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31 January 2012

Mon 26th Jan 1942: intense cold - no fire

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Intensely cold, 5 degrees of frost midday; dull with bitter north wind: getting colder still. To Merton to buy cats meat also to get accumulator. Met Mrs.Child with some of her large family: she cannot have a fire in her living room on account of burst pipes.
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Sun 25th Jan 1942: missionary to tea

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Morning frost, cold, clear day with some sun. Alan Spooner brought my organ records back. broke my record of Arthur Meales Storm and replaced it with a new one: very good of him but he need not have gone to the expense. Miss Phyllis Hart missionary on furlough from India having spoken at Ciss' Sunday School came home to tea. very charming dark eyed young lady. Played some organ records to her which she seemed to appreciate very much. Took Alf's records back to him. Told him I had bought a Marconi pick-up.
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28 January 2012

Sat 24 Jan 1942: sprats, Merton bombs & a crystal set

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Cold morning but thawing. Temperature rose till 43 degrees at night; rain set in during afternoon. Dismal, and nearly all the snow is gone. Got the groceries as usual and took a note to Mrs. Mc.Ainsh in Vernon Avenue. Then a long walk to Colliers Wood to see if I could get some cat's meat but had to buy sprats. Saw where much bomb damage was done round about Merton Board Mills. Home along High Path past Merton Abbey Station; saw the ancient gateway in the old abbey** wall. Many years since I was there last. Sold a crystal set and crystal detector to Uncle Joe for 2/6.
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** The Merton Priory (abbey) site is now occupied by Sainsbury's, but remains can be seen in the foot tunnel under Merantun Way, leading to Merton Abbey Mills on the Wandle river. Watercolour over pencil painting of the Merton Abbey gateway by Smart, 1899. The famous Mills - the early 20th century base for the 'arts & crafts' movement designer William Morris - remain, as crafts workshops and small businesses. 

Fri 23 Jan 1942: more unpleasant difficult to imagine

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The day started very cold with a further fall of snow which I had to clear away from the footways. Snow continued to fall but temperature began to rise, then sleet came then rain which became a downpour all day. By night 42 degrees were recorded - a sharp rise and still raining. The thick snow has become several inches of dirty slush, a more unpleasant day would be difficult to imagine. Did shopping locally thence to Wimbledon in filthy weather - what a walk! Fitted rubber cushions under motor-board of gramophone - and played it.
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26 January 2012

Thurs 22 Jan 1942: "It will freeze indoors..."

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Severe frost; nine degrees below freezing midday and even more night and morning when about twelve was showing. Brighter to-day with some hazy sunshine. Did the shopping locally and called to see Aunt Liza who is still in bed ill. Re-covered the gramophone turntable with fawn coloured plush; looks nice. It will freeze inside the house to-night.
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Wed 21 Jan 1942: cold & domestic

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Intensely cold, 7 degrees of frost midday but a little brighter. Did shopping locally in morning and stayed in the rest of the day. Finished writing letter to Fred Fraine. Did only domestic work to-day.
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Tues 20 Jan 1942: cocoa from Woolworth's

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Freezing hard all day; dull; Four inches of snow fell during the night with drifts up to 14 inches. Hard work clearing it away. Bought tins of food under the "Points Rationing Scheme". To Wimbledon bought sprats also cocoa, the latter at Woolworth's. Saw big 4-6-0 loco.489 now painted black.
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22 January 2012

Mon 19 Jan 1942: "a nice job"

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Very cold, slight thaw midday but freezing hard and heavy fall of snow at night after half-dark day. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy a few things. Bought dry battery at Electrical Installations Co.and saw Mr.Conrade there; it seems he is a clerk there. Drummond big 4-6-0 loco No.331 is now painted black. Fitted gramophone volume control on outside of gram.cabinet so that it can be operated with the sound insulating lid closed. Also fitted pick-up rest: gram looks a nice job now and am waiting to hear how it sounds when I get a full-up accumulator on it.
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Sun 18 Jan 1942: friend's friend on record

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About freezing point all day; dismal. Alan Spooner called in afternoon with a pentode valve for test. Surprised to find I had bought a Marconi pick-up like his. Drew him out two wave-trap circuits. Started writing letter to Fred Fraine. Mrs.Akroyd to tea.Played her an organ record of Christ Church Westminster by the organist she knew when she and Mr.Akroyd worshipped there years ago. The organist W.G.Webber has been to her home here and she was pleasantly surprised to know he had made organ records which were available to the public.
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Sat 17 Jan 1942: underneath the arches

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Freezing hard all day, 4 degrees of frost minimum; very dull with dirty brown mist, treacherous underfoot. In morning to buy vegetables; met Mr.Costella. To get groceries in afternoon. Then tramped all over Wimbledon and Raynes Park to get food for cats. Finally bought a tin of Kit-E-Kat in Raynes Park which the animals will not eat. Met Dorothy and Mabel Longhurst under the skew arch at the station. I improved winding gear of gramophone.
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21 January 2012

Fri 16 Jan 1942: snow and gramophone

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Raw cold, bitter wind, dull; the snow has thawed slightly but freezing again later. Did all the shopping locally in the morning. Altered the gram.so that only two stages of amplification follow the pick-up instead of three; the latter is too powerful owing to the great output of the Marconi pick-up. Tested it and found in order but accumulator running out, so not a fair test of quality which should be superlative.
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15 January 2012

Thur 15 Jan 1942: "majestically powerful"

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6 degrees of frost, very dull; the trodden snow is dangerous under foot. A slippery journey to Merton to buy a Marconi pick-up at Collins electric shop just beyond the level crossing. Called to ask about Fred Spooner who is in hospital. Fitted the new pick-up and tested it but is more powerful than the Burndept it replaces. It only needs two stages of amplification so must make the necessary alteration. It is majestically powerful with a marvellous bass response.
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14 January 2012

Wed 14 Jan 1942: snow and soup

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Freezing all day, heavy snow clouds, 2 1/2 ins of snow. Had to shovel and sweep snow from in front of house. In morning to grocers and butchers. Took some soup to Aunt Liza who is ill in bed. Did not do anything apart from household duties.
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13 January 2012

Tues 13 Jan 1942: click, crackle and scratch

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Raw cold, very dull, windy. Snowing all day but did not commence to lay until later afternoon when half an inch fell. Walked right down to High St.Merton to buy cats meat; have not bought any there before. Also to garage to buy paraffin. Fitted sound insulating felt strips to lid of gramophone also a catch to hold lid down tight; it shuts in the mechanical noise of the pick-up and needle.
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12 January 2012

Mon 12 Jan 1942: naval friend missing

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Severe frost, everywhere thick hoar frost, some weak sun in afternoon. To Wimbledon to buy a few things. Mrs.Winsley told me her son Charlie who is in the Navy is missing. Dismantled the R&A moving coil speaker given me by Uncle Joe as I intend rebuilding it. It was in a hopelessly knocked-about condition.
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11 January 2012

Sun 11 Jan 1942: a day by the fireside

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10 degrees of frost under cover severe white frost and fog. Stayed in; the fireside is much better. Mrs Akroyd called and went with Ciss to Tolworth to see young Anthony. Mrs Child took him to Lily yesterday. Lily is going to foster him as his mother is a teacher. Lily seems very happy about it and so far he has not been any trouble. Wrote letter to Uncle Tom and Aunt Nellie.
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10 January 2012

Sat 10 Jan 1942: Aunt Liza in bed

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Severe frost, heavy and overcast, some snow in afternoon. To get the groceries and thence to Wimbledon along rail path. An ex S.E.C.R.** 0-6-0 loco.was standing in the shunting yard. Bought aerial at Stone's. Oh, to see Aunt Liza in bed this morning.

**Note: The South Eastern & Chatham Railway Companies. (Coat of Arms via Wikipedia.)
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Fri 9 Jan 1942: cuckoo!

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Very cold; clear with some weak sunshine; piercing cold wind. Did the usual shopping in morning, then took wireless set to Mrs.Child and installed it for her. Also she had been given a novel cuckoo clock which I fitted up for her. Met Edie Bennett. To Wimbledon in afternoon along rail path to buy fish. Saw Atlantic loco St.Alban's Head. To Aunt Liza's twice; she seems to be sickening for an illness.
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8 January 2012

Thur 8 Jan 1942: Droitwich calling

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Severe frost after rain, very slippery, dull. Posted loud-speaker unit to Harold Conrade at Worcester. I mean Droitwich.* To Wimbledon along rail path.


Note: an intriguing reference to Droitwich, site of a major BBC transmitter, as celebrated at its official opening in 1934 by the Radio Times copied here from the detailed history at this BBC engineering website.

Wed 7 Jan 1942: gramophones & wireless sets

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Severe frost all day; clear but frost at night when cold rain fell. To Wimbledon morning to get the two accumulators for Mrs Child; delivered them to her. Alan Spooner called in afternoon with his new Marconi pick-up for test - very fine indeed. Packed the Celestion moving-coil unit in a strong wooden box to send to Harold Conrade.
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6 January 2012

Tues 6th Jan 1942: wireless and sausages

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Very cold, clear, some wintry sunshine. To Mrs Child: she will have my wireless set pro tem. To Wimbledon to buy sausages at Stones. Oh, while at Child's, saw Antony the baby who Lily is going to foster. Fitted two terminals to Harold Conrade's new Celestion speaker unit.
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5 January 2012

Mon 5th Jam 1942: macs, locos and loudspeakers

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Cold, clear, some feeble sunshine. Took Jean Child's mackintosh back. Thence to Wimbledon to buy moving-coil loudspeaker unit to send to Harold Conrade. A Celestion unit tested and found O.K.  Saw the 0-6-0 locomotive Remembrance.
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4 January 2012

Sun 4th Jan 1942: baby-talk

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Mild for season 52 degrees, dull, heavy showers. Alb & Lily to tea. They want to see the lady about the baby; the mother has agreed to let Lily have him to mind. Went to Alf's. Met Dennis, Alan and Rose Standish. Alf lent me some orchestral records to play on my gram. Harold Conrade called late. He wanted to see if I had a moving coil speaker I did not want. I haven't but he left me money to buy one and I am to send it on to his address..
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3 January 2012

Sat 3rd Jan 1942: children

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Rather cold, dull; rain at night. To get groceries in afternoon. Took magazine to Jean Child. Mrs Child told me she had been offered a baby to mind as if her six children were not enough. To Wimbledon to buy sprats. Home to find Alb & Lily here. Told Lily about the baby and she and Alb went to Mrs Child because Lily would like a baby to mind: so it may be arranged.
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2 January 2012

Fri 2 Jan 1942: meat shortage


Rather cold, dull, but less mist. To South Wimbledon to buy rubber lubricant at Collins also Panshine* at Woolworths, returning along rail path. Got the weekly joint of very small size, the butcher making up with corned beef. In afternoon cycled to Wimbledon to buy  cat's meat.

*Any reader heard of Panshine?
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1 January 2012

Thur 1st Jan 1942: Fluffy the cat suffocated


New Year card in family collection, early 1900s.
  Sections above fold are cut out; all drawings embossed.
New Year's Day. Cold, very dull but less mist. Very little shopping to-day but went toWimbledon to buy fish for cats. Aunt Liza called and told us Fluffy was dead. He was suffocated by the register of the stove falling down and the room filled with smoke: he was so bad he had to be put to sleep. He was shut in the room and no one knew what had happened until it was too late.
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