Friday, 4 February 2011

Tom Critchley to his sister Mary Platt 4th February 1941

My Dear Mary,

Your cold seems to be of the same type as mine was, a constantly unwiped & unpleasant nose. I suppose it's a mild type of flu that is knocking about, most folks seem to have it, more or less.
How did the party go off?
We have one of those "Thousands will never die" people at the works here. Once he tried to convert me, but he gave me up as a bad job (is this Tom's name for the sect or was there a sect called "Thousands will never die" does anyone know? BC.
We are in luck's way with meat now Tom is billeted out, his ration is 49 ozs per week!! It's a scandal isn't it?
Our firm like many others is supplying the men with "adexoline" capsules, one per day free. They contain vitamins A & D & are supposed to be wonderful.Our boss bought 100 for his daughter & paid 8/6 for them, whereas the works are buying them for 25/- for a thousand. If you would like some I'll get them for you nice and cheap. I expect they would do both you and Mollie a lot of good, you simply swallow them,  and wash down with a cup of tea.
Thanks for the photos, Ronald's earlier letters are at Birmingham, when I get them back I'll pick out those of interest and send them along.
Jerry has been pretty quiet lately, thank goodness, though he gave us one or two shocks during the day time last week, swooping down out of nowhere when it was snowing or raining. The nearest he got to us was Southgate where he dropped a packet, though he sounded on the roof tops several times.
Everything seems to point to gas in the near future, so I think it's up to everybody to get "gas minded" otherwise there will be a risk of panic. After all gas isn't so bad as his other stuff & I suppose we will soon get used to it, like we have the bombing: though Annie says she wouldn't like another spell like we had before – weeks on end & not a night off.

I kept a record of air raids.

September 113 warnings totaling  301 hours (10 hours a day)

October 144 warnings totaling 387 hours (over 12 hours a day)

November 95 warnings totaling 309 hours (10 hours a day)

Then December fell off to 36 warnings 118 hours

While January was better still with 4 warnings for 90 hours.

Isn't it any wonder that during Sept/Nov folks got to ignore warnings & everything else. The other day when I passed through Enfield a plane was very low & the gunfire particularly heavy & yet I saw no one hurry for shelter. Folks went on with their shopping: & the men at the works now ignore the spotters' whistles.
The snow has come back to us worst luck. & now lies about 6 inches deep. After a heavy fall this morning it's lovely & clear now, so there is no activity in the air – too clear.
What do you think of Biddy's school? Making them take medicines with them & charging £2.12.6 a term for stationery and then the poor kids have to buy their own paper to write home!
That's all this time,

Love to you all from us both,


We haven't heard from Ronald since he sent the photos. I guess some of his letters are in the sea somewhere.
I am trying to get a copy of Jonathan North, if I can I will send it.

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