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31 January 2016

20th-21st May 1946: £5 1s 6d rent

20 Mon. Mild, cloudy: wind in E and still cool. To Morden to buy cats food: also bread & fish paste locally. Paid Mr. Farley £16.5.0 for repairs and repolishing furniture. Paid the landlord £5.1.6 for rent. Erected double row of bean rods and dug hop manure into the ground. Laurie called: gave him Gwennie’s birthday card to take home: Gwennie will give it to her mother tomorrow.


21 Tues. Mild, some nice sunshine in afternoon: a great improvement. To Wimbledon to buy packet of vegetarian rissole mixture: I use it as a filling when making minced meat. Sowed Carter Scarlet Emperor runner beans. Applied hop manure where I shall sow lettuce and beetroot. Dug over where I intend to plant tomatoes and started cutting the lawn.

30 January 2016

18th-19th May 1946: destined for sanitorium

Mirro. What was this that Fred bought? The name was used by Mirro Aluminium in Wisconsin
 and they produced cooking utensils. On the other hand it sounds like polish!
18 Sat. Rather cold, fitful skies, thunder in morning, chilly E wind. To Fullers to buy potatoes! Saw Winnie Ewings looking out of her window; waved to her and she waved back. Poor girl she is in a bad way and will go into a sanatorium soon. I do hope she gets better. To Merton & Morden in afternoon. Bought fish, torch battery and Mirro. Did more weeding in garden but weather is too bad for much.


19 Sun. Rather cold morning, dismal, rain till afternoon: then fine and sunny. Len Garrod paid a short visit. Short walk along Bushey Road in evening.

29 January 2016

16th-17th May 1946: busy with post-war repairs

16 Thur. Rather cold becoming milder; very dull, but some weak sunshine later; calm. Fitted new glass to the big landscape picture in living room: put the re-polished door on the bookcase. Started sorting out the music and putting it back in the re-polished music cabinet. To Wimbledon to buy fish. Bought glue locally.


17 Fri. Rather cold, becoming mild, some bright sunny periods. The wind tends to veer SE but is still cold. Did the Fri. morning shopping locally, also bought fish, haricot beans & dried green peas at Merton. Cousin Ivy called with little Malcolm to say goodbye: she is going home to Bolton tomorrow. Started weeding the onion seedlings.

14 January 2016

1st-15th May 1946: music, cricket, brown paper & india rubber

1 May. Wed. Rather mild, fine, sunny, but boisterous, fresh wind. Got quite a lot of groceries locally. Bought cats meat at Morden. The children called in afternoon. Dear Gwennie brought me a posy of daisies – “a present for you,” she said: I love her. Sowed a row of specially selected marigold seed which was promptly dug over by Donald with a fork while my attention was on getting the dinner.

2 Thur. Cool, becoming mild; cloudy, very boisterous E wind. To butchers in morning, to station to get a paper in afternoon. There is a note on the organ that is stuck down. I determined to take the back off to see if I could put the matter right. In lifting the organ and slewing it round I must have shaken out the piece of grit or foreign matter that was causing the trouble and the job put itself right. Was agreeable surprised so I had a tune on it.

3 Fri. Very cool, becoming mild; sunny afternoon but E wind very boisterous and keen. The horse chestnuts, white may and wisteria are in bloom: the lilacs are poor this year. Most of the roses in the garden are dying back and the small, new growth is shrivelled and ready to drop, the wind is so keen. Did the usual Fri. morning shopping also to Wimbledon to buy fish. The three children called. Gwennie gave me some jelly sweets for a present. Started to repair with cement the broken hearth in Ciss’ room. Aunt Liz brought fish for cats.

4 Sat. Becoming mild, fine, bright sunny day, but the boisterous E wind is cold. To Morden in afternoon to buy fish. The cricket season begins. The Indian Touring team play Worcester. Surrey play the M.C.C. I saw Merton make 119 for 6. Met Uncle Dick at the match. Cousin Maud called. She had been to Hampton Court and was thrilled by the magnificent show of tulips. Finished the hearth in little room.

5 Sun. Rather cold, intervals of bright sunshine, clouds and slight showers: a cold E wind of hurricane force blew all day. The usual children called; Mrs. Akroyd called later.

6 Mon. Rather cold, a few rays of sunshine: the NE wind is blowing a gale. To Morden in morning to buy cats food. Replaced the mouldings round the trap door in the roof and painted same & the door: another job done. The three children called and amused themselves on Mrs. Conley’s steps which I borrowed.

7 Tues. Rather mild, a few sunny periods but the cold NE wind is rougher than ever. To butchers in morning. Bought fish in Wimbledon in afternoon. The three children called bringing two bananas for Ciss and me. A motor van brought a wardrobe cupboard and other things from Mrs Spranklen Green for us to mind.

Wed 8. Rather cold, dismal day after a rather severe thunder storm in the early hours; rain most of the day; less wind. Got the groceries. I started building a built-in sideboard in place of the dresser, putting up a shelf. Took a picture book to Donald who is 3 to-day.

9 Thur. Very cool, some sunny periods; the wind tends to veer SE and is less violent. Bought salt & figs locally: fish at Merton. Also to chemists at Merton & locally. Bought torch batteries and a piece of quartering to repair built-in sideboard. Mr. Barr and old gentleman who was a member of the Church was buried to-day. Saw the funeral on its way to the cemetery and took off my hat. Met Mr. Ley who had been to the service and had a talk with him. The three children called bringing some of Donald’s birthday cake for Ciss and I.

10 Fri. Mild, some sunny period but the NE wind is cold. Got the usual Fri. morning provisions including some liver – unusual. Bought Carters Scarlet Emperor runner bean seeds. Sowed seeds of 4 sorts of double poppies. The three children called.

11 Sat. Rather cold, howling bitter E wind; some sun midday. Stood in a queue at greengrocers for potatoes and cauliflower. To Merton and Morden in afternoon, bought fish and other things and ordered a large sheet of picture glass at Merton.

12 Sun. Mild, fine bright sunny day, but the howling E wind spoils everything. The children called; Gwennie in a new pale grey coat and hat. Peter Child called, with dog. Played three Beethoven Piano Sonatas. First roses out on Climbing Mme. E. Herriot rose at front door.

13. Rather cold, fine and sunny but the NE wind is blowing cruelly. To Morden to buy fish etc. The children called; Gwennie enjoyed looking at the coloured illustrations in the Christian Year Book. Chas brought some flower roots from Uncle Ben.

14 Tues. Cold, cloudy, bitter N wind. The furniture that has been repaired & re-polished at Farley’s came back to-day. The work has been well done; I am pleased: the oak gate-leg table shines like glass. To Merton to buy fish also to get the large sheet of picture glass ordered on Sat. Gwennie & Donald called. Re-polished large picture frame.

15 Wed. Cold, after a night frost, overcast but calm. Got the groceries: met Mrs. Philpot; Monica & Winifred Ewing are not well. To Morden to buy fish, met Jessie Hodge (Field.) Bought brown paper and india rubber locally. Thinned out lettuces. Sowed a row of Carters Scarlet Emperor beans. Mr Ward came in for a few minutes; played the organ to him; he has an American organ himself.



13 January 2016

29-30 April 1946: twelve guineas for the organ refurbishment


Fred's organ would have been a parlour, pump organ.
 There was a top, circular side tables for candlesticks,
two carpeted pedals, mirrors and decorative wood.
(Photo: Christian Bickel via Wikipedia Commons)

29 Mon. Cool, dismal, rain all day, calm. To Morden, thence to Wimbledon: bought fish. Laurie & Donald called.


30 Tues. Cool becoming mild; fine sunny day. To Farley’s to pay £12-12-0 for work done in polishing and repairing the case of the organ. To Wimbledon to buy haricot beans, dried peas and to Boots. A visit from Gwennie, Laurie, Donald and Malcolm who has come with his mother – Cousin Ivy from Bolton. Malcolm is lovely little boy with enormous blue eyes. A visit from Mr. Costella the landlord of No. 70 he lived there till the first bombing but now lives at Portsmouth.

12 January 2016

27-28 April 1946: just another weekend

27 Sat. Becoming very mild; dull, calm. Gwennie & Laurie brought some meat for the pussies. To Morden but bought nothing there. Bought fish in Wimbledon. Sprayed roses and fruit bushes with derris liquid. Pulled up bellbine.


28 Sun. Mild, dismal, rain all day, some thunder in evening. An uneventful day: only the children called.

11 January 2016

25-26 April 1946: paint & play

25 Thur. Cool, cloudy, rain setting in in afternoon. To Wimbledon to buy celluloid enamel in two shades of brown. Ciss started to paint her chest of drawers with it in evening. To butchers. Gwennie finished her birthday card and it is splendid for a girl of seven. Filled all the many holes and scratches in sitting room door in preparation for painting.


26 Fri. Cool, becoming mild; cloudy, dull. To butchers, bakers, newsagents, confectioners, fishmongers etc. in morning also more local shopping in afternoon. Met dear Gladys who told me Eileen had been ill for a fortnight. Met Mrs. Collis who told me old Mr Collis was sinking fast: I have known him for a great many years. Painted the chest of drawers in Ciss’ room with mahogany coloured celluloid paint. Painted the sitting room door with cream Chinagloss enamel: looks very nice. Had a game with the children midday.

10 January 2016

24th April 1946: resplendent refurbished organ

24 Wed. Rather cool, cloudy day after showers. Got the groceries locally also envelopes, postcards also putty. To Morden where I stood in a fish queue, only for the shop to sell out before my turn came. I then stood at another shop for an hour and eventually got some fish. When I returned from Morden I found Farley’s motor van with the organ aboard returned after repolishing. The men had been knocking but could get no reply. They got it in with some difficulty as it is a big thing. It looks resplendent now but shows a few honourable scars still. Three new bevelled mirrors have been fitted and I am pleased with the work done. To Tolworth in afternoon: Dad still seems to be improving: he was sitting in the armchair I wheeled on my bike. Aunt Liza called.

9 January 2016

22-23 April 1946: cycled out to Chessington

22 Mon. Bank Holiday. Mild, plenty of sun but not very strong, rather cool N breeze: fine. Cycled through Ruxley to Chessington Church then along a narrow road which changed into a very rough footpath between hedgerows. Very interesting this was; I saw many farms and cottages: eventually came out onto the Leatherhead Road and returned past Chessington Zoo where I saw a bear lazily slouching around its cage.



23 Tues. Rather cool, some weak sunshine early: dull, rain setting in later. To Merton to buy fish in morning. Also bought a new outer cover for cycle at Whitbourn’s price 6/8. Fitted same in afternoon. Bought a pumice block and fish paste. The children called; Gwennie did some more work on her birthday card: then they had a lark with the syringe. In evening started smoothing the sitting room door with the pumice “Strippabloc” mentioned above: it will be painted later.

8 January 2016

20-21 April 1946: Easter weekend. No fish to be had.

20 Sat. Rather cold morning and night but lovely warm sunshine all day – cloudless. Had to queue up an hour and a quarter at the butchers. Also did other shopping locally in morning. In afternoon cycled to Merton, Wimbledon, Morden, Cheam, Worcester Park and Malden, not to mention all the local shops in search of cats meat and fish and after riding 12 miles or more came back empty handed. Fish has gone completely off the market and there will be none till Wed next according to the notices on the shops. There is no cats meat and the pussies have nothing and no chance of getting anything till next Wed: hard luck: I have never known things worse. To Alf’s in evening.


21 Sun. Cold morning and night but fine, bright sunny day. Surprise visit of Mr and Mrs. Shackleton of Shanklin I.O.W. They are staying with friends at Pinner and very kindly came right across London to see us. I appreciated their friendliness: I didn’t think I knew such people. Mrs Akroyd to tea.

7 January 2016

18-19 April 1946: hot cross bun queue

18 Thur. Rather cold, dismal morning: rain but clearing by afternoon with a small amount of sun, chilly E wind. To butchers to buy cooked brisket. To Merton in afternoon to buy fish. Started weeding the onion bed. Cousin Maud called in evening.


19 Good Friday. Cold morning, becoming milder; brilliant sunshine all day but chilly wind. Stood in a queue for hot cross buns. Weeded the onion seedlings. Painted part of the skirting in the sitting room. Laurie brought some fish pieces.

6 January 2016

17th April 1946: armchair on bike

17 Wed. Mild, nice, soft sunny morning but dull, rain later. Got the groceries, thence to Morden to buy a cake and cats meat. While there bought four ice cream cornets, raced home on my bike and gave one each to Gwennie, Laurie, Donald and Ann Conley. They were playing outside all the morning and their faces showed such childish glee when I took the ices from my basket and gave them one each that the trifling expense was well worthwhile. In afternoon put the big kitchen armchair on my bike and wheeled it the four miles to Tolworth. Dad wants it as Lily’s easy(?) chairs are so low and deep that Dad finds it difficult to get down into them and impossible to get out of them again. I found Dad fairly well but he must make haste slowly.

5 January 2016

16th April 1946: red letter visitors... 'a most glorious surprise!'

Tues 16. Very mild to rather warm, much lovely sunshine. The sunshine was strong enough to burn paper and to set fire to a match when its rays were focussed through a reading glass. All three children called: gave Donald a pale blue sun hat that Anthony has grown out of. Was in the front garden talking to the children when a car drew up with some smiling ladies in it. They smiled at me and I thought it could have nothing to do with me when the lady driver got out and walked towards me, it was Mrs. Bennett – Connie Bradley. I cannot say how joyful I was to see her after so many years. She saw the empty space where No. 72 where she lived used to stand. Mrs. Bradley and Sibyl were also in the car. The three children came and were introduced: Connie knew Cousin Doris their mother as Doris Braitsch. I did not ever think I should see dear Connie again but here she was face to face – older and very capable perhaps, but very precious to me. Truly a red letter day and a most glorious surprise! God bless her!

4 January 2016

15th April 1946: rock-hard earth

15 Mon. Very mild to rather warm; some nice sunshine, little wind, pleasant. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald in morning. Gwennie did some more work on her birthday card. They were very amused with a glass syringe and a bowl of water. To Morden to buy fish. Dug over border of garden and extended a long line of polyanthus. Made a start on re-making the front garden. It is as hard as rock after the builders trod it down and erected a scaffolding on it twice: the surface is like concrete with cement dropped on it. Paid Club.

3 January 2016

13th-14th April 1946: repairs and playing

13 Sat. Very mild, some hazy sunshine; little wind, pleasant. To buy vegetables locally in morning. Gwennie brought a doll whose head had come off: I replaced it painlessly – I hope! To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish. I phoned Fred Fraine to ask how his mother is after her operation; she has been sent home and is as well as can be expected: she is 84. Limed and dug over part of garden. Further repair to piano; replaced a broken leather joint.


14 Sun. Very mild, some nice sunshine through, haze, calm, pleasant. The usual children called: Gwennie and Laurie without hats and coats to-day. Beginning of Summer Time, the clocks being put on an hour. Played the piano quite a lot now that all the notes play again. The organ is away for repair so the piano comes into its own.

2 January 2016

11th-12th April 1946: Bovril for Dad


11 Thur. Thick white morning frost, cold morning becoming milder; the sunshine in afternoon becoming warm where there was shelter from the N wind. To butchers also to buy Bovril for Dad. Gwennie & Donald brought some meat for the cats. Dug up and divided southernwood, and a chrysanthemum, also erigeron; putting some garden compost underneath each root. Pruned Addie Veale’s roses and planted an erigeron for her.


12 Fri. Mild, some nice sunshine in afternoon but wind still N. Did all the usual shopping locally going only to Morden to buy cats meat. Divided and re-planted mauve campanula. Dug up a mass of raspberry suckers which have come through from Morriss’ next door.

1 January 2016

9th-10th April 1946: versatile

9 Tues. Mild, some pleasant sun in afternoon but a penetrating E wind persists. To Merton to buy cats meat and oak stain. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald called. Gwennie started painting the roses on the birthday card for her mother. I made a lensless pair of spectacles of black enamelled wire for Laurie – just for a joke and he wore them and went home in them. Made out of the same wire an outline of a locomotive for Anthony. Ciss stained and polished the kitchen armchair to my instructions. Alan McAinsh called to inquire to inquire after Dad: he brought baby Margaret, such a bonny fair-haired, blue-eyed child.


10 Wed. Very cool, cold N wind but some sun in afternoon. Got the groceries also got some fish in Martin Way. To Tolworth in afternoon to see Dad. He is much better than when I saw him last week and says his work isn’t finished yet. I think his heart will improve when he has completely recovered from the flu. Pruned some of Albert’s roses.