March did not come in like a lion, however it may go out. It has been a very calm fair day, but not much sun tho’ not as bitterly cold as we have had it. Yesterday was fair but very cold. We went to Sk. in the morning as Father wanted to use Feb. petrol coupons, the basic ones. Jean drew £1 out of Trustee Sav. Bank. It is a new place where old P[ost] Off[ice] was, so bare and clean with new chairs upholstered in bluey-green rexine, set stiffly by the walls looking as if they dared anyone to soil their pristine poshness by sitting in them. Clerk or manager exceedingly gracious, we were the only clients? at the moment. Jean looked as bothered as if it were an overdraft she was negotiating instead of one of her own £1.s. Think Mr. Sp.lo [Spendlove] drills it so into them that they ought not to draw any out, that they feel it is wrong, instead of being their own money, for use if required. It was, this time as she wanted blazer, and 39/6 was more than I could afford for one garment. She is drawing her one S certificate too and will put savings into T.S.Bk now.
Saw Grace [Hill] in M&S [Marks and Spencer], she was quite chatty. Ken and Bill in Middle East, wonder if they will meet. Les. Chief acc[ountant] in Air Min[istry]. Kat of course in the W.R.N.S. at Roy[al] Art[hur]. Eva is at home with gastric flu’. Very nice being able to get home when she is ill. It is not very nice in lodgings when ill. Bought a child’s book 1/0 at M&S. Rud. Kip. Animal Stories, think it’s too old for Flora. One of the stories is “The cat who walks by himself”. Father got a bot. of med. from Dr. also a tonic for Rene, at least from Boots as they are panel pat[ient]s. Fa took bot. which was not big enough. They charge 2½D on bots. They are returnable. Shops were full of tins of fruit but the number of pts and prices will ration them I think. 4½O[?] [ounces?] tins of pine.ap. are 8 pts and 1S/3½D per tin. Pears (large) 16 pts and 1/9 tin. I have got a pineapple but don’t think I shall bother with more.
Called to see Patty Coote, coming home, she has pleurisy and was in bed, but hoped to get up to-day. Took her a cod steak 9D (1S/4D lb.) as there was plenty of fish at Sk. Sat. Three or 4 cats were on the copper-top in scull[ery] when I went in and one or two more on the floor and Jill the dog. They were licking up the plates from the meat course. Mr C and Paddy were at the table having cus[tard] and fruit and F[rank] had taken Pat. hers. She was in sit-room which is being used as bed-room. Don’t know if they are always in it now. She is very thin and looked ill. Everything is desperately shabby and wants renewing. New style wooden bedstead but looked as if there were only the thinnest of overlays on spring and bed linen very grubby. Should have thought it could have been changed even though there is only a young girl there. F had cleaned up the room. Paddy is a lovable little boy. Mr C. looks very old and thin, he had been ill. Am afraid P. has nearly given up.
Flowers are very dear. We have none, only snow-drops and primroses in bud. Daffs 4/0 doz and little narcissi 3/6. Clarks and Charles H. have little lambs, but I have not seen them yet. Saw some of the havoc Ger. had done at R. Art. It was a wonder more were not killed. See our paratroops have made a succ. raid in N. France on a radiograph station and most of them got safely off by the Navy. Very dangerous, but must be very thrilling. Ron should be nearing camp again by this, he is due in at 11.39 pm. Do hope he is not delayed this time or he may get leave stopped. 10. pm. so will prepare for bed. Jean already gone. Our patch of snow has really gone off the lawn, but ditches and hollows were still full yesterday.
Mr Spendlove, Skegness Grammar School headmaster was mentioned earlier (see 20 Jan. 1941).
Grace Hill, widow of Will’s brother Jim, was meant here. Kenneth Hill (see 3 Feb. 1941) was one of their sons and Bill Smith (see 11 Dec. 1940) was the husband of their elder daughter, Olive.
Leslie (Eede) Hill was Grace’s son by an earlier marriage. As a widow Grace married Jim, who adopted Leslie.
Kathleen (‘Kath’) Hill, the younger of Grace and Jim’s two daughters, was a ‘Wren’– member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service, based at ‘HMS Royal Arthur’.
Rudyard Kipling’s book was ‘Just So Stories’, first published in 1902.
The superscript in the reference to tins of pineapple was unclear – either D or O. If D it could have referred to the old price, rather than the assumed O which could have meant weight in ounces.
Mr C probably meant Jack Coote, Frank’s father (see 28 Jan. 1941). Note: Support for the full reproduction, in this blog, of the original Diary entries referring to his parents and family has kindly been given by Mr Paddy Coote, although he does not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed by May Hill.
Walter Clarke farmed at ‘Tower Farm’, north of ‘The Grange’ on Sea Bank Road (see Village Map)
The British 1st Parachute Brigade, with RAF and Navy support, captured German anti-aircraft radar equipment at Bruneval, near Le Havre, France on 27th -28th February 1942.
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?