb which fell but 30 yds. away, when a fragment of bomb smashed the door and entered the shelter: but Ciss and I inside were by God’s mercy saved from injury

'a fragment of bomb smashed the door and entered the shelter...' 

27 September 2016

19th-20th July 1947: brother's lodger

19 Sat. Rather warm, dull, calm, hazy, slight rain at night. The three children called. Gwennie to say good-bye as she is going to stay at Oxford for three weeks. Ciss had the morning off from work and did some shopping in afternoon. I cycled to Tolworth to see Dad who is fairly well. Their lodger Mr. Stopford** was interested in my 40 year old Rudge-Whitworth.

20 Sun. Rather warm, fine, sunny from midday onward. Walked to Holland Gardens but did not see Dorothy this time. Walked to Wimbledon Common in evening, saw lady’s bedstraw and harebells growing there.

**Note: the faintest of bells in your editor's head. Kenneth Stopford? From Manchester area? Fairly tall, and first time toddler Tony was aware of any accent other than BBC/southern. 

Immediately after typing above memory, I Googled the name, and third item down was directory link to a Kenneth Stopford at a Manchester address  - surely not a coincidence?