SUNDAY 1st MAY 1949

   I got up first (as usual) this morning and made a pot of tea.

   After breakfast I went to Grandad’s to take him the binoculars [as he was going to the races at Bromford Bridge]. I came back via the 15B ’bus route, Coventry Road and Stratford Road from Camp Hill.

   After dinner I went down to the park with the boys who played Cricket. I scored for them.

   After tea I played for a bit and from 7.30 till 8.10 I played “Crib” with Dad.

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15


   After breakfast this morning I went down the village to do a little shopping. Later on Mam took Ginger to Hall Green [Greyhound Racing Association stadium in York Road] for a trial. She did 30.56 seconds so they decided to keep her at the track. I hope that she will be alright and not grieve.

   After dinner I finished putting some photos in a snapshot album which I bought this morning, and I also tidied up my books. I packed my school books ready for Thursday. After I had listened to “Mrs. Dale’s Diary” I played out until 6.0pm. It is now 8 o’clock.

He ... kneeled down and prayed, saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but Thine, be done. Luke 22:41–42


   This morning at 10.45am I went to see the Racing Manager at Hall Green in order to give him some forms etc., concerning Ginger. He said that Ginger was not too bad at all.

   After dinner I decided to go to the County Ground where Warwickshire C.C.C. were playing the Midland Cricket Club Conference for whom Mr. Guy [my Chemistry master] was playing. M.C.C.C. scored 97 (J.B. Guy b Grove 5) and Warwickshire were 220 for 44 when I left at five past six.

   After tea I went out to play for 30 mins.

A Saviour, Jesus. Acts 13:23


   I got up at 9.15am this morning. During the morning I went down the village with Mam.

   I had dinner early and then at 12.45 I went with Kipper [Christopher Martin], John [Maund], Phil [Martin], Connie [Hugh Constable], and [Ian] Hunt, and Mr. and Mrs. Martin to Cadbury’s [factory at Bournville. Philip and Hugh are both in the Lower Modern Languages Division, and Ian in V.X. We all live in Acocks Green — John at 92 Shirley Road, the Martins at 8 Oxford Road, Hugh at 6 Grayland Close, and Ian at 302 Olton Boulevard East].

   First we saw a film — “Cocoa Harvest”. Then a woman took us all around the works. We saw the bars of chocolate being made and automatically wrapped, how cocoa was made, and we watched cocoa tins [being] made out of small sheets of tin. We saw biscuits made and also Dairy Milk chocolate. Cartons were also produced there. We ate a few samples and afterwards had a lovely tea. I arrived home at 5.50pm. It had been an extremely interesting afternoon.

Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious. 1 Peter 2:7


   Back to school again this morning. I felt pleased to be back somehow. I was early enough to catch the Special Bus. In Big School we sang Lord, behold us with Thy blessing as we usually do on first day back. I forgot my dog-licence [bus pass] again.

   [My form master] Mr. Parry is back again. First period we went to Form Rooms [ours is 148] and then we carried on with the normal time-table. In J.T.C. we had a revision of arms drill. We also cleaned our rifles and had a rifle inspection immediately afterwards.

   After J.T.C. I played football [still wearing my uniform]. From a kick off I raced through and scored a goal but someone on the opposing side was in our goalmouth so I took the free-kick and scored off that with a very long range shot.

Keep me, O LORD. Psalm 140:4


   What a rush I had to get to school this morning. It was after 8.30am when I set out but I caught the bus O.K.

   Nothing much happened at school. I could not get a game of football at dinner time. [There is usually a crowd of boys. The two captains select their teams one by one, the best players first until they have a full side. I am usually the last one to be chosen, so I do not always get a game. Duggins is the best player and everyone laughs when he chose me first. Bryan Peters who is called “Twinkle-toes” is very good too.]

   I came home on the Special Bus and played out until 5.45pm. From 6.30 to 9 o’clock I have been doing Maths prep. Mam and Dad are at the cinema. They have gone to the Olton to see Gregory Peck and Ann Todd in The Paradine Case (A)


I called upon Thy name, O LORD ... Thou hast heard my voice ... Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon Thee: Thou saidst, Fear not. Lamentations 3:55–57


   I was early enough for school this morning. Nothing extraordinary happened.

   After school finished I came home with John and Kipper in the Martins’ car, so I was home for a quarter to one.

   I had dinner straight away and then at 1.30pm, I went to see the School XI v The Staff XI at Eastern Road. [It was a novelty to see all the masters in cricket attire, especially the Head. He took two catches!] I had to come away at 5 o’clock when School declared at 121 for 6 wickets. Hobbs scored 45. [The match was drawn, the Staff still needing 22 runs to win with only 3 wickets left:

J.R. Charlesworth, b Burgess 8
Hobbs, B.C., c Leeds, b Guy 45
A.J. Homer, lbw, b Burgess 0
Gough, c Howarth, b Cook 11
McClelland, I.R., lbw, b Leeds 27
Vernon, not out 17
P. Hutchings, c Howarth, b Guy 2
Coleman, not out 4
Revill, Benson, and B. Lobb did not bat.
Extras (byes 6; wides 1) 7
Total (8 wickets, dec.) 121
J.B. Guy, 2 for 21.
W. Traynor, lbw, b Lobb 18
W.R. Buttle, b Hutchings 4
T.C. Burgess, b Lobb 4
J.B. Guy, c Gough, b Revill 16
W.T. Bennett, c Gough, b Revill 26
T.E.B. Howarth, lbw, b Lobb 8
A.J. Gess, b Revill 5
J.A. Nicholson, not out 9
O.M. Mathews, not out 1
A.E. Leeds and R. Cook did not bat
Extras (byes, 4; leg-byes 4) 8
Total (7 wickets) 99
B. Lobb, 3 for 25; Revill, 3 for 26.
   At 6.15 we went to the Annual Meeting of the Dr. Crabbe Memorial Mission [at St Andrews Street]. The meeting lasted until nearly 9.0pm. We were back home within an hour.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give unto them eternal life: and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. John 10:27


   I stayed in bed this morning. After breakfast I mowed the back lawn.

   After dinner we went to the Mission where Mr. J. Harkness was the speaker. He spoke about the Book of Jude. [It was very good: I copied down what he wrote on the board:

      People. — Cain

      Angels. — Balaam

      Sodom. — Korah

      Moses. — Enoch

   Tonight I cut the front lawn.

   It is after 8.30 now so I am going to bed within a few minutes.

For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Hebrews 2:10


   I caught the Special Bus as usual this morning.

   At school [I learned that Saturday’s match was drawn. Mr. Guy scored 16 and the Head got only 8 before being lbw bowled Lobb. The Staff could muster only 99 for 7, so were still needing 23 to win which I don’t think they would have got.]

   House meetings were held at 10.30am. After Chemistry, in the dinner hour I had Choir practice.

   I have been chosen with four or five other trebles to sing at the Barber Institute on May 25th at 7.0 [as a Cupid in the Masque Venus and Adonis by John Blow (c.1649–1708). We shall not have far to go as the Barber Institute of Fine Arts is across the road, between the school and the University. It was founded by Lady Barber in memory of her husband in 1932; Professor Thomas Bodkin is the Director. The building was opened by Queen Mary on July 26th 1939, but I have never been inside].

   I got full marks for a Maths test we did last week. I wish I could do that in exams. In Scripture Mr. Parry asked why I didn’t go to the School Play last year. I replied that I didn’t care all that much for Shakespeare. [It was a silly answer but I didn’t like to say I was embarrassed to ask my parents for the money: it cost 2/6.] Then he gave us an essay for unruly behaviour!

   After school I went to the form Cricket practice. I caught Rainbow for a duck, then I batted and collected 0 not out.

The followed Jesus. John 1:37


   At school, 3rd period, we had a short Latin test. In Craft I started a stone carving of a sea-lion.

   Afterwards I played football until five to two when we had to reassemble in form rooms so that we could all go together down to Bristol Road to line the route of the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Elizabeth were taking on their way to Selly Oak Hospital. We sat down on the grass by the road. We had to wait for half an hour at least. The Princess and the Duke had previously visited the B.I.F. [British Industries Fair] at Castle Bromwich.

   I walked back to town with John as no trams were running. While waiting for an ice cream in Woolworth’s I met Mam, so we came back together. There were thousands of people in and around the city centre [and hundreds of Birmingham and Midland Red buses, and also West Bromwich buses, which draw up in Livery Street alongside Snow Hill station. The picture is of Birmingham City Transport No.1012, and the map shows all the B.C.T. routes.]

Rejoice in the Lord always. Philippians 4:4


   I had intended to take a Cot-Fund collection in English this morning but I had collected precisely 1 ¾d when I had been half round the form that I decided to postpone it till Friday.

   I played football at dinner time and scored a goal. In Geography Mr. Whalley took us outside the School weather station. I came home on the S.B., did some prep. then played out until nearly seven.

   After tea (my second) I had a bath then blancoed my gaiters etc. and did one or two odd jobs which I wanted to do.

Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1 Corinthians 13:13


   I nearly missed the S.B. this morning. I caught the 31A bus to College Road then got the Special.

   Nothing much happened at school. In J.T.C. we had sizing up, (I am the smallest cadet along with Dale), revision of arms drill, etc. After J.T.C. I bought an ice-cream in the Milk Bar then came home via Town. I bought an English-French, French-Eng. dictionary at Woolworth’s.

   This afternoon I did prep.

   This evening I went to the Library and then I finished off some outstanding Physics notes. Mam & Dad went to vote [at Dolphin Lane School for the Municipal Elections] at 8.15pm.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Revelation 7:17


   Friday the Thirteenth?!?! First thing unlucky for me was when I lost my gym shoes between the Locker Room and the Gym before Prayers this morning. I haven’t got them back yet.

   At dinner time I scored two goals.

   Nothing much else happened at school. I came home on the Special Bus as usual. Then I went [to Dorlings] to get my B.O.P. and M.M. [Boy’s Own Paper and Meccano Magazine] and played out for some time.

   Tonight I have been doing prep. I listened on the radio to “Ignorance is Bliss” and Excerpts from the opera Rigoletto by Verdi.

   At Hall Green, Ginger has had two more trials and won both in 30.64 and 30.58 secs respectively.

And now, LORD, what wait I for? my hope is in Thee. Psalm 39:7


   Saturday morning school reminds me that I’ve still got an essay to write on that subject. In English, first period, we reverted back to to the usual rota, in other words, back to talks again. I was a critic for Hopkins. I got 55 out of 60 for Maths prep. I came home through town.

   After dinner I stayed out in the garden. Grandad came during the afternoon. In the evening after he had gone home, Mam and I got the hose-pipe out and we watered every bit of the garden. There has been no rain for several days. The garden looked so refreshed.

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 1 Peter 1:8


   I got up first again this morning at 8.30am and made a pot of tea for us. After breakfast I did some Latin prep. and started an Essay on weather. After, I went down to Grandad’s [on my bicycle, to 23 Pretoria Road, Bordesley Green] to get some rhubarb.

   When we had had dinner I took down all the latest weather readings and continued my essay out in the garden.

   This evening I again watered the garden.

   Yesterday I stuck in [my Diary] a 2nd series of prehistoric monsters of 60–200 million years ago. Most of them were stupid but the fierce ones were the protoceratops (page 123), tinoceras (143), cotylosaur (115), dimetrodon (125). One of the most ferocious was a fish minus teeth — the dinichthys (133).

I will bless thee. Exodus 20:24


   It looked like rain when I came out this morning. We did our own experiments in Chemistry. I was third with 45 out of 60 for the Maths test on Saturday. In Scripture (which now seems to be a Mythical name for last period) we had a further one of the talks — this time by Morant. I got my Gym shoes back, thank Goodness.

   The rain was pouring down when I came out of school but the rain didn’t reach Acocks Green until five o’clock.

   This evening I have been doing homework. Why on earth can’t we have prep. set so that we’ve got more [time] to spend on it? Tonight we have Maths, Physics and Latin which must be done by tomorrow, though Physics was set last Thursday.

What is thy petition? Esther 7:2


   In Maths this morning we started Algebra again. It was raining cats and dogs when I went down to the Milk Bar at Break.

   Nothing much happened at School. I came straight home with Kipper and Phil.

   This afternoon I have been doing prep. Dad came home at 5.20pm as he had an appointment with the dentist. At six o’clock I went out to play. I stayed out until nearly 7.30pm.

   This evening I played “Crib” with Dad. I am listening to “Much Binding in the Marsh”.

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isaiah 65:24


   In English this morning I had to read my essay on Saturday morning school to the form. At 12.30pm I had my first practice for the Barber Institute next Wednesday for fifteen minutes with Tipper as well.

   At 1.0pm I cleaned my rifle and Hopkins’ rifle as well. Next week Hopkins will clean mine and his so that we clean rifles every fortnight only, and we don’t have to interrupt our game of football every week.

   After school I had another ten minute practice, so I could not come home on the S.B. I wasn’t more than 15 mins. later.

   This evening I blancoed my gaiters, belt, and pressed my uniform. I also did some paintings.

Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John 1:17


   I caught the S.B. at the College Arms this morning. It was raining a little.

   In Physics we had some fun experimenting with Concave and Convex mirrors, especially with the convex ones as we threw an image, from the mirror onto a screen, of the Girls’ School. Unfortunately the image was upside down and so small that any girls to be seen were almost invisible by this method.

   We did the same as last week in J.T.C. I was late on parade as I had a special choir practice at Break. I came straight home.

   At the top of the page [of the Diary] I have stuck a cutting from Tuesday’s Sporting Buff with Ginger on.

Come unto Me. Matthew 11:28


   This morning Dad received notification that Ginger, having won all four trials, is included in tomorrow night’s programme, and I have stuck in the cutting from tonight’s Mail.

   Nothing much happened at school. At dinner time I played football but I did not score — only hit the post [a satchel or something] three times.

   Ten minutes from the end of Maths period I had a choir practice and I had a further one after school, so I came home via Town. I started my prep. early so I had time to paint a picture.

   Mam and Dad are are at the cinema [they have gone to see Bing Crosby and Joan Fontaine in The Emperor Waltz and Big Town Scandal at the Olton], and Bob has also gone out.

We will give ourselves continually to prayer. Acts 6:4


   When I got to school this morning I went to get some books out of my locker and I found instead a whole pile of tiny pieces of paper — a mouse had been having a meal of my folder. It had evidently got in through a hole about 3/5 of an inch wide in the back. There were 4 holes but 2 were covered by a pile of books.

   I spent all French period doing Choir practice. We had a Maths test. I came home with Kipper. I did very little this afternoon.

   This evening Mam, Dad, Bob and Grandad went to see Ginger run her first race at Hall Green. She was 3rd in a photo-finish for 2nd place in approx 30.30 — her fastest time at H.G.


   We were pleased to see Ginger down in the “Dogs to Follow” this morning [in the Sunday Mercury].

   The sun was shining this morning after breakfast so I went out into the garden and did Latin, Geography and Chemistry prep.

   This afternoon we went to the Mission. This evening I played Crib.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. Isaiah 53:11


   Nothing much happened at school today. I had three practices [with Dr. Willis Grant for the Barber Institute], 1 at Break, 2 After Choir practice, 3 After school.

   I came home on the 1A bus and arrived just after 5.0pm.

   After tea I played out for half an hour then did some prep. It is 8 o’clock now. I am going to bed at 8.30.

My people shall know My name. Isaiah 52:6


   Second period this morning I spent rehearsing Venus and Adonis instead of doing Maths. I came home immediately after school and after I had had dinner I went to get my haircut then did some prep.

   At 5.30 I had to go back [to school] to meet the other “Cupids” (K.H.E. Schiemann, D.J. Buttress and J.L. Beeby etc.) The practice lasted half an hour until 7.0pm. so I was home for just before eight o’clock.

   Ginger Brownhound, V.N.D. (Very Nice Dog) is in the 2nd race at Hall Green tomorrow evening.

The LORD hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad. Psalm 126:3


   I forgot my [Venus & Adonis] music this morning so in the dinner hour I came home to get it. I was back at school for 1.55pm. I did not sign the late book and I wasn’t down as absent.

   Mr. Jackson was taking the History period and there was quite a chaos of course. (Mr. Whalley took the English period this morning.)

   At 2.25 I had to go across to the Barber Institute for a rehearsal [with Professor Anthony Lewis. He has been Professor of Music at the University since 1947, and is very interested in 16th-18th century music.

   We rehearsed for an hour then at 3.45pm] I caught the S.B. home.

   After tea was the Masque Venus & Adonis at 7 o’clock. With the Boyd Neel Orchestra and Joy McArden as Venus & Margaret Field-Hyde as Cupid everything went extremely well. Professor Anthony Lewis was the conductor. Adonis was sung by Donald Munro.

   [Venus & Adonis is rarely performed and we had a full audience (370) tonight. It was put on by Rutland Boughton at Glastonbury in 1922. Rutland Boughton is connected with Birmingham — he studied under Granville Bantock at the Birmingham School of Music — and The Immortal Hour was staged by Sir Barry Jackson at the Repertory Theatre in 1932.

   The Boyd Neel Orchestra is quite famous. Dr. Louis Boyd Neel went to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. He planned a career in the Royal Navy, but became a doctor instead. However, the Orchestra he had started became such a success that he gave up medicine for music. The Orchestra has travelled all over the world. Dr. Boyd Neel has also conducted many other orchestras, including Glyndebourne, Sadlers Wells and the D’Oyly Carte.

   I don’t know why Dr. Boyd Neel was not conducting tonight. I suppose this orchestra was the “reserves”.

He will answer thee. Isaiah 30:19


   This morning I caught the S.B. at Shaftmoor Lane. In J.T.C. we had a talk on attacking the enemy etc. Then we did drill until 1.30pm.

   I came straight home and spent all the afternoon doing homework, but I did go out to play for half and hour at 5 o’clock.

   This evening I wrote down a complete list of all the gramophone records and made a sort of catalogue of them.

   Ginger was only 4th last night at Hall Green but I have got several more newspaper cuttings.

Thou shalt weep no more: He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry: when He shall hear it, He will answer thee. Isaiah 30:19


   Nothing much happened today. It rained all through the dinner hour. Our [Boys’] Special Bus did not turn up so we came home on the Girls’ Special.

   This evening I have been doing homework. Mam and Dad have gone to the cinema as usual and Bob will not be in yet. I am going to bed at 9 o’clock straight after “Hi Gang”.

   The Bournville Sports Carnival which I hope to go to tomorrow is advertised in tonight’s Mail, and also tomorrow night’s Youth for Christ Rally. This will be held simultaneously in the Town Hall and Midland Institute, with an American team including Billy Graham, Bob Cook and Cliff Barrows.

And God said ... I do set my bow in the cloud ... and it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud. Genesis 9:12–14


   I went to school in J.T.C. uniform this morning in case I went to the Gymkhana this afternoon. (I say J.T.C., I should say C.C.F. — yesterday I sewed new shoulder titles on my battledress:



   After school I went to see Mr. [Major] Leeds to see whether or not I should go to the Gymkhana or the Bournville Sports as I had promised to go with Jennens to the latter. He suggested that I put in an appearance at the Gymkhana then go to the other afterwards.

   We paraded in the playground then marched down to the [Eastern Road] ground, holding up the trams and cars etc. while we went across the Bristol Rd.

   I arrived at the Bournville Sports Carnival at 2.45. There were plenty of thrills (and spills). I really enjoyed it all. So did Jennens. (He lives not too far from Bournville, at 50 Senneleys Park Road, Northfield.)

They shall prosper that love Thee. Psalm 122:6


   This morning before breakfast I wrote up all my chemistry notes and did some other prep afterwards. I went out to play for a short time and also helped Dad to cut the front hedges before dinner.

   I stayed in during the afternoon. After tea I went out to play until 7.40pm. Grandad came but he couldn’t stay long.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. Revelation 1:10


   At school nowadays, there is always a rush down to the Milk Bar, or, as it is now called, the “Tuck Shop”, to get milk, Ice Cream and Sweets and Chocolates. All the shops in Acocks Green sold out ages ago.

   In Chemistry I worked with Jennens as usual. I had Choir practice at dinner time, of course, so I didn’t play football. Nothing much else happened. In Scripture we continued the series of talks. I came home on the Special Bus.

   This evening I have been doing homework.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love Good, to them who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28


   Nothing much happened at school today. I came straight home after school and did all my homework this afternoon.

   At 5.15pm I was back at school for the concert this evening. Mam, Dad, Bob, Clarice and Julia came on afterwards. The concert started at 7.30. The choir sang:—

(1) a. The Ash Grove

   b. The Angler’s Song

(9) a. Tom’s Gone to Hilo

   b. The Drummer & the Cook

   c. Shenandoah

   d. Billy Boy

(10) Nothing is here for tears [(Vaughan Williams) together with the orchestra.

   The other items on the programme were, to begin with, Let us now praise famous men (Vaughan Williams) with the choir and orchestra:

Nocturne in E Minor (Chopin) played by J.S. Williamson (piano) and J.B. Ludlow (violin);

Bach’s Concerto in C for two pianos and strings (1st movement) played by A.J. Cooke and T.F.H. Oxley with the string section of the orchestra;

Allegretto and Gigue for flute, violin, cello and piano, composed by T.F.H. Oxley, who played the piano;

Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (Saint-Saens) played by Mr. F.J. Williams (piano) and J.B. Ludlow (violin);

The Trumpet Voluntary (Jeremiah Clarke) played by A.J. Homer, with trombone, organ, tympani, side drum, cymbals etc. This was brilliant, but when it came to the Sea-Shanties, with the Orchestra supporting us and R.T. Popple singing the bass solo, we brought the house down!

   Altogether] I thought the concert was the best one that has been held since I’ve been at K.E.S., especially as there were printed programmes (3d ea.!!).

The LORD is my strength. Psalm 28:7

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