Paid £3.8.0 rates yesterday and £2.15.0 car licence to-day. Ron sent his Xmas tin back and we had a letter yesterday and to-day. Seems to have settled down nicely. Rene and I posted letters to him yesterday including a long one from Jean. More mutton to-day, Father and Jean like it cold but I don’t. Perhaps I may get to like it. Noticed Libby’s corned mutton in tins on sale at Alford to-day. Wish I had bought a tin, did not fancy it at the time but might be glad of it sometime. Ron says they had corned beef for dinner and bets we can’t get it. We can’t but I have two tins in my little store. No, it’s not a hoard, there isn’t enough. Rene and I did not go to “The Black Cat” to-day, we went to Westcott’s and had fish and chips for 6D each. It was very good too, if the service and room was not so nice. Afterwards we had tea from the flask we took and a biscuit. The tea was hot and warmed us nicely. The streets were slushy and wet, but it did not rain. Brom. charged us 1/0 each for telling us he had made a good job of our guiders (ligaments I suppose). Rene bought corsets as they are probably going to be scarce. (I have a new pair.) The girl in the shop said it was because of the metal used in their construction not the shortage of material. Even our corset clasps and bones? needed for guns.
Think Father will be tired by the time he is able to rest. He went on the box at 2 a.m. off at 8 am. Then to Alford, then Skeg. with a Naval man and then to Mablethorpe with the Salvage Officer. Mr Graves carried on until 10 p.m. at the box and Father is there until 2 a.m. He has to be at Sk. again in the morning at 9.15 to fetch the N. man back and take him on to Mablethorpe, pick up the Sal. man and take them to Grimsby and Immingham. The S. man jumped out of the boat too soon and got wet, he has a pair of Ron’s socks, hope he returns them. Two tugs got the bombed vessel off to-night, hope they get it safe to Immingham. It has turned very stormy and the wind has come N. or N.E. It keeps raining too. Father was in two minds about getting petrol at Alford, but it was a good thing he did. There were 5 bodies on the “Greyfriars”. The Captain and the rest of the crew have arrived home. Great shortage of meat in Alford during the last week. Mountain the butch. sold fish in his shop two days we heard. Now it is chiefly rabbits and mutton (frozen). Had a parcel from Mrs Den[man] to-day, she says meat short in Nott[ingha]m, rabbits 4/6, chickens 10/0 to 11/6. She sent Jean a good tweed coat that only wants shortening and of course cleaning. It will be very useful, the other things too. Ron says their bread is rationed now only 2 slices a day, don’t know if it’s just temporary. He passed his second test 60%, a lot of them did not get that. I got him razor blades in Alford to-day 2 at one shop 2½D no more allowed and 7 for 6D at another, no more at that price when present stock exhausted. Oranges 5½D lb about 3 or rather less to the lb. Think Jean and I will go to bed when I have filled the [hot water] bottles. She has been asleep a long time. My cold still lingers and I have a tiresome cough.
Westcott’s fish and chip café was in Alford.
Arthur Graves, one of the coastguards, lived in a small cottage, formerly the ‘Pig and Whistle’ public house, near ‘The Point’. His daughter, Violet, was in the Red Cross.
Close to the major fishing port of Grimsby, Immingham was a dock area for other vessels, including Royal Navy warships.
Mr Mountain was a butcher in Alford market place.
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?