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,
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,
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.