All posts tagged soft toy

Mon Feb 21. 8.30 a.m. [1944]
# MASS BOMBING RAIDS ON GERMANY
# NEWS FROM RON IN ITALY
# GIFTS OF CLOTHING RECEIVED

It has continued bitterly cold, too cold to snow some people say. It usually turns a little milder before snow. So far all we have is icy cold sleet showers.

Largest weight of bombs 2,300 tons dropped in Ger. early Sun morning, 79 of our planes were missing. No, the enemy is not conquered yet. 2000 U.S.A. bombers went out in daylight yesterday. Russians have cleared up pocket of trapped Gers, a terrible waste of life there. We are having a stiff fight in Italy, if we can push in where we have made bridge-head at Anzio beach it will have a great effect on German morale, proving their West defences may not be impregnable. Our Gen[eral]s are determined to do it.

Had 2 letters from Ron Thur or Fri. Rene 2 and Jean 2. 6. Mine were the most recent Jan 19 being newest. We think he has moved on as he says he missed writing one week. He is very pleased with African Star and Clasp. Said they had a great sewing-time when they received ribbons. The actual star they will get after the war. He says they have had big frosts but it gets quite hot in the day-time. He had been washing his hair and says it is a treat not to have it full of dust and sand as in summer. Says Italian women aren’t very good laundry women.

Emmie sent Jean’s grey wool all ready knitted into a very nice jumper. She had intended kn[itting] it herself but owing to other work she could not knit at mill so got a woman to do it. Jean was very pleased as it came just right for the B.B. [Boys’ Brigade] social. I am pleased too as I have plenty of work without it. Made a little dog last week from pieces Jean’s blouse. Will do for a pram toy for a baby as it is cream colour. Blouse fits well. Mrs Wilson sent Father 5/0 and a pair of very nice slippers for me. Felt soles and inner soles and very finely knitted uppers in wools of all colours. I took blk-out down before Jean went to school to-day. Eff ‘s hens are laying again, have had 1 doz eggs and can have ½ doz again to-day. Amy coming tomorrow and Ken if all well. We have killed large rabbit (Lady) as they like rabbit and the Sunday joint looks very sick by Tues.

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

Tue Jan. 25. 10.o’c. P.M. [1944]
# HOME MADE TOFFEE ENJOYED
# ANOTHER SOFT TOY MADE
# IMPROVEMENTS IN MEN’S CLOTHING

This morning our toffee was nicely set and very good. We have eaten all of it. The wind rose to a gale last night. I was pleased when Father got home just after 12 o’c. I got very little sleep until morning and felt too tired and unwell to get up at 7 o’c. so Jean rose and put the kettle on the stove and lit the fire which refused to burn. She brought me some tea and got her own breakfast. She walked to catch the bus’ as the wind was so strong tho’ gradually lessening. When I rose the fire had gone out again and when I relit it took a long time to get really going. Think it was a bad load of coal or there was too much draught for it as wind was in the door. However it was burning fairly well when Father got up. I felt better for staying in bed, but it made me late with work. Rene stayed at Bev[erley] to wash her own things and as it looked like rain waited to take them in before coming about 3.30. My clothes got half-dry yesterday and as it was bright and sunny and wind not too strong I put them out for an hour or two and they got dry. I folded them after dinner and have left them to be ironed tomorrow. Eff came after dinner. I paid for meal and the lb of marmalade she let me have. She stayed a good while and helped me fold sheets. I have done a bit more to my quilt tonight sewed and stuffed the doll I cut out, body ought to have been bigger, finished thumb on Rene’s glove and started second finger. My little ex[ercise] book won’t contain much history as it is almost full. Jean has bought me a larger one today for 9D, this was 5D I think and we used to get a big one for 1D or 2D. Men are to have all the pockets in their suits again and trouser turn-ups. Utility suits (men’s) are to be 20 cou[pons] instead of 26. Think no one buys them unless obliged and shopkeepers have a lot on their hands.

Meal, here, was probably barley-meal for pigs, or it could have meant ‘fish and chips’ which Eff may have previously collected and brought for the family as she sometimes did (see 5 Sep 1942).

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

Wed Jan 19. 10.P.M. [1944]
# JEAN PLAYING HOCKEY
# MAKING SOFT TOYS FOR SALE
# SEWING AND KNITTING TASKS

It seemed a little brighter early to-day so did some washing, however before dinner it turned very damp again, the little wind there was fell and it kept spitting with rain, and about 4 o’c came on to rain in good earnest. Jean had been playing hockey and her stockings and legs were very muddy. A mad idea to play on such wet ground as there is now. It was still pouring with rain at 9 o’c. I can hear the hump, hump of the sea so think tide is in. Father is on watch until 12 o’c. Yesterday I sent Aunt Jet some bits of cloth for her rug. She said she had not enough. Post 9D. I doubt if they were worth it. I also put 2 balls coloured cotton in, left over from slipper making, for her to knit up if she liked, as she says knitting cotton is dear and no one pays her for her dish-cloths. The time hangs heavy on her hands as being almost blind there is little she can do. I told her I wanted it for a tea-cosy as my wool one is worn out.

I have made another soft toy, an elephant this time. Jim Hall says a licence is needed to make toys for sale, and that there is a big purchase tax on them, hence the price. So I shan’t make my fortune toy-making. Still it may come in useful. They make very nice presents at any time, and children are ever with us. I have made Jumbo red eyes, don’t know if that is correct, but I recollect reading of an elephant with “wicked red eyes” and they look very effective against the grey cloth. I must make him a back-cloth and perhaps a head-square out of Emmie’s scraps of red silk. We had a letter written Jan 1st from Ron today and an A.M.L. written on 9th so that is very good indeed. The A.M.L was in answer to my letter of Dec. 23. I think that is about the quickest exchange we have had. He is very well.

I must finish off a few of my sewing jobs soon now as it will soon be time to turn out drawers and cupboards ready for Spring cleaning. I have a blouse of Jean’s to make, it’s cut out and I have just started it. Then I am determined to get my kapok quilt done, I have made a start. I have started to knit new palms and fingers to Rene’s old gloves and my cardigan is only half finished. I have a new pair of sleeves cut out ready to renovate a dress for myself. Last week I made 5 buttonholes of leather and the petals left over from Jean’s cap at Rene’s wedding. 3 for [sister] Em L’s girls, one Rene is having and one Jean took to Doreen [Hodgson]. Rene has brought a knitted tea-cosy to send to Em. It is knitted like a dress with a little doll at top with a bonnet, very pretty. They are belated Xmas presents. Eff came for “Standard” which we had borrowed, as I sent new one to Ron in mistake.

Doreen Hodgson, Jean’s school class-mate and long-term friend, lived in Skegness.

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

Nov. 21st 8.15 a.m. [1943]
# ILLNESSS ALL ROUND
# MANY TASKS COMPLETED AND REVIEWED
# POSITIVE PHILOSOPHY CHEERS

Find I dated Ron’s letter and Mrs Leivers PC [postcard], Ron’s AirG. [airgraph] and 3 greetings A.G.’s Nov 11th yesterday. Letter and P.C. posted but must alter Graphs. I suppose my head was a bit muddled. I was in bed until after dinner as I had such a splitting headache when I woke at 5 o’c and my chest was so bad with tight stabbing pains. Head is better this morning and chest much better too tho’ very tight when I went to bed. It is nearly 3 weeks since I caught that wretched cold, I think I got thoroughly chilled when that blanket of fog came down while I waited for the bus’ and as colds were very prevalent in Sk[egness] perhaps caught it there, or it brought my Bronchitis on and I caught Jean’s cold. Rene is not too well either. She has done a lot of running about this last week over me and Mr Shales. He is recovering now. Don’t know whether Rene will do my washing today. It has been raining and is still a little foggy tho’ much clearer than yesterday. It was a very short dark day.

I must keep out of the steam. Was very impatient I’m afraid last week, felt I was wasting time as I could not get to my Autumn cleaning. However on summing up Sat night I found I had made Jean a school skirt, cut it out, made it and pressed it ready to wear. (Tell it not in Gath, I still have the seams to oversew.) I changed sleeves of cardigan left to right as elbows were wearing, finished dressing sailor doll for Baby Balding, cut out and stuffed Terrier Dog. Brown velveteen. Small but looks quite profess’l. It is for Patsy Adams. Making animals is fascinating but don’t like dressing dolls. I spent one evening repairing Jean’s school satchel. I also knitted about half one front of my new cardigan. Motto: when not very well look at what you have done not at what you have left undone. It’s less depressing. After Father had pneu[monia] (before M and B tablets) I used to get so tired that when I went to bed the only prayer I could seem to think of was “I have left undone the things I ought to have done”! Jean has gone to school, Father not up as he was on watch until 12. I will knit a little as it’s too dark yet to start work and I am only just settling down from my usual early morning attack of asthma, tho’ it wasn’t too bad to-day.

‘Tell it not in Gath…weep not at all.’ is from the Bible, Micah 1:10.

M & B tablets were May and Baker proprietary medication.

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

Mon. 15 Nov. 10 o’c PM. [1943]
# RECOVERING FROM A BAD COLD
# MAKING JEAN’S SCHOOL SKIRT
# MORE SOFT TOYS UNDERWAY
# NEARBY MARSH AREA FLOODED

I did not write much in my diary last Wed. as I felt so tired and could not collect my thoughts. It turned out I had a bad head cold developing and I have gone thro’ the worst of it now and just feel seedy and tired to-day, hope I shall begin to feel like myself tomorrow. I have cut Jean’s new green skirt out and partly made it. She has been to school, but had such a lot of home-work and was so tired I did not get it tried on, however, I have taken measurements so hope to get a bit more done tomorrow. I have really finished the “sailor” doll. I made a few more stitches on his face and pulled it into quite a decent shape, made and sewed his hat on so hope baby Balding will like it. I don’t like making such tiny clothes, think I’ll stick to animals. Have cut paper pattern of Scottie dog and Rene cut the Terrier pat. so hope to try them this week. I finished sewing buttons on Jean’s cardigan tonight and mended her school bag strap so got no more of my cardigan done. I finished a diamont patn. this morning and cut out Jean’s skirt before dinner. As Rene did a big wash for me last Wed I am only doing just what is necessary this week. She has her big wash this week. It was so stormy she did not start to-day. Mr Shales is a little better to-day.

Father had to go on W.Bx. [watch box] for a while this morning, the D.O. [District Officer] was there. He had 45 out of 50 of his last quest[ions] right. It has been very stormy again to-day but not so many sleet-showers as yesterday. It has been one or two tho’ since dark. It turns very cold before showers and slightly warmer after. The whole house seems to turn cold before showers. I am writing in bed but it is so cold I shall soon lay down. It is 10.30. so it won’t seem long to 12 when Father comes off watch. There have been some very high tides again the last few days, sea came into Marsh again. The seamen’s work did not keep it out, altho’ one of Grantham’s boys said it kept the bulk of it out! Father took Mrs. Mason to Sutton [-on-Sea] last Wed. She is gone there to live with Mrs. Bryant, a relative. She gave Father a good enamel kettle and £1.

Mr and Mrs Shales were Rene’s elderly next-door neighbours in Sunningdale Drive (see Village Map), having moved into the bungalow ‘Chapel of Ease’ (built by the Ashley Hall family – see 1 Apr 1943) next to ‘Beverley’.

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

Nov. 2nd 10.30 P.M Tue [1943]
# WILL’S COASTGUARD WATCHES CHANGED
# RENE’S TOM JOINS COASTGUARDS
# EXPERIMENT WITH SOFT TOY MAKING
# VILLAGE LADS DUE FOR EMBARKATION
# LOCAL AIRMAN IN AMERICAN MISHAP
# MORE NEWS OF RON IN ITALY

On Monday the C.G. watches changed from 8 o’c to 2 o’c etc. to 6 o’c to 12 o’c etc. Don’t know if we shall like it as well. Father is on watch from 6 p.m. until 12 o’c tonight. Our evenings won’t seem so broken up when he goes on or comes off at 6 pm but mornings will be short when he goes on at 12 noon or comes off then. Tom has been taken on as relief Aux C.G. [Auxiliary Coastguard]. He is quite thrilled with the idea at present. Have got photos of C.Gs framed and sent Emmie hers.

On Friday evening I tried my hand at a soft toy and made a very decent horse out of Jean’s old grey flannel shorts, kapok down and a bit of wool trimming. The pattern is good and instructions very clear. Rene and I are making me a velvet tam. Think it will be very nice when finished. I could have finished it tonight I think but have been seedy all day and wanted to get on with Jean’s cardigan too so did not get it out again after tea. Have not washed yet as Rene was collecting Red + Mon and it was drizzly this morning and I did not feel up to starting either. Jo. Sharp and Jim Clarke are home on embarkation leave. Rex Lenton in America after flying mishap, have heard his plane was shot down into sea and that he and rest of crew were picked up and taken to America. Pet[er] Kirk is home this weekend after attending Ad[miral] Sir Dudley Pound’s funeral service. Sir D. was afterwards cremated and his ashes together with his wife’s (she died in the summer) were strewn on the sea.

Had a letter from Emmie on Sat. She had heard from Ron, a letter dated 17 Oct so fairly new. He is in Italy and in billets now. A welcome change after “bivvy” tent I guess. Says view from billet is magnificent, and the climate is more like home than he has been in before. I think their winter is the same time as ours. Art Belton is in Italy and says he is sick of grapes. We could do with a few here. A lot of Canad[ian] apples are coming over also a lot of turkeys and other food from Ireland for Xmas. Mrs Coulston got me 1 lb small raisins this week with my points and a tin of sw[eetened] milk for Father’s porridge. Petrol coupons arrived this morning. We all went to Chapel Sun night. It was a nice evening but very dark when we came home. Keith and Marian were there and Lau[rence] played the organ. Rev. Hodgson preached. Miss West is getting to look a very old lady. One or two church people were there as Vicar has the flu’ so no church service.

It has been an “owery” day but cleared at sunset and sun shone into kitchen while we were at tea. We did not go into room until Father had gone on watch as Rene and I had been so busy with hat we didn’t get the fire put in. Chrysanths are coming out well, as weather keeps mild. Jean’s are fine ones. She dug up old roots and set slips, and blooms are much bigger than on my old plants. Best to dig them up every year I think and set new slips. There are stray violets and polyanth’s in bloom too and a few marigolds still glow in odd corners. I am writing this in bed and a tiresome old “bluebottle” is buzzing round the room. Every now and then the wind freshens up so perhaps it will blow fog and drizzle away. Only just over 7 weeks to Xmas now. Russians have invaded one side of Crimea. Gers. look like being completely routed there before long. Think another 6 months will see the end of the War or at least it will be in sight. I wonder if Ger’s. will send any big air raids before then.

A Coastguard group photograph has already been shown (see 7 Jun 1942). The one mentioned here was probably taken later.

Jo. Sharpe was the greengrocer’s son, Cyril, known as ‘Joey’ (see 2 Feb 1943). He and Jim Clarke served in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, together until assigned to separate units abroad after the embarkation leave.

Jim Clarke, son of Jesse Clarke, living in Hogsthorpe, was the nephew of farmer Walter Clarke (see 2 Mar 1942).

Rex Lenton was an RAF wireless operator/ air gunner on a Liberator B24 bomber which crashed while attacking a submarine in the Atlantic. Jean later noted in her diary (13th January 1944) that he was in hospital in Newfoundland with a broken leg, according to his sister, Judy, when asked at school. His father, Bob, a butcher who died before the war, had owned the shop that had become Wells’. Jim Lenton, Home Guard member, was Bob’s brother, a farmer.

Sir Dudley Pound, Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord 1939-1943, died from a brain tumour.

Arthur Belton was the younger brother of Cyril, garage owner, and of Harold. He lived in Nottingham.

Rev. Hodgson was the regular Methodist minister.

‘Owery’ – a local word for ‘dirty, filthy, damp, cold’. (See ‘A Glossary or Collection of Words, Phrases, Place Names, Superstitions Current in East Lincolnshire’, Jabez Good, Long Sutton, c1900.)

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