FRIDAY 1st JUNE 1951

   We worked individually in Physics this morning. We used three different methods for finding the focal length of a Concave mirror.

   Mr. Guy was away with the 1st XI so we had Mr. Mathews. We were able to spend the period in revision and I managed to get my Physics practical written up.

   I played soccer in the lunch hour. In French in the afternoon we did some reading.

   I came home on the S.B. with John North [who lived at 32 Painswick Road, Hall Green]. When I got home I went round to Dorling’s and got B.O.P. and The Listener.

   This evening I have been doing some revision and listening to “Any Questions?”

I will give you assured peace. Jeremiah 14:13


   We again had Mr. Mathews this morning. We had no practical work to do. Mr. Guy set us a question after rather poor results in two recent tests.

   I came home with John Maund and John North. After dinner I went to Woodcock Lane Bridge and sold a complete book of Rally tickets in seventy five minutes.

   At 5.30pm I went to the Hippodrome to see Tom Arnold’s “Festival on Ice” at 6.15. I got in easily.

   After the Overture came “The Costers Come to Town”, the costermonger being George Miller, the Pearly Boys were the Silver Flashes and the Glamourettes were the Pearly Boys [sic]. Then on trotted, I should say skated, a horse and trainer. The “horse”, James Peters and Ken Maycock, amused the audience very much with its scating [sic] ability. This was followed by Ça c’est Paris with the Frenchmen and the Can-Can Dancers, and then Les Apaches de Paris: Harry Glick and Rosina. The sixth item was a comedy entitled “Three of the Class Z Reservists” in the person of the Frigidairs. We next saw a corps de ballet and Anne Rogers and Eddie Ward followed by Acra Ice trics [sic], the four eskimos and the corps de ballet again in “An Encampment in Kurdistan”.

   After the intermission we saw Hackford & Doyle providing music on the Xylophone and Trumpet. Next came the Glamourettes with Luba Natova in “Fiesta-Fiesta”. Then we saw an International Badminton contest between Geo. Stevens (Australia) and Bill Bowdler (GB). Bowdler won 7–6. Next came Hamilton Brown in a comedy sketch — “3 o’clock in the morning”. The 16th act was Polo, the continental Ice Juggler who was really terrific, then Harry Glick and Rosina in a “Romantic Theme” followed by Anne Rogers and Eddie Ward in “A Magyar Wedding”. After seeing again the four eskimos, we saw “Piccadilly Playtime” and then the whole cast appeared in “All the World’s Coming to Britain in 1951”. It was a fine show all round.

Jesus wept. John 11:35


   I got up before nine this morning and after making the tea, Clarice and Julia came with me down to the park to get some Canadian Pond Weed for the Aquarium. Ginger also came with us.

   I got several roots of the weed and after breakfast I planted it in the silver sand,

   Nothing much happened all day. Tonight I took Hound all round the village for her evening walk. For the past few weeks, there have been hundreds of Swifts in Acocks Green and I love to watch them.

   Today has again been very fine. Rain is promised us. My forecast is that it will be fine some time yet. weather

By love serve one another. Galatians 5:13


   I did not go into prayers. Those taking the French Oral Exam had to go to Room 176. Mr. V.J. Biggs conducted the exam in 175. We each had five minutes in which to study the piece (it was called “The Cock and the Thief”) before going into 175 to read it. I didn’t read it as well as I could have done under ordinary circumstances but I think I answered the following eight questions satisfactorily. I’m glad I’m not superstitious — I was the 13th to be examined.

   After the exam, I was free for the rest of the morning so I lay outside on the bank. It was very hot again.

   At 3.30pm all G.C.E. candidates had to go to Big School to get information about the exams.

Jesus called a little child unto Him. Matthew 18:2


   I cycled to school this morning. Nothing happened except that there was no Hymn Practice and school ended at 12.25pm. Thirty headmasters walked round the school and special notices were put up to indicate where the various parts were. [This reminds me that the John Cleese film, Clockwise, was filmed in Big School: that was supposed to be a headmasters’ conference too!]

   I came home with Stephen through Stirchley via Pershore Road and the No. 11 ’bus route. I got home for just after 1.20pm.

   I bought a couple of transfers for my bicycle and I transferred these on to the frame after dinner. They did not come out too badly.

   I spent the remainder of the day doing prep and revision. I took Ginger out this evening.

Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation. Luke 2:30


   I cycled to school again today. In Geography we had a test on climate and weather conditions.

   At dinner time I played football and scored three goals — all left-footed. My knee is improving gradually.

   In French we had our Oral and Dictation examinations. I got 70% in each.

   There was no Alto practice. This evening I have been doing French and English revision. I have been listening for over an hour to 1066 and All That.

Korean Diary for May 23rd–29th

23rd. Communists withdraw on 80 mile front.

24th. 8th Army goes over to offensive.

25th. UN troops pursue Reds across 38th.

We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation. Isaiah 25:9


   This morning I began the G.C.E. written papers with English Language from 9.30 to 12.0am [sic]. It was quite an easy paper — certainly easier than the Model Test Papers that we have been doing for prep. I could have done with a little more time. I should just about get 50%.

   I got home before one o’clock. Mam had cleaned Ginger’s shed out and put her straw on the rubbish heap and we could not get any straw at all in the village this afternoon.

   I bought half a pint of Daphnia and put it in the aquarium. The fish ate all the fleas in under an hour.

   Nothing else happened.

Unto you therefore which believe He is precious. 1 Peter 2:7


   This morning I had the General Science Paper I for two and a half hours. Here again, it was a fairly easy paper — Mr. Guy thought so anyway. I very much doubt whether I shall pass on this though, since I by no means completed the paper. The questions were in answer books.

   At dinner time I played football. During the afternoon we had a French Verb Test.

   I came home on the S.B.

Korean Diary for May 30th–June 5th

2nd. The ‘pursuit phase’ of United Nations offensive ends.

3rd. Communist resistance stiffens.

   We have had a lot of sunshine — 78.8 hours — so far this month and it’s been quite warm. weather

Trusting in the LORD. Psalm 112:7


   I cycled to school this evening. It’s really quite a nice ride since it is downhill for most of the way. It’s quite an exhilarating feeling to free-wheel all the way from Moseley village to Cannon Hill Park and of course, the short cut through the park is always worth while if only to see the Mallard asleep at the lakeside or the Swans with their six cygnets. (I see that I have forty eight words in that sentence!).

   After break, (Mr. Guy being absent) we spent the two period reading in Mr. E.V. Smith’s room.

   After school Mr. Whinnerah told me he has succeeded in getting me an exeat for next week until Thursday.

Behold, I come quickly. Revelation 22:12


   This morning after breakfast Clarice and Julia came with me to the park and we put the three sticklebacks back into the stream.

   We then went through the Gospel Lane’s Allotments and found another stream where there were hundreds of tadpoles. We collected one or two for the aquarium and I also found another species of water snail.

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

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


   I started my “holiday” today. After breakfast I siphoned the aquarium with a piece of rubber tubing which I bought on Saturday afternoon. I can now clean the aquarium in a matter of minutes.

   Later I went down to the Library and got two books. I had read Peter Cheyney’s Dark Wanton which I fetched on Saturday by this morning. It was quite a good book.

   After dinner I sorted out and bundled all the waste paper and took down the latest weather readings.

   After a lot of sunshine for nearly a fortnight the weather has been cloudy for the past two or three days with some rain.

Keep me, O LORD. Psalm 140:4


   This morning Mam and I went to town to buy me a blazer and a pair of trousers. We saw the old statue of Queen Victoria in Victoria Square. This has been re-cast in bronze and Princess Elizabeth unveiled it when she visited Birmingham on Saturday. The statue of King Edward VII is now at the entrance to Highgate Park, I believe.

   After dinner Mam and I went down the village to do some shopping. We got a large bundle of straw for Ginger.

   For the rest of the afternoon I transferred some gold and green lining on to my bicycle.

   I did not go to Cubs tonight. I ran all round the village with Ginger when I took her out at 9.0pm.

The Father Himself loveth you. John 16:27


   This morning I did some French revision and then I took Ginger down the village. When I got back I cycled to the library and got a book for Dad.

   Clarice went to the Festival of Britain today with a school party. The party left Acocks Green station at 7.45pm. [sic]

   After dinner, Mam, Julia and I went to the Warwick cinema. We saw Gertrude Lawrence, Jane Wyman & Kirk Douglas in The Glass Menagerie; it was a fairly good film but I liked Smart Girls Don’t Talk an “A” with Virginia Mayo better.

   This evening, Marjorie and David, who are to be married a fortnight on Saturday, came.

   Clarice got home after 11.0pm.

Cast not away therefore your confidence which hath great recompense of reward. Hebrews 10:35


   Back to school this morning for French. I went to Room 175 first for the Aural exam, the questions and answers being in English. Then from 10.0am to 11.15 we had Composition. Then after break I played cricket with John, Kipper and several others using a book and tennis ball.

   The game stopped when a pair of Canada Geese and a gosling waddled across the field, one behind the other. They then proceeded down Park Vale. It was really most amusing.

   I went into the field after dinner. It looks really beautiful now — a mass of wild flowers.

   The French Unprepared Translation was from 2.30 to 4.0pm. We had Dictation from 2.0 to 2.30. Altogether it was a fairly easy exam.

The Lord is faithful. 2 Thessalonians 3:4


   This morning I took Maths Syllabus II Paper I from 9.30am until 11.30am. I then went home for dinner and cycled back for Paper II at 2 o’clock.

   The papers were both quite simple but I thought eight questions in two hours a little stiff. A University student who is an O.E. and with whom I came home at dinner time, thought so too.

   I came home by a new route this afternoon with Kipper.

   This evening I have mowed the front lawn and listened to the 100th “Any Questions?”.

   Earlier I had been to the Library to get Dance Without Music by Peter Cheyney.

Thanks be to God. 1 Corinthians 15:46


   Today being half term we did not have to go to school. Nothing much happened. Tonight I went to the Hippodrome.

   After the Overture by the Orchestra came Kizina & Karen, two beautiful girls whose tap dancing was a delight to watch, then Helga Barry (Never the same girl twice) who gave several impressions including Gloria Swanson, Suzette Tarri and Nellie Lutcher [which explains how Mr. Lutyens came to be called Nellie]. Next came Ruddy Bolly who did some amazing turns on a wire, then comedian Billy Russell and an acrobatic novelty with Ellen Kaeur & Partner. After the intermission we had Kizina & Karen again and Iris Sadler. The main item was Joe Loss with his New 1951 Band Show, featuring Howard Jones, Rose Brennan and Tony Ventro as vocalists & Spike Milligan as Britain’s New Crazy Comedian. It was a very good show and first rate entertainment.

Redeemed. 1 Peter 1:18


   Before having breakfast this morning, Dad and I took Ginger for a run in the park. Unfortunately she caught a dew-claw again and almost broke it off.

   Anyway, after dinner Dad and I took Ginger to the RSPCA in Bristol Street where she had the claw removed in no time at all. We had to wait in a queue for an hour though. The leg was bandaged up and then we walked down Bromsgrove Street and as far as Camp Hill.

   This evening, I played for an hour, took Ginger out and listened to “Calling All Forces” before going to bed at ten fifteen.

None of them that trust in Him shall be desolate. Psalm 34:22


   I got up at 9.15am today. I decided to cut the back privet on Prentice’s side. This always is a gruesome job and the rose trees make it especially difficult.

   I had been working for an hour when the ladders collapsed and pitched me into a rose tree.

   After dinner I adjusted the mower and cut the front lawn again and half the back lawn. I also took Hound for a walk.

   After tea I played out for half an hour and then helped Dad to rebandage Hound’s leg.

   My half term averages were: English 76%, Maths 90%, French 54, Geography 75%, Physics 82%, Chemistry 56%, Biology 100%, average 76%.

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2


   It seemed quite unusual for me to go to school to do lessons this morning. Until G.C.E. is over Prayers are being held in the quadrangle.

   For first period we went to form rooms to buy dinner tickets. In Maths we continued the revision papers. In English we finished reading Henry V, I read Henry in the final act — the love scene.

   As there was no Hymn Practice, school ended at 12.40. I came home via Bromsgrove Street. During the afternoon I did prep and took Ginger out.

   Tonight I went to Cubs.

Exceeding great and precious promises. 1 Peter 1:4


   I had a pleasant surprise this morning. I found that I did not have to take General Science II since this is an entirely different subject.

   Mr. Monkcom has mumps and Mr. Ballance took us for Biology. After dinner there was an Alto Practice in the Music Room.

Korean Diary for June 6th–12th

9th. Communists continue to withdraw in Central Korea.

11th. United Nations forces occupy two strategic points in Central Korea.

If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. Marks 9:23


   I completed my G.C.E. exams this morning with the third of the Maths papers. This was the hardest of the three papers and I did not finish.

   For the rest of the morning I played cricket with Kipper, Edwards, Howarth, Davies and McIntosh.

   This afternoon I played for the 2nd XI v Biggs’. We were put in to bat and scored 76 for 5 dec. (R.W.N. Davis 27 not out). I did not bat. After tea, Biggs’ had to get 77 runs in 75 minutes and with the last ball of the match scored the winning run, having lost all but one of their wickets. But, a big hit by a Biggs’ batsman was counted as a six and should have been a four so the match was really a draw, but will no doubt count as a win for Biggs’.

   [We had a postcard from Freda this morning. It is of Margate and was written yesterday. She and her sisters are staying at Rookwood Private Hotel, Edgar Road, Cliftonville. She says:—

   Dear all,

We are having a grand time, lovely weather & plenty to eat. Went to Dover, Faulkstone & Canterbury today. Spending most of the time bathing. Love from 4 Cinders, Freda.]

Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief. Mark 9:24


   Nothing much happened at school today. It rained all day until about 3.30pm.

   I collected my Transport Allowance at dinner time. I came home on the S.B. and got my hair cut at “The Tudor”.

   I spent the evening working as usual.

Korean Diary for June 13th–19th

14th. UN forces continue to advance after taking Pyangyang.

17th. Advance continued in Central Korea.

For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as He promised thee. Deuteronomy 15:6


   I cycled to school today and came back with John. For third and fourth periods we did Physics revision with VC.

   This afternoon we all went to the B.S.A. [Birmingham Small Arms, where Dad worked] 1st Annual Sports Day at Marston Green. I was entered in the One Mile Men’s Flat Handicap and had 110 yards with J. Harwood 30 yards in front of me. There were ten starters, one off scratch, most off 60 yards plus. I overtook Harwood and led for over a lap. I can’t remember the rest but I finished last and three dropped out. The time was 4 mins. 55 seconds, my time about 5 mins 5 secs. This was my first Mile Race ever. I did not run in the 880 yards!

   Dad won his heat in the 100 yds (Veterans) and was 3rd in the Final.

The God of heaven, He will prosper us. Nehemiah 2:20


   I got up first this morning and made the tea.

   I spent much of the day doing homework.

   Tonight we all went for a walk round the village.

   The Second Test Match ended on Saturday at Lords. England won the toss and batted first, scoring the only moderate score of 311 (D.C.S. Compton 79, W. Watson 79, J.T. Ikin 51; Chubb 5 for 77, McCarthy 4 for 76). South Africa were then all out for 115 (E.A.B. Rowan 24; Tattersall 7 for 52) and following on got 211 (G.M. Fullerton 60, J.E. Cheetham 54; Tattersall 5 for 49). England then got the 16 runs without loss and so won by ten wickets.

They shall prosper that love Thee. Psalm 122:6


   This morning Mr. Benett wore a red rose in his lapel. This afternoon we all wore dandelions.

   In Gym we played basketball with a Rugby ball. It made it a little more difficult but we had a good game.

   I came home on the S.B. Nothing much happened for the rest of the day. It is 9.45 now and raining again. I have taken Hound out.

They shall perish, but Thou remainest. Hebrews 1:11


   It was raining hard off when I set off this morning.

   Prayers are in Big School now that G.C.E. is over. Mr. Babb was absent and G.T. Lyall took us for first period. We did revision.

   In English we read [Joseph] Conrad again for revision.

   I came home through town and had a look through Hudson’s and Smith’s bookshops. During the afternoon I went down the village to do some shopping and to go to the Library. I got Home at Seven a play by R.C. Sherriff. It is very good. I heard it a fortnight ago in Saturday Night Theatre.

   I went to Cubs tonight and got home for 8.0pm. I then took Ginger for her evening walk.

O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in Thee. Psalm 25:20


   I cycled this morning. We had our Maths I and the French exams from 9.30–10.50m and 11.0–12.25. At dinner time there was an ATB [altos, tenors and basses] choir practice.

   I got home quickly, had tea & went to the Hippodrome to see Jimmy Jewel & Ben Warriss in Starlight Roof which is running for a fortnight. The first act was “Rendezvous” with Jimmy & Ben, Fay Lenore who sang “Make Mine Allegro” and the Bentley Sisters. Next came Benson Dulay the Sorcerer. Act 3 was “Sylvia” sung by Brendan O’Dowda, interpreted by Nicky Hilliard, Wendy Brandon and Lionel Luyt and accompanied by The Corps de Ballet and the nude and near nude Grecian Models in a lavish setting. Then we had a comic scene, Strip Tease Honeymoon, with Jimmy Jewel as the Bridegroom and Fay Lenore as the Bride. In the next scene Jimmy and Ben completely fooled the audience. Jimmy was given the number of a page, the column etc. of a Birmingham Telephone Directory and he promptly gave the name, address and telephone number. It was all a trick of course. The last scene before the Intermission was London’s Wild West End.

   In the second half of the show we had some Latin Rhythms sung by Brendan O’Dowda and danced by Nicky Hilliard, Wendy Brandon and Lionel Luyt. There were again several nudes. The theatre licensing regulations require that all nudes and near nudes be static and these regulations were decorously observed. There was nothing else static about the rest of the show though. In this same scene Fay Lenore sang Enjoy Yourself. Then came another comic scene. Jimmy bought a new wonder pen and in order to be shown that it wrote under water, was immersed in a large glass tank, amongst other things. Rene Strange was next on the stage. She had a very clever and delightful act with puppets. Fay Lenore who was excellent as a dancer, singer and actress sang Hold it, Joe with the rest of the company and then before the Finale in which the whole company was featured, Jimmy and Ben appeared together in “Here comes the Bridegroom”.

   It was a superb show with lavish settings, and plenty of speed, zest and humour. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

   I got home for 9.0pm. It had been raining all through the evening. I took Hound out as usual.

I ... will yet praise Thee more and more. Psalm 71:14.


   I cycled to school again today. We had our English exam in room 161 from 9.30 un till 11.30. I could have done with more time but it was a fairly easy examination. I spent the rest of the morning in the Library.

   This afternoon I played for the 3rd XI v Leeds’ in the K.O. Comp. The match was played on the new playing fields. We batted first and lost six wickets for five runs. I went in determined to stay there but only survived four balls. I hit a ball right over Gully’s head but he turned round and made a very good catch as the ball came over his head. We were soon all out for 23. I opened the attack with my fast bowling and took a wicket with my eighth ball at a cost of nine runs. Leeds’ won by nine wickets. My analysis: 1.4; 0; 9; 1. The match was over in seventy minutes.

I will hope continually. Psalm 71:14.


   I went on my bicycle again today with John [Maund]. I do not go by the 1A route any longer. Instead I go via St. John’s Road, Sparkhill, across Stratford Road then by Taunton, Cromer, Brighton and Edgbaston Road, and finally though Cannon Hill Park [and up Pebble Mill Road, which would eventually become the headquarters of the B.B.C.; it was simply a field at this time.]. Taunton Road Cromer Road Brighton Road

   No master turned up to take us for Physics so we worked quietly doing revision for this afternoon’s Physics exam. I did work in the library for the rest of the morning.

   The Physics exam from 1.45 to 4.15 was pretty easy. It also contained a Biology question.

   This evening I have been listening to the radio as usual.

I will praise Thee: for Thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. Psalm 118:21


   As usual I cycled with John today. Mr. Ballance again took us for Biology, and a prefect, F.L. Jenkins, for last period of Chemistry. I came home with John and Ian Blake via Kings Heath. As soon as I got in, I washed, changed and then went with Mam, and Clarice and Julia, to the wedding of David and Marjorie at St. Cyprian’s Church, Coventry Road, at 2pm.

   Marjorie was in white and carried a prayer book instead of a bouquet and had her sister Iris as bridesmaid. Arthur was Best Man. After the wedding, several photographs were taken and then we all went to Marjorie’s home at 190 Millhouse Road for the reception. After the wedding feast, David and Marjorie left for their honeymoon at Bournemouth. For the rest of the evening there was dancing while the piano was played. I also went for a walk with Reg.

   The trolleybuses were running along Coventry Road today for the last time. At 9.30 Joyce and I went by 15A ’bus to the Coventry Road depot to see the last trolleybus run. We had to wait until 10.45 when the last ’bus left. It was No. 90 and left the garage to the great cheers of a large crowd. The ’bus was full of officials. Meanwhile the other trolleys were gradually running in and one or two left the depot en route for Stratford minus their poles. They are going to be sent to South Africa as motor omnibuses where they will be used to transport workers to the mines.

   When we had seen the last trolley start its last journey to Albert Street, Joyce and I got on No. 59 and travelled to Heybarnes Road where we waited for No. 80 on its way to Sheldon. I then took Joyce home at 11.30 and got home myself at five minutes to midnight.

For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth. Hebrews 12:6

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