Sunday November 9 8.50 pm [1941]

A stormy Sunday evening, it has been very cold since dinner time. Father had to attend a lecture on aeroplanes and as the school was not “blacked-out” and it was a lantern lecture they adjourned to the Central hall. No fire of course and they were all very cold and not too pleased as they did not see much use in it. They have silhouettes of planes in C.G box and they were shown and told far too much to remember in one lecture. In any case the C.Gs are not so much concerned with planes as sea-watching. The R.O.C. was supposed to attend too but only two of them did so. Father just got warmed up and then had to go on duty at 8 p.m. He will be pretty tired by 2am as he was up at 1.30 am this morning on watch until 8 a.m.

Have just written to Emmie. Rene came down this afternoon in spite of cold wind. Mr A has another cold, we have decided not to wash tomorrow in case she does not get. My hands are so tender I skinned my fingers on Friday with doing a little washing and had to do my wash on Sat with gloves on as I could not bear them in water. Rather like washing ones feet with stockings on I think. Expect the cold winds have dried them up too. Hope they will soon get hardened to work again. I am feeling much stronger and better able to work now but not as well as I should like to be. My asthma troubles me from about 4 a.m to getting up time at 7.15 or perhaps it stops about 6.45 and I get a few minutes of warm comforting sleep. When the asthma eases it is almost worth a little of it for the delicious feeling of relief and comfort that seems to wrap one around.

Father went to the box in his blue pin stripe suit, C.G. cap, white collar and black tie and Ron’s blue mac. I told him he looked as if he were attending an admiral’s funeral, he looked very smart and said his cap badge was the cleanest. By my advice he washes it with warm water and a little ammonia, it cleans it without removing the lacquer so only wants doing occasionally. Jean is on the couch, think we may go to bed soon as I have heard no planes lately, but the fire is nice yet and it is too cold to read in bed.

Had a letter from Ron yester-day, they are talking of being moved again possibly to Selby this time. I hope not before his Xmas leave. It would be nice if he were here for Xmas day but think that is hardly likely tho’ it is on a Weds but expect there would be no trains even if he got leave and no buses run on Xmas day the one day in the year I think. We have had 1lb (2) oranges this week, very nice and juicy. To-morrow or Tues we get our new pink ration books for tinned meat, salmon etc. and beans so many points a lb. I am getting completely muddled with the ration scheme since being ill, I seem to have lost my grasp on things. How old people manage I don’t know, they must be at the mercy of the shopkeepers. I must try to get all the things thought out and make a note of them to save this bewildered feeling. There is no shortage of food about here at present.

This is warships week at Skegness. The school children, about 1,000, parade thro’ town and go to a free cinema show on Wed if the parents send permission. There are parades and processions all the week in spite of notices that people should not collect in crowds. I wish Wed were over as Jean naturally wants to join in. It would be terrible if anything happened. Grace brought a pen and pencil for Ron’s birthday on Saturday.

Father has written to Gavin, he wants to exchange this car a Singer 8 for a 10 hp if possible as this is hardly up to the size and weight of 5 men on Preachers Sundays and he does not want to lose the work. Jean has made a timetable of Father’s duties until Dec 31 if no alteration so that we can see at a glance if he is on duty when he is wanted elsewhere. He will have to get a substitute for next Sun afternoon as he will be out with locals. Hope Joe K[irk] can do it as he owes Father a watch.

Had 3 eggs from Halls this week-end with a MF [Ministry of Food] stamp on them. They seem beautifully fresh but I seem to have a great aversion to them. Expect we will get used to them in time. I wonder if our trade will ever be able to be worked up again, I doubt it now the packers of eggs have got it all in their hands. Made 2 water bottle covers and two kettle holders out of bits of old blankets and an old scarf, 1 each for Rene and I. Jean is having my bottle cover as she has an aluminium bottle now, having put a knitting needle thro’ her rubber one. I am hoping to get it vulcanised as it is nearly new. Must remember to get a new exercise book, this is nearly full.

The Central Hall, used for community activities, was almost opposite the Methodist chapel on St Leonards Drive (see Village Map).

ROC – Royal Observer Corps – The local group included several relatives, including Frank Raynor (see 9 Dec. 1940).

‘Warship Weeks’ were organised by the National War Savings Committee, with the support of the Admiralty, and were intended to stimulate public loan investment by setting savings targets (usually exceeded) appropriate to the size of various communities and the type of ship which the targets represented.

Jimmy Gavin (pronounced gay-vin) was a second-hand car dealer who lived at ‘Tennyson Cottage’ in Tetford, near Somersby (Tennyson’s birthplace – see diary 9 Oct. 1941), where the cars for sale were lined up on the grass verge alongside a section of the road which encircled the village (see East Lincolnshire Map).

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

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