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26 August 2016

29th-30th April 1947: my tailored blue suit is ready

29 Tues. Chilly, showers, but much bright sunshine; nasty cold wind. To Wimbledon to get my new blue suit I ordered 4 months ago. Am very pleased with it. Also bought fish & sweet-pea seeds in Wimbledon.


30 Wed. Cold, dull, rain, bitter N wind. Got the groceries, also a camel-hair brush, clarkia seeds, hearthstone, a 120 V. high tension battery and some shoe laces; all locally. Donald called in morning. Gwennie called in afternoon, she wants me to design a birthday card for her mother. I drew some tulips on a card for her to colour. 

25 August 2016

27th-28th April 1947: up The Downs

27 Sun. Mild, some nice sunny periods, a fresh wind to spoil it as usual. Walked up Downs, Ridgeway and down Arterberry Rd. home. The flowering trees are lovely. I saw magnolias, various prunus including a very deep carmine one. Cherry trees including the double pink, bird-cherry and the pear blossom is wonderful. John Child brought a crystal set and got good reception including a French station.


28 Mon. Rather mild, slight showers but mostly fine & sunny: very stiff chilly breeze. Bought flower seeds also fish locally. Sowed marigold seeds to replace those raked up by cats.

Map left: the likely route of Fred's walk around Wimbledon, when he admired so many flowering trees. (He doesn't say where he crossed the railway on the way back.)

24 August 2016

26th April 1947: missing ice-creams

We don't know if Fred was looking for an ice-cream cart
pushed by hand or a van - this (above) will be years later
(Photo: Chris Sampson via Wikipedia)
See a page about ice-cream vans here
26 Sat. Cool, becoming mild, fine, bright, sunny day, but with a chilly E wind. Ciss had the morning at home. I cleaned every window in the house. In afternoon to Merton cats’ meat shop. Gwennie came in a very tearful state she had been given some money to buy ices but the man with the stall had moved off. I cycled round all the roads and asked at several shops but came back minus ices. But a man came through the road with an ice-cream truck later so perhaps she had one after all. Dug over a bed in garden, manured it with hop-manure and sowed beetroot seed.

23 August 2016

25th April 1947: crumpets & poppies

25 Fri. Very cool, becoming mild, bright sunshine all day. The wind dropped late in day and conditions became quite pleasant. Did a lot of shopping in morning without going far. Bought some crumpets which we had for tea. Gwennie saw me toast them under the griller and she stayed till tea and we gave her one to her great delight. Sowed several sorts of poppy seeds in garden also double daisies and everlasting flowers,

22 August 2016

24th April 1947: All the Year Round

24 Thur. Cold, becoming milder. Bright sunshine almost all day: the awful wind blew violently making it seem very cold, but it settled late at night. To butchers, also bought fish paste and black stove enamel locally. To Merton to buy cats meat and darning wool. Dear Gwennie brought me some daisies from her lawn. Sowed “All the Year Round” lettuce also three sorts of double poppies

21 August 2016

22nd-23rd April 1947: fearful wind... out of coal

22 Tues. Rather cold, a little morning sun but dull, cloudy & showers later, the fearful wind continues: rainbow in evening. Bought fish locally. Bought a blue primula for 6d. which I planted on the rockery. Donald called in morning & I wasted a hour playing with him. Gwennie called in afternoon.


23 Wed. Cold, awful wild, windy day; rain, dismal, cloudy, not much like April: at night the force of the wind was frightening. Got the groceries locally as usual, also some fish. We are right out of coal but found a few pieces at the back of cellar and with some logs made a fire, the same being needful as it is so cold. In evening repaired the bomb damaged hearth in my bedroom. Skimmed it all over with neat cement and it looks as good as new: one more job done.

20 August 2016

20th-21st April 1947: Fred the piano teacher... and DIYer

20 Sun. Very cool, some sun early but dull & cloudy otherwise, showers, nasty cold wind. Mrs. Akroyd to tea. Little else to record save that a number of children called. Connie Freeman came back later to play the piano, so I tried to teach her the keyboard.


21 Mon. Very cool, some sun early, dull cloudy later, very rough, cold wind almost blowing a full gale. Bought a loaf and some fish locally in morning. Peter Child brought a curb from his mother. It needs repair but when done will be quite suitable for my fireplace. Paid club in evening, came back with Harold.

19 August 2016

19th April 1947: prunes a rare treat

19 Sat. Rather chilly and dull with slight showers but a little sunshine late in the day. Gwennie came to tell me she had kept up 30 at skipping so I gave her a penny and promised another penny if she could do 40. To Merton to buy fish etc in afternoon also bought a few things locally including some prunes the latter is a rare treat now-a-days. Emptied the shelter of water at last: the snow melted and ran into it but have only just succeeded in clearing it. Showed Gwennie the clarkia seeds coming up in her piece of garden here; she sowed them only last Saturday.

18 August 2016

17th-18th April 1947: sowing and shopping

17 Thur. Very mild, fine, bright, sunny: a chilly wind got up later. To butchers & fish shop in morning. Dug over border & sowed marigold seed.


18 Fri. Becoming mild after a cool start, fine, sunny afternoon. Got all the usual Fri. morning provisions locally. To see Mrs. Child in afternoon. Sowed Bees’ marigold seeds in evening.

17 August 2016

15th-16th April 1947: trees are rushing into leaf

"I passed Harold Marshall's house..." 15 Almond Way, Mitchem
Sen here in Google Maps, some 70 years later 
15 Tues. Mild, cloudy, but a little gentle sunshine. To Wimbledon to buy fish. Trimmed up the edges of side path, dug over a border and sowed night-scented-stock seed.

16. Foggy to begin the day but the sun soon cleared it and shone brightly all day without a break, becoming rather warm: a lovely day. The trees are rushing into leaf and the almond trees are in full blossom also forsythia and purple plum. Got the groceries locally, thence to Morden, thence to Mitcham but the meat shop was shut. Being such a lovely morning I continued my ride to Gorringe Park working my way through devious side streets till I reached Almond Way where I passed Harold Marshall’s house. I then went across Mitcham Common home. Sowed more night-scented stock seed and cos lettuce.

16 August 2016

13th-14th April 1947: flying & pondlife on Wimbledon Common

Hookhamslade Pond, Wimbledon Common
13 Sun. Mild, calm, fine, hazy sunshine. Promised to take Gwennie & Laurie to the Common tomorrow to fly my aeroplane. Went to see Chas. and Doris and worked their new wireless set on the short waves.


14 Mon. Mild, some pleasant sunshine but a stiff breeze which blew up chilly at times. Took Gwennie & Laurie with Leonard & Victor Conley who gate-crashed at the last moment to fly my aeroplane on Wimbledon Common. Considering the wind blew in gusts of up to 25 m.p.h. the model flew splendidly, covering about a third of a mile. It is the first time Gwennie & Laurie have seen a model fly. I am sure they enjoyed themselves. They brought home some pussy willow from Hookhamslade pond.

15 August 2016

11th-12th April 1947: buys sweet ration every Friday

11 Fri. Mild, perfectly lovely sunny day: nicest day this year. Got the meat etc locally. Bought our sweet ration which I do every Friday. Planted some pink blue-bells on the rockery. Put in a strong fence post in Mrs. Veale’s fence to replace one which had rotted at ground level: pruned their bush roses. Mrs. Veale is in hospital and has had an operation but may be out in a few days. Sowed cress seed in a box. Put up two short curtains.

12 Sat. Chilly, hazy, not much wind, what little sun there was could hardly penetrate the overhead haze. Alan Spooner called in morning to discuss wireless: he is very advanced. Chas also called, asking me if I could find a plot in my garden where the children could sow some seed. The children came in afternoon and sowed sweet peas, clarkia and love-in-a-mist. Put the clock on another hour for double summer time; the clocks are now two hours fast.

'Put the clock on another hour for double summer time'



14 August 2016

9th-10th April 1947: I love blowing bubbles

9 Wed. Cool, but fine sunny day: very boisterous NE wind to spoil the weather. Got the groceries locally: to Morden to buy fish. Gwennie brought baby Margaret to see me with an escort of half the children of the road. Made some soapy water for her so she can blow some more bubbles. I find bubble blowing fascinating too. Started to repair the broken clothes post at end of garden. Sowed two rows of onion seed. Fitted two rows of terminals to new radio-gram circuit.


10 Thur. Very severe, white morning frost but the sun soon dispelled it. Fine bright, sunny day with some comforting warmth in late afternoon. Bought a stout clothes post at Smaldon’s in morning, price 4/9. To Merton in afternoon bought haricot beans, and four primula wanda roots @ 9d ea. and some cats meat. Fitted the clothes post at end of garden and finished repairs to end fence. Planted the primula roots on the rockery, and put a brick edging along the back of the lawn; looks very nice.

13 August 2016

7th-8th April1947: fish, cement & curtain-rods

7 Mon. Easter Monday. Mild, bright sunny morning, dull, rain later; the very boisterous wind made it seem cold. Did some work on the new radio-gram circuit. Spent the afternoon working in the garden; re-made a side path. The ground is still too sticky to sow seed. The three children called in morning.


8 Tues. Cool, some sunny periods but the boisterous wind is awful and chills one through. Bought fish, cement and curtain rods locally. The three children called. Gwennie begged some bread & butter and salmon & lobster paste as she likes it so much and her mother will never have paste. Small amount of work on radio-gram.

12 August 2016

5th-6th April 1947: played Easter organ music LOUDLY

5 Sat. Cold, some sunshine in morning but dull and rain setting in later; a cutting wind howled round the house all day and blew a full gale at night. Stood in a long queue in a gale of wind at the butchers but eventually got a piece of beef. Did other shopping locally including buying a wireless licence. Walked to Merton in afternoon to buy cats meat and fish. Alb, Lily and Anthony called & stayed to tea; they had been shopping in Wimbledon.


6 Sun. Will pay the weather a compliment and call it rather mild, dull & cloudy, very cold cutting wind, showers. Easter Sunday. Played several Easter tunes very loudly on the organ. Then played Beethoven’s C minor Sonata on the piano. The children called. John Child called in evening and got great results on the short waves using the extra transformer coupled amplifier: Radio S.E.A.C. Colombo was unbearably loud on the loudspeaker.

11 August 2016

3rd-4th April 1947: one more step in 3-year post-bombing repairs

3 Thur. Cold, dull, showers; heavy rain setting in in early evening. To butchers in morning. Gwennie borrowed a bowl of water and a rag and cleaned her dolls pram outside in the street. Bought fish locally in after-noon, also a 1 meg. resistance, two Easter cards: took accumulator. Kennards man brought the green patterned oil-cloth to-day. I laid it on my bedroom floor at night – looks nice. Just one more step towards getting the home straight. It will be 3 years in July since the damage was done and there is still much more to replace.


4. Good Friday. Cold, dull, bitter N wind: a little sunshine in evening. No visitors to-day. Not having to go out decided it was much better to stay in. Screwed two coil holders and a valve holder to new radio-gram set.

10 August 2016

1st-2nd April 1947: I'm blowing BIG bubbles

1 April. Tues. Becoming rather mild, dull, only a little wind. Stayed in as I expected Kennards to bring some oil-cloth but they did not come. The children called as they have a holiday. Tried a transformer coupled extra amplifier with great results. Australia received in afternoon.


2 Wed. Rather cold, gloomy, rain all day. Got the groceries locally and cats meat & fish at Morden. Bought a cherry wood pipe so that the children could blow bubbles; amused myself with it. They called later and were delighted with it. I made some soapy water and added a little liquid glue which enabled a very large bubble to be blown. Small amount of work on new radio-gram circuit.

9 August 2016

30th-31st March 1947: wettest for 90 years

30 Sun. Rather cool, dull, rain discontinuing during the morning. This month has been the wettest March for 90 years. A crowd of children called in afternoon. Len Conley, Peter & John Child called in evening to hear Colombo on the short waves.


31 Mon. Very cool, very dull, rain all day: calm. Stayed in for the landlord but he did not come. Pruned Aunt Hannah’s roses in afternoon and did some local shopping. The three children called, tried to play table tennis with them. Received Australia on short waves this morning.

8 August 2016

28th-29th March 1947: Saturday elections...

28 Fri. Very cool becoming mild: the highest temperature so far this year. Dull, but the sun was not far away on a few occasions in afternoon: almost calm. Got the meat etc. locally as usual on Friday. Bought a sheet of Duralumin for making the screens on the H.F. amplifier on the rebuilt radio-gram. Gwennie and Donald called: no more school till April 16. I expect I shall have more than enough of them.


29 Sat. The mildest day for months, very dull & calm; rain commenced in morning and continued without a break: I cannot yet say when it will leave off; I am writing this at nearly 11 p.m. Ciss had the morning off and went shopping in Wimbledon; bought among other things some floor covering without the usual permit. Went out in afternoon to vote in the local council election, voting for Greatorex the Independent candidate: also bought fish locally. Replaced back of marble top washstand in my room, replacing it with plaster of Paris. Played dominoes with Ciss: I won.

7 August 2016

27th March 1947: Have some madeira, my dear*

27 Thur. Very cool becoming rather mild, dull, rain on and off all day but less wind. In morning bought flour & a nice madeira cake, hop manure, granulated charcoal, paraffin, and fish, oh, and a paper locally. Sawed off a length of timber and painted one end to make a fence post. Prepared some sifted compost of fine earth, hop manure, Rito and charcoal. Filled a pot with it and planted Bees, Stonors’ Dwarf Gem tomato seeds. Sowed cress seed in a box. Lightly pruned the roses – to be cut back hard later on. A small amount of work rebuilding the radio-gram.


* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW_zi8n4HDQ

6 August 2016

26th March 1947: rebuilding radiogram & planted shallots

26 Wed. Rather cold, very dull, the wind seems to blow from all quarters and is very high. Got the groceries locally, also to Morden to buy cats meat. Planted the shallots at last. The ground is very cold, wet and sticky but I expect they will do all right. The three children called. Finished the dismantling of the radio-gram with a view to rebuilding it as a four-valver. One S.C.H.F. valve, detectors & 2 L.F. stages with triodes in the output.

5 August 2016

5th March 1947: new fence... and playing draughts

25 Tues. Severe white morning frost; very cool day, but the sunshine was bright: the SW wind is still very strong which made it feel quite cold. To Boots branch at Morden also to the station to buy a paper. Started to put up the new chestnut paling fence: I never finished the fence between this garden and 68. All three children called at separate times of the day. Laurie played two games of draughts with me and one with Ciss, he won them all outright.

4 August 2016

22nd-24th March 1947: Cold, dismal, rain, snow, sleet, gales... and cards & Radio Colombo

22 Sat. Rather mild, a few sunny periods, showers: the south west wind blew half a gale. Laurie & Clifford came to play cards: showed them a few card tricks. To Merton to buy cats meat. Bought other things locally including a packet of night-scented stock seed.

23 Sun. Rather mild, dull, showers; the south-west wind is blowing half a gale. A number of children called. Peter and John Child came in evening to hear Radio S.E.A.C. Colombo: I used an extra amplifier but it brought up background noise rather a lot.


24 Mon. Cold, dismal, rain, snow, sleet, gales of cold NW wind. Potted up two geraniums that I have kept dry during the winter. Bought fish in morning. Paid slate club in evening. Chas. called at night for some mattresses we gave him.

3 August 2016

21st March 1947: Uncle Dick

21 Fri. Fairly mild, dull, rain nearly all day, very gusty sou’wester. To the butchers & other shops locally in morning. Went to Merton Church to pay my past respects to Uncle Dick. The first part of the burial service was read there by the vicar who also gave an address and a personal testimony to the virtues of one he knew so well. The only relatives were Cousin Ruby and Fred Bevis, Lily, Cousin Alf’s wife and myself. Edie Davenport a friend also followed. A large company of those who knew Uncle Dick came to pay their respects. The second part of the service was conducted at the Streatham Crematorium; only Fred, Ruby and Lily and of course the vicar went. So Uncle Dick and Aunt Aggie are reunited in the happy land where death is known no more.

2 August 2016

20th March 1947: waterfall

20 Thur. Cool, dull, less wind. Mr. Ward came to take down & clear the rain water pipe in front of the house as it was stopped and overflowed like a waterfall in the heavy rain yesterday. To the butchers and to Merton to buy fish. Dug over a part of the garden but the ground is unworkable yet, it is so wet. Played beat-your-neighbour out of doors with Laurie and Clifford Gover. Made a rough one stage L.F. amplifier to add to the 3 valve set. Put old-rose dyed net behind the fret of the loud-speaker.

1 August 2016

19th March 1947: 'passed peacefully away'

19 Wed. Moderately mild, heavy rain most of the day, but a burst of sunshine & a rainbow late in the day: wind blowing half a gale. Got the groceries locally, also to Morden to buy a bunch of black grapes for Uncle Dick. I went to Nelson Hospital in afternoon intending to see Uncle Dick; went round the mens ward but could not see him. A man in a bed then asked me who I wanted and when I said Mr Howick he told me that he passed peacefully away this morning. I then found a nurse and she said he had been in hospital two days with asthma but that he died of heart failure. And so he goes to meet Aunt Aggie from whose death he never recovered. I remember them both with pleasure: they seemed fond of me and before Aunt Aggie died went often to them and had tea at West Barnes. I last saw Uncle Dick at the cricket match last summer: he was a keen supporter of Merton Cricket and was on the committee of the annual Charity Cricket Match.

Note: I believe this must be Ambrose Richard Howick who died aged 77 (born 1870) recorded in the records of Surrey Mid-Eastern district.