To my disgust I woke up this morning and realised that I had forgotten to stay awake to let in the new year. I dozed off at a quarter to twelve.

   This morning I washed up and then went round the corner and also made a ’phone call.

   After dinner I went to the park to play football with the boys. This was only my fourth game of football this season. I have played more Rugby instead.

   I suppose I ought to make a new year resolution. They are much easier to break than to keep though. My resolution is to do reasonably well at school and to get into a Lower Division in September.

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


   This morning I spent reading “Sub-Chaser Jim” by Josef Berger [which I had at Christmas]. At 12 o’clock I went down the village to do a little shopping for Mam.

   This afternoon we all went to town and got back at half past five.

   This evening I completed my weather records for 1949. I have made up a table:—

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8


   I got up late this morning, about 11 o’clock actually, then went straight down to Stratford Road on Bob’s bike to get some meat for the brownhounds.

   This afternoon I finished reading Sub-Chaser Jim. It was an exceptionally good book and the scenes where the German U-boats were torpedoed were most realistically described.

   This afternoon I also made a list of my Dinky toys and washed up.

   Tonight I listened to the radio and had a bath. It has rained continually all day, so I haven’t been able to go out with Ginger and Tess.

The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works. Psalm 145:9


   Before breakfast today I cycled down the village for Mam. Later I played in the street with Clarice and Julia.

   After dinner Mam took us to the Olton cinema to see Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo in A Song is Born. This was a fairly good film, I thought. It was a Technicolor film and there were two or three supporting films. In the News Reel there was a film of the events of the past fifty years. When one reviews the such developments as the Aeroplane, Motor Car, Radio and Television, Penicillin and “Streptomycin”, all of the last half century, one wonders what is in store for the world during the period 1950–2000.

The LORD thinketh upon me. Psalm 40:17


   This morning I went down the village. Mam went to Mrs. Moore’s [at 54 Ulverley Green Road, Olton] with Clarice and Julia so I stayed in and spent nearly an hour cleaning and dubbining my football boots. Then I read this week’s Rover.

   This afternoon I washed up and then helped Mam to take down the Christmas decorations. It rained quite a lot during the afternoon.

Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3


   This morning I helped to tidy up the front room and then went up town for Mam.

   At half past one I took Ginger and Tess for a walk. I started from the village [where I took my B.B.C. cheque to the Midland Bank. They advised me to open a Deposit Account so I paid in the cheque for 10/6d and an extra £1 9s. 6d, making £2 altogether.

   From there we walked along Warwick Road through the village and] went as far as the Olton [cinema], then continued along Brookvale Road & St. Bernard’s Rd. I carried on past Grange Road [see photo] until I came to Streetsbrook Road. I walked right on until we reached Mapleton Rd. Here I dropped in to see Aunt Daisy. I came home down the Shirley Road and arrived at 4.30 and had a bath almost straight away.

   This evening Mam, Dad and Bob have gone out. I have pressed my long trousers and listened to the radio.

Thou art my rock and my fortress. Psalm 71:3


   I didn’t do much this morning except listen to the Omnibus edition of “Dick Barton”.

   This afternoon at 3.30 I went to John Maund’s party which lasted until about 9.30. Actually, as Kipper [Christopher Martin] was unable to go, [R.C.] Blythe (Spillet) and I were the only guests. We enjoyed ourselves nevertheless.

   At Swansea this afternoon Birmingham City were defeated by 3–nil and knocked out of the 3rd round of the F.A. Cup for the 3rd year in succession.

The LORD is thy keeper. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. Psalm 121:5, 7


   This morning Dad and I took Ginger and Tess for a run in the park. After dinner I played some gramophone records, [including the one of my “Bird Watching” talk on “Children’s Hour” 7 weeks ago. I forgot to mention that Mam & Dad got a letter asking whether they wanted a record of the broadcast. It came from Isis Recording Studios on a large disc and says: “Play only with lightweight pick-up or trailer needles”].

   This evening Dad and I minced and broke quite a lot of bread for the dogs’ meals. Then I had a bath at 8.30pm.

   It has been another warm day, in fact the average temperature for the first week of the year was 45.3 degrees compared with 46.6 degrees for the same period in 1948 and 35.0 degrees for 1947. Last year’s average was 38.6 degrees.

The LORD thy God ... will rejoice over thee with joy: He will rest in His love. He will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17


   Before breakfast this morning I went down the village and bought a record of the “Harry Lime Theme” taken from the film The Third Man. [It is played by Anton Karas]. Later on I washed up and stayed in until twelve.

   This afternoon Mam took us to see Laurel & Hardy in Air Raid Wardens and Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly in Everybody’s Cheering at the Warwick. The latter was in Technicolor.

   This evening Mam went to a party. I went to bed at 8.15pm but I came down at 10.15 to hear a special programme to the memory of Tommy Handley, who died just one year today.

Why are ye so fearful? Mark 4:40


   This morning Mam and I took Ginger for a Solo Trial at Hall Green [Greyhound Racing Association Stadium in York Road]. She did 32.00 secs. We took Tess along with us. Tess was not allowed inside officially but I found a position where I had a good view of the track. Tess did not pay any attention to the hare until she saw Ginger after it.

   This afternoon I went down the village twice & wrote a letter, then this evening we all went to the Guild Social at St. Andrews Street. It was five minutes to midnight when I got into bed.

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice. Psalm 155:17


   This morning I blancoed my gaiters and belt and took Ginger and Tess out for nearly an hour.

   In the dinner hour I received a telegram from Peggy Bacon of the B.B.C. I have to go to be tried as a reader for “Midland Magazine” tomorrow at 4.0pm.

   This afternoon I got all my things ready for school tomorrow. The holiday has been quite a long one really — I shall be glad to get back again.

   Mam went to Mrs. Harris’s [at Handsworth].

   I went to bed this evening at eight thirty.

A bruised reed shall He not break. Matthew 12:20


   I nearly missed the Special Bus to School today. For first period we went to form rooms to be issued with pads. No fixture cards were issued.

   [It is my eighth term at K.E.S. and my second term in V.C.]. Third period — Maths — we had Mr. Hurrell who is to be our permanent Maths master. We have also moved from Room 59 to 72, the Maths Lab.

   In J.T.C. we did drill & then cleaned rifles.

   At 4.0pm I went to the B.B.C. but in the end there was nothing left for me to do so I shall not be broadcasting on Feb. 4th. I was rather disappointed but I shall have another chance I expect.

The LORD ... guided them on every side. 2 Chronicles 32:22


   At School today we had a new member in V.C. He was [John R.] Winrow, who left K.E.S. twelve months ago to go to Australia.

   Second period, English, we finished reading Twelfth Night. We had some good fun in Gym with a hot shower bath afterwards.

   In the dinner hour I played football & scored two.

   In History we are doing European History. In Chemistry we are working on Ozone. I came home on the SS.B.

   This evening I started on a bird talk:— “Feeding our Feathered Friends”.

For this God is our God for ever and ever. Psalm 48:14


   Nothing much happened at School today.

   After dinner I cycled to Grandad’s [23 Pretoria Road, Bordesley Green] & then went on to St. Andrews. Birmingham City:— Merrick; Trigg, Jennings; Boyd, Badham, Dorman; Stewart, Brennan, Dailey, Evans, Berry. Sunderland were a goal up within four minutes, Shackleton scoring from 20 yards. Birmingham equalised through Dailey just before half time. In the second half Davis shot the winner for Sunderland, who hardly deserved their win. Blues had two thirds of the play & with a bit more luck & more steadiness in front of goal might easily have won.

   Blues remain bottom, 3 points behind Manchester City.

It shall be well with them that fear God. Ecclesiastes 8:12


   This morning I went round the corner [to Dorlings to pay for the papers, six Birmingham Mails 1½d each, Radio Times 2d, The People, Sunday Graphic and Sunday Mercury all 2d, plus 2d for the paper boy, total 1/7d] and also cleaned Dad’s bike a little.

   After dinner I played football with the boys and helped Dad to give Ginger and Tess a run [in Fox Hollies park]. When I got home I did some prep.

   It is 7.45pm now. I have finished my talk for Mid.Mag. I hope it will be accepted though I shall not be surprised either way. I am going to have a bath soon & then I shall go to bed.

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


   I had the first Choir practice of the term [in the Music Room with Dr. Willis Grant] at 12.30pm today.

   In Chemistry Chadwin, Hopkins and I (the Three Stooges!!!) all worked together, but after breaking a test tube of boiling Nitric Acid, among other things, the topic became Atomic Disintegration. Otherwise nothing happened at school.

   This evening I did some Physics & some Chemistry prep, and also read a comic. Mam went to her church meeting.

And having an High Priest over the house of God: let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. Hebrews 10:21–22


   Nothing at all happened at school today and I came straight home at 12.55pm. I had originally intended to go to a Rugby Practice this afternoon but I had rather a lot of homework to do so I did not go.

   This evening I listened to “Take it From Here” & a play “Children in Uniform” in Curtain Up!

For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities: but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15


   First period this morning was Physics [with Mr. Gess, our form master] in which we carried on with Electricity etc. We had M. de Ridder as usual for Wednesday morning French.

   In Mathematics [after break] we are still doing Graphs, & in Regional Geography we are collecting our own information about N.E. England. I have got quite a bit so far. It is much more interesting this way.

   I could not get a game [of] football at dinner time so I cleaned my rifle. Nothing else happened at school.

   This evening I did some homework as well as blancoing gaiters, belt and rifle sling & pressing my trousers.

And the city had no need of the sun ... the glory of God did lighten it. Revelation 21:23


   In English this morning we read “The Jackdaw of Rheims” and “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”.

   In J.T.C. we revised holding and aiming etc. as well as doing the about turn.

   I got home by two o’clock and spent the afternoon doing prep. Later on I read this week’s Rover and Hotspur.

   This evening I wrote up some Geography notes.

But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10


   All members of the school now have the new blue edition of The Public School Hymn Book. [I am keeping my old red one which I have had since joining King Edward’s in September 1947. It has 426 hymns; there is no indication when it was printed.]

   In English today we started on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

   I played football during the dinner hour.

   We had a History test first period [this afternoon]. Otherwise there is nothing to record. I came home on the Special Bus.

   This evening I did three graphs for Maths prep and wrote up some Physics notes.

And He led them forth by the right way that they might go to a city of habitation. Psalm 107:7


   Frost lay thick everywhere when I set out this morning. As the S.B. passed over Shaftmoor Lane bridge I saw a locomotive white with frost & puffing great volumes of yellow-grey smoke, trying to get a grip on the rails as it pulled the heavy train behind. How real and fascinating a locomotive seems to be in such circumstances.

   At school I got top marks for my French prep. Nothing else happened. I came home via town.

   This afternoon I sorted out the waste paper, took down latest weather readings and went down the village on Bob’s bike. Bob bought me a copy of British Passenger Locomotives today.

   This evening Mam and Dad are at the cinema [to see Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding in Maytime in Mayfair (U) and The New Frontier (U) at the Olton].

Wait on thy God continually. Hosea 12:6


   Nothing at all has happened today. I stayed in all morning, and this afternoon while Mam and Dad were at the Mission I did some homework and minced a bowl of bread [for the dogs’ meals].

   I forgot to mention in my diary yesterday that my talk was not accepted by the B.B.C. for “Midland Magazine”.

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


   Nothing worth recording here happened at school. I had the as usual Choir Practice at 12.30pm.

   After school I went to the Railway and Model Engineering Society meeting held in the Large Lecture Room. Two Technicolor films were shown, the first showed how the railways help in Ship building, & the second “Wheels behind the Walls” described how the railways transport the materials necessary for building estates.

   I came home on the 1A bus with John and Kipper.

   This evening I have spent doing History prep.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not: and it shall be given him. James 1:15


   In Maths today we started on Trigonometry.

   Nothing happened.

   I was playing Rugger this afternoon but the game was cancelled owing to the bone-hard ground. Last night was the coldest of the winter.

   I got home for two o’clock this afternoon. After dinner I read the Wizard and Adventure and went down the village.

   This evening I have done some prep.

   It is 9.30pm now. I am listening to the Freddie Mills v Joey Maxim fight for the light heavyweight championship of the world.

   9.40. The fourth round has just ended. 10.0 End of ninth round. 10.04 Mills knocked out after 1 minute 40 secs of 10th Rd.

If any man love God, the same is known of Him. 1 Corinthians 8:3


   We carried on our notes about N.E. England in Geography today.

   We had a super game of football during the dinner [hour], my side winning by ten goals to nine.

   We certainly don’t have to move about much on Wednesday afternoons. For English and French we occupy the same room & we go next door for History.

   This evening I spent doing homework.

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 10:27–28


   In J.T.C. today we did drill with two Royal Warwickshire officers and also did a written test in platoon class rooms.

   I got home for 1.45pm and I spent all this afternoon doing homework.

   At school the School Play King Henry IV Part 1 is being performed tonight and Friday and Saturday evening. Accordingly we have been excused some prep.

Jesus ... having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end. John 13:1


   My Cadbury’s C-Cub Membership Book for 1950 arrived this morning.

   I played football during the dinner hour but otherwise nothing happened except for a History test during first period [this afternoon].

   I came home on the Special Bus as usual and got my hair cut at the “Tudor” [saloon in Fox Hollies Road, just round the corner from Olton Boulevard East].

   This evening Mam and Dad went to the cinema so I spent the evening reading completely:— The Sea of Adventure by Enid Blyton.

   In tonight’s Mail there was a photograph and cutting about the School Play.

The LORD is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 2 Thessalonians 3:3


   I ran full speed down the village this morning and I caught the Special Bus with a few seconds to spare.

   As usual nothing much happened at school and I went to town on my way home.

   I also bought a copy of Buses Illustrated No. 2. This is the companion paper to Trains Illustrated.

   During the afternoon I read Enid Blyton’s Castle of Adventure.

   This evening I washed up and listened to the radio.

   The cold frost stopped the University Tower clock at 3.25am today.

I have trusted ... in the LORD: therefore I shall not slide ... Thy loving kindness is before mine eyes. Psalm 26:1, 3


   I woke up late this morning. After breakfast I fetched my February B.O.P. which is now much larger & has larger print. Then Bob and I cycled to Solihull via St. Bernard’s Road.

   We had a look at some 400 years old houses opposite the Parish Church which are reputed to be haunted by a ghost. We also spent some time inside the [St. Alphege’s] church examining it. It is 700 years old.

   This afternoon Dad and I took Ginger for a run and then I spent quite a time doing Geography prep. which I finished tonight.

Our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18


   The ground was covered with snow this morning. All the way to school the Special Bus literally crawled — it had to. We arrived eventually at 9.30 but we did not sign the Late Book.

   As usual we had School Choir practice at 12.30 & then I had a school dinner.

   In Chemistry I worked with [Trevor M.T.] Hopkins.

   I had a headache when I got home and as I had no prep to do I went to bed at eight o’clock tonight.

He will keep the feet of His saints ... for by strength shall no man prevail. 1 Samuel 2:9


   Nothing happened at School today apart from a Maths test.

   I called at Harrison’s Opticians in town on my way home but I cannot get a new pair of spectacles (if I need them) without a doctor’s note.

   This afternoon I went down the village to do some shopping. I also read this week’s Wizard and Adventure and fitted a Golden Platignum pen nib into my other pen. The original nib was broken when I was at [King Edward’s Grammar School] Camp Hill.

They thirsted not when He led them through the deserts: He caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: He clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out. Isaiah 48:21

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