24 April 2014

24th April 1944: New Jersey? Ho, ho, ho!

Bell lime - did Fred mean the plant?
24 Mon. Very mild, cloudy, but a little sunshine late in the day. To Merton to but something also to the local post-office. Cut the lawn which looks very nicely. Removed bell-lime from around the gooseberry bushes. Dug over a border and planted selected marigold seeds saved from last year. Gwennie and Laurance called, they were in a jolly mood, and Laurie was wearing a new jersey. I made them laugh as heartily as I have heard them by saying there was a city in America called New Jersey.

23 April 2014

23rd April 1944: fairyland, faith & fondness

23 Sun. Rather warm; perfectly lovely sunny day. Connie Freeman called. The flowering trees and shrubs and the spring foliage are like fairyland. To Church (yes, Fred did use a capital C! - Ed.) in evening: (yes, he did use a colon rather than a semi-colon, his only regular fault, & the only thing I have sometimes corrected in past entries - Ed) Rev. G. Vivian preached. Walk as far as Rushmore on the Common in evening. While walking saw the nice girl who sold me some rose bushes at Woolworth's a few years ago: of course I did not recognise (i.e. did not 'acknowledge' or 'say hello to' - Ed) her but it was a pleasure to see her.

22 April 2014

22nd April 1944: more spring gardening

22 Sat. Very mild, lovely day, the sun being quite warm. In morning to buy potatoes. Cycled to Tooting in afternoon to buy fish also bought scarlet runner beans at Merton; a half packet cost 1/10d. Took accumulator. Doris stayed the night. Did some gardening; divided up a clump of montbretia bulbs and re-planted.

21 April 2014

21st April 1944: cat stolen?

Albert Edward Sammons CBE
Wiki biography here
21 Fri. Mild; lovely sunny morning, very dull & cloudy later. To the butchers, got beef this week for a change, also to other shops locally. In afternoon to Morden to buy a few things. Tibby Veale the pretty Persian cat next door is missing since last night. I roamed the back gardens about here but to no purpose. He is old enough to know his way and must be stolen; hope they get him back, I am fond of him. Listened with Maud to Albert Sammons playing most exquisitely the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D over the wireless.

20 April 2014

20th April 1944: bombs in Purley Reservoir and Rushmere Pond

10 Thur. Mild, but boisterous, chilly wind; some bright sunny periods through the clouds. Walk along rail path to Wimbledon; saw Cudworth*, one of the beautiful 'Engineer' class locos. Bought biscuits at Woolworth's. Only a small amount of work in the garden to-day. The bomb that I heard come down and explode in the raid in the early hours of yesterday fell in the water reservoirs at Purley; it destroyed the offices. The dud bomb is removed from the Rushmere Pond on the Common.

*Named after a prominent C19th engineer: details HERE.

All very confusing... this is 'Cudworth' but not the Class named
 by Fred. See this link for part of the history.

19 April 2014

19th April 1944: many planes bomb London & plants galore

'shrapnel was whizzing about like a battlefield'

19 Wed. Slight morning frost, becoming milder; brilliant sunny day but spoilt by a stiff chilly wind. Warning at 12.55 a.m. A great many planes bombed London and the North Middlesex Hospital* in Edmonton was badly hit. There was no local damage. Gunfire was not very severe although some rockets were fired. Only three planes came directly over here the local guns firing at one of them. Mobile guns were about and at times shrapnel was whizzing about like a battlefield. Fourteen enemy planes were destroyed; all clear at 1.50 a.m. Got the groceries and other things in morning. Finished the second border of ferns. Planted out some fancy grass and asparagus fern. Peter Child, sent by his mother asked if I had anything for her garden; she has more room now that their shelter has been taken away. I gave him several clumps of fern and other plants, telling him to call again which he did. Gave him Michaelmas daisy, montbretia, fancy grass, companula, polyanthus and aqualegias. Mrs Collins called for some pea sticks I promised her. She liked the garden and called it "old world". Maud stayed the night. Warning at 10.25 pm. Only three planes came at a very great height in the rain. Only very slight, distant gunfire; they were practically left alone; all clear at 10.55 p.m.

* The 'North Mid' hospital began life as a workhouse, in 1840, and from 1915-20 became the Edmonton Military Hospital. During WWII six high explosive bomb fell on the hospital site. See THIS LINK, a Wikipedia page, for a history. 16 people died at the hospital on 19th April; some bodies were unidentified. (Those last facts from a brief discussion at http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?114658-London-bombing-raid-dates-WWII.)