Monday, 16 January 2012

Margaret Robinson to Tom Critchley 7.1.42

We have just been playing some records – the last one being most appropriate – Wanting You – which is the one you so gaily sang in the bath the other night.
Barry and Deidre have been here tonight – what a couple!!! Well, they are not bad really. I wish you could have been here. We have been playing bagatelle and I have been playing the records in between times. They love the gramophone records and my array of (21st Birthday) presents.
Joyce has arrived here tonight from the dentist. I didn't tell you she was coming home specially to see Mr Plowman. She had to have a temporary stopping as far as I can gather.
I have been working very hard in the office today – figures, figures, figures. How I hate them. I wonder what you think about me going in for nursing? I just want to be pushed into it, otherwise I'm sure I shall never change. Please help me make up my mind. I suppose I should start with a few hours per week first – but how I hate the black-outs – its so much easier to go to classes, as I did last April, when the days are so much lighter.
If you are coming home on Saturday, I will come to meet you at Paddington, then we can have an extra hour together, can't we? I could brave the black-out for you.
Mother wants me to go to a whist drive tomorrow evening with her. I'm not at all keen to go, they are so boring with all the old ladies, don't you agree with me? I can't even get out of it by giving her the money because I just have not got it.
Now let me tell you how work went last Wednesday – that awful day. When I first arrived I just couldn't speak to anyone about you until 11 o'clock and then I told them all. Marjorie said "Fancy sitting there and not telling us all this." But I knew I should simply have burst into tears if I had done so. I felt so sad and utterly at a loss. However I simply bathed myself in work until I came home and then, well you must know how I felt. I think of you all day long and have that lovely picture of you in front of me. Do you think you could have your photograph taken while you are there?
In one of your letters you said your eyes were aching. Well, don't you think it's time you had some new glasses? I expect it would cost you about £2, but it is worth it, especially as you will be doing a lot of reading and close work.
When I told Betty last week that you had been posted, she said, how sad, because she had been looking forward to another outing with us when Alan comes home in February. Still, I suppose all these outing just have to be postponed until alfter the war & when we shall have our own home.
Next week "Scrooge" from Dicken's Christmas Carol' is on at the Bohemia, Church End. I didn't know there was a picture of it, did you? We must look out for it later on.
Shandy (a dog) is missing you so much that he has been playing me up. He seems to think I am keeping you in the background somewhere. He keeps listening for your knock. Last week he was so annoyed with me for not opening the door to you, that he tore one of my petticoats. These things cost coupons, so me thinks that by the time we get married, I shall be wearing things with huge red patches, that being the only material I have left to patch with. (With which to patch, sorry).
I hope you can come home this weekend, because then you can see the rest of my presents. We can have practically all day Sunday together, and then, perhaps, I can come along to Swansea in a fortnight's time. I think it is a lovely idea of yours to have the Monday off instead of Saturday, it will certainly save traveling in the black out and I expect I could manage some time off on the Saturday morning.
Well, it is now 11.25 pm & I must be going to bed. I do not seem to have written much about anything, but it is worth two-pence ha'penny just to talk to you like this,

Cheerio, all my love,



  1. Barbara
    Interesting social history here.
    Would be interested to here more about the radion detection aspects, this is still an activity we keep alive - ARDF, see below for a recent report on an event in Highwoods.

    1. I've only just got around to reading your comment Philip. The radar and radio location training course Tom was on in 1942 was top secret at the time. They had to memorise everything they were taught and were not allowed to take notes. Margaret's letters were always delivered to him opened, as they had been read first. It is also clear he was being vetted for security when he first arrived. One of Margaret's letters comments on the number of friends and relatives who he seems to have met up with since he went to Swansea. Tom was a more prolific writer than Margaret, so I have yet to sort his letters.