13 December 2017

13th December 1948: The aero is well on the way

13 Mon. Mild, dismal, rain all day, rather windy however. Bought fish locally in afternoon, also stamped envelopes and two newspapers: one for Mrs Drake who is in bed with a chill. Packed a cake to send to Ron Drake. Fitted free wheel pawl and retainer to propeller gear of new aero: the job is well advanced now but it must be finished for Anthony by Christmas.

12 December 2017

12th December 1948: A gloomy Sunday

12 Sun. Mild, dismal, some drizzle. Gwennie, Laurie & Donald called in morning and also in afternoon as did other children. Short walk in the gloom. Met Gwennie and came home with her.

11 December 2017

11th December 1948: A nice menu

11 Sat. Mild, very dull, rain all day. Made some nice soup in morning also a nice dinner & a sweet course. To Norman’s to buy more materials for aero. at Norman’s. Bought fish locally also posted a calendar and letter to Elsie in Canada. Did some good work to propeller and running gear of aero.

10 December 2017

10th December 1948: Get sweets, have visitors?

10 Fri. Cold, dull, windy, rain setting in at night. Got the meat – brisket in morning, also paid for the papers and got sweets, fish etc. Bought two small twist drills at Smalldon’s in afternoon. Gave Eileen & Kennie Provert sweets & a bun. Gwennie called in a somewhat larky mood. Made small part for propeller gear. Posted calendar letter from Ciss and myself and a photo. to Edie Bennett who is in South Africa.

9 December 2017

9th December 1948: Visiting Uncle Ben

9 Thur. Cold, dull, heavy rain, hail & a peal of thunder at night. Bought fish in Malden. Went to see Uncle Ben there in afternoon; he came out of hospital last Monday. He is very bad with asthma and had an attack while I was there. Went to tell Aunt Liza how he was. Made some more prints of the photo. Alb took in the summer of Ciss, Lily Anthony and myself outside of this house.

8 December 2017

8th December 1948: Dare I?

8 Wed. Rather mild, some pleasant sunshine in morning; dull, heavy rain setting in by evening. Got the groceries in morning. Bought saccharin in Firths the chemists and Joyce who serves there was very lovely this morning: I would love to send her a Xmas card: dare I? Gave a sweet to Eileen and John. Gwennie and Donald in afternoon: showed Gwennie a puzzle which I drew for her on a piece of paper. Finished carving 8½ ins prop. Fitted a new metal bush. Made prop shaft and fitted bearing to spar.

7 December 2017

7th December 1948: Knives and more knives

7 Tues. Rather mild but the stiff breeze made it seem colder. Dull but some sunshine in afternoon; rain later. Ciss had the day off from work and went to Wimbledon to buy some presents; she also bought a half-dozen tea knives and a half-dozen dinner knives – all of stainless steel. To butchers in the morning to buy sausage meat also lights for the cats. Planted a row of wallflowers and a row of crocuses in the front garden. Gwennie, Donald and Margaret called: they were all very good but Gwennie did not want to go home as usual. More work on the new 8½ ins prop.

6 December 2017

6th December 1948: Carving the prop

6 Mon. Rather mild for season, heavy rain morning and night but some sunshine in afternoon. To Morden to buy fish and something at the chemists. Bought fire lighters locally. Posted letter to Uncle Tom. Started carving 8½ ins balsa propeller for Anthony’s aero.

5 December 2017

5th December 1948: Visitors and visiting

5 Sun. Cold, clear, cloudy. I mean of course the atmosphere was clear. Gwennie and Laurie made a stay in morning. Many children called. Len Garrod called as he wanted a violin bridge which I was able to supply. Ciss went to see Uncle Ben who is in hospital but he will be going home to-morrow. Cousin Arthur brought Ciss home in the car, a Standard with a new car radio which was quite good. Alb, Lily and Anthony surprised us by coming to tea.

4 December 2017

4th December 1948: The propeller

4 Sat. Rather mild, becoming colder; very dull; foggy at night. Gwennie called in morning and was lovely. Donald brought meat for cats in afternoon. Bought fish locally. Then to Norman’s at Merton to buy a balsa propeller block; 3/16 in rubber strip, pair of landing wheels and spring steel wire. Doped wing & tail Anthony’s aero: first rate: started work on the 8½ ins propeller.

3 December 2017

3rd December 1048: Cupboard love

3 Fri. Mild, 58 degrees, dull and cloudy but clear: rain later. Got all the week end provisions locally. Got some lights at the butchers for the pussies. Eileen, Jennifer and Jacqueline followed me and had difficulty on sending them back. When I returned from shopping they were waiting for me so I gave them a bun each. They make me happy although it is cupboard love. Bought a new high-tension battery and fitted it with marvellous results to the wireless. Gwennie and Margaret called: they were very lovely. Last night I had the loveliest dream I have ever had of dear Annie Chapman. Covered the tail, fin and rudder of Anthony’s aero. with bright orange tissue.

2 December 2017

2nd December 1948: The orange aeroplane

2 Thur. Cold, cloudy but becoming rather mild with rain later. Eileen called gave her an orange. To Merton in afternoon, bought gaslighter flints and cats’ meat. Covered the wing of Anthony’s aero. with orange tissue.

1 December 2017

1st December 1948: Fog gone like magic

December 1948
1 Dec. Wed. Very cold, very thick fog and frost till midday when very surprisingly the sun came out and the fog disappeared like magic: the sunshine for a short time was lovely. The rest of the day was dull but the fog did not return. Got the groceries and fish and a paper locally. Gwennie, Laurie and Margaret called. Gwennie said they really are going to Scotland to live next Tuesday. Started covering the wing of Anthony’s aero. with orange tissue.

30 November 2017

30th November 1948: Visibility nil

30 Tues. Very cold, dismal, thick fog all day; as thick as Saturday at times. Posted two letters. Bought plaice fillets which I steamed for Mrs Drake who is laid up: served with mashed potatoes which she enjoyed. Bought fish for cats. Phoned Kingston Hospital to tell them about Mrs. Drake: she works there. Rode my bike through a blanket fog to-day. At night the fog was as thick and smoky as a London fog could be – visibility nil.

29 November 2017

29th November 1948: Fog lessens

29 Mon. Very cold, slightly freezing most of the day, dismal, but fog not so thick. Mrs. Drake was too queer to go to work to-day: made her as comfortable as possible. Bought fish and firelighters in morning. Eileen, Jean, Gwennie, Nita, Pat, Laurie and Michael called. Fitted rudder to Anthony’s aero.

28 November 2017

28th November 1948: Did not go out

28 Sun. Very cold, very dismal; thick fog all day. A crowd of children called and went to Sunday School nevertheless. Little to report; did not go out.

27 November 2017

27th November 1948: Thick pea-souper

27 Sat. Very cold, dismal, the thickest pea-soup fog for years – visibility almost nothing. Went out to buy fish in afternoon thence to station but there were no papers. Road traffic was reduced to a crawl. I saw a cyclist walking with a flaming torch followed by a procession of buses. Laurie called, played draughts and cards with him.

26 November 2017

26th November 1948: Shopping...

Fri. Very severe frost which was thawed by the sun at midday. Dull and foggy later. Got all the usual week-end provisions locally in the morning. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy fish and cork socks, the latter at Woolworths; also posted a parcel to Dolly Cooper. Made rudder for Anthony’s aero.

25 November 2017

25th November 1948: Gwennie a fixture

25 Thur. Severe white frost, very cold sunny day but foggy at night. To butchers in morning. To Merton in afternoon bought cats meat and something at the chemists. Bought an egg crate at Eyles for 6d. Gwennie made a stay: she fixed herself in front of the fire with a carol book. Built up a fin for Anthony’s aero.

24 November 2017

24th November 1948: Pears for Uncle Ben

24 Wed. Very cold, very dismal, foggy. Got the groceries: gave Eileen a biscuit with blackcurrant jam on it. Also bought fish, paraffin and soap powder. Oh, I bought two nice pears which I took to Uncle Ben who is in hospital at Norbiton: I thought he seemed a little better. Went to Aunt Liza to tell her about him. Small amount of work on the tail of Anthony’s aero.

23 November 2017

23rd November 1948: Quarrelsome child!

23 Tues. Very cold, very dismal: yellow fog. Bought fish locally in afternoon. Eileen called gave her a slice of sweet, fruit bread and butter: she loved it: John Prior also called as did Gwennie and Margaret. Gave little Margaret a chocolate biscuit – she wanted butter on it so I put some on. She then argued it was marge which it was not. She then wanted marge on it as she said that was butter – anything to please the child: she is as argumentative as her brother Donald.

22 November 2017

22nd November 1948: Seeing to the kitten

22 Mon. Very cold, very dim, misty yellow light. Lily and Anthony called early bringing the kitten. They wanted me to take it to the P.D.S.A. Wimbledon to have it castrated, which I did. I rode it there and back in a basket on my bike. They went to Merton and to Tooting. Bought fish and firelighters locally. Gwennie called; she is still unwell and had to come home from school again. Laurie called; bought a picture from him in aid of N.C.H.O.

21 November 2017

21st November 1948: Testing the aero

21 Sun. Rather cold some sun in morning, misty later, calm. The children called as usual. Flew the 41 ins spar aero on Wim. Common but was not pleased, of course I always get some good flights. Mrs Akroyd came to tea.

20 November 2017

20th November 1948: A beautiful spectacle

20 Sat. Fine, bright sunny day, but cold with a fresh breeze. In morning to the woodyard to buy a fence paling price 1/7. In afternoon nailed to the fence to fill a gap which Norris’ dog gets through: it won’t get through now. Bought cats meat and fish at Merton. To Aunt Liza who asked me to buy a bunch of black grapes for Uncle Ben who is in hospital. Went to see the captive balloon in Worple Road. At night it was lit up by a searchlight – a beautiful spectacle: it is advertising a recruiting week for T.A. and Aux-R.A.F.

19 November 2017

19th November 1948: The barrage balloon

19 Fri. Rather mild, dull, a little more wind, rain later. Got the usual weekend shopping all locally. Gwennie called in morning and again in afternoon with Margaret. Showed them the barrage balloon which can be seen from the upstairs back windows: it is in a field in Worple Road. Planted a new gooseberry bush on a bed I have made up this week: I raised it from a cutting here.

18 November 2017

18th November 1948: Xmas puddings

18 Thur. Mild; actually 61 degs: dull, calm, slight suggestion of drizzle at times. To butchers. Cooked three Xmas puddings to-day for a duration of 5 hours. To Merton to buy cats meat. Met Doris Bridges, poor soul: I hope I cheered her: she is such a cripple with nerve disease.

17 November 2017

17th November 1948: Uncle Ben

17 Wed. Rather cold, fine sunny day, lovely but misty and drizzle at night. Got the groceries as usual on Wed. Also to Firths the chemists and was served by dear Joyce Ellis which is usual: bless her, she is lovely. Bought fish and also some hot winter gums at Davis served by Daisy which is usual. Eileen and Jean called they were lovely. Gwennie borrowed my ball. Went to Malden to inquire after Uncle Ben but got no reply so went next door. The lady told me he was in Victoria Hospital, Norbiton. Being on my bike I rode there and saw him. A very nice, small but comfortable place, I thought. I got there at tea time. He is in a very poor state with asthma and is very thin and run down. I don’t think much can be done for him, but he is well looked after and the rest should do him good. Told Aunt Liza I had seen him; she was rather worried as she had heard no news of him and did not know he was in hospital. Eileen and her brother Kennie called at dusk begging food; gave them a biscuit each. Drew out plan and started building tail of new spar aero.

16 November 2017

16th November 1948: Quacks-quacks!

16 Tues. Rather mild for season, very dismal, rain most of the day. Eileen and Jean called in morning. Bought fish and a paper locally in afternoon. Laurie and Margaret called in afternoon. Made paper “quack-quacks” for her: she was very good. Finished new 23 ins wing frame – needs covering and doping of course. A letter from Alb and one from Rev. Chas. Staden including a photo of him operating a talking film projector at his Church.

15 November 2017

15th November 1948: A prescription

15 Mon. Very cool, very dull, showers. Eileen called of course, so did Laurie later. Went to Morden in afternoon to buy fish, a paper and something at Boots*. Started digging a hole in the garden but had to stop because of the rain. Letter from Uncle Tom.

* A prescription was folded in the pages of the diary. Can anyone decipher it? If that is Phenobarbital, it might explain why Fred stayed at home with what might be some gentle piece work with accumulators and radio parts, rather than working in a factory. It is evident from all Fred’s shopping and errands, that ideally one person in a household would be based at home in the 1940s.
Also tucked in this week's pages, a newspaper cutting of a loco trial.

14 November 2017

14th November 1948: Royal event

14 Sun. Very mild for season, very dull and hazy and calm. A crowd of children called before Sunday School. Went to see Len and Emily Garrod in Lambton Road. They have sold the house and bought one between Stoneleigh and Ewell. They are all ready to move and will go shortly. Wrote letter to Uncle Tom. A baby boy was born to Princess Elizabeth this evening.

13 November 2017

13th November 1948: A full day

13 Sat. Mild for Nov. 52 degs. Hazy but some sun before noon. Gwennie called before dinner and being by herself she was charming: she had her crimson-lake skirt on of which I am very fond. In afternoon bought aspirin, a paper, writing pad and envelopes, ammonia and cats fish. Cycled to Uncle Ben’s at Malden to see how he is getting on but got no reply: he is either ill in bed or has gone into hospital. Went into Beverleigh Park and watched football also a boy was flying a control-line diesel aero: spoke to him. Started making wing attachment and stanchions for Anthony’s aero. Mrs Drake gave us some chrysanthemums some bronze and some large white ones which were beautifully scented which I thought unusual.

12 November 2017

12th November 1948: Crumpets for tea!

12 Fri. Less cold, very dull; no wind. Got a nice piece of beef at the butchers also a comparatively large piece of suet for the Xmas puddings. Bought other things all locally. Oh yes – crumpets, they were lovely for tea. Bought three nice books of transfers for Anthony who is 7 to-day. Did some work in the garden in preparation for planting fruit bushes. Called in to see Aunt Liza: saw all four children; Margaret made a fuss of me. More work shaping 23 ins wing for Anthony’s model.

11 November 2017

11th November 1948: Winter coal

11 Thur. Sharp morning frost but becoming milder than of late: dull calm, misty. To butchers, also bakers, bought linen buttons, bought cats meat at Merton. Got battery and a paper and met Arthur Swift. Gwennie came in morning to borrow my blue ball. Took delivery of 2 cwt coal price 9/10.

10 November 2017

10th November 1948: Wallflowers, watch and wing

10 Wed. Usual morning frost, some sunshine in morning. Cold misty later. Got the groceries as usual on Wed: also fish locally. More work on new wing. Tried to fix glass in Ciss miniature watch and failed. Planted wallflowers in front garden. Gwennie and Laurie called.

9 November 2017

9th November 1948: Severe frost

9 Tues. Severe morning frost, very cold, dull; not much wind. To Merton to buy fish also a Dame Edith Helen Rose. Also balsa strips at Norman’s. Gwennie, Laurie, Jean and Eileen called. Started building a 23ins span wing for Anthony’s model.

8 November 2017

8th November 1948: Buying the ration

8 Mon. Very cold, a little weak sun – sunshine: bitter E wind. Eileen and Jean called: I love them. Bought our sultana and currant ration this afternoon; also fire-lighters and fish locally. Then to Merton to buy materials for making a model plane for Anthony. Repaired the case of Ciss’ miniature wrist watch. Dear Gwennie and Margaret called. Bought a picture of a little girl of Gwennie in aid of the N.C.H.O.

7 November 2017

7th November 1948: Listening to the world

7 Sun. Cold, dismal, rain almost all day. A noisy crowd of children called before going to Sunday School. Did not go out. Plugged in the short wave coils and got good reception of U.S.A. India and Australia. Put it through to Mrs Drake’s loud-speaker upstairs.

6 November 2017

6th November 1948: Winter planting

6 Sat. White morning frost, fine sunny day and no wind: cold, of course. To buy fish for ourselves and the cats in morning. Bought a dish cloth and a paper in afternoon. To Dad’s and Mum’s grave. Planted it with Golden Harvest daffodils, Lady Moore, jonquil, narcissus, blue and white striped crocus, wall flowers, forget-me-nots and there are some red and white daisies in bloom now. Little John Oliver made himself friendly: gave him a bun and a sweet. His father was killed in the Approach Road by a bus a year or so ago. Mended a broken wooden bar in the clothes airer but some screws will also be needed.

5 November 2017

5th November 1948: A plane for Anthony

5 Cold, clear, sunny, windy day To the butchers, sweet shop, bakers also bought vinegar. Bought cats meat at Merton. Tidied up the front garden, cut the grass and dug over the centre bed. Drew up a plan for a 23 ins spar wing for a model aero for Anthony.

4 November 2017

4th November 1948: 'Uncle Fyed'

4 Thur. Cool, dull, deluge to begin with but finer later. Got some liver to-day which I made up into savoury square cakes: very nice. Bought fish at Merton also a dozen Lady Moore narcissus. Took up the bean sticks and limed part of the garden. Limed the grave and bed in front garden. Gave Eileen and little Brenda a piece of cake each. Brenda is a love and she squeals and cackles with delight on seeing me: she calls after me “Uncle Fyed, Uncle Fyed.” Lovely. What a privilege. Mended a coat hanger for Ciss. Made an 18 ins balsa spar for a model aero for Anthony.

3 November 2017

3rd November 1948: A universal provider?

3 Wed. Cool, dull, very windy. Got the groceries as usual, also bought fish locally. A crowd of children clamouring round the door “give us some thing” they were crying. They think I am a universal provider capable of producing cakes and sweets out of a magic hat. Planted a few things in the garden and stripped the beans from the sticks. Wrote a letter to Rev Charles Staden.

2 November 2017

2nd November 1948: Errands

2 Tues. Rather mild, very dismal, rain later. In afternoon to Merton to buy fish. Got two pairs of shoes from repairers for Katie. Bought gas globe to replace one broken by Mrs. Drake. Bought figs and breakfast sausage. Ciss had a letter from Edie Hopkins saying she had just heard that Miss Perkins was dead. She had lived for many years in S. America.

1 November 2017

!st November 1948: Cold and dismal

1 Mon. Cold, very dismal, rain all day. In the rain to buy fish, super-phosphate of lime and a newspaper – all locally. Ciss went to see Uncle Tom – who is a bit better, and Aunt Nellie at Westminster: Uncle Tom sent me a note.

31 October 2017

31st October 1948: Cannizaro lake

31 Sun. Morning frost, fog, but clearing somewhat by afternoon with a little weak sunshine. Fewer children called to-day but Gwennie came and sat on my lap bless her. To Cannizaro again this afternoon and had a look at the lake which is beautiful even now. I would like to take my camera there next time.

30 October 2017

30th October 1948: Dorothy to tea

30 Sat. Cold, dismal, brown light, rather foggy: calm. Bought fish, lights and crocus bulbs at Merton in afternoon, also scouring powder at Merton Rush. Dear Dorothy Longhurst came to tea. We played spelling game and dominoes and had a happy evening: she stayed to supper. She always seems happy to come. I bought a nice decorated cake for tea and she brought a bunch of lovely black grapes.

29 October 2017

29th October 1948: Meeting aunts

29 Fri. No frost but cold, dull with bitter E wind. Met Aunt Hannah again – yesterday I saw her in Bushey Road at the same spot. Did all the shopping locally including buying a lovely decorated cake as Dorothy is coming tomorrow. Called in to see Aunt Liza and the children clung all round me. Mrs. Drake gave me a Dunlop repair outfit.

28 October 2017

28th October 1948: Tending the grave

28 Thur. White frost, cold day, bright morning, dull later: bitter E wind. To butchers and fish shop in morning. To Mother’s and Father’s grave. Cleared all of the spent plants and dug it over. Found a few self-sown forget-me-nots and planted them. Dug up dahlias in front garden and labelled them for storing. Cut two nice rose – vermillion and orange. Katie sent two pairs of shoes for me to take to the repairer.

27 October 2017

27th October 1948: Great grief

27 Wed. Severe hoar frost, very cold day: dull. Got the groceries, also fish, torch batteries etc. Met Aunt Hannah who told me Uncle Ben was very ill. Gwennie, Donald and Margaret called. Donald was in a violent temper and deliberately smashed a celery glass, one of a pair which belonged to Dad and Mum when they were first married: it was irreplaceable and the loss gives me great grief.

26 October 2017

26th October 1948: A lovely job

26 Tues. Cold, becoming colder. Fine sunny day but fog at night. Bought cats meat at Merton also to the chemists. It was unpleasant cycling to-day: the wind was cold. Doped the tail of aero. It is now a lovely job and should make the model a perfect flyer. Wrote long letter to Uncle Tom who is ill in bed.

25 October 2017

25th October 1948: Aero work

25 Mon. Very cool, very dull, heavy showers most of the day. Altered tail section of aero and re-covered. It should be perfect now. I have reverted to my pre-war section. Got the little, round, marble clock from the repairers. Bought fish and a paper locally. The three called but only  for a few minutes. Little Eileen called, gave her a little cake.

24 October 2017

24th October 1948: New-found wealth

24 Sun. Becoming rather mild, fine sunny afternoon. Ciss went to see Ron and Marjorie Cooper to-day. They live near Farnborough. Went for a walk and this time I explored the beautiful grounds of Cannizaro more thoroughly. I never knew such a lovely place existed, nor did I know the large extent of these grounds. Part is quite wild woodland part lawn. Also there are most lovely cultivated gardens and the flowers still make a colourful show. There are lanes and overhung avenues, dark niches and odd corners, with statues artistically placed. There is a most placid pool with rushes and overhanging trees: an artist was painting a picture of it. Whoever owned this house and grounds must have made a lifelong and thoughtful hobby of making the place beautiful. Evidence is everywhere of a loving care and judgement in designing this heaven on earth. I even found a neatly kept dogs’ cemetery with inscribed stones, dogs whose names appear must have been pets of the master and each grave had cut flowers upon it. The trees gleamed gold in the autumn sunshine and the eye was bewitched and the heart charmed by beauty at every turn. I must visit this little paradise at other seasons and enjoy the delights of the changing hues of leaf and bud and flower and the bare stems of winter. Here is new-found wealth of enjoyment and I should like to take my camera with me on other occasions.