All posts for the month October | 1944 |

Wed 8.45 am Oct. 25. [1944]

I cannot seem to find time for my diary these days. There always seems a job in spite of Rene coming every day. Perhaps I am slow too. I cannot hurry or seem to put any weight behind anything and the multitude of little jobs seems to fill the day and I can’t get down to a really long job of sewing or gardening. Also after dinner I often seem so tired and have to rest so long. Yesterday I got up at 7.15. put kettle on stove, made the fire, took Jean’s water and put it on the stairs for her, (It is nice having warm soft water in the boiler) cleaned her shoes, I do not usually do this but, cleaned them and rubbed Dubbin well into them and incidentally, found they needed new rubbers on heels, her blue ones were at the cobblers, so as she got them home last night she has taken brown ones to-day. I got breakfast for her but had to get some for myself before packing her dinner as I felt sick and rather faint and dizzy. After she had gone I fed rabbits, cleared away, washed up, and put out clothes line and clothes, folded the few that dried Monday. Cleared up kitchen and partly dusted. Washed myself and Jean’s stockings (She changes them every day as her feet sweat.) caught 10.30 bus’ to Stow’s and managed to catch it on its return from Point or should have had to wait for 11 o’c. Sat next to Mrs. Lindley, she was full of talk and I nearly forgot to get off bus at C[ouncil] Houses. Went to see how clothes were drying and to unwind one or two off line. Made and had a cup of Allenburys, pulled a basket of apples from lower branches of tree, picked up the fallen ones (a basketful) threw all the little potatoes together and picked some up. Then Rene came. I made a steamed marmalade pudding and cooked bacon and eggs for dinner. Rene dusted and pulled a few more baskets of apples. We had dinner then Rene made beds etc. The clothes were all dry then so while I rested she folded and mangled them and then I washed up and changed my blouse. I did a little knitting in between times.

After Rene went at 4.15. I fed rabbits, shut them up, had tea, not much as I have a meal when Jean comes at 6.40. knitted a little more, blacked-out all over and peeled pot[atoes] for Jean’s meal and steamed her marm[alade] pud. Tom came for tea for Rene. Then I mixed pot. cheese, marg and egg and fried it in hot fat for Jean. After tea had been cleared I stuffed the green vel. dog I had made Mon. I had to put feet squares in first. Finished it except for eyes, tongue etc, and a little more knitting of Jean’s cap. It is almost done. Then I washed tea-things and we had a drink, I of Allenb. F[ood?] and Jean tea, read a little and went to bed. I seem to have had a full day yet nothing much to show for it. It is a nice bright morning but as Father would have said everywhere is sodden. I think it has been a dry night, possibly a frost.

‘Dubbin’ is a branded protective shoe/boot cleaner.

Mrs Emily Lindley was a sister of Edith, Alice, Ada and Clara (also May) Crow. She had previously been housekeeper for Mr Lindley, originally from Nottingham, whose first wife had died. Their home was ‘Rosedene’, on the corner of St Leonards Drive and South Crescent (see Village Map).

‘Allenburys’ was a ‘food-drink’ manufactured by the Allen and Hanbury company.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Oct 15 Sunday 8.30 p.m [1944]

Another Sunday, I must try to write up my diary oftener. I have been glancing thro’ old ones to-day and they are very interesting to me. It has been a lovely autumn day fine and cold but not so windy as of late. I felt as if I ought to have gone for a walk but do not feel very great yet after asthma most of the week and diarrhoea on Thursday. Yesterday Jean and I picked several stones of Bramleys, a clothes basket, the big brown basket and the small bath full, and the jam-pan full of fallen ones. They are good apples and there must be still as many more left on the tree. If fine Rene and I will pick them tomorrow.

Have written to Ron, Emmie and Aunt Fanny. Have not had a reply from Sybil yet. Hope all is well. Jean bought herself a pair of new blue suede shoes yesterday at Cooper’s 23/6 quite nice, the first she ever bought with own money.

Eva came down Wed afternoon for tea and paid for rabbit 5/0. She is looking better. Jean took three lovely white gladiolas to Churchyard also asters. Then she went to Chapel and to S.S. [Sunday School] after dinner. gave her 2/0. Tom and Rene walked down this morning. He is preaching to-night. Ron’s allowance for me 7/0 per week came thro’ this week, £4.4 back money in draft. So that is settled for the time anyway. It is for rent etc. Made a T. Bear and stuffed it with flocks. Looks very nice but is not so light as kapok. Perhaps more substantial for older child. Jean called at Mrs. B[rown]’s for piece of green velveteen. Hope it will make dog. It is lovely. Am to return Eardley’s chair when I like after Monday, they have lent it. I asked her if I could send it home.

Lawn growing well, think it will cover alright. Heaps of work wants doing in garden but Rene finished digging potatoes on Thurs. Must pick up the rest of seed and ……. [? thrash?] tomorrow if dry and get garden ready for blk.currants and rasps. Shall have a lot of chrys[anthemums] if pest and wind does not spoil them. Must do away with a lot after flowering, far too many. My anemones are beginning to peep thro’ I am relieved to find. Some of my seedling polyanthus are in bloom also wannias, wallflowers Mary gave me are growing well and all three roses are alive. I ought to move two of them as they seem to catch all the cutting winds at the corner of the house. Don’t suppose it would hurt to move them about Dec. or Jan. What a lot there is to do in a garden. When I am not well it all seems to get on top of me. I have never really got master of it yet. News time and Jean is tired so think we will have supp. and go to bed early. I can read in bed if not sleepy. Can hear a plane.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Sun. Oct 8 7.50 P.M. [1944]

Got out of bed at 7.40 to draw curtains, it was calm and looked like being a fine day so decided to get up. Put D[ressing] Gown on and collected clothes, went down and lit stove and put kettle on. Made fire and took cinders out then had a cup of tea and took Jean one. Water warm in boiler so had a good wash and changed clothes. Cooked bacon and the two eggs Mrs. B[rown] brought and Jean some bread. Mrs. B has one hen, it has laid so many eggs this summer she had to buy waterglass and put them down! Some hen! Before Jean got down to breakfast at 8.30 it was raining and has kept drizzling all day. Jean went to Chapel and to S.S. [Sunday School] then to Mary’s with apples for Annie, Colin came here from S.S. to fetch them! Jean went to Miss Wilcoxon’s to get Pitman’s she promised to lend her as Tom’s is out of date. Not at home but Mrs. W. promised to get it for tomorrow.

My gladioli are lovely, took one to churchyard last week, have another in house (white ones) but too wet to go to-day. Hope I have pink and mauve ones too, tho’ only white so far. Dahlia still in flower and asters too tho’ flowers are smaller now. Have written to [sister] Emily L[ewis] Emmie and Ron and a card to Amy.

Roy has been on leave, was flown with cycle to St[rubby] aero[drome] as he had to see a damaged boat there. Dennis is at E. Kirkby drome and has been home twice. Keith is expected in a week or two. Rene brought me some nice roses last night. Frank called this morning, he had been to Percy’s. Says my front door key doesn’t belong but will try to fit one for me. Per’s mother and fa. here today. Gwen at Willeys at Anderby. Em L. coming to Island House Croft to live this week. I think sometimes the people who put no roots deep down but sort of run on the surface, are perhaps the happiest. They seem to enjoy each new adventure of a fresh home. I am by no means “at home” here yet, tho’ perhaps can hardly expect it under the circumstances. Sometimes I wonder if anywhere will ever feel like “home” again. I suppose if you keep on moving you don’t get enough attached to any place to bother when you leave. I am afraid I send my roots down too far. It is a wrench to pull them up and I hate to leave my flowers and get my furniture bumped about tho’ it’s old but not valuable!

Frank is thinking of getting removed from Ob. Post as he has so much work. Is not very keen on new …… [? illegible], thinks it will be very exp. for him. Black kitten is sitting on oven rest, tried top of oven with his paws but decided it was too hot. We had a piece of sirloin for dinner, cut from top of ribs to trim it up I think. They cut the carcases up so queerly now. It was very good, all meat too. We had mashed and brown potatoes and Yor[kshire] pud. with it but no beans as I forgot them yesterday and it was too wet to-day. There will be brussels as soon as a frost has been on them. Rene’s have already had some. Have got my crock nearly full of salted beans, there were so many young fresh ones it seemed a pity not to use them. Wish I could sell rabbits, they take a lot of feeding. Made a toy rabbit yesterday stuffed with flocks and clippings. Quite successful tho’ large toys would be much heavier than kapok and it takes a long time to clip up the oddments of material.

Miss Veda Wilcox (written as Wilcoxon), lived near Parishes’ ‘Rose Cottage’ on Roman Bank which was close to the beach, near ‘The Point’ (see Village Map). She was a WRN at ‘Royal Arthur’, possibly on secretarial duties.

RAF Strubby (see East Lincolnshire Map), not far from RAF Manby, was where nephew Roy Simpson had been involved in Air Sea Rescue boat repairs, having been flown from his base at RAF Langham, Norfolk

Nephew Dennis Raynor was at RAF East Kirkby (later Lincolnshire’s Aviation Heritage Centre), a bomber airfield near Revesby.

Silas and Winifred (‘Winnie’) Willey had been Ransons’ neighbours and had moved to a farm in Anderby. Gwen and her parents would cycle to visit them and their daughters Mary and Joan. Silas Willey was a member of the Home Guard (see 6th June 1944 for photo).

‘Island House’ was a farm cottage at Croft.

Frank Simpson (brother) or possibly Frank Raynor, was probably meant regarding the Observer Post. Both had been local members of the Royal Observer Corps and the duties could have been an unwanted diversion from their usual work activities.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Thur. Oct. 5. 44 10.20 P.M.

Jean curling her hair, she washed it rather late and it is only just dry. Was very busy first with S.H. [shorthand] lesson, seems very interested at present. Had first lesson at Miss Cus[ack] on Wed. Says T[om]’s Pitman’s is about 40 years out of date! But it will do for Alphabet. Mrs Brown (Eardley) came for tea this afternoon. Rev. Watson was buried in vault to-day. He would have been 90 next Feb. Mrs … [Almond?] there. I did not know about it, but in any case had asthma too bad to go. Toe swollen again to-night and painful, wish it would decide to get better. Mrs. Seal’s baby to be Edith Anne. Geo[rge] home tonight, collected photo’s Jean had called for. Odd planes about, there have been heavy explosions in distance from 9 o’c at intervals, sound like gunfire.
[Note added later] Nov 4: We heard afterwards that it was a fly. bomb and gunfire but do not know if this is authentic.

Reverend Edwin Watson had served as curate or vicar of St Leonard’s Church for much of his life, from 1888 until retirement. He was remembered for Christmas parties held at the Vicarage for Sunday School children. Annie Harness had been employed as domestic help there bfore her marriage to Herbert Faulkner (see 9th February 1942).

Dr and Mrs Almond (probably meant, though writing unclear), the parents of May’s niece Mavis Simpson’s future husband, Thomas, had lived in the village. However it is not certain that Mrs Almond was living there at that time.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Oct 1 Sun. 8.15 PM [1944]

I had just written the date when the light went out. I am afraid E.L. [electricity] is going to be an item in the winter tho’ the rebate will make it easier. Shall have to be very careful with wireless and do as little ironing as we can. I use a candle upstairs as I often need a light nights and early mornings. Cannot do with less than a 60 watt bulb in the kitchen for sewing and reading. It cost about 2/0 last week and it is a long time yet to the shortest day. It has been a lovely autumn day, cold and bright until tea time when the wind got worse and a storm blew up ending in rain and a lovely rainbow that seemed to be only at the bottom of the garden. Afterwards it thundered very heavily over the sea towards the North and came another heavy shower. We did not get to Chapel but Jean went this a.m. and to S.S. [Sunday School]. Rene came this afternoon. Ciss’s arrived home on 6.15 bus’ except George who is staying until Wed at Mary’s.

Mary sent us (not Mary Blythe) a nice little cockerel for dinner, it was very good, with beans and bread sauce. A little bit left for tomorrow. Mavis says Vic Hill died from the injuries received from flying bomb, the head injuries being worse than believed at first. My potatoes not turning out so well now, they don’t do well so near apple-trees. Ted and Albert Hall are on leave. They were digging potatoes on Fri and Saturday. Mrs. Ted Brown brought me some lovely roses on Thurs. They are lovely rich colour and named “Autumn”, sweet-scented too. Rene and I took some of them and a white gladiola and mauve, pink and white asters to the churchyard last night. We put a few asters in the memorial stone, vase.

Harriet fetched a young rabbit on Thursday. “Jimmy” is dead. Eva is at Mrs. D[andison]’s for a month. Calais has fallen to us at last, and the cross-channel guns are silenced at last too. Dover has been celebrating this week. What a relief it must be to them after 4 years. A few flying bombs, presumably launched from pick-a-back planes, continue to come over still. Planes go over us nearly all day sometimes and night too, but no enemy planes lately. My nerves seem fairly good tho’ I fear it would not take many “bumps” to unsettle them. How thankful we ought to be that we have lived in such a favoured area, tho I tremble to think of what would have happened had Ger. invaded Lincs. as he clearly intended by the plans found in Paris. How near the edge of a volcano we were unconsciously living at one time! We think and hope that time is past now.

John Short is able to cycle now tho’ he cannot walk without boots. Edith Bell (Mrs. Seal) had a daughter on Thurs. night or Fri morning. David is about 13 months old. Jean rolled new lawn on Sat. I took thistles and dandelions out first, I saw Coote looking over the hedge at it, with what I felt in my bones was a disapproving eye! Tom told Rene to tell me it wanted rolling when it was about three inches high, I am afraid I rather ungratefully told her I was tired of advice about the lawn. Jean and I are of the opinion that if we’d had as much help as advice about it, it would have been 6 feet high by now! I don’t profess to be a professional gardener, but as my father was so good in the garden and his father and grandfather were gardeners before him, I am not altogether dense, especially as we have always had a garden and have grown flowers and vegetables so long, even if I did not do the work on the veg. patch at least I was always there, and learnt most of the ropes. In one way at least I can beat them all. Dear Will had a tool for everything, so I do not have to borrow. One thing however I do lack and that is a light little barrow. It would be very useful. I sent George’s back to Con. before we came here and even if it had been ours it was too heavy.

George Ranson was probably staying with his aunt, Mary Blythe, in the Grimsby area (see 18th November 1943).

The other Mary (NOT Mary Blythe) here, was Charles Hill’s wife.

Vic Hill, killed by a flying bomb, has not been identified and may not have been a relative. The incident would have been in the south-east of England as flying bombs did not reach Lincolnshire.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?