Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Letter to the Platt family from Tom Critchley 9.5.1941


37 Lonsdale Drive

My dear Mary, Harry & Molly,

Such a long start helps to fill up!  I hope you are all right after your new lot of Hunnish attentions. You & St Helens folk will have to come & see us & enjoy peace & quietness; since we came back there has been nothing to worry about a few warnings, but only once or twice have we been wakened by gunfire. It does begin to look as if London is to be spared until we do some bomb damage (or should it be damn bommage) to Berlin again & then there will be a so-called reprisal raid. Since they seem to feel like that about it, it shows where they feel it most & that is where we want to hit them. From what Seth says, Liverpool seems to be in a sad mess, I hope Glasgow is not too bad, especially the vital ship building yards. Like you we are "enjoying" rotten cold weather & begin to wonder if it will ever get warm again, though this week we have quite a reasonable amount of sunshine with clear frosty nights. Tom thoroughly enjoyed his holiday & found the old car averaged 42 miles to the gallon of petrol. I say petrol in case you may think I meant oil – the oil consumption is somewhat high after 40,000 miles or more. He tried to get up Newlands Pass with it & came to a full stop, so reversed & amused onlookers by going up backwards. Fancy, he let Seth beat him at bowls, letting down the senior branch of the family.   I suppose Seth learned a lot from Harry & me& so will have improved. If Jerry comes to see us to-night, he can't; Tom has discovered that our shelter makes a first rate dark room & so has his home-made enlarger therein installed & is busy on his recent photographs. Oh, by the way, can't Molly sort this weather for us, not that it is broken weather, but it sure wants mending. Another by the way (I have to fill up somehow) do the Scots refer to "broken" weather as "sorted" weather or "wants sorting", or only assorted weather? Some time she must come & see us and teach us its proper and improper uses. Love to you all from us both,


(There is one more letter on the Blitz to come from this set. Then I have obtained permission from a Hogg family descendent, who is a historian and writer, to reproduce his account of how one May raid described by Tom Critchley was experienced by his family living at that time in Salmon Lane, East London. BC)

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