SUNDAY 3rd MAY 1942 (Easter Day)

A party at Digbeth Institute

   We all went to the Mission party at Digbeth Institute. I got a book. It is called The World of Sport and Adventure. It is a big book with stories and coloured pictures. I put my name and address in the book with my red pencil. I also got some building blocks and a truck to put them in.

   [Janet Mary Jones, Brian’s secretary for many years, was born today.]

  book/420503.jpg drawnBW/420503b.jpg



7 today

   I have had some birthday cards. They are from Mam and Dad, Clarice and Julia, and Granma Williams. Granma has written “Dear Son” which is what she calls Dad [not Clarence], so I have changed it with my red pencil.

  card/420731e.jpg card/420731f.jpg



I join the Cubs

   I have joined the Cubs. I went with Barry Harvey on the 44 bus to Baker Street. The Scout hut is on the left hand side at the bottom near Warwick Road. It has big wooden doors across. Barry’s father is the Scout Master. They live up the road at 133 Circular Road.


   I went to the Cubs again. I am doing my tenderfoot.


St. George and the Woggle

   Mr. Harvey has given me a neckerchief and a woggle. It is black with a gold edge and St. George and the dragon also in gold in one corner. I roll the neckerchief up so that there are two ends, with St. George and the dragon at the bottom. I hang the neckerchief round my neck so that they hang down in front. Then I tie the two ends together in a reef knot and pull the woggle up to my neck with St. George and the dragon showing at the back of my neck. Mammy has got me a green jersey and a cap and I wore them all tonight. I have learned the Cub Law and the Cub Promise, the animals and some knots. At the end we all squat in a circle with Mr. Harvey standing up in the middle, and we say “R K Lar, we’ll do our best.” Then Mr. Harvey says “Dib Dib Dib Dib” and we all stand up and salute and say “We’ll dob dob dob dob.”

  This arcane ceremony with its weird words was never explained to me, nor were Balloo the bear, Shere Khan the bullion tiger, and sundry animals with queer-sounding names. It eventually dawned on me that the animals were from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, and that Akela was the leader of the wolf-cub pack. The Dib Dib Dib Dib bit was actually DYB DYB DYB DYB — shorthand for “Do Your Best” — and We’ll Dob Dob Dob Dob was simply “We’ll Do Our Best.”


   I like to go upstairs at the cubs. The stairs are very rickety and the floor is on a slope. On the wall there is a coloured picture in a frame. It is of King George V’s coffin, with a man standing at each corner. Underneath is a poem. It says:—

   The King is dead
   And round his Royal head
   Four courtiers mourn
   His well beloved head.
   — Rudyard Kipling.

   It is very sad and makes me want to cry when I read it.


Bedtime Stories

   For Christmas I have had Christ Our Saviour by E.G. White, and Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories (19th Series) by Arthur S. Maxwell. This contains 23 stories and many drawings and lovely photographs including one of an L.N.E.R. train number 4482 Golden Eagle. I like trains.

  Both books are published by Stanborough Press Ltd., Watford, Hertfordshire, the U.K. publishing house of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church founded by Ellen G. White in 1846. The Christ Our Saviour book is a July 1931 printing, while the Bedtime Stories has only just been published, in November 1942. “War or no war [says the author], the children must have their Bedtime Stories … I have again followed the same pattern as I have these eighteen years since Bedtime Stories first were published … the grand total has now reached almost seven million copies.” My mother would have bought these books from a colporteur at the door.

Bedtime Stories
The Helper Engine

Previous chapter || Next chapter || Index || Search
webwork by Jim Nagel at Abbey Press, Glastonbury — this edition published 2007-06-30