TUESDAY 1st MAY 1951

   Nothing happened this morning. This afternoon we opened our cricket season with matches v Burgess’s. There are four elevens this year. I was picked for the 2nd XI.

   We batted first and scored 110 for 9 declared. I was to have gone in No. 4 but my tree was troubling me again so I elected to go in last and I didn’t have to bat. Nightingale got 36 n.o. and Griffin 28.

   Burgess’s scored 111 for 5 and so won by 5 wickets. This was mainly due to a fine innings by Maxie Wilkins who scored 48. I fielded at deep fine leg and didn’t have to do too much running. I got home for 7.0pm

   Tonight I have been doing prep. I got home too late of course to go to Cubs.

It is time to seek the LORD. Hosea 10:12


   In Geography we are now discussing the Population of Italy. Nothing much happened in Chemistry or Physics. In Biology Mr. Monkcom took us into Edgbaston Park. Chadwin and I went all round the lake to see if we could see some frog-spawn but there was none at all. We saw a pair of Sedge Warblers but little else. The sun was shining when we went into the Park. After fifteen minutes it was pouring.

   In the dinner hour I did some homework in our form room. I came home on the Special Bus.

   Tonight I blancoed my belt and gaiters and polished brasses.

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:26


   The great Festival of Britain has opened! The King, in a broadcast to the world from the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral this morning, officially declared the festival open. The King with the Queen, Princess Elizabeth, The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret had driven through beflagged, flower bedecked streets lined with cheering crowds, to attend an inter-denominational service. There was a colourful procession, announced by heralds, into the Cathedral where the vast congregation included Cabinet ministers, political leaders, foreign diplomats, civic dignitaries and representatives of the Services.

   To celebrate the festival, special postage stamps have been issued — a 2½d red stamp and a 4d blue with the Festival emblem which I have reproduced here. In addition four others stamps have changed their colours but have kept the same design. The ½d issue is now orange, the 1d stamp blue, the 1½d green and the 2d brown.

   I came home from school through town and bought the 2½d and 4d stamps together with a packet of special envelopes. I could not get a first-day cover in town because the Post Office refused to date-stamp my envelope. However the Acocks Green P.O. were willing to stamp it for me — on condition that I registered it. This I did and I am expecting it back tomorrow morning.

   When I bought the other new stamps I took them straight to Shirley Road P.O. and got them stamped with no trouble at all.

   This evening the City Transport Illuminated Bus went on its first outing. It visited Acocks Green at 9.22pm so we went down the village to see it. There were thousands of people lining its route. There was a great buzz of excitement [unintentional pun!] as the ’bus appeared at the top of Westley Road. It looked really fine. The words “Festival of Britain” flashed on and off but no one really had much chance to see the ’bus properly — it went too fast.

They all forsook Him and fled. Mark 14:50


   In Physics we studied heat energy today while in Chemistry we went on to deal with Bromine and its compounds.

   I spent the lunch hour reading in the form room. In French, Mr. Leeds read us a story and we then answered questions about the story, in French of course.

   I caught the Special ’Bus home. Tonight I have been doing homework and I also listened to “Any Questions?” as usual.

Thou art near, O LORD; and all Thy commandments are truth. Psalm 119:151


   We rather pulled Mr. Guy’s leg today. Some of us were hiding when he came in and when I told him that 2 boys hadn’t appeared he said that unless they came out of hiding at once we would have to stay in. He realised a little too late that the two were absent.

   After dinner I cycled to the School Ground to see the 1st XI play the Staff. The Staff batted first and scored 119 for 6 declared. (J.B. Guy 26, R.D.J. Robertson 22 n.o., A.J. Trott 18). School were left with just 2 hours to obtain the necessary runs but Benson got a duck when only three runs had been scored. 32 runs were put on for 3rd wicket then 4 wickets fell for only 10 runs. School were playing for a draw but were all out for 71 with five minutes to go. (Gough 23, Revill 16; Guy 2 for 7, Robertson 2 for 9, Leeds 2 for 14).

   [I went to pay the papers as usual tonight. It has gone up a penny to 1/8d as the Sunday Mercury now costs 3d.]

JESUS. Matthew 1:21


   I spent all this morning and the afternoon and most of the evening doing several subjects of homework.

   After dinner at 2.30 we listened to the fourth instalment of “The Other Side of the Sun”.

   Tonight a special “Festival of Variety” was broadcast from 7.30 to 8.30 and from 9 to 10pm. It was a very good show, and included Ted Ray, Donald Peers, Max Miller, Frankie Howerd, Robb Wilton, Danny Kaye, Gracie Fields and many others. Wilfred Pickles introduced the programme.

   I took Hound out at 8.30pm.

Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:21


   In Geography we are doing mapwork on Mondays.

   There was a Choir practice as usual at 12.30 and an Alto Practice at 3.45 [for the School Concert on the 17th].

   We played basketball in the playground in Gym.

   At 5.15pm I cycled to St. Andrews to see Blues play Airdrieonians. Airdrie were one up in 8 minutes with a goal by McCullough (outside left) — a terrific right foot volley which left Merrick standing — the second best goal at St. Andrews this season. At half-time Airdrie were 3 up and fife [sic] minutes after the restart the score was 3–2. The Airdrie goalie was penalised for taking more than three steps without bouncing the ball & Berry scored. The game ended 5–3 to Airdrie who got two of Blues’ goals! It was Dennis Jennings’ last game for Birmingham.

The LORD ... heareth ... prayer. Proverbs 15:29


   Nothing happened at school today. I came home through town.

   I spent all the afternoon and evening doing homework and did not go to Cubs.

   I have given up playing cricket, for the time being anyway, until my knee shows signs of improving.

Korean Diary for April 25th–May 1st

25th. Communist pressure continues all along western front.

26th. UN forces withdraw to positions twenty miles north of Seoul.

29th. Communists suffer severe casualties in vain effort to encircle UN troops.

1st. Communist pressure before Seoul reduced.

He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. Isaiah 53:7


   This morning in Chemistry we had a test on Chlorine and its compounds.

   After dinner I did homework in form room for forty minutes.

   In Maths this week we are doing differentiation and integration in calculus.

   After school I had another Alto Practice until 4.30pm and on the way home I got a haircut.

   I spent all the evening getting my uniform ready for tomorrow’s Docker Cup. I polished brasses, blancoed belt, gaiters and pouches, and pressed my tunic and trousers as well as polishing my boots. While doing this I heard G. Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion in “Curtain Up” and also “Have a Go”.

O LORD, I will praise Thee ... Thou comfortedst me. Isaiah 12:1


   The Docker Cup took place this morning. We paraded third and didn’t do too badly though we did not actually win the cup. It was once more won by 8 Platoon (Sgt. G.R. Green) while John Adams won the Individual cup for the second time in succession.

   I got home for 2.30 and did homework for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

   Mam and Dad went to vote in the Municipal Elections tonight.

   I forgot to mention that I came home through Cannon Hill Park and found the Gadwall, which I saw on January 10th, still in residence.

God ... giveth strength and power unto His people. Blessed be God. Psalm 68:35


   We heard from the Head this morning that some boys smashed a piece of stonework which was for the new memorial, yesterday. It was valued at sixty or seventy pounds!

   In Physics we are now studying light. In the Chemistry test I got 23 out of 34 which was not too good really.

   After dinner I had another Choir Practice. The Concert is to be held next Thursday.

   Nothing else happened all day. Tonight I have been listening to “Variety Fanfare” and “Any Questions?”

The righteous shall be ... stronger and stronger. Job 17:9


   Today being Whit Saturday we did not have to go to school and so I did not get up until 9.30am. None of us did in fact. [I went to pay the papers as usual. It has gone up again, 1/10d. now, as last Sunday’s People and Sunday Graphic cost a halfpenny more. The Birmingham Mail is going up to 2d on Monday which means it will cost us 2/1d per week instead of 1/8d only a fortnight ago.]

   This afternoon, Dad and I cycled to Grandad’s and we then went on to St. Andrews to see Blues play Dinamo (Yugoslavia) in a Festival match. The foreigners won the game by 2–nil and in the second half, completely outplayed Blues. Dinamo hit the post twice, the bar twice and Green kicked off the line. They wore blue shirts and shorts (Blues played in red) and when they came on to the pitch they threw presents to the spectators. After the game they ran to the centre and bowed.

   I went to the Warwick tonight to see Murder Without Crime (A) and Forgery (A),

All things are possible unto Thee. Mark 14:36


   This morning, Dad and I re-assembled my new bike. It has new white metal mudguards, rat-trap pedals, and entirely new brakes.

   It took us all afternoon and some of the evening as well to finish it.

Korean Diary for May 2nd–8th

2nd. Mr. Shinwell states that British casualties in recent fighting in Korea were over 1,000 killed, missing or wounded.

5th. UN forces move forward again after Communist offensive.

Thou ... gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest them forth water ... out of the rock for their thirst, and promised them that they should go in to possess the land. Nehemiah 9:13,15


   We had some good news this morning. We have got booked up at “Moranna”, 104 Grosvenor Place, Margate, for our holidays this year. God willing, we shall be off to Margate on July 28th for a week.

   During the day, Dad and I cut over half the back lawn. The weather wasn’t any too good. It was cold and windy again.

   Nothing else happened all day. I took Hound out tonight.

They took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13


   Although Dad does not go to work until tomorrow, I had to return to school this morning. I went on my bicycle and arrived just as nine o’clock was striking. Park Vale was re-opened at the beginning of the term. It has now been concreted and two pillars have been put up.

   We had a test in Divinity. Nothing else happened all day. I got home by 1.30pm. I stayed in most of the afternoon doing prep and I also went down the village with Ginger.

   After tea, I finished cutting the back lawn all except the small area in the centre which is seeding at the moment.

   I took Hound out at 8.45. I listened to “We Beg to Differ” and then went to bed at 10.0pm.

The LORD ... heareth the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29


   It was raining this morning, so I did not cycle to school. In Chemistry, we started on Iodine.

   Mr. Monkcom was not at school today and Mr. (Nellie) Lutyens took us. He told Stephen [Chadwin] that the Head wanted to see him immediately. As Stephen was leaving the room, Mr. Lutyens called him back. He had only been using him as a “guinea pig” to demonstrate involuntary reactions to sudden shock!

   I had Choir Practice from 12.30pm till 1.15 and another at 3.45.

   I came home with Kirkby on the 1A ’bus. Nothing else happened all day.

Christ ... who is over all, God blessed for ever. Romans 9:5


   In J.T.C. today, the platoon discussed Fore Orders with Capt. Cooke. I came home through town and got home a few minutes before three o’clock. Mam had taken Clarice & Julia to Cannon Hill Park. Ruth came at 3.0 and decided to wait until they came home!

   I cycled to school for the Concert this evening. We had a rehearsal at 6.0pm.

   The programme included Haydn’s Symphony in B Flat, three-part songs, (including Waltzing Matilda sung unaccompanied by the choir — it fetched the house down and an encore was given), Three Songs of Praise by George Dyson, and T.F.H. Oxley’s Chorus of Frogs from The Frogs of Aristophanes, sung by Classical VI in Greek. The ninth and last item consisted of two extracts from the masque Job by Vaughan Williams, Sarabande of the Sons of God & Pavane of the Sons of the Morning.

What think ye of Christ? Matthew 22:42


   I again cycled to school this morning. In Physics we worked individually and did an experiment to find the position of an image by the “no parallex” [sic] method.

   At dinner time I played football for the first time for almost a month and scored three goals, one a header from fifteen yards out.

   I came home on the S.B. Several of the portraits of headmasters in Big School have been taken down to be photographed for the School History Book which is being written [by T.W. Hutton]. Several photos have been taken of school activities. I’ve been on a couple so far — one on Wednesday going into the Dining Hall, and another of the Choir singing at last night’s concert.

   350 people attended the concert and 111 programmes were sold at sixpence each.

They hated Me without a cause. John 15:25


   I have only once been to a real theatre. That was to see a pantomime [at the Theatre Royal, New Street] in 1943. Tonight I decided to go to the Hippodrome for the 6.15pm performance.

   It was 9d. for the [gods, the last few rows of the] Balcony and I got in easily enough. After the Overture we saw Rosa and Rosita dancing and then “Ten Minutes in Paris” with Dumarte & Denzar, and two skeletons stalking the stalls! After some music from Irving and Girdwood we saw an amazing act by a troupe of Pekinese Dogs and then Arthur English came on the stage wearing a gaudy tie down to his knees, padded shoulders. Later, he was chased into the audience by a policeman. In the second half of the show we Ethel Revnell and “Monsewer” Eddie Gray who juggled with Indian clubs.

   I enjoyed this evening more than any other for a very long time.

We will remember Thy love. Song of Solomon 1:3


   I got up first this morning and made the tea.

   I spent some of the morning doing homework but I didn’t feel able to stick it somehow. Just lately I’ve been most depressed. But then, a lot of people have. I think it is the weather.

   Nothing much happened all day. Tonight I listened to “Calling All Forces” which has been moved from 1pm to 9pm to replace “Variety Bandbox” which has ended. “Take it From Here” ended today until December 2nd.

   Nothing else happened worth recording here. I went to bed at ten o’clock.

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 1 John 3:13


   In Geography we are making a map each with a story to illustrate it.

   I got 18/24 for a Physics test we had last Friday.

   In English we started to learn the first thirty four lines of the Prologue to Act IV of King Henry V.

   In Choir Practice we are now rehearsing Haydn’s Creation which is to be presented in Big School on July 18th at 7.30pm.

   In Gym, we played basketball in the playground.

   I came home on the S.B. and did homework as usual throughout the evening.

   Today the weather has been very bright and in the past week the Poplars [a line of them divided our gardens from those behind houses in Olton Boulevard East] have at long last broken into full leaf. The garden looks very nice now. In the front we have several tulips in flower.

If ye love Me, keep My commandments. John 14:15


   I learnt the first thirty lines to the prologue of King Henry V, Act IV but was not chosen to represent the form in the O.E. Recitation Prize.

   I had decided to play for the House 2nd XI this afternoon but it rained heavily for most of the morning and it was obvious that no play would be possible. I went down to Eastern Road, however; the pitch was covered with pools of water.

   I did homework during the afternoon and went to Cubs this evening. I hadn’t been for a month and there were several minor things to clear up including the issuing of books of Rally tickets. When I got back from Cubs, I took Ginger out.

Lord, Thou knowest all things: Thou knowest that I love Thee. John 21:17


   We had a Chemistry test this morning. Otherwise nothing happened.

   It rained all the dinner hour [but there was a Musical Society meeting to go to, with a visit by Marcia Osborne (soprano) who sang songs by Bach, Handel, Mozart and Schubert, with Mr. F.J. Williams playing three piano pieces by Brahms in between].

   After school I went to an Alto Practice in Big School and then got home at 5.45pm.

   I spent the evening doing prep.

Korean Diary for May 2nd–14th

2nd. Mr. Shinwell states that British casualties in recent fighting in Korea were over 1,000 killed, wounded or missing.

5th. UN forces move forward again after Communist offensive.

12th. Communists reported to be preparing fresh offensive.

13th. Gen. Marshall says USA will soon be able to send replacements at rate of more than a division a month.

14th. Chinese widen bridgehead.

The LORD ... heareth the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29


   This morning we had a test on Italy in Geography.

   In J.T.C. we received details of tomorrow’s Field Day at Clent. Afterwards, I took part in a practice demonstration of a section attack organised by Sgt. Hutchings. The real thing is to take place next Thursday — recruiting day on Park Vale pitch. I am one of the Riflemen.

   I got home by 2.15pm, and after dinner I had plenty of work to do as usual.

   Tonight I listened to Part 3 of “Paul Temple and the Jonothan Mystery” and then I took Ginger out at 8.30pm.

When Jesus ... saw her weeping ... He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. John 11:33


   I did not go to Field Day today as I haven’t felt any too well lately and I had a lot of prep anyway.

   When I came down at 9.0am, Mam was changing the house round. By 1 o’clock we got the Piano into the Lounge together with the suite, and we brought the two leather armchairs and the large settee into the dining room. Previously the settee had dwarfed everything in the lounge but both rooms are now better balanced and look quite attractive. The settee looks better in the Dining Room while the suite in the lounge matches the carpet in there and improves the colour scheme.

   I spent the whole of the afternoon doing prep in the lounge. I did prep throughout the evening while Mam and Dad were at the cinema.

Blessed be God. Psalm 68:35


   At school last Saturday we had no one for Biology and Mr. Mathews for Chemistry. This morning we had Mr. Monkcom for Biology and Chemistry.

   After dinner I took Ginger to a Dog Show at Jack Mould’s Sports Fields, Streetsbrook Road, Hall Green, at 2.0pm. It was opened by Air Commodore J.A. Cecil Wright, Chairman of the Kennel Club. [He is 64, served in the First World War, joined the R.F.C. in 1916 and was Squadron Leader of 605 (County of Warwick) Bomber Squadron 1926–36. He was M.P. for Erdington from 1936 until 1945. He is going to change his name to Cecil-Wright, hyphenated.] The judge was Tom Scott. I went in the Child Handler’s Class and received a bar of chocolate and a shilling but Ginger did not win a prize in the Sporting Class. This did not take place until 5.30 though and we had already been there for three and a half hours. Apart from the various classes in the show there were also sheep dog demonstrations by Mr. John Jones, the International Sheep Dog Trainer who worked five dogs at once.

   I caught the 31A ’bus home from the [Gospel Lane] terminus and got back at 6.0pm. Grandad had come. It was too late to go to the first house at the Hippodrome and though I went very early, I did not get a seat but had to stand most of the time.

   The show was “Randle’s Scandals of 1951”. After the Overture by the Hippodrome orchestra we saw the entire company on “the show-boat River Belle”. The third act was Hal Mack and his Dancing Demons who literally [sic] burnt up the stage with their tap-dancing. After this act we saw a comedy scene “In the Jungle” with Frank Randle, Peter Webster, Arthur Cannon, Gus Aubrey, Raymond Waller, Emil Dale and Stan Stafford. Next came the Phantom Guard presented by the Zio Angels and then before the Intermission were the Three Palmers who performed acrobatic antics.

   After the Intermission there was a scene in an old French Courtyard followed by Rayne, a contortionist and some singing by Stan Stafford. Next we saw Frank Randle and the whole of the company in “Grandpa’s Birthday” with Doris Powell as Grandma. After this Frank Randle made a little speech and introduced two of the company to the Audience. In the last scene — a crofter’s cottage in the Highlands — the Daphnia Girl Pipers led the company into the Audience. It was enjoyable entertainment. I got home for just after 11.0pm.

Thou saidst, Fear not. Lamentations 3:57


   We got up rather late this morning. Nothing much happened.

   Mam, Dad and I went to the Mission after dinner. A visit was paid us by the Sparkhill Male Voice Quartet who brought us an inspiring message with them.

   We walked back from Digbeth as far as the Piccadilly and got home for 5.30pm.

   In the evening I completed some homework and took Ginger for her evening walk at 8.30pm. It had rained previously but had stopped by then.

Korean Diary for May 15th

[I made no entry]

Jesus wept. John 11:35


   We returned to the subject of climate in Geography today but Mr. Benett also showed one or two of our maps on the epidiascope.

   There was the usual Choir Practice at 12.25pm in Big School.

   In Gym we again played basketball in the playground.

   I caught the S.B. home.

   This morning I found my name on the School Notice Board. It appears I have to take a French Oral Examination in the G.C.E. examination next Monday morning so my exams start a little earlier than I thought.

   I did prep throughout the evening and took Ginger out as usual.

   It’s been rather cloudy today but not cold, and it’s been dry too. I mowed the lawn and cut the piece in the centre between 5 and 7pm. weather

Fear thou God. Ecclesiastes 5:7


   As usual nothing much happened today. I now have the dates of all the internal examinations which last from June 27th to July 6th. Altogether I shall be taking at least sixteen written papers and two others.

   I came home through town as I wanted to buy a “Biroette” refill for my pen.

   Several alterations have been taking place in the City Centre. The Hill Street Bridge which was closed on 28th February 1949 was re-opened to traffic two months ago but not yet for pedestrians. Meanwhile, half of Navigation Street bridge is being taken up for repair & work is well under way.

   I did prep most of the afternoon & did not go to Cubs tonight.

Seek, and ye shall find. Luke 11:9


   This morning in Geography we started to discuss the reasons why Spain is not now a prosperous country.

   At dinner time I played football for the first time for almost a fortnight and again scored three goals [but there was a Concert I wish I had gone to, with B.S. Adams playing music for the recorder, and Yetman and Oxley playing duets for trumpet and piano, which I heard was terrific!].

   After school I went to an Alto Practice and then came home as usual with Kirkby [who lives at 73 Staplehurst Road, Hall Green].

   After doing prep I listened to “The Petrified Forest” in “Curtain Up” with Bette Davis, Gary Merrill and Emlyn Williams.

   Arctic Prince (28–1) today won the Derby with Sybil’s Nephew 2nd (50–1) and Signal Box 3rd (20–1). I picked Arctic Prince to win!

O God ... early will I seek Thee. Psalm 63:1


   For today’s section attack we wore K.D. [khaki drill], Musketry Order and helmets, and we grease-painted our faces. Zero hour was 12.45pm and the attack took two to three minutes. We were issued with Blank ammunition. I think it quite impressed the little boys! It wasn’t too bad anyway.

   This afternoon I played for the 2nd XI v Williams’. Bottomley won the toss for us & we batted first, scoring 72. I went in No. 7, hit the first ball for a four (very nearly six) just as I promised, & then tried to do the same with the next which removed my bails, having pitched a little shorter. Williams’ did not take long to hit up 75 for 4 wkts. (Hawkins 20, J.D. Adams 27 n.o.). Our bowlers did the wrong thing by pitching everything on the leg stump just asking to be hit! Fielding was poor.

The true light now shineth. 1 John 2:8

Previous chapter || Next chapter || Index || Search
webwork by Jim Nagel at Abbey Press, Glastonbury — this edition published 2007-06-30