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31 August 2011

Sunday 17 August 1941:

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Very mild, some weak sunshine, boisterous showers. Warning from 1.45 to 2.0 a.m. no incidents here. Dear Gladys called again to-day: she took a bloom and a leaf of an aromatic plant growing in the garden for identification.: it was tansy. Short walk in evening.

Tansy, also known as Common Tansy,Bitter Buttons, Cow Bitter, Mugwort, or Golden Buttons.

Saturday 16 August 1941: Gladys a ray of sunshine...

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Mild, boisterous W. wind; some weak sunshine. Went to Wimbledon along the rail path to do the usual shopping. Dear Gladys called, which brought some ray of sunshine into my dull and unhappy life. Bought a black-out blind at Woolworth's and put it up in evening.
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Friday 15 August 1941: played gramophone for Maud

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Very mild, very dull, rain till afternoon but still no sunshine. Miss Dickson did a morning's house cleaning as usual. I did some shopping in the morning also calling to see Cousin Maud and to take a cookery book to Aunt Hannah. More shopping in afternoon. Cousin Maud came in evening; played the gramophone for her; she liked Toccata & Fugue in D minor by Bach, played on the organ. French polished 14 ins balsa propeller; looks very beautiful with a surface like glass. (Illustration: 1899 painting by Francis Barraud which became basis of trademark of HMV - His Master's Voice - records. The dog's name was Nipper, owned by the artist's brother, Mark.)
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30 August 2011

Thursday 14 August 1941: Dad's 79th; high tea

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Very mild, some periods of gentle sunshine, quite an improvement. Out morning to the butchers. More shopping in afternoon. In evening cycled to Tolworth to celebrate Dad's seventy-ninth birthday.Had **high tea there and had a piece of birthday cake.
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**Note: more social history - what constituted 'high tea' - and is the term still used by anyone?

Six years after I typed that question, blog reader 'Greyfox' comments: ). “High Tea” is more substantial than the traditional “Afternoon Tea” (comprising bread & butter, dainty sandwiches or scones followed by cake & normally served around 4pm). “High Tea” is normally eaten later, when the “man of the house”(!) got home from work & would also include a savoury course such as meat & vegetables, a salad, welsh rarebit, pie etc so is broadly equivalent to supper. One theory is that the “High” refers to the fact that High Tea would always be eaten at the table whereas “Afternoon Tea”, traditionally, wasn’t. The term is still in use in the North of England & Scotland.



Fred's Dad (seated left) at Largewood Ave, Tolworth, about two years later.
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Wednesday 13 August 1941: early closing day

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Very mild; dismal, without a gleam of sunshine. Very rough westerly wind, a few spots of rain. Being early closing** did shopping in the morning. Went to Cannon Hill Common. Walked past the lake; saw optimistic young anglers wielding rod and line.
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**Notes: early closing day - when shops shut for half a day, usually on a Wed. When did that practice start - and end?
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28 August 2011

Tuesday 12 August 1941: yellow tissue for my aero

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Very mild, some sunny periods between heavy clouds: rather boisterous cool N.wind, but an improvement. Managed to get all I needed at local shops. Covered re-modelled tail of 34 ins model with yellow tissue and doped it - looks well. Am eager to test this model now; it should be an exceptional performer. Walk along rail path in evening; a Lord Nelson loco.was standing on a siding at Merton Hall Road.
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Monday 11 August 1941: kindly herrings

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Very mild, fitful skies, heavy rain till mid-day: from thence onwards heavy showers interspersed with some sun. Repair to frames of Uncle Henry's spectacles. Paid bills and did shopping in Raynes Park. Thence to Wimbledon along rail path to buy a few goods. Fitted elevator to tail of 34 ins model aero. Mrs Akroyd called: she brought some herrings for the cats: wasn't that a kindly thought.
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Sunday 10 August 1941: eight for tea?

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Mild, very cloudy & dull, rain commencing in evening. Alb, Lily and Dad came to tea also Mrs Akroyd followed by Mrs.Jordan and Beryl her daughter. Went to Church with Ciss, Alb, Lily and Dad also Mrs Akroyd in evening.
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27 August 2011

Saturday 9 August 1941:radio & "electric light mains"

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Very mild; some moderate sunshine in afternoon but rain setting in later. Cut the lawn. Did the shopping locally without going to Wimbledon. Hope to fly on the Common in the evening but the weather broke up. Alan and Fred Spooner called on their bicycles. Went Kingham's to fit up the wireless so as to run it off the electric light mains. The clocks are to be put back one hour to-night: they will still be one hour fast by Greenwich Mean Time.
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Friday 8 August 1941: Rutlish School, Merton

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Mild, very dismal; torrents of rain without a break till evening. Miss Dickson called to clean the house as is usual on Friday mornings. Spent part of the morning and afternoon shopping in the rain. Dr Milum called in evening. Alan Spooner called while he was here; the doctor was interested in Alan and asked about his education at the Rutlish School.** Varnished the new 14 ins propeller: looks very nice.
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**Note: Rutlish School, Merton dates back to 1895. See  http://www.rutlish.merton.sch.uk
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26 August 2011

Thursday 7 August 1941: weeding railway

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Very mild, cloudy but a little weak sunshine; less wind. To Wimbledon as usual. Saw men on railway with a tank of weed-killer on wheels pumping a spray of it to kill weeds growing on the sidings between the tracks.
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Wednesday 6 August 1941: a three-pin plug

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Very mild, but cool for season. Rain on and off all day. To do shopping morning. Slight repair to aero in afternoon. Alan Spooner called to bring three-pin electric plug.
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Tuesday 5 August 1941: 'had to wear overcoat'

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Very mild, very cloudy and fitful, very rough, heavy showers. To do the usual shopping going to Wimbledon along the rail path. Had to wear an overcoat to-day. Bill Kingham and Alan Spooner called in evening.
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23 August 2011

Monday 4 August 1941: Bank Holiday

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Cool for season, cloudy with rain commencing during afternoon and continuing without a break till night. Took my model as far as Kings College archway where sheltered for 3 hours from the rain but had to make a dash for home eventually and got myself and plane soaked through.
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Sunday 3 August 1941: violin, locos & radio repair

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Rather warm; very hazy and calm; a little moderate sun. Played my violin with some enjoyment. Walked along Bushey Road in evening. Saw the two Lord Nelson locos on the sidings at Raynes Park Sta. Went to Kingham's to make  a slight repair to wireless set; but it needs a new H.T. battery.
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Saturday 2 August 1941: violin, piano, model aircraft

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Very mild; dismal windy morning but clearing up during the afternoon. To Wimbledon to do shopping. On my return found Mr & Mrs Mc'Ainsh with little Jeanette to tea. Played my violin while Mr. Mc'Ainsh accompanied me on the piano; he is a good player. Flew my 37 ins model on the Common in evening with excellent results. Mr. & Mrs Jones were there, he with a new red model resembling a Spitfire which did very well, having an unusually slow glide.
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22 August 2011

Friday 1 August 1941: 11 bombs on Tolworth shops

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Mild, very dull; calm morning, rough at night: slight rain. Miss Dickson did some cleaning in the morning. I did quite a lot of shopping. Did some weeding in the garden. Alan Spooner called to tell me that he flew his large model successfully this afternoon. Ciss went to Tolworth and was surprised to hear what happened there during last Monday morning's raid. A very large four-engined was hit on the bomb-rack by a shell from the Chessington guns. Eleven bombs came down in a bunch near the Red Lion, Tolworth, causing severe damage. Ten people were killed and forty injured. Alb, Lily and Dad heard the plane come swishing down: it was destroyed and all the crew were killed. It is strange that Tolworth is only four miles away yet this is the first we have heard of this affair.
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Thursday 31 July 1941: Wimbledon Common bombs

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Very mild; dismal: rain nearly all day. To do shopping both locally and in Wimbledon. Cooked a very nice dinner to-day, using the steamer. In evening cycled on Wimbledon Common which looked gloomy and forsaken so cloudy and dull was the aspect. Found yet another bomb crater on the site known as Caeser's Camp: the Common has been peppered with bombs. A good thing if they were all dropped there.
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Wednesday 30 July: "...to see Dear Mother's grave"

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Very cool for time of year; dismal, torrents of rain nearly all day. We have had enough rain now to last another month. Out morning to buy liver for dinner also some peas. Covered 34 ins wing with yellow tissue and doped it with good results. In evening to see Dear Mother's grave.
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Tuesday 29 July 1941: tissue & balsa

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Between very mild and rather warm: very cloudy and dull: some rain. The usual shopping and to Wimbledon along rail path. Bought yellow tissue and length of balsa 1/2 x 1/4 ins at Collins, Merton Road. Alan Spooner called in evening. He said his mother is now convalescent after her operation and will stay at Woking for a few weeks.
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Monday 28th July 1941: bombers & a lovely cat

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Rather warm, mostly cloudy; some rain at night. To Raynes Park shops and thence to buy cats food. Air raid warning at 1.45 a.m. About 15 enemy aircraft came this way one of which was fired at by the local guns. No bombs were dropped nearer than Tooting and Wandsworth. The main attack was on the East End and London Docks, and fires caused the light being reflected in the sky. All clear at 3.40 a.m. Aunt Liza is now going to feed Fluffy so I am relieved of my job  which I have performed since the beginning of last November. Fluffy is a lovely cat of whom I am very fond and he loves me dearly: I shall miss him but hope to see him occasionally.
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14 August 2011

Sunday 27th July 1941: Queensmere

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Rather warm after heavy rain: delightful sunny evening. Walked to see Queensmere on Wimbledon Common; the landscape is at its best and the bracken is 6 to 8 feet high.
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.Note: Queensmere is a lake on Wimbledon Common. (Photo: Ian Howard, 2007, via Wikipedia)
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Saturday 26th July 1941: made elastic motor

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Rather warm, humid, dismal. A thunderstorm of some severity to begin the day and rain continuing heavily all day without a break. To Wimbledon along rail path to buy pussies food. Made up a strand* motor to drive the new 14 ins diameter propeller.

*Note: a multi-strand set of long elastic, the strands bound at both ends into loops to hook in and wind up, connected via a simple home-made ratchet mechanism to the propeller, in Fred's wonderful homemade aircraft, made of a balsa framework covered with doped tissue paper, and with a hand-carved propeller.
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Friday 25th July 1941

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Warm, humid but some powerful sunshine in the afternoon. Shopping in the morning thence to Uncle Alf's; saw his garden. Miss Dickson came to do house cleaning. Finished the elevators to the 37 ins model. Alan Spooner called in evening to show me his bicycle which he has enamelled. A four-mile bike ride in evening which brought this year's mileage up to 100.
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Thursday 24th July 1941

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Fine warm bright sunny day. To Merton & Wimbledon to do shopping. Dug over, weeded and watered one side of garden. Started adding elevators to tail of 37 ins. balsa model.
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Wednesday 23rd July 1941: need stronger elastic

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Warm, but the sunshine was hazy. To do shopping in morning. Finished the new 14 ins propeller and flew it on the 37 ins aero on the Common in evening but it needs more power to drive it so I did not get much height.
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Tuesday 22nd July 1941: first visit since 1914

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Rather warm; the sun was warm to-day & a nice calm evening. To Wimbledon along rail path to buy pussy's food. Cycled to Esher Common along the by-pass in the evening. Have not been there since before 1914. The last time I visited this spot was with the late Cousin Frank and also Harold to see one of the early air races. I enjoyed the ride as conditions were very easy.
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7 August 2011

Monday 21st July 1941: bills, path tiles, carving

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Rather cool for season but getting warmer: some delightful sunshine of the moderate sort in the afternoon. To Wimbledon in afternoon to do shopping, also to pay bills at Raynes Park shops. Started carving 14ins balsa propeller with broad blades of the paddle type with compression tips. Relayed & cemented in more mosaic tiles in front of house. Dear Madge called in evening.
(Photo of tiles is not Fred's path)
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Sunday 20th July 1941: brother is fifty today

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Cool for time of year but a nice evening but little warmth in the sun. Albert* is 50 today. Walk along Bushey Road in evening.
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*Note: Albert, his brother in Tolworth. Fred was born in 1889.

Saturday 19th July 1941: 2 pairs of pants

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Very cool for season. From 59 to 63 degrees; very cloudy and dull; heavy rain nearly all day. To Wimbledon chiefly to buy 2 pairs of pants for myself.
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Friday 18th July 1941: cut lawn, cleaned scullery

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Very mild, very dull and cloudy; heavy rain all day. Did a lot of shopping in morning. Cut the lawn and cleaned the scullery.
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Thursday 17th July 1941: carving a propeller

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Rather warm; lovely day and some bright sunshine. Did some shopping locally and also to Wimbledon. Bought balsa block from which to carve a 14 ins propeller and some clear dope. Alan Spooner called in evening.
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Wednesday 16th July 1941: 10 cwts for £1.14.9

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Rather cool for time of year. Cloudy and dull. To do shopping in morning. Had 5 cwts of coalite & 5 cwts of coal in, they cost a total of £1.14.9. Cycled to Tolworth in evening. Dad looked fairly well.

Note: Fred's Dad was living with his Fred's brother and sister-in-law (back row) a few miles away at 98 Largewood Avenue, Tolworth. This photo was taken about 1943.
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Tuesday 15th July 1941: for love or money

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Rather warm, rain morning and evening, a little sunshine in afternoon. The shopping as usual - even more difficult: you can't get want you want for love or money. Am weary of trying to get the necessities of life. stripped 29ins fuselage and re-covered with dark blue bamboo tissue.
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Monday 14th July 1941: gentle desideratum

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Warm; perfectly delightful day; sunshine not too hot and some gentle rain at night to add the last desideratum. To pay shopping bills; also to Wimbledon as usual. The tiled paving to the front door has broken up and become worse, so I began the repairs and cemented many of the tiles in again.
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6 August 2011

Sunday 13th July 1941: a quiet Sunday

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Warm, a storm of no great severity in the morning. Rain fairly heavy while it lasted, but weather cleared up with bright sunshine later. Went to Church in evening - Sunday School Anniversary; Dr Millus(?) preached. Walk up Coombe Hill afterwards, the air being unusually clear, distant views could be seen perfectly.
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5 August 2011

Saturday 12th July 1941: food queue - and fireballs!

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Very warm and sultry. A storm developed during afternoon and we got some welcome rain at last. Had to wait in a queue for half an hour at the greengrocers in the morning. To Wimbledon to buy cats' food and some cakes in early evening. Had only just got back when another storm of great violence broke some of the flashes of lightning and peals of thunder were very severe, especially one at 8.30 p.m. I was told two thunderbolts fell, and the people at 68 said they saw two red globes of fire come hurtling down from the sky: there was much flooding..


Note: a lighter note! Here's Captain Marvel with his thunderbolt tunic just three months later, in October 1941. (DC Comics. Artwork by C C Beck & Pete Costanza. Via Wikipedia.)
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1 August 2011

Friday 11th July 1941: complicated ration books

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Very warm, hot wind, humid, sunshine through overhead haze: distant thunder in evening. In morning to get meat etc. In afternoon to buy cat's meat, provisions, cement and sundries. Mrs.Ainsworth the cleaner did not turn up so I set to and cleaned my room, the staircase, the hall and living-room including polishing the floors: a day's hard work. Filled in my new ration books; they are very complicated - a general muck-up I should call them.
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"ration books...a general muck-up"
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