Nothing happened at school again today. I cam straight home and did some homework this afternoon.

   Tonight Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Leek and Mrs. Holliday came round to discuss tomorrow’s court case.

   I have caught a cold.

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


   My cold was worse this morning so I stayed at home.

   In the Court case the solicitor for Mrs. Jenkins did not turn up as he had to deal with another case. Anyway the case has been postponed until next Wednesday.

   I spent the morning doing some homework.

   This afternoon I fiddled about with my Chemistry set.

   Tonight I read and listened to the fourth instalment of “Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery”.

And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:14


   I did not go to school again this morning. I spent the morning lying on the settee reading.

   This afternoon I had to go to be tried as a reader for “Midland Magazine” at the B.B.C. Studios in Broad Street. Mam and I arrived there at 4.0pm and then I went into the Studio with about ten other children. Here I was given my script. It is altogether different from my original. Several paragraphs have been left out or changed. I read the script in front of a microphone & Peggy Bacon said she would like me to read it on November 19th. She was listening in an adjoining room & answered through a “mike”.

   We got home at 6.30pm.

Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19


   My cold is not yet better so I did not go to school. Mam had to go to hospital so I was was able to give Clarice & Julia their dinner. I had spent the morning mostly reading a book of nursery stories [The Treasure Book of Fairy Tales, Juvenile Productions Ltd., London, which I was given for Christmas 1944, and still have].

   After dinner I played with my chemistry set. (I have grown some good Copper Sulphate crystals the last two days). Mam got home just before 5.0pm.

   As usual Mam and Dad have gone to the cinema & Bob has gone out. [Jack Warner and Kathleen Harrison in The Huggetts Abroad (U) and Howard Duff in Illegal Entry (A) are on at the Olton; and Yvonne de Carlo in Salome, Where She Danced (A), and Sally Ann Howes and Guy Rolfe in Fools Rush In (A) at the Warwick.]

   I have just sorted out a pile of newspapers and comics & taken down the latest weather readings. I am going to bed in a minute.

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19


   Today was our Half Term holiday. After breakfast I went down the village with Clarice and Julia. It was raining quite heavily. It was Poppy Day today so I bought a poppy. I also bought a battery and bulb for a torch which I had not used for at least five or six years.

   The rain stopped during dinner so I went to the match on a special bus from Stoney Lane. B’ham:— Merrick; Green, Jennings; Boyd, Atkins, Harris; Berry, Jordan, Slater, Brennan, Roberts. Blackpool:— Farm; Shimwell, Garrett; Johnstone, Hayward, Kelly; Matthews, McCale, Mortensen, W.J. Slater, Wardle. Mortensen scored twice. Result:— B’ham City 0 Blackpool 2.

Our Lord was crucified. Revelation 11:8


   We had a few fireworks to let off last night but we saved one or two. There were hundreds of bangers going off incessantly — we only had two, neither of which went off. [We have our own fireworks factory in Birmingham: it is Wilders’ on Warwick Road at Greet.]

   This morning I got up, made a pot of tea, then took Ginger and Tess to Tyseley for a walk. Clarice and Julia came with me.

   After breakfast I read Paying the Price by Gunby Hadath & also went with Dad to give the dogs a run in the park.

   This afternoon I finished reading the book.

I Jesus ... I am ... the bright and morning star. Revelation 22:16


   Straight after breakfast this morning I went down the village to do some shopping for Mam, and then went for a walk with Ginger and Tess.

   After dinner I washed up then I went down the village on Bob’s bike again and got a book from the Library. This was another Gunby Hadath book: Living Up to It. As usual it was a fine book and I am looking forward to reading another G.H. story in December 1949 B.O.P..

   I spent most of the afternoon and evening reading.

He will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry and will save them. Psalm 145:19


   I went back to school today. After hymn practice we had House meetings. This is to be the usual procedure for Tuesdays now.

   First period we went to form-rooms to buy dinner tickets.

   In the V.C. Science League I finished top of Div. II with 172 marks, so I am promoted to Div. I + 5 extra marks. Not only this but I am now 5th in Div. I.

   In Chemistry we had a test but I had been absent & had missed some of the work.

   I came home through town.

   This afternoon I did some homework. Mrs. Harris came. [She has given me a little book entitled Come Ye Apart by J.R. Miller, D.D., which I think she has had for a long time. It contains Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ, a page for every day of the year. I am very pleased with it and shall keep it all my life. I have inscribed it on the fly-leaf:— 8.xi.49 Brian D. Williams. Today’s reading is headed “The Baffled Tempter”, based on Luke xxii.31.]

He shall have dominion ... from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Psalm 72:8


   Today at school we went for our Mass Radiography so we missed prayers & the first two periods (Physics & Maths). We went by a Paid by a Special Bus to Corporation Street. We undressed to the waist, received a card which was then filled in, & passed into another room. Here there was a queer apparatus & a plate was placed against our chests for a few seconds. That was all.

   Nothing much else happened at school.

   This morning in the Law Courts [also in Corporation Street but further down from the Mass Radiography centre] Mrs. Jenkins piled forth a whole pile of false allegations (as was expected). Anyway, she was bound over to keep the peace for three months. [Years later Ethel F. Jenkins writes to me, we exchange letters, and I find her to be a nice person, and I am very sorry about all the unhappiness.]

For the LORD shall be thy confidence. Proverbs 3:26


   This morning I received a letter from the B.B.C. with a contract for me to write a further talk [actually to broadcast the talk I have already written].

   In English Mr. Vaughan read to us the final part of Dauber by John Masefield. In Geography Mr. Whalley showed us a film about Meteorological Instruments.

   In J.T.C. we marched with the R.N. Section & the Air Section up the University Drive and back & then practised saluting & “eyes right/left” etc. in readiness for the Church parade on Sunday. [Field-Marshal Montgomery was to have visited us today, and the N.C.O.s were to form a Guard of Honour, but he could not come].

   This afternoon I played for the House 2nds. We won our match which was v Leeds’ by 13 pts to 3. I was Hooker as usual.

   Tonight I did prep.

Lord, what wilt Thou have me do? Acts 9:6


   In English today I was “Maria” in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

   At dinner time I did a little job for Fred Oxley in the Music Room & then did some Divinity prep. [set for us in first period] in the library.

   In History I got 7/10 in a short test.

   I came home on the S.B. of course.

   This evening Mam, Dad and Bob having gone out, I have done quite a lot of prep.

His secret is with the righteous. He blesseth the habitation of the just. Proverbs 3:32–33


   I just about managed to catch the Special Bus this morning. At school we had a half-term Physics test. I got full marks for a Maths test yesterday.

   All over the school all types of posters have been appearing advertising the School v Bromsgrove match for the Siviter-Smith Cup this afternoon. I intended to go but I have no one to go with so I changed my mind.

   I am writing this [additional material] on Sunday and I found out that School XV beat Bromsgrove [School] by 13 pts to 3.

   This evening after fetching the Sports Argus I blancoed my gaiters and belt for Church Parade. The order will be R.N. Section, A., C., B., Coys., Air Section, led by the band.

He giveth grace unto the lowly. Proverbs 3:34


   I got up at the usual time this morning. Clarice and Julia both wanted to see the Parade so I took them with me. I went & came back with John.

   We assembled in the Drive & then marched up Edgbaston Pk. Rd. to the Parish Church. The service, in which the Head spoke, lasted an hour. Colonel Docker took the Salute on the way back [and the Band — under Sgt. C.J. Latham, Drum-Major, with L/Cpl. K.A.F. Brewin leading the drummers, and Cdt. D. Yetman the buglers — gave an impressive performance.]

   We were back home at 2.0pm.

I will love them freely. Hosea 14:4


   After prayers today the Head presented the Siviter Smith Cup to I.R. McClelland, Captain of the XV. [The advertising paid off: the school turned out in force to support the XV, and they played magnificently. G.T. Lyall scored a try, McClelland kicked a penalty, Homer got a try, and Lyall another try which Revill converted. I wish I had gone. J.D. Giles, G.T. Lyall, F.B. Revill, C.F.J. Latham and G.A. Taplin were awarded their School Colours afterwards.]

   I had Choir Practice as usual. Nothing else happened at school and I came home on the S.B. as usual.

   This evening I did some homework. David and his young lady [Marjorie] came just after eight o’clock.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16


   As usual nothing at all happened at school. Evidently K.E.S. is not one of those schools where great thrills and adventures befall its pupils. But perhaps I’ve been making a study of Gunby Hadath too much. [I first read his stories in Boy’s Own Paper and find he used to teach Classics at Guildford Grammar School; he is about 69 now and a prolific writer.]

   Anyway after school I came home through town & did my Physics prep. on the 31A bus. I hope it isn’t as bad as last week’s Chemistry. I nearly got into a stew because a lot of tiny pieces of paper (originally my test-paper which I had torn up disgustedly) were found adorning the floor of Lecture Room 2.

   This afternoon I read comics, this evening I did homework.

He faileth not. Zephaniah 3:5


   As usual nothing happened at school. The School Captain [G.F.B. Laughland] has now made a rule that all boys bringing their own sandwiches [as I do] must eat them in Room 59.

   This morning I received a letter from the Radio Critic of the Birmingham Mail asking if I had a photo of myself suitable for publishing with next Monday’s Radio Notes.

   Tonight I wrote a letter in reply and did some History prep.

Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed. Habakkuk 3:13


   In J.T.C. this morning we went into the adjoining field & were given a demonstration of camouflage & personal concealment. Then we did a quarter of an hour’s map-reading. It was very cold out.

   I came straight home from school, After dinner I went down the village for Mam & bought myself the Rover and Hotspur. These I read in the course of the afternoon.

   [I got my new ABC of British Railways (Part 2, Southern Region) today. The photographs are mostly recent ones, with locomotives bearing the new name “British Railways”. There is also a photo of L.M.R. 0–6–6–0 Diesel Electric No. 10001 and a list of “British Railways Internal Combustion Locomotives”. I can now replace all four refs in the combined volume I made earlier in the year.]

   During the evening I did History, Divinity, Physics, Maths.

Be strong and of good courage, and do it ... for the LORD God will be with thee. 1 Chronicles 28:20


   In English today we read more of Twelfth Night. In Geography we had a test. After dinner in Room 59 I played football & scored two goals.

   In History I had to read my essay (General cries of horror and disapproval). We had a Maths test.

   After school I went to the Railway and Model Engineering Society. Two films about signalling & loco. repairing were shown. Donald Tipper came with me & we went home together on the 1A. It was terrifically foggy.

   Tonight Mam and Dad went to the cinema.

The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house. 1 Chronicles 13:14


   Today I shall remember for a long time to come. I arrived at the B.B.C. at 1.20 but we did not start rehearsing until about 2.30. Each of us was given a copy of the complete script. Quite a lot of minor changes were made. Some parts had to be cut out for instance.

   [I used the back of my 26-page script to collect autographs from David Scott-Daniell (editor), Pat Baldrey (who came with her sister), Malcolm Ridley, John Young, Donald Ridgarde, Douglas Ward, Jean Baldrey, Ivor R. Ford, Keith J. Bolden, Gillian Watts (who introduced the programme), Jack Wilson & Harry Engleman (pianists) and Peggy Bacon (producer). Other children whose autographs I did not get were Pat Tovey, David Brown, Charles Butler, Jean Lester, John Hemming, Kenneth Short, Brenda Radbourne, Gerald Cowan and Pamela West, so (including myself) 18 children took part.]

   We had tea, then in Studio 1 at 5.0pm the red light came on & we were on the air. It was strangely thrilling & awe inspiring. Each of us got up from our places just before the person then speaking, finished. I was tenth on the programme. I’m glad to say I didn’t make a mistake. I pictured Mam and Dad and Clarice & Julia & Bob all sitting round the Radio listening intently. I could imagine some of my School-friends & perhaps nearly a million others listening. It was all very thrilling.

   My talk lasted approximately two minutes ten seconds. The programme ended at about 5.45, then Jack Wilson & Harry Engleman played at two pianos. Then right on the dot at 5.55pm the red light went out and it was all over. We were all given an envelope before we went out — it contained a cheque for one guinea — my first wage packet!!!

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. Ephesians 6:18


   I woke up late this morning — I was very tired when I went to bed but I don’t think I slept until about midnight.

   After breakfast I rode down the village. It was cold out.

   This afternoon I stripped my folder and re-covered it completely. Dad, Bob and I also took Ginger and Tess for a walk.

   This evening I did a little homework and packed my satchel.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me: for they are Thine. John 17:9


   Every single morning I have to do a McDonald Bailey act — 100 yards in 8½ seconds — to catch the Special Bus.

   At 12.30 I had Choir Practice and then dinner in the Dining Hall.

   We did some interesting experiments in Chemistry.

   I came home via town and bought a Mail with my photograph inside. The photo was taken at by Dad at Cleveleys. expand: magazine time cutting

My peace I give unto thee. John 14:27


   At school today the Inspectors besieged us and came into prayers.

   We did nothing in House Meetings but Mr. Copland asked me for a list of my school activities which include:—

1. Junior Training Corps

2. Musical Society

3. Junior Debating Society

4. Junior Musical Society

5. Art Society

6. Natural History Society

7. Railway & Model Engineering [Society]

8. House Rugby 2nd Team

   Both Mr. Gess and Mr. Osborne took my notebook to show to the inspectors.

   I got home for 1.45pm and did prep. for the remainder of the afternoon.

The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God. Genesis 49:24


   Nothing much happened at school today. At 1.0pm I went to the Music Society concert in Big School. The programme consisted of Sonata in D 1st movement (Mozart), R.T. Popple sang The Vagabond, followed by Sonata for Trumpet & Organ (Purcell) played by Homer & Oxley. The last two items were Minuet in A (Boccherini) played by B.S. Adams (recorder) and Minuet and Ballet (Debussy) a piano duet played by Oxley & Wright.

   In English we had a debate:— “This house thinks that Science has done more harm harm than good for mankind”, defeated by 9 votes to nil.

   After school I had a short Choir Practice, then did prep. all evening.

Spread it before the LORD. Isaiah 37:14


   As the School Inspectors are visiting us this week it was necessary to re-arrange school lessons. So today became Friday and tomorrow will be Thursday.

   Nothing much happened. I played football in the dinner hour and scored two goals, then this afternoon we had a Maths test. I came home on the Special Bus and did my homework during the evening.

   I forgot to mention that the Choir sang Subdue us by Thy Goodness in prayers this morning.

The LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people ... and have heard their cry ... for I know their sorrows, and I am come down to deliver them ... and to bring them unto a good land and a large. Exodus 3:7–8


   Today was Thursday — at school. In English we wrote out the twelve lines of poetry that we were supposed to do for last week’s English prep. Actually I learnt mine going to school.

   In J.T.C. we did some Map-reading then Drill for the Docker Cup. After parade I drew my Khaki Drill from the stores for Field Day on Monday.

   This afternoon I played for Copland’s 2nd XII v Dunt’s. The ground was very wet & slippery & our opponents were the biggest team we had played so far. Two minutes from the end we were losing 5–9 but Shortt scored and converted a try to bring the score 10–9 in our favour. A close shave!

Jesus, which delivered us. 1 Thessalonians 1:10


   Mr. Gosling got angry with us in French today and said that we would stay behind after school, but the Porter brought a notice round saying that we would be dismissed at 12.15pm [ten minutes earlier than usual.

   In prayers today the Head hinted that the Sixth Form consisted of Physical Illiterates — in fact most of the school was physically illiterate. The standard of games was very low.

   This afternoon I took Julia to the Matinee at the Olton. There were two cowboy films, one a serial, and a 3 Stooges film, as well as the Superman serial.

   This evening I listened to the radio.

With Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy light shall we see light. Psalm 36:9


   This morning before breakfast Clarice and I took Ginger and Tess for a run in the park. Later I tidied the garden up a bit and lit a bonfire. Actually we have no lawn now because the dogs have uprooted all the grass. There is only mud to admire.

   After dinner I read some of The Wooden Horse and then varnished part of the shed door.

   When we had had tea I minced quite a large amount of bread [baked hard in the oven for the dogs’ meals]. I also took down the latest weather readings.

Ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19


   Today was Field Day for us. I missed the S.B. — it went early. I had to call in at school to get my K.D. [khaki drill] out of my locker. I changed into it, my K.D. I mean, on the [70] tram.

   We arrived at Rednal at 10.0am. Our platoon marched for about a mile & a half mainly uphill. On the way I saw a Chaffinch and a Grey Squirrel. We spent the day map-reading, camouflaging ourselves and stalking, and we also did some rolling down slopes, Leopard-crawling and Monkey running. Strange that the latter should come so naturally to me.

   We had tea at school at 4.15pm in the Dining Hall.

Be with me where I am. John 17:24


   Nothing happened at school today and I got home for 1.45pm. This afternoon I read a comic & did prep.

   Tonight I did revision of History for tomorrow’s exam.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. James 4:7–8


   I got on the S.B. this morning and [John] Renton gave me a “Christmas Present” in an envelope. I opened it warily and a paper bat flew into my face!!!

   Nothing happened at school apart from the History examination last period. I did a bit better than I expected — I got my highest mark so far this term.

   I played football during the dinner hour and scored a goal as usual.

   This evening I did some homework and blancoed my gaiters and belt.

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

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