Most of today it has rained.

   In Geography today we had a test.

   At 1.15 Don Tipper and I went for a short walk though it was raining.

   In English we started an essay entitled:— “How I would vote in the General Election”, but otherwise nothing happened at school.

   This evening I did quite a lot of homework, listened to a play on the radio and had a bath before going to bed. I also blancoed gaiters, belt and musketry order.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6


   We had to go to school in Musketry Order this morning.

   In J.T.C. we did drill and mapwork.

   Our House 2nd team Cup match had to be postponed until the 9th of February.

   Tess died this afternoon after a fit, at 4.25pm. [The vet came and said she had hardpad].

There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth ... The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Proverbs 11:24–25


   I just missed the Special Bus this morning so I had to go on the 1A with [David] Alexander who lives at 47 Oxford Road]. I ran as hard as I was able up Park Vale and managed to get into prayers. Dr. Willis Grant asked Don Tipper and I [sic] to sing Alto as from tomorrow.

   Mr. Vaughan was absent today so Mr. Sacret took us for Julius Caesar. In Gym [after break, with Mr. King] I am now in Team 1. We practised hand springs & then played netball. I scored the winning goal for our side.

   At dinner time I played football and then we had a History test. Otherwise nothing happened.

   After school I went to a Geographical Society meeting. Two sound films “Soil-Erosion” and “Australia” were shown.

   Mam & Dad have gone to the cinema [to see Master of Lassie (U) and Whistling in Dixie (U) at the Warwick]. I have done prep.

We are the LORD’s. Romans 14:8


   I caught the Special Bus this morning. In prayers Donald and I sang Alto for the first time. Donald sings the “Al” and I sing the “to”.

   Nothing else happened at school.

   This afternoon Dad and I went to the B’ham City v Arsenal match. Blues:— Merrick; Green, Jennings; Boyd, Badham, Dorman; Stewart, Jordan, Dailey, Brennan, Berry. Birmingham scored first through Dailey & led by that goal at the interval. Arsenal equalised through Goring but Blues won with a penalty goal by Brennan. Their record is now:—

P28 W4 D8 L16 F22 A50 Pts16. They are bottom of the league [1st Division] & three points behind Manchester City.

Faint, yet pursuing. Judges 8:4


   I got up first this morning and lit the fire. Later on in the morning I took Ginger for a short walk & Bob and I also gave her a run in the park. It seems strange, quite unbelievable, that last Sunday we were taking both Ginger and Tess to the park. We all miss Tess very much indeed. [We had her for only 5½ months and she was barely 8 months old].

   This afternoon I did some prep. and also made a new folder for my pad. [I also kept today’s leaf torn off the calendar. The verses I write in my diary each evening are taken from elsewhere.]

   Tonight I finished my homework.

Wait on thy God continually. Hosea 12:6


   In Physics today [third period, with Mr. Gess our form master], Mr. (Spike) Jackson came in to say that someone had locked his case and he was unable to open it. It seems that Winrow had a key of his own which he found fitted the case so he locked it for a lark, at the cost of two pages [an essay].

   There was no Choir Practice so I played football. I worked with Chadwin in Chemistry [the first two periods of the afternoon, again with Mr. Gess].

   After school I had an extra mapwork parade for J.T.C. I got home for 5.30.

He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Isaiah 40:29


   Mr. Benett was absent today so Mr. Gosling took the [first] period, in which we started on Yorkshire.

   In History we wrote notes. Last period we had a Maths test.

   I came home through town & got a copy of the latest Trains Illustrated. This afternoon I read and did homework.

Thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee ... in the wilderness. Deuteronomy 8:2


   First period today we had a Physics test, I was bottom before we started though.

   Mr. Benett was still away so Mr. Hurrell took us for Regional Geography.

   At 1 o’clock I went shooting and actually hit the target once or twice. [My hands tremble as I hold the rifle so I am not very good].

   Nothing happened this afternoon and I came home on the Special Bus as usual.

   Mrs. Harris came for dinner.

   This evening I did a bit of prep and got my J.T.C. things ready.

For Thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: Thou art my trust from my youth ... But I will hope continually, and will yet praise Thee more and more. Psalm 71:5, 14


   We had to go in Musketry Order in J.T.C. today. In J.T.C. we did drill under R.S.M. Moore [“Sarge”] and then contours and intervisibility in Platoon classrooms.

   This afternoon our House 2nd team was defeated by Leeds’ by 14 points to 8pts. The match was played in torrential rain which did not stop once. I was Hooker as usual. The 1st team also lost 0–6.

   This evening I spent between two and three hours doing French, Maths, Physics, Chemistry & History homework.

   It is still raining.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us. Titus 2:13–14


   Apart from a History test in which I got 60% today nothing has happened.

   After having a school dinner I went shooting.

   I came home on the Special Bus as usual.

   This evening Mam, Dad and Bob have gone to the cinema. I have done some prep, listened to “Up the Pole”, taken down the latest weather readings and sorted out the waste paper.

And when they were alone, He expounded all things to His disciples. Mark 4:34


   In Physics at school today [last two periods] I worked with Chadwin.

   After dinner I cycled to the B’ham City v Bury friendly match. Blues side was:— Merrick; Green, Jennings; Boyd, Badham, Dorman; Stewart, Jordan, Dailey, Brennan, Berry. In the Bury side was Dave Massart a former Blues centre-forward, though Bodle [transferred to Bury last March, whom I was hoping to see] did not play. Bury won 2–1. Scorers were:— Dailey, and Massart and Bellis.

   This evening I went to the Library & got two books for myself.

Meditate upon these things: give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 1 Timothy 4:15


   I got up first this morning and after I made a pot of tea, Julia and I went for a walk with Ginger along the canal from Lincoln Road to Woodcock Lane. I collected some catkins to take home with us.

   After breakfast I washed up.

   This afternoon I read. Granma came for tea.

   This evening I did some Physics prep. It has rained quite a lot today again. Several places are already flooded in parts of England.

Be Thou exalted, LORD, in Thine own strength: so will we sing and praise Thy power. Psalm 21:13


   I played football at dinner time today but apart from a Chemistry test this afternoon nothing happened.

   I came home on the Special Bus and this evening I did homework.

For the eyes of the LORD are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers. 1 Peter 3:12


   A new master took us for Geography today and in History we had a short factual test.

   This afternoon I was one of a party from the Railway & Model Engineering Society to visit Saltley L.M.R. Motive Power Depot (21A). [We went to town on the tram as usual, then caught a No 8 (or 10) tram in Martineau Street, got off at Duddeston Mill Road, crossed over, and found the shed entrance just past the bridge.]

   We had a very interesting time. I cabbed 2–6–0 No. 43043 and “Jubilee” Class No. 45581 Bihar and Orissa. An interesting visitor to Saltley was E.R. No. 61204 which has appeared recently in New Street [Station]. I noticed No. 22853 inside the sheds. This is supposed to have been withdrawn from service.

   We had a very interesting time. I cabbed 2-6-0 No. 43043 and “Jubilee” Class No. 45581 Bihar and Orissa. An interesting visitor to Saltley was E.R. No. 61204 which has appeared recently in New Street [Station].

   I noticed No. 22853 inside the sheds. This is supposed to have been withdrawn from service [but I expect it was waiting to be broken up. It is a former Midland Railway 2F 0-6-0 built in 1868 with double frames, later rebuilt with a Belpaire boiler. 22853 is its former L.M.S. number — evidently it was withdrawn from service before receiving its British Railways number, which would have been 58112. There is a photo of 22853 in the Ian Allan ABC of British Railways Locomotives Part 3, which I bought last September.

   I came home via Alum Rock. Our old home [23 Belchers Lane, from which we were bombed out on the night of 19th–20th November 1940] still has its red “Cardinaled” walls [“Cardinal” being the name of the red polish Mam used on the bricks]. Everywhere still seems the same as it did ten years ago.

   I caught a bus along Bordesley Green & [got off at Bordesley then walked up Sandy Lane and] caught the 31A at Camp Hill.

   [In December the Ian Allan ABC Locoshed Book Part 3 is going to be published, detailing the shed allocation of every London Midland Region locomotive at 9th September 1950. Serendipity! Saltley’s allocation is:—

3MT 2-6-2 (1935) 40097, 40115, 40117, 40171, 40175   

2P 4-4-0 (1894-1901, rebuilt 1912-23) 40486, 40511

4P 3 Cylinder Compound 4-4-0 (1924) 40928, 41035, 4104

1F 0-6-0T (1875) 41699, 41856, 41879

4MT 2-6-4T (1923) 42141, 42326, 42337

5MT 2-6-0 (1926) 42754, 42758, 42764, 42790, 42818, 42822, 42824, 42825, 42826, 42827, 42829, 42857, 42890, 42900, 42903

4MT 2-6-0 (1878) 43011, 43014, 43043, 43044, 43048

3F 0-6-0 (1878), 43490, 43336, 43339, 43374, 43433, 43435, 43441, 43443, 43484, 43491, 43507, 43201, 43210, 43214, 43223, 43225, 43246, 43257, 43284, 43321, 43531, 43540, 43544, 43594, 43620, 43621, 43624, 43627, 43644, 43673, 43674, 43680, 43684, 43690, 43698, 43759, 43762, 43791, 43800, 43812

4F 0-6-0 (1911) 43843, 43845, 43855, 43858, 43869, 43879, 43891, 43911, 43912, 43939, 43940, 43941, 43946, 43949, 43951, 43968, 43986, 44010, 44023, 44026, 44049, 44084, 44088, 44092, 44108, 44112, 44137, 44145, 44150, 44165, 44176, 44179, 44184, 44185, 44187, 44190, 44200, 44203, 44213, 44224, 44248, 44263, 44289, 44317, 44362, 44406, 44413, 44418, 44427, 44475, 44515, 44516, 44520, 44524, 44525, 44538, 44545, 44567, 44571, 44580, 44591, 44659, 44660, 44661, 44666, 44717, 44804, 44805, 44810, 44813, 44814, 44842, 44919, 44920, 44966, 45186, 45265, 45268, 45269, 45273, 45447

3F 0-6-0T (1924) 47301, 47638

8F 2-8-0 (1935) 48317, 48336, 48339, 48351, 48388, 48401, 48417, 48420, 48027, 48424, 48687, 48700, 48763

2F 0-6-0 58167, 58230, 58231, 58261, 58271

   Total 178 locomotives. Not one of these is a namer!

These all continued in prayer. Acts 1:14


   Their [sic] was a large applause for M. Van Ments the School vice-captain who leaves today, in Big School.

   We did not have M. De Ridder for French at all today [either in the morning or afternoon periods]. Mr. Buttle took us for Geography. We started on the Lake District.

   I had school dinner and then played football. In English we did a précis.

   I came home on the Special Bus and this evening I spent in doing some homework.

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. 1 Peter 4:19


   Nothing unusual happened at school today. In J.T.C. we did drill and then duties of sentries.

   This afternoon our 2nd XII match v Burgess’ 2nd was cancelled, so I was touch judge for the 1st team who lost by 12pts to 6.

   Before the game I had a look at the river at the back of the [Eastern Road playing] field. The recent heavy rain has swollen up the river and washed away part of the bank, making it a bit wider. [The Bourne brook flows on to Bournville, giving its name to the chocolate manufactured there by Cadbury’s].

   This evening I spent three complete hours doing homework.

   This morning I received two Official Guides to Norwich and Ely, which I sent for as we have been doing East Anglia in Regional Geography. The Ely Guide is an old one as it gives the railway fares from London (Liverpool Street or Kings Cross):— 1st Class Single, 20/1d; 3rd Class Single, 12/7d; 1st Class Monthly Return, 25/2d; 3rd Class Monthly Return, 16/9d); and states that “These Fares are increased from 1st October, 1947.”

   I have also obtained the 1950 Official Guide to Lowestoft & Oulton Broad, beautifully produced, with sepia and full-colour photographs, by Jarrold & Sons Ltd., Norwich. They print Magna Chrome books and picture postcards, and have a place in London Road, Lowestoft.

The LORD Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:22


   In Scripture we are continuing our reading of St. Mark’s Gospel, and in Twelfth Night I am reading the part of Portia. In Gym we did forward & backward rolls, cartwheels, handsprings & through-vaults. In General Geography we are studying Climate.

   I had a school dinner and then played football. It was very hot. Nothing happened this afternoon.

   At 5.30pm I went to the Library and got myself a couple of books on Astronomy.

   This evening I did homework and listened to the radio. Mam and Dad have gone to the cinema.

Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. Psalm 61:3


   Nothing happened at school this morning. I came home with [John] Renton on the 1A bus. [I wish it had been the spectacular “new look” bus, No. 2426 — as in the photo — but it wasn’t.] In the village I met David Brown who was in “Midland Magazine” when I broadcast & again on Feb 4th.

   After dinner Dad and I started on the garden. We intend to lay a path over [what is presently] the rubbish heap and across the back of what used to be the air-raid shelter [what we called the dugout].

   This evening I took down the latest weather readings, did a Chemistry problem for prep, and listened to the radio.

Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me. Psalm 66:20


   Dad and I spent all today working in the garden, apart from taking Ginger for a run in the park before breakfast. We reduced the level of the rubbish heap down to the level of the grass and put the surplus soil onto the various beds & filled up the holes that Tess and Ginger dug. The rubbish heap we have covered with stones to make into a path. As yet no grass has grown, of course, but at least we have plenty of rich soil available.

   This evening I read.

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20


   Mr. Ballance took Physics this morning. In French Mr. Gosling played us a French gramophone record. After Choir Practice I had school dinner.

   Nothing else happened.

   This evening I did a bit of homework and then went to bed at nine o’clock.

Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is Thy hand, and high is Thy right hand. Psalm 89:13


   Mr. Benett was back to take us for [Regional] Geography today. We are doing the Lake District.

   In History we had a test.

   This afternoon I played Hooker for the [Copland] 2nd team v Dunt’s. Unfortunately we lost by 12 points to 6. Our 2nd team record is:—

29/ 9/49v Williams’sLost 0–14
11/10/49v Burgess’sWon 26–nil
25/10/49v Biggs’Lost 9–16
10/11/49v Leeds’Won 13–3
25/11/49v Dunt’sWon 10–9
1/12/49v Porter’sWon —
8/12/49v Nicholson’sLost 14–21
9/ 2/50v Leeds’Lost 8–14 (Comp.)
16/ 2/50v Burgess’sWon by default
21/ 2/50v Dunt’sLost 6–12
Sing aloud unto God our strength. Psalm 81:1


   The Head [Mr. T.E.B. Howarth] gave us a half holiday today & hoped that we would take the opportunity to watch the 1st XV match between Porter’s and Dunt’s. I went to see the match of course.

   There were about 200 odd spectators. Dunt’s won by 22 points to 19. The game was fairly even & Porter’s led by 16 pts to 11 at half time, then Dunt’s got going & scored three tries, one being converted. Porter’s never really recovered until the last ten minutes when they scored a consolation goal.

My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour ... His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. Luke 1:47, 50


   Today has been a very important day for most people — Polling Day. Polling Stations have been open from 7.0am to 9.0pm. Acocks Green is included in the Yardley Ward. The candidates are:—

H. Usborne (Socialist)

G. Matthews (Unionist)

A.S. Ritchie (Liberal)

J. Falconer (Communist)

   Nothing happened at school. In J.T.C. we did drill for Cert A Part 1 and then Rifle 5 and 6.

   This afternoon I read & did prep. Mrs. Palmer came.

   Tonight Mam, Dad & Bob and I also, took Ginger for a walk down Dolphin Lane & Warwick Road [where people were voting at the schools] & back up Shirley Road.

Absent from the body ... present with the LORD. 2 Corinthians 5:8


   There has been a lot of excitement at school today as the election results came through & were posted on the Prefects’ Notice Board. Labour led the Conservatives by 60 at 9 o’clock but their lead steadily diminished to 25 by 3.0pm.

   I came straight home on the S.B. and took down the results as they came over the radio. (Yardley Results Page 1 [of this Diary]). Once the Conservatives were only 5 behind but Labour pulled up. At 7.15 Lab had 311 seats, Cons. 284, Libs 7 & Speaker. As Labour led by 27 and there was only another 22 results to come the Socialists had won the election.

God is the strength of my heart. Psalm 73:26


   Today was our half-term holiday, so this morning at 9.30 I went to play football with Kipper, Phil, [Ian] Hunt & 12 others at Jubilee Park [Solihull]. We had goal nets & dressing rooms. The first game we lost 7–3. (I got a penalty). In the second game — K.E.S. v the rest — we won 3–2 and I scored two. The pitch was a quagmire and it was bitterly cold.

   This afternoon I did two paintings.

   Tonight Dad and I went for a walk with Brownhound.

   The state of the parties is at present:—

Labour 314, Conserv. 294, Liberals 9, Irish Nat. 2. There are still four more results to come. [The result for Yardley is:—

Usborne, H.C. (Labour)22,342
Matthews, G. (Conservative) 18,431
Ritchie, A.S. (Liberal) 2,553
Falconer, J. (Communist) 347
Labour majority 3,911

   The other Birmingham M.P.s are Mr. Woodrow Wyatt, Labour (Aston); Mr. Julius Silverman, Lab. (Erdington); Sir Peter Bennett, Con. (Edgbaston); Mr. Aubrey C. Jones, Con. (Hall Green); Mr. H.C. Roberts, Con. (Handsworth); Mr. Victor Yates, Lab. (Ladywood); Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd, Con. (Kings Norton); Mr. Raymond Blackburn, Lab. (Northfield); Mr. Cecil Poole, Lab. (Perry Barr); Mr. F. Longden, Co-op and Lab. (Small Heath); Mr. Percy Shurmer, Lab. (Sparkbrook); Roy Jenkins, Lab. (Stechford).

   The new M.P. for Wolverhampton, Mr. J. Enoch Powell, is an Old Edwardian. He left New Street in 1930, and was Professor of Greek at Sydney University from 1937–39. Sir Harold Webbe, also an Old Edwardian, has also been re-elected for the Cities of London and Westminster.]

Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Isaiah 40:1


   Dad and I took Ginger for a run in the park before breakfast today and then spent all day laying the path across the garden. We have not yet finished the path. We dug up a lot of house bricks from out of the flower bed. The snag is though, what can we do with them? There is no room in the garden anywhere.

   Tonight I did quite a lot of homework.

For Thou, LORD, art most high for ever more. Psalm 92:8


   This morning I took Clarice and Julia up town. In the Bull Ring we saw a foreigner who stood bare-footed on nails and lay on the nails with six people standing on his chest, a total weight of 63 stones. He also ate fire.

   This afternoon Mam took us to the Warwick. We saw Three Godfathers in Technicolor which I thought was rather a poor film [about three outlaws escaping across the desert who discover a baby — terribly depressing]. It was a “U” film while Kid Glove Killer, an excellent detective film, received an “A” Certificate & was much more suitable for Universal Exhibition.

   This evening I wrote up Chemistry notes & did other prep.

My people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 31:14


   After House meetings today we went to form rooms to buy dinner tickets. Third period we had a Chemistry test.

   This afternoon I entered in the Junior (up to 16½) Cross-Country Run over 2 miles. I finished 60th out of 94. I did the distance in just under 19 minutes and got the standard. I was 5th in the House. Copland’s got 12 standards more than the other Houses (Next best was Williams’s, who won most points, with ten.)

   [I found a photo of Dad when he ran cross-country about 1930 with Small Heath Harriers.]

   When I got home I went down the village.

For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary: from heaven did the LORD behold the earth. Psalm 102:19

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