This morning I went round to Dorling’s and got my B.O.P. [Boy’s Own Paper] for April.

   This afternoon we went to the Mission. Mr. Hughes was the speaker and he spoke for quite three quarters of an hour. He was extremely interesting though.

   Tonight I read over half of my library book Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie and then took Ginger for her walk. I went to bed at 10.15pm.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. 1 Peter 3:18


   I finished reading Sad Cypress this morning.

   I played out all day with Brian [Holliday], Wilf [Rogers], Audrey and John. We played football. It kept fine more or less though we had two very heavy showers.

   This evening David and Marjorie came at 8 o’clock. At 8.30 I took Ginger for her evening walk and went to meet Mam on her way home from the doctor’s [Dr. Gough, 633 Shirley Road] with Clarice.

   Later we listened to “Variety Fanfare” with Al Read as the resident comedian.

Thus saith the Lord GOD ... in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. Isaiah 40:15


   This morning I decided to go for a cycle ride to Shirley. I found a wood on my Ordnance Survey Map and it turned out to be in Bills Lane, Shirley. I remembered that John Wilkins [a friend at K.E.S.] lives at 117 and I did, in actual fact, meet him. I saw a Marsh Tit in the wood. It had not the white nape of the Coal tit.

   I continued cycling and found an old mill where I saw a pair Jackdaws in one of the tiny windows. I saw at least three rookeries. The rooks are extremely busy even though there are no leaves on the trees yet. I like to watch them flying to and from their nests and cawing noisily.

   I got home by 2.15. After dinner I played outside for some time and went to Cubs tonight. I was the only one there until Mr. Harvey came just after 7.30.

   There was a terrible accident at Lewis’s yesterday afternoon. A lad was sliding on his stomach down the banisters between the fourth and fifth floors, when he lost his balance and plunged 80 feet to his death. He was John Molloy (10) of 6 Dixon Road, Small Heath.

Jesus Himself drew near. Luke 24:15


   This morning I washed up after breakfast and played out for most of the morning. I also went down the village on my bicycle.

   After dinner I wrote a couple of letters, including one to Bob. I played out from 5.30 until 7.0pm.

   Tonight I had a bath and listened to Frank Vosper’s play Murder on the Second Floor in “Curtain Up”.

Korean Diary for March 20th–27th

25th. UN forces meet stiffer resistance.

27th. “Reds” reported to be reinforcing their front-line troops in Korea.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12


   This morning Mam took us to Kidderminster. It was the first time I had been there since I was seven years old. Our 8.49 ’bus from Navigation Street arrived at exactly 9.50. We met Aunt Doll and Dorothy, or rather they met us, and then we did some shopping together before catching the Sutton Farm ’bus [to Woodward Road, where they live at No 36]. We called first at Aunt Ruth’s.

   After dinner we watched the Television. From 3.0 until 3.30, we saw some Spring Fashions, then “Bygones” for the next thirty minutes. In “For the Children”, we saw “Men of Action” — the Engine Driver. I was not at all impressed by any of the three programmes.

   Before going home at 8.0pm we went to see Uncle Bill for a few minutes. We caught the 8.50 ’bus & got home at 10.15. I then took Hound out for a short walk.

My cry came unto Him. Psalm 18:6


   This morning I went down the village with Mam to do the shopping. Ginger came with us.

   After dinner I again went down the village with Ginger.

   Tonight I have sorted out the waste paper and taken down latest weather recordings while listening to “Any Questions?”

Korean Diary for March 28th–April [7th]

March 29th. UN forces advance N. of Seoul.

30th. Chinese counter-attack in force north of Seoul.

31st. A column of US tanks crosses the 38th Parallel.

7th. Foreign ministers of the American Republics sign agreement to strengthen W. Hemisphere against aggression.

He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. 1 Peter 2:6


   This afternoon I cycled to Grandad’s [23 Pretoria Road, Bordesley Green] & went on to the match — Blues v Sheffield United. B’ham C: Merrick; Green, Badham; Dorman, Atkins, Ferris; Berry, Higgins, Trigg, Rowley, Warhurst.

   Rowley scored in the 19th minute, Higgins after 30 minutes and Warhurst got his first goal for Blues six minutes later. There was no further scoring.

   Nickel Coin (40–1) won [the Grand National] by six lengths from Royal Tan (22–10. Only TWO of a field of thirty-six finished. Derrinstown (66–1) was re-mounted and came third, a quarter mile behind! Eleven horses fell at the first fence and there were only five horses left at half-way.

   Tonight I went to the Piccadilly to see James Stewart in Harvey about a man who tags along with an imaginary white rabbit. A very good film on the whole though a bit too “wordy” occasionally.

Yea, I have loved thee. Jeremiah 31:3


   Nothing much happened at all today. We got up rather late.

   After dinner I read this week’s The Scout [given me each week by Mr. Harvey]. Then at 4.30 Dad and I took Ginger for a run in the park. We saw three Mallard circling round.

   Today is Census day and I have just finished filling in our form for Dad. The last census was way back in 1931. It will be interesting to learn the present population figures.

   Birmingham’s population:— 1901 ... 533,040; 1931 ... 1,002,603.

   Tonight I took Hound out & heard a Tawny Owl hooting for about twenty minutes.

The LORD ... my refuge. Psalm 91:9


   We all stayed in bed until 10.45 this morning. It was warmer there, we have no coal and it is raining outside.

   At about 2.30 we all went to Aunt Greta’s flat. I forgot to mention that Aunt Greta visited us last Tuesday afternoon. We got back home by 5.45pm. Greta very kindly gave us a bag of coal so we lit a fire when we got back. It burnt beautifully. Our coal refuses to burn brightly or give out any heat, in fact it closely ressembles [sic] a lump of slate.

   Tonight I took Ginger for her evening walk and while I was out I saw part of a T.V. film “A hundred years of medicine” at Cuttriss’s [Warwick Road]. I did not hear or see the Owl.

Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back. Isaiah 38:7


   I stayed in bed for some time this morning and then when I got up I went round to Dorling’s to get last week’s The Listener and today’s Picture Show.

   After dinner I took Ginger for a walk along the [Grand Union] canal from Yardley Road to Lincoln Road. It was a bright afternoon and there were hundreds of birds. I saw Crows, Rooks, Greenfinch, Chaffinches, two pairs of Bullfinches, a Great Tit, Blue Tit and Coal Tits, a Robin, a Wren and a Mute Swan, not to mention Starlings, Sparrows, Thrushes and Blackbirds. I also saw a Kingfisher fly straight across the canal and disappear between two bushes. All I saw was a vivid blue streak.

   Tonight I went to Cubs. They collected £1 l5s 11d for Bob-a-Job [Week]. I took Ginger out when I got back.

Thou, even Thou, art LORD alone. Nehemiah 9:6


   This morning Mam and I cleared most of the furniture and all of the carpets etc. out of the dining room as we were having the chimney swept this afternoon. I also went down the village with Ginger.

   After dinner I washed up and then at 2.15 Ginger and I went along the canal from Woodcock Lane. The canal is always an interesting walk in the Spring especially when the bushes and trees are breaking into leaf. I saw several nests and apart from yesterday’s birds, a Jay, Sparrow Hawk and Magpies.

   We walked past the Solihull Gas Works. Here the smell was terrible and some filthy looking water poured from pipes into the canal. No wonder that dead fish float on the canal at Hatton!

   I again heard the Owl tonight.

The precious blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:19


   All yesterday and part of today we have lived in the Sitting Room. Today we moved the table back into the Dining Room, the Radio too. I stayed in most of the morning and wrote three letters one to Bob [Vitoria], another to Stephen [Chadwin] and a card to “Winnie” [John Winrow]. Then I washed up.

   After dinner I went shopping down the village with Mam. It rained hard. Ginger came with me.

   Nothing else happened all day. In the evening I took Ginger for her evening walk. It was still raining. When I got home I had a bath and went to bed.

   I had another talk “Let’s Look at the Pond” rejected by the B.B.C. this morning — that’s three in succession now.

It is the blood which maketh an atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17:11.


   I was up at eight o’clock this morning. After breakfast I washed up and then did some writing. After this I went down to the Post Office with Ginger.

   After dinner I stayed in reading until 3.30. Then I took Ginger out. I got some fire-wood from off the field — part of an old oak by the [31A] ’bus stop had been cut down.

   This evening I played out for half an hour and washed up. It is now eight o’clock and Mam and Dad are at the cinema as usual. They have gone to the Warwick to see a musical, The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady (U), with June Haver and Gordon Macrea, and On Secret Service.

For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 1 Peter 3:17


   Today I broadcast for the fourth time in “Midland Magazine” No. 36. I arrived at 11.30am to rehearse the play “Queen Guinevere — her Jeste” by Marcus Bennet, who played Sir Lancelot. The others taking part were Pamela Watkinson, John Bonsor, Maurice Oakley and Peter Towers. This rehearsal lasted until 12.30. From 1.30 until 2.15 we went through the whole programme then we “messed around” for quite some time while each person read his piece over the mike [and signed autographs.

   Those in today’s programme were Sonia Beeseley (narrator), Marcus Bennett, John Bennett, Pamela Watkinson, John M. Davies, Jennifer Langdale, Michael Grayson, Anthony N. Aspin, Margaret Stephens, John Eames Bonsor, Brigid Walsh, Maurice Oakley, Elsa Till, Peter L. Towers, Julie Farnsworth, Pauline Layton, Christine Reynolds, Janet Yorke, Roma Simpson, Elizabeth Caroline Simpson, Sybil Skelding and Mary Webster who was the only one who didn’t sign my autograph book. There were 23 of us altogether. I know Mary and Brigid from previous broadcasts, and Michael too of course].

   At 3.45 we had tea then at 5.0 we went on the air. We were off the air within six minutes — a break in transmission which lasted for a minute or so. Altogether the whole programme went off very well. After “Mid. Mag.” Alec Allen sang several songs to round off the programme. Mam, Clarice & Julia listened in, Dad was gardening. I got home by 5.45pm.

   Mr. Ernest Bevin died this afternoon aged 70.

Occupy till I come. Luke 19:13


   We put the clocks forward an hour last night so we had an hour’s less sleep. I got up at 8.30am and made a pot of tea for Mam and Dad.

   I stayed in for most of the morning and after dinner at 2.30 we heard the first instalment of a new serial play — “The Other Side of the Sun” which promises to be very interesting. It is about another planet, exactly similar to the earth, which is always hidden from view because it is always on the other side of the sun.

   At 4.0pm, Dad and I took Ginger to the park for a run.

   After tea I played outside until 8.15 and then I took Ginger for her evening walk. I walked right round the village in seventeen minutes.

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


   Mam and I decided to go to town today. The weather was too depressing to stay at home for long. There is nothing much to record.

   After dinner Mam and I were going to walk down to Stratford Road taking Ginger with us, but we called in at Snell’s on Olton Boulevard East to get me a straw basher and it was too late to walk down and we caught the ’bus [instead]. I thought that maybe John Winrow would call this afternoon & it was rather a coincidence that we should get on the same ’bus as he. He had just called for me and found me out.

   This evening I put the gravel into the aquarium, planted weeds etc., and filled it with water and left it to stand overnight.

   Later I took Hound round the village for her evening walk.

Thou art with me. Psalm 23:4


   Having allowed the aquarium to settle down, I put my four Goldfish into the aquarium. They now look most enchanting. I have often dreamt of a nice aquarium, ever since I can remember, in fact.

   Later this morning I went shopping with Mam. Ginger came.

   After dinner, I took Ginger to the park and I got a dozen snails for the aquarium including three large Planorbis snails.

   This evening I got to Cubs early and we got a game of football. Mr. Winters and Mr. Thornborough joined in when they arrived. For the remaining forty minutes, the cubs worked in sixes. I collected the Scouts’ subs at the club room after cubs.

   I was home by 9.30 and took Ginger out. A little bee told me it’s going to be fine for some days yet!

He is good. 1 Chronicles 16:34


   This morning I stayed in for most of the time until 11.30 when I cycled down the village for Mam. I then cycled to John Winrow’s and we arranged to go to Bittell tomorrow with Ginger. I shall meet him at Swanshurst Park at 10.15 tomorrow, all being well.

   Nothing much else happened all day. This evening after taking Ginger out I heard two Tawny Owls. I set off up Victoria Road to find one but when it hooted found it was sitting on the branch of an oak tree right over my head. It was quite clearly silhouetted against the sky but it flew off almost immediately.

   I nearly forgot to mention that Mam and I went to Aunt Daisy’s [at 136 Mapleton Road, Hall Green] this afternoon.

Ask counsel ... of God. Judges 18:5


   My snails have got to work fast — I had at least four batches of eggs in the aquarium today!

   [I paid 15/- into my Bank account this morning. I started the account at the Midland Bank, Warwick Road, Acocks Green, on January 6th last year. I have now saved £6 0s 8d, including 2d in interest.]

   John and I got to Rednal today with Ginger by 11.30 and we set off for Upper Bittell. On the way we saw six or seven Swallows — almost the first to be seen this year — but no Swifts. Upper Bittell [reservoir] was very turbulent in the strong wind and there were no duck. On Lower Bittell there were Tufted Duck and Mallard. We saw twenty two different birds including a Common Scoter. It was a diving duck, all black & appeared about the same size as the Tufted with which it was swimming. I was observing it through binoculars from 100 yards.

   John and I went up the Lickey Hills for two hours before returning home. I came back through town.

O give thanks unto the LORD. 1 Chronicles 16:34


   Bob has given me his old bike now. It is brakeless, almost tyreless and quite dirty but this morning I got down to work on it and cleaned it up somewhat. I spent quite some time writing in my Cub’s note-book as well.

   This afternoon I spent a couple of hours at the park with Ginger. It was a beautiful day and warm too. I rather think it will keep fine for four or five days at Least. I got a water beetle for the aquarium and I also saw almost a dozen Sticklebacks.

   Later I played out for some time. Mam and Dad went to the cinema tonight and I went to meet them on their way home at 10.30pm, taking Ginger with me.

   The Birmingham Mail yesterday published a letter I wrote about bird-nesting under the heading “Appeal to Boys”. This was my 4th Mail letter.

Ye shall find rest. Matthew 11:29


   I cycled to get some horse-meat this morning.but the Stratford Road shops had none so I had to go to Stoney Lane [Sparkbrook]. There was a big queue because many people are buying horse-meat for their own dinner. It used to cost 8d per pound. It now costs anything from 1s 6d. On my way home I saw four expresses at Tyseley.

   I cycled to Blues’ match v Leeds United after dinner. It was a very disappointing game though. Blues never mastered a light ball and Leeds scored after 24 minutes through Stevenson to win the match. Blues will not now go up to Division I:— P 40; W 19; L 13; Dr. 8; For 61 Agst 51; Pts 46; Posn 4th.

   This evening I cleaned my bike and took Ginger for her evening walk before going to bed at 10.15pm.

   The weather is continuing fine and warm.

Thy sins be forgiven thee. Mark 2:5


   I spent almost all today cleaning my bike and removing the rust with a wire brush.

   Nothing else happened.

Korean Diary for April 8th–17th

8th. Gen. Ridgway, Commander of the US 8th Army says no end to the campaign is in sight unless there is a political settlement.

9th. President Truman discusses MacArthur’s position with Democratic Party leaders.

10th. Brit. 27th Inf. Brigade to be relieved.

11th. Pres. Truman relieves Gen MacArthur of all his commands and replaces him by Lieut.Gen. Ridgway.

12th. Pres. Truman broadcasts speech on foreign policy & MacA’s dismissal.

16th. Communist troops fall back. Pres. Truman defends his far-Eastern Policy in a speech at Washington.

The LORD was ready to save me. Isaiah 38:20


   This morning I went to Halford’s in the village and bought a tin of Rich Red “Brushing Belco” to paint the frame of my bicycle. I originally chose Emerald Green or Royal Blue but these colours were not in stock.

   I gave the frame two or three coats of paint — it dried in fifteen minutes. It doesn’t look too bad now.

   This afternoon Mam and I went on the ’bus to Sparkhill and we went down Percy Road to a shop that sells dropped handlebars cheaply. I could get none though, so we went shopping on Stratford Road. Ginger was with us of course.

   I took her out tonight and heard the owls as usual. I saw one too.

The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23


   We returned to school this morning. After prayers we had House Meetings and we then went to form rooms for first period.

   In Maths we carried on from last term with calculus. Nothing happened for the rest of the morning. I came home through town. It was very hot again and I had a slight headache when I got home. However, I did what homework I had to do and went to Cubs tonight. We played Cricket. weather

   When I got home I took Ginger out and heard the owls as usual.

Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13


   This morning I had to run as hard as ever to catch the Special.

   There is only one morning bell now. This is at 9.12 and we are given seven minutes in which to enter Big School. No talking is allowed at all. This is in order to keep Big School with an atmosphere of worship rather than a rendezvous for gossip.

   In Geography we are studying Italy. Nothing much happened all day. I played soccer in the dinner-hour and came home on the Special.

   At 5pm I cycled to Blues’ last home match v Brentford who were captained by Jack Goodwin. [He had played for Birmingham City earlier in his career]. The “Bees” scored first and in the second half Smith scored for Blues. Result 1–1.

As for God, His way is perfect. 2 Samuel 22:31


   In J.T.C. we are now to be trained as potential NCO’s. This morning Capt. Cooke talked to us about the 36 Grenade.

   I came home through town and bought a copy of the Festival of Britain Programme for Birmingham and a Guide to Birmingham. I called at Thos Cook’s to get a couple of French leaflets.

   I spent all the afternoon doing prep.

   Tonight I took Ginger out for her evening walk as usual.

Korean Diary for April 18th–24th

22nd. Mr. Shinwell says Russia has at least 200 Divisions available & is producing aircraft at a “terrific rate”.

24th. UN forces withdraw before offensive.

Be ye kind ... tenderhearted, forgiving one another. Ephesians 4:32


   We studies three types of hygrometer in Physics today. Mr. Guy has organised this term’s Chemistry entirely for my benefit. We are doing Chlorine and its compounds. The dates of my G.C.E. examinations are:—

June 7th English Language9.30am
June 8th General Science I9.30am
June 14th French I9.30am
French II and Dictation2.00pm
June 15th Maths III Geometry9.30am
Maths I Arithmetic2pm
June 20th General Science II9.30am
June 21st Maths II Algebra9.30am
   Nothing happened all day. I came straight home. Mam and Dad went to the cinema. Uncle Arthur came at 8pm. I saw and heard the cuckoo in Edgbaston Park today.
Teach me to do Thy will; for Thou art my God. Psalm 143:10


   I went in my new basher this morning. In Biology we are studying plants. School finished at 11.45am as the Athletic sports, postponed from last term, were being held at 2.15pm and no school dinner was available for competitors.

   The Cup Final took place this afternoon and I went to Stephen [Chadwin]’s to watch the second half on Television. At half-time the score was 0–0. Then in 50 minutes, with half of Blackpool’s defenders appealing for off-side, Milburn ran through to score easily. Five minutes later a back-heel from Taylor found Milburn who shot first time to score a great goal. It was then all over with Blackpool & apart from the goals it was a poor match. Blackpool’s forwards never got going. After the game, the King presented the Cup to Joe Harvey, capt of Newcastle United. The Queen presented the medals.

By grace are ye saved through faith. Ephesians 2:8


   This morning Uncle Arthur came to do a spot of renovation of the ceiling paper in Mam and Dad’s room.

   I spent all the morning doing Physics homework and after dinner I completed a map of Italy and several pages of notes for Geography prep. Bob came to tea at about 4.30. I had just finished re-turfing a small area of the lawn.

   During the evening I finished some homework, took Hound out and listened to “Variety Bandbox”.

The Lord knoweth them that are His. 2 Timothy 2:19


   In Geography today we put up our exhibition of the Cairngorms Development Scheme.

   There was the usual School Choir Practice at 12.30pm, otherwise nothing happened.

   I did not come home on the S.B. as I had to call at the Mail offices to get some weather readings.

   I read more of my Peter Cheyney novel Try Anything Twice on the way home.

   I spent the evening writing an English essay on Soccer. It took me two hours altogether.

In my distress I called upon the LORD, and ... He heard my voice. Psalm 18:6

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