Saturday, 15 January 2011

Letter from Tom Critchley to Mary Platt 15.1.1941

 37 Lonsdale Drive, Enfield

My dear Mary and Harry,

Thank you very much for the bottle which has just reached us safe & sound. I expect it will keep us going for the next three years or so.
I have somehow managed to get a lovely cold; folks at the works have all been having one, so I suppose I must have caught it from there. It started on Sunday & I was ass enough to go to work Monday & yesterday & now have nearly lost my voice, so I am having a day off.
It's no wonder you couldn't get through on Saturday night. Until two o'clock things were happening all over the show & the row would have been quite interesting to hear if you had managed to connect before it was all over. There were a few more fires, but nothing like the big ones a fortnight earlier. Either the guns or fighters, the former I think judging by the noise, scattered the Jerries so they dropped a few on the outskirts. You & Mollie saw the new Grammar School at Barnet, didn't you? That night one dropped on the junior school & another in the playing fields. I hear the laboratories & refectory are in a bit of a mess & the new swimming bath damaged.
Another lot dropped at the back of our old house in Bosworth Road – 7 people were killed there.
Saturday night Tom's Margaret was here with us & he was just getting back from taking her home, when the phone rang. We were in bed & I heard a bell & suppose, being half asleep. thought for a moment it was Tom on his bicycle & he had forgotten his key. I must have been dopey because I heard the car as well.
It was very nice to hear your voices; on some quiet night I must try again to get through. We look on Sunday night as booked as a general rule – it's Jerry's night – Saturday night he does let us off, now & then, but very rarely on Sunday.
During a raid the exchanges have a skeleton staff only that makes calls rather hard to get, even local ones & Saturday night was quite a nasty bit of work while it lasted. We sat it out round the fire, chatting.

Bye bye. Love to all three of you from us both

PS Your weather has come south, it's snowing hard today.

As it is snowing hard nobody has been out to post your letter, & as yours has just arrived I can answer it now. The parcel was here the here in the post before the letter.
Ronald said that he had sent a number of cards & letters off: it's just like him to leave them late & for them to arrive after Christmas. He sent us a calendar which arrived last week.
When Ronald went away, he invented a game for his do. To see who was the first male to knit so many stitches, the female first teaching him the art & then:- She had to undo his tie & see who was first to retie it properly.
Another of Ronald's games, but this is a bit messy this time & wants sheets of paper spread over the carpet. A couple hold hands (one hand each) Each couple is given an orange with the 2 free hands here to peel & eat the orange to see who wins. It's a bit difficult with only one hand from each of two, & is usually followed by a run to the bathroom. I suppose Mollie's pals are much too genteel for our games. One thing about our parties, everybody seems to enjoy them & they never seem ready to go home. Some day you'll have to come when R J gets back.
Perhaps the enclosed may be of some use.


PS I hear that the subway hit was the one between the Bank–Mansion House & Exchange. There was a wonderful underground place there with shops etc, all of which has been smashed up, making a tremendous crater.

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