Back to School again this morning. 1st Period all forms went to form-rooms to buy dinner tickets for the rest of the term. Most boys buy about twenty tickets at least.

   After Special Bus I came straight home.

   This afternoon it started to snow but I went down the village twice. After doing prep I played out until 6.30pm. and went to Scouts at 7.30. We did P.T., Wrestling and I played Scrimmage. I arrived home at 9.40pm.

P.S. We had pancakes today [as it was Shrove Tuesday].

Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for His wisdom and might. Daniel 2:20


   This morning I was late starting out (as usual). I went by 31A bus almost to the College Arms and waited for the Special Bus there. When I got on it the usual cries of horror (?) greeted me. “Here he (it) is.”

   After dinner I went down to play football but after my first kick a pulled thigh muscle in my right leg hurt so terribly that I went in goal for most of the remaining time. I also cleaned my rifle.

   I came home on the S.B. Tonight I blancoed my gaiters and belt.

I was brought low, and He helped me. 1 Chronicles 16:34


   Nothing much happened at school today. In J.T.C. we practised slow marching and turning on the march.

   I arrived home just after 2.30pm and did prep this afternoon.

   Tonight I played Crib.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. 1 Chronicles 16:34


   The rain was pouring down when I set out for school this morning — in fact it was still raining at 1 o’clock so I spent the dinner hour in the library doing prep.

   This afternoon we had a History Test. I would not be surprised if I get a detention for it, though I spent over two preps on it.

   As usual I came home on the S.B.

   Tonight having finished all my homework I completed my talk which I am giving tomorrow (and which won’t be any good anyway). Mam and Dad are at the pictures. [Sitting Pretty and Winner Take All are on at the Warwick, and The Winslow Boy at the Olton.]

   It is now just past 8.30pm.

   [We have been having trouble with the coal we get from Slater & Taylor, as it doesn’t burn very well and there is a lot of slack. So many people are complaining and changing to the Co-Op or other company that the Birmingham Coal Merchants’ Association has put a huge advert in tonight’s Mail, asking people to stay with their present supplier. I see that Slater & Taylor are among the 150 listed; they have a wharf at Curzon Street.]

I know, O LORD, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let, I pray Thee, Thy merciful kindness be my comfort. Psalm 119:75–76


   This morning I went to town [on the 31A bus and then by 70, 71 or 72 tram from Navigation Street]. When I got off the tram [at Edgbaston Park Road] the University clock was just striking 9.15am. Did I run? I just threw my cap, mac and satchel onto my peg and raced into the Choir Gallery five seconds before 3rd Bell.

   I gave my talk on “Greyhounds” in English. It wasn’t very good, but I could have gone on for at least another fifteen minutes. [Mr. Parry jokingly asked me to point out where a greyhound’s loins were; the boys laughed, and I was embarrassed.]

   It started to snow at 10.20am. I did not go to the match [against Bolton Wanderers, and wasn’t sorry when we heard on the football results that lt was a goalless draw. Blues kept the same team as last week]. The snow did not stop [and only 21,000 were there].

   This evening I went to the Olton cinema to see Robert Donat, Cedric Hardwicke and Margaret Leighton in The Winslow Boy. It was an excellent film [based on the true story of a Naval cadet who is expelled for stealing a postal order; his father spends all he has on proving his innocence].

   The snow was still falling on my way home at 9.30pm.

Thou art my portion, O LORD. Psalm 119:57


   I did not wake until 9.30am this morning because I did not get into bed until 10.30pm last night. During the night some more snow fell — a total of four inches since yesterday morning.

   As usual Dad and I took Ginger for a run. She likes the snow.

   This afternoon I did a bit of prep and tonight I played “Crib”.

   It is now 8.15pm. After I have had my bath I am going to bed.

And the city had no need of sun ... The glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. Revelation 21:23


   Nothing much happened at school today. I had as usual two Choir practices. In Scripture [last] period I collected 7/6d Cot-Fund, probably owing to [sic] my changed tactics in noting [in a book] how much everyone gave.

   I came home via town and arrived at five o’clock.

   Tonight I have been doing homework. I made out a House Choir notice also, and now I am listening to “The Man in Black”.

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 2 Peter 3:14


   I just caught the S.B. this morning. I do believe that if I get up at 6.30am I might not have to run so much every day.

   Nothing particular happened at school and I was back home again for twenty past one.

   This afternoon when I had done prep I played out for a little and went to Scouts at 7.30pm. We did mostly mapwork.

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication. Acts 1:14


   I caught the S.B. in time this morning. School ended for the day at 12.25pm — it was a half-holiday [given us by the Head].

   I decided to go to the Organ recital by [the City organist] George Thalben-Ball, Mus.D., A.R.C.M., F.R.C.O., at the Town Hall. The recital included Fantasia and Fugue in G (Parry), Chorale No. 3 in A minor (Cesar Franck) and Toccata (Maurice Duruflé).

   I arrived home at 3.0pm and did prep for the rest of the afternoon until five o’clock. Then I played outside for an hour.

Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. Jeremiah 23:23–24.


   This morning I caught the S.B. at Shaftmoor Lane. Nothing much happened at school. In J.T.C. I went shooting. I may classify as a 1st Class Shot by 1952. [I am too nervous to hold the rifle steady.]

   I came home from school via town. This afternoon I finished off what prep I had left — I did it nearly all yesterday. I went out to play at 4.30pm and stayed out until 6.30.

   It is now eight o’clock. I am going to bed soon.

Thou art near, O LORD, and all Thy commandments are truth. Psalm 119:151


   I did not do Gym, 3rd Period this morning. My leg is almost better now after a fortnight or more. If it is alright on Tuesday I hope to get some standards.

   Mr. Parry is going into hospital again, so we shall be having a new form master.

   I collected my Bus fare allowance in the Dinner Hour (I did not have school-dinner). I also played football for 15 mins. I scored one goal though I was in goal for 12 mins.

   Mr. Sacret took the History period. After school I came home on the Special Bus and had a haircut.

   Tonight I have been doing Maths prep. for an hour and a half.

Teach me Thy way, O LORD. Psalm 86:11



   Mr. Crow took us for English this morning [in the absence of Mr. Parry]. We had to write an essay. We did not have a Chemistry test (Yippee!) but we did have a Maths test.

   I came home through town and bought my copy of the Geographical Magazine [at W.H. Smith’s in Corporation Street. I wanted to get the National Geographic but it is available only by subscription.]

   I arrived home at half-past one.

   During the afternoon I listened to the Wolves v Newcastle Utd. match. I also painted a picture which took me an hour and a half.

   After tea I went out to get a Sports Argus but I was too late. [There is always a queue for the Argus as it carries dramatic reports — and action pictures — of Birmingham City’s and Aston Villa’s matches, but paper is in short supply and a lot of people cannot get a copy. The Argus is published by the Birmingham Gazette and Despatch company and printed on pink paper. The Birmingham Mail publishes its own blue sports edition, but there is no doubt which is more popular.]

   At 7.45pm I went to the Library to renew two books and I got Gunby Hadath’s Brent of Gatehouse for myself.

They crucified Him, and two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. John 19:18


   I finished reading my Library book this morning. It was an excellent book. After breakfast I did some work on the U.M.D. Variety Show. Dad and I took Ginger for a run as usual.

   This afternoon we went [to] the Mission. Ron Tilsley was the speaker. When we arrived home I finished my Chemistry Notes.

   Tonight I played “Crib” until just after 8.0pm.

Be careful for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6


   Nothing other than usual happened at school today. It was raining most of the time.

   After Choir practice [during the dinner hour] I spent a few minutes in the library. In Scripture I collected [2/10½] Cot-Fund. Mr. Sacret took the period.

   After school I had House choir until 4.30pm. I arrived home somewhat wetter than when I set out this morning.

   Tonight I have been doing homework.

Keep me, O LORD. Psalm 140:4


   I caught the Special Bus as usual this morning.

   In Physics we did some more interesting experiments on light. In Art period I did some more to my lino print and succeeded in cutting my finger instead. Standards were cancelled owing to the heavy state of the ground.

   After school I played football — my first real game since I hurt my right leg.

   When I arrived home I did all my prep.

God ... raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 1 Peter 1:21


   At school today Mr. Pettyfer took the French period, Mr. Meerendonk English, Mr. Osborn History and Mr. Jackson Geography.

   In the dinner hour I went to the Junior Musical Society and afterwards went for a walk with Don Tipper. I quite forgot to clean my rifle!

   There was a general catastrophe when Mr. Jackson took us for Geog. [Everyone plays him up.]

   I did not come home on the S.B. as Mr. Hurn wanted me to clean the art room up. When I got home I played out.

   I have just cleaned my gaiters etc.

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9


   The Lord Mayor [Alderman J.C. Burman, who is in his second year of office] visited the School today. He came into Physics while we were doing some experiments. At 11.30 the J.T.C. was inspected — a photo of the inspection appeared in tonight’s Mail. Afterwards I went shooting and the Lord Mayor came into the range, so I had the chance of speaking to him and the Lady Mayoress.

   After school I played football and cricket. I was home for 5.0pm.

It is 8.30 now. Outside the wind is blowing strongly — a gale in fact.

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Romans 12:12


   Nothing much happened at school. We now have a new form-master.

   I played football and scored a goal at dinner time. In Maths we started on Algebra Revision Syllabus. I came home on the S.B. as usual.

   Tonight I have been doing prep. It is now 8.15pm. I am listening to Part 1 of My Brother Jonathan [adapted from the novel by Francis Brett Young].

Happy art thou ... who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help. Deuteronomy 33:29


   Why on earth must we go to school on Saturday morning? But there was one consolation in that B’ham City were at home to Man. Utd. this afternoon.

   At school we had a Chemistry Test. I arrived home at 1.20pm, had a quick dinner and set out for the match.

   B’ham:— Merrick; Badham, Green; Boyd, McDonnell, Ferris; Stewart, Jordan, Slater, Harris, Roberts. Jordan was making his debut for Blues and Ferris his home debut. Man. Utd:— Crompton; Carey, Aston; Cockburn, Chilton, McGlen; Delaney, Anderson, Rowley, Pearson, Mitten. [Len Boyd scored the only goal, so Birmingham City won 1–nil. The attendance was 46,819].

   Tonight I stuck a few photos in my Football Album.

Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. Isaiah 51:7


   After breakfast this morning I wrote up some Chemistry notes and afterwards we took Ginger for a run.

   This afternoon I played football in the park for an hour and a half.

   Tonight I played Crib. It is now 8.0pm and I am just going to bed.

The first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were ... came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. John 20:19


   Nothing much happened at school today. At dinner time I had a School Choir practice as usual, but there was no House Choir after school so I cam home on the S.B.

   Tonight I have been doing prep. It is now 8.15pm.

P.S. I intended to catch the S.B. at Shaftmoor Lane this morning but when I got there I thought I’d missed my bus (actually I hadn’t) so I went by 1A and 35 [Selly Oak] tram. [The photo is of No.721, which entered service in November 1925. It has a Brush body, E.M.B. bogies and two 40 h.p. motors.]

Praise thy God, O Zion. For He hath strengthened the bars of thy gates: He hath blessed thy children within thee. Psalm 147:12–13


   At school this morning the organ and one of the Gallery lights fused, so the piano had to be used instead.

   We had a Physics test 1st Period. After school I played football until 2.30pm. I cam home via town.

   Tonight I have been doing prep. My letter from Cadbury’s arrived this morning.

O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction. Jeremiah 16:19


   Nothing much happened at school today. At dinner time after I had cleaned my rifle I played football and scored two goals.

   [I collected 2/9 Cot-Fund this afternoon.] After school I had a House Choir practice — the attendance was six, and we sing (?) tomorrow.

   I arrived home at 5.0pm and then I played out for nearly an hour. Tonight I have been doing prep.

   Mr. Moore came at 8.30pm.

And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness and prayed. Luke 5:16


   It was a beautiful morning when I set out for school today. In J.T.C. we had a parade in Big School and then a briefing for Field Day. Afterwards I had to help fill some sand-bags — there was no time to shoot.

   I came straight home and did my prep out in the garden this afternoon. Mrs. Palmer came at 2.15pm.

   At 5.45pm we went to the Music Competitions at School. The House Choirs were third on the programme. Mr. Burgess’s Choir did not compete. Strangely enough our choir won!! with 72%. I was quite surprised really — we all hoped to win — but that was as far as I thought we’d get. [Dunt’s were 2nd and Leeds’ 3rd.

   T.F.H. Oxley (95%) won the Piano, under 16; G.T. Bruce (86%) under 14; J. Burrows (80%) under 12½. A.J. Cooke won the organ competition, and the Open Instrumental Competition was won by D.R.L. Bircumshaw, who played the trombone. The adjudicator was Dr. Christopher Edmunds, who is Principal of the Birmingham School of Music.]

   The organ conked out again.

   We arrived home at 10.45pm.

Seek the LORD and His strength. 1 Chronicles 16:11


   I felt rather tired when I got up this morning. I played football and scored a goal. I came home on the S.B. as usual.

   I played out until 5.45pm and then Dad and I took Ginger for a run. I’m sure she ran faster than ever.

   At 6.45 we listened to the last instalment of “Dick Barton”.

   Tonight I have been doing prep. It is now 8.15pm and when I have had my bath I am going to bed.

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name: and deliver us, ... for Thy name’s sake. Jeremiah 39:18


   It was foggy when I went to school this morning. After school I came home with John [Maund] and Kipper [Christopher Martin] who brought their Hornby Dublos this afternoon, while I was listening to the Grand National and the two semi-finals. [John came with his train set nine weeks ago.

   I should love to have a Hornby Dublo but they are very expensive and I would never ask for one. “Hornby” is the name of Frank Hornby (1863–1936) who started the Meccano sets in 1901, and “Dublo” means “OO gauge”. Meccano started making Dinky toys in 1931, but they were not called that until 1934. Their factory is at Binns Lane, Liverpool. I put my Dinky toys with the trains to make an attractive lay-out as they are manufactured to the same scale, 1:72.]

   We played out from 4.45pm till 5.30 and then we all had tea. We played together for the rest of the evening. John went home at 8.30 and Kipper just after.

   [Transcribed from page 1 of the Diary, under NOTES:—

F.A. Cup Semi-Finals:—

   Portsmouth (1) 1 Leicester (1) 3 (Harris; Revie 2, Chisholm) 62,000

   Wolves (1) 1 Man. Utd. (1) 1 (Smyth; Mitten) 62,250

Grand National

   1st Russian Hero. L. McMorrow

   2nd [left blank]

   3rd [left blank]

Boat Race won by Cambridge by a quarter of a length.]

I will surely deliver thee ... because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 39:18


   I got up at 8.30am this morning, took Ginger out, made a pot of tea, and then Clarice and I took Ginger for a walk as far as the Greet and back. We took the dog to the park as usual.

   This afternoon we went to the Mission. Mr. Curtis was the speaker.

   This evening I have been doing prep and also played “Crib” with Dad.

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ: who gave Himself a ransom for all. 1 Timothy 2:5–6


   In Geography at school this morning Mr. Whalley let us have an epidiascope show of North America. I supplied several photos. In Chemistry we did our own experiments as usual.

   After Choir Practice I played football and scored two goals. I came home on the Special.

   From 4.45pm onwards I have been doing prep nearly all the time.

   Dad had all his top teeth out this afternoon. I certainly don’t envy him.

They caused great joy unto all the brethren ... and they declared all things that God had done with them. Acts 15:3–4


   Nothing much happened at school today. I came home at 1.15pm.

   This afternoon I did homework until 4.30. Then I played out for a short time and went to get Dad’s medicine from Boots’. I had to wait for an hour.

   It is now 8.15. I am listening to Much Binding in the Marsh with Sam Costa etc. etc., and Richard Murdoch and Kenneth Horne.

That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:12


   I got up at 7.0am this morning in order to set out for our J.T.C. Field Day at 8 o’clock. I met Hopkins in the village, so we went to Rubery together and arrived there at about 9.15.

   Our first bearing we had to reach was 432976, a wind-pump which we reached easily enough. We then proceeded to Chadwick Manor — 427965, 436962 Beacon Hill, 453960 Cofton Hackett, 454956 and 449971, and finally back to Rubery.

   We ate our dinners at about 12.30 at a point overlooking Bittell Reservoir. When we got back to school at 3.45 we had tea in the dining-hall and then there was a C.C.F. Variety Show in Big School. I arrived home at 7 o’clock.

   This evening I have blancoed my gaiters & belt.

For I am the LORD thy God. Isaiah 43:3


   In J.T.C. this morning we had the Docker Cup Competition for turnout and drill. I did not take part for the platoon because I had not really had enough experience [having joined a term late] and I did not want to let the platoon down; I doubt whether I should have made much difference — they weren’t in the first six.

   On my way home I went to the Library and got Schoolboy Grit by Gunby Hadath.

   I am writing all this a day late — 8 o’clock on Friday evening in fact. I went to bed at half past seven. I felt tired.

Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. Ephesians 6:24

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webwork by Jim Nagel at Abbey Press, Glastonbury — this edition published 2007-06-30