Feb. 10 Tue 8 P.M [1942]

Father has just gone on watch, he will nearly have to wade “aboard” tonight, the road is like a ditch with the thaw. The water drains away so slowly. On the way home from Sk[egness] to-day about 1 o’clock a lot of the main road was quite dry. We saw where the fire at Roy. Art. had been. Glo[ucester] House was just a burnt shell, all the glass gone from the windows except one end. The fat sentry was as usual on guard as we went. It is very tiresome trying to shop now, the windows look almost as usual, but on going inside one finds they are mostly out of what we want and that tho’ it is on order they don’t know when it will arrive. No fountain pens, last lot 30S [3S ?] so it did not matter, they (Dutton’s) have some nibs for F. Pens on order and are expecting delivery shortly. Got two ordinary nibs 1D each. Got an exercise book 9D, smaller than this. The stiff-covered ones are 1/2 now. Got a travelling ink-well like Ron’s for Rene to send Eva. At Lane’s I got 3 rolls paper for kitchen 2/3 a roll! It is good paper, they knocked 6D roll off as it was a remnant. New stuff is like blotting-paper. Shall have to use it carefully as 3 rolls is only just enough, it is rather a light colour but it will start clean, we must trust to Providence for the next lot. Shall certainly not paper sit. room this year unless we have an unexpected influx of visitors. Enquired about Gym Tunic and Blazer for Jean. 39S/6D each. It is too much, I cannot possibly afford that. They have not the materials for making them at home now. Had a letter from Ron, he will be here tomorrow if all’s well. They have got the road cleared out of the Camp. Father will have to get someone to do a couple of hours for him. Bought 3 bots. of Ammonia. Thought there might be a run on it for blanket washing later if so[ap] flakes are scarce.

Clothes dried whilst we went to Sk. Rene washed so did not come to dinner but later and had a cup of tea and a cream bun, very nice, from Bonnets. Father killed “Mrs Grey”. She was even fatter than the young ones [rabbits]. It was a good thing he did as Jack called a little later, for it. H[arriet] is up again but not very great yet. Wonder how Father is getting on with Joe [Kirk]. Joe has a superiority complex just now. Called Parish over the coals last night for an omission of duty. Said it would get the box a bad name. Exactly, but J. has no authority, it is in Hallg[arth]’s place to correct him if anyone’s here. Should like to be around if he starts to instruct Father. Fa got 2 bots of bronchial mix at Boots for himself and Rene so hope they will soon be better. Have folded clothes, must try to mangle before Ron comes. Have bread to bake too, and dinner to cook.

The Dutton family owned a bookshop and library in Skegness. Reginald JG Dutton was a renowned linguist who developed a ‘universal language’, aimed at efficient international communication. An open letter, bearing his Skegness address, was included in the book Dutton World Speedwords (Dutton Publications, London, 1943).

Lane’s furnishing shop was a family business in Skegness.

Bonnets restaurant and cake shop in Skegness had a high reputation.

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

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