I went to get some dog meat on Stratford Road but I was unlucky. I cycled there and when I got back, to Tyseley.

   After dinner I walked to Tyseley with Clarice and Julia, and at a dump there of broken parts of bicycles and prams, we got a wheel, two mudguards, a couple of small wheels and four axles. We also picked up ten rims of prams (no spokes etc.). The idea was to make a trolley, which I did in two hours. But we never used any of the things in making it. The trolley isn’t too bad.

   Tonight I played football.

Thy blessing is upon Thy people. Psalm 3:8


   Straight after breakfast today I went down the village and got a wooden box from the Co-op. I took one side off and fitted it to the back of the trolley. It makes a fine back and we had some fun playing with the trolley which the rider can steer while seated.

   At 10.45am I went to Tyseley. I rode Clarice and Julia there separately. Out of seventeen locos. only three were cops (17.65%). No. 6020, King Henry IV, appeared in blue livery, while a quite new engine [Modified Hall Class No.] 6997, Bryn-Ivor Hall, was absolutely filthy. [I believe it is shedded at 82A Bristol Bath Road.]

   I stayed in this afternoon.

   It is pouring with rain now. Mam and Dad are at the cinema [Hal Monty and Max Bygraves in Bless ’em All (U) at the Warwick]. Bob is out.

Hear me, O LORD; for Thy loving kindness is good. Psalm 69:16


   This morning I took Clarice and Julia up town. We got two pillow-cases from Grey’s for Mam and we went to Lewis’s Enchanted Garden.

   We got back home at 2.15pm, then after dinner I cycled to Grandad’s and we both went on to the match [walking along Bordesley Green]. B’ham. C. lost 1–nil to Burnley. B’ham City:— Merrick; Badham, Green; McKee, Atkins, Ferris; Stewart, Jordan, Brennan, Capel, Laing. Clarke scored a fine goal in the 13th minute. Blues were unlucky to lose.

   I came home with Grandad [he on the 15B and 11 bus].

   Tonight Ginger was 4th from trap 1 in 31.09 secs. (1st race).

O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee for ever. Psalm 30:12


   This morning I painted the shed window.

   After dinner Dad helped me to mend the trolley, then tonight I played out for a short time and broke a basinful of bread for the dog’s meals.

   Tess is growing quickly; though we have only had her three weeks she seems a different dog altogether.

   It has been another beautiful day. The sun has been shining continually and it has been very hot.

Sing forth the honour of His name; make His praise glorious. Psalm 66:2


   When I got up this morning I received a letter containing my membership card and badge of the Ian Allan Locospotter’s Club which I have joined.

   I went down the village during the morning then at 12.30 we all went to Cannon Hill Park. Tess came with us of course. It was dull at first but the sun came out and stayed out. It was lovely in the park and very hot.

   Tonight I played football in the [Fox Hollies] park.

The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion. Psalm 128:5


   The first thing I did this morning was to cycle down the village and get the Wizard and the Adventure.

   After breakfast I went down the village shopping. When I got back I sorted out all the waste paper [and took it to the salvage bin].

   After dinner Mam went to Mrs. Roberts’, and Clarice and Julia being at school, I called for John [Maund] and we both went for a walk to the park with Tess. Tess walks well now.

   After tea I went out to play football.

   It is 9.10pm now. Dave Sands (Australia) has just knocked out Dick Turpin in the first round of the British Empire Middleweight Championship.

He delighteth in mercy. Micah 7:18


   After I had been down the village today I went up town with John.

   This afternoon I went to see Mrs. Wright at Hartfield Crescent. Clarice is now in her class, Julia in Miss F. Brookes’.

   When I came back home I went down the village, had my tea, then played football in the park. We had a good game. Myself, Barry Harvey and Barry [Craven] played Ken [Gray], Clive and Wilf [Rogers] and Brian [Holliday]. And we lost by some terrible margin because while one of us was hanging back as defender, the other was up the field with no one to help him.

   It was 8.15 when I got back home again.

   Ballingetty (t.3) Race 1. 5th 31.62

He maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:3


   At 9.15am this morning I cycled on to the Stratford Road to get some dog meat but the shop did not open until 10.30 so I had to make a second journey later on. Meanwhile Mam was up town, so Tess was alone in the garden.

   At 12 o’clock I listened to “Hullo! Children”. Someone was imitating bird and animal calls and Tess pricked up her ears and listened with her head on one side.

   This afternoon I again went to Hartfield Crescent. While there I played football and tried to teach the others to tackle and pass etc.

   Tonight I played in the street.

How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God. Psalm 134:17


   My School List arrived this morning and I see that I shall most probably be in V.C. next term. Kipper is placed in V.D., John in V.B.

   At about nine o’clock I cycled to the post office to get a postal order and then I went to Hartfield Crescent where I took the class for reading and marked Arithmetic Books.

   Mam went to Hospital so I gave Clarice and Julia their dinner. I stayed in until 4.0pm when Mam came home then I played football at Hartfield Crescent.

   This evening Mam and Dad are at the cinema. They have gone to the Warwick to see Norman Wooland and Sarah Churchill in All Over Town (U) and Fly Away Peter (U).

The right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. Psalm 118:15


   This morning I went up town to buy a pair of Stanley Matthews football boots at the Co-op [in High Street]. I bought a good pair, size 6, then waited to see Stan Matthews and Ivor Powell. There were hundreds of people trying to get autographs, so much so that there were police and ambulance men holding back the crowd.

   [In the crush, the thin brown paper the boots were wrapped in got so torn that I discarded it, and on the way out of the store, I was stopped on suspicion of stealing the boots. Fortunately I remembered the name of the assistant and was able to convince them that the boots had been paid for. I never got close to the great England player Stanley Matthews but] I got Powell’s autograph.

   When I got home I went down the village and met Mr. Parry [my U.M.D. form master] in the Co-op.

   After dinner I went to Hartfield Crescent where 18 boys, members of a football team I have formed, were waiting for me. We had a 9-a-side game. My side won 4–1. I scored a couple — one a penalty.

   Tonight I painted the shed.

The will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:17


   I got up fairly early this morning and before breakfast finished painting the shed, all except the side covered by the hedge [on Webb’s side] and the back shielded by the ramblers.

   At 2.30 I decided to cycle on Dad’s bike to Warwick. With me were Brian Holliday and Kenneth Gray. We started off at 2.35 and got to Warwick exactly an hour and a half later. By 4.20 we were eating our sandwiches on the bank of the Avon. We spent an hour in Warwick Park and set off at 5.30. We stopped three times on the way back but did the journey in 90 mins. at 12 mph.

The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. John 3:35


   I spent all today at Hartfield Crescent doing various things. I printed some letters for [the headmaster] Mr. Olarenshaw, bought him 120 penny stamps and stuck nearly all of them on some envelopes. I also marked books etc.

   This evening Mam went to her Church meeting. I took Tess for a walk at 8.15pm.

Therefeore turn thou to thy God: ... and wait on thy God continually. Hosea 12:6


   First thing I did today was to go down the village on Bob’s bike and do some shopping for Mam. After this I stayed in reading the Wizard and the Adventure, then took Tess for a walk.

   This afternoon at 2.30 I went to Hartfield Crescent and stayed until 4.0pm. When I came home I listened to “Children’s Hour” and played out tonight and also took Tess for another walk.

A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. Jeremiah 17:12


   Before ten o’clock this morning I had been down the village four times. At 10.30am I went up town for Mam and got back at 12.45.

   This afternoon I tidied up the garden until 4.0pm. then I cycled down to Grandad’s in order to go to the B’ham City v Wolverhampton Wanders match.

   The Wolves had not dropped a point this season until today. Dailey scored in the second half for Blues who were winning until a minute from the end when Wolves equalized. Birmingham had two thirds of the play. B’ham:— Merrick; Badham, Green; Dorman, McDonnell, Ferris; Stewart, Brennan, Dailey, McKee, Berry. Dad went too.

Be not afraid. Mark 6:50


   It’s good to be back to the atmosphere of school again, [even] if it does mean 2½ to 3 hours homework at night. I caught the S.B. in time and after joining the mad rush to find peg nos. [in the cloak room], we all assembled in Big School. Then we went to form room.

   V.C. form room is 176 — Mr. Jacskon’s. Mr. Gess is form master taking us for Physics & Chemistry. We have one new boy — M. Counsell.

   From 9.30 till 11.30 we were issued with pads, books, dinner tickets etc.

   At 11.45 was J.T.C. in the playground. I am in B Coy. 7 Platoon. We did mostly drill.

   After school I queued for a locker key and got No. E15.

   I stayed in this afternoon but played out tonight.

Thou saidst, Fear not. Lamentations 3:57


   Settling down now at school. First period we had Divinity in which Mr. Kay talked to us. Then we had English with Mr. Vaughan, a new master. After break was P.T. with Mr. King, and fourth, Option 2 in which I went to Mr. Whalley for Geography.

   After dinner — Option 1 History with Mr. Osborne; then Maths (I am in Set D4) with Mr. Bennett. Last period today was Chemistry with Mr. Gess in Lecture Room 2. PASTE LIST D4

   I came home on the S.B. then played out tonight until 7.15.

   Mam, Dad and Bob are at the cinema. I have done my Chemistry prep. Tess is in the room with me.They went to the Warwick to see Spring in Park Lane. It is a romantic comedy with Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding. It was released in April last year and everywhere there are queues to see it. This is the second time it has come to Acocks Green as it was on at the Olton last year (8-13 November 1948)..

   P.S. Mam Dad and Bob have just come home unable to get in.

I will never leave thee. Hebrews 13:5


   Today’s subjects were Maths, French (Mr. Gosling: 176), then double Physics (Mr. Gess). At least, supposed to be a double period but last period we assembled in Big School. The Head has decided that everyone is to sit down in prayers as some boys faint.

   [Our text-book for French is En France by E. Saxelby, M.A., of Bolton School. It is Book 3 of a series of 4 and has 328 pages, with illustrations by Blam. My copy is rather battered. It belonged to Derek H. Benson who was in Cl.U.M. last year, and Michael J. Thomas had it the year before. Benson has put his name or initials three times on the fly-leaf, also his address: 106 Witherford Way, Birmingham 29, so I have written mine four times in my usual green ink. Benson has also doodled all over pages 142–3, writing his autograph 15 times and drawing two funny little men: one is named “Wunky” and the other “A.B. Macnab (Fungus)” who was also in Cl.U.M. last year. Benson has also left half a pad-page of French prep in the book, with Mr. Gosling’s corrections.]

   After school I helped Fred Oxley do a job in the Music Room. We left the school at 1.15pm. Everywhere was locked up.

   At 2.0 we went to the B.S.A. Flower and Dog Show [at Marston Green]. The flowers exhibited by us won 5 1st prizes, a 2nd, a 3rd and a “Highly Commended”. Tess was entered in the Dog Show. That was as far as she got.

   It was an enjoyable afternoon [for Julia’s birthday: she is 8 today].

He giveth grace unto the lowly. Proverbs 3:34


   At 11.20 today I cycled to Grandad’s. When I got back we went to Coleshill. We caught the 1.7 [pm] bus from New Street [just along from the Odeon Cinema, where the Old King Edward’s School stood until 1936. The 161 bus took us up Corporation Street and Bull Street, then down Steelhouse Lane, Aston Street and Great Lister Street and past Saltley gasworks; along Washwood Heath Road to the Fox & Goose, Ward End; then by Coleshill Road and Old Chester Road to Castle Bromwich, and Birmingham Road to Water Orton. The journey took 41 minutes.]

   We got off the Midland Red at Coleshill then walked some distance until we got to Packington Common. At this stage we ate dinner [which we had brought with us], then I explored a sand-pit, at the bottom of which were various pools surrounded by rushes. I discovered hundreds of birds’ footprints in the mud.

   We continued to Little Packington and crossed a river at a ford on the way. Coming back we came across an old railway line with damaged wagons left to rot. A postbox here bore the letters:— E.VII.R.

   [On the return journey the bus entered the city by Aston Street, Stafford Street, and Dale End, arriving at New Street at 7.37pm.] We arrived home tonight at 8.15pm.

Is any thing too hard for the LORD? Genesis 18:14


   It was rather cloudy and dull and cold as I went to school today. But what a glorious summer we’ve had. Very little rain, plenty of sunshine.

   Todays’s lessons were French, Maths, Physics, English; double Chemistry, History.

   At 12.30 I had a Choir Practice, [the] first since May 30th. Actually, as soon as I had received my new Choir Hymn Book (Blue 1949 Edition with 200 extra hymns) in exchange for my red one, I went down to the playground to play football.

   This evening I took Tess for a walk after doing my prep.

Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted. Isaiah 7:4


   I had to run to catch the Special Bus today. At school the Choir sits on the floor now, the Sopranos are on the left of the organ. There was a Hymn Practice after prayers.

   Today’s periods were Op.2 — Geography with Mr. Benett, then Op.1. After break I had Chemistry then Maths.

   This afternoon I went down to Copland’s practice for Rugby. With eight Houses instead of four, it will be hard to get up good teams this year. I was right out of practice.

   On my way home I got my hair cut.

   Tonight I did prep.

When He giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? Job 24:29


   First bell went at 9.5 and Second bell at 9.10 this morning leaving an extra four minutes in which to assemble for Prayers.

   Today’s lessons were Physics, French, Maths, Geography; English, French again, and History.

   At dinner time I played football and scored a goal.

   I did not come home on the S.B. Instead I got a travelling form from the B.C.T. [Birmingham City Transport] offices in town, then got a bus to Bordesley Green where I had to pick up Dad’s bike.

   Tonight I made a bonfire and burnt the rubbish and tidied up the garden, as well as doing my prep.

I know that my Redeemer liveth. Job 19:25


   I bought the Rover and the Hotspur [from Wells‘] this morning.

   After prayers I took my travelling form to be signed by the Headmaster.

   Today we had English, Geography and Maths.

   In J.T.C. we did drill and cleaned a rifle each.

   I came home via town and got my “Scholar’s Privilege Permit” [which I have to show every time I travel on the bus to avoid having to pay the full fare.

   I also got the new Ian Allan ABC of British Railways Locomotives (Part 3, London Midland Region, Scottish ex-L.M.S. Region). It also includes a list of “historic locomotives preserved in store” such as the Liverpool & Manchester Railway 0–4–2 Lion, but doesn’t say when they were built.]

   Greta came this afternoon. [She is married to Uncle Arthur.]

   Tonight I did some homework.

   Outside there is a storm. The rain is pouring down.

Because I live, ye shall live also. John 14:19


   Nothing in particular happened today at school. We had a bit of a test in English.

   At dinner time I played football and scored once.

   Last period was Chemistry in which we elected Morant as Form Representative, Robertson as Form Captain, Fuery as Rugby Captain and Gardner as Soccer Captain.

   I just managed to catch the Special Bus home again.

   Tonight I listened to the radio for half an hour then did a little prep. I did nearly all of it last night.

   The last 48 hours have broken a spell of several months’ drought. While we’ve had rain [in Birmingham], in Elan Valley up to today very little had fallen at all there.

Unto Thee, O LORD, will I sing. Psalm 101:1


   Mr. Gosling was absent today so Mr. Rees took us for French. In Physics last two periods, we did interesting experiments with magnets etc.

   I came home with John through town.

   This afternoon I went down the village with Mam, Dad and Brownhound Junior. We weighed Tess, who is sixteen weeks old now. [The weighing machine is inside the entrance to Woolworth’s. I stand on it, insert a penny, and read my weight. Dad gives me Tess to hold in my arms and we see how much the weight has increased.] She is 22lb as opposed to 15lb on September 7th. I bought a Biro refill for my pen while down the village. When I got back I did some prep. Grandad came.

   This evening I went to the Warwick and saw Canyon Passage in Tech. and It’s Not Cricket. The latter was the funniest film I’ve ever seen. I nearly split laughing. [It came out last year and starred Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne.]

Hear my prayer, O LORD. Psalm 143:1


   Today we went to Sutton Park. It was again very hot. At the park we had dinner then walked round amidst the gorse and heather. It is a grand place. There are five lakes alone. We saw two of them. We walked down a road between some woods down to Keeper’s Pool where people were diving and swimming. It was here we had our tea, then we walked back to Pool [space left for name], the first one we saw. A boat was taking people round the lake — Adults 4d, Children 1d.

   At last it was time to go home. It had been a very lovely day. Tess really loves to run about as she did today.

Thou art worthy. Revelation 5:9


   Mr. Bennett was absent for Maths today so Gosney a prefect took us (or tried to).

   I had Choir Practice at 12.30pm and a Chemistry test this afternoon. In History as usual we wrote notes [but Mr. Osborne dictates faster than I can write, and the notes are full of blank spaces which never get filled in. It is putting me off altogether.]

   I came home on the Special Bus.

   Tonight I wrote up notes and did prep. It is still very close.

P.S. Tonight I listened to the first edition of the new series of Dick Barton, Special Agent. [Dick Barton is now played by Duncan Carse, and there is a new announcer, John Fitchen.]

We know that the Son of God has come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true. 1 John 5:20


   Nothing much happened at school today. Mr. Hurrell took Maths.

   At dinner time I played football for a few minutes and scored my usual goal.

   This afternoon I went down to Eastern Road for the House Rugby Practice. I played Hooker in “A” team. I am 1st Reserve for the Second team on Thursday.

   I spent all this evening doing homework.

If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you ... But all these things will they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent Me. John 15:20–21


   Dad was notified today that Ginger is in season so she will home very soon.

   Mr. Leeds took Maths. I played football at school and scored a goal.

   After school I had a short choir practice in the gallery [organ loft]. I came home with Donald Tipper.

   This evening I did prep.

P.S. Mam and Dad have just brought Ginger home. She has grown considerably. She made a fuss of us all and Tess nearly wagged her tail off.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. Romans 8:37


   I got 9 out of 10 for my English prep this morning, top mark.

   In J.T.C. we did drill and then we went on to the new playing fields and practised aiming with our rifles.

   This afternoon I played for the House Second XV v Williams’ House. It was my first House match, but we lost by 14 points to nil.

   It was Mam and Dad’s 16th wedding anniversary today. Tonight they went to the Hippodrome.

   It is lovely having Ginger back again. Today I took her down the village. She still remembers where the cats live, though she hadn’t been down the village for five months. I also took both Tess and Ginger for a walk together.

We preach ... Christ Jesus the Lord. 2 Corinthians 4:5


   It was cold and drizzly when I set out for school today. Nothing at all happened.

   I played football at dinner time.

   In History we had a test. Highest was about 13 out of 40, I got 9 marks! Mr. Sacret took Maths. I came home on the Special Bus as usual.

   Tonight Mam and Dad have gone to the cinema [to see Abbott & Costello in Mexican Hayride (U) and Burt Lancaster in Criss Cross (A) at the Olton]. I have listened to the radio and taken Ginger and Tess out. Bob is in with me.

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. Psalm 27:4

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