Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Margaret to Tom 21st May 1942

I am writing this in bed again, partly because I do not think I shall have much time for writing at the office tomorrow and partly because inspiration comes much better in my own room with the picture of Wastwater that you love so much near me. We have just returned home from Peter's party. Dad and I and Shandy followed Mother there and arrived at 6.45. We had tea at 7.00pm. I did not realise before I got there that Peter wanted mother and I to organise the games altogether. He 'phoned up on Thursday night and asked us to bring a few games and think of things, so we thought out pairs of famous people whereby each person has a name pinned on their back and they have to find their partner. We took the Beetle game along and we had 4 tables so made it a Beetle drive which lasted about an hour. I think they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We also had a Subject and Object game and table tennis. We had to leave at 10 pm because the last bus is 10.29 and one cannot risk so a late a bus with Shandy. Alan Cobden is home for a week again. He came home on Wednesday. Betty seems to have arranged everything very badly this time because she is going out tomorrow evening with some girl friends, one of whom she has not seen for ages, and they are going to a show – then on Saturday, Betty's choir is doing a show. So I have suggested Betty sends Alan down to the club tomorrow evening so that we can look after him, but I don't know if he will come. You will be pleased to hear that al last I have had a talk with Mrs Solomon on the subject of marriage. She told me that many girls would hive anything to be in her position because she has now been married 7 years and naturally would like to start a family and is living in hopes that one day she will be lucky and get pregnant. But for the war and her work she would see a doctor. Of course we didn't go deeply into the subject.. I'm really longing for the new life of ours because I understand married life is so different and I expect we shall be able to fathom things our for ourselves later won't we? I will add a bit more tomorrow if I have time. All my love, Margaret Friday morning I have just been the rounds of the sweet shops gathering bits here and there. I have not much, but certainly a bit, which will sustain you for a time. I will try and make a cake for you over the week end but I cannot promise. If I hear nothing different we will meet you outside the Fleece Hotel at 6.25 pm on Sunday, All my love Margaret.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Margaret to Tom 18th May 1942

Well I do hope you and Bill arrived back safely and are not feeling too tired today. Anyway, we had a glorious weekend, even if we did a good bit of dashing about. The only thing I fear is your mother did not see enough of you. I know now that as the weeks are gradually drawing nearer and as you and I are both feeling more and more happy about our marriage your mother is beginning to realise what it will all mean to her. Its no good you shutting your eyes to the fact because I know its true and the muddle of the arrangements for the past weekend, just about finished things. So although I know you had a good bit to think about during the last week, but I think you had better write to your mother and tell her all about it (that is concerning the arrangements) bearing in mind we did not know if you would be early on Friday or extremely late. I know it is difficult for you Tom, away from home, but I know she is expecting you to be a bit more thoughtful at present. I am sure too that it is thought that I am rushing this wedding because I have to see to most of the arrangements. So will you please write and tell your mother everything. Its certainly not so good when all the news comes from me. Although we have told them several times that the furniture is going to live round at my home and that we shall have two rooms at home, they still want to know where we are going to live. Your Ma asked us during the course of your bath yesterday, so Bill spoke up for us and said that he thought that during the war the answer was obvious. I was almost told off for not buying you a more useful present for the wedding – heaven knows what business it is of other peoples as long as we give each other what we want. Forgive this little spurt won't you Tom, but I have the Monday morning feeling at the moment, and I am feeling and I know Nancy agrees, that I am getting all the blame for these deeds. I know these are only petty details and you usually shut your eyes to such things, but it would be nicer for me if you could explain everything in your own words, and of course do not mention the fact that I have said anything or been grumbling to you. I know life has it ups and downs, but every cloud has a sliver lining. Will you see what you can do about making up a hymn for the wedding. I think it would be really lovely if you could and add to the enjoyment of the actual service and be really good when we look back on it in several years time. I have just had to make an envelope and I think you will agree with me that the result is a proper "stitch up" in the real sense of the word. Today is very dull. No sun today and it is very dark, Novemberish. Tomorrow I am firewatching again and Mr Davies is going to perform with another gramophone recital and this time we are going to use Mr Graddon's gramophone, and Mr Addison is coming along I understand,specially to hear the "Moonlight Sonata". I will try and write tomorrow if I have any news, so good bye for the present and do not forget to a) see the MO and b) write to your mother. I hope all goes well with captain Duffy, All my love, Margaret

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Margaret to Tom 14.5.12

Thursday Evening, 14th May 1942 After the letter of yesterday, I think I have exhausted all powers of letter writing which is within me, so don't expect much from this letter will you, but nevertheless I shall do my best. Today it has been dull and bright alternatively as I expect it will clear up by Whitsun. I am secretly hoping that we shall get all the rain now, and that all July will be fine. I think we should have a very beautiful day for our wedding don't you? Mr Davies is hoping to obtain all the materials for a cinema show on our next fire watch. He is borrowing a projector from a lady whom I think really wants to sell it. he has a few films at home, including his wedding, and he said that one is really the most interesting to them, especially now they have been married for a few years. I have told you all this because, if it would be possible, it would be lovely to have a cinematograph film taken at our wedding, and I wondered whether your father would have any influence in the matter. I believe he did have some cine film of you and Ronald as children didn't he? So no doubt he knows all about these things. But I dare say these are difficult to get and quite expensive nowadays. Tonight I have been mending old clothes. It really is a job and will take me weeks to get them mended. I do wish I could throw them al away and get new ones, but I really must not grumble, at least I can say I have very few patched panties and if they are patched, it is probably not in the same place as yours. At long last I have finished reading Cranford, so you can read it when you are not too busy. It really is very interesting and I'm glad I bought it now. I may go up to town tomorrow after work to buy the handbag. Marjorie doubts whether I shall get a really decent one under £4 or £5. At any rate, if I do not buy one, I can get an idea of the bag I really want. I am writing this in bed. I feel very clean, having just had a bath. I just looked up and behold – Great Gable was staring me in the face. You know the picture so very well don't you? Every night when I gaze on this picture I always think of that lovely holiday we spent at Wastwater.Do you remember that evening when the bright blue sky mingled with the passing snow white clouds. The lake was so calm with little wavelets dashing against the stones. Oh Tom, as I write this, my heart is simply aching for us to return there. I believe that even as we were standing there by the lake, the German Bombers were on the their way to England to begin their brutal warfare on London. I am tempted to seek refuge in these hills, away from all the horrors of war. Why should we suffer because men can't govern a country without waging a war? But I shan't go on, I shall make your heart ache too for all those lovely surroundings. I feel that as we know those reasons so well, we can dwell there in spirit. If ever I am depressed, I think of the holidays we have spent there and as I am often depressed nowadays, those thoughts are forever creeping in. I must close now, as I am tired and will finish this tomorrow. All my love, Margaret Friday afternoon Mother phoned me before lunch to say that we are to go over to Peter's 21st tomorrow. Peter came home yesterday on 9 days leave so he does not return until Sunday week. That length of time would be ideal for a honeymoon wouldn't it? In the first place we were to go to there Saturday week, but it is thought uncle might be in hospital by then, He is going in for treatment for his rheumatism. Marion sits for her exam on Wednesday I suppose its the first librarian's exam, that was another reason why the party was to be Saturday week. Reverting to films (the ones I was telling you about last night) I think it is highly improbably we could get one for the wedding. We shall have great difficulty in getting an ordinary one. Mr Davies was telling me this morning that the chemists in this area say that the quota of film they get nowadays is only £4 worth as opposed to £1,000 which is, of course, the reason why they are so scarce. The next quota arrives on June 1st, so if we are lucky, we may be able to get one on that day. (I don't suppose you believe the above figure, but anyway, that's what I was told). In the mean time, perhaps you will let me know the size you want and I will scout round. This morning I rose at the early hour of 7.15. I had asked Dad to wake me early , but why I wanted to be awakened early, I just could not remember, but anyway, I got up in case I should remember, but I didn't. I played with Shandy and I'm sure I did not want to get up just for that. Anyway, I was rewarded by hearing Leslie Weatherhead at 7.55. he has been on all this week and I have, as a rule, only heard spurts of his 5 minute sermon. He was exceedingly good and gives you something new to think about every time. The publican and the sinner was his theme. I have not played tennis at al this week apart from the fact I had decided not to play the ground is not really fit. I went down on Tuesday evening and of your Mrs Eddowes was there playing with Mrs Norris who has joined us this year. I rolled the whole of the damp shady court and was told it looked better for it, so i have done my good turn for this week. We now have a definite gardener, so no more hard work for us. He is in the fire service and is a large brawny chap, so we should be alright, don't you think so? The shortage of tennis balls is very acute and I'm afraid tennis will depart with the shortage, unless something is done there will be no tennis clubs next year. If you are in Cheltenham at all on Saturday perhaps you will inquire for tennis balls. We should be grateful if you could. Mrs Eddowes should never have sold those balls last year, but she wouldn't take any notice of us would she? All my love, Margaret

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Margaret to Tom 13.5.1942

Thank you for the very welcome phone call. It was lucky I was in because the prospects of a walk with Shandy was hovering around at that time and was only posponed on account of havinga lovely game of ball and hide'n'seek in the house. Shandy is likea child and revels in hide-'n-seek, but he's very good at it now and usually finds me first go. It was lovely to hear you again, but with the limit of 3 minutes its hard to know what to say, at least which is the most important to say. I would have thought too, that 1/2d was enough. It was 1/4d from Swansea. Yes, I heard your little chat with the operator. He kept telling me to hold on. As if I wouldn't! Well as I told you over the phone, I was very disappointed yesterday because all the seats on the coaches were booked. I went along to Finchley and he told me the coaches running on Sunday 24th are quite numerous. One at 8.50, 8.55, 10 and 10.30 and others, and they were all booked. So Dad rang up the Victoria coaching station and they had two seats on the 2.00pm which does not arrive until 6.46, which I think would be rather late wouldn't it? So if we come and I sincerely hope we do, it will be the train and possibly a very full one at that. If we could have booked on the coach, I feel our passage would have been secure, both for arriving and departing. I suppose we could not take singles on the train and return by coach, if that would not cost too much & the coaches for return are not booked up, perhaps we could do that. I expect there will be several coming back on the Monday &, if, by chance you go into Cheltenham during the next few days, perhaps you will enquire. To return to the ground again, I must say that our Mr Davies is an extremely wicked Staff Officer. He now brings in a pint of mill, and I now have to make coffee for the three of us in the morning. Needless to say, I suggested it in the first place, but only because we have some milk over from fire watching the other day. He even comes in the kitchen to drink it. He just does what he likes now, and spends most of his time thinking about that pick up for the wireless and generally messing around with it. Of course he works occasionally. The other day (Monday, the day we were firewatching) it was really funny. He insisted on coming to lunch with Ethel and me – well we had to buy some things for the evening, including a very long loaf which determined to stick its head out of my music case (which is always my shopping basket) Mr D insisted on carrying my shopping basket. On the way back to the Grange, we met all the people imaginable and the very last straw was Mr Grant our Regional Director who had to go to lunch just as we were going in. It was very unfortunate but of course nothing was said, its hardly becoming for a staff officer to walk about with bread and Clerical officers during lunch is it? I don't see why not, but I know many old hags would not approve. Mr D is going to commence traveling in three weeks time so we will be able to have another fire watch with him before he goes. He is so enthusiastic about fire watching that he hopes to fit it in during his travels. You won't be surprised when I tell you that Ethel is getting really too friendly with him , at least that is what I think, not that it matters in the least, but office people are apt to enlarge on such friendships and talk and it lowers the rank of an S O considerably if you understand me. Of course, Ethel is sensible. She went over to Mr D's place on Sunday last and went absolutely mad over his kiddies, especially the little one, who is apparently bubbling over with health which is very good considering the war rime food etc. The children are certainly looked after in this war for food.Orange juice can be obtained through clinics and lots of other good stuff necessary for youngsters. But no doubt you will not be interested in all this, and I must change the subject. I see already that I have expanded on my usual size of letter, but this brain-burst is entirely due to the fact that (1) the phone call has put new life into me. (2) I am feeling much better (3) Bottle of Virol obtained yesterday price 3/9d (this is a vitamin supplement or tonic (4) prospects of seeing you soon (5) my love for you The only things that breaks my heart is the distance between us. Winnie may beat me to the altar even yet, because she has definitely consented to marry Barry on his next leave, which may be anything from a fortnight to 6 months. I said there's a chance for me to be a bridesmaid yet. I phoned your mother up this evening & forgot to send your love, anyway you will probably give that in your next letter and besides, I know that after my visit to Swansea, when your Ma and Pa came along on the evening of my return, I told them that you sent your love, which I made up as I don't believe you gave me any message for them. Anyway, I know your mother was very pleased and I was feeling a bit of a fool, but I know you really meant me to say it. Well I must close this epistle now. By the way I understand the the airgraph service is starting shortly so its just as well you posted the letter to Ronald. Thanks for obtaining the accommodation & also for the phone call, All my love, Margaret PS I asked your mother to send your vests & pants along. I understood you to say long pants, but she says (& I don't think) you have ever had any.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Margaret to Tom 4.5.42

4th May 1942 Thank you very much indeed for your letters two in one which arrived unopened yesterday – you must not be so careless next time – still I suppose you are too much alive for me to catch you out. (Tom had mentioned one of Margaret's letters had been opened, by the time he received it. She thought he meant she had left it open and is joking, he might do the same B.C.) I hope you enjoy yourself this next weekend. I shall think of you and your batchelor tribe, miles away in the country among the hills and trees of the Wyre Valley. You must tell me all about it – rmember Tom this is your last little holiday in your batchelor state – so make the most of your time before I have you in my little spider's web which is now undergoing the process of weaving. I think I'd better stop this chat before I put you off. because you are a "marked" man. Well this evening I have had an hour and a half of tennis. I have a new pupil, Evelyn. Otherwise Mrs H who has never played properly before, but anyway I did my best, though of course I do not profess to be a good coach or at best, not anywhere near as good as you. It's been very hot today, exceedingly hot, so I feel quite hoarse this evening after delivering all my tennis instructions. The greatest news of the day is that Heydrich the Great is really and truly dead. It's a pity in a way because if any one should have suffered from a disability, he should have done. I do feel that the only way in which these people's souls can be changed is by some lasting complaint. Most blind, deaf or dumb people have such a patient and Christian personality, such wonderful characters, which have developed since the time they were smitten. I think that, if all murderers and all dictators after the war could be smitten in one of these ways, their hearts would be softened and their deeds of wickednes forgiven before leaving this earth. Well I must make my way up to bed now, so all my love until tomorrow. Margaret

Friday, 11 May 2012

Margaret to Tom 24.4.42

I thought I must write this short note in the hopes it would reach you by Saturday, but one never knows how the Post Office works in such far away regions, who knows, perhaps the Army in those region is so hidden (so secret) that the postman rarely find his way to Oakley Farm which is in my estimation a very old house possibly haunted with rats everywhere & surrounded by huge this trees. I am really writing to remind you that I am fire watching on Sunday evening and if by any chance you should be able to break away from the so called farm, it would be lovely to hear you before I leave home. I shall be leaving about 8.15pm, so if you think of ringing after that time I shall be awaiting you r call on Fin 5101. Mrs Sainsbury has gone to Oxford today and without even telling me. I shall have to tell him off because he could have dropped me at Oxford couldn't he? Shandy was very sorrowful yesterday because you didn't turn up and he cuddled close beside me on the big arm chair. Perhaps he thought he was comforting me – who knows!! Yesterday I took Shandy for a walk in the Recreation Ground and two boys came along with their mourths full of orange and asked me if I would like to buy one for a shilling, so they could go to the pictures. Didn't that made my mouth water! Apart from the fact that I had no money on me, I certainly would not tempt children to give up their oranges for the pictures would you? It is a lovely day today, but rather a cold wind. The sunshine always makes me feel happy and with the prospect of our marriage to look forward to, I feel even happier. I am glad too, that everyone around me is sharing those happy thoughts, because, believe me, it makes all the difference when everyone knows about it & talks of it on occasions. This summer is going to be a lovely one and one which will remain in our memory 'til death us do part"' (Deus volentes) this being about the only bit of latin I know and its probably not right. Well darling I have not received your letter yet, so I cannot answer it. Look after yourself, won;' you? All my love, Margaret, PS have you still go that tract of Mr C's?

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Margaret to Tom 23.4.42

What a lovely week we have had. It seems ages since I first saw you last Thursday & would have seemed longer If I had had the whole week off. I do begrudge all these beastly office hours. I long to be free especially nowadays when we never know where you will be next. Work is not going too badly today. I'm working hard so as to shatter all feelings, but my thoughts are constantly wandering and I know will continue to do so until your letter arrives. and I can get some idea of the place you have gone to. I went to the library this lunch time but could not get a book on Gloucester regions although I know Cheltenham is supposed to be a lovely place, You are not far from the Vale of Evesham are you? I expect you will wander around finding some more honeymoon places before long. I went in to Mr Warner this morning and he, as usual, asked me how I was. I told him I was bearing up under the strain. Then we got on to the subject of leave and he asked if I had signed for mine yet, this being summer leave. I told him I was not sure when it would be, he laughed heartily and said as it will be my wedding, leave could be arranged especially. I'm very lucky being at an office like this aren't I? Because all our days & half days I have had since knowing you would probably have been denied me at Ledger branch, so I suppose we must thank God I'm where I am. I thought it was going to be a lovely day today, but the sun has apparently decided to day must be dark as it is quite dull this afternoon with the sun peeping thorugh occasionaly. On Saturday I have arrange to play tennis with Nancy, Betty and a girl who used to go to my school and is a few years younger than me and supposed to be quite a good player. So think of me on Saturday won't you with all those females. You will write to Bob and your aunt and uncle in St Helens, won't you? I have loads of stuff I ought to do before the wedding and I really do not know where to start. My clothes like yours are just falling off me and it would be nice to chuck the whole lot away and start afresh, as we should be doing in ordinary times, instead of which I have to sit down and patch, patch, patch. It's not really as bad as it sounds, but times are hard aren't they? Mr Graddon swears I'm leading a double life because he is sure he saw me in London in December with a soldier who had horn rimmed spectacles on & about your build, but apparently did not look like you. It must have been that day I had off for shopping & met you in the afternoon. I do hope you have settled down more to army life, All my love Margaret.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Margaret to Tom late April 1942

Thank you for both your letters. I hope you have received mine (two of them) The only thing I did not know about the address was that it was " A Coy" anyway no doubt they have reached you if the postman was able to find the hidden farm. So "the place" is a camp and does that mean that you and all the others provide the farm yard animals. It must be a funny place? I am sorry to hear you are not too keen on the place. Still you must remember that this course cannot last longer than 10 weeks after which you may find yourself enjoying life in more than one way. You have no doubt gathered from this & my last letter that my pen has arrived and with nothing to pay. Mr Hilliard is very kind isn't he? I am writing this between waiting for the dinner cook, so if any grease splashes or anything unusual should get into this letter you will understand. Jock is here this weekend as he and Joyce went to see Quiet Weekend yesterday. They both enjoyed the play very much indeed. You of course heard about Ronald. It is a pity isn't it? I think Nancy is quite upset about it although she does not say very much . It is very hard on her considering she has not heard from him for months now. And he never even mentions her in his letters home. I have no doubt a letter from you to Ron would wake him up. I really think she ought to know whether he wants to continue the friendship. Its ridiculous just to drop off like that. I must dish the dinner up now, so will finish this later. I won't tell you what I have cooked because it will probably make your mouth water having to exist on Army food. Well now having finished dinner and all survived, I can get on with this letter. Shandy at the moment is waiting anxiously for his walkee, so don't be surprised if this letter is full of paw marks and licks. Nancy has asked if I am coming to see you at Whitsun. Well it would be lovely wouldn't it? She would very much like to come with me the – what do you think about it I should be coming it would be a lovely change for her and I thought may be you could get Bowen or some of the others or all to join us. I know we couldn't have those lovely hours together etc, but I have no doubt it would do both of us good to have company like this especially as a month later perhaps 6 weeks later we should be getting married. Anyway, let me know what you think about it. I should not be able to come down until the Saturday afternoon, that is catching the 1.53 train and we should have to return Monday evening. And of course that would entail no leave & not so much money. That of course is providing the Monday will be a Bank Holday. So if you can come home about 9th May the 23rd will just leave a nice gap won't it? Nancy was wondering at dinner time how long the war would last, She thinks 20 years and by that time she will be hobbling along with two sticks. Joyce will be pushing a bath chair and Daddy added that I would just about be getting my eldest son into an office. (Great laugher at this. I don't know why do you?) Well this brings me on the to the subject of our marriage. Im glad we have had all this time to think about it. We have had such a lovely engagement which has gradually been preparing us for our marriage. We had a lovely game of tennis yesterday. Lorna Howard is quite a good player, but rather erratic. Betty and I managed to beat Nancy and Lorna easily, so I'm not so dusty after all. Tomorrow afternoon, I'm going to learn how to put out a fire bomb. It will be a change from work anyway. I hope you enjoyed your weekend, thanks for phoning, all my love, Margaret

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Margaret to Tom, a Monday in April 1942

I am feeling much better this evening, you will be thankful to hear, though of course by no means completely well. I went to bed last night at 8.00pm feeling I could not stay up an hour longer. These last few days I have felt very tired and wobbly at the knees. However this will no doubt wear off. Ethel was feeling like this a few weeks ago, so I think the complaint is quite general. I have no temperature, so can't be so bad.
I am writing this at the office while waiting for Ethel and Mr Davies, who have gone out to tea, as I am fire watching. Mr Cordial is on sick leave today & Mr Addson, who is taking his place, is not coming back here until 10.00, so I have arranged to go home later this evening. I am just going to make myself a cup of tea and have some cake, as I cannot do without it. I shall probably leave here at 6.00 pm.
Mr Sainsbury cannot understand why I am only having a week in July. I said I shall probably want a day or two beforehand. Mr Sainsbury seems to think a fortnight would be ideal thing, so it would, but for the war. He also wanted to know if I am staying on. Well I shall have to check won't I, but in these times I see no alternative but to carry on as usual don't you?
I enquired of the Black and White coaches today. They leave Sundays 10.30 and I forget the later one, but anyway there is one, and if I want to book I have to go along to the agent in my district which they told me is 3 Ballards Lane, so whether that is Church End or the other end, I do not know, by anyway I will go along and book tomorrow.
I will finish this letter when I receive yours. I was extremely worried as to how you got on. I do hope you are not in clink. anyway I am hoping your letter will be at home when I arrive.
All my love,

Monday Evening continued 9.05pm

I found your lovely long letter awaiting me when I arrived home this evening. I am very glad to know everything went well. Another thing I am grateful for is your decision of this marriage business. You have put my very thoughts into words, what I have been aching to say and could not. As you say, uncertainty is so distressing to harmony.
We are having a very quiet fire watch this evening. No gramophone, no wireless going, but just us three sitting here – reading or writing – needless to say I am the one writing, but I am now beginning to feel very tired, so perhaps I will close in a few moments and add a bit tomorrow morning.
We have had some rain at last. I rained yesterday evening and during the night so perhaps the Rectory grass will no be so bad after all this year.
I hope the cake I have sent you was not too hard, let me know what it was like.
Good night darling,


Tuesday afternoon

Fire watching went very well last night. After writing to you I asked the others if they would not like their coffee then but they both said no, let's wait until 12. , it was then 11.30. well 11.45. I got so tired of waitng & was so comfortable that I just dropped off to sleep until 12.50. Then I made coffee and went to bed. Mr Davies is really very domesticated and makes us very comfortable. Perhaps in the near future you will be able to make us as comfortable as he does. anyway I will have to give you a few tips won't I?
I have just obtained a large bottle of Virol, so I shall be alright now. In fact I will grow so fit you will not know me.
I'm calling at North Finchley tonight to book tickets,

I must stop now,
all my love, hugs and kisses and everything,


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Margaret to Tom, spring 1942


Your letter arrived at 11 pm today, so once again thank you very much indeed for your lovely long letter.
First I must tell you since I cannot be there to take you that you must go and see the doctor post haste please. Styes and ulcers are not in the least nice to have and definitely show that you need a tonic. Either you are doing too much hard work and your nerves are affected, or else Swansea air or water does not suit you. I know you have a cycle run to get there , but surely you could go during your study hours. Only once these styes etc begin I believe they sometimes keep coming unless something is done to prevent them. Mother suggests that you rub your stye with a gold weeding ting, but as you haven't got one yet, I can only suggest that you take your tooth out! But seriously, if you can borrow some gold ring or something gold, I think this is supposed to be a cure. I can only suggest that you use good soap for instance. I can always recommend Cuticura soap, so ask your land lady if she can get this for you, or ask her to let you have your coupons. By this, I'm not suggesting the ulcers are outside your mouth, but I think Cuticura will assist in in its own small way.
Well, yesterday I was fire watching at this time. Of course I didn't feel so well all day yesterday, so naturally I didn't enjoy the gramophone recital as much as I ought. I arrived back at the office about 7.20. Mr Graddon and Mr Brigdon were playing table tennis, so of course they wanted me to play, nevertheless I didn't do so badly. Ethel and Mr D had gone out to tea and they did not arrive back until 8.15. I was beginning to "think things" by that time. However, we had tea , sandwiches and cakes at 8.45 and settled down to the gramophone recital at 9.00. They are all classical pieces and a bit too heavy for my liking. I think you have to feel in the mood for music like that. I could never have stuck it, but for my knitting. There were 24 records altogether. I will show you the programme later when you are home. Mr D had only played five records when in walked the new staff controller, Mr Langford, and he wanted a cut of tea, so we had to make one for him. He is staying at the office for this week & floats in on all the fire watches. He seems very jolly and is a complete contrast to Mr Coutts who is shortly going to Leeds – a very la-di-da person. Mr Langford is young, about 40, and certainly believes in moving freely with the staff & getting to know them. One of the classical pieces Mr D played will live in our memory for this reason. Mr Davies said it was his father's favourite record and he is decidedly "low brow". At this, Mr Langford simply roared with laughter and set us all laughing. He has such a hearty laugh that you simply can't help joining in. He had to tell Mr Sainsbury this morning & several other people, so poor Mr Davies will have to be careful with his words in future.
Rene and Isabel are leaving on Friday week. they have just heard they are to go to Edinburgh. Poor Rene is quite annoyed at the distance she has to go, but Isabel is highly delighted for her home is only a few miles out of Edinburgh. Isn't she lucky?
Yes I should love to have Saturday morning off when you are up for the weekend, and travel with you to the "wicked metropolis". It would also be a good idea to have dinner in this "place of sin." But what about that walk we were going to have? Would you rather see "Tales of Hoffnung?" or go when you have a week's leave? If Doug is home, Bob would like to come perhaps these two would like to go for a walk.
I like your sermons very much, but what I want to know is this, what sort of sermons do you give the household, and do they take the same form as mine? By the way, I suppose I must forgive you regarding your treatment of Algy, but remember these things are only sent to try us. (Algy being one of the things). And surely he needs converting and making more human. His wife must be as bad as him, for otherwise she would have moulded him into shape by this time.
How interesting to know your Mr Redman has been appointed Principal private secretary to Sir J Grigg By the way, when Sir James was appointed as secretary of state. The paper headlines read "Civil Servant War Minister." I think this was possibly slightly sarcastic don't you???
Yes, I was hoping the Germans would not try attacking our Radio-location posts. I thought of you immediately I heard & hoped you would not be stationed at a very vulnerable point.
Well I am sending this chocolate etc to you for this coming weekend and for your train journey the following weekend. I thought, if I left it, I might just as well keep it until you come home.
I must close now,
So good night,
All my love,
Margaret. xxx

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Margaret to Tom April 1942

Margaret to Tom April 2012

Thank you very much for your two letters which I received today. One first thing at the office & the other at home. By the way, the post you always seem to catch is 8.45 pm and I should have received the last but one & the last but two earlier.
It is very sad you lost 3 marks on the latest test. I presume that it is scaled down to 18 out of 20. You will have to make the final 40 out of 40, won't you? Besides there is always a chance that sergeant instructors or some other warrant officers are needed by the time you have finished the course. After what the adjutant told you it would be a pity to drop marks on the finals wouldn't it?
Nancy & I and Shandy went for a walk this afternoon & ended up at the shops at Barnet. We went and had a cup of tea & cake at a Home Made Cake shop. we always believe in doing ourselves well these days. While in Barnet we met Mr & Mrs Hibbert, also Reggie, Mrs Luckin & Noelle & Brenda Sheers. Brenda says Norma is enjoying life very well and is now in Lowestoft, so of course cannot get home so frequently.
This evening Nancy & I went to deliver some more of my tennis cards. We called on Marjorie Pugh who told us she will not be able to join this year as she has managed to obtain a job at home, six miles from her house. You know she lives near Swansea. Well, immediately I told her you were there, she said you must call on her people. They would be very pleased to see you any day for lunch, tea or supper. She has given me her address, so you must go sometime before you leave Swansea. I expect her parents would be pleased to see you as you know Marjorie a bit. She is coming down to Swansea next week-end and is coming by the 08.55 am train on Thursday, the one I would have caught had I been coming down that day, she is returning on April 13th. It is a pit isn't it that we cannot travel down together.
The other evening I went to see Ida Moore about the tennis club. Ida was not in, but I saw Mrs Moore & Richard, who told me Ida had wondered whether we would of could carry on without you. I expect they think you are the life and soul of the tennis club. Richard is waiting to be called up, so will possibly come along until he goes.

Sunday Afternoon
Today we have been busy as usual. It's a glorious day here, so spring like that I must take Shandy for a fairish long walk. So I'm afraid I shall not be able to fill up another piece of paper. At any rate I really haven't any more news for you,
I'm longing for your phone call this evening and I hope you have not been trying to drown yourself this week end or doing anything that Ronald might do. How is the finger? You didn't say how you did it, except that you had an argument with mother earth.
Well, all my love, I hope to be with you this time next week.
Re; Marjorie's address. You have to take a bus from the station which will put you down outside their house. Apparently you ask for Trinity place,

All my kisses and everything,


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Margaret to Tom 9th April 1942

Margaret to Tom 9.4.42

Thank you darling for your letter which I received when I got home this evening. I do hope you are not suffering from overwork, only you dated your letter 9th which was really Tuesday 7th and also you put Monday, but I must say I've been all out in my own calculation of the days this week. Tomorrow is Friday and & I really can't believe it, and next Friday you will be at home. All these good things come to an end sometimes don't they. I'm afraid I'm really longing to leave the office and stay with you when we are married. It would be lovely wouldn't it, but I don't suppose its possible.
What do you mean by "Mrs D doesn't know my funny little ways" I thought it was you who had all the funny little ways??? You are getting all mixed up.
No I have certainly not caught a cold from getting so wet. Isn't it wondrous? I seem to have followed the rain clouds because Tuesday on the way home from Arnos Grove Station the rain simply pelted down and yesterday it rained a wee bit just April showers & today it has been raining all day.
Yes I certainly remember the loud bang. I thought is was thunder. I suppose we wouldn't have been far from the bomb if we have been at the Langland Bay Hotel. Fate was kind I suppose.
I shall probably tell the rector of our decision to get married in the summer athough I expect he would like to see us. I wonder what he will talk about!!! You know he usually gives the couple a sermon on their wedding, but just for themselves, so I think it would be better to ask him to say whatever he has to say.

Friday Afternoon
Now darling, I have just thought of something. Next Friday you know you said you will come fire watching with me well, do you think you could possibly come in uniform. I know this is asking you to do something which you hate doing, but could you possibly do this please? I'll tell you the reason. It's only in case Mr Grant or anyone else might pop in during the evening, only naturally during the war we are not supposed to have an outsider in the office, although we do not have to have an armed guard or commissionaire on the door. Only I would like to show you round the whole place. So do you think you could do this for me?
What a pity you did not give me the envelope, if I had known you had gone to the trouble of putting a stamp on and my address, I would certainly not have told you I had bought one, anyway it would have done for another time.
So you tipped Dr Starkey after all. Well I am surprised, though seriously I do hope you managed to get full marks on the practical and the theoretical. How did Bill get on. Give him my love won't you!!!!! and also to Thurley, Spedding (whatever his name is) and Pedro, Ron and George, that is, if there is any left after helping yourself.And don't be greedy, 'cos after all, I must have my last fling musn't I?
I heard today that the Good Friday pay should amount to about 15/-, and that is because we are paid at the rate of an extra day & a half. I only hope this is correct. I will finish this at the office tomorrow as I am very tired. By the way I have not heard from Bob today, so I don't know if there is any hope of selling the car.
All my love,


Monday, 9 April 2012

Margaret to Tom 8th April 1942

How I have missed you today – yes terribly. I have been whispering prayers to you all day and dreaming of you, and sighing those deep sighs of complete boredom. Work is not so good is it, after days of complete happiness together. I have had the echo of the sea in my ears all day – dashing against those rocks and the roaring torrents in the caves. the sea seems so utterly powerful quite beyond the power of man. It's very deceptive because, who would think that looking down on Swansea from the top of Mount Pleasant, the sea, which is so calm looking, is really beyond all human control and from day to day, performs its arduous task.
All day my dreams have been 200 miles away with you and next week when you leave, that town will no longer be alive, but just a memory. Perhaps to be remembered in a few years time.
To come back to earth and all one's material needs. Horace has been admired and may perhaps be sold by the time you come home. Bur we must not raise our hopes. Bob came round yesterday with a very nice man who wants a small car and Bob got on so well with him that he is anxiously hoping that he will decide to buy it possibly round about the £40 mark. This man had to go and see another car today so will let Bob know tomorrow morning so if I hear anything before posting this letter I will let you know. Your father & mother came down yesterday having borrowed Mr Smethers accumulator for us. Of course they wanted to know how we had enjoyed ourselves and how you were. I said you sent your love to them, which I expect you would have done had you thought. You mother was certainly glad to think her son had not forgotten. We were both downcast when we parted weren't we?
I am enclosing Mr Cordial's tract for you to scrutinise. I have not read it properly myself, so please do not lose it.
You will not forget the poem will you, now that you are free and the weather perhaps is inspiring.
I have not heard from Bob today yet, so cannot give you any news of the car..
I never write so well at the office as I'm afraid I have a conscience.
So please excuse me writing more,

All my love,


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Margaret to Tom 7 April 1942

Margaret to Tom 7th April 1942

It was lovely seeing you again this morning. I am now on the train and this time your idea doesn't seem to have worked. We did not go off at 10.45, as I expect the extra portion is not running today, unless we part a Cardiff. I arrived at the Station in very good time at 10.05 and had to airt 15 minutes before the train came in. I managed to get a corner seat all right. The train seems packed. Thousands of people standing in the corridor. I managed to get the daily Sketch this morning, so I have been devouring the news from civilization. I am thankful I did not have to travel yesterday as I see thousands of people were stranded and had to look for accommodation. If I had not had leave, I had many ideas of a wicked nature ready. I was going to ask mother to phone the office and say I had a terrible cold, then I need not have gone back to the office until Wednesday or Thursday. Anyway it was well worth the 2 days leave wasn't it? In spite of the weather & I can never feel depressed in your company whatever the weather, especially these times when I see so little of you. I am still wanting to climb that hill, and perhaps we may in the future years when we are gadding about on our own, Gadding is hardly the word is it? I think we can also learn things by getting around the country and seeing the condition others llive in besides going for lovely country walks. In fact it makes you think!! I hope, if the weather is fine this week end and you, Bowen and Thurley will climb that hill above Swansea, the one I very much wanted to climb, and make up a poem for me from that very hill because I feel sure that besides looking across the sea from those regions and Mumbles you will sea Swansea industrial beneath you and all around, it will simply be inviting you to write a poem for Margaret. So I implore you, on this, your last weekend in Swansea to do this for me if you are inspired in memory of the lovely times we have had together there.
It's now pouring with rain again so please tell Mrs Dowling & Esme that I shall really be thankful when my bag has been searched & I am safely passed the customs across the frontier. But I must say that this train is very insistent in staying over the frontier as this must be the 3rd stop we have had and we are not far passed Neath. Anyway I suppose I shall get home sometime, though I don't mind if we turn round and come back. But I suppose I must not delve into your pocket again. I don't mean this literally although perhaps the hotel manager seemed to think so. I am sorry darling I quite forgot to give you the 10/-, so I am enclosing it in P.O. form in case you are in great distress, though heaven knows what you will want to do with it in the course of the next few days, unless to tip Mr George or someone, perhaps even Dr Starkey.
1.55 pm We arrived at Cardiff at 12.55 pm and the train practically emptied. The platform was quite packed there, and also at Newport, and I wondered if those people were stranded last night. There certainly do not seem to be many people traveling to London, so once again I'm traveling in comfort. I believe i told you that the man I was traveling down with (I mean the one in the same carriage) was relating his difficult journey from Paddington to Swansea, well I did not tell you that at Christmas time, or one of the holidays last year, he tried to catch the 8.55 train and, although it was in two portions, it was impossible to get on either, so he though the would wait for the 22.53, but wondered whether he would be able to get that one even. So he had a brain wave and caught a train which was going to Bath and from there a connection to Cardiff and at Cardiff caught the 11.55 which emptied at that station. I thought I must tell you this in case you ever have any difficulty in coming home, but I'm sure you will not. It's lovely to know that you should be home tomorrow week, so I do not feel so sad about going home.
I'm always saying and hoping this war will be over soon, aren't I, and i only feel it is wasting our time, as we could find something better & much greater to do with our lives. It seems such and utter waste that young fellows like you and others with such brains & deep thinking minds should have to waste all these years on such a beastly war. Still, you tell Bowen to stick to his ideas of doing something good in this world. I think everybody feels something should be done to change this wicked world and each one feels, sometime or other, that they should be the ones to carry out that work and there are many who have the gift and do not use it. I think it all boils down to the fact that we are lazy and get so settled in our normal routine and surroundings that the thoughts of youth lie untouched and left in a musty old box which has lost its key. (This reminds me of the old antique shop which we saw yesterday). Have I been talking nonsense or is it the substance of a muddled mind that you have just been reading? But forgive me please. I am not as young as I was as you informed me yesterday. This marriage business must be the cause of it. I must say that I have many things to thank you for. You have helped me since the age of 17 to form opinions of my own & question many things which are only really conventional ideas.
We have just arrived at Swindon It is 2.55 pm and still raining. We have just heard a loud clap of thunder as I think the weather we have had seems pretty general though may not be so in London.
Well all the best for your exams. You have simply got to do well and certainly beat the professors.
It's simply pelting with rain and more thunder and lightening and I'm simply longing to get home.
I don't think I can write any more trash and use any more of your paper, so please remember me to all the boys and Mrs Dowling and Esme. I don't know why I want to be remembered, I suppose I don't want to be forgotten. Just one of these conventional ideas. Anyway tell them I'm very pleased to know you have been looked after by such nice people and I hope when we are down there, one day in future years, we shall be able to call on them.
How is George's romance going or isn't it? Those cakes and buns I bought were lovely. I don't wonder you have 2 buns every day.
Well I really must close now. I must post this as soon as I arrive.
All my love,


P S Please do not write if you have not much time during the next few days. But I shall expect an account of all your doings next week.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Margaret to Tom 1 April 1942

Thank you so much for the surprise letter which I received yesterday. I am now at the office for fire watching and fear I will not be able to say much because I am now wanted for Table Tennis downstairs. I don't get a minute's peace do I?
Well I really do not know what to say because I'm feeling very excited at the prospect of a lovely week end, so I'm saving everything until them.
Thursday Morning
I knew I couldn't be allowed to be alone long yesterday, anyway I shall write what I can between times today.
To begin with we had a very nice fire watch last night ending as usual about 2.00 am Mr Davies & Ethel went to a late tea and did not return until 8.45 pm. In the meanwhile I had several games of table tennis with Mr Graddon, and then I went up to Mr Cordial who by the way is the Christadelphian and very very sincere. I really went up to ask him to have a game of table tennis, but got caught talking & it ended up by having about 1 hours scripture lesson, He is very interesting & could go on for hours talking about the Bible, because he knows it so well and keeps proving things to you. I was really longing for someone to rescue me. He was telling me all he believes (or at least part). As I think I told you before he believes in the 2nd coming of Christ which he thinks will be very soon. All is written in 21st chapter of Luke. No doubt you know all about it. I dare say you would be very interested in having a talk with him. I know that whatever I said would not make the slightest difference to his beliefs, so I just stood or rather sat numb. He believes that absolutely everything that is written either in parables or meanings of dreams etc has either come to pass or will soon. The world is in a terrible state at the moment and will be worse. He is not worried because it's got to be until Christ comes on earth again, & I suppose put an end to the chaos in the world today. But he rambled on so, I didn't get a chance to ask him to prove the actual time that the 2nd coming should be. Anyway I can't quite see where all this study is leading him. I admit its a very good sort of hobby , but what can he do? If as he says all these prophesies have to come to pass, what can be done but just to sit and wait, and live the life that any Christian or Moslem or Bhuddist (is that spelt correctly?) should live. Enough of this, if I carry on much longer I shall be sucked up by the dust which appears to surround past history, and all my youth, beauty, everything will be smashed to atoms, and I shall appear as one haggard holding up all the corders of the world on my shoulders.
Well the gramophone recital was excellent, I will show you the programme when I see you on Saturday. Mr Davies told me Mr Sainsbury thinks that you are coming here on leave and that I am not travelling as you see why it was the leave was approved so easily, so now I have to keep quiet and be careful what I say. Thanks to Mr Davies who informed Mr S you were coming home.
Dad has just phoned me to say he managed to get my ticket for Saturday and found out that the 8.55 train should arrive about 1.39 so that is better than I thought. It must be a fast train. It will probably be late, but at least I have the benefit of feeling excited at seeing my darling again & knowing that we shall be able to be out all Saturday afternoon and evening & Sunday & perhaps Monday. Isn't it lovely?
I 'm very sorry I made no reference to Horace (tom's car) in my letter the other day regarding the prospective owner. Well I told you a bit on the phone. The man (Mr Clarke) wants a modern one which is in good running condition. The battery conked out, so I think that perhaps made him make up his mind that he would not have it, but anyway he did not say anything definite but one thing he did admit was that it is well kept inside, the upholstery etc. Bob phoned up on Tuesday evening. he apparently had a good weekend, but has now developed an awful cold. he had an offer of £15 for the car. What a cheek, isn't it? We would rather keep it, don'y you agree? In fact I'm not sure if we won't have to keep it after all.
I'm longing to see you, all being well on Saturday when I will enlarge on all I have said,

all my love & kisses,


PS I have written this letter very badly, but will you forgive me? I might add that Mr Cordial goes to meetings about 3 times a week and studies the Bible continually.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Margaret to Tom 23.3.1942


Thank you very much for the letter which I received today. I am writing this letter in bed tonight, so I don't know how it will turn out. Only I'm continually thinking of you before I go to sleep & I thought perhaps inspiration would be more forthcoming. So if I fade out, you will know I'm just getting a bit drowsy.
I have had rather a hectic evening. Your father rang up and wanted the log book of our car and also the expired license because his has gone wrong and he may or may not have to license ours. Actually, he will only need the car for a week, and if he can possibly get to business another way, he will do so, anyway I went up with the necessary this evening. On returning, Shandy & I must have just missed a bus, because we waited at Enfield West for 10 minutes & a bus came along which was turning back, so I decided to walk home & not one bus passed me all the way, so I was thankful I had not waited. Luckily it was fairly light, otherwise I could never have nerved it. I called in at the rectory with my magazine bit and Mrs Wood told me the mag bits had already gone & that the magazine would be out on Thursday. However, she was going to ring Mr Wood to ask the printers if it could go in. I was surprised as this is only the 23rd. Mr wood did not let me have a card about it this time.
You apparently did not tell your mother and father what the adjutant told you, so I showed them the bit in my letter,
I want to go to the pictures tomorrow, either to see "It started with Eve" or "Darngerous Moonlight", which, by the way, brings in the Warsaw concerto. My decision on this lies in other's hands. I have promised two people I would go with them – that is Ethel and Mrs Harding. However, we might get over this difficulty by going to both this week.

Tuesday morning

I faded out after all last night. It has now been decided that I go with Ethel to see "Dangerous Moonlight" tonight and "It started with Eve" tomorrow as Ethel is not keen on going to both. I really don't know how I'm going to do it. It is a pity I have to pay for all my amusements now, but perhaps you will make up for it either when I come down at Easter or when you come home on leave.
Well now darling about this Easter holiday. I don't know if Mr Sainsbury will let me have the Saturday morning if he thinks I'm going to travel. that was my idea in the first place of coming down on Thursday and returning on the Tuesday. Well now I cannot do that because you have a lot of work to do, and also I really feel I would rather save the leave until you are free on 7 days. So it means if I come down I must travel at Easter , Good Friday & perhaps return on the Monday. Another alternative if you are working in the Saturday morning would be for me to travel down on Saturday morning. That is working Friday & so getting a day in lieu & return some time on Tuesday.anyway let me know what you think about this. I do not want to hinder you in any way. Joyce went to see Mary Bosler on Sunday, who is on leave from the Wrens at Lowestoft, and, apparently Sir Stafford Cripps's daughter is working at the same place. I thought you might be interested in this. (I don't mean in the daughter).
I should love to hear the results of your discussion with Bill about girls. The qualities a girl looks for in a fellow I should say are the following.
Tall, dark and handsome, these are probably the usual, but as the first two do not apply to you, it must be the last and many many more good qualities.
Well now don't make yourself ill by swimming in the cold cold sea. It certainly seems rather early to begin such things, but knowing you I suppose we must expect anything!!!
I cannot think of anything else to say, except you have not answered my letter iwth reference to Ronald and I would like to know what you think.
All my love,


PS do you really like lager? What about getting real wine?
I didn't tell you I thought of getting sometime a book on gardening called "Mr Middleton Suggests". I got it out of the library & it looks quite good. We shall have to have one, one day, don't you think?
Here's hoping you are still alive


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Margaret to Tom 21.3.1942

Margaret to Tom 21st March 1942

I am just writing this now in case I don't have much time tomorrow, as Bob is coming along and I shall probably be popping in and out answering numerous questions.
I am fire watching at the office tonight and I have taken 10 records along for the Recital. I will let you have a programme later. Mr Davies says I must definitely get them typed so we can keep a record of our programmes.
Your mother & father have been along this afternoon to bring the accumulator and the log book. They picked me up in the car when I was returning with our rations this afternoon. And who should be in the car with them but Doug. They happened to pick him up in the shopping centre, either at Southgate or Enfield, I don't know which. He is on leave from today for 5 days and is training or at least is going to train for a pilot of a glider under the new (censured hush hush, but its ARMY) scheme. He is hoping he might get 7 days leave soon, as he is due for it. I played the gramophone as your father had not heard it before. Ask him what he thought of it. Everyone was talking so perhaps the music was not as distinct as it might have been.
So you would like me to come down at Easter after all. do you think I ought? Only I know you have a lot of work to do before the final exam, and I might hinder you. I would love you to do very well in the exam and so get that promotion which might be forthcoming. I expect if you did manage it, it would mean more than your present civil pay, as I don't want to spoil your chance at all. I was talking to your father on the phone last night and I told him I didn't think I should be coming down at all. He was very pleased to hear what the adjutant had told you, and he said he thought under these circumstances it would be better if I didn't come down at all. So as much as I would love to come, I suppose I had better not. Unless I come down on the Friday or Saturday & return on Monday by the 3.00pm (if it's running). Anyway, let me know what you think is best.
We are having a little war of our own down our road here. Yesterday a motorised column stretching from Langton Avenue down to just past Bousteds, seated itself from 2.00pm until this morning & now having been in the procession for "Warships Week" at Finchley is now back and I suppose going to stay the night. Tanks, motobikes, guns attached to lorries, etc and many others. People are turning out in their numbers to see this wonderful sight. They have two very la-di-da officers with them and one reminds us very much of Alan Cobden. Such excitement in our road. I don't know why we are honoured.
I will finish this tomorrow,
All my love Margaret

Sunday afternoon

Well, after a very busy morning, I have at last managed to finish this letter. To being with we had a very nice fire watch last night and I think they all enjoyed the records very much. We went to bed at a very late hour 2.30 am to be correct. We kept talking. Mr Addison who was with us instead of Mr Cordial went to bed a 1.00 am. If I hadn't torn myself away we shouldn;t have gone to bed at 2.30 am. Ethel followed me 20 minutes later. Mr Davies "looks after" us in a very fatherly sort of way and brought our tea and toast up at 8.15. I really don't know how he manages to exist because he didn't go to bed until long after 3.00 am – sat up reading and managed to wake up at 6.00 am. I didn't arrive home here this morning until 11.15 am. The records last night were utterly spoilt in reception by Rene's gramophone. It gives a tinny sound and makes men's voices sound like a woman's. The records absolutely lose their depth when played.
Bob arrive about 11.30 and immediately started work on the car, but no doubt he will write and tell you all the technical details. I cleared the things out and actually found a penny. It's a great pity you didn't leave a £1 because it would have been very useful now I'm hard up.
The army is to remain in our road for about a week, The children round here are thoroughly enjoying themselves getting to know all the various things about 15 of them had a ride in a Bren carrier – which i thought was a tank anyway I shouldn't know the difference. This road is ideal for one of those things.
Well I must stop now or I will not catch the post.
I'm looking forward to hearing your voice tonight which is the next best thing is seeing you, because you do not sound very far away,

All my love,



Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Margaret to Tom 20.3.1942

It is now clear the two undated letters published earlier this year must have been written on 17th and 18th of March. BC

Thank you so much for your letter which i received on return from lunch.
I'm very glad you are safe now. I thought the war office would not be quite so mad as to send you after all the fuss that was made. I suppose in the circumstances it would have been better for you to have notified the war office that you were no longer A.C.O. Anyway its lovely to know you are alright now, and might after all receive a wonderful award for all your hard work.
I have been wondering about the weekend we were to have. I think it would be rather ridiculous for me to come down on the 10th when you will be coming home on the 15th. If the week end has to be put off I would rather save my 3 days & have them on your weeks leave, when perhaps we could spend the money on theatres, dinners, etc. I admit the scenery would not be so nice, but I was looking forward to coming down again sometime. What is Ron's wife doing? Is she coming down at Easter? I don't know what I shall do Easter Monday, only we cannot have that day in lieu as far as I know. Can't you arrange to have the final before Easter, only it would have been so convenient. I could have travelled down on the Friday (if there are any trains running) and come home on the Monday, only taking 1 day's leave and not wasting the Monday. Anyway, perhaps next week will bring a new idea.
Mother heard that Don Pomfret is missing, Mrs P heard officially from the War Office. Perhaps he is a prisoner of war, we can only hope so anyway. The AGM of the Tennis Club has now been fixed to 18th again. The rector made a mistake in the date of his Sunday School meeting, so that would make it awkward for the weekend after Easter wouldn't it? You must take it easy after being knocked out on Monday. I think you'd better not play rugger lest it knocks you out altogether.
Well I knew there was something else to tell you, but `i have simply forgotten , so it must wait, and I meanwhile must do some work. I spent this morning writing to Lily who was 21 on Wednesday. We had mistaken the date so our present will be late as usual.
Ethel & I went to get the present at lunch time today. We went to Priors and they just happened to have had some writing cases in at 15/11. We had not enough money on us, so we had to leave it to be called for this afternoon. We are a couple really! I had about 9/6d and Ethel had 5/-/ We are badly in need of pay day.
Well, I must stop now. Here's hoping you have a good weekend,
All my love,

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Margaret to Tom 15.3.1942

15th March 1942

Thank you for the lovely week end. I'm sorry you had to leave so early, but I suppose you would have gone by now if you had caught the later train. But, as I think of the last weekend we had together, at this time we were sitting listening to our records. Anyway, no doubt, late nights and a sleepless one would do you no good – let's hope you will be nearer home next time. Let me know as soon as possible about Easter won't you. I am looking forward to it, and by the way, I hope you have written to Bob so we can enjoy our Easter holiday better.
Well I do hope you had a good journey back and a decent seat and that there were no mishaps this time.
At the moment Daddy is reading "Cranford" and as you can probably guess, although he only started it this evening, he is half way through it.
I have nothing much to say tonight, except our lovely weekends go all too quickly & I'm looking forward to Easter ever so much, but roll on summer and bring that honeymoon as quickly as possible & Lynmouth and all those lovely sleepless? or peacefully snuggly nights.
I will finish this tomorrow at the office so goodnight darling,,

All my love,

Monday morning
I very nearly stayed at home to look after Mother today as my cold is not too good, however, Mother said if, I stayed she would get up & put me to bed, so that was that. Anyway I shall probably feel alright tomorrow. I'm sucking those Jilps (?) (lozenges?) periodically. I went to bed at 9.30 pm last night, so you can guess how tired I must have felt. I went straight off to sleep. Mother said she thought I would crack up immediately you had gone. I don't know if it is that or if it's just the normal course of the cold. What I do know is that I have a horrible pain in my back and not in the lumber region.
Mrs Harding and her husband are coming along tomorrow all being well.
The sirens have just gone 11.20 am. Isn't it unusual? I wonder if this is a false alarm or if the invasion has really started. Anyway all is quiet at the moment. It's very cloudy so no wonder the planes are probably seeking refuge behind the clouds.
This has quite put me off my stroke. We have been dusting tin hats & digging out gas masks, so perhaps it is just as well this came to wake us up. There is certainly nothing happening at the moment, though perhaps they are round south London. I do hope this is not another series of many raids. I'm sure we would not exist through another lot. I think I shall find my way down to Swansea before long.
I had a funny dream last night. I dreamt Ethel and I took the afternoon off to go back to school. Norman Steers was the headmaster and funny old women for teachers. I wondered exactly how we were going to work in the office as well, because I felt sure they could not spare me every afternoon. However, Ethel came & asked one day if I had seen the papers which said all civil servatns were to be called up. Anyway I said, "well that settles it, I shall have to be married in my costume afte rall"
The all clear has just gone 11.40. I am thankful for that.
All my love,


Friday, 9 March 2012

Margaret Robinson to Tom Critchley 9.3.1942

Monday Evening

9th March 1942

Many, many Happy Returns of the Day. Twenty three now, no I cannot believe it. You are getting old aren't you? Do you think you will feel like walking on Saturday or will the old bones not stand up to all that exertion? I wonder where we shall be 10 years from now. Very much married I should think.
Shandy also sends his very best licks for your Birthday. He has made it very difficult for writing so I'm sure he was asking me to give you the above message. He is now hastily tearing up paper for the "Save the paper campaign"
Thank you for your lovely long letter. It arrived here about 11 o'clock this morning so the post from Swansea seems much better than that to here. I'm sorry you had to wait all that time for a letter, but I quite thought you would get the parcel on Friday. I posted it Thursday 9am. What a pity I'm not at Headquarters. I know the post is much quicker from there.
I'm so glad you are feeling better now and so well that you had that lovely long cycle run. I hope you will take me to some of those places along the Gower Peninsular. I shall love seeing all those little villages. Don't you think it would be a good idea to stay at the Langland Bay Hotel, if that is fairly reasonable, at Easter? I could stay at the Macksworth for the last night couldn't I? I should think we would have to book up fairly soon, as Easter is very popular still for a holiday and the Langland is sure to be full up at that time.
Well now I want to get this off my chest. It's about the Income Tax. I shall have to pay. The income tax people at the P.O. a Harrogate have notified us of the amount we shall have to pay commencing April. Well they have me down for a deduction of 7/- per month. and Ethel who perhaps just earned a couple of pounds more than me last year '41 – '42 will have to pay £1 per month. Now here is my working out of what mine should be:-

1941 – 1942

Salary April – July £48 8 3d
August – March £94 15 5d

Total earned £137.3. 8d

Deduct one tenth 14.


Total 123. 3 8d

Personal allowance 80

43. 3 8d @ 6/6 in the £ = £13.19.6 a year or £1.3.0d approx per month
This is a lovely Birthday message for you , but I simply couldn't wait to tell you. I hope you didn't mind. Perhaps you will confirm my figures. Now, what would you do? Write to ask them how they arrived at the seven bob or wait 'till they find out, by which time my husband is paying the tax. We shall probably be presented with a big bill later in the year, if we leave it. On the other hand perhaps when our incomes are combined they will not discover the mistake at all (some hopes, I suppose!!!!!)
This Morning I got up early, 7. o'clock. Dad cooked our breakfast. I did the fires and made some beds and did all the washing up before I left this morning. Mother is feeling a bit better today, so she got up and sat by the dining room fire. It was a rush for me and its amazing how much work you can do in an hour if you hurry. When I arrived at the office this morning I was just about tired out after our hectic weekend. Cooking for nine people is no joke and I only hope we don;t have 9 little Critchleys running around in years to come because that would just about do me in & you too I expect. I don;t know how some people manage do you?
Well I have you have had a very happy Birthday and that next time we shall be together. Your real Birthday celebrations are next weekend aren't they? I'm very much looking forward to the week-end. The only time we ever find real happiness is when we are together.
I'm fire watching 'til 12 midnight tonight,

All my love,


Extract of a letter from Tom to Margaret 8.3.42

First thank you for the parcel and letter yesterday. Oh dear it was dreadful – Wednesday to Saturday without a word from you! When the postman brought nothing on Friday I thought "How sweet of her – she's sending that chocolate". And so you did. So my patience (or more truthfully, lack of it) was rewarded by two letters yesterday, and nice long ones too.
Well, yesterday I did what I have been intending to do these last two months; I went all round the Gower Peninsular, from side to side, and from end to end. The weather was lovely, fine and sunny, and pleasantly warm, so I left on my bike after dinner – about 2.00 pm
On the way out – westward. along the north side of the peninsular – there was a stiffish head wind, and progress was rather slow. Eventually I arrived at LLangewith, at the extreme north west corner of the peninsular, about 3.30, and saw all Rhossili Bay stretched out below – 3.5 miles of firm hard flat sands, stretching to Worms Head on the left. On the right the coast could be seen meandering on for miles towards Tenby, in Pembrokeshire. The sea was very calm, and the sun shone on it most refreshingly.
I had hoped to cycle on the sand to Worms Head (the south corner of the Gower) but access to the beach was impossible, owing to the defense regulations. Consequently I had to scramble and push my bike over gorse and bracken along a track on the downs that border the sea. This proved rather hard work, and I wasn't sorry to get to Rhossili.
From here I started back on an eastward direction along the southern coast of the peninsula, and with a wind behind, things were rather easier. All the way, for about 12 miles, the sea was close at hand, so I imbibed great quantities of ozone! I made a number of detours, mostly along cul-de sacs, to places of interest and little coastal villages, principally to see whether any of them offered suitable accommodation for us at Easter. However, I saw very little that tempted me at all. These little Gower villages are all alike and very pretty they are too. Little white washed cottages, often overgrown with roses, or honey suckle – not in flower of course – and white washed farms. Horses and cows wander around the villages ad lib. There is the ubiquitous inn – usually very picturesque – and the chapel or church. These Welsh village churches have a character of their own. In this part of Wales they all seem very old and weather beaten; and do indeed symbolise that longing after something eternal, in direct contrast to the transient things around.
Such are the Gower villages. Picturesque as any you could find, but not offering the hospitality of a night to "foreigners" such as you and I! Probably this is why they are relatively unspoiled.
Now, where was I when I began that lengthy digression? Oh! yes; coming home. I felt fairish tired now, and hungry and thirsty, though I was able to relieve the latter by eating some snow that was still left by the roadside (jolly good grub I reckon too!!)
Eventually I arrived at Langland Bay at about 7.30, & had a goodly supper of fish and chips. Far across the sea, the Lynmouth coast – the honeymoon coast! – stood out more distinctly than I have ever seen it. So calm was the sea that it looked like a vast unruffled lake, with distant blue mountains raising at its farther shore (for so the heights of Exmoor looked as dusk began to fall).
This Langland Bay place is the real cream. People were having four course dinners of soup chicken etc. I had a very nice sole and chips a really large chunk of fish about 9" x 3" x 3". Someone else was having plaice – a biggish gentleman, about a foot long (the fish, not the bloke) and (don't tell your Pa! He'll be green with envy!!!)
After supper, night had fallen, and the stars were shining brightly. I felt passing wearied, but had at length managed to arrive home about 9.15, where to my joy I found your letter awaiting me. It was too late then to write my usual Saturday evening epistle, so I postponed it until today.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Margaret Robinson to Tom Critchley 7.3.1942

Saturday 7th March 1942

Thank you very much for your letter today. You must be getting writer's cramp. By the way early last week, I had a repetition of that pain in the wrist affecting the bones of the first finger and the thumb. (probably RSI, Margaret worked on an adding machine most of the day. BC) I think though it may be a touch of rheumatism caused through nerves. Anyway it's completely gone now.
I don't suppose you will be lucky enough to come to Golder's Green do you? It would be heavenly because its only a 2d bus ride from the office, but we must not bank on this because when you are longing for something like this, it never happens. You said the others who went to Cheltenham went to a farm and it was so hush hush all notes made during the course were destroyed. Is this exactly true, because surely, if it is very hush, hush, all letters from there would be censored? I thought of this immediately you told me. It seems it might a be "bit awkward."
Well now I have lots to tell you, if only I can remember it all.A
First, wonders of wonders, i have spent a book token, but I don't know if very wisely. I gave up the 5/- one for "A Labrador Doctor" which I very much want to read and "Cranford" by Mrs Gaskell. You see I couldn't split the book token, so I got the latter as well. It's supposed to be a good one and recommended by Everyman. The Labrador Doctor is in the Black Jacket series which are quite nice aren't they? I expect you would like to read them both if you have not read them. Do you think I have chosen wisely? It was very sad, but I have tried everywhere for the De Quincey etc and I have not been lucky yet. I did want to have it for your Birthday, but it is being reprinted and you know what a time that takes. I wonder if you could try at Swansea it's 163 in Everyman. I shouldn't try before Thursday, if I were you, because one of the girls at my office is going to try & get it for me. We have a lively record shop at Tally Ho and I went in there on my way home today and ordered one record & bought two. I really bought them for your Birthday, but when you hear them, I expect you will think they are more of a present to myself, They are very good, I can assure you and I only hope you will like them. Perhaps we can go to the record shop next Saturday, actually next Saturday in London, perhaps the H.M.V. place. I could spend hours in London at all these shops couldn't you? Mr Davies has given me lots of ideas for records, but as he says it best to her them first. We are fire watching next on Saturday 21st and then on April 1st & then 17th, which is a Friday. I had hoped that you would be able to come along on 17th and meet all these people at the Grange. Mr Davies asked if you would have any time when we are fire watching and hoped you would be able to come along. He is in fact looking forward to the time and I know someone else who would love to meet the one and only I want to marry and that is our "Uncle" Gradden. Still if you are going to be home earlier, I suppose this will not be, however, we shall see, I expect you would like to see the office wouldn't you?
I sent a parcel to you which should have reached you on Friday, and I do hope it did, because I could imagine your huge eyes when you beheld the jellies. I have an idea they were New Berry Fruits, were they? I thought it said so on the box. They were really for your Birthday, but as I said before I expect you really wanted them this weekend.
This afternoon I travelled a long way into the very very wicked metropolis. I want first to the shops at Golders Green and then I caught a bus which traveled through unknown country to East Finchley Station & from there I went into Highbury, where I caught another bus to go to Jay's at Essex Road, all by my little self this was. I had to take the gold watch because I had lost the little cap which winds & turns the hands. I didn't think it was altogether my fault, but I showed the guarantee and the man said "2/- please", so I said what!! Is that because I lost it. so he said it would only cost 1/6d because it was me. He took pity on me before if you remember. Shall we go there for our wedding rings? By the way, do you want a wedding ring? Don't think you've got to have one just because I would like you to. And will they be 22 ct? I think if we bought the gold we could have it made and 22 ct at that, don't you think?
Well I have written all this tonight because we have the Cricklewood crowd coming tomorrow. Peter is on leave. It is a shame really because mother has a terrible cold and feels awful for entertaining. So if I have any time tomorrow I will add a note,
Goodnight, all my love,
Sunday afternoon
Mother is staying in bed all day today. The crowd have arrived. Nancy and I got up at 8am this morning. I cooked the dinner as usual.
So now we are just going out for a walk and to post this letter

All my love,

Margaret xxx

Tom to Margaret 4.3.42 (extract)
Well today is the last day of this, our second part of the course & in consequence we haven't been doing very much this morning. We had our wireless working with the loud speakers, and kicking up a terrific din! And now, in a few minutes, we shall have to run to demolition work, and take it all pieces again. This will probably break our hearts
The lot in front of us didn't go until this morning, and they have to report to their new places at 4 pm next Thursday, so they are having about seven days. They are being divided into four sections, of about 7 each. One lot is going to Edinburgh, another to Chelmsford, a third to Bristol and a fourth – wonder of wonders – to Golder's Green. My signature tune today is "Carry me back to Green Green Golders". A new class has come to the college today so speculation is rife as to when we shift out from here. It was, of course, expected to be 15.4.42, but in view of the fact that in five weeks time the class below us will be due to move up to take our place, it seems possible that we may have only another five weeks. This would mean that we finish just after Easter, and so we could have a lovely time at Easter, as work here would be practically at a stand still – though I think it will be in any case.
However no one really knows what is to happen, so it's not much good speculating.
Today is a miserable day – it's been raining all day; and as soon as I woke up I remembered it was not a letter or shall I say a red letter day, so what with the weather and no letter, and about half a dozen of our lads going home to London tomorrow, & me not one of them, it seems quite a wicked world today! In desperation I think I may even go to the pictures this evening; but even then I shall have no-one's hand to hold (at least I don't think I'll try!)
We had a short air raid warning last night; and incidentally warnings in the week; but nothing happened on either occasion.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Margaret to Tom 2.3.1942

March 2nd 1042

First of all thank you very much for your letter which I received this evening. How lovely for you to have had warm weather. I wish I could change my abode now, as it is still rather cold here. Now and again, the sun breaks through and one has the impression that it's a very hot day (some hopes). How lovely to have the sea in such a magnificent mood and I only wish I could have been with you. Still all being well in one month's time I will be and perhaps the weather will be warmer than it was on Saturday for you.
Well, this evening I went to see dear Mrs Eddoes about the tennis club. We have arranged that the AGM should be held after Easter Monday 13th April. This being my suggestion because I would like to put a notice in the parish magazine before the AGM. Mrs E told me she discovered the surround netting had been left up all the winter. Mr Thompson, who had promised to take them down, had forgotten, so I only hope they will not be too rotten. Mr Thompson cannot make up his mind whether he will be our gardiner or not this year, but Mrs E is going to egg him on (as she would say). I told her I would probably be carrying on this year as far as I know now, and I also said I did not know whether I would continue as secretary owning to the uncertainly of the situation. Of course I told her we will be getting married in July. at which she told me she was very pleased. She said she would like me to carry on if possible, but suggested we should appoint a deputy secretary secretary who would take her place. I feel that as I am joining this year, I would like to have a say in the doings of things, if you understand me.
I have undertake to write to the rector and ask him if we can have the tennis courts as usual. I shall take the opportunity of telling him we are getting married in July then he can prepare himself for this great event.
I need you here to buck me up, as this office work is getting me down. It turns my inside all upside-down. I feel I can't carry on with all those beastly sums etc.
To change the subject, I have been round our branch and collected £1.16.0d for Rene and the other girl who is joining the A. T. S. next Friday week. We are going to give them a small gift. Mr Sainsbury & Mr Warner wanted to know when they are going to collect for me.. I think they must know my great event will not be far distant. Rene has handed over the tea department to me altogether so everyone is now at my mercy. It is a business buying the cake now-a -days. We seem to have enough money in hand at present and you can be sure I shall not be in the position that I shall have to put money in the tea club to make it up in order to keep it going.
Well by this time you will have had your test or at least part of it. I do hope you have done well & with full marks this time.
All my love and everything,


Monday, 27 February 2012

Margaret to Tom 27.2.42

Margaret to Tom 27.2.42

Would you believe it! it's the 27th already. Doesn't time fly?
We have just been paid "Oh, joyous day", said she breaking forth into song. But I shall not have that for long as I have to fetch my costume either tomorrow or Monday. I think I shall probably be able to get an hour off tomorrow if I make the time up and get it then. Then as Foyles is open until 6.00 on Saturdays & also during the week until that hour. anyway I have decided to spend Saturday afternoon there.
Thank you for your letter which has just arrived and for all the enclosures. Now I shall be able to get on with the good work.
No, I'm afraid I have not been working hard and studying all the nursing books I have at home. I have been very busy though. You see, all my mending, all my knitting and Shandy (the dog) takes up a good bit of my time nowadays. I can't think whatever we did when you were at home. The evenings simply fly. I have always got something to do, except work such as reading about nursing.
Well I have just arrived back from lunch and now I can settle down to this between working. I had to rush out just now again & buy Mr Bolt some cakes for tea today, as it is his Birthday.
To revert to the nursing. If I go in for Red Cross, I shall now have to give up some of my coupons for the uniform – just the indoor apron etc, but I do now know how many. I was talking to a girl who is doing this work at the sick bay across the road and she suggested I went into the civil nursing reserve which apparently only require an overall which is provided. Civil nursing is, of course, only practiced at the civilian hospitals , which might or might not be counted as war work. What do you think?
Are you running short of chocolate now? Because I have a little I can send you, but I have not been able to buy any this week.
This afternoon I am very busy, so I'm afraid this will be a very short letter.
I shall probably call to see your mother & father this evening. We have Ron;s letter to return and Nancy will be so mad if it is not returned by the time she arrives home this evening.
I shall look forward to hearing your voice on Sunday, if it is possible for you to phone. It brings us so near doesn't it?
Well, all my love, I hope the weather is fine for you to go walking this week end, so that you can come home with rosy cheeks – blossoms of spring to greet me the week after next,


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Margaret to Tom 25.2.42


Thank you for your letter which arrived this morning. It is lovely to hear from you and know what you are doing, or have been doing. How about furnishing that cave and fixing it up with electric light before I come down at Easter?
Now I have several important things to tell you. The first is about my leave. Betty and I have discovered that it is impossible to leave any days over until next leave year so I shall have to take my day within the next months. My only suggestion to this is that I have the Saturday morning of the weekend you are home and save all that trouble of getting up early. What do you think about this? We could go out somewhere on that morning. I have just heard that we shall be getting the usual 12 days next leave year, plus an extra 4 days which should be taken separately Isn't that lovely, as of course I shall get 3 days special leave for marriage & any other leave can be taken without pay. So I don't think it will be too bad do you?
The second important thing I had to say is this – I have heard unofficially that it would be wise to buy your service wool through WVS as quickly as possible so the other day I went to WVS shop and obtained my voucher for the rest of the wool 12 oz. I should not be surprised if they stop this method of obtaining service wool. This unfortunately will run to about 9/-, but if I can deduct it from what I owe you I think I can manage.
I propose getting 8 oz of grey for socks and 4 oz of khaki which will be put with the other 4 I have and made into a pullover for you. If that is all right for you. If you would prefer to have khaki socks just let me know. And please say if you would like a long-sleeved pullover or short-sleeved. This, of course is looking ahead to next winter.
Wednesday evening
Please excuse the above scribble as that was written in about 2 minutes at the office today.
Today I went to Priors to have a look for shaving mirrors. They had none like you have at home and only those fixed to cabinets. Well now as these things might prove useless in our flat, do you think it worth while getting one or do you want one now very much. Really I am a a loss to know what to buy you as well as the book. Would you like some gramophone records? Or can you suggest something more useful? What about an alarm clock?
What do you think of the news at present. I wonder if this new cabinet will be doing things or whether it's the case of a new brook sweeps clean.
Princess Elizabeth seems to be colonel in chief of the Grenadiers now. I don't know what good that will do, do you?
Well last evening I went to Mrs Harding's flat. it's rather too large for them and their furniture looks somewhat lost. I like all this new furniture and it looked quite nice. They got out all the best crockery etc for me. Her mother is up from Rochester at present and looking round for a flat near here now. Evelyn showed me the lace which she wants to lend me. It did not look a hundred years old at all. it's dainty & fine. I expected it to fall to pieces in my hands. There are one or two holes which Evelyn is very annoyed about, but they won't show. She lent it to a friend who apparently was rather rough with it, and if I borrow it I shall have to be careful. By the way, you said you dreamt we were being married, and that you might have to wear dark glasses at the actual ceremony.
Well, as Nancy would say, if you think I can look as lovely at that you are sure to be wearing rose-coloured spectacles now and ever since you have known me.
I think I shall get an hour off on Saturday morning and go up to get my costume then. I rather want to go to Foyles or Bumpers if they are open on Saturday afternoon, and then I can look around and choose what I want with my book tokens. Shall I see if there is any credit due to you at the Ryp Van Winkle shop, it would make a cheap present for you. Did I tell you our office has bought the house next door. Yes we are growing more and more. It will make a difference for our fire watching, but when it will affect it is another matter. I don't suppose they will arrange anything definite until the end of the rota which is in May. We are fire watching next Tuesday, so we are going to celebrate Mr Davies's promotion. Do you know that it makes a difference of at aleast £7 a month? Isn't it lucky?
Well now what about your wireless set? I'm so glad you were successful & I hope by this time it can be heard through the loud speakers. You are certainly not wasting your time during this war. And no one can even say you wasted your time killing others. Mind you do not destroy yourself, you will be careful I know for my sake,
Well, all my love, hugs and kisses & everything,

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Margaret to Tom 23.2.42


You have been busy, thank you for all the enclosures, and we did not have to pay excess on the packet.
It was lovely to hear you again last night, as I always say it brings us nearer. Who could think you were 200 miles away. We didn't have so long as before did we? I knew it was not your usual operator, "it" was a girl.
Well, to begin with in case I forget, I have prepared the minutes, so if you will, just put all the flowery bit you can think of into it, and if you remember any points I have not included, perhaps you will put them in for me.
Our Mr Davies has now been promoted to staff officer. He is going to remain in our branch as we have had a vacancy for some time. Of course he is very pleased about it and it dates back to Jan 9th. When I congratulated him, I said I supposed he didn't want to continue fire-watching with just C O's (clerical officers) and that he had better join Mr Sainsbury's squad. He said he'd rather leave than do that, so now they have to find some E O (executive officer) to take his place. There is some talk of D Jones coming along. I think he rather wants to. I have told you all about Donald Jones at Headquarters haven't I? He was the conscientious objector who eventually joined the Pioneers, took ill, and was kicked out of the army. Anyway i expect there are loads of people who would like to come if only they had the chance. They really do not know their fate. Fancy wanting to come here!!!!!
I am returning Bill's letter, at least I hope I have enclosed it. It's very interesting. I only hope he will always have the chance of such a quiet life while he is at Gibralta. Who is this Marjorie girl and why does she have to send her good wishes to you to Gibralta, only to be returned? You say he has not send his usual fond wishes to me, but what is that last sentence to the missus? Is that your mother or does he think that we will be married by the time you recieve his letter?
Yes, I know that Sir Stafford Cripps has been very much in the new lately. He has certainly earned his success. I often wonder where you would have been now if you had been one of his secretaries. I think, no doubt, you would have been nearer this social work than you are now. By the way, I expect you saw that Temple, Archbishop of York is now Archbishop of Canterbury (at least will be in April). He is 60 years old, but certainly a good deal younger than the other one. There is hope for England yet isn't there? The Daily Sketch mentioned that he and also the new Archbishop of York are very interested in social reform.
Whatever made you think of the "Parable of the tree"? I do hope that tree will not be yours and mine. It's good, but next time make it all new green leaves with buds just bursting forth in the clear spring sunshine. I'm collecting all these for our own "little book", so please continue.
Well now about the nursing. You are so insistent that I almost put on my hat & coat and walked out in the blackout. Well I will see what I can do, but you see, nursing in war time is so different, so many ugly sights creep into hospital life now-a days. But this you will say is merely an excuse, and I must get cracking, but I asure you I shall probably end up by being a patient myself.
Well I think I must close now so it is now 10.25 pm and I have to do some ironing before going to bed.
Tomorrow I am going to Mrs Hardings to tea. She wants to show me her lace or at least the head gear which she very much wants to lend me for our wedding. You can come under too if you want to hide from the World.
All my love & hugs and kisses.
(the last being from Shandy, very wet.)

PS My father is better thank you. Swollen knee is only rheumatism.

PPS It's very sad bout that fellow who was electrocuted. You will be careful won't you? I don't think you would do anything like that, but just in case, remember me. I am waiting for you.

PPPs If you can possibly do the minutes by next weekend, I should be pleased, I also have to prepare a secretary's report, so perhaps you can help in this please, oh, please do.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Margaret to Tom 22.2.42

53 Buckingham Avenue,

Sun day 22nd February,

Thanks very much for your letter which I received in good time yesterday, but what a long time these letters take to come – I simply live for your letters and wish rather selfishly they could arrive every day.
If I can possibly do the Tennis Club thing today, I will enclose it but somehow I feel it will be rather a rush. The minutes will not be so bad as I thought because I must have had a go at it last April. Your Captain's Report is missing and I wondered if you would ever be able to lay your hands on it next time you come home.
Well yesterday we went to Barry and Deidre's flat – on block. It is a do when we all troop out together., it seems such a crowd. They have a lovely little flat and everything seems so convenient. All the time I was there I was thinking about the flat we are going to have and I wish – how I wish that day could be nearer – when you will be back at the office.
The room is sort of long and narrow about the length of Megan and Freddie's in Cheval Place (the second one I mean) only it is slightly wider. The dining room table & chairs were in one half and the fire, armchairs & settee in the other half – not forgetting the side-board. The bedroom is curtained off from the big room and they can actually get a double bed and a dressing table in there. Everything is compact. I don't think you would like the choice of furniture, because its got funny legs. It is mahogany, by the way. The mantlepiece is of oak, I think, and in the middle, below the shelf there is an electric clock in chromium and no glass, but a background of some material, anyway, the material you find in wireless sets, (probably bakelite BC) and behind the clock is the wireless set, which can be softened or made louder or switched off by a knob on the wall. The wireless is worked by a main one, so of course, Barry can only get one station, which ever is set on the main. They do not have to pay the license and altogether this is rather a good idea for young people who do not want the expense of buying one.
Well we had a very nice evening there, we sat and knitted and talked, had supper and left about 9.30.
Today I was kitchen maid as usual. It takes and awful long time to cook for five people. Tonight I'm going to try my hand at making fish cakes. I shall certainly have to study Mrs Beeton before we get married. Her book seems very good, but I don't think we shall try all her recipes for instance "hash pie" that sound's worse than sea weed doesn't it?
Well Nancy has asked me to ask a favour of you. She badly wants some suspenders (the things that hold up our stockings) and she said that as she has bought tobacco for Ron in the past, perhaps he would like to buy some of these things for her. But on second thoughts, as he is married, I think his wife would object. Now all this arose from the fact that I saw some in Swansea Woolworths and these cannot be obtained from Crawley or anywhere round here. So if you ever pay a visit to Woolworths and see these things, just think of Nancy. They are pink and all ready for sewing on to the belt, she is also anxious for some "roll ons", but before I go further I must stop.
I'm so sorry you were not feeling well last week. It was too much traveling late at night and then swotting so hard. I do hope last weekend has not spoilt your chances. It was certainly hard luck not having the test before you went.
Well now what about your Birthday? I would willingly get you the liquorice if I could see them, but the shops round here have not had any for sometime. Would you like an electric iron, or some stew pans, or a coffee service, or pyrex dish, or fruit set? I don't know what to say about a shaving mirror, because some flats already have things like that installed and we shall not want more furniture than we need. Barry's flat had a shaving mirror & cupboard fitted on to the wall. Anyway let me know what you think about it.
I'm glad you managed to do the essay alright. Your salary is larger than I thought. perhaps you will work out the income tax I shall have to pay this year and see how much we shall save by amalgamating our pay.
Poor Algy. He must be soft if he doesn't realise you are making fun of him. The sooner his wife arrives the better it will be all round.
Well I hope you had a lovely weekend. It's bitterly cold here and yesterday we had a little snow.
Shandy (the dog) sends you all his love, licks & kisses, combined with mine you must be rather wet,