1947 Rossington Diary

Jan 1st

  • In my last year’s diary I wrote 2494 lines (86 pages). The government take over all coal mines today (nationalisation). The Australians won the toss in the third test match; they were 255 for 6 wickets. Don Bradman was out for 73 runs. Bill gets New Years day holiday, but dad and I are working. Very frosty this morning. I was at work this morning when the New Year came in (nights). Bill and dad moved 3 tons of coal from in front of the church hall into the church yard (10 yards), he gets 8/6 for it and Bill shares. Bill and Ray went to the pictures. I went to bed this morning at 10am and got up at 6pm (8 hrs). We had 2 New Year’s cards sent, one from Rita (cousin), and one from Aunty May (Staffs). The food outlook for 1947 is far better than in 1946 says the food minister.

Jan 2nd

  • I came home on an engine this morning which was going to Bawtry; I got dropped off at Rossington box. I was in the house at 6:03am; it is the first time I have been on an engine (not a train). The Australian cricket team are all out for 365 runs, England are 1 wicket down for 87 runs so far (second day of the third test). Doncaster Rovers go to Skegness on Monday to prepare to meet Portsmouth for the third round of the F.A. Cup on the 11th Jan.

Jan 3rd

  • An express ran into a standing train last night (in Essex), five people were killed and forty were injured (fog). Last night as I was going to work my milk bottle broke and my tea jar came open and soaked my bag (Peg’s old RAF bag), snap, and trousers. When I got to work I hung my bag up to dry over the stove. It fell into the stove which burnt a hole in it. England finished 14 runs behind Australia in the first innings of the third test. Australia knocked 365, and England 351. Australia were 33 (2nd Innings) at close of play today. One British soldier was killed and five injured by terrorists in Jerusalem yesterday, the terrorists used flame throwers. Very frosty this morning. It snowed a little but did not settle. My new savings club starts today (the third club). We are saving up for the holidays in July (postponed until September. When I leave for work in a morning (6am) I walk down to the loco canteen, have a cup of tea and a bun, and set off for the bus at 6:30am. I get there just in time for the first bus which is at 7am.

Jan 4th

  • Our bacon ration will be cut from tomorrow (from 4 to 3oz). At close of play today Australia were 293 for 4 in the 2nd innings of the third test match. Pay day £1 17d 1s. My new club started yesterday with over £4 in for a start. When I got up from bed at 5:30pm I sat on the fire guard which slipped, I fell and burnt my hand on the iron which Mam had down (does it hurt!). Got some oranges from Cunar’s, 6 for 2/4. Bill had the chance to apply for a job as a butcher’s lad at the co-op but he doesn’t want it, Dad says he will give him another week to think it over. Bill’s pay ay 15/-. I make a time sheet out every three weeks at work because when I am on nights I get time and a quarter for weekday’s and time and three quarters for Sunday nights (a night shift wage is £2 9s 3d. Dad is getting £1 11s 5d per shift this week (he’s worked five). Went to work on Bill’s cycle. The weather forecast says ‘very hard frost’. Doncaster drew their game with New Brighton 0-0, they are still top of league three north.

Jan 5th

  • Very frosty this morning, my hands froze riding home from work, although I had a pair of old stockings over them. It didn’t do me any harm and I felt very fresh when I got home. I went to bed at 9:30am and got up at 3pm. Bill attended 9:30am communion and 6:30pm evensong. Ray kept his good Sunday school record up. The most far-reaching measure in British history to control the nation’s land will be published this week. It will do what Lloyd George and Phillip Snowden failed to achieve – secure for the nations the increasing in land values arising from community development (Reynold’s News). Point period number 7 starts today. Imported jam goes on points, bacon ration is cut. Dad got paid 10/- for getting the coke and coal in for church.

Jan 6th

  • Our old alarm clock didn’t go off this morning and Dad slept in for work (days). I am on afternoons this week. Snow started falling at 2pm today and had not stopped when I came home at 11pm; it is now about 3 inches deep. Australia were all out today for 536 runs (2nd innings), they got 365 first innings. England was 91 for 0 at close of play today. We need 460 at 90 runs per hour to win the third test.

Jan 7th

  • Bill’s half day holiday has been changed from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday. England drew the third test match with Australia, Australia keep the ‘Ashes’. My hand, which I burnt on Saturday, is still very sore and I am having a job to write (at work as well as at home). It snowed for most of the day, it was about 8 inches deep at 11pm. The snow has stopped and it has started thawing.

Jan 8th

  • Had a haircut (1/3). Very slushy today. The bus was late and I got to work seven minutes late (first time). Bill’s half day. Bought Mam a birthday card as she is 43 tomorrow. It was sixpence but not worth a penny. Bill bought Mam a tin of Ovaltine for 2/4.

Jan 9th

  • Five children from 2yrs to 14 yrs were burned to death when their house caught fire while the Father was out at work and the Mother was on holiday with one of her six children. The fire was at Askern, a mining village.

Jan 10th

  • Pay day £1 17s 1d. I caught an engine from Red Bank signal box to outside Doncaster station and with a little run I managed to catch the 10:15pm bus to Rossington. Mr Attlee celebrated his silver wedding anniversary today. The Royal Family sail for South Africa in H.M.S Vanguard on February 1st. Doncaster Rovers play Portsmouth (home) in the third round of the cup tomorrow. I have never seen a league football game in my life!

Jan 11th

  • Dad had a shift off (slept in). Doncaster Rovers lost their match with Portsmouth 3-2. Attendance was 25,000 as Portsmouth is a first division team. There was such a long queue for the bus at 1pm that there was no hope of me getting to work before 2pm, so I came home, got my cycle and rode to work. I was at work by 1:35pm. Ray went to a Christmas party at the church hall. Bill’s pay day 15/-.

Jan 12th

  • The attendance at Bell View (Don) yesterday was the biggest this season. Ray attended Sunday school as usual and Bill attended 6:30pm evensong.

Jan 13th

  • I am on days this week (6am ‘til 2pm). Had a ride home on a coal train which was going to Rosso at 2pm, I was home by 2:30pm. Ray went to the Doctors. He had some sores on his legs. They turned out to be infantigo. The Dr is to give him some penicillin on Monday and he says it will remove the spots within 2 days (a war-time discovery). A notice was put in the Co-op butcher’s window today advertising for a junior butcher’s assistant. Bill is going to apply for the job. I was told this morning by the signalman that my railway uniform is ready. I called for it at 2pm but the store room is closed until Friday.

Jan 14th

  • The clock stopped this morning at 2am and we had a job to get up for 4am, so Dad decided to go to Doncaster for an alarm clock (they are very hard to get hold of). He dropped on lucky. He has to go back early tomorrow as he is promised one from Marks and Spencer. Bill applied for a job as a butcher’s assistant. Bill and I went to the pictures to see ‘Becky Sharps’ (no good).

Jan 15th

  • The clock stopped again this morning. Dad called back at Marks and Spencer and bought a new alarm clock for £1 9s 9d. I will be able to sleep without worrying what time it is for the first time since I started shift work.

Jan 16th

  • In the next few weeks, a party of 22 are setting out to South Africa to find adventure and work (they come from Leeds). They are going to do the trip in a converted motor torpedo boat (6,000 miles). Seven parties from different parts of England have set off for South Africa in Lorries (army) during the last few months. Went to the pictures to see ‘The Ziegfeld Follies’, not bad.

Jan 17th

  • Pay day £2 9s 3d (night shift pay). I collected my uniform from the LNER store this afternoon, I got one over coat, a waistcoat, jacket, and trousers, there’s still the cap to come. When I tried the trousers on I found they were a bit too big so I might get them turned up or take them back. The waistcoat and jacket have brass buttons. I am supposed to give 8 coupons for the uniform but they will have to wait and see if there are any left for them or not. Mam has promised Mr. Kitchen (the insurance man) a bag of coal every three weeks, she doesn’t know if it’s right or wrong but she doesn’t like to see them go cold. They have three children and get 1 bag of coal a week (or month, I’m not sure), he will take it in his baby Austin car.

Jan 18th

  • By being clever and leaving my scarf and top-coat off when going to work, I have caught the flu. I got up at 4:30am this morning and thought I might as well go to work as it is the last shift this week. I put on my new railway top-coat and scarf and managed to get through the shift alright. I came home on an engine. When I got off the train a policeman came up to me and asked me what I was doing round the station. I told him I had come home on an engine and showed him my badge and it was alright. Feeling ill again this afternoon and my tooth-ache has come back to make me feel worse still. Went to bed at 5pm. Bill’s pay day 15/-.

Jan 19th

  • Came down the stairs at 8:30am this morning. I’ve still got a very bad cold but I don’t have to go to work until 10pm tomorrow night so I expect I will be well enough. Doncaster Rovers lost their first away match this season when they were defeated 4-2 at Halifax yesterday. Doncaster is still top of the league (Halifax are bottom). 300 people lost their lives yesterday when the 15,000 ton Greek steamer ‘Chimarra’, carrying 524 passengers, struck a mine just off Greece.

Jan 20th

  • Freddie Mills knocked out a Dutch champion in the 2nd round at Harringley tonight (Britain’s Cruiser Weight). I listened to the Mills fight until 9pm and then caught the 9:15pm bus to work (nights). I have still got the flu a bit although I was soaked in Vick, cod liver oil, and cough medicines all day and last night.

Jan 21st

  • Came home on a train going to Bawtry this morning. It was very foggy. I had a shift off and Dad was up. Had the fire lit and a cup of tea ready when I came in (he’s got the flu). Went to bed at 1:30am and got up at 5:30am. Still very foggy. With all the fog about I decided to go down for the 8:30am bus but by 9:30am no buses had arrived. I walked down to the station to see if any trains were going up to Red Bank but he said the next one might be 3 hours, so I came home and had a night in bed. The fogs making me miss my second night since I started on the railway (I lost my first shift in December due to the fog).

Jan 22nd

  • It was very foggy this morning. It’s Bill’s half day today. He wanted me to go to Doncaster with him but it was 3 o’clock and we wouldn’t be home until 7 o’clock and I am on night and don’t want to miss another shift. I am stopping at home and Bill wouldn’t go without me. I went to bed at 5:30pm and got up at 7:30pm. Went to work on the 9pm bus (the fog had all cleared). Doncaster Rovers beat Rochdale 3-0 away today. I came home on an engine but I had to wait three quarters of an hour before it left the coal yard, and the 7am bus from Doncaster got home 5 minutes before me. It was very cold this morning and there was a thin layer of snow when I went to bed at 8:30am. It had all gone by 7:30pm when I got up. Over 1000 men went out on strike in Rossington in sympathy for 80 men who went on strike yesterday against reducing their wages by 4/- per shift.

Jan 23rd

  • Blank

Jan 24th

  • Forgot to get my wages so I will have to get them on Monday. Snowed today (about 1 inch). Dad and I went to the pictures to see ‘Valley of Disillusion’.

Jan 25th

  • Doncaster Rovers won their game against Carlisle 9-3 (their highest score so far this year). They are still the top of league three with 43 points. Cycled to work. Snow on some parts of the road. Bill’s pay day 15/-

Jan 26th

  • It was snowing very hard this morning and very windy, I had a job on riding home and I was glad of my railway top-coat and the gloves Mam bought for me yesterday. She also bought me a pull-over and a shirt. Bill and Ray attended church.

Jan 27th

  • Snowing again this morning. I went down to the Dentist at 10am but he wasn’t coming in until 11am so I went to the barber’s until he came. I went to the Dentist and had a big double tooth out, it cost me 2/6, and it didn’t hurt a bit. I am on afternoons this week. Caught the 1:15pm bus to Doncaster and managed to get to work for 2pm with a rush (I mostly catch the 1pm bus). Two planes, both Dakota’s, have crashed in the last 24 hours, one in Belgium, where 22 people lost their lives including Grace Moore, a well-known opera singer, and Prince Adolf of Sweden, and the other was at Croydon airport (England) where 12 people lost their lives. I sent my railway trousers to Mrs Evans’ to be turned up.

Jan 28th

  • I put my new railway suit on for the first time; it’s much warmer than my other clothes. Bill has to go for an interview at 10am tomorrow and he will have to ask Mr. Young (present employer) to let him have the half an hour off to go for it and he won’t stop worrying. The job that he is applying for is a butcher’s lad at the Co-op. It snowed all afternoon and was about 3 inches deep by 10pm.

Jan 29th

  • Freezing again today but no more snow (there’s still 6 inches left from yesterday). Bill went for an interview at the Co-op butcher’s this morning. He didn’t like to tell Mr. Young (his employer) so he locked the shop up at 10am and went down. He got the job as butcher’s lad. I have to work 12 hours tomorrow as the other lad is going to Sheffield for his army medical examination. I will go at 6pm and come home at 6am Friday, and then I go back at 3pm on Friday afternoon (3pm ‘til 10pm).

Jan 30th

  • It’s below freezing point again this morning. Dad had a shift off. I caught the pm bus to Doncaster and was at work for 5:45pm and will be there until 6am tomorrow. There are plenty of Jaffa’s about now; they have them in some shops in Doncaster for anyone (that’s getting a little bit like the pre-war days).

Jan 31st

  • Knocked off at 6am this morning after a 12 hour shift and feel none the worse for it. Caught the 7am bus home and went to bed at 9am. I got up at 1pm and caught the 2pm bus to work (I don’t start until 3pm after a 12 hour shift). The 4th test match started in Australia today (Australia have won the last three). Pay day £3 14s 2d (2 weeks).

Feb 1st

  • Doncaster Rovers won their match with Accrington 1-0 today at Accrington; Rovers are still the top of league three with 44 points (played 26 games). Bill’s pay day 15/-. He gave Mr. Green one week’s notice of his leaving today as he starts his new butcher’s job a week on Monday.

Feb 2nd

  • 16 die in another Dakota crash in the Lisbon hills. Pilot loses his way in a storm. It is the third Dakota (twin engine air-liners, formerly parachute planes) crash in a week with a total of 50 lives lost. The Royal party left for Africa yesterday. Snowed all afternoon, another inch of snow by 9pm. Still very cold but it’s a bit above freezing now. Bill and Ray attended church. I have to get up at 4:30am tomorrow for the day shift (6am ‘til 2pm).

Feb 3rd

  • We now have £7 7s 0d in our holiday club which started on January 1st 1947. Caught the 5:30am bus to work. A thaw has set in and there is slush everywhere. Dad and Mam went to the pictures. Australia are 293 for 4, England were all out for 460 in the first innings (Bradman was out for a duck). Snowed again later this afternoon and left another half inch (it’s still thawing).

Feb 4th

  • When I got up this morning there was 9 inches and it was still snowing, it’s the worst this year and may be a lot more snow to come (1939 was a bad year). I got to work at 6:10am so I didn’t do badly with the weather like it is. An engine came off the line near our box today. Still snowing at 7pm with drifts all over, some are up to three feet deep, we had to bring our own milk today and the morning paper did not come. Australia beat us (England) by 27 runs in the first innings of the fourth test. England knocked 460 and Australia knocked 487. England is 96 for 0 at close of play today (2nd test).

Feb 5th

  • Yorkshire has had the worst snow and blizzards for 40 years; it’s a foot thick in Rossington and much deeper where it has drifted. Traffic all over the country is held up and many villages are isolated. Food is being sent by wires. Caught the 5:20am bus this morning but it was just a little late and I was at work by 6:10am. Bill’s half day so I went to the Ritz (cinema) with him.

Feb 6th

  • The snow is still here. It’s been freezing again. Caught the 5:20am bus and got to work at 6:15am (late again). Our coal has run out and we have had to borrow some. The Lorries have been delayed with the bad weather.

Feb 7th

  • Caught the 5:20am bus and got to work just after 6am. Pay day £2 2s 0d (night shift pay but I lost a shift owing to the fog). Very near half the football matches have been cancelled owing to the snow. We now have £8 0s 6d in our club. There will be the biggest electricity cut yet on Monday (the weather is to blame says the minister) says Mr. Shinwell. The fuel minister says that 2,400,000 workers will be thrown idle; it’s a good job that we’ve got gas, although we are always wishing we had electricity. Shops, theatres, cinemas, dog tracks will be cut.

Feb 8th

  • I had the busiest morning since I started at the signal-box this morning, there were dozens of trains and we’ve got the painters in. I have to make timesheets out for the platelayers (snow sweeping). I also have all the cleaning up to do (sweeping up, taking the ashes out, scrubbing the table, and dusting) as well as looking after my train register books. I was very pleased when that shift was over! I am on nights next week. Bill’s pay day 15/-. It’s his last day at Mr Young’s as he starts work at the Co-op (butcher’s) on Monday. He’s picked some grand weather. Went to the pictures with Dad to see ‘Bad Bascomb’ with Wallace Berry.

Feb 9th

  • It snowed again today so there is about a foot of snow still lying about. Mrs. Ellen Wilkinson M.P. died on Friday, she was Minister of Education. Bill and Ray attended church. Bill broke the gas mantle this afternoon, they are very hard to get hold of and cost 1/- each.

Feb 10th

  • It snowed all day off and on and left another 2 or 3 inches, it thawed a bit about 11am but soon froze up again and the roads are now worse than ever. Bill started his new job as a butcher’s lad this morning at 8:30am. He knocked off at 12pm as there isn’t much work doing on Mondays. Bill, Ray and I went to the pictures to see ‘Sentimental Summer’. No buses will run from 6:30pm tonight until the 9pm bus owing to the bad roads. I managed to catch it and got to work for 10:05pm. Electricity was cut all over the country today; it was the biggest cut that Britain has had so far.

Feb 11th

  • I stopped in the signal-box until 6:30am this morning then sat in the brake-van of a train waiting for it to go but it didn’t set off until 7:05am and I reached home at 7:45am. I wasn’t sure whether the buses were running or not. Newspapers go back to their war-time size again tomorrow (the size was increased on September 2nd, 1946.

Feb 12th

  • I caught the 7:30am bus home this morning, the roads are so bad that it took the bus three quarters of an hour to travel from Doncaster to Rossington. The roads are like a frozen ploughed field with the ice 4 inches thick in most places. When I arrived home I had my breakfast and then went out to clear the yard of ice and snow, I had to chip it off, It took me an hour and a half to shift it even though it has been cleared three or four times already in the last week. I went to bed at 11am and got up at 7:30pm. We have been without potatoes for 2 days because of transport difficulties.

Feb 13th

  • I jumped on a train going to Harworth at 5:50pm this morning and I was home for 6:25am. The snow is still here and it is below freezing point again. I went to bed at 9am and got up at 3:30pm. Bill went to the Gaumont (Doncaster) as it is his half day. I went to the pictures in Rossington

Feb 14th

  • I came home on a train this morning and was home for 7am. I went to bed at 9am and got up at 5pm. Mam and Dad went to the pictures to see ‘Leave her to Heaven’, they both liked it very much. Pay day £2 2s 9d (2 hours overtime). The snow thawed this morning but froze up later on; the roads are still very bad. Got my rations from the LNER – 1Lb sugar, ¼Lb tea, and 2 tins of milk (condensed milk).

Feb 15th

  • Over half of the league matches were cancelled yesterday including Doncaster V Bradford City, football pools closed down too. Caught the 9pm bus to work (I generally cycle on Saturday night but the roads are too bad). I will have to trust in catching a train tomorrow.

Feb 16th

  • Caught a train going to Rossington at 7am this morning and was home for 7:45am. I had egg and bacon for breakfast (the only one in a week now that the bacon rations have been cut to 2oz (3d)) Went to bed at 10:30am and got up at 3:30pm. Bill broke a gas mantle last Sunday and we’ve tried every place in Rossington to get one but we can’t. We’ve been an the house for a week with a dull flickering light coming from half a mantle. Candles are selling at 1/- each in Sheffield when you can get hold of them.

Feb 17th

  • The wireless was cut for the first time in history today. The cut was 9am ‘til 12pm and 1:30pm ‘til 3:30pm. I caught the 12:15pm bus to work as I want to be in Doncaster early to take my money box to the Midland Bank to be emptied. There was £5 0s 4d in it this time (£2 3s 4d the first time), I now have £7 3s 8d in the Midland Bank (club). Last night the coldest place in England was Finningley, 3 miles from Rossington.

Feb 18th

  • The sun came out this morning for the first time in over a month, it started to thaw but it soon froze hard again after the sun went in. The weather forecast says it will be below freezing point again tonight. Margaret Lockwood visited Doncaster Gaumont today (film star). All the lamps were out in Doncaster as I came home from work at 10pm tonight (saving fuel), it reminded me of the blackout except for the light in the house windows. Mam put £1 in my club today making the total up to £9 9s 3d (it started January 1st).

Feb 19th

  • The snow is still here and doesn’t look like it is going for a bit yet (we are all getting a bit like Eskimos). I read in the paper today that we’ve had the most snow for 51 years and if we get anymore this year will be a record breaker. We are alright as we have plenty of coal but there are thousands that don’t have any at all. Had my hair cut 1s 3d. Mr Strachey left for Canada today for food talks (he is the Food Minister). Mr. J. Grogan who was awarded the British Empire Medal and grants from the Carnegie Hero Fund for going to the aid of an injured workmate died last night, he had been in hospital for 6 months with the injuries he received in his attempt to rescue his workmate (a coalminer).

Feb 20th

  • Caught the 1pm bus to work (the buses are only running one an hour owing to the bad conditions of the roads, they usually run every quarter of an hour). Bill received his first wage from the Co-op today, £1 10s 8d (I got £1 at my first job). It snowed again today about half An inch and more is expected. It’s still very cold.

Feb 21st

  • Dad had a shift off this morning. Snowing again. Caught the 10pm bus to work. Pay day £1 17s 1d. The YMO gave me a rule book this afternoon. I caught an engine going to Rossington and was home for 10:30pm. Our holiday club has now reached a total of £10 0s 0d.

Feb 22nd

  • I didn’t get up until 10am this morning (latest this week). Snowing again and the weather forecast said that the wintry weather is to continue. It started thawing at 12pm but froze as hard as rock just after 5pm. I caught the 1pm bus to work. Most of the football matches in the north have been cancelled owing to the bad weather.

Feb 23rd

  • Raymond attended Sunday school. We had a fire in the front room today and me and Dad had three games of draughts (I won two). Some of the villages in the north which were liberated from the blizzards a day or two ago were again snowed in by the blizzards yesterday (although it’s not as bad as the first).

Feb 24th

  • I got up at 4:30am this morning and caught the 5:20am bus to work (days). Has been very cold so far this month. Has brought the longest spell of continuous frost experienced in February for over 100 years. 1000 men walked out of the LNER Plant Works today because it was too cold and not sufficiently heated. Doncaster had its coldest night since January 1st 1940 last night, 21 degrees (24 degrees in 1940). The sun came out this morning. It would have been like a summer’s day if the snow hadn’t been here, there was a slight thaw but it soon froze up. I bought 1Lb of Canadian apples as I was coming home from work this afternoon for 10d. I had 2 left when I reached home (there are plenty about just now). Mam, Dad, and Ray went to the pictures while Bill and I looked after Charlie. Franz Von Papen, Hitler’s former ‘Ace’ diplomat was today sentenced to 8 years in a labour camp by a German de-nazification court after he was acquitted by the International War Crimes Tribunal (he will also lose his fortune.

Feb 25th

  • Caught the 5:20am bus to Doncaster and was at work by 6:04am (I have been a few minutes late every morning on the day shift ever since the wintry weather set in about 4 weeks ago). The sweet ration is to be cut in half from the 1st March (ration period 9). The reason is because of the shortage of fuel but they still refuse to give us any extra sugar in its place. We will get half a pound instead of a pound. Mr Strachey (Food Minister) said the bread units (B.U.’s) may end this summer. I went to bed at 4pm, got up at 6pm and went to the pictures with Bill to see ‘Dragonwyck’. The Royal Family are on a 1000 mile tour of South Africa on board the Royal Train.

Feb 26th

  • When I got up at 4:30am this morning a blizzard was blowing, the snow was hissing against the windows and the wind was very strong, the evening newspaper says – “Towns are isolated as worst yet blizzard lashes the north.” Drifts cut off railways. Traffic is held up as six ton blocks of snow are hurled on to the Glossop to Sheffield road. All the north of England lay today under the fury of a great blizzard which is the worst of this winter – and of many others. The 5:20am bus managed to get here alright, it wasn’t as bad here as the paper said although it is very bad. The trains on our lines were delayed on average 90 minutes each. As I was riding home on the bus I noticed that all the bark has been gnawed by rabbits in search of food, I read in the paper that thousands have starved to death during the last few weeks.

Feb 27th

  • I got up at 4:40am this morning and caught the 5:20am bus to work and was at work for 6am. Today was forecast as ‘Thawsday’. It was below freezing point to start with but it did start to thaw later on (10am) and the roads are a slushy lot. The water has started dripping through our upstairs ceiling (not much). Bill’s pay day £1 10s 8d. Bill and Ray went to the pictures. 40 percent of the Rossington surface workers at the pit have been absent these last few days (road conditions being the chief cause). W.G. Rowland aged 38, ex soldier, was sentenced to death for the murder of Olive Baldwin on a bombed site in Manchester on October 16th, 1946; he was executed today in Manchester. Another man confessed to the murder but afterwards said he was only trying to be a hero.

Feb 28th

  • I caught the 5:20am bus to work and was at work for 6am dead on. Pay day £2 9s 3d (night shift pay). The 5th test match with Australia started today; England won the toss and went in to bat. This is the last test. We lost the first four tests. Bruce Woodcock, British Heavyweight Champion has influenza and will be unable to fight Stefan Olek from France on March 3rd. I went down to the pictures at 5:40pm but the downstairs was full up and I am not paying 1/9d instead of 1/- to see the same picture. Dad had another shift off from work, he has a bad stomach, he says it was with the dinner he had at the pit today, and he is going to the Doctors tomorrow morning. Today’s cricket score is England 237 for 6 and L. Hutton is not out for 122. Went to bed at 8pm. There has been snow on the ground every day of this month.

Mar 1st

  • I was up at 4:30am, had an egg and bacon breakfast (the week’s only one now that the bacon ration is 2oz), and caught the 5:20am bus to work for the 6th time this week (and last). I was at work for 6am. March came in neither like a lion nor a lamb this year but like a polar bear! It was very cold this morning and the roads are one solid sheet of ice with a thin coat of snow on top, it takes you all your time to stay on your feet. Today’s weather forecast is occasional snow with some bright periods, very cold with hard night frost – further outlook – continuing wintry. I caught an engine going to Harworth at 1:41pm and was at Rossington for 1:50pm, that’s the fastest I’ve ever travelled from Doncaster to Rossington (9 minutes). Mam, Dad, Charlie, and Ray went to Doncaster (shopping). The amount in my holiday club which started on Jan 1st is now £10 14s 3d. We are trying to reach £20 before the holidays (July). Bill and I went to the pictures.

Mar 2nd

  • It is war in Palestine and martial law is regarded are certain. Last night fires were blazing in Haifa dock area following a concentrated attack by terrorists. For the first time they have violated their own Jewish Sabbath. Latest reports of casualties are 19 killed, 50 wounded throughout Palestine. Ray attended Sunday school and Bill and I went to Doncaster pictures (Picture House). We caught the 3:45pm bus to Doncaster and queued from 4:20pm to 5:05pm. They showed a very old picture. It’s the first time we have been on a Sunday and I think it will be the last! Doncaster Rovers beat Tranmere 5-2 (away), it’s the first match they’ve played for 3 weeks because of the snow.

Mar 3rd

  • I was up at 8:00am this morning. It is still freezing, Doncaster had 19 degrees of frost last night but a general thaw is expected in the next 48 hours, the authorities prepare to meet the flood! Bill went out at 9:00am to his butcher’s job and Ray went off to school. I washed the dishes for Mam and polished the brass buttons on my uniform. Then I sat down to read the paper but our coal came (1 ton) so I had to get that in which took me half an hour. I had my dinner and stopped around the house until 3:00pm. I went to bed from 3:00pm ‘til 5:00pm as I am on nights. I took Bill to the pictures (it’s one of his half days) and caught the 9:00pm bus to work. England is all out for 280 runs in the first innings of the last test (5th), Australia is 189 for 4.

Mar 4th

  • I came home on a train going to Harworth this morning. It set off for 6:00am and I was in Rossington for 7:00am (the run should normally take 13 minutes). I was in bed for 8:30am and got up at 6:30pm. Doncaster had its coldest March for 22 years, there was 24 degrees of frost, but warm air is coming from the Azures to relieve Britain from winter’s icy grip. “I am going off in good heart and with the hope that we shall make good progress on the road to permanent peace” said Mr. Bevin, the Foreign Secretary at Victoria Station in London today, before setting off for vital talks in Moscow, in preparation for signing the German peace treaty. He is to call on the way to sign the Anglo-French peace treaty in the Town Hall of war-shattered Dunkirk this afternoon.

Mar 5th

  • I came home on a train again this morning and I was home for 6:30am. It’s been snowing during the night so that the old dirty snow now has another coat of white. Some places had the worst snow storm of the winter and many roads are blocked up again. We only had about 2 inches. I went to bed at 8:30am and got up just after 4:00pm. Australia won the last test match by 5 wickets. Bill, Dad, and Ray went to the pictures and I caught the 9:00pm bus to work.

Mar 6th

  • It snowed during the night. Some trains were up to 2 hours late, one or two from Lincoln way didn’t come at all. We only get about 2 inches of snow here but some places had great drifts. In the Midlands traffic is at a standstill. The wireless says it is impossible to travel from south to north by road. Doncaster had its 48th consecutive night of frost last night. I came home on the bus this morning as the train I have been coming home on this week didn’t leave until 8:45am this morning. I cleared the yard before going to bed at 9:30am. I got up at 7:30pm. Bill’s half day and pay day £1 10s 8d. He went to the pictures to the Gaumont in Doncaster. I caught the 9:00pm bus to work.

Mar 7th

  • I came home on an engine this morning and was home for 6:45am. It’s snowing again, about another inch. I went to bed at 8:30am and got up at 1:00pm for my dinner. I went back to bed at 2:00pm and got up at 7:30pm. Bill and Ray went to the pictures. Pay day £1 17s 1d. Last month (February) was officially the worst month for 52 years. Taken as a whole, Britain has not had a winter like it for 66 years. Worse still, it is 106 years since Greenwich has recorder temperatures as low for a whole month. The spell of 20 days on end without sunshine at Kew was the longest sunless spell since records began in 1879.

Mar 8th

  • I came home on a train this morning and was home for 7:00am. About half an inch of snow has fallen over night. I cleared the yard for the third time this week and went to bed at 9:00am. I got up at 3:30pm and went to the pictures with Dad. I caught the 9:00pm bus to work. Doncaster won their match with Darlington 5-0 at Doncaster.

Mar 9th

  • I came home on an engine this morning and was home for 7:30am, that’s the last night shift this week. I went to bed for 8:30am and got up at 2:00pm for dinner. There was a general thaw today which has thinned the snow down a good lot but more snow is forecast. Ray attended Sunday school. We now have £12 5s 9d in our holiday club, Mam and I have £5 each in and the rest is shared by Bill, Ray, and Dad.

Mar 10th

  • Afternoon shift. A real thaw has set in at last and there is slush all over. I think this is worse than the snow. I caught the 1:00pm bus to work and I had the last half of my sweet ration on my way to work (we get half Lb per month). Bill’s half day. Bruce Woodcock started training today for his fight with Olek on March 17th (he’s had the flu).

Mar 11th

  • I got up at 9:00am this morning, did a bit of shopping for Mam, and caught the 1:00pm bus to work. Mam collected her family allowance from the Post Office £1 5s 0d, she hasn’t been for 5 weeks (5s per week). It was thawing this morning but it froze up again later on.

Mar 12th

  • Dad wrote to Bridlington for booking particulars for the last week in September (Bill’s holiday week). I caught the 1:00pm bus to work. It started snowing at about 3:30pm and there was 4 inches at 11:00pm when I came home and it’s still snowing.

Mar 13th

  • I got up at 9:00am this morning and there is another big thaw on, the slush is worse than ever (it’s about 4” deep). I had a good dinner and caught the 1:00pm bus to work. Bill’s half day and pay day £1 10s 8d. Doncaster Rovers won their match with Barrow 8-0 (Away). The railway link between England and Scotland was cut by the all-night blizzard; five trains were stuck in the snow in Yorkshire. We received a message cancelling some trains north and south, this afternoon at my signal-box.

Mar 14th

  • The thaw is still on. I got my feet wet for the second time running (I have no wellington’s and you can’t buy them). I caught the 1:00pm bus to work. Pay day £1 17s 1d. The sweet ration goes back to the normal ¾Lb next month (ration period 10). Cleaned the signal-box windows.

Mar 15th

  • Doncaster Rovers won their match with Hull City 1-0 (Away). Most of the snow has gone this morning but the thaw had finished and it was freezing again. More snow came about 5:00pm. The snow duty men were called out again on the railway.

Mar 16th

  • We put the clock forward one hour last night before going to bed so we didn’t get up ‘til 9:00am. Ray attended Sunday school (he hasn’t missed a day this year). Mr. Young, Bill’s old boss at the wireless shop, said he would have given him another 7/6 if he had stopped with him (his wage was 15/-. Slight thaw.

Mar 17th

  • I was up at 4:30am (3:30am without summer time. Had an egg for my breakfast and caught the 5:20am bus to work. Bill’s half day so Dad, Mam, Bill, and Charlie went to Doncaster. Dad put another £3 16s 0d in the Midland bank for me making the total to £9 19s 8d (Midland), 15/- (school bank), and £2 at home. I bought a book of maps (England) for 1/-. I went to the pictures with Bill. The light programme came back today; it’s been cut for about a month owing to the electricity shortage. The floods have come to England (thawing snow), many places have record floods and water is still rising. Children at Bentley and Toll Bar in Doncaster went to school by boat this morning and miners were unable to get to work (we in Rossington are alright). Bruce Woodcock beat Stefan Olek (France) on points over 15 rounds at Belle Vue, Manchester, tonight, and retained his title of Heavyweight champion of Europe (he has just had the flu and was not up to his usual standard), it’s the first time he has let any boxer go the full 15 rounds.

Mar 18th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning. I had porridge for my breakfast and caught the 5:20am bus to work. All the snow has disappeared (about time), it’s been here since late January. Bought Peg (sister) a photo album for 7/6 for her birthday on March 23rd, and Charlie a book and card (2/-) for his birthday on March 19th. I went to bed at 7:00am. Had a letter from Joe Pine, my cousin in India.

Mar 19th

  • Charlie’s birthday, aged three. I was up at 4:30am this morning, had a bit of bacon for my breakfast and caught the 5:20am bus to work. Mr. Attlee told the people of England last night to “work to survive”, he was opening a series of Party Political Broadcasts on the BBC. The floods are still on and the papers are full of flood pictures.

Mar 20th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning, had porridge for my breakfast, and caught the 5:20am bus to work (just)!This message was sent out by Bentley (nr Doncaster) last night: “Bentley flooded, 1000 people isolated with food for 24 hours, small boat are useless owing to the strong current, help must be here by Thursday morning, Position desperate.” The water will be 12 feet deep by tomorrow morning. Bill’s half day and pay day £1 10s 8d. I came home on a coal train this afternoon and was home for 2:45pm. Posted a photo album off to Peg for her birthday (March 23rd).

Mar 21st

  • This is the first day of spring with rain, a little sunshine, but very windy. I was up at 4:30am this morning, had porridge for breakfast (no sugar), and caught the 5:20am bus to work. Had my dinner at the loco canteen. Pay day £2 9s 3d (night shift pay). Army Ducks (amphibious boats with wheels) went to the aid of the flooded people of Bentley (nr Doncaster) today. Filled my income tax papers in.

Mar 22nd

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning, had an egg for breakfast, and caught the 5:20am bus to work (for the 6th and last time this week). Mam gave me 10/- pocket money. I met Dad as I was coming from work this afternoon. We went to the old Co-op in Doncaster and bought a raincoat for me, it cost £3 17s 0d. It’s the first Mack I’ve ever had and also the first step to our holidays in September. Dad has cancelled our holidays at Bridlington because it will be too dear, we expected a reduction with it being in September but they still wanted 12/6 per day each, so Dad has wrote up to Blackpool (a friend has recommended them to us). Doncaster Rovers won their match with Gateshead (at home). Went to the pictures with Bill to see ‘Anchors Aweigh’.

Mar 23rd

  • Peg’s birthday, aged 25 years. Ray attended Sunday school.

Mar 24th

  • I am on night’s this week. Pictures of the floods were in the papers again today, they are worsening at Bentley, nr Doncaster, and they are fighting to keep the water away from the pit. I went to the Gaumont with Bill to see Sid Fields in ‘London Town’ (technicolour) an English picture. Caught the 9:00pm bus to work.

Mar 25th

  • I set off from work at 6:00am this morning on a coal train and was home for 6:30am. I went to bed at 8:00am and was up for 5:30pm. I went over to church with Dad to get an old gate; he is making a gate for our yard with it. The floods at Bentley are much worse today, although conditions in most parts of the country are much better. I may have to work 12 hours from Wednesday as the Tele-girl is having her fortnight’s holiday and there is no relief lad available up to press.

Mar 26th

  • I came home on a coal train this morning and was home just after 6:30am. I went to bed at 8:00am, and when I came down at 4:00pm there was a message waiting to say I had to be at work for 6:00pm for 12 hour shifts (I was expecting it and have had plenty of sleep today). I caught the 5:00pm bus to Doncaster and was at work for 5:50pm.

Mar 27th

  • I came home on a coal train this morning and was home for 7:00am after a 12 hour shift (same again tonight). I went to bed at 8:00am and was up for 3:00pm (it’s all work and sleep on 12 hour shifts). Caught the 5:00pm bus to work. Bill’s half day and pay day £1 10s 8d.

Mar 28th

  • Pay day £1 17s 1d. I came home on a coal train again this morning and was home just after 6:30am. The floods are going down very well now, around Selby is now the worst area and the villages are still deserted. I went to bed at 8:00am and got up at 4:00pm (I’m still on 12 hours). Doncaster is to have permanent Sunday cinemas. Votes were taken at the usual stations yesterday. There was over a 6000 majority in favour (4-1).

Mar 29th

  • I came home on a train this morning and was at Rossington for 6:20am, it’s the fifth ride home I’ve had this week and it has saved me 2/6. Today is this year’s greatest day for sport; this year’s Grand National was run at Aintree today. Dad backed a loser. A 100-1 chance came in first with ‘Prince Regent’ the favourite coming in 4th. Cambridge won the 93rd boat race today by 10 lengths. Cambridge has now won 49 times with Oxford only 43 with one dead heat. The semi-finals of the F.A. Cup were played today; Charlton secured a place at Wembley again by beating Newcastle United 4-0. Liverpool drew their match with Burnley and will have a replay on Wednesday. There was also the Rugby Cup game today. I caught the 5:00pm bus to work for the last time this week. I was at the signal box for 5:50pm to start my 4th 12 hour shift. I put my time sheet in and I have a total of 82 hours, my wage for this week will be £3 6s 8d, my biggest wage.

Mar 30th

  • The train I was planning to come home on this morning was cancelled and the buses don’t start running until 2:00pm so I had to walk home to Rossington (about 4 miles along the line). When I got home Mam and Dad were up and had my breakfast ready (bacon). I went to bed at 9:00am and got up at 3:00pm. Ray added 2 more stars to his Sunday school stars card today; he also got a palm cross. Mam and Dad attended Sunday Evensong (Palm Sunday). We now have £15 9s 0d in our savings club.

Mar 31st

  • Ray starts his fortnight Easter holiday today. We received a letter from Mrs. Garnett (Blackpool) saying that she will accommodate us (bed and attendance) for 2/6 each per day from September 27th, 1947, so we will spend our first all together holiday since the war, at Blackpool. We are saving strong for our holiday’s now (£16 9s 0d). I am on afternoons this week. No more 12 hour shifts just yet, I’ve had enough! Had a haircut for 1/3 and bought some hair oil for 1/9.

Apr 1st

  • April fool’s Day. This year’s March has been the rainiest since records began about 90 years ago. We should be getting the 12th egg (box) this year on Friday if we are lucky, but there won’t be any extra for Easter. The Carnegie award were today presented to Mrs. Grogan, the widow of the Rossington pit hero who died through the injuries he received in the attempt to rescue his workmate, and to Mr. Haller who was injured in the attempt. Mrs. Grogan was presented with £160 and Mr. Haller with £120; they also received the B.E.M. (British Empire Medal). Mr. Haller had previously won the Edward Medal (Miner’s V.C.).

Apr 2nd

  • King George 6th of Greece died of heart disease today, his brother Paul will succeed to the throne. Snow fell heavily in Rossington this morning but did not settle. Snow ploughs were out in Sheffield to clear about 4” of it. I helped Mam to clean up and caught the 1:00pm bus to work.

Apr 3rd

  • Bill’s half day and pay day £1 10s 8d. He went to the Gaumont in Doncaster to see ‘13 Rue Madeline’, he gets 3/- to spend and 2/- to save each week. I was paid today as I have Good Friday and Easter Monday holiday. We were kept busy all afternoon with ‘Easter Special’ trains although there is supposed to be a 10% cut in services.

Apr 4th

  • I am on holiday today. Dad had a shift off from work (slept in). Bill has to work today but has Monday and Tuesday off. I went to Doncaster with Dad this morning to pick my new cycle but all the shops were closed so all we could do was to admire them through the window. We spotted a good one and will go down and inspect it on Tuesday. Ray, Mam, and Dad went to the first house picture and Bill went to the second house. Doncaster Rovers won their match with Oldham 4-1 (at home). We all went without meat today (unless you can call sausage meat, meat)!

Apr 5th

  • I didn’t get up ‘til 10:00am this morning, had an egg (my only one for Easter) and chips for dinner and caught the 12:45pm bus to work. Doncaster Rovers drew their match with Crewe Alexandra 1-1; they are the top of division three with 60 points. Promotion to the second division is now almost certain. Very windy, about the roughest day this year.

Apr 6th

  • Easter Sunday, only Ray attended church today. Ray had his tea at Crumps and also went for a ride to Doncaster and back on Mr. Crump’s bus. This week’s club total is £15 15s 9d.

Apr 7th

  • Very windy. Bill, Dad, Ray, and I all have the day off so Bill and I dug the garden over. The weather this Easter is the worst that I can remember. An all out battle has continued during the weekend to clear Toll Bar near Bentley, the deserted village from the floods (they have been flooded for over 3 weeks and the floods are still several feet deep). Bill, Ray, and I went to the pictures. I am on days this week.

Apr 8th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning (once again). I had some meat for my breakfast and caught the 5:20am bus to work. I was supposed to meet Dad and Mam at the bus stand at 2:30pm but it was snowing, hail-stoning, and very windy. They got to the bus stand late and I missed them so there was a bit of a row when I got home. Bill is on holiday today. Mr. Henry Ford, the world’s greatest motor magnate died in Detroit, USA today, aged 88. He was the father of mass-production and rose from farm-boy to millionaire. His fortune is estimated to be over £50,000,000.

Apr 9th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning. I met Dad at the bus stand and we went to Clydesdale’s cycle shop to pick my new cycle. We picked one with 3 speeds, hub dynamo, which was £17 6s. The bank was closed so we put £4 down on it and I will call back on Friday with the other £13 6s. I am drawing it out of the Midland bank. We will put £10 back into the bank next month when my endowment money is due (£16). Bill and Ray went to the pictures. Sunshine.

Apr 10th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning and caught the 5:20am bus to work. Bill’s half day and pay day £1 10s 5d. He set the garden. Bruce Woodcock from Doncaster fights Joe Baksi (America) on Tuesday. The winner of this fight fights Joe Louis, the world champ, in July. Today has been the hottest day this year; 60 degrees F was recorded in Doncaster.

Apr 11th

  • I caught the 5:20am bus to work. I called at Clydesdale’s cycle shop in Doncaster and paid the £13 6s balance on my cycle. I rode home to Rossington on it. It’s the best cycle I have ever seen and I am very grateful to my Mam and Dad for buying me it. It’s the best present I have ever had and maybe the best I will ever get. It has dynohub and special three speed and cost £17 6s 0d. We started paying 1/6 per week on an endowment with the Refuge Insurance Company in my name. I get £15 every 5 years and £48 at death (I didn’t want it). Pay day £3 5s 10d. I had my first income tax knocked off my wages today, it was only a bob (1/-) but it’s enough.

Apr 12th

  • Mam shouted me up late this morning; it was 5:15am when I came down. I had 2 weetabix and set off for work on my new cycle at 25 to 6. I was at work for 6:10am. I was home from work at 2:40pm. Doncaster Rovers drew their match with Lincoln 1-1, they are still top of league three with 62 points.

Apr 13th

  • We put the clocks forward another hour last night making it to double summertime. Ray attended Sunday school. I went for a ride on my new cycle, through Tickhill and round by Wadworth. It’s been grand weather today and it’s looking a bit more like spring.

Apr 14th

  • I am on nights this week. I was up at 9:00am this morning, had my breakfast (jam), helped Mam to straighten up, and then went out and dug part of the garden over. Ray started school after a fortnight’s holiday. I bought a lock for 3/6 for my new cycle. It was Bill’s half day so he helped me to mend his cycle. We got it mended and Bill went out to test it but burst the back tyre so it’s laid up for another day. It’s not been in working order since I got the new cycle. Bill, Ray, and I went to the pictures. I set off for work at 9:10pm, had a steady ride, and was at work for 9:55pm.

Apr 15th

  • I cycled home from work this morning and was home for 6:40am. Temperatures reached 67 degrees in Doncaster today but the weather forecast says the fine weather will end and it will be cloudy tomorrow. The Queen Elizabeth, the world’s largest liner (85,000 tons) went aground on a sandbank near Southampton yesterday, after all attempts to float her, she was still aground at 6:00pm but an all out attempt will be made again tonight. The referee ended the Woodcock-Baksi fight in the 7th round awarding the fight to Baksi (America), Woodcock was down for 2 counts of 9 in the first round and after that Joe Baksi used him as a human punch-bag. Woodcock wouldn’t give up and Baksi said afterwards that he was the pluckiest boxer he had ever fought. Mr. Dalton gave his budget speech before the 9:00pm news tonight and he had one or two surprises for us. The biggest was for the smokers as cigarette tax has gone up by 50%. They are now 3/4 for twenty instead of 2/4; pipe tobacco has gone up to 1/2 per ounce. Income tax has been lowered and £60 will be allowed for each child instead of £50. (England had a big money surplus of £2,825,000,000).

Apr 16th

  • 1,200 people are already known to have been killed in the great fire in Texas City, “America’s Greatest Disaster”. The fire started when a ship carrying nitrate blew up in the harbour yesterday. The city is crammed with oil tanks (worth £30,000,000). Bruce Woodcock was taken to a Leeds hospital today with a broken jaw bone which he received when fighting Joe Baksi last night, it was also found out today that Bruce went part of the fight with concussion. A time-bomb was found in Whitehall today, it is said to have been put there by Jews, as it was timed to go off at the same time as 4 Palestine rebels were executed (including Dov Gruner).

Apr 17th

  • I cycled home from work this morning in 30 minutes (7 miles). I heard the cuckoo for the first time. I turned some of the garden over and went to bed at 9:00am. I was up at 3:00pm and had a haircut. A fair came to Rossington yesterday.

Apr 18th

  • On the third pip of 1 o’clock today, a button was pressed and Heligoland, a German war fortress was blown up with 50,000 tons of explosives. Pay day £1 18s 1d, they gave me the 1/- tax back which they took off me last week. Dad had 9/- income tax deducted from his wages. Racing at Doncaster today and tomorrow. Bill went down to the fair with 6d and came home with salt, pepper, and mustard pots which he won. He went back again and won a set of three egg cups (plastic).

Apr 19th

  • Dad caught the 2:05pm train to Manchester; he is going to visit his mother at Stoke-on-Trent. Doncaster won their match with Southport 5-0, they are now certain to be transferred to the second division.

Apr 20th

  • Cycled home from work this morning and was home for 6:50am. Ray attended Sunday school. Princess Elizabeth is 21 tomorrow.

Apr 21st

  • I am on afternoons this week. Dad sent a telegram this morning saying he wouldn’t be home ‘til tomorrow. Princess Elizabeth is 21 years old today and her allowance has been increased from £6,000 to £15,000 (it would take me 150 years to earn that at my present rate). King Christian of Denmark died just after midnight last night aged 76. Frederick 9th, his brother, will succeed to the throne. Cycled to and from work. Very windy. Bill’s half day.

Apr 22nd

  • Dad returned from Staffs at 7:30pm. He brought some cups and saucers and a porridge and soup set for Charlie. The Royal Family set off on their return journey from Africa to England today in H.M.S. Vanguard. Cycled to and fro work.

Apr 23rd

  • H.M.S. Warspite sank just off Penzance, Cornwall this morning as it was going to the breakers yard. It was a 35,000ton battle ship. Over 45 men have lost their lives in the heavy seas around Britain this week. Very windy and rainy today. Cycled to work along the line which took me half an hour.

Apr 24th

  • I cycled 5o and from work (14 miles). Bill’s half day and pay day £1 10s 8d. He went to the Ritz in Doncaster. 8 British troops were killed and 45 injured by Palestine terrorists today. Friday pay day £1 17s 1d.

Apr 25th

  • Blank.

Apr 26th

  • Charlton are this year’s F.A. Cup winners, they beat Burnley 1-0 after extra time. The attendance was 99,000 and the match was played at Wembley. Charlton reached the final last year but were beat by Derby County. Doncaster Rovers were defeated today by Rotherham 3-2 (away). Rotherham is next to the Rovers in the third division. Doncaster now has 65 points and Rotherham have 55. I cycled to and from work. I have already saved 10/- in bus fares since I got my bike 2 weeks ago.

Apr 27th

  • Our holiday club now has a total of £16 0s 0d. Ray attended Sunday school. The Atlantic was crossed in 5 hours 23 minutes by an American airplane yesterday breaking the record by 5 minutes.

Apr 28th

  • I am on days this week. I was up at 4:30am and set off for work on my cycle at 5:10am. I was at work for 5:50am. Gale warnings are in operation around our coasts. I went to the pictures to see ‘Madonna’s Secret’. Bill’s half day. Our sink pipe burst this afternoon and the back kitchen was flooded. We sent for Mr. Fielding (odd job man) to mend it. It was the washer on the tap. We have had a note in to repair it for 3 months now.

Apr 29th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning and caught the 5:20am bus to Doncaster. The official figure for cattle that died during the winter is 50,000!

Apr 30th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning and caught the 5:20am bus to work (it was too wet and windy for cycling). Mr. Dyson’s plumber came to look at our sink this afternoon (I’d patched it up yesterday). He says it will have to stop as it is for 6 months as there is no fittings; his excuse was “you’ve got your government in.” I went to the pictures with Ray.

May 1st

  • Now let’s see a bit of summer! I was up at 4:30am this morning, had sausage meat for my breakfast, and set off for work on my cycle at 5:15am; I got to work for 6:00am. A dull day with rain and a little wind. Bill’s half day and pay day £1 10s 8d. He went to the Gaumont to see Walt Disney’s ‘Song of the South’.

May 2nd

  • I was up late this morning and it was 5am when we came downstairs. I had a rushed breakfast and cycled to work at 5:25am. I was at work for 6am. Pay day £2 9s 3d (night shifts) 10/- pocket money. This week – 3/- club, 1/6 hair oil, 1/- toothpaste. 6d put away in another tin for emergencies only. Dad got a paper (National Coal Board) asking him to work with all his might when the 5 day week is introduced on Monday May 5th. If he stops off one shift next week he will have 2 days pay stopped. Bill joined a youth club (with some nagging) and I have promised to go to church on Sunday morning. The air-speed record from England to the Cape was broken today by an RAF Mosquito. The flight was completed in 2½ hours (10 hrs 52 minutes faster than ever before, 6,700 miles). Mr Richard brought my new insurance card (I get £15 every 5 years from it) but it’s really for our Bill.

May 3rd

  • It’s my long week and this weekend I finish at 2pm today until 10pm on Sunday night. Doncaster Rovers won their match with Chester 3-1 away. Wakefield won the Rugby League Cup at Wembley today by beating Leeds 8-6. It poured down all day so Bill and I went to the 2nd house pictures.

May 4th

  • I kept the promise I made on Friday by attending 8:00am Communion this morning (there was six people there altogether. Ray attended Sunday school as usual. Dad’s 5 day week starts tomorrow.

May 5th

  • I cleaned and varnished our old dresser today which took me from 11am until 4pm and it cost 4/- to do it. Bill and I went to the pictures.

May 6th

  • Joe Baksi who recently knocked out our Bruce starts his tour of the coal mines today. Bruce goes for a month’s convalescence to Filey on Thursday.

May 7th

  • 3 miners were killed, 25 injured, and 6 missing after an explosion in Barnsley Main pit today. I went to bed at 8am and was up at 8pm and took Ray to the pictures. Cycled to work at 9:15pm.

May 8th

  • I cycled home from work this morning. It was very fresh and Spring-like. If I lose any health through the night-shift I regain it by cycling home, that’s why I keep it up. The six men reported missing in yesterday’s Barnsley pit explosion were all found dead today making the total 9 killed and 25 injured. I cycled to work for night shift.

May 9th

  • I stopped up until 11am this morning and squared most of the garden up. Pay day £1 17s 1d. We now have £17 15s 0d in the club.

May 10th

  • Doncaster Rovers won their match with Southport 2-0 at home. I dug part of the garden over and set some flower seeds.

May 11th

  • I got soaked riding home this morning. I went to bed from 8am until 2pm. Ray attended Sunday school as usual. HMS Vanguard docked in Portsmouth today after its 6,000 mile journey from Africa with the Royal Family on board. It is 100 days since they left Portsmouth for Africa.

May 12th

  • I am on the afternoon shift this week. I cycled to work. Bill’s half day. I bought some dark oak stain this morning and stained and varnished a small book shelf I had made in the front room. The Royal Family arrived at Buckingham Palace this afternoon. It is 10 years today since Coronation Day. I don’t like Kings and Queens.

May 13th

  • I cycled to work. I received a message from the yard-masters office saying I had to work 12 hour shifts until further notice as Ken my mate is leaving to join the RAF. I don’t think I will be working 12 hours for long (about 2 weeks).

May 14th

  • I cycled to work at 6pm. It was only 4pm really and the sun was shining as though it was July 14th, it’s a shame having to go to work for 12 hours when it’s like this. I won’t come home until 6am tomorrow.

May 15th

  • Same as yesterday except for one thing. I found out that I don’t have to work 12 hours again tomorrow (pleased).

May 16th

  • I cycled home from work this morning and got home for 6:30am. I went to bed at 8am and got up at 1:30pm. Had some fish and chips for dinner (they are not rationed yet), and set off for work at 2:20pm. Called at the YMO in Doncaster for my wages £1 1s 7d and got to work for 2:50pm. I don’t have to be at work until I’ve had 9 hours rest (6am-3pm).

May 17th

  • Record coal outputs again this week. Dad just finished his third 5 day week yesterday (he’s not missed a shift yet) Empire Youth Sunday tomorrow. Mr Norman our Refuge insurance collector brought £10 to our house today. It is from my endowment which was started when I was 2 years old. It will go straight into the Midland Bank to replace the £10 withdrawn to help pay for my new bike (£17 6s 0d). I biked to work at 2:15pm for my Saturday afternoon shift. I have a bedroom of my own for the first time from today – it has a middle-sized bed, a small book shelf, and a box with a lock. I can see St. Luke’s Church from my window. That’s all really, but I like it.

May 18th

  • Just mucked about the house and managed to waste another day of my life – that’s how I feel today (but only sometimes).

May 19th

  • I am on day shift this week (6am until 2pm) and was up at 4:30am. I was slow and missed the 5:20am bus, so I cycled to work at the side of the railway track (dangerous). Sister Peggy arrived home at 4:30pm. Bill and I went to the Hippodrome picture house.

May 20th

  • Excuse the writing – not feeling too cheerful today. Up at 4:30am this morning and caught the 5:20am bus to work. When we arrived in Doncaster 2 women rushed off our bus and pushed in at the front of a queue of women waiting (before 6am) at Morris’s wall paper shop for a wall paper sale. There was a bit of a row amongst the women as I set off for Red Bank signal box (Balby). After work I took £14 9s 0d to the Midland Bank – the money Mr Norman brought from Refuge insurance.

May 21st

  • I was up at 4:30am as usual and I cycled to work. Cousin Jim Pine visited us this afternoon (Jim was one of the soldiers who escaped in a boat from Dunkirk). He left the army after being in it for 10 years. He is 27 now.

May 22nd

  • I overlaid this morning (alarm didn’t work). Slept in for the first time since I started work on the railway. We didn’t get up until 25 to six. I rushed my breakfast and again I biked to work alongside the railway track. I made it to Red Bank for 6:15am and Mr Sampson told me not to worry. Peggy and Dad started spring-cleaning in the front room this afternoon (we only use it on Sundays – we have an old piano in there). Bill, Tony Johnson, and I went to Doncaster pictures this afternoon and after that we went to see a football match in Rosso.

May 23rd

  • I was up at 4:30am for work this morning and had a chop for breakfast and cycled to work. I did the 7 miles in 30 minutes (my best time up to press is 25 minutes). Pay day £2 9s 3d. Dad had just under £9. With Bill’s wage this week Mam had nearly £13! Sister Peg and Dad finished distempering the room.

May 24th

  • Up at 4:30am for the sixth time this week and cycled to work. Lord Hawood, about the richest man in England (£3,000,000) Died today. He was married to the Princess Royal. I agreed to change shifts with a relief lad who lives in Nottingham next week because he can’t get to work early enough for the 6am shift. He will do the night shift and I will work day’s again next week. I will get Whit Monday holiday so it won’t be so bad. Doncaster Rovers were defeated 3-2 when they played Rotherham at home today but they still win the division 3 northern cup with 64 points. Went to the 2nd house pictures with Peg.

May 25th (Whit Sunday)

  • Peg and I were up at 7am this morning and attended the 8am communion service. There were about 40 people present. Ration period 12 begins today. I bought Mam a box (½Lb of Nestle Dairyland chocolates). Ray attended Sunday school as usual and today he was in front of the Whitsunday procession. Dad, Bill, and I went for a walk around the North Road (Parrot’s Corner).

May 26th

  • Ray, Peg, Bill, and I went to Wheatley Hills boating lake at 12pm. Had an hour on the boats and later went to Hexthorpe where we met Mam, Dad, and Charlie. We spent 4 or 5 shillings on the fair and went on the boats at Hexthorpe for an hour. It’s been a grand day and we have all enjoyed ourselves. Queen Mary is 80 years old today.

May 27th

  • I was up at 4:30am with Dad this morning and cycled to work for 5:20am (I was on day’s last week as well). Peg went back to Letchworth (Herts) on the 11:14am train this morning. Mam was insured today by the Refuge Company for 1/3 per week. Bill and I went to the pictures.

May 28th

  • I was up at 4:30am and cycled to work. I went to the pictures with Bill. The National Union of Railwaymen is in negotiations for a pound per week increase in wages for drivers, guards, signalmen etc.

May 29th

  • Up at 4:30am this morning and cycled to work. Bill’s pay day £1 11s 0d, he went to the Gaumont cinema in Doncaster as usual. It’s been very hot today; the temperature recorded in Doncaster was 86 degrees.

May 30th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning and cycled to work. Pay day £2 10s 5d (extra for two 12 hour shifts). It was even hotter than yesterday today (railway lines have been twisted in some places). Work or Want (Labour Slogan).

May 31st

  • I was up at 4:30am again this morning for the 12th day out of 14. We now have just over £20 in our holiday club which we started in January. We haven’t made our minds up where we are going yet.

Jun 1st

  • I was up at 9am this morning and caught the 12pm bus to Doncaster. We (me and Bill) later went to Hexthorpe to go on the river but found out that we couldn’t take a boat out until we are 18 years old. Today was this year’s sunniest day as we had 10 hours of sunshine and the temperature was 89 degrees.

Jun 2nd

  • I am on afternoon’s this week. I cycled to work at 1pm. Red hot again, hottest weather for 70 years recorded in many places (Lincoln and Donny).

Jun 3rd

  • Hot again today but cooler weather is forecast. I cycled to work at 1pm. India divided into two parts (don’t know anything about it). Letter bombs have been sent from Italy to some MP’s and former MP’s, they are capable of killing or seriously injuring the opener. Twenty letter bombs have so far been recovered in Britain but they have all been detected before opening. Jewish terrorists are suspected as the senders. When the letter is opened it fuses a small bomb about the size of a pencil.

Jun 4th

  • Much cooler today. I cycled to work at 1pm and cycled home from work at 10pm and watered the garden before I went to bed. The lettuce is about 6 inches tall now. Bill has sold 1/6 worth and we have had one or two good meals from it already, (lettuce is selling for 8d per head). The potatoes, beetroot, and peas are also growing very well.

Jun 5th

  • I cycled to work at 1pm. Bill’s half day and pay day £1 11s 0d. He went to the Gaumont in Doncaster to see ‘The Outlaw’.

Jun 6th

  • I cleaned my cycle this morning and set off for work at 1:15pm, collected my wages (£1 17s 1d), and was at work for 1:50pm. Rained today.

Jun 7th

  • The Derby this year has been won by the French horse ‘Pearl Diver’ (40-1). Migoli came second (20-1). The favourite, ‘Tutor Minstrel’ came in 4th place. Gordon Richards, the jockey failed to win the Derby for the 22nd time. He has won 3,300 races, been champion over 19 seasons, but has never won the Derby. Mam bet 2/- on ‘Cadine’ which came in 8th place. Dad didn’t back any because he was too busy distempering my bedroom. Doncaster Rovers drew with York City 0-0 today and received the North Division shield. They are top of division three. I cycled to work at 1pm. I have only been out of bed before 10am one morning this week; it is the laziest week I have ever had.

Jun 8th

  • We now have £22 in our holiday club. Raymond attended Sunday school as usual. Bill and I went for a ride this afternoon but did not get far before it started raining. We had to turn back (we meant to go to Roche Abbey). Dad had his first shift off since the five day week started (May 5th), he loses £3.

Jun 9th

  • I am on day shifts this week.  Mam and I got up at 4:30am this morning and I cycled to work. Dad wrote to Blackpool to get fixed up for the holidays in September. Bill and I went to the Gaumont in Doncaster.

Jun 10th

  • We were up at 4:15am this morning and I caught the 5:20 bus to Doncaster. Bill and Ray went to the pictures. I filled the counterfoils in for my new ration books and we will get them on the 16th of this month.

Jun 11th

  • Mam and I were up at 4:30am this morning and I cycled to work at 5:15am. Dull and cold.

Jun 12th

  • Got up at 4:30am and cycled to work. Bill’s half day and pay day £1 11s 0d. I was home for 2:30pm this afternoon. I had my dinner and then went on a cycle ride with Bill to Roche Abbey at 3:20pm (it’s about 10 miles). We were back for 7:30pm. The Abbey was built in the 12th century by monks.

Jun 13th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning and cycled to work at 5:20am. I collected my wages on the way home £1 17s 1d, 6/- more than Bill.

Jun 14th

  • I was up at 4:30 am for the sixth time this week. It was raining (it still is at 11pm) so I went to work on the bus.

Jun 15th

  • I was up at 9am this morning, the latest this week. Ray attended Sunday school (he’s not missed a lesson yet). I filled the new ration books in and they start sometime in July. I notice there is a form inside to fill in for next year’s books. Mr. Ward (our shopkeeper) is having all the ration tickets except the bacon, which we are going to have at the Co-op this year.

Jun 16th

  • I was up at 8am this morning, had my breakfast, did a few odd-jobs, and set off for a cycle ride to Retford at 11:15am. I was home for 1:50pm. That’s 30 miles in 2 hours 35 minutes (not bad). It was Bill’s half day today so I took him to see the picture “California” at the Ritz, Doncaster, in Technicolour. I was home for 6:30pm. I went to bed at 7pm until 8pm. I cycled to work at 9:15pm as I am on the night shift this week.

Jun 17th

  • I was home from work at 6:30am this morning, went to bed at 8am, and was up at 5:30pm. Bill went to the pictures where he found a purse with some clothing books in (with the address on) he took the owner who only thanked him (no reward). I cycled to work at 9:15pm.

Jun 18th

  • Wash Day. I was home from work at 6:30am this morning and slept from 7:45am until 8pm. I cycled to work at 9:15pm. The three day Ascot race meeting begins today (Epsom) Rained.

Jun 19th

  • Home at 6:30am and went to bed from 7:30am until 2:30pm. I had my dinner, had a haircut 1/3 then went to bed again from 6:30pm until 8pm. Bill’s half day and pay day. He went to the pictures for the third (but not last) time this week. He had spent his pocket money by Monday night but managed to get through the week somehow. A French horse won the big Ascot race today.

Jun 20th

  • I was home at 6:30am this morning and went to bed from 7:30am until 1pm. I caught the 3pm bus to Doncaster. I went to the Gaumont to see ‘The Razor’s Edge’, (a good picture). Racing at Doncaster today.

Jun 21st

  • I rode home from work at 6:30am this morning and slept from 8am until 5pm. Mam, Dad, Ray, and Charlie went to Doncaster to see the film ‘The Razor’s Edge’.

Jun 22nd

  • I got soaked riding home this morning. I rode from Doncaster in 25 minutes (home for 6:25am). I went to bed at 7:30am until 1pm. Points period 13 starts today, the last of this year’s coupons. We are all fed up of rationing. Ray attended Sunday school. Dad went for a ride to Brodsworth to see his old flame Mam says.

Jun 23rd

  • I am on day’s this morning but will be on the afternoon shift for the rest of this week. Mam. Dad, and me were up at 4:30am and I cycled to work at 5:15am. Peg sent some of Mr Collin’s old shirts from Letchworth for Dad. They will come in handy as we have no coupons left. Went to the pictures.

Jun 24th

  • I was up at 9am this morning and went for a short bike ride. I did a bit of shopping and caught the 12:30pm bus to work. I took another £12 2s 9d to the Midland Bank making the total to £29 9s 6d, I get 1/2¾ interest on that. Our target is £40 by September 20th (easy).

Jun 25th

  • I was up at 9am and cycled to work at 1:15pm. We get extra sugar for jam-making this month (1Lb per head). Britain will have its biggest ever fruit crop this year say the experts. The Government are letting growers use their cold stores for the surplus fruit. England won the cricket test match against Africa.

Jun 26th

  • I cycled to work at 1:15pm. Bill’s half day and pay day (£1 9s 5d). He has started the Co-op national savings club. He pays 1/- per week and gets a 10/- certificate every 10 weeks.

Jun 27th

  • Pay day £1 17s 1d (8/- pocket money. Dad finished his 11th five-day week. He has only had one shift off.

Jun 28th

  • There was a thunderstorm during the night; it was the worst I can remember. Our wall was slightly cracked. Two Lorries crashed near Rossington killing one boy aged 16 (the first lorry had stopped because of the severe storm).

Jun 29th

  • Another £4 15s 0d has been put in the club this week making the total save to £30 17s 3d with £1 5s 3d spare cash. Ray attended Sunday school as usual, and Mam also went to the 6:30pm evensong.

Jun 30th

  • Day shift. I was up at 4:10am this morning and cycled to work at 5:20am (I was at work for 5:45am). I went to the pictures (took Ray) at 6pm.

July 1st

  • Mam and I were up at 4:30am this morning. I meant to go to work on the bus but I missed it and had to cycle. I took the teapot that Mam bought me last Saturday. Had a haircut 1/3.

July 2nd

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning and went to work on the bus as I wanted to get my dinner at work. (Dinner was: Lettuce, carrot, beetroot, tomato, chips and corned beef. Sweet: Jam tart and custard). I walked about a mile and a half for the bus. Went to the pictures with Ray. When I got home I got a ton of coal in (one ton of coal delivered to our back gate every six weeks) and now I am feeling a little sick. Dad had a shift off; it’s only the second since the 5 day week started in April.

July 3rd

  • I was up at 4:15am this morning and cycled to work at 5:20am. The tele-girl (Barbara Britain) is having this Saturday and all next week holiday so the relief lad and I will be working 12 hours on Saturday (we will also be on 12 hours next week unless one more relief lad is spare (little chance)). Bill’s half day and pay day £1 9s 5d with 1/- deducted for national savings. He went to the Arcadia cinema in Doncaster. Milk goes up to 5d a pint.

July 4th

  • I was up at 4:35am and cycled to work. Pay day £2 9s 3d (night duty). Railway men have been granted a 7s 6d increase in wages and a 44 hour week starting in the first week of next month. Rossington pit stopped working today for the annual holiday but Dad has got a job fitting machines for next week and will have his holiday in September when we shall all go to Blackpool for our holidays. With his holiday pay and wages he drew £15 14s 4d (£6 holiday money). His wage included two £5 notes. Whale meat is now being sold in some shops.

July 5th

  • Mam and I were up at 4:50am (late) this morning and I cycled to work at 5:26am. We were very busy in the box today and trains have all been packed. I cycled home from work at 6:00pm (12 hour shift). I shall also be on 12 hour shifts next week.

July 6th

  • National day of Church Prayer but only Ray from our family attended church. Mr Roebuck, our Parson, is at Reighton Gap with the choir. Bill and I went with them last year.

July 7th

  • I was up at 8:00am this morning and had an hour in bed in the afternoon. I cycled to work at 5:20pm (6pm until 6am shift). Bill’s half day. This week is the pit holiday week but Dad is working and is on the day shift. Ray has a week holiday this week. Cousin Jim came to see us (wanted pit-shirts).

July 8th

  • I cycled home at 6:00am this morning (not very tired) and went to bed from 7:30am until 3:30pm and cycled to work again at 5:10pm (it’s all bed and work this week).

July 9th

  • I was home for 6:40am this morning and went to bed from 7:00am until 3:00pm and cycled to work at 5:10pm.

July 10th

  • I cycled home at 6:00am and went to bed from 8:00am until 4:00pm. I cycled back to work at 5:15pm. (This week is flying by). My jam and butter rations have flown as I take 12 slices per day for my snap). Bill’s half day and pay day £1 9s 8d.

July 11th

  • Cycled home at 6:00am and went to bed from 7:30am until 3:00pm then cycled back to work at 5:00pm. I called for my wages on the way £1 17s 1d. I now know what the 12 hours working was like in my Grandfather’s time now.

July 12th

  • Cycled home for 6:40am and went to bed from 7:30am until 4:00pm then cycled to work for the last time this week at 5:20pm. Ray knocked cock of school’s teeth out (one tooth). Flying saucers in the news.

July 13th

  • I cycled home at 6:30am this morning after a 12 hour shift (6th this week). I have worked 72 hours this week equal to 91½ hours ordinary time. £3 14s 4⅜. Went to bed until dinner time. Ray was sick this Sunday so has missed his first two Sunday school stars this year (he will get 2 sick marks which are equal to the stars). Dad has done 7 shifts this week.

July 14th

  • I am on the afternoon shift this week (LNER 1 year today). I cycled to work at 1:20pm and was home by 10:40pm.

July 15th

  • Up at 8:30am this morning and cycled to work at 1:20pm. I bought a milometer for my cycle for 6/6. Had a haircut. Cycled home at 10:00pm.

July 16th

  • Wash Day. I was up at 9:00am this morning, had a bath, and fitted the milometer on my cycle. The milk didn’t come until 1:00pm today (4 pints). My cyclometer showed 13.8 miles when I cycled home tonight (Doncaster and back).

July 17th

  • I was up at 9:00am this morning. Mam bought a tyre for Bill’s bike and I fitted it on (26 X ⅜). Bill’s half day and pay day £1 9s 0d.

July 18th

  • I was up at 10:00am (late) this morning. I called for my wages at the Yardmaster’s Office, Balby (£2 12s with 4 hours overtime) then to work.

July 19th

  • There was a one day race meeting at Doncaster today. I cycled to work at 1:20pm. Ray and two other kids walked to Doncaster races (1pm) this afternoon. Ray didn’t tell Mam he was going and was not back until 8:15pm. He’s only 8 and was in trouble when he got back.

July 20th

  • Bill and I went for a [cycle] ride to Gainsborough this morning. We set off at 11:30am and were home by 4:00pm. We spent 4/- (35 miles there and back). Ray attended Sunday school as usual.

July 21st

  • Dad, and Mam and I were up at 4:50am this morning (late). I cycled to work at 5:20am. Dad (also late) went to work on Bill’s bike. I took Ray and Bill to the pictures to see “The Unknown” (the first time we’ve been for a fortnight).

July 22nd

  • Dad, Mam, and Me were up at 4:30am this morning and I cycled to work at 5:15am (had to use dynamo, first time for a few months). Hot. Dad and Mam went to the pictures. 5 people were killed yesterday when the London-Liverpool express was derailed at Polesworth, Warwickshire. The Dutch are at war with the Indonesians, negotiations failed. Yesterday they launched attacks in Java by land, sea, and air.

July 23rd

  • Dad, Mam, and I were all up at 4:30am again this morning and I cycled to work at 5:25am.

July 24th

  • Bill went to the pictures. Raining very hard. Bill’s half day and pay day £1 9s. 6d.

July 25th

  • We were all up at 4:30am this morning and I cycled to work. Pay day £3 12s 10d (91 hrs). Ray left school for 4 week summer holiday.

July 26th

  • I was up for the 6th time this week at 4:30am and cycled to work at 5:20am. I am on 12 hours today and Monday only. Cycled home at 6:00pm. Bill went to the pictures. I cleared some of the garden up and picked some peas for tomorrow’s dinner. Mam, Dad, and Charlie went to Nellie Spencer’s (friend) wedding. George Bernard Shaw (author and playwright) is 91 years old today. Mam bought herself a new skirt.

July 27th

  • Ray attended Sunday school as usual. Mr Roebuck (parson) gave him a Sunday school money box to fill during the next three weeks when the Sunday school is closed. He went from door to door with another boy and filled it in the first day (later we found out he took some out for ice-cream). Dad and Bill went for a ride to Finningley and I moped.

July 28th

  • I am on night’s this week and am working 12 hours tonight (only). I cycled to work at 6:00pm. It has been very hot during the week-end and record holiday crowds have been recorded (since before the war). Bill went to the pictures.

July 29th

  • I cycled home from work at 6:30am this morning and went to bed from 7:00am until 3:00pm. I read a good story on the building of the Panama Canal.

July 30th

  • Bill sent for a football game last week and the postman brought it this afternoon. It wasn’t quite what Bill had expected. He paid 11/- for it and it is only a few pieces of plastic, cardboard, and wire worth about sixpence (but we all have to learn). The Co-op butchers where Bill works are selling whale-meat today for the first time. Dad and I had tinned bacon for breakfast (30 points) and it was very tasty.

July 31st

  • Two British Sergeants were executed (hung/murdered) by the Jewish terrorists yesterday as a reprisal from the British hanging three of their men in Palestine. The paper says that this is the worst crime that the Jews have yet committed. The Queen Mary (85,000 ton liner) sailed from Southampton today on her first voyage as a luxury liner since she was converted into a troop ship in 1940. Infantile Paralysis epidemic in England, 300 cases are estimated this week. The Royal train passed our box today; it was the Queen going to York. I went to the pictures and cycled to work at 10:00pm.

Aug 1st

  • We have had hot weather for weeks. I cycled home at 6am this morning. Pay day £1 19s 1d. Cycled back to work at 9:15pm.

Aug 2nd

  • I cycled home from work at 6am. Bill was up as he has to be at work for 7am on Saturday mornings. I went to bed at 7:30am and was up at 3:30pm. I cycled to work for the 6th time this week at 9:15pm.

Aug 3rd

  • Cycled home from work at 5:40am and went to bed until dinner time. Very nice day but I stopped in because I had no clean shirt.

Aug 4th

  • August Bank Holiday! All the family have a day from work today. Bill and I went to the Gaumont cinema in Doncaster to see ‘The Man Within’ in technicolour (Jean Kent). It was raining this morning but the sun came out about 5pm so Bill and I went for a ride to Finningley.

Aug 5th

  • I am on afternoon’s this week and cycled to work at 1:00pm. Bill is on holiday today.

Aug 6th

  • Up at 10am (late) and cycled to work at 1:15pm. Mr Attlee, the Prime Minister today announced his plans for coping with the coming crisis, the miners and other 5 day week workers are being asked to work another 2 shifts per month (days). American films are to be cut down by 25% and all imports from dollar countries are to be cut down which may mean another cut in our rations. Dad started cutting the church hedging.

Aug 7th

  • Bill’s half day and pay day. Cycled to work at 1:15pm and back from work at 10pm.

Aug 8th

  • I cycled to work at 1:15pm collecting my wages on the way £2 1s 3d (no rise yet). I cycled back from work at 10pm. Bill went to the pictures for the 4th time this week.

Aug 9th

  • I cycled to work at 2pm. Number 958, the 1:10pm King’s Cross to Leeds express crashed into the rear of 956, the 1:25pm King’s Cross to Leeds express at the next signal box to ours, Balby Junction. Number 956 passed our box at 4:36pm and stopped at Bridge Junction signal box thinking it was out of his section. Cleared out for it at 4:37pm and accepted 958. 958 (packed with holiday makers) passed us (Redbank) with all signals off at 4:41pm. At 4:42pm we received 6 bells (obstruction danger) and were told that the express had crashed into the rear of 958 and all down lines were blocked. The latest casualties as of 11pm are 15 killed and 59 injured. My train register book will be taken and shown at the board of trade enquiry on Thursday. Our signalman, Balby junction signalman, and Bridge junction signalman will be at the inquiry which is in London. The rear of the second crashed train was in sight of us about 300 yards away. A very sunny day. Dad and Mam went to the Gaumont in Doncaster.

Aug 10th

  • Three people have died in hospital today from injuries received in yesterday’s crash making the total dead to 18. The latest injury list is 61 seriously and many more with minor injuries. I went for a ride to Harworth with Dad, a very nice day.

Aug 11th

  • Day shift. Mam, Dad, and I were up at 4:30am this morning. I cycled to work at 5:20am. The signalman gave his statement (crash). The main lines where Saturday’s crash occurred were cleared at 4:30pm yesterday. The down goods line was still blocked at 2pm today. I cycled home at 2pm. bought a Lb of hard pears to eat on my way home.

Aug 12th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning and cycled to work. Bill went to the pictures.

Aug 13th

  • Blank

Aug 14th

  • I was up at 4:30am and cycled to work. The signalmen at Redbank are working 12 hour shifts today as Billy Sampson has gone to the train crash enquiry at London. I went to the pictures.

Aug 15th

  • James McOne, Balby signalman has admitted that he made two mistakes at the enquiry in London today. He forgot about the first train and then wrongly accepted the second. He has been dismissed from his box but has been given another job with the company. Very hot today.

Aug 16th

  • I was up at 4:30am and cycled to work. I called for my wage (£2 13s 4d) and my new railway trousers at 9:30am. Very hot. Went to the pictures to see ‘Three Little Girls in Blue’.

Aug 17th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning and cycled to work for the 6th time this week. 111 men are known to have been killed and 13 are still missing (believed killed) in a pit explosion at Whitehaven. The pit is under the sea. 236 men have been killed previous to this explosion in the Whitehaven pits. Bill, Dad, and Ray went to the pictures. I cleared part of the garden up and cleaned my bicycle. Peg is at Scarborough this week and next.

Aug 18th

  • Bill and I went for a ride to Blyth. We had 2/- worth of ice-cream each (waste).

Aug 19th

  • Dad and I are both on nights this week. Bill and I went to Doncaster and queued up for some biscuits. We bought Ray a ball and then went to the Gaumont to see ‘The Ghost of Mrs Murr’. I cycled to work at 9:15pm.

Aug 20th

  • I cycled home at 6:30am this morning. The crisis cabinet are making rush food orders. An overhaul in the present ration system is likely. Many new austerity measures are being planned. I went to the pictures and cycled to work at 9:30pm.

Aug 21st

  • Home at 6:30am and went to bed from 7:30am until 4:00pm. Mr Dalton made an important statement at 9:15pm tonight – he said there will be no more conversions of Sterling into Dollars. Britain will halt the Dollar drain at 12:00am tonight. This will mean a further shortage of overseas supplies and probably a cut in our rations. I cycled to work at 9:30pm. I cycled from work at 6:30am. Princess Royal (Margaret) is 17 today.

Aug 22nd

  • Home at 6:30am. Pay day £2 9s 8d (£1 11s stoppages). Our 44 hour week starts this week but we still work 48 and get 4 hours overtime. I will be paid 7 weeks back money next week. I cycled to work at 9:30pm. Frank Fenn had his cycle run over by a car. Plenty of fruit about not rationed.

Aug 23rd

  • I cycled home at 6:30am this morning and went to bed at 8:00am. Dad and Mam went to Doncaster shopping and bought Charlie a new coat for £1 4s 0d and me a new cotton shirt for 19s 6d they also bought a set of pans and other things. Mam called me at 1pm and I went to see Doncaster Rovers play Southampton in their first match of the seasons. They are in the 2nd division this year. It’s the first league match I have ever seen. The match was a draw 1-1 and the attendance was 30,000. I called in at the Arcadia cinema to see George Formby in ‘Feather Your Nest’ and caught the 7:15pm bus home. I cycled through Doncaster to work at 9:15pm. 19 men were killed in an explosion in a Durham pit today (104 men were killed in the William pit (Whitehaven) last Saturday). I will be on 12 hours shifts next week.

Aug 24th

  • I cycled home at 6:30am for the 6th time this week. Ray attended Sunday school. We have £43 19s 0d in the club (target was £40).

Aug 25th

  • Bill’s birthday – aged 15 years. I was supposed to go to work at 6pm tonight but I received a message at 12 o’clock telling me to be at work for 10pm so I took Bill to Doncaster pictures. We were home for 7:30pm but another message had come at 3 o’clock telling me to be at work for 6pm. I cycled to work at 9:30pm.

Aug 26th

  • Ray went up to juniors yesterday. I cycled home at 6:30am and went to bed at 7:30am. I was up at 4pm and cycled to work for my 12 hour shift at 5:20pm. Grimethorpe miners have been on strike for 2 weeks against working an extra 2 foot of coal per stint.

Aug 27th

  • I cycled home at 6:30am and went to bed from 8am until 3:30pm and then cycled to work again at 5:20pm (all bed and work). 200,000 Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus have been killed in riots over the division of Punjab (India). India is now self-governed.

Aug 28th

  • I cycled home at 6:30am and went to bed from 8am until 3:30pm. I cycled back to work at 6pm. Mam can only just manage with the rations this week (we are making up with fruit). Bill’s half day and pay day £1 13s 0d. 14,000 miners are now on strike in Yorkshire.

Aug 29th

  • Home for 6:30am – bed from 7:30am until 3:30pm – cycled to work at 5:20pm. I called for my wages £5 7s 4d (7 weeks back pay for overtime). Friday is the day we get our groceries but only cheese and jam for snap. We have over £44 in our holiday club.

Aug 30th

  • I cycled home at 6:30am and went to bed from 7:30am until 4:00pm. I cycled back to work at 6:00pm. Doncaster Rovers lost their match with Bury, 4-2 (away). Ray has started getting his dinner at school (since last Monday) now that he is in the juniors.

Aug 31st

  • I cycled home for the 6th time this week at 6:00am. I went to be from 7am until 3pm. Only Ray attended church.

Sept 1st

  • Mam, Dad, and I were up at 4:30am this morning and I cycled to work at 5:20am, foggy. I cycled home at 2:30pm, had a haircut, and then went blackberrying with Bill (we sold 2Lb to Mrs. Braman for 2/6 and Mam stewed 2Lb) we were away for an hour. Grimethorpe miners have today decided to stay on strike.

Sept 2nd

  • Princess Elizabeth’s future home was burned down last Saturday (Sandringham, near Ascot). I was up at 4:30am this morning and cycled to work. Doncaster race course is in fine trim for the St. Leger, it has been described as the best course in England. Today is the 29th day without rain. Our milk was cut from 4 pints to 3 this morning (the drought is the cause). Bill treat me to the pictures to see “Shadowed”.

Sept 3rd

  • We were up at 4:20am this morning and I cycled to work at 5:20am.

Sept 4th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning and cycled to work at 5:15am. I cycled home at 2:30pm. Bill and I went to Doncaster for our extra ten clothing coupons but I forgot my clothing book. Bill got his alright. Later we went to the Gaumont cinema.

Sept 5th

  • I was up at 4:30am and cycled to work at 5:20am. Called for my wages on the way home £2 19s 4d.

Sept 6th

  • Up at 4:30am, work for 5:20am, home again for 2:30pm. Caught the 3:15pm bus to Doncaster and went to the pictures. Doncaster Rovers won their match with West Ham 1-0.

Sept 7th

  • Bill and I went for a cycle ride to Langold this morning, and then round Cantley and Finningley this afternoon. I was very sick at tea-time from eating apples. A Jewish terrorism plot to bomb London from the air (from France) has been uncovered.

Sept 8th

  • I went to Doncaster this afternoon and called for my ten extra clothing coupons. I watched the tipster’s in Doncaster market (Prince Honolulu – I’ve got a horse) and then went to the Gaumont cinema to see ‘Hue and Cry’ (good). I also bought this (nib-less) fountain pen for 33/- but it’s not as good as I thought it would be. I have been saving for it for some time.

Sept 9th

  • I cycled from work at 6:30am this morning and went to bed from 8am until 6:30pm. 50,000 men are now on strike in Yorkshire (some of the men have been out for over a month). It’s been ages (about 2 months) since we had any rain. Very windy. Cycled to work at 9:15pm. Dried ice has been dropped into the clouds from war planes (around London) to try and cause rain but it was unsuccessful. It has been used with success in America and Australia.

Sept 10th

  • I cycled home at 6:30am. Twelve men were killed in a pit explosion at Dewsbury today. There was a 20% cut in the milk ration in the Doncaster district today (we had 3 pints instead of 4), the present drought is the cause. We had about 5 minute’s fine rain this morning which is the first we have had for 5 weeks. Thousands of race-goers streamed into Doncaster by rail, road, and some by air, this morning for the first day of the 4 day meeting. Record crowds are expected. The stake money for the St. Leger race (Saturday) is £11,160 as compared with £9,600 for this year’s Derby.

Sept 11th

  • I cycled home at 6:30am this morning. All Yorkshire pits on strike will return to work today. They go back on their own terms (the trouble is over working extra shift lengths). They have been on strike for 6 weeks. I cycled to work at 7:30pm (the girl is giving me 2/6 for working 2 hours extra for her). Photo finish used at Doncaster races today.

Sept 12th

  • I cycled home at 6:30am, got all cleaned up for Mam, and went to bed at 10am. Pay day £4 1s 10d (86 hours). Grandad Hedley (Mam’s Father) came over to Rossington today for the St. Leger meeting tomorrow. I cycled to work at 9:30pm.

Sept 13th

  • I cycled home at 6am this morning and went to bed from 8:30am until 12:30pm. Bill and I caught the 2:15pm bus to Doncaster and went on to the Town Moor race course to see the St. Leger race at 3:15pm. It was won by Sagajirao with Arbas 2nd (French), and Migoli 3rd. We had three hours of heavy rain this morning and the crowds were much less than those of last year. Afterwards we went to the fair at Dockin Hill (Doncaster). We had our photo taken for 2/6 and bought Charlie a balloon for 1/- (cheapest they had). We caught the 6:15pm bus home. I had two hours sleep and then cycled back to Doncaster (work) at 9:20pm. Bill had his half day today instead of Thursday next week.

Sept 14th

  • Twenty Questions is now popular on Radio. I cycled home from work at 6am (7 miles) this morning for the 6th and last time this week. I went to bed from 8am until dinner time. Grandad Hedley called to see us this morning. He gave Bill a pen (plastic) and me a pen (2/-). A ¾Lb tin of premium sweet meat goes up from 20 points to 33 points per tin next month (each person gets 28 points per month for tinned fruit, biscuits, tinned meat etc). According to an Oxford professor it will be close on 100 years before atomic energy will be significant as a solution to world power problems. Colour light signals fitted at Balby today.

Sept 15th

  • I was up at 8am this morning and went for a ride up to my aunt Beck’s to see Grandad Hedley and later called at the library. I cycled to work at 1:10pm. Points period three started yesterday, soap has gone up by 4½ per Lb (washing). Cycled home at 10:00pm.

Sept 16th

  • I was up at 9am this morning. Wash day. Helped mother to tidy up. We received a letter from Peg, my sister, saying she will shortly become engaged. It was pouring with rain at 1pm so I went to work on the bus. The 5th case of infantile paralysis noted in Doncaster.

Sept 17th

  • 12 men including 2 British Sergeants were killed this morning when a lorry carrying German prisoners and guards ran through some level crossing gates at Burton Agnes (near Bridlington), the lorry ran into an express travelling at 60mph. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death” on the 18 victims of the Balby (Doncaster) rail disaster (August 9th) today. My signalman (W. Samson) had a day off to go to the inquest. The crash was about 300 yards from our box (Red Bank). I cycled to work at 1:20pm and home for 10:40pm.

Sept 18th

  • British ace motor driver, John Colt, last night smashed his 1939 land speed record by nearly 25mph in two runs over the 11 mile long Bonneville salt flats, Utah (America), with an average speed (Over 1 mile) of 394.196mph, for part of one lap his instruments showed he had hit 415mph. Bill’s pay day £1 11s 0d. I cycled to work at 1:15pm and home at 10:30pm. Rained for most of the day. Doncaster Rovers beat Bradford today 3-0 away.

Sept 19th

  • Cycled to work at 1:20pm, pay day £2 5s 9d. I applied for my free pass to Blackpool but found that I could only go free to Manchester and then quarter fare onwards. Rained all day. I cleaned my windows at work (80 windows). Grandad Hedley went back to Durham this morning.

Sept 20th

  • Dad went to Doncaster this morning for the train tickets and the emergency ration coupons (for our holiday next week). Doncaster Rovers drew in their match with Millwall 2-2 at home.

Sept 21st

  • Harvest Festival was celebrated in our (St. Luke’s) church today. The church is decorated with flowers, vegetables, and fruit. Mam sent a big cabbage and ½ stone of flour. Ray attended church.

Sept 22nd

  • Dad and I are on the day shift this week, we were up at 4:30am this morning, I cycled to work at 5:20am. Very windy. Bill, Ray, and I went to Rossington pictures to see “Bowery” with Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper (young). My hair oil broken 2/3.

Sept 23rd

  • We were up at 4:30am this morning and I went to work on the bus at 5:20am. I meant to call at the Midland Bank for our holiday money (£42). I took the money box but forgot the bank book so I will have to call back tomorrow. I had a haircut, called at the library and got a good book of poems and monologues. Wash day.

Sept 24th

  • I was up at 4:30am this morning and cycled to work at 5:10am. I called at the Midland Bank on the way home. I deposited £1 11s 11d and withdrew £42, leaving a balance of £2 16s 7d. We got to Blackpool on Friday. I applied for a position as relief telegraph lad to the yardmaster (LNER Balby) this morning. For this job you must learn all the signal boxes in Doncaster and district. I cleaned my cycle while Bill and Dad went to the pictures. Mam had her hair water-set at Addy’s.

Sept 25th

  • We were up at 4:30am this morning and I cycled to work at 5:15am. Peg sent Ray 5/- for his Blackpool holiday. Bill’s half day and pay day £3 (holiday pay).

Sept 26th

  • We were up at 4:30am this morning and I cycled to work at 5:20am. I collected my wages and free railway tickets and was home for 3:20pm. We were all packing and bathing and I didn’t get to bed until after 11pm.

Sept 27th

  • We were all up at 6am this morning all very excited and didn’t know what to do first. We managed to get all washed and tidied up by 7:30am (we hardly had any breakfast). Then we had half and hour’s anxious wait for the taxi which drew up at the front door at 8am. We were in Doncaster for 8:20am and caught the 8:35am slow train to Sheffield, arriving at Sheffield at 9:30am. We got to Manchester at 12:05pm and caught sight of Blackpool tower by 2pm. It’s been rush, rush, ever since we left Doncaster. We were at 121 Reeds Avenue by 3:30pm all very tired. We walked all the way and had a job to find it. We had tea at 4:30pm and after tea Bill and I caught the tram-car down to the pleasure beach (south shore). I have never seen anything like it in my life; it is just like a city of amusements. We both had a good time there and then went to see the Frank Randle show (comedian) on the south pier (2/6) good show. Mam, Dad, Ray, and Charlie also went to the pleasure beach. Bill and I spent a little over 10/- (we are allowed 10/- per day but we both have a bit that we saved at home. About £2). All the family were in bed for 10:30pm.

Sept 28th

  • We were all out of bed, washed and ready for 8:15am this morning, had breakfast of bacon and egg at 8:30am. Ray, Bill, and I went for a walk along the seafront. We spent a few shillings in the north pier fun fair and then we all went to the top of the 520 feet Blackpool Tower from which we could see all the town (it cost us all 2/9 each). At 12:30pm we had dinner, after which we went for a walk along the beach). We all had plenty of ice-cream while away and booked seats at the Winter Garden for the Vera Lynn (singer) show at 7:45pm tonight. We had tea (tomato and lettuce). We walked around until 7:30pm. I won 20 cigarettes for Dad (6d). We then went to the Winter Gardens to see (and hear) the Vera Lynn show. She was alright, but the rest (especially the fire/sword eater) made us feel sick. We’ve spent 12/- each today. Bed by 10pm.

Sept 29th

  • We had breakfast at 8:30am and then went out and queued for some rock, we got 10 sticks for 2 months sweet ration coupons (2/6). Mam bought me a money purse (10/6) for my Birthday which is on the 12th October. Bill and I had photographs taken, we have to call for them tomorrow at 10am (4/- for two). Had dinner at 12:30pm and then after we passed the time away on the sands and looking in the gift shops. I bought Peg a brooch for 3/6. Had tea at 4:30pm. After tea Bill and I spent some more money in the amusement parks then went to Felman’s show (three rows from the front 3/6), it was a very good show, especially the wizard. Home for 10:15pm, had a slight supper (6d each) and in bed for 10:45pm. We bought 2 beach balls this morning for 5/6 each; they were both burst on the same rose bush by bed time. Bill and I spent nearly £1 each today.

Sept 30th

  • We had breakfast at 8:30am. Bill and I went on to the sands and then went boating (2/- each), and on to the central pier before dinner. We had (the family) some over-flush money today so Dad gave me and Bill an extra 10/- pocket money for today and bought Mam a leather zip fastener shopping bag £2 5s 0d. After dinner Bill and I went to the Odeon Cinema to see “Sinbad the Sailor” (fair). Mam, Dad, Charlie, and Ray went to the tower circus. Had tea at 4:30pm. After tea we all went on to the sands at 7:30pm. Bill and I went to the circus (Tower). We had to stand but it was worth it as the show was very good. We were home for just after 9pm, had a light supper, and were in bed for 10pm. (We spent about 10/- today).

Oct 1st

  • Dad’s birthday, aged 47. Mam bought him a pipe (8/6). Bill and I bought him the same (10/6). Peg (sister) sent us a telegram this morning saying that she has become engaged to Clifford Courts (of Lincoln) today. We all had a walk on the sands, then Bill and I called for the photographs. Bill was a little sick at dinner-time (we think it was with eating too many ice-creams, 6d each time). Bill and I bought Mam a real silver cross (10/6). We looked after Ray and Charlie this afternoon while Mam and Dad went to the Grand Theatre to see the play ‘Tarsy’, they liked it very much. The sun was shining so we went down to the sands and spent a nice afternoon. We had tea at 4:30pm. After tea Bill and I went for a walk around and had our photos taken again, 3 for 1/6. All the theatres were full up so we came home and listened to the wireless. We looked after Charlie from 9:00pm until 9:30pm while Mam and Dad went down to the Belle Vue Hotel for a drink; Mam had her first Gin and Tonic. Went to bed at 9:45pm.

Oct 2nd

  • Spent the day on the sands, in the funfairs, and walking around. After tea Bill and I went to the Oxford Cinema to see “Song of the South” (Walt Disney). We managed to spend our 10/- each again.

Oct 3rd

  • After breakfast this morning Bill, Ray, and I went out together. We walked through all the big stores and bought Ray a box of paints and a race game. I bought myself a photo snap case. Later, Bill and I had our photos taken, 3 for 1/6. After dinner we all went down to the sands and had our feet in the sea. We had tea at 4:30pm and then went down to the Palace Theatre to see Cavan O’Connor (Irish Tenor), we booked five 3/6 seats last night. Charlie cried for a bit about half way through the show so Dad had to take him out. Bill and I came straight out of the Palace and into the Ritz cinema where we saw Bing Crosby in “Mississippi”, we were home for 11:00pm.

Oct 4th

  • We were all up at 8:00am, had breakfast at 8:30am, and were all packed up by 9:00am. We all had one last walk on the sands and round the town and came back to the digs for dinner at 11:30am. We said goodbye to Mrs. Harling and Mrs. Aspinall (Landladies) at 12:00pm (we would all like to stop) arriving at the Central Station at 12:15pm. We left the case. We had another walk along the sands, bought some cakes, biscuits, and books and came back to the station to catch the 1:30pm train to Wakefield. The train journey didn’t seem so long as we had two friendly people travelling with us (and plenty of books and games). We arrived at Wakefield Kirkgate at 5:30pm, caught a bus to Wakefield Westgate station, catching the 6:00pm train for Doncaster (we travelled in a 1st class carriage all the way on a 3rd class ticket). We were in Doncaster for 6:25pm. Ray and I went ahead with the case and caught the 6:45pm bus to Rossington and we were in our house by 7:15pm. Mam, Dad, Bill, and Charlie followed on 15 minutes later. We unpacked, had a fish and chip supper and us four boys were in bed for 8:30pm (all fagged out).

Oct 5th

  • We were all up by 8:30am this morning and only Ray attended church. Mam and Dad shared the Blackpool rock out with some of the neighbours.  Mrs. Spencer (6 children) – 1 large stick; Mrs. McLaughlin (1 child) – 1 large stick; Mrs. Fielding (4 children) – 1 large stick + a caddy spoon; Mrs. Braman (4 children) – 1 large stick; Cousin Jim (2 children) – 1 large stick; Paperboy – 1 half stick; Crump’s (1 child) – 1 half stick; Needham’s (2 children) – 1 half stick; Old Mrs. Morgan – 1 tea-caddy spoon; also Mrs. Crump – a tea-caddy spoon.

Oct 6th

  • 2nd week of my holidays. Cycled to Doncaster at 11:00am this morning to take Raymond’s glasses to be mended at Rayners, he will have to wait 1 month for a lens to be fitted. Got home at 12:15pm. Bill’s half day. We waited until 2:30pm for Dad to come home, then Bill took his cycle and we both went to Poverty Wood, chestnutting. We were home for 5:00pm with a good half stone of chestnuts. At 5:30pm we went to the Hippodrome (cinema). A nationwide “Save Food for Europe” was broadcast last night by President Truman in which he asked Americans to pledge themselves to meatless Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, without eggs or poultry. He has had an immediate and favourable response.

 

Oct 7th

  • I went to Doncaster Gaumont this morning to see “Carnival in Costa Rica”. I bought 1Lb of biscuits for 1/6, 1Lb of apples, a pear, and a pair of braces. I took the Library book back. Bill’s cycle ok.

Oct 8th

  • Mended the fencing this morning then went for a ride around Finningley, Austerfield, and Bawtry this afternoon. At 5:30pm I took Bill (he paid for himself) to the pictures. Mr. Shinwell has been transferred from Minister of fuel to the Minister of War. Hugh Gaitskell will succeed him as Minister of fuel but will not be in the cabinet, there are now 18 members of the cabinet instead of 19.

Oct 9th

  • I went for a ride on my bike this morning and then went chestnutting this afternoon. We got easily a stone. There are more chestnuts in Poverty Wood this year than I have ever seen.

Oct 10th

  • There’s a bit of bad news in our paper this morning. It is owing to the strike of meat-packers in Canada that our bacon ration is to be cut from 2oz per week to 1oz per week from the 19th October until the dispute is settled. Mam and Dad have agreed to eat it all for Sunday morning breakfast and to go without for the rest of the week. I went to Doncaster this morning for my wages (£1 16s 10d – 1 day short). I brought 6 meat pies (small size) home, 6d each. I took Dad to the pictures to see “Love Laughs at Andy Hardy”.

Oct 11th

  • My fortnight’s holiday finished yesterday and I am back at work at 2:00pm today. The first week of my holiday in Blackpool I enjoyed very much but the second week has been a little dull as I have been by myself all week. I was up at 8:30am and had my week’s ration of egg for my breakfast.

Oct 12th

  • Point’s period four begins. I am 17 years old today. Ray attended Sunday school this morning but had the year’s first miss this afternoon to go chestnutting.

Oct 13th

  • Dad, Mam, and I were up at 4:30am this morning; I cycled to work at 5:20am, and was back at home for 6:30pm after working a 12 hour shift. When I got home there was a fountain pen and a birthday card which Peg and her young man (Clifford Courts) had bought for me, it’s a very good pen, Conway-Stuart, the worst of it is I will have to write and thank them. I wrote half a letter to Peg and then went to bed at 9:30pm (Dad wrote to his sister, Edith).

 

Oct 14th

  • Up at 4:30am, cycled to work at 5:20am, and was back home by 2:30pm. I went to the pictures with Bill and Ray to see “The Real Glory”.

Oct 15th

  •  I cycled to work at 5:20am this morning. When I got to work there was a letter saying I had been given the ob as relief telegraph lad. I cycled home at 2:30pm. I went chestnutting with Bill this afternoon. I cleaned the signal box windows today for Alf Keys, the signalman.

Oct 16th

  • We were up at 4:30am this morning and I cycled to work at 5:20am.  Pay day £2 0s 10d.

 

Oct 17th

  • I was up for the 6th day at 4:30am and cycled to work at 5:20am. Doncaster Rovers lost their match against Fulham, 1-0.

Oct 18th

  • Bill and I went to 6:30pm evensong at St. Luke’s.

Oct 19th

  • Dad and I went for a ride to Stainforth this morning and then Bill and I went chestnutting this afternoon. I took Ray and Bill to the pictures at 5:30pm. I am on nights this week and cycled to work at 9:10pm. We bought a table from Fielding’s today for 5/-. Signalman Samson finished his holidays.

Oct 20th

  • I cycled home from work at 6:00am, foggy. I went to bed from 7:30am until 5:00pm. Mam and Dad went to Doncaster today and bought a table cloth for 10/-, Bill’s trousers £1 4s 0d, and a pair of cycling gloves for me for 6/11. They had dinner in the new Co-op Restaurant which has just opened (1/9 each). The King made a speech when he opened Parliament today. The King’s Speech included the following government proposals: Nationalisation of the gas industry as part of the co-ordination of fuel and power; a measure for improving the care of children deprived of a normal life; a bill for reform of the administration of criminal justice; reform of the franchise and electoral procedure; introduction of a comprehensive system of assistance for all, in place of the poor law; measures to bring into essential work those “making no contribution to the national well-being”.

Oct 21st

  • Home 6:30am, Bed from 8:00am until 4:30pm. Went to the library for a book called “Travel the Road”.

Oct 22nd

  • I cycled home at 6:30am, and went to bed from 8:30am until 6:15pm. I cycled back to work at 9:15pm, foggy. The headlines of today’s paper are, “Potatoes are likely to be rationed, women are rushing to get in stocks of potatoes”. Mam’s not bothering; she says it is just another rumour.

Oct 23rd

  • I cycled home from work at 6:00am in the rain. I went to bed from 8:00am until 6:00pm. Mam, Dad, and Charlie went to the Gaumont in Doncaster. 29 dead; and 100 injured in train crash down south, between Burly Oaks and South Croydon, Surrey.

 

Oct 24th

  • Blank

Oct 25th

  • Blank

Oct 26th

  • Blank

Oct 27th

  • I had a haircut this morning. Cleaned my cycle and cycled to work at 1:20pm (Afternoons).

Oct 28th

  • Turned garden over and cycled to work at 1:15pm.

Oct 29th

  • Bussed to work. Raining.

Oct 30th

  • Bill’s pay day and half day.

Oct 31st

Cycled to work at 1:20pm, called for my wages on the way – £3 3s 11d.

15 responses to “1947 Rossington Diary

  1. Where can I find the latest comments please?
    Bob Vizor

  2. Christine Ward (formely Sharpe)

    A wonderful account of September`s Blackpool holiday and the `case` (note only1 for a family of 6) which Frank and Bill carried home ahead of the rest of the family!
    Back in 1991, when I had to give up work due to illness, I also made a book similar to Frank`s year long diary, but added lots of pictures and memorobilia as our first grandchild had been born in 1988, this being for him to look back on. I hope you are still here Symeon, in the distant future, and may also see my year long diary!
    Thank you Symeon for all your time and effort which is much appreciated.

  3. Just putting October’s entries on and then that will be the last one. To read Nov and Dec you will have to buy the book. Otherwise, you can wait 2 or 3 months and I will put the last 2 months on this page. 🙂

  4. Christine Ward (formely Sharpe)

    Fantastic! I so enjoyed yet another interesting month in the life of the Worsdale family. I could feel the excitement on the morning they were off to Blackpool and the long walk to find the address they had booked for the week.
    I also felt a real disappointment regarding the `nibless pen` and the astronomical cost of £1 13 shillings which was just about a weeks wage back in 1947.
    Although I am looking forward to October, I shall be really sorry when the year long diary comes to a close.

  5. another brilliant read I especially enjoyed his account of going to Blackpool , it brought back memories of a hoilday we had there about 1950 with my mum..we went for 2 weeks I still don’t know how she did it must have saved up all year like Franks family. Thanks again Frank and Symeon 🙂

  6. Christine Ward (formely Sharpe)

    Thank you Symeon.

  7. Christine Ward (formely Sharpe)

    Another interesting month (August). My father was working at the Railway at this time,1947, so the account of life back then is especially interesting for me. I am now looking forward to September`s diary as the whole family will be off to Blackpool for a well earned break. I would be interested to find out if the brother,Ray, who is regularly mentioned, is the local artist Ray Worsdale as I have two prints of fantastic horses which, I believe, he painted some years ago and was a regular visitor to the glass shop in Bentley where my husband and I both worked. Thank you once again Symeon.

    • You are right with Ray Worsdale, he is the local artist. I have on or two of his prints too. Frank tells me he went to Doncaster art school in church view. Charlie is still alive too as he is my friend on Facebook.

      Best wishes

      Symeon.

  8. I was born in 49 so vaguely remember talk of rations and the war and even though a lot of what is said is fairly repetitive and detail often sparse, it does give a very good snapshot of what post-war Donny was like. Keep up the good work, Symeon…greetings from Denmark!
    Jon

  9. Andrew Morrison

    And we complain about the state of things now. But i do note we haven’t learned from history, thankfully this young man made history. And thank you Symeon for your time and effort

  10. Christine Ward (formely Sharpe)

    Another excellent account for July. My father was on the Railway at the time and I often wonder if they knew each other.
    Ray was `in the news` this month with his school fight and icecream, all so great to read about.
    Roll on July. Thank you Symeon.

    • I purposely don’t read ahead until I type it up so like you I look forward to each new month. Personally, I can’t wait for September to see what they all get up to in Blackpool. Glad you are enjoying it.

  11. What an interesting read. It gave a really good insight as to what someone’s life was like back then. Thank you.

  12. Christine Waed

    I read the June account in bed this evening and really enjoyed yet another month. I am looking forwqrd to July and am seeing what life held for families back in 1947 when I was coming up 2 years old.
    Thank you Symeon.

  13. Christine Ward (formely Sharpe)

    Another enjoyable read. Looking forward to the next installment.

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