8.30 am Mon. 16 Dec [1940]

Planes keep going over, there were a lot over last night when we were in bed so perhaps they may be ours coming home. It is not so misty this morning. Yesterday was very foggy so I did not get to Chapel. Will was out with preachers but got home about 4.30. He has just gone to the box and Jean started off in the twilight for school. They break up Wed so when they go back again the mornings will soon be lighter. We shall get some long cold evenings too. I think Mrs Hipkin’s idea of going back to old time after Xmas until Spring a very good suggestion. Do hope there is a letter from Ron, it is a queer feeling not to know where he is, but we may have to get used to it. Don Raynor is on draft leave with white suits so they presume he is going to Egypt. Raymond is at home and I think Keith. Ralph [Faulkner] has got home on leave at last, he had a very bad time over his vaccination. Ena? having got engaged he was walking Aileen out.

Methodist ‘local preachers’ were lay preachers in the local ‘Circuit’. Will provided a regular Sunday ‘taxi’ service.
Mrs Hipkin was Jean’s piano teacher, who lived at ‘Sherwood House’ in the village.
Don Raynor was the son of a local garage owner.
Raymond and Keith were sons of Will’s brother Charles who lived at ‘Field House’ in the village.
Ralph Faulkner was a friend of Ron, of similar age, living in the village.
Ena and Aileen were two sisters whose family lived near the village centre.

Mr Virgin wants Ron’s address as the Brit. Legion are sending parcels. Think the W.V.S. send socks. I must make him a cake to-day as we want to send a little parcel from home. Heard from Mrs Lees, they want chickens for Xmas. Can get 2 from Mrs Jackson, don’t know price yet. Don’t know what we shall have yet. Put guiders wrong in my hand again, shall have to get to Alford tomorrow to get them put right. Father won’t be going this week. They are rather painful when I have been working, and knitting and sewing are difficult. Rene only home a few minutes Sat and Sunday. Mr A not well again. Rene is a bit fed up but will not realise that she is completely run down and that makes everything a trouble. She will not get home to-day as he is not going to business. Cooked a rice pudding for soldiers yesterday and instructed one of them how to make white sauce. The sergeant brought me a lot of porridge oats and cauliflowers (lovely ones) and turnips, said they had got them round their necks. He is a very austere looking man, a thorough Soldier. The drains have been attended to and are much better. They have dug the flower plots both back and front of the house and look very neat. Think they have dug up or in all the flowers. Billy Lees is in Canada so they are not so worried about him. Wrote to Edie and Aunt J[et] last night. Edie sent usual 2/6 and 5/0, they expect to be at Harrogate for duration. It is a reception area and she says there are thousands of extra people there. Had a card from Mason’s so they are alright, same address. The wind seems to be getting up a bit so hope it blows the fog away. Think I must wash a few clothes as I can’t tomorrow or Wed, I expect my hand will be painful. Re said she would wash some but can’t depend on that if Mr A is at home. Must get the black-out down and start work. Will’s club draw was 16/1. Sent Mrs F[letcher] £2 rent.

Frank Virgin was the regular postman, living in nearby Hogsthorpe at that time.
WVS, the Women’s Voluntary Service, had been founded in 1938, in anticipation of the possibility of a war. Temporary refreshment and basic shopping facilities were provided by them for servicemen and others in need.
Mr and Mrs Lees, former holiday visitors from West Bridgeford, Nottingham, had employed Rene as a nanny in her teens.
Mrs Jackson here, who kept chickens, was the wife of Joe Jackson, Ron’s former employer.
‘Guiders’ here apparently referred to ligaments in the hand.
Alford, a nearby inland town, smaller than Skegness, was convenient for shops and services, including the bone-setter. The family frequently visited on Tuesdays, Market Day.
Mr A worked for accountants, Mountain & Jessop, in Skegness.
Billy Lees was the son of Mr and Mrs Lees of West Bridgeford.
Edie was May’s stepmother, who had married May’s father after the death of his first wife.
May’s Aunt Jet (Jedidah) and Uncle Tom were living with May’s cousin Amy, in Trusthorpe.
Harrogate was an official reception area for evacuees from ‘at-risk’ areas, including a group of senior Post Office officials.
The Club probably here referred to the local ‘Pig Club’ whose membership subscriptions contributed to insurance to cover the loss of a pig. Will was the treasurer. Another local savings/insurance scheme, the ‘Sick and Dividing Club’, helped with necessities for those sick or off work. At the end of a year surplus funds in either club would be divided amongst members. (See ‘A Yellowbelly Childhood’, Frank Forster, Seacroft Press, 2007, p74.)
Mrs Fletcher owned ‘Lenton Lodge’ which Will and May rented.

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

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