I am writing my diary in paragraphs this year but I am having a smaller margin. [I had this Datada Diary for Christmas. It is No. C181 ¼ Bound Cloth. As usual I have written my full name on the fly-leaf and stuck my photograph underneath, cut out of the Birmingham Mail. The Diary is published by T.J. & J.Smith Ltd., (Established 1839), Lombard Road, London, S.W.19.]

   I woke up at 9.15am and after breakfast put up three new calendars. We went up town at about midday as Mam wanted to go to the January sales and I wanted to obtain some weather readings from the Mail offices.

   I bought a copy of the BBC Year Book 1949 which had been reduced [from 3/6d] to 1/-d. It was in almost perfect condition except for its torn jacket. [It is extremely interesting, with numerous articles including “Adventures in Sound Recording” by Ludwig Koch, “Town Forum” by Denis Morris, and “Radio Personalities of 1948”. Among the many photographs is one of Anthea Askey who was Violet Elizabeth in Richmal Crompton’s Just William—which we used to love listening to.]

   We got home for 5.30pm.

   Tonight I have listened to a programme entitled Memories of Itma for forty-five minutes.

We love Him, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19


   I woke up this morning to find everywhere in the grip of snow — a foot deep.

   Mam put out a lot of fat and scraps and during the morning we had many Starlings, a pair of Blackbirds, a Robin, Blue Tits and for the first time this winter the Greenfinch to visit us.

   I had a letter from Bob [Vitoria] by first post this morning, and yesterday I heard from Donald Tipper.

   I went out to clear the snow away during the morning and I took Ginger out as well. She revelled in the snow.

   For the remainder of the morning I watched the Starlings fighting, completely read a book this afternoon and took Ginger for her walk this evening.

Yea, I have loved thee. Jeremiah 31:3


   After breakfast this morning I wrote a letter to Stephen Chadwin, who is staying at present in Selston in Nottinghamshire. Then I went for a walk as far as Tyseley with Ginger until dinner-time, [waiting to see the two London expresses, some local trains and goods trains.

   I have been checking (from the Ian Allan ABC Locoshed Book, Western Region, bought a few weeks ago, 1/-) the locomotives shedded at Tyseley, (code 84E, formerly TYS). They are:—

2251 Class 0-6-0 2203, 2238, 2257, 2296

2800 Class 2-8-0 2848, 2849, 2867

2900 “Saint” Class 4-6-0 2932 Ashton Court

R.O.D. Class 2-8-0 3016

3100 Class 2-6-2T 3101

3151 Class 2-6-2T 3151, 3180

5700 Class 0-6-0T 3624, 3625, 3650, 3653, 3657, 3658, 3660, 3664, 3673, 3689, 3693, 3743, 3751, 3769

2800 Class 2-8-0 3837

5100 Class 2-6-2T 4101, 4106, 4107, 4110, 4111, 4116, 4147, 4157, 4159, 4165, 4166, 4170, 4172

5700 Class 0-6-0T 4605, 4648, 4683

4900 “Hall” Class 4-6-0 4924 Eydon Hall, 4959 Purley Hall, 4964 Rodwell Hall, 4980 Wrottesley Hall

5100 Class 2-6-2T 5102, 5106, 5152, 5156, 5264, 5166, 5171, 5175, 5177, 5182, 5187, 5188, 5190, 5198

4300 Class 2-6-0 5333, 5346, 5369, 5370

5700 Class 0-6-0T 5700, 5712, 5736, 5738, 5745, 5790

4900 “Hall” Class 4-6-0 5907 Marble Hall, 5909 Newton Hall, 5916 Trinity Hall, 5927 Guild Hall, 5950 Wardley Hall, 5993 Kirby Hall, 5997 Sparkford Hall

4300 Class 2-6-0 6336

5600 Class 0-6-2T 6611, 6630

6800 “Grange” Class 4-6-0 6843 Poulton Grange, 6847 Tidmarsh Grange, 6853 Morehampton Grange, 6858 Woolston Grange, 6866 Morfa Grange

4900 “Hall” Class 4-6-0 6904 Charfield Hall, 6942 Eshton Hall

6959 “Modified Hall” Class 4-6-0 6971 Athelhampton Hall

4300 Class 2-6-0 7317

7400 Class 0-6-0T 7438

5700 Class 0-6-0T 7713, 7735, 7758

7800 “Manor” Class 4-6-0 7800 Torquay Manor

6959 “Modified Hall” Class 4-6-0 7912 Little Linford Hall, 7913 Little Wyrley Hall, 7918 Rhose Wood Hall

8100 Class 2-6-2T 8108

9400 Class 0-6-0T 8410, 8415, 8452

5700 Class 0-6-0T 8700, 8784

9000 Class 4-4-0 9008 (formerly 3208), 9010 (3210)

5700 Class 0-6-0T 9608, 9610, 9614, 9635, 9680, 9682, 9724, 9733, 9748, 9753, 9793, 9798

Total 118. I have seen the majority of these, some of them many times, especially the 5100 Class 2-6-2T tank engines which operate on all the passenger trains to Snow Hill. The shed location is in a small oval plate on the firebox door of each locomotive.

   Tyseley is one of 62 Western Region (formerly G.W.R.) sheds. The other “84” codes are: 84A Wolverhampton (Stafford Road), 84B Oxley, 84C Banbury, 84D Leamington, 84F Stourbridge, 84G Shrewsbury, 84H Wellington, 84J Croes Newydd, 84K Chester. Wolverhampton has four “Kings”: 6004 King George III, 6005 King George II, 6006 King George I, 6011 King James I, 6020 King Henry IV. The Kings having been introduced in 1927, their names went in reverse order from 6000 King George V to 6028 King Henry II and 6029 King Stephen, these being renamed King George VI and King Edward VIII respectively.]

   After dinner I went to the Olton Cinema to see Leo Genn, Anthony Steele and David Tomlinson in The Wooden Horse at the Olton. It was a superb film in every way and was adopted [sic] from Eric Williams’ book of the same title. The filming was done in Germany and Sweden.

   There were three supporting films “The Fair Country of Ayr”, “Johann Strauss Polkas” a musical film featuring the Vienna Orchestra and containing some fine ballet and a short Donald Duck film.

   Tonight I wrote another chapter [of Smugglers’ Bay] and listened to a play.

He will answer thee. Isaiah 30:19


   This morning I went down the village, taking Hound with me. Mam went to town. I put some water into the aquarium but it leaked very slightly as the putty was still wet. So I cannot put the Goldfish into it yet.

   After dinner Clarice, Julia and I went out into the street. Half of the snow had disappeared and the rest was melting quickly (the temperature was in the forties). We unblocked a couple of drains so that much of the water in the gutters soon disappeared. Mam got back at 3.30pm.

I will trust, and not be afraid. Isaiah 12:2


   I got a fourth goldfish this morning from a ragman.

   I stayed in for most of the morning as it was raining. Very little snow was left by this morning.

   I did however, go down the village twice today with Ginger to do some shopping.

   For most of the afternoon I wrote some more of my book and I continued this tonight. Mam and Dad have gone to see The Wooden Horse.

Korean Diary for Dec 27th–Jan 2nd

Dec 30th. UN aircraft make heavy attacks on Red troop concentrations.

Jan 1st. Communist forces launch general offensive. One column penetrates to within 20 miles of Seoul.

2nd. Communist forces make deep salient in UN front.

What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. Psalm 56:3


   This afternoon I went to see B’ham City play Manchester City in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. Unfortunately the pitch was not in a very good state owing to snow earlier in the week and rain for the past two days.

   The teams were as follows: B’ham: Merrick; Green, Martin; Boyd, Atkins, Ferris; Stewart, Dorman, Trigg, Higgins, Berry. Man City: Trautman, Branagan, Phillips; Paul, Fagan, Spurdle; Gunning, Haddington, Westcott, Smith, Westwood.

   Blues assumed complete mastery from the start and played superlatively, winning 2–0. Stewart and Higgins scored.

   If Blues are drawn at home next round and play as well as they did today then they might well go far in this year’s competition.

Turn thou to thy God. Hosea 12:6


   I got up at 9.0 this morning, made a pot of tea and made the fire and took Ginger out.

   I played outside all morning but stayed in in the afternoon as I had a headache.

   During the evening I wrote some more of my book and then took Ginger for her evening walk round the village.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power. Revelation 4:11


   It rained steadily nearly all of this morning so I stayed in for most of the morning.

   However, after dinner Mam decided to take us to the cinema. We went down to the Olton first of all but there was a big queue to see Rogues of Sherwood Forest so we walked to the Warwick where we got in easily enough.

   It was a good programme. The two films were Johnny Holiday with William Bendix, Dick Powell and Allan Martin, and Mrs. Mike with Evelyn Keyes. Both were “A” films.

   I liked the first especially and the second film was fair.

   This evening I felt tired, more so than usual, and went to bed at nine o’clock.

Thou art my God. Psalm 31:15


   I stayed in for most of the morning until 11.30 and then I went down the village shopping for Mam.

   After dinner I cycled round to John Winrow’s [16 Bourne Close, Kings Heath] where I stayed for an hour.

   This evening I went to Cubs as usual. We were to have held our party tonight but it has been put forward to next week as no one turned up last Tuesday & no arrangements were made.

   I got home at 8.30pm just in time to hear a recording of the 300th edition of ITMA. This was first broadcast on October 28th 1948 and today’s recording was to mark the second anniversary of Tommy Handley’s death.

Unto Him be glory. Ephesians 3:21


   I woke up this morning to find it raining hard. This meant that I was unable to go for a walk with Ginger as I thought I might do earlier.

   After dinner I went to Stephen Chadwin’s [1480 Pershore Road, Stirchley] where I had been invited to tea. Stephen met me half way from the ’bus stop and told me that he suspected there was a Gadwall in Cannon Hill Park. We went to the park and found the duck feeding with the Mallard. It was brown, slightly smaller than a Mallard, had a white bar on the wing, grey pencilled markings on the flank and a chestnut breast. All these markings comply with those of the Drake Gadwall — a rare visitor.

   Later at 5.0pm we watched the Children’s Hour T.V. programme.

Keep me, O LORD. Psalm 140:4


   We started back to school for the Spring Term once more this morning. It always seems good to be back on the first day of term.

   After Prayers we went to form rooms [Upper V.C.‘s is room 19] to be issued with stationery and to buy dinner tickets. The Fixture Cards are still at the Printers’ and I don’t suppose we shall receive them for a fortnight. We haven’t had the School Chronicle yet, either.

   In J.T.C. [Junior Training Corps] we did some mutual drill and then went into the Armoury to do some L.M.G. [Light Machine Gun] revision.

   I came home through town. I got some ink-eradicator with which I erased one or two mistakes in my diaries.

   I listened to the radio tonight.

Keep yourselves in the love of God. Jude 21


   In Physics [first two periods with Mr. J.B. Whinnerah] we did an experiment to show how the amount of heat produced varies with the current flowing.

   In Chemistry [4th period with Mr. J.B. Guy] we started Organic Chemistry.

   I was unable to get a game of football during the dinner hour.

   During first period in the afternoon — English [with Mr. L.K.J. Cooke] — we read Wordsworth’s Westminster Bridge sonnet. This is one of my favourite poems and another is Wordsworth’s Daffodils.

   I came home through town and called in at Bob’s office [at Kodak] in Charlotte Street. Bob has got a new bird book for me, Making Friends with Birds, which he is going to give me tomorrow.

Thanks be to God. 1 Corinthians 15:57


   In Biology today [with Mr. M.E. Monkcom] we started to study soil. I worked with Stephen in Double Chemistry [last two periods]. We did three experiments. The first was to determine the Melting Point of Meta-Dinitro-Benzene, the second to find the Boiling Point of Benzene.

   I came home through town and collected the Book from Bob. [Making Friends with Birds is by Arthur F. Park, F.R.P.S., and was published in 1948 by Chatto and Windus. It cost 21/- new, but Bob told me he had not paid that much for it. It has 216 pages full of wonderful photographs, together with photographic data.]

   After dinner I went to Stephen’s for tea and to watch the T.V. We saw the 1st Round FA Amateur Cup match between Hendon & Smethwick Highfield. Hendon won 2–nil. Then there was “For the Children” — “Telescope” — a fortnightly magazine and at eight o’clock for forty-five minutes, “Picture Page”. On Wednesday we saw a film of British Railways.

The name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 15:26


   I got up at 8.30am this morning and made a pot of tea. Then I went back to bed for a while.

   During the morning Clarice, Julia and I took Ginger to the [Fox Hollies] Park and gave her a run. We also got some water-snails for the aquarium.

   After dinner I did some homework. John Winrow came to tea and stayed till eight o’clock.

Korean Diary for Jan 3rd–9th

Jan 3rd. UN Commission for cease-fire announces failure of its efforts.

4th. Seoul evacuation completed.

5th. Political Committee of UN Gen. Assembly considers the situation.

8th. UN troops abandon Wosyin.

Death is swallowed up in victory. 1 Corinthians 15:54


   In Geography we are now studying the Physiography of the British Iles [sic]. We had a test in Physics.

   In Choir Practice at 12.30 we started to learn Waltzing Matilda arranged by George Wood.

   I was unable to do P.T. unfortunately, today. The elastic in my shorts broke a couple of times.

   I came home on the S.B. and did homework in the evening. I had a bath before going to bed, having previously taken Ginger for her evening walk. It has been windy today and some rain has fallen.

The journeyed ... in the wilderness ... toward the sunrising. Numbers 21:11


   This morning the form went for Mass Radiography in town. We had a Special Bus of course, and the whole procedure was the same as that some fifteen months back. We were back at school by 11.15pm [sic]

   After school, Stephen and I went through Edgbaston Park where there were over forty duck — some twenty nine Tufted Duck, nine Mallard and five Pochard.

   We left the Park by the Golf Club entrance in Bristol Road and I got home by 2.15.

   I spent all the afternoon sitting at the table doing prep until 7.0. I did not go to the Cubs’ party or to the Guild Party to which Mam took Clarice and Julia.

God is our refuge and strength. Psalm 46:1a


   Our Geography arrangements are now considerably changed this week. A new master, Mr. Chubley, will take us for three periods a week for Physiography leaving one period per week for Mr. Benett to take us for Regional Geography.

   Mr. Meerendonk took us for Chemistry as Mr. Guy was taking some boys for radiography.

   In Biology, we did some soil experiments. Trafford-Willey and Clasper turned a tap on and a terrific jet of water hit the ceiling of the Large Lecture Room. Forecast for the next twenty-four hours:— heavy rain at times!

   New dinner arrangements started today. Boys sit eight at a table with a large dish of veg. etc. in the centre from which they help themselves. First sitting ended at 1.10 today instead of 12.50.

A very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1b


   In J.T.C. this morning we did some mutual drill and then some revision on firing orders.

   It rained on and off during the morning so our Rugby Practice was postponed. I came home on the 1A ’bus [from Priory Road] with John [Maund] and Kipper [Christopher Martin].

   I spent most of the afternoon and evening doing homework and took Ginger for her evening walk at 9.15pm. We went up Olton Boulevard East and along Fox Hollies Road, then down the Gulley and back home down Shirley Road.

Unto you that fear my Name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings. Malachi 4:2


   I played football at dinner time but burst the rubber ball when a long shot of mine hit a post. It seems I hardly know my own strength at times.

   Precisely nothing else at all happened during the day. In French this afternoon Mr. Leeds gave us a talk “au sujet de la consommation des alcools”.

   I came home on the Special Bus as usual.

   Tonight I have spent in doing homework. It was, in fact ten o’clock when I finished. Mam and Dad went to the cinema as usual.

Thou art my strong refuge. Psalm 71:7


   Nothing happened at school today. During the afternoon I wrote some notes in my Natural History note-book.

   This evening I went to the Warwick cinema in order to see The Blue Lamp. This film was given a very good write-up by all the film critics in the newspapers and must have been one of 1950’s three best films.

   Jack Warner played the part of the P.C. with Jimmy Hanley, Dirk Bogarde, Meredith Edwards, Robert Flemyng, Bernard Lee, Patric Doonan, Peggy Evans, Gladys Henson and Dora Bryan]. I thought it a superb film all round. [Dixon of Dock Green, based on the Jack Warner character, will run for 20 years on TV.]

   The supporting film, Arson Inc., was also good. Both films were “A”s.

Daily shall He be praised. Psalm 72:15


   This morning I went round to the newsagent’s and then I went for a walk with Ginger to the Park. It was fairly warm out and, in fact, has been for over a fortnight. The last occasion on which we had frost was on the 3rd.

   After dinner, Mam and I went to the Mission where Mr. C.H. Watts was the Speaker.

   Nothing else happened all day.

Sing aloud unto God our strength. Psalm 81:1


   Precisely nothing at all happened at school today. I came home on the Special Bus & did homework tonight. I had a bath at 8.30 and then went straight to bed.

   The weather readings for 1950 were as follows:—

MaxMinMeanSun (hrs)Rain (in)
   January was the driest month.
He sought God ... and God helped him. 2 Chronicles 26:5,7


   We postponed a debate to be held in English this morning as the Sixth and Upper Fifths had to assemble in Big School at 12.15pm to hear a talk on Colonial Service. This was given by Mr. Humphrey, an Old Edwardian who was at school from 1919 to 1924.

   I came home through town and bought a copy of Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie. During the afternoon I did some homework and read a few chapters of the book.

   I went to Cubs at 6.30pm. The week before the Party the attendance was twenty one out of twenty five. Today, a week after the Party, nine turned up.

Thou shalt ... comfort me on every side. Psalm 71:21


   As usual the day has passed uneventfully enough. In Biology we are still studying soil and bacteria.

   I played football during the lunch-hour. We had a test during the Double Maths period this afternoon.

   I came home on the Special Bus. During the evening I did homework and also finished reading my new book. I thought it a very well-written book indeed.

Korean Diary for Jan 10th–16th

13th. Political Committee of UN Gen. Assembly accepts proposals for settlement to be put forward by Peking.

15th. US 8th Army recaptures three towns.

16th UN forces withdraw from salient south of Waiyu.

God ... hath glorified His Son Jesus. Acts 3:13


   We received our Fixture Cards this morning on leaving Big School.

   In French we are reading Guy de Maupassant’s Les Prisonniers.

   In J.T.C. we had a quarter of an hour’s mutual drill and then we went into the adjacent field to do some revision of firing orders and section leading.

   This afternoon the first round ties of the Knock-Out Cup Competition were played. We were drawn against Williams’. As usual was picked to lead the 2nd XV forwards. We had only eleven men. This was largely instrumental to our 38–6 defeat. The 1st XV lost 37–3 with thirteen men.

I ... am come down to deliver them. Acts 7:33,34


   In Physics today we did an experiment to find the Electro-Chemical Equivalent of Copper by Electrolysis.

   At dinner time I played football but otherwise nothing happened.

   As usual I came home on the Special Bus. While Mam and Dad were at the cinema tonight, I did homework from seven until nearly ten o’clock. I also heard “Any Questions?” at 8.0pm, a special Australia Day variety show at 9.0 and the second part of “Miss Dangerfield and the Irresistible Nightingale” a comedy thriller at 9.30pm.

Keep me, O LORD. Psalm 140:4


   We received the Chronicle after prayers this morning but there is nothing else to record. [The King Edward’s School Chronicle is published in January and July.]

   At Derby this afternoon, in front of a record crowd of 38,384 spectators at the Baseball Ground, Blues defeated Derby County by three goals to one (Smith, Stewart, Trigg; Lee) and so have reached the 5th Round of the FA Cup. By all accounts it was quite a deserved win too.

   At Molineux Wolves beat Villa 3–1.

   Tonight I went to the Olton to see Seven Days to Noon, a very good film. It is about a scientist who threatens to blow up London with a new bomb of which he is the inventor unless the Government promises to withhold these bombs from warfare. The other film was Sierra Sue with Gene Autry & his horse Champion.

Thou art my God. Psalm 31:15.


   I got up at 9.0am this morning and made a pot of tea before making the fire. After breakfast I fetched my Boy’s Own Paper and The Listener. I stayed out until dinner time.

   Nothing happened all day. I had a bath before going to bed.

Korean Diary for Jan 17th–23rd

17th. Chinese Govt. rejects UN proposals for cease fire & puts forward counter-proposals which Mr. Acheson states are unacceptable.

18th. President Truman states that the USA will press to have China condemned as an aggressor.

20th. US resolution condemning Peking Govt as an aggressor introduced into Committee of Gen. Ass.

23rd. PM makes statement on Korea and China.

Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest. Psalm 65:4


   I was top in Geography this morning with fourteen out of twenty marks. I also got 100% for Maths and one of the highest marks for French.

   Fred Oxley took Choir Practice again. Dr. Willis Grant has been absent for ten days now.

   Mr. Cotter took both Gym classes this afternoon. We had five minutes of netball. I scored the only goal.

   I just caught the Special Bus home. I spent all the evening doing homework until ten o’clock.

   It has been foggy for most of the day though it is also freezing at the moment.

I, even I, am He that comforteth you. Isaiah 51:12


   This morning we debated the motion “This House believes that Parity of Esteem is a desirable object in present day education”. The opposition failed to put any proper argument against the proposition. In fact, apart from arguing that equal education was undesirable, which was not anything to do with the question, I am now a member of the Communist Party. Other “red-herrings” were labourers (farm and other species), cooking, trades in general, wheelbarrows and dustmen. It was a most unconvincing performance by the opposition. When put to the vote, the result was a draw 3–3 with one abstention.

   Nothing much else happened but I went to Cubs tonight.

The LORD is my shepherd. Psalm 23:1


   This morning I received a letter from Cecil Madden, Head of Children’s Television programmes. He has promised to keep me in mind for a Television audition.

   In Geography we have studied the Physiography of The Scottish Highlands, the Southern Uplands and the Central Valley. We are now studying the Lake District.

   Nothing else happened all day. After school I went to an Alto practice which had to be cancelled owing to an examination which was taking place.

   During the evening I did some prep and pressed my uniform. I went to bed just after ten o’clock.

Thus saith the LORD ... this thing is from Me. 1 Kings 12:24.

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