More than a fortnight since I wrote up my diary. Still no money from Vine tho’ one or two letters have passed. We are writing no more, shall leave it in other hands now. He evidently does not mean to pay. Two nights a German plane has machine gunned near the Point again. Sat 22nd at dusk was the last time, am thankful we had “blacked out”. Father was on duty, as soon as the plane passed I ran out to see if the lookout was safe. A bullet went through Andrews’, Miss Gardiner’s house was hit too, the one the troops have. Colleen Pimperton age 11 came in with Jean after Sunday School yesterday. We asked if their house was hit (just near the Point) and she said “No but the next house let to soldiers was, a bullet went through the window and on to a chair or bed.” Then she added in a cool and blasé voice “no casualties, soldiers just going on guard” as if it was all in the day’s work and she was rather bored with it. We think the same plane was brought down a little later north of us.
Miss Norah Gardiner and her sister Fanny, daughters of Professor Gardiner, lived opposite Andrews’ coastguard house in Landseer Avenue. Norah ran a private school there and two other sisters, Kate and Victoria, taught elsewhere.
Colleen Pimperton was the daughter of Wilf (see 12th Jan 1941).
# RON MOVED TO LOCAL AIR BASE – RAF BINBROOK
# DUMMY ‘DROME – WOODEN BOMBS DROPPED?
Ron has been home on 7 days leave, he is at Binbrook now. He passed his test and was highly delighted. He gets 28/6 a week now and attends to the instruments of two Wellington bombers now. We got his letter Wed 12th to say he was coming on Thursday. Just 4 months after going away. What a long 4 months and a short 7 days. Emmie came on Friday. Ron is very fit and well and has changed very little except that he is livelier and more self confident I think. He has lost much of his shyness. Lovely weather all the week. It was a fortunate week for him as Ralph, Malcolm and John Kirk were all on leave. John Smith too but he was staying with Peggy at Croft and came over on the day Ron went to Trusthorpe. He had tea and stayed a while hoping to see him but they missed the 5.30 bus back and J had to be back before lighting up time. John Smith and Malcolm are still shy. John is at present blowing up orchards at Wisbech. He tells various yarns but vowed this was true. Near his camp is a “dummy ‘drome”. This is quite feasible but he declares that a Ger. bomber flew over it and dropped wooden bombs then flew off and bombed the real ‘drome with live ones! And they say Gers. have no sense of humour. He is hoping to get in the R.A.F. He is a great hefty chap 5ft 11” now.
Malcolm Robinson as well as Ralph Faulkner (see 16th Dec 1940) and John Kirk (see 11th Dec 1940) were friends of Ron, about his age.
John Smith was a village friend of Ron. Peggy was John’s sister in Croft, a nearby village. They were the elder siblings of the twin girls who lived with their mother (see 26th Jan 1941).
Ron would have been visiting ‘Crossing Farm’ at Trusthorpe to see his mother’s cousin, whom he knew as ‘Aunt Amy’, and family (see 9th Dec 1940).
Ron is still stiff and not very tall but very smart, his buttons were as smooth as glass. Emmie went home 12.20 Thurs and Father, Jean and I went in the car to take Ron to Binbrook. We went early not knowing the way, took the wrong turn twice as no signposts and houses miles apart. Still we did it in 1½ hours in spite of big hills. The ‘drome is on top of a hill about a mile out of Binbrook. On entering the village the furthest end from the camp we had to drive through a brook. It was much swollen by the rain and ran rather deeply over the road which was in a dreadful state, all granite stones and big holes. Jean said it hadn’t Bin-a-brook it was one. We left him at the entrance to ‘drome. When we set off back I felt as if I still stood beside him and watched myself and car go down the hill. But I was in the car and he was standing there alone. However he was quite cheerful and we had a letter to-day to say his room mates had made up his bed for him which he thought was very nice of them. He gave one or two of them some cakes, he took some back with him of course. He seemed to have settled down alright and is now looking forward to another leave. He hopes he will get on guard this week and get a day off after it. It was good to have him home and to find he was still the same boy as ever, not at all grown up but well able to hold his own in his new life.
# FALSE TEETH FOR RENE
# MAY REACHES FIFTY
Have been to Skegness today. Father took us in the car. Rene is having her teeth out. Mr M[oulton] says they must all come out. Poor Rene, I wonder if she will feel like I did when I had all mine out. I was older than her too but I nearly wept at my empty mouth and felt “the glory had departed”. Well I hope they will be as satisfactory as mine have been. I went because I had broken a front tooth off my top plate and had to leave it until Weds to get a satisfactory job made of it. 7/6 which I paid so he has teeth and money too. Let’s hope they don’t get bombed. Rene is getting hers through insurance so has to wait for papers before he starts on them. It was bitterly cold in Sk. and there were hundreds of RAF’s about.
On the 14th I stepped on to the bridge which parts the right side of 50 from the wrong side. For a year I can stay on it then the way will be down hill however gradual the slope. Had a nice letter from Edie and the usual P.O. [postal order]. They are in fresh rooms but still in Harrowgate. Got the silk for Jean’s blouse from Rene and bought enough for Rene one for her birthday.
It is 10 o’clock and as all seems quiet, think Jean and I will soon retire. Father said if we hear “wuffers” we had better stay up as it is safer downstairs. Jean’s bedroom especially seems very open to machine gun bullets. The window is so near the bed and Ron’s room is worse so it is no use putting her there. It came on to cold rain this afternoon, hope it’s fine tomorrow as I have a big wash this week. I have an anemone bud.
Mr Moulton, with practice in Skegness, the family dentist, was also a school dentist.
‘Harrowgate’ refers to Harrogate, Yorkshire, where May’s stepmother Edie was living.
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?