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30 April 2011

Friday 25th April 1941: indoors best

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Cold, but getting milder; finer but still the N. wind is raging furiously. Indoor is the best place.
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Thursday 24th April 1941: bitter cold

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Cold, bitter, N. wind; cloudy. Out only to do shopping.
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Wednesday 23rd April 1941: piercing east wind

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Warning from 12.6 a.m. to 12.24 a.m. 23 Wed (con) Very cool, piercing, chilly E. wind; dull. Alan Spooner called with some records to play.
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Tuesday 22nd April1941: green corrugated iron door

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Sharp morning frost, very cool, cloudy day; chilly east wind. Warning from 12 noon to 12.20 p.m. To Wimbledon to buy cats' meat and green paint. Painted door of shelter which is now covered with corrugated iron. Warning from 10.16 to 11.55 p.m. distant gunfire only.
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Monday 21st April 1941: warmest day at 58 degrees

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Very mild. 58 degrees, highest this year. Calm and some gentle sunshine. Walk along rail path in evening. Warning from 9,56 to 10.30 p.m. No incidents.
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Sunday 20th April 1941: thunder - stayed in

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Very cool, cloudy, heavy rain showers; thunder in afternoon. Apart from feeding Fluffy, stayed in. Chas called in afternoon. Warning from 10.4 to 10.12 p.m. Wrote letter to Chas Staden.
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Saturday 19th April 1941: shoot 'em up & no mistake

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Cool, stiff breeze, some watery sun. To Wimbledon to buy some cats' meat also some "Wonder" summer bean seeds. Thought I saw a new 4-8-0 goods tender loco. The track was damaged in last Wednesday's raid & Wimbledon has become the terminus for steam trains: saw some fine engines. The crashed German plane or rather the remnants of it are in the front garden of the house in Denmark Avenue. Night raid at 9.18 p.m. A severe raid but not so bad as Wed last. Our guns did shoot 'em up this time and no mistake. Many fire bombs and some explosive not far away. All clear at 4.45 a.m. on 20 Sun.
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22 April 2011

Friday 18th April 1941: pale green walls

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No incidents: a quiet night. Further warning from about 3.0 to 3.30 a.m. nothing to report. Mild, cloudy day: rain in afternoon. Painted inside of shelter with pale green "Anticon", which is a condensation preventing distemper.
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21 April 2011

Thursday 17th April 1941: crashed plane memento

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Mild, calm some lovely sunshine. The plane we heard coming down last night was afire and crashed in the back garden of 13 Denmark Ave. Went to see it but nothing visible from the road: got a piece of the machine - made in Germany as a memento. A time bomb in Francis Grove. Bought fish for cats. Ciss went to see the Child family at Farncombe. Night warning at 10.22 p.m., further warning at 1.0 a.m. on 18 Fri. All clear at 1.38 a.m. on 18 Fri.
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Wednesday 16th April 1941: "a dreadful experience"

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Mild, cloudy, calm; not unpleasant. In morning to buy cats food. Prepared seed bed and sowed onion seed. Dearest Gladys called. Fitted sheet of corrugated iron to door of shelter so as to armour it. Night raid at 9.3 p.m. Probably the worst raid of all. The planes made an uproar for hours without a break, the sky seeming to be full of them. Many bombs dropped some must have been very near; also the sky was lit up by incendiary bombs and later the whole sky was aglow with the light of many fires. All clear at 4.56 on17 Thur.
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16 April 2011

Tuesday 15th April 1941: straightened cat's fur

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White morning frost, mild day with some nice sunshine in afternoon. To Amity Grove to buy cats' meat. Bought wire comb to straighten out Fluffy's long fur which has got a bit tangled. Planted marrow seeds in pots. Warning at 10.45 p.m. Numbers of enemy planes** going to and from S.E. to N.W. their objective being poossibly in the midlands: some planes were fired at locally. All clear at 4.10 a.m. on 16 Wed.
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**On this day:  this was the night of the Belfast Blitz when some 200 German bombers attacked Northern Ireland killing 1,000 and injuring 1,500. Some 100,000 were left homeless of a population of 425,000. Half of Belfast's houses were damaged. See details in Wikipedia.
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Easter Monday 14th April 1941: music and colour

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Cool, cloudy, but lovely coloured sky in evening. Work on shelter to make the joints waterproof. Chas called; played gramophone for him.

On this day: Vera Brittain - writer, lecturer, active pacifist campaigner, mother of Shirley Williams, who at that time was evacuated as a child to the USA - also commented today in her Diary (ISBN 0 7089 8716 8) on the 'vivid sunset... reflected in blunt noses of barrage balloons, made their tips glow like fire opals all over the sky. They really did resemble jewels... or perhaps even silver fish floating in mid-air gradually shading into iridescent goldfish.'
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Easter Sunday 13th April 1941: earned five shillings

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Mild, hazy, chilly wind. Went to Hippels to report progress - or lack of it concerning their wireless and found they had bought a second-hand Cossor(?) set cheap and had failed to start it. I connected it up and to their delight got it going well. They gave me 5/- and the old set. Went to see dear Mother's grave in evening.
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14 April 2011

Saturday 12th April 1941: grand Lord Howe loco

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Mild, some hazy sunshine; not unpleasant. To Wimbledon to buy cats' food. (Blogger's note: Fred's shopping list shows it cost 7 1/2d today, and herrings 3 1/2.) Saw loco. Lord Howe - grand. Had a good go at Hippel's wireless set but very unstable - most troublesome.
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A preserved locomotive in the same Lord Nelson class as the Lord Howe seen by Fred. All 16 built were named after famous admirals.  Designed in 1926, for Southern Railway, they were intended  to pull express passenger 'boat trains' from London's Victoria Station to  Dover Harbour. They continued in service with British Railways until the 1960s. 

Good Friday 11th April 1941: gilded frames

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Very cool but fair with a little weak sunshine. Gilded two picture frames. Short walk in evening. More repairs to Hippel's wireless set, fitted battery and grid-bias leads. Almost ready for test.
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13 April 2011

Thursday 10 April 1941: gift of herrings

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Sharp morning frost, cold clear day. Met Mrs Conrade and Rose; pleased to meet them. Bought cats' meat.(Note from blogger: that cost three and three-quarter pence.) Thence to Hippels' to tell them of their broken valves. They gave me some herrings for the cats. Met Mrs Dean there; she used to live in this road. Short warning at 1.45 p.m. Night raid at 9.20 p.m. Ni danger here as all the raiders were returning from raids to northwards: some were shot at. All clear at 4.15 a.m. on 11 Good Friday.
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Wednesday 9th April 1941: Magnavox loud speaker

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Very cold, bitter wind, clear but still no sun. Alan Spooner brought his Magnavox loud speaker for test against mine. Uncle Henry came in afternoon; Alan offered to set up his wireless at uncle's new address. Put up pictures in Dad's room. Machine and gunfire at 11.37 p.m., warning at 11.47 p.m., only a few  planes and distant gunfire; all clear at 2.7 a.m. on 10 Thur.
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Tuesday 8th April 1941: six wireless valves

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Cold, but brighter. Warning from 12.0 noon to 12.15 p.m. To Hippels (?) - Amity Grove top see their two wireless sets; brought one away and all their six valves for test; all the lot were burnt out, so they are unlucky. Distant warning at 9.40 p.m. local at 10.5 p.m. Many planes, four were fired at by the local battery. All clear at 4.0 a.m. on 9 Wed.
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12 April 2011

Monday 7th April 1941: "I am wild... Ciss was mad"

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Very cold, bitter N.wind; no sun but certainly brighter. Apart from feeding Fluffy twice, as usual, stayed in which was best. The men concreted the shelter to-day, putting 2ft 6ins of it on the floor and 5ins on the sides. The floor is now only two feet below ground level, it was 4ft 6 ins below, I am wild about it as the shelter is much less safe; it is not possible to get below ground level where it's most safety. I should have thought 8ins on the floor would have been ample to keep the water out. Ciss was mad(?) to-day. Warning at 10.27 p.m., all clear at 11.22 p.m.  A machine and distant gunfire at 11.35 p.m. followed by warning at 11.55 p.m.; several machines from W. to E. also heavy bombing and gunfire on London; all-clear at 5.0 a.m. on 8 Tues.
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Sunday 6th April 1941: tea and Titans

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Very cold, very dull, cruel driving N.wind. Stayed in. Alb & Lily came to tea. Germany invades Greece & Jugo-Slavia, claiming that by doing so they are striking at Britain.
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5 April 2011

Saturday 5th April 1941: a bed at last - and trilby

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Very cool, dismal: yellow light. To Wimbledon. Bought cats' week-end provisions. Bought trilby hat - grey, and ordered overcoat. Also bought Columbia Talkie gramophone needles at Maxwells. Put up my bedstead so shall sleep in a bed at last. Put up overmantel in Dad's room. Repaired Uncle Joe's R and A moving coil loudspeaker.
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Uncle Fred's record of cats' food bought during April 1941. The money is in pence, and half and quarter pence. (Click image to enlarge.)

Friday 4th April 1941: home sweet home

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Very cool, showers. Repaired towel rail of Dad's washstand. Put up mirror over my mantelpiece - more like home. Alan Spooner called with valves for me to test. To Kinghams' in evening: set all right but lent them battery as their's had run out. Painted picture frame of Alb's photograph. Warning from 9.58 to 10.57 p.m., distant wallop and one machine went over.
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On this day

  • Benghazi taken by Italians and Germans
  • German raider Thor sinks British armed merchant cruiser Voltaire
  • British warship will be allowed to refuel and be repaired in US ports

4 April 2011

Thursday 3rd April 1941: Palais de Danse

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Rather cold, showers but a little weak sunshine. The furniture of the three upstairs rooms came back to-day after being stored at the Palais de Danse, Merton, since shortly after the bombing, it being sent there on account of the rain coming through the damaged roof. To buy cats' meat at new shop in Amity Groove. Met Eddy Conrad: he is full of religion. Warning from 12.25 to 12.35 p.m. Night raid from 10.37 to 11.4 p.m. Much distant bombing and one plane from N. to S., no firing. Distant concussions continued in spite of the all clear. Further warning and distant bombs from 12.20 a.m. on 4th Fri. till 1.2 a.m.; another machine from N. to S. no firing at all.
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On this day: Yugoslavia mobilises. British ambassador in Moscow, Sir Stafford Cripps, tells Stalin that German units are being deployed to attack eastern frontier.
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2 April 2011

Wednesday 2nd April 1941: more shelter

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Raw cold, dismal rain all day. Men continued work on shelter extension. Repaired broken drawer of my chest of drawers. Tried a fourth valve on radio-gram - very powerful but too much background.
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On this day

  • A small number of Hurricanes are flown from Ark Royal to Malta.
  • President Roosevelt orders ten coastguard cutters transferred to Britain's Royal Navy.
  • Count Teleki, the PM of Hungary, commits suicide, not wishing to collaborate with Germany.
  • In Iraq yesterday, a coup began, and by tomorrow a new government is installed. Faisal, the Regent, escapes to Transjordan. The officers anti-British officers staging the coup call themselves the Golden Square.
Count Teleki, Prime Minister,
 professor of geography, Chief Scout

Tuesday 1st April 1941: search for cats' food

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Very cold, very dull, rain all day. In afternoon to hunt around to buy cats' food - very difficult these days.
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Quote
Churchill speaking in the House of Commons during this month about Benito Mussolini: "This whipped jackal, Mussolini, is frisking up by the side of the German tiger with yelps not only of appetite - that could be understood - but even of triumph."
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